The Banner of the Lord

נִסִּי יהוה – Adonai Nissi

Scripture: –Moses built an altar and named it “God My Banner.” The Message

Intro: –

I’ve been challenged over the past weeks as I have been contemplating afresh the “Names of God.” There are many of them and in this message, I’m not going to re-iterate or list them here. However, one of Gods names has especially caught my attention and it is – “Jehovah Nissi – The Lord My Banner” and it is this name I want us to consider together.

There are so many in our world today who are what might be defined as seekers after the spiritual that does not mean after God  but an emotional experience that is holistic in its approach and application. It does not recognise the basic fundamental aspects of – sin, repentance, salvation, and these aspects of “true religion”.

Many will contend that God is – Unknowable, Invisible, Unfathomable and Undiscoverable but I want to emphatically declare today that : –

  • The “Unknowable God” desires to be known.
  • The “Invisible God” desires to be visible in the lives of all.
  • This God who is deemed by many to be an “Unfathomable God” desires to be understood.
  • The “Undiscoverable God” has made Himself discoverable in the person of His Son.
    • As Jesus said “He who has seen me has seen the FatherJohn 14:9

It was A.W. Tozer who said, “The Bible is a supernatural book, and can be understood only by supernatural aid.”

As we progress today, I want to try to perhaps by the grace of God and with the help of the Holy Spirit to make known how the Unknowable, Invisible and Unfathomable and Undiscoverable can be seen in this particular name of God – Jehovah Nissi – The Lord My Banner.

This name may be considered to be somewhat peculiar, but that fits well with my thinking as I’m thought of as being somewhat quirky.

Its always good to have a starting point and so let’s take a very brief look at some background. On taking time to consider it I discovered that the ancient Hebrew (and please I’m not a Hebrew scholar but can refer to books and commentaries like anyone else), the word used for “Banner – נֵס (nes)” is portrayed in a variety of different ways.

On some occasions it is portrayed as a “flag” on others it is portrayed as a “sign”, or an “ensign.” Or as a “standard” Let me show you what I mean in “Jeremiah 51:12” we read – “Set up the banner (נֵס (nes)) upon the walls of Babylon, make the watch strong, set up the watchmen, prepare the ambushes; for the LORD has deliberated and shall put into effect that which he spoke against the inhabitants of Babylon.” – Jubilee Translation

Also, in “Isaiah 49:22” – “Thus has the Lord GOD said, Behold, I will lift up my hand to the Gentiles and raise up my banner (נֵס (nes)) as an example to the peoples: and they shall bring thy sons in their arms, and thy daughters shall be carried upon their shoulders.” – Jubilee Translation

In “Exodus 17:15” we see Moses declaring his praise to the God of Israel when they had been given victory over the Amalekites in the wilderness. He said …And Moses built an altar and called the name of it The LORD is my Banner, {YHWH-nissi} – Jubilee Translation.

In the majority of our English translations the name “The Lord is my Banner” is designed to communicate to our thinking the idea of a flag, ensign or standard. It’s well to remember though that these are not simply “static and ideologically impassive.” No! in both the “Jeremiah 51:12” and the “Isaiah 49:22” incidents in the ancient Hebrew it is far more nuanced than that. In the two verses the word נִסִּי (nissi) “my banner” is connected by its root to verb “לָשֵׂאת” (laset) which means to carry, to lift, to raise up.

It’s a – verb – As there are many from various parts of the world who are engaging with the teaching that is brought through the ministry of – WWCM ( and will not have English as a first language let me just give an example of what is meant by a “verb” and how it contextually fits into our thinking just now.

Verbs describe an action, that’s doing something. Jumping, Liking or Becoming.

For example, like the word ‘jumping’ in this sentence: –

  • The rabbit was jumping in the field.

They can also be used to describe a state of being, that’s feeling something. For example, the word ‘likes’ here: –

  • The monster likes rollercoasters.

Or a verb can be used to describe an occurrence, that’s something happening. For example, the word ‘became’ in this sentence: –

  • The caterpillar became a butterfly.

In the context of what we are considering together this specific verb נָשָׂא (nasa) as it appears in many biblical verses has always something to do with upward motion and carrying which makes perfect sense in context of a banner or a sign.

In the very well-known story of Moses in the wilderness lifting up the bronze serpent on a pole in “Number 21:8” – “And the LORD said unto Moses, Make thee a fiery serpent and lift it up as a banner, and it shall be that anyone that is bitten and looks upon it shall live.” – Jubilee Translation      

I hope you will forgive me just now as I progress down a slight tangent which is based upon the banner that Moses raised.

Note it was a bronze serpent / banner / symbol that was raised. However, does this mean anything special? Well Yes! “Hebrews 8:5” tells us; specifically relating to the Tabernacle but also by implication other things “They serve a copy and shadow of the heavenly things. For when Moses was about to erect the tent, he was instructed by God, saying, “See that you make everything according to the pattern that was shown you on the mountain.”

What does Bronze symbolize? It is always symbolic of God’s righteous judgment. The bronze altar of the Tabernacle made with hands and snake raised in the wilderness show God’s willingness to take our sin and graciously deal with it himself. 

When we see Gold in the Scriptures it is symbolic of God’s kingship, glory and holiness. If we see Silver in the Scriptures it is representative of Redemption. In the Tabernacle of old the Holy Place of God’s presence was fully lined and coated and covered with gold. There were wooden poles of course but we note that these were all covered in gold, and what’s more they rested on silver stands.

When we consider this its truly a praise inspiring thing to recognise that we (The Wood) in Christ are coated in (Gold God’s own Holiness.) Why? We ask ourselves, simply but gloriously because we stand in the (Redemption (Silver) of Jesus sacrifice at Calvery.

It is an undeniable fact that the world in which we live is under Gods judgement. We look about us and it sometimes feels as if it’s careering out of control like a wagon whose wheels are coming right off. But I want to say to us today that His judgement reveals to us something extraordinarily wonderful and it is that His judgment shows that: –

  • He is Close.
  • He is in Control.
  • He is Supervising.
  • He is Active.

and above all He is sovereign and knows exactly what to do.

Bronze speaks of God’s righteous judgement that is perfectly just and tempered, wisely administered with precision and perfect timing to get the results he desires, motivated by love.

To get back now on-track Moses lifted the bronze serpent in the wilderness. When he did so the word נֵס (nes) is to be understood Yes! as a flag or banner, but not simply that it was to idiomatically be an indicator to us a miracle, or a supernatural sign.

The “Isaiah 49:22” Scripture that we considered earlier is interesting in that – Adonai Nissi – was both a literal and symbolic “raising” and it was representative of Gods Omnipotence being portrayed as the foundation for His Sovereignty at work. The people of God had not doubt whatsoever that The Lord would carry out his purpose, and His decree against the people of Babylon.

In the book of Numbers and in “Number 26:10” we read …and the earth openeth her mouth, and swalloweth them and Korah, in the death of the company, in the fire consuming the two hundred and fifty men, and they become a sign” – Youngs Literal Translation All that watched saw the deaths were a warning sign – Adonai Nissi – to the whole camp.    

We are living in tumultuous times. There are wars and rumors of wars. There is Marshall law imposed upon populations. There is an assault in the Christian Church by false religions such as Islam and many “wolves” amongst the “sheep” in the guise of false and iconic teachers such as – T.J Jakes and Stephen Furtick (denying the Trinity) along with others such as Joyce Meyer who are proponents of the “prosperity Gospel and corrupters of the truth of Christ’s work of Atonement. Accompanied by such as Joel Osteen who very subtly introduce “new age” teaching into their ministries.

As the Scripture tells us in “Galatians 5:9” in the Amplified Bible – “A little leaven [a slight inclination to error, or a few false teachers] leavens the whole batch [it perverts the concept of faith and misleads the church].”   

What are we doing? is the question I ask today.

In the journeyings of the people of Israel we see their desert wandering, we see them experiencing plagues, death, and testing and worst of all we see them due to unbelief at Kadesh Barnea failing the tests presented to them. Their unbelief led to the postponement of entering Canaan and claiming God’s blessings in their lives see – “Psalm 95: 8-11” – “Hebrews 3:7-19”.  

My sincerest desire for myself and also you my friends and family in Christ is that we do not follow in their footsteps.  We as “The Church – The Body of Christ – The Bride of Christ”  are today standing at our own Kadesh Barnea and we are presented with a profound choice.

We, too, like Israel of old can in unbelief retreat into a wilderness of wasted opportunity. We can rest content in casual, convenient, cosy, comfortable Christian lives as we cling to the safety and security this world offers. We can coast through our cultural landscape, which is marked by materialism, characterised by consumerism, and engulfed in individualism and narcissism.

We can assent to the spirit of this age and choose to spend our lives seeking the pleasures of the world, acquiring worldly possessions, and pursuing worldly ambitions and do so all under the banner of the plague of cultural Christianity. However, it’s the wrong banner.

I’m telling you today that God is moving, in fact He has never stopped. God is I believe moving us His Church into something new, a new, fresh and deeper relationship with Him. We can enjoy a post pandemic dynamic walk with Christ. We can enjoy a post pandemic new adventure in the Holy Spirit.

Soon we will be emerging from our present circumstances to enter a veritable promised land. Let’s not make the same mistakes that the Children of Israel did at Kadesh-Barnea.

I really feel that – Jesus is worth more than this – Do you?

We can recognise that He has created us, saved us, and called us for a much greater purpose than anything this world could ever offer us. 

We can die to ourselves, our hopes, our dreams, our ambitions, our priorities, and our plans. Why? Because we believe that the person and the plan of Christ brings a reward that makes any risk more than worth it.

So, it naturally follows and is just common sense. To let go of the pursuits, possessions, pleasures, safety, and security of this world in order to follow Jesus wherever he leads, no matter what it costs, is not sacrificial as much as it is smart. 

Those around us are looking for a “Banner to Wave, a Bell to Sound and and Ensign to get behind” and the only ones of eternal worth are this we provide and live out in our journeys of faith.

I say again, “Jesus is Worth It!” – In the words of Jim Elliot, “He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep to gain what he cannot lose.

There are significant banners being utilised all around us and many are creeping into the Christian Church and doing so without both “Leaders and Congregations” recognising it.

Take for instance the GLBTQ Bisexual Pride Flag – Oh! Its just a pretty flag is said by some but where does it come from and what is its foundation? It was designed by a guy called Michael Page and was presented on December 5th – 1998 becoming the flag of the GLBTQ communities throughout the world.

Page chose a simple design – Pink and Blue Stripe overlapping to form purple. According to Page, the uppermost Pink Stripe which covers two-fifths of the flag, represents same-sex attraction; the blue stripe, which covers an equal portion at the bae of the flag, symbolises heterosexual attraction; and the purple stripe making up the central fifth stands for bisexuality.

Flags and banners are important symbols that claim and establish territory or convey an important message.

Who is at the foundation of all of this that we are constantly finding “in our faces”? Well! it’s the enemy the devil who is at work.

The Church is called the “Bride of Christ” and the introduction of these symbols into churches and homes is a clear signal, and declaration from this world’s ruler to Christ that His Betrothed does not yet completely belong to Him. It is shouting out that she Christ’s Bride remains in a myriad of ways under his dominion, under his government.

It is Satan’s way of needling, of taunting and ridiculing Christ and His Bride, all the while subtly baiting all of us into joining him in his mockery.

In June 26th – 2015 the White House was bathed in the colours of the rainbow flag, and many would say it was simply nothing more than a sign of celebration, a well-deserved message of congratulations to the LGBT community after the Supreme Court’s ruling. A senior official at the White House tweeted that this was a declaration that “Love wins!”

But there is clearly something more behind the rainbow-colored White House. It was a sign of victory, and more than that, it was a declaration of dominance by the enemy of our souls.

The Scriptures are clear when they tell us that Satan seeks dominion over every heart and every government. The Bible says – “We know that we are God’s children, and that the whole world lies under the power of the evil one1 John 5:19”and that he is“The “ancient serpent … who leads the whole world astrayRevelation 12:9”.

Our Banner is the Cross it’s the great symbol of God’s people, a declaration in every Church and in every Christian home of our deep, living connection to Him who died that we might live, that we are created for Christ and that through the power of His Blood and Cross, we are made new creations in Him.

The presence however of the rainbow flag as a sign now of “marriage equality” is meant to supplant the Cross and dilute its meaning. It stands in opposition to the eternal intention of Christ who has made us clean through the shedding of His Blood in order to … present [his Bride] to himself as a radiant church, without stain or wrinkle or any other blemish, but holy and blameless … ” – “Ephesians 5:27” and “Revelation 19:8”.

I guess this says it all – “There is a Wide Path and a Narrow Path” – “There is a Wide Door and a Narrow Door” – I know which I’m on.

Conclusion: –

Let me urge you my familiy in Christ to once again remember that the Lord is Our Banner and in every way possible in – “Prayer, Praise, Worship, Fellowship, Teaching and our Journey of Faith” lets fly this banner and let it be a sign both passively and actively of His – Power and Glory and Soveiginty.

4 thoughts on “The Banner of the Lord

  1. This banner will give progressive highlights of our mission of Lord.
    It will indicate the acceptance and bleif of faith towards.

  2. Thank you that’s an inspirational message, some really helpful insights to understand and know the Lord’s presence.
    Couple of other (I hope helpful!) comments-
    I have listened to several of Joyce Meyer’s talks and read a couple of her books, I was very surprised about your comment of her preaching a ‘prosperity gospel’.
    Also, there seems to be a typo in the Hebrew script. As it is written right to left, Adonai Nissi would usually be written
    יהוה נסי

    1. Hi Peter,
      Thanks as usual for your comments they are gladly received. Also, re the “Typo” its good to know.
      Indeed re Joyce Meyer, its not only the prosperity there are quite a number of other areas where her teaching is very dubious.
      Be good to catch up soon.
      God Bless you and Pam.


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