By Andrew D. Urshan
Reprinted from “Eusebia,” August 1898
To define the great name of God, would be to cite all the testimony given pertaining to Him concerning His character and attributes. The Scriptures reveal God to us as ever living and eternal; all powerful, all knowing, everywhere present, unchangeable and unconditioned. Man can but feebly conceive the immensity of all these attributes; and were it not for revelation, mankind would be in utter darkness concerning God’s existence or His purpose in the universe. The holy men of old speaking as they were moved by the Holy Spirit discussed in sundry portions and various manners the attributes of Deity. The crude conception of our first parents in Eden that they could hide themselves from the presence of God, (Gen. 3:10) did not remain with Abraham, Isaac, and the fathers in Israel.”
“All nations whom thou hast made shall come and worship before Thee, O Lord; and shall glorify Thy Name. Teach me Thy way, O Yahweh; I will walk in Thy truth; unite my heart to fear Thy Name.”— Psalm 86:9, 11.
“The word YAHWEH is as nearly as possible a transliteration of the sacred Hebrew name of the Creator. It represents the Deity as an ever-living and acting person, who enters into personal relations with His people and would have them address Him by a proper Name in their personal approaches unto Him in prayer and worship. The later Jews, influenced by feelings of profound reverence, which soon passed over into superstition abstained from pronouncing this Name, and substituted for it usually Adonay, “Lord;” or, where Yahweh Adonay occurred, “Lord God,” Elohim God.” Hence, the Massoretes pointed Yahweh with the vowel-points which belong to Adonay and these other names of God to be used in place of Yahweh, and so the original pronunciation of Yahweh became lost. The word Jehovah is sometimes used in English for this word, but it is a linguistic monstrosity. The Old Testament revelation in its use of Yahweh emphasized the activity of the ever-lasting personal God of revelation. The doctrine of God needs to be enriched at the present time by the enthronement of the idea of the living God to its supreme place in Biblical theology, and the dethronement of the idea of divine sovereignty from the usurped position in dogmatic theology. Yahweh is the NAME that God himself gave to HIS people; and if any name should be correctly pronounced and written, it would seem that it should be this one above all others.” – Messianic Prophecy.
The Great Reason For God’s New Revealed Name Unto Moses.
“It was through him (Moses) that Israel disengaged itself completely from those elements of polytheism which still clung to it among the children and descendants of Abraham himself. It was through him that the name, already known but not generally used YAHWEH, was substituted for the ancient name EL SHADDAI, the Almighty, by which they had before addressed the God who revealed Himself to the father of the race, – the name by which God had most frequently designed Himself in addressing the patriarchs. This substitution was nothing less than the starting point of a great religious revolution. The name EL SHADDAI, the Almighty, left room for the existence of other powers by the side of God, subject, indeed, to His supremacy, but still able in some sort to compete with Him. The name signifies nearly the same as that which a certain class of religious persons still like to use; the Being of beings, the Supreme Being. But YAHWEH signifies He Who is and shall be. YAHWEH, therefore, does not only mean the most Powerful of beings, but the One only self-existent Being; the absolute Being, absorbing in Himself the idea of existence; the Being existing by His own power; the Being as subject, noun and attribute in one. By the side of EL SHADDAI there is room for others inferior to Him; outside of Yahweh there is but non-entry. If anything does exist outside of Him it is only through His power, and in consequence of His creative will. The worship of EL SHADDAI did not then expressly exclude polytheism. But the adoration of Yahweh is, in its principles, what it has become more and more in fact, the absolute divorce of the conscience from all forms of paganism actual or conceivable. We have in Exodus 3 and 6, the simple and solemn narrative of the Vision granted to Moses, in which God for the first time revealed Himself in the character of Yahweh. At that moment was laid the foundation of the Jewish monotheism, and of the definitive religion of mankind.
The Name of God Became the Strong Foundation of The Divine Faith For Israel.
“This name Yahweh, inscribed by Moses in letters of fire on the Jewish consciousness-it is this which has worked this prodigy. It dissipated for Israel the seductive charm of a sensual life, and secured the proponderance of spirit over matter. If God alone exists, and matter only through Him, it must be entirely subject to Him. Man is no more a slave to it than God Himself. While spelling out the name Yahweh, man has recovered the knowledge of his own greatness. Made in the image of this absolute Being, of this pure Spirit, he can and he must become like Him; and henceforth, the royal road is opened which leads from Moses up to Jesus Christ. Holiness is no longer an unattainable ideal: the Kingdom of God, instead of being an empty sound, becomes the one true word of history. God’s plan is revealed together with His name Yahweh.
“We see, then, how inevitably the preparation of the salvation of the world by Israel required as its starting point the revelation of this fundamental verity, ‘I am that I am,’ to which the natural intelligence of mankind could not of itself attain. Accordingly God, after having revealed to Moses this sublime idea, inscnbed it on Mount Sinai at the head of the national law: ‘I, Yahweh, am thy God.’ (Ex. 3:14.) The fulfilment of the ancient promises made to Abraham by El Shaddai, the present work entrusted to the ministry of Moses, the future salvation of mankind to be effected by Christ, all rested definitely upon the doctrine, as the entire building, from the lowest to the highest story, rests upon the foundation laid once for all.” – GOSET.
The Old Testament quotations, previously cited, show that a great deal of material bearing upon the NAME of Deity was given to ancient Israel. To understand the signification of the name of Israel’s God was synonymous with the proper understanding of the true worship as opposed to idolatry. It was from idolatry that God called Abraham, and constituted him the father of all the faithful through the ages. Abraham was a man of faith, as was Isaac, also Jacob, but in the fourth generation, idolatry began again to assert itself. When Israel went into Egypt and perceived the wonderful development there, and their civilization, they fell away, and by the time Moses appeared as a leader they had quite forgotten the knowledge of the Lord, that had been handed down by Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, and they followed the Egyptians, having virtually become their slaves.
Moses had a tedious task to arouse them, but succeeded partially by dint of patience, and God’s specially manifested wonder working power. They crossed the Red Sea, to wander in the wilderness forty years, – for discipline to fit them to serve God. After their miraculous redemption from Egypt, they were so perverse and obdurate that they could not maintain their good behavior forty days, but lapsed into idolatry and worshipped the golden calf. They perished in the wilderness because of unbelief. Yet it cannot be said they did not hear something of the Great Creator and His NAME, and the difference between life and death. (Duet. 30:15.) Only two of that great company, of over a million souls, that left Egypt, passed into the promised land. Hardness of heart and unbelief did the mischief. With leaders appointed directly by God Himself, they failed to apprehend the vital lessons. Joshua, the courageous captain, was obliged to punish disobedience summarily, and to impress their minds with what true devotion meant. Achan perished with his goodly Babylonish garment, and others met like fate. The history of the people of Israel after their establishment in Canaan, with their God-inspired leaders, priests, judges and prophets, to the time of the carrying away into captivity is one of successive lapses into gross and dark idolatry, from the worship of the Living God to the worship of idols.
The Significance Of The Name Yahweh Was a Starting Point To The Gospel Dispensation.
“God spoke to the fathers by the prophets,” “here a little and there a little, – line upon line, precept upon precept,” – but only they of faith were blessed with faithful Abraham, – the larger portion of the nation failed to bring forth good fruit, and perished because of unbelief. The test of faith was the same in that time as it was when the writer to the Hebrews said:
“He who cometh to God must believe that He is (i. e. Yahweh, – the living God, the Self-Existing God), and that He is a rewarder of them who diligently seek Him.” – Heb. 11:6.
The man of faith “endured, as seeing Him who is unseen,” and apprehends the message God caused to be preached from the beginning, for the gospel was preached to those who have died. (1Pet. 4, 6) – “God preached aforetime through His prophets.” In the divine plan the development and discipline of a divine family was to be brought about by knowledge concerning the nature and name of the Deity Himself. Over three thousand years ago, the Psalmist exclaimed in ecstasy: “I shall be satisfied when I awake in Thy likeness.” With all our latter day civilization and erudition no more fit and exalted aspiration than this is possible. One’s fondest and best wish is to be like God, – but the Psalmist forsaw the accomplishment, in the resurrection awakening. In those far off days when the prophets were the teachers and with the law as a schoolmaster pointing to the great NAME bearer, men learned the characteristics of God – “The eyes of YAHWEH are in every place, beholding the evil and the good.” “He that keepeth Israel neither slumbers nor sleeps.” – That God existed “before the mountains were brought forth,” that He was all powerful and mighty, inhabitating eternity, before Whom the inhabitants of the earth were as grass hoppers.
With the unequal disparity between the Deity and the family of earth-borns, the expectation that the ultimate day would bestow Deity’s likeness upon the chosen and redeemed, appears entirely impossible, and in the means of the accomplishment, lies the secret of the gospel. – God’s Own Son, called after Him, bearing relation both to the great God and Father, and also to the earth-born family, – by inheritance having a more excellent NAME than the angels, and yet bearing a relationship to flesh, (11 Cor. 5:16.) “born of a woman, born under law,” (Gal. 4:4) was exactly fit and competent to succeed where all others had failed. After Christ had fulfilled the law perfectly, and yielded up His life to satisfy its demands, there remained nothing against Him, and God with perfect justice might raise Him from the dead, – no more related to the “flesh of sin.”
“I came in My Father’s Name.” “As the Father hath life in Himself, so has He given the Son to have life in Himself.” – John 5:43:26.
“As the Living Father (Yahweh) hath sent Me, and I live by the father; so he that eateth Me (takes into his understanding) shall Live because of Me.” – John 6:57.
JESUS, or more properly, YAH-OSHUA, is Deity’s name with an affix, and means YAH’S deliverer or savior.
Worshipping Jesus as Yahweh
We are often net with the assertion that, if Jesus is not God, it is idolatry to worship Him.
I wish all such persons were not so often guilty of idolatry. My reply is: To say Jesus Christ is the Eternal Supreme Deity, is idolatry. The homage that belongs to Him recognizes His true relation to God as His Father, Who was in Him working out our salvation. The testimony of the prophets, apostles, and Christ Himself enlightens us on this subject. The enlightened worshipper knows how to worship. Under the former dispensation the angels were worshipped as the representatives of Yahweh. The Elohim, or Mighty Ones, had charge of the world’s affairs, and spoke and wrought us Yahweh. Yahweh said to Abraham:
“I am El Shaddai,” i. e., the strength of the Mighty Ones, or Elohic messengers. – Gen. 17:1. By this appellation YAH was known to the patriarchs, but Deity revealed His memorial NAME to Moses in the bush through one of the Elohim or angels, who said:
“When I come to the children of Israel, and say unto them, The Elohim of your fathers hath sent me unto you; and they shall say unto me, What is His NAME? What shall I say unto them? And Elohim said Moses, EYAH ESHER EYAH. Thus shalt thou say unto the children of Israel, EYAH hath sent me unto you.” – Ex. 3, 13, 14.
And Elohim said further to Moses:
“Thus shalt thou say unto the children of Israel, YAHWEH (Elohim) of your fathers; the Elohim of Abraham, of Isaac, and of JACOB, hath sent me unto you: this is My Name forever, and this is My memorial to all generations.” – Ex. 3:15.
The Elohim were the representatives of the Deity, and spoke in His NAME. God promises Moses that He would go with Israel by him in the person of one of the Elohic messengers:
“Behold, I send an angel before thee, to keep thee in the way, and to bring thee into the place which I have prepared; beware of him, and obey his voice; provoke him not, for he will not pardon your transgressions; for MY NAME is in him. But if thou shalt indeed hearken unto his voice, and do all that I speak; then I will be an enemy unto thine enemies, and an adversary unto thine adversaries.” – Ex. 23: 20-22.
Israel worshipped this Angel as God’s Elohim all the way to the promised land. He delivered the law to them in company with other Elohim by Moses and the elders of Israel.
And they saw the Elohim of Israel; and there was under his feet as it were a paved work of sapphire stone, and as it were the very heaven for clearness. And upon the nobles of the children of Israel he laid not his hand: and they saw Elohim, and did eat and drink.” – Ex. 24: 10, 11. This fact of God’s administering His affairs through the angels was well understood by the Jews, as is seen by reading Stephen’s discourse: (Acts 7:30-53).
“Who received the law as it was ordained by angels, and kept it not.” – Acts 7:53.
The Sinaitic covenant is also called by Paul, “The word spoken by angels.’-Heb. 2:2, in contrast with the “words of the Lord Jesus,” then recently spoken. The “house of Israel” under the old
covenant subject to angels; but Paul says:
“For not unto angels did He subject that habitable (hokoumenen) which was about coming, whereof we speak.” – Verse 5.
Paul was not talking of a world altogether in his future, but the house (hoikas) that had already been made subject to Christ, in contrast to the former, which had been subject to angels. These Elohim as well as the patriarchs and prophets) were all waiting anxiously for the new dispensation, and praised God, and worshipped Christ when He was born. Christ was made so much superior to the angels – though they had spoken in Deity’s Name, they had never Inherited it by birth and divine sonship, as Jesus had, – that
“When He (God) bringeth His first-born into the -world, He saith, Let all the angels of God worship Him,” – Heb 1:6; and they did not commit idolatry doing so. May we not do the same?
Jesus once asked the Pharisees:
“What think ye of Christ whose Son is He?'” They answered, “the son of David.” He said to them “How then doth David in spirit call Him Lord, saying, the Lord said unto my Lord, sit Thou on My right hand until (while) I make Thine enemies Thy footstool, If David then call Him Lord, how is He his Son?'” – Matt. 22:41-45; Ps. 110.
To have answered correctly they would have had to admit that Christ was both David’s son and Son of God. By being paternally related to David by His mother, He was David’s son. Being paternally related to God as His Father, made Him David’s Lord. Here are two Lords alluded to: “The Lord” and “My Lord.” The Lord said to My Lord. “My Lord” is invited to sit on the right hand of “The Lord,” while the latter puts the former’s enemies under His feet. But the translation fails to give the complete sense. The Common Version follows the Septuagint which confounds the two words. “Yah-weh” and “Adonai,” by rendering both by Kurios-Lord. The true reading is – “Yahweh said unto my Sovereign,” etc. YAHWEH puts all things under the feet of Yah-sous. “Thou hast put all things under his feet,” (Ps. 8:6) said the Psalmist, speaking of “the Son of man” prophetically. Yah-sous’ death and resurrection redeemed men from the death sentence. The race thus became His property by purchase. This made Him Lord of the living and dead – giving Him the keys of death and Hades, – the grave. So He becomes “Lord of all;” (Acts 10:36-42) henceforth, “the Father judgeth no man, but having committed all judgment to the Son,” commanded men to do honor to the Son as to Himself. (John 5:21-23). Christ is thus God’s representative among men, the “mediator between God and men,” so that all negotiations must be through Him, and in His NAME. He bears the father’s name “YAH”, as “the angel of His presence” did to Israel under Moses. (Ex. 23: 20, 21). He is now supreme “Head over all things, to the ecclesia, His body.” We now occupy the “habitable (hoikumenen) which was “about coming,” that is, the one which was to succeed the old house under the angels and the mediatorship of Moses, spoken of in Hebrews 2:5.
Christ YAH-SOUS having “purged our sins sat down at the right hand of God-angels, authorities, and powers being subjected to Him,” (Heb. 1:3-6) being “above every name that is named, both in this and the world to come.” (Eph. 1:20, 21) Here “He must reign until He hath put all enemies under His feet,” up to “the last one – death.” When this is accomplished, all the work of Christ in subduing all things to Himself by the power put into His hands by the Father will terminate. The exception of the “all things” put under Christ, is the Father – the Power that did it. (1 Cor. 15: 25-28). At the end of this epoch, the supremacy of the Father will be reannunciated. In this great gospel theme we see the significance of the name YAHSOUS Christ, or Anointed. He is God’s namesake, in and through whom He reconciles a world to Himself. He is the Anointed Sovereign of living and dead – heaven and earth. When, therefore, the apostles affirmed that He was Christ, they affirmed His sovereignty. When the Jews denied that He was Christ, they denied His Lordship.
“If thou shalt confess with thy mouth that Jesus is Lord, and shalt believe in thy heart that God raised Him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.” Rom. 10:9.
All things are at His disposal. He possesses unlimited power in the havens and on earth.
“And Jesus came to them and, spake unto them, saying: All authority hath been given unto Me in heaven and on earth.” – Matt.28:18.
Being the Son of David He inherited the kingdom and throne of David according to the oath and conversant of God, to which Peter alludeds. (Acts 2:22-36) David’s lordship extended over the twelve tribes only, and not over the nations. Nor did it extend to the inhabitants of Sheol. Christ inherited from His Father’s side supremacy over the living and dead, Jew, and Gentile. When “at the right hand of God exalted,” above angels and men, living and dead, “Head over all things,” “both Lord and Christ,” the proclamation was sent first to Jew and then to Gentile – “He is Lord of all,” with all in His power, friends and foes, the work of “subduing all things unto Himself” was inaugurated, and “He must reign until He hath put all enemies under His feet.” (1 Cor. 15:25, 26) When the holy ones are immortalized, and the sinners blotted out, “death, the last enemy,” will cease to be.
The Name Of The Father In The Name Of The Son.
We can understand the significance of the Apostle’s “preaching peace through YAH-sous Christ: (He is Lord of all:) testifying that it is He who was ordained of God to be the Judge of living and dead.” (Acts 10:36-43) We doubtless have but a summary of this, Peter’s first discourse to the Gentiles, but it was Redemption, Life eternal through the Christ, backed up by all the prophets, – by an eye witness of the death and resurrection. Peter gave his audience a summary of the facts from the baptism of John until the consummation, – recalling the last commission to the apostles; and when he arrived at the conclusion that YAH-sous was Lord universal of living and dead, the Lord confirmed the Word by the descent of the Holy Spirit upon the receivers of the testimony, who were commanded to be baptized “Into (eis) the Name of the Lord YAH-sous, “One Name” which was the Father’s given to the Son, and as the Father was in the Son by the Holy Spirit, – His own divine substance through whom all the testimony came – so it was all of YAH.
The substance of the gospel proclamation is, that YAH-sous died and rose to redeem the race, and bring them into the relation of sons and daughters to YAHWEH, and that He had become Master of all things, of the living and dead. “God has given Him the NAME that is above every name, that at the NAME of YAH-sous every knee shall bow, and every tongue confess that YAH-sous Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.” (Phil. 2:9-11) The glory and wisdom of God shines out in the whole arrangement.
From the different construction of the commission to the apostles by the four evangelists, it will be seen that “into (eis) the NAME of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit,” is equivalent to “His (Christ’s) NAME” according to Luke. The NAME is one – the NAME of the Father, YAH – which is above every – name, and which He gave to His Son – Yah-sous. (Phil. 2:9, 10)
This NAME is, by tradition and the Common translation, entirely obscured. It is “the NAME into which the righteous run and are safe.” (Prov.18:10) In this passage, as in nearly all others, the NAME of YAHWEH is suppressed. It is the NAME” from whom the whole family in the heavens (the angels) and on earth are named. (Eph. 3:15). It is only by becoming a constituent element of what the NAME covers, that we can receive remission of sins.
After the Lord took His departure to the “right hand of the Majesty in the heavens,” the promised Holy Spirit came upon the expecting ones, who began in the NAME of YAH-sous (that is the Name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit) to announce the “good message” or gospel (euangellion – from eu, good, and engellion, a message) to the Jews first, on the day of Pentecost, or fiftieth day after the Passover, when Christ was slain, as the anti-typical lamb.”
As YAH-sous who bore the Father’s NAME had been seated on the throne of universal empire “having all power in the heavens and on earth.” (Matt. 28:18) – His commissioned servants began to announce the fact, and show to the good people what had been accomplished in the tragedy of fifty days previous, and what followed. (Acts 2) This being at the time of the yearly “festival of weeks,” beginning with the Passover and ending with the Pentecost – answering to the accomplishment of the antitype – the Jews from the parts of Proconsular Asia were assembled at Jerusalem, and their speech was in the different tongues of the people among whom they sojourned, twelve to fifteen different languages. The multitude of people were confounded by the strange phenomena.
This very crowd had but fifty days before, cried, “crucify Him,” and were witnesses of the tragedy. When Peter had rehearsed the circumstances, and showed its significance in the light of the prophets, “they were pricked in their hearts, and said unto Peter and the rest of the apostles, ‘Men – brethren – what shall we do?’ Then Peter replied, ‘Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the NAME of YAH-sous the Anointed, for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.”‘ (Acts 2:38)
Observer, that it was but one NAME, that of YAH-sous. It is thus seen that the Popish and Protestant practise of using three appellatives, “Father,” Son,” and “Holy Ghost,” is but a piece of ecclesiastical sorcery – in ignorance of the thing to be accomplished, and the way to accomplish it. They say to the candidate for baptism, that they do something which they do not do. They do not mention the Father’s Name, YAH-sous. The Father’s name is not “Father,” nor the Son’s name “Son;” but the Name belonging to both is YAH. So it will be seen that all the apostles did, whether preaching, baptizing, or working miracles, was all in or into the NAME of YAH-sous. “In the Name of YAH-sous Anointed of Nazareth, rise up and walk,” (Acts 3:6) – “YAH-sous Anointed maketh thee whole.” (Acts 9:34) Not always by a set form of words, but the NAME of YAH-sous was mentioned in the discourse as He Who was the Doer, or by Whose authority the thing was done. The tri-form of words in the Catholic formula is entirely foreign to any primitive Christian practice. The Greek and Latin fathers were bewitched with the trinitarian fiction as early as Justin’s time, and entirely misunderstanding the words in Matthew 28:19, instituted the senseless ceremony. When we witness a Catholic or Protestant divine drawling out his triune formula, it reminds us of the “hocus-pocus” of the jugglers. Indeed, it is all off the same piece. The Lord of heaven and earth has much less respect for the former than the latter, which only pretends to trickery. Why do men take so kindly to humbuggery, and why are they so slow to learn the truth?
“And it shall come to pass, that whosoever shall call on the Name of the Lord – (Yah-weh the Living God), shall be saved.” – Acts 2:21
“The Lord said…he – Paul – is a chosen vessel unto Me, to bear My Name before the Gentiles, and kings, and the children of Israel.” – Acts 9:15
“Neither is there salvation in any other; for there is none other Name – (Yah-oshua) – under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.” Acts 4:12
Comparing scripture with scripture, the unity of the everlasting gospel is disclosed. The Old and New Testaments are in perfect accord. That the great Life NAME of God, was understood and made known by Moses, and the holy men of old, had been referred to, but it will be profitable to follow the New Testament somewhat and observe the emphasis placed upon the Deity’s Name, especially the prominence given it in the gospel discourses. The gospel “brought life and incorruptibility to light.” The unfolding and development of God’s purpose is expressed in the text:
“The earth shall be full of the knowledge of the Lord – (Yahweh-the self-Existent One), as the waters cover the sea.” Isa. 40:9
This knowledge would pertain “to YAHWEH,” and become a source of security and sure refuge.
The Old Prophets Speaking Of The New Covenant In The Name Of The Messiah.
The prophets raised up at opportune periods, heralded the tidings that the knowledge of YAHWEH would ultimately abound and prevail, and associated with this abundance of knowledge there was always something pertaining to the life NAME. “My people shall know my NAME:” “they that know MY NAME; shall put their trust in ME.”
“Behold the days come, saith Yahweh, that I shall make a new covenant with the house of Israel, and with the house of Judah; not according to the covenant that I made with their fathers, in the day that I took them by the hand, to bring them out of the land of Egypt; – I will put My law in their inward parts, and write it in their hearts; and will be their God, and they shall be My people. And they shall teach no more every man his neighbor (as was the case in the old covenant), and every man his brother saying, Know Yahweh; for they shall all know Me, from the least unto the greatest of them.” Jer. 31:31-34; Heb. 8; Cor. 3:6
How circumstantially, concisely, and completely these prophecies were realized in the gospel message, – the new and eternal covenant!
“Go ye therefore, and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them into the Name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit.” – Matt.28:19
“Repent and be baptized every one of you into the Name of Yah-oshua, the Anointed One, for the remission of sins.” – Acts 2:38
The Saviour said:
“I came in My Father’s Name.”
The oneness or unity of the Great Father with His only begotten Son is thus perceived, and the necessity for induction into that lifegiving name is obvious if one desires to become related to something higher than one’s natural inheritance of dust and ashes.
“And that repentance and remission of sins should be preached in His Name unto all nations, beginning from Jerusalem.” – Luke 24:47
“Now when He was in Jerusalem at the passover, tiring the feast, many believed on His NAME, beholding His signs which He did.” -John 2:23 He that believeth not hath been judged already, because he hath not believed on the Name of the only begotten Son of God.” – John 3:18
“I manifested Thy Name unto the men who Thou gavest Me out of the world”…”Holy Father,
‘Keep them in Thy Name which Thou hast given Me, that they may be one, even as we are. While was with them, I kept them in Thy NAME which Thou hast given Me.”…”I made known unto them Thy Name, and will make it known.” John 17:6, 11, 12, 26
“Simeon path rehearsed how first God did visit the Gentiles, to take out of them a people for His Name.” – Acts 15:14
“And I saw, and behold, the lamb standing on the mount Zion, and with Him a hundred and forty and four thousand, having His Name, and the Name of His Father, written on their foreheads.” – Rev. 14:1
“Far above all rule, and authority, and power, and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this world, but also in that which is to come.” “The Father, from whom every family in heaven and on earth is named.” – Eph. 1:21; 3:15
In the performance of Baptism into the Name of Yah-sous, the subject is inducted into the death of Christ by a similitude – “planted in the similitude of His death, together with Him.” (Rom. 6:5) by which, the thing symbolized, viz., the death of Christ, becomes ours. We thus, by symbol, pass through the death state, and rise with Christ. In so doing, the death sentence has been executed upon us, and if we abide in Him, we shall be made immortal when He comes. The old rite of circumcision was but a fore-shadowing of flesh cut off for sin – death for sin – which if suffered in Christ satisfies the sentence. If we are not in Christ when the day of doom – the judgment day – comes, the penalty will take hold of us with an eternal grasp.
But baptism, without a knowledge of the gospel, or how we get remission of sins by the death process in Christ, is of not the least avail. Those who imagine they get remission of sins before baptism can have no correct knowledge of its significance. If we receive remission of sins before baptism, there would be no use for baptism, which is the “birth of water,” or “the washing of regeneration,” “the cleansing of water in the Word.” (Eph. 5:26) The “word” of the gospel understood, accompanied by the water, completes the regeneration. The facts concerning the method of redeeming us and giving us eternal life are, by a similitude, exhibited in the process of baptism. It is the “form of doctrine” delivered first to us, and “into which we are delivered.”- and to “obey it from the heart” we have first to comprehend it. (Rom. 6:17) The foolishness of the practice of baptizing or pouring water on a person in three names, and calling it baptism, is too obvious to need comment. A person ignorant of the gospel is no subject for baptism. Those who practise sprinkling or pouring can certainly have no proper knowledge of the gospel. Their irregular use of water is in keeping with their irregular faith, and the whole accompaniment of a swarm of errors. The man who comprehends the glorious gospel, needs not be told that he must be buried in the water to represent his faith. To pretend to symbolize the death, burial, and resurrection process by the use of a teaspoonful of water would be as appropriate as to scatter a handful of earth upon a dead man and pronounce him properly buried.
The Form of Baptism.
The Greek lexicographers do not differ in defining the word baptizo,”to dip, to plunge, to emmerse, to submerge, to wash, to sink, to soak.” Words meaning “to pour” or “sprinkle” are never applied to baptism. Philip preached redemption to the Ethiopian eunuch who, when they had arrived at a certain water, wished to be baptized. (Acts 8:26-39) Just as soon as a man comprehends the gospel, in the love of it, he will never rest until he is baptized. Our fellow membership and identity with Him Who died and rose again is the basis of all hope of an incorruptible life.
“If we have been planted together in the similitude of His death, we shall be also sharers in resurrection. . . .If we died with Christ, we believe that we shall also live with Him” – (as literally He relived.) – Rom. 6:3-1.
“He died to sin,” or was freed from His relation to sin by His death, and as soon as His death becomes ours; “Our old man was crucified with Him, and the old body of sin is superceded. If we thus, in Christ, ceased to live in the old sin relation and in our rising live related to God, as a new creation, death can have no more dominion over us than it could over Christ. Though we may die, it is not under condemnation but simply because our physical constitution is not yet changed. That change will pass upon us when YAH-sous comes to claim us as His own. “We sleep in YAH-sous,” and therefore awake in Him. If He had not died under the sentence as our representative, we could never have escaped final and eternal death. If He has not risen to lead us out of the dismal carnal house, we could have no hope of living again.
“If Christ has not risen, they who have fallen asleep in Christ have perished” – without one ray of hope beyond the grave. – 1Cor. 15:18-23
Baptism and its place in the Christian system is easily seen in the light of this gospel of eternal life through Christ. It is seen that Christ and His members constitute a body politic – full or complete.
“In Him dwells all the completeness of the Divine Supremacy of a body, and ye are in Him, the filled or complete thing, Who is the head of all principality and power.” (How do you get in?) “In Whom ye are circumcised with the circumcision made without hands, in putting off the body of sinful flesh by the circumcision of Christ” – (which was a literal death). “Buried together with Him in baptism, and wherein ye are risen together with Him through faith in the energy of God who raised Him from the dead. And you being dead in your sins (condemned to death for sins) and the uncircumcision of your flesh, hath He made alive together with Him, having forgiven you all trespasses; having blotted out the handwriting of dogmas (dogma sin, that written on stone) which was against us, and contrary to us, and He hath removed it from the midst of us, nailing it to His cross.” – Col. 2:9-14
The law was our accuser, which Christ superseded or fulfilled in His life and death. Not one jot or tittle could pass away from the law until all was fulfilled.
“Think not that I came to destroy the law or the prophets; I came not to destroy but to fulfil,” (fill full, or complete.) – Matt. 5:17
“As the Father hath sent Me, even so I send you. And having said this, He breathed on them, and said unto them. ‘Receive ye the Holy Spirit; whosoever sins ye remit, they are remitted unto them; and whosoever sins ye retain, they are retained.'” – John 20:22, 23
“Then opened He their understanding, that they might understand the Scriptures; and He said unto them, “Thus it is written, that Christ should suffer, and rise from the dead the third day; and that repentance and remissions of sins should be preached in His Name – (Christ’s name) – among all nations, beginning from Jerusalem.'” – Luke 24:45-47
“And He said unto them, ‘God ye into all the world and preach the gospel to the whole creation; he that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be condemned.'” – Mark 16:15, 16 “And Jesus came and spake unto them saying: All authority is given to Me in heaven and upon earth; God ye, therefore, and disciple all nations, baptizing them into (eis. into) the Name (not names) of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have enjoined upon you. – Matt. 28:18-20
Christ’s commission to the apostles, as contained in the four gospels, is given in the above texts and from these versions of the inspired writers it is not difficult to see how the apostles were authorized to release sins – by teaching or preaching the gospel and baptizing; to represent the “form of doctrine.” (Rom. 6:17) which set forth how sins we remitted by the death and reviving of Christ.
Remission of sins comes “in the Name of YAH-sous,” by the believer being baptized with the proper understanding of that “Wherein the righteousness of God (or God’s method of making righteous) is revealed, as proceeding from faith in order to produce faith.” (Rom. 1:16, 17) This “is the power of God unto salvation to every believer” which has been superseded by the “heaps of teachers (ordained by men) who have turned away their ears from the truth to fables.” (2 Tim. 4:3, 4) The Greek and Latin fathers inaugurated this fraud, and called it “the Church,” and the whole army of ecclesiastic conspires to keep up this mercenary concern, and repudiate everything that refuses to sanction it, as “heterodox,” “dangerous,” “infidel,” etc. They have such control of the popular ear that whatever they discountenance, the people, en masse, will run from, as “the machinations of the devil.”
The form of words pronounced by the clergy over the “sacraments” was a thing unknown in apostolic times. The apostles used the NAME after this manner: “In the NAME of YAH-sous Anointed of Nazareth rise up and walk,” (Acts 3:6) Faith in that “Name” healed the “cripple.” (Acts 3:16) Again, “Repent and be baptized, every one of you into the name of YAH-sous Anointed for the remission of sins.” In the Name they taught, (not in three names). Go preach and baptize in and into the NAME.” was the substance of the commission. The Samaritans were baptized, both men and women – “into the NAME of the Lord YAH-sous;” Acts 8:12, 16) also, the Ephesians, (Acts 19:5) the company of Cornelius (Acts 10:48) and the Corinthians were, in the NAME of the One “crucified for them.” (I Cor. 1:13) The apostles also wrought all the wonders in the same Name; – not by a strict form of the words, – instance: “YAH-sous Anointed rnaketh thee whole.” (Acts 9:34) Certain Jews under took to use that Name with poor success. (Acts 19: 13-17) Here the Name was magnified, though it could not be safely used by sorcerers.
Since the days of the Apostles, there has been no new arrangement made for saving men. All the modern methods of “getting religion” are man-made, and can no more accomplish the salvation of the sinner than the Latin church process. “Repent and be baptized into the Name of Yah-sous the Anointed for the remission of sins” is no part of the improved (?) methods; yet, that was the only way the apostles did it. There are some “reformers” who talk about baptism for remission of sins upon a bare confession that “Jesus is the Son of God.” This is a modern improvement (?) entirely subversive-of the primitive arrangement. It is based upon Acts 8:27, which is entirely spurious. Water, without faith, has no remit-tin quality. Faith took Noah into the ark, and thus, Peter, says, “eight lives were carried safely through the water; of which our now being saved by baptism is the antitype; not the putting away of the filth of the flesh, but a good conscience, asking after through the resurrection of Jesus Christ.” (1 Peter 20:21) The eight would not have gone “safely through the water” outside the ark; our faith drives us into the ark, through which we are saved from the impending destruction.
There is an important difference between “baptizing in the Name and into the Name.” The following passages will illustrate:
“Know ye not, that so many of us as were baptized into Jesus Christ, were baptized into His death.” – Rom. 6:3
“For as many of you as have been baptized into Christ, have put on Christ.” – Gal. 3:27 “For by one Spirit are we all baptized into one body.” – I Cor. 12:13
The Greek preposition, eis, in the above, is correctly translated, and by what inadvertency the King’s translator gave it “in” in the following passages, we are at a loss to say, but certainly it ought to be rendered “into.”
“They were baptized in (eis) the Name of the Lord Jesus.” – Acts 8:16
“When they heard this, they were baptized in (eis) the Name of the Lord Jesus.” – Acts 19:5
“Were ye baptized in (eis) the name of Paul? I thank God that I baptized none of you but Crispus and Gaius, lest any should say that I had baptized in (eis) mine own name.” – I Cor. 1: 13, 14
“IN THE NAME” implies by the authority, power, etc. ‘In the name of the king, or commonwealth. Those who are “baptized into the Name of the Lord Yah-sous (intelligently) have put on Christ” – their state or condition is changed; they are induced into the life-giving Name, which makes them heirs of eternal life; and as the apostle says, “have passed from the (tou) Death into the (eis ten) Life” state. They have passed from the Adamic or condemned state, and are “free from the law of sin and death”: in other words, they have become “naturalized” – citizens of the Kingdom of our Lord. (John 5:24: Rom. 8:1, 2; Phil. 3:20; Col. 1:13; 1 John 3:14)
The above article, “The Name of God and the Name of His Son,” is written by Andrew D. Urshan. The article was excerpted from the second chapter of Urshan’s book The Almighty God In The Lord Jesus Christ.
This material is most likely copyrighted and should not be reprinted under any other name or author. However, this material may be freely used for personal study or research purposes.