Substitutes for God’s name in the New Testament

When reading an English Bible there is a little bit of Jewish history that is needed to understand a few things and this is one of them. When Messiah walked the earth, it had become the habit of the Jewish people to avoid God’s name. This is because they feared the pagans they had lived among  since the deportation to Babylon might start saying God’s name and therefore violate in the commandment.

“You shall not take the name of the LORD/YHWH your God in vain; for the LORD/YHWH will not hold him guiltless who takes his name in vain. Ex. 20:7 

The Jews had become very creative in their work arounds for this problem. Most English readers of the Bible have no idea what is going on. The average Christian doesn’t even know that God has a personal name. (His name is YHWH.) This habit of not using substitutes for God’s name was so universal that His personal name is never used is in the New Testament.

The Lord or Master

This one is so prevalent that it is on almost every page of every English Bible. The English Bibles uses this very same Jewish tradition of not speaking the name of the Lord “YHWH” but substitutes Adoni which means lord or master. The English has left a clue that they have done this by capitalizing all the letters in the LORD when the original Hebrew is YHWH. (See Also: God? What’s in a name?)

The Name

Ha Shem is Hebrew for “the Name” and is occasionally substituted for YHWH.

And those who went before and those who followed cried out, “Hosanna! Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord! Mark 11:9

And now I am no more in the world, but they are in the world, and I am coming to thee. Holy Father, keep them in thy name, which thou hast given me, that they may be one, even as we are one. John 17:11

Heaven

And he said, “The kingdom of God is as if a man should scatter seed upon the ground, Mark 4:26 Was the baptism of John from heaven or from men?”  Luke 20:4

The question was not whether John was some kind of angelic being but whether he was sent by God. This is why sometimes it is the kingdom of God and others it is the kingdom of heaven.

Another parable he put before them, saying, “The kingdom of heaven may be compared to a man who sowed good seed in his field; Matt. 13:24 

In this parable the son admits that he has sinned against God.

I will arise and go to my father, and I will say to him, “Father, I have sinned against heaven and before you; Luke 15:18 

This use of Heaven as a substitute for God or YHWH has lead many to misunderstand “heaven.” Heaven strictly speaking is not the place where God lives. God is Omnipresent, and as such is everywhere throughout time and space at all times. Calling Him “Heaven” is to say that He is above and beyond what we can perceive. (See Also: What Happens When We Die? and God is Omnipresent)

The Power

And Jesus said, “I am; and you will see the Son of man seated at the right hand of Power, and coming with the clouds of heaven.” Mark 14:62 

This is a quote from the Psalms, where we can see the right hand belongs to the LORD or in Hebrew YHWH.

The LORD says to my lord: “Sit at my right hand, till I make your enemies your footstool.” Psa. 110:1 

FYI: They also called the temple in Jerusalem, “The Place” or “The Holy Place.”
For a tent was prepared, the outer one, in which were the lampstand and the table and the bread of the Presence; it is called the Holy Place. Heb. 9:2

In Christ

In the Harem by Fabio Fabbi  (1861 - 1946)

In the Harem by Fabio Fabbi (1861 – 1946)

Or in the harem to stay with our little allegory. One needs to understand that the harem is where all the women’s work was done, unlike what our western fantasies are. The cooking, cleaning, and laundry where all done in the harem and by the harem.

But if Christ is in you, although your bodies are dead because of sin, your spirits are alive because of righteousness. Rom. 8:10

This is a term only Paul uses. The inherited churches have made this out to mean salvation. As if it is the same thing; Messiah in you, and you in Messiah.

In Christ Jesus, then, I have reason to be proud of my work for God. Rom. 15:17

But it is God who establishes us with you in Christ, and has commissioned us; 2Cor. 1:21

Back up the Bible Bus. Being in Messiah has something to do with that hated word, WORKS. After all isn’t a commission a JOB?

To be “in Messiah” is to follow His teachings, to be His student, His servant, to obey His words, to do as He did. Noah and his family had to be in the ark to be saved, the man-slayer had to be in the city of refuge to be safe from the avenger of blood. [Num. 35:6] To me “in Messiah” is not a metaphor or figure of speech, it is a reality. It is a job, a profession, ones life’s work.

And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him. Col. 3:17

So what are we to do? Well! to start with, there are Ten Commandments, they were never suggestions.

Faith

What is Faith?

Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen. Heb. 11:1 

We’ve all heard the charlatan healers claim that the reason they cannot heal is because the sick person’s faith is not strong enough. However healing is not what our faith is primarily for. For it is a faith in things NOT seen.

We tend to think that faith is a feeling. However faith is the assurance of the things we hope for. We are as sure of the things of God, as we are that the chair will hold us up, that gravity will keep out cup on the table, and the sun will rise in the east and set in the west.

We are sure that Yeshua (Jesus) of Nazareth is the promised Messiah. We are sure of our salvation. We are sure of new and incorruptible bodies. We are sure that we will present ourselves before the judgment Throne of God with Messiah’s righteousness imputed to us, that we come under no condemnation.

The things unseen are of the kingdom of Messiah, it is all around us, the armies of His heavenly host in battle with the forces of evil.

. . . because we look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen; for the things that are seen are transient, but the things that are unseen are eternal. 2Cor. 4:18

What we see is old Jerusalem the one of bricks and stone, but out hope, our faith is in New Jerusalem, the Jerusalem that is above and for now is unseen.

Let my tongue cleave to the roof of my mouth, if I do not remember you, if I do not set Jerusalem above my highest joy! Psa. 137:6

But the Jerusalem above is free, and she is our mother. Gal. 4:26

He who conquers, I will make him a pillar in the temple of my God; never shall he go out of it, and I will write on him the name of my God, and the name of the city of my God, the new Jerusalem which comes down from my God out of heaven, and my own new name. Rev. 3:12

We watch as friends and family die. Their bodies seem dead and cold. But our faith is that we will have the victory over sin and death. It is ours, we just can’t see it. [See Also: What Happens when we Die?]

 

See Also: Hope

Messiah as Firstborn

Our Messiah is the firstborn of all creation, as well as the firstborn of the dead, as well as being the firstborn of Mary and Joseph.

Can an unclean things bring forth a unclean thing? Once there was this tomb outside of Jerusalem that did.

For those whom he foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, in order that he might be the first-born among many brethren. Rom. 8:29

Aside from being the great “predestination” verse we are also informed the Messiah is the firstborn of the brethren. He is the pre-eminent leader of His Congregation. The firstborn were to be dedicated to God, they were the head of the family and as such were responsible for the others welfare. No one can or should try to usurp His firstborn status. He is our leader. We have no king but Messiah.

He is the image of the invisible God, the first-born of all creation; Col. 1:15 

This is not to mean as some cult teach that Messiah is a creation. The Greek is actually prototokos pases ktiseos which is, born before all the creation. The word, with only the change of the accent, prototokos, signifies actively the first begetter or producer of all things. The firstborn here is used in the sense of His pre-eminence.

He is the head of the body, the church; he is the beginning, the first-born from the dead, that in everything he might be pre-eminent. Col. 1:18

He is the head of the Congregation as ancient kings were heads of the kingdoms. He is the head of the government with the right to make and enforce laws. The Greek is arche, prototokos ek o nekros, beginning, ruler, principle, born or the dead.

Ephraim is my Firstborn

ephraimThere is a lot of odd teachings about Ephraim out there. They all center around this group or that group or Christians in general being Ephraim. Why would anyone of Gentile decent want to be of Israel. They are under God’s judgment. Is it not enough to be adopted into the Family of God? His love is for the individual who will follow Him, not some group that must have the right parentage.

With weeping they shall come, and with consolations I will lead them back, I will make them walk by brooks of water, in a straight path in which they shall not stumble; for I am a father to Israel, and Ephraim is my first-born. Jer. 31:9

The tribe of Ephraim had gone astray from God, was no more worthy to be called a son, a first-born son and as such is to be given the double portion.

The same reason that was given for their release out of Egypt is given for their release out of Babylon; they are free-born and therefore must not be enslaved. They are born to God and therefore must not be the servants of men.

However the odd thing here is that Ephraim was not taken by Babylon but rather Assyria. They were relocated with the rest of the Ten Northern Tribes in Persia, now called Iran. (See Also: The Ten Lost Tribes)

In pure birth order Ephraim is the last born of the tribes, as he is Joseph’s second son.

The name of the second he called Ephraim, “For God has made me fruitful in the land of my affliction.” Gen. 41:52

At the time of the blessing of the tribes Judah/Israel gives Ephraim the blessing of the firstborn.

13 And Joseph took them both, Ephraim in his right hand toward Israel’s left hand, and Manasseh in his left hand toward Israel’s right hand, and brought them near him. 14 And Israel stretched out his right hand and laid it upon the head of Ephraim, who was the younger, and his left hand upon the head of Manasseh, crossing his hands, for Manasseh was the first-born. Gen. 48:13-14

So he blessed them that day, saying, “By you Israel will pronounce blessings, saying, ‘God make you as Ephraim and as Manasseh”; and thus he put Ephraim before Manasseh. Gen. 48:20

The Curse of rebuilding Jericho

The city of Jericho from the ruins of the old walls

The city of Jericho from the ruins of the old walls

A little known passage about Jericho.

Joshua laid an oath upon them at that time, saying, “Cursed before the LORD be the man that rises up and rebuilds this city, Jericho.  At the cost of his first-born shall he lay its foundation, and at the cost of his youngest son shall he set up its gates.” Josh. 6:26 

And yes someone over 400 years later did rebuild Jericho.

In his days Hiel of Bethel built Jericho; he laid its foundation at the cost of Abiram his first-born, and set up its gates at the cost of his youngest son Segub, according to the word of the LORD, which he spoke by Joshua the son of Nun. 1Kings 16:34

Jezreel is The Valley of Decision

Multitudes, multitudes, in the valley of decision! For the day of the LORD is near in the valley of decision. Joel 3:14 

The valley of decision is not a literal place, just as Armageddon is not literal (see the Battle of Armageddon). The valley of Jezreel in Israel represents a state of mind or rather the nations religious beliefs.

At the western end of the valley of Jezreel stands Mount Carmel where Elijah called down fire from heaven [1Kings 18]. This is where Elijah had challenged the priest of Baal to a kind of duel between his God and theirs.

Aerial view of Tel Megiddo by AVRAM GRAICER

Aerial view of Tel Megiddo by AVRAM GRAICER

The sight was chosen to make Elijah’s point. If you stand on top of mount Carmel and look east toward Mount Tabor you would have seen the city of Megiddo on the north side of the valley and the city of Jezreel on the south.  Megiddo means “the place of cutting”.  The priests of Baal had come from city of Megiddo for that is where their cult center was. Cutting themselves was a central part in the worship of Baal.

 

Jezreel- 24 December 2005, picture by Ori~

Jezreel- 24 December 2005, picture by Ori~

Whereas Jezreel mean “God sows”.   This is what Elijah was referring to,

And Elijah came unto all the people, and said, How long halt ye between two opinions? if the LORD be God, follow him: but if Baal, then follow him. And the people answered him not a word. 1Kings 18:21 

Make your choice, which city do you belong to?

At the time of Elijah these two cities no longer stood in contrast to each other. Ahab and Jezebel lived in and had corrupted Jezreel. For which they and their children paid a terrible price. Not one survived.

” He said,  “Take them alive.” And they took them alive, and slew them at the pit of Beth-eked, forty-two persons, and he spared none of them. 2 Kings 10:1-14 

The lesson or principle here is that we are to have nothing further to do with the false church. The false preachers, priests, and teachers who have compromised with paganism from the beginning.

Then I heard another voice from heaven saying, “Come out of her, my people, lest you take part in her sins, lest you share in her plagues. Rev. 18:4   

This is what happens to those who conspire against God and His purposes, and those who associate themselves with them. Like the kinsmen of Ahaziah the neighboring kingdom, you should have nothing to do with the apostates. [2 Kings 10]

But God is able to restore us to a right relationship with Him. But we must stop the Baal and Ashtaroth worship.  We must stop mixing the pagan with the divine. Stop standing in the middle of the valley, get yourself into Jezreel.

 “And in that day, says the LORD, I will answer the heavens and they shall answer the earth;  and the earth shall answer the grain, the wine, and the oil, and they shall answer Jezreel;  and I will sow him for myself in the land. And I will have pity on Not pitied, and I will say to Not my people,  ‘You are my people’; and he shall say ‘Thou art my God.’” Hos. 2:21-23

Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness; Eph. 6:14

For a complete understanding of what is Babylon see: The Two Babylons, or The Papal Worship Proved to be The Worship of Nimrod and His Wife by Alexander Hislop.