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Jack Ryan

Do people really need to know and use the word "Jehovah" or other language equivalents, to truly know God?

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I saw this post by the Librarian under Abrahamic Religions and it got me thinking:

The Jews don't refer to this name.... even though they worship "Yahweh"..... isn't it the same God?  The "Name" is not really an important issue.

"Elohim" is the term often used in the Bible..... Why not use that? It was good enough for Moses! Shouldn't it work for us?

 

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God's name appeared originally in the Bible almost 7,000 times, so I don't think it was God's decision for His name not to be spoken or excluded from the Bible or pronounced only as Elohim/God. 

 

I recall speaking to some Jews and they often refer to God as "The Name" ("haShem").  They will also write G-d, instead of God.  Maybe they felt God's name was too sacred to be spoken or disrespectful to be mispronounced, however, I think it's very disrespectful not to acknowledge God's name or deny even the correct spelling and title of God.  We do have a short form of God's name in scripture, Yah/Jah.  Despite their best objective not to say God's name or keep it hidden, God's name is not entirely lost as they fail to realize, many Jewish names include this short form or sound which they speak regularly: 

 

(Isa'iah) [Salvation of Jehovah]; (Jeremi'ah) [possibly, Jehovah Exalts; or, Jehovah Loosens [likely from the womb]]; (Obadi'ah) [Servant of Jehovah]; (Zephani'ah) [Jehovah Has Concealed (Treasured Up)]; (Zechari'ah) [Jehovah Has Remembered]; Jesus (Greek, I.e.sous’; Hebrew, Jeshua, (Yeshua); Jehoshua (Yehoshua) meaning “Salvation [or Help] of Jah (Yah) [Jehovah/Yehovah].”  (Hal·le·lu jah).

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The patriarchs knew God's name.  However, they did not know what God's name meant until God reveal this information to Moses.

Gen 12:7 Jehovah now appeared to Abram and said: “To your seed I am going to give this land.” After that he built an altar there to Jehovah, who had appeared to him. 8 Later he moved from there to the mountainous region to the east of Bethel and pitched his tent with Bethel on the west and Ai on the east. Then he built an altar there to Jehovah and began to call on the name of Jehovah.

 

Exo 6:20 Now Amram took Jochebed his father’s sister as his wife. Later she bore him Aaron and Moses. And the years of Amram’s life were a hundred and thirty-seven years. (Jochebed means “Jehovah is glory.)

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They did not, back up in your Exodus quote to verse 2. 

 

"And God went on to speak to Moses and to say to him 'I am Jehovah. And I used to appear to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob as God Almighty,  but as respects MY NAME JEHOVAH I DID NOT make myself known to them"

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The verses can mean more than what we read on the surface in the English translation.

 

One way we can understand the verses in the Bible is by comparing other verses in the scriptures.

 

For example, Jesus said:

Luke 10:22  All things have been delivered to me by my Father, and who the Son is no one knows but the Father; and who the Father is, no one [knows] but the Son, and he to whom the Son is willing to reveal him.”

 

Of course, the prophets, apostles, disciples, and Jews knew Jehovah and knew his name but not in the same way Jesus knew the Father.

 

Notice in Exodus 6, verse 3, God says, "I did not make myself known to them."  However, God did make himself known to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob and spoke to them.  Also, if Lot knew God's name and Moses' mother was named after Jehovah, then all the Israelites knew God's name. i. e. Gen 19:18 Then Lot said to them: “Not that, please, Jehovah!

 

What is meant by the verse is that God had not revealed that his name meant he was the God capable of carrying out and fulfilling all of the promises made to their forefathers.  God's name basically means, he causes to become.  This was definitely a new understanding of God to know him and what his name meant towards his people.  I have included below a commentary from Chabad.org.

 

http://www.chabad.org/library/bible_cdo/aid/9867#showrashi=true

"but [with] My name YHWH, I did not become known to them: It is not written here לֹא הוֹדַעְךְתִּי, “but My Name YHWH I did not make known to them,” but לֹא נוֹדַעְךְתִּי, “I did not become known.” [I.e.,] I was not recognized by them with My attribute of keeping faith, by dint of which My name is called YHWH, [which means that I am] faithful to verify My words, for I made promises to them, but I did not fulfill [them while they were alive]."

 

 

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All one has to do is remember who wrote the first books of the Bible, Moses! Of course Moses would write God's name where it belonged and where He spoke with the patriarchs. This is because Moses knew it. I understand your point, and agree that they didn't know the full extent of God's character. However, God appeared to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob as God Almighty.  That was how he was known to them.

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Jesus always referred to God as Father, which should help us realize there is more than just pronouncing his name in order to know him.  Jesus made mention many times that by accepting him and his teachings one could know the Father.  The book of John is incredible in shedding light on how to know God.

Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. If you had known me, you would have known my Father also.  From now on you do know him and have seen him.”  John 14:6,7

Philip still had to ask,

“Lord, show us the Father, and it is enough for us.” Jesus said to him, “Have I been with you so long, and you still do not know me, Philip? Whoever has seen me has seen the Father. How can you say, ‘Show us the Father’?  Do you not believe that I am in the Father and the Father is in me? The words that I say to you I do not speak on my own authority, but the Father who dwells in me does his works.  Believe me that I am in the Father and the Father is in me, or else believe on account of the works themselves.”  John 14:8-11

More good scriptural proof that by knowing Christ we can know God:

 And I am no longer in the world, but they are in the world, and I am coming to you. Holy Father, keep them in your name, which you have given me that they may be one, even as we are one.  John 17:11

O righteous Father, even though the world does not know you, I know you, and these know that you have sent me. I made known to them your name, and I will continue to make it known, that the love with which you have loved me may be in them, and I in them.”  John 17:25,26

These reveal that with the coming of Christ, the best way to understand and know God is by knowing Christ. To the Jews who thought they knew God, he said:

“I am the one who bears witness about myself, and the Father who sent me bears witness about me.”  They said to him therefore, “Where is your Father?” Jesus answered, “You know neither me nor my Father. If you knew me, you would know my Father also.”  John 8:18,19

Jesus answered, “If I glorify myself, my glory is nothing. It is my Father who glorifies me, of whom you say, ‘He is our God.’ But you have not known him. I know him. If I were to say that I do not know him, I would be a liar like you, but I do know him and I keep his word Your father Abraham rejoiced that he would see my day. He saw it and was glad.”  John 8:54-56

 “I have manifested your name to the people whom you gave me out of the world. Yours they were, and you gave them to me, and they have kept your word. Now they know that everything that you have given me is from you.  For I have given them the words that you gave me, and they have received them and have come to know in truth that I came from you; and they have believed that you sent me I am praying for them. I am not praying for the world but for those whom you have given me, for they are yours.  All mine are yours, and yours are mine, and I am glorified in them.  And I am no longer in the world, but they are in the world, and I am coming to you. Holy Father, keep them in your name, which you have given me that they may be one, even as we are one.  While I was with them, I kept them in your name, which you have given me. I have guarded them, and not one of them has been lost except the son of destruction, that the Scripture might be fulfilled.  John 17:6-12

God’s name is known by receiving Christ’s words and believing in him, recognizing that he is the Bread of Life coming down from the Father.  By receiving that bread/teachings/life, we come to know the Father who is its ultimate source.  John 6:33,51  We do this with loving gratitude for such a wonderful gift.

Jesus answered him, “If anyone loves me, he will keep my word, and my Father will love him, and we will come to him and make our home with him.  John 14:23

Obeying all of God’s laws fulfilled in Christ is motivated by love and faith, which then allows us to be “one” with the Father and Christ (John 17:11).  

When Jesus had spoken these words, he lifted up his eyes to heaven, and said, “Father, the hour has come; glorify your Son that the Son may glorify you since you have given him authority over all flesh, to give eternal life to all whom you have given him. And this is eternal life, that they know you the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom you have sent.   John 17:1-3

The Father knew how far his people had strayed from serving him, thus knowing him was impossible.  What a gift we have in Christ; all eyes should be on him and him only to lead us to the Father.  He is the mediator of all men, anointed and those not anointed.  Our salvation has come to us through Christ; our heart’s devotion and obedience to his teachings can lead us to love him.  By doing so, we then come to know and love God, the Father. 

Indeed, I count everything as loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. For his sake I have suffered the loss of all things and count them as rubbish, in order that I may gain Christ  and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which comes through faith in Christ, the righteousness from God that depends on faith—  that I may know him and the power of his resurrection, and may share his sufferings, becoming like him in his death,  that by any means possible I may attain the resurrection from the dead.  Phil 3:8-11

Thus says the Lord: “Let not the wise man boast in his wisdom, let not the mighty man boast in his might, let not the rich man boast in his riches,  but let him who boasts boast in this, that he understands and knows me, that I am the Lord who practices steadfast love, justice, and righteousness in the earth. For in these things I delight, declares the Lord.”  Jer 9:23,24

Righteousness from God comes through Christ; accepting this in faith leads to knowing God.

“For in these things I delight, declares the Lord.”

and lo, a voice out of the heavens, saying, `This is My Son -- the Beloved, in whom I did delight.'   Matt 3:17      Young’s Literal Translation

Can we simply address God as “Father” in the same manner as Christ and it be acceptable?  Indeed, Christ is our example to follow. There is an account in Malachi 2 where God is relating the iniquities of his priests failing to honor God’s name.

A son honors his father, and a slave his master. If I am a father, where is the honor due me? If I am a master, where is the respect due me?” says the Lord Almighty.

It is you priests who show contempt for my name. “But you ask, ‘How have we shown contempt for your name?’  “By offering defiled food on my altar. “But you ask, ‘How have we defiled you?’

“By saying that the Lord’s table is contemptible. When you offer blind animals for sacrifice, is that not wrong? When you sacrifice lame or diseased animals, is that not wrong? Try offering them to your governor! Would he be pleased with you? Would he accept you?” says the Lord Almighty.  “Now plead with God to be gracious to us. With such offerings from your hands, will he accept you?”—says the Lord Almighty. Mal 1:6-9

Sacrifices today by anointed ones is the fruit of the lips, (Mal 2:7; 1 Pet 2:5; Heb 13:15) which can be defiled through wrong teachings and dishonoring God’s name.  If these teachers fail to show the sheep the honor due the Father, how would it be presented?

Jesus said, that all should honor the Son just as they honor the Father. He who does not honor the Son does not honor the Father who sent Him.  John 5:23

Does the organization honor the Son just as it honors the Father? Can we honor the Father but not the Son?   Mark 7:6

 

 

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Yes, we do honor the son just as we honor the Father.  Honor, can mean showing a deep or high respect for others.  However, honor does not always translate into worship.  I can honor my father by showing the same respect and obedience to my mother.  I would not honor my mother any less.  As you quoted previously, "the Father loves the Son and has given all things into his hand." (John 3:35) Therefore we honor the son the same because he has been appointed to act as judge and God's representative.  Such as the case with a human judge or the superior authority.  We respect or honor all officials whether police or mayor for they represent the superior authority of the government, judge or court.  

 

I agree, we can know God's way and many attributes about him through the way Jesus spoke and relayed information about him.  To really know God, we must also love him and work to have a relationship with him as many people know God and who he is or may be as Almighty God and Creator, but they fail to abide by his righteous principles. 

 

The scriptures indicate, it's also important to know God's name.  We gather this from the scriptures:

(Romans 10:13) For “everyone who calls on the name of Jehovah will be saved.”  Quoted from:

(Joel 2:32) And it must occur that everyone who calls on the name of Jehovah will get away safe; for in Mount Zion and in Jerusalem there will prove to be the escaped ones, just as Jehovah has said, and in among the survivors, whom Jehovah is calling.”

 

Before the "great and fear-inspiring day of Jehovah", all people will have the opportunity to obey God; to know his name; put faith in him and all that his name means to accomplish and fulfill his promises. (Mal 4:5)

 

(Romans 10:14-16) However, how will they call on him in whom they have not put faith? How, in turn, will they put faith in him of whom they have not heard? How, in turn, will they hear without someone to preach? 15 How, in turn, will they preach unless they have been sent forth? Just as it is written: “How comely are the feet of those who declare good news of good things!” 16 Nevertheless, they did not all obey the good news. For Isaiah says: “Jehovah, who put faith in the thing heard from us?”

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12 hours ago, JaniceM said:


Before the "great and fear-inspiring day of Jehovah", all people will have the opportunity to obey God; to know his name; put faith in him and all that his name means to accomplish and fulfill his promises. (Mal 4:5)

 

 

Very true, and as brought out through scriptures I have earlier sited, this is through knowing Jesus Christ, who fulfills God’s promises. 

 

If Jesus said to his disciples, “if you have seen me, you have seen the Father”, and “believe me that I am in the Father and the Father is in me”, then we learn not just “many” of God’s attributes, but all of them.  He assured us, “But I know Him, for I am from Him, and He sent Me.”  John 7:29

 

Then Jesus spoke to them again, saying, “I am the light of the world. He who follows Me shall not walk in darkness, but have the light of life.”  John 8:12

 

Oh, send out Your light and Your truth! Let them lead me; Let them bring me to Your holy hill And to Your tabernacle.  Ps 43:3  (John 14:6)

 

The scriptures you relate in Rom 10:14-16 are directing us to Christ.  Rom 10:16 is referring to Isa 53:1 and the coming of the Savior:

 

Who has believed our report?
And to whom has the arm of the Lord been revealed?

For He shall grow up before Him as a tender plant,
And as a root out of dry ground.
He has no form or comeliness;
And when we see Him,
There is no beauty that we should desire Him.
He is despised and rejected by men,
A Man of sorrows and acquainted with grief.
And we hid, as it were, our faces from Him;
He was despised, and we did not esteem Him.

 

Rom 10:17 clarifies this report that needs to be heard, “So faith comes from hearing, and hearing through the word of Christ.”

 

Through the words of Christ, God’s name is made known in the time of the end! Paul’s sincerity shown in how important these words of Christ should be to us are made evident in Romans 10:1-11:

 

Brothers, my heart's desire and prayer to God for them is that they may be saved. For I bear them witness that they have a zeal for God, but not according to knowledge. For, being ignorant of the righteousness of God, and seeking to establish their own, they did not submit to God's righteousness. For Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to everyone who believes.

 

For Moses writes about the righteousness that is based on the law, that the person who does the commandments shall live by them. But the righteousness based on faith says, “Do not say in your heart, ‘Who will ascend into heaven?’” (that is, to bring Christ down) “or ‘Who will descend into the abyss?’” (that is, to bring Christ up from the dead).But what does it say? “The word is near you, in your mouth and in your heart” (that is, the word of faith that we proclaim); because, if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. 10 For with the heart one believes and is justified, and with the mouth one confesses and is saved. 11 For the Scripture says, “Everyone who believes in him will not be put to shame.” 

 

The word of salvation in Christ should be as close to us as our faith in God, the Father.  We are told by these words to confess with our mouth the Lord Jesus which is our belief in God’s righteousness; and how we deeply, not superficially, make God’s name known - not by mere utterance of a rendition of such a sacred name - but by accepting this righteous gift of salvation and making it known to the world.

 

If we refuse to embrace this teaching, we are then no different than those Paul speaks of as having a zeal for God, but “not according to knowledge”.  We both accept this righteous gift and proclaim it, or we shame God by our refusal to declare it with our own mouth.  If it was the early apostles’ priority, it should be ours.  Are we ashamed of making this proclamation the first and foremost on our lips? Rom 10:16-21

 

But they have not all obeyed the gospel. For Isaiah says, “Lord, who has believed what he has heard from us?” 17 So faith comes from hearing, and hearing through the word of Christ.

 

 But I ask, have they not heard? Indeed they have, for

 

“Their voice has gone out to all the earth,
    and their words to the ends of the world.”

 

19 But I ask, did Israel not understand? First Moses says,

 

“I will make you jealous of those who are not a nation;
    with a foolish nation I will make you angry.”

 

20 Then Isaiah is so bold as to say,

 

I have been found by those who did not seek me;
    I have shown myself to those who did not ask for me.”

 

21 But of Israel he says, “All day long I have held out my hands to a disobedient and contrary people.”

 

Rom 10:11  For the Scripture says, “Everyone who believes in him will not be put to shame.”

 

We can confess a belief in Christ, yet prove to fail at proclaiming his words which God our Father demands that we do.  We can say we have “found” Christ, “seen” him through his word, but if we do not seek him or ask God to thoroughly know him; then yes, we are a “disobedient and contrary people”. 

 

“The one who hears you hears me, and the one who rejects you rejects me, and the one who rejects me rejects him who sent me.”  Luke 10:16

 

The one who rejects me and does not receive my words has a judge; the word that I have spoken will judge him on the last day.” 

 

We have a great example of how God’s name is magnified through the prayer of Mary. 

 

 And Mary said,

 

“My soul magnifies the Lord,
 and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior,
for he has looked on the humble estate of his servant.

 

   For behold, from now on all generations will call me blessed;
for he who is mighty has done great things for me,
    and holy is his name.
 And his mercy is for those who fear him
    from generation to generation.
 He has shown strength with his arm;
    he has scattered the proud in the thoughts of their hearts;
he has brought down the mighty from their thrones
    and exalted those of humble estate;
 he has filled the hungry with good things,
    and the rich he has sent away empty.
He has helped his servant Israel,
    in remembrance of his mercy,
 as he spoke to our fathers,
    to Abraham and to his offspring forever.”  Luke 1:46-55

 

The basis of this beautiful prayer that manifests God’s name, was the promise fulfilled of deliverance of his people – how so?  Through Christ. I believe our words should also proclaim such reverence when declaring the good news of God’s Kingdom; which begs me to ask, what testimony are we giving, man's words of salvation through organization, or God's words through his Son?

If we receive the testimony of men, the testimony of God is greater, for this is the testimony of God that he has borne concerning his Son. Whoever believes in the Son of God has the testimony in himself. Whoever does not believe God has made him a liar, because he has not believed in the testimony that God has borne concerning his Son. 11 And this is the testimony, that God gave us eternal life, and this life is in his Son. 12 Whoever has the Son has life; whoever does not have the Son of God does not have life. 1 John 5:9-12

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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