I wrote this article a few years ago and I find that it still has bearing today.
I realize that many within my circle of friends may well find this writing to be upsetting to them, and yet the “Truth” of that which I speak here should be compelling.
I’m not barraging those who have chosen to adhere to the language and history of these names and addresses, but that their insistence on demanding others to follow their way of life is wrong.
We must view the Scriptures in its entirety and not as something that we would elevate the Old Covenant over the New.
So having said that, I only ask that those who read this would show an ounce of decorum and maturity in their viewpoints and then elicit comments in that frame of mind.
Over the last day or so I replied to a person who was very adamant about not eating certain foods — because it was outlined in The Book of Leviticus.
I cited various scriptures in The New Testament that shows us a New Covenant that has come to us.
While I’m not disparaging The Laws and Ordinances of The Old, it is certainly true that we now are given freedom in Christ and now the blood of bulls and goats that are sacrificed on the altar cannot save us.
In Christ the Ceremonial Laws of the Old Testament have come to an end — no more sacrifices, no more Levitical priesthood, no more Cleanliness Laws.
Those “dividing walls” (see Ephesians 2:14-16), separating Jews and Gentiles, have been torn down in Christ and His once-for-all sacrifice.
As the writer of Hebrews points out over and over again, why would you keep the ceremonial shadows of Christ, when the Reality has come?
And so, Peter and all Christians, have, in Christ, received freedom from the ceremonial laws imposed on the Jews until Messiah should come.
And in Christ, the same freedom to eat of “every moving thing” (Genesis 9:3), given to Noah and Abraham and all God’s people before the Law of Sinai, has been restored to God’s people once again.
Christians may eat pork because God has declared it once more to be clean.
“What God has declared clean you must not call common.” Acts 10:15
Over the last thirty or more years a movement has influenced The Church among many of its members.
Many have found meaning in celebrating the Feasts of Israel, along with an adherence to the Customary Laws surrounding the Jewish faith.
Much of this has been done in tandem with the new birth that we experience in Christ, and yet it is an on-going coupling of the two doctrines — but oftentimes is adhered to as something superlative instead.
Please note that my intentions here are not to downgrade these things but merely to draw reference to what our utmost following after should be.
Most are quite familiar with the Bible’s context and yet some venture into giving adherence to the Talmud. Most keep the Shabbat, eat kosher, and keep the Faith.
All ascribe to the Hebrew names of God and emphatically use the names of YHWH (י ה ו ה), Yah, Elohim, and yet these names are transformed into the English consonants of Yahweh or Jehovah.
However, I find that many — almost strictly — forbid the use of using the name God or even Jesus — because it isn’t stated in the original form.
We should know that those who wrote the New Testament did not use the Aramaic Yeshua. They instead translated it into more of a Greek-sounding name when reaching out to a Greek audience.
Thus Yeshua was transliterated into its Greek spelling roughly equivalent to Jesous, which is very similar to the English Jesus.
The usage of this spelling and pronunciation is not a pagan mistranslation; it is a Christian transliteration.
Indeed if the Apostles did not call the Savior Yeshua when speaking to the Greeks, and they were the closest to Him, how can we insist upon calling Him by any other name, or more importantly, consider this as a means to salvation?
It is preposterous, and it is actually a very divisive issue among many.
Do we really think that our LORD would be so upset about us calling Him by any other name?
He was a Nazarene and was called a Galilean. He was called the Son of David, the Bread of Life, the Bright and Morning Star, among many other names.
Let us come to Him in Truth, knowing Him in the intimacy with The Holy Spirit.
Don’t suppose or even consider that He would say, “Please don’t call Me Jesus, for that is not the name I go by.”
But I’m certain that I won’t change everyone’s minds. The point is that we come to Him in Spirit and in Truth — and honor Him!
It is true that the original Hebrew and Aramaic name of Jesus was most likely ישוע, which was a variant of the Hebrew leader and hero יהושע (yəhôšūʿa) meaning “The LORD is salvation.”
But before you go around condemning some who give reverence to our Lord Jesus, here are some things to consider:
- There is nothing “traditional” about calling The LORD Yeshua (or Y’shua, or Yah’shua, or any variant).
- There is nothing “improper,” no form of syncretism or invention or corruption, in the traditional name Jesus.
- To insist that Yeshua is the only proper name by which to address our LORD is, in fact, to reject the entire received Christian tradition, to disown the Apostles and Evangelists, even to deny Scripture itself — and to contradict the very message of The Gospel.
During the New Birth, as we have left the former spiritual state of sin and have come to The LORD Jesus in Faith, we have entered into a new union of The Spirit.
Our former lives are dead in Him. We are now a New Creation set apart unto Him for good works.
We no longer have to follow the rituals of a Jewish faith that ascribes certain rules and regulations regarding a following after certain celebrations and customs.
Certainly there is a beauty to found in following after and perhaps keeping some of these things, but we are not bound by them.
But we are now born anew to a New Covenant. This Covenant celebrates our new life in Jesus.
“Therefore do not let anyone judge you by what you eat or drink, or with regard to a religious festival, a New Moon celebration or a Sabbath day. These are a shadow of the things that were to come; the reality, however, is found in Christ.” Colossians 2:16-17
And yet to those who would follow after The Law it is written:
“For I testify again to every man that is circumcised, that he is a debtor to do the whole law.” Galatians 5:3
There is nothing in The Law that could ever make a man perfect! One cannot follow everything that is written and expect to become acceptable in the sight of God.
It is an impossible thing to do! That is why now Christ has come — to make us acceptable to The Father.
“For the law made nothing perfect, but the bringing in of a better hope did; by the which we draw nigh unto God. And inasmuch as not without an oath he was made priest,” Hebrews 7:19-20
For you see, all of those things written down as beautiful and meaningful as they were to the Jews, are but a shadow of what was to come.
For what was to come in the form of a man, Who gave His Life for us, and died that we might have new life in Him, was to free us from the stern taskmaster of The Law.
Certainly there is a deep beauty in following the feasts that are outlined in the Old Testament, and a beauty in many of the other customs, but again, we are now freed from them.
Yes, we can welcome those who do follow these things and accept those who don’t, but we are not in any way expected to follow them.
“But now hath he obtained a more excellent ministry, by how much also he is the mediator of a better covenant, which was established upon better promises.
For if that first covenant had been faultless, then should no place have been sought for the second.
For finding fault with them, he saith, Behold, the days come, saith The LORD, when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah: not according to the covenant that I made with their fathers in the day when I took them by the hand to lead them out of the land of Egypt; because they continued not in my covenant, and I regarded them not, saith The LORD.
For this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, saith The LORD; I will put my laws into their mind, and write them in their hearts: and I will be to them a God, and they shall be to me a people: and they shall not teach every man his neighbour, and every man his brother, saying, Know The LORD: for all shall know me, from the least to the greatest.
For I will be merciful to their unrighteousness, and their sins and their iniquities will I remember no more.
In that he saith, A new covenant, he hath made the first old. Now that which decayeth and waxeth old is ready to vanish away.” Hebrews 8:6-13
“For He Himself is our peace, who has made both one, and has broken down the middle wall of separation, having abolished in His flesh the enmity, that is, the law of commandments contained in ordinances, so as to create in Himself one new man from the two, thus making peace, and that He might reconcile them both to God in one body through the cross, thereby putting to death the enmity.” Ephesians 2:14-16
First Published: March 27, 2018 here..
~ Stephen Hanson
Stephen Hanson of In His Truth Ministries came to The LORD is a special way in 1975 and has prophesied regularly since. In these end-time birthing pangs we are reminded that judgment must first begin with the household of God. Will we be prepared and ready?
Stephen is a full-time Artist of original architectural, landscape, portrait, still-life and spiritual oil paintings, available at StephenHansonArtist.com