Calling on the Name of the Lord in NT - 8

Subject:  Call on Yahweh?  Call on Yeshua?

In the OT, whenever we see the phrase "Call on the Name of the LORD", we know definitely that we are to "Call on the Name of Yahweh".  The original Hebrew text refers to Yahweh.

However in the NT, some passages refer to calling on Yahweh, while other passages refer to calling on Jesus' name.

So do we call on Yahweh or do we call on Jesus?  I've struggled with this question for many years. 

As I meditated more and more on God's salvation plan for mankind through Jesus, an answer begins to emerge.

In the last 3 articles, we saw these 3 important points:  
  • Yahweh gives the name Yeshua to Jesus.  
  • Yeshua means Yahweh saves.  
  • In Yeshua, we see Yahweh's salvation.
Obviously, the primary source of salvation comes from Yahweh. Yahweh initiates and works out our salvation through Yeshua to atone for our sins so that we can receive forgiveness from Yahweh, to be reconciled to Yahweh.

Peter says in Acts 4:12, "And there is salvation in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved.”

  • Again the stress is on God's salvation
  • The name Yeshua is given to Jesus (by Yahweh)
  • Under heaven, among men, Yeshua is the only name by which we must be saved.
You cannot find salvation in the name of Buddha. You cannot find salvation in the name of Pope. You cannot find salvation in the name of your pastor. You cannot find salvation in the name of your church. You cannot even find salvation in your own name and save yourself.

**Only in Yeshua, Yahweh saves**

Salvation comes from Yahweh through Yeshua.   We call on Yeshua to reconcile to Yahweh.  The Christians in early church called on Jesus (1 Cor 1:2, Acts 9:14, 21, 22:16, Rom 10:12-14) to save them, for Jesus is indeed the Lamb of God, the perfect sacrifice to reconcile men to Yahweh (1Pe 1:18-21).  Yahweh is the One who causes us to be born again at baptism.  Yahweh forgives our sins and grants us the new life through Jesus.

And after Yahweh raised Jesus up in resurrection, Yahweh did something amazing to Jesus. Yahweh ascended and glorified Jesus as Lord and Christ, seating on his right hand side, because Jesus unconditionally obeyed God (Eph 1:19-21; Rom 8:34). This is too marvellous! A Wonder to behold!

Can you feel the joy and excitement in the hearts of the early disciples?  When they called on Jesus, they lifted up their hearts with thanksgiving to Yahweh, the One who sent the long awaited Messiah to save them. Hallelujah!  The Messiah had indeed come! The Messiah was crucified, buried and Yahweh raised him up from the dead.  The Messiah accomplished the salvation work, fulfilling the OT prophecies. Blessed be the Name of Yahweh!  Yahweh even ascended Jesus to heaven. Yahweh exalted Christ to be head of the church. How incredible this is!  This is all for our sake. In calling Jesus, the early church expressed their faith in Yahweh who brought all these prophecies into fulfilment. In calling Jesus, the church was submitting to the Lordship of Yahweh and Christ. Even if it seemed like they were calling on Yeshua, they were also calling on Yahweh to save them. Thru Yeshua, Yahweh saves.

The early apostles did not stop there and just called on Jesus.  They called on Yahweh when they prayed.  Their prayers were always directed toward God and not to Jesus.  In prayer and worship, Yahweh was the name they called, not Jesus. Peter and Paul exhorted the church to call on the Name of Yahweh (Acts 2:21, Rom 10:13, 2 Tim 2:22).  

Jesus is the central focus in the atoning work of our salvation.  Jesus is never the focus in our prayers.  We must not mix the two.  In prayer, Yahweh is always the center of focus.  This is true in OT as well as in NT.

"Calling on the Name of the Lord" is about spending time in prayer, to commune with God.  So we must learn to call on the Name of Yahweh when we pray.  The Name of Yahweh will draw us to build a relationship with God, closer and closer, deeper and deeper each day.


Calling on the Name of the Lord in NT - 7

Subject:  Lord, my eyes have seen Your salvation

Yesterday, we saw that "Yeshua" means "Yahweh saves".  Everytime we mention Yeshua, the Name of Yahweh is proclaimed.  Yahweh saves us through Yeshua.  

Luke 2:25-32,
25 And, behold, there was a man in Jerusalem, whose name was Simeon; and the same man was just and devout, waiting for the consolation of Israel: and the Holy Spirit was upon him.

26 And it was revealed unto him by the Holy Spirit, that he should not see death, before he had seen the Lord's Christ.

27 And he came by the Spirit into the temple: and when the parents brought in the child Jesus, to do for him after the custom of the law,

28 Then took he him up in his arms, and blessed God, and said,

29 Lord, now lettest thou thy servant depart in peace, according to thy word:

30 For mine eyes have seen thy salvation,

31 Which thou hast prepared before the face of all people;

32 A light to lighten the Gentiles, and the glory of thy people Israel.

Simeon, filled with the Holy Spirit of God, held baby Jesus in his arm and prayed to Yahweh God (2:28), whom he addressed as "Lord" (2:29) saying that his eyes had seen God's salvation (2:30). 

In Jesus, Simeon sees God's salvation.

In the context, the "Lord" here in 2:26 and 2:29 refer to Yahweh, not to Jesus.

The Spirit of God revealed to Simeon that Jesus is Yahweh's Christ, meaning Jesus will be the Messiah Christ that all the people of Israel were looking forward to for their redemption.

When Joseph and Mary entered into the temple of Jerusalem, they had already given the name  " ישוע  " (Yeshua) to the baby as instructed by the angel of
Like all Jewish parents, they came to the temple of Jerusalem to fulfill the requirements of the law. "According to the Law of Moses, they brought Yeshua to the Temple to present him to the Lord as it is written in the Law of the Lord, "Every male who first opens the womb shall be called holy to the Lord".  (Luke 2:22-23)

The "Lord' here refers to Yahweh as it is a quote from the OT.  Unfortuantely because we are working with English and LXX translations, we do not see the word "Yahweh". "Yahweh" is in the original Hebrew text in Exodus 13:11-12.

Simeon was a just and devout man and he had been waiting for a long time for the consolation of Israel.  So when Simeon laid his eyes on Yeshua,  he turned his attention to God and blessed Yahweh for he has now seen salvation from God in Yeshua.  Blessed be Yahweh God. God allows Simeon to see Yahweh's salvation not just for Israel but also for the Gentiles, so Simeon went on and gave a message to Mary from God.

At this time in the temple, Anna, the old prophetess, also gave thanks to Yahweh, for redemption is going to come through "Yeshua".  Anna then spent the rest of her life speaking of Yeshua to "all who were looking for redemption in Jeruslaem."

Yahweh accomplishes the redemptive work of salvation through Yeshua,  the Lamb of God, the sacrifice for the atonement of sins, to take away the sin of the world (John 1:29).  

1 Peter 1:18-21 tells us that "we are ransomed with the precious blood of Christ, like that of a lamb without blemish or spot.  He was foreknown before the foundation of the world but was made manifest in the last times for your sake who through him are believers in God, who raised him from the dead and  gave him glory, so that your faith and hope are in God."

Simeon, Anna, Peter, and the early apostles put their faith and hope in Yahweh God for salvation.  

In Yeshua, they see Yahweh's salvation.

In Yeshua, do we see Yahweh's salvation?

Yeshua directs our attention to Yahweh, the One who saves.  Yahweh is our ultimate Savior. Yahweh savse through Yeshua. Our faith and hope are in Yahweh. 



Calling on the Name of the Lord in NT - 6

Subject:  Yeshua

Matthew 1:21 "She will bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins.” 

When Jesus was born, his name was given by Yahweh God, not by Joseph.  Why did God choose this name for Jesus?  Jesus will save his people from their sins. 

The name of Jesus has to do with God's salvation Unfortunately, the meaning of the name does not come out in the English Translation.

"Jesus" is a transliteration from the Latin "Iesus", which comes from the Greek word  ησος  (Iēsoûs). 

In Jesus' time, the common language was Greek. But the Jews in Jesus' time understood Hebrew and spoke Aramaic. Aramaic is a Semitic language related to Hebrew and Arabic. Being brought up in a Jewish home in Nazareth, Jesus would have his roots in the Hebrew language.

So when the angel of Yahweh appeared in Joseph's dream, Joseph was to call his son  ישוע  "Yeshua".

ישוע  "Yeshua" is the Hebrew name for Jesus.
ישוע  "Yeshua" is a shortened form of the Hebrew name  יהושע  "Yehoshua".

יהושע "Yehoshua" is a compound name consisting of two parts:
  •  The first part   יה (Yahis the contracted form of the Tetragrammaton — God’s Four Letter Name: יהוח  YHWH.
  •  The second part is the Hebrew verb  שׁוּעַ (shua‘)  meaning to cry for help, to deliver, save, or rescue.

The entire name would then literally mean, "Crying out to YHWH to save" or simply "YHWH saves."

Our English names don't bear much meaning, but this is not so with Hebrew names as they have deep meanings in relation to the person.

"Yeshua" means crying out to Yahweh for deliverance.  Yahweh's Name is actually in the name "Yeshua".  

How remarkable this is!  

Everytime we mention Yeshua, we are proclaiming Yahweh. We are also calling out to Yahweh.

The name "Yeshua" indeed helps us to call on Yahweh.


Calling on the Name of the Lord in NT - 5

Subject:  Call on the name of our Lord Jesus Christ

1 Cor 1:2  To the church of God that is in Corinth, to those sanctified in Christ Jesus, called to be saints together with all those who in every place  call upon the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, both their Lord and ours.

The saints in the 1st Century are identified as people who "call on the name of our Lord Jesus Christ." 

Today, we will look at the words "Lord Jesus Christ".

In the NT, "Lord" can refer to Yahweh God, Jesus Christ or in rare occasions, a human master.  "Lord" carries the meaning of authority and ownership. 

In 1 Cor 1:2, "Lord" appears 2X and both refers to Jesus Christ.  

"Lord" actually is the most frequently title used on Jesus.

Let's look at these titles "Lord" and "Christ" so that we can understand this verse better. This will help us understand why in Acts 9:14 and Acts 9:21, the disciples were identified as those who 'call upon this name'.

We need to remember that Jesus was not born with the titles "Lord" and "Christ".  After Jesus had fulfilled his Messianic mission on earth, God appointed the titles "Lord" and "Christ" to Jesus. (Acts 2:36)  After Jesus' crucifixion and burial, God raised Jesus and ascended him to a high position sitting right next to God. 

In the Bible, we see  these combinations of words "Christ", "Christ Jesus", "Jesus Christ", "Lord Jesus Christ" and "Lord Christ Jesus" surrounding the name Jesus.  

When you look at the statistics in the Bible, you see a clear demarcation when Jesus is called "Lord" or "Christ". 

Take a look at these statistics graphs and they will speak for themselves:

Christ - 532X
   61X in Gospels              (Before Ascension)
 471X in Acts and Epistles (After Ascension)

The main occurence of "Christ" is in Acts and the Epistles, after Jesus' ascension.


Christ Jesus -  83X
  0X in Gospels              (Before Ascension)
83X in Acts and Epistles (After Ascension)

The combination "Christ Jesus" appears in Acts and the Epistles, after Jesus' ascension.


Jesus Christ - 140X
    5X in Gospels              (Before Ascension)
          135X in Acts and Epistles (After Ascension)

"Jesus Christ" appears mainly in Acts and the Epistles, after Jesus' ascension.

Whether the combination is "Christ Jesus" or "Jesus Christ" it means the same thing. 


Lord Christ Jesus - 11X
  0X in Gospels (Before Ascension)
11X in Epistles (After Ascension)

Lord Jesus Christ - 73X
  0X in Gospels (Before Ascension)
73X in Acts & Epistles (After Ascension)

"Lord Christ Jesus"  or "Lord Jesus Christ" mean the same thing. Together they come to 84X.  

This shows the importance of the title "Lord" given to Jesus Christ after ascension.

Summary of above statistics graphs:
  • The titles "Christ" & "Lord" are heavily stressed in Acts and Epistles for the obvious reason that Jesus in his obedience to God had fulfilled the redemptive work on earth for our salvation as Messiah and he has ascended into heaven.
  • In the 4 Gospels, sometimes people would address Jesus as "Lord" or "Rabbi".  The "Lord" in this sense is a polite title of respect.  But after ascension, "Lord" and "Christ" bring on a new meaning.
  • The new meaning is that Yahweh God grants these titles "Christ" and "Lord" to Jesus and ascended him to heaven, exalted him to a high place of honor & authority, sitting right next to Yahweh.  
  • These events happened at the beginning of Acts.  After Jesus' ascension, the apostles went around preaching openly that Jesus is the Christ.

With this background and understanding, we can try to understand 1 Cor 1:2 in a better light.

The early church disciples or saints were identified as those who called upon the name of our "Lord Jesus Christ" (Jesus with the 2 titles).  The early disciples responded to God's call of salvation and so they called on Jesus to be their Lord and Christ. They became 'new' people.  God caused them to be 'born anew' with the new life at baptism.  This was the distinguishing mark of early church Christians - those who called on this name (Acts 9:14, 21). 

Furthermore, calling Jesus "Lord" is to live under his lordship as the Church is the Body of Christ with Christ as the head. "Christ is the head of the church, he himself being the savior of the body." (Eph 5:23)  

God is the head of Christ. "I want you to understand that Christ is the head of every man, and the man is the head of a woman and God is the Head of Christ." (1 Cor 11:3)

To call on Lord Jesus is to submit and live in obedience to the lordship of Christ, the head of the Church, just as Christ lives in obedience to Yahweh, the Head of Christ.  Christ always lived and still lives under the Lordship of Yahweh.

We are to lead the church to live in obedience to the Lordship of Yahweh and Christ.  Even as Christ sits at the right hand of God, Christ is also submitting himself under the Lordship of Yahweh now.  

And God has bestowed on Jesus the name that is above every name.  And there comes a day that at the name of Jesus, every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth, and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father. (Phil 2:11)

That day has not come yet and the church looks forward to that day.

Tomorrow we will look more specficially on the name of "Jesus".  We will then discover how this name helps us to call on Yahweh. 



Calling on the Name of the Lord in NT - 4

Subject:  "Yahweh" or "Lord"? 

When we read the NT, we notice  a discrepancy between the NT and OT: 

  • "Call on the Name of Yahweh" in OT 
Joel 2:32 "And it shall come to pass, that whosoever shall call on the Name of  Yahweh shall be delivered …"

  • "Call on the Name of the Lord" in NT
"And it shall come to pass, that whosoever shall call on the Name of the Lord shall be saved."  Acts 2:21
“Everyone who calls on the Name of the Lord will be saved.” Romans 10:13

Acts 2:21 & Romans 10:13 are quoting from Joel 2:32:

  • Why doesn't the NT say to "call on the Name of Yahweh?"
  • Why does NT replace "Yahweh" with "Lord"?


We need to realize that the OT is written in Hebrew while the NT is written in Greek. 

  • In the  original Hebrew text, "Yahweh" is there. 
  • But in the NT,  the word "Yahweh" is taken out.  "Yahweh"  is replaced with "Lord".   

In the NT times, very few people used the Hebrew Old Testament as Greek became the common language. Around 250 BC, the Hebrew Old Testament was translated into Greek by Jewish scholars.  This translation is called the Septuagint translation known as the LXX (70).  The LXX was used widely among the apostles in the Gentile Grecian world.  In the process of translations, the Jews were afraid to say God's Name, so whenever they saw "Yahweh", they replaced God's Name with "Adonai".   In Greek, "Adonai" was translated as "kurios".   "kurios" is "Lord" in English. 

The Greek translation in the LXX for Joel 2:32 is, "hos an epikalesastai to onoma kuriou" which when translated to English is "whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord."

So whenever we see OT quotations in the NT, they are usually quoting from the LXX rather than from the Hebrew text.

This is why in Acts 2:21 and Rom 10:13, it reads "Whosoever shall call on the name of the Lord shall be saved. 

  • These are quotes taken from the LXX.  
  • You see 'Lord' there because it is a translation from the Greek word 'kurios'.

Peter & Paul are quoting from the LXX version of Joel 2:32.


But when we look at the original Hebrew text of Joel 2:32, this is what we read:

"And it shall come to pass, that whosoever shall call on the Name of  Yahweh shall be delivered …"  

It says specifically to call on the Name of Yahweh.

This is an unfortunate thing that happened in the process of translation.  "Yahweh" is replaced by the word "kurios" in Greek.  "Yahweh" is replaced by a title "Lord". 

Let not the unfortunate "weakness" of translation hinder us from calling on the Name of Yahweh!

"Yahweh" is not written in most of our modern day Bible translations. "Yahweh" is replaced by the word "LORD".  This is one of the reason why God's Name is hardly mentioned in the churches.  

This is so sad because "Yahweh" appears nearly 7000X, the most frequent noun in the Bible, the most important Name in the Bible, yet the distinctive personal Name of God is totally wiped out in our Bibles translations. The most important revelation of "I am Yahweh" from God is gone.

God's Name had turned silent down through the centuries.  

Today, let's arise and focus on calling on the Name of Yahweh that the outpouring of the Spirit will fill His people in these end times for the final deliverance.


Calling on the Name of the Lord in NT - 3

Subject:  Calling & Final Salvation 

The apostle Peter also exhorts the early churches to call on the Name of the Lord.

Acts 2:21And it shall come to pass, that whosoever shall call on the Name of the Lord shall be saved.

"Call on the Name of the Lord" is linked with our final salvation.

The Bible tells us that there is a progression in our salvation - past, present and future.   Our final salvation is in the future.  

Our final salvation is summed up in these words: 
Calling on the Name of the Lord.  

Who is going to be saved?  
Those who call on the name of the Lord.  

Wow, this matter of calling on the Lord is so important that it concerns our eternal salvation - whether we will finally be saved in the end.

Can you see how important this matter of calling on the Lord is?  Our eternal salvation depends on our calling on the Name of the Lord.

Do you want to learn to call on the Name of the Lord?

Acts 2:21 is part of the message of  Peter's Pentecostal sermon to the early church.  We are so blessed to have this first sermon recorded for us in detail.  Peter mentions about "calling on the Name of the Lord" as Peter is actually quoting a prophecy from the prophet Joel regarding the last days:  

Acts 2:21 is quoting specifically from Joel 2:32. 

 Joel 2:32  "And it shall come to pass, that whosoever shall call on the Name of  Yahweh shall be delivered: for in mount Zion and in Jerusalem shall be deliverance, as Yahweh has said, and in the remnant whom Yahweh shall call." 

Exegetically, we can see that "Call on the Name of the Lord" means specifically "Call on the Name of Yahweh" here.  (Tomorrow, I will go into the detail of the technical aspect of this part of the exegesis.)

Joel 2:32 is a prophecy to be fulfilled in the last days which had already begun at Pentecost.  We are now living in the end times where we, too, experience the outpouring of the Spirit of God on all people as we wait for the day of Yahweh, and both Joel & Peter exhort everyone to call on the Name of Yahweh for our final salvation. 

Whether we will finally have salvation depends on our calling on Yahweh.

Thus, it is urgent for us to learn together to call on Yahweh in these last days.  This calling on the Name of Yahweh is not a mere verbal calling mouthing God's Name.  It is not a magic formula.  It is not even a verbal recognition of God's Name.  It is focusing on Yahweh, to call and live in the presence of Yahweh, delighting to do His will until we finally see Him face to face. 

To understand what this means will take many more hundreds of articles to share, which I will try to attempt in the coming topics.

Let's make a start to call on Yahweh in our prayers.



Calling on the Name of the Lord in NT - 2

Subject:  A Continual Calling by Faith

At the end of Paul's life,  he exhorted young Timothy with these words,  "Flee also youthful lusts: but follow righteousness, faith, charity, peace, with them that call on the Lord out of a pure heart."  2 Timothy 2:22

Here we have a glimpse of what the community of believers are like in the early church.  How are the early church Christians identified here?  Those who 'call on the Lord'. 

The verb 'Call' is in the simple present tense meaning that this is an action that is repeated on a regular basis.  This is not a one time action at baptism.  It is a continual calling in the life of a believer.  This factual statement tells us that the early believers are in the habit of calling on the Lord all the time.  And out of a pure heart too! It's a continual expression of faith to God!

Calling on the Lord has to do with prayer.  Calling on the Lord is the mark of the early Christians. 

If you are a Christian, do you pray and call on the Lord?  If you don't call on the Lord, you are not even a Christian in Biblical terms.

I have a word of encouragement to our young people:  It is truly possible for us to live a life of purity.  We cannot live in purity in our own strength.  Many young people have difficulty controlling their youthful lusts.  This can become a lonely defeating battle.

So Paul gives a very concrete spiritual direction to help young Timothy to fight against sinful lust.  How?  To be together with Christians who call on the Lord to pursue after purity, righteousness, faith, love and peace.

What kind of Christians call on the Lord?  Surely it is not just the 'mere act of calling', as the emphasis here is on the "kind" of life they live.  These Christians who earnestly call on the Lord are people actively pursuing holiness, living a life of purity before God in prayer. They spend time in prayer calling on the Lord.

Do you take time to pray? Are you willing to spend time to pray and call on the Lord? We have prayer partners and we pray together in our church, as we are a community of  brothers and sisters keepers to call on the Lord together to pursue God with a pure heart.

Indeed, this is a beautiful picture of a church! 
"Those who call on the Lord out of a pure heart."

This 'calling on the Lord" is more than an individual matter but a community praying together earnestly focusing on the Lord.

A church that calls on the Lord is a church of faith!

When there is no earnest desire calling on the Lord in our churches, it only shows that there is very little faith.  When there is no concern to call on the Lord, it only shows that we have no faith in our churches.



Calling on the Name of the Lord in NT - 1

Subject: Calling on the Name of the Lord at Baptism

When we come to the NT, in the 1st Century Church, Christians were taught to call on the Name of the Lord when they got baptized, right at the beginning of their spiritual life. This was Paul's experience when he began his Christian life.

Ananias played a significant role in mentoring Paul at Paul's conversion. His instruction to Paul was: "Arise, and be baptized, and wash away your sins, CALLING on the Name of the Lord." Acts 22:16

I've read this passage so many times but somehow these words "Calling on the Name of the Lord" escaped my eyes.  I always knew that Ananias instructed Paul to get up and be baptized to have his sins washed away.  But what about "Calling on the Name of the Lord?"  I never took too much notice of these words.

Obviously 'Calling on the Name of the Lord' was something Ananias and the early disciples did often, thus Ananias exhorted Paul to do likewise.  Notice Paul was exhorted to call on the Name of the Lord at the beginning of his spiritual life, not at a later stage.  The First Century Christian leaders indeed laid a very firm foundation in the prayer life of the newly baptized believers.  We also need to do the same.

Here at baptism, Paul called on the Name of the Lord to have his sins washed away. Clearly calling on the Name of the Lord has to do with salvation, for the remission of our sins. 

The calling is not a mere verbal calling but it is a new beginning to express our faith in obedience to the Gospel. 

The word "Calling" in the participle form describes an action that is ongoing.  This means that "calling" is a progressive continuous action. You keep on calling His Name.  So Paul did not just call on the Name of the Lord at baptism and stopped there, but that he continued calling on the Name of the Lord throughout his Christian life. It doesn't mean that everytime Paul called on the Name of the Lord, he had to get rebaptized again and again. Obviously there is much deeper content involved in this action of calling that threads through Paul's prayer life. This calling on the Lord results in continual rich blessings from God (Rom 10:12-13).  Imagine this!  This is going to be something we will learn together as we move on in these articles.

The application for us today is that we too, must first call on the Name of the Lord to have our sins forgiven at baptism.  

There must be a beginning to call on the Name of the Lord.  

Did you call on Name of the Lord when you were baptized?

We need to get back to this "forgotten basics".   This teaching of calling on the Name of the Lord is not just for the mystics or the mature Christians as we might think.   

Let us exhort newly baptized Christians to call on the Name of the Lord.

In the coming articles, I will go into more detail to explain on this phrase "Calling on the Name of the Lord". This term contains very deep meanings in both OT and NT.