Yahweh or the Highway?

According to an email I got today, unless we use the name “Yahweh” to worship God we are worshipping an idol.A word never once used by Jesus, Paul, Peter, that never appears in any of the New Testament – even when quoting the Old Testament.Paul happily called Yeshua Iesous because that was His name in Greek. So I am not unhappy or ashamed to call Him Jesus, His name in my native tongue, English.A lot of this sacred name teaching is based in three things:1. A desire to make God unknowable. Jesus came to make God known. To be God in the flesh, to be the fullness of God in a form we can see, and examine, and know – face to face. To remove that name, to insist we spell it in a different way, that it only works in a certain language is to suddenly restrict Jesus to one culture, to being unknowable without special secret knowledge. It undoes the revelation of the Incarnation, and posts Jesus back up to heaven leaving us without the full revelation of God, which is always found in Jesus Christ.2. It brings us back to legalistic Hebrew culture and practise, just by using the language. I am all for learning about the Jews, learning about the original audience of the Old Testament – and most of the New. The more you know about them the more you can understand Scripture. But don’t idolise Judaism, it’s the religion that produced the Pharisees. It’s the framework that Paul dedicated his life to dismantle. We are not trying to get back to the ceremony of the Passover, when the Passover lamb Jesus Christ is right here, right now, alive forever more. Jesus rebuked Jewish experts for loving the Word but not using it to draw near to Him. You don’t find people insisting on Jewish names for God who are free from the law and living under the joy of grace.3. It reduces faith to witchcraft. Faith is expressed in words, I have said that and taught that strongly for years. I have lived it. I have put declarations at the heart of our church services. But you don’t need the special, magic words, you just need some positive heart felt worlds It’s the heart of faith that moves mountains not finding out the magic Hebrew word for mountain. It’s believing God is good and loves you, and standing on that which brings a flow of God’s power not getting His name right in a language you don’t even know.The simple fact of the matter is this. Jehovah, Yawheh, or however you spell it or pronounce it, is not once in the New Testament. I believe that was to allow us to focus on an even greater name that the New Covenant opened up and revealed: Father.In the Old Testament, God is revealed as Yahweh, the great I am because in the Old Testament God is the one and only. But Jesus then came and brought many sons to glory. And God’s highest revelation is as one of is love, and relates to those He loves as a Father. He provides as Father. Loves as Father. Gives good gifts as Father.Jesus told us to pray, not to Yahweh, but to our Father. Jesus told us the most exciting thing about heaven is that it is His Father’s place. He cleaned the temple because it was His Father’s house. He told us that if we have seen Jesus we have seen the Father. Why go back to the name of the invisible God who has no sons apart from Jesus?Why crawl back under the system of religion that fights over pronouncing His name correctly and yield to your reborn spirit which is right now crying ABBA, Father.

Published by Tree of Life Church

We are a growing network of growing churches, with services weekly in Dagenham, Guildford, Watford, Croydon, Brentwood and Dorset. We are also planting churches in Cambridge, Suffolk, West Midlands and Hemel. Find out more at www.tree.church, www.tree.church/youtube and www.tree.church/app.

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