Practically every single Christian out there concludes their prayers with the phrase “In Jesus’ Name”; many also conclude letters and other things with it. This of course is based on the scripture that says “If ye shall ask any thing in my name, I will do it.” (John 14:14) – A promise which is repeated several times in various forms throughout the gospel. And God meant exactly what He said – but no one seems to UNDERSTAND what that is! Asking for something, and concluding your prayer with the words “In Jesus’ Name” IS NOT WHAT GOD MEANT! God had more in mind when He said that than mere words, and He was not just giving you some sort of a prayer formula to follow!

When you ask for something “In the name” of Christ, what are you asking for? If you believe that it just means you tack a little “In the name of Jesus Christ” at the end of your prayer, then you have to consider this scripture:

Acts 19:13-15 Then certain of the vagabond Jews, exorcists, took upon them to call over them which had evil spirits the name of the Lord Jesus, saying, We adjure you by Jesus whom Paul preacheth. And there were seven sons of one Sceva, a Jew, and chief of the priests, which did so. And the evil spirit answered and said, Jesus I know, and Paul I know; but who are YE?

But these people USED the name of Jesus. And they used the RIGHT name, and they used it CORRECTLY! But it DIDN’T WORK FOR THEM! Because using the phrase “in the name of Jesus Christ” does nothing for you! Doing something “in His name”, or being gathered someplace “In His name” (Matthew 18:20) cannot mean that you mentioned His “magic” name in a prayer, because they tried that, and it didn’t work!

It didn’t work for them, and it WON’T work for you, because just “signing” your prayers “in Christ’s name” is little better than the gentiles who believe they will be heard because of their many words, and repetitious speaking!

Matthew 6:7 But when ye pray, use not vain repetitions, as the heathen do: for they think that they shall be heard for their much speaking.

See, everyone believes that the “Lord’s Prayer” is a pattern to follow when we pray; but did you realize that Jesus, in supposedly giving us that pattern, DOES NOT SAY “IN MY NAME” at the end of His prayer??

Verse 13 And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil: For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever. [..TODAY we insert “In Jesus’ Name” here…!] Amen.

Notice that ending? Just four verses prior He had said After this manner therefore pray ye…”, and then He apparently FORGOT to tell us to end our prayer IN JESUS’ NAME!

We are to speak in Jesus’ name. We are to gather in His name. And pray in His name. Everyone believes that it means that we simply pray before speaking, gathering, and end all our prayers with “in Jesus’ name”. But think about it; Jesus didn’t come in His own name. He came in the name of someone else…

John 5:43 I am come in my Father’s name, and ye receive me not: if another shall come in his own name, him ye will receive.

Since that’s the case, does that mean that Jesus ended HIS prayers “In the Father’s name, Amen”? If so, why is it that NONE of Jesus’ many recorded prayers show a hint of that?? But it didn’t mean that at all.

See, coming in someone’s name is very simple; it just means that you’re being sent by someone else; and that you carry their authority. And that when you speak, it’s as if the person sending you is speaking.

John 14:24 He that loveth me not keepeth not my sayings: and the word which ye hear is not mine, but the Father’s which sent me.

Jesus repeatedly reminded the Pharisees that He wasn’t speaking for Himself, He was just giving us God’s words. This was because He didn’t come in His own name, He came in the name of the Father.

John 6:38 For I came down from heaven, not to do mine own will, but the will of him that sent me.

This had been prophesied in this prophecy of Christ written 1500 years prior:

Deuteronomy 18:18-19 I will raise them up a Prophet from among their brethren, like unto thee, and will put my words in his mouth; and he shall speak unto them all that I shall command him. And it shall come to pass, that whosoever will not hearken unto my words which he shall speak in my name, I will require it of him.

Jesus was “that prophet” (John 6:14). God sends a prophet to tell mankind not to do a certain thing “in His name”. And if mankind doesn’t listen to this prophet God sends, and disobeys him, it’s as if they were disobeying God, Himself.

It’s just as if you sent your eldest child to tell his younger siblings to quiet down. If they disobey him, it’s as if they were disobeying you, because he carries your authority on that mission, because YOU SENT HIM to do that job, and you sent YOUR POWER, and YOUR AUTHORITY with him to help him get it done! And just as your child carries your authority when sent by you to convey a message, so also you carry God’s authority when you are doing what He sent you to do.

2 Corinthians 5:20 Now then we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God did beseech you by us: we pray you in Christ’s stead, be ye reconciled to God.

You are ambassadors, emissaries, sent by Jesus to talk to the world; and when you talk to the world, it’s as if God was beseeching them THROUGH you! And when you pray in Christ’s name, you’re praying IN HIS STEAD! You’re praying as if it was actually JESUS praying to the Father!

John 16:23, 26-27 And in that day ye shall ask me nothing. Verily, verily, I say unto you, Whatsoever ye shall ask the Father in my name, he will give it you…. At that day ye shall ask in my name: and I say not unto you, that I will pray the Father for you: For the Father himself loveth you, because ye have loved me, and have believed that I came out from God.

To ask the Father for something in Christ’s name, means to ask it in His place – as if He, Himself were asking God for it! It means that when God hears your request, He will answer it as if it were His own resurrected Son asking for it. If you are gathered in His name it means you’re gathered to do the job He sent you to do, and it means that you have HIS authority backing you, with His Titanium card behind you, so to speak, to help you finish that job!

And this leads us straight into the simplest, most logical explanation of ordination you have ever heard. If someone comes up to you when you’re preaching and asks to see your ordination certificate, what exactly is it they want to know, in modern English?

They are asking “By who’s authority do you say this? What MAN gave you a certificate that said “I, <insert name here>, a minister in the <insert prominent denomination here> church, hereby give this man permission to speak the truth of God”?

Take the time to familiarize yourself with this concept because this is just what they are asking. An ordination certificate in our society means someone has shown confidence in you to allow you to speak in their organization, or in their organization’s NAME!

But this is not a new thing to our century; it existed in the days of the Pharisees, as well. And think about what Christ said when the Pharisees asked HIM for an ordination certificate!

Matthew 21:23 And when he was come into the temple, the chief priests and the elders of the people came unto him as he was teaching, and said, By what authority doest thou these things? and who gave thee this authority?

Do you SEE? This is what the religious establishment of Christ’s day demanded of him – they wanted to see His ordination certificate! They wanted to know WHO said He could say this! And now see His response – and take notice that He did not produce an ordination certificate signed by a man, or the equivalent thereof!

Verse 24 And Jesus answered and said unto them, I also will ask you one thing, which if ye tell me, I in like wise will tell you by what authority I do these things.

Notice He said He HAD authority to do these things! He HAD the AUTHORITY to preach, but he DIDN’T have the stamp of the leading religious organizations of His day, or a piece of paper to show them saying He could speak about God!

Verse 25-26 The baptism of John, whence was it? from heaven, or of men? And they reasoned with themselves, saying, If we shall say, From heaven; he will say unto us, Why did ye not then believe him? But if we shall say, Of men; we fear the people; for all hold John as a prophet.

Notice that He countered their question by asking them WHO gave John the authority to baptize! He demanded of them, did a MAN give him the authority to baptize people? And the Pharisees were stuck, either way they lost the argument, so they clammed up…

Verse 27 And they answered Jesus, and said, We cannot tell. And he said unto them, Neither tell I you by what authority I do these things.

And so Christ refused to tell them by what authority He did these things! But He had already given them the answer when He asked them the question about John; for John’s authority came from the same place as Jesus’ did! From heaven! And Jesus had proof!

Acts 2:22 Ye men of Israel, hear these words; Jesus of Nazareth, a man approved of God among you by miracles and wonders and signs, which God did by him in the midst of you, as ye yourselves also know:

Jesus Christ had the approval of GOD to do what He did! God signed His name after Jesus’ message with wonders and miracles! But that wasn’t enough for those who would not believe in His message. But that’s just the ordination of Christ. Everyone else is different… right? Well, in one of His last lessons to His disciples, soon to become apostles, He said…

John 15:14 Ye are my friends, if ye do whatsoever I command you.

All will agree that this scripture applies to everyone. In other words, if YOU do what Christ commanded you, YOU are his friend. And lets look down a few verses…

John 15:17 These things I command you, that ye love one another.

And also, all will agree that this command from your Savior applies to everyone, both then and now. But what was in between these verses?

John 15:16 Ye have not chosen me, but I have chosen you, and ordained you, that ye should go and bring forth fruit, and that your fruit should remain: that whatsoever ye shall ask of the Father in my name, he may give it you.

And here is the shocking truth! This scripture was NOT JUST FOR THE APOSTLES! At the same time, immediately following this, He lifted up his eyes to heaven and prayed, and said

John 17:20 Neither pray I for these alone, but for them also which shall believe on me through their word;

This prayer was for EVERYONE who would believe on Jesus! Everyone, for ALL TIME! And what Jesus had said in chapter 15 applies to EVERYONE who believes on Jesus, and knows the truth! And so if you BELIEVE God, you are ORDAINED to preach the gospel!

YOU – not your minister, but YOU – are commanded to “be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you” (1 Peter 3:15) – You don’t need a MAN’s approval, a piece of paper from a man with his waxen seal stamped on it! You only need the SEAL of Jesus Christ – which seal you receive with the holy spirit! (Ephesians 4:30, 2 Corinthians 1:22, Ephesians 1:13)

So when you ask “What MAN gave you authority to preach the truth”, NO MAN DID. I have the ordination of Jesus Christ to preach what is true, JUST AS YOU DO, if you love Him and keep His commandments!

So then what are the various references to ordination in the New Testament about? I’m glad you asked! See, like I said a few pages ago, we come in Jesus’ name, with His Titanium card to back us up. And when we gather in His name, we are working on the job He sent us to do – taking the gospel to all nations. And this was the job that God had given Jesus to do when He came.

But when Jesus came to Earth, He knew that He couldn’t speak to everyone on Earth; He never intended to. So He called the twelve, and ordained them.

Mark 3:14 And he ordained twelve, that they should be with him, and that he might send them forth to preach,

These twelve were to hear the word at Jesus’ mouth, and then take the gospel to all nations – IN HIS NAME.

Luke 24:47 And that repentance and remission of sins should be preached in his name among all nations, beginning at Jerusalem.

Later, God called and ordained Paul to do the same thing; only specifically for the Gentiles.

1 Timothy 2:7 Whereunto I am ordained a preacher, and an apostle, (I speak the truth in Christ, and lie not;) a teacher of the Gentiles in faith and verity.

Who ordained Him? God. How? By sending him to do a job in God’s name, God ORDAINED Paul to speak in His name! But Paul realized soon that He couldn’t be everywhere at once; so Paul needed help. And so Paul accumulated a following after awhile, people who had found the truth through him, and people that he could trust to teach the truth to others. And these people were called after the name of Paul, their leader.

Acts 21:8 And the next day we that were of Paul’s company departed, and came unto Caesarea: and we entered into the house of Philip the evangelist, which was one of the seven; and abode with him.

Notice how they called themselves; they were of PAUL’S company. Luke was there, as were apparently many others, and collectively they were called after the name of Paul. And why not, for Paul had been the one who raised up the church and taught most of them everything they knew about God.

So then someone prophesied that if Paul went to Jerusalem He would be bound and delivered to the gentiles….

Verses 12-15 And when we heard these things, both we, and they of that place, besought him not to go up to Jerusalem. … And when he would not be persuaded, we ceased, saying, The will of the Lord be done. And after those days we took up our carriages, and went up to Jerusalem.

From this there can be no doubt that Paul had the last word; it was not a democracy. Paul went where he felt like going, and if they could not talk him out of it, they went along with him. Because they were of Paul’s company – Paul was not of their company. Paul was the one whom God had given this incredible understanding to, and not them. Paul was ordained by God with this understanding, and was the one sent – the apostle – to lead the taking of the gospel to the Gentiles.

And so since that was Paul’s mission, and they were of Paul’s company, Paul sent them out – ordained them – to help him do the job God had given him to do. And so they were sent out in Jesus’ name, but by Paul, to help do the job Paul was given by God to do. They had Jesus’ authority directly, but they also had Paul’s authority. And so when they spoke to these churches after coming from Paul, they could speak to them in Paul’s stead, as if Paul were speaking to them. And if the people didn’t listen, it was as if they were rejecting Paul.

1 Corinthians 4:17 For this cause have I sent unto you Timotheus, who is my beloved son, and faithful in the Lord, who shall bring you into remembrance of MY WAYS which be in Christ, as I teach every where in every church.

And so when Paul couldn’t go to see them personally, he sent Timothy to remind them of PAUL’S ways – what PAUL said, and did – and to teach THEM! And so just as Jesus came, as one sent by the Father to speak in HIS name, and just as Paul came as one sent by Jesus in Jesus’ name, but ultimately in the Father’s name, so in that sense Paul ordained Timothy to speak in Paul’s name, as if Paul were speaking there – but Timothy went in Jesus’ name, and ultimately in the Fathers name!

So ordination was a way for people who did not quite have the great faith or understanding or wisdom to work the signs of an apostle (2 Corinthians 12:12), to be drafted into helping those who did. So Paul appointed people – people who had less understanding than he did, but who were righteous and trustworthy – to speak in God’s name… but to have the name of Paul, the signs Paul had done, and the understanding Paul so clearly had, backing them up.

Titus 1:5 For this cause left I thee in Crete, that thou shouldest set in order the things that are wanting, and ordain elders in every city, as I had appointed thee:

And this Titus had authority to ordain more people – people whom Titus was to leave in these cities to speak in Titus’ name, in Paul’s name, but both of whom were only speaking for Jesus’ name and ultimately for the Father’s name!

John 15:16 Ye have not chosen me, but I have chosen you, and ordained you, that ye should go and bring forth fruit, and that your fruit should remain: that whatsoever ye shall ask of the Father in my name, he may give it you.

The father did not ordain the Apostles directly; Jesus did. So the Apostles came in Jesus name. But Jesus did not ordain Titus directly, Paul did; so Titus came in Paul’s name. And Paul didn’t ordain the elders in every city that Titus did – so they were ordained in Titus’ name. But this is not a chain of command in the military sense, or in the sense that hierarchical churches abuse beliefs similar to this; each of these people had direct access to God.

We don’t pray to Jesus so that Jesus can pray to God for us – we pray to God directly. Paul didn’t pray to God in Titus place. Titus prayed to God directly. Similarly, Titus did not get every scrap of truth through Paul; God worked with Titus directly. It was only set up this way so that there could be organization and accountability; God gave Paul a job. Paul hired people to help him when that job became too big, just as you would if you had a corporation selling shoes. When there became too many people to handle directly, he had those people he hired as “foremen” hire, or ordain, people under them.

The beauty of this system is that if the whole thing is running badly, God can look at Paul, whose job it is to take the gospel to the Gentiles. If the church in Asia is getting corrupt, Paul can look to the foreman in charge of that area. If the church in Corinth is getting evil, then the elder in charge of Corinth can be called on the carpet about it. Each level can skip the chain of command and deal directly with the Apostle if need be, and the Apostle can deal with each church if need be; but he simply doesn’t have time to “wait tables” (Acts 6:2), when other people are able to do that, but not able to do what the Apostles were doing.

And now let me say what all this does NOT mean:

It does not mean that God only works from the top down; God works directly with every person at every level of understanding. The ministry is only there to point the way and correct sin.

It does not mean that you cannot speak before people, baptize people, condemn sin, or teach people, without being ordained. Ordination means absolutely nothing in the eyes of God. It is strictly a physical symbol meaning that you acknowledge that someone is more righteous, more wise, or has more understanding than you, and that you can be of more value helping him than working for yourself.

It does not mean that you are bound to be forever tied under Paul if Paul ordains you; you can quit anytime.

It does not mean that there is a direct hand-to-head line of ordinations back to Jesus Christ 2000 years ago. Or that it would matter if there was.

It does not mean that you follow the person who ordains you into a single sin, or follow anyone in the chain of command up to and including the Father Himself, against the Bible or that you allow any of them to sin without telling him off.

It DOES mean that when Paul says “Let’s set up a church in Asia, Titus, go be in charge of that”, that Titus should accept Paul’s decision and the spirit of God that is presumably leading Paul.

It DOES mean that when Paul says “Let’s print the magazine in blue ink instead of red ink” that everyone says “Ok”, unless there is a good reason why we shouldn’t.

And it DOES mean that if someone else comes along with more wisdom and understanding than Paul, or if Paul gets mired down in a few sins that He won’t repent of, then everyone, including Paul, should follow him. For example, Barnabas and Paul were sent out together in Acts 13:2. They are referred to collectively as Barnabas and Saul, with Barnabas’ name being first each time. Then this incident happened:

Acts 13:7 Which was with the deputy of the country, Sergius Paulus, a prudent man; who called for Barnabas and Saul, and desired to hear the word of God.

Notice again how they’re called; Barnabas and Saul. Then Saul shows great signs of an apostle by blinding Elymas the sorcerer. Now notice how they’re termed when they leave the island:

Verse 13 Now when PAUL AND HIS COMPANY loosed from Paphos, they came to Perga in Pamphylia: and John departing from them returned to Jerusalem.

Notice that Barnabas went from first billing to being a part of “Paul’s company”. This is because Barnabas realized that Paul had more pull with God than He did, and showed a great deal of humility by respecting God’s grace towards Paul and stepping out of the limelight. Later Barnabas didn’t like the way Paul handled Mark, so Barnabas went off on his own. All together, this incident nicely illustrates the concept of ordination.

Bottom line, ordination is a concept greatly blown out of proportion, and it is basically just a way of formalizing this scripture:

Luke 10:16 He that heareth you heareth me; and he that despiseth you despiseth me; and he that despiseth me despiseth him that sent me.

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