Name ~ Call
As Christians, what can we biblically call ourselves when we hold a certain position in the Lord's Church?
There are those who ignorantly or knowingly call themselves certain names without bible authority. It does not matter if this is done on purpose or not. We must do what the Lord says. We are not at liberty to just place a name on ourselves.
The first of these names is: Reverend.
Now what exactly does the word 'Reverend' mean?
Extracting this information from Strong's Exhaustive Concordance, we come to find that the word 'Reverend is defined as such:
yare' yaw-ray'; a prim. root; to fear; mor. to revere; caus. to frighten:-affright, be (make) afraid, dread (-ful), (put in) fear (-ful, -fully, -ing), (be had in) reverence (-end), X see, terrible (act, -ness, thing).
This definition comes from the Hebrew and Chaldee Dictionary in this concordance. The reference number is 3372.
In fact, the word 'Reverend' (in this tense) is found only once in scripture. The place this word is found is in Psalms 111:9. Note what it says:
"He sent redemption unto his people: he hath commanded his covenant for ever: holy and reverend is his name. (KJV)
Did you notice that the Lord is reverend ? Not I nor you nor anyone else has that right ! We are not suppose to fear anyone but God. So, if someone who is a minister calls himself Reverend, they are scripturally in error and placing themselves above all mankind.
Let us look at a couple of other scriptures (KJV) pertaining to this idea. Please look at Matthew 23, in verses 8 and 9:
"But be not ye called Rabbi: For one is your master, even Christ; and all ye are brethren. And call no man your Father upon the earth: For one is your Father, which is in Heaven."
Do you see the pattern? We are all brethren and we can not give ourselves titles that place one individual over another!
Now lets look at different tenses of the word 'reverend':
Verses: Hebrew Greek English
Leviticus 19:30 yare' yaw-ray (3372) reverence
Leviticus 26:2 " " " "
2 Samuel 9:6 shachah, shaw-khaw' (7812) " "
1 Kings 1:31 " " " "
Esther 3:2 " " " "
3:5 " " " "
Psalms 89:7 yare' yaw-ray (3372) " "
Matthew 21:37 entrepo, en-trep'-o (1788) " "
Mark 12:6 " " " "
Luke 20:13 " " " "
Ephesians 5:33 phobeo, fob-eh'-o (5399) " "
Hebrews 12:9 entrepo, en-trep'-o (1788) " "
Hebrews 12:28 aidos, ahee-doce' (127) " "
Esther 3:2 shachah, shaw-khaw' (7812) reverenced
Psalm 111:9 yare' yaw-ray (3372) reverend
Now lets give the definitions of each of these words:
yare' yaw-ray'; a prim. root; to fear; mor. to revere; caus. to frighten:-affright, be (make) afraid, dread (-ful), (put in) fear (-ful, -fully, -ing), (be had in) reverence (-end), X see, terrible (act,ness, thing).
shachah, shaw-khaw' ; a prim. root; to depress, i.e. prostrate (espec. reflex. in homage to royalty or God): bow (self) down, crouch, fall down (flat), humbly beseech, do (make) obeisance, do reverence, make to stoop, worship.
entrepo, en-trep'-o; from 1722 and the base of 5157; to invert, i.e. (fig. and reflex.) in a good sense, to respect; or in a bad one, to confound:-regard, (give) reverence, shame.
phobeo, fob-eh'-o; from 5401; to frighten, i.e. (pass.) to be alarmed; by anal. to be in awe of, i.e, revere:-be ( + sore ) afraid, fear (exceedingly), reverence.
aidos, ahee-doce' ; perh. from I (as a neg. particle) and 1492 (through the idea of downcast eyes); bashfulness, i.e. (towards men), modesty or (towards God) awe:-reverence, shamefacedness.
Now lets review these words in the following passages:
Leviticus 19:30 - "Ye shall keep my sabbaths, and reverence (yare') my sanctuary: I am the Lord."
Whose sanctuary do we reverence ? The Lord's! Not yours or mine.
Leviticus 26:2 - "Ye shall keep my sabbaths, and reverence (yare') my sanctuary: I am the Lord."
We do not fear men, but God who has power over our eternal soul. (See Matthew 10:28)
2 Samuel 9:6 - "Now when Me-phib'o-sheth, the son of Jon'a-than, the son of Saul was come unto David, he fell on his face, and did reverence (shachah). And David said, Me-phib'o-sheth. And he answered, Behold thy servant !"
The word reverence here means to lay prostrate (lying face down on the ground). Should we reverence any man today as if he were some sort of King? Is any Christian suppose to esteem himself over another by calling himself "Reverend?" Absolutely not. God is not a respecter of persons. This brings me to the point of “He who shall exalt himself, shall be abased (humbled) and he who humbles himself, shall be exalted (in Heaven) [See Matthew 23:12].” I sure don't want to be abased. I don't know about you. Would you? I will not lay face down for any man, but I will for Jesus Christ my Lord and Saviour.
1 Peter 5:6 says, “Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God, that he may exalt you in due time.”
One who calls himself “Reverend” does not humble himself. The mere title alone broadcasts exaltation.
1 Kings 1:31 - "Then Bath'-she-ba bowed with her face to the earth, and did reverence (shachah) to the king, and said, Let my lord king David live forever.”
Here Bath'-she-ba gives reverence to the king who becomes her husband. Just think about it, if your preacher called himself "Reverend," Would you 'shachah' (reverence) him by lying face down every time you spoke to him? I hope not. This is one reason we do not give 'reverence' to men
Esther 3:1-2 - “After these things did king Ahasuerus promote Haman the son of Hammedatha the Agagite, and advanced him, and set his seat above all the princes that were with him. And all the king's servants, that were in the king's gate, bowed, and reverenced (shachah) Haman: for the king had so commanded concerning him. But Mordecai bowed not, nor did him reverence.
Ha'man was placed above all the princes. They bowed and layed prostrate (gave 'reverence'). In a sense, they basically worshipped him. My friend, this is idolatry! No matter how you slice it! I will not worship any man nor should you. None of us are equal to Elohim (the Godhead). I do not want reverence nor will I give any man reverence except for the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost.
Esther 3:5 - “And when Ha'man saw that Mor'-de-cai bowed not, nor did him reverence (shachah), then was Ha'man full of wrath”
Notice Mor'-de-cai did not reverence Ha'man. Mor'-de-cai was one of God's people. We can relate that to todays time. Christians are God's people because they have been redeemed through Christ. Mor'de-cai knew he could worship no other so-called god. People call idols gods and worshipped them. Ha'man wanted to be all the people in the lands idol including the Jews. He wanted reverence but we know Ha'mans end came about because he was so enraged by Mor'-de-cai's refusal of reverence. We too should follow Mor'de-cai's example and refuse to give reverence to men.
Psalms 89:7 - "God is greatly to be feared in the assembly of the saints, and to be had in reverence (yare') of all them that are about him."
God is to be feared in the church (that is the body of Christ). We are to respect Him and be obedient to His commands. Hebrews 10:31 says "It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God." We do not want to fall. Lets call bible things by bible names. They were first called Christians at Antioch (Acts 11:26). The apostles didn't even call themselves “reverend.” They were with the one (Jesus) to reverence. I believe they knew better than to try to esteem themselves above others. They did not try to puff themselves up. They really learned from the Master.
Matthew 21:37 - "But last of all he sent unto them his son saying, They will reverence (entrepo) my son."
This is the parable of the wicked husbandmen. This was talking about the rejection of Christ by the jews. God said to reverence His Son, not man!! Isn't it awful that they would kill the son sent by the master in this parable, instead of giving him 'respect' (reverence)?
Mark 12:6 - “Having yet therefore one son, his wellbeloved, he sent them also last unto them, saying, They will reverence (entrepo) my son.”
This is the same parable; however, in this one he says: his wellbeloved. Of course, this is referring to Jesus Christ. God expects us to reverence His Son, not men. We are all currently mortals, we are to give reverence to what God asks us to. So far, He said to give Him and Jesus reverence. We also know we are not suppose to grieve the Holy Spirit (Ephesians 4:30)
Luke 20:13 - “Then said the lord of the vineyard, What shall I do? I will send my beloved son: it may be they will reverence (entrepo) him when they see him.”
Same parable. In this Gospel's account, the husbandmen were suppose to give reverence on sight. We should never give this kind of 'awe' to men.
"Nevertheless let every one of you in particular so love his wife even as himself; and the wife see that she reverence (phobeo) her husband." - Ephesians 5:33
Here, in this passage, we have the only time phobeo is used in the bible. This one means to be in awe of. In another words, when a wife sees her husband, she is suppose to respect him, because God put him in the position of authority. This passage relates to the one in Psalms 89:7 in the sense that the church is the bride of Christ and the church is to give reverence to Him. We are to behold him in 'awe'. The body listens to the Head, this of course in the anatomical sense is where the brain is. All the answers are there. WOW!! Jesus is the answer. He is to be reverenced! Furthermore, Christ love the church (the bride or wife) that He gave Himself for it at Calvary.
Hebrews 12:9 - “Furthermore we have had fathers of our flesh which corrected us, and we gave them reverence (entrepo): shall we not much rather be in subjection unto the Father of spirits, and live?”
We all respect or respected our parents. They gave us instruction and discipline. Shouldn't we really give the reverence to our Father in Heaven?
Hebrews 12:28 - “Wherefore we receiving a kingdom which cannot be moved, let us have grace, whereby we may serve God acceptably with reverence (aidos) and godly fear.”
We should serve God with acceptably with reverence (aidos).
Esther 3:2 - “And all the king's gate, bowed, and reverenced (shachah) Ha'man the son of Ham-med'a-tha the A-gag-ite, and advanced him, and set his seat above all the princes that were with him.”
Have you noticed that reverence was given to the following: King David (the ancestor of Jesus), Ha'man (we know of his demise), God (who we really reverence), Jesus (the wellbeloved Son) and Husbands (to respect, not worship, or hold higher than).
WHAT ABOUT CALLING SOMEONE RABBI OR FATHER ?
"But be not ye called Rabbi: For one is your master, even Christ; and all ye are brethren. And call no man your Father upon the earth: For one is your Father, which is in Heaven." - Matthew 23:8-9
Lets define these words (Rabbi and Father) in this passage. We will use Strong's Exhaustive Concordance:
Rabbi: (4461) rhabbi, hrab-bee'; of Heb. or. [7227 with pron. suffix]; my master, i.e. Rabbi, as an official title of honor: - Master, Rabbi.
Father: (3962) pater, pat-ayr''; appar. a prim. word; a "father" (lit. or fig., near or more remote): - father, parent.
Master: (2519) kathegetes, kath-ayg-ay-tace'; from a comp. of 2596 and 2233; a guide, i.e. (fig.) a teacher:-master.
Did you notice Jesus (that's right Jesus) said not to be called Rabbi (Master), because we have only one Master. We are brethren. And we are to call no man our Father or Father, because our Father is in Heaven. There are certain religions out there who have leaders in their church that call themselves Father. They also think that they are a mediator between God and man. Jesus Christ is our Mediator (1 Timothy 2:5; Hebrews 8:6; 9:15; 12:24). We pray through Jesus not Man!!! Remember the veil was torn in two when the Lord was crucified. We no longer have to have a veil. We can boldly go to the throne of Grace. Jesus is sitting on His throne and the earth is his footstool (Acts 7:49). We behold Him in awe as we worship Him at His feet.
Notice in Matthew 23:10 - “neither be ye called masters: for one is your Master, even Christ.”
So, we are not to call ourselves Rabbi, Master, nor Reverend. We can call ourselves brethren if we are born again or we can simply call ourselves Christians.
We should all desire to worship the Lord in spirit and in truth. So, please do not call yourself something that you have no bible authority in doing. I do not wish to be sarcastic. I just wish to follow the new covenant to the best of my ability. Lets not be ignorant and study God's word in order to avoid simple mistakes. I hope this study has been beneficial to you. If you wish to study further on this or any subject, I would be glad to study with you. God Bless.
Juergen U. Duetsch
P.O. Box 8
Medical Lake, Wa 99022