Yah'shua vs. Yahweh
NCW 76, July-September 2002
Q. Do you ever get worried by the fact that many churches are constantly talking about Yah'shua but never Yahweh? Isn't this something we should be concerned about?
A. If you are a United Pentecostal that believes that the Name of the Father is Jesus, the name of the Son is Jesus, and the Name of the Holy Spirit is Jesus, then I think there is great cause for alarm, for salvation is through the Name of Yahweh. But then I would be equally concerned by an orthodox Jew maintaining that salvation is through Yahweh but not Yah'shua (Jesus).
The Lord's Prayer teaches us very specifically that our prayers are to be directed to our Heavenly Father, Yahweh. I am not personally so much concerned about the emphasis placed on the Name of Yah'shua (Jesus) because this is most certainly the Name that saves, and is inclusive of Yahweh. What concerns me a little is that the Son somehow supersedes the Father. Their relationship is one of echad (unity) or one-in-many. For us, rightly then, there is "one Lord, one faith, and one baptism" (Eph.4:5) which is wrong assumed to be Christ but which can only possibly refer to the Father, Yahweh (Dt.6:4-5). The HRV makes the echad principle plainer:
"For YHWH is one and the faith is one and the immersion is one. And one Eloah (God), the father of all, and above all, and through all, and in us all" (Eph.4:5-6, HRV).
The concept of echad or uniplurality is not at first easy for our finite mind to grasp. We find such ideas confusing, and this is reflected in the many theologies on the subject. Thus the Bride of Christ is considered a single entity (His allegorical wife) whilst at the same time is clearly understood to consist of the millions of the redeemed. Thus Jacob's four wives might legitimately be considered a single wife consisting of four women in a compound relationship, remembering the that word we use to translate 'wife' and 'woman' in Hebrew (ishshah, pl. nashim) is one and the same.
Divine realities do require a certain amount of lateral thinking and mental adjustment, and often it is best to simply keep things simple, especially when it comes to worship. And whilst worship of Yah'shua (Jesus) is by no means wrong, since He is God (Elohim) like Yahweh, the mind can become distracted and confused - as has happened in the history of orthodox Christianity where hymns of praise often contain one verse to the Father, one to the Son, and one to the Holy Spirit - Yah'shua (Jesus) simplifies matter by commanding us to pray to the Father in the same way that the Hebrews before did. The worship of Yahweh implies the worship of the whole Elohim in echad (one). And so long as our worship or prayer includes or concludes with, respectively, the Messiah, I think little can go wrong. It is this particular issue which I think, in part, led to Unitarianism and accusations of polytheism. For this reason the appellations to the Deity in Scripture are commonly Yahweh-Elohim which includes not only the Father (Yahweh) but those in subjection to Him - the Son and the Ruach (Spirit).
Because the Godhead is so difficult for us to grasp I do think we need to be a little generous and flexible in this area. I am always reluctant to over-systematise worship of Deity, especially when there are so many things we don't know. We worship the Father (Yahweh) as Primate (Head) through the Son (Yah'shua), recalling as we must that a time is coming when the Son hands all His authority back to the Father. With those simple scriptural rules in mind let each worshipper pray as he or she thinks fit.
This page was created on 16 June 2004
Last updated on 16 June 2004
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