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What's in a Name?

Yahweh, or God? By which should we address the Almighty?

Most people in our day address the Almighty as 'God' and speak of Him using this term. Is this right? Many believers, especially those believers who have searched the Hebraic roots of their faith, have changed this way of speaking of and to the Almighty by the name, Yahweh. Who is right? What do the Jewish people call the One they serve? This is a massive topic, and we are only able to give a few facts and pointers in this article.
In the scriptures, every time the word LORD is written, the original word is YHWH. However, there is one scripture where we are able to read the name correctly, and that is Psalm 68:4 "Sing unto God, sing praises to his name: extol him that rideth upon the heavens by his name JAH, (yâhh yaw Contracted for H3068, and meaning the same; Yah, the sacred name: - Yah, the Lord, most vehement. Cp. names in "Yah.") and rejoice before Him. This scripture is a doorway into truth, where the actual name is written. From here we are able to see that the correct Name for the God we serve is YHWH, or Yahweh. We have covered quite a lot on this subject on the page particularly about the Name Yahshua, so we will not repeat what we have already written, here.
After the Babylonian Exile (6th century BCE), and especially from the 3rd century BCE on, Jews ceased to use the name Yahweh for two reasons. As Judaism became a universal rather than merely local religion, the more common noun Elohim, meaning "God," tended to replace Yahweh to demonstrate the universal sovereignty of Israel's God over all others. At the same time, the divine name was increasingly regarded as too sacred to be uttered; it was thus replaced vocally in the synagogue ritual by the Hebrew word Adonai ("My Lord") which was translated as Kyrios ("Lord") in the Septuagint, the Greek version of the Hebrew Scriptures.
The Masoretes, who from about the 6th to the 10th century worked to reproduce the original text of the Hebrew Bible, replaced the vowels of the name YHWH with the vowel signs of the Hebrew words Adonai or Elohim. Latin-speaking Christian scholars substituted the Y (which does not exist in Latin) with an I or a J (the latter of which exists in Latin as a variant form of I). Thus, the tetragrammaton became the artificial Latinized name Jehovah (JeHoWaH). As the use of the name spread throughout medieval Europe, the initial letter J was pronounced according to the local vernacular language rather than Latin.
Although Christian scholars after the Renaissance and Reformation periods used the term Jehovah for YHWH, in the 19th and 20th centuries biblical scholars again began to use the form Yahweh. Early Christian writers, such as St. Clement of Alexandria in the 2nd century, had used a form like Yahweh, and this pronunciation of the tetragrammaton was never really lost. Many Greek transcriptions also indicated that YHWH should be pronounced Yahweh.
The meaning of the personal name of the Israelite God has been variously interpreted. Many scholars believe that the most proper meaning may be "He Brings into Existence Whatever Exists" (Yahweh-Asher-Yahweh). In I Samuel, God is known by the name Yahweh Teva-'ot, or "He Brings the Hosts into Existence," the hosts possibly referring to the heavenly court or to Israel.

Should we use the correct name of God which is Yahweh? Or 'God?'
The word 'God' is not actually a name, but a title. The Bible teaches that God expected us to call him by his name. As early as Genesis chapter 2 God began to refer to himself as YHWH and used that proper name 5900 throughout the Old Testament. Gen 2:4 "These are the generations of the heavens and of the earth when they were created, in the day that the LORD God made the earth and the heavens..." These words "LORD God" actually come from the words YHWH (LORD) and Elohim (God). Elohim is a most interesting word, and we have enlarged on this in the article The Plurality of the Godhead.
Elohim in this verse in Genesis two and throughout the Old Testament means that there are 'three or more' in the Godhead (again look at the article on plurality to find proof of this statement) H430 = Elohiym (El-o-heem) Plural of H433; gods in the ordinary sense; but specifically used (in the plural thus, especially with the article) of the supreme God; occasionally applied by way of deference to magistrates, judges, the mighty ones (i.e. the whole council of heaven) And there was even a controversy between the prophets of the Lord or baal and the prophets of Jehovah. Elijah whose name by the way means my God is Yah. Set up altars to test who was the true God, or Elohim, the correct title for Divinity.

Is there anything wrong with using the title, God?

Where did the title 'God' originate? Could it have more negative implications? Yahweh 'winks at our ignorance' but does expect us to seek truth. Act 17:30 "And the times of this ignorance God winked at; but now commandeth all men every where to repent."
Where does this word originate from? We have read that 'God' written in the Bible comes from Elohiym meaning 'Gods' or a plurality, but the word 'God' does have more dubious beginnings. The word was used by people long before the Christian Era, when the Germanic tribes deified their chieftain Gaut and subsequently worshipped him as Odin, Wodan, or Godan, which were contracted to Wod or God.
Some people say the title "God" comes from pagan origins, as 'Gawd' was a common Germanic (Teutonic) mythical ancestor who was in fact worshipped. Wikepedia comes up with this: "The earliest written form of the Germanic word god comes from the 6th century Christian Codex Argenteus. The English word itself is derived from the Proto-Germanic gudan. Most linguists agree that the reconstructed Proto-Indo-European form ghu-to-m was based on the root ghau, which meant either 'to call' or to invoke."
This is not an inherantly bad beginning, but it isn't the correct name for the Elohim of the Bible. So, we may conclude that to use the title 'God' when referring to the Almighty is at the least impersonal, as it is indeed a title rather than a name. Jewish people do not use the name YHWH as they believe that this Name is too holy, and in some ways we can agree with them when we think of how disparigingly and even blasphemously it is used in our day as an oath or exclamation, or a direct insult.
As our Elohim is holy, so is His Name. To use it is an honour, and there is nowhere in Scripture where we are banned from addressing our Elohim with the Name YHWH. Somehow, using His Name brings relationship. Just to call Him 'God' is impersonal and does not evoke worship as much as when using His actual Name. I can testify, that Yahweh the Father became known to me in an entirely closer way when I began to use His Name when addressing Him and worshipping Him, it has brought great joy to my spirit.

As an aside, is it important to get things right?
There is much to study on this subject on the Internet and YouTube. Pray as you seek, as we need to see the truth. The holy Spirit has been given us in order that we may be led by Him into truth. John 16:13 "Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak: and he will shew you things to come."
Ask for His leading in this and in all points of doctrine. The world There is, sadly, great delusion in our day and YHWH desires us to be safe in a relationship with Him. Many false teachers are leading people astray, Ephesians 4:14 "That we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive" This of course is a precursor for later, when the 'man of sin' (2 Thessalonians 2:8-12) will be revealed, who will deceive all mankind who are not built up and grounded in the truth. This man will deceive many into losing their salvation by deceiving them with his lies.
How important it is that we walk in the truth in order to have discernment when he arrives. in our day is filled with misguided advice and teaching, but the Almighty Himself has made sure that the truth is available for all those who seek for it, so trust Him today to lead you in the right way. I would like to mention here, that there appears from scripture only one way the righteous can be deceived, and that is when a person turns away from truth, simply because they would rather believe a lie.
People turn from truth for many reasons, maybe they do not desire to seek for 'the pearl of greatest price,' perhaps because the price of looking is too tiring or time consuming? We read about this reference to the Kingdom of Heaven in Mat 13:45-46 "Again, the kingdom of heaven is like unto a merchant man, seeking goodly pearls, who, when he had found one pearl of great price, went and sold all that he had, and bought it." Or maybe they do not consider their eternal destiny as very important? Whatever the reason for turning away from the truth revealed by the holy Spirit, we unwittingly open ourselves up to the spirit of deception, and we will in fact believe a lie.
This is substantiated by Paul's teaching to the Thessalonians in 2 Thessalonians 2 verses 10-11. "And with all deceivableness of unrighteousness in them that perish; because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved, and for this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie." We need to be conscientious when it comes to desiring truth, for, as stated in Matthew 24:24 "For there shall arise false Christs, and false prophets, and shall shew great signs and wonders; insomuch that, if it were possible, they shall deceive the very elect." I love the "if it were possible." This gives us the assurance that when we prayerfully and earnestly desire truth, then the holy Spirit will lead us.
Paul warns us of times to come when the great end - play will happen. How important that we be vigilant and make the effort to seek out the truth, and walk in it.
2Th 2:8-12 "And then shall that Wicked be revealed, whom the Lord shall consume with the spirit of his mouth, and shall destroy with the brightness of his coming: Even him, whose coming is after the working of Satan with all power and signs and lying wonders, and with all deceivableness of unrighteousness in them that perish, because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved. Dear friend, let us take heed of these things that we may in that day be found in Him.
And for this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie. That they all might be damned who believed not the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness."
Not to close on a negative note, truth is precious, truth is liberating and truth is something to be treasured in a day when fraud and lying have taken root in so many lives. The holy Spirit has been given to us for a special reason, to lead us into all truth. How wonderful truth is. It is pure, holy and wholesome, and to walk in truth is the essence of the believer's life in the Elohim of Truth. The Name of Yahweh is precious, something to be guarded and used with respect out of a life of holiness and a desire for a close walk with the Almighty. Yahshua came to reveal the Father to us, and part of that revealing is to know His Name. Begin today to familiarise yourself with the Name of your Creator, and as you use His Name in worship you will be built up and blessed, your walk with Him will become more intimate, and your relationship more precious.

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