Who are we?

The center of the Traditional Anglican Communion; adhering to the Holy Bible (KJV) in all matters of Faith and Doctrine, a strict reliance on the Thirty Nine Articles of Religion, The two Sacraments of Baptism and Holy Communion, the Two Creeds, and the Homilies and formularies of the Reformation Church of England.

Verse of the Day

Thursday, March 16, 2017

That Name – 16 March 2017, Anno Domini

If you prefer, an easy to read and print READER version is RIGHT HERE!
5 Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus: 6 Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God: 7 But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men: 8 And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross. (Phil 2:4-8)

10 That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth; 11 And that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.  (Phil 2:10-11)

What is in a Name, asked the greatest of English writers, William Shakespeare. In his play, he has Juliet make this statement concerning a name and its meaning:

What's in a name? That which we call a rose
By any other name would smell as sweet.
Romeo & Juliet, II, ii, 1-2

This is a broad statement that is partly true and partly false. In biblical times, names meant much more than they do today in our modern culture. But God considers our names to be important: A good name is better than precious ointment; and the day of death than the day of one's birth. (Eccl 7:1).  If a good name is of such value, imagine the worth of a bad name to the powers of Heaven. 

It was the Hebrew tradition to name a person based upon their anticipated character. This is still true in most Asian nations and, of course, our Lord was born in Asia. For example, the name Abram meant ‘exalted father.’ It was later changed by God to ‘Abraham’ which means ‘Father of Many Nations’ (Gen 17:5). Each of the Elect of God have a particular name written down in the Book of Life – a name given us by God Himself. He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches; To him that overcometh will I give to eat of the hidden manna, and will give him a white stone, and in the stone a new name written, which no man knoweth saving he that receiveth it.  (Rev 2:17)

So, it seems a name must mean far more than Shakespeare’s Juliet averred in her play. We may know for certain that a name given by God Himself must be treasured. And we also know that there is One Name that excels every other name – JESUS! Five letters only, yet of supreme importance! 21 And she shall bring forth a son, and thou shalt call his name JESUS: for he shall save his people from their sins.  (Matt 1:21) 

 Ihsou'ß (or Iesous in the Greek) which means, Jehovah is Salvation! In the Hebrew, the name is the same as Joshua (Yehoshua) with the same meaning. Joshua led the Children of Israel into the promised land as our Lord Jesus Christ leads us into that Paradise with God the Father. His further titled name is CHRIST which means ‘Anointed One, or Messiah’ It was this Anointed One that was foreordained from before the foundation of the world to save His people; therefore, it is obvious that God was not surprised at the Fall of Adam – in fact, He knew of it ere it happened and made provision for it.

            The Name of Jesus is of such simplicity, yet of tremendous import to our souls. This is true of all of the works of God – Simplicity Exemplified! Men of theological studies invent great and hard to be understood terms to express simple truths which the Bible expresses in elementary language that all can understand. Actually, the higher critics parse the Word of God to the point that all is cast in some doubt. Such men are wicked and seek to elevate themselves to the detriment of Holy Truth. Jesus, too, despite His Almighty Power, was simple in His approach to others. He wore simple attire, ate with all classes of people, never treated the desperate sinner with contempt but rather with the most tender affection. In warfare, there is no room for elaborate or complicated actions. The slogan I learned in ‘Beast Barracks’ was the simple acronym, K.I.S.S. (Keep it Simple, Stupid). Let us face the truth: we are engaged in battle of the most profound proportions. The enemy has mustered great numbers and munitions against us, but we have the victory won by our Field Commander. The end of that battle will be concluded with Artillery Fire from Heaven itself. Do you think I am exaggerating? Read these words of prophetic truth: 9 And they went up on the breadth of the earth, and compassed the camp of the saints about, and the beloved city: and fire came down from God out of heaven, and devoured them. 10 And the devil that deceived them was cast into the lake of fire and brimstone, where the beast and the false prophet are, and shall be tormented day and night for ever and ever. (Rev 20:8-10)

            That Name above every other name is full of meaning. Every adjective that expresses righteousness, virtue, compassion, love, understanding, generosity, self-sacrifice . . . .  all of these are descriptive of that single Name. That Name means the WAY, the TRUTH, and it means the ONLY source of LIFE! It means BREAD of HEAVEN; it means WATER of LIFE; it means the ALPHA and OMEGA; it means our PASSOVER; and it means our SABBATH REST. 

            That NAME is full of POWER; in fact ALL POWER: 18 And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth. (Matt 28:18)

            That NAME incorporates all time and Eternity. That NAME is the GREAT I AM. 8 Jesus Christ the same yesterday, and to day, and for ever. (Heb 13:8  It represents the Eternal Presence. To Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, He was the I AM. He was the I AM at Creation, and continues to be the I AM of the Apocalypse. He is that Friend that sticketh closer than a brother always. We have had friends that have betrayed us in times past. In some cases, perhaps it was only a small betrayal, but a betrayal nevertheless. Even Peter betrayed His Lord in his three-fold denial on the occasion of the Lord’s mock trial. But Jesus is the Friend that never changes. The Lord’s face we see in His Word at early morning is the same as we saw at the lengthening shadows of the previous twilight hour. It is the NAME by which we must be saved. I am the resurrection, and the life: he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live:  And whosoever liveth and believeth in me shall never die. Believest thou this? (John 11:25-26)

            It is by the invocation of this name by which we seal our prayers to the Father. Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me, the works that I do shall he do also; and greater works than these shall he do; because I go unto my Father.  And whatsoever ye shall ask in my name, that will I do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son. 14 If ye shall ask any thing in my name, I will do it.  (John 14:12-14)

It is in the unity of that NAME by which we gather for worship and fellowship: For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them. (Matt 18:20)

            It is the ONLY Name whereby we must be saved: Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved. (Acts 4:12)

            Finally, we must ask, What does it mean to pray in Jesus’ Name? Does it mean that there is a sorcerer’s power embodied in that Name that we may use to petition all of our desires both Holy and unholy? No, absolutely not. It means to pray in His Will for all in our lives. If we simply pray HIS Will, we are assured of an answer blessed with His love and compassion. However, we do not call upon that Name with frivolous intent. We cannot pray in unbelieving terms and expect an answer according to our own wills. You will remember that He said, I am the WAY! If we follow Him in Spirit and in Truth, we will be on that WAY. That WAY means His perfect WILL. It does not mean OUR way, but His. So when we pray in His Name, we are praying with His seal of authority and approbation. If we happen to be travelling that broad way that leads down to the pit, we are not in His WAY or WILL. But perchance, we repent and turn from that way to return to Him, as did the Prodigal, He will always hear our prayer.

           We do not take that NAME in vain. Does this mean in cursing and profanity? Yes, it does, but it means more. When we pray in the Name of the Lord for the purpose of impressing others, as did the Pharisee before the Temple, then we are praying in vain. If we pray prayers in His Name that are simply uttered in abandon of meaning out of rote memory, then we are praying in vain. It may be that the most prayers of vanity are prayed in churches every Sunday when the Lord’s Prayer, or General Confession is recited without acknowledgement of the meaning of every phrase. Would that not be praying in vain? Thou shalt not take the name of the LORD thy God in vain; for the LORD will not hold him guiltless that taketh his name in vain. (Ex 20:7)

 A Prayer fit for the Occasion:

 GRACIOUS Father, we humbly beseech thee for thy (Anglican Orthodox) Church; that thou wouldest be pleased to fill it with all truth, in all peace. Where it is corrupt, purify it; where it is in error, direct it; where in any thing it is amiss, reform it. Where it is right, establish it; where it is in want, provide for it; where it is divided, reunite it; for the sake of him who died and rose again, and ever liveth to make intercession for us, Jesus Christ, thy Son, our Lord. Amen.
1928 Book of Common Prayer as amended.