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    May 8, 1893

    “The Power of the Name” The Signs of the Times, 19, 27.

    E. J. Waggoner

    In another article we have seen what mercy is; in this we shall consider its power. When Moses stood upon Mount Sinai to receive the tables of the law from the hands of the Lord, “the Lord descended in the cloud, and stood with him there, and proclaimed the name of the Lord. And the Lord passed by before him, and proclaimed, The Lord, the Lord God, merciful and gracious, long-suffering, and abundant in goodness and truth, keeping mercy for thousands, forgiving iniquity and transgression and sin.” Exodus 34:5-7. All this is the name of the Lord. Therefore, when we consider the power of mercy, we are simply considering the power of the name of the Lord.SITI May 8, 1893, page 388.11

    David said: “He hath not dealt with us after our sins; nor rewarded us according to our iniquities. For as the heaven is high above the earth, so great is his mercy toward them that fear him.” Psalm 103:10, 11. This shows the extent of the mercy of the Lord, but we are not to consider it simply as great in extent. That which is of immense size is usually of great power, and that is just the idea that is here conveyed. Accordingly, some versions give a more literal rendering of the original, thus, “For as the heaven is high above the earth, so mighty is his mercy toward them that fear him.” The mercy of the Lord fills the universe, and it is powerful in proportion to its extent.SITI May 8, 1893, page 388.12

    In the case of the healing of the blind man, which we recently studied, we have an instance of the power of the mercy of the Lord. Bartimaeus cried out, “Jesus, thou Son of David, have mercy on me.” When Jesus asked what particular thing he wanted, he replied, “Lord, that I may receive my sight.” Jesus said, “Receive thy sight; thy faith hath saved thee.” And immediately he received his sight. What gave him his sight?-It was the mercy of the Lord. So we see that the mercy of the Lord is not merely a feeling of sympathy. It has power. In that case it opened the eyes of the blind.SITI May 8, 1893, page 388.13

    Remembering that the name of the Lord is mercy, let us read the account of the healing of the lame man at the Beautiful Gate of the temple. He had never walked in his life. His friends had laid him at that gate, in order that his helplessness might appeal to the charity of the numerous passersby. Presently Peter and John came into the temple. The man asked alms of them as of others. “Then Peter said, Silver and gold have I none; but such as I have give I thee; in the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth rise up and walk.” The result was immediate. “And he took him by the right hand, and lifted him up; and immediately his feet and ankle bones received strength. And he leaping up stood, and walked, and entered with them into the temple, walking, and leaping, and praising God.”SITI May 8, 1893, page 388.14

    This was accomplished by the name of Jesus. This Peter declared to all the multitude that gathered around the man and the disciples. “And when Peter saw it, he answered unto the people, Ye men of Israel, why marvel ye at this? or why look ye so earnestly on us, as though by our own power or holiness we had made this man to walk? The God of Abraham, and of Isaac, and of Jacob, the God of our fathers, hath glorified his Son Jesus; whom ye delivered up, and denied him in the presence of Pilate, when he was determined to let him go. But ye denied the Holy One and the Just, and desired a murderer to be granted unto you; and killed the Prince of life, whom God hath raised from the dead; whereof we are witnesses. And his name, through faith in his name, hath made this man strong, whom ye see and know; yea, the faith which is by him hath given him this perfect soundness in the presence of you all.” Acts 3:12-16.SITI May 8, 1893, page 388.15

    Before we can learn all the lesson that this miracle is designed to teach, we must read what Peter said the next day when he was brought before the council to answer for the good deed. The priests said, “By what power, or by what name, have ye done this?” “Then Peter, filled with the Holy Ghost, said unto them, Ye rulers of the people, and elders of Israel, If we this day be examined of the good deed done to the impotent man, by what means he is made whole; be it known unto you all, and to all the people of Israel, that by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom ye crucified, whom God raised from the dead, even by him doth this man stand here before you whole. This is the stone which was set at nought of the builders, which is become the head of the corner. Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.” Acts 4:8-12.SITI May 8, 1893, page 388.16

    Now note a few points. In the first place, we learn that salvation from sin comes in the same way that strength to walk came to the lame man. The name by which he stood before the people perfectly whole is the only name by which man can be saved. Therefore from this miracle we are to learn the way of salvation.SITI May 8, 1893, page 388.17

    It is therefore important that we note that the man was impotent. That means that he had no power. That is just the condition of all men by nature. “For when we were yet without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly.” Romans 5:6. The experience of all is that described by the apostle Paul: “For I know that in me (that is in my flesh), dwelleth no good thing; for to will is present with me; but how to perform that which is good I find not.” Romans 7:18. The power to do good does not reside in fallen human nature.SITI May 8, 1893, page 420.1

    The man was impotent from his birth. So it is with us in regard to spiritual things. The weakness which we feel when we do good is weakness that is a part of humanity. But as in the case of the lame man, this weakness increases with years. We do not have any statement that his weakness increased, but we do know that since his ankle bones had no strength from birth, the longer he lived, and the more he grew in stature and weight, the more impossible it would be for him to walk. So with us. Age does not bring any strength to do right. On the contrary, the practice of the natural evil that we have only increases the inability to do good. There was no human hope for the man, for he was above forty years old, and had never walked. So the Lord takes us and helps us when there is no help in man.SITI May 8, 1893, page 420.2

    “And his name through faith in his name, hath made this man strong, whom ye see and know; yea, the faith which is by him hath given him this perfect soundness in the presence of you all.” What did it?-The name of Jesus. Can the name of Jesus give power to do what is right, to anyone who trusts it? “There is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.” Faith enables one to do that which he is unable to do otherwise. It is not a substitute for work, but it works. Faith that would not make the man walk would have been of no use to him. He might have sat there by the pool all the day and proclaimed his faith in the name of Jesus, and he might have called upon all to join him in singing, “All hail the power of Jesus’ name;” but that would not have made any converts. But when he rose up and walked, as the result of his faith, it made an impression on all that saw it. They knew that nothing less than the power of God had wrought the great change. So Christ says, “Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.” The fact that God is to be glorified by the good works that men do, is evidence that he is the one who does the works. His is the power, and his must be the glory. Living faith works because it lays hold of the power of God.SITI May 8, 1893, page 420.3

    Lastly, note that that which was performed by the power of the name of Jesus, through faith in that name, was not a momentary work. It did not pass away as soon as it took place. The next day Peter said before the council, “Be it known...that by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom ye crucified, whom God raised from the dead, even by him doth this man stand before you whole.” In the strength of that name he arose and walked, and in the strength of that name he continued to walk. So it is in the spiritual life. Not only are men forgiven through faith in the name of Jesus, but “the just shall live by faith.”SITI May 8, 1893, page 420.4

    It is faith from the beginning of the Christian life. And that faith is faith in the name of the Lord Jesus. At the beginning of their Christian life they are baptized into the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost; and that name is their safeguard in all time to come; for “the name of the Lord is a strong tower; the righteous runneth into it, and is safe.” Proverbs 18:10.SITI May 8, 1893, page 420.5

    “The Lord hear thee in the day of trouble; the name of the God of Jacob defend thee; send thee help from the sanctuary, and strengthen thee out of Zion.”SITI May 8, 1893, page 420.6

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