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In the Name of the LORD


"In the Name of the LORD" is a phrase that is used throughout God's Holy Scriptures, in both the Old and New Testaments. The times it first appears in Genesis is often when someone is offering sacrifice at an altar.

And to Seth, to him also there was born a son; and he called his name Enos: then began men to call upon the name of the LORD.
Genesis 4:26 KJV

The LORD had said to Abram, "Leave your country, your people and your father's household and go to the land I will show you.
"I will make you into a great nation and I will bless you; I will make your name great, and you will be a blessing. ..."
So Abram left, as the LORD had told him; and Lot went with him. Abram was seventy-five years old when he set out from Haran. ... and they set out for the land of Canaan, and they arrived there. Abram traveled through the land as far as the site of the great tree of Moreh at Shechem. At that time the Canaanites were in the land. The LORD appeared to Abram and said, "To your offspring [Or seed] I will give this land." So he built an altar there to the LORD, who had appeared to him.
From there he went on toward the hills east of Bethel and pitched his tent, with Bethel on the west and Ai on the east. There he built an altar to the LORD and called on the name of the LORD.
Genesis 12:1-8 NIV

From the Negev he went from place to place until he came to Bethel, to the place between Bethel and Ai where his tent had been earlier and where he had first built an altar. There Abram called on the name of the LORD.
Genesis 13:3-4 NIV

At that time Abimelech and Phicol the commander of his forces said to Abraham, "God is with you in everything you do. Now swear to me here before God that you will not deal falsely with me or my children or my descendants. Show to me and the country where you are living as an alien the same kindness I have shown to you."
Abraham said, "I swear it." ...
After the treaty had been made at Beersheba, Abimelech and Phicol the commander of his forces returned to the land of the Philistines. Abraham planted a tamarisk tree in Beersheba, and there he called upon the name of the LORD, the Eternal God.
Genesis 21:22-24, 32-33 NIV

Isaac built an altar there and called on the name of the LORD. There he pitched his tent, and there his servants dug a well.
Genesis 26:25 NIV

But Moses said to God, "Who am I, that I should go to Pharaoh and bring the Israelites out of Egypt?"
And God said, "I will be with you. And this will be the sign to you that it is I who have sent you: When you have brought the people out of Egypt, you will worship God on this mountain."
Moses said to God, "Suppose I go to the Israelites and say to them, 'The God of your fathers has sent me to you,' and they ask me, 'What is his name?' Then what shall I tell them?
God said to Moses, "I am who I am . [Or I will be what I will be] This is what you are to say to the Israelites: 'I AM has sent me to you.' "
God also said to Moses, "Say to the Israelites, '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 forever, the name by which I am to be remembered from generation to generation.
Exodus 3:11-15 NIV

This last passage may be the first time we are told God's name. It is a very curious reference, though, for it seems that the Lord God is telling Moses that His Name is "I AM". The footnotes in the NIV Study Bible point out a very interesting relationship between the verb "to be" and the original Hebrew for the word LORD. LORD is in all caps because it has a special meaning. It is a devise used in most English versions for rendering the divine name YHWH, commonly referred to as the Tetragrammaton. When Lord is not in all caps, then it is a rendering of the Hebrew word Adonai. The Hebrew word for "I AM" in verse 14 is hayah. Its definition is "to exist, i.e. be or become".

I will be with you. See note Ge 26:3. The Hebrew word translated "I will be" is the same as the one translated "I AM" in v. 14.
NIV footnote for ver. 3:12.

I AM WHO I AM. The name by which God wished to be known and worshiped in Israel - the name that expressed his character as the dependable and faithful God who desires the full trust of his people (see v. 12 where "I will be" is completed by "with you"; see also 34:5-7). I AM. The shortened form of the name is perhaps found also in Ps 50:21 ... Jesus applied the phrase to himself; ... (see Jn 8:58-59).
NIV footnote for ver. 3:14.

The LORD. The Hebrew for this name is Yahweh (often incorrectly spelled "Jehovah"; see note on Dt 28:58). It means "He is" or "He will be" and is the third-person form of the verb translated "I will be" in v. 12 and "I AM" in v. 14. When God speaks of himself he says, "I AM," and when we speak of him we say, "He is."
NIV footnote for ver. 3:15.

Quoting from the online Thelemapedia encyclopedia regarding the Tetragrammaton, according to one Jewish tradition the name comes "from three different verb forms sharing the same root YWH, the words HYH ... 'He was'; HWH ... 'He is'; and YHYH ... 'He will be'. This is supposed to show that God is timeless."1 So this interpretation of the name for God expresses the past, present and future tenses of the verb "to be". This article in the encyclopedia also offers the interpretation "He Causes to Become." The Irish Preacher Leslie Hale concurs with the three verb tenses of "to be" and offers the overall meaning of "The Becoming One".2

So we see that one name for God is "I AM" and that it tells us something about His nature. God's Name is sacred and should not be called out unless we are serious about wanting to communicate with Him, as we are told in one of the Ten Commandments.

Thou shalt not take the name of the LORD thy God in vain; for the LORD will not hold him guiltless that taketh his name in vain.
Exodus 20:7 KJV

Over the centuries, Jewish tradition has surrounded the name of God with some misconceptions primarily due to this commandment and the fear that one may say God's name incorrectly and thereby take it in vain. One misconception is that there is only one name for God and that we must say it in the original language the way it was said. To begin to break this down, let's start with the following which gives more than one name for God.

Then the LORD came down in the cloud and stood there with him and proclaimed his name, the LORD. And he passed in front of Moses, proclaiming, "The LORD, the LORD, the compassionate and gracious God, slow to anger, abounding in love and faithfulness, maintaining love to thousands, and forgiving wickedness, rebellion and sin. Yet he does not leave the guilty unpunished; he punishes the children and their children for the sin of the fathers to the third and fourth generation."
Then the LORD said: "I am making a covenant with you. Before all your people I will do wonders never before done in any nation in all the world.
Be careful not to make a treaty with those who live in the land where you are going, or they will be a snare among you. Break down their altars, smash their sacred stones and cut down their Asherah poles. Do not worship any other god, for the LORD, whose name is Jealous, is a jealous God.
Exodus 34:5-7, 10, 12-14 NIV

Here we have another name for God, Jealous, and it expresses a different characteristic of God. The issue here is not just a matter of knowing God's Name but it is also a matter of representing God presence. When you call God's Name, it is also an acknowledgment that you are in covenant relationship with Him and thereby expected to follow the covenant.

God calls Himself by many names. Let's look at other examples where Scripture directly tells us a Name of the Creator.

If you do not carefully follow all the words of this law, which are written in this book, and do not revere this glorious and awesome name—the LORD your God- the LORD will send fearful plagues on you and your descendants, harsh and prolonged disasters, and severe and lingering illnesses.
Deut 28:58-59 NIV

Then said David to the Philistine, Thou comest to me with a sword, and with a spear, and with a shield: but I come to thee in the name of the LORD of hosts, the God of the armies of Israel, whom thou hast defied.
1 Samuel 17:45 KJV

As for our redeemer, the LORD of hosts is his name, the Holy One of Israel.
Isaiah 47:4 KJV

For thy Maker is thine husband; the LORD of hosts is his name; and thy Redeemer the Holy One of Israel; The God of the whole earth shall he be called.
Isaiah 54:5 KJV

The LORD of hosts is his name.
Jeremiah 10:16 KJV

Thy words were found, and I did eat them; and thy word was unto me the joy and rejoicing of mine heart: for I am called by thy name, O LORD God of hosts.
Jeremiah 15:16 KJV

This is the name by which he will be called: The LORD Our Righteousness.
Jeremiah 23:6 NIV

Thou shewest lovingkindness unto thousands, and recompensest the iniquity of the fathers into the bosom of their children after them: the Great, the Mighty God, the LORD of hosts, is his name,
Jeremiah 32:18 KJV

... saith the King, whose name is the LORD of hosts.
Jeremiah 51:57 KJV

... The LORD, The God of hosts, is his name.
Amos 4:13 KJV

Therefore will I cause you to go into captivity beyond Damascus, saith the LORD, whose name is The God of hosts.
Amos 5:27 KJV

And the LORD shall be king over all the earth: in that day shall there be one LORD, and his name one.
Zechariah 14:9 KJV

As we can clearly see, the Lord God has many names which express different aspects of His nature. Let's summarize the Names we have encountered so far.

Names God Gives Himself

English
Hebrew
I am who I am hayah hayah
I AM
hayah
LORD
YHWH
(Yahweh)
Lord your God
YHWH elohiym
Lord of Hosts
YHWH tsaba
Lord God of Hosts
YHWH elohiym tsaba
Lord our Righteousness
YHWH tsedeq
God of Hosts
elohiym tsaba
God of your Fathers
elohiym ab
God of Abraham
elohiym abraham
God of Whole Earth
elohiym kol erets
Mighty God
gibbowr 'el
Holy One of Israel
qadowsh yisra'el
Jealous
qanna
One
echad


It is very important to note here that while the Tetragrammaton, YHWH, is the most frequently used name for God in the Bible, and that it is part of other names for God, it is NOT part of every name for God; therefore, it can not be considered the ONLY name whereby God recognizes that you are addressing Him.

God's Name is sacred and He does not want us to profane it. But profaning it is not a matter of saying it incorrectly, it is a matter of disrespecting the Name by not observing the covenant. We are to represent God's Name and when we fall into sin, we profane His Name.

There are some who say that because of the above passages in the Law and the fact that it was written in Hebrew means that unless you say God's Name exactly as the Israelite High Priest did when he entered the Holy of Holies, then you have profaned God's Name. (Despite the fact no one knows for sure which vowels were used.) This form of extremism could not be further from the truth. The Master himself makes this abundantly clear in the following passage where the Tetragrammaton is referenced.

"Not everyone who says to me, 'Lord, Lord,' will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only he who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. Many will say to me on that day, 'Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and in your name drive out demons and perform many miracles?' Then I will tell them plainly, 'I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!'
Matthew 7:21-23 NIV

The Master said he never knew them. This is because they did not do the will of the Father despite the fact that they used the sacred name YHWH. Most poignantly, this is directed toward people who believe they represent the true covenant. (This passage seems to be written specifically to guard against this form of extremism of the Sacred Name.) To further drive home the point, Jesus himself tells us exactly how to address the Father.

... Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name.
Matthew 6:9 KJV

Here Jesus acknowledges that the Father's Name is sacred, yet he does not use some special Hebrew word. He simply addresses Him conceptually as the "Father". Jesus also reminds us that how we are judged and forgiven by the Father depends exactly on how we handle the same with others ("For if ye forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you:"). When God sternly warns through His Word about profaning His Name, His is specifically concerned about your behavior and not about how you say the Name. Focusing on how to say the Name is just another way to exercise control over another and to deflect and avoid the real heart of the issue: facing one's sin!

Do not swear falsely by my name and so profane the name of your God. I am the LORD.
Leviticus 19:12 NIV

Priests ... must be holy to their God and must not profane the name of their God. Because they present the offerings made to the LORD by fire, the food of their God, they are to be holy.
Leviticus 21:5-6 NIV

Keep my commands and follow them. I am the LORD. Do not profane my holy name. I must be acknowledged as holy by the Israelites. I am the LORD, who makes you holy [Or who sanctifies you ; or who sets you apart as holy] and who brought you out of Egypt to be your God. I am the LORD.
Leviticus 22:31-33 NIV

The LORD will establish you as his holy people, as he promised you on oath, if you keep the commands of the LORD your God and walk in his ways. Then all the peoples on earth will see that you are called by the name of the LORD, and they will fear you. The LORD will grant you abundant prosperity ...
If you do not carefully follow all the words of this law, which are written in this book, and do not revere this glorious and awesome name - the LORD your God - the LORD will send fearful plagues on you ...
Deut 28:9-11, 58-59 NIV

Those who know your name will trust in you, for you, LORD, have never forsaken those who seek you.
Psalm 9:10 NIV

Bless the LORD, O my soul: and all that is within me, bless his holy name.
Psalm 103:1 KJV

Not to us, O LORD, not to us but to your name be the glory, because of your love and faithfulness.
Psalm 115:1 NIV

And foreigners who bind themselves to the LORD to serve him, to love the name of the LORD,
and to worship him, all who keep the Sabbath without desecrating it and who hold fast to my covenant-
these I will bring to my holy mountain and give them joy in my house of prayer.
Their burnt offerings and sacrifices will be accepted on my altar; for my house will be called a house of prayer for all nations.
Isaiah 56:6-7 NIV

Again the word of the LORD came to me: "Son of man, when the people of Israel were living in their own land, they defiled it by their conduct and their actions. Their conduct was like a woman's monthly uncleanness in my sight. So I poured out my wrath on them ... I dispersed them among the nations, ... I judged them according to their conduct and their actions. And wherever they went among the nations they profaned my holy name ...
Therefore say to the house of Israel, 'This is what the Sovereign LORD says: It is not for your sake, O house of Israel, that I am going to do these things, but for the sake of my holy name, which you have profaned among the nations where you have gone. I will show the holiness of my great name, which has been profaned among the nations, the name you have profaned among them. Then the nations will know that I am the LORD, declares the Sovereign LORD, when I show myself holy through you before their eyes.
Ezekiel 36:16-20, 22-23 NIV

And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.
Colossians 3:17 NIV

He will punish those who do not know God and do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus.
We pray this so that the name of our Lord Jesus may be glorified in you, and you in him, according to the grace of our God and the Lord Jesus Christ [Or God and Lord, Jesus Christ].
2 Thessalonians 1:8, 12 NIV

Nevertheless, God's solid foundation stands firm, sealed with this inscription: "The Lord knows those who are his," [Num. 16:5 (see Septuagint)] and, "Everyone who confesses the name of the Lord must turn away from wickedness."
2 Timothy 2:19 NIV

Do you not know that the wicked will not inherit the kingdom of God? ...
And that is what some of you were. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God.
1 Corinthians 6:9, 11 NIV

Clearly, it is one's behavior that has an effect upon God's Name. When we belong to God, our behavior must reflect the One who we are to represent. It is our sin that profanes God's Name, not the way we say His Name. When one swears by God's Name, it is supposed to mean you will never break your vow for fear of the Lord. It is breaking one's vow, one's word, which profanes God's Name. When we are in covenant relationship with the Father, it is following and doing the covenant that honors and brings glory to God's holy Name. As the last passage makes clear, we can only achieve the righteousness that God expects of us if, and only if, we accept and are led by the Spirit of God.

To stay in covenant relationship with God, we are expected to follow the wisdom and guidance of God's law. This includes the call to daily sacrifice, daily communion with the Lord. This is a call to praise and worship of the Lord, and to bring our firstfruits as an offering to God and the congregation for use in worship and to help those in the community who are in need. When we are convicted of sin, this same law shows the way to peace and reconciliation. The blood of the lamb pays the price, for which we give thanks, but we must still accept responsibility for restitution. Confession to those sinned against is the sacrifice that keeps one on the road to salvation. Facing one's sin, rather than running from it, denying it, burying it under anger or blaming it on others is the true mark of being in covenant with God.

Doing what God expects of us is a daily struggle. Sometimes we stumble. God understands. What's important for God is not being perfect, but admitting when we are wrong once we have stumbled. And this we know by allowing the Holy Spirit to point it out. Will you be stubborn and rebellious? Will you remain stiff necked and go your own way? Or will you be led by Spirit, a bond slave to God, willingly submit to divine will, sacrifice your pride, and admit you're wrong to the one to whom you have sinned?

To offer sacrifice in the Name of the Lord is to honor this understanding. That understanding is not a matter of just knowing who God is. To honor the Name means to know AND practice the covenant one has entered into. The covenant is not just some kind of general pledge. It has detailed procedures. To know them, one must know the law. When we are led by the Spirit of God, we honor the covenant by following the spirit of the law. When we rebel and turn our back to God and His Spirit, we dishonor our covenant agreement and profane God's holy Name. This web page began with examples of people who offered sacrifice and called upon the Name of the Lord. Some were accepted by God and some were not. The story of Cain and Abel is a good example.

Now Abel kept flocks, and Cain worked the soil. In the course of time Cain brought some of the fruits of the soil as an offering to the LORD. But Abel brought fat portions from some of the firstborn of his flock. The LORD looked with favor on Abel and his offering, but on Cain and his offering he did not look with favor. So Cain was very angry, and his face was downcast.
Then the LORD said to Cain, "Why are you angry? Why is your face downcast? If you do what is right, will you not be accepted? But if you do not do what is right, sin is crouching at your door; it desires to have you, but you must master it."
Now Cain said to his brother Abel, "Let's go out to the field." And while they were in the field, Cain attacked his brother Abel and killed him.
Then the LORD said to Cain, "Where is your brother Abel?" "I don't know," he replied. "Am I my brother's keeper?"
Genesis 4:2-9 NIV

Notice very carefully the difference in the offerings of the two brothers. God's law says we are to bring the firstfruits, the best, that which is without spot or blemish, of all that God has given us. Abel brought the "firstborn of his flock" whereas Cain brought "some of the fruits" of his crop. This did not get by God. He noticed it and made a point about it. The second sin happened when Cain did not accept God's judgment but got angry instead, and further, rather than take responsibility for his own actions, he blamed his brother and directed his anger at Abel instead of looking within.

Finally, after the Lord God had warned Abel to master his anger, he did not, but allowed it to control him to the point of murder. For once one starts down the path of avoiding one's sin, the consequences compound. Even after committing the sin and being confronted by God, Abel remained in denial. His anger now controlled him and he had become a slave to the beast within him. To master his anger, he would have to confront his sin in humble surrender to the Spirit of God, which is the call of the daily sacrifice.

When we decide to run and hide from our sin, then the concept of sacrifice perverts into appeasement rather than the sacrifice of our pride and time. The epitome of this extreme is expressed in the following passage from Scripture where some Israelites went so far as to sacrifice their children to a foreign God.

Do not give any of your children to be sacrificed to Molech, for you must not profane the name of your God. I am the LORD.
Leviticus 18:21 NIV

The people of Judah have done evil in my eyes, declares the LORD. They have set up their detestable idols in the house that bears my Name and have defiled it. They have built the high places of Topheth in the Valley of Ben Hinnom to burn their sons and daughters in the fire—something I did not command, nor did it enter my mind.
Jeremiah 7:30-31 NIV

From the beginning many have understood the proper way of sacrifice, such as Abel, Noah, Abraham, Isaac & Jacob. These sacrifices were offered in high places on natural stone altars and were accepted by God. This is the freedom we had at first, to build an altar of stone anywhere we would want to praise the Lord. This instruction was given to Moses immediately after he received the 10 Commandments:

Then the LORD said to Moses, "Tell the Israelites this: 'You have seen for yourselves that I have spoken to you from heaven: Do not make any gods to be alongside me; do not make for yourselves gods of silver or gods of gold.
" 'Make an altar of earth for me and sacrifice on it your burnt offerings and fellowship offerings, your sheep and goats and your cattle. Wherever I cause my name to be honored, I will come to you and bless you. If you make an altar of stones for me, do not build it with dressed stones, for you will defile it if you use a tool on it. And do not go up to my altar on steps, lest your nakedness be exposed on it.'
Exodus 20:22-26 NIV

Moses was a man who honored God's covenant. Therefore wherever Moses was, God's Name was honored. But with freedom, man often takes advantage and losses his way. As the passage above from Jeremiah 7 states, God's original intention was twisted into something He never intended. This occurred through pagan influence and man's choice to pursue his own will and selfish desires, following any idol allowing one to avoid facing one's sin.

So if you faithfully obey the commands I am giving you today—to love the LORD your God and to serve him with all your heart and with all your soul- then I will send rain on your land in its season, both autumn and spring rains, so that you may gather in your grain, new wine and oil.
Be careful, or you will be enticed to turn away and worship other gods and bow down to them. Then the LORD's anger will burn against you, and he will shut the heavens so that it will not rain and the ground will yield no produce, and you will soon perish from the good land the LORD is giving you. Fix these words of mine in your hearts and minds; tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads.
Deut 11:13-14, 16-18 NIV

These are the decrees and laws you must be careful to follow in the land that the LORD, the God of your fathers, has given you to possess—as long as you live in the land. Destroy completely all the places on the high mountains and on the hills and under every spreading tree where the nations you are dispossessing worship their gods. Break down their altars, smash their sacred stones and burn their Asherah poles in the fire; cut down the idols of their gods and wipe out their names from those places.
You must not worship the LORD your God in their way. But you are to seek the place the LORD your God will choose from among all your tribes to put his Name there for his dwelling. To that place you must go; there bring your burnt offerings and sacrifices, your tithes and special gifts, what you have vowed to give and your freewill offerings, and the firstborn of your herds and flocks.
Deut 12:1-6 NIV

So it became necessary to exercise more control over the situation. A change was instituted. By centralizing the core activity of offerings to the Lord, God could better ensure that the proper procedure was being followed and make it less likely that variations would creep into the daily practice. The faithful were still encouraged to attend their local congregations for praise, worship, study and helping those in need, but the offering of sacrifices was to be done solely in the dwelling where God would choose to put His Name. This, of coarse, became the temple in Jerusalem.

You are not to do as we do here today, everyone as he sees fit,  since you have not yet reached the resting place and the inheritance the LORD your God is giving you. ...
Then to the place the LORD your God will choose as a dwelling for his Name—there you are to bring everything I command you: your burnt offerings and sacrifices, your tithes and special gifts, and all the choice possessions you have vowed to the LORD. ...
Be careful not to sacrifice your burnt offerings anywhere you pleaseOffer them only at the place the LORD will choose in one of your tribes, and there observe everything I command you. ...
But take your consecrated things and whatever you have vowed to give, and go to the place the LORD will choose. Present your burnt offerings on the altar of the LORD your God, both the meat and the blood. The blood of your sacrifices must be poured beside the altar of the LORD your God, but you may eat the meat. Be careful to obey all these regulations I am giving you, so that it may always go well with you and your children after you, because you will be doing what is good and right in the eyes of the LORD your God.
Deut 12:8-9, 11, 13-14, 26-28 NIV

While God made a change commanding that the sacrifices would be done in one place, notice also that the same part of the law allows for worship in local congregations. If there is only one place for all worship, then as the nation grows there will be times when it is just impractical to make it to this one temple. God understand this, so He made provision for it.  If the dwelling for His Name is to far, then one may worship at the local congregation. While many things are permitted at the local congregation, the law states that the offerings to the Lord, the sacrifices to God, were to be done only in the one place.

Nevertheless, you may slaughter your animals in any of your towns and eat as much of the meat as you want, as if it were gazelle or deer, according to the blessing the LORD your God gives you. Both the ceremonially unclean and the clean may eat it. But you must not eat the blood; pour it out on the ground like water. You must not eat in your own towns the tithe of your grain and new wine and oil, or the firstborn of your herds and flocks, or whatever you have vowed to give, or your freewill offerings or special gifts. Instead, you are to eat them in the presence of the LORD your God at the place the LORD your God will choose—you, your sons and daughters, your menservants and maidservants, and the Levites from your towns—and you are to rejoice before the LORD your God in everything you put your hand to. Be careful not to neglect the Levites as long as you live in your land.
When the LORD your God has enlarged your territory as he promised you, and you crave meat and say, "I would like some meat," then you may eat as much of it as you want. If the place where the LORD your God chooses to put his Name is too far away from you, you may slaughter animals from the herds and flocks the LORD has given you, as I have commanded you, and in your own towns you may eat as much of them as you want. Eat them as you would gazelle or deer. Both the ceremonially unclean and the clean may eat. But be sure you do not eat the blood, because the blood is the life, and you must not eat the life with the meat.
Deut 12:15-23 NIV

So God made a change to respond to man's rebellious spirit, yet all the while He saw it coming and had prepared for it. In centralizing the sacrifices, He was preparing to point at His glorious son and his perfect sacrifice that made all other blood obsolete. The Lord God Almighty had placed the seeds in the law for Yahshua (Jesus), once fulfilling the perfect sacrifice, to show the way for the local congregations to now become the centers for following the spirit of the law of the daily sacrifice. For no longer is blood needed to be spilled, as we approach our High Priest through the altars of our hearts where he applies the blood to the altar by faith.

Where does God put His Name? When it comes to the place for the animal sacrifices, God placed His Name upon the house built by Solomon.

When Solomon had finished building the temple of the LORD and the royal palace, and had achieved all he had desired to do, the LORD appeared to him a second time, as he had appeared to him at Gibeon. The LORD said to him:
"I have heard the prayer and plea you have made before me; I have consecrated this temple, which you have built, by putting my Name there forever. My eyes and my heart will always be there."
1 Kings 9:1-3 NIV

Does God put His Name any other place? Let's see what Scripture has to say.

The LORD said to Moses, "Tell Aaron and his sons, 'This is how you are to bless the Israelites. Say to them:
The LORD bless you and keep you;
the LORD make his face shine upon you and be gracious to you;
the LORD turn his face toward you and give you peace. '
So they will put my name on the Israelites, and I will bless them."
Numbers 6:22-27 NIV

Then I looked, and there before me was the Lamb, standing on Mount Zion, and with him 144,000 who had his name and his Father's name written on their foreheads.
Revelation 14:1 NIV

Then the angel showed me the river of the water of life, as clear as crystal, flowing from the throne of God and of the Lamb down the middle of the great street of the city. On each side of the river stood the tree of life, bearing twelve crops of fruit, yielding its fruit every month. And the leaves of the tree are for the healing of the nations. No longer will there be any curse. The throne of God and of the Lamb will be in the city, and his servants will serve him. They will see his face, and his name will be on their foreheads.
Revelation 22:1-4 NIV

This Scripture is clear. Wherever the faithful are, those in covenant relationship with God who observe the covenant, there also is God's Name.

Jesus knew that the temple, the center of the sacrificial system, would be destroyed. He made this prediction. But he also said it would be rebuilt. But to what type of building is he referring?

Jesus left the temple and was walking away when his disciples came up to him to call his attention to its buildings. "Do you see all these things?" he asked. "I tell you the truth, not one stone here will be left on another; every one will be thrown down."
Matthew 24:1-2 NIV

Then the Jews demanded of him, "What miraculous sign can you show us to prove your authority to do all this?"
Jesus answered them, "Destroy this temple, and I will raise it again in three days."
The Jews replied, "It has taken forty-six years to build this temple, and you are going to raise it in three days?" But the temple he had spoken of was his body.
John 2:18-21 NIV

Consequently, you are no longer foreigners and aliens, but fellow citizens with God's people and members of God's household, built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, with Christ Jesus himself as the chief cornerstone. In him the whole building is joined together and rises to become a holy temple in the Lord. And in him you too are being built together to become a dwelling in which God lives by his Spirit.
Ephesians 2:19-22 NIV

The temple was built as a dwelling for God's Name and thereby God's Spirit. The temple is intended as a path to the Holy Spirit. When Jesus sacrificed his life and was then vindicated by the Holy Spirit in being raised from the dead, it was proof that he is indeed a son of God led by the Holy Spirit. When Jesus said that after the temple is destroyed, he would raise it again in three days, he was indicating the change that would occur as to where the faithful could offer their daily sacrifice. After his sacrifice and resurrection, the temple is now the body of the faithful who have Christ, the Holy Spirit and the Name of God within themselves, for they have been marked with the seal of God, the deposit of the Holy Spirit from he who overcame.

Jesus is the living Law. He is the One who has demonstrated being in covenant relationship with the Father AND living by that covenant. The Father promised the One Chosen to fulfill the Law first. He has led the Way and provided the example to give us strength to carry on our own struggle within, to find the light and live by love, being in willing surrender to the leadership of the Holy Spirit. The Law was designed to point the way to allowing one’s temple to become the dwelling place for the Spirit of God. Jesus fulfilled this.

Because of this accomplishment, the Father has given His anointed son all power and authority over us. This includes the power to command the Holy Spirit. So the Messiah has opened the way to the inner sanctuary. The temple of the old way has been made obsolete by the provision of his blood for the purification of sins. Our Lord calls us to be holy people, to be priests, and in so doing has opened the inner sanctuary to us, but we must always remember that we are approaching our High Priest as priests, and so we must strive to be true to that calling and the trust that the Lord has placed in us.

Because of his accomplishment and authority, we have freedom in Christ. When, and only when, one accepts Jesus as Yahweh’s only Messiah, only Mediator and only High Priest, and as the fulfillment of the purpose of the Law, then our relationship to the Law changes. We do not ignore the Law, as many Christians practice, nor are we still bound by the letter of the Law as many Messianic Jews would argue. As Paul makes clear to those who are led by Spirit, when God’s Spirit leads you, then you have the freedom to follow the spirit of the Law.

This is a more challenging position than either extreme of the usual dichotomy: ignore the law or still be bound by it. When one takes the position that we have the freedom to follow the spirit of the Law, we must then interpret how to apply this principle. Paul gives a great example and guide for applying to all of Scripture, and that is the issue of circumcision. This was hotly debated then, and some today are so blind to their own pride that they will actually make Paul wrong on this issue in order to justify their literal position on the Law.

Paul explains that baptism is the outer act that demonstrates the inner act of circumcising one’s heart to the Lord. In the same sense, physical circumcision is the outer sign of the inner circumcision of the heart. Therefore, Paul got Peter to see and agree that baptism is following the spirit of the law of circumcision and so the newly converted Gentiles did not have to be physically circumcised. (Acts 15, Gal 2:1-10 & Col 2:11-12.)

As Paul states in Ephesians, Our Lord and Messiah is the cornerstone for the temple of the body of the faithful. He is our High Priest. The Lord God Almighty still expects us to follow His ordinance of the Daily Sacrifice; only in Christ we have the freedom to follow the spirit of the Law. And he showed us the way to follow the spirit of the law in this case, at the Last Supper. For communion embodies all the elements of the law when you see that the Lamb, his body and blood are the sin, grain and drink offerings of the continual burnt offering, a sign of total and complete commitment to the Father. The communal meal is the fellowship offering. And we honor the guilt offering when we face and confess our sins.

Now, in the new way, we approach our High Priest in the heavenly sanctuary to make confession through prayer at the altar of our hearts. Our bodies are the temple for the Holy Spirit, if we are in covenant relationship with God and allow the prayer time needed for His Spirit to lead us in knowing the right thing to do. When we keep our word, there we find God’s Name. So we are the dwelling for God’s Name, and when we set apart time for the Lord, the altar of our hearts is indeed the place to make our sacrifices and offerings to the Lord God Almighty through our High Priest.

Once Jesus offered himself as the Lamb of God, he became the perfect sacrifice and provided the blood necessary for the purification of sins (Hebrews 1:3). Any other blood is obsolete, so animal sacrifices for the purpose of blood atonement are no longer needed (Hebrews 9:13-14). When we make confession to our High Priest, he will at that time sprinkle the blood on the altar of our hearts to pay the price required by the law but also to open the eyes of the heart to the guidance of the Holy Spirit to see our responsibility in apology and any appropriate restitution (Heb 9:14; 1 Pet 1:1-2).

Jesus' sacrifice, by its very nature, changed the daily sacrifice in that it no longer depended on the one physical building. Jesus became our High Priest, but he was not of the tribe of Levi, so this was a change to the law (Heb 7:12). But it was a change to the law, not the end of the law of the daily sacrifice, as some would argue. We are still expected to set apart time for praise and worship of the Lord each day. When the curtain to the inner sanctuary was torn apart, it opened the way for all to approach the High Priest in the heavenly sanctuary through the walk to sanctification by the power of the Holy Spirit.

Our Lord and Master is calling us to be priests. It is interesting to note that in the law and the sacrificial system, no one, including the priests, is to drink the blood. It is to be poured out as an offering. When Jesus refers to his blood as drink, he strictly means as a drink offering. When he invites us to drink in communion, it is a reference to wine and the cup of redemption. The main meaning is a challenge to follow in his footsteps in obtaining freedom from sin through confession and redemption. The other is a reference to the law in Deuteronomy 12 and thereby an endorsement of local congregations as the place to now follow the spirit of the law of the daily sacrifice.

We can see the ongoing obligation for confession in the following verses.

For this very reason, Christ died and returned to life so that he might be the Lord of both the dead and the living. You, then, why do you judge your brother? Or why do you look down on your brother? For we will all stand before God's judgment seat. It is written:
   " 'As surely as I live,' says the Lord,
   'every knee will bow before me;
      every tongue will confess to God.' "[Isaiah 45:23]
So then, each of us will give an account of himself to God.
Romans 14:9-12 NIV

Therefore God exalted him to the highest place
and gave him the name that is above every name,
that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow,
in heaven and on earth and under the earth,
and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord,
to the glory of God the Father.
Philippians 2:9-11 NIV

For even if there are so-called gods, whether in heaven or on earth (as indeed there are many "gods" and many "lords"), yet for us there is but one God, the Father, from whom all things came and for whom we live; and there is but one Lord, Jesus Christ, through whom all things came and through whom we live.
1 Corinthians 8:5-6 NIV

That if you confess with your mouth, "Jesus is Lord," and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.
Romans 10:9 NIV
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.
Romans 10:9 KJV

There is something curious here. This web site has taken the position that Jesus and the Father are separate persons and separate gods, with the Father being superior and eternal. At some point the Father created His son, Jesus, and later delegated power and the authority to forgive sins to him. Knowing this and knowing that Lord is a representation of the Tetragrammaton, why would the Father's Name, YHWH, be equated with His son, Jesus? I believe the answer can be seen in the following line of Scripture.

As they approached Jerusalem ...
A very large crowd spread their cloaks on the road, while others cut branches from the trees and spread them on the road. The crowds that went ahead of him and those that followed shouted,
   "Hosanna to the Son of David!"
   "Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord!"[Psalm 118:26]
   "Hosanna in the highest!"
Matthew 21:1, 8-9 NIV [Repeated in Mk 11:8-9; Lk 19:37-38; Jn 12:12-13]

"O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, you who kill the prophets and stone those sent to you, how often I have longed to gather your children together, as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, but you were not willing. Look, your house is left to you desolate. For I tell you, you will not see me again until you say, 'Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord.'[Psalm 118:26]"
Matthew 23:37-39 NIV [Repeated in Lk 13:34-35]

If a Levite moves from one of your towns anywhere in Israel where he is living, and comes in all earnestness to the place the LORD will choose, he may minister in the name of the LORD his God like all his fellow Levites who serve there in the presence of the LORD.
Deut 18:6-7 NIV

The priests, the sons of Levi, shall step forward, for the LORD your God has chosen them to minister and to pronounce blessings in the name of the LORD and to decide all cases of dispute and assault.
Deut 21:5 NIV

They brought the ark of the LORD and set it in its place inside the tent that David had pitched for it, and David sacrificed burnt offerings and fellowship offerings before the LORD. After he had finished sacrificing the burnt offerings and fellowship offerings, he blessed the people in the name of the LORD Almighty.
2 Samuel 6:17-18 NIV

Blessed is he who comes in the name of the LORD.
Psalm 118:26 NIV

... the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give you a spirit of wisdom and revelation resulting in knowledge of him.
May the eyes of (your) hearts be enlightened, that you may know what is the hope that belongs to his call, what are the riches of glory in his inheritance among the holy ones, and what is the surpassing greatness of his power for us who believe, in accord with the exercise of his great might, which he worked in Christ, raising him from the dead and seating him at his right hand in the heavens, far above every principality, authority, power, and dominion, and every name that is named not only in this age but also in the one to come.
Ephesians 1:17-21 NAB

When Nehemiah was given permission from King Artaxerxes to return to Jerusalem in order to rebuild its walls, he asked the king for some letters. These would be letters addressed to the governors of the lands he would transverse giving him supplies and safe passage. By having the name and signature of the king on his person, the governors would have no doubt that Nehemiah came with the king's approval and authority.

In the same sense, when God places His Name upon someone, it is a sign of His holiness, power and approval. When someone comes in the Name of the Father, it is a sign of his or her commitment to the covenant and of God's approval of their commitment. The title Lord Jesus is a sign that Jesus comes with the Father's approval and that we acknowledge him as our Lord and Master.

Given this understanding, it is my opimion that when we say the title:

Lord Jesus Christ

A better translation would be:

Jesus the Messiah (Christ), the one who comes in the Name of the Father,
in the Name of Yahweh (Lord being derived from YHWH)

So in one sense, when we approach our High Priest in prayer through the temple of our bodies, saying the Father's Name, Lord (representing Yahweh), is a way to validate one's confession, for you are about to make your offering where God's Name is found.

Confessing the Lord Jesus Christ is not the end of one's confession but the beginning. For it asserts your commitment to the covenant, your recognition of the Father, and recognition of the authority given to His anointed son as our God and Lord. He is Lord over us. Then one is ready to proceed with the daily offering and confession of sin, if convicted. This can be seen in the following passage from Paul. The second reference to "confess" is not a repeat of the first idea but the actual confession of sin following the confession of one's faith.

That if you confess with your mouth, "Jesus is Lord," and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you confess and are saved.
Romans 10:9-10 NIV

Just as simply accepting the Lord intellectually without doing His will is not sufficient, just as the blood alone without confession can not make one righteous, there is no special personal name for God that simply by saying this name exactly as it once was said that will, of and by itself, prevent being cut off. No. There is only one way to the Father, and that is by being in covenant relationship with the Father through His only Mediator, our High Priest, Jesus. Only by doing the Father's will do we represent Him and thereby manifest the holiness of His Name. When we fall and stumble, the covenant says to confess and repent. Only by doing so in marriage with God's Spirit, do we remain in righteous behavior. Jesus is a living example of the Way. Where there is one who is such, there is the Father's Name.



Footnotes

1 Citation is from following Thelemapedia page: http://www.thelemapedia.org/index.php/Tetragrammaton

2 Lesson #598. Leslie Hale PO Box 125, Tarpon Springs, Fl 34688. Website: http://www.lesliehale.com



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©2008 Collins Hamblen
First Posted: 7/05/08
Last Update: 7/25/08