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Why must we call God by his personal name?

Before continuing reading, it is important to understand who is ELOHIM, commonly called "God". In Hebrew, the plural of the word EL or ELOAH (God) is ELOHIM (GODS). It is often preceded by the article HA- (HA ELOHIM) to mean "in combination". Thus, ELOHIM refers to a plurality, He is not just God but He is GODS: the Father (YAHWEH), the Son (YESHUA) and the Holy Spirit (RUACH). Because of this association and other reasons, speaking of Him by saying "God" is not the appropriate title. Saying "ELOHIM" is an exact representation of who He is.

It would be appropriate to begin with a brief etymological study to put things in context.


The proto-Hebrew alphabet (ancient Hebrew text) which contains 22* consonants had no written vowels and only a simple sound "ah" which was added to the consonants. It looked like this: kah, yah, dah, hah, wah, and so on. The pronunciation of words was unambiguous. All other sounds appeared later, between the 6th and 10th century after the introduction to the Massoretic vowel system.

The original root of the verb "To be" in proto-Hebrew is Hayah (haw-yaw) or Hawah (the W and Y are often inter-changed in Hebrew). These two words are identical in meaning and usage. They have an imperfect aspect that denotes an unfinished action, a state of being that has no end such as eternity. It can also mean: I was, I am or I will be.

The conjugation of the verbs Hayah and Hawah looks like this:

  • I am: Ah-yah or Ah-hawah

  • You are: Th'yah or T'hawah

  • He is: Y'h-wha or Ya-hawah or Yahua

In Exodus 3:14, God reveals to Moses that his personal name is "I AM" or  "I AM WHO I AM". Translated from Proto-Hebrew:   Ahyah or Ahyah Ashr Ahyah 

  • Exodus 3:14 "God said to Moses, I am he who am . And he added: This is how you will answer the children of Israel, He who is called 'I am' sent me to you. "

But if God said His name is AHYAH (I AM) , why then the tetragrammaton YHWH (HE IS)?

We have read the verse 14 above, but if you carefully read verse 15 you will realize that God presented Himself to Israel using the 3rd person.

  • Exodus 3:15 "God said again to Moses, Thus shall you speak to the children of Israel: The Lord, the God 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 name to generation. "

To help you discern this, let simplify God's statements. He asks Moses to say this: "The Being who is the God of your fathers hath sent me to you. He is the Lord of the 3 patriarchs (Abraham, Isaac and Jacob), This is his name for ever, and this is his memorial to all generations.." 

Here it is important to discern that God declared He is "I AM" but when we refer to Him, we will have to say "HE IS" because it is necessary that whoever draws near ELOHIM believes that He is and exists.

  • Hebrews 11: 6 "And without faith it is impossible to please him, for whoever would draw near to God must believe that he exists"

The fact that YAHWEH asks us to call him in the 3rd person is consistent because the number 3, which represents wholeness or completion, is an immutable element to the nature of ELOHIM.

Why is it important to know the name of The Father?

For many people knowing the name of God the Father is not that important because they believe He can read our hearts and He knows that our prayers are directed to Him. Certainly, the Father knows it, but it is important to know His personal name for the following reasons:

 

Reason 1

  • "Proverbs 18:10 "The name of the Lord is a strong tower""

 

There are several implications that bear witness to the importance of the name YAHWEH (HE IS)

  1. The name YAHWEH testifies the most important truth about God: He exists

  2. The name YAHWEH testifies that there is no reality beyond Him, He is not controlled by any force outside Himself. His character and power are derived solely from himself and no one else.  

  3. The name YAHWEH testifies that He is an objective reality which surpasses our own subjective perceptions or desires. We can desire God to be a certain way or think whatever we want to think about Him but our opinion of Him does not change who He is.  

  4. The name YAHWEH testifies He is unchanging. He's not subject to change as we are.

  5. The name YAHWEH testifies we are to be conformed to God, not him to us, for he alone is and there is no us without him. Through him we have life, mobility, and existence (Acts 17:28) .

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Reason 2

In the Hebrew Bible, the original theophoric names of the prophets and patriarchs are composed with the abbreviated form of the Father's name Yahua and give a clue to an attribute of ELOHIM that "testifies" who He is.

  • Numbers 6:27 "This is how they will put my name on the children of Israel, and I will bless them."

 

Here are some examples:

Judah ( YAHUdah): The disciples of YAHUAH;

Jesus ( YAHUshua): YAHUAH is salvation;

Jacob ( YAHqob): YAHUAH succeeds;

Isaac ( YAHsaac): YAHUAH laughs;

Jehoshaphat ( YAHUshaphat): YAHUAH is the judge;

Elie (EliYAHU): My God is YAHUAH;

Isaiah ( YeshaYAHU): Salvation is YAHUAH;

Jeremiah ( YirmeYAHU): The resurrection is YAHUAH;

John ( YAHUchanon ): YAHUAH is Grace;

Matthew ( MatithYAHU): The gift is YAHUAH;

Zachariah ( ZacharYAHU): YAHUAH remembers;

Job ( YAHshub): YAHUAH will return;

Daniel ( DaniYAHel): The decision is YAHUAH;

Joel: (YAHel)YAHUA is God, etc.

Reason 3

The Bible warns us there are entities in our world that are also called "god" (with a small "d"). 

  • 1 Corinthians 8: 5 "For if there are any beings which are called gods, either in heaven or on earth, as there really are many gods and many lords."

  • 2 Corinthians 4: 4 " for those unbelievers whose minds the god of this age have blinded, that they may not see the splendor of the gospel of the glory of Christ, which is the image of God, shining forth."

 

Knowing other gods are present in our world, if you enter a place of worship where the preacher speaks of "God" without ever stating His personal name, what proves the audience they are indeed being told about the Supreme God of the universe?

  • Isaiah 26:13 LORD our God, other lords besides you have ruled over us; but by you alone we will mention your name. "

When YESHUA said, "Before Abraham was, "I AM" He took back the irrefutable truth of ELOHIM’s existence, He testified that The Supreme God revealed Himself to us so that we can see His majestic glory.

As such, when in our places of worship we call him by his name "YAHWEH" and not just "God", we testify to all that He is.

  • Isaiah 52: 6 " Therefore my people shall know my name"

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Where does the name Jehovah come from?

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The Name Jehovah: How It All Began ...

Before Jesus

In the year 957: Solomon built the first temple in Jerusalem.

  • 1 Kings 6:1 "in the fourth year of Solomon’s reign over Israel, in the month of Ziv, which is the second month, he began to build the house of the LORD."

 

In the year 586: The temple is destroyed by Nebuchadnezzar, king of Babylon. The law as well as the Writings and Manuscripts are burnt.

  • Jeremiah 52:12-13 "On the tenth day of the fifth month, in the nineteenth year of Nebuchadnezzar’s reign over Babylon, Nebuzaradan captain of the guard, a servant of the king of Babylon, entered Jerusalem. He burned down the house of the LORD, the royal palace, and all the houses of Jerusalem—every significant building."

 

In the year 515: Cyrus king of Babylon, orders the construction of the second temple.

  • Ezra 6: 3 "In the first year of King Cyrus, he issued a decree concerning the house of God in Jerusalem: Let the house be rebuilt as a place for offering sacrifices, and let its foundations be firmly laid. It is to be sixty cubits high and sixty cubits wide"

 

By divine inspiration the prophet Esdras restores the law, 94 books were dictated to the scribes in 40 days; 24 books for the general public and the remaining 70 for the wise only.

  • 2 Ezra 14: 42-47 "Further, the Most High gave understanding to the five men, and in turn they wrote down what was dictated, using characters they did not know. They sat for forty days; they wrote during the day and ate their bread at night. But I spoke during the day and during the night I was not silent. Thus, during the forty days, 94 books were written. At the end of the forty days, the Most High said to me, Make known the first twenty-four books which you wrote, and let him that is worthy and he that is not worthy read them; but keep the seventy that were written last, in order to give them to the wise people of the people. For in them is the source of intelligence, the source of wisdom and the river of knowledge. - From the Second Book of Ezra

 

Between the year 250 - 150: Greek was the common language in the Roman Empire. Many Jews emigrating from Israel, were growing up learning and speaking Greek, not ancient Hebrew. Over time the Hebrew Bible became unreadable to many Jewish emigrants. And since the Law was very important to the Jewish people, the Hebrew Bible (Tanakh) was translated into Greek. This Greek translation is called Septuagint because 70 or 72 Jewish scholars participated in the translation process. The tetragrammaton YHWH was inscribed in the Septuagint, whereas the name "Jehovah" was not written in the Septuagint or in the original Hebrew manuscripts.

 

After Jesus

In the year 70: The first Jewish-Roman war broke out. The second temple was destroyed and all the Hebrew manuscripts restored by the prophet Ezra were also destroyed. Only the Septuagint remained and became the main basis for translations of the Old Testament.

Between the year 170 - 400: They begin to list the teachings of Jesus in the first Greek collection of the New Testament books called The Fragment or Canon of Muratori, but the name "Jehovah" was not mentioned. During this same period, the tetragrammaton YHWH is removed from The Septuagint and replaced with the designations Kyʹri-os (Lord) and The-osʹ (God).

Between the year 501 - 1000: The Masoretes, a group of Jewish scholars determined to restore the original Tanakh  
composed the Masoretic text based on the meticulously preserved oral tradition and the best available manuscripts of the original Hebrew texts. To help readers understand the text, they introduced punctuation marks and additional letters to the proto-Hebrew. However, out of superstition the Masoretes did not dare to pronounce the name YHWH; instead, they called him Adonai (Lord). Thus, in their Masoretic text, they replace the tetragrammaton YHWH by Yehowah translated into English as Jehovah. They obtained that name by adding the vowels of the name Adonai
(' e D o N a Y in Hebrew) to the unpronounceable name YHWH which gave Y e H o W a h.

In the year 1385: They begin to translate the Muratori Canon into Hebrew versions called the Versions and numbered J1 to J27. In these J versions, the tetragrammaton YHWH is replaced by "Jehovah" except for the J7 version which quotes the name YHWH in reference to Jesus. We have the example of Acts 9:5 which reads:  “Who are you, YHWH?” Saul asked. “I am Jesus, whom you are persecuting” he replied.

 

In the year 1599: Elias Hutter, a professor of Hebrew at the University of Leipzigre, re-translated the J7 version of the New Testament. His edition was titled Derekh ha-Kodesh, taken from Isaiah 35:8 and meaning "The Way of Holiness". In his edition, he replaced the tetragrammaton YHWH by "Lord". In this new version, Acts 9:5 (in example) was translated as follows: "Who are you Lord? And the Lord said, I am Iefus, which you perfecute", note how their style of writing was different from ours.  

Hutter's Polyglot was published in Nuremberg in 12 languages. You can read it by clicking on the link: http://www.bibles-online.net/hutter/

In the year 1611: The King James Bible is published. It followed the same model as the polyglot of Hutter by quoting "Lord" in reference to YAHWEH. However, King James also included the name Jehovah in 7 verses:

  • Genesis 22:14 "And Abraham called the name of that place Jehovahjireh: as it is said to this day, In the mount of the LORD it shall be seen."

  • Exodus 6:3 "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."

  • Exodus 17:15 "And Moses built an altar, and called the name of it Jehovahnissi"

  • Judges 6:24 "Then Gideon built an altar there unto the LORD, and called it Jehovahshalom: unto this day it is yet in Ophrah of the Abiezrites"

  • Psalms 83:18 "That men may know that thou, whose name alone is JEHOVAH, art the most high over all the earth.".

  • Isaiah 12:2 "Trust ye in the LORD for ever: for in the LORD JEHOVAH is everlasting strength".

  • Isaiah 26:4 "Trust you in the LORD for ever: for in the LORD JEHOVAH is everlasting strength"

Note that Exodus 6:3 seems to confirm that the name Jehovah was never mentioned in the Tanakh, because the Patriarchs Abraham, Isaac and Jacob did not know it. 

  • Exodus 6:3 "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." - King James 1611 version

 

In the year 1871: The Louis Segond Bible is published. The names Jehovah are removed and replaced by “The Lord”. Except in Genesis 22:14

Interesting fact about the transliteration of the name Jehovah into Hebrew

According to Strong's Hebrew dictionary, the transliteration into Hebrew of the name Jehovah (Yah-hovah) has a rather interesting meaning. 

Thus the name Yah-hovah (Jehovah) translates into Hebrew "God of wickedness"

Interestingly, Jesus had prophesied that the name of the Father would not be accepted, but rather that of another.

  • John 5:43 "I have come in My Father’s name, and you have not received Me; but if someone else comes in his own name, you will receive him."

You be the judge and may the Holy Spirit guide you in understanding this message.

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Concerning Charles Taze Russell, founder of the organization "Jehovah's Witnesses

Charles Taze Russell, known as "Pastor" Russell, was the founding father of this organization in 1872. He was born on February 16, 1852 in Pittsburgh (Pennsylvania, USA) and died on October 31, 1916 in Pampa (Texas). He founded the Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society and the International Bible Students Association, the organization that is now known as Jehovah's Witnesses after various split-ups and divisions. At his death he was buried in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, in what is now (after several changes of ownership) the United Cemeteries of Rosemont, Mt. Hope and Evergreen United Cemeteries in Ross Township.

The front of his headstone features a picture of the pastor and an inscription identifying Pastor Russell as the messenger of the Laodiceans, or "the angel of the church of the Laodiceans." In Revelation 3:14-22, YESHUA refers to this church as "lukewarm.  He particularly despises lukewarm Christians whom He describes as: "wretched, pitiful, poor, blind and naked". 

  • Revelations 3:15-17 "I know your deeds; you are neither cold nor hot. How I wish you were one or the other! So because you are lukewarm—neither hot nor cold—I am about to vomit you out of My mouth!You say, ‘I am rich; I have grown wealthy and need nothing.’ But you do not realize that you are wretched, pitiful, poor, blind, and naked."

 

If you stand at the back of his tombstone, it faces a pyramid memorial with the Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society inscribed below the emblem of the Knights Templar and the Freemasons.

Emblem of the Knights Templar

Philadelphia Masonic Lodge. Note the emblem of the Knights Templar on the ceiling

Although there were many rumors that Russell was a 33rd degree Freemason, he never admitted to belonging to Freemasonry, oddly enough he made the following statement in a speech at a Masonic hall in San Francisco in 1913: "Now, I am a free and accepted mason. I trust we all are. But not just after the style of our masonic brethren." |"The Temple of God" Souvenir Notes, Bible Students' Conventions, 1913. Chicago: Dr. Leslie W. Jones, 1913. p. 284.| 

Further more, in a document titled 'Pastor's Russell's Convention Dicourses', that is a collection of sermons, testimony meetings and special services by pastor Charles T. Russell, on page 914 he admits to being part of the Knights Templar order.

While claiming to be a Christian and, Russell denied many key Christian doctrines including eternal punishment, the Trinity, the deity of Christ, and the existence of the Holy Spirit.

  • He refuted the existence of hell as a place where the wicked face God’s wrath.

  • He held that the soul simply ceases to exist after death.

  • He held that Jesus was a created being, and was actually Michael the Archangel in human form. 

  • He denied the divinity of Jesus and taught that Jesus died on behalf of humanity, but He rose only spiritually rather than physically. 

  • He denied the existence of the Holy Spirit, teaching that the Spirit is not a person, but simply a name given to express an impersonal force of God’s power. In denying the divinity of Jesus and the existence of the Holy Spirit, he inevitably denied the Trinity

 

May the Holy Spirit guide you in the understanding of this message.

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