CGI - Church of God International
Christian Leadership Response
Church of God International Response:
My Questions and the Answers from Vance, a Pastor for Church of God International, about the use or lack of use of our Savior's true Birth Name. the format in this case is my email with The COGI representative, Vance, inserting his comments.
There appears in scripture the mention for the need to be baptized into the Name of the Messiah a requirement of baptism. Acts 8:16. And a confess in no other Name. If the Name Jesus never existed in the first century, how do you justify using a name that is from suspicious sources?
Pastor Vance Repsonse:
Yes, but "in the name of" means simply "by the authority of." In Hebrew thought, a name is not so much a particular sound as it is a reputation. This can be seen in the Hebrew texts themselves. A particular king, for instance, might be called by one name in one text and another name in another text, but both "names" (words that are pronounced differently) have the same meaning. That's what was important in Hebrew thought.
My response: With the understanding that when these original sayings and occurrences took place the name "Jesus" was not known but the name Yahshua (Joshua) was, there seems to be a problem. Why replace His Name when it is available? Why go to a completely different name, even to inventing a name that never existed until about 400 years ago. Can you explain why we should use the name JESUS?
Pastor Vance: No problem at all. The name "Jesus" is a variation of Yeshua (or Yahshua), as Isus, etc. The meaning remains the same, and, again, that's what was important in Jewish thought. Besides, it is most probable that at least two variations on the name "Yahshua" were in use during the apostolic period. The Greeks pronounced it "Iesous"; in Latin it's "Iesus" (derived from Greek). The anglicized form of the Latin is "Jesus." In addition, I suspect there were variations on "Yahshua" (Yeshua, etc.) even among the Jews, just as there were variations on the names Yehosef and Mariam.
My Response: When considering 1 John 2:22 Who is a liar but he that denieth that Jesus is the Christ? He is antichrist, that denieth the Father and the Son" ,(also 2 John 7; 1 John 3:23; 1 John 4;3; Acts 4:12). There does seem to be an issue of identity in identifying the "antichrist and antichrists". Certainly no one would argue the name given to Mary, and to Joseph, by angelic messenger, was the name "Jesus", that name never existed then.
Pastor Vance: "Jesus" is a form of the name given to Mary and Joseph. As stated above, "Jesus" is merely a variation of Yeshua, or Yahshua. You're applying our way of thinking of "names" to other languages and cultures. Once you understand what a "name" is from the Hebrew point of view, you will know that "in the name of Jesus" is precisely the same as "in the name of Yahshua."
My Response: A name that never existed until sometime into the 17th century? It does seem strange that the European expression of this name "Jesus" sounds more like they are calling on Zeus? And you stating that JESUS is precisely the same as YaHshua? That is nuts, wouldn’t you agree?
Pastor Vance: Sacred namers have made much of seeming similarities between "Jesus" and names such as Janus and Zeus. But similarity does not necessarily suggest common origin. In this case, there is no such relationship. The origin of "Jesus" (from Yeshua) is clear. Zeus is an entirely different word with different spelling. Any similarity is coincidental.
My Response: That aside, does it seem unreasonable to think that our Jewish Messiah had been given a Jewish name from His Heavenly Father by angelic messenger, and that that name would actually be an expression of the Father Himself? [Yes] Certainly the name "Jesus" is not that name.
Pastor Vance: Yes it is. It is merely a variation of Yeshua (Yahshua; Joshua). But, again, the meaning of the name is the important factor.
My Response: Truly, it may not be a "salvational issue" but I'm thinking it is an important issue. (My note: I have change my position – His Name is all important on who we confess and profess to be our Savior – only One Name – Acts 4:12)
Pastor Vance: [Important in what sense? Surely not in the sense that it is in any way related to one's relationship with the Father or the Son.
MY Response: Consider for a moment, Revelation 3:5, where it is mentioned that the overcomer's name will not be blotted out of the Book of Life – get that, those who overcome the world, their Name’s will not be Blotted out of the Book of Life? I think we can agree that we want our names to be in that Book and we hope our name is not mis-spelled, or replaced, or worse, or changed, which would amount to being blotted out -- but this seems to be the case concerning how our Savior’s Name, our Messiah's name is handled or replaced -- being replaced by the Christian Community for a different name from that which He was originally name
Pastor Vance: Will it be my name as it is spelled and pronounced in English? Or will it be the "new name" God gives me? All names are not simply transliterated; many of them actually change from one language to another (Peter = Pierre, for instance). This is what you have with Yahshua/Yeshua/Yesus/Joshua/Jesus. Besides, the Bible plainly says his name would be Immanuel. His name is Immanuel! But, as explained above, a "name" is what a person is. It is his reputation; or it in some way reflects his character and/or attributes..
MY Response: An additional comment about Pastor Vance’s last statement – What does the Russian leadership, Putin, call President the President of the United States? Obama? Trump? Biden? What does our President call the Russian leader? They all called him by his name, Putin. And what name does the people of Russia people say when they mention their leader? They call him, Putin? They call him, Putin, not Bobby, or Von Zager or some other made up name, no, they call him, President Putin. Pastor Vance, your reasoning is flawed, seriously, flawed and deceptive. A name may have a dialect or accent but they are always very similar if not exactly the same and you know it. But, in the case of our Savior? His Name was replaced, completely replaced, and with a name that one third, or more, of the world’s population pronounce as The Zeus – Heyzeus – coincidence, or on purpose?
Me continuing: I am very cautious about the Sacred Names groups, so called, seeing they disregard the warning Yahshua gave in Matthew 24:4-5, and 7:22-23, refusing to apply this as a cautionary warnig to themselves. Notice, in this warning, from YaHshua, that it is those who are claiming to do great things in His Name -- look at me, see what I did, in your name, of course. And from the mouth of our Savior, "Get away from Me ... ". When we read in Revelation of those that are to be spared the "hour of trouble" we see their redeeming quality is they have not denied His name. In fact, the message to the Philadelphia Church has a great deal to say about names, as does the whole of scripture.
Pastor Vance: But don't confuse the biblical concept of a "name" with sounding out words the way we imagine them to have been pronounced in ancient Hebrew.
My Response: Who Imagined the name JESUS? Where did that name come from if not from someone' s imagination? That name never existed until these modern times and before that? IESVS and InSOUS and before that HeyZeus. Who is it that is demonstrating the IMAGINATION? When it comes to Biblical authority Pastors, Preachers, Ministers, Priests, Scribes and Bible Laywers are all too quick to quote each other and Imagine whatever suits or fits whatever theory ot thought they have. But, even in this, there is ample support for His Name as YaHshua, YaHoshuah Or YaHushua and other variations that are very similar and say the same thing. The known pronunciation of His Name is still very similar to that of the Old English, accepted, without questions, JOSHUA. Knowing, then, that the J letter has changed in its phonetic value, over the last couple of centuries, it is easy to restore it to the more appropriate, original sound, that of the Hebrew Yod or Y -- used as it would be used when saying the letter, Yod. Now, pronounce Yoshua -- very similar to YaHshua. The missing H is the final fix and understanding that the O is not in His Name, but was added. This then, would be -- Y'shua, just as many Hebrews spell it today. So, what if you restore the missing H? YHshua, and how would you pronounce that? It certainly would not be JESUS. That name would be more like, Yesus, or the zeus or heyzeus or, if restored to the Latin, Isvs, a sound that is very close to ISIS or ISvS -- but nothing close to His Hebrew or Jewish Name.
Pastor Vance: Perhaps it isn't "salvational" but it is personal, very personal (I later changed my attitude about this – everyone will be required to confess His Name, because He has no other name).
My Response: Your last remarks says it all.
Thank you again for clearing up some misconceptions I had concerning your work. Actually I am glad you are not still connected with the GTA (Garner Ted Armstrong) programing. At the present time, they seem a bit deceptive in not making it clear that the GTA that we are watching on TV is deceased. I enjoy your TV broadcast a great deal, all of you seem to be very grounded in the scriptures and I love you for that.
Thank you, peace in His name, Dan
Comments and Questions to: Servant@servantsofyahshua.com