He Knows Your Name

Psalm 33 13 15

Psalm 33:13-15 The LORD looks from heaven; He sees all the sons of men. From the place of His dwelling He looks On all the inhabitants of the earth; He fashions their hearts individually; He considers all their works.

This morning has been a little different for me. I usually awake with something on my heart that the Lord has been speaking to me about to share with those who follow my blogs. Today I just had a desire to sit and soak in His presence; to relax not being pressured to get a blog posted or to hear something new and fresh from the Lord to share with you. So I went to one of my favorite soaking prayer websites and enjoyed some nice, quiet background music and just rested for a few minutes in the Lord’s presence.

http://soaking.net/

As I was reading His word and enjoying His presence I read this portion of Scripture in Psalm 33. I get in my mind a picture of how God looks down on all His creation, especially that one group that He so intimately formed in His own likeness and image; that of mankind. He sees all the sons of men. He looks down on us from His place in glory and works individually continuing the work that He so intimately fashioned as we began our lives. He understands our works, our day to day lifestyles. He is still very intimately involved in each of our lives.

Philippians 1:6 being confident of this very thing, that He who has begun a good work in you will complete it until the day of Jesus Christ;

It may seem today as if God is not aware of what you may be going through or what your current status in life is, but God’s word is true. He is working in your life even when you can’t see any changes.

Numbers 23:19 “God is not a man, that He should lie, Nor a son of man, that He should repent. Has He said, and will He not do? Or has He spoken, and will He not make it good?”

God does not lie and He does not change. What He has said He will do and that is something that we can bank on! If you are discouraged today, take heart, God is working! This, too, shall pass!

Stepping stones to victory

Obstacles in our pathway often try to detour us to take another route, but God will lead you in the way you should go. Do not fear what lies ahead, but trust in the One who has fashioned you and made you in His very own likeness and image. There is a way through the difficult times; there is a God who loves you and cares for you and will not give up on you. Trust Him to take you to the place that He has prepared for you. Give Him permission to live in you and through you. You are His pride and joy.

He knows your name

Isaiah 49:15-16 “Can a woman forget her nursing child, And not have compassion on the son of her womb? Surely they may forget, Yet I will not forget you. See, I have inscribed you on the palms of My hands; Your walls are continually before Me.”

Difficult times come to all of us, but there’s one thing we can be sure of: God has us carved on the palms of His hands. He cannot forget us; He will not turn away from His children, whom He loves and fashions. We are continually in His mind.

If you are experiencing a trial this morning of what seems to be of insurmountable magnitude, turn your eyes to the One who loves you, who fashioned your heart and is aware of your dilemma. He loves you and will show you the way out of the temptation that has come up before you.

1 Corinthians 10:13 No temptation has overtaken you except such as is common to man; but God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will also make the way of escape, that you may be able to bear it.

God has an open door for you out of the temptation that has tried to overtake you.

Revelation 3:8 “I know your works. See, I have set before you an open door, and no one can shut it; for you have a little strength, have kept My word, and have not denied My name.”

When God opens a door for you, you can be sure that you can walk through it without interference. Seek the Lord this morning for what He would have you do in the situations in your life that are causing you distress. Sit in His presence and soak up the love that He has for you as His child. And when you find that door that He has opened, walk through it without looking back for He is leading you into a new place in Him. He opens doors that no man can shut!

Father, I thank You for Your presence in my life. I thank You that I can come to You and just enjoy being in Your presence. Thank You for refreshing me through these special times of just resting in You and basking in Your love. Father, I pray for those today who might be anxious in heart and mind. I pray that they will take time to rest in You, to just relax and let go of the cares of this world that are trying to choke the life out of them. Father, I pray that as they seek Your face you will reveal to them the open doors that You have placed before them as the way of escape out of temptation. Father, You are God and there is no one that can shut the doors that You open for us. Thank You for securing our future in You. May You be glorified through the lives of Your children. Thank You, Father, for hearing and answering the petitions of my heart this morning. Amen.

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There Is Persecution In The Name

1 Peter 4 14

1 Peter 4:14 If you are reproached for the name of Christ, blessed are you, for the Spirit of glory and of God rests upon you. On their part He is blasphemed, but on your part He is glorified.

We’ve been looking at the Biblical definitions for the Greek word for “name”, “onoma”, used in the verses and scripture passages in the Bible. Today we will look at the last one, which is “owing to the fact that one is called by Christ’s “Name” or is identified with Him”.

In the above mentioned verse we see that when a person is reproached or insulted or reviled for the “name” of Christ, which is “owing to the fact that one is called by Christ’s “Name” or identified with Him”, that God sees the person who is doing the reproaching as if they were blaspheming Him. What does it mean to blaspheme Christ? The King James Version says that “on their part he is evil spoken of, but on your part he is glorified”.

To blaspheme – Greek word – blasphemeo – means to rail or revile; to speak contemptuously of God or of sacred things; to be slanderously reported; to be evil spoken of or defamed.

So what the Word is saying here is that when a person is known as being called by Christ’s name, or is identified with Him, in other words a Christian, and is reproached or insulted when standing for Christ, the Lord takes that as speaking contemptuously of Him or speaking evil or defaming Him. Then He sees the one standing for Him or known as a Christ-follower as glorifying Him through that insult. He takes the reproach of one who is known as a Christian personally as if it were being done directly to Him.

Jesus said one of the signs that we are in the last days before His return is that those who are standing for Him will be hated by all nations for His name’s sake.

Matthew 24:9 “Then they will deliver you to tribulation and kill you, and you will be hated by all nations for My name’s sake.”

We see that happening more and more in our current day to day setting. Missionaries all over the world are being persecuted and even killed for their faith in Christ Jesus.

Mark 13:13 “And you will be hated by all for My name’s sake. But he who endures to the end shall be saved.”

What does it mean to “endure to the end”? That word for “endures” in the Greek is the word “hupomeno” and it means to hold one’s ground in conflict, bear up against adversity, hold out under stress, stand firm, persevere under pressure, wait calmly and courageously. It is not passive resignation to fate and mere patience, but the active, energetic resistance to defeat that allows calm and brave endurance.

The picture that we get when we see this Biblical definition of “endures” is not a person that runs from adversity or persecution, but one that boldly stands and resists whatever is thrown at them. It is the picture of a person continuing to stand strong, not drawing back in fear or caving in under the stress of adversity. It takes a lot of courage to “endure” to the end.

I recently received an email from a friend describing how some of the disciples died after “enduring” to the end. I have not personally checked these for accuracy but do feel that it probably is as it is stated as I know that they did die a martyr’s death.

Matthew – Suffered martyrdom in Ethiopia, Killed by a sword wound. 

Mark – Died in Alexandria, Egypt , after being dragged by Horses through the streets until he was dead.

Luke – Was hanged in Greece as a result of his tremendous Preaching to the lost.

John – Faced martyrdom when he was boiled in huge Basin of boiling oil during a wave of persecution In Rome. However, he was miraculously delivered From death. John was then sentenced to the mines on the prison Island of  Patmos. He wrote his prophetic Book of Revelation on Patmos. The apostle John was later freed and returned to serve as Bishop of Edessa in modern Turkey . He died as an old man, the only apostle to die peacefully.

Peter – He was crucified upside down on an x-shaped cross. According to church tradition it was because he told his tormentors that he felt unworthy to die in the same way that Jesus Christ had died.

James – The leader of the church in Jerusalem, was thrown over a hundred feet down from the southeast pinnacle of the Temple when he refused to deny his faith in Christ. When they discovered that he survived the fall, his enemies beat James to death with a fuller’s club.

James the Great – Son of Zebedee, was a fisherman by trade when Jesus called him to a lifetime of ministry. As a strong leader of the church, James was ultimately beheaded at Jerusalem.  The Roman officer who guarded James watched amazed as James defended his faith at his trial. Later, the officer walked beside James to the place of execution. Overcome by conviction, he declared his new faith to the judge and knelt beside James to accept beheading as a Christian.

Bartholomew – Also known as Nathaniel, was a missionary to Asia. He witnessed for our Lord in present day Turkey. Bartholomew was martyred for his preaching in Armenia where he was flayed to death by a whip.

Andrew – Was crucified on an x-shaped cross in Patras, Greece.  After being whipped severely by seven soldiers they tied his body to the cross with cords to prolong his agony. His followers reported that, when he was led toward the cross, Andrew saluted it in these words: ‘I have long desired and expected this happy hour.  The cross has been consecrated by the body of Christ hanging on it.’   He continued to preach to his tormentors for two days until he expired. 

Thomas – Was stabbed with a spear in India during one of his missionary trips to establish the church in the sub-continent.

Jude – Was killed with arrows when he refused to deny his faith in Christ.

Matthias – The apostle chosen to replace the traitor Judas Iscariot, was stoned and then beheaded.

Paul – Was tortured and then beheaded by the evil Emperor Nero at Rome in A.D. 67. Paul endured a lengthy imprisonment, which allowed him to write his many epistles to the churches he had formed throughout the Roman Empire. These letters, which taught many of the foundational Doctrines of Christianity, form a large portion of the New Testament. 

2 Timothy 3:12 Yes, and all who desire to live godly in Christ Jesus will suffer persecution.

Does this mean that we will all die a martyr’s death for our faith? No, but it does mean that there is some level of persecution in the lives of those who stand for the Name of Jesus, as by Biblical definition, “which is owing to the fact that one is called by Christ’s “Name” or identified with Him”. It may be as minor as being made fun of at work or school, or being singled out as a Jesus fanatic, or it may be as serious as some of the missionaries that are in third world countries are experiencing where they are being beaten and even killed for their faith. This is a serious matter to God. He sees it as if the persecutors are persecuting Him. Jesus forewarned His disciples that they would go through persecution in their service to Him.

John 15:20 “Remember the word that I said to you ‘A servant is not greater than his master.’ If they persecuted Me, they will also persecute you. If they kept My word, they will keep yours also.

But He also said this in Matthew 19:29:

And everyone who has left houses or brothers or sisters or father or mother or wife or children or lands, for My name’s sake, shall receive a hundredfold, and inherit eternal life.”

God is the record keeper and He is keeping score. He knows every hair that is on our heads and He is watching over His own. He who endures to the end will be saved.

Revelation 22:12 “And behold, I am coming quickly, and My reward is with Me, to give to everyone according to his work.”

Reward – Greek word misthos – means pay, wages, salary, recompense for service.

Jesus is returning soon and His reward for those who have served Him is great. Those who have stood in the face of persecution, I believe, will have a greater reward because of all they have suffered for Him. May He be glorified in His body, the Church!

Who will you pray for today

Father, I thank You for all that You have given us in the Name of Jesus! There is power and authority in the Name of Jesus! There is life through the confession of His Name and the reward that You have for those who serve You is great! Thank You, Father, for all that You have provided to Your children who are called by Your Name. Thank You, Lord Jesus, for willingly laying down Your life, for being persecuted and crucified for our salvation. We know that Your sacrifice was great and we are thankful that You have come to save us! Praise Your Name forevermore! Father, I pray for those who are serving You under persecution today. I life them up to You and ask that You would strengthen them, comfort them, give them courage and that You would bring there persecution to an end. For those who are on foreign soil, Father, may their persecutors stop the torment and outrage against them. Father, I ask that You would give Your angels charge over them to guard them and keep them in all their ways. I ask that Your angelic hosts would lift them up and carry them above the pain and suffering that they are experiencing! And most of all, Father, I ask that you would deliver them from their persecutors. I thank You, now for hearing and answering this prayer offered up to You in the precious name of Jesus! Amen.

Standing In The Authority Of The Name

Matthew 18 5 Jesus and little child

Matthew 18:5 “Whoever receives one little child like this in My name receives Me.

We’ve been studying the word “name” as it is used in the New Testament when referring to Christ. As we have learned the Greek word for “name”, “onoma”, has several different meanings depending on it’s use in the verse and context of the scripture. Today we will look at the Biblical definition for “name”, “onoma”, meaning “representing the authority of Christ”. We looked earlier at another definition that is similar to this one, “in recognition of the authority of (sometimes combined with the thought of relying or resting on)”. These are similar in definition, but yet different.

In Matthew 18:5 we see the use of the definition of “representing the authority of Christ”. Jesus said that if we would receive a little child in His name, “onoma”, representing His authority through the little child that we would be receiving Him. This is what happens when one stands before another as an ambassador of Christ, or His representative on the earth. God sees us as His little children. As ministers of the Lord Jesus Christ, those who have been called to represent Him when standing before a group presenting Him as Savior and Lord, as the only true God through whom salvation comes to mankind, are to be received as if they are representing the authority of Christ. They are not Jesus, but they are standing in His authority and so are to be received with the respect due them as representatives of God. Jesus said that the ones who receive those ministers are as if they were receiving Him.

Matthew 10:40 “He who receives you receives Me, and he who receives Me receives Him who sent Me.”

Jesus also gave us a warning about those who stand “falsely” in this authority.

Matthew 24:5 “For many will come in My name, saying, ‘I am the Christ,’ and will deceive many.

There is a difference between “representing the authority of Christ” and “claiming to be Christ”. This is what Jesus is referring to in Matthew 24:5. There will be those coming in the last days who will portray themselves as Christ and will deceive many. We must be aware of this and always mindful that this will be a part of the scene in society before the Lord Jesus returns again.

True authority is substantiated by the Father.

When judging the true authority of the Father from the false we can look at the Holy Spirit and how He represents the authority of Christ to us.

John 14 26

John 14:26 “But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all things that I said to you.”

John 15:26 “But when the Helper comes, whom I shall send to you from the Father, the Spirit of truth who proceeds from the Father, He will testify of Me.”

Anyone who comes representing himself as being “in the authority of Christ”, or in His name, will speak the truth about who He is and testify of who Christ is to you. The words that he speaks will line up with the Word of God. He will speak truth, not lies. He will glorify Jesus, not himself. Anyone who exalts himself and does not give the glory to Jesus is not a true representative of Him.

John 16:13-15 “However, when He, the Spirit of truth, has come, He will guide you into all truth; for He will not speak on His own authority, but whatever He hears He will speak; and He will tell you things to come. “He will glorify Me, for He will take of what is Mine and declare it to you. “All things that the Father has are Mine. Therefore I said that He will take of Mine and declare it to you.”

You can tell a true representative of Christ who is “standing in His authority”, or in His name, as being one who always speaks the truth about who Jesus is, always turning others away from himself to direct them to the Lord Jesus, and always giving the glory to Jesus! This is how you tell a true representative who is “standing in the authority of Christ”, or in His name, from a false representative. The false will always draw attention to himself, taking credit for what has been done and portraying himself as more than just a vessel that God is flowing through to touch people for Jesus. The glory belongs to Jesus, not a person!

Jesus said when His disciples asked Him to show them the Father that if they had seen Him they had seen the Father. (John 14:9) His representation of the Father so closely resembled the Father that you couldn’t tell one from the other. In fact, He said it was because He was in the Father and the Father was in Him and we know that Jesus is the 2nd person in the Trinity, God the Son.

John 14:10 “Do you not believe that I am in the Father, and the Father in Me? The words that I speak to you I do not speak on My own authority; but the Father who dwells in Me does the works.

Even Jesus said that He didn’t speak anything on His own authority. We can identify the false by looking at the real. When someone comes representing the “authority of Christ”, or in His name, they will not ever have the desire to take the credit for what only belongs to God. The false can be seen by their works, or the fruit that is born from their lives.

Matthew 6:15-23 “Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravenous wolves. “You will know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes from thornbushes or figs from thistles? “Even so, every good tree bears good fruit, but a bad tree bears bad fruit. “A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, nor can a bad tree bear good fruit. “Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. “Therefore by their fruits you will know them. “Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven. “Man will say to Me in that day, ‘Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Your name, cast out demons in Your name, and done many wonders in Your name?’ “And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness!’

False prophets who come to us falsely “standing in the authority of Christ”, or in His name, will bear fruit for themselves, not for Him. Their agenda will be to promote themselves, not God. Jesus said He came not to do His own will, but the will of the Father.

John 5:30 “I can of Myself do nothing. As I hear, I judge; and My judgment is righteous, because I do not seek My own will but the will of the Father who sent Me.”

There is a true definition for the Greek word for “name”, “onoma”, which means “standing in the authority of Christ” and there is a false. Our responsibility as believers is to make sure we do not fall for the false one who comes in sheep’s clothing, claiming to be representing the “authority of Christ” but speaking out of their own agenda. I have given you some scriptures showing the true use of the name of Jesus and that of the false. May we all seek to know the Lord Jesus more fully and completely so that when the time comes to make that discernment we will choose properly.

Father, I thank You for the name of Jesus and the definition that it holds of representing the authority of Christ. I know that You have given that authority to true representatives of Yours. May we be clear in our assessment of those who stand before us claiming to be Your representatives. Father, I pray for discernment today for each one of us to be able to identify the false from the true. Father, as we move into the last days before Jesus returns may we not be deceived by those who come identifying themselves as Christ, but may we turn away from deception and embrace the truth that is set forth in Your word and truly lift up those who honestly are Your representatives in this earth! Help us, Father, to identify the false and to encourage and promote the true as they share the way of salvation through Jesus Christ to the lost. Amen.

There Is Confession In The Name

Acts 4 12

Acts 4:12 “Nor is there salvation in any other, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved.”

The Greek word for “name”, onoma, has several different meanings, of which we have been exploring through God’s word this week. The next definition that I want to share with you this morning is the definition of “in acknowledgment or confession of”. In order to fully understand the scriptural meanings of certain words in the Bible, as written in context of the scriptures, it is sometimes helpful to look at the meaning from the original Hebrew or Greek word. The language of the Old Testament is Hebrew and the New Testament is written primarily in Greek. Many words in these two languages have different meanings than what we would understand from the English language defintions. It is for this reason that it is helpful to look at the original language and ascertain what the definition of the word was in that language.

In Acts 4:12 when using the Biblical definition for “name” of in acknowledgment or confession of”, which is the definition used for that word in this verse, it would read, “Nor is there salvation in any other, for there is no other acknowledgment or confession of under heaven given among men by which we must be saved. When you look at the previous verses you will see that this verse is referring to Jesus Christ as being the only way to salvation.

Acts 4:10-12 “let it be known to you all, and to all the people of Israel, that by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom you crucified, whom God raised from the dead, by Him this man stands here before you whole. “This is the stone which was rejected by you builders, which has become the chief cornerstone.’ “Nor is there salvation in any other, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved.”

Now looking at the word “name” in verse 10 we see the Greek word “onoma” with the definition of “in the power of”. So even though it is the same English word used in both verses, the Biblical definition of the Greek word “onoma” renders two completely different definitions for the same word. In verse 10 the proper definition would cause the verse to read, “let it be know to you all, and to all the people of Israel, that by the power of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom you crucified, whom God raised from the dead, by Him this man stands here before you whole.” Then the 12th verse, according to the proper rendering of the word “name”, “onoma”, would read, “Nor is there salvation in any other, for there is no other acknowledgment or confession of under heaven given among men by which we must be saved.” It is through acknowledging and confessing that Jesus Christ is your Savior and Lord that you are saved according to this scripture and as instructed in Romans 10:8-10:

But what does it say? “The word is near you, in your mouth and in your heart: (that is, the word of faith which we preach): that if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. For with the heart one believes unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.

It is through believing in your heart that Jesus died for you, that God raised Him from the dead and He will live in you as you confess Him as your Lord and Savior that you become saved from your sins and set apart unto God as His child to live for eternity in His presence. There is no other way that salvation as entering into the family of God can come into a person’s live but through acknowledgment of who He is to you and confession of His saving grace and Lordship of your life. There are no “closet” Christians. We must come out in the open and confess Him as Lord for salvation to be ours.

So you can see from the Greek rendering of the word “name” that there can be different meanings based on how it is used in the scriptures. The English translation may say “name”, but the Greek definition can mean something completely different from our English understanding.

Another example of this definition of the word “name”, “onoma” is found in Acts 9:27, 28:

But Barnabas took him and brought him to the apostles. And he declared to them how he had seen the Lord on the road, and that He had spoken to him, and how he had preached boldly at Damascus in the name of Jesus. So he was with them at Jerusalem, coming in and going out.

Here Paul was speaking of his conversion to Christianity when Jesus appeared to him on the road to Damascus and changed him completely from being a hater of those who were followers of Jesus to proclaiming that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of the living God and that the only way to reach heaven was through a relationship with Him. He preached boldly at Damascus in acknowledgment or confession of Jesus Christ. This was Paul’s testimony that he was giving to the apostles. They were afraid of him because of his former life, but they couldn’t dispute what God had done in his life just as no one can take my testimony away from them. What God has done in my life is my testimony. It reflects on what and who Jesus to me and when I tell people about His goodness in my life they can’t dispute it because it is based on my experience of what God has done for me.

Acts 9:29 And he spoke boldly in the name of the Lord Jesus and disputed against the Hellenists, but they attempted to kill him.

There was a definite difference in Paul, who was previously known as Saul, when he met Jesus on the road to Damascus. That encounter changed his whole life. That’s what happens to a person when they meet Jesus and acknowledge or confess Him as Savior and Lord. They are changed completely! When we boldly proclaim who Jesus is and that people need Him in their lives for them to be able to meet their heavenly Father and spend eternity with Him it will stir up some religious spirits. That’s what happened here to Paul.

The Hellenists were Greek-speaking Jews. Stephen had encountered this group of people and wound up getting stoned to death because he had upset their way of thinking so badly that they became enraged at him. It is recorded in Acts 6:9 that they were from what is called the Synagogue of the Freedmen (Cyrenians, Alexandrians, and those from Cilicia and Asia). They had come to live in Jerusalem and established their own synagogue. The center of worship in Jerusalem was the temple. That was where the focus of Jewish ritual such as sacrifice took place. But synagogues were local places of worship and each one had its own government, led by elders who were empowered to exercise discipline and punish members. The tradition of the synagogue worship was to meet on the Sabbath, and a typical service consisted of the recitation from the Shema, a confession of faith in one God (Deut. 6:4-9), prayers, Scripture readings from the Law and the Prophets, a sermon, and a benediction. The religious instruction for the Jews usually came through the traditional teachings at the synagogue. Paul didn’t reject his Jewish faith but rather saw Christ as the fulfillment of all that he had been taught in the synagogues. But the Hellenists didn’t see Jesus as the Messiah, or the fulfillment of their Jewish faith and thus became enraged at Stephen and Paul for challenging their beliefs with the truth of who Jesus really was.

Have you come to the place where you acknowledge and confess Jesus as you own personal Savior and Lord? As we’ve seen this morning, that is the only way you will be accepted into heaven when you leave this earthly existence. It will not be asked of you if you attended every church service your church had or if you have done enough good works or prayed enough or read your Bible every day. All that will be required of you is that you have put your trust in Jesus as your own personal Savior and confessed Him as Lord while living on this earth. Once you die there are no second chances to make that decision. It must be made while living. If you have never done that and would like to, please repeat this prayer after me and sincerely mean it in your heart:

Father, I come before You this morning recognizing that I need to acknowledge and confess Jesus as my own personal Savior and Lord in order to be saved. I acknowledge that I am a sinner and cannot save myself. I need the saving power of Jesus in my life. I ask You to forgive me of my sins. I believe that You gave Jesus to die for me and that He now lives in heaven with You as a result of You raising Him from the dead. I believe and confess Jesus as my Savior and Lord and I thank You for saving me. I receive Your salvation and vow to live each day for You from this moment on. Thank You, Lord Jesus, for saving me. Amen.

Welcome to the family

Welcome to the family of God! You are now “born again”, born in the Spirit as well as the natural. Your spirit has been regenerated or reawakened so you can now hear God’s voice and interact with Him on a spirit to Spirit basis. According to 2 Corinthians 5:17 you are now a new creation in Christ Jesus.

2 Corinthians 5:17 Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new.

You will begin to notice that your desires are changing as you spend time in God’s word and speaking with Him through prayer. Old habits will fall away as He changes you. His Spirit within you will teach you things through His word and assure you of His love for you. Your life has now been redeemed from the grip of the enemy who comes only to steal, kill and destroy you. The devil no longer has a legal access to your life. It is as you develop in your relationship with the Lord that He will teach you what to do and say throughout your life. There is nothing impossible with God. Your whole life has now taken a new direction. Congratulations! You have made the most important decision of your life in following Jesus!

Father, I thank You for those who have come into Your family this morning after praying with me to receive Jesus as Savior and Lord. I pray that You will draw them closely to Your side, teach them more about who they are in their new life in You and show them the good plan that You have for their lives. I pray for those who are learning to apply Your word through the “name” of Jesus in their daily walk with You. I pray that You will enlighten the eyes of our hearts to see all that is in the “name” of Jesus and how it applies to us personally as we walk out our faith. Thank You for showing us the Biblical meanings of this word that is used in the Greek manuscript for the New Testament. May we apply it’s Biblical meaning to our own prayer lives. For we come before You acknowledging and confessing our faith in Jesus as the basis of our petitions to You. Amen.

 

There Is Authority In The Name

Matthew 18 20

Matthew 18:20 “For where two or three are gathered together in My name, I am there in the midst of them.”

We’ve been studying “what’s in the name” of Jesus so this morning we’re going to look at yet another one of the Biblical definitions of the Greek word for “name”, omoma, and that is “in recognition of the authority of (sometimes combined with the thought of relying or resting on).

The above scripture is one of the verses where the word “onoma” or “name” is defined in Vine’s Complete Expository Dictionary of Old And New Testament Words as falling under the definition of “in recognition of the authority of (sometimes combined with the thought of relying or resting on). In rendering this definition of Matthew 18:20 we would say that what Jesus was saying was that “For where two are three are gathered together in My authority, recognizing it and relying or resting upon Me, I am there in the midst of them.” We often think of this verse as meaning when we come together as Christians that He is there in the midst of us, but when we look at the actual meaning of the Greek word and apply it’s definition to the scripture we see a completely different truth. The power does not rest in the number of people who are Christians coming together, it rests in two or three who gather together in recognition of the authority of Jesus Christ and relying and resting upon the power that is resident within them because of who they are in Him. There is authority in the Name of Jesus!

Matthew 28:19 “Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit;

In this verse the proper rendering of the definition would cause it to read “baptizing them in the authority of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit”.

Acts 8:16 For as yet He had fallen upon none of them. They had only been baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus.

Again, the proper rendering of the definition of “name” in this verse would cause it to read, “They had only been baptized in the authority of the Lord Jesus”. A person receives the Holy Spirit to live within them when they receive Jesus as Savior and Lord, but the Holy Spirit comes upon a person in the power that is promised in the book of Acts through the baptism of the Holy Spirit. These people were saved because of believing in the authority of Jesus Christ but they wanted the baptism of the Holy Spirit which they received when Peter and John laid hands on them. There was an evidence of the Holy Spirit coming upon them because Simon wanted to pay them to give him that power as well.

John 14:13 “And whatever you ask in My name, that I will do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son.”

In this verse, according to the proper rendering of the definition, it would read, “And whatever you ask in My authority, that I will do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son.”

Are you praying in the authority that Jesus has given you or are you simply tacking on the end of your prayer, “in the name of Jesus I pray”? There’s a difference between praying in the authority that He has given us and repeating the phrase as a formula for success. God isn’t into formulas, He works through faith in the authority that has been place in His children through their relationship with Jesus Christ.

John 15:16 “You did not choose Me, but I chose you and appointed you that you should go and bear fruit, and that whatever you ask the Father in My name He may give you.”

In looking at the proper rendering of the definition of the word “name”, onoma, in this verse, it would read, “and that whatever you ask the Father according to My authority He may give you”.

When praying effectively it is important that we understand that we pray through the authority that comes from who we are in Christ Jesus, not what we say in rote repetition. God honors the prayers of those who recognize the authority that they have as a believer in Christ Jesus. Faith moves God, not the simply the words that we use. He looks into the heart of man to see on what basis we are using to appear before Him. If we are simply repeating a form of prayer we show that we really do not have faith in the authority of Jesus, but are simply using a prayer formula.

Colossians 3:17 And whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through Him.

With the proper rendering of the definition of the word “name” in this verse it would mean that everything that we do as believers should be done in recognition of the authority of the Lord Jesus in our lives. It truly is in Him that we live and move and have our being. (Acts 17:28) We do not live two different lives; one in the secular world and one in the spiritual arena. All that we do revolves around who we are in Christ Jesus. There is no separation between our spiritual and natural lives. They meld together into one in Him. Have you thought of your work as being an act of spiritual worship? Do you consider your occupation as being secular or spiritual? According to this verse everything that we do is included as a part of our spiritual lives.

I’ve given you several different scriptures that use the definition for the word “name” in the Greek as being “in recognition of the authority of (sometimes combined with the thought of relying or resting on). Because there is such a difference in Western and Eastern language definitions, it really is difficult to fully understand what certain verses mean without looking into the original Hebrew and Greek meanings of the words. That is what I’ve tried to help you with in looking at these different definitions. When we understand the true Biblical definition we can see a clearer picture of what God was really saying to us through these scriptures. As we come to understand the proper definitions we are accountable then, to God, for applying what we have learned to our lives. I pray that you will apply what you have been learning about the definitions of the “name” of Jesus to your life so you can grow in your relationship with the Lord.

Father, I thank You for Your word and for how You have shown us that there are different definitions that apply to certain words in the verses of Your Scriptures. I thank You for the Holy Spirit who is our teacher and would ask that He would give us revelation knowledge and understanding to be able to apply what we’ve learned to our lives to increase our effectiveness in sharing Your love with those around us. Father, I pray that we will use the “name” of Jesus properly and not just as a “tack on” to the end of our prayers. May we recognize fully the authority that we have in praying through His name. Thank You, Father, for enlightening our understanding in these things. Amen.

The wonderful name of Jesus

There Is Power In The Name

There is power in the name of Jesus

Mark 16:17, 18 “And these signs will follow those who believe: In My name they will cast out demons; they will speak with new tongues; “they will take up serpents; and if they drink anything deadly, it will by no means hurt them; they will lay hands on the sick, and they will recover.”

There is POWER in the NAME of JESUS! We’ve been looking at the name of Jesus and what that word “name” really means by Biblical definition. The Greek noun for “name” is onoma and we saw yesterday that it has several different meanings according to its use in the verse and content of the passage of Scripture. In Mark 16:17 where it says “In My name” Jesus was referring to what would happen when the disciples or followers of Christ Jesus would represent Him to those who were needing salvation in their lives. The phrase “in My name” in this verse of scripture falls under the definition of “in the power of” meaning that when a believer in Christ Jesus speaks or acts in the power of the name of Jesus the results that He spoke of would happen: demons would be cast out, they would speak with new tongues, they would take up serpents and not be hurt, they would encounter deadly poisons and even though they drank them they would not be hurt and they would lay hands on the sick and they would recover. When we represent Jesus we are His ambassadors and speak for Him through the authority that He has placed within us. We are not operating in the power of our own name, but of His. We are doing His work, not ours, and thus He has equipped us as His representatives to continue the work that He did on the earth.

Another example of the definition of “in the power of” when using the name of Jesus is in Luke 10:17:

Then the seventy returned with joy, saying, “Lord, even the demons are subject to us in Your name.”

Jesus responded to that statement made by His disciples with this:

Luke 10:19 “Behold, I give you the authority to trample on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy, and nothing shall by any means hurt you.”

Jesus wasn’t talking about snakes and scorpions, He was referring to the demonic realm. The disciples had said that even the demons were subject to them in the power of His name. One of the names of the devil is “serpent”. He was identified as a serpent in the Garden of Eden when he tempted Eve to eat the forbidden fruit and he was still being identified as a serpent in Revelation 12:9:

So the great dragon was cast out, that serpent of old, called the Devil and Satan, who deceives the whole world; he was cast to the earth, and his angels were cast out with him.

Satan is a defeated foe and when we come up against a person who is demonized and in need of deliverance we have the name of Jesus to use in bringing them into freedom. Jesus has given us the power in His name to rule over the demonic realm that oppresses people! We do not have to fear what the devil might do to us when we know who we are in Christ Jesus. In Mark 16:18 when Jesus said they would take up serpents He was not talking about snake handling! He was saying that demons would not be able to continue harassing people when a believer comes against it in the name of Jesus! All power in the Name has been given to His disciples or followers to do the work of ministry.

Acts 3:6 Then Peter said, “Silver and gold I do not have, but what I do have I give you: In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, rise up and walk.”

Another example is shown us here in this verse of scripture. This is the first recorded miracle performed by the disciples and in it is a key for all believers in using the authority of the name of Jesus in ministering the healing that is in the salvation that Jesus died to give us. When commanding healing to come forth in the lame man Peter employed the full name/title of our Lord: “Jesus Christ [Messiah] of Nazareth. “Jesus”, the name Yay-soos, meaning “He shall save”, Christ, His title meaning the Messiah, the anointed One, of Nazareth, denoting who He was in His humanity by the city that He was from. The declaration of His whole name and title professes His lordship as the Christ (Messiah), and His name as Jesus (Savior) over sickness, disease, or demons. As we saw yesterday in Philippians 2:9 that God has highly exalted Jesus and given Him the name which is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of those in heaven, and of those on earth, and of those under the earth. Evidently, as the name of Jesus was used in its power over the lame man’s illness, sickness and disease is a name that is under the name of Jesus and must respond to the order to be gone, when commanded by the power that is in His name!

The name of Jesus breaks chains

Acts 16:16-18 Now it happened, as we went to prayer, that a certain slave girl possessed with a spirit of divination met us, who brought her masters much profit by fortune-telling. This girl followed Paul and us, and cried out, saying, “These men are the servants of the Most High God, who proclaim to us the way of salvation.” And this she did for many days. But Paul, greatly annoyed, turned and said to the spirit, “I command you in the name of Jesus Christ to come out of her.” And he came out that very hour.

This girl was demonized and that demon that was influencing her was mocking Paul and Silas by following them everywhere they went saying they were servants of God who came to tell them the way of salvation. The demon wasn’t saying that to influence people to come to Paul and Silas to learn of salvation in Jesus, but in a mocking, belittling way to make fun of them. Paul finally spoke the command for the spirit to come out of the girl in the name of Jesus Christ and it had to obey! That spirit met the power that was in Paul through God’s Spirit and when Paul exerted his authority through the name of Jesus the demon had to do what he said!

Using the name of Jesus in speaking to the sick for healing to come forth or for demons to leave is not a formula for success because we see a lot of times that healing and deliverance does not come happen as a result of a Christian ministering to someone who is sick or demonized. Why are people not always healed or delivered when we speak life to their bodies and command sickness and disease to leave? That question has stopped a lot of believers from ministering healing or deliverance to people in their need. The fault does not lie in the power that is in the name of Jesus because that power is ALL-POWERFUL, nor does it lie in the faith or lack of faith that the person might have who is sick, nor is it in the faith or lack of faith in the person who is ministering prayer for healing; it is simply a question that we will only know the answer to when we get to heaven and can ask the Lord. Only God knows why some are healed and some aren’t. But, we should not shy away from ministering healing or deliverance in the name of Jesus because we can clearly see that Jesus intended for His followers to carry on His work that He came to do that His kingdom might be furthered on this earth until His return. We simply must do our part to fulfill the Great Commission and expect God to confirm His word with the accompanying signs.

Mark 16:20 And they went out and preached everywhere, the Lord working with them and confirming the word through the accompanying signs. Amen.

God was right there with them as they preached the word and ministered in His name to confirm His word with the accompanying signs. We are co-laborers with Christ; He is the Head, and we are His body. He gives the orders and we do as He says in ministering through the power of His name!

There are more examples of the definition of “in His name” or “in the power of” His name. I have just given you a few to show some verses that use that particular definition so that you can get a better understanding of the authority and power God has bestowed upon His children to carry out His word in this world around us. We are ambassadors for God as stated in 2 Corinthians 5:20 and as such He has equipped us to do His work in our world!

Father, I thank You for the name of Jesus and the power that is resident in the authority that You have given us as Your ambassadors to minister through His name. Thank You for empowering us to do the work of ministry as Your ambassadors on this earth. Father, I pray this morning for those who may not understand the authority and power You have given them in Your name and ministering through it. I ask You to open the eyes of our understanding to see clearly what You have given us to do in continuing the work that You began on this earth when ministering to the sick and hurting. I pray that we each will take our rightful places as Your body, listening to Your commands to minister in the way that You would have us to, not under our own power and ability, but through Yours at Your direction. Thank You, Father, for confirming Your word with the accompanying signs when we are faithful to minister Your healing word to those who are sick. Thank You for confirming Your word through the accompanying signs for setting those free who are under demonic influence. Thank You for confirming Your word through the accompanying signs when we minster to those who need to come to know Jesus as Savior and Lord. You are working in each person’s life as they have need and as we follow Your leading to minister salvation to them You have promised to confirm the word that we minister through the accompanying signs of salvation! Thank You, Lord! These things I pray in the Name of Jesus! Amen!

 

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