Sabbath 14/5/37/120

Dear Friends,

Dialogue on the name and nature of God.

This week we were asked a question that said:
“Is it the name of our God that we must know or is it His character. Is this not answered in this following verse.
John 17:3 And this is eternal life: to have knowledge of you, the only true God, and of him whom you have sent, even Jesus Christ. (BBE)

The questioner followed up with the words: “We see that God's character is who He is, that is His name. His character is how we identify Him. Many descriptive names have been given to this God of ours but they all are just that, descriptive. To us humans these descriptions don't seem personal but they describe His character and his character is who He is! God is not a Rick or a Bob, He is our God.”
[A point was made elsewhere] “saying that God is our Father. This is true, Jesus equated the title Father with His name. We only need know that He is the reason that we exist and that we should seek his guidance through the one He sent to be our saviour and reconcile us back to Him. Our whole point of being is to love Him and to belong to Him. Just look at His plan of salvation that He thinks so highly of us that are sinners to want us to be with Him. He sent his first born son to die for us so this may happen. Imagine us in Yahoshua's place, dying for guards in Nazi concentration camps so they may receive forgiveness and eternal life. Would we? This is our God before us, His plan revealed. I feel so unworthy of this yet I know He has called me and I accept His call.”

Another person not of CCG made a point as follows: “His name and his character are both important. Why would you suggest that his name be any less important than his character? God told us his name, jehovah. He told us for a reason. He gave himself a name among men. now ask yourself... after having received this name from him would you not use it? how much more personal is a relationship than being on a first name basis. Rather than calling him by a "Title" God, I believe it more personable and right to call him by the name he choose for himself; Jehovah.”

Now this is a position we would expect a Jehovah Witness to make and it is false for many reasons and gives a much confused position to the view of the names and nature of God and the plan of Salvation.

The questioner followed up with a comment as follows:
“He also claimed to be Eloah and Yah. His character is His name and identity. We as humans want to put an identifier to things to make it easy to understand. My God is so far beyond what I can begin to imagine yet I see what his son has revealed to me about Him. This God shown to me by the son is who I must know, the more I think of what he said. Father is a perfectly acceptable identifier for my God.”

Another member of CCG said: “Did Jesus ever call him by this name "Jehovah"? When speaking directly to God, what did Jesus call him?
Matthew 27:46 And about the ninth hour Jesus cried with a loud voice, saying, Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani? That is to say, My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?

Or here

Mark 15:34 And at the ninth hour Jesus cried with a loud voice, saying, Eloi, Eloi, lama sabachthani? Which is, being interpreted, My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?

This is the most personal it gets between he and his Father, the moment before his death. Why does he not call on his Father by name (Jehovah)?”

The fact is that Christ was fulfilling Scripture when posing this question and more importantly he shows that the prophecies referred to himself, and Yahovah was not a name he used.  The reason we will see is it cannot be used as a direct reference to God but is an indirect honorific.

Another point was made that is of importance in using the name of God: “When he shows us how to pray (intimately) he tells us to call him Father. Keeping His commands is how we get to know Him intimately. Not the use of a specific name. Jesus clearly says that he will deny people who claim to have done works in his name, would it not be the same for our Father? If we call Him what we think is His name and then deny Sabbath keeping would that not be the same as using His name in vain?”

Also the questioner posed: “If we call our God Jehovah but think he is a committee of three equal gods what good does the name mean?”

One of our people also stated in agreement: “To understand Him we must understand and keep His law and His holy days. Also, we must understand that he gave His son to save us.”

It was then advanced by a non CCG person as we might expect from a JW that: “Jesus and Jehovah are only ONE by Unity. They are two different persons. Although Jesus calls Jehovah father in the lord’s prayer, He also says hallowed be thy name (holy be your name). If his name is not important, why would he not only say this but also say in scripture ‘I have made your name known to the men who you have given me out of the world.’

Now this response shows a complete misunderstanding and a misapplication of the name Yahovah and was a misspelling of the word which was an error made by Trinitarians in the UK at the Reformation in the KJV and other works.

The quasi JW qualified this with the comments: “Jesus made it clear he was not and is not equal to [God]. In fact he said ‘I go my way to the father who is greater than I.’ Scripture also says ‘the head of every women is man, the head of man is Christ, and the head of Christ is God’ Jehovah is greater than, not equal to Jesus.”

Once again he displays a complete misapprehension of the meaning and use of Yahovah.

The CCG member said: “[The questioner] understands that. What makes you feel she doesn't?

My question is: if His name is that important to use, then when did Christ say His name?”

The questioner then replied to the quasi JW: “I am not sure why you continue. When I used the analogy of a Trinitarian god with a usable name, the point wasn't to argue about the Trinity. It was to show which is more important, the name or the character.”

I then decided to explain the biblical position so that the readers could understand the names and nature of God and the Plan of Salvation all of which can be deduced from the names applied to God.

I said: “I am afraid that some here do not understand the functions of the names of God. God's name is not Jehovah. “J” does not exist in Hebrew and the “e” is actually rendered as an “a.” All messengers of God were called Yahovah and the name only referred to the One True God when it was rendered as Yahovah of Hosts. When it is used of the One True God as Ha Elohim it is rendered as Yahovih which is SHD 3069 and is always spoken or read by Jews as Elohim. Yahovah is read as Adonai so as not to confuse the entities.

Yahovah and Yahovih are both third person forms of the verb meaning "He causes to be". It is an honorific: referring to the function of 'eyeh 'asher 'eyeh or I will be what I will become (of Ex. 3:14).

The Name of the One True God in the Bible in Hebrew is Eloah. In the Biblical Chaldean it is Elahh.

To understand the extension of God as a body of elohim we need to understand that Eloah became the head of the Elohim. The extension of the One True God as a body of elohim is as Ha Elohim in the Hebrew or The God in the extended sense as the Father. Elohim is the collective name for the body of the Sons of God of which Christ is one.

It was stated that there were no vowels in ancient Hebrew either; it would have been YHWH.

It was written as consonants but the vowels were used and the MT has the vowels all intact and the LXX translates the text using the vowels.

The sound of Yaho in English is just that and in Hebrew yot is pronounced in the same way.

The Eastern Aramaic developed from the Chaldean and the Western Aramaic developed from the Hebrew. Elahh and Eloah both mean the power and Allah' is the Arabic derivation from the singular Elahh of the Chaldean (via Eastern Aramaic).

When the Aramaic letters were written from the Temple at Elephantine the root form was Yaho both used in Egypt and at Jerusalem by the entire priesthood. Ginsberg's translations make that very clear. The Temple of the God Yaho at Elephantine is recorded as contributing to the restoration of the Temple at Jerusalem in the reign of Darius II the Persian. The satrap in Egypt was named Arsames. We also have the Passover decree referred to in the time of the Reconstruction in the OT in its Aramaic form as issued by Arsames as part of the general proclamation. It is Yaho in the short form and Yahovah in the long form. Yahovah was used to refer to three messengers or Angels in Genesis 18 and 19. The text refers also to another Yahovah in heaven who rained fire down on Sodom and Gomorrah at the request of the two Yahovah who were with Lot while the third remained with Abraham. This aspect is explained in the text of the paper The Angel of YHVH (No. 024).

The test question shows that Eloah is the name of the One True God from the question in Proverbs 30:4 and answered in verse 5 as Eloah. The answer to the name of his son in verses 6-9 shows it is the Yahovah of Israel appointed in Deut. 32:8ff. His name is also supplied in the OT.

If you do not understand the correct name of the One True God and Jesus Christ whom He sent and do not understand their natures you do not have eternal life and will not be in the First Resurrection (cf. Jn. 17:3).

The use of the term Yahovah (incorrectly Jehovah) to refer to the One True God is an error that confuses the title when referring to He Causes to be in a generic sense. It can only be used of the One True God when it is rendered as Yahovah of Hosts and Yahovih (SHD 3069). Strong explains this matter in his notes to the Concordance at SHD 3068 and SHD 3069.

It was then incorrectly asserted that in Greek they called him JAH, which allegedly might have something to do with them using the J in English.  The Greek in the Septuagint and in the NT uses the form in explanation of the short form of Yahh (SHD 3050) in examining the LXX of Psalm 68:4 (cf. Ex. 15:2).  The Psalm was originally written for the going up of the Ark to Zion (ca 1005 BCE).  The LXX uses the Greek Ho Theos instead of Yahh.  Ho Theos refers to the One True God or The Theos. The text says that the Lord (Kurios) is his name.  Elsewhere the text for Yah is actually Yaho as the text begins with aspirant Iota then Alpha and ends with Omega as does the NT Greek.

It was then asserted by the quasi JW that “Hallelujah means praise [G]od. Notice the jah at the end.”

No person who knows anything about English would ever pronounce this word as it is written in the English Bibles or any songs. It is always pronounced Yah. The understanding in the Reformation was wrong. To continue in the error is simple indolence.

A new student said: “I wonder what we are going to call him when he gives us all a new language.”
To which I replied: “We will be told if a change is needed. All we can do is follow what we have been given to understand in the texts.”

The new student replied: “I imagine it will not change at all since his name never changes.”
To which I replied: “The name of the God of the Temple and the object of worship Eloah is given in the book of Ezra from Ezra 4:23-7:26 and in the book of Job and also at Deuteronomy 32 as the being who allocated the nations to the Sons of God. Israel was allocated to Yahovah of Israel and in that sense Yahovah is used of Jesus Christ. Yahovah is an honorific and is not the name of the One True God except as a third person reference carried by one of His officers.”

Eloah became Ha Elohim and in that sense it changed and He became Ha Elohim as the head of the sons of God as their Father. So in that sense it changed but He was still the One True God as Eloah as the object of worship at the Temple.

The member then said: “I am curious if anyone answered the original question:

"Is it the name of our God that we must know or is it His character."

The Jehovah advocate agreed they are both important in a relationship with God. The member then said: “If they are both important then we must follow His commandments seeing as though they stem from His character and He does not change. Right?”

I replied: “The name of God is important in understanding His Nature and the Plan of Salvation. To not understand the use of Yahovah and Yahovih for example does not enable the understanding of the creation and people make errors in thinking that there is a primary creator other than the Father.
Eloah is singular and tells us that there is only One True God and the name admits of no plurality whatsoever.

The text in Exodus 3:14 shows us that God is becoming something when Christ said that the name is 'eyeh 'asher 'eyeh or I will be what I will become. It shows that Ha Elohim is derived from the actions of Eloah in creating the elohim both Christ and the Host as sons of God.

When Christ used this text in the Aramaic he was declaring to them that he was the Memra (divine oracle or logos) that gave the Law to Moses at Sinai and they killed him. He did not say I Am as the KJV translates it. The Aramaic text has it correctly. That was why they killed him.

Zechariah 2:1-8 shows clearly that the angel who had charge of Israel spoke and said that he was sent to protect Israel by Yahovah of Hosts the One True God. We know that this angel was the elohim in charge of Israel and he had partners. He and they had an elohim above them and that Ha Elohim anointed the Elohim in charge of Israel above his partners. David tells us that in Psalm 45:6-7 and Hebrews 1:8-9 tells us that being was Christ.

The names tell us the plan and the powers and nature of God. That is why the demons have worked so hard to misuse the names of God and confuse people who are not of the true faith. For example anyone that thinks the name of God is simply Yahovah (SHD 3068) does not understand how that name is used, nor that the name Yahovih (SHD 3069) is of a superior being except when the full term Yahovah of Hosts is used. The use of the term Jehovah shows they know even less.”

Christ said to the priests at the Temple: “Is it not written in your law: I said ye are Gods (Ps. 82:6). If He called them gods unto whom the word of God came, and the scripture cannot be broken; say ye of him whom the Father has sanctified and sent into the world, Thou blasphemest because I said I am the son of God?” (Jn. 10:34-36). 

The Greek uses the terms Theoi in the plural and the term of God the Father is tou Theou derived from the accusative Ton Theon, the Ho Theos or the One True God.  In the Koine Greek the definite article is only ever used of the Father as is Ha Elohim in the MT. Our destiny is to become elohim (gods) as coheirs with Christ.

This message under its title will be used with the papers on The Names of God (No. 116) and The Name of God in Islam (No. 054).

Wade Cox
Coordinator General