Thursday, May 31, 2018

Sabbath - Part Twelve


The Usage of Divine Names

Since I was a youth I have often wondered why the most common English translations of the scriptures have chosen to not represent the names of the Father and the Son as they originally occurred in the Hebrew and Greek, but instead they replaced the names of deity with titles that are not names at all. At one time when I was yet a very young man I began to go through my Bible and replace each occurrence of “the LORD,” “the Lord,” “God,” “the Lord God,” and other such renderings with the actual divine names and titles that occurred in the ancient manuscripts. This proved to be a daunting task since the name “Yahweh” alone occurs over 6,800 times in the Old Testament.

For various reasons the translators down through the years have chosen to render the divine names as something other than that which is accurate and original. One reason is due to a misapplication of the third commandment that Moses brought down on the stone tablets from Mount Sinai. The commandment I refer to is the one which instructs the followers of Yahweh to not use His name in a vain manner. The command is often rendered in the following fashion in popular translations.

Exodus 20:7
"You shall not take the name of the LORD your God in vain, for the LORD will not leave him unpunished who takes His name in vain.”

You will note the uppercase spelling of the word LORD in this verse. If you were to read the translators’ notes for this Bible version, and many others, you would find that the translators chose to replace the name Yahweh with the title LORD everywhere that it occurs. Additionally, the word God is a translation of the word Elohim, which denotes a divine being. This verse could be more authentically rendered in the following manner.

You shall not lift up or bear the name of Yahweh your Elohim falsely, deceptively, or in vain, for Yahweh will not regard him as guiltless who lifts up or bears His name in a false, deceptive, or vain manner.

The Hebrew word that is often rendered as in vain is translated as false just a few verses later in the commandment “Thou shalt not bear false witness,” so one can readily see that the Hebrew word holds different shades of meaning. The Elohim of Israel whose name is Yahweh was declaring that His name was not to be used indiscriminately. The name Yahweh was to be used with great integrity.

It was the practice of Jewish scribes, when making copies of the scriptures, to not write out the name Yahweh when it occurred in the text, for they misconstrued the above commandment to mean that Yahweh’s name should not ever be written or uttered, for it was a holy name. Indeed it is a holy name, but Yahweh never commanded that it should not be written or uttered. He commanded that it should not be used in a false, deceptive, or vain way.

For example, today when men give oaths they often swear on the Bible, or they swear by God. They are saying that as God and His word are true, so is their word true. If a man were to swear by the name of Yahweh this would be a similar binding oath. However, if the man really did not mean what he was saying, he would be using the name of Yahweh falsely.

Another very common and appropriate application of this command has to do with speaking forth things, and claiming the words which are spoken are of divine origin. Throughout the Old Testament we find that there were often myriads of false prophets of Yahweh for every true prophet. When a man proclaims himself to be speaking the words of Yahweh, he should make very certain that his words are indeed Yahweh’s words. The punishment for prophesying falsely in the name of Yahweh was that the prophet was to be stoned.

Was it such a great issue that a man should speak something that was untrue? We know that Yahweh also forbid lying, but we are not told that liars were to be stoned. False prophets were to be stoned because they went beyond lying and they used Yahweh’s name in a false manner. They ascribed something to Yahweh that He did not say or command to be spoken. This was a most serious violation and it touches on the commandment regarding how men are to use Yahweh’s name.

The intent of the commandment regarding Yahweh’s name is that His name is to be used faithfully, honestly, and with good purpose. It is not to be used falsely, deceptively, or in a vain or trivial way. Unfortunately, many translators even today have a false understanding of this command and it is the practice to not write out the name of Yahweh at all. Yet we are plainly told in scriptures that man was given this name as the name by which Yahweh was to remembered throughout all generations.

Exodus 3:15
And Elohim, furthermore, said to Moses, "Thus you shall say to the sons of Israel, 'Yahweh, the Elohim of your fathers, the Elohim of Abraham, the Elohim of Isaac, and the Elohim of Jacob, has sent me to you.' This is My name forever, and this is My memorial-name to all generations.”

The name Yahweh is often also rendered in a shortened version as Yah. It occurs in this form 49 times in the Old Testament. As one realizes this they can see that it was not the practice of the most ancient Hebrews to avoid usage of the names Yah and Yahweh, for many of them had His name as part of their own. Elijah is Eliyah, his name meaning mighty Yah. Jeremiah is Jeremiyah, his name meaning Yah will rise. Joshua is Yahshua, his name meaning Yah’s salvation. There are many more instances of Israelites who had Yah’s name as part of their own. Clearly, they had no understanding that His name was not to be uttered.

As one looks at the root of the word hallelujah it is further evidence that there was no prohibition in using His name. The word hallelujah is hallelu-yah. (The J in old English was pronounced as a Y, and only in recent years has the pronunciation  changed, but not when this word is pronounced.) The word hallelujah is of Hebrew origin and it means praise Yah.

The name Jehovah is an incorrect way of rendering the name Yahweh. In a misguided attempt to preserve the holiness of the divine name, the Hebrew scribes would place letters from the word Adonai above every occurrence of the name Yahweh. This reminded those reading the scriptures to not speak the name of Yahweh, but rather to speak the word Adonai, which simply means Lord. Translators, not understanding what the scribes had done, combined the words Yahweh and Adonai and came up with Jehovah. Recent discoveries have revealed what was actually done, and a correction has been made.

It is very unfortunate that the divine names have been so obscured and hidden. Yahweh has been given as the Father’s memorial name to all generations, yet through error and tradition the name is seldom heard among the saints today. Other names have also lost much through poor renderings, and the link between Old and New Testaments has in many ways been obscured.

The general of Israel, Joshua (Yahshua), is a type of Yahshua (Jesus) who is to lead His people into the promised rest of Yahweh. The name Yahshua means Yah’s salvation, and it was an appropriate name for both the Son of Yahweh and the general and leader of Israel. We actually see the name of the Savior revealed in the names of the two great prophets Elijah (Eli-yah) and Elisha (Eli-shua).

Many today are coming back to an understanding of the divine names, and they are once more beginning to use them. Of those who do, some have adopted very narrow views concerning the manner in which divine persons are to be addressed or referenced, and they condemn those who still use titles for divinity such as Lord or God. In many instances, however, these titles are quite appropriate.

The title God is the English equivalent of the Hebrew Elohim. Both words denote divinity and even as Elohim was used to refer to false elohims (Exodus 12:12, Jeremiah 43:12, etc.), as well as the true Elohim of Israel, so is the word god used to refer to false gods as well as the true God.
Similarly, Lord is an appropriate title that many use for both the Father and the Son. When one discerns the etymology, the word origin, of the title Lord, it seems especially appropriate as a designation of the Son of Yahweh. The word Lord is synonymous with the word Master and it is derived from the Old English word hlááford which literally means bread (loaf)-ward. It was a reference to the head of a household. The servants in the house were entitled to be fed by the master, or loaf-ward of the house.

Yahshua is certainly the one who is the master of His household, and He gives bread to those who are servants in His household. Examine the following scripture.

John 6:32-35
Yahshua therefore said to them, "Truly, truly, I say to you, it is not Moses who has given you the bread out of heaven, but it is My Father who gives you the true bread out of heaven. For the bread of God is that which comes down out of heaven, and gives life to the world." They said therefore to Him, "Lord, evermore give us this bread." Yahshua said to them, "I am the bread of life; he who comes to Me shall not hunger, and he who believes in Me shall never thirst.”

Let me rewrite verse 34 and it becomes very illuminating. “They said therefore to Him, ‘Loaf-ward, evermore give us this bread.’” Yahshua in turn, as the Loaf-ward (Lord), gave them His flesh as their bread.

Mark 14:22
And while they were eating, He took some bread, and after a blessing He broke it and gave it to them, and said, "Take it, this is My body."

There are certain groups today that assert that the title Lord should never be linked to the Father or the Son, for the word Baal found often in the Old Testament is commonly interpreted as lord. Oftentimes these groups will replace the word Lord with the word Master wherever it is indicated in scripture, but in truth Baal could just as easily be translated into English as Master, and it sometimes is, so there is very little point in this.

In my study of scripture I have found occurrences where the word baal is used descriptively of Yahweh. Many recoil at this because Baal is quite often the name or title ascribed to false gods in the Old Testament, and those who worshiped Baal or who were prophets of Baal came under the judgment of Yahweh. One must realize that a single word in almost any language can be used with multiple applications. This is certainly the case with the ancient Hebrew language. For example, consider the usage of the word “baal” in the following verse.

Jeremiah 3:14
'Return, O faithless sons,' declares Yahweh; 'For I am a master [baal] to you, and I will take you one from a city and two from a family, and I will bring you to Zion.'

The word for master in this verse is baal, and it is the same word that is used throughout scripture to refer to many of the false deities of the nations that surrounded Israel in ancient days. In this verse Yahweh is calling Himself a baal (master) to those sons whom He brings forth from Israel to bring them to Zion. The word bears no negative connotations in this usage. This word is listed as Strong’s number 1167. If you were to do a search on the word Baal you would find that it is Strong’s word 1168 and it bears this note, “the same as 1167.”

There are many groups today that have detected the error of the translators in replacing the divine names of God. Some of these groups even publish their own Bible translations. Many have gone overboard, however, in rejecting titles that have a legitimate place in scripture. The title Lord is one such example.

Whereas it is quite acceptable to use titles to refer to deity, there is little doubt that there is great error in substituting the names of Yahweh with titles in every instance throughout the scriptures. In this way many have forgotten the name of Yahweh. This should not have happened, since His name is recorded over 6,800 times in the Old Testament. Where the name Yahweh is found in scripture, it should be recorded faithfully, without substitution.

What justification do the translators of the most common English Bibles give for replacing the Divine name of Yahweh with a titular substitute? Following is the explanation found in the New American Standard Bible put out by the Lockman Foundation.

The Proper Names of God in the Old Testament: In the scriptures, the name of God is most significant and understandably so. It is inconceivable to think of spiritual matters without a proper designation for the Supreme Deity. Thus the most common name for the deity is God, a translation of the original Elohim. One of the titles for God is Lord, a translation of Adonai. There is yet another name which is particularly assigned to God as His special or proper name, that is, the four letters YHWH (Exodus 3:14 and Isaiah 42:8). This name has not been pronounced by the Jews because of reverence for the great sacredness of the divine name. Therefore, it has been consistently translated Lord. The only exception to this translation of YHWH is when it occurs in immediate proximity to the word Lord, that is, Adonai. In that case it is regularly translated God in order to avoid confusion.

It is known for many years YHWH has been transliterated as Yahweh, however no complete certainty attaches to this pronunciation.
(NASB  © 1985 Holman Bible Publishers)

As I look at this explanation I find some very distinct problems. The publishers admit that “the name of God is most significant and understandably so,” yet they go on to state that they have removed His “special or proper name” in every occurrence throughout the Old Testament, without exception. Furthermore, they state that “the most common name for deity is God,” yet God is not a name at all, it is a title denoting a divine being and it can be equally ascribed to false divinity as well as that which is true. They have even stated that God is a translation of Elohim. Elohim is never given as the proper name of Yahweh in scripture. Elohim is a title that refers to a divine being and in the following passage we can see that it was not exclusively used as a reference to Yahweh.

Exodus 12:12
'For I will go through the land of Egypt on that night, and will strike down all the first-born in the land of Egypt, both man and beast; and against all the elohim of Egypt I will execute judgments-- I am Yahweh.’

The translators are clearly wrong in stating that “the most common name for deity is God.” They would have been closer to the truth in saying “the most common title for deity is God.” Anytime the writers of scripture wanted to declare who their Elohim was they gave His “special or proper name” Yahweh. They did this with amazing consistency so that Yahweh occurs 6,828 times in the Old Testament with Yah occurring an additional 49 times. Yet for all this, the translators have chosen to totally remove the names Yahweh and Yah from scripture and they have based it solely upon the following argument: “This name has not been pronounced by the Jews because of reverence for the great sacredness of the divine name. Therefore, it has been consistently translated Lord.

Did the translators give some divine commandment as their authority for removing Yahweh’s name from scripture? No! They based this very profound decision totally upon the tradition of the Jews. It was these same Jews to whom Yahshua spoke the following:

Mark 7:6-9
And He [Yahshua] said to them, "Rightly did Isaiah prophesy of you hypocrites, as it is written, 'This people honors Me with their lips, but their heart is far away from me. But in vain do they worship me, teaching as doctrines the precepts of men.' Neglecting the commandment of God, you hold to the tradition of men." He was also saying to them, "You nicely set aside the commandment of God in order to keep your tradition.”

What is the commandment of Yahweh concerning the usage of His name? We are not left without understanding.
Exodus 3:15
And God said moreover unto Moses, Thus shalt thou say unto the Children of Israel, Yahweh God of your fathers ... hath sent me unto you: this is my name for ever, and this is my memorial unto all generations.

Deuteronomy 28:58-60
"If you are not careful to observe all the words of this law which are written in this book, to fear this honored and awesome name, Yahweh your God, then Yahweh will bring extraordinary plagues on you and your descendants, even severe and lasting plagues, and miserable and chronic sicknesses. And He will bring back on you all the diseases of Egypt of which you were afraid, and they shall cling to you.”

I Chronicles 17:24
"And let Thy name be established and magnified forever, saying, 'Yahweh of hosts is the God of Israel, even a God to Israel; and the house of David Thy servant is established before Thee.'”

Psalms 29:2
Ascribe to Yahweh the glory due to His name; worship Yahweh in holy array.

Psalms 72:17-19
May his name endure forever; may his name increase as long as the sun shines and let men bless themselves by him; let all nations call him blessed. Blessed be Yahweh God, the God of Israel, who alone works wonders. And blessed be His glorious name forever; and may the whole earth be filled with His glory. Amen, and Amen.

Psalms 83:16-18
Fill their faces with shame, that they may seek Your name, O Yahweh. Let them be confounded and dismayed forever; yes, let them be put to shame and perish, that they may know that You, whose name alone is Yahweh, are the Most High over all the earth.

Psalms 105:1-3
Oh, give thanks to Yahweh! Call upon His name; make known His deeds among the peoples! Sing to Him, sing psalms to Him; talk of all His wondrous works! Glory in His holy name; let the hearts of those rejoice who seek Yahweh!

Psalms 113:3
From the rising of the sun to its going down Yahweh’s name is to be praised.

Hosea 12:5
Even Yahweh, the God of hosts; Yahweh is His name.

Zechariah 13:9
"And I will bring the third part through the fire, refine them as silver is refined, and test them as gold is tested. They will call on My name, and I will answer them; I will say, 'They are My people,' and they will say, 'Yahweh is my God.'"

These are but a few of the many thousands of instances in which the name Yahweh is mentioned throughout scripture. We are told that this is His memorial name. This name is to be praised. This is the name His people are to call upon. We are to ascribe to Yahweh the glory due His name. We are to give thanks to Yahweh in this name. We are to proclaim this name and honor and fear His name. This is the name that is to endure forever.

What a tragedy has occurred in removing the revealed name of God from scripture. The name Yahweh has been totally removed. It brings one to consider Jeremiah’s words:

Jeremiah 23:26-27
Is there anything in the hearts of the prophets who prophesy falsehood, even these prophets of the deception of their own heart, who intend to make My people forget My name by their dreams which they relate to one another, just as their fathers forgot My name...

Truly, Christianity today has forgotten the name of Yahweh. Most only know Him by titles and by the substitutions the translators have placed in the scriptures that are used throughout Christendom.

It has not just been the NASB publishers that have followed this pattern of removing the name of Yahweh from scripture. All of the most popular English translations have done the same. Their reasoning is no more righteous, for they have not based their decision upon the commandment of Yahweh, but upon the traditions of men.

For two reasons the Committee has returned to the more familiar usage [of substituting YHWH with either the LORD or GOD] of the King James Version: (1) the word 'Jehovah' does not accurately represent any form of the name ever used in Hebrew; and (2) the use of any proper name for the one and only God ... was discontinued in Judaism before the Christian era and is entirely inappropriate for the universal faith of the Christian Church.   
(Revised Standard Version)

What a bold declaration, “the use of any proper name for the one and only God... was discontinued in Judaism before the Christian era and is entirely inappropriate for the universal faith of the Christian Church.” Where is the scripture to justify such a statement? Where is any explanation other than that the Jews through their traditions, not by commandment from Yahweh, quit using His name? How can they so brazenly assert that it is “entirely inappropriate” to use the name Yahweh? If the Holy Spirit inspired the scriptures and chose to have the name recorded nearly seven thousand times, how can man declare that it is inappropriate to use the name?

The NIV Study Bible merely gives the following statement regarding their practice of name substitution:

In regard to the divine name YHWH, commonly referred to as the tetragrammaton, the translators adopted the device used in most English versions of rendering that name as “LORD” in capital letters to distinguish it from Adonai, another Hebrew word rendered “Lord,” for which small letters are used.
(NIV Study Bible © 1985 by The Zondervan Corporation)

A similar statement is made by the translators of the New Living Translation:

We have rendered the tetragrammaton (YHWH) consistently as “the LORD,” utilizing a form with small capital letters that is common among English translations.
(New Living Translation © 1996 by Tyndale House Charitable Trust)

Again, there is no divine command cited to justify this practice. It is merely stated that “the device used in most English versions” has been followed. When one undertakes such an important labor as producing a copy of the holy scriptures to be read by millions of people, one should approach the labor with the greatest of integrity seeking to walk in strict obedience to the revealed mind of the Father. Making profound decisions that result in altering the scriptures just because other men have done so is no justification at all. It is the height of audacity to then turn around and say that using the divine name, as recorded by holy men and prophets at the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, is totally inappropriate for the universal Christian faith. What is truly totally inappropriate is making wholesale changes to the scriptures and basing such decisions on tradition and the devices of men.

It is not wrong to refer to divinity by titles, but we should not forget the true names of the One to whom we refer. The disciple Thomas certainly knew the Messiah by His Hebrew name Yahshua, but he also called Him, “my Lord and my God” (John 20:28).

In the Old Testament the name Yahweh was very frequently used, but Yahweh was also referred to by the titles El, Elohim, and Adonai. Yahweh gave no prohibition against referring to Him with a title, but certainly it is inappropriate to replace His name in every instance throughout scriptures with titles, thus obscuring His name to multitudes as do the publishers of many of the most common Bible translations today. Knowing someone’s name is a mark of intimacy and those who are members of the Kingdom of God should know the name of the God they serve.

As we enter into the seventh millennium, the Sabbath day of creation, Yahweh will call forth a Bride for His Son. The Bride is to know the Bridegroom, and the Father of the Bridegroom, intimately. It would be very fitting that this Bride should come once again into an understanding of the divine names. One of the most intimate encounters between Yahshua and His elect regards the knowing of the name He gives to them. This is a sign of the greatest intimacy. We find this recorded in Revelation.

Revelation 2:17
'He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. To him who overcomes, to him I will give some of the hidden manna, and I will give him a white stone, and a new name written on the stone which no one knows but he who receives it.'

The sharing of this private name is a mark of great friendship. Some will be given a name that is only known by themselves and Elohim, the Godhead. It is a special token denoting some facet of their relationship with God. On the other end of the spectrum, our Messiah will say to those who have never known Him intimately, “Depart from Me, I never knew you” (Matthew 7:23).

It is my conviction that the Father would have me to refer to Him often by His name, as well as using the name Yahshua when referring to the Messiah, rather than Jesus, for Yahshua conveys a greater understanding of the relationship between Yahweh and His Son. Yahshua literally means Yah’s Salvation, and this He is. The name Jesus is an English rendering of a Latinized Greek translation of the Hebrew name Yahshua. The Hebrew Yahshua has been altered as it has been changed into Greek, then Latin, and later into English. As the name has been altered it has come to lack any resemblance to the name Yahweh to which it is linked, and its meaning has been obscured.

From my studies I have come to the conclusion that Jesus holds the same meaning as Yahshua if one understands ancient Greek and Latin, but few do today. One can determine that Yah’s Salvation is the meaning of the name of the Son of God by examining the following scripture.

Matthew 1:21
"And she will bear a Son; and you shall call His name Jesus [Iesous (ee-ay-sooce - Strong’s 2424)], for it is He who will save [soosei Strong’s 4982 - to save] His people from their sins."

I am not a great scholar of ancient languages and history, and I am much at the mercy of other’s research when trying to ascertain the history of certain facts or name origins. What I have found in my searching is that one form of Yah in the Greek language was Iah, (pronounced Ee-yah). Furthermore, the word for “save” in Greek is “soosei.” Combining these two words could very well lead to the Latinized Greek name Iesous (pronounced ee-ay-sooce) from which we get Jesus.

Many are asserting today that the sus in the name Jesus is actually a rendering of the name Zeus, or that Jesus is a form of the name Isis or some other pagan god, but I have been unable to substantiate these allegations. The argument of some states that, in an attempt to make Christianity more appealing to the people of the Roman Empire, a pagan name was given to the Messiah. It seems likely, however, that if this had been the case that there would have been a wide outcry among the saints, and this very egregious error would have been well documented. I have found nothing in the writings of the early church leaders to indicate that this did in fact take place. It seems more plausible that Iesous was a legitimate translation of the Hebrew name Yahshua and that to the people of the Roman Empire it would have held a similar meaning of Yah’s Salvation (you shall call His name Iesous for He will soosei His people from their sins).

Believing that the name Jesus is derived from the name of a pagan deity seems dubious, but there are reasons that I prefer to use the name Yahshua. Knowing that in Hebrew the Messiah was called Yahshua, and knowing that there is great significance in His name, I desire that these things should be recognized. When bringing forth English translations of the scriptures, there is no reason to preserve Latinized Greek renderings of words that were originally Hebrew. It is much more accurate to go back to the Hebrew and make a translation from there.

Why should we place greater emphasis on the name the citizens of the Roman Empire used when speaking of Messiah, than the name He was actually known by among His family, disciples, and others who knew Him and met Him? Yahshua said that the Father had sent Him to the lost sheep of the house of Israel, not to the Gentile nations (Matthew 15:24), so He would have been known His whole life by His Hebrew name. The Messiah was born of the Hebrew people and His Hebraic roots should not be obscured, but rather clarified.

As I have looked at the scriptures, it is certain that Yahshua was never known to those He walked among by the name Jesus. There is no letter J in the Hebrew language. There was not such a letter in ancient times, nor is there today. Strong’s Greek and Hebrew Dictionary states that the Latinized Greek name Iesous, from which we get Jesus, was derived from the Hebrew name that we know as Joshua. The leader of Israel who took the people into their promised land was indeed a type of Yahshua the Messiah, and in the day in which Yahshua lived others would have recognized the Messiah’s name as being the same as the hero of the Old Testament.

Yahshua (Joshua) was a common name in the day in which Messiah appeared. There are others recorded in scripture who shared the same name. In the genealogy of Yahshua, another of the same name is also mentioned, although most translations record it differently.

Luke 3:29
the son of Joshua [Greek Iesous, Hebrew Yahshua], the son of Eliezer, the son of Jorim, the son of Matthat, the son of Levi...

Also, Yahshua the Messiah often had appellations added to His name to identify which Yahshua He was. He was referred to as “Yahshua the Christ or Messiah,” “Yahshua of Nazareth,” “Yahshua Messiah of Nazareth,” etc.. This was to identify which Yahshua was being referenced.

A question I have not been able to arrive at a satisfactory answer to is “Why did the translators render the Greek Iesous as Jesus in some instances and as Joshua, Jose, or other renderings in other places?” If the translators knew that the Messiah shared the same name as the leader of Israel who took the people into the promised land, then why did they not render both names the same? It would be much more authentic if the English speaking church knew the Messiah by the name Joshua, for Joshua is the anglicization of the Hebrew Yahshua.

It is evident that the translators understood this. One need only look at a couple of New Testament scriptures to discern this fact.

Luke 3:29
the son of Joshua [Strong’s 2424 Iesous]

Acts 7:45
"And having received it in their turn, our fathers brought it in with Joshua [Strong’s 2424 Iesous] upon dispossessing the nations whom God drove out before our fathers, until the time of David.

Hebrews 4:8
For if Joshua [Strong’s 2424 Iesous] had given them rest, He would not have spoken of another day after that.

This word, Strong’s 2424 Iesous, is the same name translated as Jesus nearly everywhere else in the New Testament. If the translators knew that Jesus was the same name as the Hebrew leader whom we know as Joshua, then why did they not translate the names the same? The rather indiscriminate manner of choosing how to render Biblical names has led to the obscuring of the links between those who serve as types and antitypes of one another.

To approach the name of Yahshua from another perspective, it is said that Yahshua would come in the name of Yahweh. Let us examine what this means.

John 12:12-13
On the next day the great multitude who had come to the feast, when they heard that Yahshua was coming to Jerusalem, took the branches of the palm trees, and went out to meet Him, and began to cry out, "Hosanna! Blessed is He who comes in the name of Yahweh, even the King of Israel."

Of course, all of our popular English translations say, “Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord,” but this scripture in John is actually a direct fulfillment of Psalms 118:26.

Psalms 118:26
Blessed is the one who comes in the name of Yahweh; we have blessed you from the house of Yahweh.

What does it mean to come in the name of Yahweh? On one level it certainly means that Yahshua came in the authority of Yahweh. On another level it also indicates that He came bearing the name of Yahweh. As we have already indicated, Yah is a form of the name Yahweh that occurs 49 times in the Old Testament. Yahshua fulfilled this scripture by coming in the authority of Yahweh and also by bearing His name as part of His own.

The apostle Paul was a Pharisee, well versed in the scriptures. When he spoke the following, he was quoting from the scriptures that he knew so well.

Romans 10:13
for "Whoever will call upon the name of the Lord will be saved."

What scripture was Paul quoting from?

Joel 2:32
"And it will come about that whoever calls on the name of Yahweh will be saved; for on Mount Zion and in Jerusalem there will be those who escape, as Yahweh has said, even among the survivors whom Yahweh calls.”

When Paul said “Whoever will call upon the name of the Lord will be saved,” to whom was he referring? If we look only a few verses further down we see that it is the Messiah, or Christ.

Romans 10:17
So faith comes from hearing, and hearing by the word of Christ.

As the message of Christ, or Messiah, is preached then people are able to call upon His name and be saved. We are further told that “there is salvation in no other name” (Acts 4:12), yet when Joel prophetically writes about coming days he states, “And it will come about that whoever calls on the name of Yahweh will be saved.”

As we relate these verses together we can determine that the Messiah did indeed share the same name as the Father. The Father is Yahweh, or Yah, and the son is Yahshua, literally Yah’s salvation. When people call upon the name of Yahshua they are not only speaking the name of the Father, but they are proclaiming the Son to be the Father’s salvation.

Furthermore, we are told that John the Baptist came as a fulfillment of the scripture that Elijah would precede Yahshua’s coming. This prophecy was recorded in Malachi. Whom did Malachi say would follow Elijah? Young’s Literal Translation phrases this scripture in this manner.

Malachi 4:5
Lo, I am sending to you Elijah the prophet, Before the coming of the day of [Yahweh], The great and the fearful.
(Young’s Literal Translation)

It is remarkable to note that John came in the spirit of Elijah, to announce to the Jews the coming of their Messiah. Elijah literally means “Yah is God.” This was the message John proclaimed. He identified Yahshua as the Son of God, the Messiah.

Even as Father and Son were one in essence, so they shared the same name. Yahshua made this quite evident when He said, “Before Abraham was, I AM” (John 8:58). In making this declaration, all the Jews knew that Yahshua was proclaiming that He and the Father were one, for He was quoting from Yahweh’s revelation to Moses.

Exodus 3:14
And 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.'"

In many ways Yahshua proclaimed that He and the Father were one. Yahshua proclaimed Himself to be the Rock (Matthew 16:18, I Corinthians 10:4), and in Isaiah 44:8 Yahweh is proclaimed to be the Rock. Yahshua proclaimed Himself to be the Alpha and Omega, the Beginning and the End (Revelation 1:8), and in the Old Testament the same is spoken of Yahweh (Isaiah 44:6, Isaiah 48:12). If they shared the same titles and descriptions, should they not also share the same name?

Indeed, there appears to be more to this proclamation that Yahshua came in the name of the Father than a reference to the fact that He came in the Father’s authority. He truly did share the Father’s name.

John 12:12-13
On the next day the great multitude who had come to the feast, when they heard that Yahshua was coming to Jerusalem, took the branches of the palm trees, and went out to meet Him, and began to cry out, "Hosanna! Blessed is He who comes in the name of Yahweh, even the King of Israel."

I am convinced that it is the Father’s will for His name to be known. It is said that the heavens would receive Yahshua until the time of the restoration of all things (Acts 3:21). Is it not appropriate that His name should be restored before He returns? Should not the name of the Father also be restored? I am witnessing many, who have previously not known the names Yahweh and Yahshua, come to know these names and use them. This is not something organized by man, but it is a sovereign work of the Holy Spirit.

The replacement and subsequent forgetting of the memorial name of God is a great tragedy and it is at least partially attributable to men choosing their traditions over the will of Yahweh. In my own life I am convinced that I am to choose the will of the Father over the traditions of men. If the Holy Spirit thought it important to record for mankind the name of Yahweh, then I must conclude that it is both significant and important.

To those who call the Savior by the name Jesus, I find no reason to condemn this practice. As a teacher to the church of Yahshua I seek to impart understanding of the mysteries hidden in the scriptures. It is my conviction that the Spirit of Yahweh would have me use the name Yahshua in these writings to facilitate understanding, not to throw rocks at those who use another name.

I trust this will serve as a suitable explanation of the usage of divine names throughout this book, and other writings of this author.


This is the final portion of the book Sabbath.

Heart4God Website:    

Parables Blog:    

Mailing Address:
Joseph Herrin
P.O. Box 804
Montezuma, GA 31063

Sunday, May 27, 2018

Sabbath - Part Eleven

Entering In

I consider it a landmark day to be writing this final chapter to the book “SABBATH”on this 12th of August, 2003. The book has been posted and made available to readers since September, 2001, but I realized even then that the book was not finished. Like Moses who was allowed to see the inheritance of the children of Israel, the promised land of God, from a distance, but who was not allowed to enter in, in like manner I have also seen what the Father’s desire for us has been, but I have been unable to enter in.

I have seen that there is a place where God desires for all of His children to enter. It is a land of Sabbath rest where men and women cease from their own labors to do only the will of the Father. It is a place where all personal initiative ceases and where all that is done finds its origin in the mind of Yahweh, Who alone is worthy to be the source and originator of all words and deeds. The Son of God demonstrated to us what such a life and walk looks like. He was truly Lord of the Sabbath, for He was the manifestation of perfect rest. He never did anything of His own initiative, neither did He even speak a word that arose from self. Everything He said and did found its source in the Father.

In this book we have learned that it is the Father’s desire that ALL should enter into this place of rest. All must be conformed to the image of His Son. All must come to the place where they can also testify, “I never do anything of my own initiative. I only do the will of the Father.” We must be so perfect as to declare, “I do not even speak a word of my own initiative, but I speak only those things the Father has commanded me.”

Our great temptation is to deny that these things are truly the Father’s will for us, for we have never yet experienced such a perfect obedience, nor have we seen any man other than Yahshua Himself enter into this place of perfection and absolute rest. We may be tempted to believe that these things will only be attained and experienced in heaven, but listen to the words of our Lord as He taught His disciples to pray the will of the Father.

Matthew 6:9-10
Our Father who is in heaven, hallowed be Your name. Your kingdom come. Your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.

Our Savior prayed for God’s Kingdom to come, and for His will to be done on earth. When the will of God is done on the earth then the Kingdom of God will be seen among men. The coming of the Kingdom is synonymous with the children of God entering into this place of Sabbath rest. It is here on earth that Yahweh has determined that men and women should enter into this place of perfect obedience, and absolute rest, and should we doubt it we need to remind ourselves of the apostle’s warning:

Hebrews 3:16-19
For who provoked Him when they had heard? Indeed, did not all those who came out of Egypt led by Moses? And with whom was He angry for forty years? Was it not with those who sinned, whose bodies fell in the wilderness? And to whom did He swear that they would not enter His rest, but to those who were disobedient? So we see that they were not able to enter because of unbelief.

What do these words mean, “For who provoked Him when they had heard?” Moses was sent to the Israelites to tell them that God had seen their toil and their groaning and He was going to bring them out of their place of cruel bondage and lead them into their own land. This is what they heard. They heard Moses speaking the mind and will of God that He would give them a land wherein were cisterns they did not dig, houses they did not build, vineyards they did not plant, and in this land they would be His priests to all the earth, no longer slaves subjected to harsh servitude, but free men.

Why did they not believe such wonderful things? Was it not that they looked at their ability to possess it based upon an examination of their own strength and abilities, rather than looking to God’s ability to perform what He had promised? They looked at the fortified cities with their massive walls. They saw that there were giants in the land, and they saw themselves as grasshoppers. They rightly judged that entering into this land and possessing it was impossible in their own strength, and they failed to reckon on God’s strength. Because they would not believe, God was angry with them and allowed an entire generation to die in the wilderness.

God was able to take them in. He chose Joshua (Yahshua) to lead them in, and He declared “I have given you every place where you will set your foot” and “no enemy will be able to stand against you.” Yet the apostle declares that this Joshua did not give the people rest, but there yet remains a Sabbath rest for the people of God. There is another Yahshua whom God has sent who will lead the children of God into the true place of rest. This latter Yahshua will establish the children of God as kings and priests in the land, and they will walk in complete victory over every enemy, and they will fully possess their possessions.

Do you believe it? Or will you also be as those with whom the Lord was angry? Will you enter into the promises of God, or will your body die in the wilderness? It is those who believe who will enter in. The Scriptures show us how we must enter in, for Yahshua is our forerunner, and He is our pattern Man. Where He went, we are also to go, and the victorious overcoming life He walked in is also our portion.

When Joshua took the children of Israel into the land of promise, the first step was into the waters of the Jordan River. It is no coincidence that when our Lord began His ministry where He reigned victorious over every enemy that it too began as He stepped into the Jordan River.

Matthew 3:13-17
Then Yahshua arrived from Galilee at the Jordan coming to John, to be baptized by him. But John tried to prevent Him, saying, "I have need to be baptized by You, and do You come to me?" But Yahshua answering said to him, "Permit it at this time; for in this way it is fitting for us to fulfill all righteousness." Then he permitted Him. After being baptized, Yahshua came up immediately from the water; and behold, the heavens were opened, and he saw the Spirit of God descending as a dove and lighting on Him, and behold, a voice out of the heavens said, "This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well-pleased."

The entire pattern of entering into God’s rest is revealed in these words. Baptism is a picture of death, and we all must enter into the promised land through the waters of the Jordan. We must all allow Christ to put us to death in our natural life which we have inherited from Adam that we might enter into the newness of life that belongs to the Heavenly Man.

Well did John the Baptist speak here when he said, “I have need to be baptized by You.” This is perhaps the greatest prophecy of this greatest of the prophets, but who has truly heard what he said? John said in another place:

Matthew 3:11
“As for me, I baptize you with water for repentance, but He who is coming after me is mightier than I, and I am not fit to remove His sandals; He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire.”

When John said to Yahshua, “I have need to be baptized by You,” it was these two baptisms of which he spoke. John needed to be baptized with the Holy Spirit and with fire, and so must all those who would enter into perfect Sabbath rest. What does it mean to be baptized with fire? The word “fire” in the Greek is “pur,” and from this Greek word we get our English words “pure,” “purity,” “purify” and “purge.” Fire has always been associated with purification, for it burns up all that is dross, all that is impure. It is the fire of God that burns up the wood, hay and stubble of our lives. It was the fire on the altar that burned up the sacrifice of flesh, and it is the fire of God that will also burn up our flesh in this day and hour.

The apostle Paul shared that it was the will of God that all of the saints present their bodies as a “living sacrifice” upon the altar of God that their flesh might be destroyed. He expressed this in another way to the Galatian believers when he declared that those who walk after the Spirit “have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires.”

Yahshua passionately expressed His desire when He said, “I have come to cast fire on the earth, and how I wish it were already kindled.” It was from the dust of the earth that man’s flesh was formed, and it is in this flesh which sin dwells. Yahshua came to cast fire on the earth of this flesh. Why did He long so earnestly for this work to begin? It was because He knew that the flesh being consumed, purged, crucified, buried in the waters of baptism, was necessary in order for the other baptism to be given, the baptism of the Spirit.

When John baptized Yahshua in the waters of the Jordan River, which mark the boundary of the land of promise, the way was being shown in which the body of Christ must enter into their inheritance. It is always through death. Those who resist the working of the cross in their life will not enter into the land of Sabbath rest. Those who refuse to take up the disciple’s cross will not come to a place of reigning as kings and priests. The word states:

II Timothy 2:11-12
It is a faithful saying: For if we be dead with him, we shall also live with him: If we suffer, we shall also reign with him...

Saints, if we refuse to enter into the waters of the Jordan and be baptized along with our Lord, we cannot enter into the promised land of Sabbath rest. There is but One Way, and our Lord has shown it to us. All who try to enter by another way are thieves and robbers. The Lamb of God laid down His life, and the sheep who follow after Him must also lay down their lives. “We are accounted as sheep for the slaughter.” Note then what happened as Yahshua came up out of the waters of the Jordan.

And behold, the heavens were opened, and he saw the Spirit of God descending as a dove and lighting on Him.

These two things are absolute necessities for any who would walk as our Lord walked. If we are to make the confession He made, and we are to walk as He walked, never speaking or doing anything of our own initiative, but always doing the will of the Father, then we too must have an open heaven, and we must have the anointing of the Spirit of God resting upon us in power.

Any saint who is honest, and who has sought to walk in obedience to God for any length of time, will confess that they have seen their inadequacy and impotency revealed. Like Paul confessed, the desire to obey is present, but the performing of it is not. As Christ spoke of His disciples on the night of His passion, “The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak.” How often have we stumbled and fallen, to weep tears of regret and bitterness? What weakness is bound up in this sinful flesh!

And should we be called to ministry (and all saints are ministers in one fashion or another), consider how soon the Lord will lay us in the dust as we see our inability to walk as Christ walked. We do not see every demon present as He did. We do not speak a word and the unclean spirits flee. We are not able to heal everyone for whom we pray, or to raise the dead with a word. We cannot place the elements under our feet, walking on the waters and calming the storms with a word. We do not come forth victorious in every encounter with Satan. Yet this is what we have been called to. This is the land of our inheritance. This is our promised possession.

How strenuously do we deny that these things be so. We think that Christ walked this way, but He was God and we are not. We do not see Him as Joshua leading the entire nation into their inheritance, vanquishing every enemy and possessing the good land before them. It was not just Joshua who entered in and walked victoriously over the enemy. It was the entire nation of the children of God. Neither is it merely Yahshua who has been called to walk in the victory, power, authority, and Sabbath rest that He manifested in His life. He is the forerunner, but we are called to run behind Him.

Hebrews 6:19-20
This hope we have as an anchor of the soul, a hope both sure and steadfast and one which enters within the veil, where Yahshua has entered as a forerunner for us...

As our pattern Man, Yahshua has shown us the way to enter into the Sabbath rest before us. We first must be baptized with Him in the waters of the Jordan. This is not merely some symbolic union that is depicted in the ordinance of baptism. We must have an experiential baptism. We must allow Yahshua to lead us through many wilderness places where our flesh is broken until we come to the place where we loathe the flesh and we despise the initiative and self-effort that we see within it.

We must all enter the wilderness as Moses who was a man “mighty in word and in deed,” men who have great strength in their own flesh and who wrongly think that this strength of the flesh can bring forth the kingdom purposes of God. We must all exit the wilderness as Moses did after forty years of tending sheep, declaring “God, I cannot speak. I cannot act. I have nothing to offer You.” Only then can the Lord place His great power upon us and through us destroy every enemy and every false god that stands before Him.

Do we not see this process of death plainly revealed in Scripture. Yahshua said that He never did anything of His own initiative, and He did not even speak a word of His own initiative. In action and in word He was completely dead to those things that arise from self. Compare this to the words spoken of Moses.

Acts 7:22
Moses was educated in all the learning of the Egyptians, and he was a man of power in words and deeds.

This power of Moses’ was a power that came from his flesh. In this power he attempted to deliver his people and failed miserably. How many ministers of God are trying to deliver God’s people and perform the will of God in their own power? I tell you that nearly the entire lot are doing so, and they are just as surely failing to accomplish God’s desire as was Moses. People, do not be driven by those who tell you that you must be out doing the works of Christ. If you have not been given the power of God to do such works, then all is vanity and striving after the wind. We must all learn the lesson of Moses.

Were the forty years that Moses spent in the wilderness before God sent him to Egypt wasted years? Was Moses wasting his life when the people of God suffered in cruel bondage? Was it a sign of his selfishness and lack of compassion that he did not go back and try to deliver them again, through whatever means that he might employ? No! Moses wanted to deliver his people, but he was an honest man who realized that the ability to perform this work was not in him.

How many are the saints today who are less honest? How many are told, and tell others, that those who are compassionate for the world will be out winning souls and bringing forth the kingdom of God, and that they must not wait for God to empty them and then empower them? Oh how deluded we have been! As I look at all the gimmicks and programs and plans of human effort to win souls and bring forth the kingdom I am greatly grieved. A world of men and women who are mighty in their own carnal words and deeds has gone forth to bring forth the kingdom of God on the earth, and to deliver the inhabitants of the earth from bondage. They may manage to slay a single Egyptian, and encouraged by this achievement they go on tirelessly as they believe that the kingdom of the enemy is being destroyed by their efforts. And all the while Satan laughs with derision, for the church grows darker and darker while gross darkness creeps over the earth.

What is needed is for the children of God to flee to the wilderness, acknowledging their inability to bring forth salvation for the earth. In the wilderness they need to experience the emptying that Moses knew, so that no longer will they ever seek to perform the works of God in the strength of their own words and deeds. They must remain in the wilderness until they confess, “God, I have nothing to offer You. I cannot even speak.”

See then the cleverness of Satan’s corrupted wisdom. By driving the children of God to spend their lives in one activity after another, in this program and that campaign, and to get them to engaged in works done in the power of their own flesh, falsely thinking that this is the voice of God driving them to these things, they never enter into the wilderness where God can truly prepare them for Kingdom works. Satan is such a deceiver that the saints are made to feel guilty if they do not immediately embark upon some work and effort in the name of God. To go to a place apart where God can bring forth a death to their soulish life is a luxury they feel they cannot afford. The enemy speaks to them and tells them that they are lacking in compassion if they are not somehow ministering every day. By such deceit does the enemy prevent the children of God from receiving the power that Moses finally attained in order to destroy the kingdom of the enemy.

Saints, have you not come to see yet that the kingdom of the enemy is not being toppled through your puny human efforts? Can you not see darkness everywhere entering into the church, rather than light into the world? The reason is plain. The people of God are trying to bring forth the kingdom through the strength of man, rather than by the power of God. The power of God is not entrusted to those who have not been broken, so this breaking is the first order of business for all those who receive the salvation that is found in Yahshua.

Observe how the apostle Paul immediately upon being saved began to reason with the Jews in the city of Damascus. He had great debate with them, but we are not told that there was any fruit. We then read that God sent Paul to the wilderness where nothing more is heard from him for many long years. This was his period of breaking. This is where he died to all those things which he was formerly so proud of, his Jewish heritage, his great education, his own Pharisaical righteousness, the strength of his natural life.

If Paul were in the churches of today they would not have allowed him this period of breaking and emptying. They would have said, “Look boys, we have a winner here. This man is something. He has education. He has connections. He is zealous for God. Let’s put him to work immediately.” Think of all the things that might be done in this way. Paul could be the figurehead for many different ministries. He could write books on how to debate the Jews. He could go out immediately and tell one and all about his experience on the road to Damascus. And in all his busyness, he would miss out on the preparatory work which alone could ready him to do the works of God.

But pastors today would cry out, “How can you tell him to delay in acting. The world is lost and going to hell today. Every day babies are aborted and children abused and the lost are dying. We need him to work today.” And because of such thinking the works are all man’s works, and the power needed to bring forth the kingdom is nowhere present. Thus the Scripture is fulfilled that in the last days men would have a form of godliness without power.

So we see in the baptism of Yahshua a picture of what is required in order to have the heavens opened to us and for the Spirit to descend in power. The working of death precedes the life of power.

Throughout this book it has been declared that it is the will of God for all of His children to come to a place where they only do the works they see the Father doing. This is the example that Yahshua set before us, and it is the only thing that will satisfy God. Many will come to God in the day of judgment and declare that they did many works in His name, but because these works were not His will, nor done at His command Yahshua will declare, “I never knew you.” There is only one way in which we can avoid these tragic words being spoken over our lives. We must KNOW with a certainty what the will of the Father is at all times. We must know what words He would have us to speak, and we must be careful to speak only these words. The requirement for this level of intimate knowing is that we must have the heavens open before us as they were before Yahshua.

John 5:19-20
Therefore Yahshua answered and was saying to them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, the Son can do nothing of Himself, unless it is something He sees the Father doing; for whatever the Father does, these things the Son also does in like manner. For the Father loves the Son, and shows Him all things that He Himself is doing; and the Father will show Him greater works than these, so that you will marvel.”

Yahshua did not begin His ministry until after John baptized Him and the heavens were opened to Him. Immediately we read that the voice of the Father is heard and then we read that the Spirit begins leading Yahshua. During His entire ministry Yahshua was able to do the works of the Father and speak His words because He had an open heaven before Him. He testified that the Father shows Him all things that He Himself is doing. How can we walk in this same place, and do even greater works than Christ did, unless we too have an open heaven set before us? I tell you that we cannot, and will not be able to do so.

In this late hour when Christ will raise up a remnant to walk in power and authority before Him in the earth, it will initially be only a very small number who will know both an open heaven and the anointing to carry forth His desire. The reason is that there are only a few who have allowed Christ to baptize them with the fire of purging  and purification. Most have shunned the cross and sought to protect their flesh. Many have given themselves wholly over to the deceptions of a prosperity doctrine and messages of ease and comfort. Splashing around in what they call “the river of God,” they have despised Christ’s invitation to join Him in the fiery lake where the strength of the flesh is consumed and totally broken.

Yahshua was also a man mighty in words and deeds. The crowds marveled at His doctrine saying, “Never did a man speak like this.” The multitudes noted that He spoke with power, and not as the Scribes and teachers of the Law. There are many charismatic speakers today who can whip the crowds into an emotional fervor, but this is merely a counterfeit power, and not the true power of God. It is the power that Moses had before his strength was broken.

Yahshua was also a man mighty in deeds. He did all the things that He saw the Father doing, and the people marveled. He healed blind, deaf, lame, and sick. He raised the dead. He cast out demons. He ruled over the natural elements, and He gave this same authority and power to His disciples who would follow after Him. For a period of time the world saw the saints walking in this same power, for they did not shrink away from the working of the cross in their lives. But as the church drifted into a message of ease, the ability to see into the heavens and the power to do the works of God was seen less and less. Men and women were satisfied to simply do what they could in their own strength, and they devised false doctrines to abrogate the need for miracles and signs and wonders.

A day is soon coming when the Spirit will once more come in power upon a company of those saints who have followed the Lord into places of refining, and death to all reliance upon the flesh. These ones will shine forth as brilliant lights in the midst of gross darkness. The church will wonder where they received this power, and demand of them an answer, but most will not receive their words. These ones will enter into their inheritance as kings and priests to the world. They will see into the heavens and know what the Father is doing and perform the same. These ones will be lords of the Sabbath, and thus the words spoken of Christ will find earthly fulfillment, namely that He is “King of kings and Lord of lords,” for His kings and lords will follow in His footsteps.

I do not say that those who have not yet experienced this baptism of power will not hear the Lord speak to them in some measure, nor that the Lord will ever call them to some task until that day. We see the disciples of Christ walking in some measure of authority before the day of Pentecost, for the Lord commissioned them and sent them out to preach the kingdom and cast out devils and heal the sick, and we do see these things done in some measure today. Yet this is not the same as entering in fully to the place of Sabbath rest and power to which we are called.

There is a pattern seen in the lives of those whom the Lord called to some special work. They are often given a brief period of success, as David knew in his early days in Saul’s household, or as Joseph knew in Potipher’s, but then a time of breaking and refining comes forth, often for a prolonged period, and the end of this work is that the natural strength of the man is broken and it is replaced with a total surrender to, and dependence upon, God.

Even so, in my life I knew days when the Lord had called me to function as a minister to His body, only to see these days cut short before they bore any perfected fruit, and a wilderness period then ensued. This wilderness period is filled with trials, and suffering and an absence of things that appeal to the flesh and soul of man. It is a time when self-confidence and a reliance upon our own strength is replaced with humility and a leaning wholly upon the Savior. A remnant of saints have been enduring these same experiences, which all must pass through in order to enter into that good land before them. This is the pattern that God has established by His own counsel.

If you have found that the message of this book has pierced your soul and stirred up the spirit within you, then I encourage you to press into these things. The apostle has instructed us in this way, “therefore let us be diligent to enter into that rest” (Hebrews 4:11). The first step in this exercise of diligence is to believe what it is that God has said He will do for those who believe. Search the Scriptures and see if these things are true. Do not allow the walled cities and giants in the land to deter you. All enemies before us will be as prey as our conquering leader Yahshua leads us into battle.

Second, follow wherever the Lord leads. The overcomers spoken of in Revelation are marked by this distinction, “they follow the Lamb wherever He goes.” Many in turning back from paths of difficulty and suffering are forfeiting things that will cause them to weep and wail and gnash their teeth when they are fully revealed unto them. Then their shortsightedness will be seen to be as Esau’s when he sold his birthright for a bowl of stew. Rather, let us be like Jacob who wrestled with the angel all night and said “I will not let you go unless you bless me.”

The children of God are called to be lords of the Sabbath, and possessors of the promises of God.

May many enter into God’s rest.


This has been an excerpt from the book Sabbath.

Heart4God Website:    

Parables Blog:    

Mailing Address:
Joseph Herrin
P.O. Box 804
Montezuma, GA 31063

Thursday, May 24, 2018

Sabbath - Part Ten

Yahshua, the Tree of Life

There is a tree that grows in barren and wilderness places. It is found in the western United States and it bears the name “The Joshua Tree.” Knowing that Joshua is the anglicization of the Hebrew name Yahshua, it should be no surprise to learn that this tree fits the physical description of the Messiah.

Isaiah 53:2
For He grew up before Him like a tender shoot, and like a root out of parched ground; He has no stately form or majesty that we should look upon Him, nor appearance that we should be attracted to Him.

This tree does indeed grow out of parched ground and it has no stately form or majesty. As far as trees go, there is little to attract a person’s attention or to think that there is anything particularly noteworthy about this tree. I would not be surprised to find that the Tree of Life in the Garden of Eden was similar in form. Quite often the Father clothes those things that are highly prized by Him in forms that have little appeal to the natural man.

Yahshua declared that He was Lord of the Sabbath (Matthew 12:8, Luke 6:5), and we are told that He had no stately form or majesty that men should look upon Him, nor appearance that men should be attracted to Him. Similarly, there is little in the message of the Sabbath rest of God that appeals to the natural man. The message of Sabbath rest leads men to cease from their own works. It leads men to consider that their own efforts are without any value before God. The message of Sabbath brings one to abasement and humility.

Such things do not stir the flesh. Instead the flesh wars against these things. The flesh of man devises many paths and activities to pursue, but only true rest will bear fruit for eternity.

The church of this day has largely rejected the message of Sabbath, and indeed it is unknown to many believers. What attracts the saints are bold and vibrant ministries that have stately form and majesty. The saints are attracted to those churches that have built impressive edifices with tall steeples, stained glass, and banners proudly flying. The church seeks to make itself attractive to the world so that the world will be lured into its embrace. This is not the way of the Spirit, however.

Yahshua was a rock of offense and a stone of stumbling (Romans 9:33, I Peter 2:8). The rich and the powerful, the worldly and successful, largely rejected Yahshua. They wanted a strong and powerful leader who had great majesty and who was impressive in stature. They were greatly disappointed by this man who preached death to self, and obedience to the voice of God.

The church has tried to remold itself so those who despised and rejected Yahshua will find themselves attracted and comfortable with them. Many worldly people have entered into the church, and because the more difficult teachings of Messiah have been avoided, they have remained worldly, and their presence has encouraged others to be worldly.

The church today does many things that outwardly appear good, and even godly, but many of these things are born out of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. In eating of this fruit they appear “like God,” and many saints have been fooled by this godlikeness. If one has eyes to see, however, they will realize that the godlikeness is merely a facade. Underneath, much of the works and activity of the church is birthed from the will of man.

In Western society such characteristics as ambition, initiative, and independence are viewed as strong and desirable virtues. Humility, patience, meekness and dependence upon another are considered to be weak qualities. The church has adopted this mindset as well. The church desires to be attractive, majestic, and to have great stature in the world. These were not qualities of Yahshua, nor are they qualities that are the need of the church in this hour. The church needs to adorn itself with humility (I Peter 5:5), to become lowly in its own eyes where it will no longer presume to guide and direct itself. Only through abasing itself before Yahweh will the church enter into the Sabbath rest to which it has been called.

Our problem is a problem of competing kingdoms. What is esteemed in the kingdom of this world is despised in the kingdom of God (Luke 16:15). Yahshua was rejected by His own people, but in the kingdom of God He was highly esteemed and has sat down at the right hand of power next to His Father. It is similarly those who will look beyond the present and temporal kingdoms of man to the eternal kingdom of God who will adorn themselves with humility and who will cease from their own labors.

As we are poised to enter the seventh day of man, this is the call of the hour. Will you cease from doing as your soul desires? Will you seek to know the mind of Yahweh and do His whole will?

Hebrews 4:1-11
Therefore, let us fear lest, while a promise remains of entering His rest, any one of you should seem to have come short of it... For He has thus said somewhere concerning the seventh day  "And God rested on the seventh day from all His works"; and again in this passage "They shall not enter My rest." Since therefore it remains for some to enter it, and those who formerly had good news preached to them failed to enter because of disobedience, He again fixes a certain day, "Today," saying through David after so long a time just as has been said before, "Today if you hear His voice, do not harden your hearts..." There remains therefore a Sabbath rest for the people of God. For the one who has entered His rest has himself also rested from his works, as God did from His. Let us therefore be diligent to enter that rest, lest anyone fall through following the same example of disobedience.

Yes, there remains a Sabbath rest for the people of God. Not all will enter in. We are exhorted to be diligent to enter that rest. To fail to do so is to fail to accomplish the Father’s will for us.

Will you be content with less than the will of God for your life? Don’t make the mistake of many in the church and think that the Sabbath is merely one day out of seven in which man is prohibited from performing physical labor. Sabbath is the heart of the Father’s desire for mankind. Sabbath is a state of rest where man returns to union with the Father; where man finds his purpose and reason for living in the revealed will of Yahweh God. Sabbath is a place where man ceases from his own work and activity, from his own thoughts and plans.

Sabbath is the inheritance, the promised land set before the saints of God. Let us be diligent to enter into our inheritance. May Yahweh have a people that live to accomplish all His will.


This is an excerpt from the book Sabbath.

Heart4God Website:    

Parables Blog:    

Mailing Address:
Joseph Herrin
P.O. Box 804
Montezuma, GA 31063

Monday, May 21, 2018

Sabbath - Part Nine

Resting in Ministry

It is a great paradox that most of those who function as ministers today are by their very example demonstrating what the Father despises. Many of these ministers have a sincere desire to labor in service to Yahweh, yet they have failed to distinguish what type of service is pleasing to Him. By doing whatever seems good to them in ministering, they are actually practicing the principle of Satan which is to be governed and ruled by one’s own soul.

I feel quite safe in stating that the vast majority of men and women in positions of ministry in the body of Christ have not been placed there by God. They have arrived at their position through the work and will of man. The very process that many go through to become “qualified” for ministry is far removed from Yahweh’s methods. Going to Bible College and Seminary to have one’s head filled with the doctrines and methodologies of the church is far removed from the process God would take His true ministers through in order to prepare them for service. (I am not discounting that there are some true ministers that have gone this path, but their qualifications in the kingdom of God have little to do with the institutions of man.) The common methods today may give one the stamp of men’s approval, but they fail in gaining the stamp of God’s approval.

The process the Father would take men through to prepare them for ministry is seen everywhere throughout scripture. The Father prepares His chosen ones for service by bringing them to an end of personal ambition, and to a death to seeking anything for self. Only those who are truly emptied of ambition and self-seeking can be effective ministers in the kingdom of God.

The preparation the Father takes His servants through is most grueling. The Father’s school of service leads to self-abasement and humility. Quite often it will bring a man to a place where all have turned against him but God; where he is misjudged, evil spoken of, and where he has had his motives and judgment brought into question. This is a necessary part of the minister’s preparation for he must be a man who is dead to his own reputation; where he is quite content with insults, with personal weakness, with distresses, with persecutions and difficulties (II Corinthians 12:10).

Seminaries and Bible Colleges do not bring a minister to this place of readiness. Instead, the student is apt to feel quite welcomed, accepted, and proud that he has earned a degree from a reputable school, knowing that his diploma gains him entry into the good graces of many denominational churches and ministries. By completing a course of study and receiving a piece of paper duly signed by those overseeing such programs, the graduate is perceived as being ready for service as a minister.

Yahweh’s course of study is much different. Consider Joseph, the favorite son of Jacob. He was given dreams and visions while yet a young man that he would one day be in a position of ruling and reigning. It would have been nice if Jacob could simply have sent his son to school to receive whatever knowledge was necessary to fulfill his calling. This was not God’s way, however.

Joseph’s calling was great, and his preparation process was equally awesome. Joseph was to be given tremendous power and authority and the Father needed a man that would not misuse that which was entrusted to him. Yahweh needed a faithful servant that would accomplish all of His desire.

Joseph began his schooling right after having received the vision that revealed his future promotion. Joseph was sent by Jacob to check on his brothers and to bring back a report. Joseph had formerly done so, bringing back an evil report of the activity of his brothers. Joseph’s brothers despised him. They were indignant at the fact that he would be used to report on their activities and that their father favored Joseph more than them. Joseph received a bitter course in human envy, jealousy and hatred. Some of his brothers wanted to kill him, but instead they were talked into selling him into slavery to a foreign land and people.

Joseph cried out bitterly with many tears for his brothers not to abuse him, but they turned a deaf ear to his cries. His brothers then went and reported to their father that Joseph had been killed by wild beasts. In great despondence, Joseph was taken to Egypt and sold as a slave to an Egyptian official.

At this point, many would have been tempted to throw in the towel and to say, “God, if this is your training for future service, then I would prefer not to be a minister in your kingdom.” But Joseph was faithful. Even though he had been rejected by brothers and sent far away from the father he loved, he performed every service that was entrusted to him with the greatest of integrity.

Joseph’s faithfulness was soon noticed, and it was evident that everything entrusted to his hands prospered. His master took this young Hebrew slave and placed him in charge of his entire household. Everything in this man’s house was blessed through the faithful service of Joseph.

For a while it seemed that things were going well for Joseph. Although he still was enslaved and rejected by brothers and separated from his father, he was given some honor and he received the benefits befitting his position of service. But Joseph’s training was about to be turned up a notch in its intensity.

The wife of Potipher, Joseph’s master, was physically attracted to Joseph, for he was a handsome youth. She began to entice Joseph to have sexual relations with her. Joseph knew that to do so would be a violation of his master’s trust in him, as well as a sin against God. Joseph resisted her temptations day after day. One day this woman found herself alone in the house with Joseph and she pressed him mightily to lie with her. Joseph fled from her, leaving his garment in her hands, for she had grasped hold of his garment.

Potipher’s wife, angry at being rebuffed, called the other servants and reported that Joseph had tried to make sexual advances toward her and that he had left his outer garment with her when she cried out. Joseph was seized and falsely accused. What a grief for this young man who had been completely faithful in the discharge of his duties, even while enduring enslavement at the hands of his brothers. Joseph was placed in prison, but even in prison he was faithful.

Quite often in the training programs of man, a student ascends from one level to another and greater honor is accorded at each level. In God’s training program for Joseph he descended, first into slavery, and then into prison. In this position as an imprisoned slave Joseph had no rights and no honor. The temptation must have been great to cry out to God and to find fault with Him due to Joseph’s harsh circumstances. The days turned into months, and the months into years as Joseph saw no release from the prison in which he had been placed. In the Psalms we have this testimony of Joseph’s trial.

Psalms 105:17-19
He sent a man before them -- Joseph, sold as a slave. They bruised his feet with shackles, his soul was laid in irons, until the time His word was fulfilled, the word of Yahweh tested him.

Yes, Yahweh was testing Joseph. Like metal that is tried in a fire, Joseph was tried and purified and strengthened. Finally, when Yahweh saw that Joseph still remained faithful despite the most grievous of circumstances, when Yahweh was certain that Joseph had as his highest goal to be found faithful and obedient to God, then Yahweh was able to bring Joseph out of prison and place upon him great authority and power.

This is not an isolated example of Yahweh’s preparation process. David also went through a similar process. David was faithful in all circumstances, yet he met with the disapproval of his brothers, and the envy and hatred of a wicked king. For years David lived as an exile from his own country, and he even reported that his father and mother had turned against him (Psalms 27:10). David’s training process took him from a position of some honor, as he was a servant in Saul’s household, only for him to descend lower and lower until the day the Father determined that he should be made king.

Moses went through a similar path of humility on his way to being prepared for Yahweh’s purposes. Even Yahshua followed this same path. Like David and Joseph, Yahshua knew that He had a calling on His life from His childhood, as was demonstrated by the recorded events of His life when He was only twelve years of age.

Luke 2:41-51
And His parents used to go to Jerusalem every year at the Feast of the Passover. And when He became twelve, they went up there according to the custom of the Feast; and as they were returning, after spending the full number of days, the boy Yahshua stayed behind in Jerusalem. And His parents were unaware of it, but supposed Him to be in the caravan, and went a day's journey; and they began looking for Him among their relatives and acquaintances. And when they did not find Him, they returned to Jerusalem, looking for Him. And it came about that after three days they found Him in the temple, sitting in the midst of the teachers, both listening to them, and asking them questions. And all who heard Him were amazed at His understanding and His answers. And when they saw Him, they were astonished; and His mother said to Him, "Son, why have You treated us this way? Behold, your father and I have been anxiously looking for you." And He said to them, "Why is it that you were looking for me? Did you not know that I had to be in My father's house?" And they did not understand the statement which He had made to them. And He went down with them, and came to Nazareth; and He continued in subjection to them; and His mother treasured all these things in her heart.

Yahshua knew that He had a calling on His life from the time of His youth. How anxious He must have been to accomplish all that the Father intended for Him. Yet an important thing is revealed in the phrase “and He continued in subjection to them.” Yahshua knew that He must wait until the fulness of time to begin His ministry. He had to first learn servanthood and humility. He had to await the moment when the Father determined that He should be revealed to the world as the Son of God.

Many ministers today fail in this point. It is difficult to wait upon the will of the Father, but if a man cannot wait for the chosen time the Father has established to enter into ministry, then how can he be expected to wait upon the Father’s provision and direction while fulfilling that ministry? If a man enters into ministry of his own initiative, he can expect to continue in the same way, being full of his own direction as he is led by his reason, impulses, and will.

Yahshua waited until He was thirty years old to begin His earthly ministry, and then His ministry lasted only three and a half years. David and Joseph also were thirty years old at the time of their receiving that which had been promised them. Moses was eighty years old when he was called of Yahweh to begin his ministry. Moses had attempted to fulfill his calling forty years earlier, but his premature attempt was a dismal failure.

We see that in all ministry men must be at rest. They must enter into the Sabbath of God where they have ceased from their own labors. It is no good trying to fulfill the ministry of the kingdom of God through human effort. It will simply lead to striving, and nothing built through such human effort will last. All our labors will be tried by fire and much of it will be burned up, as the scriptures proclaim.

I Corinthians 3:10-15
According to the grace of God which was given to me, as a wise master builder I laid a foundation, and another is building upon it. But let each man be careful how he builds upon it. For no man can lay a foundation other than the one which is laid, which is Yahshua Messiah. Now if any man builds upon the foundation with gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, straw, each man's work will become evident; for the day will show it, because it is to be revealed with fire; and the fire itself will test the quality of each man's work. If any man's work which he has built upon it remains, he shall receive a reward. If any man's work is burned up, he shall suffer loss; but his soul shall be saved, yet so as through fire.

It is a difficult thing to bring a man to understand what is being spoken of here. Men want to believe that they are completely qualified for ministry. They look at one another and they say, “I am just as qualified as the next man to be used of God.” Much pride is revealed in such an attitude, however. Men often fail to look to God to see whom He has proclaimed as qualified to be a minister in the kingdom. Rather, they compare themselves among themselves and in doing so they act as those who are unwise (II Corinthians 10:12).

A minister must come to a place of rest before he is considered ready for advancement in the kingdom. A man that will not wait upon Yahweh, and a man that chafes at the long and grueling preparation process of a minister - at the abasement and humility that must become a part of his nature, will never come to a place of effectual service in the kingdom. The character of God’s workman must be free from ambition and self-initiative. God’s workman must understand his complete inability to bring forth anything of lasting value through his own effort. The successful servant of the Lord must live a life of total submission to the will of Yahweh.

The Father’s school of preparation exacts a toll upon all those who go that way. Joseph longed to be free of his imprisonment, and he begged Pharaoh’s cupbearer to remember him when he was restored to Pharaoh’s service (Genesis 40:14). The cupbearer promptly forgot Joseph, however, and Joseph remained three more years in prison while the word of Yahweh tested him. I believe that Joseph finally came to a place of rest before the Father called him out of prison.

David, too, felt overwhelmed at times by all of is trials. He cried out to Yahweh to answer him and deliver him lest he should be overwhelmed with sorrow and grief. The Psalms are full of David’s cries for relief from his perilous and woe-filled circumstances. In all of David’s trials he never resorted to fleshly means to deliver himself. When he could have easily killed the man that was making his life perilous and who stood in the way of his becoming king, David did not act in the flesh. He waited for God’s provision.

The minister must learn this lesson of waiting. The minister should do nothing to bring himself into the position he feels in his heart is his ultimate calling before Yahweh. He must wait for Yahweh to bring him forth in His own timing. It is Yahweh who exalts men such as Joseph, David, and Moses, and it is Yahweh who will raise up the men that He has called and qualified for positions of service today.

I Peter 5:6-7
Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you at the proper time, casting all your anxiety upon Him, because He cares for you.

It is especially hard for those who are young to wait upon Yahweh. Many have failed to wait and they have embarked on some course of ministry that they were not yet ready for. Pride is often the product of failing to wait, and Paul communicated this truth to Timothy.

I Timothy 3:2-6
An overseer, then, must be above reproach, the husband of one wife, temperate, prudent, respectable, hospitable, able to teach, not addicted to wine or pugnacious, but gentle, uncontentious, free from the love of money... and not a new convert, lest he become conceited and fall into the condemnation incurred by the devil.

Was not Satan’s condemnation that he attempted to ascend to a position that Yahweh had not determined for him? Such presumption can be born out of a heart that is zealous for God and a heart that desires greatly to be of some real service to Him. But true service has this as its guiding rule, “It is performing the will of the Father in heaven.” Nothing else qualifies as acceptable service.

Our service will only be acceptable when it is born out of waiting upon the Father to give us a command concerning what we are to do. Like a soldier under authority, we are to do that which our Head commands us to do. We are not to strike out on our own and do whatever our reason leads us to do lest we end up as those whom Yahshua warned his disciples about who will say to Him, “Lord, Lord, did we not do many things in Your name?” His answer is, “You did not perform the will of the Father. You are lawless ones who have become an authority unto yourselves.”

Can any minister operate from such a position of independence and be found pleasing to God? In the book of Acts we read that immediately after Saul (Paul) encountered Yahshua on the way to Damascus and was converted, he began to go out and preach the truth of Yahshua. He was not yet ready to enter into ministry, however. The Spirit led him to a time of preparation in Tarsus that lasted a number of years (Galatians 1:15-18).

Paul must have been exceedingly eager to embark on the ministry to which he was called. He must have yearned to build up that which he had formerly sought to destroy. Yet Paul had to wait until the Spirit signified that it was time for his ministry to begin. This was made known to the church in Antioch.

Acts 13:1-4
Now there were at Antioch, in the church that was there prophets and teachers: Barnabas, and Simeon who was called Niger, and Lucius of Cyrene, and Manaen who had been brought up with Herod the tetrarch, and Saul. And while they were ministering to the Lord and fasting, the Holy Spirit said, "Set apart for Me Barnabas and Saul for the work to which I have called them." Then, when they had fasted and prayed and laid their hands on them, they sent them away. So, being sent out by the Holy Spirit, they went down to Seleucia and from there they sailed to Cyprus.

How critical are these words, “So, being sent out by the Holy Spirit...” All true ministry will bear this witness; it will begin at the Spirit’s initiative, it will be empowered by the Spirit, and it will be continually guided by the Spirit. If men are merely sent out by their own will, or at the hands of other men, they may make a lot of noise and they may even build impressive ministries and make a name for themselves, but when their work is tested it will be burned up. All that which is born of the flesh of man or the soul of man will not stand the test of fire.

Although Paul is a great example of a kingdom minister, Yahshua is even a greater example. As we saw, He submitted unto His parents and awaited the day when the Spirit would lead Him to begin His ministry. The Spirit initiated Yahshua’s ministry, and He will initiate the ministry of all who follow in Yahshua’s footsteps.

Matthew 3:16-4:1
And after being baptized, Yahshua went up immediately from the water; and behold, the heavens were opened, and he saw the Spirit of God descending as a dove, and coming upon Him, and behold, a voice out of the heavens, saying, "This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well-pleased." Then Yahshua was led up by the Spirit into the wilderness...

How many ministers today can attest to the fact that the Spirit initiated their ministry? How many can proclaim that the Spirit led them to where they were to be? People make many such claims today, but are they true? Has the minister gone through Yahweh’s school of preparation to prepare him to be a humble servant, or has he followed a course of man’s devising and choosing?

What is the fruit of the minister’s labor? Does the church exist to provide a platform for the minister to perform his calling, or does the minister live to wash the feet of the saints, to equip and release them to do the work for which they have been called? Has the minister’s position resulted in an attitude of pride, or does he walk in humility esteeming others more highly than himself?

It is difficult to walk the path that Joseph, David, Moses, Yahshua, Paul and others walked to be qualified for ministry. It is excruciating at times to wait upon the Spirit of God to declare, “Now is the time!” But if a minister is to lead others into the Sabbath rest of God, he must first enter in himself. This is an important matter, and many failing to grasp and adhere to the truths spoken of here are building that which will not stand the test of fire. It is my prayer that they will receive eye salve that their eyes might be opened and they can see the truth. The days are short and the Sabbath is upon us.


This is an excerpt from the book Sabbath.

Heart4God Website:    

Parables Blog:    

Mailing Address:
Joseph Herrin
P.O. Box 804
Montezuma, GA 31063