One of the advantages of growing up in a Jewish home was understanding some of the cultural expressions of the Jewish people and concepts that have been passed down generationally since time began. One of the concepts is directly related to a very dangerous practice that is popular within the Christian world. Every believer should take a moment to check themselves in case they have become caught up in something that is absolutely contrary to the teachings of the Bible.
We all know that the adversary, Satan, desires to deceive and destroy the people of G-D. We also know that his attacks often come in subtle ways. He twists Scripture in an attempt to get us to allow false doctrines and unrighteous actions to become a part of our belief system. He has used this same plan of attack ever since the Garden of Eden when he deceived Adam and Eve by twisting G-D's Word saying, "You most assuredly won't die!" He tried the same thing with Yeshua (Jesus) in Luke 4:3-4:
"The devil said to Him, 'If You are the Son of God, command this stone to become bread.' Jesus answered him, 'It is written, "Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word of God."'"
The only real weapon that the devil has is deception, and he continues to attack using that same weapon even today. He is just as wily as he has ever been. As believers, we need to be as vigilant as always. By now, you are asking what practice I am talking about. Well, the practice is the use of incantations within our services, especially during prayer times. Incantations or magic words are a part of witchcraft and are sinful. Yet, in many cases, believers are unknowingly using this form of witchcraft without even considering what they might be doing. It has been so subtly brought into our faith expression and the devil is an expert at dressing sin up to look as if it is biblical by twisting Scripture.
Let me explain. In the Bible, many times we are told to pray in the name of Yeshua (Jesus). Because of misapplication of this expression, believers errantly close their prayers by saying, "In the name of Yeshua" or "In Yeshua's name." Now, before I go on, there is nothing unbiblical in using these words with the proper understanding. So let me be clear: Just saying those words at the end of a prayer is not wrong or sinful, as long as we are doing it for the correct reason. In the Bible, when one says "In the name of," it means according to the character, nature or authority of. In other words, when someone did something or said something "in the name of," they knew that person had the rightful authority to do the act or action and that act or action was within that person's character or nature.
For instance, when we pray for healing in Yeshua's name, we do so because we know He has the authority to heal and that it is fully within His character and nature to heal. We know that because the Bible tells us what His promises are and that He has the authority to heal. So, when we pray in His name, we are trusting that because we know who and what He is, then He will do all that He promised to do. This is what we are taught in John 20:31:
"But these are written that you might believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that believing you may have life in His name."
Notice what brings life "in His name" is, believing that Yeshua us the Messiah the Son of G-D. It isn't the sounds and syllables that format the verbalization of His name.
Unfortunately, too many believers do not understand the biblical concept of "In the name of" and they close their prayers by saying "In the name of Yeshua (Jesus)," as if they were saying "Abracadabra," or "Presto Chango," or any other magic word or incantation.
Once again, I am not saying that we should not end every prayer by saying "In the name of Yeshua." What I am saying is that those praying need to search their hearts, their understanding, and their intent. They need to make sure they have not allowed the adversary to cause them to unknowingly practice witchcraft while believing that they are obeying Scripture. Remember, he is the father of lies and deception, so we must guard ourselves by knowing what the Bible actually teaches.
Eric Tokajer is author of With Me in Paradise, Transient Singularity, OY! How Did I Get Here?: Thirty-One Things I Wish Someone Had Told Me Before Entering Ministry, #ManWisdom: With Eric Tokajer, Jesus Is to Christianity as Pasta Is to Italians, and Galations in Context.
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