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The Name of God used by Other Beings

God often speaks to mankind through other beings who relate the words of God to others. In such cases the being who is repeating the words of God will sometimes use the name of God.

The angel in the burning bush (Exodus 3), for example (see The name and titles of God - the Old Testament) repeats the words of God to Moses. When Moses asks for the name of the person speaking to him the angel repeats the words of God and uses the name of God.

There are even places where ordinary men are able to use the name of God when they speak (or write) for God. For example, the first verse of the prophecy of Obadiah says:

"The vision of Obadiah. Thus says the Lord GOD concerning Edom:"              (Obadiah 1:1)                                                                  Here the prophet is delivering a message from God about Edom, one of the countries which was next to Judah. Because the message is from God, Obadiah can write that the message comes from God in the first verse.

The phrase “Thus says the LORD ” appears 413 times in the Old Testament. Each time it indicates a message from God which is delivered through the words of a prophet.

Ultimately the name of God has been awarded to Jesus, so that he can use it to reveal God. Jesus has received the name of God because of his relationship to God:

"[Jesus] sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high, having become as much superior to angels as the name he has inherited is more excellent than theirs."                 (Hebrews 1:3,4)

Here we read that Jesus has received a more excellent name than angels; the passage points out that this is because Jesus has become superior to them.

"Therefore God has highly exalted him and bestowed on him the name that is above every name, so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father."               (Philippians 2:9-11)

According to this passage the name of God has been given to Jesus; v8 says that this is because he was prepared to allow himself to be put to death on the cross. The point, though, is that because Jesus was obedient to him, God has given him the right to use his name.

Jesus doesn’t use the name of God in the Gospels, nor is he referred to by it. The one possible exception to this is the Baptismal formula at the end of the Gospel of Matthew:

"Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit,"                      (Matthew 28:19)

As Jesus is honoured by being able to use God’s name, this name is described as the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit in this verse.

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