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  • Writer's pictureRob

The Hundred-First (Names)

Did you have a wonderful week? I hope so! I know we've covered this before, but sometimes it can be hard to look past the physical and see what's really causing what you're seeing or hearing, or what's affecting you. You pretty much have to train yourself such that in any given situation rather than getting upset at an individual or at the circumstances you immediately think of the source of what you're seeing and can either settle at understanding it or go as far as fighting against it spiritually, if necessary.

At least when you understand it you can find some comfort in that. For instance, there are many people out there right now that are unable to make sense of what's going on in the world right now. There are a lot of conflicting things like what one "expert" says compared to another, or how certain policies don't match up with common sense or even the data we're seeing. Unless you understand there is a spiritual battle behind all this, the motivation is control and destruction of God's creation, and it comes from Satan, you'll continue to be confused and will either be angry all the time because nothing makes sense or you'll become so jaded you'll focus on the one thing you can control and make sense of: you. In the latter case, you'll likely turn into one of those people that can't even be bothered to hold a door open for someone let alone give some of their time to help those in need.

But the fighting against it aspect kind of relates to our topic this week. One of the things the seventy proclaimed to Jesus when they returned was that demons were under their control in His name (Luke 10:17). Do you remember His response? First, He says something seemingly random about seeing Satan fall from heaven (Luke 10:18). Then, He tells them not to rejoice in the authorities and powers He gives them, but the fact that their names are written in heaven (Luke 10:19-20).

We're going to take an off-ramp here to make a pit stop at this place called "heaven." If you read most translations for these verses, you will not realize that despite both verse 18 and verse 20 having the word heaven, they are referring to two different locations. Based on the Greek words used, the place Satan fell from was the physical heaven, the one we can see. This specific version of that Greek word, when you look at the context of the places it's used, it's in reference to the air or the stars. When you look at the place where the apostles' names are written, that version of the Greek word is used in reference to where Yehovah dwells (Matthew 5:16).

So when you're trying to wrap your brain around the place called Heaven, and you're trying to line that up with scripture, you need to make sure what you're reading is actually referring to the place you're thinking of. But, back on the main road, we're seeing that there is something key about names and doing things in the name of someone. It may be obvious when you look at other verses that Heaven is where names are written in the Book of Life (Revelation 20:12), but what is this doing things "in My name" thing? What exactly does that mean?

First, in case you didn't realize, there are quite a few things Jesus is called. The Word (John 1:1,2,14), Immanuel (Isaiah 7:14, 8:8, Matthew 1:23), Prince and Savior (Acts 5:31), and more. In fact, the name Jesus itself is actually the Greek word iesous (ee-ay-souce), which is a transliteration of the Hebrew name יְהוֹשׁוּעַ, which means The Lord is Salvation and many speak it as "Yahushua." The English name would actually be Joshua. It originates from the Hebrew YHVH and yasha. The first is obviously Yehovah, and the second means "to deliver."

Does this mean when we do things "in Jesus' name," we need to be saying "in Joshua's name," or "in Iesous' name," or "in Yahushua's name?" While I don't believe it's wrong, or it hurts anything if you do that, the true intention of that phrase is to mean according to His cause and with His authority. When you look at the Old Testament, you find a very interesting account of individuals going out in the name of David (1 Samuel 25:4-39). Long story short, they went to someone named Nabal in David's name, Nabal didn't believe them, and it almost sparked a battle if it were not for Nabal's wife making amends.

In other words, when someone went in the name of someone else, they were expected to give full honor and respect to the authority of that person and the cause they were sent out for. If not, it was counted as disrespect and there were repercussions for that. Now, as Nabal pointed out, there were servants that went around claiming they were going in their master's name yet they had separated from that master and did not have his authority. In those days, you essentially took a gamble on whether or not they actually had the authority since there wasn't really an easy or quick way to verify this. In the case of Nabal, he lost big time. If you read to the end of the account, he ended up dying because of it.

The same is true spiritually in these days. What I mean by that is there is power and authority in Jesus' name. As in the time Jesus was on earth, demons respond to it and are compelled to comply. However, there are those using it even today who are not in Him (Matthew 7:21-23) much like the servants Nabal was speaking of who were using the master's name in vain.

The other aspect of the concept of names is the connection it has to the person his- or herself. In Jewish culture, names were given with purpose, not just based on whatever was popular at the time or what sounds cool. They were given with thought and prayer, and they were a part of that person's character. God Himself even named individuals, which shows you how important a name is (Genesis 17:5, 17:15, 32:28). He also had Adam name all the animals (Genesis 2:19-20). A loooong time ago, we even found out that the names given from Adam to Noah gave the prophecy of Jesus' sacrifice.

So as we can see, names are important not only physically to know what to call each other but also spiritually in our connection to Yehovah and Yahushua. They are so important that we're not even told the name Jesus will have when He returns and the name He will give us then will only be known by us (Revelation 19:12, 2:17). When something is kept from us in God's Word, that tells us there is some significance to it. It either has some power that needs to be carefully controlled, or it provides some information that is not yet to be revealed (Daniel 12:4, Revelation 10:4).

To close the loop on this topic, we find an interesting dichotomy between what we saw in Matthew and what we see in Mark in terms of doing things in Jesus' name. On the one hand, we see in Matthew that even those that use His name, if they are not in Him, will not enter Heaven, however in Mark we see that Jesus tells the disciples not to forbid someone from casting out demons in His name even if he or she does not follow them (Mark 9:38-39). Jesus points out that working a miracle in His name means the individual is not against Him and the working of that miracle will mean that person will not speak against Him soon after.

I believe these two cases are an example of showing the difference of what's in someone's heart from what's on the outside. In the case of Matthew's verses, the individuals not allowed in Heaven were not with Jesus in their heart, whereas in Mark, while the individuals were not specifically following, or accompanying, the disciples, their heart was in the right place. Seeing the miracle work by using Jesus' name would work to at least keep them from speaking against Jesus.

The key to doing things in Jesus' name is not simply based on the actual speaking of His name, but by being in Jesus and through the moving of the Holy Spirit. This is how you know the cause is from Him, and you can therefore use His authority to carry out the action. Otherwise you are using His name in vain. Sometimes the cause is spoken to you in your mind, sometimes it's a feeling or movement in your heart, but He can move you in different ways. You just have to be open and listen for it!

Have another wonderful week! Shabbat shalom and God bless you!

-Rob and Sara Gene

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