This post I titled ‘In the name of Jesus: Authority,’ is going to discuss just that. How is it that we believers use the name of Jesus? Do we use his name as we are instructed to do so per the Word? Or do we use his name in a way that might be what we believe the Word says, when perhaps it really doesn’t?
This we’ll find is a great example of the difference between taking the scriptures literally, vs. what happens when you scan through scripture without looking closely at what is being said. Lets take a look at a few of the main pieces of scripture that the Lord Jesus himself has given us to go by concerning the use of his name.
All in for Jesus
As Christians, we hold on tightly to Christ Jesus, which we should. Once he’s introduced himself to us, why shouldn’t we be all in concerning him? After all, without Jesus we can do nothing. He is the link between us and the Father, and only through him and his willingness to be obedient to the Father do we now have this precious gift of Salvation. And through his work in his life and especially on the Cross, he’s paid for all of our sins in our stead. There are many things that he has promised to do with us after having been risen.
- To be in our midst ~ Matthew 18:20 For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them.
- To dwell inside of us ~ John 14:20 At that day ye shall know that I am in my Father, and ye in me, and I in you.
- To manifest himself to us ~ John:21 He that hath my commandments, and keepeth them, he it is that loveth me: and he that loveth me shall be loved of my Father, and I will love him, and will manifest myself to him.
This list could go on and on, but I just wanted to throw a couple of examples in there. So we should understand that Jesus of course is our Lord and Savior, and should always mean everything to us without a doubt.
But sometimes, we get lost in the complexity of trying to figure our the Godhead and perhaps tend to stick to Jesus, maybe in some ways neglecting a relationship with the Father himself. I used to do that. All my prayers would be to Jesus himself, not to the Father. I’m not suggesting that there’s anything wrong with prayer to Jesus at all by the way…
But one day some time ago, I was lead by the Lord to grow a little bit, and to dwell on a a handful of verses found in a couple of my most favorite chapters found in the book of John, which are the following.
13 And whatsoever ye shall ask in my name, that will I do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son. 14 If ye shall ask any thing in my name, I will do it.
I read this and figured alright Jesus, I’ll come to you and use your name, just as you said. For years I’d talk to Jesus, and yes he’d respond. So like I said, I would never say there’s anything wrong with talking to Jesus at all. He is both our Lord and our High Priest. But is that what he’s saying for us to do in verse 13? I thought so, till the Lord started me on this journey of taking his word more seriously, literally, and prayerfully.
There’s so much of Jesus talking about what he’ll do in that verse, having mentioned himself six times, the Father once and us twice in just those two verses, right off the bat the connection was made to bring it to Jesus. At least in my mind it was. Having assumed that Jesus was telling us to ask him things in his name and he’ll do it, I was a little surprised how my understanding was based on a touch of assumption instead of what it said upon looking at it word for word. Actually, reading those two verses (13 & 14) carefully should have posed a question instead of forming an assumption. And that question should have been, ‘Ask who?’
Well, my answer to that question would be answered in the next chapter. It actually began to gel with John 14:13.
16 Ye have not chosen me, but I have chosen you, and ordained you, that ye should go and bring forth fruit, and that your fruit should remain: that whatsoever ye shall ask of the Father in my name, he may give it you.
And then again it is said but is worded a little bit differently in John chapter 16:
23 And in that day ye shall ask me nothing. Verily, verily, I say unto you, Whatsoever ye shall ask the Father in my name, he will give it you. 24 Hitherto have ye asked nothing in my name: ask, and ye shall receive, that your joy may be full.
25 These things have I spoken unto you in proverbs: but the time cometh, when I shall no more speak unto you in proverbs, but I shall shew you plainly of the Father.
26 At that day ye shall ask in my name: and I say not unto you, that I will pray the Father for you: 27 For the Father himself loveth you, because ye have loved me, and have believed that I came out from God.
This is our answer to the question above, ‘pray to who?’ Pray to the Father in Jesus name. We mustn’t forget the Father who loves us and wants for us to have a relationship with him through his Son Jesus. Although the Father, Son, and the Holy Ghost are one, they are deliberately playing three different roles that we should always recognize (while at the same time remembering that they are one.) Doing anything in his name is not just a poetic way to end a prayer, but is so much more than that. Let me come up with a little something to give us an example of what I’m saying concerning what Jesus is talking about in the verses above.
Say a King charges a servant to go and either relay a message to someone, or to do whatever is asked of him. As the servant goes to do what the King requires him to do, he’s doing it in the name of the king. In this tense, that servant is given the authority by the king to do the kings bidding. Just as much authority as the king would have if he were to have done it himself.
One way that he could use that phrase ‘in the name of the King,’ could be as in the stead of, or in the place of the King.
In other words, that which is subject unto the King must obey the one who comes in the King’s name, to contend with the King’s business. And also, whatever or whoever does not recognize the authority given that servant who comes in the name of the King, will indeed later have to deal with the wrath of the King who sent him.
For us in the United States, having a King is a difficult thing to wrap our minds around having been established a republic (transformed into a democracy). We’re strangers to the ways of a Monarchy. Actually, it may be a topic worth looking into via the Old Testament to see what it is to be under a king’s rule. You’ll find great examples of being under a wicked king and a righteous king. The book of Proverbs often refers to kings and kingdoms. This shouldn’t be a surprise as Proverbs had been penned by a King in Solomon, lead by the Holy Spirit at the time. The same is true for the book of Psalms, the majority of which was from King David.
Using the name of Jesus in Authority
There’s something to be said about the verses in John 14 & 15 that often isn’t recognized. And that would be the proper intent of what Jesus was saying. Jesus said that he’ll do what we ask right? Well, how’s that working out for you? Has Jesus been catering to your every whim? No? Well I guess that would make him a liar wouldn’t it? Unless of course we’re not properly picking up what he’s putting down so to speak.
If we apply the understanding to what it means to do things in the name of the King, how many of the things that we are standing in faith for are actually something that has anything to do with what he’s charged for us to do? Here’s the verse again, but now with the surrounding verses to give us a better look into the context.
11 Believe me that I am in the Father, and the Father in me: or else believe me for the very works’ sake. 12 Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me, the works that I do shall he do also; and greater works than these shall he do; because I go unto my Father.
13 And whatsoever ye shall ask in my name, that will I do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son. 14 If ye shall ask any thing in my name, I will do it. 15 If ye love me, keep my commandments.
Jesus is talking about believing him for the very works’ sake. What work? He answers that immediately in saying the works that he did shall we do also; and greater works than those shall we do; because he went to his Father. Then goes on to say that whatsoever we ask in his name… Put the breaks on!
Does that mean whatever we ask evoking the name of Jesus, we’ll get it? After all it does say ‘whatsoever’ which means anything at all. Or does it instead mean – And whatsoever we ask in his service; we being as an extension of his authority as ambassadors of Christ carrying out his orders? If it were to mean the ladder, wouldn’t that make much more sense when you take into consideration the surrounding verses?
A servant doing the King’s bidding first needs to know what it is the King wants him to do in the first place. For a servant to be doing things in the name of the King without direct consultation or marching orders given by the king, may be construed as misplacing or misusing the authority given him. How pleased would that king be with a servant doing things in that manner?
Christians that should be giving their attention to Jesus, and to obey the King of Kings, need to first understand what we have been given the authority to do in his name. Doesn’t that make a little sense? Through the Gospels we can ascertain the different things that we’ve been given authority to do in the name of Jesus. Here are just a few that I cherry-picked just for this section. Locate these and other verses where Jesus is laying out orders and prayerfully take note, as it may be something that he is directing you to do in his service.
18 And he said unto them, I beheld Satan as lightning fall from heaven. 19 Behold, I give unto you power to tread on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy: and nothing shall by any means hurt you. 20 Notwithstanding in this rejoice not, that the spirits are subject unto you; but rather rejoice, because your names are written in heaven.
1 And when he had called unto him his twelve disciples, he gave them power against unclean spirits, to cast them out, and to heal all manner of sickness and all manner of disease.
8 Heal the sick, cleanse the lepers, raise the dead, cast out devils: freely ye have received, freely give.
16 Behold, I send you forth as sheep in the midst of wolves: be ye therefore wise as serpents, and harmless as doves.
27 What I tell you in darkness, that speak ye in light: and what ye hear in the ear, that preach ye upon the housetops.
15 And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature.
17 And these signs shall follow them that believe; In my name shall they cast out devils; they shall speak with new tongues; 18 They shall take up serpents; and if they drink any deadly thing, it shall not hurt them; they shall lay hands on the sick, and they shall recover.
As I said above, these are just a small handful of examples. Get into the Word and see if there’s anything that the Lord may have given you the authority to do in his name.
Jesus follows up with the qualifications to be used in this manner when he continues with verse 15 by saying, “If ye love me, keep my commandments.” Think on this… Does anyone anywhere that is in a position of authority decide to delegate his authority to a total stranger? Not hardly. At the very minimum, either their qualifications or their willingness to become qualified for such a thing are observed.
The qualifications given to us by the Lord doesn’t hang on our abilities, because he can install into us whatever ability is required for whatever he wants us to do in his service. That’s not an issue at all. The qualification is that we love him. And how is he indicating that? By following his commandments.
So what commandments have been handed to us by our King, given us to carry out?
37 Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. 38 This is the first and great commandment. 39 And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself. 40 On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.
34 A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another. 35 By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another.
If you have an issue with any of the above, let me just explain myself… If you truly love the Lord and your neighbor and also the brethren as Jesus loves us, by nature of the Jesus that is in you, you fulfill all of the Law and prophets. Well what does that mean?
What that means is, you’ll do by nature (by the lead and transformation by the Holy Ghost and his Word) the things that the Lord likes for us to do, and you’ll not do the things that he doesn’t want for us to do, concerning the law and the prophets. The Apostle John teaches us that God is Love. And those who don’t have Love, don’t have God. If you find yourself doing things that you know is against what God would like for you to do, perhaps you need to check your heart toward God.
Nobody’s perfect and the Lord knows that. But that doesn’t mean that the Lord is good with those who are supposed to be called by his name to go out of their way and sin, feeding the iniquities and lusts of the flesh. Get into the Old Testament and be mindful of the things that the Lord wanted Israel to do. I’m not saying to go learn how to be Jewish, but to see how the Father sees things by what he has established.
Without finding out as much as we can about our Heavenly Father, we’ll not know how he sees things, but will instead assume that we know how he is thinking by what’s right in our own eyes. And Biblically, that’s always a precursor to disaster; spiritually and many times physically. How much Hell taking place in one’s personal life do you think that God the Father is okay with?
Did you come to Jesus to be saved from Hell, Death, and the Grave? Or are you living for him because you love him? Check yourselves. I mean, God is certainly generous, but he’s not a push over. Why do you seek Christ? The honest answer to that will forever impact your walk, and working out your salvation with fear and trembling.
To Conclude- In the name of Jesus II
There is power in the name of Jesus. Make no mistake. We use it during times of prayer and while doing acts against the powers of darkness. We use it while blessing and we use it in supplication. However as we may have seen in this post, there is a much deeper look that we need to take as Believers in Christ, concerning the use of his name.
I hope that this post did anything I was trying to convey any justice. I am going to include this topic in a new book that I am currently in the middle of, and will be greatly expanded upon. I think that this topic is a huge deal, and is not often talked about, so I pray that it causes for you to take a deeper look into the Word of God for yourselves.
Back to In the Name of Jesus Part 1
Back to All About Jesus
Back To Bible Study of STIC
There will be another post about the use of the name of Jesus in the future. Thank you for stopping by, and if you’ve been blessed by this post, please share using the options below or click on that plus sign that’s to the right side of your screen and options will pop up there. Thank you for reading In the Name of Jesus II – Authority!