“What’s in a name? That which we call a rose by any other name would smell as sweet.” (William Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet)
The word “name” in Hebrew and Greek has a lot more meaning to it than the English equivalent today. We can see traces of the original definition in some older phrases, but, in general, if you ask someone what the word “name” means, they’ll say it means a label to call someone, such as “Maria,” to distinguish someone from another person when speaking.
There are some who get so upset to hear people call their creator by one name or another, but our creator is the same always, no matter what name we use to describe Him. What matters is who He is, what is His character? A rose is sweet no matter what we call it, and YHWH is good all of the time, no matter how we address Him.
English Definition of Name
a : a word or phrase that constitutes the distinctive designation of a person or thing
- The boy’s name is Brad.b : a word or symbol used in logic to designate an entity
2 : a descriptive often disparaging epithet
- called him names
3 a : reputation
- gave the town a bad name
b : an illustrious record : fame
- made a name for himself in golf
c : a person or thing with a reputation
- one of the most detested names in history
4 : family, clan
- was a disgrace to his name
5 : appearance as opposed to reality
- a friend in name only
6 : one referred to by a name
- praise his holy name
— in the name of
1 : by authority of
- open in the name of the law
2 : for the reason of : using the excuse of
- called for reforms in the name of progress
So, we see that the word name can mean much more, even in English, than we usually think of. It means, a label (or designation), reputation (or what you’re famous for), family, and authority. The few we don’t often thing of are family and authority. When a father has a child, that child usually takes on the father’s last name. When that child goes around their hometown doing either good deeds or nefarious ones, he’s giving his father a reputation as either a “good father” or a “bad father.” If the child steals, he’s giving his father a bad reputation, and he can also be considered a disgrace to his family’s “name”.
Taking YHWH’s Name in Vain
We are supposed to be gods, children of the Most High, who come in our Father’s name and don’t take it in vain. The ten commandments tell us to not take “The LORD’s name in vain,” but a lot of people don’t seem to know that it means we’re supposed to already have His name. If you don’t have His name, how can you take it in vain?
Is Swearing Taking His Name in Vain?
Some people have come up with the idea that to take His name in vain means to swear using His name. This idea is based off of the Israelites who thought YHWH’s label was too sacred to say flippantly. They thought His label should not be uttered in general speech. So, even though the Tanakh has the tetragrammaton, “YHWH,” written down, they decided to read it out loud as “Adonai” (which means “Lord”).
The English translators took that another step forward and rather than write the tetragrammaton YHWH at all, they simply replaced it with “the LORD” all throughout scripture. This made YHWH into a liar in Isaiah 42:8 where YHWH says in the original, “I am YHWH, that is my name” but in the English translations it says, “I am the LORD, that is my name,” which it clearly isn’t. The LORD is a title, not a name. Although the tetragrammaton, YHWH, may be more of a title that stands for the “Self Existent One Who Did Not Come Into Being” or “The Alpha and Omega” or “I am that which I will be” as in He’s the same forever from the beginning of everything throughout it all, because He never came into being and He’s eternal. But at least that “name” is a very good description of who He is and what He’s known for being, the eternal creator. “The LORD” is not a very good description of who He is, as there are many lords.
Sacred Name Movement
There are many people who realized that Jesus’s name was never Jesus, but rather Yehoshua, which they shorten to Y’shua, or other various forms and spelling. These people are usually also upset at the use of the word “God” as there was a fallen angel Gadreel, supposedly pronounced “Gawd-reel” like our English pronunciation of “God”. This fallen angel was supposed to be the one who seduced Eve. And “Gad” also supposedly pronounced “Gawd” like “God” is supposed to be a pagan god of luck or fortune. They also don’t like to use the term “Lord” because YHWH says we’ll no longer call Him Baali anymore. The term Baali comes from Ba’al which means “Lord,” so you can see why they’d be upset that the English bibles have translated the Tetragrammaton YHWH as “the LORD” thousands of times.
They say that since YHWH doesn’t want the names of other mighty ones (elohim) on our lips, we shouldn’t ever use these terms: “God,” “Lord,” “Jesus” and maybe some others. Some of them say things like, “If you call on Jesus, God, or Lord, you’re calling on demons.” I think this is incorrect as when I went through my deliverance, demons fled in the name of “Jesus.” As you’ll see below, what seems to matter more is character and authority.
How Do We Come In YHWH’s Name?
Jesus (Yehoshua) claimed to come in his Father’s name.
John 5:43 I am come in my Father’s name, and ye receive me not: if another shall come in his own name, him ye will receive.
As stated above, one of the definitions of “name” is reputation or fame. This is what you are known for, your behaviors and reputation. The Hebrew and Greek definition of “name” call it “character.” Jesus (Yehoshua) did not do his own will, wants, or desires, but only did the will of his Father YHWH.
John 6:38 For I came down from heaven, not to do mine own will, but the will of Him that sent me.
Matthew 26:39 And he went a little further, and fell on his face, and prayed, saying, O my Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me: nevertheless not as I will, but as Thou will.
John 5:19 Then answered Jesus and said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, The son can do nothing of himself, but what he seeth the Father do: for what things soever he doeth, these also does the son likewise.
John 5:30 I can of mine own self do nothing: as I hear, I judge: and my judgment is just; because I seek not mine own will, but the will of the Father which hath sent me.
John 4:34 Jesus saith unto them, My food is to do the will of Him that sent me, and to finish His work.
John 12:49 I have not spoken on my own, but the Father who sent me has commanded me what to say and how to say it. 50 And I know that His command leads to eternal life. So I speak exactly what the Father has told me to say.
So Jesus didn’t come in his own character, meaning he didn’t do his own will. His will was to not be killed, but he chose to do his Father’s will instead of his own. This means he didn’t come in his own name (character), but came in his Father’s name (character). This is what YHWH’s messiahs/shaliahs are supposed to do.
Children take their father’s character after they’re conceived and as they grow. Through the process, they look more and more like their parents in their mannerisms and behaviors, and attitudes, because they’ve heard their parents speaking to each other, and they’ve heard their parents jokes or arguments, etc. If someone has an abusive father, they may grow up to be abusive to their mate. When we were children of the “devil” we acted like the “devil” and it was manifest (or made known) to the world that our father was the “devil.” We were born of “the world,” (the sinners), and so we sinned. When we were born again of God, we got His seed (sperma in Greek) inside of us, and we start to grow up to look like God rather than the “devil,” and this is why the world (the sinners) don’t understand or “know” us.
1 John 3:1 Behold, what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be called the sons of God: therefore the world knoweth us not, because it knew Him not. 2 Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when He shall appear, we shall be like Him; for we shall see Him as He is. 3 And every man that hath this hope in him purifieth himself, even as He is pure. 4 Whosoever committeth sin transgresseth also the law: for sin is the transgression of the law. 5 And ye know that He was manifested to take away our sins; and in Him is no sin. 6 Whosoever abideth in Him sinneth not: whosoever sinneth hath not seen Him, neither known Him. 7 Little children, let no man deceive you: he that doeth righteousness is righteous, even as he is righteous. 8 He that committeth sin is of the devil; for the devil sinneth from the beginning. For this purpose the son of God was manifested, that he might destroy the works of the devil. 9 Whosoever is born of God doth not commit sin; for His seed remaineth in him: and he cannot sin, because he is born of God. 10 In this the children of God are manifest, and the children of the devil: whosoever doeth not righteousness is not of God, neither he that loveth not his brother.
We have been begotten of God, born again, at our baptism. We get His “sperm” inside, which seems to be His Holy Spirit, that cleanses us of our sin so that we can grow to look like Him. We are to purify ourselves as He is pure, so that we can be blameless in the middle of this perverse generation and when people see us, they will see the Father, because we look like Him, act like Him, and talk like Him.
We are now children of the Most High, and we now take on His “Family Name,” so to speak. We can be a disgrace to His family, or we can be good representatives and make our Father proud. YHWH bragged on Job to the adversary. We can get Father to brag about us too, as we resist the devil.
As we claim to be followers of YHWH, and claim Him as our creator, and our leader, we have taken on His name. Whether we give Him a good or bad reputation is on us.
How Do We Take His Name In Vain?
Proverbs 30 explains how one Israelite believed he would take the name of his God in vain.
Proverbs 30:7 Two things have I required of thee; deny me them not before I die: 8 Remove far from me vanity and lies: give me neither poverty nor riches; feed me with food convenient for me: 9 Lest I be full, and deny thee, and say, Who is YHWH? or lest I be poor, and steal, and take the name of my God in vain.
This is sometimes translated as profaning God’s name, rather than taking it in vain. When you sin, like stealing from another, but claim your God is YHWH, you are taking His name (or character or reputation) in vain. You say He’s all powerful, yet you feel like you need to steal to have enough to eat? You’re making Him look like He’s not very powerful. You say He’s all loving, yet you take His family name and take things from another person? You’re making it seem like YHWH is a thief.
When Israelites claimed to come from YHWH, but went about murdering, thieving, sinning they made it seem like YHWH could not create a peaceful, loving mankind. They made it seem like mankind was stuck as slaves to sin. This is what led people to think that they needed blood to cover their sins, because they didn’t think they could stop sinning. This gave YHWH a bad reputation. Atheists look at the world and see all the evil that sin has created and think there is no creator, because mankind gave YHWH such a bad rap.
Christians followed in their footsteps, claiming Jesus (Yehoshua) was their savior, praying in the “name of Jesus,” but still continuing to sin. Some of the early followers started to reject what he said about going and sinning no more, and claimed they couldn’t stop. Over time they started to claim he was a sacrifice to cover their sins, like Israelites claimed animal sacrifices were to cover their sins. The Christians gave Jesus (Yehoshua) a bad name as they continued into the world, not as a light of the world, but bringing in the dark ages.
“The greatest single cause of atheism in the world today is Christians: who acknowledge Jesus with their lips, walk out the door, and deny Him by their lifestyle. That is what an unbelieving world simply finds unbelievable.” ― Brennan Manning
We’ve given him such a bad name, people don’t believe in him, because who would? The “creator” who made inherently sinful creatures is a joke.
Everyone who claims that YHWH can’t get us to stop sinning makes Him seem incompetent. And who would want to worship an incompetent creator? This is why people started to believe YHWH was the demiurge.
YHWH Will Not Let His Name Be Profaned Forever
YHWH says that people profaned or took His Holy (Set-Apart) name in vain by sinning and being forced to leave His land. His word cannot be broken. He said if they chose death, they had to live with the curses. But their sin and punishment made YHWH look bad. So, He’s going to be prove He is Holy through His people before the rest of the world’s eyes.
Ezekiel 36:16 Again the word of YHWH came to me: 17 “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. 18 So I poured out My wrath on them because they had shed blood in the land and because they had defiled it with their idols. 19 I dispersed them among the nations, and they were scattered through the countries; I judged them according to their conduct and their actions. 20 And wherever they went among the nations they profaned My holy name, for it was said of them, ‘These are YHWH’s people, and yet they had to leave His land.’ 21 I had concern for My holy name, which the people of Israel profaned among the nations where they had gone. 22 Therefore say to the Israelites, ‘This is what the Sovereign YHWH says: It is not for your sake, people 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. 23 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 YHWH, declares the Sovereign YHWH, when I am proved holy through you before their eyes.”
YHWH was not upset at them for cursing with His name. For the most part they wouldn’t even say His name out loud but they did not understand that taking His name in vain was about sinning. He was upset that their conduct and actions were giving Him a bad reputation. As 1 John 3 says we make known to the world who our spiritual father is by whether we sin or not.
Ezekiel 39:7 So I will make My holy name known among My people Israel and will no longer allow it to be profaned. Then the nations will know that I am YHWH, the Holy One in Israel. 8 Yes, it is coming, and it will surely happen. declares the Lord YHWH. This is the day of which I have spoken.
Name Also Means Authority
Another meaning of “name” is authority. Merriam-Webster gave the example of “open in the name of the law.” A police officer might be looking for a suspect and have reasonable cause to search a house, and start banging on a door trying to get them to open it “in the name of the law.” This represents the authority that “the law” has to search a house under those circumstances.
Adam was given authority over the animals, and he exercised that by naming them. From the beginning mankind was to have authority over creation like YHWH had authority over mankind. Because of disobedience, they lost that authority. But when Jesus (Yehoshua) came, emptied himself, was baptized and chose to only do the Father’s will, he became a child of God, and was granted authority over creation.
YHWH tells us all (including Jesus) that if we overcome we can be His children:
Revelation 21:7 He that overcometh shall inherit all things; and I will be his God, and he shall be my son.
Jesus (Yehoshua) says if we overcome the world and overcome sin like he did, we can have the same throne (which means authority):
Revelation 3:21 To him that overcometh will I grant to sit with me in my throne, even as I also overcame, and am set down with my Father in His throne.
Then we get “worshiped” since we have the same authority as Jesus (Yehoshua).
Revelation 3:9 Behold, I will make them of the synagogue of Satan, which say they are Jews, and are not, but do lie; behold, I will make them to come and worship before thy feet, and to know that I have loved thee.
Only those who come in the name of the Father will be “worshiped.” That just means to bow down to, and the Israelites used to worship King David and YHWH at the same time in the same way.
Chronicles 29:20 And David said to all the congregation, Now bless YHWH your God. And all the congregation blessed YHWH God of their fathers, and bowed down their heads, and worshipped YHWH and the king.
The reason people can be worshiped, is because a shaliah is regarded as the person who sent the shaliah out. Jesus (Yehoshua) was a shaliah for YHWH, and the apostles were a shaliah for Jesus (Yehoshua). In fact the Hebrew word shaliah is basically the equivalent of the Greek word for apostle. See Shaliah, the Jewish Law of Agency for more information on that.
Jesus (Yehoshua) Was Given Authority
Though some Jews believed that he was casting demons out on the authority of Beelzebub, we know that it was the Father’s authority. Many Christians think he had this authority because he was the creator, YHWH, but actually he tells us that that’s not true. He was given authority from his Father, YHWH.
Some people got indignant when he said a man’s sins were forgiven. They claimed, “Who could forgive sins but God alone?” And he set about to prove them wrong.
Mark 2:10 But that ye may know that the son of man hath power on earth to forgive sins, (he saith to the sick of the palsy,) 11 I say unto thee, Arise, and take up thy bed, and go thy way into thine house. 12 And immediately he arose, took up the bed, and went forth before them all; insomuch that they were all amazed, and glorified God, saying, We never saw it on this fashion.
Matthew 9:8 But when the multitudes saw it, they marvelled, and glorified God, which had given such power unto men.
They didn’t glorify Jesus (Yehoshua), they glorified God. And the term “son of man” means mankind. So he was proving that a man had been given the power and authority by God to forgive sins. Jesus (Yehoshua) had been given the power by YHWH to forgive someone (with faith) of their sins. When you repent, are forgiven, and resist evil, the demons have to flee. Once the demons were gone, the people were healed of their illnesses. The reason I specified “with faith,” is because when he went into his hometown, they had little faith and he could not heal them (Mark 6:5).
Jesus (Yehoshua) Gave That Authority to the Apostles
In Luke 10 we’re told Jesus (Yehoshua) sent forth apostles in his name or in his authority.
Luke 10:1 After these things the Lord appointed other seventy also, and sent them two and two before his face into every city and place, whither he himself would come. 2 Therefore said he unto them, The harvest truly is great, but the labourers are few: pray ye therefore the Lord of the harvest, that he would send forth labourers into his harvest. 3 Go your ways: behold, I send you forth as lambs among wolves…17 And the seventy returned again with joy, saying, Lord, even the devils are subject unto us through thy name. 18 And he said unto them, I beheld Satan as lightning fall from heaven. 19 Behold, I give unto you power to tread on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy: and nothing shall by any means hurt you. 20 Notwithstanding in this rejoice not, that the spirits are subject unto you; but rather rejoice, because your names are written in heaven.
Jesus (Yehoshua) had been given authority, and he gave that authority to men. Their names being written in heaven could mean that their authority was now a heavenly authority, above “satan.” The bible speaks often of people having their name changed when they get a new authority, such as Joseph from Pharaoh.
Believers Are Given a New Name
Our “crown” is a representation of our authority on our Father’s throne where we are co-heirs with Christ (Revelation 3:21, Romans 8:17).
Revelation 3:11 I am coming soon. Hold fast to what you have, so that no one will take your crown. 12 The one who is victorious I will make a pillar in the temple of My God, and he will never again leave it. Upon him I will write the name of My God, and the name of the city of My God (the new Jerusalem that comes down out of heaven from My God), and My new name.
One we overcome this world (sin), we are victorious and we can sit down with him on his throne (authority) and we get a new name, that is, a new authority over the world and that’s why they have to “bow down” or “worship” us in Revelation 3:9.
Baptizing In Jesus’s Name
You can clearly see that coming in the name of the Father is about looking like Him by not sinning, doing His will, speaking for Him, and we don’t want to take His name in vain (which is done by sinning or making Him look bad). The same thing goes for coming in Jesus’s name. To be granted authority over demons, we need to resist the devil. We are to overcome our temptations, and come under the authority of Jesus (Yehoshua). We have to look like him, love people like him, forgive our enemies like he did.
Matthew 28:19 “And Jesus came and said to them, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go therefore and disciple all nations baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe everything I have commanded you.”
Some people believe that’s referring to a trinity, but actually it’s most likely a scribal error at best, or a malicious addition at worst.
From Kel at The Trinity Delusion’s website:
A certain irregularity occurs in this particular passage. Here Jesus has just declared “all authority has been given to “ME.” But he then goes on to say, “Go, therefore and make disciples of all nations baptizing them in the name of the Father and Son and Holy Spirit.” One would expect him to say “… all authority has been given to me. Go, therefore, and baptize in my name.” Furthermore, we find in the book of Acts that this is precisely just what the disciples ended up doing. We find absolutely nobody baptizing in the name of Father, Son and Holy Spirit in the Bible. Even further, Jesus goes on to say in this passage, “teaching them to observe all the things I commanded you…” The instruction to keep “all I have commanded” again reflects back on the fact that all authority had been given to “me.” He is the authority commanding the disciples to keep his teaching and to teach others to keep his teaching. The phrase “baptizing them in the name of Father, Son, and Holy Spirit” seems very out of place within the context
- All authority is give to ONE
- Baptize in the name of THREE
- Teach them to observe all the ONE has commanded
Kel’s article continues on and discusses why it is even more likely that our version was not the original version. Regardless, whether you believe it was an addition or not, the word “name” means character and authority, and, obviously, since Jesus (Yehoshua) came in his Father’s name he had the exact same character and authority.
This command to baptize in anyone’s name has nothing to do with what words to say when you baptize. This has to do with what authority you have to baptize someone in the first place.
If you come in his character, walk the way he walked, then you are given authority to baptize people, teaching them to do what he commanded. Sadly. there’s a lot more attention paid to what labels to use when baptizing someone, than there is to the fact that when you baptize someone you’re supposed to teach them to obey the commandments.
Praying In Jesus’s Name
Once again, we are to come in his character, act like him, do what he did. So we’re supposed to be praying the way he prayed.
Sadly, a lot of people today try to pray for things that they want, and they just tack on a, “in Jesus’s name,” at the end of their prayer. That is basically turning his name into some magic words to complete a spell.
It’s not really their fault. Most people were brainwashed into thinking that’s how to pray. Gregg Braden speaks about the Essene’s method of prayer being completely different, but more biblical than ours today. The “enemy” wanted us to forget how to pray effectively, but we’re learning it again.
So, here’s an example:
A man needs an automobile, and wants to buy a new car. He’s been looking at some vehicles, and he sees a flashy car and he prays he’ll be approved for a loan that he would have to take out for it. He has a need, because he has a job that he has to get to, but which vehicle he gets is determined by his wants.
Jesus (Yehoshua) told us to pray to our Father, for His will to be done on earth as it is in heaven. When Jesus (Yehoshua) was about to be taken in to be put to death, he prayed for the cup to pass, because he didn’t want to go through with it, but he also prayed for his Father’s will to be done above his own.
The man can pray, “Father, please help me be approved for this loan, in Jesus’s Name.” or he could pray, “Father, please help me get this loan, or else lead me to the divine opportunity for a vehicle. Your will be done, not mine.”
The first prayer is a spell, trying to use Jesus’s name as magic words to get what you want regardless if that’s what YHWH wants for your life. The second prayer is an example of praying in Jesus’s name (character) where you pray for our Father’s will to be done above your own. Now, you might think that means you’re going to “lose out on something that you really want,” but our Father knows what’s best for us. In this example, there may be a woman down the block, who’s a single mother, and needs to sell a vehicle that the man can fix up, and not have to take out a loan for, and actually save money, enjoy the vehicle more, and bless the single mother who desperately needed to make the sale, which blesses him right back.
When we want to pray in Jesus’s name, we need to remember to act like him, and always choose our Father’s will above our own, because, honestly, He knows best. Everything worked out awesome for Jesus (Yehoshua) when he overcame and got to sit on his Father’s throne. YHWH’s will trumps it all, because He knows the beginning from the end, and knows the literal best thing for you to do at all times. We just have to let Him tell us what He wants us to do. That is what coming in the Father’s name is all about.