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Sacred Names - Fact or Fiction
By Lani Finley

There is another religious phenomena, which is sweeping through the Christian community, and known as, The
Sacred Name movement. Those who embrace this doctrine believe that the name Jesus Christ is of pagan origin and should not be used to identify the Son of God. They hold the belief that salvation is dependent on the ability to recognize and vocalize the names of God the Father and Jesus Christ as they appear in the original text of the Bible 1. Their conviction is that only Hebrew names such as Yahweh, Yahvah or Yahowah should be used to address God, and Yahshua should be used when referring to the Son of God.

There is even controversy within the different groups of this movement, as to which names to use and exactly how to pronounce them. Other beliefs of Sacred Name advocates may include one or more of the following tenets:

  • The Greek translation of the New Testament is incorrect because the New Testament was not written in Hebrew.

  • Hebrew was the universal language spoken before the Great Flood and will be the language of the Kingdom of God.

  • That God the Father is also God the Creator. Not Jesus Christ.

  • Some of the Sacred Names groups teach that the spirit being who came as the Savior was an angel sent from the Creator. They believe that the Savior was not God incarnate, but a spirit-being of lesser status and power 2.

  • That salvation is dependant upon knowing and correctly pronouncing God's name.

Many supporters of this movement also believe that the name Jesus was derived from, or is somehow connected with the name of the pagan god, Zeus. Some of the more extreme followers even proclaim that the name Jesus Christ, is that of a demon. The Assembly of Yahowah confirms this belief in their book, There is a Demon named Jesus.

...In this book of ours, called "There is a Demon named Jesus, the Abomination of Desolation", put together by The Assembly of YAHOWAH the Eternal, we reveal the personal name and title of Satan the Devil. His name is "IESOUS CHRISTOS" in the Greek, "IESUS CHRISTUS" in the Latin, and "JESUS CHRIST" in the English. Once you have honestly and prayfully studied everything in this study, you will see and understand that this is true!! We are now at the time period that YAHOWAH has selected to reveal the truth of Satan's names and titles, which we mentioned above. We will show from Revelation 13:17,18, both from the Hebrew and the Greek and many other source that "Dionysus", (Dionysos),"Iacchus", "Bacchus", "Zeus" are all connected with the pagan idol worship of Jesus.

Elder L.D. Snow (one of the movements most admired teachers) also proclaims in his article, A Brief History of the Sacred Name Movement in America, that accepting the name of Jesus is the "Mark of the Beast".

The Origin of the Sacred Name Movement

The history of the Sacred Name philosophy can be traced back to the mid-to-late 1800's. There were several small groups, which are credited with having the first discussions regarding this doctrine. However, the most recent movement dates back to the late 1920's early 1930's. Its roots have been attributed to those who had a prior association with the Church of God Seventh Day (a Sabbath-observing church). Church leaders, such as Bill Bishop, John Briggs, C.O. Dodd and L.D. Snow are recognized as having the most influence in promoting this new theology.

However, this concept is not limited to those with a non-denominational and Sabbath observing background. This trend is also gaining momentum and popularity in the Protestant community as well. Just recently, Trinity Broadcasting Network (TBN) apologized for remarks that outraged the followers of the Sacred Name doctrine. It is a very serious problem, which has divided congregations and caused many to condemn the use of the name, Jesus Christ.

A Risky Theology

While there is nothing fundamentally wrong with occasionally using the original text names for God and His Son, the main problem arises when one believes that their personal relationship with God and our Savior is dependent upon, or enhanced, by the use of these names. One of the greatest pitfalls of the Sacred Name believer is the concept that using a particular name automatically puts them into a category of a special relationship with God, which other Christians cannot enjoy.

Usually, those who embrace the Sacred Name philosophy are initially very sensitive to their fellow Christians, which use the name Jesus Christ. At first, the new convert will try to convince their Christian friends that they do not find it offensive to hear the name of Jesus. Quite often, they will expend a great deal of energy trying to convince their Christian peers, that they do not believe one's salvation and personal relationship with God is dependant upon using these special words. However, as they become more indoctrinated into this movement; they usually take a more rigid position and come to believe that no one can receive salvation, apart from the use of Sacred Names.

According to the 'The Assembly of Yahowah the Eternal', one can only gain salvation through the pronunciation of a name:

"Do you know that without the true personal name of the Family of heaven, Yahowah and Yaho-Hoshu-wah, you cannot receive the forgiveness for your sins? That's how serious it is. If you are still calling upon and using the false substituted names and titles - God, Lord, Jesus, Christ, Iesous, Iesus, Christos, Yahweh, Yahveh, Yahshua, Yeshua, Yahvehshua, and Jehovah - you do not have salvation and your sins have not been forgiven." (Bishop Gordon Kieth Pearce. )

Those who adhere to the Sacred Name philosophy may resist admitting that using Hebrew names gives them a special audience with God. However, we should take note of the following statement, which was taken from the The Sacred Name, is it Sacred or Mystical? (Church of God, The Eternal p.30-31).

In order to be saved you will have to be in the body of the Messiah bearing the name 'Assemblies of Yahweh' . . .While the charge is hurled against us that we ascribe some kind of mystical or magical power to the Sacred Name, this is not the case. There is no magic to be found in any name. However, Semitic culture has always understood the importance of a Person's name, that in some way the one who pronounced it has a special avenue of communication with the individual spoken to." (Emphasis mine throughout).

Please notice the inconsistency of this statement. On one hand, the author states, "There is no magic to be found in the Sacred Name". However, he goes on to declare that using a person's name correctly, gives one "a special avenue of communication with the individual spoken to". This statement confirms that members of this movement feel they have a unique relationship with God, by using original text names. This belief will eventually prevent those who embrace the Sacred Name theology from associating with anyone who uses the name, Jesus Christ. Truthfully, most Sacred Name proponents soon develop abhorrence for both the words, God and Jesus.

It is not the purpose of this article to explore all of the arguments that this faction uses to draw Christians into the bondage of their theology. Rather, to share some basic scriptural information, which may help Believers make the correct choice when confronted by this divisive and destructive doctrine.

Hebrew or Aramaic?

The crux of the Sacred Name theology is centered upon the Hebrew language and the correct pronunciation of the tetragrammaton (YHWH). However, there are two basic reasons why no one can be certain that they have correctly pronounced this name of God.

First, there are no vowels included in the Hebrew alphabet. Therefore, any attempt to verbalize the word YHWH is purely a matter of speculation and guesswork.

Secondly, the original Hebrew language has not existed for centuries. During Judah's captivity in Babylon, the Hebrew language was partially replaced by Aramaic, which was the dominant language spoken throughout the Babylonian Empire. In the years to follow, the Hebrew dialect was virtually overtaken by Aramaic. Even though the original Hebrew language had ceased to exist, the new Aramaic version was still referred to as "Hebrew".

The influence of the Aramaic language can be found within several Books of the Old Testament. Both the prophet Daniel and the priest Ezra wrote several chapters of their Books in Aramaic. In addition, they repeatedly used the word ELAH (not YHWH) when referring to the Creator. If "all scripture is given by inspiration of God", then it was the Holy Spirit that moved these men to address God with a name other than YHWH.

Although Hebrew may have been the universal language spoken before the flood, nowhere does the Bible assign any spiritual or divine significance to it. Thank God, that the salvation of mankind is not dependent upon a language, which was lost centuries ago.

Has God Failed to Proclaim His Son's Name?

Our Heavenly Father cherishes and adores His Son, Jesus Christ. The scriptures tell us that God has given His Son a name, which all things in heaven and earth shall honor.

Wherefore God also has highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name. 10 That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth. 11 And that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father (Phil. 2: 9,10,11).

God's Holy Word also reveals to us, that both God and His Holy Spirit are continually witnessing the name of His Son to mankind.

If we receive the witness of men, the witness of God is greater: for this is the witness of God, which he has testified of his Son. 11 And this is the record, that God has given to us eternal life, and this life is in his Son” (1John 5: 9,11).

But when the Comforter is come, whom I will send unto you from the Father, even the Spirit of truth, which proceedeth from the Father, he shall testify of me (John 15:26).

Those who subscribe to the Sacred Name doctrine believe that only the name of Yeshua applies to these scriptures. However, for over 1,900 years there is only one name that the majority of humanity has recognized as the name of the Savior. Only the name of Jesus Christ is known throughout the world as the Son of God and the foundation of Christianity. If there is another name, which the majority of the human race has never heard, then both God and His Holy Spirit have failed in their mission of witnessing of God's only Son. If the name necessary for salvation is not Jesus, then virtually no one has been saved for the past 1900 years.

Some members of the Sacred Names faction may feel that they are part of an exclusive group, and that only those who use original text names have been saved. Nevertheless, this reasoning is not in agreement with the Word of God. The words of the apostle John do not support this concept. "For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved" (John 3:17). This verse proves that it is God's will for the entire world to know the name of His Son. It has never been His intention to hide the name of the Savior from mankind. Therefore, we should glorify, praise and proclaim the name of Jesus Christ at every opportunity.

Did Jesus Use Sacred Names?

There cannot be a better example for Christians to follow, than that of the Savior. Did Jesus Christ adhere to the Sacred Name philosophy, or did He use other names when addressing God? Jesus used the word Father over 100 times when referring, or praying to God. Jesus often began His prayers by addressing God, as His Father.

O righteous Father, the world hath not known thee: but I have known thee, and these have known that thou hast sent me. 26And I have declared unto them thy name, and will declare it: that the love wherewith thou hast loved me may be in them, and I in them (John 17:25-26).

The Lord also encourages all Believers to use the term Father when praying to God.

And he [Jesus] said unto them, When ye pray, say, Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name... (Luke 11:2).

The word Father, as used in all the references that Christ made to God, is translated from the word "pater". It simply means father or parent. There is nothing that warms God's heart, as much as hearing His Children call Him, Father. It denotes a close, personal and endearing relationship with one's dad. God paid an amazing price in order for mankind to be able to have this family relationship with Him. He no longer wants His begotten children to embrace Him only as their God, but also as their personal and loving spiritual Father.

Neither did Jesus use the Hebrew words Yahweh, Yahvah or Yahowah when suffering upon the cross. In His greatest moments of agony, "...Jesus cried with a loud voice, saying, Eloi, Eloi, lama sabachthani? which is, being interpreted, My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me" (Mark 15:34)? According to Strongs Concordance, the word Eloi is of Aramaic origin, not of original Hebrew. If there were ever a time when one would want to address God in the proper manner, it would be while they were dying to save all humanity.

Jesus Christ lived a perfect live during His ministry on earth and He never committed a single transgression. Therefore, if we follow His examples and teachings, we can be assured that our worship is pleasing to the Heavenly Father.

Too Awesome for Just One Name

God and Jesus Christ are just too great and immense, to be limited by only one name. No single name is able to capture all of the majesty, splendor and attributes of God and Christ. Even Old Testament Prophets (who wrote the original text) were inspired by the Holy Spirit to ascribe more than one name to the Messiah.

For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace (Isaiah 6:6).

The Son of God enjoys many glorious names, which identify Him as the Messiah and supplier of all our needs. He may also be called: Jesus, Christ, Savior, Redeemer, Immanuel, the Bread of Life, the True Vine, the Dayspring, the Word, Prince of Peace, Prince of Life, Morning star, Lamb of God, Creator, Lord of Lords and many other majestic titles.

God also has many wonderful names that help describe His eternal power and supreme authority. Heavenly Father, the Almighty, Most High, Lord of Lords, Living God, Father of Lights, Eternal God and Our Father are just some of the names that help define our great God

One may worship or pray to God in any of these names and be assured, that Our Heavenly Father will hear and answer them, in the name of His Beloved Son. God and Jesus Christ cannot be contained, or restricted by a single name. For they are infinite in scope, and the beginning and end of all things.

A Stern Warning from the Apostle Paul.

Disputes over words and genealogies have plagued the churches of God down through the centuries. Nevertheless, the apostle Paul issued a stern warning to all Christians who wish to engage in these destructive arguments.

Of these things put them in remembrance, charging them before the Lord that they strive not about words to no profit, but to the subverting of the hearers(2 Tim 2:14).

The original Greek word used in this scripture for "subverting" is katastrophe. It is similar in meaning to the English word catastrophe. It is also used to denote an overthrow, demolition or apostasy. The point that the apostle Paul wishes to make is, that striving about words will cause a catastrophe, demolition, overthrow or apostasy of the hearers.

We must always remember that our salvation is based upon the works of Jesus Christ, not the name that we may ascribe to Him or God. The gospel message is about the blood, bone, guts and marrow of the Lamb of God, not in one's selection or correct pronunciation of His name.

In Conclusion

Just recently, President Bush was sued because the name Jesus Christ was used in a prayer at his inauguration. We have come to expect such assaults on the name of our Savior from the secular community. However, it is extremely upsetting when the names of God and Jesus Christ are denounced and scorned by those claiming to have eternal salvation.

The truth is, God recognizes all the languages of the world. This is proven by the acts of the Holy Spirit on the day of Pentecost. All of the people heard the disciples in their own language (Acts Chapter 2). The Holy Spirit would never have performed such a miracle, if it were an insult to God.

Spiritual gimmicks such as, Baptism with fire, WWJD (What would Jesus Do), Speaking in Tongues and Sacred Names continually flow through the Christian faith. Primarily, because Jesus never seems to be enough for human beings. We find it difficult to believe in the last words that Jesus spoke before He died, "IT IS FINISHED!!"

The Sacred Name theology is a masterpiece of deception, created by the Powers of Darkness, which cunningly leads the followers into the sin of idolatry. The name of God becomes the focus of their worship, instead of the One who possesses the name. Once indoctrinated with this belief, it is very difficult to be removed from its powerful influence. However, the Spirit of Truth is always able to free the Children of God from the hand of Satan.

Many beliefs and quotes contained in this article were the result of the works of:

1Gary Mink, Sacred Name Website at:

2 B.L. Cocherell, Articles, Sacred-Name- A Bible Study, Part One and Part Two.

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