Sacred Names ... Part 1



Sacred Names ... Part 1

1.YHVH/Jehovah/LORD/Yahovah/Yahweh

EL SHADDAI (God Almighty) is the title of the Almighty Father of our Saviour Jesus Christ. The tetragrammaton YHVH, translated Jehovah, or LORD in the Authorized King James Version, is variously written as Yahweh, or Yahovah in A Voice In The Wilderness - Canada articles.

This name is used of the Father and sometimes of the Son who came in the Father's name. A Voice In The Wilderness - Canada uses the name Jehovah, Yahweh or Yahovah with particular reference to the Father. Various English spellings are used simply because no one can be absolutely certain how to pronounce the sacred name. The name YHVH (Jehovah) appears over 6500 times in the Hebrew Old Testament!

In the Authorized King James Version YHVH is mostly translated as LORD. Note the capital letters throughout. However, in the following seven texts the name Jehovah is used.


  1. And Abraham called the name of that place Jehovah-jireh: as it is said to this day, In the mount of the LORD it shall be seen.
    (Genesis 22: 14)
  2. And God spake unto Moses, and said unto him, I am the LORD: 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.”
    (Exodus 6: 2-3)
  3. And Moses built an altar, and called the name of it Jehovah- nissi:”
    (Exodus 17: 15)
  4. Then Gideon built an altar there unto the LORD, and called it Jehovah-shalom: unto this day it is yet in Ophrah of the Abi-ezrites.
    (Judges 6: 24)
  5. That men may know that thou, whose name alone is JEHOVAH, art the most high over all the earth.”
    (Psalm 83: 18)
  6. Behold, God is my salvation; I will trust, and not be afraid: for the LORD JEHOVAH is my strength and my song; he also is become my salvation.
    (Isaiah 12: 2)
  7. Trust ye in the LORD for ever: for in the LORD JEHOVAH is everlasting strength:
    (Isaiah 26: 4)

The name Jehovah (Yahweh, Yahovah) encompasses all the above. But the sacred name is far more than a particular sound or a matter of correct spelling and pronunciation. The name Yahovah stands for the Almighty's character, His Word, His law, His Motives, His Work and His Family. Currently there is much dispute on the subject of the sacred names; but I have no desire to argue. Remember that the Third Commandment forbids mankind from taking the LORD’S name in vain. Endless argument could well result in the breaking of this commandment.

The Jews, on the other hand, consider it sacrilegious to even utter the sacred name: advising that we use titles such as Lord, Master of the World, Almighty One, the Name etc.   But the Third Commandment does not forbid the use of God's name. It simply forbids ‘taking His name in vain.’ Note the difference. The word ‘vain’ means with ‘the emptiness of self-deluding vanity and falsehood.’ In other words, believers are allowed to utter or write the sacred name of the Most High; but we must do so with reverence: and certainly not to show off our knowledge. As mentioned above, the sacred name appears in the Hebrew Scriptures (the Old Testament) over 6500 times! so it cannot be sacrilegious to utter the name when reading the Scriptures aloud or when writing of the Almighty.

Strong’s Concordance has the following Note for LORD
03068 Y@hovah {yeh-ho-vaw'}
AV - LORD 6510,   GOD 4, JEHOVAH 4,   variant 1; 6519
Jehovah = “the existing One”
1) the proper name of the one true God
    1a) unpronounced except with the vowel pointings of 0136

2. God/El

The Oxford dictionary defines the word God as the Creator and ruler of the universe in Christian, Jewish and Muslim teaching. And that is what I in A Voice In The Wilderness - Canada mean when I use the word. There are several Hebrew words translated ‘God’ in the Bible. They are:


El: mighty one, {God}
Elah: an object of worship, {God}
Elohim: {‘elohiym - el-o-heem’} an object of worship, {God}
Eloah: an object of worship, {God}

3. Lord

As mentioned earlier the tetragammaton YHVH is translated in the Authorized King James Version as LORD (capital letter) 6510 times out of the 6519 it appears in the Hebrew Scriptures. Students will notice that the name/title Lord (capital ‘L’ and small ‘ ord’) also appears in the Old Testament. This word ‘Lord’ also means God. It is translated from the Hebrew Adonay (Adonai) which appears 434 times in the Old Testament.

Strong’s Concordance has the following Note for Lord.
0136 ‘Adonay {ad-o-noy’}
AV - Lord 431, lord 2, God 1; 434
1) my lord, lord
   1a) of men
      1b) of God
          2) Lord - title, spoken in place of Yahweh in Jewish display of reverence

From this we can see that the title Lord is also a reverential way of refering to Adonay. (God)

4. Jesus/Yeshua/Y’shua/Yahshua

Jesus is the Greek rendering of the Hebrew name Yeshua, spelled variously as Y‘shua, Yahshua, Yahoshua or Joshua. In many of our writings I use the commonly known Greek form Jesus so that people will know of whom I am writing; because the name Yeshua is not generally known amongst English-speaking believers. But you will notice that I often use the original Hebrew form Yeshua or Yahshua. This name means ‘the Salvation of Yahweh.’ In other words ‘Yeshua is Yahweh’s agent or means of salvation.’ He is Jehovah in His role as Saviour. The gospel of Matthew says “you shall call his name JESUS, for he shall save his people from their sins.” (Matthew 1:21) One could also argue at length on pronunciations and spellings of the Saviour's name; but I leave that to others. Each person will need to decide for him/herself. After all, very few Gentile believers know Hebrew.

5. Emmanuel

The Saviour's name is also Emmanuel, which means ‘God (Yahweh) is with us;’
Matthew 1: 23: Behold, a virgin shall be with child, and shall bring forth a son, and they shall call his name Emmanuel, which being interpreted is, God with us.”

A Voice In The Wilderness - Canada often uses the name Emmanuel. I also use the title Christ, which means ‘the anointed One, the Messiah’ When I use the name Jesus, or the Hebrew ‘Yeshua’ or ‘Yahshua,’ I mean the Messiah, the only begotten son of the Most High, who shed his life-blood at Calvary to save mankind from anihilation. When I use the Saviour's whole title and name, Lord Jesus Christ, I mean the LORD (God) in the person of Jesus, (Yeshua) the Christ, (the Messiah).

6. Pronunciations

As mentioned earlier, no one can be absolutely certain that he/she is correctly pronouncing the sacred name. A name is a noun, a word or short phrase by which a person, place or thing is known. Common nouns (i.e. man, sport, animal etc) are used for a whole class or group of things. Proper nouns (i.e. Ontario,) are names of particular persons and places. Some proper nouns have meanings; many do not. My name, ‘Mader’ for example, has no special meaning; though to me it represents my character, my family, my reputation and my word of honour. But the proper noun ‘Mader,’ to my knowledge, does not have any particular meaning. A name is - as far as possible - pronounced the same in every language. But people from different nations may mispronounce my name depending on how they voice the letters ‘M-A-D-E-R.’ But I realize this fact. It does not disturb me. I know who they mean: though I often smile when I hear my name mispronounced by others - especially foreigners. It is the same when pronouncing the sacred names Yahovah, Yahweh or Yeshua. I very much doubt if Gentile believers, even to this day, have the pronunciation absolutely correct; though some make out that they have. I am, however, certain that the Most High and His Son know who I mean when I pronounce or mispronounce their names.

7. YHVH (or YHWH)

Notice how we have omitted the vowels ‘a’ and ‘e.’ All the letters in the Hebrew alphabet are consonants: that is, letters other than vowels. The English vowel sounds (a, e, i, o, u) are represented in written Hebrew by dots and dashes, called ‘vowel-points’ or, simply ‘points.’ In order to help English-speaking people who would, otherwise, be unable to pronounce the four consonants YHVH (called the tetragrammaton) the English vowels ‘a’ and ‘e’ are inserted in the sacred name. But the original inspired writers just wrote ‘YHVH,‘ or rather the Hebrew equivalents of those letters. The English letters ‘YHVH,’ are a transliteration or representation of the four original Hebrew characters. But how does one pronounce the tetragrammaton YHVH? As mentioned above, even blood-born Hebrew authorities differ on the matter of pronunciation; simply because it was centuries after the original Scriptures were penned by the prophets that the Hebrew vowel points were introduced to assist in pronunciation. In view of these facts we Gentiles should remain silent; for the more I write concerning Hebrew spellings and pronunciation, the more ignorant I appear to Hebrew-speaking people. A little knowledge can be a dangerous thing. Be extremely careful!

8. Is it Sin?

And this brings me to an extremely important question: Is it a sin to use the title LORD or the name JESUS? Some groups impliedly teach that it is. They never use this title or name in their writings. They teach that if you have a Bible which uses words like LORD, Lord or Jesus Christ, then change it; because, they say, the word ‘Lord’ is a pagan title and ‘Jesus’ is the name of a Greek god. Even the word ‘God,’ they claim, is the name of a pagan deity. It is therefore a sin (they believe) to call the Most High - LORD God, or the Saviour - Jesus! This message comes across strongly when reading their writings. Others, mostly the Jews, believe that it is sacrilegious to use the sacred name, no matter how it is pronounced. Instead, they advise, we should say LORD, Adonai or Lord God. Are either of these two diametrically opposed viewpoints correct? One claiming that we should never use the titles LORD, Lord, God etc. but the names Yahweh, Yahshua, Yeshua etc. instead; and the other saying that it is sacrilegious to even utter the name of the Almighty, but that I should instead say LORD or Lord God? Who is correct? Did the Holy One of Israel, who inspired the mighty Protestant reformation several centuries ago, on the strength of the Authorized Version, somehow allow His own Name and the name of His Son to be so corrupted or omitted that to speak or write them some 400 years later would amount to sin? I do not think so; but the fact is that many readers of the Sacred Name groups literature are now writing to A Voice In The Wilderness - Canada requesting Holy Name Bibles. Doubtless these believers feel that the Scriptures they possess are somewhat inferior, spiritually tainted so to speak, and unfit to study. So they want to dispose of their Bibles and obtain Sacred Name Bibles! On the other hand did the Almighty God of Israel inspire the Old Testament prophets to write His name over 6500 times in Scripture and then forbid true believers even speaking or writing His name? How is it possible to ‘call upon the name of the LORD’ (as advised in 1 Chronicles 16: 8, Psalm 80: 18, Psalm 99: 6, Psalm 105: 1, Psalm 116: 13, Psalm 116: 17, Isaiah 12: 4, Isaiah 41: 25, Zephaniah 3: 9 and in numerous other passages of Scripture) if one isn't allowed to even speak His name?

To tell you frankly, I am aghast at such reasoning. Its effect could spell spiritual disaster for many congregations who have Bibles which contain the title LORD almost on every page of the Old Testament: 140 times in the book of Genesis alone! And so I draft this article to explain why A Voice In The Wilderness - Canada, who know and use the sacred names, with reverence, also use the title/names LORD, Lord, God and Jesus. I will briefly list three other reasons.

9. Millions of Bibles

(1st Reason)
You will agree that there are literally millions of Bibles in the world, printed in every language known to man. I would say that most of the English versions use the title LORD God and the name Jesus. Are these Bibles now unfit for use? And if they are, how can we hope to replace the millions of Bibles being prayerfully studied all over the world? And how can we do so great a work before Messiah returns? What hope do the Sacred Name groups have of translating, printing and distributing to the world a version of the Bible which they think is correct; especially in view of the fact that even amongst the sacred name groups there are many different pronunciations of the sacred name? The answer is - none whatsoever. The sacred name groups do not have the Hebrew-speaking scholars, the finance or the time to do that kind of a work. Indeed, no denomination on the face of this earth is equipped to replace the millions of Bibles in use today. The Authorized Version of the Bible is an invaluable publication. Over 800,000,000 copies have been published in the past 400 years. Casting doubt upon its integrity or its use of the titles/names LORD, God or Jehovah, Jesus Christ etc. is most certainly not the work of the Holy Spirit.

10. Answered Prayer

(2nd Reason)
My second reason is answered prayer. The Most High has answered - and still is answering - millions of believer's prayers even as they call Him - LORD God. If the Almighty answers to these words and His only begotten Son answers to the name Jesus, who are we to judge? Go into any church and talk to any true believer and you will be given ample evidence that the Most High and His Son have answered their prayers - over and over again - after being addressed as LORD God or Jesus. Read any book on the great Protestant Reformation and you will see this fact concerning answered prayer being repeated over and over again. Study any Christian book on Prayer and you will read of many, many examples of where the Most High has answered to the title of LORD. Oh yes, answered prayer is an extremely powerful argument. Dare we ignore it?

11. Bible Prophecy

(3rd Reason)
My third reason comes from the Bible itself; from a logical analysis of a text in the Master’s Olivet prophecy. In (Matthew 24: 5) the Saviour says this:
For many shall come in my name, saying, I am Christ; and shall deceive many.
The Saviour didn't mean ‘many will come in the name of Yahshua’ and deceive many. Comparatively few believers know the Saviour's Hebrew name or title; and fewer still cast out devils in that name. The vast majority of Christians - especially those who preach and practice deception - use the name JESUS. And it is that name - yes the name ‘Jesus,’ the name so many groups use when supposedly casting out devils - that the Master calls ‘my name.’ In other words, the Saviour admits to the name ‘Jesus’ being his name: and the title ‘Christ’ as applying to himself. Consider yet another passage. When the Messiah returns to this earth he is going to rebuke many who have done wonderful works in his name!
Matthew 7: 21: Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven.
22: Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works?
23: And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.

Again I ask: who are the prophets who do such wonderful things in the Messiah's Name? Most certainly they are not the Sacred Name leaders. The wonder-working exorcists who will one day use these arguments are to be found in the Charismatic groups who specialize in doing mighty miracles in the title/name of the Lord Jesus: the name, when addressing the Saviour, they called ‘thy name’ Yes, they do their wonderful works in the Messiah's Name - Jesus! the name he calls ‘my name.’ (Matthew 24: 5) I repeat: what is the name that these miracle workers use when doing their mighty works; the name the Master called ‘my name?’ I can tell you it isn't Y'shua, Yeshua, Yahshua or Yahoshua. Then what is the name these charismatic miracle-workers use? The answer is, they use the name Jesus: the name the Saviour calls ‘my name.’ So here we have two prophecies about the name Jesus. In the first the Saviour refers to it as ‘my name.’ And in the second these deceived miracle- workers when addressing the Saviour also refer to the name Jesus as ‘your name.’ The Master, please note, didn't say “Wait a minute, you’ve got my name wrong!” “It isn’t Jesus, it’s Yeshua or Yahshua.” Instead, when we examine the evidence, and the 20/21st century fulfilment of that prophecy, we find that the Master - when predicting the use of his name - could only have been referring to the name Jesus. No other sensible conclusion is possible.

And there you have my viewpoint. A Voice In The Wilderness - Canada uses the sacred names Jehovah, Yahweh, Yeshua, Yahshua etc. I have done so for many, many years in order to inform millions of English-speaking people who know of no other names than those which appear in their Bibles. I also use the titles/ names LORD, God, Jesus, Christ etc. Moreover, I do not agree that the use of the title LORD God or the name/title Jesus Christ are sinful or unacceptable to the Most High and His Son. My belief is: that when the Almighty's name (Jehovah) is used - with reverence - it has a power no man on earth can measure. Undoubtedly, it must never be used ‘in vain,’ ‘in self-deluding vanity:’ this is forbidden by the Third Commandment. But it may be used - with reverence! After all, it is the name the Almighty authorized in His Word The Real Bible! In this article the Almighty's name, with its variations, has been used often: but that is only because it is the subject under consideration. There is absolutely no disrespect intended - whatsoever. I trust that this will clarify my stand as regards the sacred names.


AMEN!

In the Son’s Name - For the Father’s glory.
Elder:
Max W. Mader

www.avoiceinthewilderness.org
www.avitw.ca