Luke 24:47 says, “And that repentance for forgiveness of sins would be proclaimed in His name to all the nations, beginning from Jerusalem.” Acts 10:43 says, “To this One all the prophets testify that through His name everyone who believes into Him will receive forgiveness of sins.” First Corinthians 6:11 says, “And these things were some of you; but you were washed, but you were sanctified, but you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and in the Spirit of our God.” The clearest passage concerning this matter is in Acts 3:2-6, “And a certain man who had been lame from his mother’s womb was being carried there, whom they had laid day by day at the door of the temple which is called Beautiful to ask alms from those entering into the temple. And he, seeing Peter and John about to go into the temple, began to ask to receive alms. And Peter, gazing at him with John, said, Look at us! And he turned his attention to them, expecting to receive something from them. But Peter said, Silver and gold I do not possess, but what I have, this I give to you: In the name of Jesus Christ the Nazarene rise up and walk.” Brothers and sisters, do you know what it is to speak to others in the name of Jesus Christ the Nazarene? If you were not standing on the ground of death, resurrection, and baptism, what would you do? You would probably kneel down and pray, “Lord, I do not know if this lame man should be healed. Show us if this lame man should be healed. If he should be healed, please make us clear, and please give us the boldness. If he should not be healed, we will just let the matter go.” This was not the apostles’ experience. The apostles did not feel that the Lord’s name remained with the Lord and that they had to ask for permission to do anything. The apostles realized that the name of Jesus the Nazarene was theirs; they owned it, and they could use it.
What is the church? The church is a group of people on earth who maintain the Lord’s name. God has called men out of the nations into His name. This is the church. The church maintains the Lord’s name on earth. This is why the church can use the Lord’s name and apply it to people. We can say to others, “Rise up and be baptized and wash away your sins, calling on His name” (Acts 22:16). When the Lord Jesus was on earth, He said to a woman, “Daughter, your faith has healed you. Go in peace” (Luke 8:48). Another time He told a paralytic, “Take courage, child; your sins are forgiven” (Matt. 9:2). Brothers and sisters, if we are standing on the ground of baptism and we have the vision and revelation, we will realize that we are in charge of the Lord’s name. When we preach the gospel to someone and they receive it, to some extent we can say, “Brother, go home. The Lord Jesus has forgiven you.” We do not have to wait for him to say anything; we can pronounce him saved.
Because of the healing of the lame man, the rulers, elders, and scribes called the apostles to their midst and asked, “By what power or in what name did you do this?” (Acts 4:7). At that time, Peter was filled with the Holy Spirit, and he said to them, “Let it be known to you all and to all the people of Israel that in the name of Jesus Christ the Nazarene, whom you crucified and whom God has raised from the dead, in this name this man stands before you in good health.” After he said this, he declared, “And there is salvation in no other, for neither is there another name under heaven given among men in which we must be saved” (Acts 4:10, 12). Only this name, this unique name, can save us. We can use this name and apply it to men.
We can apply this name not only to man but also to the devil. Mark 16:17 says, “In My name they will cast out demons.” How do we cast out demons in His name? Acts 16 records Paul meeting a slave girl possessed by a spirit. For many days, she bothered Paul. The Bible says, “Paul was greatly disturbed.” He was disturbed by her. What did he do? He did not pray, and he did not do many other things. He just turned around and said to the spirit, “I charge you in the name of Jesus Christ to come out of her” (v. 18). Just one word of command and the spirit departed from her. The name of the Lord Jesus was committed to Paul, and he used this name. We have to realize that when the Lord’s name is committed to us, it is no longer kept in heaven. If our spiritual condition is normal, His name will be in our hand. When Paul was disturbed, he charged the spirit to come out. He did not pray to the Lord. We may think that he was not spiritual, that he acted independently, and that he had not sought God’s will. But when Paul rebuked the spirit, the spirit left. The real issue is whether or not we are living before God and whether we are standing on the proper ground. If we are standing on the right ground, we will see that the Lord’s name is in our hand. Being in the Lord’s name is not an empty word. The Lord’s name is a name that we can use. We can use this name to work and to cast out demons.
In Luke 10 the Lord sent the disciples out. The Lord had not yet ascended, but He was acting from the position of ascension. Hence, He said, “I was watching Satan fall like lightning out of heaven” (v. 18). When the disciples went out, the Lord Jesus did not go with them. Yet they took the Lord’s name with them. Later the disciples came back and reported to the Lord, “Even the demons are subject to us in Your name” (v. 17). Why were they subject to the disciples? It is because the disciples did it “…in Your name.” They held the Lord’s name in their hands, and authority was in their hands. Therefore, the Lord Jesus said, “I have given you the authority to tread upon serpents and scorpions and over all the power of the enemy” (v. 19). Brothers and sisters, have we seen this? With the Lord’s name, we can deal with all the power of the enemy. God has to open our eyes to see that He has given us the name of the Lord Jesus. This is God’s commitment to us.
(The Prayer Ministry of the Church, Chapter 3, by Watchman Nee)