The NAME game ... The word game means "a scheme".
Over the years as I have studied the history of many denominations and the doctrines they developed, I soon discovered a "game" that satan has used with great success, especially among the various groups that believe in keeping the sabbath day holy.
The purpose of the game is to cause division among sabbath keepers and to discredit them in the eyes of believers who do not yet keep the sabbath.
The game has many variations but it is always based upon the concept of adding a false doctrine to the gospel taught by Jesus. This doctrine will be one that causes those who teach it to feel "special" or more enlightened because of their new revelation which supposedly comes from God.
Today, we have a new edition of satan's game found in the doctrine of "The Sacred Name". The Name game has also been very effective in causing separation among sabbath keeping brethren. Once a person or group has adopted the Sacred Name doctrine it seems that soon their money, time and energy is spent almost entirely upon teaching about proper use of the Hebrew Names instead of the so-called pagan substitutes. Satan's trick is to get them to focus more and more on doctrines which end up causing separation - instead of focusing on the necessity of separation from sin.
For those of our brethren who disagree with me I offer this simple test: Take a close look at your publications or your latest letter to another believer, and see what percentage of space is devoted to teaching about some aspect of the Sacred Name doctrine and what percentage is devoted to teaching elements of practical Christianity
such as How To Keep The Sabbath Holy.
Personally, I find most of what is written about the Sacred Name doctrine to be boring, repetitious and of little practical value. The constant barrage of Hebrew names makes me just a little crazy trying to figure out who they are talking about. Theologically speaking, their conclusions are invalid because they are based upon presuppositions that are impossible to prove, yet are offered as rock hard "truth". For example:
Supposition - "The original autographs of the New Testament were written in Aramaic (a form of Hebrew) and used the Sacred Names. These original documents were then destroyed by unnamed conspirators who wanted to substitute Greek manuscripts using pagan names such as Jesus and G-d".
If those who teach such things could produce one shred of physical evidence that those Aramaic manuscripts ever existed they would have a good case. The problem is that no one has ever seen them or even mentioned their existence. If those "in the Name" are correct then all of the early church fathers must have also been part of (or victims of) the conspiracy because they all used the pagan names such as Jesus and Lord. One could go on and on with endless point and counterpoint, but I will leave that to the many scholars who have already written skillful arguments against the Name Game.
To those sincere and dedicated brethren who insist upon using only the Hebrew names I ask that they remember that almost all of them were saved by calling upon the name of JESUS! When they cried out to their Saviour they probably used the same name they now denounce. Our Lord heard them and answered them; just as He has all who have called upon Him for over 1900 years. The fact is that Jesus does not care if you call Him Yashuah nor would Yashuah care if you called Him Jesus. Our relationship with our Creator depends upon the intent of our heart, not phonetics.
Harold and Donna Kupp