Questions & Answers
First posted: September 29, 2011
Every now and then, we have received emails asking us about the meaning of the website's name, "Shamah-Elim". Due to the fact that we received this question once again a few days ago, we felt prompted by the Lord to post a word with an answer to it. The meaning behind the name lies at the heart of the vision that this website was intended to impart, a vision that most believers, even most of those who visit this website on a regular basis, have yet to fully comprehend. We pray that, as we share the answer posted here, those of you who visit this website regularly will prayerfully consider the following questions, "What was God's intention behind the creation of this website? What was His vision? What were His plans? Why were they left unfulfilled?"
With the questions above hovering on top like a cloud, we will proceed to answer the following question:
What is the spiritual meaning behind the name "Shamah-Elim"?
The answer below is a modified version of the answer we sent to a site visitor 7 years ago, on 12 October 2004.
When the Lord gave us the vision to spread His prophetic word, He placed the name "Shamah" in our hearts. This word appears at the end of the book of Ezekiel:
"It was round about eighteen thousand measures: and the name of the city from that day shall be, The LORD is there." (Ezekiel 48:35)
The phrase "The Lord is there" above was translated from the Hebrew words Jehovah Shamah. The word shamah refers to "presence", and speaks of God's presence that fills all emptiness. This is why chapter 1 of Ephesians ends with the following verse:
"And hath put all things under his feet, and gave him to be the head over all things to the church, which is his body, the fulness of him that filleth all in all." (Ephesians 1:22)
As we have shared before, the prophetic anointing is the one used by God to remove Hittite emptiness and purposelessness. When the prophetic anointing is strong on a person, that person is imbued with a sense of purpose, a sense of calling, a vision for his or her life. God will raise up a mighty Church in these latter days (not from this generation, though) in which His prophetic presence will be strong, and in which believers will be full of a sense of prophetic purpose for their lives. The prophetic anointing is currently very weak in the Church because the prophetic spirit is, by its nature, defiant of human structures and paradigms, and those who prefer the earthly status quo inside the Church hate the manifestation of the prophetic anointing. This is why the Church has, in a sense, been going around in circles in the desert for so many centuries.
The Lord gave us the name "Elim" from the following passage:
"22 So Moses brought Israel from the Red sea, and they went out into the wilderness of Shur; and they went three days in the wilderness, and found no water. 23 And when they came to Marah, they could not drink of the waters of Marah, for they were bitter: therefore the name of it was called Marah. 24 And the people murmured against Moses, saying, What shall we drink? 25 And he cried unto the LORD; and the LORD shewed him a tree, which when he had cast into the waters, the waters were made sweet: there he made for them a statute and an ordinance, and there he proved them, 26 And said, If thou wilt diligently hearken to the voice of the LORD thy God, and wilt do that which is right in his sight, and wilt give ear to his commandments, and keep all his statutes, I will put none of these diseases upon thee, which I have brought upon the Egyptians: for I am the LORD that healeth thee. 27 And they came to Elim, where were twelve wells of water, and threescore and ten palm trees: and they encamped there by the waters." (Exodus 15:22-27)
The name "Elim" literally means "palms" and is the plural of the Hebrew word ayil meaning "ram, strong man, mighty tree". According to Exodus 15, the people of Israel arrived at Elim after they had been at Marah, where the waters were undrinkable because they were bitter. The Lord then showed Moses a tree and told him to cast it into the waters, which made the waters sweet. When one studies "bitterness" in other passages of Scripture, it becomes evident that man's soul has an inherent bitterness against God's judgements. For generations, man's soul has abhorred God's judgements because His judgements bring growing pains, and this is the reason why the Church has focused so much on God's "nice" features and forgotten that, even in the midst of His loving grace, He continues to be a Holy and Righteous God who moulds us into His likeness through His spiritual judgements on our lives (Psalm 19:7-14, Hebrews 12:5-15). God will end the Church's bitterness against His judgements, and He will raise up a latter-day Church that will long for His judgements instead of running away from them, as is the case today.
"7 The law of the LORD is perfect, converting the soul: the testimony of the LORD is sure, making wise the simple. 8 The statutes of the LORD are right, rejoicing the heart: the commandment of the LORD is pure, enlightening the eyes. 9 The fear of the LORD is clean, enduring for ever: the judgments of the LORD are true and righteous altogether. 10 More to be desired are they than gold, yea, than much fine gold: sweeter also than honey and the honeycomb. 11 Moreover by them is thy servant warned: and in keeping of them there is great reward. 12 Who can understand his errors? cleanse thou me from secret faults. 13 Keep back thy servant also from presumptuous sins; let them not have dominion over me: then shall I be upright, and I shall be innocent from the great transgression. 14 Let the words of my mouth, and the meditation of my heart, be acceptable in thy sight, O LORD, my strength, and my redeemer." (Psalm 19:7-14)
[Notice how, to those in the Spirit, God's judgements are "sweet" (v10), as opposed to those in the soul, who see them as irremediably bitter.]
In order to remove the Church's
anti-judgement bitterness, however, God will call His prophetic remnant
(represented by Moses in Exodus 15:22-27) to cut down the "tree" that has served as a
spiritual stronghold that preserves that bitterness inside the Church. In
Scripture, trees represent "strength" and "height", and, when used in a negative
sense, they speak of those with a
self-exaltation who have made
themselves tall and strong over fellow believers. According to Zechariah 11, the
self-exalted "tree" that must be cut down is the
pre-eminence of the pastoral
ministry that has made itself lord and master over the Church:
[In both Hebrew and Greek, the word for "shepherd" and "pastor" are exactly equivalent.
The "3 shepherds" referred to in verse 8 represent the false versions of the 3 "male" ministry anointings that the pastoral matriarchy tries to present before the Church in order to pretend as if they are operating in the "male" Spirit of God as opposed to the "female" soul of natural man. This is why the Lord also declares in verse 8 that their soul abhors Him. The "month" referred to in verse 8 points to the menstrual contamination that the Church's matriarchal leadership are tainted with, a contamination that causes His soul to loathe them.]
Since the pastoral ministry in the Church has for centuries focused on making people "feel good", they abhor any type of word that brings spiritual judgements because judgements cause "pain". As we have shared before, the pastoral matriarchy has for centuries been covering the Church with a "pastoral shield" that "protects" believers against any type of suffering or pain. However, those who are shielded from "pain" are unable to grow. For example, a young kid may have to struggle with many arithmetical division exercises in order to master division. If his teacher hates to see her students "suffer", she will choose not to teach division. This will shield the kids from the torture of learning how to divide, but will prevent them growing in their maths and logical skills.
Once God is allowed to cut down the pre-eminence of the pastoral matriarchy inside the Church, the apostolic, prophetic, and evangelistic ministries will be free to flourish and grow in believers throughout the Church. God will then raise up "apostolic pastors" who will be unafraid to make judgements, as well as "prophetic teachers" who will teach the Word under a true prophetic anointing that will reveal the true, spiritual interpretation of Scriptures (unlike now, when most teachers in the Church teach the Word with a "literal" mind that makes it impossible for them to get at the true, life-changing meaning that lies underneath the written word).
In short, the name "Elim" then represents a Church where judgements are longed for instead of rejected. As we have studied before, the apostolic ministry is the one most related in Scripture to the making of judgements. Therefore, "Elim" represents a Church under a strong apostolic anointing.
As we said above, "Elim" comes from ayil, which means, "ram, strong man, mighty tree", which in turn speaks of "tallness" and "strength". As we have shared before, the evangelistic ministry is the one most related to spiritual strength and tallness. Evangelists have a God-given anointing to tear down spiritual giants in the atmosphere (this is the reason why God uses them to snatch multitudes of souls from the enemy). Apostles and prophets are sent by God as the forerunners that enter a spiritual city to do the preliminary fighting. He then sends the evangelists to build on the foundation laid by the apostolic and prophetic anointing in order to tear down the "strong men" in the air and rescue multitudes of captive souls unto the Lord. Hence, it is necessary to chop down the matriarchal trees that rule the Church's landscape (Exodus 15:25, Zechariah 11:2-3) in order for the evangelistic trees of righteousness to rise up. God has intended for His people to be a mighty forest of trees of righteousness, but that forest cannot rise up until the pastoral forest of iniquity is chopped down.
"1 The Spirit of the Lord GOD is upon me; because the LORD hath anointed me to preach good tidings unto the meek; he hath sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to them that are bound; 2 To proclaim the acceptable year of the LORD, and the day of vengeance of our God; to comfort all that mourn; 3 To appoint unto them that mourn in Zion, to give unto them beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness; that they might be called trees of righteousness, the planting of the LORD, that he might be glorified." (Isaiah 61:1-3)
Having said all of the above regarding the "apostolic", "prophetic", "evangelistic" anointings, it is worth emphasising that ministerial anointings are given by God to perform a specific role. Hence, when you begin to move in the apostolic anointing, for example, you begin to act and do the works of an apostle, even if you are not a "full-time apostle". The Church has confused human titles with roles that are carried out in the spirit realm. Yes, there are "apostles" in the sense of people who were given the apostolic anointing from birth, but the purpose of that pre-birth impartation is so that they will go out and impart that anointing on fellow believers in order that they may move and act as apostles as well.
In conclusion, the name "Shamah" represents a prophetic anointing that brings the fullness of God's prophetic presence, whilst the name "Elim" represents an apostolic anointing of judgements and justice. The name "Elim" also refers implicitly to the evangelistic anointing that tears down spiritual strongholds in the air. Hence, when God gave us the name "Shamah-Elim", He was telling us that we were to share His Word under a prophetic anointing that reveals God's visions and purposes, as well as an apostolic anointing that unleashes God's spiritual judgements into the air. As a believer moves under these two anointings, he or she becomes an evangelistic giant who tears down Amorite giants in the air. When this happens, the stage is set for God's Glory to flood in from above and fill the Earth, and, as it does, people will suddenly realise that the Lord God of Israel "is there", and they shall say, "Jehovah Shamah". This is what the Second Coming of the Lord, the Lord's parousia, is all about. The Church, however, remains too stupefied by her traditional understanding to visualise all of this, thus rendering God's prophetic word null and void:
"For the earth shall be filled with the knowledge of the glory of the LORD, as the waters cover the sea." (Habakkuk 2:14)
"7 And the remnant of Jacob shall be in the midst of many people as a dew from the LORD, as the showers upon the grass, that tarrieth not for man, nor waiteth for the sons of men. 8 And the remnant of Jacob shall be among the Gentiles in the midst of many people as a lion among the beasts of the forest, as a young lion among the flocks of sheep: who, if he go through, both treadeth down, and teareth in pieces, and none can deliver." (Micah 5:7-8)
"8 Who hath heard such a thing? who hath seen such things? Shall the earth be made to bring forth in one day? or shall a nation be born at once? for as soon as Zion travailed, she brought forth her children. 9 Shall I bring to the birth, and not cause to bring forth? saith the LORD: shall I cause to bring forth, and shut the womb? saith thy God. 10 Rejoice ye with Jerusalem, and be glad with her, all ye that love her: rejoice for joy with her, all ye that mourn for her: 11 That ye may suck, and be satisfied with the breasts of her consolations; that ye may milk out, and be delighted with the abundance of her glory. 12 For thus saith the LORD, Behold, I will extend peace to her like a river, and the glory of the Gentiles like a flowing stream: then shall ye suck, ye shall be borne upon her sides, and be dandled upon her knees. 13 As one whom his mother comforteth, so will I comfort you; and ye shall be comforted in Jerusalem. 14 And when ye see this, your heart shall rejoice, and your bones shall flourish like an herb: and the hand of the LORD shall be known toward his servants, and his indignation toward his enemies. 15 For, behold, the LORD will come with fire, and with his chariots like a whirlwind, to render his anger with fury, and his rebuke with flames of fire. 16 For by fire and by his sword will the LORD plead with all flesh: and the slain of the LORD shall be many." (Isaiah 66:8-16)
"16 The LORD also shall roar out of Zion, and utter his voice from Jerusalem; and the heavens and the earth shall shake: but the LORD will be the hope of his people, and the strength of the children of Israel. 17 So shall ye know that I am the LORD your God dwelling in Zion, my holy mountain: then shall Jerusalem be holy, and there shall no strangers pass through her any more. 18 And it shall come to pass in that day, that the mountains shall drop down new wine, and the hills shall flow with milk, and all the rivers of Judah shall flow with waters, and a fountain shall come forth of the house of the LORD, and shall water the valley of Shittim. 19 Egypt shall be a desolation, and Edom shall be a desolate wilderness, for the violence against the children of Judah, because they have shed innocent blood in their land. 20 But Judah shall dwell for ever, and Jerusalem from generation to generation. 21 For I will cleanse their blood that I have not cleansed: for the LORD dwelleth in Zion." (Joel 3:15-21)
It is a shame that this generation's avant garde believers never "got the memo" on what the Lord's Coming is truly about. In a sense, they did get the memo, but they found the memo too "suspicious" to ever open it and read it.