Saturday, 21 November 2009

Calling on the Name

6 Kislev 32/40

Several years ago a brother I was in fellowship with rebuked me for sometimes using ’in the name of Jesus’ at the end of my prayers. He said that should only be said by the person going to conclude all prayers and put an end to it. I have thought about this recently, but in a different context. I have pondered on it many times if I was using the name as a magic, meaning like a rubber stamp without which my prayers would not be answered. My reflection tells me that I have used it in such a way before, not actually trusting the Lord, but just using his name to accomplish something or getting results.

It is recorded in Genesis 4:26 „And to Seth, to him also a son hath been born, and he calleth his name Enos; then a start was made of calling on the name of YHWH.” But what sense should be made of this particular statement? Does it mean that there was never a worshipping of YHWH before then? What in fact were Cain and Abel doing when they both presented offerings, in which YHWH gave heed to Abel and not to Cain, and for the reason why Cain murdered his brother (Gen. 4:3-5)? Were their offerings act of calling on the name of YHWH, despite that the name was not yet made known by the Owner himself (Ex. 6:3)? How could the time of Enos then be a start for calling the name of YHWH? Does it rather mean a profanation of the name? A profanation seems more likely in the sense of taking and using the name in vanity or in the form of swearing. The people of Enos’ days may have been using the name for other purposes rather than worshipping the Owner. They might be using it in their magic spells through the influence and control of the Adversary; conjuring things up with the name.

Whatever the case may be this topic here is all about using the name, either legally or not for a particularly purpose; either for help or for profanation.

It must be admitted that the name YHVH was not declared until the records of Exodus.

Nevertheless in the book of Enoch, one called Shemyaza – one of the rebels – whose name means „he sees the name” may have been instrumental in declaring the name to human conterparts of the rebellion. And if the name was not yet made known through the proper channel, then we are actually talking about a wrong usage; a profanation indeed, or should we say the taking of the name for futility, in vain (Ex. 20:7). Taking the name for futility is not the same as not calling on it at all, fearing we might end up using it in vain, just as YHVH was many times in Scriptures altered to Adonai by the Sopherim, and read and pronounced as such to avoid irreverence. If we were to do a transliteration in English, both would be Lord, but there is still a difference. Adonai has a common usage, while YHVH does not. Taking the name in futility is a conscious activity. There are some who swear in the name and haste to make things happen using the name. The name should be held and called on for help, in honour, dignity and majesty by those who know Him.

But what name are we referring to, and what is in the name? The name is YHWH, belonging to Him who inhabits all Eternity. The name carries the authority of Him who is the only Good, the One True God; Him who no man have seen nor can see --- the Invisible, the Wise, the Immortal, Him who is the Absolute Light and the Father of all spirits and spirit-beings. From the pages of Scriptures, the name -YHWH - is clear beyond doubt. And this is the basic tenet of the derivative name we know as Jesus the Christ (Yah’shua Ha-Maschiah) or, in plain language, The Anointed Salvation of YHWH. It means the Arm of YHWH which Saves. It is the Anointed YHWH our Salvation (our Saviour). All beings and entities authorised to carrying the name may show up as if it is their own name. They bear the name under the authority of Him who sends, and one of the bearers is anointed above his fellows (Ps.45:7).

Let me say that we are to call on the name on different occassions, but with a better understanding and not as a magic. The name is invoked on the baptized by immersion, signifying the death and resurrection of the Lord, and not as ’in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the holy Sprirt’, since this phrase in essence is referring to the Name – one name – which carries the authority of the Father, in obedience to the Son, in the power of the holy Spirit. The name was given before our Lord was born. The Lord kept his first disciples in what he called „Thy name to those You gave me” (John 17). The same thing applies to the prayer he taught the disciples: „Hallowed be Thy name”.

The name, as said earlier, carries the authority of the Father. It has nothing to do with the Trinity doctrine, in which certain people are baptized „in the name of God the Father and God the Son and God the holy Spirit”. That formula, at best, portrays polytheism, but this is a different matter. The authority of the Father was portrayed in many instances. Whatever it is that Jesus is and has, including his name, originates from God (John 5:43; 17:7). This is what is meant by the name YHWH (12:13, 28). Jesus refers to it as his own name and that the Spirit will be sent to bear witness in his name (14:26). In the book of Acts it is seen that the name referred to for baptism is simply and unanimously that of the only-born Son of God – Jesus the Christ. This is the name invoked on us (James 2:7). The name invoked on us is the name we put on and bear, because we have been made new creatures in him. This name is the name that is above every other name, as is recorded in Phillipians 2:5-11

5 For, let this mind be in you that is also in Christ Jesus, 6 who, inherently in the form of God, deems it not pillaging to be equal with God, 7 nevertheless did empty himself, the form of a slave having taken, coming to be in likeness of human, 8 and in fashion having been found as a human, he humbled himself, becoming obedient unto death - death by the cross, 9 wherefore, also, God did highly exalt him, and gave to him a name that is above every name, 10 that in the name of Jesus every knee should be bowing - celestial, and terrestial, and subterranean - 11 and every tongue should be confessing that Jesus Christ is Lord, for the glory of God the Father.

Thus it is and will be. We should see to it that the name is not blasphemed because of us. The name of Jesus inspires songs of praise and adoration.It is a shield and bulwark; it is a strong tower into which the righteous and holy ones run, and are saved and delivered. It is the name to which we gather for fellowship and worship. It is this name of the Father that His son declares to us as his brethren, and, as one of us, sings praises (hymns) (Heb.2:12-13).

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