In His Name
This is not a "sacred name article"it makes no effort to tell you how to pronounce or use specific words. On the other hand, it is not an "anti-sacred name article." Its message is compatible with any pronunciation that you believe to be correct.
This article is an effort to show that our Saviorís name is sometimes used to represent His righteousness, power and authorityand how urgently we need to live our lives in His righteousness, power and authority.
And so, as those who have been chosen of God, holy and beloved, put on a heart of compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience; bearing with one another, and forgiving each other, whoever has a complaint against anyone; just as the Lord forgave you, so also should you. And beyond all these things put on love, which is the perfect bond of unity. And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in one body; and be thankful. Let the word of Christ richly dwell within you, with all wisdom teaching and admonishing one another with psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with thankfulness in you hearts to God. And whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks through Him to God the Father (Col 3:12-17, NAS except where otherwise noted).
In these few verses Paul lays out some living principles for the believers to adopt. He tops them off with, "...whatever you do in word or deed, Do all in the name of the Lord Jesus."
Have you ever noticed this before? If so, have you ever given it much thought? Does it mean that when we start our car, we say "starting in the name of Jesus"? (or Yahshua, Yeshua, etc.)" If we go to the store, do we tell the clerk that we are "buying in the name of Jesus"? (or Yashua, Yeshua, etc.).
What Paul is saying to we believers is that every time we speak and every time we take any kind of action, we are to "do all in the name of the Lord Jesus." How are we to understand this, and what does it mean for us in our daily lives?
Our God is not a god of confusion, and as such, His teachings are simple. This does not mean they are easily understood by we humans, who manage to confuse the simple things of God most of the time, but the transition process from the natural man to the Spiritual man (1Cor 2:14-15) is a long difficult road for most of us.
Sometimes it is helpful to define Spiritual terms and the simplest definition is usually the most appropriate. Therefore, to get us started in this subject, here is a definition of In His Name: It is a Spiritual realm where the Deity of God resides and it is called the Word! We will discuss more of this definition as we continue.
If we are to come to personally know our God and His Son (Jn 17:3), and this deeper fellowship with them should be the primary goal for all believers, then we need to come to understand and appropriate the Spiritual term "In His Name."
Because it is beneficial for us to take this subject very personally, we should seriously consider one Scripture at the very outset: "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" (Act 4:12).
In the Father's Name
When Jesus came to this earth as a human being, He set the pattern for all son's of God to follow. In speaking to the Jews about witnessing, he said, "I have come in My Father's name, and you do not receive Me..."(Jn 5:43). And again in John 10:25, "...I told you, and you do not believe; the works that I do in My Father's name, these bear witness of Me."
Later, in John 12:20-36, when some Greeks desired to see Him, He took the opportunity to explain a little of His soon coming death. In verses 27-28 He said, "Now My soul has become troubled, and what shall I say, 'Father, save Me from this hour'? But for this purpose I came to this hour. 'Father, glorify Thy name.' There came therefore a voice out of heaven; 'I have both glorified it, and will glorify it again.'" Notice the past and present/future tense of this statement, and it is the present on which we should focus.
In John 17, the true Lord's prayer, Jesus was speaking with the Father; "I manifested Thy name to the men whom Thou gavest Me out of the world..(6)..And I am no more in the world; and yet they themselves are in the world, and I come to Thee. Holy Father, keep them in Thy name, the name which Thou hast given Me that they may be one, even as We are..(11-12)..and I have made Thy name known to them, and will make it known; that the love wherewith Thou didst love Me may be in them, and I in them" (26). Here we see that the Father's Name was given to His beloved Son, and in reading the entire seventeenth chapter, we see that oneness and unity with God, and each other, is inherent "In His Name."
Authority and Power
After our Messiah's resurrection, He made a point of saying something very specific to His disciples; "...All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth..." We need to understand what His authority has to do with us today. Colossians 2:9-10 gives us more insight into this term of His authority. Permit me to give you an amplified translation here: "It is In His Name that the Father gives a full and complete expression of Himself. This is His DeityHis divine personality and ability. And you and I as believers In His Name, have been made complete, we lack for nothing because Jesus our Messiah is the supreme head over all rule and authority." If we can grasp the significance of these facts, then what follows may be easier to accept.
He then gave specific instructions to His disciples; "Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I commanded you...." "...And these signs will accompany those who have believed: in My name they will cast out demons, they will speak with new tongues; they will pick up serpents and if they drink any deadly poison, it shall not hurt them; they will lay hands on the sick and they will recover" (Mt 28:18:20; Mk 16:15-18).
Are there any Scriptures that tell us that God's power and miracles were only for the beginning of the church, or only for the end time? If so, I have not seen them. But then why don't we see this power and authority in the church today? I believe it stems primarily from a lack of knowledge of what we are in Christ, rather than a matter of lacking faith. Faith must surely follow, but how can we trust in what we do not understand.
Let's see if we can make some connection here. Do we understand that all believers have been placed "In Christ" by direction of the Father? It is His plan for us; "But by His doing you are in Christ Jesus..." (1Cor 1:30). During that first Pentecost, those present had been moved by the Holy Spirit to ask, "...what shall we do? And Peter said to them, Repent and let each of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ..." (Acts 2:38). As believers, we have been created anew (2Cor 5:17); we are His Temple and He "indwells" us (1Cor 3:16); therefore, we are in His name! and whatever we say or do, it is to be in this Spiritual realm where Jesus and His Father are also.
Do you recall in Luke 10, where the seventy disciples were sent out in pairs, and when they returned to report to Jesus, they said, "...Lord, even the demons are subject to us in your name." Here the temporary gift of authority amazed the disciples because at that time they did not yet understand what belonged to them "In His Name." We are blessed with this example for our understanding.
Are we not also told that all believers have this power and authority "In His Name: "Whatever you ask in my name, that will I do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son" (Jn 14:13). "You did not choose Me, but I chose you and appointed you, that you should go and bear fruit, and that your fruit should remain, that whatever you ask of the Father in My name, He may give to you..." (Jn 15:16). (See also, John 16:23-26.)
The Spiritual term for communicating with the Father in the name of Jesus Christ, is called "Prayer". Prayer keeps us close to our Father and His Son. It's more than bringing Them on the scene, it is going into their presence in an executive meeting, laying out our needs before them and making requisitions for ability, healing or victory for someone.
The Word through our lips really becomes the sword of the Spirit. It dominates world forces now just as it did in Jesus' day. Think about this; Jesus said, "In My Name you shall cast out demons" (Mt 28). That means rule them and govern them. God said, " Working together with Him, we also urge you not to receive the grace (ability) of God in vain" (2Cor 6:1).
Remember that in the beginning, God gave Adam the dominion over all the universe. That very dominion was restored to us through Jesus, but it is of no value to any of us unless wethe ones who belong to Himuse the authority in His Name, just as He commanded us to do. The authority was first given to an individual, Adam, but today, now, the authority is given to all of us as believers in the Name of Jesus Christ.
When Peter and John were confronted by the lame beggar, as recorded in Acts 3, Peter said, I do not possess silver and gold, but what I do have I give to you: in the name of Jesus Christ the Nazarene, walk!" Peter knew what belonged to him, In Christ. The disciples, including Paul, understood and trusted in His name, and many miracles were performed through them. They did not try to do it themselves, but kept in constant communication with the Father, just as Jesus did while on earth; "And now, Lord, take note of their threats, and grant that Thy bond servants may speak Thy word, with all confidence, while Thou dost extend Thy hand to heal, and signs and wonders take place through the name of Thy Holy servant Jesus" (Acts 4:29-30).
These may seem like very heavy words to you now. But ask yourself what power and ability has the Holy Spirit of God lost upon entering into repentant sinners like you and me? Has He been so diminished that His children have no ability to overcome evil? The God who raised Jesus from the dead is dwelling in us, and He has lost none of His power.
Not According to Knowledge
Today, there is a popular movement in the Western World of professing Christianity, known primarily as the "Charismatic Christians." They invoke the name of Jesus Christ in a variety of methods, mostly involving healings of different types. High emotions are also usually induced. According to many eye witnesses, some of these healings, but not all, actually take place. What are we to think of all this?
There are two specific Scriptural references that should give us caution:
But also some of the Jewish exorcists, who went from place to place, attempted to name over those who had the evil spirits the name of the Lord Jesus, saying, 'I adjure you by Jesus whom Paul preaches.' And seven sons of Sceva, a Jewish chief priest, were doing this. And the evil spirit answered and said to them, 'I recognize Jesus, and I know about Paul, but who are you?' And the man, in whom was the evil spirit, leaped on them and subdued all of them and overpowered them so that they fled out of that house naked and wounded. And this became known to all, both Jews and Greeks, who lived in Ephesus; and fear fell upon them all and the name of the Lord Jesus was magnified (Acts 19:13-17).
"Not everyone who says to Me, 'Lord, Lord,' will enter the kingdom of heaven; but he who does the will of My Father who is in Heaven. Many will say to Me on that day, 'Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in Your name and in Your name cast out demons, and in Your name perform many miracles?' And then I will declare to them, 'I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness'" (Matt 7:21-23).
Three points should be noticed in this analogy of the end time. First, Christ did not dispute that they were performing miracles in His name. Second, they evidently felt that this type of activity, by itself, qualified them to enter the kingdom. Third, Jesus mentioned two other qualification: "..he who does the will of My Father.." and those "..who (do not) practice lawlessness." It is therefore very important that we not be ignorant of the will of God (Eph 5:17), and that we also understand what it means to (not) practice lawlessness. (Both of these subjects are beyond the scope and intent of this article.)
Paul's comments, in Romans 10:1-3, about his fellow country men, may well apply here; "Brethren my heart's desire and my prayer to God for them is for their salvation. For I bear them witness that they have a zeal for God, but not in accordance with knowledge. For not knowing about God's righteousness, and seeking to establish their own, they did not subject themselves to the righteousness of God."
Focus on The Facts
There are many counterfeits of God's truth. These may very well obscure the truth, but they do not change the truth. If we really believe in the integrity of the written Word of Godthat is, Him speaking to us and revealing Himself to us and His plan for usthen we need to focus on the facts of the Word, and learn to apply them into our daily lives if we are to be truly useful to God.
Our God gave us a legal right to use His Name, and it has all authority in heaven and earth. This authority is over all the laws of nature, over every demon and their works, over all spiritual forces as well as material. This authority and the ability that goes with it belongs to the believer. These are facts on which to build a faith.
It is also important that we not be confused as to just what believing is. Believing is a verb. It's an action word, and it means to act on the word. (Very simple isn't it.) Then believing the word is simply acting upon it, as we act upon the word or our government in regard to taxes, or perhaps our overdrawn bank account. When Jesus says, "If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, ask what ever you wish, and it shall be done for you" (Jn 15:7). You simply act on that word. There is no believing without acting, and believing means having possession; I possess what the Word has promised me.
Read what the Scriptures say to us in John 20:30-31; "Many other signs therefore Jesus also performed in the presence of the disciples, which are not written in this book; but these have been written that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that believing you may have Life In His Name." Busyness in Christian circles may make us feel good about ourselves for a time and perhaps gain us some form of respectibility, but most of this activity is accomplished in the natural realm rather than the Spiritual realm. However, it is in the Spiritual realm where Christ is manifesting Himself in our mortal flesh (2Cor 4:11; Rom 8:11) that we have Life In His Name.
Can we now see a little more what it means when Christ said to all His disciples, "And these signs will accompany those who have believed: in My name they will cast out demons, they will speak with new tongues; they will pick up serpents, and if they drink any deadly poison, it shall not hurt them; they will lay hands on the sick and they will recover" (Mk 16:17-18).
The revealing of the "present/future" circumstances and events, as given to the apostle John and recorded in the book of Revelation, adds to our understanding of the term "In His Name." You can read it in chapter and verses as follows: 2:13,17; 3:8,12; 14:1; 19:11-13; 22:4. Specifi cally in Revelation 19:11-13 it says, "And I saw heaven opened; and behold, a white horse, and He who sat upon it is called Faithful and True; and in righteousness He judges and wages war...And He has a name written upon Him which no one knows except Himself. And He is clothed with a robe dipped in blood; and His name is called the Word of God."
Think about this for a moment. Suppose some wealthy man should give you a written power of attorney to use his namea limitless power of attorneywhat would that mean to you? With this legal document supplying every one of your needs, you can act as though his fortune were your very own. The Father has given us the power of attorney to use the Name of Jesus, and that Name has all authority in heaven and on earth.That makes us absolute masters over Satanic power. We, believers, are His ambassadors, His spokesman, His word, God's very voice. We are acting in His stead. Remember this, "In My Name." That is limitless! And it belongs to every child of God.
It is really not a problem of faith, but a problem of knowing the facts of our position in Christ, then taking our place as a son and daughter with Him.
In 2 Thessalonians 1:11-12, the Word of God says to all of us, "To this end also we pray for you always that our God may count you worthy of your calling, and fulfill every desire for goodness and the work of faith with power; in order that the Name of our Lord Jesus may be glorified in you and you in Him, according to the grace of our God and the Lord Jesus Christ." Jerry Laws
Servants News November 1997 index