What is Gods name and why?

18 September 2020

Series: Shabbat sermons

Topic: God, Gods name, name, prayer

What is Gods name and why?

What is God’s name, and why is it important?
Do you believe God has a name, or is God His actual name?

If you asked most Christians, they would tell you His name is God/Father/Lord/Abba. And they would to some extent be right; He is our God, He is our Father, He is our Lord and our Abba, but these are just titles and not His name. Then some would say His name is Jesus, but Jesus Himself would disagree because, in John 14:6, He says His goal was and is for us to have a relationship with His Father, not a relationship with Himself. Only when we accept what He did for us at the cross and obey His teachings can we enter and become a part of His desired relationship with His Father.

Why is it essential to know God’s name? Why can we not use His titles?

First and foremost, to know what God you are referring to.
If you only know God by His title, how can anyone know which god you believe in? Muslims refer to their god as a god, so how can you know the difference between your God and their god if you insist on using titles instead of His actual name? Some would argue, “because of Jesus,” but the problem is we find Jesus in Islam as well. If we read the Quran, it is evident that the Muslim god and the God of the Bible are two different gods. But how can you see this difference, and how can you avoid mixing the two, if you do not know the name of the God of the Bible?

When most religions in the world have a name for their god, but we Christians only refer to our as God, it is easy to be deceived into thinking our God is the same as their gods.

And then we have billions of Christians all over the world, all claiming to worship the same God and the same Jesus. But because they only use God’s titles, instead of His name, they are not united but instead split up into 40 000 different denominations making it seem as if there are 40 000 different versions of Jesus.

All of this confusion and syncretism comes from not knowing God’s name. And as we are going to see, this not only leads to confusion and syncretism but also causes us to disobey the Torah and affects our prayers and our faith.

Can we know for sure what God’s name is?

Yes, in Ex 6:6, God says His name is Yehovah.

But why then do some claim His name is Jehovah or Yahwe?

We know the letter J does not exist in the Hebrew language. So it is a linguistic impossibility for it to be Jehovah. In the Gospels, we find another proof it is Yehovah and not Jehovah. When the angel announces the name of our Lord and Savior, he says in Hebrew, “he will be called Yeshua for He will Yehoshua, His people the Yehudi from their sins.” Yeshua is short for Yehoshua, which means Yehovah saves. So here, in this one statement from the Gospel, we have proof of the name of Yehovah AND Yeshua’s divinity. Why His divinity? Because it says, “He will save His people the Yehudi.” In Exodus and Romans, His people (the Yehudim) are defined as those who obey Yehovah and His Torah (they who are called Yehudi.) Here we see Yeshua’s people are the same as Yehovah’s people, those who follow the Torah. So this proves to us Yeshua is Yehovah (God) while we, at the same time, know He is not God the Father. Here we also see the explanation to Matt 7:21-23, those who reject Torah are not His people and will not be accepted by Yeshua. How? The angel said He came to rescue His people from their sins. His people are only those who obey the Torah (Exodus 19, Isaiah 56, Romans). If you reject the Torah as most Christians do, you are not a Yehudi, and if you are not a Yehudi, you are not His people.

There is another way to know for sure God’s name is Yehovah. We already know “the God of the Old Testaments” name is Yehovah. A name in the Bible can refer to two things, the given name and Shem. Shem is a Hebrew word for character. In the Gospels, we see Yeshua say things like “I have come in Your name,” “I have revealed Your name to them.” What is He saying here? Here, Yeshua refers to Yehovah’s Shem, His character. How do we know this? Because Yeshua kept Torah and Yeshua taught us to keep Torah (Matt 23:2), this is in line with Yehovah’s character. So what Yeshua is saying here is, “I have revealed to them Your character, and I have the same character as You.”

Did you catch what He just said?

He says He has the same character and personality as His Father. His unity with “the God of the Old Testament” comes from HIm being identical to “the God of the Old Testament” in character. Therefore Yeshua can’t reject His Fathers Torah because that would be out of character, and He can not tell others to do so either. Because in John 14, Yeshua says we who believe in Him are to be one with Him by sharing in His and His Father’s character. Only if we are one with “the God of the Old Testament” in nature and personality are we saved. (James 2, 1. John 2, Romans, Isaiah 56) You can only be one with Yehovah and His Son and share their character IF you worship according to the Torah. The Torah says we are to worship Yehovah, our God. Yeshua taught us to worship Yehovah, our God. If you do not know Yehovahs name, how can you then be one with Him in character, saved, and worship Him in spirit and truth?

Because of linguistical proof, Biblical proof, and His character, we know His name is Yehovah.
We can know for sure His name is Yehovah, and we can, by accepting His name, put an end to syncretism, confusion, and division among Christians, but there are more benefits to knowing His name.

How would you feel if your wife or husband tried to get your attention using the generic title “husband” or “wife.”? If my wife did this, I would be very concerned and started believing she was angry at me or something was wrong in our marriage. What if your friend tried to get your attention by calling you “human” instead of your name? It would be somewhat awkward, would it not?

How do you think it makes Yehovah feel when He has given us His name, in His book, the Bible, but we insist on starting every prayer with a generic title?

How would you feel if you were the one who addressed your friend or spouse with a generic title instead of their name? It would be challenging to maintain a close relationship with them, would it not?

How does it affect your prayers and faith when you start every prayer with a generic title instead of His name? It becomes somewhat awkward. It isn’t easy to trust and obey someone you do not have a close relationship with. What would happen to your prayers and your relationship with your God if you started addressing Him as Yehovah?

The first thing that would happen is that you would be obedient to the Torah, for the Torah says we are to pray to Yehovah, our God in His character (obedience to the Torah), using His actual name. Then and only then are we guaranteed answered prayer. So we prove we are not idol worshipers by addressing our God by His name, Yehovah. The second thing that would happen is that it would boost your faith level, and it would be easier for you to trust Him.

Why would it be easier for you to trust Him?

What makes you trust someone, someone you do not know? If someone can testify they are trustworthy and able to do what they say, it is easy to trust them. This is why we need references when we apply for a job; our references testify to our employers we can be trusted.

The Bible is filled with testimonies of what Yehovah has done in the past for His people, Yehudi. You can open your Bible and read what He has done, in the past, for His people, the Yehudi. Then you can know that if you are a Yehudi (a Yehudi is someone who obeys Torah and believes in the Blood of Yeshua,) He will hear your prayer and act on your behalf as He has always done in the past.

When you read how Yehovah your God made it rain manna from heaven, quale from heaven, water from a rock, parted the Red Sea, drowned the Egyptian army, it is easy for you to trust He can and will heal you, provide for you, fight for you, guide you, comfort you. Why is it easy? Because Yehovah, whom you pray to, is the same one who did all of these things for His people, the Yehudi, in the past, so if He did it in the past, He would do it again for you because you are a Yehudi.

This is why it is important to know His name because when we know His name, we can remind ourselves our God is the same God who did all of these things in the past. If He did these things in the past, He would do it for us now. Why? Because we are Yehudi, who worship Yehovah, our God.

Knowing His name would also help you be patient and not lose hope while waiting for your prayers to manifest in your life.

We all know that sometimes praying is very difficult. You pray you, believe you have received, obey the Torah, you are doing everything right. But then you start to look at the waves of life and begin to sink. (Matt 14:22-33) Even though you are doing everything correctly, life waves and circumstances can sometimes be so loud; it causes you to be distracted, and you feel as if you are about to drown in your circumstances.

How do we avoid sinking? By using Yehovah’s name. Yehovah’s name is our lifebuoy, our rescue device, and floating device that can pick us up again when we have done everything right, but we are still sinking into waves of fear and worry.

How? The Bible gives us the answer in Prov 18:10.

In Prov 18:10, we read, Yehovah’s name is a strong tower, the Yehudim run to it, and they are safe.

So how do we “run to His name”?

We run to His name by thinking of His name and praying His name.

Reading how to do it and how to do it when you are facing vast waves of worry in your life are two different things. So what does this look like in real life?

When I was a mainstream Christian, my prayers sounded more like a step-by-step instruction manual on how God should do His job. I used to tell Him what I needed, and then I instructed Him how to do it and when to do it. If it did not happen the way I wanted it, at the time I wanted it to happen, I believed my prayers had failed, or the devil had managed to stop them.

Looking back on how I used to pray, I am surprised to see how little faith I had in God. I did not trust Him to answer my prayers, so I felt like I had to instruct Him on how to do it. And when it did not happen the way I wanted it, when I wanted it, I got all stressed out about it. The reason for this is that I did not know His name back then.

Now that I am a Torah believer, and I know His name, I pray differently. I still tell Him my needs, and sometimes I ask if He could do it a specific way, but I never instruct Him on how to do it. I always remind myself I want it His way, not my way. I can ask Him to do it my way, but I always tell Him if He disagrees, I would want it His way in His timing.

It is sometimes scary to pray like this because it requires faith, and I would not be able to pray like this if I did not know His name. Knowing His name gives me the confidence and trust I need to pray like this.

So how do I pray?

I pray His name and what I need from Him that day. Praying His name is a fulfillment of Prov 18:10; when we pray His name, we who are Yehudi run to His name, and He will keep us safe.

I have made it a habit to pray His name when I do not need anything specific, because then it becomes second nature and more comfortable to do on a bad day when I desperately need His help. Therefore, I would strongly recommend you to pray His name and make it a habit to do so, even if your life is ok and smooth sailing. You never know when you will run into one of life’s many hurricanes, and if it is second nature for you to pray His name, it will help you get through it safely.

So how do I pray His name?

I desperately need Him every day, every minute of my life, so I have made it a habit to pray while breathing. When I take a breath, I go “Yehovah” when I exhale, I go “have healed me/provided the money I need/given me wisdom/protects me/saved me.” So when I take a breath, I say His name, and when I exhale, I say whatever I need from Him that day.

Do you see how, by praying this way, I believe I have received before I receive, and at the same time, I am not instructing Him on how to heal me, how to save me, how to provide for me?

So why is it important to know His name while I am praying like this?

Because when I pray His name, I know I am praying to the same God Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, and Moses prayed to. So I can open my Bible, and I can read how Yehovah, in the Old Testament, provided for the Yehudim, our forefathers in the desert. And I know I am a Yehudi, pray to Yehovah, I can trust He will do what He did for them and even more.

This is why it is important to know His name while praying like this because it boosts my faith.

Knowing His name also teaches me why it is wrong to pray how I used to pray while I was a mainstream Christian. In the Bible, when I read about what happened at Massah and Meribah, or what happened with the Golden Calf incident, I see a group of people who did not trust Yehovah.

They had seen miracles in Egypt; they had even seen the Red Sea open and close on their enemies, but because Yehovah did not answer their prayers precisely as they wanted Him to, they complained and doubted Him. Because they complained, they never saw the promised land.

I want to see the promised land, I want heaven when I die, and I want to see the promised land of provision and healing while I am still alive. But for me to do so, I need to trust Yehovah enough only to ask Him for healing, not to tell Him how to heal me. I need to trust Yehovah sufficient to ask Him for provision, not to say to Him how to provide for me. But because I have a close relationship with Him, I can, at times, ask Him to do it my way as long as I always make sure He knows I want His way if His way is not my way.

I can also testify it is so much more freeing and comfortable to pray His name this way than the way I used to do it as a mainstream Christian. Now when I am praying His name, the way I just described, I am resting in faith with expectancy knowing He has heard me and healed me, provided for me, and soon it will manifest in my life.

But none of this would have been possible if I did not know His name.

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