Here are some facts that many Christians (including me) may not be aware of:
While it is certain that He pre-existed, it must also be acknowledged that He was sent to His own people, the Jews. He was Jewish and so were all of the apostles. In fact, He said:
“But he answered and said, I am not sent but unto the lost sheep of the house of Israel.“ Matthew 15:24
Today, many assume that the “Old Covenant” was with Israel and the New Covenant is with everyone. However, Gentiles are not mentioned in the New Covenant at all:
“Behold, the days come...when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah” Hebrews 8:8
So the New Covenant is only with the House of Israel and the House of Judah. If you still consider yourself a Gentile, then you are not among the partakers of the New Covenant. This is not to say that our salvation depends on our genealogy, for it is also written:
“And if ye be Messiah's, then are ye Abraham's seed, and heirs according to the promise.” Galatians 3:29
So even if we were born a Gentile, all who are in Messiah (Christ) are Abraham’s descendants through Him. Therefore, what we must recognize is that Gentiles are no longer Gentiles, but all who are Messiah’s are now Jews (Israel) because He lives in us. Gentiles are grafted into the tree of Israel so the true “Good news/Gospel” must be preached as such. He is a light unto the Gentiles, and He is calling all of us to join ourselves to Israel...not the other way around. Otherwise, we aren’t really part of the New Covenant at all.
Today, people often look at “Jewish” things with disdain and contempt. This kind of thinking is due to the centuries of hatred and persecution leveled out by Christians toward the Jews. Even Martin Luther said of the Jews:
“Their homes should likewise be broken down and destroyed...we ought to drive the rascally lazy bones out of our system...therefore away with them.”
This kind of racism and hatred over the centuries has affected theology in such a way that most people do not know the fact that the New Covenant is only with Israel & Judah. The truth is that Christianity actually has its roots in Judaism, the religion of the Jews. This fact has been lost over the last 2000 years of tradition.
The Son’s Name
Partly because of this effort to distance the Messiah from anything Jewish, His name has also been changed to a more “Gentile-sounding” name. Did you know that the name “Jesus” is only about 400 years old? The 1611 King James Version originally printed His name as “Iesus”, a Latin form of the Greek “Iesous”. But when the Savior walked this earth, He was never called either of these names. The name that the disciples were praying in, baptizing in, and receiving so much criticism for preaching in was “Yahushua” (pronounced Yah-oo-SHU-a). The name Yahushua carries a very important meaning which is not found in the name “Jesus”.
Yahu = Yahueh/Yahweh (the name of the Heavenly Father)
Shua = Saves
Therefore, His name means “Yahweh saves” or “Yahweh (is) salvation”. Thus, scripture begins to make more sense when we read what is written in the book of Matthew:
“And she shall bring forth a son, and thou shalt call his name Yahushua (Yahweh saves): for he shall save his people from their sins.” Matthew 1:21
This is why the disciples were baptizing in the name of Yahushua even though Yahushua said to baptize in the name of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit. As you just saw, the Father’s name (Yahweh) is included within the name of the Son, and Yahushua said that the Holy Spirit comes in His name:
“...the Comforter, which is the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name…” John 14:26
Thus, in “Yahushua” we have the name of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit. Peter said:
“Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.” Acts 4:12
Unless Peter was lying (and I know he was not), there is salvation in no other name. This is not to condemn you, for we all know that our Father is merciful to those who do not know any better. But now you do know. And because the apostles were faithful, many thousands of others knew the name of Yahushua:
“Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Yahushua Messiah for the remission of sins…” Acts 2:38
“...Silver and gold have I none; but such as I have give I thee: In the name of Yahushua Messiah of Nazareth rise up and walk” Acts 3:6
“And his name through faith in his name hath made this man strong…” Acts 3:16
“...when they had called the apostles, and beaten them, they commanded that they should not speak in the name of Yahushua” Acts 5:40
“...when they believed Philip preaching the things concerning the kingdom of Elohim, and the name of Yahushua Messiah, they were baptized” Acts 8:12
Those scriptures are compelling, aren’t they?
The Heavenly Father’s Name
Another tradition likely rooted in racism has been the removal of the Heavenly Father’s name from nearly all translated bibles.
“Yahweh, the God of the Israelites, his name being revealed to Moses as four Hebrew consonants (YHWH) called the tetragrammaton, after the exile (6th Century BC), and especially from the 3rd century BC on, Jews ceased to use the name Yahweh for two reasons. As Judaism became a universal religion through its proselytizing in the Greco-Roman world, the more common noun elohim, meaning "god," tended to replace Yahweh to demonstrate the universal sovereignty of Israel's God over all others. At the same time, the divine name was increasingly regarded as too sacred to be uttered; it was thus replaced vocally in the synagogue ritual by the Hebrew word Adonai ("My Lord”)…” Encyclopedia Britannica, under the heading “Yahweh”.
This tradition continues to this day. But nowhere in scripture do we find where it was Yahweh’s desire to replace His name with a title. In fact, His name is actually in scripture nearly 7,000 times, most often replaced with the title “LORD” in all CAPS in modern translations. Why do we feel the need to take away from the scriptures and add a title in place of Yahweh’s name? For the Jews it was because they thought His name was too holy to be pronounced. For Christians, it just sounds too Jewish. But we ought not change the scriptures, no matter what tradition says. Yahweh didn’t place His name in scripture nearly 7,000 times so that man could come in and remove it. He placed it there so that we would call upon His name, praise His name and love His name:
“I am Yahweh, that is My name; And My glory I will not give to another, nor My praise to carved images.” (Isaiah 42:8)
“O give thanks unto Yahweh; call upon his name..” (Psalm 105:1)
“...whoever calls on the name of Yahweh shall be saved:” (Joel 2:32)
Even more compelling scriptures, yes?
Now if you were to take these matters to your Pastor, he might offer the following excuses to continue in tradition:
“He has many names” - He does have many titles which describe Him, but only one personal name (See Psalm 83:18, Isaiah 42:8)
“We don’t speak Hebrew, we speak English” - Scripture says His name will be great among the Gentiles (Malachi 1:11). “The LORD” isn’t an English form of “Yahweh”, it is a direct replacement. Also, “Abraham” is a Hebrew name, yet nobody changes His name. So why change the names we are told to call upon for salvation and baptism?
“It doesn’t really matter” - If it didn’t matter, scripture would make no issue of it. But the scriptures compel us to see that it really is important. Read them again. There are hundreds more like that.
“Most people don’t know about this”. This is true, but continuing in error is never superior to walking in the truth.
So rather than looking to proclaim “Old time Christianity”, let’s seek to proclaim the faith that the Apostles were proclaiming in the first century. This tract describes one of many unscriptural traditions that have crept in over the years. We need to forsake unscriptural traditions without fearing what man might think. We all need to focus on seeking the truth rather than assuming we are already being taught all the truth. If you feel I’m in error, or if you are interested in more information on this or other unscriptural traditions, feel free to contact me via the information below. I don’t claim to have all the truth, but don’t put down this tract without researching the things written here. May the light of Yahweh’s word reveal His ways, a narrow way that few find (Matt 7:14).