Stewarton Bible School

Sacred Names ... Part 2

1. Introduction

We in Stewarton Bible School have known and used the sacred name of the Almighty, YAHWEH, since about 1956. If you read our literature you will see this to be the case. Moreover, when we use the words LORD or God we realise that these are not names. Why then do we use them? Because to the English-speaking world the word 'God' means a supernatural being and in most English Bibles these designations are used. When we use these words English-speaking people know who we mean. Were we to only use the name Yahweh, or Yeshua for the Son, most folk wouldn't know who we were writing about: because these names do not appear in their Bibles.

The Oxford Dictionary defines the word God as follows:
God: The Creator and Ruler of the universe in Christian, Jewish and Muslim teaching ...
That is what the English speaking world means when it uses the word God; and that is what we in the Stewarton Bible School mean when we use the word. Anyone who assumes that when English-speaking people say God they mean a pagan idol is out of touch with the English language. In our article, Sacred Names ... Part 1 you will see that we are fully aware that the Almighty's name is Jehovah or Yahweh, After you read that article do remember what the Saviour said about identifying true believers: "You shall know them by their fruit."

I regret to say that in my travels, and I have travelled considerably, I have not found that the Sacred Name believers bear more or better spiritual fruit than believers from other Christian groups. Sad to say, the fruit of the Holy Spirit: humility, brotherly love, kindness, joy, mercy, patience, peace, generosity, self-sacrifice, justice etc. - so evident elsewhere in the Christian world - is woefully absent in the lives of many (not all) sacred name believers. Is that not a strange discovery? Please note that these are facts I have witnessed over and over again.

2. The Use of Pagan Words

Though SBS uses the sacred names we do not consider it a sin to also use the names/titles Jesus Christ, LORD God etc. Why not? Because we communicate with thousands of English-speaking believers and unbelievers alike from over 30 countries. On the Internet we reach millions more. Many of these people possess, or have heard passages read from, the King James Version of the Bible: the Bible which triggered the great Protestant Reformation throughout the English-speaking world. It really is the Authorised Version and by far the best. As a UK Bible School we could hardly say that the most renowned Bible version of all time is full of errors; or that the Almighty who inspired its publication and preservation somehow got His and His Son's name so wrong that to use them would amount to sin! As you know the English language like many others has hundreds of words which are borrowed from other languages. Literally scores of these words have their roots in paganism and many are derived from the names of pagan gods. In fact the English language itself, as far as the Jews are concerned, is a pagan language - every word of it. Below is a short list of words, (those beginning with capital letters are the names of pagan gods) which are used in everyday English. We would find it difficult to communicate if these words were removed from our English dictionaries. All these words, and I can assure you there are hundreds more, have 'pagan roots.' Many are the names of pagan gods. Add to this list the pagan names of the week (Sunday, Monday, Tuesday etc.) or the names of many months. On top of this add also the names of hundreds, yea tens of thousands, of pagan names people have and you have a formidable list of words, titles and names which are directly linked to pagan religions and their gods. Are we to stop using all these names as some suggest? As you probably know, every human language is similarly loaded with words from other tongues. Before the last war Hitler tried to purify the German language by purging words with foreign roots. He miserably failed. Yes, every language on earth - including Hebrew, Aramaic and Greek - is riddled with foreign (pagan) words. We will need to wait for the Almighty to purify every language: because all are as corrupt as is English. That day is near.
Zephaniah 3: 8: Therefore wait ye upon me, saith the LORD, until the day that I rise up to the prey: for my determination is to gather the nations, that I may assemble the kingdoms, to pour upon them mine indignation, even all my fierce anger: for all the earth shall be devoured with the fire of my jealousy.
9: For then will I turn to the people a pure language, that they may all call upon the name of the LORD, to serve him with one consent.

3. Beyond Pronunciations

When the Father's name is spoken in Stewarton we go far beyond correct spellings or pronunciations, far beyond the audible sounds that emanate from human lips. As you may know, there are many variations of the sacred name: Jehovah, Y@hovah, Yahweh, Yahvah, Yahoweh, Yahovah, Yahuweh, Yahuveh, Yahuvah, Jeova, Jehofah, Geova, Ihowa, etc. We do not enter the argument as to which of these - if any - is absolutely correct. Nor do we profess to know the proper Hebrew pronunciation of the name. Does anybody really know? I certainly do not. Our aim is as follows: This is our aim because to us Yahweh's name is far more than an audible sound; however correctly we or others think we pronounce it. And though we respectfully use His name and teach others to do likewise, we do not profess to be experts in Hebrew or any other language. When giving His name, this is what the 'LORD' (YHVH in the original Hebrew) said:
Exodus 34: 1: And the LORD said unto Moses, Hew thee two tables of stone like unto the first: and I will write upon these tables the words that were in the first tables, which thou brakest.
2: And be ready in the morning, and come up in the morning unto mount Sinai, and present thyself there to me in the top of the mount.
3: And no man shall come up with thee, neither let any man be seen throughout all the mount; neither let the flocks nor herds feed before that mount.
4: And he hewed two tables of stone like unto the first; and Moses rose up early in the morning, and went up unto mount Sinai, as the LORD had commanded him, and took in his hand the two tables of stone.
5: And the LORD descended in the cloud, and stood with him there, and proclaimed the name of the LORD.
6: And the LORD passed by before him, and proclaimed, The LORD, The LORD God, merciful and gracious, longsuffering, and abundant in goodness and truth,
7: Keeping mercy for thousands, forgiving iniquity and transgression and sin, and that will by no means clear the guilty; visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children, and upon the children's children, unto the third and to the fourth generation.

8: And Moses made haste, and bowed his head toward the earth, and worshipped.

Notice how the Almighty's character was proclaimed when His name/title LORD (Yahovah) was pronounced. In the following verse this expression of the divine character rather than the name itself is even more evident:
Exodus 34: 14: For thou shalt worship no other god: for the LORD, whose name is Jealous, is a jealous God.

Who in his right mind would address the Most High as Almighty Jealous! No one; because that word jealous simply describes a single trait of the Almighty's character. He is a jealous God. In other words, the Almighty's name goes far beyond the actual sound of a noun however correctly it is spoken. And that is what we in SBS try to keep in focus: The Almighty's name is His character. That is the fact we wish to experience in our lives and proclaim to others. Correct Hebrew spellings and pronunciations of the various nouns will come in His time. As far as we are concerned, only those who reflect Yahweh's character really know his name. Consequently we treat with utmost caution those who profess to know the Almighty's Name. To be sure they may think they know how to pronounce or spell it, some can even write it in the Hebrew language: but alas! of those we have met, many are strangers to His Holy Spirit. They do not really know Him or His Son. They have a strange spirit that motivates them. Consequently I hesitate to write off the rest of Christendom simply because it does not know or use the sacred names. On the great Day of Judgement I am sure we will discover that many Christians we have dismissed as semi-pagans knowing little or nothing of Scripture, are in fact a lot more spiritually minded and productive than we are. So let us all tread with care: and if I may offer a line of advice it would be this: Endeavour to demonstrate in your life - by your character - that you really know the Name of the Almighty: that is, that you know Him! whom to know is life eternal.

SBS     Vital Topics     Sacred Names...Part 1

Author: David B Loughran
Stewarton Bible School, Stewarton, Scotland
July 1998     ... Updated: December 1999