Acts 4:15-17, “They sent them out of the room so they could work out a plan. They talked it over: “What can we do with these men? By now it’s known all over town that a miracle has occurred, and that they are behind it. There is no way we can refute that. But so that it doesn’t go any further, LET’S SILENCE THEM with threats so they won’t dare to use Jesus’ name ever again with anyone.” (MSG)
Now, I’m no fan of flying, however my friend Jeff is. And if it’s one thing you can just about guarantee about Jeff is the fact that his sons are almost always with him in his travels. Particularly during the summer months and when the kids are out of school around the holidays. In a nutshell, when Jeff goes up in the air, his boys go right along with him. So, needless to say, Jeff has no fears or issues with flying. However, he did have at least one occasion of fear that he remembers vividly. You see, one of his more anxious moments related to air travel, actually had nothing to do with an airplane. It had to do with his two sons, who at the time were pretty young. They were going through the security checkpoint on the way to their gate, and all of a sudden his sons started joking about the one word you don’t mention at airport security.
Yeah, they started joking about bombs. Now, that word isn’t allowed around airport people, so Jeff quickly quieted down his boys informing them, “Guys, that is one word you do not say at the airport, ever!” Naturally, as most parents do, Jeff began to look around real quick to see if anybody had heard his boys use the one word no one uses at the airport. In a big relief for him, thank goodness they hadn’t. Jeff made me laugh when he said, “if you’ve been to an airport, you know there are signs all over the place saying stuff like, ‘any joking about hijacking, or bombs, or explosives will be punished by sharpshooters immediately!” – or at least something along those lines, he remarked. In other words, you simply do not, under any circumstances mention that word or any of those words, no matter what! Why? Because those words represent Something that can destroy Everything!
Which brings us to our text today in Acts chapter 4. We’re reading about a confrontation between the early apostles and the Sanhedrin, the religious ruling group of that day. Here’s what they said to the apostles, “They sent them out of the room so they could work out a plan. They talked it over: “What can we do with these men? By now it’s known all over town that a miracle has occurred, and that they are behind it. There is no way we can refute that. But so that it doesn’t go any further, let’s silence them with threats so they won’t dare to use Jesus’ name ever again with anyone.” (Acts 4:15-17 MSG)
I was talking about airline personnel earlier, and you know that people at an airport don’t want to hear the word “bomb” because a bomb has the power to destroy everything in its path. Well, believe it or not, but the Devil has a word he doesn’t want to hear used either, and it’s, “JESUS”, because of the power of that Name to destroy all his plans! So, for over two thousand years, the Devil has tried to make the Name of Jesus the issue; the dividing point. It was over two thousand years ago when the Sanhedrin said in essence, “You can talk about God, you can talk about religion, you can do anything spiritual, just don’t mention that Name!”
And sadly, that’s still the issue today, isn’t it? Truth is, people don’t mind if you talk about religion, or even God, or the Bible, or morality and spirituality, or family values, or your church, but don’t mention the Name Jesus. And all too often we fall right into the Devil’s trap to censor the name of Jesus in our conversations. We don’t want to be offensive; we don’t want to turn anyone off; we don’t want to sound super-religious. And there’s this little voice that says, “Well, just talk about God. You know, most everybody would accept that.” So, we talk about God in our lives, but we avoid the name of Jesus. Christian musicians will write songs that talk vaguely about HIM with a capitol H, but too often they avoid the Name Jesus, so their music can cross over to the secular world. We no longer sing Gospel music about the salvation, the blood, the cross, the crown of thorns, the nails, the piercing, the death, the resurrection, and the name of Jesus. No, today the church has become quite “inspirational.” If you listen to the music, the prayers or even the lessons and sermons, it’s hard to know exactly who the church is talking, teaching, preaching about, or praying to!
Even Christian leaders try to avoid conflict by watering down the Name of Jesus and instead making statements like: “In His name we pray.” But HIS who? HIM who? Say the Name JESUS!
But Acts 4:11-12 says, “This JESUS is the stone which was despised and rejected by you, the builders, but which became the chief cornerstone. And there is salvation in no one else; for there is no other name under heaven that has been given among people by which we must be saved [for God has provided the world no alternative for salvation].” (AMP). Salvation is ONLY in the Name of JESUS! Power is ONLY in the Name of JESUS! The Devil knows the power in that Name that’s why he works so hard to muzzle your mouth! People of God, don’t you dare let him do it! The Scripture tells us, “…THERE IS SALVATION IN NO ONE ELSE; FOR THERE IS NO OTHER NAME…” It then goes on to say, “…FOR GOD HAS PROVIDED THE WORLD NO ALTERNATIVE FOR SALVATION…” That word “alternative” is defined as “of one or more things available as another possibility; expressing a choice; offering of options; something that can be chosen instead of something else.” But, when it concerns salvation, there is nothing else available, no other possibility, no other choice or option, and absolutely nothing and no one else you can use instead of, ONLY JESUS! There are no alternatives! So, how can we possibility be silent about the ONLY Name that brings Salvation, the Name JESUS!
Romans 1:16 says, “I am not ashamed of the Gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation [from His wrath and punishment] to everyone who believes [in CHRIST AS SAVIOR], to the Jew first and also to the Greek.” (AMP)
Church, this is where your boldness kicks into high gear! You have nothing to be ashamed of when talking about the Name of JESUS CHRIST! It is your (and everyone else’s) only means of Salvation from eternal death, damnation, condemnation, and hell! So, don’t murmur it, don’t whisper it, don’t utilize politically correct names for Him, His Name is JESUS! And so you have a heads up before December 25th rolls around, I will not wish anyone a ‘seasons greeting or happy holidays’, it’s MERRY CHRIST-MAS, Whether You Like It or Not! Never Compromise Your Christ for the Acceptable Culture of this World!
I’ve even been with people while witnessing during outreach, and listening to them talk about Jesus, without ever mentioning His Name! How is that even possible? You have to say the Name, because there is no other Name whereby they can be saved, except the Name JESUS! How can you as a believer possibly be ashamed to say the Name JESUS?! After all, it is by the Name JESUS where YOU received salvation, healing, wholeness, peace, joy, unconditional love, restoration, renewal, redemption, justification, righteousness, revival, forgiveness…HOW CAN YOU NOT SAY THE NAME JESUS?!
It is the Name JESUS that kept your marriage together; that brought your children back to their senses; that saved your household; that healed your mother; that delivered your father; that got you that job; that carried you through school…HOW CAN YOU NOT SAY THE NAME JESUS?! When that’s the name that preserved your life even as you slept in the very image of death just on last night. It is the name of Jesus that keeps you breathing and of a sound mind. It is the name of Jesus that took the pills out of your left hand, and the gun out of your right hand. It is the name of Jesus that removed all of the hate, anger, bitterness, resentment, revenge and unforgiveness from your heart when the very ones closest to you betrayed you. It is the name of Jesus that kept the rumors, lies and gossip from ruining your character, reputation and life. How can you be silent about the Name of Jesus when it’s the Only Name that did all of that just for YOU?!
But you see, that’s the 2,000-year-old editor from hell saying, “Edit out Jesus. How dare you mention that Name.” But how did Peter and John feel about that? Let’s see: Acts 4:18-20, “They called them back and warned them that they were on no account ever again to speak or teach in the name of Jesus. But Peter and John spoke right back, “Whether it’s right in God’s eyes to listen to you rather than to God, you decide. AS FOR US, THERE’S NO QUESTION—WE CAN’T KEEP QUIET ABOUT WHAT WE’VE SEEN AND HEARD.” (MSG)
And truthfully family, neither can we! I mean as you look back over the course of your life, and see what JESUS has brought you through, can you honestly be quiet?! The addictions; the habits; the bad friendships, relationships, marriages; choices; consequences; health challenges; family troubles; financial disasters; loss of employment; repetitive failures…can you look at all of that and still be quiet about the name of Jesus? After all you’ve seen JESUS do for you and your loved ones, after all the praise reports you’ve heard about what He’s done for others, can you really remain quiet about the Name of JESUS?!
Now Peter and John were facing some seriously life or death decisions in mentioning or not mentioning the Name of JESUS. After all, listen to the Bible:“…The religious leaders renewed their threats…” So, their attackers weren’t about to let up on this. They came back at them and renewed their threats. They didn’t come at Peter and John once or twice, but like the subscription to a magazine, they renewed their threat issue before they ever expired! They came at them hard and harsh. They were going to do whatever it took to silence these boys, however, let’s read some more…
The Bible reads, “…but then they released them. They couldn’t come up with a charge that would stick, that would keep them in jail. The people wouldn’t have stood for it—they were all praising God over what had happened. The man who had been miraculously healed was over forty years old.”
Listen church, what you do and what you don’t do, effects more than just you. The people were standing around, they also saw and heard what Peter and John had saw, heard and done. And likewise, people are watching you, listening to you and imitating you. Do you really want to set the example of being a coward for Christ? Your wives are watching and listening; your sons and daughters are watching and listening; your ministries and churches are watching and listening; your schools, jobs, businesses and communities and even the government and your enemies are all watching and listening. And if that’s not enough, the unsaved and even the devil is watching and listening! Don’t Destroy Your Witness By Playing Games With the Name of JESUS! He gave you His blood to wash you clean, don’t insult Him by watering down His name!
Acts 19:13-16, “Some itinerant Jewish exorcists who happened to be in town at the time tried their hand at what they assumed to be Paul’s “game.” They pronounced the name of the Master Jesus over victims of evil spirits, saying, “I command you by the Jesus preached by Paul!” The seven sons of a certain Sceva, a Jewish high priest, were trying to do this on a man when the evil spirit talked back: “I know Jesus and I’ve heard of Paul, but who are you?” Then the possessed man went berserk—jumped the exorcists, beat them up, and tore off their clothes. Naked and bloody, they got away as best they could.” (MSG)
That text opens up with “…Some itinerant Jewish exorcists…” Church, I know we have many itinerant preachers, but please know that the devil also has many itinerant demons! The word ‘itinerant’ is simply defined as ‘to travel from place to place.’ Which is why we have to all the more be sure we’re speaking the name of Jesus and not just about it! Everywhere you travel to proclaim the Gospel of Jesus Christ, there’s a demon there with an assignment to fulfill too! He has an itinerary from hell that may be longer than yours, and with a further reach!
Listen to Matthew 12:43-45, “Now when the unclean spirit has gone out of a man, it roams through waterless (dry, arid) places in search of rest, but it does not find it. Then it says, ‘I will return to my house from which I came.’ And when it arrives, it finds the place unoccupied, swept, and put in order. Then it goes and brings with it SEVEN OTHER SPIRITS MORE WICKED THAN ITSELF, and they go in and make their home there. And the last condition of that man becomes worse than the first. So will it also be with this wicked generation.” (MSG)
I told you, the devil and his demons have an itinerary too! And it’s to leave people worse than they were before. And the only thing that will make the difference is the Name of Jesus! So you can’t afford to let the devil muzzle your mouth, especially since you need to speak the name of Jesus so those demons will be cast out before they multiply in people’s lives leaving them worse than before!
In addition, you need to make sure you make your own election sure! Don’t play games with the Name of Jesus, even the devil knows that Name and knows His Followers! The real ones! Don’t let the devil embarrass you! Make sure your name comes up on his radar when the Name of Jesus is mentioned! That demon knew Paul’s name just as well as he knew Jesus Name, question is, does he know your name like that? Let the devil know, you know the Name and aren’t afraid to use it either! Don’t let him muzzle your mouth by mumbling some “in His name”, prayer. No, open your mouth and declare “IN JESUS NAME!”
John 14:13-14, “And I will do whatever you ask IN MY NAME [as My representative], this I will do, so that the Father may be glorified and celebrated in the Son. If you ask Me anything IN MY NAME [as My representative], I will do it.” (AMP)
With a promise like that, how can you possibly be silent about the Name of JESUS?! When IN HIS NAME, if you ask for healing, HE WILL DO IT; IN HIS NAME, if you ask for deliverance, HE WILL DO IT; IN HIS NAME, if you ask for salvation, HE WILL DO IT! IN HIS NAME, if you ask for a blessing, a miracle, a way out, over or through, HE WILL DO IT! IN HIS NAME, if you ask Him for protection, provision, increase, HE WILL DO IT! And what’s the key to access all of this? THE NAME OF JESUS! With a promise like that at your disposal, what will you dare to ask for today, IN THE NAME OF JESUS?!
Remember, there are certain words you don’t say at places like an airport, because those words represent destruction. Well, so does the Name of Jesus in the ears of the Devil! Which is why you need to say His Name Loud and Often! When fear, unbelief, doubt, worry, panic, anxiety, depression, suicidal thoughts, old habits and addictions, rear their ugly head, get right in the devil’s ear and tell them to be cast out IN THE NAME OF JESUS! AND WATCH HIM DO IT!
Now, you would think after dealing with all of that Peter and John might rethink this whole mentioning the Name Jesus thing, but nope that wasn’t the case at all! Listen to the remainder of the chapter:
“As soon as Peter and John were let go, they went to their friends and told them what the high priests and religious leaders had said. Hearing the report, they lifted their voices in a wonderful harmony in prayer: “Strong God, you made heaven and earth and sea and everything in them. By the Holy Spirit you spoke through the mouth of your servant and our father, David: Why the big noise, nations? Why the mean plots, peoples? Earth’s leaders push for position, Potentates meet for summit talks, The God-deniers, the Messiah-defiers!“For in fact they did meet—Herod and Pontius Pilate with nations and peoples, even Israel itself!—met in this very city to plot against your holy Son Jesus, the One you made Messiah, to carry out the plans you long ago set in motion.“And now they’re at it again! Take care of their threats and give your servants fearless confidence in preaching your Message, as you stretch out your hand to us in healings and miracles and wonders done in the name of your holy servant Jesus.”While they were praying, the place where they were meeting trembled and shook. They were all filled with the Holy Spirit and continued to speak God’s Word with fearless confidence.The whole congregation of believers was united as one—one heart, one mind! They didn’t even claim ownership of their own possessions. No one said, “That’s mine; you can’t have it.” They shared everything. The apostles gave powerful witness to the resurrection of the Master Jesus, and grace was on all of them.And so it turned out that not a person among them was needy. Those who owned fields or houses sold them and brought the price of the sale to the apostles and made an offering of it. The apostles then distributed it according to each person’s need.Joseph, called by the apostles “Barnabas” (which means “Son of Comfort”), a Levite born in Cyprus, sold a field that he owned, brought the money, and made an offering of it to the apostles.” (vss. 23-37 MSG)
Isn’t it amazing what God does through His servants that aren’t afraid to publicly serve Him?! Not only did Peter and John continue to preach in the Name of Jesus, but they were all endowed with power from the Holy Ghost, the other believers joined them in prayer, praise and worship and the furtherance of the Message of Jesus Christ! Even the church grew and there wasn’t a selfish bone in the Body of Christ, for they all met the needs of the entire church! Two men decided to stand by the Name of Jesus, and to mention it out loud! The results was they were blessed, and all the people, and all the church.
People of God, Peter and John have since passed away. However, you are still here! Will you dare to continue their discipleship work and say and share the Name of JESUS?! Or, will you let the devil have the final say as he muzzles your mouth? In the end, the choice is always Yours!
My Choice is That I Refuse to Shut Up About the Name of Jesus Christ! I Will Not Keep Silent! How About You?
“To holy people the very name of Jesus is a name to feed upon, a name to transport. His name can raise the dead and transfigure and beautify the living.” (John Henry Newman)
“There is power in simply speaking the name of Jesus.” (Lysa TerKeurst)
“The secret to doing all things in Jesus’ name is realizing I can no longer do them in mine.” (Author Unknown)
“Do you realize just how much power is in the name of Jesus? When you speak it, demons have to flee! You have that access! Use it!” (Isaac Pittman)
“Calling on the name of Jesus shouldn’t be our last resort. It should be our first response.” (Lysa Terkeurst)
“Begging in the Name of Jesus is an insult to His Name. Use His Name as a king, with boldness!” (Chris Oyakhilome)
“How sweet the Name of Jesus sounds in a believer’s ear. It soothes his sorrows, heals his wounds, and drives away his fear.” (John Newton)
“Hope is in the Name of God, the Name of our Lord Jesus Christ. Hope is when you compare your suffering to the infinite, immeasurable love and grace of God.” (Nick Vujicic)
“Grace is a Person. And His Name is Jesus.” (Judah Smith)
“What a beautiful Name. I love to watch how it falls off the lips of those who love Him. I shudder as it falls off the lips of those who don’t. Jesus.” (Beth Moore)
“I am not going to apologize for speaking the Name of Jesus, I am not going to justify my faith to them, and I am not going to hide the light that God has put in me. If I have to sacrifice everything…I will.” (Rachel Scott)
“The Blood of Jesus Washes Away Our Past and the Name of Jesus Opens Up Our Future.” (Jesse Duplantis)
“One thing is clear, demons know they must submit to the Superior Authority in the Name of Jesus Christ.” (Author Unknown)
“So many roads. So many detours. So many choices. But only one way, JESUS.” (Daystar)
“I can think of no other time in history where the Name of Jesus has been so frequently mentioned and the content of His life and teaching so thoroughly ignored.” (Brennan Manning)
“Our power is not our talent, it’s not our ability, it’s not our words, it’s not our music, it’s not our singing, it’s not our buildings; the power behind us is that we have a revelation of the Name of Jesus.” (Jack Cunningham)
“Sickness, Chains, and Bondage Don’t Stand a Chance in the Face of the Name of Jesus!” (Raymond Woodward)
“Demons don’t move because we complain. They move because we speak the Name of Jesus.” (Mike Bickle)
“Nothing hurts the devil more than a lost soul that suddenly becomes saved in the Name of Jesus.” (Lee Stoneking)
“Prayer is repeating the Victor’s Name, Jesus, into the ears of Satan and insisting on his retreat.” (S.D. Gordon)
“When you say the Name of Jesus you’ve said it all! In Him is the Fullness of the Godhead Bodily.” (Terry Shock)
“We have a responsibility to share the Name of Jesus with the whole world.” (Wayne Huntley)
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