There are some who believe that the Messiah only referred to Yahweh as “The Father” or believe that Yahshua also followed the doctrine that states Yahweh’s name is too holy to pronounce. But this was one of many false teachings coming out of that era. Yahshua flatly condemned those who would rather do things according to the "tradition of the elders" rather than the way Yahweh wanted them done. It should be obvious to anyone that when Yahweh does something nearly 7,000 times.. that is the way He wants it to be done. He doesn’t want us to come in later and change the way He has done things. Yet Yahweh placed His name in scripture nearly 7,000 times and the "tradition of the elders" is to replace His name each one of those 7,000 times with a title of man’s own choosing (e.g. LORD, GOD, Adonai, HaShem, etc).
Before we look at Yahshua’s example, let us first examine the meaning of the word “name” in scripture. It comes from the Hebrew word “Shem”. Here is a definition of this word in the Strong’s Lexicon:
Strong’s # 8034 Shem; a primitive word [perhaps rather from 7760 through the idea of definite and conspicuous position; compare 8064]; an appellation, as a mark or memorial of individuality; by implication honor, authority, character: – + base, [in-] fame[-ous], name[-d], renown, report.
As we can see from the above definition, Yahweh’s name is not only represents His “character” but the Name Yahweh is also “His mark”. Therefore the word “Shem”/Name refers to His literal written or spoken name as well as His character. If it did not refer to His literal written and spoken name then one could say that Yahweh does not have a written name at all. But we know that is not true:
Isai 42:8 (av) I am Yahweh: that is my name: and my glory will I not give to another, neither my praise to graven images.
According to the above definition, His Name is also is His “memorial of individuality”. This definition goes hand in hand with scripture:
Exodus 3:15-AV And Elohim said moreover to Moses, Thus shalt thou say to the children of Israel, Yahweh Elohim of your fathers, the Elohim of Abraham, the Elohim of Isaac, and the Elohim of Jacob, hath sent me to you: this [is] my name for ever, and this [is] my memorial to all generations.
Man has set up may memorials for himself such as “The Wall” in Washington DC. If one were to go and desecrate that memorial and replace it with a bunch of different names, this person could expect to receive a great punishment for his crime. Now if we wouldn’t desecrate one of man’s memorials, then why would anyone want to desecrate Yahweh’s Memorial – His Name? Do we have the authority to change scripture and replace His name with a title of our own liking? Surely the Messiah would not do this, especially when reading the scriptures in the Synagogue:
Luke 4:17 (NKJV) And He was handed the book of the prophet Isaiah. And when He had opened the book, He found the place where it was written: 18 “The Spirit of Yahweh [is] upon Me, Because He has anointed Me To preach the gospel to [the] poor; He has sent Me to heal the brokenhearted, To proclaim liberty to [the] captives And recovery of sight to [the] blind, To set at liberty those who are oppressed; 19 To proclaim the acceptable year of Yahweh.” 20 Then He closed the book, and gave [it] back to the attendant and sat down. And the eyes of all who were in the synagogue were fixed on Him. 21 And He began to say to them, “Today this Scripture is fulfilled in your hearing.”
Let’s examine some of the things the Messiah said concerning His Father’s name:
John 5:43 (av) I am come in my Father’s name, and ye receive me not: if another shall come in his own name, him ye will receive.
Again, we must recognize the dual meaning of the word “Name” here. Not only did He come by His Father’s authority, but He also came in His Father’s literal written and spoken name. This is proven when we understand the Messiah’s name as “Yahushua" or “Yahweh (is) Salvation”.
Peter (in Acts 3) confirmed that the following scripture was speaking of Yahshua:
Deut 18:18 (av) I will raise them up a Prophet from among their brethren, like unto thee, and will put my words in his mouth; and he shall speak unto them all that I shall command him.19 And it shall come to pass, [that] whosoever will not hearken unto my words which he shall speak in my name, I will require [it] of him.
This is a direct statement saying that Yahshua did ‘speak’ in His Father’s name. Surely then He did not hide it, substitute it, or change it. He spoke in it. Also it was written of our Savior:
Psalm 118:26 (av) Blessed [be] he that cometh in the name of Yahweh..
So here we have 3 witnesses that Yahshua did come in His Father’s name and speak in His Father’s name. Nevertheless, lets examine more evidence. In Yahshua’s prayer in John 17 He says:
John 17:5 (av) And now, O Father, glorify thou me with thine own self with the glory which I had with thee before the world was. 6 I have manifested thy name unto the men which thou gavest me out of the world: thine they were, and thou gavest them me; and they have kept thy word.7 Now they have known that all things whatsoever thou hast given me are of thee.
John 17:26 (av) And I have declared unto them thy name, and will declare [it]: that the love wherewith thou hast loved me may be in them, and I in them.
This was a fulfillment of scripture in the great Psalm 22:
Psal 22:22 (av) I will declare thy name unto my brethren: in the midst of the congregation will I praise thee.
Scripture does not lie. If it says that Yahshua declared His name, He had to have done so. He not only declared His Father’s literal and spoken name, but also His true character to the people. However, it is evident that not all had “ears to hear” concerning His Father’s true character. Not unlike today, they had much baggage (traditions) left over from their Fathers. Yahshua clearly condemned the traditions that were not in line with Yahweh’s word. As He had said:
Mark 7:9 (av) And he said unto them, Full well ye reject the commandment of Elohim, that ye may keep your own tradition.
One of the traditions was that Yahweh’s name was too holy to pronounce.
The question might be asked “Why did Yahshua refer to Yahweh as “Father”? I believe that there are many scriptures that indicate the Messiah was also called “Yahweh” in the old testament. For instance:
Isai 44:6 (av) Thus saith Yahweh the King of Israel, and His redeemer Yahweh of hosts; I am the first, and I am the last; and beside me there is no El’.
Notice that there are two called “Yahweh” in this verse. 1) Yahweh, King of Israel and 2) Yahweh’s Redeemer, “Yahweh of Hosts”. This is one of many verses that refers to the Son by the name “Yahweh” (e.g. Jeremiah 23:5-6). It speaks to the fact that Yahweh’s name is in Him.
Because He was called by His Father’s name “Yahweh” in some scriptures, it is possible that one reason Yahshua often called Him “Father” was to show that He is to be distinguished from Yahweh the Father. This would assist in disproving any teaching that may later creep in that Yahshua was the Father (e.g. the “oneness” doctrine”) rather than He being distinct from the Father. Perhaps I cannot directly prove this. Nevertheless since He was the Son of Yahweh, there would naturally be a greater frequency of Yahshua calling Yahweh “Father”. The fact that He often called Him Father doesn’t mean that He never called Him by His name, Yahweh. And of course it is not a wrong thing to call Yahweh by a title that fitly describes Him. He is our Father, our Creator, our Master, our King. The problem lies in replacing, changing and failing to praise, exalt, bless, love, teach, preach, anoint, assemble, believe, give thanks, honor and call on His name as scripture teaches us.
Now let’s examine the trial in which Yahshua was sentenced to death.
Matt 26:64 (av) Yahshua saith unto him, Thou hast said: nevertheless I say unto you, Hereafter shall ye see the Son of man sitting on the right hand of power, and coming in the clouds of heaven. 65 Then the high priest rent his clothes, saying, He hath spoken blasphemy; what further need have we of witnesses? behold, now ye have heard his blasphemy. 66 What think ye? They answered and said, He is guilty of death.
In light of these verses, it is fascinating to study the historical context of what was going on. Based on the above scripture, it is evident that the official charge against the Messiah was “blasphemy”. The word “Power” in verse 64 was a popular ‘euphemism’ or substitution for the divine name Yahweh. Now according to the Mishna:
“He who blasphemes is liable only when he will have fully pronounced the Divine Name. Said R. Joshua ben Qorha, “on every day (of the trial) they examine the witnesses with a substituted name. When sentence was to be given they did not declare him guilty of death with the substituted name, but they put everyone out and ask the most important of the witnesses, saying to him, “Say, what exactly did you hear?” And he says what he heard. And the judges stand on their feet and tear their clothing, and they may not mend them again.(m.San. 7:5)”
Therefore, it is evident that historically no man could be sentenced for blasphemy unless he had actually spoken the Divine Name. This is further proven when we see that the High Priest “rent his clothes” upon hearing the name since Yahshua was his own witness (as he said “what further need have we of witnesses?”).
Finally, there is strong evidence that Yahshua spoke the name aloud in Mt. 4:7; 4:10; 5:33; 21:42; 22:37 & 22:44. The Hebrew version DuTillet has 3 yods in the place of the name “Yahweh” and the Shem Tob has a “Heh” in those places. These all indicate He spoke the name since there is no Hebrew word with a single Heh or 3 consecutive Yod’s. This is one of the multitude of attempts to falsify His name by those who believed in the ineffable name doctrine. The ineffable name doctrine states that Yahweh’s name is too holy to pronounce. Clement of Alexandria did not hold to this doctrine, but others did like Jerome:
“For no one can utter the name of the ineffable deity; and if any one dare to say that there is a name, he raves with a hopeless madness. (I Apol.,61)”
“But to the father of all, who is unbegotten, there is no name given. For by whatever name he be called, he has as his elder the person who gives him the name. But these words, Father, and Deity, and Creator, and Lord, and Master, are not names but appelations derived from good deeds and functions. (II Apol., 6)”
With this in mind, it is no wonder that the manuscripts we have today do not contain the name. We know that the ‘church fathers’ quickly departed from the true Sabbath. It shouldn’t be difficult to believe that they also quickly dropped the use of the true name of our Creator. It is very evident that the “ineffable name” doctrine is totally unscriptural. It flies in the face of scriptures like:
Exod 9:16 (av) And in very deed for this [cause] have I raised thee up, for to shew [in] thee my power; and that my name may be declared throughout all the earth.
Isai 52:6a “My people shall know my name..”
Psalms 116:4-AV Then I called upon the name of Yahweh; O Yahweh, I beseech thee, deliver my soul.
Psalms 116:13-AV I will take the cup of salvation, and call upon the name of Yahweh.
Psalms 116:17-AV I will offer to thee the sacrifice of thanksgiving, and will call upon the name of Yahweh.
Isaiah 12:4-AV And in that day shall ye say, Praise Yahweh, call upon his name, declare his doings among the people, make mention that his name is exalted.
I think it is better to trust in what the scriptures say concerning His name rather than trusting in the reasoning that “since the Greek manuscripts which we have today (which are not original) do not contain the name, it must not be important.” The truth is that Greek copies of the Old Testament prior to the mid 2nd century DO contain the sacred name IN HEBREW within the text itself. Manuscripts found after that era replace the sacred name with "Kyrios". No new testament manuscripts prior to the mid-2nd century have ever been found with the possible exception of some fragments out of the book of John. In those fragments, there are no instances where the Yahweh’s name is replaced with "Kyrios".
In the end, Yahweh’s word will be the determining factor in what is right and what is wrong. Surely the scriptures declare the importance of His name. I will close with one final scripture:
Psalms 105:1-AV O give thanks to Yahweh; call upon his name: make known his deeds among the people.
This last scripture is one of many instances where we are told to call on His name. We can be assured that the Perfect One, Yahshua the Messiah did just that.