Elohim: God or gods?

“Do you believe aliens are among us?” For a Christian minister, that question arises more often than you might imagine. We are not considering foreign nationals illegally breaching our country’s borders; we are discussing intelligent beings other than human, originating outside of the earth’s boundaries. Or, maybe, they are coming from another dimension or realm — through some portal or gateway,1 so to speak.

Earlier in my spiritual journey, I would always tread lightly on such a touchy subject, but now I feel it is important to address this question within the Christian community. My change of attitude came several years ago, when I starting getting a nagging gut feeling to address the issue publically. I believe such gut feelings, sometimes, are messages from God, and I wrote a study about this back in 2018. I encourage you to read that short article, especially if you think God never answers your prayers (see the link in References & Notes).2

Listen to this article: Click the > button to start audio – click again to pause – click the speaker icon to mute. Adjust volume on the right side.

In today’s world — with its many scientific discoveries and new technological advances — believing in nonhuman and supernatural intelligent beings interacting with earth’s inhabitants is a reasonable assumption. And whether we like to think so or not, God and Jesus and angels — and even the devil himself — meet those qualifications of life from elsewhere.

But if they are visiting us, how do they get here? If they are spiritual, they probably come through some sort of bizarre hidden other-dimensional doorway. If they are physical, they probably use some sort of flying craft, like humans do. Either way, it necessarily would involve some type of technology.

Governments all around the world are now publicly talking about unidentified flying objects and extra-dimensional travel. Many people believe this is the beginning of a full disclosure of previously withheld secret knowledge about otherworldly life forms. If disclosure does come, what should a Christian believe, or not believe?

Well, first of all, do your best not to be deceived. Remember the words of Jesus Christ who said, “For false christs and false prophets will arise and perform great signs and wonders, so as to lead astray, if possible, even the elect,” (Matthew 24:24, ESV).3 So, how do we protect ourselves from deception?

I believe that if my country’s government tells me something is true, then it very likely is mostly false. Likewise, if they tell me something is false, it probably is mostly true. I have no faith that my government is ever trying to help me know what is really going on, for they thrive on disseminating disinformation.

I was already in my late 30s when the United States CIA4 Director, William Casey, voiced the following quote in 1981: “We’ll know our disinformation program is complete, when everything the American public believes is false.”5 That government attitude has not changed in the forty-eight years since. This admission of deception is ‘right from the horse’s mouth’ so to speak.

These are also my thoughts about some very large religious organizations. They usually have other agendas and only tell us what they want us to know, in order to control us. So I won’t believe what they tell me about alien beings or otherworldly space craft. Oh, I do believe in such things, but I look elsewhere to gather the evidence. Besides reading research literature published by other like-minded thinkers, I search ancient books on history, old newspaper articles, as well as scientific and archeological research papers.

I believe there are many texts, some hidden in secret libraries and some hidden in plain sight, that could help us understand truth in the Bible we are already using. The Book of Enoch and the Dead Sea Scrolls are but two examples. And researching the original languages of our Bible exposes some misconceptions too. One such false belief is that the word ‘Elohim’ is God’s name, and that is what we will examine in this study.

I will present a few thoughts that you may not believe, so I invite you to check them to make sure they are, indeed, biblically accurate. These thoughts are necessary to help us make decisions about the true history of our planet and God’s plans for our future, as more and more truth comes to light while we journey through the little time left of this age. The New Age to come will be built on a foundation of truth, so these end days of the Age of Grace will see Satan and his evil associates defeated and truth and love restored to God’s new Kingdom rule.

Let me highlight my attitude. Although I appreciate feedback and comment, I do not wish to enter into debate or argue my opinions. My only concern is to state biblical information that I feel is important for everyone to know. Everyone has been given the free-will to accept or reject what is stated here; I only offer these ideas for consideration.

 

Some Interesting Thoughts About the Name of God

Today, all academics and most Christians know that God has a personal name and that name in scripture is YHWH [יהוה],6 which is pronounced Yahweh.7 Some Bible versions show the pronunciation as Jehovah. And because there has always been superstition involved in pronouncing God’s name, some interpreters made the decision — when rendering Hebrew into English — to substitute ‘God’ or ‘Lord’ or something else in place of his rightful name. Here are some biblical variations of Psalm 83:18 from six different Bibles. I have underlined the name of God as used in each.

“And let them know that You, whose name is  יהוה  [YHWH], you alone are the Most High over all the earth,” (The Scriptures).

“That men may know that thou, whose name alone is JEHOVAH, Art the most high over all the earth,” (King James Version).

“That they may know that you, whose name is Yahweh, you alone, are the Most High over the whole earth,” (Lexham English Bible).

“That they may know that you alone, whose name is the LORD, are the Most High over all the earth,” (English Standard Version).

“Then they’ll learn your name: ‘GOD’, the one and only High God on earth,” (The Message).

“Let them know that you alone, whose name is ADONAI, are the Most High over all the earth,” (Complete Jewish Bible).

Notice in this last example, the word ‘Adonai’. In Judaism, they often use two names for Almighty God: ‘Adonai’ or ‘Elohim’. But in the first chapter of the First Book of Moses (Genesis), there is no mention of Adonai, only Elohim.8 So, let’s take a look at that.

Going back to the very first verse of the Old Testament, most English versions state: “In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth” (Genesis 1:1). This sounds rather straightforward, right? Very few people know the truth of this first sentence and what it says in the original language. Let’s examine it closely, for it is not what it seems to say.

A study of the Hebrew language indicates that the word translated as ‘God’ in this first Bible verse is really ‘Elohim’. Furthermore, ‘Elohim’ is ordinarily a plural form, so in English Elohim can mean ‘gods’ — in other words, more than one god. Elohim is also used to convey angels, magistrates, and judges — or great or mighty ones.9

So, let’s look at Genesis 1:1 as stated in the literal translation of The Scriptures Bible. It says: “In the beginning Elohim created the heavens and the earth.”10 Basically this suggests that in the beginning, gods or mighty ones or angels, created the heavens and the earth. Most any interlinear Bible will show you the actual word is Elohim, and most any dictionary of Hebrew words will tell you that the word is commonly plural. This definitely implies quite a difference from what is generally taught in churches today.

Why does this misconception persist? Well, its difficulty causes some confusion, so when preaching, most pastors just say the word “God.” I am guilty of doing the same thing; I just write or say “God” most times, because that is something people can understand without always having to offer a technical explanation. But, just for accuracy, I do use ‘Yahweh’ or ‘Jehovah’ as proper names and ‘Elohim’ as a title when speaking of a plurality of gods, or when speaking of the Almighty in relation to other gods. That is especially true in technical or scholarly articles.

 

A Divine Council

My personal opinion about Genesis 1:1 is that the Elohim are members of God’s Divine Council, a group responsible for carrying out Yahweh’s orders. To further explain, let’s examine a different scripture from Genesis. First is a normal English translation and secondly a literal translation from the Hebrew language.

“Then God said, ‘Let us make man in our image, after our likeness’” (Genesis 1:26a).

“And Elohim said, ‘Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness’” (Genesis 1:26a, TS).

It is evident from the literal translation that a supreme God is speaking to someone else, or a group of gods, to which he belonged. A simple explanation is that the words ‘us’ and ‘our’ reflect an announcement by a single God to a subgroup in his presence — a council, committee, or heavenly host. This multitude of workers act as helpers to carry out decisions for a project.11 And this is obvious elsewhere in the Bible also, for example in the Psalms where it is said, “God has taken his place in the divine council; in the midst of the gods he holds judgment” (Psalm 82:1).

A biblical scholar, Michael Heiser, said that all entities called ‘Elohim’ in the Old Testament “are by nature not part of the world of humankind, a world of ordinary embodiment.” Elohim “as a term describes residence — it identifies the proper domain of the entity described by it. Yahweh, the lesser gods, angels, demons, and the disembodied dead are all rightful inhabitants of the spiritual world.” This spiritual world, like our human world, has creatures of different rank and power. This heavenly host or divine council manages the affairs of heaven under the authority of Yahweh.12

Another author takes a bit of a different approach concerning who is who in the Divine Council. He believes Yahweh is not Almighty God, but only the God of Israel. He believes Almighty God and Yahweh ruled together and the Elohim was a lessor group to serve them and oversee the earthly realm. When the lessor gods became corrupt, they then became the pagan gods of the Old Testament.13

Could those ‘lessor corrupt gods’ be those fallen angels who rebelled against Yahweh? “The angels who did not stay within their own position of authority, but left their proper dwelling, he has kept in eternal chains under gloomy darkness until the judgment of the great day” (Jude 1:6).

Besides the scripture already mentioned, this Divine Council is also noted several other times in the Bible: Deuteronomy 32:8; Job 1:6-7; 1 Kings 22:19b-22; Isaiah 6; Zechariah 3; Daniel 7. Some scholars maintain that “an elaborate divine hierarchy was erased during Israel’s transition to monotheism; the idea is that the ancient Israelites initially had many gods” then later “finally believed in Yahweh as the only true God.”14 (For more about this Divine Council, see the article link in References & Notes.)15

 

Godly Hierarchy?

And here is another thought. Is ‘Yahweh’ just a title like ‘King’? There are some scholars that believe — because of the plural fact of Elohim — that Jesus pre-existed as one of two ruling Yahwehs. It was Yahweh the Son who made visible appearances, whereas Yahweh the Father was always the invisible God. As an example, it was Yahweh the Son who appeared to Abraham and other patriarchs to carry out the invisible Yahweh’s desires.16

Was it Yahweh the Father who created all things by design, but the physical construction responsibility was by way of Yahweh the Son? If so, it could therefore be the Father who was speaking to the Son when it was said in Genesis 1:26, “Let us make man in our image, after our likeness.”17

An Elohim organizational analogy may be considered by looking at ‘Yahweh’ as a corporate office staffed with a President-CEO (Almighty God) as the ‘head guy’, and a Vice President-Manager (Jesus) as the ‘second in command’. Lower down the Elohim corporate hierarchy would be angels and other spiritual beings. I know, this is like comparing apples to oranges, but you get the general drift of this idea.18

At one time, during the biblical Second Temple period (c. 516 BC to 70 AD), Jewish intellectuals actually thought of ‘two powers’ as heavenly rulers, one visible and one invisible. And the Jewish converts to Christianity worshiped both the God of Israel and Jesus of Nazareth. Never did they think of one God having a trinity of personalities. They thought both to be the ‘two powers’ of the Jewish thinkers.19 Rabbinical scholar, Alan Segal, argued that the ‘two powers’ idea was not deemed unorthodox in Jewish theology and persisted until the second century AD,20 possibly being discarded as a political move to stem the growing Christian movement.

This brings up the thought of possible current evil influences from groups trying to stifle Christian beliefs today. If they can’t stop new evidence of biblical truths from being exposed, they will try to control it in a different direction through deception. These evil forces are now increasing their attack upon righteousness to maintain control in their spiritual and physical war with Yahweh.

 

Conclusion

These ideas should encourage all of us to examine scripture from different perspectives for a better understanding of the Bible. It will also give us more insight when and if some government agency tries to deceive us with false information about current and past supernatural appearances or alien visits to our planet.

If some great news is announced and it is true, then everything ‘said and done’ will follow the outline of truth already established in the Bible. The new information would only fill in the gaps for better understanding. If that information is false, then it will not fit into the biblical narrative and is not from God. Remember that the devil is a deceiver and has been since the creation of humankind. I believe the Bible is true, but that there is a big coverup involving much more of our global history.

I believe there are hidden books and documents in vast libraries that would help to explain much of the forgotten, deleted, or hidden historical events, including religious information too. A new world is coming and along with its birth will be truth of our history; soon will be the time of a great awakening.

A deduction can be made and applied to the current lying, deceit, and coverups in modern government, corporate, and church circles. Christians )either now or soon( will be able to discern the evil amongst those who wish to manipulate the world into a place without Christian moral and ethical values. Those who want this planet under their complete control are currently in the process of accomplishing what they have set out to do — bring about a new world order. But, the new awakening is coming, just as predicted in the Holy Bible.21

“For nothing is hidden that will not be made manifest, nor is anything secret that will not be known and come to light” (Luke 8:17).

In light of the coming awakening, the music selected for this article is ‘Great Awakening’ by Shelly E. Johnson. This Christian musician lives in the state of Georgia (USA). The live version was recorded at First Baptist Concord in May 2022. Selected lyrics are below and a link to the music video is listed in References & Notes.22

Let there be an awakening that sweeps across the Earth
A Holy Day of reckoning so justice can be served
Let the Truth ring loud and clear
Perfect Love replace all fear
Bring the Kingdom of Heaven here

Let there be an awakening that shakes us from our sleep
A radical unraveling that pulls us to our knees
Make the darkness run and hide
And be destroyed on every side
By the power of Heaven’s light

Copyright © 2024, Dr. Ray Hermann
OutlawBibleStudent.org

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References & Notes

  1. Irion, Robert, “Opening Strange Portals in Physics”, (Smithsonian Magazine, December 2011), https://www.smithsonianmag.com/science-nature/opening-strange-portals-in-physics-92901090/
  2. Hermann, Ray, “Is that Gut Feeling a Message from God?” (The Outlaw Bible Student, OBS, 21 October 2018), https://outlawbiblestudent.org/is-that-gut-feeling-a-message-from-god/
  3. Unless otherwise indicated, all scripture is taken from The Holy Bible, English Standard Version, (Wheaton, IL: Crossway Bibles, 2001). Used by permission.
  4. CIA: Central Intelligence Agency, the national secret information gathering administrative unit of the United States, formed in 1947.
  5. “Source of CIA Director William J. Casey’s Disinformation Program Quote”, (Internet Archive, 1981), https://archive.org/details/cia-director-william-casey-disinformation-program-quote-soruce
  6. Tetragrammaton (YHWH): Hebrew יהוה (letters: Yod-Hei-Vav-Hei).
    Note: There are several transliterations/translations for this word for God: Yahweh (YHWH), Jehovah or Jahveh (JHVH), Yahveh (YHJH), and Adonai or Elohim (which are sometimes used as substitutions for the tetragrammaton) are but some examples. In scholarly work, Yahweh seems to be the current preference in the Hebrew scriptures, as it is thought to be the most accurate transliteration, but Jehovah is fairly common, too. In Greek, kuriŏs (Strong’s G2962) translated as: supreme in authority, God, Lord, master, is usually printed as Lord or LORD. Or, thĕŏs (Strong’s G2316) translated as: supreme, Divinity God, god [-ly, -ward], is usually printed as Lord or God.
    Strong, James, The New Strong’s Complete Dictionary of Bible Words, (Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson Publishers, 1996).
  7. Jehovah: [JHVH] the Latinized version of YHWH (see ‘Tetragrammaton’ above).
  8. Schulweis, Harold, “Adonai-Elohim: The Two Faces of God”, (Reconstructing Judaism, 26 April 2016), https://www.reconstructingjudaism.org/article/adonai-elohim-two-faces-god/
  9. Elohim: Strong’s Hebrew word #430. אֱֱלֹהִים ˒ĕlôhı̂ym (plural) – gods in the ordinary sense, sometimes used of the supreme God; and sometimes as a superlative:— angels, × exceeding, God (gods) (-dess, -ly), × (very) great, judges, × mighty. (From the singular form: elowahh, Strong’s Hebrew #433.)
    Strong, James, The New Strong’s Dictionary of Hebrew and Greek Words, (Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson Publishers, 1996).
  10. The Scriptures, (Northriding, Republic of South Africa: Institute for Scripture Research, 2009).
  11. Barry, John D., et al., (Eds.), Faithlife Study Bible, (Bellingham, WA: Lexham Press, 2016), Ge 1:26.
  12. Heiser, Michael S., “Divine Council” in Faithlife Study Bible, (see above).
  13. Minton, Evan, “What Is The Divine Council And Is It Biblical?” (Cerebral Faith, 11 October 2019), https://cerebralfaith.net/what-is-the-divine-council-and-is-it-biblical/
  14. White, Ellen, “Divine Council”, (Bible Odyssey, retrieved 28 January 2024), https://biblehub.bibleodyssey.org/articles/divine-council/
  15. Hermann, Ray, “What is God’s Divine Council?” (The Outlaw Bible Student, OBS, 20 March 2023), https://outlawbiblestudent.org/what-is-gods-divine-council/
  16. “The Preexistence of the Messiah” in The Festivals and Sacred Days of Yahweh, (Garden Grove, CA: Qadesh La Yahweh Press, 2001), Appendix A, p. 1,
    (also found online at – http://yahweh.org/publications/articles/preexistence/preexistence_messiah.pdf )
  17. Ibid., p.4.
  18. Hermann, Ray, “Why did God say: ‘Let US make man in OUR image, after OUR likeness?’” (The Outlaw Bible Student, OBS, 6 January 2019), https://outlawbiblestudent.org/why-did-god-say-let-us-make-man-in-our-image-after-our-likeness/
  19. Barry, John D., et. al., (Eds.), Faithlife Study Bible, (Bellingham WA: Lexham Press, 2016), “Old Testament Godhead Language,” by Michael Heiser.
  20. Heiser, Michael, “Two Powers in Heaven”, (Dr. Michael S. Heiser, May 2013), https://drmsh.com/the-naked-bible/two-powers-in-heaven/
  21. Hermann, Ray, “Secrets Will Be Revealed”, (The Outlaw Bible Student, OBS, 15 April 2022), https://outlawbiblestudent.org/secrets-will-be-revealed-a-bible-study/
  22. “Great Awakening”, Artist: Shelly E. Johnson; Words/Music: Shelly Johnson & Sean Hill; Arrangement by Tim Paul; Album: Great Awakening, (album recorded at Uphill Studios in May 2022), BMI, ASCAP. Used under ‘fair use copyright’ for teaching under Section 107 of United States Copyright Act of 1976 – MUSIC VIDEO: https://youtu.be/BD6monTqrD8
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