Divine Names and Titles

 •  10 min. read  •  grade level: 11
6. Most High God.
In the Genesis Scripture, Melchizedek, as king and priest, points to Christ—a Priest forever, after the order of Melchizedek (Hebrews 7), but a Priest in blessing, not in offering sacrifice, as Aaron (Hebrews 9;10); also as King in Zion (Psalms 2), and King over all the Earth (Zechariah 14:99And the Lord shall be king over all the earth: in that day shall there be one Lord, and his name one. (Zechariah 14:9)). Surely there is but One able and worthy to sustain this double glory— “He shall be a Priest upon His throne.” in the coming days of the kingdom, the faintest sigh, the falling tear will reach the heart, and meet the eye of the Priest, while every case of wrong, cruelty and oppression, will be righteously dealt with by the power of the King. God’s two ordinances—the temple and the throne—respectively represented by the priest and the king, took up the cause of the Blessed One, and His heavenly title “Son of God” procured His condemnation at the band of the Jewish Sanhedrim(see Matthew 26; Mark 14; Luke 22), while His title of earthly glory, “King of the Jews,” was deemed sufficient (although thrice declared innocent by Pilate) to condemn Him at the Gentile judgment-seat (see closing chapters of the four gospels). The very titles under which He was rejected by Jews and Gentiles will be those confessed and owned by the Jewish remnant in the coming days of Israel’s restoration to her God and land (John 1:4949Nathanael answered and saith unto him, Rabbi, thou art the Son of God; thou art the King of Israel. (John 1:49)).
“Most High” is used five times in Daniel 4, and five times in Daniel 7; but in the latter Scripture the expression occurs three times in a plural form, and refers to the heavenly places; same as in Ephesians 1:33Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ: (Ephesians 1:3), and 6:12. It might be translated “high places.” Daniel 7:2525And he shall speak great words against the most High, and shall wear out the saints of the most High, and think to change times and laws: and they shall be given into his hand until a time and times and the dividing of time. (Daniel 7:25) applies the title, rightly too, to God, the other instances in the chapter applying to the sphere of blessing, not to the Blesser. Verse 27 is an interesting passage, as showing the future connection between the heavenlies and earthlies; “and the kingdom and dominion, and the greatness of the kingdom under the whole heaven, shall be given to the people of the saints of the Most High (rather, high places); whose kingdom is an everlasting kingdom, and all dominions shall serve and obey him.” While earthly dominion and glory are committed to the saints (Jewish) on earth, the heavenly glory will be enjoyed, as we know, by the heavenly saints, while the connection between the saints in heaven and earth is blessedly maintained. This is not an arbitrary distinction: Revelation 21:12, 24, 2612And had a wall great and high, and had twelve gates, and at the gates twelve angels, and names written thereon, which are the names of the twelve tribes of the children of Israel: (Revelation 21:12)
24And the nations of them which are saved shall walk in the light of it: and the kings of the earth do bring their glory and honor into it. (Revelation 21:24)
26And they shall bring the glory and honor of the nations into it. (Revelation 21:26)
, clearly enough show that the celestial and terrestrial spheres of glory will be in intimate fellowship. A similar strain is the burden of Hosea 2:21-2321And it shall come to pass in that day, I will hear, saith the Lord, I will hear the heavens, and they shall hear the earth; 22And the earth shall hear the corn, and the wine, and the oil; and they shall hear Jezreel. 23And I will sow her unto me in the earth; and I will have mercy upon her that had not obtained mercy; and I will say to them which were not my people, Thou art my people; and they shall say, Thou art my God. (Hosea 2:21‑23).
7. The Lord of all the Earth.
This easily understood title first occurs in Joshua 3:11, 1311Behold, the ark of the covenant of the Lord of all the earth passeth over before you into Jordan. (Joshua 3:11)
13And it shall come to pass, as soon as the soles of the feet of the priests that bear the ark of the Lord, the Lord of all the earth, shall rest in the waters of Jordan, that the waters of Jordan shall be cut off from the waters that come down from above; and they shall stand upon an heap. (Joshua 3:13)
; is also used in Zechariah 6:55And the angel answered and said unto me, These are the four spirits of the heavens, which go forth from standing before the Lord of all the earth. (Zechariah 6:5). In taking possession of the earth—of which Canaan was a pledge and Joshua a type—God selected this fitting title, but when His people would connect His blessed name and presence with evil, God left the earth, had no longer a home or throne in it (Ezek. 1-9). To have longer remained in the temple, or sanctioned the iniquity of the throne, would have been to abnegate His character, and lower His glory as God: that were impossible. Governmental power, therefore, passed from the hands of His people into those of the Gentiles, and from that epoch, they date the history of “the times of the Gentiles”1 (Luke 21:2424And they shall fall by the edge of the sword, and shall be led away captive into all nations: and Jerusalem shall be trodden down of the Gentiles, until the times of the Gentiles be fulfilled. (Luke 21:24); Daniel 2); while the glory or presence of Jehovah had passed away into heaven (see Ezek. 1-9). God could not sanction by His presence the power conferred upon the Gentiles, so long as His people were held in captivity by these powers, and the cities of Judah lay waste. Hence, when the cause of Israel is again taken up, the title will be reasserted (Revelation 11:44These are the two olive trees, and the two candlesticks standing before the God of the earth. (Revelation 11:4): compare with Zechariah 4 and 6:5). Nebuchadnezzar lauded the “God of heaven,” so also Daniel, not the “Lord of all the earth,” for as we have seen, that title only is taken up when making good Israel’s place of supremacy in the earth. The central part of the revelation is God’s assertion of His rights and titles over the earth; necessarily this will bring in days of terror and wrath upon man—i.e., such as have refused to own His rights. They will be willing enough then to give glory to the God of heaven (Revelation 11:1313And the same hour was there a great earthquake, and the tenth part of the city fell, and in the earthquake were slain of men seven thousand: and the remnant were affrighted, and gave glory to the God of heaven. (Revelation 11:13)), but that is not the testimony rendered in these days. Men will be willing enough, as I have said, to own God’s title to heaven, because that keeps God at a distance from them, but when He announces His purpose to take up again this earth, men refuse, sternly refuse, to own the title: — “God of the earth,” and so the judgment will roll on and on—seal judgments, trumpet judgments, and vial judgments, will sweep over the bosom of these christianized lands, and guilty world, until the song from heaven breaks upon a joyous and delivered creation. “The kingdoms of this world (or rather the world-kingdom) of our Lord and Christ is come; and He shall reign forever and ever.” Revelation 11:1515And the seventh angel sounded; and there were great voices in heaven, saying, The kingdoms of this world are become the kingdoms of our Lord, and of his Christ; and he shall reign for ever and ever. (Revelation 11:15).
This then is a title God did assert and will establish in power and judgment.
8. God of Heaven.
We have about 20 occurrences of this interesting and divine title. It is only used twice in the New Testament, and that only in the Revelation. It is found in the Book of Ezra eight times. This is important, for it is that book which details the doings of the returned captives from Babylon to Jerusalem. Now while God graciously allowed remnants of His people to return to their land and city, they did so under Gentile patronage and protection. They got blessing from God but not the presence of God, hence in the five post-captivity books—Ezra, Nehemiah, Haggai, Zechariah, and Malachi—they are not once termed “my people,” save as viewed prophetically. The altar fire may consume its victims, the set and consecrated feasts of the Lord be observed according to the written word, the new moons, and free-will offerings of the people be duly accepted according to the law of Moses, the Temple Courts may resound with songs of praise, the fallen walls of Jerusalem be reared, the city gates as of old be opened and shut at their appointed seasons, the throne may again be established, but the presence of the Lord cannot be given to the people. Their Temple—beautiful and glorious as it was—bad no ark, no mercy-seat, no Urim nor Thummim, no cherubim shadowing the mercy-seat, that which gave priesthood its distinguishing glory was awanting. Where was the cloud of glory—the well-known symbol of Jehovah’s presence? He had vacated His place between the cherubim, and retired into His native place—heaven—but will return, as of old, and fill the new temple with His glory (Ezek. 43). These glorious days are not far distant. This, then, fully accounts for the frequency of His title in this book. God was not actively interfering on behalf of His people from His throne established in Jerusalem, nor dwelling in their midst in the temple. The throne of righteousness and power is now set up in the great Gentile metropolis—Babylon—and the glory has left the house; hence the appropriateness of the title “God of Heaven.” God acts in and from heaven—not on the earth—and controls and directs all for the blessing of His own. When He begins to act publicly on behalf of His people, He will do so under His Joshua title, “Lord of all the Earth.” The point now for faith to recognize is, that God is acting and directing, although unseen, for the present blessing of His people. This is an immense stay to the heart in presence of evil and evil men— “Be still and know that I am God.” The Book of Esther, in which the name of God does not once occur, shows the secret providence of God exercised in blessing through the Persian monarch towards those of His people, who were even so indifferent to Jehovah’s interests that they preferred to remain in the land of the Gentile, instead of returning to their own city, and gathering with their brethren around the altar of God. Esther thus shows the people out of the country of promise, but watched over and protected by God Himself; while the Books of Ezra and Nehemiah show us Cyrus, Jehovah’s anointed and shepherd (Isa. 44:28;4528That saith of Cyrus, He is my shepherd, and shall perform all my pleasure: even saying to Jerusalem, Thou shalt be built; and to the temple, Thy foundation shall be laid. (Isaiah 44:28)
3Hearken unto me, O house of Jacob, and all the remnant of the house of Israel, which are borne by me from the belly, which are carried from the womb: (Isaiah 46:3)
. 1), caring for the people in the land—God all the time owned as the “God of Heaven” as these books fully testify.
The expression” Kingdom of Heaven,” occurring about 30 times, and only in the Gospel of Matthew, is an important one in connection with the title “God of Heaven.”
9. Father.
Of all the divine names and titles there is none so touching to the Christian as “Father.” It is pre-eminently God’s New Testament title. It is the language of the babe (1 John 2:1313I write unto you, fathers, because ye have known him that is from the beginning. I write unto you, young men, because ye have overcome the wicked one. I write unto you, little children, because ye have known the Father. (1 John 2:13)); it is the utterance of conscious relationship (Romans 8:1515For ye have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear; but ye have received the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father. (Romans 8:15)); but a love and relationship really enjoyed only where there is practical separation from the world (1 John 2:15,1615Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him. 16For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world. (1 John 2:15‑16)). In John 14, the Lord Jesus prepares a place in the Father’s house for us; in chapter 47 He speaks to His Father about us; while in chapter 20 He declares His Father’s name to us.
“Our Father” is the language of the disciples; “My Father,” that of the Lord Jesus. “Father” is the name above all others which stirs the feelings and awakens the tenderest affections of the heart. It is a name only fully declared after the conflicts of the cross—after redemption had been effected, after the awful depths of man’s sin had been fully fathomed, and the wrath of God exhausted itself—then, and only then, could the Blessed One speak of declaring His Father’s name to His brethren; then He did say, “I will declare thy name unto my brethren” (Psalms 22:2222I will declare thy name unto my brethren: in the midst of the congregation will I praise thee. (Psalm 22:22), compared with John 20:1717Jesus saith unto her, Touch me not; for I am not yet ascended to my Father: but go to my brethren, and say unto them, I ascend unto my Father, and your Father; and to my God, and your God. (John 20:17)), “Raised from the dead by the glory of the Father,” and “exalted by the right hand of God,” He sits upon His Father’s throne. Soon His God and Father will build for Him a system of glory, which will widen and extend until it embrace the new heavens and new earth, —Jesus Himself the center and foundation, glory and head of the new creation, wherein all things are of God. Raised from the dead, He declares His Father’s name to His brethren, and imparts to them the virtue of His new condition. The first man brought in sin, death, and tears; the Second Man dealt with sin, brought in life—eternal life, and will, by-and-by, wipe away all tears from off all faces.
(Continued from page 97.)
(To be continued if the Lord will.)