HOUSMAIL Number HM#019 - USING THE NAME OF GOD 21 February 1999
This week's topic comes from a friend who had recently encountered teaching which promotes the EXCLUSIVE use of the Hebrew name "YHWH" to refer to God.
In this particular case, the core of the "message" was:
- That the name "YHWH" has been lost because wicked translators of the Bible have suppressed it.
- That it is a SIN to use any other name for God.
- That God doesn't answer prayers made by people who don't use that name.
I do hope we all KNOW that God isn't like that!
1. God is bigger than that!
If He wants us to use that name exclusively then He would not have allowed human translators to suppress it and conceal it from us.
2. God is not unjust!
It is SLANDER against God to suggest that He would be so unjust as to permit the translators to suppress the correct name, and then reject those who do not know what name they are supposed to use, simply because they got the wrong information from reading the Bible.
3. People who address God by other names DO GET PRAYERS ANSWERED!
The Gospel promise by Jesus that God will answer our prayers, does not depend on the NAME we use FOR God, but on the relationship we have WITH God.
When Jesus taught us HOW TO PRAY, he left us a "name" to use, which describes our relationship with God.
He said "Pray like this:
"OUR FATHER who art in heaven ....." (Matt 6:9, Luke 11:2)
Men do not usually address their earthly father by his name. They use a word which reaffirms the special relationship which exists between them. Jesus invites us to pray that way to God.
However this is NOT a law! It is a privilege.
I can't even begin to believe that God requires us to use only one of His many Hebrew names to the exclusion of all others. Nor can I believe that we must pronounce that name with a "Hebrew accent", to be accepted when speaking to Him or about him.
Personally, when I talk to God, I love to use the word "FATHER".
This is one of the great privileges offered by the Gospel. It describes a PRESENT RELATIONSHIP which will last for ever. (1 John 3:2-3) It tells us that we have been adopted as Children into the family of God. It is granted only to those who have been reconciled to God by Jesus.
God is our Father in Heaven. We are His adopted children. The Gospel encourages us all to believe that when we have truly become children, our heavenly Father is listening just as attentively as he does to Jesus!
Jesus told us that when we ask for things that are according to His will, God will ALWAYS hear us, and give them to us! (1 John 5:14-15)