• Eddie Rogers, Minister

True News 4 U — Truth-Religion — 12/12/2020

We will now pick up where we left off last week on our study of The Third Commandment. This is part 2 of 4.

GOD or God: Is Either One Correct?

Sacred name users who have eliminated “lord” have also overreacted to the word “god.” The following two explanations from a publication by the New Jerusalem Group gives us samples of the kind of reasoning they used to excuse the removal of the word “God” from our Bibles:

This name (God) can mean any deity, because the definition means “a” deity, and does not specifically indicate which god it is describing…. The word (God) is translated [in the New Testament] from the Greek “Theos,” which is also Deos, i.e. Deas/De'oos/Deus. “Deus … n. God. Abbr.: D. [L. deus god; c. Gk. Zeus]….

…God [in the Old Testament] is the English translation of Gad (gawd), which was the name of a Babylonian deity! …The Hebrew Gad and English God are pronounced the same…GAWD. Therefore, by calling upon “God,” we call upon the name of another god![1] (comments added)

[1]A Witness Against You,” New Jerusalem Group, Ltd., pp. 1-2.

Other sacred name users claim that Yahweh should never be addressed by the title “God” because the Greek word theos can allegedly be linguistically linked with the Greek god Zeus[2] and because the English word “God” can allegedly be phonetically linked with the Babylonian deity Gad and because Scripture warns us not to mention the names of other gods. According to these same people, Yahweh should be designated as Elohiym, the Hebrew word translated as “God” in most English Bibles. However, if it is improper to address Yahweh as God, then it is also improper to address Him as Elohiym for the same aforementioned reasons. El, the shortened form of Elohiym, was the name of an ancient Canaanite god.

[2] Look up Zeus and theos in any Greek lexicon and it is evident that no linguistic affinity exists between the two words.

Furthermore, Yahweh did not use elohiym exclusively to describe Himself. Elohiym is a generic Hebrew word that in English, it simply means “god(s).” Yahweh inspired elohiym to be used in Hebrew both for Himself and for false gods and idols in the same way the English word “god(s)” is used. In the creation account, Yahweh used elohiym to denote Himself:

In the beginning God [Strong’s Concordance Dictionary #H430 אֱלֹהִים 'ĕlôhı̂ym] created the heaven and the earth.

(Genesis 1:1, KJV, emphasis and comment added)

Elohiym is also used for pagan gods. In fact, elohiym is the very word employed in the prohibition against using the names of false gods:

Now concerning everything which I [Moses] have said to you, be on your guard; do not mention the name of other gods [Strong’s Concordance Dictionary #H430 אֱלֹהִים 'ĕlôhı̂ym; either in a blessing or in a curse]; do not let such speech be heard [coming] from your mouth.

(Exodus 23:13, Amplified Bible (AMP), emphasis and comments added)

Consider again the following quotation, which the New Jerusalem Group believes justifies their removing the word “God” from the Bible. If the English word “God” is replaced with the Hebrew word elohiym, it reads as follows:

This name elohiym can mean any deity, because the definition means “a” deity, and does not specifically indicate which elohiym it is describing…. Therefore, by calling upon elohiym, we call upon the name of another elohiym!

Consequently, those who want to remove the English word “God” from their Bibles must also remove the Hebrew word elohiym in order to be consistent with their own teachings.

The following renditions of Exodus 34:23 provide a contrast between the translations of the English translators and the sacred name users:

Thrice in the year shall all your men children appear before the Lord GOD, the God of Israel.” (King James Version)

Thrice in the year shall all your male children appear before Yahweh Elohiym, Elohiym of Israel.” (The Holy Name Bible)

Both of the above renditions are incorrect. Accurately transliterated, this verse reads:

Thrice in the year shall all your male children appear before the Adonay YHWH, the Elohiym of Israel.

This text was inspired by the Holy Spirit to contain three different Hebrew words with three totally different meanings. Thus, neither “the Lord GOD, the God of Israel” nor “Yahweh Elohiym, Elohiym of Israel” can be justified. Accurately translated, the English rendition follows:

Thrice in the year shall all your male children appear before the Lord YHWH, the God of Israel.

The word theos was inspired by Yahweh to appear over 1,300 times in the Greek New Testament. Again, no one has the right to overrule Yahweh and His choice of theos and its English equivalent “god,” regardless of how convincing the rationale sounds.

Both elohiym and theos are terms that, among other things, refer to a deity or deities. This is precisely what our English word “god” signifies. Thus, “god” is a proper translation of either elohiym or theos. It is also an acceptable title or description of Yahweh, particularly when it is used in conjunction with His Name: Yahweh Almighty God, the God of gods, the Theos of theoi, the Elohiym of elohiym (Deuteronomy 10:17). This is precisely how the Prophet Jeremiah depicts Yahweh:

who show kindness to thousands, and repay the crookedness (sin, guilt) of the fathers into the bosom of their children after them [that is, calling the children to account for the sins of their fathers] the Great, the Mighty Ěl, YHWH of hosts is His Name,

(Jeremiah 32:18, The Scriptures Translation, emphasis and comments added)

Where Yahweh inspired His personal name to appear in the Scriptures, no man has the right to replace it with the capitalized words “the LORD” or “GOD” or to remove the lowercase words “Lord” or “God” where they were inspired in Holy Writ. Those who make these changes are misguided and they are guilty of taking away and adding to the Absolute Written Word of YHWH. It is entirely appropriate to use the English words “Lord” and “God” as a title and a description of Yahweh, provided they are not used to replace His name.

Our Savior’s Name: Iesous, Jesus, or Yeshua?

J.B. Rotherham asked the following question in the preface of The Emphasized Bible:

Men’s names are throughout the Scriptures fraught with significance, enshrining historical incidents, biographical reminiscences, and so forth; and why should the Name of the Ever-Blessed be an exception to this rule?[3]

[3] Joseph Bryant Rotherham, “The Incommunicable Name,” Introduction, The Emphasized Bible (Cincinnati, OH: The Standard Publishing Company, 1897) pg. 26.

Yahweh’s name is not an exception to this rule and neither is our Savior’s Name.

The name “Jesus” appears in our modern English New Testament 829 times. I did a quick search to see just how many times I could find the name “Jesus” in the King James Bible and I found 942 verses where this name appears. Within these 942 verses this name appears 983 times. While Jesus is a legitimate English transliteration of the Greek Iesous,[4] which is the Greek transliteration of the Hebrew Yeshua, there are several reasons why Yeshua should be the preferred choice over either Jesus or Iesous.[5]

[4] Some sacred name users attempt to make a connection between Zeus and Jesus, maintaining the latter is derived from the former. However, look up both words in any Greek Lexicon and it is evident that no linguistic affinity exists between the two names.

[5] What about Yahshua and Yashua? Look up the Savior’s name in any Hebrew Lexicon or consult a Hebrew linguists and it is evident that no linguistic justification exists for either of these alleged names.

Before getting to those reasons, however, it needs to be explained how we know the Savior’s Hebrew name is Yeshua and why, if such is the case, we find the name Jesus in our English Bibles.

Our Savior’s Given Hebrew Name

In Matthew 1:21, when Mary was pregnant with the Son of YHWH, Joseph was told by the angel of Yahweh to give her offspring a name that means “…he [Yahweh] shall save his people….” The Savior, born a Hebrew by a Hebrew mother and reared by a Hebrew father, was given a Hebrew name. Our Savior’s full Hebrew name – the name that means “Yahweh saves” is Yehoshua. This was the same name Moses assigned to Oshea:

These are the names of the men which Moses sent to spy out the land. And Moses called Oshea [Strong’s Concordance #H1954 הוֹשֵׁעַ hôshêa‛] the son of Nun Jehoshua [Strong’s Concordance #H3091 יְהוֹשׁוּעַ yehôshûa‛].

(Numbers 13:16, KJV, emphasis and comments added)

There was no letter “j” in the English alphabet until the 14th Century CE and originally in Old English, the letter “j” was pronounced the same as the letter “y” we have today. Later, the letter “j” took on the hard sound to which we are presently accustomed. Therefore, Oshea was given the name Yehoshua.

In every instance where we find the anglicized name “Joshua” in our English Old Testaments, it has been transliterated from “Yehoshua.” The man Joshua is also identified by the abbreviated Hebrew/Aramaic name Yeshua:

And all the congregation of them that were come again out of the captivity made booths, and sat under the booths: for since the days of Jeshua [Strong’s Concordance Dictionary #H3442 יֵשׁוּעַ yêshûa‛] the son of Nun unto that day had not the children of Israel done so. And there was very great gladness.

(Nehemiah 8:17, KJV, emphasis and comment added)

We also know that Yeshua was our Savior’s Name by its meaning “he saves” and by tracing the transliterations backwards. Jesus is the modern English transliteration of the Greek Iesous and Iesous is the Greek transliteration of the shortened Hebrew name Yeshua. Thus, the Savior’s given Hebrew Name was Yeshua, or in its long form, Yehoshua.

Why the name “Jesus”?

If the Savior’s Hebrew name is “Yeshua,” why then does our English Bibles use the name “Jesus?” The simple answer is that our English New Testaments were translated and transliterated from Greek rather than Hebrew.

Transliteration commutes the letters of a word from one language to another. Personal names are almost always transliterated, whereas other words are almost always translated, commuting the meaning of a word from one language to another. All personal names in our mainline English versions, when brought from one language to another, such as from Hebrew to Greek or from Greek to English, have been transliterated with one exception – the name of our God and Heavenly Father. As we have already seen, His Name in the Old Testament was unlawfully changed to “the LORD” and “GOD.”

“Yeshua” and “Jesus” are both English renditions of our Savior’s Name. “Yeshua” is the English transliteration of His shortened Hebrew name. “Jesus” – or “Iesus” as it was in the original King James Bible – is the English transliteration of the Greek “Iesous,” which in turn is the Greek transliteration of the Hebrew “Yeshua.”

In other words, Jesus is a second-generation transliteration from Hebrew to Greek to English, rather than a direct transliteration from Hebrew to English. Had our New Testaments been translated from Hebrew manuscripts, they would have reflected “Yeshua,” the Hebrew-English spelling and pronunciation, rather than Jesus, the Greek-English spelling and pronunciation.

Eight Reasons for Using the Name “Yeshua”

Someone is certain to respond, “Because our New Testament was translated from Greek, shouldn’t we use the Greek-English Jesus?” Although Jesus is a legitimate English transliteration of the Greek Iesous – and, therefore, no one should be condemned or ostracized for using Jesus – please consider the following seven reasons for using Yeshua instead of either Jesus or Iesous.

No. 1: Yeshua Is His Given Name

The English name “Jesus” is a modern English transliteration of the Greek name “Iesous,” and although “Iesous” is indeed a Greek transliteration of the Hebrew name “Yeshua,” both renditions do a poor job of preserving the spelling and pronunciation of Yeshua. Only Yeshua returns us to the given name of our Savior.

That Yeshua was our Savior’s given name is demonstrated in the book of Acts. In only three New Testament passages do we find Yahweh’s Son introducing Himself. Acts Chapter 9 provides the first instance in the account of the Apostle Paul’s conversion. The second and third instances are found in Acts Chapter 22 and 26, wherein Paul recounted the same event. Acts Chapter 26 informs us of the language in which the Savior chose to introduce Himself to Paul:

14 And when we all had fallen to the ground, I [Paul] heard a voice in the Hebrew dialect (Jewish Aramaic) saying to me, ‘Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting Me? It [An ancient Greek proverb dating back to the time of Euripides.] is hard for you to kick [repeatedly] against the goads [offering pointless resistance. These were wooden shafts (like broomsticks) with a pointed piece of metal on one end, used by the farmer to keep an ox going in the right direction as it pulled a plow. Jesus was “prodding” Paul to take the proper direction in his life, and Paul had been resisting.].15 And I said, ‘Who are You, Lord?’ And the Lord said, ‘I am Jesus whom you are persecuting.

(Acts 26:14-15, Amplified Bible (AMP), emphasis and comments added)

Although the name Jesus is found in our English Bibles, nowhere do we have biblical record of our Savior using either this name or Iesous to introduce Himself. It simply does not exist. Both Iesous and Jesus can be legitimately used as accurate Greek and English transliterations of His Name but they are not His given name, or the name He used to introduce Himself. If we wish to honor Him and follow His example, we will use His given Hebrew name, Yeshua.

No. 2: Yeshua Is the Memorial Name

When Mary was pregnant with the Son of God, the Angel of Yahweh told Joseph to give her offspring a name that meant “he [Yahweh] shall save his people” (Matthew 1:21). “He saves” is precisely what Yeshua means. Yeshua in Strong’s Concordance Dictionary is #H3442, the shortened form of #H3091 (Yehoshua), which is defined as coming from #H3068 (Yahweh) and #H3467 (yasha), which means “to save.”[6] Yehoshua is a combination of Yahweh and yasha. Yeshua, the contraction of Yehoshua, means “He [Yahweh] saves.”

[6] The contraction “Yah” is found forty-eight times in the Old Testament.

According to Exodus 3:15, God chose Yahweh and its shortened form Yah[7] to be His Memorial Name to all generations. Yeshua, meaning Yahweh saves, best memorializes the name Yahweh in its meaning.

[7] James Strong, “Hebrew and Chaldee Dictionary,” The New Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance of the Bible, s.v. “Yeshua,” “Yehoshua,” “Yahweh,” and “yasha” (Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson Publishers, 1990) pp. 47, 48, 53.

No. 3: Yeshua is the Name Above All Names

Philippians 2:9 proclaims that Yahweh “highly exalted” Yeshua and gave “him a name which is above every name,” whereas David asserts that Yahweh is the name above all names:

I bow down toward your holy temple and give thanks to your name for your steadfast love and your faithfulness, for you have exalted above all things your name and your word.

(Psalm 138:2, English Standard Version (ESV), emphasis added)

Because the name above all names is Yahweh, and our Savior’s Hebrew name means Yahweh saves, His name is, therefore, best rendered Yeshua.

No. 4: Yeshua is the Excellent Name

The Son inherited an excellent name from His Father:

Let them praise the name of the Lord [Strong’s Concordance #H3068 YHWH in the Hebrew text], For His name alone is exalted and supreme; His glory and majesty are above earth and heaven.

(Psalm 148:13, Amplified Bible (AMP), emphasis and comment added)

having become as much superior to angels, since He [Yeshua] has inherited a more excellent and glorious name [In Greek “name” occurs last in this verse to emphasize that Jesus alone bears the name Son. No angel is superior to the Son.] than they [that is, Son—the name above all names].

(Hebrews 1:4, Amplified Bible (AMP), emphasis and comments added)

The Son could only inherit from His Father what His Father Himself possessed. Which name did the Father possess – Jesus or Yeshua? According to the Psalmist, only the name Yahweh is excellent and according to the author of Hebrews, our Savior inherited that excellent name. In the Messianic prophecies found in Jeremiah Chapter 23 and Zephaniah Chapter 3, the Son is identified with the name Yahweh:

5 See, the days are coming,” declares YHWH, “when I shall raise for Dawiḏ [David] a Branch [Or sprout] of righteousness, and a Sovereign shall reign and act wisely, and shall do right-ruling and righteousness in the earth. 6 In His days Yehuḏah [Judah] shall be saved, and Yisra’ĕl [Israel] dwell safely. And this is His Name whereby He shall be called: ‘YHWH our Righteousness.

(Jeremiah 23:5-6, The Scriptures Translation, emphasis and comments added)

15 YHWH has turned aside your judgments. He has faced your enemy. The Sovereign of Yisra’ĕl, YHWH, is in your midst. No longer need you fear evil. 16 In that day it shall be said to Yerushalayim [Jerusalem], “Do not fear, Tsiyon [Zion], do not let your hands be weak. 17 YHWH your Elohim in your midst, is mighty to save. He rejoices over you with joy, He is silent in His love, He rejoices over you with singing.

(Zephaniah 3:15-17, The Scriptures Translation, emphasis and comments added)

Did our Savior inherit His Father’s name? The only names recorded for our Savior in the New Testament are Immanuel, His secondary name, and Jesus, the Greek-English equivalent of Yeshua. Was our Father, from whom our Savior inherited His Name, ever identified with the name Yeshua? In several Old Testament passages, Yahweh is identified with a word closely related to Yeshua that is translated “salvation:”

The Lord [Strong’s Concordance #H3050 יָהּ yâhh] is my strength and my song, And He has become my salvation [Strong’s Concordance #H3444 יְשׁוּעָה yeshû‛âh]; This is my God, and I will praise Him; My father’s God, and I will exalt Him.

(Exodus 15:2, Amplified Bible (AMP), emphasis and comments added)

1 For God alone my soul waits in silence; From Him comes my salvation [Strong’s Concordance #H3444 יְשׁוּעָה yeshû‛âh].

2 He alone is my rock and my salvation [Strong’s Concordance #H3444 יְשׁוּעָה yeshû‛âh], My defense and my strong tower; I will not be shaken or disheartened.

(Psalm 62:1-2, Amplified Bible (AMP), emphasis and comments added)

2 Behold, God, my salvation [Strong’s Concordance #H3444 יְשׁוּעָה yeshû‛âh]! I will trust and not be afraid, For the Lord God [Strong’s Concordance #H3068 YHWH in the Hebrew text] is my strength and song; Yes, He has become my salvation [Strong’s Concordance #H3444 יְשׁוּעָה yeshû‛âh].

3 Therefore with joy you will draw water From the springs of salvation [Strong’s Concordance #H3444 יְשׁוּעָה yeshû‛âh].

4 And in that day [the day the Messiah Yeshua was born, Isaiah 11:1] you will say, “Give thanks to the Lord [Strong’s Concordance #H3068 YHWH in the Hebrew text], call on His name [in prayer]. Make His deeds known among the peoples [of the earth]; Proclaim [to them] that His name is exalted!

(Isaiah 12:2-4, Amplified Bible (AMP), emphasis and comments added)

Our Savior’s given Hebrew Name reflects the name Yahweh because Yeshua means Yahweh saves. The Son did indeed inherit His Father’s Name.

No. 5: Yeshua Came in the Name of Yahweh

Our Savior made known His Father’s Name while here on earth:

6 I [Yeshua] have manifested Your [YHWH] name [and revealed Your very self, Your real self] to the people whom You have given Me out of the world; they were Yours and You gave them to Me, and they have kept and obeyed Your word.

26 and I [Yeshua] have made Your [YHWH] name known to them, and will continue to make it known, so that the love with which You have loved Me may be in them [overwhelming their heart], and I [may be] in them.

(John 17:6, 26, Amplified Bible (AMP), emphasis and comments added)

Had our Savior used either the Greek name Iesous or the English name Jesus, He would not have manifested His Father’s name. But because He was born and introduced Himself with the Hebrew name Yeshua – the name He inherited from His Father – He could accurately say: “I am come in My Father’s name....” (John 5:43)

In John Chapter 12, certain Judahites heralded Yeshua’s entrance into Jerusalem:

they took branches of palm trees [in homage to Him as King] and went out to meet Him [Yeshua], and they began shouting and kept shouting “Hosanna! Blessed (celebrated, praised) is He who comes in the name of the Lord, even the King of Israel!

(John 12:13, Amplified Bible (AMP), emphasis and comments added)

This salutation is a quotation from Psalm 118:26 in which the title “the LORD” was unlawfully substituted for the Tetragrammaton. When the Tetragrammaton is reinserted, we find that the Israelites in John Chapter 12 were proclaiming the Messiah as having come in the name of Yahweh, in fulfillment of the Old Testament prophecy.

Yeshua’s entrance into Jerusalem was in fulfillment of another Old Testament prophecy:

Rejoice greatly, O Daughter of Zion! Shout aloud, O Daughter of Jerusalem! Behold, your King (Messianic King) is coming to you; He is righteous and endowed with salvation, Humble [Quoted in the NT to describe the triumphal entry of Jesus into Jerusalem, see Matthew 21:1-11; Mark 11:1-11; Luke 19:28-38 and John 12:14-16.] and unassuming [in submission to the will of the Father] and riding on a donkey [As a matter of discussion, the ancient rabbis noted an apparent contradiction between the coming of the Messiah with the clouds of heaven in Daniel 7:13 and his riding on a donkey as prophesied here. Their solution was that Messiah would come with the clouds if Israel was worthy but on a donkey if Israel was not.], Upon a colt, the foal of a donkey.

(Zechariah 9:9, Amplified Bible (AMP), emphasis and comments added)

The identity of this King – the King of Israel – is revealed in another prophecy:

15 The Lord [Strong’s Concordance #H3068 YHWH in the Hebrew text] has taken away the judgments against you; He has cleared away your enemies. The King of Israel, even the Lord [Himself, Strong’s Concordance #H3068 YHWH in the Hebrew text], is in your midst; You will no longer fear disaster.

16 In that day it will be said to Jerusalem: “Do not be afraid, O Zion; Do not let your hands fall limp.

17 The Lord [Strong’s Concordance #H3068 YHWH in the Hebrew text] your God is in your midst, A Warrior who saves. He will rejoice over you with joy; He will be quiet in His love [making no mention of your past sins], He will rejoice over you with shouts of joy.

(Zephaniah 3:15-17, Amplified Bible (AMP), emphasis and comments added)

Only in the name of Yeshua (Yahweh saves) can it be said that our Savior came in the name of Yahweh.

New Testament Baptism: No. 6: In the Name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit

Evidence from the book of Acts demonstrates that the disciples did not baptize using the phrase “in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost” (Matthew 28:19). Rather, they baptized in the one specific name that represented all three (Acts 2:38, 8:16, 10:48 and 19:5). Given the options of Iesous (Greek transliteration), Jesus (Greek/English transliteration), or Yeshua (Hebrew transliteration), Yeshua is unquestionably the name that best represents the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit.

In Romans 10:13, the Apostle Paul quoted Joel 2:32. Properly rendered, this prophecy declares in whose name we are saved:

And it shall come about that whoever calls on the name of the Lord [Strong’s Concordance #H3068 YHWH in the Hebrew text] Will be saved [from the coming judgment] For on Mount Zion and in Jerusalem There will be those who escape, As the Lord [Strong’s Concordance #H3068 YHWH in the Hebrew text] has said, Even among the remnant [of survivors] whom the Lord [Strong’s Concordance #H3068 YHWH in the Hebrew text] calls.

(Joel 2:32, Amplified Bible (AMP), emphasis and comments added)

How does a person call upon the name of Yahweh?

Ananias speaking to Paul, said… “Now, why do you delay? Get up and be baptized, and wash away your sins by calling on His name [for salvation].”

(Acts 22:16, Amplified Bible (AMP), emphasis and comment added)

Just three days prior to Paul’s baptism, our Savior identified Himself in Hebrew as Yeshua. Consequently, Paul was immersed in the name of Yeshua – the name that represents the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit – in fulfillment of Joel 2:32; Matthew 28:19 and Romans 10:13.[8]

[8] For a more thorough explanation concerning baptism and its relationship to salvation, check out “Baptism by the Scriptures” and “Fifty Objections to Baptism Answered” or the book “Baptism: All You Wanted to Know and More” by Evangelist Ted R. Weiland.

No. 7: Yeshua’s Deity

The more consequential reason for using the Hebrew-English spelling and pronunciation of our Heavenly Father’s and our Savior’s name is that they prove Yeshua’s deity. Had God’s Hebrew name been left intact in the Scriptures, it would be much more difficult for someone to deny Yeshua’s deity.

Consider the Old Testament prophecies, regarding Yahweh, which were attributed to Yeshua. Whose way was John the Baptist to prepare? Who was to be betrayed for thirty pieces of silver? Whose side was to be pierced? Who was the stone, rejected by the builders, who later became the chief cornerstone? Who was the Branch who would execute judgment and justice on earth? Who was the King of Israel? Whose feet were to stand on the Mount of Olives? If your answer to these questions is Jesus, it would be prudent to look again at these prophecies. In all of these prophecies – Isaiah 40:3; Malachi 3:1, 4:5; Zechariah 11:12-13, 12:1, 10; Psalm 118:19-22; Isaiah 8:13-14; Jeremiah 23:5-6; Zephaniah 3:15-17; Zechariah 14:3-4 – Yahweh’s name was removed and it was replaced with the title “the LORD.” Restore God’s personal name to these passages and it becomes immediately apparent that these prophecies were about Yahweh and they were fulfilled in Yeshua.

Yeshua, the Hebrew name of our Savior, does not describe what some man, prophet or another god is doing. It expresses what YAHWEH, the GOD of gods, the great I AM, Immanuel, God with us is doing!

No. 8: Yahweh’s Sovereignty

It cannot be denied that an untold number of prayers have been answered and an untold number of people have been saved in the name of Jesus and variations thereof. Nevertheless, the illiteracy concerning the names of Yahweh and Yeshua is certainly a part of the ignorance mentioned by the Apostle Paul when he preached about the unnamed God in Acts 17:

22 So Paul, standing in the center of the Areopagus, said: “Men of Athens, I observe [with every turn I make throughout the city] that you are very religious and devout in all respects. 23 Now as I was going along and carefully looking at your objects of worship, I came to an altar with this inscription: ‘TO AN UNKNOWN [While the philosophers had little or no regard for the old mythological gods of the Greeks, the temples to various deities remained and worship practices continued, at least as a formal tradition. The altar to the Unknown seems to have been constructed for the purpose of acknowledging any god who had been overlooked. Paul seized upon it as an opportunity to introduce the Greeks to Christ.] GOD.’ Therefore what you already worship as unknown, this I proclaim to you. 24 The God who created the world and everything in it, since He is Lord of heaven and earth, does not dwell in temples made with hands; 25 nor is He served [Here Paul uses an unusual word which normally refers to healing. He was educated in classical Greek literature to some extent (see note v 28 and 22:3), and what he says here recalls earlier arguments by Plato (in his dialogues the Euthyphro and the Symposium) which should have struck a responsive chord in the listeners. In the dialogues, Plato represents Socrates as analyzing the nature of service to a god, and points out that the god can only receive actual benefit from service if he is in need or lacking something. Paul masterfully adapts himself to the thinking of the Athenians, demonstrating to them that the gods whom they serve with sacrifices and worship cannot really be gods at all, unless it is possible for a god to have faults or needs that have to be satisfied. This is also a good point for the Christian to bear in mind; believers are to serve God, but this is not a service that in any way actually benefits Him, because He is perfect and in no need of anything which man can supply. The same is true for the sacrificial system of the OT. While God is represented there as demanding sacrifices and sometimes enjoying their pleasant aromas, the sacrifices did not actually benefit Him. In reality they pointed ahead to the supreme sacrifice of Christ, which was the ultimate payment for mankind’s sins.] by human hands, as though He needed anything, because it is He who gives to all [people] life and breath and all things. 26 And He made from one man every nation of mankind to live on the face of the earth, having determined their appointed times and the boundaries of their lands and territories. 27 This was so that they would seek God, if perhaps they might grasp for Him and find Him, though He is not far from each one of us. 28 For in Him we live and move and exist [that is, in Him we actually have our being], as even some of your [Paul was probably exposed to Greek literature when he studied with Gamaliel, and quoting or paraphrasing a line from one of their poets would have surprised and kept the attention of the audience. See note 22:3.] own poets have said, ‘For we also are His children.’ 29 So then, being God’s children, we should not think that the Divine Nature (deity) is like gold or silver or stone, an image formed by the art and imagination or skill of man. 30 Therefore God overlooked and disregarded the former ages of ignorance; but now He commands all people everywhere to repent [that is, to change their old way of thinking, to regret their past sins, and to seek God’s purpose for their lives], 31 because He has set a day when He will judge the inhabited world in righteousness by a Man [Yeshua] whom He has appointed and destined for that task, and He has provided credible proof to everyone by raising Him from the dead.

(Acts 17:22-31, Amplified Bible (AMP), emphasis and comments added)

Yahweh commanded His people to repent of their ignorance. A part of His people’s repentance includes returning to the sacred names of our God and Savior:

1 Awake, awake, Put on your strength, O Zion; Put on your beautiful garments, O Jerusalem, the holy city; For the uncircumcised and the unclean Will no longer come into you.

2 Shake yourself from the dust, arise, O captive Jerusalem; Rid yourself of the chains around your neck, O captive Daughter of Zion.

3 For the Lord [Strong’s Concordance #H3068 YHWH in the Hebrew text] says this, “You were sold for nothing and you will be redeemed, but not with money. 4 For the Lord God [Strong’s Concordance #H3068 YHWH in the Hebrew text] says this, “My people went down at the first into Egypt to live there; and [many years later Sennacherib] the Assyrian oppressed them without cause. 5 But now, what do I have here,” declares the Lord [Strong’s Concordance #H3068 YHWH in the Hebrew text], “seeing that My people have been taken away without reason? Those who rule over them howl [with taunting and mockery of salvation],” declares the Lord [Strong’s Concordance #H3068 YHWH in the Hebrew text], “and My name is continually blasphemed all day long. 6 Therefore My people shall know My Name and what it means. Therefore in that day I am the One who is speaking, ‘Here I am.’

(Isaiah 52:1-6, Amplified Bible (AMP), emphasis and comment added)

Therefore,” [says the Lord] behold, I will make them [a remnant of Israel[9]] know—This time I will make them know My power and My might; And they will know and recognize [without any doubt] that My Name is the Lord.

(Jeremiah 16:21, Amplified Bible (AMP), emphasis and comment added)

[9] God’s Covenant People: Yesterday, Today and Forever by Evangelist Ted R. Weiland.

1 But it shall come about in the last days That the mountain of the house of the Lord [Strong’s Concordance #H3068 YHWH in the Hebrew text] Shall be established as the highest and chief of the mountains; It shall be above the hills, And peoples shall flow [like a river] to it.

2 And many nations shall come and say, “Come, let us go up to the mountain of the Lord [Strong’s Concordance #H3068 YHWH in the Hebrew text], To the house of the God of Jacob, That He may teach us about His ways And that we may walk in His paths.” For the law [Torah-YHWH’s Instructions] shall go forward from Zion, And the word of the Lord [the revelation about Him and His truth, Strong’s Concordance #H3068 YHWH in the Hebrew text] from Jerusalem.

3 And He will judge between many peoples And render decisions for strong and distant nations. Then they shall hammer their swords into plowshares And their spears into pruning hooks [so that the implements of war may become the tools of agriculture]; Nation shall not lift up sword against nation, Nor shall they ever again train for war.

4 Each of them shall sit [in security and peace] under his vine And under his fig tree, With no one to make them afraid, For the mouth of the [omnipotent] Lord [Strong’s Concordance #H3068 YHWH in the Hebrew text] of hosts has spoken it.

5 For all the peoples [now] walk Each in the name of his god [in a transient relationship], As for us, we shall walk [securely] In the name of the Lord [Strong’s Concordance #H3068 YHWH in the Hebrew text] our [true] God forever and ever.

(Micah 4:1-5, Amplified Bible (AMP), emphasis and comments added)

And I will bring the third part through the fire, Refine them as silver is refined, And test them as gold is tested. They [a remnant of Israel] will call on My name, And I will listen and answer them; I will say, ‘They are My people,’ And they will say, ‘The Lord [Strong’s Concordance #H3068 YHWH in the Hebrew text] is my God.

(Zechariah 13:9, Amplified Bible (AMP), emphasis and comments added)[10]

[10] These and other similar prophecies concerning the New Covenant Dispensation crush the objection that the name “Yahweh” was only an Old Covenant name and that it is no longer to be used under the New Covenant.

In light of these divinely inspired prophecies, why would Yahweh permit His Name to be replaced with counterfeits and this corruption of His Holy Word to flourish for nearly two thousand years? There is no definitive answer to this question because no one can read the mind of YHWH. Nevertheless, Yahweh certainly had good reasons for allowing these corruptions to be perpetuated. Consider the following possibility. During Israel’s time in spiritual darkness, Yahweh, in His sovereignty, took what our enemies probably meant for our harm and turned it into a blessing. The Third Commandment is clear that Yahweh will not leave unpunished anyone who uses His name profanely. Throughout nearly the last two-thousand years of Israel’s[11] disobedience, she has known relatively little about the sacred names of her God and, as a result, she has not blasphemed His personal name. YHWH’s last name is not “damn” and His first name is not “God.” Therefore, neither uttering the expletive “God damn” nor using the name “Jesus Christ” profanely is taking God’s true name in vain. However, had we been using the names “Yahweh” or “Yeshua” in a similar fashion during the last nearly two-thousand years, it is quite possible that Yahweh’s wrath would have been unleashed upon unquestionable Third Commandment transgressors.

[11] The Mystery of the Gentiles: Who Are They and Where Are They Now? By Evangelist Ted R. Weiland.

We should be thrilled that Yahweh, by His sovereignty, removed His Name from His people’s curses while retaining it in their blessings. Although God’s personal name has been replaced in most instances with uninspired titles, He never allowed His Name to be completely removed from His Word or from Israel’s mouth. Every time someone reads or says the word “hallelujah,” he articulates God’s name because hallelu Yah means “praise Yah.” King David informed us in Psalm 22:3 that YHWH “inhabitest the praises of Israel.” Indeed, He does! This double blessing fulfills, at least in part, Yahweh’s promise through the Prophet Ezekiel:

I will make My holy name known in the midst of My people Israel, and I will not let them profane My holy name anymore; and the nations will know that I am the Lord [Strong’s Concordance #H3068 YHWH in the Hebrew text], the Holy One of Israel.

(Ezekiel 39:7, Amplified Bible (AMP), emphasis and comment added)

It seems to have been in fulfillment of Jeremiah 23:26-27 and Ezekiel 39:7 that YHWH’s personal name was removed from His Word. However, this does not mean that His latter-day servants should not restore His Name to its proper place in the Bible, in our hymns, and in our lives.

The Apostle James described an aspect of sin that is not always heeded by Christians:

So any person who knows what is right to do but does not do it, to him it is sin.

(James 4:17, Amplified Bible (AMP), emphasis added)

As Christians, believers in Messiah Yeshua, our goal should be to continually “but grow [spiritually mature] in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.” (2 Peter 3:18).[12] In so doing, we should “do not be conformed to this world [any longer with its superficial values and customs], but be transformed [From the Greek word meaning “metamorphosis.” Refers to the process that leads to an outward, permanent change.] and progressively changed [as you mature spiritually] by the renewing of your mind [focusing on godly values and ethical attitudes], so that you may prove [for yourselves] what the will of God is, that [we] which is good and acceptable and perfect [in His plan and purpose for you].” (Romans 12:2, Amplified Bible (AMP), comment added)

[12] The title “Christ” is not part of Yeshua’s name but instead it is a title meaning the Anointed One. The arguments employed by many sacred name users against the use of the title “Christ” are as invalid as are their arguments against the use of the words “God” and “Lord.” They insist that everyone must use the Hebrew Mashiyach, or its English equivalent “Messiah,” because, through similar linguistic gymnastics, they claim Christos refers to a false god. One problem with this line of reasoning is that Mashiyach is used in Isaiah 45:1 to refer to Cyrus who, as king of Babylon, was considered a god by his people. Thus, Mashiyach, which is the same word prophetically used for Yeshua in Daniel 9:25-26, is also used for Cyrus, a false god.

John 1:41 (“[Andrew] first findeth his own brother Simon, and saith unto him, We have found the Messias, which is, being interpreted, the Christ”) and John 4:25 (“The woman saith unto him, I know that Messias cometh, which is called Christ….”) forever puts to rest the arguments that the title “Christ” is pagan. In these two Holy Spirit-inspired passages, Messiah (the English transliteration of the Hebrew Mashiyach) and Christ (the English transliteration of the Greek Christos) are used interchangeably – both meaning “anointed” – and are thus equally acceptable to Yahweh. This also forever puts an end to the argument that we should not call ourselves Christians.

At the time when Moses codified the Third Commandment, YHWH’s personal name had not yet been misrepresented nor had it been removed from the Bible. Thus, the restoration of His Name was not the original intent of the Third Commandment. Nevertheless, the Memorial Name of YHWH is an integral part of appropriately honoring Yahweh and applying the Third Commandment today.

Honoring Yahweh Appropriately

Because the name “Yahweh” has been removed from the Scriptures and consequently almost completely lost to those who read His Word, it was necessary to address His name before directing our attention to the Third Commandment statutes. The statutes expound upon the commandment itself and it specifies what is appropriate and inappropriate concerning the name of Yahweh. The Third Commandment is explained by the following seven statutes:

  • Thou shall not curse Yahweh.

  • Thou shall not curse one of Yahweh’s rulers.

  • Thou shall not swear falsely or commit perjury.

  • Thou shall not mention, use, or swear by the name of other gods.

  • Thou shall not prophesy falsely in Yahweh’s name or in the name of other gods.

  • Thou shall not defy Yahweh’s Laws.

  • Thou shall not miscegenation-crossbreed-interbreeding.

Cursing Yahweh

You shall not curse God, nor curse the ruler of your people [since he administers God’s law].”

(Exodus 22:28, Amplified Bible (AMP))

Although God’s name is not found in this statute, His name is, nonetheless, intrinsic to His very being. Roderick C. Meredith pointed out this affinity in his book The Ten Commandments:

The third commandment deals with God’s name, His office, His position as the great sovereign RULER of the universe…. In the Bible, personal names have a meaning…. Every name or title of God reveals some attribute of the Divine character. In studying God’s Word, we learn new facts about God’s nature and character with each new name by which He reveals Himself. In other words, God names Himself what He is![13]

[13] Roderick C. Meredith, The Ten Commandments (Pasadena, CA: Ambassador College Press, 1972) pg. 46.

Consequently, cursing God would be a transgression of both the First and the Third Commandments. Cursing God and blaspheming His name are equally grievous sins according to Leviticus 24:

YHWH speaking to Moses, saying…“15 You shall speak to the Israelites, saying, ‘Whoever curses his God will bear his sin [through his own death]. 16 Further, the one who blasphemes the name of the Lord [Strong’s Concordance #H3068 YHWH in the Hebrew text] shall most certainly be put to death; all the congregation shall stone him. The stranger as well as the native-born shall be put to death when he blasphemes the Name [of the Lord].

(Leviticus 24:15-16, Amplified Bible (AMP), emphasis and comments added)

Bouvier’s Law Dictionary defines blasphemy:

In general blasphemy may be described as consisting in speaking evil of the Deity with an impious purpose to derogate from the divine majesty, and to alienate the minds of others from the love and reverence of God. It is purposely using words concerning God calculated and designed to impair and destroy the reverence, respect, and confidence due to him as the intelligent creator, governor, and judge of the world.… It is a willful and malicious attempt to lessen men’s reverence for God by denying his existence, or his attributes as an intelligent creator, governor, and judge of men, and to prevent their having confidence in him as such.[14]

[14] John Bouvier, “Blasphemy,” Bouvier’s Law Dictionary: A Concise Encyclopedia of the Law, 3 vols. (Kansas City, MO: Vernon Law Book Company, 1914) vol. 1, p. 369.

An example of blasphemy is found in 2 Chronicles Chapter 32. When threatening to sack Jerusalem, King Sennacherib of Assyria purposely demeaned Yahweh and therefore broke the Third Commandment:

10 Thus says Sennacherib king of Assyria, ‘In what do you trust that you are remaining in Jerusalem under siege? 11 Is not Hezekiah misleading you in order to let you die by famine and thirst, while saying, “The Lord [Strong’s Concordance #H3068 YHWH in the Hebrew text] our God will rescue us from the hand of the king of Assyria?” 12 Has the same Hezekiah not taken away his [Baal’s; Sennacherib does not distinguish between the true God of Israel and the pagan gods (see 31:1; 33:3), thinking that the people were still loyal to idols and offended at Hezekiah’s removal of them.] high places and his altars, and commanded Judah and Jerusalem, “You shall worship before [only] one altar and burn incense on it”? 13 Do you not know what I and my fathers (ancestors) have done to all the peoples of the [other] lands? Were the gods of the nations of those lands able to rescue their lands from my hand at all? 14 Who [was there] among all the gods of those nations that my fathers utterly destroyed who was able to rescue his people from my hand, that your God should be able to rescue you from my hand? 15 So now, do not let Hezekiah deceive or mislead you like this, and do not believe him, for no god of any nation or kingdom has been able to rescue his people from my hand or the hand of my fathers. How much less will your God rescue you from my hand!

16 And his servants said even more against the Lord [Strong’s Concordance #H3068 YHWH in the Hebrew text] God and against His servant Hezekiah. 17 The Assyrian king also wrote letters insulting and taunting the Lord [Strong’s Concordance #H3068 YHWH in the Hebrew text] God of Israel, and speaking against Him, saying, “As the gods of the nations of other lands have not rescued their people from my hand, so the God of Hezekiah will not rescue His people from my hand.” 18 They shouted it loudly in the language of Judah to the people of Jerusalem who were on the wall, to frighten and terrify them, so that they might take the city [without a long siege]. 19 They spoke of the God of Jerusalem as [they spoke of] the gods of the peoples of the earth, [which are only] the work of the hands of men.

(2 Chronicles 32:10-19, Amplified Bible (AMP), emphasis and comments added)

Yahweh did not let Sennacherib go unpunished for his blasphemy:

20 But Hezekiah the king and the prophet Isaiah the son of Amoz prayed about this and cried out to heaven [for help]. 21 And the Lord [Strong’s Concordance #H3068 YHWH in the Hebrew text] sent an angel who destroyed every brave warrior, commander, and officer in the camp of the king of Assyria. So the king returned to his own land in shame. And when he [Sennacherib king of Assyria] entered the house (temple) of his god, some of his own children killed him there with the sword.

(2 Chronicles 32:20-21, Amplified Bible (AMP), emphasis and comments added)

Conversely, there is nothing wrong in blaspheming false gods, as demonstrated by Elijah on Mount Carmel when he mocked both Baal and his prophets:

At noon Elijah mocked them, saying, “Cry out with a loud voice, for he is a god; either he is occupied, or he is out [at the moment], or he is on a journey. Perhaps he is asleep and must be awakened!”

(1 Kings 18:27, Amplified Bible (AMP), comment added)

Cursing Yahweh’s Rulers

The same verse of Scripture that commands against cursing Yahweh, also prohibits cursing a ruler of God’s people:

You shall not curse God, nor curse the ruler of your people [since he administers God’s law].

(Exodus 22:28, Amplified Bible (AMP), emphasis and comment added)

As described by the Apostles Paul and Peter, it is a Third Commandment infraction to revile a ruler placed over us by God. Righteous rulers are instead to be honored:

3 For [civil] authorities are not a source of fear for [people of] good behavior, but for [those who do] evil. Do you want to be unafraid of authority? Do what is good and you will receive approval and commendation. 4 For he is God’s servant to you for good. But if you do wrong, [you should] be afraid; for he does not carry the [executioner’s] sword for nothing. He is God’s servant, an avenger who brings punishment on the wrongdoer. 5 Therefore one must be subject [to civil authorities], not only to escape the punishment [that comes with wrongdoing], but also as a matter of principle [knowing what is right before God]. 6 For this same reason you pay taxes, for civil authorities are God’s servants, devoting themselves to governance. 7 Pay to all what is due: tax to whom tax is due, customs to whom customs, respect to whom respect, honor to whom honor [is due].

(Romans 13:3-7, Amplified Bible (AMP), emphasis and comments added)[15]

[15] Christian Duty Under Corrupt Government, an expository explanation of Romans 13:1-7 written by Evangelist Ted R. Weiland.

13 Submit yourselves to [the authority of] every human institution for the sake of the Lord [to honor His name], whether it is to a king as one in a position of power, 14 or to governors as sent by him to bring punishment to those who do wrong, and to praise and encourage those who do right.

17 Show respect for all people [treat them honorably], love the brotherhood [of believers], fear God, honor the king.

(1 Peter 2:13-14, 17, Amplified Bible (AMP), emphasis and comments added)

To deserve honor, a ruler must first be honorable and to be honorable, he must be the type of ruler described in these two passages. Submission to this type of authority is essentially submission to Yahweh because such rulers stand as agents of God, administering His Laws. King Solomon stressed this same concept: