font size | A A A

Sweeter than Honey
The Name
Part One: What's In A Name?

by haRold Smith
a citizen of the Commonwealth
(Ephesians 2:12)

"And I took the little scroll from the hand of the angel and ate it. It was sweet as honey in my mouth, but when I had eaten it my belly was made bitter." Revelation 10:10

"Woe to those who call evil good and good evil, who put darkness for light and light for darkness, who put bitter for sweet and sweet for bitter! Woe to those who are wise in their own eyes, and shrewd in their own sight!" Isaiah 5:20-21

"A full soul loathes the honeycomb, but to a hungry soul every bitter thing is sweet." Proverbs 27:7

Sweet and bitter words have been laid before us to partake of as we will. Some of those words are sweet to the taste but become very bitter to the belly. Other words, while bitter to the taste, cause a sweetness that satisfies the belly - and ministers Life to our spirit. The choice is left to us as to which words we eat and what becomes a part of us. How hungry are you for Truth today? Or, have you become so full, so sure of what you have come to believe that there is no room left for inspection? How far are you willing to go to embrace the fullness of Truth laid before you by the Father today? Be careful how you answer, for your answer could determine your station in eternity. Hard words of Truth that are meant to draw us nearer to the Source of Life become a stumbling block and a source of contention for those who do not embrace them (click on the highlighted words to view content). Are you willing to lay aside the encumbrances the tradition of men would have you to believe in order that you might abide in the Presence of the Source of Life - regardless of the cost? Or, are you content, is your belly full, in what other men have decided is Truth? Are you willing to partake of the Tree of Life for yourself regardless of how bitter that fruit may initially seem to taste? Or, do you desire to feed upon only what seems sweet? Are you even aware what encumbrances of tradition are in your life, preventing you from eating of that fruit and abiding in the Light it contains? How much darkness are you embracing unaware and calling it light?

It is amazing to listen to intelligent, thoughtful people who absolutely believe we are in the grips of a "worldwide conspiracy" perpetrated by evil men and, yet, are not able to see the most successful of all conspiracies placed right in front of their noses by what has been handed to them to believe through the religious traditions of men. For instance, are you aware that the Name of God, YaHoVeH, appears over 2,500 times in scripture - yet, not once does His Name ever appear in any of our "modern" translations? It has been replaced in these translations by the names Jehovah, Adonai or LORD - none of which has any equivalency to what appears in the original Hebrew those scriptures were written in (refer to Deuteronomy 6:4). Wherever you see the capitalization of "LORD" or "GOD" in the scriptures, that is where the Name of YHVH appeared in the original manuscripts. Why do you think that is? Did that just happen by accident - a quirk? Or was it by design? Does the term replacement theology come to mind? In the Bible the Elohim of Israel, YHVH, is sometimes referred to as adni (or "Lord", i.e., Psalm 110:1 although the term is used as a title, not as the personal name of YaHoVeH. Eventually, the appellation "Adonai" (meaning "my Lord") became a substitute name for pronouncing in prayer the supposedly unutterable name YaHoVeH, which had been declared too sacred to pronounce by the Hebrew sect of the Masoretes and placed in Hebrew texts around 600 CE - but from the beginning, it was not so. To this day, when Jews encounter the consonants of YHVH in prayer, they pronounce it "Adonai." They might be shocked to learn that this substitute word is related to the Phoenician god "Adon" which became Hellenized as the Greek Cypriot god "Adonis" when the Greeks took over the administration of Idalion from the Phoenicians in Cyprus, also around 300 BC.

The same is true of the name "Jesus". For centuries, we have been taught that "Jesus" is merely the English equivalent to the Hebrew name given "the Christ". The argument given is that names change depending upon the culture in which the name is spoken, despite the fact such is NOT the case with virtually every other Hebrew name one can think of. Even today people go out of their way to refer to an Israeli by his or her Israeli (Hebrew) name so as not to appear politically incorrect. Examples include Benyamin Netanyahu, Ariel Sharon, Ehud Barak and Yitzak Rabin among others. Why, then, has it become necessary to change the Name of the Son of YHVH and blatantly obliterate the Name of the One True Holy One of Israel from the only books that speak to us of Who He Is? (The following excerpt is from Nehemia Gordon's, The Naming of Jesus in Hebrew Matthew [Kindle Locations 34-36], Hilkiah Press) -
One of the most intriguing things about Shem Tov's Hebrew Matthew is that it contains the original form of Jesus of Nazareth's Hebrew name: Yeshua. The section reproduced here contains the scene in the gospel in which Yeshua was given his name and in this context nothing but the original form of his name would have sufficed. According to Hebrew Matthew, an angel appeared to Joseph and told him: "And she shall give birth to a son and you shall call his name Yeshua for he will save my people from their iniquities." The angel's statement employs a Hebrew word pun that connects the name Yeshua with the Hebrew word yoshia which means "he will save." Had the name Yeshua been replaced with a substitute, the word pun would have been lost in Hebrew just as it was lost in English and Greek. The full form of the name Yeshua appears twice in this passage from Shem Tov's Hebrew Matthew: firstly, when the angel speaks to Joseph (Matthew 1:21); secondly when Joseph gives Yeshua his name (Matthew 1:25). Most Hebrew names are made up of a number of smaller words which together form a short Hebrew sentence. The name Yeshua is formed from the two Hebrew words YaHoVeh and yoshia which together mean "YaHoVeh saves" (end of excerpt). The Hebrew word for salvation, yeshua, is a feminine noun but becomes personalized when the masculine form of the Hebrew noun is used - Yeshua.

Naming is the act of identifying the essence of something and causing it to be as a purpose in the life of the thing or person so named. The English language evolved out of Greek and Latin influences; thus, it embraces the inherent philosophies of those languages. While names in Greek and Latin tend to be abstract in nature, in Hebrew the word spoken and the thing identified are identical - they cannot be separated. It is what gives the person their identity. To say "God is good" is to also say "good is God" - they are the same. It is named as a purpose. Its purpose is to separate from the rest, to call apart - the definition of what it means to be "holy" (Strong's H6944 - Hebrew kodesh). Removing the name from the purpose is the same as causing it not to be. Might it seem plausible then, that if we are unable to be convinced there is no god, what better way to implant that thought than to cause us to believe in another god unawares, calling it by another name to divert our focus? To embrace a religion that promotes a belief in a god other than whom the One True Elohim of Israel says He is would bring us to a point of separation from the Truth of Who He Is as evidenced by the first and third commandments. That separation begins by changing the Name of God and, thereby, removing the Power inherent in that Name - causing it not to be.

"For YHVH so loved the world that he gave His only Son, that whoever believes in YHVH should not perish but have eternal life. For YHVH did not send His Son into the world to separate the world from Him (YHVH), but in order that the world might be saved through Him. Whoever believes in Him is not separated from Him (YHVH), but whoever does not believe is separated already, because he has not believed IN THE NAME of the only Son of YHVH."
John 3:16-18

Entire religious institutions have been built around the verse found in John 3:16 - but without the context of the following two verses and what those words originally meant. The word "condemned" used in this passage comes from the Greek word krino which means "to separate". The same Greek word translated as the English "condemnation" in this passage and "judgment" in John 5:22-30 is krisis which means "a separation, sundering, to be separated from". Both of those Greek words carry the same meaning - "to separate". What separates us from the Source of Life? Yeshua said that by not believing "in the Name" of the only Son of God we are already separated from the Father. Now, it does not say, "except for those who mean well" or "he knows my heart". Reading this passage again with the meaning of the words in place gives an entirely different meaning to the words. Names mean things - the same way words mean things. From Genesis to Revelation, there is a distinctive emphasis in scripture placed on both the Name of YHVH and the Name of the Son of YHVH. We must constantly be reminded that every letter in the Book was written by Hebrews from a Hebrew mindset out of a Hebrew culture and, primarily, addressed to a Hebrew audience. Therefore, in scripture there are only two classifications of people - the Hebrew family of YHVH, known as the House of Israel and "others". These "others" are known as goyim (Hebrew for Gentiles) - the other nations. The term "Gentile believer" is an oxymoron (a concept that is made up of contradictory words) because to be a "Gentile" (from a Hebrew context) is to be a worshipper of pagan gods. A person is either a believer in the One True God of Israel OR they are a Gentile, an "other" - there is no middle ground. Therefore, anyone who thinks the Hebrew parents of the Hebrew Messiah that were strong adherents to Hebraic principles who lived in a Hebraic contextual setting would give their son a Greek name is lacking in common sense.

the Name of YHVH Just how, then, did we get to the English name "Jesus" if His Name given at birth was Hebrew? Remember that the English language had not yet come into existence at the time of His Birth. Just as the English language evolved out of Greek and Latin underpinnings, so has the name "Jesus" evolved. Linguistically, however, there is a problem with the English letter "J". There is no comparable letter or sound to be found in either the Hebrew, Aramaic, Latin or Greek languages that even remotely resembles the English letter "J". In fact, the letter "J" did not even appear in the English language until the mid-17th century. The evidence of this fact can be found in the original 1611 version of the King James Bible where there is no "J" letter to be found in the manuscript because it did not yet exist. James was spelled "Iames" and Jesus was spelled "Iesous" (ibid, Oxford Dictionary. Merriam-Webster Dictionary). So, the name "Jesus" and "Jehovah" (also surfacing around that same period) could not have possibly existed historically until only recently. Until the letter "J" found its way into the English language, the Son of YHVH was called by the Greek name, Iesous, pointing to the Hebrew origin this Greek name is derived from. The spelling police would want to deflect this discussion into an argument over the most proper way to spell a Hebrew name using English letters. But, whether it is spelled Yeshua or Yahshua, the principal focus to be made is that His Name is Hebrew - not Greek or English. Regardless of how it is spelled in English, the point of this discussion is to show that His Name is Hebrew. From the Greek, "Iesous" was then transliterated into the Latin "Iesus" and, with the subsequent invention and substitution of the English letter "J" - to "Jesus".

"…and she will bring forth a Son, and you shall call His name YESHUA, for he will save his people from their sins." So all this was done that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the prophet, saying: 'Behold, the virgin shall be with child, and bear a Son, and they shall call His name Immanuel', which is translated, "Elohim with us". Matthew 1:21-23, Isaiah 7:14

However, as we have just seen, Mary could not have possibly called her son "Jesus" because that language had not yet been invented. What we see in modern translations is the Greek interpretation of the name that she really called him - Yeshua. The angel spoke to Mary in Hebrew, not in Greek. The angel told Mary to use this particular Hebrew name because this name is related in its root form to the verb yasha, a Hebrew verb found used in Psalm 69:1, translated as "save" but is actually closer in meaning to rescue, to help, to defend and to bring to a safe place. Yasha is about moving someone from a narrow, confined space to a wide, open space. It is about pulling a lost sheep from a crevice in the rocks and setting the lamb onto a fertile, spacious pasture. It is just the opposite of dire straits. Yasha is about liberation. Almost half of the Psalms contain occurrences of the verb yasha - almost always the verb used as a command, usually in the first person. The sound of it, ho-shi-a, is closely related to the word hosanna meaning, "Save me!" YHVH is always the subject of this request. Yasha is a word that implores only One Person to act as the Savior – YHVH Himself (Isaiah 45:21) The name of the Son of YHVH, Yeshua, is the word for saving because he is the vehicle by which YHVH rescues His Family, Israel. The angel told Mary, "Call his name Yeshua because he will yasha his people from their sins". What sins were Yeshua's people captivated by? They were in bondage to the sin passed in the status of firstborn through father to son since the time of the first Hebrew son, Adam. Yeshua is the instrument of obedience by which YHVH rescues his people from the bondage they were subjected to by the disobedience of the first son, fulfilling the promise YHVH made to send a Messiah through which He would redeem His People (see the Kinsman Redeemer series for a detailed account).

Who Are You? When the apostle Sha'ul (Paul is a Roman name denoting his dual citizenship) was delivering his testimony to Agrippas of his blinding encounter with the Son of YHVH in Acts 26, he says that this Spirit spoke to him in the Hebrew language and told him His Name was "Jesus" - but, how can that be if the name "Jesus" was non-existent at the time and is not found in Hebrew? And don't you think that the Son of YHVH would have known what His own Name was in Hebrew? In the same regard, the Greek word christos (from which we get "Christ") is also a contrived word meaning anointed one. Applying this definition to Psalm 89, however, would make King David to also be a "Christ". This Greek word was capitalized in English to create an entity out of an adjective (entities are nouns) to support the agenda of Christianity. Calling Him the savior of mankind was manufactured to take our eyes off of Yeshua as the Messiah of Israel sent as a kinsman redeemer as the ransom required to restore YHVH's family of Israel to its original state of relationship with Him enjoyed in Gan Edan (the Garden of Eden). YHVH is not the God of mankind - He is defined as and defines Himself as the "Holy One of Israel". There is no such word as "christ" in Hebrew. Hence, just as there is no "christ", there can be no "anti-christ" - there is only anti-Messiah of which there have been and will continue to be many. To not believe in the Name of the Messiah of Israel is to believe in something other than the Messiah YHVH promised to His Hebrew people.

"Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved." Acts 4:12

What difference does it make which version of His Name is used? After all, He knows my heart - right? Aren't they all talking about the same God anyway? No, they are not. To simply call darkness Light does not make the darkness any brighter and is an affront to the True Nature of Light. Light and darkness cannot abide in the same space at the same time - it is a universal law. To pray over darkness as though it were Light does not change the properties of what makes darkness, dark - regardless of how well intentioned my motivation may be. If the properties of His Name, the Nature and Characteristics inherent in that Name, are dismantled from His Name it causes Him not to be - He is replaced by something else and that something else becomes another god. The Power of His Name becomes severed from our lives.

"Therefore YHVH also has highly exalted Him and given Him the name which is above every name, that at the name of Yeshua every knee should bow, of those in heaven, and of those on earth, and of those under the earth, and that every tongue should confess that Yeshua Messiah is Lord, to the glory of YHVH the Father." Philippians 2:9-11

This information places a conflicting emphasis on the words of John 3:16-18 from the tradition we have been handed. Now we can see that it is being in the Presence of the Source of Life, of Light, YaHoVeH, which delivers us from the bondage of darkness and becomes our salvation as we embrace Who He Is. Revelation 19:10 tells us to worship the Father, not the Son. We are told to hold to theTestimony of the Life of the Son which consistently pointed to the Father. As light is shed on Who is our savior, the whole of post-Resurrection writings takes on an entirely different texture. So, then - what was the purpose of Yahshua, if not to save all mankind? (see the Gospel). His Purpose was to restore to Israel that avenue to relationship in the Presence of the Source of Life Who abides in eternity that they might be the Light to the Nations. It is through knowing the Name of the Son for Who He Says He Is that grants us access to that pathway to abide in the Presence of the Eternal One today - that is what is known as "Eternal Life".
The Name Series
Part One: What's In A Name?
Part Two: the Glory in His Name
Part Three: Abiding In His Name
Part Four: The Power In His Name
Part Five: Who Is The Word?

"He who believes in Him is not condemned; but he who does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the Name of the only Son of God ."
Yeshua in John 3:18

Please feel free to email me at While not claiming to have all the answers, it would be an honor to partake with you of what the Spirit is uncovering.