WHAT IS THE NAME OF THE FATHER?
©Copyright 1993 Randall D. Hughes
"O righteous Father…I have declared unto them thy name…"
"Our Father which art in heaven, hallowed be thy name." Matt. 6:9
This is one of the most famous passages in the entire Bible. We often refer to it as "The Lord's Prayer." In this opening sentence we find reference to the Father's name. How many times have we read, or even quoted this passage without giving thought to what it is saying? Does the Father have a name? What might it be?
There are many references made by Jesus to the "name of the Father" in the Gospels. Yet, how often do we stop and think about the possibilities? Jesus said emphatically in John 17:26.
"And I have declared unto them thy name, and will declare it:"
Jesus declared unto his Disciples the Father's name. This phase was the impetus for the question, "What is the Name of the Father?" Do you recall this declaration? The Father's name is ___________ . How could we miss this? Although you will not find it in a statement like the incomplete sentence above, you will find the answer.
Throughout the Bible God has used many names for his people to identify him. We will look at a few of these and see if they might tie into the words of Jesus.
The Bible begins with a reference to God. "In the beginning God…" This is the Hebrew word "Elohim." There are about 2,570 references to God as Elohim in the Old Testament. Elohim refers to God's creative and governing powers, his omnipotence and sovereignty.
God is also referred to by the Hebrew word "El." This means God Almighty. There are around 250 such references.
It is in Exodus 6:3, that God first introduces himself as Jehovah. This is the way he is referred to most frequently, around 6,823 times this name is used. Although its actual reference only appears four times in the KJV it is often indicated by the all upper-case letters "LORD." This name is interpreted as the Self-Existing One. This name is often used in a compound manner. We will look at some of these as they give insight to attributes of God.
These are all references made to JEHOVAH in the Old Testament. However, in the New Testament a very special thing happens. The Book of Matthew opens with a clue as to what this is. Matt. 1:23. Behold a virgin shall be with child, …and they shall call his name Emmanuel, which being interpreted is, God with us." Who was this child that would be born of a virgin? This child would be JEHOVAH in flesh!
This child that was born in Bethlehem would fulfill over three hundred Old Testament prophesies. One such prophecy was he would be proceeded by a messenger (Isaiah 40:3*) "The voice of him who cries in the wilderness: Prepare the way of Jehovah; make straight in the dessert a highway for our God." * Indicates verse is from the Hebrew-Greek Interlinear Bible (Hendrickson) All other references are King James.
This prophecy tells us Jehovah is coming! This was fulfilled in Mark 1:2 & 3. But if John is the messenger, then Jesus is Jehovah! Is this possible? What would this imply, if it is true?
If Jesus is Jehovah, then he would surely have the same attributes. Let us compare the various attributes of Jehovah to Jesus.
The first was provider. We can even be more specific if we look at what happened in Gen. 22. Abraham is on his way to offer Isaac as a sacrifice to God. In verse 8, Abraham makes a prophetic statement that at the time was a word of faith. "God will provide himself a lamb…" In the Book of John we find Jesus beginning his ministry. John 1:29, "Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world." God did provide Abraham a sacrifice at that time, and God provided himself a Lamb for our sacrifice in Jesus Christ. In Phil. 4:19 he promised "to supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus."
The next attribute was that of healer. Jesus most definitely fulfilled this aspect. Matt. 4:23. "And Jesus went about… healing all manner of disease among the people." The greatest is the healing of a sinful heart.
It is Jesus that gives us victory. "But thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ." 1 Cor. 15:57. 1 John 5:5, "Who is he that overcometh the world, but he that believeth that Jesus is the Son of God?" Yes, our victories are only through Jesus.
Jesus is our sanctifier. Heb.10:10. "By the which will we are sanctified through the offering of Jesus Christ once for all." Also in Heb. 13:12, "Wherefore Jesus also, that he might sanctify the people with his own blood…"
When the angels proclaimed the birth of Jesus in Luke 2:14, they said, "Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men." Jesus is that perfect peace. "Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you." John 14:27
In John 10:11-14, Jesus tells us he is the "Good Shepherd." Verse 16 tells us there is just ONE shepherd. Matt. 26:31, he is the shepherd that is smitten and the sheep (disciples) scatter. Heb. 13:20, "…our lord Jesus, that great shepherd of the sheep…" See also 1 Pet. 5:4
Since our righteousness is filthy rags (Isa. 64:6), we most definitely need the righteousness Jesus provides. Jesus fulfilled all righteousness, Matt. 3:15. Rom. 3:22, "Even the righteousness of God which is by faith of Jesus Christ unto all and upon all who believe." "For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him. 2 Cor. 5:21. See also Phil. 3:9.
The last comparison we will look at now is "the LORD is there." Col. 1:19, "For it pleased the Father that in him should all fullness dwell;" The prophesy we already considered from Isa. 7:14, "…and shall call his name Immanuel." God with us! Truly God dwelt with his people in a special way. "…we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked upon, and our hands have handled, of the Word of life; (For the life was manifested, and we have seen it…)" 1 John 1:1-2 Jesus was God manifest in the flesh. "And, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world." Matt. 28:20. He is still with us today!
After such a dissertation as this you may feel that we have lost track of our original question. This is not the case. We are simply viewing the person of Christ from a different angle. Most people see Jesus as the second person in a trinity. Others feel he is the mighty God, second to the Almighty God. I do not feel such claims can be fully substantiated in Scripture. God has emphatically declared his oneness throughout the Bible. Almost 10,000 times in the Old Testament he is referred to with no hint of having collateral persons with him. The problem people seem to have is they try to separate God into the manners he has manifested himself. And although there are many ways God has manifest himself, they seem to focus on the primary manifestations of our dispensation. Specifically, the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost. Hopefully, somehow minds that have been blinded will be opened. "In whom the God of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them." 2 Cor. 4:4.
As you recall from Gen. 1, we are made in the image of God. You possess a body, soul, and spirit. Yet, how many persons are you? One! How many names do you go by? You have one primary name. God is a Spirit. If we could compare it would be as though our spirit existed before we took on flesh. For we know the Spirit of God existed before he manifest himself in flesh. Jesus was the body God dwelt in. And he does have one primary name. The name Jesus!
There is one more compound form of Jehovah we will look at. That being JEHOVAH-JESUS or Jehovah is Salvation. In the Old Testament Jehovah was very explicit in proclaiming his oneness. Isa. 44:24*. "So says Jehovah, your Redeemer and your Former from the womb; I am Jehovah who makes all things; stretching out the heavens; I alone, spreading out the earth. Who was with me?" He is very emphatic in letting us know who gets the credit. Isa. 42:8*. "I am Jehovah; that is My name; and I will not give my glory to another, nor My praise to engraved images." Not only did he make all things, he alone is the Savior. There is none before or after him. Isa. 43:10-11*. "You are my witnesses, says Jehovah; and My servant whom I have chosen; that you may know and believe Me, and understand that I am He. Before Me there was no god formed; neither shall any be after Me. I, I am Jehovah; and there is no Savior besides Me." Jehovah is the only Savior!
Let's consider something. You are going to make a image of yourself. This image is to represent You. What are you going to name it? Tom? Bill? Bob? Of course not! You will give it YOUR name! God prepares a body to dwell in (Heb. 10:5). What will he name it? Notice this is the "express image of his person." Heb. 1:3. Jesus tells us in John 17:26, "and I have declared unto them thy name…" This is in reference back to the Father mentioned at the start of verse 25. Do you know the name of the Father? Jesus declared it. He not only declared it. He manifested the name! John 17:6, "I have manifested thy name unto the men which thou gavest me out of the world…" Is there a difference between declaring and manifesting? To declare means: "To state officially, formally, or authoritatively. To make clear." There are some similarities to the meanings. Manifest: "Clearly apparent, esp. to the sight; obvious. To show plainly; reveal. To be evidence of; prove." So Jesus showed plainly the Father's name! Is there still a question in your mind what the name is? There shouldn't be.
Sometimes we are confused by the terms Father and Son. They are used because the Spirit Fathered a Son, his own body. Col. 1:15, "Who is the image of the invisible God." Look at Isa. 9:6, the prophecy concerning Jesus. "For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Councellor, the Mighty God, the everlasting Father, the Prince of Peace." This includes some of the attributes of Jehovah, governing, and peace. But notice this Son is The Mighty God, The everlasting Father! Wow! It was prophesied the son would be the Father! How can Jesus be the Father? The eternal Spirit simply took on flesh (or wore flesh) fulfilling prophecy.
Let's look at what Jesus had to say about this. "…no man cometh to the Father but by me. If ye had known me, ye should have known my Father also: and from henceforth ye know him, and have seen him." John 14:6-7. Jesus said that His disciples knew the Father and had seen him! He went on to say in verse 9, "Have I been so long time with you, and yet hast thou not known me, Philip? He that hath seen me hath seen the Father; and how sayest thou, Shew us the Father?" When you see Jesus, you see the Father. When you know Jesus, you know the Father? John 8:24-27*, "Therefore, I said unto you that you shall die in your sins. For if you do not believe that I AM, you will die in your sins. Then they said unto him, Who are you? And Jesus said to them, Altogether what I also say to you. I have many things to say and to judge concerning you, but One sending Me is true, and what I heard from Him, these things I say to the world. They did not know that He spoke to them of the Father."
Jesus said he is the I AM! So Jesus is Jehovah! Jesus said in John 10:30, "I and my Father are one." So the name of the Father, Jesus plainly revealed is Jesus!
One of the most obvious verses that shows Jehovah is Jesus is found in Acts 9:5. "And he (Saul) said, Who art thou, Lord? And the Lord said, I am Jesus…" Knowing Saul's educational background and his realizing the supernatural aspect of this encounter, there is no doubt this question is actually, Who art thou Jehovah? Answer: Jesus!
If Jehovah is the only Savior, then why was it said of Saul that he would bear the name of Jesus before the Gentiles? Why be a witness to Jesus, (Acts 1:8)? Because Jesus is Jehovah!
As one reads through the New Testament, the importance of Jesus name is repeated over and over again. "And whatsoever you do in word or deed do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God and the Father by him." Col. 3:17. Listen to the importance the Apostle Peter placed on the name when he said, "Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved." You will not find another name in the entire Bible that is given equal or more honor and glory than Jesus name. There is an interesting verse in Zechariah 14:9*, relating to God's name. "And Jehovah shall be king over all the earth. In that day there shall be one Jehovah, and his name one."
After all the verses we have looked at do you wonder what that one name will be?
"Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name above every name: That at the name of Jesus every knee shall bow, of things in heaven, and in earth, and things under the earth; And that every tongue shall confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father." Phil. 2;2:9-11
One day all will acknowledge Jehovah, the Father, the Eternal Spirit, the One True God, who took on flesh, by his fleshly name. "And without controversy great is the mystery of godliness: God was manifest in the flesh…" 1 Tim 3:16. This manifestation of God was without a doubt Jesus Christ!
"Whosoever denieth the Son, the same hath not the Father: (but) he that acknowledgeth the Son hath the Father also." 1 John 2:23. Why is this? Because the name of the Father was manifest plainly. If Jesus is not the name of the Father, then the name of the Father is NOT in the New Testament! But the name of Jesus is found 942 times in the New Testament. The name God chose for himself for eternity. For Eph. 1:20-23 states:
"Which he wrought in Christ, when he raised him from the dead, and set him at his own right hand in the heavenly places, far above all principalities, and power, and might, and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this world, but also in that which is to come: And hath put all things under his feet, and gave him to be the head over all things to the church, which is his body, the fullness of him that filleth all in all."
Someday all will know and will see. The one who's name is above every name, (even other names God has used). The one who loved us so much he would die for us. We will see him face to face. The only face God ever had or will have, the face of Jesus Christ! For he manifested the Father's name!
©Copyright 1993 Randall D. Hughes
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