To be baptized in that Name was to bear the stigma of that Name among their fellow Jews. (50 days before, they had hung him stark named upon a cross; now 3000 of them cry out, “Men and Brethren, what shall we do?” Acts 2:38 is Peter’s answer.)
Acts 3. The first public use of, and the first miracle worked in, that Name.
Acts 3:16 attributes the miracle to the use of that Name.
The number of disciples increased to 5000 as a result of this miracle.
Acts 4:5-12 The disciples are quizzed again by the authorities (the Sanhedrin), and once again they fearlessly attribute the miracle to that Name. Further, they proclaim that “there is no other Name under heaven given among men wherein w must be saved.”
Acts 4:17-18 The Sanhedrin is more afraid of the Name of Jesus than just of teaching the resurrection of Jesus. So they forbid preaching and using that Name.
Acts 4:29-30 The disciples expected that signs and wonders were to follow the preaching in the Name of Jesus.
Acts 4:31 This was immediately confirmed as fresh infilling of the Spirit was given to them.
Acts 5:12,16 Many signs and wonders were wrought; multitudes came from the cities round about Jerusalem; the sick were brought, also those vexed with unclean spirits; and they were healed every one.
Arrested again, put in a ward, but the Angel of the Lord opens the prison and tells them to go and stand in the Temple and preach all the words of this Life.
Acts 5:28 Charged again before the Sanhedrin, the Sanhedrin warns them again.
Then dramatic event occurs. The Council is divided. Gamaliel warns them not to touch the disciples lest they might find themselves fighting against God.
So the Sanhedrin beats them and charges them not to speak in the Name of Jesus, and let them go.
Acts 5:41 The disciples rejoice that they were counted worthy to suffer for the Name.
Clearly from Acts 3 to 5, the Name of Jesus plays a central part in the early church.
Stephen is martyred, the church is scattered, Philip preaches in Samaria, and a great many come to Christ.
Acts 8:12 Philip preaches not only the Kingdom of God, but also the Name of Jesus Christ.
Result: The hearers were baptized, both men and women.
It seems that the Early Church devoted time to instructing people in regard to the use of the Name of Jesus. They must have understood that they had what we would call today a legal right to use the Name of Jesus.
They used the Name for healing of the sick. They did not pray for the sick, but laid hands upon them in Jesus’ Name, or simply said, “In the Name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, rise and walk.”
Acts 9:15-16. Jesus appears to Ananias and tells him that Paul is a chosen vessel and will bear His Name before the gentiles and kings, and the children of Israel, and that Paul would suffer many things for His Name’s sake.
The Name of Jesus was the battle axe in the ministry of Paul. Like the rod of Moses.
If the rod could be taken away from Moses, he would have lost his power.
If Satan could take away the Name from the church, the church would lose her power.
So that is what Satan did. And the church became like shorn Samson, an assembly of common men. That is the state of the church today.
Contrast the Early Church:
Acts 9:27-29; 15:14.
The Gentile Church (like the Jewish and Samaritan Churches) are a people taken out of the world unto the Name of Jesus. And when we gather, we gather about that Name. A supernatural people, clothed with supernatural power, gathered about a supernatural Name.
How we have fallen from our high estate! The Lord have mercy on us!
Acts 16:16-18 The maid having a spirit of divination is delivered by the use of that Name. The apostles were arrested and then came the mighty miracle of the opening of the jail and the conversion of the jailer.
The same Name that liberated the girl has now led the man into the sonship privileges in the family of God.
The Name of Jesus meant more to the Early church than it does to us. It had a place in their ministry that we do not give it in these days.
Have we anything to take that place?
Will education take its place? The church no longer needs the supernatural power of God? Have we “outgrown” the teaching of the Holy Spirit? Is the wisdom of man and of philosophers, scientists and academics to take the place of the Power of the Name?
Shame upon us! We have become an Apostate Church; we are groveling in the dust; we are held in bondage to our ignorance.
The church has been carried into a Babylonian captivity by the world forces.
Nothing but a Supernatural God can deliver us.
Our vain preaching and writing are the laughing stock of the Enemy.
One true mighty miracle today in the Name of Jesus is worth more than a hundred sermons preached in many churches.
Has Jesus gone out of business? Is it recorded anywhere that God said that the Name of Jesus is no longer needed? that colleges, universities and academics, even Bible colleges and Doctorates in Divinity will take its place?
Acts 19:11-17 Paul’s handkerchiefs and aprons, and then the Jewish exorcists who tried to use the Name saying “I adjure thee by Jesus whom Paul preacheth”. The seven sons of Sceva, a chief priest of the Jews. “Jesus I know, and Paul I know, but who are you?” They were mastered by the evil spirit. And the Name of the Lord Jesus was magnified.
Paul’s miracles in the Name of Jesus were so outstanding that even sorcerers tried to use that Name. (Of course, the sorcerers and others who were not born again by calling upon the Name of the Lord and baptized into His Name, had no legal right to the use of the Name. So it was valueless to them.)
Acts 26:9 Paul says he thought within himself that he ought to do many things contrary to the Name of Jesus of Nazareth.
Truly, the Name of Jesus actually took the place of the Ascended Lord. Wherever Jesus would have been glorified by His personal presence, that Name took His place.
The Name has lost none of its authority or power. The effort to rob us of some of the major portions of Scripture by a false dispensational division of Scripture fails utterly. In Paul’s ministry with the Gentiles and his epistles fo the Gentiles, he gives the Name of Jesus a place that absolutely refutes the entire teaching of those who would put the power of that Name into the Kingdom period.
The Name of Jesus belongs to us NOW.
It is our legal Right. That Name belongs to us.