2.3 “GOD” or “ELOHIM”?
‘GOD’ is NOT a Name?
First of all, ‘God’ is not a Name, like ‘Peter’ or ‘John’, but a Title – although most believers seem to think that the Name of the Most High is “God”. If it is not a name, then there can be no question of whether it is a ‘holy’ Name or not, in the same sense as the titles: Priest, Master, Judge, etc. do not necessarily refer to exclusively holy offices, but may even be used in idol worship or devil worship. The Bible itself refers to Satan as ‘the god of this world . . .’ (2 Cor. 4:4; 1 Jo. 5:1).
Many religious believers today, having discovered the True and original NAME of the Almighty, i.e.YHVH (and of the Hebrew Messiah YAHU’SHUAH), claim that He should not be referred to as “God”, for “God” is an ancient NAME, they say, which was applied to a pagan deity of old.
We shall first consult a dictionary and then turn to the Bible for a definition of “God”.
The Oxford Dictionary – God: “Superhuman being worshipped as having power over natural and human fortunes; image or animal worshipped as symbolising or embodying or possessing divine power; idol … Supreme Being, Creator and Ruler of universe.”
Young’s Concordance gives a proper and detailed account of the different original Hebrew words which refer to the Almighty and which our modern Bible translations render as ‘God’ or ‘gods’.
- “EL” – Mighty One – 225 times. e.g. Gen. 14:20, “Blessed be the Most High EL”.
- “YHVH” (His Personal Name) – 248 times. e.g. Is. 40:10, “The Lord YHVH will come with a strong hand.”
- “Tzur” – A Rock – once. e.g. lsa. 44:8, “Yes, there is no Tzur, I know not any.”.
- “Elah” – An object of Worship – 88 times. e.g. Ezra 5:11, “We are the servants of Elah of heaven”.
- “Elohim” – Object of Worship – 2222 times. (Note: Plural used in Hebrew to denote plenitude of might). e.g. “EL” – Mighty One – 225 times. e.g. Gen. 14:20, “Blessed be the Most High EL”. Gen. 1:1, “In the beginning Elohim created.”
- “Eloah” – An object of Worship – 55 times. e.g. Deut. 32:17, “They sacrificed unto devils, not to Eloah”.
- “Theos” Greek – Object of Worship – 1 274 times. e.g. Matt. 1:23, “They will call Him (the Messiah) Emmanuel, a Name which means ‘Theos is with us’ “.
It is interesting to note that of the 4163 times that ‘God’ is used in the Bible, 3639 times it refers to “an Object of Worship”. Which other English word then shall we use for the Most High, to denote: “Object of Worship?” Titles like “Mighty One”, does not necessarily refer to a Being Who is worthy of worship – Nimrod, ancient opposer of YHVH, proclaimed himself as “mighty one” also.
The Bible tells us in 1 Cor. 8:5.6, “For although there may be so-called gods in heaven or on earth – as indeed there are many “gods” … yet for us there is one God, the Father…”
Deut. 10:17 “YHVH your God is God of gods and Lord of lords”.
Hebrew: “Ki YHVH Eloheichem Hoe Elohei ha’elohim v’adonei ha’adonim”
literally: For YHVH your God He God of the gods & Lord of the lords
The latter Scripture stands as a Challenge to anyone, to translate it without using these very Titles, and yet convey this important concept of Who YHVH really is. When we test the translation of this Scripture by one of the most outspoken champions for the abolishment of the use of the Title ‘God’, Dr Koster – in his version entitled The Scriptures, then we notice definite inconsistencies. We underline these inconsistencies in the following quote from this increasingly popular Sacred Name version of the Bible:
‘Elohim is NOT a Name
“For YHVH your Elohim is Elohim of mighty ones and Master of masters”
Even those who are not versed in the Hebrew language will notice these variations by comparing it with the Hebrew and the literal renderings above. This manipulation is typical of the agenda of translators of the Bible to endorse their personal views or teachings. Dr Koster contends that YHVH should be referred to as Elohim and not God which is claimed by many commentators to be the personal name of an idol of antiquity. To have ‘Scriptural proof’ for this idea, he then forcibly mistranslates the original Hebrew to reflect his personal choice of elohim (refer blue indicators in above quote from his version and compare it with the Hebrew rendering 2 paragraphs back). And where the Hebrew does use elohim, Dr Koster chooses to translate it to mighty ones – once again proving his preferred manipulation. Had he correctly used elohim rather than mighty ones, he would have damaged his very teaching, for then it would have proven that elohim is as much used for referring to pagan idols as is the title God! – and to be consistent in his reasoning, he would then have had to reject the use of elohim in referring to YHVH also!
Concerning the matter of holiness, we can therefore say that there are many gods (objects claiming worship) – but none of them HOLY (and thus deserving of worship) bar One: the Almighty and Eternal Most High Creator (Rev. 15:4) – and HE HAS A NAME which is sacred. A title in itself can never be holy – the office which it depicts, most certainly yes! Strikingly, whichever divine or sanctified office there may be in the Plan of the Almighty, the same is also available to mankind, including … yes, we’ll read it from the Bible, … that of “God”.
John 10:34, 35 Messiah speaking. “Is it not written in your Law, ‘l said you are Gods?’ (referring to Ps 82:6 where the Hebrew word “Elohim” is used, as it is used for YHVH throughout!). So, the Law uses the word Gods of those to whom the word of God was addressed, and Scripture cannot be rejected …” .
1 John 3:2 “It does not yet appear what we shall be, but we know that when He appears, we shall be like Him, for we shall see Him as He is”.
But, in case you think these statements are blasphemous, please note that this ‘office’ will not befall everyone who professes to follow Him, for the very next verse states:
1 John 3:3 “Every one who thus hopes in Him, purifies himself as He is pure”.
Can you wonder why the Bible is emphatic in its instruction to us, to “… strive for the holiness without which no one will see YHVH ” (Heb. 12:14). Yes, unless we are like Him, we shall not see Him!”
Indeed, the Titles ‘God’ and ‘Lord’ were also given to pagan idols and systematically, it became regarded as NAMES for the idols. Similarly. Christianity, lacking the knowledge about the Sacred Names, have been deluded into believing that the Almighty’s Name is ‘God’ or ‘Lord’.
If those who claim that the Almighty should not be referred to as ‘God’ are correct, because idols were also named ‘God’ or ‘Lord’, then they should also discard all other Titles of YHVH and YAHU’SHUAH, for those idols were credited with every title thinkable, e.g.. “God (or Lord) of Heaven”, “Lord of Hosts”, “The Resurrected One”, “The Supreme One”, “Lord of the earth”, “Saviour” “Healer”, “Mighty One”, “Protector”, “Messiah”, etc.
Not only were idols named or referred to by titles, but, it seems, also by many or most words referring to religious worship, like the words: holy, sacred, faith, hope, success, etc. Resultantly, in an effort to purify our religious vocabulary, it is often suggested (as also by Dr Koster) that all these words be removed from our vocabulary!
Similarly, all the attributes of YHVH have been identified with idols! But that surely does not earn YHVH the attributes of pagan idols! In the same way, we cannot say “God” is a pagan title because idol worshippers claimed the same title for their idols – or any other title for that matter. Those who prohibit the use of the word “God”, do so on the strength of Ex 23:13, “Make no mention of the names of other gods, neither let it be heard out of thy mouth.” Supporters of this stand should qualify the prohibition more accurately, in that it only applies to the use of the NAMES of those idols. Every idol or god has a personal NAME – and it is the mentioning of these NAMES that is forbidden. And it should be logic that it really is the mentioning of these idol names in worshipping them, or of promotion or proselytising in favour of them, which is forbidden. If we were truly restricted from generally mentioning their names, for instance in our efforts to teach others not to worship them (which would be impossible to convey without mentioning those names that should not be worshipped), such prohibition would in fact promote the cause for idol-worship!
In this respect, it is the position of BIBLE REVELATIONS to reject the use of the name ‘Amen’ (one of ancient Egypt’s most popular idols) which is so commonly used in worship by both Christians and Jews. Strange how many Sacred Name believers who strongly condemn the use of ‘God’ and other titles for the Most High as ‘pagan’, refuse to reject the use of ‘Amen’ in their prayers and religious confirmations. Refer Amen – the name of a pagan idol
The Eternal’s Name most certainly is not ‘God’ – but His TITLE indeed is. There are thousands of verses of Scripture to bear out this fact. How else shall we describe His Supremacy if we were not to use these titles, like ‘God’, which even infidels and the illiterate understand to mean: ‘The Uppermost Sovereign Being’?
In fact, it is the conviction of BIBLE REVELATIONS, that this supposed prohibition in fact smothers or dilutes the proclamation of the Greatest Truth in Scripture, namely that YAHU’SHUAH is YHVH Himself – “God of gods and Lord of lords” (Deut 10:17; 1 Tim 6:15; Rev 17:14 & 19:16).
Some will contend that the correct word for “god” is El, or Elohim (Hebrew). They have even gone so far as printing Bibles which use these Hebrew words only. This, however, is tantamount to insisting that we call our Father in Heaven “Abba” (Hebrew) and not ‘Father’ for, no doubt, the pagans also call their deities by the TITLE of ‘Father’ – in whichever language they are speaking. This is borne out by the fact that one such restoration version of the Bible even lists the titles “Pa” and “Ma” as unfitting.
Insisting on the original Hebrew word for ‘God’. i.e. ‘Elohim’, is of no avail, for it merely changes the same ‘pagan’ title back to Hebrew. If it is pagan in English, it will be pagan in Hebrew!
Indeed, they have also failed to discover that El was the personal NAME of yet another pagan deity! One specific Holy Name edition (by Traina) goes as far as insisting on the exclusive use of “Elohim” for the Most High, yet uses this very same word for pagan deities! (Ex. 23:13; Deut. 11:28, etc. etc.)
We quote from Traina’s Holy Name Bible Ex. 23:13:”…and make no mention of the name of other elohim, neither let it be heard out of thy mouth.”
After all, even the 1st Commandment forbids us to have ‘other elohim’ before YHVH – for He alone is our ‘Elohim’.
So, if we are not to refer to YHVH as ‘God’ because of strange gods having been called ‘God’ – how then do we justify the exclusive use of ‘Elohim’ when referring to Him, if the Bible and YHVH Himself refers to strange gods as ‘elohim’ – His very own Title? This reasoning is obviously subject to great inconsistency.
The Title “El” also forms part of the Names of two most important divine Messengers – Michael (‘Who is like God’) and Gabriel (‘God is Mighty’) in the Bible.
The same translation also insists on using ‘Master’ for ‘Lord’ which, they say, means ‘Baal’. However. Baal means ‘Master’ as much as it means ‘Lord’. If we are not to use the title of ‘Lord’ for the Most High because strange gods carried this title, then we should also refrain from giving YHVH the titles of King. Protector, Healer, Saviour, etc.. for the idols also carried these titles! Eventually we will end up being restricted from exalting YHVH altogether for lack of words to describe Him by. And this is exactly where the opposing powers want us to be!
We would never dream of retreating to the very popular, but deceitful stand of “God will understand …”. Let us take heed, however, not to become so extreme that we no longer communicate with the outside world.
Paganism called their Idols by the Sacred Names of the God of Israel!
The point that reveals the total inconsistency of this ‘puritan’ school of thought most pertinently, is the fact that pagans usurped the Sacred Names of the God of Israel to name their idols. Consider the following extracts from pagan history:
“Pagan leaders used the name Yahweh. The name was inscribed on the Moabite Stone in Jordan about 830 B.C. exactly as it appeared in the Old Testament. The Lachish Letters, written between 589-587 B.C. and discovered in 1935 in the ancient town of Lachish near Jerusalem, frequently used the name Yahweh. ”
” Yw, Yawu, Yah, Iahu, IeuoYw or Yawu is given as the original name of Yam in the Myth of Ba`al from Ugarit, and is probably the same as Ieuo in Philo of Byblos’ Phoenician History. He is possibly to be identified with Yahweh. Coincidentally, a likely pronunciation of Yod-Heh-Vau-Heh really is Yahuh (Yahoo!).”
” The Protoindo European god Yayash, Yaë or Yave, a protective god whose symbol was a tree, signifying possibly ‘”walking”, “going”, “a pilgrim”, has been dated back to the Indus River valley, circa 2900 B.C.E. He has been identified with the Turko Syrian YHVH, a “sacred animal or organization”.
“Yahweh appears to have been originally a sky god – a god of thunder and lightning. He was associated with mountains and was called by the enemies of Israel ‘a god of the hills’. His manifestation was often as fire, as at Mount Sinai and in the burning bush.” – Great Events of Bible Times
“Originally, these four consonants [in YHWH] represented the four members of the Heavenly Family:
Y represented El the Father;
H was Asherah the Mother;
W corresponded to He the Son; and
H was the Daughter Anath.
“In accordance with the royal traditions of the time and region, God’s mysterious bride, the Matronit, was also reckoned to be his sister. In the Jewish cult of the Cabbala God’s dual male-female image was perpetuated. Meanwhile other sects perceived the Shekinah or Matronit as the female presence of God on Earth. The divine marital chamber was the sanctuary of the Jerusalem Temple, but from the moment the Temple was destroyed, the Matronit was destined to roam the Earth while the male aspect of Jehovah was left to rule the heavens alone.”
– Laurence Gardner, Bloodline of the Holy Grail, p. 18 (Source: Biblical Beginnings in Canaan, Op. Cit.)
“A letter found in a mound northwest of the modern town of Ta’annek written in the fifth century B.C. proves that ‘Yah’ was a deity of the Canaanites. Yah is associated with the Canaanitish Mother-goddess, Ashtart-Anat as seen by the Father-Mother titles of the deity of the Jews at Elephantine. There, the title of Anat-Yaw is seen as well as Ashim-Bethel and Afat-Bethel where the titles of Astarte are combined with the Sun-god, Bethel. At Gaza, Yah appears as a Sun-god on a coin and coins were frequently inscribed with the figure of Ashtart-Yaw, Anat-Yaw, and Anat-Bethel, which corresponds to the Phoenician Melk-Ashtart and Eshmun-Ashtart” – The Mythology Of All Races, Vol. 5, p. 44.
“Yah was identified with the Aramaic Thunder-god, Adad. A coin from the fourth century B.C. in southern Philisti (when the Jews were in subjection to the Persian kings) has the only known representation of the Hebrew Deity. The letters YHW were inscribed just above a bird which the god held on his arm. The most likely identification of the god Yah of Gaza is the Hebrew, Phoenician, and Aramaic Sun-god El or Elohim whom the Hebrews had long since identified with Yah.” (ibid., pp. 42-43).
“The collection of ancient manuscripts found at the Jewish colony of Elephantine demonstrates the use of Canaanite religious terminology in conjunction with the name of Israel’s God Yahu. Such compound names as Anath-Yahu, Anath-Bethel, Ishum-Bethel, and Herem-Bethel are found there. These names all represent the attempt to combine differing philosophies and religious beliefs that were prevalent in the centuries following the Israelite conquest of Canaan. For example, Anath was the ancient Canaanite goddess, the sister of Baal (Bruce, p. 53), and Baal was one of the ancient names for Nimrod.” (Hislop, p. 232).
“It was from the divine name Yah that the Greeks took ‘Ie’ in the invocations of the gods, especially the god Apollo. The name ‘Ie’ was written from right to left and inscribed over the great door of the temple of Apollo at Delphi (Taylor, p. 183). Iao, a variant of the Tetragrammaton, was applied to the Graeco-Egyptian god Harpocrates or Horus. Horus was called Harpocrates by the Greeks. The ancient Greeks had an acclamation similar to Hallelujah (Praise you Yah). They used Hallulujee in the beginning and ending of their hymns in honor of Apollo.” – Taylor, p. 183.
“Many Vedic chants of praise also contain Yah, e.g. Rama-yah, Isha-ya (Yah my Divine Husband), Jai-ya (Yah as joy); Shiva-ya (Yah is purity, holiness, truth); Krishna ya (Yah is the transcendental loving Witness); Vishnu yah (Yah is all pervasive Light); Kali ya (Yah is the creative manifesting force or energy).” etc.
This evidence totally flaws the restrictive reasoning that “we should not refer to YHVH as ‘God’ or ‘Lord’ because these were the names of pagan idols.” If this restriction was truly valid, then we would also have to refrain from calling Him by His Sacred Name ‘YAH, YHVH or YAHU”, for these Names were also used for pagan idols!
God of gods
Strange how these ‘puritans’ will overlook and refuse to apply this restriction to their vocabulary as they insist for ‘God; Lord’ and a host of other religious terms. And indeed, if these restrictions should apply consistently, we would be left without words to communicate the Message of YHVH – and that is exactly where the opposing forces against the Truth of God want us: bound and restricted.
We certainly underwrite the statement that we should not use ‘God’ or ‘Lord’ as a NAME for the Most High, for in this habit lies much deceit concealed – HE HAS A NAME – USE IT IF YOU LOVE HIM! (Hosea 2:16-18). But we do not agree with those who maintain that “LORD” and “God” means “a pagan idol”. This borders on sacrilege and blasphemy, for THE TRUE GOD (YHVH) IS NOT A PAGAN IDOL!
We have seen, in writing, statements by believers, that “Jesus Christ is the name of a pagan idol”. We must call for extreme caution here although we underwrite the claim that the name ‘Jesus Christ’ comes from the Greek ‘Je-Zeus Christos’; and that it most probably refers to the Greek idol Zeus; that this name crept into early Christianity after pagan emperor Constantine, a Zeus worshipper, ‘converted’ the pagan Roman masses to Christianity for selfish political gain; that the attributes of Zeus were accredited to the Hebrew Messiah as well as the Zeus-mass (Xmas) (birthday) on 25 December and the whole pagan concept of a 3-headed god (Trinity). In fact, we go a step further and identify the mystery sign 666 (Rev.13:18) as the name ‘JeZeus Christos’ – but BEWARE! There is only ONE PERSON Who gave His Life and was crucified on Calvary in order to secure everlasting life for His true followers and Who rose from the Grave on the third day. THIS PERSON is known to the world as ‘Jesus Christ’ – and although this may be the name of a pagan idol which Satan managed to palm off on the righteous Hebrew Messiah, it still DOES NOT MAKE THAT PERSON A PAGAN IDOL! Refer 666 – Mark of the Beast
The Message which this study strives to bring to the world, is that THE ONE WHOM THEY SHOULD WORSHIP AS THE GOD ABOVE ALL GODS (Deut. 10:17) is the SAME ONE WHOM THEY KNOW AS THE LAMB OF CALVARY – ONLY… HIS TRUE NAME IS NOT ‘JESUS CHRIST’ BUT YAHU’SHUAH – THE SAVIOUR OF MANKIND!
Hosea 2:17,19 “I (YHVH) will take the names of the Baals (lords) off her (His Bride’s) lips”.
(Bibliographical reference: “The Ancient Gods” – The History of Religion, by E.O. James, Prof. Emeritus of the History of Religion, University of London – Published by Weidenfeld and Nicolson).