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Watch 2022 online sermons » Jonathan Bernis » Jonathan Bernis - The Names Of God, El Elyon

Jonathan Bernis - The Names Of God, El Elyon

Jonathan Bernis - The Names Of God, El Elyon
TOPICS: Names of God

Jonathan Bernis: Shalom and welcome to Jewish Voice, and thank you for joining me today. I'm Jonathan Bernis. Today, my co-host, Ezra Benjamin, and I are going to be sharing with you a revelation about the Word of God that you may have never considered before. There is a tremendous power in the Word of God. That power is actually released when we speak it. But there's also power in the Hebrew language. What happens when we combine these two truths? That's the topic of our conversation today. Ezra, we're talking about confessing the Hebrew scriptures.

Ezra Benjamin: That's right. And Jonathan, that second to last word you said is what we're gonna focus on first of all - Hebrew. You know, God understands. He's created every tongue, tribe, and nation, right? He's sovereign over all and he understands any language we pray to him in. He understands the name, "Jesus". He understands the name, "Jesucristo," in Spanish. You know, he understands all of these names, but God has a heart language, we can say, and it's the language that he actually created the world in, and it's the language that the writers of the Old Testament penned the scriptures themselves in as they were moved by the spirit.

Jonathan Bernis: The tongue of the prophets.

Ezra Benjamin: That's right, and that language is Hebrew. We're not talking necessarily about modern Hebrew that's spoken by millions of Jewish people and their neighbors in the land of Israel, we're talking about biblical Hebrew. It says, "And in the beginning," - "B'reshit," in the beginning in Hebrew - "God created the heavens and the earth". And the language that that scripture is written in is the language that God spoke these things into existence in.

Jonathan Bernis: Yeah, think about it. When you look at the original texts of the Torah, the original texts of the Old Testament, the Tanakh - the Torah, the prophets, the writings, what we call the Old Testament - with few exceptions that are in Aramaic, it's in Hebrew. Some say that the original New Testament was written in Hebrew. I'm not sure that that's true, but this is a language that has communicated the heart, and power, and truth of God's word for millennia.

Ezra Benjamin: That's right.

Jonathan Bernis: And it's also a language that was preserved by a wandering people without a homeland. Think about this, that wandered and God preserved, and part of the supernatural preservation of this people, the people of Israel, was a language, the Hebrew language. There is something supernatural.

Ezra Benjamin: That's right.

Jonathan Bernis: And I'm gonna use that word, "Supernatural," about the Hebrew language.

Ezra Benjamin: Yeah, interestingly, and check this out on Google if you want to verify what we're saying. Jonathan, Hebrew is the only ancient language ever to have essentially been relegated to ancient religious texts, and then resurrected as a spoken language in a nation. So, the resurrection of the modern language of Hebrew, very similar in its pronunciation and its grammar to ancient biblical Hebrew, parallels the resurrection of the modern state of Israel from the ancient land of Israel. It's really an incredible thing.

Jonathan Bernis: And the revelation of who God is - his character, his nature, his promises.

Ezra Benjamin: That's right.

Jonathan Bernis: They're all given to us in the Hebrew language. So, when you look at some of the names of God, he is Adonai, which is an avoidance of saying the tetragrammaton, "Yod-Heh-Vav-Heh".

Ezra Benjamin: Right.

Jonathan Bernis: As a Jew, I don't like to pronounce it because it's a holy name, but all of the compound names of God. He is our healer, "Rapha". He is our provider.

Ezra Benjamin: Right.

Jonathan Bernis: These are all...

Ezra Benjamin: "El Shaddai," the one who is more than enough.

Jonathan Bernis: All of these things, or "Jireh," that he's our provider. He's "Adonai Tzidkenu," the Lord our righteousness.

Ezra Benjamin: That's right.

Jonathan Bernis: All of these revelations are in Hebrew. These are names of God, but they're in the Hebrew language.

Ezra Benjamin: That's right.

Jonathan Bernis: You can't just push that to the side.

Ezra Benjamin: Sure.

Jonathan Bernis: That's a reality.

Ezra Benjamin: And today, we're gonna talk about the name, "El Elyon," but before we dig into what that actually means and its significance, then in the ancient biblical world and now for us today as believers, Jonathan, why confess in the Hebrew? This idea in Hebrew actually is "Hagah," which is different than just to say, right? I can say something to you, but the word in Hebrew, "Hagah," actually means like, an ongoing, repetitive, meditative muttering, if you will.

Jonathan Bernis: Yeah, there's two words in Hebrew for meditate. One is the typical Christian view of meditation, which is reflection. It's internalized. But the one that's used with Joshua, as he prepares to lead the children of Israel into the Promised Land, which, by the way, is a promise of prosperity if he follows, is to meditate, "Hagah". We derive the word "Haggadah," to tell, from that - to tell the Passover story. "Hagah" is to utter, to mutter, to confess. So, what God was saying to Joshua, "If you follow my laws and you continually confess them, speak them - not think of them, but meditate on them by confessing them, you will prosper and successfully lead the children of Israel into the land of promise".

Ezra Benjamin: That's right, and it's an ancient Hebrew or an ancient Jewish idea, but one I think for our Christian audience watching, is still very relevant. It's not enough just to think about the word, and the names, and the character, and the attributes of God. There's power. Something is transformed in us and even, if you will, in our circumstances, as we actually speak those names, that character, those attributes out with our mouth.

Jonathan Bernis: Absolutely, Ezra. And this, by the way, is not implicit. It's explicit in the new covenant. In Romans, it talks about...Romans 10 talks about the process of salvation. Someone has to be sent to proclaim, to speak, the good news.

Ezra Benjamin: Right.

Jonathan Bernis: So that people can hear it, believe it in their heart, and confess it with the mouth. And then, of course, the great promise that is in its context, speaking of the salvation of Israel, if you believe in your heart.

Ezra Benjamin: That's right.

Jonathan Bernis: And you confess with your mouth. "If you believe and confess," if you make this heart/mouth connection, "Believing and confessing that Yeshua, that Jesus is Lord, and that he was raised from the dead, you shall be saved".

Ezra Benjamin: That's right.

Jonathan Bernis: Then, it says this and it's a biblical principle for every promise of God. Listen to me now. If you get nothing else out of this program, get this. There is a heart/mouth connection that governs every promise of God. We believe it with the heart. We confess it unto. What is it about articulate speech that's so unique? It's the only attribute of being created in God's image that only human beings have.

Ezra Benjamin: That's right.

Jonathan Bernis: Animals make sounds. They may have their own language of communication, but Ezra, they don't have articulate speech. You have articulate speech, and that's what it means to be created in God's image. How are you gonna use that? For life and death. Will we use it for life by confessing the Word of God unto?

Ezra Benjamin: There's a connection, Jonathan, between the heart and the mouth. I'm thinking again of Genesis. Adam is in the garden before the fall, and God says to him, "I want you to name the animals. I've given you articulate speech, and as you call them, so they shall be".

Jonathan Bernis: What a gift.

Ezra Benjamin: Yeah.

Jonathan Bernis: I don't hear enough teaching about how this separates us from all of God's creation.

Ezra Benjamin: That's right.

Jonathan Bernis: Articulate speech, and we use it for life and we use it for death. It's this tiny member of the body, right? It's the tongue, but it's able to speak life and death into things.

Ezra Benjamin: Absolutely.

Jonathan Bernis: And by the way, this principle of heart/mouth connection, which is unto salvation. We can believe all we want that Yeshua is the Messiah, that he is Savior, that God raised him from the dead, but it takes the confession unto salvation.

Ezra Benjamin: That's right.

Jonathan Bernis: Well, guess what? Healing works the same way. When we confess, "By his wounds, we are healed. By his stripes, we are healed," it eventually drops into our heart and becomes a reality. It works with divine provision. It works with divine protection.

Ezra Benjamin: That's right.

Jonathan Bernis: It works with - in every area, it's the reality. That's how God works.

Ezra Benjamin: Yeah, it's a gift, Jonathan. It's also a responsibility, right?

Jonathan Bernis: Yes, it is.

Ezra Benjamin: It's not just as you call it, so it shall be, but let's take that to the bank. Let's feel the weight of that responsibility. As I use my mouth to speak life over death, life or death over something, so it shall be. God's vested that authority in us and that responsibility created in his image. It's not to be taken lightly. I need to be careful about what's coming out of my mouth.

Jonathan Bernis: You know, I know that, "Name it and claim it," has a bad reputation, and rightfully so when we use it for greed instead of need, when we use it for our own desires.

Ezra Benjamin: Sure.

Jonathan Bernis: But anything that we are asking according to his will, he hears, and we do need to use confession to speak out in authority the reality of God's word, because it's a greater reality than what we're experiencing, right?

Ezra Benjamin: That's right.

Jonathan Bernis: We're not ignoring that we're sick, but we're claiming that God's healing is greater than that reality.

Ezra Benjamin: That's right.

Jonathan Bernis: We're speaking it out.

Ezra Benjamin: That's right.

Jonathan Bernis: And we're believing it by hearing it.

Ezra Benjamin: Yeah. So, it's a gift, it's a responsibility. Jonathan, I think also it's a faith-builder, you know? The enemy is constantly accusing us, he's accusing God. You know, "God's not gonna be enough for you". What if, every time I hear that, I said, "No, Adonai roi, the Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want"? And every time he says, "God's gonna abandon you, he's gonna forsake you," "No, God is El Shaddai. He's my provider who's more than enough".

Jonathan Bernis: That's right. Can you imagine Joshua trying to fill these huge shoes of Moses, and just "Shvitzing" as we say? He's sweating it out, and he's really - like every human being, he's experiencing all this doubt. But God said, "If you want to be successful, speak my word".

Ezra Benjamin: "These words shall not depart from your mouth".

Jonathan Bernis: Can you see him walking towards the Promised Land, looking behind his shoulder to see that he's still being followed by the children of Israel, saying, "Every...Every step - every step I take," right? "I possess the land".

Ezra Benjamin: That's right.

Jonathan Bernis: And he's actually speaking it to himself, I believe, and he's coaching himself on to victory.

Ezra Benjamin: That's so important.

Jonathan Bernis: Ezra, there's so much more to share on this topic, but we need to take a quick break so our announcer can share with you how you can begin speaking Hebrew, confessing the Hebrew scriptures right away, without any training. You can do this. And when we come back, Ezra and I are gonna be talking about one of the Hebrew names of God that you may have never heard before, and it will change your life. It's powerful! So, get ready. We'll be right back.

Jonathan Bernis: Welcome back to Jewish Voice. Before Ezra and I get back into our discussion of confessing the Bible in the Hebrew language, I want to take just a moment to say thank you to all of you who are supporting this ministry. Thank you for your generous giving, and especially for those who have joined us as monthly shalom partners. Your ongoing support of this ministry is so vital, and it's changing lives in tangible ways through the distribution of medicines, medical care, clean water, and of course, most importantly, it provides us an open door to share the Gospel, and you're helping us to make that possible - so, thank you.

Ezra Benjamin: Thank you so much.

Jonathan Bernis: Ezra, "El Elyon," that's what we're talking about today.

Ezra Benjamin: That is.

Jonathan Bernis: It's a word that some people may have never even heard.

Ezra Benjamin: Right.

Jonathan Bernis: Or may recognize from a famous song.

Ezra Benjamin: Sure.

Jonathan Bernis: Unpack "El Elyon" for us.

Ezra Benjamin: Right. Well, maybe we've heard of, as we discussed, "El Shaddai," right? The God who is more than enough, or "Adonai Yireh," or "Jireh," we can say in more of an American English, God our provider. But as you said, "El Elyon" - first of all, what does that mean, where does it come from, and why does that matter? Why did it matter in the context of the scriptures in which it was written and why does that matter for us today? Jonathan, the first place we see that is in Genesis 14, and I actually want to turn there for a minute. If you're familiar with your Bible, which most of you watching are, you know the story of Melchizedek. In Hebrew, that actually means "The king of righteousness," and it says in Genesis 14:18, "Then Melchizedek, king of Salem, brought out bread and wine - he was high priest of," God Most High, "El Elyon". And the word, it's actually a compound. "El" in Hebrew just means God. And so, it of course refers to God, the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. But in the ancient biblical world, it could also mean any lower-case g God. For example, we say in Hebrew, "Who is like you among the Gods, o Lord"? And the word for Gods is "Elim". It's just the plural of "El". And so, the key here is it's saying, "Yes, God, but El Elyon," and "Elyon" is the God of heaven - in essence, the one greater than whom there is no one. And we might say, "Of course, God is El Elyon". We know that today with our Messianic Jewish or our Christian mindset, but in the ancient biblical world, polytheism was the name of the game, right?

Jonathan Bernis: Right.

Ezra Benjamin: I mean, there was the God of water, and in Egypt, the sun God and the God of the dead. And so, there were all of these "Elim," all of these lower-case g Gods, but God's distinguishing here that Melchizedek, king of Salem, and Abram, before he became Abraham, worshipped "El Elyon," the God greater than whom there is no one.

Jonathan Bernis: There's such a revelation in this.

Ezra Benjamin: Yeah.

Jonathan Bernis: Here we have, in a society that's polytheistic, the revelation of the only one true God of creation.

Ezra Benjamin: That's right.

Jonathan Bernis: In the time of Melchizedek.

Ezra Benjamin: Right.

Jonathan Bernis: A very unique character.

Ezra Benjamin: Sure.

Jonathan Bernis: Who may have been Yeshua himself. There's a lot of debate about that.

Ezra Benjamin: Sure, sure. That's a story for another program.

Jonathan Bernis: That's not a story for today.

Ezra Benjamin: But this name, Jonathan, is interesting because this is hundreds of years before what we call the tetragrammaton, as you mentioned, shows up, "Yod-Heh-Vav-Heh, which is really, "I am that I am," right? God says to Moses, "I have heard and I have seen the suffering of my people in Egypt and I'm going to deliver them from slavery". And Moses says, "Who shall I say sent me"? And he says, "I am that I am". In essence, "I exist according to my own authority". Hundreds of years before, a similar idea. The God above whom there is no one, God Most High, not measured by the "Elim" of the earth, but on a level of his own, God of heaven and earth.

Jonathan Bernis: Ezra, talk about what this means for people that are watching. What is the revelation for believers in that name, in the name itself, "El Elyon"?

Ezra Benjamin: Well, first of all, I think in confessing that and understanding at a deeper and deeper level who God is - who's the God that we're praying to, right? We understand, yes, we've been forgiven for our sins through the blood of Jesus, Yeshua. We understand that, but when we come to pray, who is it that we're praying to? We're praying, "In Jesus' name," but we're still, thousands of years later, praying to El Elyon. We're calling upon the God of Gods, the one above whom there is no greater, in heaven or on earth or under the earth. It's an incredible - it's saying we're calling upon the one who says, "Don't mess with me," the ultimate - the ultimate authority, the ultimate ability to speak promises and see them fulfilled and come to pass, God Most High.

Jonathan Bernis: I'm thinking, my mind's flooded with applications for this because in the midst of illness, there's one that's greater.

Ezra Benjamin: That's right.

Jonathan Bernis: Right? In the midst of every circumstance. When we think of COVID, when we think of all of the despair and uncertainty, there is El Elyon.

Ezra Benjamin: That's right.

Jonathan Bernis: Who is above all of this, who is unshaken by all of this.

Ezra Benjamin: That's right. That's right. And Jonathan, we see that name come up dozens of other times throughout the scriptures. We see, when David is fleeing into the caves at En Gedi, right? He's hiding from Saul, who's after his life. Saul is gonna kill David. And in the Psalms that David wrote during that season of his life, that darkest time, he's calling on El Elyon. He's saying, "God Most High, you've anointed me as king over Israel and you have to preserve my life. He's calling upon a greater authority than Saul, a greater authority than jealousy, a greater authority than all of the Gods of the Philistines, and the Moabites, and the Edomites around him. He's saying, "I'm calling upon the ultimate, the God who says, "Don't mess with me".

Jonathan Bernis: Ezra, every name of God that we have revealed - we have God Almighty, translated God Almighty. It's really the God Shaddaim. It's the God... literally the breasted one who is providing, but we also have the God who heals.

Ezra Benjamin: Right.

Jonathan Bernis: The God who provides.

Ezra Benjamin: Right.

Jonathan Bernis: Right? We have so many different names - the God who is our righteousness, all of these revelations. El Elyon is really unique in that it establishes him above everything.

Ezra Benjamin: That's right.

Jonathan Bernis: Not just what he provides for us, but above everything.

Ezra Benjamin: That's right.

Jonathan Bernis: I love this name.

Ezra Benjamin: Yeah. It's an awesome application. Jonathan, I'm thinking today and in the days to come, we understand clearly from the scriptures - Jesus said it, John saw it and spoke about it in the Book of Revelation, that there will be actually demonic powers, right? Ultimately the antichrist on earth who will be operating in signs and wonders, and yet, we're still gonna be calling upon God Most High, the one who won't be competed with.

Jonathan Bernis: No better time than now to get this, the reality of El Elyon, deeply embedded in your heart and in your mind.

Ezra Benjamin: Jonathan, something else I think we need to get embedded, I know I need it to be regularly re-embedded in my heart and mind, is this idea of the fear of the Lord, right? We talk about this a lot. It's very commonly used, but what does that mean? And I heard a great definition recently. It's the fear of God is being afraid to do anything that would take me away from him, or outside of his presence and his pleasure. And we see this in Psalm 78. I just want to read a couple verses, another use of "El Elyon," and it says, "Whenever God slew them," speaking of Israel - this is verse 34 of Psalm 78. "Whenever God slew them, they would seek him. They eagerly turned to him again. They remembered that God was their rock, that El Elyon, God Most High, was their redeemer. But then they would flatter him with their mouths, lying to him with their tongues. Their hearts were not loyal to him, and they were not faithful to his covenant. Yet he was merciful, he forgave their iniquities". And so, there's this idea here, the Psalmist, I think, is telling us, even as believers, covered in the blood of Yeshua, forgiven for our sins, God is still El Elyon. Don't take the fear of the Lord lightly. Don't mess with him. Don't honor him with your lips and know in your heart that you're far away from him. I mean, he's calling us to the carpet a little bit on sincerity and the fear of the Lord.

Jonathan Bernis: Indeed. It's a great scripture, by the way. What I love about coupling this with confessing the Word of God, particularly El Elyon, is that we're reminded of who he is in connection with that revelation, El Elyon. So, just to read the scriptures is one thing, but to actually speak them out loud, and then to speak them in the Hebrew language is getting that reality into a place where things change.

Ezra Benjamin: That's right.

Jonathan Bernis: Our heart changes. Our actions change. Our needs are met, but also, our mindset shifts because it's embedded in our heart. And we live at a time, Ezra, where we desperately need to be rerouted in the reality of El Elyon.

Ezra Benjamin: That's right, and what better way to get rerouted in that reality than to say that name in, we can say, God's heart language - the language, as we said, by which he created the heavens and the earth, the language he named himself. He revealed himself to Israel, and by the example of the Old Testament scriptures, he revealed himself to every tribe, tongue, and nation, saying, "I am El Elyon. I'm The One".

Jonathan Bernis: The verse that I keep hearing over and over again, and I really believe it's for you, is, "Be a doer of the word and not a hearer only". How do you be a doer? By speaking it forth until it becomes a reality in your life. Hey, before we go away to our announcer, I want to ask you to prayerfully consider joining us as a shalom partner, a monthly supporter of Jewish Voice. We're committed to helping those who are suffering in some of the most difficult places on earth, and your continued monthly support will make a huge impact on those who need our help the most. It's a partnership. So, after you watch this short video, we want to come back and pray for those of you who are partners and those of you who are watching, because we know you have needs and God knows you have needs, and we're gonna join in prayer with you. So, don't go away, we'll be right back.
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