THE PROPER NAME OF GOD:
YAHWEH, JEHOVAH, OR...?
There is a lot of controversy these days as to the subject of the NAME of God. The argument is that if a person does not address the Almighty God with the proper Name, He will not hear us, nor will He answer our prayers.
The purpose of this study is to discover the Truth concerning the Name of God. In Genesis, we learn that men began to call on the Name of the Lord (Yhwh) at the birth of Enos, Seth's son:
26 And to Seth, to him also there was born a son; and he called his name Enos: then began men to call upon the name of the LORD. (KJV)
According to the Biblical account, this happened 235 years after man was created by God. (Gen. 5:3-6)
So, 235 years after man was created, and approximately 1411 years before the flood, we learn that men began to call on the Name of the LORD.
Because of the fact that there are no vowels in the Hebrew language, there has been some dispute as to what the NAME of God actually is…the English equivalent to the Hebrew letters that are used for the Name of God is YHWH. Some people transliterate that as Yahweh, and others Jehovah.
In the tradition of the Jewish people, we see that they did not want to misuse or blaspheme the sacred Name of God, so when referring to God, they simply used the word "Hashem" (the Name).But in Genesis, we see that men began to call on the Name of the Lord (Yahweh or Jehovah) at the time of Enos.
We learn that as time passed, men began to be exceedingly wicked, and because of this wickedness, God sent a flood which destroyed all but eight people. The next time we hear of anyone calling on the Name of the LORD, is in reference to Abram:
8 And he removed from thence unto a mountain on the east of Bethel, and pitched his tent, having Bethel on the west, and Hai on the east: and there he builded an altar unto the LORD, and called upon the name of the LORD. (KJV)
In Exodus 6:3, we learn that although Abraham called upon the Name of the LORD, he only knew Him as God Almighty (El Shaddai). See what He told Moses:
3 And I appeared unto Abraham, unto Isaac, and unto Jacob, by the name of God Almighty, but by my name JEHOVAH was I not known to them. (KJV)
Through this passage, we can see that Yahweh or Jehovah has been known to His people by more than one Name.
We can see how that works by the example of Hagar, who called Jehovah EL ROIY:
13 And she called the name of the LORD that spake unto her, Thou God seest me: for she said, Have I also here looked after him that seeth me? (KJV)
Through careful study of the Old Testament, we can see that the ONE True God was revealed as a God with many Names:
El Shaddai - God Almighty
El Roiy - God Sees (Gen 16:13)
Hayah Asher Ayer - I Am That I Am (Ex 3:14)
Jehovah (Yahweh) Jireh -the Lord our Provider (Gen.22:14)
Jehovah (Yahweh) Elohim - the Lord God (Ex. 3:15)
Qanna - Jealous (Ex 34:14)
Jehovah (Yahweh) Tsaba - the Lord of Hosts (1 Sam 17:45, 2 Sam 6:2) Jehovah (Yahweh) Elyon - the Lord Most High (Ps. 7:17)
Jah (Yah) (Ps 68:4)
Ga'al (Redeemer) (Is 54:5)
Qadosh Israel - Holy One of Israel (Is 54:5)
Elohim Kol Erets - the God of the whole earth (Is 54:5)
Elohim Tsaba (God of Hosts) (Amos 5:27)
These are just a few of the Wonderful Names by which the Creator of the Heavens and the earth was called on various occasions. There are many more Names by which He was revealed to His people, and it is a wonderful thing to learn these Names. The person who is familiar with the Names of God recieves a blessing when he or she can call on them, and praise Him for who He is.
It is important to see that He obviously approved of the use of all the Names by which He was called.The Most High God knows who He is.
Jesus presented Him as "Father", or as "Abba", a term of intimacy as a child to a father. Not only was He called by the Names mentioned above, but He was also simply known as God, and addressed as God, a term that many who insist on the use of one Name of God oppose. They reason that God is just a title. They ask a question like "when you pray, what God do you pray to?"
Notice where the Almighty was simply addressed as God, and yet scripture shows that He responded.
Gen 21:6, Gen. 30:6, Both Sarah and Rachel referred to Him as simply God, but there is no indication that He was offended by this. They knew who they were referring to, and so did He.
Abraham was known as a friend of God, and yet we see that he even used the word "God" when referring to the One whom he served (Gen 22:8).
The angel of the Lord also referred to Him as God (Gen. 22:12).
When Isaac blessed Jacob, he used the title "God" in his blessing instead of the Name of Yhwh:
26 And his father Isaac said unto him, Come near now, and kiss me, my son.
27 And he came near, and kissed him: and he smelled the smell of his raiment, and blessed him, and said, See, the smell of my son is as the smell of a field which the LORD hath blessed:
28 Therefore God give thee of the dew of heaven, and the fatness of the earth, and plenty of corn and wine:
29 Let people serve thee, and nations bow down to thee: be lord over thy brethren, and let thy mother's sons bow down to thee: cursed be every one that curseth thee, and blessed be he that blesseth thee. (KJV)
Again, when Jacob bestowed blessings on Joseph and his sons, he did not use the name Yhwh, but simply "God":
10 Now the eyes of Israel were dim for age, so that he could not see. And he brought them near unto him; and he kissed them, and embraced them.
11 And Israel said unto Joseph, I had not thought to see thy face: and, lo, God hath shewed me also thy seed.
12 And Joseph brought them out from between his knees, and he bowed himself with his face to the earth.
13 And Joseph took them both, Ephraim in his right hand toward Israel's left hand, and Manasseh in his left hand toward Israel's right hand, and brought them near unto him.
14 And Israel stretched out his right hand, and laid it upon Ephraim's head, who was the younger, and his left hand upon Manasseh's head, guiding his hands wittingly; for Manasseh was the firstborn.
15 And he blessed Joseph, and said, God, before whom my fathers Abraham and Isaac did walk, the God which fed me all my life long unto this day,
16 The Angel which redeemed me from all evil, bless the lads; and let my name be named on them, and the name of my fathers Abraham and Isaac; and let them grow into a multitude in the midst of the earth.
17 And when Joseph saw that his father laid his right hand upon the head of Ephraim, it displeased him: and he held up his father's hand, to remove it from Ephraim's head unto Manasseh's head.
18 And Joseph said unto his father, Not so, my father: for this is the firstborn; put thy right hand upon his head.
19 And his father refused, and said, I know it, my son, I know it: he also shall become a people, and he also shall be great: but truly his younger brother shall be greater than he, and his seed shall become a multitude of nations.
20 And he blessed them that day, saying, In thee shall Israel bless, saying, God make thee as Ephraim and as Manasseh: and he set Ephraim before Manasseh.
21 And Israel said unto Joseph, Behold, I die: but God shall be with you, and bring you again unto the land of your fathers.
22 Moreover I have given to thee one portion above thy brethren, which I took out of the hand of the Amorite with my sword and with my bow. (KJV)
So we see that there are instances where the patriarchs blessed their offspring by just using the term "God". According to the stance that many take who insist on the usage of the "CORRECT NAME" of God Almighty, these would not have been considered as valid blessings. Using the Word of God as our standard, we can see clearly that referring to HIM as "God" is sufficient.
I believe He is omniscient (all knowing). He knows who I am praying to. Of course, there is a greater intimacy in referring to Him by NAME. But when it comes to Him, I submit that "God" is more than a title…for HIM, it is also a NAME. There are others who are called 'god"…they are not even worthy to be referred to or thought of as gods, because to us, there is only ONE God.
We could go on and list other instances where this (the use of the word God instead of a "proper name") is true, but I believe this will suffice to show that Yhwh is the Judge and discerner of the thoughts and the intents of our heart. He searches the hearts of men, and knows their intent. I don't believe He is as much of a stickler as many people are as to how we call on Him…He knows whether we worship Him in Spirit and in Truth or not.
Satan is always busy with his false religious standards. He will do anything he can to hinder ones' worship of the One True God.. He appeals to the reason or the intellect of man. He has done this since the creation. We see him speaking through the serpent, in his effort to cause the downfall of man as he addressed Eve:
GENESIS CHAPTER 3
1 Now the serpent was more subtil than any beast of the field which the LORD God had made. And he said unto the woman, Yea, hath God said, Ye shall not eat of every tree of the garden? (KJV)
He whispered to Jesus in the temptation, "IF you are the Son of God…" in an attempt to instill in Him the same type of doubt he had instilled in Eve. He whispers to Born Again children of God, "Are you sure God hears you…you don't even know His Name! How do you dare think He hears or answers your prayers!"
Doubt is one of Satan's greatest weapons. Faith is the opposite of doubt. I know whom I have believed, and I am convinced that He is the Author and the finisher of my Faith! He is my Father, and He will in no wise turn His back on me, considering the great lengths He has gone to save my soul!
We know that Prophecy spoke of the Coming of the Messiah, and that He would be called many things. We know Him as God Incarnate, according to John 1:1,14, Colossians 1:16, Phillippians 2:5-11, as well as numerous other passages.
This Truth was not revealed to the Jewish people, although their own Scriptures show this to be true. See how many Names this Messiah was to be known by:
6 For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace. (KJV)
Which brings us to the topic of Another Name…that of Jesus or of Yashua.
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BAPTISM - IN WHOSE NAME?
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