Part IV of VI
Part IV - A Look At Exodus
1. Any study of God's name is not complete without addressing Exodus 3:13-15 and Exodus 6:3,6.
2. Exodus 3:14 KJV, "And God said unto Moses, I AM (Strong's H1961 hayah) THAT (Strong's H834 asher) I AM (Strong's H1961 hayah): and he said, Thus shalt thou say unto the children of Israel, I AM (Strong's H1961 hayah) hath sent me unto you."
What is the meaning of the Hebrew words I AM THAT I AM (which is transliterated as "hayah asher hayah")? A number of lexicons and concordances give the opinions of various Hebrew scholars as to the meaning of this reference to Himself that God uses when speaking to Moses. These scholars appear to be mostly in agreement with one another, therefore, I will not quote the source, since I will give a collective answer here. I Am that I Am means the Self-existing One. Some speculate that it can mean I Am the Unknowable One. Also, it can mean "to be" or "to exist"; in other words, I Am the One Who is or I Am the One Who exists. Do not overlook that Hayah is composed partially with the letters of "yah".
3.a. If you have spent any time in the Bible you know that it is not infrequent that a person asks God a question and God does not give a direct answer to the question. Instead, He gives the answer that you need or He gives you the information He wants you to have. This is exactly what God has done in Exodus 3:14 when answering Moses' question from Exodus 3:13 KJV, "And Moses said unto God, Behold, when I come unto the children of Israel, and shall say unto them, The God of your fathers hath sent me unto you; and they shall say to me, What is his name? what shall I say unto them?" Exodus 3:14 KJV, "And God said unto Moses, I AM THAT I AM: and he said, Thus shalt thou say unto the children of Israel, I AM hath sent me unto you."
Rather than immediately answer the question, God has explained to Moses that He is the Self-existing One; in other words, I Am that I Am. Then God refers to Himself as "I Am", by giving these instructions to Moses: "Tell them that I AM sent you."
As can be seen, God is not yet giving Moses an answer regarding His name. Instead, He is describing His unmatchable power (by His declaration that He self-exists) and He is giving instructions to Moses. This is where it can get very difficult to understand for those who have been taught, for their entire Christian walk, that God has given His name as "I AM".
One must put aside this erroneous teaching. God has not yet given us His name, that He wants us to call Him by, in this answer He is giving to Moses. I wrestled with God repeatedly, for several years, trying to grasp what He was explaining to me. I had to be cleansed of the false teaching that I had received for about twenty-five years; maybe double that if I go back to my church years as a youth. God has given us a help to guide us into correct teaching. We know that hidden beneath the English translation of "I AM" is [ אהוה ] or [ הוה ] (Strong's H1961 hayah) and that is not the tetragrammaton which is God's name. The tetragrammaton, which is God's name is [ יהוה ] (Strong's H3068 Yehovah). This transliteration by Robert Strong of Yehovah should have been Yahowah.
3b. If you ask a friend a question, you will wait for the answer, even if that friend determines that he wants to give you other information before he gives the answer you seek. You would not be rude and interrupt your friend and say, "Hey, forget all that, just give me the answer I seek." How much more you should be patient and hear all that God has to say to you.
Now, back to God's answer to Moses. If you or I were sending Moses we might have worded it as this: "Hey, Moses, tell them that I sent you." But we are not doing the sending, nor the talking. God has His own unique way of saying things at times. So, God says, in effect, "Tell them I AM sent you."
It should be obvious that Moses cannot go around calling God "I Am", anymore than he could go around calling you or me "I". After all, if you ask my name and I answer by saying I am Rick, you would not go to others and tell them that my name is "I" or "I am Rick". You might say "his name is Rick". In other words, contrary to a popular teaching in many circles His name is not "I Am" or even "the great I Am." How could it be? God has not even finished with His reply to Moses. For sure, God does call Himself "I Am", but He is not telling us to call Him "I Am". Up to this point God has identified Himself as the Self-existing One and given instructions to Moses. Moses (and us) needs to keep listening and hear God's entire reply and get the answer to his question. Let us not be rude and interrupt God while He is talking. Let us listen to His entire reply so that we can get the answer to Moses' question.
4.a. God gives His name, by which man shall call Him, in verse 15. Exodus 3:15 KJV "And God said moreover unto Moses, Thus shalt thou say unto the children of Israel, [Yahowah] (Strong's H3068 Yehovah) God of your fathers, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob, hath sent me unto you: this is my name for ever, and this is my memorial unto all generations." Now God gives Moses His familiar name, a name that has been used throughout Scripture, beginning about two and one-half thousand years prior to Moses in Genesis 2:4 and continuing right up to the time of Moses, and beyond. The meaning of His name, Yahowah, is "He Who is".
Now, let us continue with the example I started in paragraph 3b above. If I were to say, "I am Rick", you would look at me and say to others "He is Rick". In this same manner, this is the answer God gave to Moses. God said, "I Am", you will call Me "He Who Is". In Hebrew, God said "Hayah", you will call Me "Yahowah".
4.b. In our current day American English, here is a synopsis of what has been said between God and Moses in Exodus 3:13-15.
Moses: "What is your name?"
God: "I am the Self-existing One. You will call Me Yahowah (He Who Is)".
A fair question might be: "Why didn't God just make it that plain and easy when He had Moses write Exodus to begin with?" This answer could get quite long and involved, I will try to give the short answer.
In the Scriptures the Holy Spirit packs a lot of meaning and information in a few words. Sometimes, even when it seems He is beating around the bush, He is not. Everything said and everything written is information given for very specific purposes. If you are using a translation that skips over, changes in the interest of simplicity, or alters the way God has written something then you will have invariably lost very important information.
The enemies of God, for thousands of years, have been trying to obscure (with minute changes) the Word of God. These enemies cannot know to tamper with something if they do not understand what is being said. One cannot understand what is written without being born again, without being indwelt by the Holy Ghost, without having the Scriptures come alive to you from off the pages of the Bible with the Holy Spirit quickening your understanding. God has preserved His word, His Bible, for thousands of years from the hands of evil men by hiding meanings from them, but at the same time revealing meanings to His children. Matthew 13:13 KJV, "Therefore speak I to them in parables: because they seeing see not; and hearing they hear not, neither do they understand."
5.a. Yahowah now becomes very emphatic with His command in verse 15. After identifying Himself as Yahowah, He then states, "This is My name forever".
The command to call God by His correct name of Yahowah is reinforced by several things. First, this name is reported to be used six to seven thousand times in the Old Testament of the Bible. There is reason to believe that His name [ יהוה ] was also used in the original manuscripts of the Septuagint and in the New Testament original manuscripts.
Second, the command to call God by His name of Yahowah is given again, just three chapters later in Exodus 6:3 KJV, "And I appeared unto Abraham, unto Isaac, and unto Jacob, by the name of God Almighty, but by my name [Yahowah] was I not known to them[?] At the end of Exodus 6:3 I have inserted a question mark instead of a period. Punctuating with a period is not incorrect, but it is best to end a rhetorical question with a question mark. A rhetorical question affirms the answer within the question asked and does not require an outside answer from the person being spoken to. Besides, in the original Hebrew, there are no punctuation marks. Obviously His name was known to his children in Genesis and prior to Exodus 6:3 for about two and one-half thousand years. Just read it. LORD and sometimes GOD, in all capitals, is the popular modern translation of God's name, rather than the correct translation of Yahowah.
5.b. The children of Jacob, known as Israel, knew God's name. They did not need Moses to bring a new name of God to them. They would not recognize a new name. Moses asked God what His name was so that he could confirm who was talking to him and so that he would have a valid answer to give to the sons of Israel when they asked the question. If Moses took a new name for God to the Hebrews, how would that be of any value to them? They would not recognize it. They would throw Moses out on his ear if he brought a name to them that was foreign to them.
The fact that Exodus 6:3 was a rhetorical question that answered itself, is reinforced by Exodus 6:6 KJV, "Wherefore say unto the children of Israel, I am [Yahowah], and I will bring you out from under the burdens of the Egyptians, and I will rid you out of their bondage, and I will redeem you with a stretched out arm, and with great judgments." If Moses were to say to the children of Israel that Yahowah sent him, once again, obviously they knew Who that was.
Suppose I kept sending this teaching out, and one day instead of it coming from Rick Mauck, it comes from Joseph Ratzinger. Would that not cause some alarm to you? You might express, "Who in the world is Joseph Ratzinger?" Then you would hopefully reject this teaching, because you do not recognize his name. For those of you who do recognize his name, you would have a double reason for rejecting his teachings. Joseph Ratzinger is the reigning pope of Rome, Benedict XVI (until early 2013), who sits as Satan's representative with the audacity to call himself the vicar (means taking the place) of Christ. He is the vicar of an antichrist system; he is a blasphemous antichrist as all the popes were and are.
5.c. I can understand why God's name has been translated for centuries as LORD or GOD. Even though the Hebrews in the time of Moses knew God's name and how to pronounce it, centuries later, as I pointed out previously, His name and how to pronounce it had been lost from general usage.
Leaving His name in the translated text as [ יהוה ] is one way to do it; this is most likely what the original Hebrew authors of the new testament books did. Another way to write a translation is to put in a substitute, such as LORD or GOD. But God did not command us to call Him by a substitute or a title, He commanded us to call Him by His forever name - Yahowah.
If a translator does not know how to pronounce [ יהוה ] then how can he translate it? He cannot. If you have come into contact with a lot of different ministries, as I have, you will find that there are well over a dozen different ideas and guesses on how His name is to be pronounced. Some feel that it is acceptable to meander from the original sounds and make up new sounds. I disagree as strongly as one can. The sound of His name is the only distinguishing identification that counts. And spelling out this pronunciation in your own language is just as important. After all, a deaf person who can read, and possibly even speak, must have a chance to learn the proper pronunciation too, even though they may never hear it until they get to glory. God can speak it to their mind also.
5.d. I must digress at this point. I received some feedback that someone has been told that I am teaching a Hebrew Roots doctrine regarding His name. Nothing could be further from the truth. I am very familiar with the Hebrew Roots Movement (HRM). They are some of the ones, as I mentioned in paragraph 5c above, that have dozens of different names for God and most of those names are similar to mine; or some even write and speak of God in the blasphemous manner of "G-d". When they speak it, they are actually using an old term which invokes God in a profane manner to curse something.
The problem with the names for God that they use is that they usually miss the mark, just as Jehovah and Yahweh miss the mark. The HRM is an umbrella term applied to many similar fellowships composed of reprobates. Some claim to be Christian and others have gone to such extremes that they refuse to identify themselves as Christians anymore; and this is one of the dangers of attending such a fellowship. (I am trying to keep this brief, because this is a whole other teaching). Some HRM groups deny the New Testament completely, and others will occasionally quote a verse from it, but all are blinded to the proper meaning or application of it. They are lost in the legalism and fleshliness of the Old Testament and have failed to come to the grace and spiritual applications of the Old Testament as revealed in the New Testament.
In short, none of these groups teach Christianity or follow Christ. Instead, the HRM groups are drawing Christians back to the heresy of the early church Judaizers. Some are slowly but surely taking books out of the New Testament that do not suite their agenda. They only want Torah friendly books in the Bible. Some call the apostle Paul an apostate, because he preaches that grace has replaced the law (which it very definitely has).
If a Christian is temporarily deceived and is a captive to these antichrist teachings, then I pray that our Lord and Savior will deliver you from your captivity. One major heresy all HRM's have in common is their adherence to the Mosaic Law's weekly sabbath observance. This appears to be their grand mark of apostasy. I have a four part teaching on the sabbath. It must be approached with the same caution as this teaching. There is much to discern and properly understand. I will point out one thing however; most of them do not even know when the sabbath is. For example, this week the sabbath of the calendar of scripture landed on our calendar (the Gregorian calendar) on Thursday, October 14, 2010. (Even the current and changed Rabbinic Jewish calendar does not know this). And, it began at sunrise, not at sunset.
Enough said for now. I take away from the important teaching before us. If anyone wants this other teaching, I could possibly begin sending it out as an email separate from this one.
6. In case my comments were too distracting in paragraph 5b and 5d above, I will make my point once again in this paragraph. Moses and the children of Israel already knew God's name. Moses wanted God to identify Himself by His name. How else would this question and answer be of any value to Moses and the Hebrews? If they did not know His name, then they would not have been able to verify that this was truly their God who dispatched Moses to be their leader.
If you had a strange occurrence happen before your very eyes (such as a burning bush that does not burn up), and a voice began to speak to you from the bush, and gave you instructions to do something, would you not ask to know to whom you where speaking?
7. This exegesis of Exodus 3:13-15 is not from me, I received it from the Holy Ghost. John 14:26 KJV, "But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you."
For many years, God's name was obscured from view to many in Exodus 3:15, because it was written as LORD. It is so easy just to read right past it as if it is not even there. God is behind that too, but He is changing things now. One reads right past it, then their teachers reinforce this erroneous reading. It is little wonder why these two verses have been widely misunderstood. It is understandable why people think that "I AM" is His name. However, it is an attribute, a description of His awesome, indescribable, unchallengeable power; since "I Am" is understood to be "I Self-exist".
If one misses His name in verse 15, they have no other place to go and look for His name except back to verse 14. I am amazed at how easy it is for God to hide something as revolutionary as this, and to hide it in plain sight. But He has revealed it now, personally to me. I do not believe I am the only one. On top of that, even if a Christian finds His name in verse 15, they have no idea what to do with the tetragrammaton and the Rabbis have no intention of telling anyone how to pronounce His name - they never have. Why would this leopard change its spots now? For all the antichrists running around, in and out of Christian churches, that claim they are gods, you will never be a god, nor will you ever be able to say, "I self-exist".
8. We welcome constructive input supported by Scriptures from the Bible. Please contact us by our email address firstname.lastname@example.org. Copyright © 2010 Richard Douglas Mauck and/or Sandra Faye Mauck. All rights reserved. This material is copyrighted to protect the integrity of this work. Permission is hereby granted to copy this treatise in its entirety as long as no editing is done, no charge is made to those with whom it is shared, and full credit is given to the authors.