Christian Churches of God

No. 240

 

 

 

Abracadabra: The Meaning of Names

(Edition 2.0 19970918-19970918-20120626)

 

Names are often used as words of power. In theology, the general use is for purposes of invocation. They are used to give the person doing a mantra control over the deity summoned and to force the one or ones called to grant their demands. This use is generally associated with the occult, the numbers and symbols of Kabbalah, and the various forms of mysticism, including primitive witchcraft and shamanism. Its present use remains akin to its use in the early Mystery Religions and Secret Societies.

 

 

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(Copyright © 1997  James Dailley, ed. Wade Cox)

(rev. 2012)

 

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Abracadabra: The Meaning of Names

 


When we hear the word Abracadabra, what do we conjure up? This is a name used by magicians and illusionists to make objects or animals and people: appear, disappear or change shape and colour; “Presto Changeo” sleight of hand.

 

ABRA means = “I will create” and comes from the shoresh (3-letter Hebrew/Aramaic root B”R”A) and is the same shoresh as in the opening word of Genesis (= ‘breishit’), which means “in the beginning of creation.” It is the same in both Hebrew and Aramaic. Putting this with future singular-first-person conjugation, it becomes = ABARA = I WILL CREATE

 

CA’DABRA means = First of all, the first two letters 'CA’ mean (in Hebrew) ‘LIKE’ or ‘JUST THE SAME AS’ – It’s an abbreviation or prefix

for the word CAMMO, and common in the Bible or Hebrew generally;  secondly, the letters DABRA mean (in Hebrew from the shoresh "D-B-R" as in 'speak' or 'say' or 'word') meaning just “as was said” or “the words said”.

 

So when we add it altogether, ABRA-CA-DABRA means “I WILL CREATE just like I SAID”... and the two words rhyme as in "ABRA Ca'DABRA" so it has a magical sound to it.

 

Most likely it was used by a Hebrew-speaking magician, in any medieval European town square market, telling his audience of visiting peasants from outside town, who were in town to do their weekly trade or going to the town church, of his prediction of “I will create, ex nihilo, just as I have said” and then pulling his creature (such as a pigeon) from his ‘empty’ box or hat! as in - “I WILL CREATE just like I SAID” and, followed by the usual: "Voila! Here it is!", and then followed by audience gasp and applause!

 

It is, however, a word of Kabbalistic (Cabbalistic) significance that was, and still may be used for incantations. It was declared that when written as below, folded so as to conceal the writing, sewn with white thread and worn around the neck, your ailments would subside. Sometimes you were required to remove letters and this would further cause the illness to diminish.

 

ABRACADABRA

ABRACADABR

ABRACADAB

ABRACADA

ABRACAD

ABRACA

ABRAC

ABRA

ABR

AB

A

 

J. E. Cirlot in A Dictionary of Symbols, Dorset, page 2, considers the whole word a Hebrew phrase.

 

The earliest written record available of the word is in a second century poem Praecepta de Medicina by Serenus Sammonicus a celebrated Gnostic physician. He gave instructions for using the letters of this magical triangle which he used for curing agues and fevers. It was to be written on paper, folded into the shape of a cross, worn for nine days suspended from the neck and, before sunrise, cast behind the patient into a stream running eastward.

 

It was also a most popular charm in the Middle Ages. During the Great Plague of 1665, great numbers of these amulets were worn as supposed safeguards against infection. It is one of the most famous of all talismans, and was used as a magical formula by the Gnostics in Rome for invoking the aid of beneficent spirits against disease, misfortune and death.

 

Further Kabbalistic research will show the number values and symbolic resonance of this power word. These sacred invocations are part of a mystical discipline that used the repetition of the name of a deity or a combination of letters and names to help in meditation; an unveiling of a divine ‘Name’.

 

Wills’s Lucky Charms #13: THE ABRACADABRA

 

 

This is one of 50 trading cards depicting amulets and talismans published in England during the 1920s by W D & H O Wills, makers of Wills’s cigarettes.

 

The greatest word of power, the most elusive and powerful divine name, is the “personal” name of God, the Tetragrammaton – YHVH – with which God created everything. According to legend, because of its awesome power, the pronunciation of the name was rarely spoken, and then only on the holiest of days and holiest of places; eventually the pronunciation was lost (Richard Cavendish, The Black Arts, Putman Publishing, 1967).

 

Before the third century BCE, the use of the Name of God was prohibited and the concept is mentioned by the Essene about 100 BCE in The Community Rule.

If any man has uttered the [Most] Venerable Name VII even though frivolously, or as a result of shock or for any other reason whatsoever, while reading the Book or blessing, he shall be dismissed and shall return to the council of the community no more (Vermes, Dead Sea Scrolls in English, 4th edition, p. 79).

 

The cruel death which R H Teradion suffered in the Hadrian persecution was accounted as punishment for pronouncing the name. (’Ab zara, 18a) This was to guard against an irreverent use of the sacred name. The laity ceased to pronounce it. Only the priests at the benediction, and after the death of Simon the Just, only the high priest, and he with bated breath, so as to render it inaudible even to his colleagues, pronounced the ‘unutterable’ name. The correct pronunciation of the name was delivered only to the pious and humble (Kid. 71a). According to Philo (Vita Mos. iii 14) it was breathed by holy lips into holy ears in the holy place. Josephus also makes this a concern (Ant. II xii 4). (Encyclopaedia of Religion and Ethics, art. ‘names of God, Jewish,’ Vol. 6, p. 296, J Hastings et al.).

 

This Name of God, because by speaking it the universe was created, is considered to:

reflect the hidden meaning of totality of existence; [it is] the Name through which everything else acquires its meaning (G. Schloem, Major Trends in Jewish Mysticism, p. 133, Schocken Publishing, 1941).

 

This Name is considered by Crowley to be the ultimate goal of the magician for, by knowing its pronunciation, it can be used to create in the same way as God, or to destroy:

Such a Word should in fact be so potent that man cannot hear it and live. Such a word was indeed the lost Tetragrammaton. It is said that at the utterance of the name the Universe crashes into dissolution. Let the Magician earnestly seek this Lost Word (A. Crowley, Magick in Theory and Practice, pp. 70-71, Dover Publications, 1976).

 

Not only do the magicians revere the four-lettered name, but the word Tetragrammaton itself has been adopted and used in magical ceremonies. The Tetragrammaton is more often used in the conjurations of Practical Magic. In Ceremonial Magic it has a variety of uses and, while it is sometimes used in rituals as a name of power, its use is usually restricted to another form of categorisation.

 

Any magical theory or practice which can be divided into four parts is usually assigned one of the letters in the Tetragrammaton. Its most important correspondence is with the four elements – fire (Y), water (H), air (V), and earth (H) (Israel Regardie, The Golden Dawn, Llewellyn Publications, 1986).

 

There is a concept that God used His name to create the universe and everything in it, including the ten Sefirot, meaning Divine Emanations. There are ten Divine Names that are associated with them. This, in turn, originates from the Sefer Yetzirah, in which it is written that God, taking three letters of his name, sealed the six dimensions which are associated with the fifth to last Sefirot. (D. R. Blumenthal, Understanding Jewish Mysticism, Vol. I and II, KTAV, 1978)

 

The magical theory that names can be used as words of power, whether to control the universe outside of the magician or to achieve union with “God” or the “Absolute” or whatever Name is preferred, the concept is of God using His name to create everything.

 

The Abraxas

Abraxas stones were commonly worn and highly esteemed in the Roman Empire about the time when Christianity was becoming established there.

 

Much importance was also attached to the word Abraxas, in the Greek notation making up the number 365, signifying 365 heavens, occupied by the 365 gods who, according to the Gnostic religion, formed the earth and ruled its destiny. This assigning of days is carried into the modern era by the dulia worship of the saints of Catholicism.

Commenting on the elimination of some feasts, L’Osservatore Della Dominica, the Vatican weekly said: “Generally, the removal of a name from the calendar does not mean passing judgment on the non-existence (of a saint) or lack of holiness. Many (saints) have been removed (from the calendar) because all that remains certain about them is their name, and this would say too little to the faithful in comparison with many others (The 1975 Catholic Almanac, p. 285).

The litanies are still in force, and deceased saints are invoked to pray for the supplicant.

 

The Abraxas, the curious device Jeo, or Jehovah of the Gnostics, has a fowl’s head, signifying watchfulness and foresight; the shield, wisdom; whip, authority; two serpents, mystery, eternity, vitality.

 

These rings were worn as talismans for protection against physical ills.

 

The talisman is a gold signet ring with an engraved greenish-grey stone in a simple, heavy bezel. The carving represents Abraxas, a monster with the head of a rooster, the body of a man holding a shield and a whip, and two upturned snakes for legs and feet.

 

Surrounding the Abraxas is an inscription in Greek, the letters reversed so that the ring may be used as a signet.

 

 

Regarding the name Jeo carved on the stone, which the cigarette card’s author refers to Jehovah, Matthew Rabuzzi writes:

A seal of a rooster-headed serpent-legged shield-bearing god clearly labelled YAHWEH can be found illustrated in Anne Baring & Jules Cashford’s ‘The Myth of the Goddess: Evolution of an Image.’

 

The fact that the name Abraxas works out to the auspicious number 365 does not satisfactorily explain why the creature has the head of a rooster, the body of a man, and snakes for legs. I have seen other Abraxas figures in which the entity was riding in a chariot, which reinforces the symbolism of the 365-day year rolling forward on circular solar wheels. Like many Gnostic symbols, Abraxas enjoyed a brief moment of popularity during the late Roman era but was never a strong factor in European or Middle Eastern folk magic.

 

This was brought out by Irenaeus, disciple of Polycarp who was the disciple of John, who wrote in the second century concerning the Abraxas in Against Heresies:

5. ... He attaches no importance to [the question regarding] meats offered in sacrifice to idols, thinks them of no consequence, and makes use of them without any hesitation; he holds also the use of other things, and the practice of every kind of lust, a matter of perfect indifference. These men, moreover, practice magic; and use images, incantations, invocations, and every other kind of curious art.

 

Coining also certain names as if they were those of the angels, they proclaim some of these as belonging to the first, and others to the second heaven; and then they strive to set forth the names, principles, angels, and powers of the three hundred and sixty-five imagined heavens.

 

They also affirm that the barbarous name in which the Savior ascended and descended, is Caulacau.

 

6. He, then, who has learned [these things], and known all the angels and their causes, is rendered invisible and incomprehensible to the angels and all the powers, even as Caulacau also was. And as the son was unknown to all, so must they also be known by no one; but while they know all, and pass through all, they themselves remain invisible and unknown to all; for, Do thou, they say, know all, but let nobody know thee. For this reason, persons of such a persuasion are also ready to recant [their opinions], yea, rather, it is impossible that they should suffer on account of a mere name, since they are like to all. The multitude, however, cannot understand these matters, but only one out of a thousand, or two out of ten thousand. They declare that they are no longer Jews, and that they are not yet Christians; and that it is not at all fitting to speak openly of their mysteries, but right to keep them secret by preserving silence.

 

7. They make out the local position of the three hundred and sixty-five heavens in the same way as do mathematicians. For, accepting the theorems of these latter, they have transferred them to their own type of doctrine. They hold that their chief is Abraxas; and, on this account, that word contains in itself the numbers amounting to three hundred and sixty-five (Irenaeus, Against Heresies, Ch. XXIV, vv. 5, 6 & 7, ANF, Vol. I, pp. 350).

 

Knowledge is gained precept upon precept, line upon line shown in the repetition in the word Caulacau (Isa. 28:10,13).

 

Precept here is SHD 6673 tsav as an injunction meaning a commandment and, hence, a law or precept. The antinomians were striking at the law and calling it tribulation. Line upon line is SHD 6957 kav or kawv, hence line upon line or kawv-la-kawv. It is a cord used for measuring and also a musical string and, hence, accord. It is from this sense a line. By the law all was measured and this is the sense of the text in Isaiah and thus ridiculed by the Naasseni and featured in the cosmology of the Nicolaitans. The Gnostics and, here, also the Nicolaitans were thus the progenitors of the grace not law argument of modern antinomian Trinitarians who are their logical descendants (see the paper The Nicolaitans (No. 202)).

 

It should become clear that the Sacred Names concept as a salvation issue is derived from ancient theology and is heretical in a biblical context. There is a clear distinction in terms of the third commandment regarding the taking of the name of God in vain and the simple identification of the deity. The concept that the correct pronunciation of the name by a man is essential to the operation of the god is a basic magical control issue of the primitive pagan mind.

 

It blasphemes the omnipotence of God the Father in the exercise of His willing self revelation.

 

In Vine’s Expository Dictionary of Biblical Words, in the Old Testament words section on page 96, we find under God:

In the ancient world, knowledge of a person’s name was believed to give one power over that person. A knowledge of the character and attributes of pagan “gods” was thought to enable the worshippers to manipulate or influence the deities in a more effective way than they could have if the deities name remained unknown. To that extent, the vagueness of the term ël frustrated persons who hoped to obtain some sort of power over the deity, since the name gave little or no indication of the god’s character.

 

This was particularly true for El, the chief Canaanite god. They commonly associated deity with the manifestation and use of enormous power. This may be reflected in the curious phrase “the power [ël] of my hand” (Gen. 31:29 KJV. RSV “it is in my power”; cf. Deut. 28:32).

 

This concept is found today amongst Sacred Names groups like Yahweh’s New Covenant Assembly. In their 1993 booklet Our Saviour Spoke the Sacred Name, on page 3 they write:

The lawyers through their own rules were denying the Israelites the knowledge of Yahwey’s Name by which they were to be called. To be called by Yahwey’s Name put Israel under His protection, care and blessings.

 

John 14:14  if you ask anything in my name, I will do it.

This is a very strong statement. However, it is contingent as we must know for we cannot ask for things that are against the will of God, even if using His name.

John 9:31 We know that God does not listen to sinners, but if any one is a worshipper of God and does his will, God listens to him. (RSV)

 

On this point we read:

Matthew 7:22 On that day many will say to me, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and cast out demons in your name, and do many mighty works in your name?’

 

These people called him Lord and knew his name; they even prophesied and cast out demons. His response to these mighty works that were done, apparently successfully, is:

Matthew 7:23  And then will I declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from me, you evildoers.’

 

Acts 4:12  And there is salvation in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved.

 

The individuals above were not saved by the mighty works done in his name. Salvation requires both knowledge and faith.

John 17:3 And this is eternal life, that they know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom thou hast sent.

 

John 30:31 but these are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that believing you may have life in his name.

 

From which follows obedience.

Matthew 7:21 “Not every one who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of my Father who is in heaven.

 

We need to understand and believe in the One whom we worship and do as He says without a false confidence in our mighty works.

 

Yahweh’s New Covenant Assembly continues:

These lawyers disallowed anyone to invoke Yahwey’s Name.

On page 6 we read:

The Saviour emphasises that Yahwey’s Name has special power to protect His people.

This view is incorrect. The reasons for blessings or cursings are listed in Deuteronomy 28. They are based on diligent obedience to the commandments and statutes (Deut. 28:15) and for walking in His ways (Deut. 28:9). Blessings or protection are not for invoking the name used both for the God of Israel and his God for personal benefit. There is a significant difference between YHVH and YHVH of Hosts (Isa. 44:6-8; 51:15; 54:5; Jer. 10:16; 32:35 et seq.).

 

Eloah or Yahovah of Hosts declared Himself through Messiah as eyehashereyeh or I will be what I will become (Ex. 3:14; cf. fn. to The New Oxford Annotated Bible RSV and also to The Companion Bible). This name formed the basis of Yahovah (YHVH) as an extended being and more than two beings in the Bible carried this name or were referred to by this name (see the paper The Angel of YHVH (No. 24)). This name also indicates that God is becoming something (cf. Eph. 4:6).

 

The use of a name that describes attributes of individual character traits, authority, powers or activities is biblical. Biblical names are not used as is a western name which is more of a call sign. Additional names or numbers are added to our common family names to avoid any confusion in identification.

 

Word idolatry

The study called semantics has provided new insights about language and is concerned with the meaning in language. It deals with the use of words and the generally understood meanings that were subject to change and the symbols these words often conveyed.

 

Today, we have the formerly isolated French-speaking population of Quebec, Canada using an older version of the language. The European French-speaking people have to pay very close attention to understand the pronunciation and word use. We have similar difficulties arising from accents and words that are used locally and that often provide a different connotation to the thoughts expressed. Even with American and English television going throughout the world, a Scot from Glasgow speaking to a rural Texan will be challenged.

Genesis 11:6-7 And the LORD said, “Behold, they are one people, and they have all one language; and this is only the beginning of what they will do; and nothing that they propose to do will now be impossible for them. 7 Come, let us go down, and there confuse their language, that they may not understand one another’s speech.”

 

Even today, when speaking only one language we manage to become confused! The effects of this division are still with us and develop very quickly. Hundreds of years ago the challenges of isolated communities that developed their own dialects and languages required them to learn many languages and a regional language. China has a pictographic script that is understood by most of the population. The spoken words that are used are often not understood outside of the local region.

 

Modern Hebrew-speaking Ashkenazic and Sephardic Jews use different words and pronunciation. Either group speaking to Jews in Palestine 2,000 years ago would have problems being understood. At Babel, the speech was confounded and, so, not understood even though they spoke one language.

 

The term Yahoo is familiar to most, as a cry of exhortation used by buckaroos when training horses and as a derogatory designation by city folk when commenting upon those rowdy rednecks, i.e. “That bunch of Yahoos!” It will also now be found as the name of a search engine used by those searching the worldwide web. This word Ya-hoo! was also used as a battle cry and exhortation in the ancient world and perhaps has been brought to the modern Americas through our Parthian/Sythian horse-loving ancestors. Abraham’s legacy, because of the promises God made to his physical and spiritual descendants, is more extensive than is generally understood.

 

There was a temple named the Temple of Yaho described in the Aramaic letters speaking of the Temple at Elephantine (see Pritchard, The Ancient Near East: An Anthology of Texts and Pictures, Princeton, 1958, Vol. I, pp. 278-280). God is being referred to as Yaho from at least before 407 BCE. The temple at Elephantine and the temple at Jerusalem were referred to as the temple of Yaho. This temple at Elephantine was destroyed in 410 BCE by other priests of the god Khnub in Egypt (ibid., pp. 278-279). The reconstruction of the Temple referred to in Ezra-Nehemiah was contributed to by the Hebrews at the temple of Elephantine circa 419-400 BCE.

 

They and the Aramaic speakers there made a contribution for the God Yaho. There was an estimated equivalent of 123 contributions of 2 shekels each (ibid.) and some were even made on behalf of Ishumbethel and Anathbethel. These are assumed deities but may refer to functions of the House of El (Bethel), i.e. the personified pillars or such like. We have no absolute knowledge of the significance. We do know that the name Yaho was used at the beginning of the fourth century BCE after the return of the exiles and at the construction of the Temple at Jerusalem.

 

The term HaShem, meaning The Name, came also from this point in time. The Stone Edition of the Chumash, preface/xiv states:

We use “Hashem” or “The Name” as the translation of the Tetragrammaton, the sacred Hebrew Four-letter Name of God. In the commentary we frequently refer to it as “The Four-letter Name.” (xxvi) … This Name is never pronounced as it is spelled. During prayer, or when it is recited, or when a Torah verse is read, the Four-letter Name should be pronounced as if it were spelled Adonai, the Name that identifies God as Master of all. At other times, it should be pronounced Hashem, literally “The Name”.

 

In the H Danby translation of the Mishnah (second century BCE to the second century CE), we have it declared that:

on Atonement this Name was pronounced by the High Priest as it was written and not using a pseudonym. Yoma 3:8, 6:2; Tamid 7:2.

 

Various pronunciations amongst Sacred Names Assemblies are as follows:

The Most High           Messiah

YaHVah                      YaHVaHoshea

Yahu’wey                   Yahushu’a

Yahaweway                Yahshua

Yhwh                          Yeshua

and primarily:

Yahwey                       Yahoshua

 

The Jehovah’s Witness’ 1984 booklet The Divine Name that will endure forever, writes on page 7 that “The truth is, nobody knows for sure how the name of God was originally pronounced.”

 

This is a forthright statement from a group that pronounces The Name as Jehovah, which would have not been understood by the ancient Hebrew speakers with addition of the westernised ‘J’ pronunciation. They also agree, on page 11, that it would not be wrong to use a form like Yahweh. The pronunciation Jesus developed from the Greek Iesous (SGD 2424) pronounced ee-ay-sooce. It was used in the Septuagint (LXX) translation by seventy[two] Hebrew-speaking scholars for the Hellenistic Jews throughout the Near East.

 

The idea develops from Acts:

Acts 4:12  And there is salvation in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved.”

 

The Aramaic name by which Messiah was known describes his role and the successful completion of his task. The idea can become that we must know and, with correct intonation, properly pronounce this saving name. This idea makes a mockery of the Almighty God communicating to us in any language but Hebrew and also prohibits prophecy.

 

Isaiah 28:11 Nay, but by men of strange lips and with an alien tongue the LORD will speak to this people,

When speaking to the disobedient Hebrew-speaking Israelites, God says that He will speak to them in an alien tongue.

 

This sets the prophetic stage for the Greek-speaking world and the Hellenistic Jews. As stated, all the prophets bear witness that our reconciliation comes from the effect of our faith.

Acts 10:43  To him all the prophets bear witness that every one who believes in him receives forgiveness of sins through his name.

 

If our calling and baptism are only valid if the name used is the Hebrew, then we must wonder if our God is Almighty. Most Hebrew-speakers of the last 39 Jubilees have not responded if this is true. Many of the Israelites who now speak an alien language, even Greek, have received a New Covenant relationship with the One True God. The door was opened to the Gentiles who also must understand who is The Most High God, and who is His Messiah.

John 17:3 And this is eternal life, that they know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom thou hast sent.

 

We read:

Proverbs 22:1  A good name is to be chosen rather than great riches, and favor is better than silver or gold.

 

Proverbs 22:1  good name is more to be desired than great wealth, and to be respected is better than silver and gold. (Bible in Basic English)

 

We should see how the Hebrew thinking regarding the word name is used. Ron or John are not better names than other names. It’s that people’s estimation of us through our conduct that gives us good or bad names, meaning a confidence or trustworthiness.

 

Psalm 20:7 Some put their faith in carriages and some in horses; but we will be strong in the name of the Lord our God. (Bible in Basic English)

We may be strong with confidence in the trustworthiness in our God. This is not related to an unknown Hebrew pronunciation. All can have a temporary artificial confidence in horses and chariots, or missiles and tanks.

 

It is also from the pagan idea that the name of local deities had to be protected so that its correct pronunciation by magicians would not enable the capture of the cities or temples of the deity. In this case it was Jerusalem or the temple at Elephantine. It was a practice used by the Egyptians, the Babylonians and the Romans. This idea also is found in modern occult groups and amongst tribes of the Americas that hold to the totemic and shamanic belief systems.

 

The theory of the ‘name’ is in reality the fundamental basis of more than half of the religious ideas of Egypt.

 

Declamation or melopoepia - the chanted voice of the oldest languages - is regarded as reproducing the harmonious sound, i.e. the material vibration, which is one of the signs of vital substance.

This chanted voice (khrou; cf. G. Maspero, Bibl. egyptol. i [1893] 101) engenders magical forces (hikau). (ERE, art. ‘Names, Egyptian’, pp. 151-153).

 

All the texts, rituals, and magic of Egypt rest essentially on the fact that the name, thus understood, constitutes a material soul, and is the most secret part of the whole living being since it is his very reason for living. The name is therefore the ego. It exists by itself. It is the most subtle of the various souls of the individual.

…The Egyptian name is so definitely a soul - a living being existing by itself - that the most important and oldest liturgical texts make it the essential element in their magical operations. … Cursing or execration by the name of an individual lets loose upon him to injure him all the forces which the formula has ‘bound to’ the name. … At the time of the most ancient monuments, in order to confer on her living subjects and on her dead most of the protections which the totem and its name give to primitive races, Egypt had an amazingly perfect system of affiliation to the cult of a certain protector-god, initiation into the mysteries of the god. The title amkhu assumed by the initiates is followed by the name of the god, to whom the man henceforth owes special allegiance, and from whom he will receive protection in this life and the life to come ... the divine name, being united but not confused with that of the man, marks reciprocal obligations and duties, to which time by degrees gives a moral character (ERE, art. Body, Egyptian, p. 153).

 

This acquisition and use of names for occult purposes is found in virtually all ancient and many modern societies.

 

James Frazer, in The Golden Bough, Volume 2, chapter Taboo and the Perils of the Soul, on pages 387-391, says:

...just as the furtive savage conceals his real name because he fears that sorcerers might make an evil use of it, so he fancies that his gods must likewise keep their true names secret, lest other gods or even men should learn the mystic sounds and thus be able to conjure with them. Nowhere was this crude conception of the secrecy and magical virtue of the divine name more firmly held or more fully developed than in ancient Egypt, where the superstitions of a dateless past were embalmed in the hearts of the people hardly less effectually than the bodies of cats and crocodiles and the rest of the divine menagerie in their rock-cut tombs.

 

The conception is well illustrated by a story which tells how the subtle Isis wormed his secret name from Ra, the great Egyptian god of the sun. Isis, so runs the tale, was a woman mighty in words, and she was weary of the world of men, and yearned after the world of the gods. And she meditated in her heart, saying, “Cannot I by virtue of the great name of Ra make myself a goddess and reign like him in heaven and earth?”

 

For Ra had many names, but the great name which gave him all power over gods and men were known to none but himself. Now the god was by this time grown old; he slobbered at the mouth and his spittle fell upon the ground. So Isis gathered up the spittle and the earth with it, and kneaded thereof a serpent and laid it in the path where the great god passed every day to his double kingdom after his heart’s desire. And when he came forth according to his wont, attended by all his company of gods, the sacred serpent stung him, and the god opened his mouth and cried, and his cry went up to heaven. And the company of gods cried, “What aileth thee?” and the gods shouted, “Lo and behold!” But he could not answer; his jaws rattled, his limbs shook, the poison ran through his flesh as the Nile floweth over the land. When the great god had stilled his heart, he cried to his followers, “Come to me, O my children, offspring of my body. I am a prince, the son of a prince, the divine seed of a god. My father devised my name; my father and my mother gave me my name, and it remained hidden in my body since my birth, that no magician might have magic power of me. I went out to behold that which I have made, I walked in the two lands which I have created, and lo! something stung me. What it was, I know not.

 

Was it fire? was it water? My heart is on fire, my flesh trembleth, all my limbs do quake. Bring me the children of the gods with healing words and understanding lips, whose power reacheth to heaven.” Then came to him the children of the gods, and they were very sorrowful. And Isis came with her craft, whose mouth is full of the breath of life, whose spells chase pain away, whose word maketh the dead to live. She said, “what is it, divine Father? what is it?” The holy god opened his mouth, he spake and said, “I went upon my way, I walked after my heart’s desire in the two regions which I have made to behold that which I have created, and lo! a serpent that I saw not stung me.

 

Is it fire? is it water? I am colder than water, I am hotter than fire, all my limbs sweat, I tremble, mine eye is not steadfast, I behold not the sky, the moisture bedeweth my face as in summertime.” Then spake Isis, “Tell me thy name, divine Father, for the man shall live who is called by his name.” Then answered Ra, “I created the heavens and the earth, I ordered the mountains, I made the great and wide sea, I stretched out the two horizons like a curtain. I am he who openeth his eyes and it is light, and who shuteth them and it is dark.

 

At his command the Nile riseth, but the gods know not his name. I am Khepera in the morning, I am Ra at noon, I am Tum at eve.” But the poison was not taken away from him; it pierced deeper, and the great god could no longer walk. Then said Isis to him, “That was not thy name that thou speakest unto me. Oh tell it me, that the poison may depart; for he shall live whose name is named.” Now the poison burned like fire, it was hotter than the flame of fire. The god said, “I consent that Isis shall search into me, and that my name shall pass from my breast into hers.” Then the god hid himself from the gods, and his place in the ship of eternity was empty. Thus was the name of the great god taken from him, and Isis, the witch, spake, “Flow away poison, depart from Ra. It is I, even I who overcome the poison and cast it to the earth; for the name of the great god hath been taken away from him. Let Ra live and let the poison die.” Thus spake great Isis, the queen of the gods, she who knows Ra and his true name.”

 

Thus we see that the real name of the god, with which his power was inextricably bound up, was supposed to be lodged, in an almost physical sense, somewhere in his breast, from which word it could be extracted by a sort of surgical operation and transferred with all its supernatural powers to the breast of another.

 

In Egypt attempts like that of Isis to appropriate the power of a high god by possessing herself of his name were not mere legends told of the mythical beings of a remote past; every Egyptian magician aspired to wield like powers by similar means. For it was believed that he who possessed the true name possessed the very being of god or man, and could force even a deity to obey him as a slave obeys his master.

 

Thus the art of the magician consisted in obtaining from the gods a revelation of their sacred names, and he left no stone unturned to accomplish his end. When once a god in a moment of weakness or forgetfulness had imparted to the wizard the wondrous lore, the deity had no choice but to submit humbly to the man or pay the penalty of his contumacy.

 

In one papyrus we find the god Typhon thus adjured: “I invoke thee by thy true names, in virtue of which thou canst not refuse to hear”; and in another the magician threatens Osirus that if the god does not do his bidding he will name him aloud in the port of Busirus. So in the Lucan the Thessalian witch whom Sextus Pompeius consulted before the battle of Pharsalia threatens to call up the Furies by their real names if they will not do her bidding. In modern Egypt the magician still works his old enchantments by the same ancient means; only the name of the god by which he conjures is different. The man who knows “the most great name” of God can, we are told, by the mere utterance of it kill the living, raise the dead, transport himself instantly wherever he pleases, and perform any other miracle. Similarly among the Arabs of North Africa at the present day “the power of the name is such that when one knows the proper names the jinn can scarcely help answering the call and obeying; they are the servants of the magical names;. So to the Chinese of ancient times were dominated by the notion that beings are intimately associated with their names, so that a man’s knowledge of the name of a spectre might enable him to exert power over the latter and bend it to his will.

 

The belief in the magic virtue of divine names was shared by the Romans. When they sat down before a city, the priests addressed the guardian deity of the place in a set form of prayer or incantation, inviting him to abandon the beleaguered city and come over to the Romans, who would treat him as well as or better than he had ever been treated in his old home. Hence the name of the guardian deity of Rome was kept a profound secret, lest the enemies of the republic might lure him away, even as the Romans themselves had induced many gods to desert, like rats, the falling fortunes of cities that had sheltered them in happier days. Nay, the real name, not merely of its guardian deity, but of the city itself, was wrapt in mystery and might never be uttered, not even in the sacred rites.

 

A certain Valerius Soranus, who dared to divulge the priceless secret, was put to death or came to a bad end. In like manner, it seems, the ancient Assyrians were forbidden to mention the mystic names of their cities; and down to modern times the Cheremiss of the Caucasus keep the names of their communal villages secret from motives of superstition (Frazer, ibid., pp. 387-391).

 

The “ineffable name” doctrine begins to appear in the works of Justin Martyr, a Samaritan convert to Christianity who wrote in the mid-second century CE. Justin made a special point about his many discussions with the Jews, discussions which greatly influenced his own thinking in regard to the sacred name Yahweh. He tells us plainly:

And all the Jews even now teach that the nameless deity spoke to Moses (I Apol., 63).

 

Justin then voices these opinions:

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 appellations derived from good deeds and functions (II Apol., 6).

 

Justin then, on various occasions, speaks of the “ineffable” and “unutterable” Deity and Father.

Now we know that this half truth has been well established by Justin’s time. It is true that any name made up by man for The Father would be wrong. It is also true that words like father, deity, creator, etc. are not personal names. Yet Justin has been taken in by a Jewish teaching that the Father does not possess an eternal name that He gave to Himself. But the Sacred Name Yahovah was revealed to man by Yahovah Himself and is not a man-given name (see II Apol., 10, 13; Trypho, 126, 127).

 

The Jews spoke the terms Yahovah (SHD 3068) as Adonai and Yahovih (SHD 3069) as Elohim. They elevated one above the other in accordance with Psalm 45:6-7. One was Lord, the other was true God. The true elohim or haElohim was Eloah.

 

Is this style of word use part of a plan to cause unsuspecting people to misuse the name of God and come under penalty? A new style Balaam?

 

Scripture is a collection of words that preserves the foundation of our faith. We heard or read words when we realised we were missing the mark and needed to change. Scripture does not explicitly mention the origin of language; it is evident that God is responsible for the beginning of human speech and written language. Certainly, there is nothing inherently wrong with words except where we misuse them.

 

The correct form for Jehovah is Yahovah or Yahovih dependent upon the suffix used in reference to the entity. It is pronounced Yahovah or Yahovih. The term Yahwey is thus also incorrect.

 

Care must be taken to identify the Yahovah that is the object of worship. Unless the entity is identified and understood as the supreme God, Yahovah of Hosts who is Eloah, then the Monotheism of God is compromised and Binitarianism is again introduced. The name Jehovah or Yahovah is combined with ten other titles.

 

They are in the order they appear in the Hebrew texts as:

1.       Jehovah-JirehJehovah will see or provide (Gen. 22:14).

2.       Jehovah-RophekaJehovah that heals you (Ex. 15:26).

3.       Jehovah-NissiJehovah my banner (Ex. 17:15).

4.       Jehovah-MekaddishkemJehovah that does sanctify you (Ex. 31:13; Lev. 20:8; 21:8; 22:32; Ezek. 20:12).

5.       Jehovah-ShalomJehovah [send] peace (Judges 6:24).

6.       Jehovah-Zeba’othJehovah of Hosts (1Sam. 1:3 and frequently).

7.       Jehovah-ZidkenuJehovah our righteousness (Jer. 23:6; 33:16).

8.       Jehovah-ShammahJehovah is there (Ezek. 48:35).

9.       Jehovah-’ElyonJehovah Most High (Ps. 7:17; 47:2; 97:9).

10.   Jehovah-Ro’iJehovah my Shepherd (Ps. 23:1).

 

Psalm 23 uses seven of the attributes conferred by the names of God:

Verse 1 conveys concept 1 (Jehovah-Jireh).

Verse 2 conveys concept 5 (Jehovah-Shalom).

Verse 3 conveys concepts 2 and 7 (Jehovah-Ropheka and Jehovah-Zidkenu).

Verse 4 conveys concept 8 (Jehovah-Shammah).

Verse 5 conveys concepts 3 and 4 (Jehovah-Nissi and Jehovah Mekaddishkem).

 

The Companion Bible (App. 4) makes a series of arguments for El as being essentially the almighty although the word is never so rendered. This context is in fact as El Shaddai. The use of El is thought of as God the Omnipotent. Elohim is used in the sense of God as Creator because God creates and ordains law in the hands of intermediaries.

 

Elohim is plural. El is used as the root for qualitative description of God. It is only Eloah that is the God Who Wills and is the one object of worship of His people (see also Companion Bible, App. 4).

 

El is thought of as the God who knows all (first occurring in Gen. 14:18-22) and sees all (Gen. 16:13) and performs all things for His people (Ps. 57:2) and in whom all the divine attributes are concentrated (Companion Bible, ibid.). There is, however, the fact that El is the root which occurs in names and titles which indicates that it is simply the root from which qualitative difference is demonstrated in the entities that act under delegation. For example, the Angel of Yahovah is also the El Bethel or the God of the House of God.

 

In other words, it demonstrates authority within structure. Only Eloah is the singular extension of worship.

 

El Elyon is the name applied to Eloah as the Most High El. He is the Most High God. He is God the Father as we know from the Greek rendering of the name in Luke 1:35. El Elyon is the entity who divided the nations (Deut. 32:8). He gave Israel as Yahovah’s portion. Thus Yahovah, here, is the Yahovah of Israel and subordinate to Eloah or El Elyon.

 

It is Eloah or Elyon that is the object of worship and Israel did not worship its subordinate elohim. Note Deuteronomy 32:8 has been altered in the Masoretic text to read according to the number of the children of Israel rather than the original sons of God or the number of the angels (LXX) or eliym or the Gods (DSS).

 

OM MANI PADME HUM

This is a well known mantra, having the meaning of:

hail to the jewel in the lotus” or

praise the union of male and female energy!”

 

From the Lotus Sutra, the mantra is associated with the patron deity Avalokitesvara (Chinese Kuan Yin), the bodhisattva of compassion. It is believed by Tibetans that its use will generate good karma. The syllables are inscribed on stone walls throughout the country and are written on hand-held prayer wheels that are kept spinning.

 

In Tibetan Buddhist lands the most common prayer, found everywhere, is Om Mani Peme Hung, the mantra of Chenrezi, the Buddha of compassion. The mantra originated in India. As it moved from India into Tibet, the pronunciation changed because some of the sounds in the Indian Sanskrit language were hard for Tibetans to pronounce.

 

Sanskrit; OM MANI PADMA HUM

mantra of Avalokitesvara

 

Tibetan; OM MANI PEME HUNG

mantra of Chenrezi

 

This syllable ‘OM’ is stated in the early Bramanas (c. 800 BCE) to be the divine counterpart of tatha, i.e. ‘so be it’. The ‘Hum’ also has the aspect of certainty as when we use the ‘Amen’.

 

From the OM, the Pranava-Upanisad (c. 500 BCE) derives the entire creation.

Also, the ritual for the Brahman priest who by this utterance of the OM before and after sacrifice remedies all defects in the latter ... no holy text shall be chanted without it ... OM recited 1,000 times grants all wishes (ibid., p. 109).

 

The literal meaning of the formula would be: ‘So be it! O Lotus Jewel! Amen!’ This is essentially the form of a wishing gem spell, a luck compelling talisman. Mani is a title given to the mystical hermits (siddhi) who have recited this Om Mani spell 100,000 times or more (ERE, art. ‘Jewel (Buddhist)’, Vol. 7, p. 556).

 

The Priest-magician devotes all his power to ‘knowing’ (rokhu) the exact texture of the name, its qualities, quantities, musical tonality, and scanned declamation. The magical chant (khrou) which exactly reproduces all these elements gives to him who possesses it the complete ownership of the name-souls thus evoked.

 

To the irresistible call which attracts their vital substance all beings, visible and invisible, must answer. Spirits, genii, the dead, the most powerful gods, cannot avoid it. And after the lapse of centuries, when individual magic, alongside of the official, developed its dangerous occult power, the processes were not different (ERE, art. ‘Names (Egyptian)’, Vol. 9, p. 152a).

 

Egypt still preserves several characteristics of primitive religion (cf. Names (Primitive)), practically unaltered, whose origin and exact meaning can be verified from the context.

 

So says Yahovah, the King of Israel, and his Redeemer, Yahovah Sabaoth or of Hosts: “I am the First and I am the Last; and there is no Elohim except me ... Is there an Elohim beside me, or any other rock? No there is none (Isa. 44:6-8 The Interlinear Bible).

There are two Yahovahs here, the Yahovah of Israel and his superior Yahovah of Hosts who is the Alpha and Omega and the Rock and Redeemer of the Yahovah of Israel.

 

This is the One True God, Eloah, the Elohim that anointed the Yahoveh or Elohim of Israel as Elohim in Psalm 45:6-7, and Hebrews 1:8 identifies this elohim as Christ. They are thus superior and subordinate and the subordinate has partners (metoxous) or comrades in the council as we see from the original Greek in Hebrews and the LXX. We should see that the one who became the saviour and redeemer of Israel and mankind also had a Saviour and Redeemer.

 

We must correctly understand the meaning of YHVH and the revelation at Sinai aseyehashereyeh or I will be what I will become. YHVH means He who causes to be and is a third person form of the revelation (see Oxford Annotated RSV) used by a subordinate.

 

Similarly, is adversary a name or character trait? Does it depend upon context?

 

The knowledge of the name of God is indicative of biblical understanding. The most common misunderstanding regarding the name of God stems from Psalm 83:18.

Psalm 83:18  That men may know that  thou, whose name alone is JEHOVAH, art  the most high over all the earth. (KJV)

 

Psalm 83:18 Let them know that thou alone, whose name is the LORD [YHVH], art the Most High over all the earth. (RSV)

 

The Companion Bible has a note on the name Jehovah in Appendix 4, II. Jehovah is held to mean the Eternal or Immutable One. The definition is in:

Genesis 21:33 And Abraham planted a grove in Beersheba, and called there on the name of the LORD, the everlasting God. (KJV)

 

Everlasting here is from the Hebrew olam meaning duration. The origin of the word Jehovah is held to be in He who was and is to come.

 

There is a problem with applying the name given at Sinai to simply Jehovah.

Exodus 3:14  And God said unto Moses, I AM THAT I AM: and he said, Thus shalt thou say unto the children of Israel, I AM hath sent me unto you. (KJV)

 

I am here is hayah (SHD 1961) which means to exist, to be or become.

 

The Companion Bible renders the text ehyehasherehyeh, and translates it as I will be what I will be (or become) (see note and App. 48), noting also that Jehovah means He will be spoken of by others. The Oxford scholars have noted in their Oxford Annotated RSV that Yahweh is in fact the third person form of the verb which actually means He causes to be.

 

The text cross references to Exodus 6:3 and Isaiah 26:4. These three texts were the three places in the Authorised Version where the text was transliterated and printed in large capital letters. The text in Psalm 83:18 couples another title with the name Jehovah namely that of Elyon or the Most High. This is a distinguishing title as we will see. The name Jehovah is an inexact transliteration. Another transliteration is Yahweh. That also is inexact.

 

The other two texts read:

Exodus 6:3 And I appeared unto Abraham, unto Isaac, and unto Jacob, by the name of God Almighty, but by my name JEHOVAH was I not known to them. (KJV)

 

Isaiah 26:4  Trust ye in the LORD for ever: for in the LORD JEHOVAH is everlasting strength: (KJV)

 

There is a feature where in Scripture a person’s name is changed when their role or relationship with God alters.

Nehemiah 9:7 Thou art the LORD, the God who didst choose Abram and bring him forth out of Ur of the Chaldeans and give him the name Abraham; (RSV)

 

Genesis 17:5 No longer shall your name be Abram, but your name shall be Abraham; for I have made you the father of a multitude of nations. (RSV)

 

Abram’s name was changed after God promised to make him a father of nations and of the spiritual faithful.

 

This relationship caused a change in his wife’s name.

Genesis 17:15  And God said to Abraham, “As for Sarai your wife, you shall not call her name Sarai, but Sarah shall be her name. (RSV)

 

As also, under the New Covenant relationship the individual’s name was changed.

John 1:42  He brought him to Jesus. Jesus looked at him, and said, “So you are Simon the son of John? You shall be called Cephas” (which means Peter).

 

The Messiah has a new name as befits his new role.

Revelation 3:12  He who conquers, I will make him a pillar in the temple of my God; never shall he go out of it, and I will write on him the name of my God, and the name of the city of my God, the new Jerusalem which comes down from my God out of heaven, and my own new name. (RSV)

 

He is presently called Faithful and True (Rev. 19:11) and the word or spokesman of God (Rev. 19:13). He was the first advent Priest of Aaron and will be the forthcoming King of the second advent.

 

He has obtained a new name that only he knows.

Revelation 19:12  His eyes are like a flame of fire, and on his head are many diadems; and he has a name inscribed which no one knows but himself.

 

Hebrews 1:4 having become as much superior to angels as the name he has obtained is more excellent than theirs.

 

Revelation 3:12 He who conquers, I will make him a pillar in the temple of my God; never shall he go out of it, and I will write on him the name of my God, and the name of the city of my God, the new Jerusalem which comes down from my God out of heaven, and my own new name.

 

Spiritual overcomers will also receive new names.

Revelation 2:17 He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. To him who conquers I will give some of the hidden manna, and I will give him a white stone, with a new name written on the stone which no one knows except him who receives it.

 

All of those who are part of the first resurrection receive new names.

Acts 4:12  And there is salvation in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved.”

 

The name here is Jesus Christ or Yahoshua Messiah. The name means the fulfilment of the sacrificial role and not that its use provides the salvation. Jesus was also saved and redeemed by his God and father.

John 20:17  Jesus said to her, “Do not hold me, for I have not yet ascended to the Father; but go to my brethren and say to them, I am ascending to my Father and your Father, to my God and your God.” (RSV)

 

Exodus 34:14  for you shall worship no other god, for the LORD, whose name is Jealous, is a jealous God.

 

Isaiah 63:16 For thou art our Father, though Abraham does not know us and Israel does not acknowledge us; thou, O LORD, art our Father, our Redeemer from of old is thy name. (RSV)

 

Exodus 3:15  God also said to Moses, “Say this to the people of Israel, ‘The LORD, the God of your fathers, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob, has sent me to you’: this is my name for ever, and thus I am to be remembered throughout all generations.

 

2 Samuel 23:22  These things did Benaiah the son of Jehoiada, and won a name beside the three mighty men.

 

1Kings 18:24 And you call on the name of your god and I will call on the name of the LORD; and the God who answers by fire, he is God.” And all the people answered, “It is well spoken.”

 

Isaiah 9:6 For to us a child is born, to us a son is given; and the government will be upon his shoulder, and his name will be called “Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.”

 

Isaiah 42:8  I am the LORD, that is my name; my glory I give to no other, nor my praise to graven images.

 

Isaiah 63:16 For thou art our Father, though Abraham does not know us and Israel does not acknowledge us; thou, O LORD, art our Father, our Redeemer from of old is thy name.

 

Zechariah 14:9  And the LORD will become king over all the earth; on that day the LORD will be one and his name one.

 

Matthew 7:22  On that day many will say to me, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and cast out demons in your name, and do many mighty works in your name?’

 

John 14:14  if you ask anything in my name, I will do it.

 

John 30:31  but these are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that believing you may have life in his name.

 

Acts 10:43  To him all the prophets bear witness that every one who believes in him receives forgiveness of sins through his name.”

 

Acts 10:48  And he commanded them to be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ. Then they asked him to remain for some days.

 

Ephesians 5:20  always and for everything giving thanks in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ to God the Father.

 

Acts 12:25  And Barnabas and Saul returned from Jerusalem when they had fulfilled their mission, bringing with them John whose other name was Mark.

 

1Corinthians 6:11  And such were some of you. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and in the Spirit of our God.

 

1Peter 4:16  yet if one suffers as a Christian, let him not be ashamed, but under that name let him glorify God.

 

John 1:41  He first found his brother Simon, and said to him, “We have found the Messiah” (which means Christ).

 

(Except where noted all Scriptures are from the Revised Standard Version, 1947)

 

“In the name of” – What does it mean?

It is significant to note that the Sacred Name cults heavily rely on the same grammatical construction: “the name of”. The Old Testament phrase “in the name of the LORD (Hebrew: Yahovah pronounced by them as Yahweh)” is apparently the source of their beliefs. But just what does “the name of” mean?

 

We must now examine how the words “name of” are used in Scripture. Samuel said, “For the sake of his great name the LORD (Hebrew: Yahovah or Yahweh) will not reject his people, because the LORD was pleased to make you his own” (1Sam. 12:22 NIV). This verse does not make much sense if the words “name of” indicate that the very words “in the name of the LORD” were used at some point in time. If you change the beginning of the verse to “For the sake of being faithful to Himself the LORD ...” we find that the meaning is unchanged.

 

The Psalms say, “We will shout for joy when you are victorious and will lift up our banners in the name of our God” (Ps. 20:5 NIV). Here we find “the name of” being defined by the Scripture itself through Hebrew parallelism. “Will shout for joy” equals “lift up our banners” – both mean giving praise. “When [God is] victorious” equals “in the name of our God” – both indicate that God is faithful to His own cause. This is confirmed later in the chapter: “Some trust in chariots and some in horses, but we trust in the name of the LORD our God” (Ps. 20:7 NIV). The chariots and horses are contrasted with God’s faithfulness – both are means of victory (but as verse 8 shows the latter is much more effective).

 

By the inspiration of the Holy Spirit Solomon wrote, “A good name is more desirable than great riches; to be esteemed is better than silver or gold” (Prov. 22:1). This verse allows us to focus on the meaning of the word name itself in Hebrew thinking. The first part of the verse could just as easily say “To be found trustworthy (faithful to one’s own word) is ...”. Again, faithfulness, not some utterance, is being emphasised here. Yet if some Christians were consistent in their interpretation, this could mean that Bill is better than Bob because he has a better name.

 

In the New Testament we find John saying “I write these things to you who believe in the name of the Son of God so that you may know that you have eternal life” (1Jn. 5:13 NIV). He could have said “I write these things to you who trust that Christ is faithful ...”. He certainly did not mean that at some point in time thinking or speaking the words “Son of God” saved these people.

 

In Romans 10, we find a real problem for anyone who rejects the proper study of semantics. Verse 9 (KJV): “That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved”. Verse 13 (KJV): “For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved”.

 

Upon looking at the context we find that Paul is quoting Joel 2:32 to support his statement in verse 9. He is telling us that we know that believing in Jesus is the way to be saved because the Old Testament prophet Joel said that anyone who calls upon the name of the LORD (Hebrew: Yahovah or Yahweh) will be saved.

 

The problems that this text presents wordolaters are countless. First, an ultra-literal interpretation of verse 9 means that we must say “Lord Jesus” to be saved, but an ultra-literal interpretation of Joel 2:28 indicates that we can only be saved by calling on the LORD (Yahweh). This is a little off subject, but let us begin the exposition by refuting the error that confession is a prerequisite for salvation. Verse 11 says “For the scripture saith, whosoever believeth on him shall not be ashamed” and other verses throughout the Bible indicate that we are saved only when we believe. Confession is an evidence of salvation. Mute people will not go to hell on the grounds that they were physically incapable of saying “Jesus is Lord”.

 

With only the little induction given earlier in the Old Testament use of the phrase “in the name of the LORD”, it should be apparent now that neither Joel nor Paul believed that using the word Yahovah or Yahweh or Kurios (the Greek word for Lord used in Romans 10:13) would get anyone saved. It “the name of” again indicates some kind of trust. God saves those who trust in Him, whether it is in the Father Yahovah (Yahweh) of Hosts or in the Son, Jesus Christ our Lord also called Yahovah. There are multiple Yahovahs in the Old Testament. Only Yahovah of Hosts or Yahovih is God Most High. Abraham spoke to three Yahovahs prior to the destruction of Sodom and two Yahovahs went to destroy Sodom, none of whom were God Most High.

 

Now we come to the all important verse: “Peter replied, ‘Repent and be baptized every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins. And you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit’” (Acts 2:38 NIV). Someone once explained that this verse “proves” that the words “in the name of Jesus” must be spoken in order to have a proper baptism. It was held that Matthew 28:19, in which Jesus told the apostles to baptise “in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit” (NIV), does not constitute a baptismal formula because the words Father, Son, and Holy Spirit are merely “titles” of Jesus. Even if that were accurate, which it is not (Jesus is neither the Father nor the Holy Spirit), the point would be moot because semantics tell us that what is meant is what counts, and if Jesus is the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, making a distinction is ludicrous. Moreover, as we have seen throughout the rest of the Bible, the phrase “in the name of Jesus” indicates that we must put our trust in Him.

 

The argument that Jesus is one as both Father and Son is a doctrine of Modalism derived from Rome through the worshippers of the god Attis (see the paper The Origins of Christmas and Easter (No. 235)).

 

We have been using the names and titles of Yahoshua Messiah and the Anglicised Jesus Christ, transliterated from the Greek Iesous Christos. Does a problem with identification develop from this different usage?

 

The name of the Messiah was Yahoshua. The Hebrew variations of this are Hosea, Hoshea, Jehoshua, Jeshua, Jeshuah, Jesus, Osea, Oshea and Joshua.

 

Messiah is named by divine direction. His name is given in Matthew 1:21 and Luke 1:31. The name is derived from the name Hoshea (as in Num. 13:16) with the prefix Jah or Yah. This means effectively God is our Salvation. Yahoshua is then rendered as Yeshua or Joshua in usage. Jesus is a Greek version of Joshua and is derived from non-Hebrew sources. The Greek Iesous is a transliteration of the name Yahoshua. A variation of the name also appears among the Hyperborean Celts.

 

Esus is one of a trinity of Esus, Taranis and Teutates. Esus may well be of the trinity system of the Hyperborean Celts but a version of it, Iesous, is also the Greek rendering of the Aramaic version of Yahoshua as perhaps Yashua or Yeshua.

 

In summary, we see that the preoccupation with Sacred Names stems from a number of fundamental theological errors.

1.    That the name Yahweh is exclusively the name of the God Most High, which it is not. It is an extended name proceeding from Yahovih or Yahovah of Hosts to Yahovah who is Messiah and on to the Host who act in the name of Yahovah who sent them.

 

1.    Yahweh is applied, as we see above, to a heathen deity through Gnosticism and, hence, it is not only linguistically incorrect, it is inherently idolatrous and was used for that purpose among mystics.

 

1.    That only those who correctly pronounce the name Yahweh can be saved. By this view Christ was in heresy when he called from the cross Eli Eli lama sabacthani; calling out in Aramaic, from a Hebrew Scripture, to Eli or Eloi and not to any such Yahweh.

 

1.    That baptism is invalid unless it is into the correct name of Yahoshua or Yeshua or such version. This takes away entirely the concept of God’s grace, election and willing self-revelation.

 

These views are inherently blasphemous and are a danger to the peace and well being of the elect. They are intensely accusative and impugn the baptism of the elect. On these premises, many Sacred Names people go though multiple baptisms under different variations on the names theme as they come to understand more about the etymology of names.

 

Baptism is into the body of The Messiah called Jesus Christ, in the name of the Father, through the power of the Holy Spirit as an organ of the Father who is Eloah or the God Most High.

 

The Sacred Names issue is argued by people who seek to control the deity by their correct use of His name. God will not be so controlled by sinful, accusative, disobedient men.

 

Bibliography

1.    Richard Cavendish, The Black Arts, Putman Publishing, 1967.

2.    Encyclopaedia of Religion and Ethics (ERE).

3.    James Hastings et al., Scribner’s Sons.

4.    A. Crowley, Magick in Theory and Practice, pp. 70-71, Dover Publications, 1976.

5.    I. Regardie, The Golden Dawn, Llewellyn Publications, 1986.

6.    D. R. Blumenthal, Understanding Jewish Mysticism, Vols. I and II, KTAV, 1978.

7.    G. Schloem, Major Trends in Jewish Mysticism, p. 133, Schocken Publishing, 1941.

8.    James Frazer, The Golden Bough, Vol. 2, Ch. Taboo and the Perils of the Soul, pp. 387-391.

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