Gnostic Doctrine

Monday, 3 September 2018

Yahweh Sabaoth

Yahweh Sabaoth

He existed before anything other than himself came into being. The Father is singular while being many, for he is the first one and the one who is only himself.  Yet he is not like a solitary individual. Otherwise, how could he be a father? For whenever there is a "father," the name "son" follows. But the single one, who alone is the Father, is like a root, with tree, branches and fruit. (The Tripartite Tractate)

The title, "Lord of hosts", or "Lord Almighty", "Yahweh Sabaoth", is perhaps best understood as a general ref to the sovereignty of God over all powers in the universe. In the account of establishment of kingship in Israel it became particularly appropriate as a ref to God as the God of armies -- both of the heavenly army (Deu 33:2; Jos 5:14; Psa 68:17; Hab 3:8) and of the army of Israel (1 Sam 17:45).

The word “Sabaoth” which comes from a root meaning to mass, whether it be an army or servants, but particularly the former. It is defined as a mass of persons, especially regiments organised for war; and it is constantly associated with such an idea when it is used in relation to God.

The word signifies an army, so that this is the military title of Deity. The invisible presence of that army was obvious throughout Israel's history, overshadowing the nation so as to protect it from its enemies when circumstances demanded it, or delivering it up to punishment when such was justified.

The title also points forward to the future when another Divine army will be manifested, for Sabaoth being appended to Yahweh proclaims that He will be manifested in an army.

The recruiting of that army has proceeded throughout the centuries (see 2 Tim. 2:4), and its manifestation in the future is predicted in Revelation 19:11-15: "I saw heaven opened, and behold a white horse; and he that sat upon him was called Faithful and True, and in righteousness he doth judge and make war ....
And the armies which were in heaven (the ruling places of the Age to come) followed him . . . And out of his mouth goes a sharp sword, that with it he should smite the nations; and he shall rule them with a rod of iron."

The future work of Christ as Commander of this host (Isa. 55:4), is indicated in Isaiah 9:6 where the "increase of his government and peace upon the throne of David," is attributed to "the zeal of Yahweh Sabaoth."

It will be the army of the holy ones, then constituted as such, which will accomplish this (Zech. 14:3,5). It will then be acknowledged that it is not by fleshly "might, nor by the power of man, but by my spirit, says Yahweh Sabaoth," that His purpose will be brought about.

Thus Haggai, predicting the shaking of the nations, and the consequent elevation of Jerusalem and restoration of the Temple, declares that it will be brought about by Yahweh Sabaoth, and in the course of three verses (Hag 2:6-9) refers to the title five times.

The time is at hand when those "who have overcome" will "have the name of God written upon them" (Rev 3:12), and will exercise "power over the nations, ruling them with a rod of iron" (Rev 2:26-27). Then, every accepted saint will be an Eloah, and combined they will constitute the Elohim (Mighty Ones), Shaddai (Destroyers or Nourishers as the case might be), and Adonai (Rulers) of the Age to come.

The divine El or Power will be manifested through them, and as they go forth to "execute the judgments written" (Psalm 149:9), they will do so as Yahweh Sabaoth.

the holy ones as the Elohim of hosts in the divine name will constitute “the armies of the heaven” following the Word of God (Rev 17 and 19).

Yahweh Sabaoth proclaims that He will be manifested in an army, and being prophetic, points to the time when the Lord Jesus shall lead the holy ones, as the army of Yahweh, against the world of darkness.

Lord GOD of Hosts -- Adon, Yahweh Sabaoth: The Ruler, He who will be manifested in Armies (Isa. 19:4).

The Lord of Hosts the God of Israel -- Yahweh Sabaoth Elohim Israel: He who will be manifested as armies of the Mighty Ones of Israel (Isa. 37:16).

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