The Sacred Name Debate
Shalom and Blessings Mishpacha! I hope you are all enjoying the grace of a Father who loves you and experiencing His riches in glory! Hallelujah! This teaching is a sister teaching to part 1 in this short series. It is entitled “What’s in a Name Part 1, what does the third commandment really mean?” and if you haven’t read it, please check it out. It discusses in greater detail a few of the key points made here.
Alright, so today family I want to touch on a topic that seems to get a lot of folks into a frothy mess. There is an ideology flying around that if you don’t use the “sacred name” of God- or worse that you DO use the name “Jesus” that you’ll be buying yourself a first class ticket to wrath and horrible judgment. Why? Because the Messiah of Israel has a proper name of course!
While the statement is certainly true that Messiah and YHVH do have proper names, those in the “sacred name” camp go so far as to say that if you do not learn and then use the (read: their personal) “sacred name” of the Messiah that you are actually blaspheming, and that if- after learning the (again read: their personal) “sacred name”- you still use the name “Jesus” that you are actually invoking the devil himself. Yes, you heard that correctly. You can’t make this stuff up. What’s interesting about all of this, as if the above paragraph wasn’t colorful enough, is that the vast majority of the people who are in this camp CANNOT DECIDE ON WHAT THE SACRED NAME EVEN IS.
Yep. There are at least a dozen names that I have seen and talked to others about so far, and every so often, another one- more far fetched than the last- will pop up. We have to understand that there is no way that this could be a legitimate doctrine. It has no basis in scripture and if YHVH doesn’t change, then we shouldn’t be changing for Him.
There is a reason why all of this is being promoted by many in the body of Messiah right now. Confusion. Nothing more. Don’t fall for it. It is a ploy by the enemy to sow discord and confusion.
Check this out:
Essa, Isa, Issa, Yushua (Arabic)
Iesous (Biblical Greek)
Iesus, Iosue (Biblical Latin)
Yehoshua (Biblical Hebrew)
Jesús, Josué, Chucho, Chus, Chuy (Spanish)
There are hundreds of additional variants on the name of the Messiah that aren’t even listed here.
To force our brothers and sisters to believe or even try to get them to think that they are somehow blaspheming or otherwise not walking in heartfelt worship because they aren’t using a “sacred name” is both arrogance and self-righteousness. This way of thinking sows discord and falls into the very elementary trap of the enemy’s legalism. We should know that as someone who claims truth, we are held to a high standard. Focus on the KINGDOM and His righteousness. Anything less and we stand guilty. We should be having a righteous and loving dialogue with others, regardless of their present stance. Why? Because iron sharpens iron. How can anyone expect to learn and be edified within the body if we are too focused on our own righteousness (which by the way, none of us have)?
I spoke with a gentleman a couple of weeks ago who believes very differently than me on a couple of points of doctrine. He responded to a FB post of mine with a rebuttal, asked me to read it, and then offered a friendly chat about our differences so that we might learn from one another. In fact, I regularly have talks with folks about these sorts of things, and though we strongly disagree right now, we are friends and we respect one another. THIS IS KINGDOM TALK. This is loving through our differences- this is building a bridge and celebrating the uniqueness of the person that the Father has put in front of us.
Sadly, there is so little of it that I can see today among so-called brothers and sisters in the faith, and it heavily burdens my heart that so many of us would rather fight than learn how to see each other’s views. We are called to consider others better than ourselves and be a servant to others, building them up in the kingdom, and instead, we are all so quick to tear each other down. And we’ve all been guilty of it.
We must try harder family. Today is another chance to open our eyes and soften our heart- not to compromise our values or convictions- but to see our brothers and sisters as the amazing people and children of YHVH they are and to love them in spite of our differences. Maybe even because of them.
As I mentioned, there are a lot of people who will argue that the name “Jesus” is wrong or even blasphemous by using Isaiah 42:8 (KJV) as “proof texts”, along with others found in scripture to say that that there is a “false deity” that “comes in the name of the Messiah” (see John 5:43) to work iniquity.
“I am Yahweh: that is my name: and my glory will I not give to another, neither my praise to graven images. and Exodus 3:15 (KJV) And Elohim said moreover to Moses, Thus shalt thou say to the children of Israel, Yahweh Elohim of your fathers, the Elohim of Abraham, the Elohim of Isaac, and the Elohim of Jacob, hath sent me to you: this [is] my name forever, and this is my memorial to all generations.“
They argue that anyone, therefore who uses the name “Jesus” is actually using the name of a devil, or even worse Satan himself. It is assumed, for them, that the translations have been corrupted, that the actual sacred name of the LORD was “blotted out” from over 7,000 places in the scriptures and history, and that there are a group of believers who are suddenly being given knowledge today of that long lost name of the Messiah because they are His true followers.
There are a lot of hurdles we must overcome to believe this. When we look at the etymology of the name “Jesus” and search out the lineage of the name itself, what we find is that the name for Messiah was translated from the Hebrew “Yehoshua” (Joshua), into “Yeshua” as its shortened (Aramaic) form, then into the Greek “Iesous”, then the Latin “Iesus”, and finally the English version, “Jesus”. It is linguistically the same name. That means that there is simply nothing to debate. Jesus is the same as Yeshua; one being Hebrew, and the other being the English translation of the Hebrew. So we can see that those who call upon the name “Jesus” are just as correct as those who use any other “sacred name”. Therefore, it is simply not something that should be debated, although it makes one wonder where all these other names even came from.
It should also really be discussed here that the story of Pentecost is always strangely absent from debates that surround the sacred name theory. I’ll give you a quick overview of the story as found in Acts chapter 2. What we see is the giving of the Holy Spirit (at the sound of a rushing wind) to the Apostles who are gathered together and they were all able to speak in different tongues (or different languages). They went out and there was a crowd of people gathered who heard the Apostles all speaking in their own languages. Remember that Jerusalem was somewhat of an international city at that time, so there were several languages spoken, as there were several different cultures present. Also remember that the Apostles were from all walks of life, mostly uneducated, and didn’t hold a degree in linguistics. It was a miracle! Let’s look at these verses:
7 Utterly amazed, they asked: “Aren’t all these who are speaking Galileans? 8 Then how is it that each of us hears them in our native language? 9 Parthians, Medes and Elamites; residents of Mesopotamia, Judea and Cappadocia, Pontus and Asia,10 Phrygia and Pamphylia, Egypt and the parts of Libya near Cyrene; visitors from Rome11 (both Jews and converts to Judaism); Cretans and Arabs—we hear them declaring the wonders of God in our own tongues!”
Some people thought they were drunk, but we all know better. Thus, the Day of Pentecost took place, the true congregation was born in a day, and Pentecost is observed as a memorial through all our generations. But why is this relevant? Because it shows that someone can speak all the wonders of YHVH- using His name- in several different languages and no one gets offended. No one blasphemed. No one is condemned. Knowing how to say the name of the Messiah or the Father in our OWN language is one of the most beautiful things about our faith. He meets us where we are- and He does so because He knows who His children are- no matter what language they speak!
So, what does the scripture mean by telling us that there will be many who “come in My name”? Well, simple. It is a reference to the third commandment, as well as a misunderstanding of what the phrase “in my name” means. It is a reference to all the peoples throughout history, and even now who have called themselves true followers of the Messiah and yet have done horrible things and committed terrible acts of violence or preached a false gospel IN HIS NAME.
Sadly, this encompasses a very large list of people and religious organizations, and we must be careful that we don’t fall in among them through our own flawed theology. If we preach something other than Biblically founded truth, then we are guilty of “coming in His name”, and become false teachers. Additionally, when we understand the phrase “come in my name” it clears pretty much everything up.
In the culture that existed at the time of the ancient Israelites, a son carried his father’s name in both character and authority. Consider Joseph. Yeshua was his son here on earth, and he became a carpenter- just like Joseph- so that when Joseph passed away or retired Yeshua would take over his business and be “in Joseph’s name”. Another example we have from their culture is when the father in a family dies, the eldest son carries the responsibility of caring for his mother and family. He is operating in his father’s name (character and authority) to take on the duties required of him. When Yeshua tells us the He comes in His Father’s name- this is exactly what He means. He has the character and authority of YHVH. When we, then, “come in His name” we are supposed to also have His character and authority (given to us through the Holy Spirit) but there are many who only use that name (character and authority) to do evil. These are the false ones who have taken His name in vain. Make sense?
If we are to truly plant good seeds to reap a harvest, love one another as Messiah first loved us, and win souls on the battlefield for the kingdom then we need to get our priorities in order– because we cannot do any of these things while we are busy telling other believers that they are satanic for using the name “Jesus”. That is no way to love others. We certainly cannot help others come to the knowledge of Christ and His finished work on the cross if we are more focused on unreliable internet information and faulty information to help us state our cause and put a spiritual barricade between ourselves and them. These things are a lie from the father of lies. They are a snare for both you and the believer or nonbeliever that you are meant to influence. Stay on the narrow path and understand that YHVH puts people in your path to edify and teach both of you.