“God” is a generic word that is understood as the meaning of a Divine Deity. Biblical rendering is to the Almighty Supreme Creator of Heaven, who is described as “God of gods” to differentiate Him with other gods. In Greek it is “Theos.” Earlier Hebrew renderings called Him “El,” which is the root of its plural form “Elohim,” meaning a god of more than three persons. Some claim that usage of God is a variation from pagan roots. It means “Fortune.” However, the same claim is made for other variations, such as El, which has its root in pagan Canaanite culture, as well as other ancient cultures. Both are generic and refer to a position or title rather than a name. El was used by the Hebrews to relate to the Almighty Creator. Its plural singularity form of Elohim was used to indicate His nature as three or more persons in a godhead.
When Elohim (God) presented Himself to man, He appeared to Moses at the burning bush recorded in Exodus 3. Moses asked His name, in which He responded, “I AM who I Am.” That makes it a circular meaning of existence meaning He IS, the self-existing One, always in the present form. It makes it circular to mean that He is self-existing. He is the “I AM” who Exists, indefinitely, distinguishing Himself from just any god or deity. He is THE God.
YHWH and the Tetragrammaton
Some have asked what YHWH means. “YHWH” is the English transliterated letters of the Hebrew from the Hebrew language ancient Paleo-Hebrew YHWH (called the tetragrammaton). In Hebrew it comes from the root haYah and ehyeh meaning I Am who Is or who exists.
It refers to the proper name of The Almighty Father in heaven when asked by Moses whom he shall say sent him (Exodus 3:14).
[Exo 3:14 KJV] 14 And God said unto Moses, I AM THAT I AM (YAH): and he said, Thus shalt thou say unto the children of Israel, I AM (YAH) hath sent me unto you.
Not to make it a condemning case, but to distinguish Him from other generic Gods that differentiate Him from other gods also called “God.” Therefore it is used to differentiate from the generic names by using the proper name “Yahweh,” as best as we can pronounce it.
This gives us an indication of His proper name as being “I Am who Is.” In other words, He Exists, no past or future, but present perfect.
LORD AND YAHWEH
Whenever we see in caps “THE LORD” in places in our modern English Bibles, it had substituted the Hebrew proper name of “Yahweh.” In English LORD means Master, but YHWH means, “I AM who IS.” So the English translations for some reason did not properly carry over the original Hebrew to indicate it was referring to His proper name of “I Am” rather than giving Him a generic title for Master. The proper name actually tells us more about His nature as the One Who Exists (The I AM).
Some Bible translations prefer the transliteration JEHOVAH. It is referring to the same name, only the “J” that only existed since the 1600’s replaced the “Y.” Now we have the “v” in this name. That is because older Hebrew uses the letter “W” for “waw” rather than newer letters using “V” for “vav.” That would be the difference whether using the letters as YHWH or YHVH. That is where we get either Yahweh or Yehovah (Jehovah). The vowels are placeholders. Some even use the variation of Yahuah.
GOD AND LORD
However using the generic “God” as a title has further confused things as many believe in God, but do not necessarily refer to the same God. Even our Constitution has its problems understanding which God is referred and has left it open to interpretation. We find that as it was drafted by Masons, it was to protect the Masonic God, which is any deity a Mason honors, but ultimately to the Masonic God, the Great Architect (the “Light Bearer – giver of Illumination).”
The generic title “God” is the title of any deity, including Greek deities, pagan deities, and the Watcher gods (as well as even Lucifer if one desires). Some claim is from “Gad” meaning a god of Fortune. While Yahweh is the proper name of our God, He is the God of gods, meaning He is the one true One over all others. Hebrews used “El” and “Elohim” in their language as that title, which is Canaanite for the same title as God. It is also not His name, only a title.
While I do NOT enforce the sacred name belief that using other names is calling on pagan deities, nor condemn them who do not understand the true name, it is valid to know whom we are talking about. And to know the distinction when someone asks.
So what is the Father’s true name? The scriptures tell us what we need to know. Let us replace the English usage of THE LORD with the Hebrew YAHWEH to read this passage how it was intended to read:
[Jer 23:24-27] 24 Can any hide himself in secret places that I shall not see him? saith YAHWEH. Do not I fill heaven and earth? saith YAHWEH. 25 I have heard what the prophets said, that prophesy lies in my name, saying, I have dreamed, I have dreamed: 26 How long shall this be in the heart of the prophets that prophesy lies? yea, they are prophets of the deceit of their own heart; 27 Which think to cause my people to forget my NAME by their dreams which they tell every man to his neighbour, as their fathers have forgotten my name for Baal.
When the Almighty God in heaven showed Himself to Moses, He revealed His personal name. Moses asked, “what is your name.” He said “I Am who is.” In Hebrew He said “Yahweh.” A shortened variation is simply YAH, meaning “I Am.”
[Prov 30:4] Who hath ascended up into heaven, or descended? who hath gathered the wind in his fists? who hath bound the waters in a garment? who hath established all the ends of the earth? what [is] his name, and what [is] his son’s name, if thou canst tell?
[Psa 68:4] Sing unto Elohim, sing praises to his name: extol him that rideth upon the heavens by his name YAH, and rejoice before him.
Since Ba’al means Lord or master, we want to make sure we are not mistaking our Father Yahweh with the counterfeit Baal. Understanding His Hebrew name also gives a better understanding why His Son would be a representation of Him. Scripture refers to a Messiah who would come to establish His covenant with man. This one would be God in the flesh. More exact He is Yahweh in the flesh. Thereby would also contain the “Yah” in his name. When an Israelite named Mary gave birth without knowing a husband (born without human sperm), she was told he would be called Jesus. That is an English rendition though. In Hebrew it is Yahshua, which is translated “I AM who Saves.” See my article on the name of Jesus.
SACRED NAME BELIEVERS
A group called “Sacred Name Believers” defend certain claims that Yahweh is the ONLY name in which we can call the Father that He understands us. They come from teachings as that of C.O. Dodd from 1937. Dodd came out of Seventh Day Adventists, as well as had influence of Armstrongism, and Jehovah Witnesses. He claimed an exclusive Hebrew-speaking cult that used the name Yahweh to distinguish from the others. Later formed groups as the Assembly of Yahweh, and the House of Yahweh, who use the proper name as the only permitted name in which the Father can hear. But this is of course ridiculous.
Looking through scripture we see He was also referred to other names that represented His character.
[Exo 34:14] 14 For thou shalt worship no other god: for the LORD (Yahweh), whose name [is] Jealous, [is] a jealous God:
[Amo 5:27] 27 Therefore will I cause you to go into captivity beyond Damascus, saith the LORD (Yahweh), whose name [is] The God of hosts.
[Zec 6:12 ] 12 And speak unto him, saying, Thus speaketh the LORD (Yahweh) of hosts, saying, Behold the man whose name [is] The BRANCH; and he shall grow up out of his place, and he shall build the temple of the LORD:
[Isa 9:6 ] 6 For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace.
The Father, His Son Yahshua, and His Holy (Set-apart) Spirit represent a godhead. Believers who trust in Jesus/Yahshua as Messiah and Savior see Yahweh through Jesus by the power of the Holy Spirit. And the Father looks upon Jesus for the redemption of man for sin we committed against Him that prevents us on our own to be righteous enough to see His holiness. Those in Christ (Messiah) are Christ’s, and Christ is God’s. Jesus thus represents Yahweh and is likened to the essence of Elohim (God), having the fullness of God in the flesh.
BUT Jesus/Yahshua gives us access to the Father to know Him as FATHER, and even more intimate as “Daddy” (Abba Father”). So His proper name is to know His nature and Identity. But we have a deeper relationship with Him that a believer in Jesus can call Him FATHER or DADDY, regardless of the debate over which proper name is more sacred… (sorry Hebrew Rooters).
The gospel in a nutshell is this. We worship Yahweh through His Son Jesus Christ, Yahshua the Messiah, in order that we might have salvation (redemption for sinfulness against Yahweh) through his sacrifice and merit that our heavenly Father was satisfied by. It is enacted by our believing (trusting and putting our whole weight upon) in the resurrection of Jesus/Yahshua and merit and acknowledging him as Master and savior, and accepting his Spirit to indwell us for eternal life – experiencing a spiritual transformation (supernatural) that we are born from above, transcending the flesh.
See my article on Salvation for an explanation why you need to be saved.