Do you fully grasp the authority of Jesus's name? This is a vital topic related to prayer. Jesus said in Matthew 28:18 “All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. ” That's a bold and profound proclamation!
Then, He imediately stated what His priority was. "Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”
Philippians 2 explains that since Jesus… (6) who, although He existed in the form of God, did not regard equality with God a thing to be grasped, 7 but emptied Himself, taking the form of a bond-servant, and being made in the likeness of men. 8 Being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross. 9 For this reason also, God highly exalted Him, and bestowed on Him the name which is above every name, 10 so that at the name of Jesus EVERY KNEE WILL BOW, of those who are in heaven and on earth and under the earth, 11 and that every tongue will confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.
Upon His ascension back to the throne of God, the conveyance of all authority to Jesus was fully in place when He was seated in Heaven. Authority rests fully in Jesus's name. The name of Jesus is to be hallowed, considered holy above all names. So, we should not use the name lightly!
Now, here is the amazing thing about the authority of Jesus's name. Many Christians do not fully grasp this. They don’t really believe this because it seems so unbelievable! Some churches rarely teach about it, because it seems so hard to believe.
Jesus passed on the power of His authority to the Church! That is so “unbelievable”! But we can believe it, because Jesus said it repeatedly. The question is, will we choose to believe it? And will we use Jesus's name in the full authority that it provides? Will we use Jesus's name to pray His will into being? Will we seek His will and pray with faith that it WILL be done?
Or, will we be blocked from using that authority because doubt and unbelief cause us to downplay Jesus’s words? If we lack faith to be able to trust His words, we can ask for faith as a gift. We can ask for help to believe it.
Christians use the phrase “in Jesus’s name”, or “in the name of Jesus” so often and so casually, that it carries little or no authority. His name is misused, abused and used disrespectfully in our society to the point that even Christians treat it too casually, even irreverently.
That’s exactly what Satan wants to happen! He and his demons are completely disarmed by the authority that we have in Jesus’s name. The name of Jesus is their worst fear, because it carries all authority! They have been conquered by Jesus and His name gives us authority over them!
His name is the source of all the authority and power of the universe. It should be used with great reverence! No one can be saved, except by the name of Jesus. Because of what He did, His name carries all authority.
Before He gave Himself over to be sacrificed for humanity, He said in John 16:22 Therefore you now have sorrow; but I will see you again and your heart will rejoice, and your joy no one will take from you. 23 And in that day you will ask Me nothing. Most assuredly, I say to you, whatever you ask the Father in My name He will give you. 24 Until now you have asked nothing in My name. Ask, and you will receive, that your joy may be full. Verse 26, In that day you will ask in My name, and I do not say to you that I shall pray the Father for you; 27 for the Father Himself loves you, because you have loved Me, and have believed that I came forth from God.
After His ascension the name of Jesus underwent an incredible change! His name now carries all authority. It now represents all authority and power.
What Jesus was going to do was always going to happen. What He was going to do, the Christ event, was set in stone. So, the authority that His name would carry was also set in stone in advance. In Luke 10:17 the disciples excitedly declared, “Lord, even the demons are subject to us in Your name." 18 And He said to them, "I was watching Satan fall from heaven like lightning. 19 "Behold, I have given you authority to tread on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy, and nothing will injure you.”
He told them that the enemy had no power to harm them through the name of Jesus. Then He warned them not to let that authority over demons distract them from the greatest gift. Verse 20 "Nevertheless do not rejoice in this, that the spirits are subject to you, but rejoice that your names are recorded in heaven."
After Peter had caused a lame man to walk in Acts 4:7, the rulers of the Jews asked him where he received authority to do that. They understood that the miracle required authority. "By what power, or in what name, have you done this?", they asked. They recognized that authority had been given to Peter to perform a miracle.
When someone can do something “in the name” of someone else, they have been given authority from the person to represent them, to speak and act on their behalf. Christians have been casually saying, “in the name of Jesus Christ”, or “in Jesus's name” without a true understanding and appreciation of the authority, power and privilege provided by that name.
In John 14 Jesus explained that He represents the Father. Verse 10, “Do you not believe that I am in the Father, and the Father is in Me? The words that I say to you I do not speak on My own initiative, but the Father abiding in Me does His works.” Jesus spoke with the authority of the Father. He had full representational authority of the Father. The Father worked in Him. Jesus and the Father want to work in us today.
After His ascension, all authority was given to Him. While on the earth, He took the Father with Him wherever He went and spoke the Father’s words on the Father’s behalf. Jesus did works that could have only been done with the Father’s authority and with the Father working in Him. It’s the same with us today, if we have faith; if we believe. If we trust the very words of Jesus.
In verse 12 (John 14) He offered that same kind of relationship to us. "Truly, truly, 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 the Father. (The Holy Spirit would come.) 13 "Whatever you ask in My name, that will I do, so that the Father may be glorified in the Son. 14 "If you ask Me anything in My name, I will do it. 15 "If you love Me, you will keep My commandments.”
That last statement isn't what it first appears to be. It's not, "If you love Me, you will do something I want you to do..." In Matthew 22:37 Jesus said the greatest commandment is to "love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul and with all your mind". So, if we love Him, we will already be keeping the greatest commandment.
He said the second is like it, "Love your neighbor as yourself". That follows automatically, if we love the Lord. If we love Him, we will be progressively keeping His commandments to love Him and others. All the commandments hang on those two "greatest" commandments.
"If you ask Me anything in My name, I will do it." How long will we continue to read those promises and minimize them? “Whatever you ask in My name, that will I do.” “If you ask Me anything in My name, I will do it.” (John 14:12-15; 16:23-24; 1 John 3:22-23 and 5:14-15) We need to first recognize that using Jesus’s name for selfish ambition is not part of that promise.
How much will we choose to limit the authority of His name? How much will we expect to be able to ask for? Jesus said, "If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give what is good to those who ask!” (Matt 7:7-11) Much of the Church is weak and unfruitful because of doubting the promises. Because fear and doubt cause low expectations we have been complacent and, therefore, unfruitful with little or no effectiveness.
James contrasts godly and ungodly motives. In James 3 he even warns that selfish ambition is demonic. That 3rd chapter concludes by referring to wisdom from above as fruit-bearing, which is one of the conditions for asking for “anything” and receiving it.
James 4 continues talking about the motive of selfish ambition, which leads to hurting others to get what we want. Verse 2 and 3 says, “You do not have because you do not ask (God). 3 You ask and do not receive, because you ask with wrong motives, so that you may spend it on your pleasures.” Selfish motivation is a barrier to these promises to ask for anything and expecting to receive it.
No fruit is borne from selfishness. God is not glorified by selfish ambition. Complete joy is not experienced when lustful desires are exercised. A life focused on materialism in place of God is not within His will.
Loving the Lord and keeping His commandments are prerequisite to having Him actively live in us, providing the authority of His Presence in us. If we love Him, we will keep His commandments of love. We, then, carry with us the authority of Jesus's name.
(John 14) Verse 20, "In that day you will know that I am in My Father, and you in Me, and I in you. 21 "He who has My commandments and keeps them is the one who loves Me; and he who loves Me will be loved by My Father, and I will love him and will disclose Myself to him."
Verse 23. "If anyone loves Me, he will keep My word; and My Father will love him, and We will come to him and make Our abode with him.”
Keeping His word is cherishing what He says. We’re talking about an intimate love relationship here that is fulfilling the greatest commandment! Having Jesus and the Father abiding in us by the Holy Spirit provides the authority given to us by the name of Jesus. Then, we will speak His words and He will do great works through us.
Verse 24, "He who does not love Me does not keep My words; and the word which you hear is not Mine, but the Father's who sent Me.” Jesus spoke on behalf of the Father. Now He has all authority, which He gives to us. We can speak His will on His behalf, if we love Him and keep His commandments.
“Keeping His commandments” does not mean perfection. It means loving God and loving people. When we love Him, we will keep His commandments to love people, because we love Him. When we err (sin), we will hear Him correcting us and beckoning us to make correction (repent). We will quickly do so and receive instant forgiveness. We will cherish hearing from Him and obey His words.
Perfection is not going to happen in this human life. Loving God and loving people, with Christ living in us, is possible. That is our maturing obedience to Him. That love and obedience relationship with Him gives us the privilege of using the authority of His name.
The Father gave Jesus a “new” name with all authority. His name now carries all authority and power. Then, Jesus gave us the use of His name. We've seen four purposes ("so thats") for giving us the authority of His name in those promises.
Those "so thats" only occur if we love Him and keep His commandments. We keep his commandments because we love Him, not to get something from Him through selfish ambition. Obedience becomes our heart's desire. We get to know His will by getting to know His will. We get to know the Truth.
As that love relationship builds, the repentance/obedience process leads to spiritual maturity. Obedience becomes our heart's desire. Under that condition we can ask anything in His name so that:
All of that is His will. Those do not occur without us abiding in Him and He in us in a love relationship. That love building relationship results in continual repentance/obedience maturity. If those four things will result from our using His name, we can use it with authority representing Him. We are simply declaring His will be done with the authority of His name.
John 14:13 "Whatever you ask in My name, that will I do, so that the Father may be glorified in the Son."
John 15:7 "If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you."
Verse 16 "You did not choose Me but I chose you, and appointed you that you would go and bear fruit, and that your fruit would remain, so that whatever you ask of the Father in My name He may give to you.
John 16:23 "In that day you will not question Me about anything. Truly, truly, I say to you, if you ask the Father for anything in My name, He will give it to you. 24 "Until now you have asked for nothing in My name; ask and you will receive, so that your joy may be made full.
26 "In that day you will ask in My name, and I do not say to you that I will request of the Father on your behalf; 27 for the Father Himself loves you, because you have loved Me and have believed that I came forth from the Father. (This is all about the love relationship; keeping Jesus's commandments.)
Whenever we say, “In Jesus name”, we are representing Him. We should be very cognizant of that fact. When our children were young, I would tell one of them, “Go tell your brother I said to stop doing thus and such.” The brother I told that to, would go and tell the other brother with authority, “Dad said stop doing thus and such.”
The other brother immediately obeyed, because he knew that the command came directly from me, not his brother. The one I told to say that used the authority of Dad to command his brother. He didn’t dare add anything to what he knew was my will for him to declare to his brother.
To be able to know His will, we need to be very close to Him in a deep love relationship. Our reasoning will then be based on Truth. When we have that relationship through the Holy Spirit, we will know His will and obey His will more and more.
Repentance and growth will always be part of that maturing love relationship. Until we have that relationship, we should not be confident that we can use His name with authority. If we seek that relationship, He will build it with us. Receiving the Holy Spirit is a pre-requisite to that relationship.
The Lord has entrusted those who are in that obedient relationship with Him to freely use His name with authority. We need to be careful not to use His name for something selfish or against His will. We should ask God what His will is. If it is His will, it will contribute to lasting fruit being borne. It will bring glory to God and it will it bring complete joy.
These stipulations should not severely limit the use of that authority! On the contrary, it should increase the use of it greatly! So that God would be glorified as much as possible. So that we and others will bear lasting spiritual fruit (Galatians 5:22) and have complete joy! What limit would you put on that?
Are we seeking that relationship with Him? Are we asking? Are we asking in faith according to His will, so that He will be glorified by ourselves and others? Are we pursing lasting spiritual fruit and complete joy for ourselves and others through the authority of Jesus's name?
Jesus promised that "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 the Father." These greater works of obedience are done by the authority of the name of Jesus. Jesus Himself asked this question, "However,when the Son of Man comes, will He find faith on the earth?" (Luke 18:8)