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The Hundred-Forty-First (Paths)

I'm sure you've noticed a change in how I reference our Creator and our Savior recently. When it comes to this topic, I've noticed there are a few "camps" that everyone seems to fall into. The first is a hard line group that says no matter what, you must refer to them by their proper Hebrew names in every case, otherwise you're talking about someone else. This may seem extreme and ridiculous, but we'll get into that a little more later. The second "camp" is a more lackadaisical one that says English transliterations of Greek, or using the generic term "God" it doesn't matter. As long as it's in the Bible you can call them whatever you like. There's also a sort of sub-group in this camp that I discovered and we'll get into that a little later as well. Finally, the third camp, and most lackadaisical one, says it doesn't matter what you call them, as long as you know who you're talking about, so do they. This group may even go so far as to say using terms like "higher power," "the Universe," or "the One" is all fine because, "we're all talking about the same God."

You likely have not thought about this too much, which is fine, but it may be time to do so. If not to change what you call YHWH or Yeshua, but just to be aware of what's going on in the world around you. I saw a comment from someone the other day where they used the name Yeshua. Someone else replied and was very harsh, in my opinion, saying there was something wrong with the person if they couldn't use the name Jesus.

Other than the fact that this sort of attitude is exactly why Christianity has become so disjointed and factioned, the sort of logic this person used was completely flawed. Yeshua is Jewish, whether some people like it or not. If someone from, let's say, Mexico comes to the United States and introduces himself as Jose, are you going to call him Joe? Absolutely not! You're going to call him by his name, not some other name someone made up for him.

Furthermore, if you really look at it, Jesus is not even the proper transliteration of Yeshua. There was actually another individual in scripture with the same name and it was not translated to Jesus. In fact, this individual even has his own book in the Bible! Yes, Joshua's Hebrew name is Yeshua (H3091). So, to say that you're using the "English version" of Yeshua's name isn't even right. You're actually using an English version that was derived from a Greek version that was derived from a Hebrew version. Notice how I didn't say it was transliterated!

When you transliterate something from one language to another, you keep the same basic sound of the original word when you speak it in the new language. That's why when you go to another country you can say, for instance, "Moscow," rather than reading Москва, and the locals will know what you're talking about. Even if you do have a funny American accent!

Obviously, you can see that Jesus does not sound like Yeshua, but in fact, Jesus doesn't sound like the Greek version either (G2424). In Greek it is pronounced "Eeyaysoos," so really our Bibles, since they are translated from a Greek version, should have been written more like "Eyasous," if it were a true transliteration. Why did they not do this? I don't know. But it's possible that because the first widely circulated version of the Bible was commissioned by King James, he wanted the name of the Savior to be more closely aligned with his own by making it start with a "J." I'm pretty positive this intent of posterity is why the name of one of the disciples was written "James," rather than a more accurate version of his Hebrew name, which was Yaaqob. Obviously, this should have been translated differently. Especially since even the Greek version was translated as Iakobos (G2385).

Is the point of this to create a hard spot, or bone of contention about the use of certain names when it comes to how we worship or pray? No. One point is to show that what some create as a hard spot isn't even correct in the first place. Everyone needs to let the Holy Spirit lead and come to a belief for what they should call the beings, YHWH and Yeshua, with which they should have a personal and intimate relationship. Personally, my heart says to call them by their original names (as best as I can pronounce!), but by no means am I forcing that on anyone else or even judging someone for not doing that.

The follow on to that though, and the other point to the one above, is whatever you do call them you need to understand that you may not be talking about the same beings as the person you're talking to. For instance, when you say "Creator," new age beliefs use the same term, and they are not talking about YHWH. When you say, "God," there are many religions that use that term, from the Greeks who had many gods to the satanists who call Satan god. People you're talking to might not even realize you're not talking about the god they worship and believe in. Since Satan operates in the shadows and is the father of lies (John 8:44), certain groups don't even tell their members who they're actually worshipping until they get to certain levels in the organization.

That's why it's all the more important to be very clear about who you're referring to. If you have a conversation with someone and you used terms like, "creator," and "god," the person you're talking to, if they're blinded and unaware of who they're actually worshipping (2 Corinthians 4:4), will likely think nothing of it. However, when you use proper names, ones they may have never even heard before, it may cause them to question who they believe in and lead them down the true path of salvation.

The world, and from recent studies the majority of young people these days, will tell you that there are many paths to being saved. The Pope even made a statement that all religions worship the same God of love. However, we know that this is another lie of Satan. No one comes to YHWH except by way of Yeshua (John 14:6). There are no other paths except Yeshua.

To be clear, it is a true statement that there are many paths to YHWH. However, what's missing from that statement is what the situation is when you finally make it to Him. You can live your life as an atheist, firmly believing He does not exist, but in the end your belief doesn't change the truth that He does exist. And ultimately, it doesn't change the truth that at the end you will stand in front of Him to answer for what you did in this body (Revelation 20:11-12). Likewise, even if you fully believe in and proclaim YHWH as the one true God, your life will be its own unique path from another person who believes the same as He leads and guides you through to the place in Yeshua's body that He made specially for you.

Not only is our path to righteousness different than, let's say, Abraham, the actions you and I take and experiences we have will also be different. Yes, we all have faith as a requirement, but unlike Abraham, we also have Yeshua and His sacrifice as a part of our faith. No, we all will not be asked by YHWH to sacrifice our son like He did of Abraham, but He will ask us to do things and we need to be willing and able to do them. I mean, whatever He asks can't be as hard as being asked to sacrifice your son, right?! So, as you go through this week, and on into the future, try to listen and look for the path He is leading you down. I believe there is not much time left until the end, and we should be excited and longing to be actively put in the fight; to do His will on earth as it is in heaven!

Shabbat shalom and may YHWH bless you!

-Rob and Sara Gene

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