Light on the Rock Blogs
“GOD” is not His NAME
So many of us speak about and speak to – “God”. There’s nothing wrong with that. But when you study it carefully, we’ll see that “God” is what He IS. It’s not His name. I recommend you listen to my two sermons recorded in October 2011 on “What is the Creator’s Name?”
Just as you are a human, or man, or woman – that’s what you ARE. But “man” or “woman” or “human” is not your name. You have a very personal name, and other names as well – a middle name, a last name, a nickname, and so on. But you have a very personal name.
Let me jump to this point immediately: what you are called by close friends may be different from what you’re called by business associates. And something different again from what your beloved children call you. Your name, as far as your children are concerned, is “Daddy” or “Mommy” or their equivalents (Dad, Ma, Pa, etc). And ONLY those in your family can call you “daddy”.
What is our Creator’s name? When we read of the powerful God we serve who created all things, He is described simply and powerfully by what He is – “ELOHIM” – GOD – in Genesis 1. The singular for Elohim is El – meaning “God” or “strong one”. But the word “elohim” – meaning technically “gods” (it’s in the plural) is the same word used for pagan deities. Did you realize that?
So how can “Elohim” be one of the true God’s names? “Elohim”, translated “God”, is what He is; He is God. For example, OUR God says in the book of Exodus repeatedly that with the plagues He would destroy ALL the “gods” (“elohim” in the Hebrew) of Egypt (Exodus 12:12). So how can “Elohim” be HIS unique name? It isn’t. It’s what He is – the one true, living God. It’s OK to say “Elohim” – just realize it’s not his name. But HE is the ONE and only true living Elohim – Isaiah 45:5-6, 18.
When we come to Genesis 2, we see his very personal name used when interacting with Mankind, especially in covenantal, close relationship – YHVH. The early Hebrew did not use vowel points, so we don’t know for sure how it is pronounced. Many believe strongly it is one of these: Yahweh, Yahuweh, Yehoweh, Yehovah or Yehowah. The v’s and w’s were often interchangeable. But in my sermons on this – in October 2011 – I explain in detail the power of this very personal name.
In our English Bibles, translators took it upon themselves to CHANGE “YHVH” almost 7,000 times to “the LORD”. But “The LORD” is a title, not a name. HE Himself says “YHVH” (yours says “the LORD”) is his name (Psalm 83:18; Isaiah 42:8; Exodus 15:3; etc). They didn’t change or translate “Baal” or other pagan deity names, so why did change the name of the ONE true Creator? Ponder that one!
The name YHVH is used almost 7,000 times and almost 7,000 times puny man changed it to “the LORD”. There’s no “the” in YHVH, any more than you’d call me “the Philip”. Why are we adding “the” to His holy name? We’re told to never add or remove from His holy word!
The Bible is about contracts, or covenants. You can’t just go changing someone’s name in a contract and have it be valid! “The Lord” is not what YHVH sounds like (transliteration), nor is it what YHVHmeans. For all the details on that, see and hear my 2–part sermons on it in Oct 2011. Several dozen times in scripture, YHVH is shortened to YAH, which is also fine. For example, “Hallelu YAH”. In the same way people may call me “Phil” instead of the full name “Philip”.
I got a “kick” out of a minister who preached that somehow it is wrong to use His true name YHVH – and that he never would use those archaic Hebrew words, as he put it. Than later in the sermon, he said “Hallelujah” – and right there, he used the shortened name “Yah”.
Now YHVH also has other TITLES and names He goes by – El Shaddai (Almighty God), Adonai (Master, my Lord – as distinct from Baal, which also is translated “Lord”). But the name that is His most personal name, His “signature name” -- is YHVH. YHVH (the LORD) is used more times than Elohim and Adonai and other “names” combined!
Orthodox Jews won’t even spell out “God” – but will write out “G_d” and won’t ever spell out “YHVH”– but they also CHANGED it in their Hebrew scriptures, without HIS permission – to Adonai, meaning “my lord”. They claim they do this out of respect. They’ve changed YHVH to “Adonai” almost 7,000 times, but who gave them the right to change the Creator’s name!!??
Have you ever noticed how annoyed you feel if someone keeps referring to you or your spouse by the wrong name. You pretend it’s not as annoying as it is, but sooner or later you say, “Hey, no big deal, but my name is Philip, not Paul.” But you just had to be sure they called you by your right name, right? Is it not even MORE important that we use the right name when referring to our Creator?
Now get this distinction: In the original Hebrew, sometimes the Creator is referred to as “Adonai” – meaning “My Lord’ or “my Master”. (Adon= Lord/Master. Adding the “ai” at the end makes it “MY Master/Lord”). So sometimes the God-breathed word or title used is indeed “Adonai”. I just mention this because there are those who go to the extreme to try to ban ANY use of Adonai. Well, take that up with your Creator, for he sometimes did inspire that name or title. Those extremists try to tie the name “Adonai” to the pagan name Adonis or other similar names. But the original Hebrew is “Adon” or “Adonai” in those inspired cases and we don’t have the right to change it. However, what I do disagree with, is when Jews changed “YHVH” almost 7000 times to Adonai. In that case, it was wrong and improper to change a single word of God’s Word. Especially when man decides to change his NAME to something that wasn’t there in the original Hebrew. That’s the case that is simply wrong – when man changes YHVH to Adonai.
When you hear my sermons on this topic in October 2011, you’ll hear and see a lot of proof that YHVH WANTS us using His most personal name, but using it respectfully. He WANTS His name known. SATAN is the one who has HIDDEN it, changed it and removed it!
But over and over YHVH says what his NAME is. YHVH means “the one who IS (always start with the fact He lives NOW), and was, and is to come”, often shortened into “I AM”. I’ll give a sermon next Spring on the “I am” statements of the gospel of John. Some people try to translate YHVH to “the Eternal” – but by putting “the” in front, you once again have a description, and not a name. So what is His revealed name?
14 And God (Elohim) said to Moses, "I AM WHO I AM." And He said, "Thus you shall say to the children of Israel, 'I AM (Eh’yeh) has sent me to you.'" 15 Moreover God said to Moses, "Thus you shall say to the children of Israel: 'The Lord God (YHVH Elohim) of your fathers, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob, has sent me to you. This is My name forever, and this is My memorial to all generations.'
“YHVH is a man of war; YHVHis his name”
(YHVH is changed to “the LORD”, incorrectly, in your English Bibles)
18 That they may know that You, whose name alone is YHVH (mistranslated “the Lord”)
Are the Most High over all the earth.
“I am YHVH, (the Lord),THAT is My name…”
In the New Covenant, the Son of God – Yeshua -- is our Savior. That’s the only name by which we may be saved. It’s the name the angel told His mama to call Him (see Matthew 1:21). Surely you understand that the angel would not be speaking Greek or English to Mary – but Hebrew. In Hebrew, he would have said “his name shall be YESHUA”, which means “salvation”, for He is the Savior.
You know him as “Jesus” – a sound and word He never heard while on the earth. You see, Jews – and Hebrew language – do not have the “J” sound. For example we say “Hallelujah” and pronounce the ending as “yah” – correctly.So a hard “J” sound in Jesus would have been an impossible true name for our Savior. It didn’t come into vogue for hundreds of years after his resurrection, in fact. So I say “Yeshua”.
Yeshua came to reveal His Father as our loving, dear Father. In Hebrew/Aramaic, the word is “Abba”, the words Yeshua vocalized when speaking most intimately to his father. It’s the closest thing to our English “Daddy”. So I refer to my God as “dear Father”, as Yeshua taught us. That’s the name I go by when referring to him especially in New Covenant settings. And I call my Savior – Yeshua. So when I talk TO “God” -- I seldom say “God”, but say “dear Father”, or “Abba”. Some people even say “Daddy” as they pray. If it’s done with deep respect, I see no problem with that. So when speaking TO God Most High, I say “Father”. When speaking ABOUT God Most High, I will say either “Father” or “YHVH”, depending on context.
By the way, I also prove beyond any doubt, that the name “YHVH” can refer to either the one we know as God the Father, or the One we know as Yeshua in the Old Testament. Many insist it is exclusively the Father’s unique name. I don’t agree. Before you say I’m wrong, hear the evidence in my sermons. In Exodus 20 for example, YHVH speaks the 10 commandments. He says it is Himself, “I am YHVH (the LORD) your Elohim (God)…”Who did all that speaking? The Father – whom no man has heard – or the One who came down as Yeshua? You know the answer, right? And there’s much more.
So just as you would not like me referring to you as “the Human” – because you have a name and want me to call you by your name – remember our Creator has one very personal name, above all of his other titles and names. In fact, “YHVH” is used more than all His other titles and names put together! Did you know that?
So “God” is who and what YHVH is. “God” is not his name. That’s why so often HE says, “I am YHVH, your Elohim” -- erroneously translated “I am the LORD your God”. He IS Lord (Adonai; please – not Baal), but let’s not change His name without his permission any more than you would want me calling you something other than your very own personal name.
So when you pray, if you’re used to praying, “God, we thank you and praise you…” – why not instead start to pray this way: “Father, we thank you and praise you….” And whenever you read “the LORD” in your Bibles, start vocalizing Yahweh or Yahovah (Yehovah) instead. The letters originally inspired are “YHVH”. That’s his most personal name. And to you and me, especially now that we have accepted the blood and life of Yeshua, we get to call God Most High – our very own “FATHER”. Praise Yah! See John 20:17.
Even more important than His name is that you come to really know Yeshua, and know Him asyourpersonal Savior. Believe in our Lord and Master Yeshua as your Savior and thank our dear Father for His supreme love. He had a choice, of which we’re reminded at Passover: either condemn all of us and spare His innocent Son…. Or condemn His Son for all the sins of the world and spare all who will accept His precious name and life as our Savior. You know what Father chose to do.
Praise to the One who IS, and who was, and who is to come. Father, may you receive all the glory due your name, in Yeshua’s name, Amen.
If you go on this website to the sermons in October 2011, you’ll see the 2 sermons on “What is the Creator’s Name?” I have much, much more information in those two sermons.I’m not part of the “Sacred Names” movement, but I do understand His name IS holy. “Hallowed be thy name”, right? We can’t really say we know someone unless we at least know their personal names.