Answer (5). Suppose your name were Michael. Would you know I meant you if I called out, “Hey, Sam”? Habitually calling you by another name would deeply offend you and cause you to wonder why I stubbornly refused to use your name. Besides, the name Sam signifies someone else entirely. Yahweh also is offended when we refuse to get serious about His Name. He warns in Malachi 2:2, “If you will not hear, and if you will not lay it to heart, to give glory unto my name, says Yahweh of hosts, I will even send a curse upon you, and I will curse your blessings: yea, I have cursed them already, because you do not lay it to heart.”
John 4:24 tells us, “Yahweh is Spirit: and they that worship Him MUST worship Him in spirit and in truth.” His Name is part of that necessary truth.
It’s clear and simple. Yahweh tells us what His Name is. He commands us to call Him by that Name. We don’t have the option of calling the Mighty One of the entire universe whatever we wish.
We cannot rename Yahweh. Nowhere in the Bible is man given the authority to change His Creator’s Name. Never does the worshiper tell the one he worships how He will be worshiped! Yahweh tells us…we don’t tell Him. To bestow a name is the prerogative of a superior, as when Adam exercised his dominion over the animals by giving them names, or as when a parent names his or her children. It is always the prerogative of the superior to name the inferior, never vice versa.
Mankind was given dominion or stewardship over the earth (Gen. 1:28), and to show his responsibilities, Adam was allowed by Yahweh to name all the creatures (Gen. 2:19-20). Yahweh has control of the earth, heaven and the seas, and man has stewardship only over the creation on earth. We have no authority in heavenly things, such as calling our Creator what we wish.
Yahweh says I am “jealous for my holy Name,” Ezekiel 39:25. We must take those words to heart. If we do, He promises, “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 the Yahweh shall call” (Joel 2:32; see Rom. 10:13).
Knowing “who you mean” makes no difference to Him if you refuse to give him the honor and glory He demands. Even IF He knew who you meant, the point is, He COMMANDS His people to call on His revealed, personal, Covenant Name (Ex. 23:13). His Name represents Him and His truths. No other name, title or designation does that. No other title or substitute name reveals Him as the One who will be whatever His people want or need Him to be. That is the essence and meaning of the Name “Yahweh.”
We cannot say we know who He is and claim to worship Him according to that knowledge if we are using titles that miss the mark completely when it comes to identifying, describing, and defining the One we honor. Through the prophet Isaiah He said, “Therefore my people shall know my name: therefore they shall know in that day that I am he that does speak: behold it is I” (Isaiah 52:6).
Writing in a Seventh-day Adventist publication, Associate Editor Don F. Neufeld provides this insight: “’Yahweh’ is the name that identifies the God of the Hebrews. Where the Philistines worshiped Dagon, the Egyptians, Amon and the Ammonites, Milcom, the Hebrews worshiped Yahweh…When the voice said, ‘I am Yahweh,’ there was no doubt in any listener’s mind as to the identity of the speaker. He was the god of the Hebrews. So far as it is known, no other peoples called their god by this name” (The Advent Review and Sabbath Herald, 1971).
If you would honor another human being’s wishes by using his or her personal name, how much more should you revere your Creator’s request by calling on Him by His Name? He’s the only One who can give salvation!
Consider: If names don’t really matter, does it matter to you whether Yahweh has YOURS right when it comes to His Book of Life? Consider what Yahshua says: “He that overcomes, the same shall be clothes in white raiment; and I will not blot out his name out of the book of life, but I will confess his name before my Father, and before his angels…And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire” (Rev. 3:5, 20:15).