Labels, names, monikers, titles and the like—what’s it all really mean? Nothing and everything.
What does Elohim think of our churches, denominations, and the titles and labels we put on our religious boxes? Who knows, but I’m guessing not much. He’s playing a much bigger game than his children most of whom are playing church in their little denominational sandboxes. After all, he and/or she (see Gen 1:27; 5:2) is the Creator of the universe and is quite above all of man’s puerile nonsense. Elohim isn’t for or against anyone. He’s not one one side or the other, for one denomination or another, for one political party or another, for one —ism or another. Elohim is Elohim and has a bigger “game” to play! He’s not a sectarian, and doesn’t play the us versus them sophomoric game. Elohim is on his/her own side—the side of Truth! Elohim is for anyone or anything that is on his side and against anyone who is against him.
Remember when Joshua encountered a Man near Jericho who identified himself as the Commander of the Army of YHVH in Joshua 5:13–15? What was the Man’s response when Joshua asked whose side he was on: Israel or her enemies? Did he fall into Joshua’s categorical labeled boxes, his denominational delineations, where it’s us versus them? Hardly! The answer of the Man of Elohim was quite curious. A one word answer. “NO.” I take that to mean that Elohim refused to fall into men’s cultural and religious demarcations. He’s Elohim and he’s on his own side. If we do what he tells us, he’ll be on our side too. If not, then the Scriptures clearly tells us that he’ll set his face against us. Not a good thing!
To take it one step further, with whose religious denomination did Yeshua identify? Pharisee, Sadducee, Essene or what? The Gospels record that he came out in favor and disfavor of the first two sects on several occasions. A study of the Qumran scrolls that he taught some of Essenes’ teachings and definitely was against others. No. Yeshua was his own man, and he was not tied to any sect. He was tied to heaven—the the Truth of the Word of Elohim. Period.
Now to rock someone’s boat even more, and to prove how little I care about religious titles, names and labels, even as YHVH does, let me make this declaration:
- I am Baptist in that I agree with them in full water baptism.
- I am Pentecostal in that I believe in the gift of tongues and in what happened on the Day of Pentecost in Acts 2—plus I celebrate Pentecost.
- I am Seventh Day Adventist in that I keep the seventh day Shabbat and believe in the second advent or coming of Yeshua the Messiah.
- I am Protestant in that I protest against all the evils of the Roman Catholic Church.
- I am Catholic in that I believe in the universality of the spiritual body of Yeshua.
- I am Christian in that I believe in Jesus Christ, whose real name I acknowledge as Yeshua haMaschiah.
- I am sacred names in that I use the Hebraic names for deity.
- I am Christian orthodox in that I believe in the right or straight way of the Bible.
- I am Jewish in that I follow the Torah as best I can and in the Tanakh or Old Testament.
- I am Presbyterian in that I believe in church leadership.
- I am Charismatic in that I believe in the gifts of the Holy Spirit/Ruach haKodesh.
- I am Messianic in that I believe in the Yeshua, the Maschiach of Israel.
- I am Hebrew Roots in that I believe in the Hebraic roots of the Christian faith.
- I am Shaker and Quaker in that when I come into the presence of YHVH Elohim, I always shake and quake in my spirit and sometimes in my body.
- I am Apostolic in that I believe in the ministry of the apostle.
- I am Latter Day Saint because I am a latter day saint who follows Yeshua the Messiah and his Torah and this is how the Bible defines the end time saints in Rev 12:17 and 14:12.
- I am Assemblies of God in that I believe that the church belongs to Elohim.
- I am Foursquare because I believe that the New Jerusalem is a cube.
- I am Calvary Chapel because I believe that Yeshua died at Calvary, the Greek name for Golgotha.
And I could go on.