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The Error of Insisting on Using Hebrew Names for God

Greetings in the Name of the One Who died for all, pardoning and cleansing us from all sin, and then rose again from the dead, justifying us before the Father. For the benefit of all, we have compiled segments of various letters that we have written to those who contend for the use of Hebrew names only for God and Jesus Christ. These writings declare the truth that pleases God and instructs us in the path of life regarding this matter.

Each section is separated by an asterisk.

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We begin:

There are those who claim that unless we use the Hebrew names for God and Christ, we cannot be in contact with Him. He is bigger and better than that. I have discovered so and the Holy Scriptures bear witness also. It is His righteousness and not ours. Therefore, I do also hereby testify that this God is this same Yah, Yahweh, YHWH, Elohim, the Lord Jesus Christ, none other than Yashuah Adonai, Yahushuah, Yehoshuah, Yeshua, the Messiah, Ha Mashiach… “God was manifested in the flesh, justified in the Spirit, seen by angels, preached among the gentiles, believed on in the world, received up in glory.”

He is our One and Only True Lord and Savior in this world. “Nor is there salvation in any other, for there is no other Name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved.”

The following section includes responses from Paul and Victor to a Messianic woman inquiring of us:

Paul:

We are not against the use of the original Hebrew names, but neither are we solely for them. I am speaking of “we” as the saints, the body of Messiah, which are given revelation and understanding in these matters.

The use of the names is somewhat similar to circumcision. Neither using nor not using the original Hebrew is a matter of faith unto salvation. Those who place confidence in saying the names in Hebrew trust their own righteousness and works. Neither are those who do not use the names saved because they decide not to speak Hebrew, or use English. It is not by saying “Lord, Lord…” in any language that saves you. Only faith operating by the love of God brings salvation.

The Law of God, of which you speak, is a reflection of His Nature. He IS the Law. We, those in the Son, the Christ (anointed), will also fulfill His Law if we live and walk by Him. If we love Him, we will also then love our neighbor, and will not put a stumbling block in the way of our neighbor. Using Hebrew as a law for righteousness is a stumbling block. God does not mind if English speakers use the name Jesus Christ. He is the One Who gave us English and also gave the name, Jesus Christ, to English speakers.

You think He cannot make His Name known as He chooses? Do you really believe that the devil has exchanged the name of a false god for the Creator in everyone’s Bible? God is God, not devils or Satan. False gods are not external, but within, hiding under legitimate names and titles for God. That is precisely how people can take His name in vain. They profess to love and believe Him, but do not produce works of faith that validate their profession.

And why do you think the heathen use the holy Name of Jesus Christ for cursing, and ONLY His? It is because the powers of darkness know there is power in it, and they hate Him. God is God of all people, Carol, and not just of the Hebrews. I say this to you as a Hebrew, which I am, and apparently you are not.

We see it as a sign of sickness, and not health, that those professing His Name are trying to return to the old and dried up shell, not having found substance in the worldly churches or elsewhere. God, however, is not in shadows, or the languages and rituals of the past (which are fulfilled in Messiah). Neither is He in the worldly religious institutions and customs of heathen “Christianity.” Again, it is not about being circumcised, or not circumcised. God IS, and is received and known by the faith that produces works like those of Abraham, and not works that produce faith like that of religious formalism and habit.

The issue of using the Hebrew names is a stumbling block when presented as an article of faith, which it is not. That is where we oppose the “namers,” when this issue is used as a divisive one, and people are accused of worshipping a heathen god if they use the Name of Jesus Christ. We tell you solemnly that those who make this accusation are preaching the righteousness of man, and not the righteousness of the Creator and Lord of all. They are also guilty of blasphemy, ignorantly or otherwise. They do not know the One they name.

Like circumcision, which any man can have performed on his flesh, so can any man easily learn and use the Hebrew names, and with less discomfort! All these things can be done without faith, and as God is not requiring them, so they must be done without faith. His faith only operates on those things He is in and requires. So, if it is not by His faith that you speak in this matter, it must be by man’s faith, or black faith. You are, unwittingly, practicing the black arts, putting your trust in proper and godly (in your mind) incantations. You are not far removed from the Catholic religion in this matter, which also uses a carnal education to create and justify a form of godliness.

Truly, if you are not taking up the cross and walking with the risen Lord and Savior (Whom you call Yahshua HaMaschiach), you are one with all the heathen religious, against whom you preach. Both the pagan “Christian” world (or otherwise) and you are eating from the same Tree of Knowledge. You draw from the same source that motivates your works, which is all under the domain of Satan. The religious world, though divided and divisive, is one.

We who preach the cross of Christ are constantly doing battle with the powers of darkness, the black light that says, “I have the right knowledge, and if you will just go by this knowledge, you too will be saved.” You think you see but your light is darkness. You are yet following after Eve, taking and eating the fruit of that Tree of Knowledge, and perishing.

Victor:

It is only those who do not know YHWH/Yahshuah/the Lord Jesus Christ as they need to know Him that can say that the Name of Jesus is great error. I know differently. He appeared to me in that Name. I was saved through that Name, and saved I was, and continue to be (Read Our Testimonies). I know your arguments and logic. You are not the first to speak these things to us, and we must only shake our heads at the darkness and the trust of the flesh. As Paul rightly points out, you speak of possible things, which all men can do. Faith deals with the impossible.

Faith is the work of God, but men say that work is the faith of God. That is the difference between the Tree of Knowledge and the Tree of Life.

We did not know Jesus because it was possible to know Him by using the Name “Jesus” but because He revealed Himself to us. Then we knew Him and the validity of His Name. On the other hand, in essence, you say you know or would get to know Him by the use of His Hebrew Name, and that is the error in a nutshell. You have the cart in front of the horse. You do greatly err, being deceived by the serpent to believe that you can be as God by knowledge. You are trusting in your own righteousness, you and your teachers.

In English, regardless of its origins, it is “Jesus.” In Hebrew, it is “Yahshuah.” To me, Jesus meant, and means, “Savior,” I knew Him to be Lord of all, I knew that He was crucified for us all, for me included, that He was buried, raised from the dead to live evermore, with all power and authority. I knew I needed to repent of my sins, that I needed Him for life, and that there was no other source of Life. Believing, I was raised from the dead and changed. These are not “wrong doctrines,” Carol, but they are taught in many Christian churches.

I understand why you think the Name “Jesus” is blasphemous, but you are wrong. Let me give you a little example of word usage. The word “gay” had a very different meaning fifty years ago. Would you condemn me for using that word now as it was once meant, because of the connotation it has today? I would not be wrong in using it rightly though I would be sparing in using it because of that identification. However, when I use the Name of “Jesus,” I rejoice, because of the meaning “Savior” connected or associated to it, and more because He has delivered me wondrously, as He has many with His English Name. Think of it, Carol: English has a name for the Savior and one for the pagan god, two different names. The two are not synonymous. Jesus is not Zeus, and Zeus is not Jesus.

You may argue that while the word “gay” was first a clean word and then defiled, the Name of Jesus was once unclean and then borrowed to represent the clean, none other than “Mr. Clean” Himself. The argument is not valid. First, the two names, Jesus and Zeus, were spelled differently then, and are now. Secondly, the meaning of the Name, “Jesus,” by Christian doctrine and definition, is the same as that of Yahshuah. Thirdly, the same meaning or definition is not given to the name of Zeus as to Jesus.

It may also be argued that while the word “gay” is the same word in the same language, Jesus and Yahshuah are two different words in two different languages. While they are two different languages, the meaning is the same, though you may argue that the original meaning of “Jesus” had another connotation. “Jesus” is anglicized “Yahshuah” with the same meaning to me, because Jesus is God, God saves, only God can, and Jesus saves. Zeus is a figment of man’s imagination, and worse, a demon.

Furthermore, this notion that we must use Hebrew, especially with Biblical names, is legalistic and foolish, a product of darkened minds that are confounded. Was it not God Who divided the people into nations by language differences at the Tower of Babel? He is the Author of the diverse languages. To say that only by the use of YHWH’s Hebrew Name or Jesus’ Hebrew Name can men be saved is to say that not one man could be or has been saved since that time outside of Hebrew language. Even at Pentecost, the Holy Spirit gave utterance to the disciples to speak and to preach the salvation of God in other languages, those with which the multitudes gathered in Jerusalem were familiar. Think about it, Carol: If salvation is only by Hebrew, why would God put a stumbling block in front of those people by speaking to them in other languages, at the initial, historical outpouring of the Spirit yet, the day prophesied by Joel, a day designated by some to be the “birth of the Church” no less?

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What is your testimony?

In 1972, Yahshuah, Jesus Christ, appeared to me. He had been drawing me towards Himself for a year and a half. Then in February of 1973, a man shared Scripture with me, I came to know Jesus Christ as Lord, He took over my life, and I was changed. That was Passover for me. In 1975, I received His Spirit. That was Pentecost. Then in 2000, He brought me into rest with Him. That was Tabernacles. He has made us complete in Him. Read the introduction on the home page of our website, then read Our Testimonies. Tell me what you find.

I want you to tell me if you have ever met Yahshuah. I want you to tell me if you have ever been saved/turned around/ redeemed by “Yah saves” at some particular time in your life. It has happened to me, Victor, and to Paul. We know Him. You tell us how you have personally experienced Him. That is what we want to hear from you. We will be waiting. Only those who know Him personally, and hear His Voice, and are led by Him, can speak and teach on His behalf. Tell us that which we ask of you.

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One wrote to us the following:

“You apparently don’t understand that there is only one name under heaven by which men shall be saved. the name of the messiah YAHSHUA means YHWHsaves. the name jesus means nothing to the Almighty.”

Victor replied:

You are absolutely right. Neither were there any words of the English language, were there? There was no new testament in His day either. So let there be no “J” for your sake. Wherever you see a “j,” replace with a “y,” or wherever you see a “Jesus,” replace with whatever you prefer of these…Yeshua, Yeshuah, Yashua, Yahshua, Yahshuah, Yahoshuah, Yahushuah, Y’shuah, Y’shua, or perhaps you have another spelling you prefer, perhaps Hebrew. If Hebrew is your choice, then read only Hebrew. How’s that?

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The Word of God comes by faith, of the Spirit, not by the letter:

The Canaanite woman came to Yehoshuah, addressing Him only as “Lord” Kurios – Greek, or Adonai – Hebrew) for help and He referred to her as a dog, figuratively. What did she know about the letter? Did she pronounce “the Name” to get results? There is no record of that. But her faith prospered her, the faith not of an intellectual nor a scribe nor a Pharisee but one of a child, the faith that Yehoshuah commended. “God” the Father gave her that gift of faith, based not on her “knowing His real Name and using it” but simply because He chose to show her grace. He drew her to the Son, to Whom she could not come except by His drawing (John 6:44).

When Saul of Tarsus was stopped on the road, was he calling on the Name of Yehoshuah, that Name mentioned in Acts 4:12 as you pointed out? No, he was not. In fact, he was persecuting that very Name. Yet “the Lord” saved him in all his ignorance and “anti-Mashiach” spirit and conduct. Not only did he not know the Name of salvation when he was saved, he despised it, being in the very act of persecuting that Name at the time of salvation. I tell you, Saul was consumed with letters and labels. That is why he was a rabid enemy of Yahweh Whom he earnestly professed and believed to serve.

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An answer to one who charges us with taking God’s name in vain because we use the Name of Jesus:

Your understanding of the third commandment is lacking, to your own detriment, robbing you of life, Michael. I will tell you how.

If Jesus is not the Lord’s Name, and I am calling myself by this name, then how can I be taking “Yahweh’s” Name in vain? According to you, am I not taking another’s name? You are in confusion. Jesus said to those who knew exactly how to say His Name, that in vain did they worship Yahweh, honoring Him with their lips, but that their hearts were far from Him. He didn’t correct their pronunciation of the Name, because taking the Name of God in vain had nothing to do with that, but rather with what they did from the heart. Jesus also said not to judge after the appearance (which would include languages), but to judge righteous judgment, which is after the heart and motives. You are judging by appearance, by externals that you neither understand nor use properly.

And more in another letter to Michael:

You focus on the letter, even going so far as to say that using the Name of Jesus directs worship away from the True Creator. Frankly, if you want to use Hebrew, I don’t have a problem with that, except for the motive. What is the problem is that you don’t know or see Him as He comes to you in those who worship Him in Spirit and in Truth. That is where He chooses to place His Name, the place of which He spoke saying “His Name shall be there” (I Kings 8:29). You are like the Pharisees, who argued against His chosen vessel of manifestation and appearance. They also had all their technical reasons for rejecting Him. That was because they were of another spirit, as He testified of them. Is this how it will be, and will remain, with you?

Michael, in the Name of the Lord Jesus Christ I have been raised from the dead (spiritually). How can you say that Satan is using this Name to direct worship away from the True Creator? Who else could convict me of my sins, forgive me, cleanse me, and raise me to new life? Who else has the keys to hell and death? (Rev 1:18)

When John asked from prison if Jesus was the One they were looking for, or would there be another, Jesus basically said, “Look at the works God is doing, and that will tell you Who is here. Blessed are those who are not offended in Me.” I say the same thing. If the works of the Messiah are being accomplished in my soul, or any soul for that matter, it must then be Him that does them. That is why the apostle warned the believers:

“Little children, let no one deceive you. He who does righteousness is righteous, even as that One is righteous” (1 John 3:7 MKJV).

Those who say that you must use Hebrew deny the righteous works of God in those who do not walk according to their law. That is deception, and not the work of God. It is self-righteousness, hard at work.

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Commentary on the Name of God from a Jewish site:

“And Moses said to Elohim: behold when I come to the children of Israel and say to them: the Elohim (Almighty One) of your fathers has sent me to you; and they say to me; ‘What is His Name?’ What shall I say to them? And Elohim said to Moses: EHYEH ASHER EHYEH! (I shall be what I shall be!). And he said: say thus to the children of Israel: EHYEH (I shall be) has sent me to you. And Elohim again said to Moses: Thus shall you say to the children of Israel: YHWH, the Elohim of you fathers, “Elohey Abraham”, “Elohey Yishaq” we “Elohey Yaaqob” has sent me to you. This is my Name forever, and this is My Mention to all generations!” (Exodus 3:13-15).

COMMENTARY:

In these passages, the Creator revealed His Name to Moses and through him to Israel and all mankind. It is important to understand that the Creator’s Name is neither a noun nor an adjective. It is a verb! Please note that in verse 14 the Creator refers to Himself as “EHYEH”, “I shall be”. EHYEH is the first person singular, simple future tense of the Hebrew verb HAYOH or HAWOH, to be. Since ONLY the Creator Himself can say “I shall be”, Moses, in verse 15, is finally instructed to refer to Him as YHWH, HE will be; This is the third person singular, simple future of the same verb. As such, its correct pronunciation must be YIHWEH. The popular pronunciation YAHWEH is based on a 5th Century Samaritan usage, YABE or YABHE, which is entirely unintelligible, and without any grammatical or linguistic foundation. The form “YAHWEH” is not the simple future used by the Creator Himself in Exodus 3:14 but the so-called CAUSATIVE and would mean “He who causes to be”. The Creator certainly “causes to be”, but He gives His Name as the simple future in Exodus 3:14 so we can safely assume that the same Name, in the third person, must also be the simple future and not the causative. (In Hebrew the simple future tense is called “ATID” and the causative “HIF’IL”). Some see in the form YAH (as in Halleluyah) proof for the pronunciation “YAHWEH”. Anyone who knows Hebrew knows that the vocalization of the syllable, in both verbs and nouns, changes at times with its position in the word. Thus, the root YHW may be pronounced YAHU at the end of the word (as in ELIYAHU – ELIJAH, GEDALYAHU, YISH’AYAHU etc.) and YEHU at the beginning of a word (as in YEHOSHAFAT, YEHOYADA). Thus the syllable YAH at the END of a word, could be pronounced YEH or YIH at the beginning of a word. These observations are based on Hebrew grammar! If the so-called “YAHWISTS” or Sacred Name groups have a source of information above or beyond this one, let them show it! [END OF COMMENTARY]

Paul writes:

The author of this article, who denies the Messiah Yeshua, has made a startling contribution to my understanding. The Name given to Moses was in effect telling of God’s incarnation and revelation as Jesus Christ! “He will be”! Did not Jesus say the Scriptures testified of HIM? There is no other God! He foretold His own coming and incarnation. “Abraham rejoiced to see My day, and he saw it, and was glad” (John 8:56).

The Name of God not only speaks of His coming in the flesh, but also of what that means for us. “He will be.” He is our destiny, and we are His actualization, and realization. The Greek word “parousia” is translated to the word “coming”, referring to the coming of the Lord. The word does not mean “coming” as we use it, but here is the wonderful definition:

“The presence in anything of the idea after which it was formed.”

We speak of His Presence…in substance, in time and space! Paul the apostle said that by being crucified with Christ, it was no longer himself, but Christ that lived in him. His Name signifies His promise of life over death to His people. His Name is our hope. We are, by Him, by His Name, delivered from the bondage of Egypt, representing the flesh. Then we are part of His Body, raised with Him, the Church of God from Heaven. This is the place of His rest, which is glorious. “Then there shall be a place which the LORD your God shall choose to cause His Name to dwell there…” (Deu. 12:11).

In the day of our salvation, His Name is no longer “He will be,” but “He is”. Better still, it is “I Am That I Am!” In Him, move, breathe, and have our being. In Him, and only in Him, WE are!

Jesus said “I AM” in several places. He is. He that was, is, and will be. We have hope, not only for ourselves, but for all. He reconciles all things to Himself.

The name Yeshua, or Jesus, means “He will save,” or “God saves,” or “salvation.” We are baptized in the Name of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit. That is the Name of the Lord (Father) Jesus (Son) Christ (Holy Spirit), or in one Hebrew version, Yahoshua HaMaschiach. This is the same “He will be.” This is “Immanuel,” or “God with us.” This is Whom we worship, because He has revealed Himself to us from heaven, and is now in us. We have His Name, a name no man knows save those who overcome and receive it of Him (Rev. 2:17). We know Him not after the flesh, but after the Spirit. With the beloved apostle we also say, “Even so, come, Lord Jesus.”

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Here is a part of a reply from Victor to a Messianic who insisted on the use of only Hebrew for the Name of God:

Bless the Lord, oh my soul, and all that is within me, bless His Holy Name!

“Not in one language in the world is a personal name translated!” you say? I happen to have a rather universal name, although there may be other translations. I am Ukrainian, and I had an uncle whose name was “Alex” or “Alexander,” in English. In Ukrainian, it is “Aleksiw.” I had another uncle whose name was “Donald.” In Ukrainian, they called him “Metro.” I had another called “Bill.” In Ukrainian, he was “Vasail.” I had another called “Ernest.” In Ukrainian, it was “Orest.” I also have two names other than the surname, the second being “Nicholas.” Whether any uses one or the other does not change them, and it does not change me. An apostle’s name, in English, is “Peter,” in another language, “Petra” or “Petros,” in another, “Cephas.” In Ukrainian, it would be “Petroh.”

My last name, “Hafichuk,” transliterated from Ukrainian to English, means, “son of good,” or “pertaining to good.” The Greek translation, its lingual origin, would be “Huios Agathos.” The Hebrew would be “Ben Tov.” We define the Name “Jesus” as “Savior,” because He has saved us, not theoretically, but in actuality. We know there is only one Savior of the world, that being YHWH Himself, Who manifested Himself in His Son. We know Him as Jesus, as Yahshuah, and we know His Name in other languages. It is not about Hebrew; it is not about languages, Martiens; it is about HIM.

By man’s laws, we obviously need identity. However, when I was calling on God, knowing Him only by the Name I knew, He answered and revealed Himself to me. He did not correct me on His Name. To this day, 33 years later, He has not done so, though He has spoken of many things to me, and has revealed His Very Own Person to me. I have only heard from a bunch of self-righteous “wannabe Jews” who proclaim their righteousness and their doctrines, but who do not know Him. As it says:

“Many will tell Me in that day, ‘Lord, Lord, didn’t we prophesy in Your Name, in Your Name cast out demons, and in Your Name do many mighty works?’ Then I will tell them, ‘I never knew you. Depart from Me, you who work iniquity'” (Matthew 7:22-23 HNV).

When God spoke of calling on His Name, He was speaking of calling on HIM, ONE PERSON. I called on HIM. He revealed HIMSELF to me, to us, personally, directly. We know His Name is Yahshuah/YHWH, and we know Him by the English Name, Jesus. He did not have a problem with it. If it were otherwise, He was rather able enough to tell us, don’t you think? You do have a problem with it. That is because you don’t know HIM. You have never known Him, you remain in your self-righteousness and sin, and so you will think that we are deceived and you are the enlightened one. Yahshuah has hidden and kept the understanding of His Word from you. You are in utter darkness, Martiens, and when we speak to such as you, we know, by your words and spirit, that you have never known Him. As it is written:

“We are of God. He who knows God listens to us. He who is not of God doesn’t listen to us. By this we know the spirit of truth, and the spirit of error” (1 John 4:6 HNV).

It is time, Martiens, for you to face the facts. You need to repent of your self-righteousness, or perish. God is not at all pleased with you, quite the contrary. To those in heaven, your perishing is evidently in the present.

In the glory and victory of the Almighty Creator, Sustainer, Provider, God and Savior, Jesus Christ,

Victor Hafichuk, aka Veektorr Nikolai Dobry Sen, aka Veektorr Huios Agathos, aka Veektorr Ben V’Ach Yahshuah HaMashiach, aka Veektorr Ben YHWH, by His grace, Blessed is His Name!

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Trust in works leads to sins of hypocrisy:

Your use of Hebrew does not offend me. The problem is that your use of Hebrew is not acceptable with God, because you take His Name in vain. You do not do His will, though you profess His Name. You are an even greater idolater than are many religious who profess Christ. They, unlike you, do not trust that they are right because they use English, as you do with Hebrew. So you add hypocrisy to your sin by condemning those who use the Name of Christ because they do not join you in your worship of language, by which you think you are justified, and are not.

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Substance over label:

Call gentile or other language names pagan if you will, and we will not argue with you. However, we use English names for Yashuah. He made Himself known to us in life and power, and granted us victory over sin, the flesh, the world, darkness, and Satan, all in the Name of Jesus Christ. He has done so for many. Yashuah HaMashiach doesn’t have a problem with that, and we don’t have a problem with that, but apparently you do. That is because you have never known Him or His salvation. You have the label on the can, in Hebrew, which is fine, but your can is empty, which is not fine. We have the True Essence, but because the label is in another language, though the contents are Good, Faithful and True, you reject them for the label.

However, it is right to use the English Name as it is right to use the Hebrew Name. That is the matter you need to understand, which you cannot, and will not, until you repent of your own righteousness, which, Isaiah, speaking by the Spirit, prophesied to be as filthy menstrual rags. That is the way it is for all of us. Coming to Him, He strips and cleanses us of those. When that happens to you, the English Name, by which He grants to be represented, will not be an issue to you, guaranteed.

Jesus Christ is Yahshuah’s English Name, like it or not. Yahshuah knows us and has made Himself known to us by that Name. You don’t know His Name, no matter how perfectly you think you spell or pronounce it, because you do not know Him. You are yet in your sins.

In His Name, because in Him, knowing whereof we speak,

Victor Hafichuk

Paul Cohen

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