Sunday, August 26
Do not put your trust in fallacious words.—Jer. 7:4.
Some Israelites viewed the temple as a talisman that would protect them from enemies. (Jer. 7:1-4) Earlier, Israelites viewed the ark of the covenant as a charm that would protect them in battle. (1 Sam. 4:3, 10, 11) Constantine the Great painted the Greek letters khi and rho, the first two letters of the title “Christ” in Greek, on his soldiers’ shields in hopes of protecting his soldiers in battle. And King Gustav Adolph II of Sweden, who fought in the Thirty Years’ War, is thought to have worn armor that had the name Iehova featured prominently on the collar. Some of God’s people who have been attacked by demons have found refuge in Jehovah by calling his name out loud. Still, an object that features God’s name should not be considered a talisman or used as a charm in everyday life as if it had some magical power of protection. This is not what it means to take refuge in the name of Jehovah. w11 1/15 1:14, 15
First, it’s interesting to see today’s scripture in context. It’s a warning:
Taking refuge in the name of God, or in the name of the Lord is not about the use of a name, but a statement about God’s attributes and activities. When Jesus made his father’s name manifest to his disciples, it wasn’t by use of a proper name, but it was by perfectly representing his father, doing the will and works of his father and speaking not of his own accord, but his father’s words.
Another way of putting it, is that he was “the spit and image of his father”.
Similar to how people will tell a young man that he must make a name for himself, they’re not referring to what he is called, but rather how he is known.
The True God
This means everlasting life—that they might know you the only true God,
and Jesus Christ, whom you have sent. — John 17:3, New American Standard Version
It’s not about a “name”, it’s about knowing the only true God.
I Never Knew You
“Not everyone saying to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter into the kingdom of the heavens, but the one doing+ the will of my Father who is in the heavens will.+ 22 Many will say to me in that day, ‘Lord, Lord,+ did we not prophesy in your name, and expel demons in your name, and perform many powerful works* in your name?’+23 And yet then I will confess to them: I never knew YOU!+ Get away from me, YOU workers of lawlessness.+
The Workers of Lawlessness
However, brothers, respecting the presence*+ of our* Lord Jesus Christ and our being gathered together to him,+ we request of YOU 2 not to be quickly shaken from YOUR reason nor to be excited either through an inspired expression*+ or through a verbal message+ or through a letter+ as though from us, to the effect that the day+ of Jehovah* is here.
3 Let no one seduce YOU in any manner, because it will not come unless the apostasy*+ comes first and the man of lawlessness*+ gets revealed,+ the son of destruction.*+ 4 He is set in opposition+ and lifts himself up over everyone who is called “god” or an object of reverence, so that he sits down in the temple* of The God,* publicly showing himself to be a god.+ 5 Do YOU not remember that, while I was yet with YOU, I used to tell+ YOU these things?
6 And so now YOU know the thing+ that acts as a restraint,+ with a view to his being revealed in his own due time.+ 7 True, the mystery of this lawlessness is already at work;+ but only till he who is right now acting as a restraint* gets to be out of the way.+ 8 Then, indeed, the lawless one will be revealed, whom the Lord Jesus* will do away with by the spirit of his mouth+ and bring to nothing by the manifestation+ of his presence.+ 9 But the lawless one’s presence* is according to the operation*+ of Satan with every powerful work and lying signs and portents+ 10 and with every unrighteous deception*+ for those who are perishing,+ as a retribution because they did not accept the love+ of the truth that they might be saved.+11 So that is why God lets an operation of error go to them, that they may get to believing the lie,+ 12 in order that they all may be judged because they did not believe the truth+ but took pleasure* in unrighteousness.+