The Creator Proclaims His Name
The Primitive Religion
Man has an innate sense of religion. Not fully understanding his environment, he seeks the aid of forces outside himself to help control influences and situations beyond his knowledge. So strong is this sense of religious obligation that primitive cultures resist change and have what may be called a religious fear of departing from customs and beliefs embedded in tradition.
An outsider visiting a primitive culture finds that the first sign of the religious significance of a place, person, event or ritual is the sacredness with which it is regarded. Anything holy demands respect and caution from the adherents.
Most primitive worship began with the exalting of objects nearby. Animals, rivers, trees and mountains were among the first to be glorified. These things were worshiped because of the superhuman qualities they were thought to exhibit or in some way represent.
Because of the belief that divine qualities could manifest themselves in either man or beast the deities were pictured as composite beings, having human bodies with animal heads and vice versa. This was especially true of Egyptian worship.
Old Wine in New Bottles
From local, tribal religion it was only a small step to the more national religions that dominated in Egypt, Babylon and later, Europe. When tribes united to form a polity or kingdom, a city or confederacy bound them as a body. Each group brought with it local deities. But the roots never were pulled from the soil that had nurtured the domestic deities, their customs and practices. Because of this, pagan religions can be traced to their source.
As Egypt became united, local religions were fused with one another. Similar deities came to be identified with one another and often bore a hyphenated name. It was in this way that Amon-Re and Ptah-Sokar-Osiris came into being, their separate natures combined as far as possible into one. Their secondary characteristics, if resistant to such a blend, were separately embodied in accessory figures or symbols. Not all their mighty ones could be melded, however, and as a result, the trinity of Osiris, his sister Isis, and their son Horus came into being. Horus became the sun deity. Later Re came to eclipse him.
The Greek historian Herodotus had in the 5th century B.C.E. identified certain Egyptian and Greek mighty ones. The Latin poet Apuleius noted that Isis, the Egyptian mighty one, was worshiped by many peoples under names that included Minerva, Venus and Ceres. Many of the same deities were worshiped under different names by various civilizations, a result of interaction between Greek and Roman beliefs.
In 1724 a Jesuit scholar named Joseph Lafitau published a book noting the similarities in the religion of the American Indian, the ancient cults of Bacchus, Cybele, Isis, Osiris and Christianity. These similarities seemed to him to point back to a common origin. Indeed. The ageless merging of pagan religious beliefs has never stopped. Links with heathen practices and worship are plainly visible in Christianity today. They have survived since their birth from the mother of heathenism--Babylon.
Charles-Francois Dupuis in 1795 published a book in which he sought to discern behind the figures of the Messiah Yahshua and Osiris, of Bacchus and Mithras. A study in comparative religions shows a single theme running through the entirety of the world's religions.
Only one example is the veneration of a mother deity.
History of Mother and Child
Mother and Trinity
Egyptian mighty one Isis holding the infant Horus displays an early mother and child theme. Right, the trinity of Horus, Osiris and Isis.
Man's reliance upon the earth for food and his development of agriculture had profoundly affected his religious ideas and practices. Two basic concepts of a fertility deity and a vegetation spirit, who annually dies and revives again, resulted.
In India, the local female deity is more highly regarded than the national mighty ones Siva and Vishnu. She is directly responsible for the fertility of fields surrounding the village. She is for all intents and purposes the guardian of the village and the one to whom the people turn for everyday needs.
On page 20 of the Encyclopedia of World Religions is noted the source of this worship. "The most authoritative evidence concerning the worship of the mother of deities comes from the Mediterranean area, from Iran in the east to Rome in the west, and covering Mesopotamia, Egypt and Greece. Indeed, in this area the names and functions of the great deities were so interchangeable as to make comparative study a highly complex undertaking. The Semitic names for the greatest mother deity were Inanna in Sumeria, Ishtar in Babylon and Astarte or Anat among the Canaanites. Commonly identified with the planet Venus, her most typical title is 'queen of heavens.'"
This reference goes on to point out that the deity is also known as Aphrodite in Greek.
Worship of a mother mighty one in the Roman Empire centered on the Egyptian Isis. Originally the wife of Osiris, identified with the dead Pharaoh, she was the mother of Horus. Isis is often shown suckling the infant Horus, thought by some to be the prototype of the later Christian image of mother and child.
Throughout history the mighty ones of the pagans have been basically the same. Attributes and worship connected with them are strikingly similar; only the names have been changed. It makes little difference whether worship is directed toward a male or female deity, the basic characteristics are the same in various cultures, though called by a different name.
Religious Unity Began in Babylon
Babylonian King Nebuchadnezzar (605-562 B.C.E.) unified the heathens. His kingdom reached from Babylon and Assyria north to the Caucasus Mountains and west to the edge of the Mediterranean Sea. He soon saw that if he were able to establish a one-religion world, his empire would be more solidified not only religiously, but also socially and commercially.
He deported many of his subjects from local areas of worship to other locations in his real in order to loosen the local bands of nationalism and regionalism. At the same time he hoped to disrupt religious ties to a local area. In doing so, he made the Babylonian religion supreme.
Emperor Constantine (306-337) attempted the same unification of his Roman Empire through a national religion. He adopted the new religion, Christianity (which was already going into apostasy) and established it as the religion of the empire. He had also formulated its policies and caused its doctrines to be accepted even though he was not a follower of this sect nor did he understand many of the issues brought before him.
Through him the acceptance of Christianity by his subjects was given official blessing. Thus began the Roman Catholic Church, from which sprang many daughters making up the sects of Christianity.
Expansion Meant Compromise of Religious Doctrine
The transition from the pristine worship Yahshua brought to the amalgamation once again of True Worship took place over a relatively short time immediately following the death of the Messiah and His early apostles.
An ancient historian noted, "The Jewish Christians gave up the Jewish laws which they had hitherto kept, in a greater or lesser degree, adopting the dogmatic precepts of Christianity as they had been developed under heathen-Christian views, as proof of their sincere convictions, they for the first time placed an uncircumcised bishop at the head of the community." Graetz, History of the Jews, vol. 2, p. 431. Graetz made the comment at the time of Hadrian, when Christians broken with the body of Jews.
The Encyclopedia of World Religions says on page 90 under "Christianity," explaining the conversion and education of the pagans, "The expansion of Christianity and the church's involvement in society brought changes and corruptions. A religion cannot expand without adapting itself to the language and customs of its converts, and while this process may win converts it may at the same time pervert the religion." Note that the author allows for the adaptation of the religion to the LANGUAGE of the converts. Therefore they began calling Yahweh whatever they were calling their deity prior to their "conversion." Thus we have Baal, Pan-Bog, Deos, Dieu, Theos, Gott, God, etc., each with heathen or quasi-heathen ties.
Under "Pagan Religions and Cultures," the Bible Almanac on pages 106-107 states:
"Certain features were common to most of these pagan religions. They all partook of the same world view, which was centered on the locality and its prestige. The differences between Sumerian and Assyro-Babylonian religions or between Greek and Roman religions were marginal.... Most of these religions were polytheistic, which means they acknowledged many gods and demons.
"Each polytheistic culture inherited religious ideas from its predecessors or acquired them in war. For example, what Nanna was to the Sumerians (the moon god), Sin was to the Babylonians. What Inanna was to the Sumerians (the fertility goddess and queen of heaven), Ishtar was to the Babylonians. The Romans simply took over the Greek gods ad gave then Roman names. Thus the Roman god Jupiter was equal to Zeus as sky god; Minerva equaled Athena as goddess of wisdom; Neptune equaled Poseidon as god of the sea; and so forth. In other words, the idea of the god was the same; just the cultural wrapping was different.
"So one ancient culture could absorb the religion of another without changing stride or breaking step. Each culture not only claimed gods of a previous civilization; it laid claim to their myths and made them its own, with only minor changes."
In his recent book, Anti-Judaism and the Origin of Sunday, Samuel Bacciocchi notes on page 43, "The fact that after the year 135 Gentile bishops replaced the bishops of the circumcision, indicates that a distinction took place at that time between Gentile-Christians and Judeo-Christians." The author goes on to show how the change of bishops from a background of Judaism to Gentile paganism was instrumental in bringing in the heathen concepts which included Sunday worship.
The heathen practice of worshiping various mighty ones was transferred to the adoration of patron saints, as explained on p. 541 of vol. 4 in the Encyclopaedia Britannica. "Pagans were normally devoted to local shrines of particular gods. The church tried to meet this psychological need by establishing shrines of martyrs. The martyr cult, a matter of private devotion from 150 until 250, became so popular after the Decian persecution that official control was required.... By 400, particular saints were being invoked for particular needs (one for health, another for fertility, travel, prediction, or the detection of perjury)."
The practice served as a substitute for polytheism now that the church officially accepted monotheism (one mighty one). Early evidence of this tendency to accept other deities is found in the Britannica's statement, "Invocation of Mary as 'mother of God' is first attested in the 3rd century papyrus."
Will Durant's Story of Civilization, chapter 3, sums up the carryover of heathenism into modern religion:
"Paganism survived in the moral sense, as a joyous indulgence of natural appetites. As a religion it remained only in the form of ancient rites and customs condoned, or accepted and transformed by an often indulgent church. an intimate and trustful worship of saints replaced the cult of pagan gods, and satisfied the congenial polytheism of simple or poetic minds.
"Statues of Isis and Horus were renamed Mary and Jesus; the Roman Lupercalia and the feast of the purification of Isis became the feast of the Nativity. The Saturnalia was replaced by Christmas celebrations.... Pagan altars were rededicated to Christian heroes; incense lights, flower processions, vestments, hymns, which had pleased the people in older cults were domesticated and cleansed in the ritual of the church; and the harsh slaughter of a living victim was sublimated in the spiritual sacrifice of the Mass," p. 75.
The changeover today seems complete.
Worship Unknowingly Veiled
A basic understanding of how pagan religion fuses to and permeates modern worship uncovers a great irony in the arguments employed against the use of the sacred Name.
Those arguments usually take one of these forms: "We are now all worshiping one Mighty One, so why make a big deal about His Name? After all, He knows who we are worshiping. If you call Him one thing and I another, what difference does it make? So, what if some call Him God or Lord, others call Him Gott, some Godt, Dieu, Dio, Dios, Deos, Theos or Pan--He knows who we are talking to. Does the proper vocalization of His Name really make that much difference?"
By using any other than Yahweh's Name in worship, modern man is allowing the relentless infiltration of heathen practices to penetrate even his personal worship. All these other names have heathen ties somewhere in history and were merely carried down through modifications. By using them, one is not calling on the Creator, but is actually in danger of calling on pagan deities and idols.
Jeremiah's prophecy perceptively foresaw that this was to happen today: "Which think to cause My people to forget My name by their dreams which they tell every man to his neighbor, as their fathers have forgotten My name for Baal" ("Lord"--center column reference), Jeremiah 23:27. Hosea 2:17 prophesies, "For I will take away the names of Baalim out of her mouth, and they shall no more be remembered by their name."
Yahweh over and over again admonishes man to remember and call on His Name. His Name is as necessary to him as yours is to you. It does matter to Him what you all Him. Who are we to tell the One who holds all life in His hand--present and future eternal life--that He must be satisfied with whatever we wish to call Him?
The Bible has come down to us as the very Word of the Almighty One of the Hebrews, the One worshiped by Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. He heard the cries of His people, Exodus 3:6-10. Moses was told to prepare to deliver the people Israel from the bondage of the Egyptians. Yahweh revealed in an awesome display of power that He is not a pagan deity of nature elements.
He is not simply a force or power of fire, wind, mountains or rivers. He was to show Pharaoh and Israel alike that He controls nature. Yahweh is in charge of the forces of this planet and they saw nature bow to the bidding of His servants Moses and Aaron as waters turned to blood and frogs and lice appeared and disappeared upon command. They saw the diseases brought on the cattle, boils upon the people, hail falling and locusts covering the land. But in Goshen His people Israel were protected from the last seven plagues.
He would prove to both Egyptian and Israelite that He is in control of nature and He will move on behalf of His people to deliver them. He is unlike anything in the universe. He embodies all power and all wisdom. Nothing could match Him, and that also applies to His unique Name. He defied the entire Egyptian religious system. He struck terror in the hearts of the Egyptians by showing that the deities they worshiped had no power, Exodus chapters 3-12. He is special and so is His Name. How can you worship traditional man-devised mighty ones and expect salvation? Yet by using their modern, counterpart names, that is essentially what you are doing.
The Sacred Name--Rooted in Eternity
Moses inquired into the nature of Yahweh in Exodus 3:13. He used the Hebrew "ma" meaning "what," rather than "mi" meaning "who" the Creator was. He received from Yahweh the answer, "'ehyeh 'asher 'ehyeh," meaning, "I am that I am."
In verse 14, Yahweh tells him, "Thus shall you say unto the children of Israel, 'I am has sent me unto you.'" The "I am" (Hebrew "I will be") is also described in Revelation 1:4, "Who is and Who was and Who is to come." It means a continuance in time present: "Who was," continuance in time past; "Who is to come" continuance forever. What He will be is left to be filled up according to the needs of those with whom He is in covenant. He will become the Savior, Redeemer, Deliverer, Strengthener, Provider, Healer, Comforter, etc. He will be all things to His people. That is the meaning of His covenant Name, Yahweh.
In Exodus 3:15 He says He is the Mighty One of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, that His Name is Yahweh, and that it is His Name forever, His memorial for ALL generations. Yahweh is the Name He told all generations to use.
The Philistines worshiped Dagon, the Egyptians Amon-Ra, the Ammonites Milcom, the Greeks Zeus, the Romans Jupiter. But the Mighty One Israel worshiped was Yahweh. As far as is known, no other peoples called their mighty one by that Name.
In the ancient manuscripts of our Bible, the Name Yahweh is found 6,823 times. The Hebrew letters יהוה (read from right to left) is how Yahweh revealed Himself in the Hebrew Scriptures, the language He chose to communicate with man. The first of these Hebrew letters, י , is a yothe (pronounced like the "i" in "machine"). The ה is a hay, with the vowel sound of long "a." The third letter, ו is a waw, with a long "u" sound. The final letter ה (hay) at the end of a masculine name has a short "e" sound. The English equivalent of these letter sounds is IAUE. Pronounce them rapidly and you get "Yahweh."
Many reference works attest to the proper Name of the Creator as Yahweh. Some of the older works, such as Strong's and Young's concordances, use the Ashkenazi Hebrew "vav" (Yahveh), instead of the more correct and more ancient Sephardic Hebrew "waw" (Yahweh). Ashkenazi were Jews who settled in middle and northern Europe after the dispersion.
The Name Yahweh is not a translation. It is a transliteration. That means the sounds of those original Hebrew letters (called the "Tetragrammaton"--"four letters") have been exactingly reproduced into modern letters. When those letters, Y-A-H-W-E-H, are combined, the sound of the original Tetragrammaton is produced. His name was transliterated YHWH for sound of each Hebrew letter. With proper equivalent sounds, YHWH also comes out "Yahweh."
While the Hebrew letters are evident in the Old Testament Scriptures brought down to us in Hebrew, not all sources agreed that they are found in the New Testament Greek Scriptures available today. Modern archaeology and research, however, show that the Jews wrote the Tetragrammaton in Hebrew even in their otherwise Greek texts.
George Howard, professor of Hebrew grammar and religion at the University of Georgia, stated in an article in Biblical Archaeological Review (March 1978) that Jewish Christians continued to preserve the Tetragrammaton in their Bibles. He comments: "This further suggests the Jewish Christians did not translate the Divine name into Greek." He notes it was only later when Gentile scribes out of ignorance or a lack of respect for the Hebrew Tetragrammaton that substitutes like Kyrios and Theos were used in the Greek Scriptures. These substitutes, then, were further translated "Lord" and "God" respectively in today's English Bibles.
Fragments of Psalm 22 from Origen's Hexapla show the Tetragrammaton יהוה appearing as Ππ, the Greek "pi," written twice. Howard says, "This is a clumsy attempt to represent with Greek letters what the Tetragrammaton would look like in Hebrew." And because not all readers were familiar with this less than successful effort, they read the Tetragrammaton as "Pee-pee."
"Jehovah"--A Man-made Hybrid
"Jehovah" is a hybrid name dating from about 1510 when Peter Galatin, Pope Leo 10th's confessor, is said to have used it. It is not an accurate transliteration of the Hebrew letters for Yahweh's Name. Because the Pharisees taught that the Name Yahweh was too holy to pronounce, the reader was to substitute the title Adonai (Lord) wherever the Name Yahweh appeared. By placing vowel points for Adonai above the Tetragrammaton, the reader was to remember to use the surrogate "Adonai" for Yahweh.
English translators, not understanding the purpose of the vowel points, soon substituted the title "Lord" wherever the Name Yahweh should have appeared ("Lord" being a meaning of "Adonai"). This is readily explained in Rotherham's translation of the Bible where he devotes several pages to the Name Yahweh and its suppression.
Rotherham says, "Jehovah is merely a combination of the sacred Tetragrammaton and the vowels in the Hebrew word for Lord, substituted by the Jews for J(Y)HVH, because they shrank from pronouncing the Name, owing to an old misconception of the two passages Exodus 20:7 and Leviticus 24:16. To give the name JHVH the vowels of the word for Lord (Heb. Adonai) and pronounce it Jehovah, is about as hybrid a combination as it would be to spell the name Germany with the vowels in the name Portugal--viz., Gormuna. The monstrous combination Jehovah is not older than about 1520."
Moffatt and other translations such as the Revised Standard Version readily admit that the Name Yahweh was omitted. This information can also be found in many of today's dictionaries and encyclopedias under the heading "Jehovah" or "Yahweh."
Recent discoveries and a better understanding of the Hebrew as well as the Greek and English texts of the Bible have led scholars to conclude that Jehovah is a Latinized-Hebrew name that should be pronounced Yahweh in English. Most updated encyclopedias and dictionaries reflect this advanced discovery and conclusion of biblical research.
In quoting editor Lattey of the Roman Catholic translation known as The Westminster Version of the Sacred Scriptures, the Jehovah's Witnesses write on page 16 of their book, Let Your Name Be Sanctified, "I should have preferred to write 'Yahweh,' which, although not certain, is admittedly superior to 'Jehovah.'" He further states, "In my translations I have preferred upon literary grounds to use the older English word 'Jehovah,' as consecrated in our poetry (for example, Milton, Paradise Lost, Book 7, verse 602), although it is based upon a misunderstanding of the Hebrew."
In both of these quotations, the Jehovah's Witnesses organization admits that part of their group's name is based on a misunderstanding of the Hebrew and that Jehovah is not a true rendition of the Tetragrammaton. It should be Yahweh.
Lesson 2 - Study Questions
The Importance of the Creator's Name Today
1. Yahweh says He is the Mighty One of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. this must mean, then, that each in turn called upon Him and referred to His Name. Remember that where the King James Version uses the word "Lord," it is a rendering of the Hebrew Tetragrammaton YHWH. Abram was called out of Ur of the Chaldees, Genesis 11:32-32, and told to go to a land he would be shown, Genesis 12:1-7.
a. When he later was given the promise or covenant with Yahweh--and promised the land for his posterity--what did Abram do after he had pitched his tent between Bethel and Hai (verse 8)?
b. Did Abram mention by name the Most High (Hebrew "El-Elyon") by whom he swore (lifted up his hand)? Genesis 14:22. El and Elohim are general terms used in Hebrew to refer to Yahweh or the Heavenly Hosts.
c. Whom did Jacob say his father, Isaac, accepted as his Elohim? Genesis 27:20.
d. Whom did Jacob say he would make a covenant with if this Elohim would give him protection and bring him back to his father's house? Genesis 28:20-22.
Origin and meaning of the word "God"
Following are definitions of the word "God," as found in various old reference works:
"God, OE. god, Dutch god, Ger. Gott. In heathen times an idol, or object of worship. Since the Teutonic acceptation of Christianity, it is the name reserved to the Creator of the Universe."--The World's Popular Encyclopedia, vol. 6.
"God, AS. akin to OS. and D. god, OHG. got, Ger. gott, ON. guth, SW. and Dan., gud, Gothic guth. Originally a being invoked by incantation, past part. from a root appearing in Sanskrit 'havate' (he called upon a god); past part. 'Huta' Lith. Zaveti--to conjure, to practice magic."--Webster's New International Dictionary.
"God, the common Teutonic word for a personal object or worship. It is like the Greek Theos and Latin Deus (Zeus) applied to all superhuman beings of heathen mythologies, supposed to have power over nature and man; and also to images, beings or trees, pillars, etc., used as symbols. The word "God" on the conversion of the Teutonic races to 'Christianity,' was applied to the one Supreme Being, and to the persons of the Trinity."--Encyclopaedia Britannica.
In Isaiah 65:11 is a reference to "God": "But you are they that forsake Yahweh, that forget My holy mountain, that prepare a table for that troop, and that furnish the drink offering unto that number." In the original text, "troop" is the Hebrew "gad," pronounced "gawd" (Strong's Concordance No. 1409). According to the Companion Bible note on this verse, God was the Syrian deity of fate.
The term "Baal-gad" is used of a Canaanite pagan deity in Joshua 11:17: "Even from the mount Halak, that goeth up to Seir, even unto Baal-gad in the valley of Lebanon under Mount Hermon: and all their kings he took, and smote them, and slew them." Baal is translated into English as "Lord." Gad is pronounced "God" in Hebrew. In this verse Israel had found a place in Canaan dedicated to the worship of "Lord God." The same reference is found in Joshua 12:7 and 13:5. [all emphasis added]
NOTE : It should be clear that the patriarchs were religious men and were willing to worship and serve the one true Elohim. It is obvious, then, that they differentiated who it was they were worshipping. Notice they called Him by Name. This is why He is known in Scripture as Yahweh, the Elohim of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. Each of the Hebrew patriarchs called upon Yahweh's Name. They did more than refer to Him as "Mighty One" or "Creator." Living in the land of the Canaanites who worshipped many pagan deities, these men used the specific Name "Yahweh" and called upon His memorial Name in worship, thereby leaving no doubt that they were not going to call on the names of the pagan deities around them. All three patriarchs acknowledged that Yahweh was the Mighty One of the Hebrews. They gave Him tithes of all they had, or were willing to sacrifice even life itself if that was required of them (Isaac, Genesis 22). No wonder they are given as examples for us. If we claim the promises given to Abraham as all followers of the Messiah can do (Romans 9:4, Galatians 3:29), then we should follow the example of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. The same Mighty One who cared for them will also be ours. We cannot call ourselves Israelites or modern Israel and neglect the lessons to be learned from ancient Israel.
2. We have even a better example for living in the New Testament. In his first epistle, Peter says that we are to walk in Yahshua's steps, 1:21. We are to live the same life as Yahshua lived. What was the Messiah prophesied to do? Psalm 22:22. Did the writer of Hebrews say that He had done this? Hebrews 2:12. Notice it was to be done in the midst of the congregation, in the midst of the brethren. What did the Messiah say to the Father in His prayer found in John 17:6? He elaborated on this statement in verse 26.
Yahshua was sent to represent the Heavenly Father Yahweh. He came to this earth to set us an example of the proper spiritual attitude we all should have in living a righteous life. A prime example of His declaring the Father's Name to the brethren is in Luke 4:18, where the Savior quotes directly from Isaiah 61 and reads the first two verses where Yahweh's Name appears twice. No wonder those in the synagogue stared at Him for boldly proclaiming Yahweh's Name instead of the superstitious custom of using Adonai as did the rabbis.
Some have questioned why Yahshua did not use the Heavenly Father's Name when He hung on the stake and cried out "Eloi, Eloi" (Mark 15:34, Matthew 27:46), a title for the Mighty One. The answer is that with His last breath He acknowledged the veracity of the Old Testament, fulfilling Psalm 22:1.6.
What significance does the Savior's model prayer have in relation to the Name? Matthew 6:9. If you read the first part of this prayer carefully, you will see that the word "name" is singular. He has only one Name and we must know it to hallow it. Many older commentaries still maintain that the Name of the Mighty One is Jehovah. Not understanding the development of the letter "J," many authorities simply followed in the error of Peter Galatin. The King James Version uses that erroneous name four times: Exodus 6:3, Psalm 83:18, Isaiah 12:2 and 26:4.6.
Significantly, the first part of Yahweh's Name was left untranslated in one King James verse, Psalm 68:4. The transliteration "Jah" is found in many names of Old Testament writers such as IsaYah, JeremiYah, HoseYah and ObadiYah. Even in modern spelling the transliteration of the sound of Yahweh's Name is preserved in these names. The word "Halleluyah," which has been transliterated into hundreds of languages, retains the YAH ending. It means "praise (hallel) you Yah." HalleluYah is found in many of the latter Psalms.
NOTE: In recent times, exciting new information has come to light on the Name Yahweh. With a better understanding of Hebrew and newer artifact discoveries, the Name Yahweh has been verified with even more certainty. "Name" is from the Hebrew "Shem." Strong's Hebrew and Chaldee Dictionary at No. 8034 says, "An appellation, as a mark or memorial of individuality: by implication, honor, authority, character."
Names have deep meaning. Unger's Bible Dictionary says, "The name in Hebrew is sometimes used to signify the collected attributes or characteristics of the object named. [Yahshua] says, 'I have manifested thy name,' etc. (John 17:6), where name embraces the whole divine nature revealed by the Son.... When [Elohim] announces His mighty presence it is said, 'Thy name is near'" (Psalm 75:1).
3. How important is the Name Yahweh to you and me? Does it have any special significance for us who are living at the end of the age? Why should the Name Yahweh have a special significance to us? Isaiah 56:2.
NOTE: Not only must we as the children of Yahweh know His Name, but we also should be acutely aware of its importance and meaning. Speaking of the end of the age, Revelation 14:1 tells of the 144,000 saints having the Father's Name and the Son's Name written on their foreheads. If we are His people, then we will be aware of His Name. Revelation 7:1-3 tells of the winds of strife being held in abeyance until the chosen ones are sealed in their foreheads.
The family name of the Most High is Yahweh, and those who will be adopted into that family will carry His Name, Ephesians 3:15. Paul tells us that the whole family in heaven and earth will be known by the Name of Yahweh. It is important, therefore, to hallow Yahweh's Name (make it holy), Matthew 6:9. Surely the bride knows her husband's name. Through courtship she learns his name and attributes. We are in courtship (training) now to become Yahshua's bride.
4. What about the other names the Creator is called today, can He have more than one name? Psalm 83:18. By checking a concordance you will find that in referring to Yahweh, the King James makes reference to "His name" 108 times, "Thy name" 109 times and "My name" 97 times. In every case "name" is singular, not plural.
5. Does Yahweh's Name change from age to age? Does He say something about change in relation to His Name? Exodus 3:15, Psalm 135:13, Psalm 102:12, Hosea 12:5.
NOTE: A memorial is a remembrance or a special marking to recall someone or something important. Yahweh says that His Name is to be a memorial or remembrance of Him for all generations. Notice also the statement in Malachi 3:6, "I am Yahweh, I change not."
6. What does Yahweh say of His people in Isaiah 52:6? Not only will His chosen know His Name, but--speaking of the end of the age--Yahweh says that His people will recognize the POWER in His Name. The Living Bible renders the passage, "Therefore I will reveal my name to my people and they shall know the power in that name. Then at last they will recognize that it is I, yes, I who speaks to them."
7. What significant characteristic do those who love Yahweh possess? 2 Chronicles 7:14. Yahweh has a certain people called by a specific name, His Name. Repentance and forgiveness are a part of His plan.
8. When the Messiah returns and sets up His Kingdom at Jerusalem, what will one notable change be? Zephaniah 3:9. A thought-provoking translation of this verse is found in the Living Bible: "At that time I will change the speech of my returning people to pure Hebrew so that all can worship Yahweh together."
9. What does Zechariah say of this same time at the end of the age? Zechariah 14:9.
NOTE: In the Kingdom, everyone will acknowledge the Name of Yahweh. All will call on His Holy Name and give Him the reverence due Him. Obedience to His laws, calling on His Name, willingly doing what pleases Him and not out of force or rebellion, acknowledging Yahshua as the Anointed--all will have a part in determining who will be in the Kingdom. We qualify by doing all this now, and continue to grow in grace and knowledge. Read again Ephesians 3:15, noting what is said about the family name "Yahweh."
10. Revelation 3:8 speaks of the one assembly most desirable of all the seven mentioned in Revelation chapters 2 and 3. What are the two traits found in this verse that set this assembly apart? The word "deny" means to refuse, declare as untrue, reject as unfounded, disown or refuse to acknowledge as one's own. From this description of the Philadelphian assembly, we can conclude there were others who renounced Yahweh's Name and, as a result, are not in the Philadelphian group.
NOTE: It is obvious that not only will the people of Yahweh know His Name in this age, but also in the Kingdom everyone will acknowledge that this is His Name. Everyone will be speaking the heavenly language that most Bible scholars acknowledge is Hebrew. At that time, the Name of Yahweh and what He stands for will be recognized and accepted as the waters cover the sea, Isaiah 11:9.
The same loving care the Creator bestowed on Abraham, Isaac and Jacob is promised to those of us who take hold of His covenant, whether we be Israelites or strangers. Read this promise in Isaiah 56:6. The Sabbaths were given as a sign that we might know Him more deeply.
Can "God" Please Yahweh?
"God" is the English equivalent of Elohim. In Hebrew, Elohim means mighty one and is understood to mean a supernatural being, one that is worshipped as Creator. Elohim indicates His relationship to mankind as His creatures. Other Hebrew words rendered God are El, Eloah and Elyon. All are titles. They describe Yahweh's attributes.
The average Bible reader is not faintly aware that the Mighty One of the Hebrews, the Creator of the universe, has a name. He has the mistaken belief that His name is God. However, that English term merely shows the relationship between mankind and Yahweh. He is higher than all His creation. He is our Almighty, our Mighty One, our object of worship, our Maker and Ruler. But He has chosen to reveal His Name Yahweh through Hebrew-speaking peoples. That fact is irrefutable and inescapable.
The Ten Commandments are part of the covenant Yahweh established for anyone who will obey. Each of the first five concern the worship of the Father and each contains His Name, Exodus 20. He opens the First Commandment by saying, "I am Yahweh your Elohim."
1. In the King James Bible, the title "God" is also used to refer to the adversary, Satan. Read 2 Corinthians 4:4: "In whom the god of this world has blinded...." In this one verse the same title "god" is used to refer both to Satan and Yahweh (in the capitalized form). In hearing this passage read, how would one distinguish between a capital and a small "g"? Can we use the same word to refer both to Yahweh and the adversary? Exodus 23:13.
2. In the New Testament (King James), is "god(s)" used to refer to idols, usually man-made? Acts 7:40, 19:26. Notice that the pagan deity Remphan (Chiun) is called god as well.
3. "God" is also used for the generic deities of the world, Acts 12:22. Did Paul refer to any mighty one who is unknown as "god"? Acts 17:23. Joshua tells us, "neither make no mention of the name of their elohim, nor cause to swear by them, nor bow yourselves down unto them." Joshua 23:7.
4. "God" is used for the unbridled appetite, lust or covetousness that lurks in the human heart. In Philippians 3:19, Paul condemned this attitude of having our attention upon this world and the things it offers: "Whose end is destruction, whose god is their belly, and whose glory is in their shame, who mind earthly things." Did Yahweh say He would ultimately abolish these other names commonly used? Zechariah 13:2.
NOTE: Some have argued, "Why use the Name Yahweh when we speak English and use an English Bible? Why not use an English name for the Eternal?" There are many words in our King James Bible that were left untranslated from the Hebrew. Among them are selah, higgaion, Jegar-sahadutha, Galeed and Mizpah. In the Chronicles are listed hundreds of men whose names were left untranslated and the same is true throughout the Bible. Your Bible is not an English book, but a translation of a Hebrew work. Just because the Creator told the Hebrews His Name is Yahweh does not make it necessarily a Hebrew Name. Your name is the same no matter which foreign country you visit. You wouldn't change it each time you enter a different country. Names have intrinsic meaning that goes beyond any language. They serve to identify. If someone used another name when addressing you, you would think he had confused you with someone else. Your name is you in the same way the Heavenly Father's Name embodies His essence. It is His memorial, Hosea 12:5. His Name is founded in eternity, Isaiah 63:16. The ultimate paradox is that although so many names were retained in original form in Scripture, the Name of the Book's Author was changed. Even "Satan" retains its original form!
Those Charged with Hiding the Name
1. The blame for neglecting and ignoring the holiness of Yahweh's Name lies with a certain group of people. Who does Malachi say is at fault? Malachi 1:6. He gets specific in 2:2-1.
2. Jeremiah points out others who neglected to put forth the sacred Name. Who are they? Jeremiah 8;8-9. (Before the printing press, these men were given the responsibility of copying the Bible.)
3. Did Jeremiah prophesy that Yahweh's people would be led to forget the Name of the Almighty for another? Jeremiah 23:27. What was that name that would supplant His (same verse)?
NOTE: An example of scribal tampering with the translation of the Bible is found in Acts 7:45 and Hebrews 4:8, where the correct Hebrew "Joshua" was replaced by the Latinized-Greek "Jesus"--an over-zealous scribe changed all "Joshua's" (Yahshua is the Savior's Name) to "Jesus." In these two instances the change renders the Scriptures senseless.
4. Does Isaiah contend that the people Yahweh has called out for His own purpose have forsaken Him and His ways? Isaiah 1:4.
5. Notice chapter 2 of Hosea, where Yahweh condemns His people for their spiritual adultery (verse 13). Will He eventually betroth Israel and take away the names of the Baals from her mouth (verse 17)?
NOTE: According to Douglas' The New Bible Dictionary, in Canaan every piece of land had its own deity, its "owner." There were thus many Baals in Canaan, each with his own surname, like Baal-peor. Israel had already used many of these names to call on the deity of the region.
And because Israel was forbidden to make any image of Yahweh (Second Commandment), when they wished to do as the heathen did and carry into battle figures of mighty ones as amulets, they had to recourse to heathen deities. (Amulets and Superstitions, E.A. Wallis Budge, p. 216).
Salvation for the End-Time Faithful
1. Will one of the last messages given to mankind have anything to do with the sacred Name? Malachi 4:5-6. Elijah means "My Mighty One is Yah." Before the end of the age there will be an upsurge in the preaching of the Name of Yahweh. People will be reminded that He is the Mighty One of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. His Name will be understood in the context of what He is going to accomplish upon their descendants.
2. Will those fearing Yahweh be thinking of His promises and gather at the end of the age? Malachi 3:16-18. Notice that a special remembrance was written about those who contemplated the meaning of Yahweh's Name and His promises for those who were faithful in the Word. Perhaps the Book of Acts is still being written and your name will be in it? Revelation 20:12.
3. In Scripture, what does Yahweh say about the power of His Name? Romans 10:13, Acts 2:21, Joel 2:32.
4. Did Yahshua explain and manifest Yahweh's Name before His death? John 17:6. What did Yahshua pray in verse 11 ("whom" should be rendered "which," referring to Yahweh's Name--Companion Bible)? Had He already done so (verse 12)? Did He fulfill a part of Psalm 22:22 in John 17:26?
5. How long will Yahweh's Name endure? Psalm 72:17-19.
6. What will happen to those not calling on the Name Yahweh? Psalm 79:6.
7. The adversary quoted Psalm 91 to Yahshua. It is a Psalm of protection. What two things are specifically mentioned in verse 14 that we are to do? See additional benefits in verses 15-16.
8. Is protection offered in the Name of Yahweh? Proverbs 18:10, Psalm 124:8, 121:2, 31:1-3.
9. What is an alternative to those who rebel at using and calling on Yahweh's Name? Jeremiah 10:25.
10. At the end of the age, there will be some who will accept the name or number, or mark of the beast system. There will be others who will accept the Name of Yahweh. To whom shall the rewards be given when the Messiah returns? Revelation 11:15. Read Revelation 15:204. To whom do they sing this "new" song of Moses?
NOTE: Those who have gotten the victory over the beast, his image and his mark and the number of his name, will stand on the sea of glass.
There is much to be gained by accepting the Name of Yahweh as the Name of the Mighty One of the Hebrews. The Bible itself attests to the blessings that come from using and calling on His Name.
The Decision is Yours
Even from the admittedly small amount of evidence given here (you can find much more in your library), it is obvious that the pagan practice is to have many names for the deities worshipped. A similar custom is to have many mighty ones, all having a different name. This has carried over to Yahweh's name, as many will argue that Yahweh has many names. Your Bible says the opposite. He has only one Name, His memorial, Yahweh.
Yahweh does have many descriptive TITLES depicting His character, ability and renown. All of these are bound up in His Name Yahweh--I will be whatever My people need of me--Creator, Protector, Sustainer, Provider, Strengthener.
Come out of Babylon (Revelation 18:4, 2 Corinthians 6:16-18) and leave behind the pagan titles used by the world. Call on the true Mighty One Yahweh as did Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, as well as Yahshua and the disciples. Use Yahweh's Name; don't deny Him or His Name (Revelation 3:8).
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