In November of 2014 we looked at the mistaken perceptions that Yahweh is so holy that he cannot be anywhere that sin or evil exists – that he cannot confront sin or evil in person. Today we will look at the mistaken perception that when scripture uses the name Yahweh it always and only means God the Father.
I AM – Yahweh
Exodus 3:13-16 – “Then Moses said to God, ‘Behold, I am going to the sons of Israel, and I will say to them, The God of your fathers has sent me to you. Now they may say to me, “What is His name”? What shall I say to them’? God said to Moses, ‘I AM WHO I AM’; and He said, ‘Thus you shall say to the sons of Israel, I AM has sent me to you.’ God, furthermore, said to Moses, ‘Thus you shall say to the sons of Israel: Yahweh, the God of your fathers, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob, has sent me to you. This is my name forever, and this is my memorial-name to all generations’.”
Ezekiel 39:7 – “My holy name I will make known in the midst of my people Israel; and I will not let my holy name be profaned anymore. And the nations will know that I am Yahweh, the Holy One in Israel.”
In Exodus, when God met Moses at the burning bush, he commanded Moses to make known his name to the people in Egypt. In Ezekiel, he further clarified that his name is to be made known to all nations. That name had two parts which are:
- I AM – Hâyâh [הָיָה H1961] meaning: I exist, I am, I am self existent; that is: to be
- YHVH – Yahweh [יַהְוֶה H3068]
The four letter representation God’s name, commonly called the Tetragrammaton, is composed of four Hebrew letters: יהוה YHVH, meaning: the self existent one; also the proper name of the God of Israel. It is variously translated as: Yehovah / Jehovah, or Yahveh / Yahweh. The letters in the Tetragrammaton can be rearranged to spell the words:
- היה hâyâh He Was Hâyâh is the past tense, meaning “was.”
- הָוָה hâvâh He Is Now Hâvâh, or Hôvêh is the present tense, meaning “is”
- יהיה yihiyêh He Will Be Yud before a verb changes tense from past to future. Was becomes “will be”
I AM – Yeshua
Mark 14:61-62 – “Then the high priest asked him, ‘Are you the Messiah, the Son of the Blessed One?’ Jesus said, ‘I AM. And you will see the Son of Man seated in the place of power at God’s right hand and coming on the clouds of heaven’.”
John 8:57-58 – “The people said, ‘You aren’t even fifty years old. How can you say you have seen Abraham?’ Jesus answered, ‘I tell you the truth, before Abraham was even born, I AM’!”
In both scriptures above, as well as in other verses, Yeshua uses the term: “I AM” [G1510]. This term in Greek, eimi [εἰμί G1510], is equivalent to the Hebrew term hâyâh [הָיָה H1961]. Eimi (εἰμί) means: I exist, I am, I am self existent. These terms are generally attributed by many only to God “The Father”. However, Yeshua states that he and the Father are the same, that he is in the Father and the Father is in him, and that if you have seen him, you have seen the Father (John 14:7-11). In John 10:30, Yeshua even more clearly states: “I and the Father are one.”
Who Is Not Seen
John 1:18 – “No one has ever seen God.”
1 John 4:12 – “No man has seen God at any time.”
John 6:46 – “No one has seen the Father except the One who is from God only he has seen the Father.”
Scripture is very explicit that no human being has ever seen [G3708] God [G2316] the Father [G3962]. Only Yeshua, the One who is from God, has seen the Father. First, let us look at the terms:
- Seen [G3708 ὁράω horaō], meaning: to see, perceive, attend to. Properly it means: to stare at
- God [G2316 θεός theos], meaning: God, the Lord, the supreme deity
- Father [G3962 πατήρ patēr], meaning: a father, a parent
It becomes apparent that only Yeshua has been able to “stare at” the father, to fully perceive who He is. The ability to see God the Father has not yet been granted to human beings.
Numerous Older Covenant scriptures attest that the Father, dwells in the dark clouds, unseen by human beings:
- Deuteronomy 5:22 – “Yahweh spoke these commands to all of you on the mountain in a loud voice out of the fire, the cloud, and the deep darkness . . .”
- 1 Kings 8:22 (2 Chronicles 6:1) – “Yahweh said he would live in a dark cloud.”
- Exodus 24:15-16, 34:5 – “When Moses went up on Mount Sinai the glory of Yahweh came down on and the cloud covered it for six days. On the seventh day Yahweh called to Moses from inside the cloud.”
Several Newer Covenant scriptures also attest that the Father dwells in darkness inside the cloud:
- At Yeshua’s transfiguration, Matthew 17:5, Mark 9:7, and Luke 9:34 all tell us that “a cloud formed, overshadowing them, and a voice came out of the cloud, ‘This is My beloved Son, listen to Him’!” Peter and James and John were able to see Elijah and Moses, and saw Yeshua transfigured into a being of light, but were not able to see the Father who was hidden in the cloud. Only his voice was heard.
- At Yeshua’s crucifixion, Matthew 27:45, Mark 15:33, and Luke 23:44 all tell us that “darkness came over the whole earth from noon until three in the afternoon.” Many believe that the Father was absent during this event, but scripture indicates differently – the darkness hid the Father’s presence from humankind – worldwide!
Who Is Seen
Scripture tells us that Abraham saw God (Genesis 18), Jacob saw God (Genesis 28), Moses saw God (Exodus 3), Gideon saw God (Judges 6), and Micah saw God (1 Kings 22). Even the Hebrew slaves coming out of Egypt all saw God (Deuteronomy 11:7). So, if no human being has ever seen the Father, then who exactly was it that many Older Covenant peoples saw?
To the Greek mindset the term father only has one connotation and refers to only one person – the invisible father. However, to the Hebrew mindset the term father can have several connotations – father, grandfather, great grandfather, etc. To the Hebrew mind, some scriptures do indeed refer to the invisible father, but most references to the “father” refer to the visible father, the creator, the one who has personally interacted with themselves and their ancestors, going all the way back to Adam. That one, throughout the Older Covenant is called Yahweh. Today throughout the Newer Covenant, that one is now called Yeshua! To the Hebrew mind, it is not a problem to reconcile that the invisible father, whom no human being has seen, is not the visible father called Yahweh / Yeshua, that many have seen.
I AM . . .
The Aleph/Tav, The First and the Last
Genesis 1:1 – “B’rêʼshı̂yth bara Elohim et ha’ shâmayim v’et ha’erets.”
Revelation 22:13 – “I am the Alpha and the Omega, the first and the last, the beginning and the end.”
In Genesis 1:1 is the untranslatable word “et” (and “v’et”), which in Hebrew are the letters Aleph and Tav. The Aleph and Tav become the Alpha and Omega in Greek in Revelation 22:13! Yahweh of the Older Covenant IS Yeshua of the Newer Covenant!
Isaiah 45:11-13 – “Thus says Yahweh . . . ‘It is I who made the earth, and created man upon it’ . . .”
Isaiah 45:18 – “Thus says Yahweh . . . who created the heavens and who formed the earth and made it . . .”
John 1:3 – “All things were made through Him . . .”
In Genesis 1:1 scripture tells us that it is the Aleph/Tav that is the direct cause of the heavens and earth being created, which Isaiah 45:11-13 & 45:18 confirms, as does John 1:3! For the visible Yahweh of the Older Covenant IS the visible, tangible Yeshua of the Newer Covenant!
The Fountain of Living Waters
Jeremiah 17:13 – Israel has “forsaken Yahweh, the fountain of living waters.”
John 4:10-26 – Yeshua says to the woman at the well: “He would have given you living water.”
In Jeremiah 17:13 it is Yahweh that is the source of living water. John chapter 4 confirms that Yeshua is that source. Truly, the visible Yahweh of the Older Covenant IS the visible, tangible Yeshua of the Newer Covenant!
I Reward . . .
It Is With Me
Both Isaiah 40:10 and 62:11 tell us that it is Yahweh who says “Behold, his reward is with him, and his work before him.” Revelation 22:12 tells us that it is Yeshua who says: “Behold, I am coming quickly, and my reward is with me, to give to every one according to his work.” Again, we see the same words applied to both Yahweh and Yeshua, for Yahweh and Yeshua are one (John 10:30).
In My Name
1 Chronicles 16:2b – “He [David] blessed the people in the name of Yahweh.”
Psalm 118:26 – “Blessed be he that cometh in the name of Yahweh.”
John 14:13 – “Whatever you ask in My name, that will I do . . .”
James 5:14 – “Anoint the sick in the name of Yeshua. . . .”
Matthew 23:39 – “You will not see me until you say ‘Blessed is he [Yeshua, the Mashiach] that comes in the name of Yahweh’.”
In the Older Covenant prophecies are spoken in the name of Yahweh, blessings are given in the name of Yahweh, prayers are offered in the name of Yahweh, and trust is placed in the name of Yahweh (see also Deuteronomy 18:20, Ezra 5:1, Psalm 129:8, Zephaniah 3:12, etc.). In the Newer Covenant, Yeshua tells us to do all of these things in his name! Again, we see the same words applied to both Yahweh and Yeshua, for Yahweh and Yeshua are one.
I Do Not Change . . .
Malachi 3:6 – “I Am Yahweh (יַהְוֶה H3068), I do not change . . .”
Hebrews 13:8 – “Yeshua Ha’Mashiach (יֵשׁוּעַ [H3442]) מָשִׁיחַ [H4899]) is the same yesterday and today and forever.”
Malachi 3:6 tells us that Yahweh does not change! Not surprising is it then, that the same is said of Yeshua according to Hebrews 13:8! For the visible Yahweh of the Older Covenant IS the visible, tangible Yeshua of the Newer Covenant!
Deuteronomy 6:4 – “Hear oh Israel, Yahweh our Elohim, Yahweh is one!”
John 1:1 – “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.”
The Father, Son, and Holy Spirit are one. The Father is invisible to human beings, seen only by Yeshua, the Ruach Ha’Kodesh, and by the heavenly host. It has always been the Son, Yeshua, called Yahweh by the Older Covenant scriptures, who has been the visible, tangible person that has interacted with humans. In the Older Covenant, it was by the name of Yahweh that all blessings were to be proclaimed. Today, those blessings are made in the name of Yeshua.
Yahweh / Yeshua is the one through whom all things have been made, the one who maintains all things, and the one who does not change. God’s name, יַהְוֶה, Yahweh, firmly establishes his eternal nature and that he is the same yesterday, today, and for all eternity. He is loving, merciful, gracious, and desires that not one will perish. Place your faith in him and his promises and receive eternal life. Time is short – get busy reaching the lost.