The Hebrew Bible proclaims that salvation comes from calling upon the name of YHVH:
“And it will be that everyone who calls on the name of Yahweh Will be delivered; For on Mount Zion and in Jerusalem There will be those who escape, As Yahweh has said, Even among the survivors whom Yahweh calls.” Joel 2:32
Here’s an English translation of how the Greek versions typically referred to as the Septuagint (LXX) render this text:
“And it shall come to pass [that] whosoever shall call on the name of the Lord shall be saved (pas hos an epikaleseetai to onoma Kyriou, sotheesetai): for in mount Sion and in Jerusalem shall the saved one be as the Lord has said, and they that have glad tidings preached to them, whom the Lord has called.” Joel 3:5
Calling on the name of YHVH means to confess and acknowledge that YHVH is worthy of worship since he alone is God, and therefore the only God who has the power to save:
“Israel has been saved by Yahweh With an everlasting salvation; You will not be put to shame or dishonored To all eternity. For thus says Yahweh, who created the heavens (He is the God who formed the earth and made it; He established it and did not create it a formless place, but formed it to be inhabited), ‘I am Yahweh, and there is none else. I have not spoken in secret, In some dark land; I did not say to the seed of Jacob, “Seek Me in a formless place”; I, Yahweh, speak righteousness, Declaring things that are upright. Gather yourselves and come; Draw near together, you who have escaped from the nations; They do not know, Who carry about their graven image of wood And pray to a god who cannot save. Declare and draw near with your case; Indeed, let them consult together. Who has made this heard from of old? Who has long since declared it? Is it not I, Yahweh? And there is no other God besides Me, A righteous God and a Savior; There is none except Me. Turn to Me and be saved, all the ends of the earth; For I am God, and there is no other. I have sworn by Myself, The word has gone forth from My mouth in righteousness And will not turn back, That to Me every knee will bow, every tongue will swear allegiance.’” Isaiah 45:17-23
Remarkably, the inspired NT writings teach that Jesus is that very YHVH God whose name individuals must call upon in order to be saved!
“that if you confess with your mouth Jesus as Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved; for with the heart a person believes, leading to righteousness, and with the mouth he confesses, leading to salvation. For the Scripture says, ‘Whoever believes upon Him will not be put to shame.’ For there is no distinction between Jew and Greek, for the same Lord is Lord of all, abounding in riches for all who call on Him, for ‘Whoever calls on the name of the Lord will be saved (Pas gar hos an epikaleseetai to onoma Kyriou sotheesetai).’” Romans 10:9-13
The inspired Apostle cites the text of Joel to show that a person must confess Jesus as Lord in order to obtain salvation, since the risen Christ is the Lord of all and graciously bestows his spiritual riches on all those who would call on him.
Paul elsewhere confirms that Jesus is the Lord of all beings who possesses infinite riches by which he has enriched humanity with salvation:
“For to this end Christ died and lived again, that He might be Lord both of the dead and of the living.” Romans 14:9
“For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though being rich, yet for your sake He became poor, so that you through His poverty might become rich.” 2 Corinthians 8:9
“To me, the very least of all saints, this grace was given, to proclaim to the Gentiles the good news of the unfathomable riches of Christ,” Ephesians 3:8
Peter is another Spirit-filled emissary who proclaimed the same truth of Christ being Lord of all creation:
“As for the word which He sent to the sons of Israel, proclaiming the good news of peace through Jesus Christ—He is Lord of all—” Acts 10:36
This blessed Apostle also cited the prophecy of Joel when preaching the Gospel:
“But Peter, taking his stand with the eleven, raised his voice and declared to them: ‘Men of Judea and all you who live in Jerusalem, let this be known to you and give heed to my words. For these men are not drunk, as you suppose, for it is the third hour of the day; but this is what was spoken through the prophet Joel: “And it shall be in the last days,” God says, “That I will pour out My Spirit on all mankind; And your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, And your young men shall see visions, And your old men shall dream dreams; Even on My male slaves and female slaves, I will in those days pour out My Spirit And they shall prophesy. And I will put wonders in the sky above And signs on the earth below, Blood, and fire, and vapor of smoke. The sun will be turned into darkness And the moon into blood, Before the great and awesome day of the Lord comes. And it will be that everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved (pas hos ean epikaleseetai to onoma Kyriou sotheesetai).”’” Acts 2:14-21
Peter immediately went on to show how Jesus fulfilled this prophecy by identifying him as that very YHVH God who pours out the Holy Spirit and whose name individuals must acknowledge and confess in order to be forgiven!
“‘Men, brothers, I may confidently say to you regarding the patriarch David that he both died and was buried, and his tomb is with us to this day. And so, because he was a prophet and knew that God had sworn to him with an oath to set one of the fruit of his body on his throne, he looked ahead and spoke of the resurrection of the Christ, that He was neither forsaken to Hades, nor did His flesh see corruption. This Jesus God raised up again, to which we are all witnesses. Therefore having been exalted to the right hand of God, and having received from the Father the promise of the Holy Spirit, He has poured out this which you both see and hear. For David did not ascend into the heavens, but he himself says: “The Lord said to my Lord, ‘Sit at My right hand, Until I put Your enemies as a footstool for Your feet.’” Therefore let all the house of Israel know for certain that God has made Him both Lord and Christ—this Jesus whom you crucified.’ Now when they heard this, they were pierced to the heart, and said to Peter and the rest of the apostles, ‘Men, brothers, what should we do?’ And Peter said to them, ‘Repent, and each of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins; and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.’” Acts 2:29-38
Remarkably, the Apostle’s application of Joel shows that both the Father and the Son are being described as YHVH God, along with the Spirit. After all, Joel plainly stated that it is YHVH who pours out HIS Spirit upon all flesh, and yet Peter states that Jesus poured out the Holy Spirit FROM the Father!
This means that the Father is YHVH since it is his Holy Spirit, and Christ is also YHVH since he pours out or sends the Spirit to believers, and it is Christ’s name that a person must confess in order to be saved.
Here’s a breakdown that will help bring this point out more clearly.
- The Holy Spirit is the Spirit of YHVH God.
- The Holy Spirit is the Spirit that comes forth from the Father (cf. John 15:26).
- The Father, therefore, is YHVH God.
- YHVH God is the One who pours out the Holy Spirit upon mankind.
- The risen Christ pours out the Holy Spirit upon all those who would believe in him.
- Individuals must call on the name of YHVH to be saved.
- Individuals must confess and acknowledge the name of Jesus Christ in order to receive salvation, which includes the forgiveness of sins.
- Jesus, therefore, is YHVH God who became flesh.
- Jesus is not the Father, but the Father’s Son.
- Therefore, both the Father and the Son are YHVH God Almighty.
- This means that YHVH God is not a singular Person, but a singular infinite Being who eternally exists as a multiplicity of divine Persons (three to be exact).
To reinforce the fact of Jesus being that YHVH God whose name individuals must call upon for salvation, note what Peter stated elsewhere after healing a paralytic by the name of the risen Christ:
“Now it happened that on the next day, their rulers and elders and scribes were gathered together in Jerusalem; and Annas the high priest was there, and Caiaphas and John and Alexander, and all who were of high-priestly descent. And when they had placed them in their midst, they began to inquire, ‘By what power, or in what name, have you done this?’ Then Peter, filled with the Holy Spirit, said to them, ‘Rulers and elders of the people, if we are being examined today for a good deed done to a sick man, as to how this man has been saved from his sickness, let it be known to all of you and to all the people of Israel, that by the name of Jesus Christ the Nazarene, whom you crucified, whom God raised from the dead—by this name this man stands here before you in good health. He is the stone which was rejected by you, the builders, but which became the chief corner stone. And there is salvation in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven that has been given among men by which we must be saved.’ Now as they observed the confidence of Peter and John and comprehended that they were uneducated and ordinary men, they were marveling, and began to recognize them as having been with Jesus. And seeing the man who had been healed standing with them, they had nothing to say in reply.” Acts 4:5-14
Since Jesus’ name is the only One under heaven which bestows salvation, and since the Hebrew Bible attests that there is no other name besides that of YHVH that forgives and saves anyone,
“For Your name’s sake, O Yahweh, Pardon my iniquity, for it is great.” Psalm 25:11
“O God, save me by Your name, And render justice to me by Your might.” Psalm 54:1
“Help us, O God of our salvation, for the glory of Your name; And deliver us and atone for our sins for Your name’s sake.” Psalm 79:9
“I, even I, am the one who wipes out your transgressions for My own sake, And I will not remember your sins.” Isaiah 43:25
“Declare and draw near with your case; Indeed, let them consult together. Who has made this heard from of old? Who has long since declared it? Is it not I, Yahweh? And there is no other God besides Me, A righteous God and a Savior; There is none except Me. Turn to Me and be saved, all the ends of the earth; For I am God, and there is no other. I have sworn by Myself, The word has gone forth from My mouth in righteousness And will not turn back, That to Me every knee will bow, every tongue will swear allegiance.” Isaiah 45:21-23
This simply reinforces the point of Jesus being YHVH God Almighty who became flesh.
Otherwise, we have a contradiction with the Hebrew Bible, and the Apostles are found to be guilty of preaching blasphemy and idolatry by ascribing to a mere creature the very glory and honor which belongs only to the one true Creator.
The foregoing explains why the first Christians, being predominately Jews, were characterized by their habit of calling on the name of the risen Jesus, a practice which began in Jerusalem of all places!
“Now there was a disciple at Damascus named Ananias, and the Lord said to him in a vision, ‘Ananias.’ And he said, “Here I am, Lord.’ And the Lord said to him, ‘Rise up and go to the street called Straight, and inquire at the house of Judas for a man from Tarsus named Saul, for behold, he is praying, and he has seen in a vision a man named Ananias come in and lay his hands on him, so that he might regain his sight.’ But Ananias answered, ‘Lord, I have heard from many about this man, how much harm he did to YOUR saints at Jerusalem. And here he has authority from the chief priests to bind all who call on YOUR name.’ But the Lord said to him, ‘Go, for he is a chosen instrument of Mine, to bear MY name before the Gentiles and kings and the sons of Israel; for I will show him how much he must suffer for MY name.’ So Ananias departed and entered the house. And he laid his hands on him and said, ‘Brother Saul, the Lord sent me—that is Jesus who appeared to you on the road by which you were coming—so that you may regain your sight and be filled with the Holy Spirit.’ And immediately there fell from his eyes something like scales, and he regained his sight, and he rose up and was baptized; and he took food and was strengthened. Now for several days he was with the disciples who were at Damascus, and immediately he began to proclaim Jesus in the synagogues, saying, ‘He is the Son of God.’ And all those hearing him continued to be astounded, and were saying, ‘Is this not the one who in Jerusalem destroyed those that called on THIS name, and who had come here for the purpose of bringing them bound before the chief priests?’” Acts 9:10-21
“To the church of God which is at Corinth, to those who have been sanctified in Christ Jesus, called as saints, with all who in every place call on the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, their Lord and ours:” 1 Corinthians 1:2
To call this practice astonishing would be putting it mildly, especially when we keep in mind that the OT repeatedly stresses that believers were to only call on the name of YHVH their God:
“Then he proceeded from there to the mountain on the east of Bethel, and he pitched his tent with Bethel on the west and Ai on the east; and there he built an altar to Yahweh and called upon the name of Yahweh.” Genesis 12:8
“And Abraham planted a tamarisk tree at Beersheba, and there he called upon the name of Yahweh, the Everlasting God.” Genesis 21:33
“Moses and Aaron were among His priests, And Samuel was among those who called on His name; They would call upon Yahweh and He would answer them. He would speak to them in the pillar of cloud; They kept His testimonies And the statute that He gave them.” Psalm 99:6-7
“I love Yahweh, because He hears My voice and my supplications. Because He has inclined His ear to me, So I shall call upon Him in all my days. The cords of death encompassed me And the distresses of Sheol found me; I found distress and sorrow. Then I called upon the name of Yahweh: ‘O Yahweh, I beseech You, provide my soul escape!’… I shall lift up the cup of salvation And call upon the name of Yahweh… To You I shall offer a sacrifice of thanksgiving, And call upon the name of Yahweh.” Psalm 116:1-4, 13, 17
Hence, the plain teaching of the inspired NT writings is that Jesus is YHVH God Almighty whose name a person must invoke and call upon in order to receive salvation and immortal life. There’s simply no way around this if one is to deal with Scriptures honestly and fairly.
Unless stated otherwise, all scriptural references taken from the Legacy Standard Bible (LSB).
Jesus Christ and JWs: Who is the Jehovah That Saves?
A Series of Questions for Jehovah’s Witnesses Pt. 6
Shaming the Shameless: Responding to a Jehovah’s Witness
Defending the Deity of Christ and the Trinity Against the Jehovah’s Witnesses
3 thoughts on “WHO IS THE JEHOVAH THAT ONE CALLS UPON TO BE SAVED?”
Blessings, Chrome allows translation on your blog. The “Spoken Content” function works in both English and the translation. I think it would work with the Macbook too.