By Name

Posted on 07/15/2012 by Rev. Benjamin R. Faust D.D.

AUDIO: dialup - broadband - podcast

TRANSCRIPT: (does not contain everything found in the audio above)

*** listen to the audio for introduction and prayer ***


Public Prayer Requests:


Pray for Rick, young man had a stroke last Friday. The doctors have him in an induced coma and don't know yet the extent of damage.
- StacyAnne Homewood

Pray for Dave and Sue and their family. Sue had bypass surgery a week ago and is not doing well. She's still unable to eat and has fluid around the kidneys and other places it shouldn't be. The doctors don't know why.
- StacyAnne Homewood


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Please turn around and click one of the offering plates by the doors, and give as the Lord leads.

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MAKES ME WANT TO SHOUT

When I think about the Lord
how he saved me, how he raised me
How he filled me with the Holy Ghost
He healed me to the uttermost

When I think about the Lord
how he picked me up, turned me around
How he set my feet on solid ground

Makes me want to shout
Hallelujah, thank you Jesus!
Lord you're worthy
of all the glory
and all the honor
and all the praise!


I WORSHIP YOU

I worship you, Almighty God
there is none like you
I worship you, O Prince of Peace
that is all I want to do

I give you praise
for you are my righteousness
I worship you, Almighty God
there is none like you


THERE IS NONE LIKE YOU

There is none like you
no one else can
touch my heart like you do
I could search
for all eternity long and find
There is none like you


*** listen to the audio for the introduction ***


Today's message is going to be brief since we're out of town. And I'd like for us to start by reading Psalm 147:4.

4 He counts the number of the stars; He calls them all by name.

And the title of today's message is, "By Name."


When we think of someone's name, we tend to think of those words listed on their birth certificate. When we think of praying in Jesus' name, we think literally of ending a prayer with, "And it's in Jesus' name we pray." This is something I do, and of course there's nothing wrong with it. But is that really what Jesus meant when He said we should ask things in His name?

Let's go back to the verse we just read: "He counts the number of the stars; He calls them all by name." What do you think this means? Do you think God points to the stars and says, "That one's Larry. That one's Bob. And that one is Betty Sue."

Maybe. But, although I could be wrong, I kind of doubt it.

Let's consider, for example, the name "Jesus." Most of us are probably aware of the fact that Jesus is not actually the Messiah's name.

The letter "J" is not found in Greek, or in Hebrew or Latin for that matter. In the Greek language, in which most of the New Testament was written, the Hebrew name for Jesus, Yeshua, would have been spelled i-e-s-o-u-s, pronounced something like "Yay-soos."

So in the Greek, the starting "i" would have been pronounced like "y" - "yuh". Then came the medieval period, in which "i" and "j" were used interchangeable. After some time, "i" was used only as a vowel, and "j" only as a consonant.

So it was a combination of differences in languages and pronunciations, and the changing of such over time.

So... What is the Messiah's name? Is it Yeshua, Iesous (Yay-soos), or Jesus?


Let's read three verses from Philippians chapter two.

Philippians 2:9-11 (NKJV)

9 Therefore God also has highly exalted Him and given Him the name which is above every name,
10 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,
11 and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.

If God meant that the name "Jesus," the letters, the sounds, the pronunciation, if He meant that THOSE things were superior and all-powerful, then what about all the other people through History that have been called by the various renderings of that name? And if we don't spell and pronounce it exactly right, does that mean we're calling on the wrong name?

I've heard too many true-life stories to count of demons who would not allow the person they posessed to speak the name of Jesus, or of people who have been healed and delivered by someone who spoke the name of Yeshua.

I firmly believe that our Savior answers to the name of Jesus, Iesous (yay-soos), and Yeshua all the same, without getting upset if someone says it differently, just the same as I wouldn't get all bent out of shape if a Spanish-speaker read my name somewhere and called me "Ben-hah-meen" instead of "Benjamin." After all, God isn't petty. And He's the one who caused there to be so many different languages.

No, I believe "name" in these and many other passages of Scripture does not refer to the spelling and sound of a person's name.


How about Psalm 91:14 (NKJV)? It says this:

14 Because he has set his love upon Me, therefore I will deliver him; I will set him on high, because he has known My name.

LOTS of people know the names Yeshua and Jesus, and most of them will not be set on high by God. Even the demons know the name of God, and they are not set on high by God.

And how about praying in the name of Jesus? Isn't God supposed to give us whatever we ask in Jesus' name? Jesus says in a number of places that if we ask anything in His name, we will have it. But how many of you have ever asked for something, and you've said you were asking in Jesus' name, but you didn't get it? If the word "name" means the spelling or the sound, then the Bible can't be trusted, because you DON'T get everything you ask for just because you ended your prayer with "in Jesus' name." So it must mean something else.

Let's read one paragraph from an article published on learnthebible.org:

"We must first realize that the concept of name in scripture involves much more than a tag that identifies that person and distinguishes him or her from other people. Although it does do that, it also has a much deeper meaning. Name in scripture represents the very essence of the person. A person's personality, character, reputation and authority are all wrapped up in his name."

So how does that relate to praying in Jesus' name? We've already reasoned that praying in Jesus' name cannot mean simply saying that you're praying in His name, because if that's what the Bible means, then the Bible is demonstratably not true.

But if we apply the explanation of "name" we just read to praying "in Jesus name," then it starts to make much more sense. It would mean praying in the essense, the character, and the authority of Jesus.

But it goes even deeper than that.

What does it mean when you "do something in someone's name?" It means this:

1. You are acting by the person's authority instead of your own.

and

2. You are acting in the person's place, as though that person was there instead.

Would Jesus pray that someone would give you a billion dollars so you'd never have to work another day in your life? Maybe. But probably not. So if you pray for that, even if you say, "Lord, give me a billion dollars so I'll never have to work again, in Jesus' mighty name!"... chances are you are NOT going to get it. If Jesus wouldn't pray for it, you're not praying in His name. And if God has not given you the authority to pray for that thing, then you shouldn't expect to get it.

If it's not God's timing, if it's not in agreement with God's nature, if it's not God's will, then you're not really praying in Jesus name; and you will be MUCH better off NOT getting what you're asking for.

You see, praying in Jesus' name means that you come to the Father knowing that the only reason you have the right to do so is because Jesus is sending you to Him. You're coming in His name; not to promote your OWN will, but to promote HIS. You see, praying in Jesus' name is not some sort of magic spell; rather, it is an attitude of the heart.


So when God calls the stars by name, he calls them by their nature, by their history, by their purpose, and by every detail of them, inside and out.

In the same way, God calls YOU by name. And when the Bible tells us that God knows your name, that doesn't just mean He knows how to spell and pronounce those words people use to refer to you. Rather, He knows your heart, your level of integrity, your character, your weaknesses and your strengths, your past and your future, and your purpose. And that is how He calls you -- He calls you by your name.

Isaiah 43:1 (NKJV) says this:

But now, thus says the Lord, who created you, O Jacob,
And He who formed you, O Israel:
“Fear not, for I have redeemed you;
I have called you by your name;
You are Mine.

And in Isaiah 49:1 (NKJV), God says this:

Listen, O coastlands, to Me,
And take heed, you peoples from afar!
The Lord has called Me from the womb;
From the matrix of My mother He has made mention of My name.

God knows your name -- He knows you inside and out, and He loves you.

And our final verse before before we wrap up today in found in Revelation chapter two and verse seventeen.

Revelation 2:17 (NKJV)

17 "He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. To him who overcomes I will give some of the hidden manna to eat. And I will give him a white stone, and on the stone a new name written which no one knows except him who receives it."

Today, it's a popular idea that you should get to know yourself. And while there is some merit in a balanced examination of who you are, who you are today is but a shadow of who you will become on that day that Jesus gives you a new name.

A new level of integrity. A new depth of character. It's a name that has no nature of sin constantly battling with you. It has no hang ups, no fears, and no issues. It never fails to please God, and it never fails to rejoice.

Just focus on HIS name -- doing everything in HIS name, His character, His nature, His will and authority; and He will focus on YOUR name -- your character, your nature, your desires, your purpose, and your heart; for God knows you By Name.


Let's go ahead and wrap up our service today. This altar is open for a time of prayer and ministry. We can still have a time of fellowship after this time at the altar, although I won't be online much longer.

Come, and let's seek to truly know God and approach Him By Name.

Lord, thank you for your word, and for speaking to us today. I ask that you would cause these seeds of your word to grow, and that we would grow closer to you as a result. And we ask all these things in Jesus' name.