Truth, Understanding, Insight

Names Divinely Appointed

12th June 2004, hej,seh,mgh


6) The Names in the New Testament

The fine distinction in the names and titles attributed to the Deity are lost in the Greek of the New Testament. It is generally believed today that the correct address to the Deity for the Christian is `Father'. It cannot be denied that both the Old and the New Testaments present the view of the Creator as father. Old Testament references are few but examples include the following.

They shall come with weeping, and with supplications will I lead them: I will cause them to walk by the rivers of waters in a straight way, wherein they shall not stumble: for I am a father to Israel, and Ephraim is my firstborn. (Jeremiah 31:9)
A son honoureth his father, and a servant his master: if then I be a father, where is mine honour? and if I be a master, where is my fear? saith the LORD of hosts unto you, O priests, that despise my name. And ye say, Wherein have we despised thy name? (Malachi 1:6 )

The Messiah, in the prayer known as the Lord's Prayer, which he taught his disciples, began with `Our Father who art in heaven ...' But the next statement included a subtle message for the faithful. `Hallowed be Thy Name.' (Matthew 6: 9, Luke 11: 2) Yahshua was pointing out to them that `Father' was a relationship, but not His name. In Romans 8: 15 Paul states,

`Ye have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear; but ye have received the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father.'

In other places this concept of the Father relationship is used in the New Testament. (eg 2 Cor. 6: 18, Gal 4:6, Eph 4: 6, 5: 20, Col 1: 2, Phil 1: 2, 1 Pet 1: 17 etc) Paul was explaining that it was a privileged position in which they stood. As Israel were the sons of God, so are the faithful sons through adoption.

His disciples would have recognized the significance of that statement `Hallowed be thy name'. There are many references in the N.T. To the names of the Father and His son. The Apostle John in John 17, quoting the Messiah develops the importance of the Name of His Father. `Keep through thine own name those who thou has given me, that they may be one as we are ...(v. 11) ...I have declared unto them thy name (v. 26).' In John 20: 31, we read `but these are written, that ye might believe that Jesus (Yahshua) is the Christ (anointed) the Son of God; and that believing ye might have life through his name.' Peter declared that `Whosoever shall call on the name of the Lord shall be saved.' (Acts 2: 21). This same message is given by Paul in his epistle to the Romans (Romans 10: 13). Both Peter and Paul quote directly from the O.T., from Joel 2: 32 which states

`whosoever shall call on the name of Yahweh shall be delivered: for in mount Zion and in Jerusalem shall be deliverance.'

Peter again refers to the prophets in Acts 10: 43.

`To him (Yahshua) give all the prophets witness, that through his name whoever believes in him shall receive remission of sins.'

There are many instances where the disciples reveal and recognize the importance of the Deity's and His Son's name, showing that they are familiar with the writings of the O.T. which they frequently quote.

The Messiah's final message, in the book of Revelation to the faithful, contains references to the Name. In Revelation 2: 13, Pergamos is commended because `thou holdest fast my name', in Revelation 3:8 Philadelphia is commended because they had `not denied my name', in Rev. 14: 1 the Lamb stands upon mount Zion with those who have `the Father's name written in their foreheads', in Rev. 11: 18 a reward will be given to `thy servants the prophets, and to the saints, and them that fear thy name, small and great' and in Rev. 22: 4 those who have understanding `shall see his face; and his name shall be written in their foreheads'.

The Messiah, as did the Apostles, frequently quoted from the Psalms and the Prophets. The New Testament records many references to the Old Testament made by Yahshua, Paul and the disciples. In Acts, the Bereans are commended and presented as examples of the faithful because they diligently searched the scriptures, which were the Old Testament writings, as the new had not yet been written. Yahshua specifically exhorted his followers to search the scriptures because they prophesied of him and explained more fully the gospel message and the plan for this earth. From a reading of these writings, the name of the Creator was clearly revealed. In the twenty-first century, the message remains the same. We cannot fully appreciate and comprehend the New Testament without an understanding of the Old Testament. Yahshua's understanding of the scriptures was profound, so much so that he confounded the Jewish teachers with his knowledge when he was just twelve years old.