Dear Natan: Can I continue to use the non-biblical names for Elohim?

Question from Mark: I notice you use Messiah or Elohim etc…, would it be okay to use Jesus or God in my questions? 

Natan’s answer: That’s like me asking you if you’d be offended if I called you George or Kathy. You probably wouldn’t be offended, and you’d figure out who I was talking to, but those aren’t your names. Those are names that I made up and then started calling you. This is the same with Jesus, God and so on.
What you call Elohim, Yeshua and so on is between you and Him. He knows who you’re talking to if your heart is directed to him. However, I’m just challenging you to come to a higher level of biblical truth by using his real biblical and Hebrew names. If you’re content to stay at a lower level, which I don’t think you are or else you wouldn’t be emailing me with questions, then that’s your decision.

 

I AM THAT I AM and the Weightier Matters

Exodus 3:14–15, I AM THAT I AM. The name YHVH is Elohim’s memorial name forever. It reflects that fact that he is; that he is undefinable in human terms, and that he has always existed. This is the name by which he is to be remembered (not forgotten as is the case with the ineffable name concept of the rabbinic Jews whereby the names of deity are forbidden to be used). Exodus 3:14 and 15 read as follows:

14 And Elohim said unto Moses, I AM THAT I AM (EHYEH ASHER EHYEH): and he said, Thus shalt thou say unto the children of Israel, I AM (EHYEH YHVH) hath sent me unto you. 15 And Elohim said moreover unto Moses, Thus shalt thou say unto the children of Israel, YHVH the Elohim of your fathers, the Elohim of Abraham, the Elohim of Isaac, and the Elohim of Jacob, hath sent me unto you: this is my name [Heb. shem] for ever, and this is my memorial [Heb. zeker] unto all generations.

Here are some examples of how various Bible versions translate the name of YHVH:

  • I Am That I Am (KJV)
  • I Am Who I Am (NAS, NIV, NKJV
  • I Am That Which I Am (YLT)
  • I Shall Be As I Shall Be (The ArtScroll Stone Edition Tanach)
  • I Will Be What I Will Be (The Gutnick Edition Chumash, JPS)
  • I Will Be There Howsoever I Will Be There (The Schocken Bible)
  • I Am the Being (LXX, Brenton)

Exodus 3:15 states that YHVH is Elohim’s memorial name that Moses was to use when referring to I AM THAT I AM. I AM THAT I AM is Elohim’s actual name and what he calls himself, but men are to refer to him as YHVH, which means “the existing one, the one who is, the one who will be.” Both the former and latter are forms of the Hebrew verb hayah meaning “to be.” YHVH instructed that YHVH was to be his memorial name forever. In other words, humans were to use YHVH to remember him by. There is no indication anywhere in the Bible that it was YHVH’s intention that his name was to be forgotten or hidden through euphemization. The word memorial in Exodus 3:15 is the Hebrew word zeker and means “memorial, remembrance or memory.” There is nothing here to indicate that his name was to be forgotten.

It must be noted here that we don’t refer to YHVH as I Am, for were we to do so it would be necessary to say “I Am,” and in all reality, we aren’t the I Am, but YHVH is the I Am. Just so there is no confusion when communicating YHVH’s name in every day speech, the Bible uses, not the Hebrew ehyeh meaning “I Am,” but the form of the verb which means “He Is.” In this way, every time we say his name we’re glorifying him, and not inadvertently glorifying ourselves.

The name YHVH, referred to as the tetragrammaton, is the personal name of the Creator and occurs some 6800 times in the Tanakh. The exact pronunciation of this name has been lost down through the ages, and there is debate among well-meaning individuals on how to pronounce this four consonant Hebrew name. Because there are now vowels in this name, scholars can only speculate and make educated guesses about what the vowels between the consonants should be. No one knows for sure how to vocalize the consonants Y-H-V-H. The best scholarly opinions on this subject are just that—educated guesses.

Instead of getting all worked up about how exactly to pronounce Elohim’s name, let’s just love, worship and obey YHVH! These are the weightier matters of the Torah (Matt 23:23; 1 Cor 13:1–13). This is the distinguishing mark a true disciple of Yeshua (John 13:35), and what will separate the goats from the sheep (Matt 25:37–44)—not how we pronounce YHVH’s name!


 

14 Reasons to Believe the Bible and to Obey Elohim

  1. One is a sinner (he has broken the laws of the laws of the Creator) and needs to get right with the Creator of the universe.
  2. One needs to worship, obey and serve YHVH Elohim simply because he is the GOD/Elohim of the universe and the Creator of all things and because he demands and deserves it.
  3. The Bible is the only book that lays out the path of reconciliation with the Creator of the universe through which man must come to terms with his sinful nature that is opposed to good and Elohim.
  4. Each person needs a moral compass to point him in the right direction.
  5. One needs a guardrail on the road of life to keep one from falling into the a spiritual ditch, or off of the spiritual cliff.
  6. One needs a spiritual, moral, emotional foundation upon which to build one’s life.
  7. Each person needs to understand why he was born, who made him, his purpose in life, where he has come from and what the future of holds for his life.
  8. One needs to understand the meaning of life.
  9. One needs be able to answer the deep questions of life without running from them, ignoring them or masking over them.
  10. One needs the support of a spiritual community in times of need that other like-minding believers bring.
  11. One has to decide whether one will put one’s faith in the philosophies of men, and in the reasonings of secular humanists who philosophize about Elohim, or in the divine revelation of the Creator himself as revealed in his Word, and as demonstrated by the fruits of the lives of his servants and miraculous power and anointing in which they walk. 
  12. Each person needs to get a personal revelation of who made them, why they were made them and what their purpose and destiny is.
  13. Faith helps you to understand who your are, why you’re here and where you’re going. 
  14. Man needs something outside of himself to direct his heart, focus, thoughts towards—something that can lift him upward when he is down, something beyond himself that will give him a transcendent hope, something that will give him a higher purpose and reason for living. Man has a need for this in the depths of his soul. Nothing temporal or physical will fill this need. Those who refuse to recognize this will often turn to physical, mental or emotional crutches,  to addictions or false spirituality to mask over this need. But like an air bubble that cannot be forcibly held under the water, but must rise to the surface, likewise this human spiritual need unfulfilled will rise to the surface to reveal the leanness or vacuous nature of all other things that have been used to keep man’s deep inner spiritual need suppressed.

Can you think of some other reasons to believe? If so, share them with us in the comments section. 


 

The Name Yehovah Found 1015 Times in Ancient Hebrew Manuscripts

In this video published on January 25, 2018, Hebrew scholar, Nehemia Gordon discusses manuscript evidence for the pronunciation of the personal name of YHVH with his team of researchers. Gordon and his team have been searching ancient Hebrew manuscripts of the Tanakh (OT) that go back to the ninth century A.D. After searching through thousands of ancient manuscripts and visually looking for the Hebrew letters Y-H-V-H, they have found 1015 instances where the Jewish sages have filled in the vowel points of these four letters for the name of Elohim so that it reads Yehovah. To date, they have not found a single instance where Y-H-V-H has been written as Yahweh. At 41:40 in the video, Gordon and Keith Johnson discuss this fact. Gordon has put together a data base listing the places in the Bible where the name Yehovah occurs along with the name of the ancient manuscript in which Yehovah is found.

Here is a short version of this info:

In this short video, Nehemia Gordon explains why the six letter in the Hebrew alphabet is pronounced as a v and and not as a w. This information has a profound impact on how to vocalize or pronounce the personal name of YHVH.

This video is an abbreviated version of a much longer teaching Nehemia presented on his website where he gives more examples from ancient Hebrew manuscripts why the vav was correctly pronounced as a v and not as w by most ancient Hebrew speaking Jews, as well as how the w pronunciation came into the Hebrew language much later. He shows actual photos of these manuscripts in the longer version.


 

The Importance of Using the Biblical Names of Elohim

Exodus 3:14–15, I AM THAT I AM. The name YHVH is Elohim’s memorial name forever. It reflects that fact that he is; that he is undefinable in human terms, and that he has always existed. This is the name by which he is to be remembered (not forgotten as is the case with the ineffable name concept of the rabbinic Jews whereby the names of deity are forbidden to be used).

The Scriptures clearly teach us that YHVH wants his people to use his Hebrew names and titles (e.g. YHVH, Yah, El, Elohim, Adonai and Yeshua). If not, than why is “YHVH,” the personal name of the biblical deity, found in the Tanakh (or Old Testament) almost 7000 times?

Despite the proliferation of the name YHVH in the Bible, men are not to use his name carelessly as the third commandments teaches us (Exod 20:7).

The problem is that YHVH’s people have forgotten YHVH’s Hebrew names and worshipped pagan gods instead (Ps 44:20; Jer 23:27). Interesting, it’s a fact that most of our common English substitutes for the Hebrew names of Elohim derive from the names of pagan deities (e.g. God, Lord, Holy, Christ, Jesus). At the same time, the Scriptures prophesy that YHVH’s name will be restored and used again (Jer 23:6; 31:23; Ezek 39:7).

Interestingly, Satan’s name has never been changed down through the millennia from one language to another. The names of significant Hebrew biblical personalities along with Greek and Roman notable historical figures remain essentially unchanged to our day. However, the Hebrew names of Elohim and his Messiah not only have been changed, but often masked under the names of pre-exisiting pagan deities. Doesn’t this sound like a Continue reading


 

I will lift up mine eyes unto the mountains…

I will lift up mine eyes unto the hills/mountains, from whence cometh my help. My help cometh from Yehovah, which made heaven and earth. He will not suffer thy foot to be moved: he that keepeth thee will not slumber. Behold, he that keepeth Israel shall neither slumber nor sleep. Yehovah is thy keeper: Yehovah is thy shade upon thy right hand. The sun shall not smite thee by day, nor the moon by night. Yehovah shall preserve thee from all evil: he shall preserve thy soul. Yehovah shall preserve thy going out and thy coming in from this time forth, and even for evermore. (Psalm 121:1–8)

Just returned from my first backpack trip of the season into the Cascade Mountains near Mount Hood that are about one-and-a-half hours from my house. Accompanying me were several of my boys. We hiked into a small mountain lake where we hung out swimming, having Bible studies, praying and hiking. I also taught them some wilderness survival and bushcraft skills.

I was up early every morning with my Bible in hand watching the sun come up over the hills shining on the lake and our camp. it’s always amazing how it’s easier to hear the voice of YHVH when we get away from the physical and spiritual noise of the city. The awesome splendor of his creation literally surrounds and envelops a person, so that all one can do is think about him and revel in the beauty of his nature and lift up one’s hands in quiet and reverent praise to the of the one who created it all! Soli deo gloria!!!

One evening around the campfire, Kaleb led us in a Bible study on Revelation 21. As a result of that, after a sunrise swim the next morning in the lake’s pristine waters, I then let the Ruach wash me in the water of the Word of Elohim, and I was blessed with some wonderful insightful revelations from that chapter, which I will share with you in the near future.

Please enjoy these photos.

Sunrise over the lake

Sunset over the lake

Jared, Kaleb and Ryan with Bibles in hand as we study the word of Elohim around the campfire

A panoramic view of our campsite at lake’s edge with Natan cooking dinner in our camp kitchen

I’m never happier than when I’m away from the city and up in Yehovah’s creation. My family has been trekking these same mountains for more than 100 years!

Natan dangling his feet over a vertical fifty foot cliff with Mount Hood in the background

May our love for Yeshua and his word burning be like hot coals! When I take my kids into the mountains, this is the passion I try to impart in them: love for YHVH’s creation and his Word!