Sunday, March 6, 2016

The Name of the Lord

In Matthew 1:21, the angel Gabriel told Joseph (regarding his wife Mary), “And she will bring forth a Son, and you shall call His name JESUS, for He will save His people from their sins.” The Amplified Bible further states that Jesus is the Greek form of the Hebrew name for Joshua (“Yeshua”), which means Savior.

Occasionally I meet people who prefer to call the Son of God by alternative names. A few years ago while in New York City, I visited a church where the Lord was usually referred to as Yeshua. If I'm witnessing to a Jewish person, I'll use the name Yeshua. Otherwise, I call Him Jesus.

Isaiah 9:6 says, “For unto us a Child is born, unto us a Son is given; And the government will be upon His shoulder. And His name will be called Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.” I believe the Lord doesn't mind His people calling Him by different names if done reverently. Married people refer to their spouses by a variety of names: “Honey”, “Sweetheart”, “Dear”, “Darling” and possibly some other nickname in addition to their actual first name.  

When it comes to receiving salvation, it’s important to call on the one name that makes this possible. Some people told me they will only pray to God and not mention Jesus at all. That’s like trying to drive a vehicle without any fuel in the tank. Acts 4:12 says, “Nor is there salvation in any other, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved.” Later in verse 18 of this same chapter, religious authorities commanded Peter and John “…not to speak at all nor teach in the name of Jesus.”

In today’s politically correct society, military and police chaplains have been pressured not to pray in the name of Jesus. Again that short-circuits the power of God from flowing in a person’s life. Their prayers simply won’t work. Look at what Jesus said in John 14…
12 “Most assuredly, I say to you, he who believes in Me, the works that I do he will do also; and greater works than these he will do, because I go to My Father. 
13 And whatever you ask in My name, that I will do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son. 
14 If you ask anything in My name, I will do it.”

Strangely enough, I’ve met individuals who object to the name of Jesus simply because the letter “J” didn’t come into existence until about 500 years ago. But regardless of what language a person speaks, there is power when the name of the Lord is spoken with boldness. One morning I was lying in my bed when I suddenly heard a voice speaking in my left ear. Initially, the voice repeated the word “attention.” Then it uttered all kinds of profanity at me. After putting up with it for about five seconds, I hollered, “Satan, I rebuke you in the name of Jesus!” Then the demonic voice stopped.

Another time while evangelizing on the streets of Minneapolis, I approached two girls who told me they worshiped Satan. When I started sharing the gospel with them and mentioned the name of Jesus, one of the girls ran away screaming!  

Never let anyone try to discourage you from using the name of Jesus. It’s one of many weapons God has given us to maintain victory over the enemy.

“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, and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.” - Philippians 2:10-11

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