The sacred names movement Has Much to Answer For in Disparaging the Character of our Lord.
All people in the sacred names camp ought to consult the Holy Spirit regarding the matter, for it is with Him that they have a controversy.
After all, the Holy Spirit inspired the New Testament writers to write the names in the Greek language so that it would be profitable for doctrine, reproof, correction, and instruction in righteousness.
Not only this, but the Holy Spirit, by inspiration also caused the names of Jesus, and of God, as well as the various titles to be written in the GREEK language—not Hebrew.
And FURTHER, much of the New Testament contains quotations or citations from the Old Testament, and wherever those Old Testament passages contained the names or titles of God, the HOLY SPIRIT inspired them to be written into the New Testament in the GREEK language.
One cannot surely suggest that the Holy Spirit got it wrong on so many accounts, for that is the suggestion when one advocates changing the Sure Word of God to suit the teachings and doctrines of men.
All people and all denominations who would protest that the Word has been tampered with in the change of names ought to do the same, for those who doubt the integrity of the Bible cast reproach upon the ability of the Majesty on High to preserve it.
But the Word of the Lord is made clear.
“As the rain cometh down, and the snow from heaven, and returneth not thither, but watereth the earth, and maketh it bring forth and bud, that it may give seed to the sower, and bread to the eater: so shall my word be that goeth forth out of my mouth: it shall not return unto me void, but it shall accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper in the thing whereto I sent it.” Isa. 55: 10, 11.
Those who wish to use the Hebrew names may feel free to do so without consequence, if however, those that do would suggest that others cannot use the Greek names as presented in the Scriptures without jeopardizing their destiny, then they must provide proof positive that the New Testament was originally inspired, and written in the Hebrew language.
We should always be mindful that it is by faith that we are saved [Romans 4:16; I John 5:4] and it is by the Word of God that we find faith [Romans 10:17]. Therefore, we know that it is of utmost importance, for without it, it is impossible to please God.
For “whatsoever is not of faith is sin” (Rom. 14:23), and we know that sin does please God.
The people who insist that the original Hebrew names be used are misappropriating the meaning and the intent of the injunction to reverence His Holy Name; and here is why.
In Exodus 34:5-7 we find the proclamation of His Name.
“And the Lord descended in the cloud, and stood with him there, and proclaimed the name of the Lord. And the Lord passed by before him, and proclaimed, The Lord, The Lord God, merciful and gracious, long-suffering, and abundant in goodness and truth, keeping mercy for thousands, forgiving iniquity and transgression and sin, and that will by no means clear the guilty.”
In this text, we find not only the common names but also a summary of the meaning.
In society we use names as a means of identifying people, its use is broad and multi-faceted, but names in the Bible have meaning, and the meanings are spiritual, in other words, they are symbolic, or representative of the character of the person who is called by that name.
The use of names in Scripture is not constrained by our understanding of its meaning, for most people simply don’t care to discover the meaning of the names so that they might readily identify the character of the person more accurately.
But the Bible exemplifies the meaning of names by example, and in so doing it more accurately identifies the character of the individual.
In the text quoted above, we find one such example. The text tells us that this is the proclamation of the Lord’s name.
And if we have studied Exodus 34 we will know that what is taking place here is the giving of the Law at Sinai for the second time. This was necessary as Moses had broken the first tables of stone when Israel fell immediately into apostasy.
What is described in brief in this text; is a summary of that which was proclaimed in Exodus 20:1-17.
Instead of repeating the Law as it was originally supplied in Exodus 20, we find a summary of that Law; and that summary is described as the proclamation of His Name.
Which quite simply tells us that the Law is a transcript of the Character of God.
It is His Name written in words, on tables of stone, and when the Bible speaks of honoring and reverencing His Holy Name, it is not simply referring to the use of the names that the Sacred names movement would have us believe, but it speaks of the character of the person represented by that Name.
Therefore, by reverencing His Name-His Law, we are reverencing Him.
At Sinai, His name was written on tablets of stone, but for those who are partakers of the everlasting Covenant of Faith, His name is written on fleshly tables of the heart.
“Forasmuch as ye are manifestly declared to be the epistle of Christ ministered by us, written not with ink, but with the Spirit of the living God; not in tables of stone, but in fleshy tables of the heart.” 2 Corinthians 3:3
This can only be because His Law is Spiritual, and Spirit is life.
“For we know that the law is spiritual:” [Romans 7:14]
Since the Law is Spiritual.
“I know that His commandment is life everlasting.” John 12:50.
The law itself is spiritual; it is life everlasting. But life is not a figment, a fancy; it is real, and wherever there is life there must be something living.
When we read that the commandment is life everlasting, it does not mean that the written characters are life, they simply declare the fact.
Everlasting life is in Jesus Christ. “As the Father hath life in Himself, so hath He given to the Son to have life in Himself.” John 5:26. For He is the fountain of life. Ps. 36:9; Jer. 2:13.
Spirit means life, and it is the life of Christ written in our hearts, Just as the Law was in His.
“I delight to do thy will, O my God: yea, thy law is within my heart.” Psalm 40:8
The commandment, or the law of God is everlasting life because it is His own life.
The law of the Spirit of life in Christ gives freedom and peace with God.
“For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death.” Romans 8:2
“The Spirit is life, because of righteousness;” and “if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of His.” Rom. 8:1, 2, 9, 10.
The Law of God is nothing less than the life of Christ, for anything contrary to the life of Christ is condemned.
By this we can be sure that His Law-His Name is a transcript of the Character of God, it is His Life, and therefore our life when we are in Him, it is His Name written in words; the character in which He reveals Himself to man, the light in which He wishes men to regard Him.
And when His Law is written in our hearts and our minds, we will then have His Name written in our hearts and in our minds.
If this is done, then His image and likeness will be reflected in our lives, for His Law, which is a transcript of His character will shape our lives as He writes them in our hearts and puts them in our minds.
And it is a work that He does; Notice!
“…saith the Lord; I will put my laws into their mind, and write them in their hearts: and I will be to them a God, and they shall be to me a people:” Hebrews 8:10
“And I looked, and, lo, a Lamb stood on the mount Zion, and with him an hundred forty and four thousand, having his Father’s name written in their foreheads.” Revelation 14:1
“I will put my laws into their mind, and write them in their hearts.” He does the work, and we receive it by faith. He writes His Holy Law-His Name in our foreheads and in our hearts, and those who have it written there will never see death.
“And they shall see his face; and his name shall be in their foreheads.” Revelation 22:4
When we understand this, we can then understand the meaning of the following: