The Cross and the Name of the Lord (continued)
It is impossible to consider this matter of the Lord's Name in the Old Testament without recognizing that it is not just the difference of title from other gods and other lords. It is an entirely different kind of being and there is more in it than that. And what is true in the Old Testament is true, yes, infinitely and transcendently more, in the New Testament. May I repeat, what we have to understand and what has to be recovered is the significance and implications of the Name as the apostles understood it. As the Holy Spirit caused it to mean, and therefore which resulted in such tremendous things, When they said, "In the Name of Jesus" something happened. When they prayed, "In the Name of Jesus Christ," something happened. When they preached, "In the Name", something happened. It is that "something" which is there that we have to know and recover. The Name and its glory has got to come back into its right place.
Well, we have said and we repeat, that the Name rests upon and issues from the Cross. Therefore, all the meaning of the Cross is embodied in the Name; that is simple enough, but it is very important. All the meaning of the Cross is embodied in the Name; and to separate these two is to put asunder what God has put together, and when you do that you destroy the real value. The Name can never be effective without the meaning of the Cross behind it, or present with it. For the Name to manifest all its Divine power and fullness, it must be kept vitally bound up with the Cross, it must rest all the time upon that which has given it those values, "unto death ... wherefore the Name," you cannot divide those two; "Wherefore, the Name," and they remain together.
So that it becomes necessary for us, dear friends, to reconsider some of the great meanings of the Cross which are gathered into the Name of the Lord Jesus and give that Name its real meaning and value. I am going to assume that we here today or this morning, are the Lord's children, so that it becomes unnecessary for me to spend time in speaking about those values of the Cross which have made us the Lord's people, to speak about the Atonement and Justification by faith, and the initial union with Christ by new birth. These are values of the Cross, meanings of the Cross which are gathered into the Name. Of course, nothing more can be until that is true. But I am assuming that you here do know and understand that the Name of the Lord Jesus means for you - your sins forgiven, your union with Christ, your justification before God, so that I can dismiss that in this company and proceed beyond that to these further values and meanings of the Cross which are gathered into the Name.
Firstly then, the Cross was the place, the scene and the occasion of the overthrow of a kingdom and its prince. We have got to be very sure about that. Of course we all believe in the common phrase, the Victory of Calvary, and well we know, we think we know, a lot about that. But we have got to be very sure about this because it does not always seem to be working out. It was definitely and positively, if the New Testament means anything at all, the occasion of the overthrow of a kingdom and its prince. That kingdom is a nature and a system in this world ruled by satan; a nature and because and a system. Every nature produces its own system, every system is the product of a particular nature. When I use the word System I am only using another word for Kingdom. In every different kingdom a certain nature predominates; that need not be followed up, it is obvious.
In the kingdom of this world there is a nature and that kingdom takes its strength and its form from that nature, and it is in that nature through that system,that satan rules. And the principle of that rule of satan is the alienation of man from God. That sums up everything. All the works and ways of satan have one object, just one object. His ways and his works are perhaps countless, so various that they are often difficult to track down, but however many they be and however great their variety they are all gathered into one single object, and that is to alienate men from God. That may be done by making a great deal of man, making him his own god, his own lord, the very deification of humanity, the enthronement of man upon the throne of hes own glory. Or it may be on the other hand to the other extreme, by depression and misery and suffering and degradation. And everything between those two extremes is just to make man, on the one hand independent of God and on the other hand bitter against God. The object is one: alienation from God, making man to part with God, to be independent of God, to take a course of self-will, to blind man, make him ignorant, everything to get in between man and the Lord.
(continued with # 30)