Will YHVH allow us to be deceived?

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Will our heavenly Father allow us to be deceived?

Every one of us is subject to deception. Y’shua said even the very elect could be deceived (Matt 24:24). This was also Y’shua’s very first warning when Mixed worship will lead to your deceptionHe was asked about the end of the age. He said: “see to it that no one deceives you” (Matt 24:3-5). We have written a previous post about deception and will continue to do, because of the importance and relevance of this topic. In this study, we want to look at how certain practices can make it possible for us to be deceived. These practices can be summarized as mixed worship. This will include any practices and traditions contrary to the Word.

The definition of deception:

We shall commence this study by defining deception:

mis•lead \ˌmis-ˈlēd\ verb -led \-ˈled\; -lead•ing verb transitive before 12th century: to lead in a wrong direction or into a mistaken action or belief often by deliberate deceit verb intransitive: to lead astray: give a wrong impression

Merriam-Webster, I. (2003). Merriam-Webster’s collegiate dictionary. (Eleventh ed.). Springfield, Mass.: Merriam-Webster, Inc.

de•ceive \di-ˈsēv\ verb

1 archaic : ENSNARE
2 a obsolete : to be false to
   b archaic : to fail to fulfill
3 obsolete : CHEAT
4 : to cause to accept as true or valid what is false or invalid
5 archaic : to while away verb intransitive : to practice deceit also : to give a false impression appearances can deceive deceiver noun ” deceivingly  adverb
synonym DECEIVE, MISLEAD, DELUDE, BEGUILE mean to lead astray or frustrate usually by underhandedness. DECEIVE implies imposing a false idea or belief that causes ignorance, bewilderment, or helplessness tried to deceive me about the cost. 
Merriam-Webster, I. (2003). Merriam-Webster’s collegiate dictionary. (Eleventh ed.). Springfield, Mass.: Merriam-Webster, Inc.

From the above we can expound the following:

  • deception may or may not be intentional.
  • it is to be led in a wrong direction or into a mistaken action or belief; to be led astray
  • to cause to accept as true or valid; what is false or invalid
  • implies imposing a false idea or belief that causes ignorance, bewilderment, or helplessness
  • obscure the truth

Practices that cause a person to be deceived.

We have in a previous post focused on how to know the truth from error. This time we are going to look at two other practices that will cause us to be deceived.

There are many accepted practices, among believers that are totally against YHVH’s Torah. These practices are quite varied. We are going to expound two practices that will lead to further deception. Both have their roots in idolatry. Firstly the merging of pagan or heathen worship practices or traditions with our worship of YHVH, and secondly the infiltration of new age ideologies and methods as part of what we believe and practice.

1. The merging of pagan worship with the worship of YHVH

YHVH has given us His appointed times to celebrate, in Leviticus 23. These times are Sabbath, Rosh Chodesh (new moon), Pesach, the Feast of Unleavened Bread, Shavuot, Yom T’ruah, Yom Kippurim and Sukkot. These feasts all have a special prophetic significance, and we are told to celebrate them perpetually.

None of these instructions have changed. YHVH said it is to be an everlasting ordinance, and He does not change (Mal 3:6).

Why do we add to this?

Why are we celebrating feasts not commanded by Him like Christmas, Easter, Halloween and Valentines day to name a few. Do we know where these feasts originated from?

Why are we blindly following traditions without understanding the roots thereof? The lighting of candles as an act of worship comes from Nimrod. The setting up of a Christmas tree or a Channukah bush stems from an ancient pagan tradition which is described in Jeremiah 10. The tradition of eating apples dipped in honey at Yom T’Ruah, also has heathen or pagan roots. These are but a few examples. It is not our intention to go into further detail here. It is our responsibility to study the origins of the traditions we observe.

We don’t have the authority to add to Scripture, and we should not be participating in traditions with idolatrous origins.

Deuteronomy 12:30-32
30 beware that you are not ensnared to follow them, after they are destroyed before you, and that you do not inquire after their gods, saying, How do these nations serve their gods, that I also may do likewise? 31 You shall not behave thus toward YHVH your Elohim, for every abominable act which YHVH hates they have done for their gods; for they even burn their sons and daughters in the fire to their gods. 32Whatever I command you, you shall be careful to do; you shall not add to nor take away from it.

Jeremiah 10:2
2 Thus says YHVH, Do not learn the way of the nations, And do not be terrified by the signs of the heavens Although the nations are terrified by them;

2. Adopting practices used by the nations (unbelievers)

Read that scripture in Deuteronomy again

Deuteronomy 12:29-30
29 When YHVH your Elohim cuts off before you the nations which you are going in to dispossess, and you dispossess them and dwell in their land, 30 beware that you are not ensnared to follow them, after they are destroyed before you, and that you do not inquire after their gods, saying, How do these nations serve their gods, that I also may do likewise?

We have to be pure in our worship of YHVH! YHVH the Almighty does not tolerate idolatry. We have to fear and obey Him only!

The Israelites – when they made the golden calf – called it their Elohim who brought them out of Egypt (Exo 32:4-5). They even declared a new feast day in YHVH’s Name. They were in their hearts worshiping YHVH. However, in front of them was a golden calf. It was still idolatry!

You cannot take a pagan practice and make it “kosher” by doing it in the name of YHVH. It was, is and always will be an abomination to Him.

The same argument is true with regards to alternative health care practices. To quote the believers herein: “The frequencies emitted by the linen or the essential oils have healing power.” Really? I do not deny that it is healthy to wear natural fibers and I do not deny that we can benefit from the use of herbs and healthy nutrition, but to ascribe the healing to frequencies (which is a new-age belief) is idolatry. How is it different from standing in front of a carved image and ascribing your healing to it?

People will, for the sake of unity, allow anything nowadays. They don’t want to make an issue. People don’t want to tell anybody he or she is in the wrong. They are so scared that it may cause division in the fold. They call it love; I call it compromise. It is a typical Laodicean (Rev 3:15-16) attitude. It plays beautifully into the hands of the enemy. We are told in Gal 6:1 to correct each other in love.

We must be passionate about the truth and not allow heathen practices to creep into our lives, but we also have a responsibility to warn our brothers in love.

Is it love to allow your child to play in a busy street because, he might become upset if you tell him that it is wrong? No, it isn’t, and not telling him, might lead to his death. Just so, will idolatry cause spiritual death! I can speak from experience since I was involved in new-age and we have for the most part of our lives celebrated Christmas, Easter and Valentines day. Thankfully, YHVH has shown us His way. Often, He uses people to show us His way!

I am ever so grateful to a colleague who was bold enough to tell me about the dangers of new-age. I was an unbeliever at the time and was involved in it. He sat down with me and told me how wrong it was and that  it ultimately leads to death, first spiritually and then physical. I remember him drawing it all out to me on a piece of scrap paper. I was shocked and upset then, but grateful now. He planted a seed, and YHVH made it grow. That may even have been the first seed planted for me to become a believer…

Years later, after becoming believers, we were going to celebrate our very first Christmas as a family. Our baby was five months old, and we decided to buy a tree and start some lovely family traditions. The tree was beautifully decorated and we had friends over for dinner. I am to this day so thankful for what they shared with us that evening. We had a lovely evening together with them, and just before they left, they gently told us to go and read what Jeremiah 10 says about a Christmas tree. We read it that evening after they had left, and we were so shocked. The brand-new tree was in the garbage the very next day. It really sounds easier than it was. All our “Christmas tradition dreams” were shattered. It was difficult to do, but we knew we had to and through YHVH’s grace, it was possible to take that first step. We have since not looked back! Accepting that truth and walking in it caused YHVH to reveal more truth to us about the origins of Christmas and other feasts and traditions we were involved in.

For a beautifully written testimony on this subject you can read

this:http://anneelliott.com/2011/12/the-day-we-took-the-christmas-tree-down/ and https://vimeo.com/114786309 The second link is “Let the Christmas trees rejoice”

I am telling you this to help you, just like I was helped many years ago. I want to be that person for you. YHVH through His grace and mercy placed people in our lives who showed us the way. He is a good Father to us and will tell us when we do wrong, and He will often use people.

Will we listen? Sometimes we are too blinded by pride to listen. Pride leads to spiritual blindness. Read Rev 3:17-19.

Nobody has the ultimate truth. We shall go through life always having to unlearn untruth and learn new truth. A dangerous place to be, would be a place where you have been doing what you do and believing what you believe, without ever considering anything else. If you don’t accept new truth revealed to you, you will remain stagnant in your learning.

What does the Scripture teach us?

I was studying two passages in the books of the prophets Ezekiel and Hosea and was shocked when I realized what the implications of these words were.

The Scripture shows us in this study how these practices, seen by many, as innocent or unimportant will lead to your destruction.

Hosea 4:6
6 My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge. Because you have rejected knowledge, I also will reject you from being My priest. Since you have forgotten the law of your Elohim, I also will forget your children.

This verse has always made an impression on me. I have repeatedly wondered whether we can apply the knowledge spoken of here to any knowledge. People are destroyed for lack of knowledge, so I think it can be applied to life in general, but looking at the context; we see the meaning is much deeper. The knowledge spoken of is YHVH’s instructions – His Torah! Not having the knowledge of the Word of YHVH can and will destroy those not having it.

We shall study this passage in Hosea further to show us how this deception works.

Hosea 4:12
12 My people consult their wooden idol, and their diviners wand informs them; For a spirit of harlotry has led them astray, And they have played the harlot, departing from their Elohim.

YHVH is speaking to His people here. They have been led astray by a spirit of harlotry. That can happen very easily. That is one of the reasons He told the Israelites not to mingle with the heathen nations. Most things start off on a small-scale and quite innocent.

There is a practice in new-age where you use a dividing wand or pendulum to tell you if something is good or bad. This is divination (seeking answers by a stick of wood). This practice is getting more popular even among believers. It is called dowsing. Another form of dowsing is muscle testing. This is a form of divination. These people are deceived by a spirit of harlotry. They are practicing witchcraft and idolatry. Is it acceptable to practice some of the popular new-age healthcare practices? It sounds harmless enough, but YHVH makes it very clear what the result of this would be. It will result in them departing from Him.

The author of the Bible Knowledge commentary says it well: “In the midst of this idolatrous, immoral worship the Israelites even had the audacity to employ YHVH’s name in oaths. (Hos 4:15)The Law commanded Israel to swear by YHVH’s name (Deut. 6:13; 10:20). However, to make a semblance of devotion to Yahovah while serving other gods was the grossest hypocrisy.”
Walvoord, J. F., Zuck, R. B., & Dallas Theological Seminary. (1983-). The Bible knowledge commentary : An exposition of the scriptures (Ho 4:15). Wheaton, IL: Victor Books.

What we have here is an example of mixed worship.

Hosea 4:14
14 I will not punish your daughters when they play the harlot Or your brides when they commit adultery, For the men themselves go apart with harlots And offer sacrifices with temple prostitutes; So the people without understanding are ruined.

One thing always leads to another and ruin is the end of these people without understanding.

Hosea 5:4-6
4 Their deeds will not allow them To return to their Elohim. For a spirit of harlotry is within them, And they do not know YHVH. 5 Moreover, the pride of Israel testifies against him, And Israel and Ephraim stumble in their iniquity; Judah also has stumbled with them. 6 They will go with their flocks and herds To seek YHVH, but they will not find Him; He has withdrawn from them.

The most striking and alarming part of this whole passage is that these people will not be able to return to YHVH. He has withdrawn from them. Think about this passage in our context. Practicing idolatry in any form – no matter how innocent in your mind- will lead to YHVH withdrawing from you and your ultimate destruction if you do not repent and return to Him.

Another passage that confirms this is the passage in Ezekiel 14. What is the meaning of Ezekiel 14? Does YHVH allow people to be deceived? Based on this passage, I would say yes. Abba YHVH will allow us to be deceived, and to spread a message of deception if we have idols in our heart.

Ezekiel 14:1-11
1 Then some elders of Israel came to me and sat down before me. 2 And the word of YHVH came to me, saying, 3 Son of man, these men have set up their idols in their hearts and have put right before their faces the stumbling block of their iniquity. Should I be consulted by them at all? 4 Therefore speak to them and tell them, Thus says YHVH Elohim, Any man of the house of Israel who sets up his idols in his heart, puts right before his face the stumbling block of his iniquity, and then comes to the prophet, I YHVH will be brought to give him an answer in the matter in view of the multitude of his idols, 5 in order to lay hold of the hearts of the house of Israel who are estranged from Me through all their idols. 6 Therefore say to the house of Israel, Thus says YHVH Elohim, Repent and turn away from your idols and turn your faces away from all your abominations. 7 For anyone of the house of Israel or of the immigrants who stay in Israel who separates himself from Me, sets up his idols in his heart, puts right before his face the stumbling block of his iniquity, and then comes to the prophet to inquire of Me for himself, I YHVH will be brought to answer him in My own person. 8 I will set My face against that man and make him a sign and a proverb, and I will cut him off from among My people. So you will know that I am YHVH. 9 But if the prophet is prevailed upon to speak a word, it is I, YHVH, who have prevailed upon that prophet, and I will stretch out My hand against him and destroy him from among My people Israel. 10 They will bear the punishment of their iniquity; as the iniquity of the inquirer is, so the iniquity of the prophet will be, 11 in order that the house of Israel may no longer stray from Me and no longer defile themselves with all their transgressions. Thus, they will be My people, and I shall be their Elohim, declares YHVH Elohim.

A plain reading of the scripture in context reveals the following:

These unrighteous leaders came to Ezekiel for council. YHVH said to Ezekiel that they practice idolatry, and this will be the reason YHVH; Himself will answer them according to the idols in their hearts.

The best illustration of Ezekiel’s meaning is the story of YHVH’s letting false prophets deceive Ahab, to bring him to his death (1 Kings 22:19-23).
Walvoord, J. F., Zuck, R. B., & Dallas Theological Seminary. (1983-). The Bible knowledge commentary : An exposition of the scriptures (Ezekiel 14:9–11). Wheaton, IL: Victor Books.

YHVH allowed a deceiving spirit to deceive Ahab, which resulted in his death.

YHVH will allow us to be deceived, if we participate in idolatry. Our deception will be in accordance to the idols in our hearts. What are the idols in our hearts? We need to evaluate ourselves to see if that which we practice, is strictly in accordance with Abba’s Word, or do we have all kinds of heathen or unbiblical practices mixed in?

There certainly are ways of practicing idolatry in ignorance. This is one case where the saying  “ignorance is bliss” is not true.

How do we set up idols in our hearts?

Anything or anyone more important than YHVH is an idol. Clinging to unrighteous, heathen traditions and practices are idols in our hearts.

How do we safeguard ourselves against deception?

  • Stay away from any form of idolatry.
  • Do not mingle idolatrous practices into your worship of Abba YHVH.
  • Live purely and in accordance with His Word. His Word is righteousness.

What is righteousness?

It is only through our belief in Y’shua that we are truly righteous. Y’shua is true righteousness, He is the living word.

Ecclesiastes 9:8
8 Let your garments be white at all times, and let your head lack no oil.

White clothes are a picture of righteousness. To put on righteousness is to put on Messiah Y’shua. What is the role of the Torah then? After salvation comes righteous living. How would that be possible without instructions? You would say: but we are led by the Ruach (YHVH’s Spirit). That is true! The Ruach will lead you to walk in His way, according to His instructions.

To put on Y’shua’s salvation is to put on the righteousness of YHVH – His Torah. YHVH and Y’shua are one just as His instructions and righteousness are one.

Psalm 119:172
172 Let my tongue sing of Your word, For all Your commandments are righteousness.

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11 responses to “Will YHVH allow us to be deceived?”

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  5. […] with the nations. That too is mixing. We have written a previous article about mixed worship ” How mixed worship will lead to your deception” Just click on the hyperlink if you would like to read […]

  6. Evah Marcel

    Great article and a good resource. I wish that the Church would not be so judgmental and would understand
    that Y’shua is the Word and that the feasts have a spiritual meaning that demands òbedience and reminds us of our need for Elhoim. Any suggestions? I am now abroad, alone in a sea of sectarian churches, still wearing a shocking prayer shawl and saying Yeshuah despite the occasional discomfort.

  7. Rhonda Bennet

    Heya Guys
    Great article. I am wondering if you would consider it a problem playing, singing, and/or dancing to music that uses the incorrect names of Jesus or Lord in them? Most groups have a praise session and often songs are old christian songs being played and people sing over the incorrect name being used with the correct name however we were at a gathering with Youth not long ago and they were playing songs and dancing hebraically to them. It struck me as quite wrong to be doing this as the incorrect name was being proclaimed loud and clear as nobody was singing over it as they were dancing. What are your thoughts on this?

    1. Hallo Rhonda,

      As you know, we prefer to use the name Y’shua instead of Jesus. However, this said, we realize that we have been blessed to receive the revelation of Torah and the Hebrew names when we did. It was revealed to us after praying to Jesus.

      I know some say that there is a lawless spirit attached to the name, but that is simply not true. In Matt 5:17-21 in my New American Standard Bible translation this Jesus said that He did not come to abolish the law. It is people’s doctrine that is wrong, it has nothing to do with the name.

      Did you know that the name Jesus is an academically correct Greek transliteration of the name? A good study on this topic was done by J.K. McKee. Below is an excerpt that is applicable to this question.

      Is the Name “Jesus” Pagan?
      Directly corresponding to the debate over what the Hebrew name of the Messiah is, is the controversy surrounding the name that history and the majority of English speaking people know Him by: Jesus Christ. Most SNO advocates argue that the name “Jesus” is pagan because it has Greek linguistic origins, and some have even referred to our Savior insultingly as “Gee-Zeus.” However, a study of Hebrew to Greek transliteration shows that there is no basis or justification for this.

      About three centuries before the Messiah’s birth, the Jewish translators of the Septuagint had a similar problem. They were commissioned to translate the Hebrew Bible into Greek for Ptolemy’s library at Alexandria and had extreme difficulty transliterating Hebrew proper names into Greek. Unlike Hebrew to English transliteration, which is easier because English offers most of the same sounds of Hebrew; Hebrew to Greek transliteration is not as easy because does not share some of the same sounds. It is notable that many of our proper Biblical names in English come from Greek transliterations of Hebrew words (i.e., Moses, Phinehas, Caiphas).

      Young’s Analytical Concordance is one resource that easily confirms that the Greek name Iēsous (Ἰησοῦς) used for our Savior in the Greek Apostolic Scriptures, is a transliteration of His original Hebrew name יֵשׁוּעַ (Yeshua). The name Yeshua is a contracted form of the name Yehoshua or Joshua, and is used numerous times in the Tanach to refer to Moses’ successor. Transliteration is the process where one tries to communicate, as closely as possible, the sounds of one language into another language, often by representing words of one language in a different alphabet. This is extremely difficult when taking proper Hebrew names and communicating them in Greek. How we get from Yeshua to Iēsous (pronounced Ee-ay-sooce) to ultimately Jesus is a challenge to understand if one is armed with nothing more than a concordance, does not understand the difficulty of transliteration, and most importantly has not studied both Hebrew and Greek. When transliterating the Hebrew name [:WvyE to Greek:

      י (yud – “ye”) becomes Ιη (iota-ēta – “ye” or “ee-ay)
      שׁ (shin – “sh”) becomes σ (sigma – “s” – there is no “sh” sound in Greek)
      ו (vuv – “u”) becomes ου (omicron-upsilon – “oo”)
      It is necessary for a final sigma (Ï‚) to be placed at the end of the word to distinguish that the name is masculine and for it to be declinable from the nominative case (indicating subject)
      Greek requires that the ע (ayin – “ah”) sound be dropped
      Hence, we get the name Iēsous (Ἰησοῦς), pronounced either Ye-sooce or Ee-ay-sooce, depending on the Greek dialect
      The name Iēsous, surprisingly to some, is actually of Jewish origin. This name is used for the title of the Book of Joshua in the Septuagint (appearing as ΙΗΣΟΥΣ),[43] the Ancient Greek translation of the Hebrew Scriptures. This serves as definitive proof that Iēsous is not of pagan origin, but rather is simply a Greek transliteration of Yeshua developed by the LXX’s Jewish translators.

      In Old English, the name Iēsous was rendered Iesus (pronounced Yesus). However, it was spelled with a beginning letter “I,” which in the Middle Ages had a “Y” sound. The I was used for letters beginning with both “I” and “J.” Early editions of the King James Version, for example, simply transliterate the Greek Iēsous into English as “Iesous.” Later in the development of the English language, J’s started being used in place of I’s, and the letter received the same sound that it has today. The name Jesus is less than 400 years old. However, its existence did not come about by some sordid conspiracy as some might errantly claim.

      As Messianic Believers, we prefer the richness of our Savior’s original Hebrew name of Yeshua. But because we prefer Yeshua over Jesus does not mean that we believe that those who pray in the “name of Jesus” are not praying in the authority of the same Savior that we are praying to in the “name of Yeshua.” Our Heavenly Father looks at our hearts, and we need to understand. We encourage people to use the name that was originally given to the Messiah, Yeshua, but also must realize that “history happens” and the pronunciation of names can change from language to language via transliteration.

      Those who have a problem with the Greek name Iēsous need to direct their criticism to the Jewish Rabbis who translated the Septuagint. We would challenge them to provide their own transliteration of the name Yeshua into Greek, understanding the linguistic barriers that exist, and ask them to tell us what names the Messiah was designated as having in the sign above His cross which appeared “in Hebrew, Latin and in Greek” (John 19:20).

      In Old English, Iēsous was rendered Iesus (pronounced Yesus). The Geneva Bible and the 1611 King James Version left all proper names in their Greek forms, so in the New Testament you will see names like Iesous and Noe (Noah) and Esias (Isaiah), rather than their more customary English forms. There was no capital “J” until later on. When this letter began appearing in English Bibles it adopted the “j” sound that we know today, and the English name “Jesus” was formed.

      But the debate does not end there. Does the Greek name Iēsous, as some have claimed, mean “son of Zeus”? No. First of all, Iēsous (Ἰησοῦς) and Zeus (Ζεύς) have two totally different Greek spellings. Second, Zeus in Ancient Greek is not pronounced as Zoos. Its first letter, zeta (ζ), actually has a “dz” sound. A more accurate transliteration of Dzeus is better for the layperson who has not studied Greek. Third, the diphthongs “ou” in Iēsous and “eu” in Zeus are pronounced differently. “Ou” is pronounced as “oo,” and “eu” is pronounced as “eh-uh.” Fourth, the term “son of Zeus” in classical Greek would probably appear as ho huios tou Dios (ὁ υἱὸς τοῦ Διός) and not Iēsous. Anyone who claims that the name Iēsous is even remotely connected to Zeus is exhibiting poor, sub-standard scholarship, and should be immediately dismissed.

      Transliteration is not an exact science. However, it does prove that the Greek name Iēsous from whence we derive the name “Jesus” is not pagan. Those who believe that “Jesus” is another god and declare that they “reject Jesus” need to examine the facts of Hebrew to Greek transliteration. They need to realize just who they are rejecting. Those who believe that “Jesus” is someone else and proclaim that “We reject Jesus!” need to do more scholarly work.

      When going out into the Ancient Mediterranean to declare the good news of the Messiah to Greeks and Romans, not only did the Apostles preach in the name of Iēsous (Ἰησοῦς) to diverse audiences—but we encounter at least one Diaspora Jew who was given the name Iēsous by his parents. In the closing greeting of the Epistle to the Colossians, we see a man who has a very intriguing name: “Jesus who is called Justus” (Colossians 4:11). This is a prime attestation of how in ancient times, and even frequently today, Jewish people commonly had two names: one from their Jewish heritage, and one from the environment in which they were living. Paul or Paulos (Παῦλος), otherwise known as Saul or Shaul (שָׁאוּל), also had two names (Acts 13:9). What makes this so intriguing for us as Messianics is that this Jewish man, also with the name Justus (Grk. Ioustos, Ἰοῦστος), was actually named Iēsous (Ἰησοῦς). The following is what the ABD entry has to say about this man:

      “Jesus Justus, a Jewish Christian who sent greetings to the Colossians along with Paul from his place of imprisonment (Col 4:11). Jesus (the Greek form of Joshua or Jeshua) was his Jewish name. It was common for Jews to have this name (cf. Acts 13:6) up until the 2d cent. C.E. Justus was his Latin surname, which denoted loyal observance of the law, and was probably given to him because of his reputation.”

      What makes Jesus Justus significant is that it points to the fact that the name Iēsous, the Greek transliteration of the Hebrew name Yeshua (יֵשׁוּעַ), was in fact used among Greek-speaking Jews as an acceptable male name.

      The CJB renders Colossians 4:11 with “Yeshua, the one called Justus.” A commentator like F.F. Bruce recognizes how “Jesus is the Greek/Latin form of Joshua or Jeshua; Justus was a common Latin cognomen.” Peter T. O’Brien also recognizes that for this man “‘Jesus’ (Ἰησοῦς) was his Jewish name (the Greek from of ‘Joshua’ or ‘Jeshua’) and this was common among Jews (Acts 13:6) until the second century A.D. when it disappeared as a proper name, no doubt because of the conflict between the synagogue and the Church.” Douglas J. Moo further observes, “‘Jesus’ was a popular name among the first-century Jews, fading in popularity only in the second century because of growing Jewish/Christian tensions.”

      What this all points to is the fact that when people like the Apostle Paul went out into the Greek speaking world, to Greek speaking Jewish synagogues, referring to the Messiah with the name Iēsous (Ἰησοῦς) would not at all have been something strange to them—even if they and their adherents knew it was a transliteration of Yeshua (יֵשׁוּעַ). The negative reaction that we often find in today’s Messianic movement to the English name “Jesus,” would not have been mirrored among the First Century Jewish Believers to the name Iēsous—because just as there were normal Jewish men in Judea who bore the name Yeshua, so were there normal Jewish men in the Diaspora who bore the name Iēsous. The name Iēsous may not have been the original name that the pregnant Mary was instructed to call her unborn child (Matthew 1:21), but it was by no means something concocted in later centuries by Greeks and Romans so that they could somehow continue to worship their pagan deities.

      The biggest evidence, of course, against the claim that the name “Jesus” is pagan is that people have been saved, delivered from demons, and prayers have been answered through the name of Jesus Christ. It is ironic, of course, to find out that many SNO advocates will admit to being saved in the name of “Jesus.” But it is often these same people who will slander, harass, and unfairly criticize others who likewise say they were saved in the “name of Jesus,” telling many Christians that they cannot be saved. Anyone who says that the name Jesus is pagan (while it may not be the Messiah’s original name) in light of this evidence, we should believe is guilty of blasphemy (cf. Matthew 12:31).

      As Messianic Believers, we prefer the richness of our Savior’s original Hebrew name Yeshua, and we do not overly encourage usage of the name Jesus. But because we prefer Yeshua over Jesus does not mean that we believe that those who pray in the “name of Jesus” are not praying in the authority of the Same One who we are praying to in the “name of Yeshua.” We must reflect a Lord and Savior who embodies ultimate love and compassion. Our Heavenly Father looks at our hearts and we need to be understanding. We should encourage people to use the name that was originally given to the Messiah, but also must realize that “history happens” and the pronunciation of names changes from language to language via transliteration.


      Considering all this, we have no issue with listening to music that uses the names “Jesus”, “God” or “Lord.” For us it is more important to live in peace and love with those who believe in the Messiah Who was born of a woman, lived a sinless live, died for us, was resurrected, ascended to heaven and sits on the right hand of Elohim!

      Ephesians 4:1–3
      Therefore I, the prisoner of the Lord, implore you to walk in a manner worthy of the calling with which you have been called, with all humility and gentleness, with patience, showing tolerance for one another in love, being diligent to preserve the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.

      Schalk & Elsa

  8. Sherrill Icklan

    I agree that Christmas and Easter have pagan roots buy the Scripture Jeremiah 10 does not pertain to a Christmas tree per se. If read really carefully you should see that it pertains to idols who are made of wood. Of course, I think that the display of any evergreens is pagan Jeremiah is not referring to a Christmas tree. I used to believe that it did also. This does not change the fact that any celebration of Christmas is from the Catholic Church which has incorporated pagan tradition on to their holidays. I have learned a lot from your site. Shalom, Sherry

  9. Derek

    Shalom and greetings. I am on currently on my path to the Messianic way after years of contemplating back and forth about religion as a whole and the truths of Christianity, etc. What is so irritating and heart breaking is trying to discuss these matters with traditional Christians who are your friends. They get defensive and claim we are being misled when we have scripture, religious and secular history, and context as our evidence against the traditional practices. On top of that is how to deal with family who are complete unbelievers but still celebrate certain holidays bc it’s “tradition.”

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