IT IS ALL ABOUT HIS NAME! - Ezekiel 36:16-38

Shalom to you all, how good it is for us to be together and truly enjoy and embrace the privilege of being able to assemble together in the presence of the Almighty, יהוה of Hosts and as Sha’ul would often greet in his letters I say also to you all favour and peace to you from Elohim our Father and the Master יהושע Messiah. Mishlĕ/Proverbs 22:1 tells us that a good name is preferable to great riches and what the writer is referring to here is not only the name itself but the reputation that goes with the name. We know that if a person has a bad reputation then he tarnishes his name, and gives himself a bad name. Now we also know that there is a Name that is above all names! That is יהוה our Elohim. In my message tonight I want us to understand a little more about His Name and the reason He has called us by name and redeemed us to Himself in a message called, “It is all about His Name!

A name not only determines one’s reputation but also gives clear identity and standing. For instance, we here in South Africa are known as South Africans, and as we would travel we would be identifiable by our nationality through our ways and our speech etc. Well the Name of יהוה is for one, a strong tower, as it says in Scripture but it carries so much more, and the more we learn about our Creator the more we recognise and realise just how awesome and wonderful His Name is and by us carrying that Name, just how important and privileged we are. In Berěshith/Genesis 4:26 we see the first mention of the people beginning to call upon the Name of יהוה, just after Enosh was born and knowing that Enosh means ‘mortal’ it stands to reason that ‘mortal’ man began to call upon the Name of יהוה. What is so important about His Name, besides that it is His Name!!! Firstly we see that somewhere along the line this calling upon His Name was seemingly lost as the descendants of Aḇraham were in Mitsrayim/Egypt, and when יהוה called them out of Mitsrayim He told Mosheh who He was and the Name His people were to call Him. When Mosheh asked what he would say when they asked him who had sent him, the Almighty said ‘I AM that which I AM’ and was told to tell them that the I AM had sent Him, he was then further instructed to tell them that ‘יהוה Elohim of your fathers, of Aḇraham, Yitsḥaq and Yaʽaqoḇ had sent him and that that would be His name of remembrance to all generations. What a powerful moment that was as יהוה was indeed restoring His powerful Name among His chosen and called out ones! This, I believe, is a foreshadow if you will of what He is doing once again – He is restoring His Name! What we must understand is that for us to declare His Name is also our acknowledgement of who He is. The Hebrew for I Am that which I Am - אהיה אשר אהיה - ʾĕh­­­­­­­­­˗yĕ(h)  ʾªšěr  ʾĕh­­­­­­­­­˗yĕ(h) literally means, “I exist or I cause to be”.  I AM the One who causes to be, I AM the One who brings into being. I AM the life-giver, the giver of all existence. I AM the ever living self-consistent and unchangeable One. And from this we get the Name given By Him for us to call upon as יהוה (Yahweh) which means literally “He is the One who causes me to be.” This is very powerful, for every time you call on the Name of  יהוה, you are declaring who it is that causes you to be, you are declaring from your lips the One who gives you life, who made you, who gives you existence! And we are to declare His Name, giving praise to the ‘I AM’! It is through the Aaronic blessing that His Name is put upon us and that we can live and walk a life that carries His Name – but what happens when His Name is profaned?

Without wasting time, please turn with me to Yeḥezqĕl/Ezekiel 36:16-38 (read).

The predominant theme of this passage we have just read is restoration and the major theme here is יהוה's vindication of His Name. The most defiling thing for Yeḥezqĕl was pagan worship, and it is from this that Yisra’ĕl would be cleansed.

As we look at this chapter we cannot help but notice the repetition of all that יהוה does in restoring Yisra’ĕl is to do with restoring the Truth about His Name!

Yisra’ĕl was a set-apart nation (In Shemoth/Exodus 19:6 יהוה declared this); they were given a Set-Apart Promised Land, made so by the very presence of Elohim who had a set-apart Name. Yet they failed to acknowledge His Name and bring esteem and honour to His Name – in direct contrast to Shemoth/Exodus 20:7 – the 4th commandment – You shall not bring the Name of יהוה your Elohim to nought and in contrast to the instructions of how to pray from יהושע in Mattithyahu/Matthew 6:9: “This, then, is the way you should pray: ‘Our Father who is in the heavens, let Your Name be set-apart.

What Yisra’ĕl did here was tarnish the Name of יהוה, how? By engaging in pagan practices of the other nations which they were forbidden to do and as a result they chose to walk their own way and do their own deeds as opposed to walking in obedience to the Torah. So by this they defiled the land.

Defilement comes when you go off and walk in your own ways and do your own thing and do not follow the Torah of יהוה and walk in יהושע Messiah. What we must always realise is that any other way than His Way in unclean to Him. Any other path other than His way is filthy to Him – it is like a woman during her monthly period. This may be an often hard and disgusting picture I know, but this is just how serious this defilement is!

Yisra’ĕl defiled the land – now to defile something is to make it unclean or rather render or declare something unclean, and when something was declared unclean it was considered to be unfit for any set-apart purposes. We are told in Wayyiqra/Leviticus 10:10 that we are to make a distinction between the set-apart and the profane, between the clean and the unclean. Sadly what we see today is a total mix between clean and unclean that it gets almost impossible for many to be able to make a distinction between the set-apart and the profane and as a result they are bringing defilement to wherever they are at and therefore are ultimately profaning the Name of יהוה.

So how did Yisra’ĕl defile the land?

1 – Murder – they shed blood – how? By sacrificing their children, offering them up to the Babylonian sun-god Molech in fertility rituals at the designated equinox and solstice feasts.

2 – Idolatry – offering their babies was not just murder but idolatry in worship unto a fabricated deity of the Babylonians.

It was because of this that יהוה scattered them away among the nations, and when they were scattered they continued in their sin, profaning His Name, to which one day they would mourn for their rebellion.

Sin always has a way of holding out the promise of satisfaction without ever achieving it. It may look good to do what they others are doing, but if it is not according to the Torah of יהוה, it will be destructive.

יהוה scattered them and so judged them according to their ways and deeds  - and so we see in this illustration and example of a women in her monthly cycle that was separated from the congregation for being unclean and anyone who would touch her would become unclean and not allowed to come into the congregation, so too due to her uncleanness, Yisra’ĕl had to be separated from the Set-Apart Land.

What is sad is that instead of being a light to the nations they had profaned His Name to the nations and in effect brought the Name of יהוה to nought as they continued to call upon false pagan deities and following the ways of the nations and their vain traditions.

What does it mean to profane? The word profane means to treat something sacred with abuse, irreverence or contempt. The Hebrew word is חלל - ḥālal (chalal – with a ch.. sound as in loch) and means to bore or pierce through or kill or wound or defile. What is very interesting to me is that the word for praise in Hebrew is הלל – halal (with a soft sound as in ha).

These two words differ with a slight difference is the stroke of the pen by means of a little tiny gap! In Praise the letter ה (hey) is used and in profane the letter ח (ḥet) is used. This may sound a little pedantic to some of you, but for me it makes me realise just how fine line it is between pure worship and profanity! Remember Nadab and Abihu, the sons of Aharon who offered profane fire unto יהוה – they offered a false worship and got zapped!

Let me tell you why I find this very interesting in the closeness of these words – we see in the world today that there are many who claim to be born again believers of the Almighty yet in their worship they are offering profane worship and they cannot distinguish between the set-apart and the profane! The ‘church’ today is profaning the Name of יהוה and have not only brought His Name to nought but have profaned it by treating it with abuse, irreverence and contempt!

(SEE ATTACHED DIAGRAM AT THE END OF THE NOTES!!!)

In His wrath יהוה dispersed Yisra’ĕl and in a demonstration of His amazing grace he will vindicate His Name. יהוה had compassion upon His Name – that is He knows that His Name declares who He is – he is the One who causes to be – He caused man to be and so in His compassion for His Name and what it means He redeems His Covenant people!!!

It is all about His Name – it is all about worship. In Yo’ĕl we are told that ‘all’ who call upon the Name of יהוה will be saved!!! That is ‘all’ not some or a select few, but ALL. In other words, all who recognise that He is the One who gives life and causes us to be shall be saved. It is a recognition and acknowledgement of who made you, who created you to be and to whom you give your worship. Yes we know that no one comes to יהושע except if the Father draws him, so yes it is He who calls, but all who actually acknowledge the call and call upon His Name declaring Him as the I AM will be saved! This is where the fine line of profanity comes in – we are told to praise His Name, not profane it. We profane it when we misrepresent Him by following our own ways and deeds or rather the ways of the nations.

Profane worship is happening as we speak in the world today – think of all the Babylonian feasts of sun-worship of Christmas which is actually rooted in child sacrifice fertility rituals and Easter where infants again were offered up on the altar of Tammuz and Semiramis. Child sacrifice through murder and idolatry in fire offerings unto Molech are still very much being rehearsed as it were today in the form of profane worship unto the Almighty.

These profanities and defilements are what caused יהוה to scatter His people, but yet for the sake of His Name and his compassion for His Name He promises to take, gather and bring His people back to the Set-Apart Land!

When He says that He will take you from among the nations – we must understand that at Yeḥezqĕl’s time Yisra’ĕl had not been fully scattered totally into all the earth and so could not yet be gathered form all nations, yet in the years that have passed since then the dispersion has literally been fulfilled and so here this taking back, gathering and returning to the Land is referring to what is still to come and these events will be fully realised when the scattered members of the house of Yisra’ĕl are taken out of the nations. I believe that this process has begun in a great way – for many are being taken from – that is to come out of Babylon if you will – many are coming out by the hand of יהוה and He is beginning to gather together His own out of the nations and He alone will bring us back to the Land – this process has begun as many are calling upon His Name in acknowledgement of who He is, and may we realise afresh that it is not about us or for our sake, but rather for His Name’s sake!

He is calling people to be set-apart and He is gathering His Bride and when He comes for us He will take us to the Promised Land – we know that there will be attempts at a false orchestrated gathering in order to usher in the false Messiah, and there will also be false ‘gatherings’ of groups of people in an attempt at fulfilling this – may I remind you what is written here in this passage – He will gather His people – not any man or any organisation – He will gather; yet we must be watchful as children of light that we may walk steadfast in His commands able to discern the set-apart from the profane!

These events spoken of here are of a national cleansing, that when He gathers His Bride He will cleanse Her and then put a new heart and a new spirit within and he will cause us to walk in all His ways, to do them and once again dwell in the Land and be His people. This change is explained in a 4-fold way:

1 – Negatively – in that there is a removal – a removal of the old – praise Him for that

2 – Positively – A renewal – a new heart and a new spirit – causing us to live a life of total obedience

3 – Causatively – the Torah is written upon the heart causing us to live obediently

4 – Practically – by its manifestation - daily walking in His statutes and keeping His judgements

Although we individually go through a similar process when we accept יהושע Messiah as our Saviour and are immersed in His set-apart name, we die to self and are raised anew in Him, what we see being referred to here in this passage is a national redemption which has not yet occurred. What we have for now is a seal, a deposit of what is to come, and even the deposit we have now is sufficient for us to walk accordingly! Just as the faith of a mustard seed is sufficient for us to say to a mountain be removed, do to is this wonderful deposit that we have in Him, sufficient for us to walk in total obedience right here right now!

We must understand the wonder of His Name – the wonder of His compassion for His Name – that while we were yet sinners, He died for us – for His Name’s sake – His Name is upon us and He will never leave us nor forsake us for His Name’s sake!

We see the term ‘I shall’ used 18 times in this short section and the result of this we see is that Yisra’ĕl will have:

1 – Permanent occupation of the Land

2 – Covenant relationship with יהוה

3 – Protection against future lapsing into idolatry and immorality

4 – Abundant supply of food and all needs

At this point יהוה makes it very clear that He is doing and will do, all of this for the sake of His set-apart Name and so Yisra’ĕl should therefore blush and be ashamed! I wonder just how many of us have actually blushed and been ashamed of our wickedness, in our defilement, in our profane worship? I must admit the more I realise and recognise just how profane and defiled my attempt at worship was, the more I was ashamed and yes even blush in embarrassment before Him for following the way of the nations – I repented for being a ‘good Christian’!

What I love about this passage is the promises He gives – the sure Promises of The Land that will become desolate will become like Eden and the wasted, destroyed and deserted cities will become walled and inhabited.

The Nations that are left – that 1/3 that makes it through the Tribulation will know that He is יהוה – they will know that He is the One who causes to be, the One who gives existence – there is no other! And so just as Yerushalayim is filled with people at the appointed times, so shall all the wasted cities be filled with men – and all will know that He is יהוה.

I may have repeated myself tonight, but the essence of my message is simply this – it is all about His Name! Oh how I love Your Name יהוה! Perhaps it is a continuance of what יהוה has been speaking to us about of late over the past couple of weeks, when we looked at a message called, “Oh how I love your Torah יהוה" and last week looking at being imitators of Elohim from Ephesians we declared with joy, “Oh how I love to imitate יהוה our Elohim and so this week we can again declare our love for Him in professing, “Oh how I love Your Name, יהוה!"

By the Aaronic blessing found in Bemidbar/Numbers 6:24-26 is how the children of Yisra’ĕl is blessed and it is how we shall put His Name on the children of Yisra’ĕl, for He shall indeed Himself bless us.

As we His children have His Set-Apart Name upon us may we not be found defiling the place He has given us and may we not be found profaning His Name among the nations but rather shining his Truth and being a light to the nations that they may all know that He is the One who gives existence – He is יהוה. – It is All about His Name!

יהוה bless you and guard you; יהוה make His face shine upon you, and show favour to you; יהוה lift up His face upon you and give you peace.

As we carry His name may we truly understand the joy of bearing the Name that saves and continue to put our trust in יהוה to do that which we are incapable of doing ourselves and that is to cleanse us from sin, which is lawlessness and provide for us the power by His Spirit to live set-apart lives for His Name’s sake!

We have all heard the call to come out and be separate – may we truly live it as we worship and praise His Name being a light to many.  This is not a call to come out and hide, but a call to come out and be separate and SHINE!!!

Perhaps you have found at times that you have crossed that fine line or rather closed that tiny gap that exists between praise and profanity – hear these words of the One who give us our existence today – and may we serve Him with our all in Spirit and in Truth and let profanity or defilement never be found among us again. We give Him praise that by the Blood of יהושע we be partakers of the covenants of Promise as the One who causes us to be forever will cause us to be with Him – for it is all about His Name! Oh How I love Your Name, יהוה, You Are the All Existent One who causes me to be.

HalleluYah!

Shalom

 

DIAGRAM to show the ‘difference’ between praise and profanity:

praise vs profane