Mostly all know the name Jesus, but how many understand that believing in His name and believing in Him are two completely different things?
In fact, Jesus isn’t what they called Him when He walked this earth. According to the Scriptures, He was to be called “Yehôshûa‛” or “Yeshua,” which translates to “Jehovah is salvation” (ref Mat 1:21). In Hebrew thought, every name speaks of character and function. When someone was given a name, or they were renamed, it was symbolic of what they were to become. For example, Jacob’s original name translated to “supplanter,” which he fulfilled when he replaced his brother Esau, who sold his birthright (ref Gen 25:29-34). Later, Jacob got his name changed to Israel after he wrestled with the angel; Israel means “God prevails,” or “he will rule as God”(ref Gen 32:22-38), according to the Strong’s Bible definition. Likewise, the name “Yeshua” spoke of what He came to do, which was to bring salvation to the world (ref Act 4:12, 1 Th 5:9).
When you call yourself a “believer” there is no doubt that you believe Jesus was born of a virgin, died and rose again for the sake of the world, but is that merely all we need to do to obtain salvation? Some believe that to be true, but is that really the truth?
The “sinner’s prayer” was developed through evangelical methodology in the early 20th century, which is solemnly a public declaration and acknowledgement through prayer. Typically, for new converts it is the primary belief that salvation comes only through prayer, established as a quick way to convert non believers.  Although having been a new method, with little to no scriptural solidification, the “sinner’s prayer”, with a means to obtain salvation through merely professing Christ is not biblical, nor what the Early Church Fathers taught or believed.
In the end, Jesus says that there will be people who will prophesy in the name of Jesus, cast out demons in His name, and even do wonders in His name (ref Mat 7:22). However, because they do not truly know God, or have a relationship with Him through understanding the deeper things in His Word, He will reply to them
“I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness”!Matthew 7:23
So what is “lawlessness”? According to the Strong’s Bible dictionary: “lawlessness” is the same word for “iniquity.” It is the Greek word “anomia”, which means “wickedness” or “unrighteousness.” According to the Ancient Hebrew pictographs, wickedness really speaks of a twisted understanding of Scripture. Likewise, to be unrighteous means you don’t understand or have the correct interpretation of Scripture. When Jesus called these miracle workers (who operated solemnly out of belief in His name) those “who practice lawlessness”, He was really saying that they never really understood who He was or had a relationship with the WORD (ref Jn 1:1). Believing in His name and what He can do, is only part of the faith required to follow Him.
Origen, and a prominent Early Church Father says this,
“There is a difference between believing in him and believing in his name. . . . Jesus did not trust himself to those who only believed in his name (cf. Jn 2:23-25). We must, therefore, have belief more in him than in his name so that we will not have to here what was said to those who worked miracles in his name (cf. Mt 7:22). . . . Those who believe in him are those who tread the narrow and hard path that leads to life and which is found by the very few (cf. Mt 7:14).” Origin, Spirit & Fire, p. 244
Following Christ and the path that leads to life is not as easy as merely professing His name. Yeshua told those who had a desire to follow Him that they must first deny themselves, and take up their cross; Jesus taught a message of death to self (ref Mat 16:24). John (the disciple of Jesus) understood this when he said,
“He must increase, but I must decrease”.John 3:30
Meaning, we exchange the wants and desires of our soul for what God desires, so that we might take on His character. Yeshua Himself proclaimed we shall be perfect, just as our Father in heaven (ref Mat 5:48). Those who follow Him are those who want to obtain perfection, which requires giving what you have so that the Lord can give you the treasures of heaven (ref Mat 19:21).
In Greek the word “perfection” is the word “telios”, which is the same word for “maturity.” Paul used this word in his letter to the Church of Corinth when he said, “we speak wisdom among those who are mature” (1 Co 2:6). Those who are made perfect, like the Father in heaven, are those who receive wisdom (treasures of heaven). Paul says that the wisdom of God is hidden in a mystery (ref 1 Co 2:7). Yeshua also taught mysteries hidden in parables (ref Mat 13:11).
Believing in Him also means believing in the message He came to preach. The Spirit of God (who is our teacher) is what searches and reveals this hidden knowledge to us, so we might see and understand with our hearts, just as it has been written (ref John 14:26, 1 Co 2:10, Mat 13:13-17, Isa 6:10). Believing the mysteries of the WORD is what it truly means to believe in Him (ref Jn 1:1). Origen once again makes this reference,
“Therefore, that believing without knowledge is something less than knowing is clear from the words John records: “If you continue in my word,. . . you will know the truth, and the truth will make you free” (Jn 8:31-32). . . . The twelve first believed, but did not understand; afterward, through faith, they had the beginning of knowledge . . . and finally they made progress in knowledge.” Origin, Spirit & Fire, p. 245
Believing the mysteries of Scripture is knowing Yeshua intimately because He is the Truth and the Life (ref John 14:6, Mat 7:14). He says that if we are to know Him (the mysteries of Scripture) we are to know the Father also, and that is what it truly means to see Him (ref John 14:7). We can see Him for who He truly is when our eyes are opened to the mystery of the WORD.
The men traveling on the road to Emmaus believed, until the Lord came and revealed Himself to them by interpreting the Word for them to understand (ref Luke 24:27). After the men welcomed Him in their home, the Lord broke bread and gave it to them, “then their eyes were opened and they knew Him” (Luke 24:31). The word for opened in the Greek is the word “dianoigo”, which according to the Thayer Bible dictionary, speaks of “a male opening the womb” and “to open the mind of one, i.e. to cause to understand a thing.”
“And they said to one another, “Did not our heart burn within us while He talked with us on the road, and while He opened the Scriptures to us?”Luke 24:32
Their hearts burned as He opened Himself to them. The heart speaks of the soul and mind according to Hebrew thought, while the word “burn” is the word “kaio” meaning to “set on fire”, “light”, “to burn”, or to “consume with fire.” So He set their heart (soul) ablaze with the fire of His Word to illuminate their minds in order for them to see Him, who’s secret place is darkness (ref Psa 18:11).
It is written in the Book of Psalms that, “He made darkness His secret place” (Psa 18:11). God hides Himself so that we will search for Him, just as we are to search for Him (the mysteries) through the Scriptures. Darkness is paralleled to not seeing because, when you are in the dark, your eyes can not see what is in front of you. Similarly, the Holy of Holies was protected by a veil that kept you from seeing what was behind it (ref Exo 26:31-33). The Lord wants us to remove the veil that is on our minds when we read the Scriptures so that we can see Him. Paul writes about the veil being in the mind and how it blinds us when reading the Scripture (ref 2 Co 3:14).
This process of removing the veil or coming out of darkness into the light is the Greek word “apokalupsis” meaning, “appearing”, “lighten”, or “manifestation.” It comes from the word “apokalupto”, which speaks of a removal of the veil; this word translated into English is the word “revelation.” The Book of Revelation is not about the end of the world like commonly believed, but it really speaks about the unveiling of Jesus (ref Rev 1:1). The Lord illuminates our minds with the revelation of the Word (mysteries of Scripture), which sets our hearts on fire for Him. He wants us to see past the things we see with our physical eyes, and look deeper in the Scriptures to spiritually see how He is revealing Himself to us.
When we understand, it sparks a greater level of faith or belief in Him because we have seen for ourselves the WORD. That is what Yeshua said in the Scriptures when He said “you will know the truth and the truth will make you free” (John 8:32), meaning you will have a relationship with Truth Himself and the revelation (unveiling) of who He is will set you free. Seeing Him at surface value is what Paul spoke of when he said we are to “walk by faith, not by sight” (2 Co 5:7); but seeing Him by faith requires a relationship with the WORD, enabling us to truly believe in Him, not just His name.
“They said to the woman, ‘It is no longer because of your words that we believe, for we have heard for ourselves, and we know that this is the Savior of the world” (Jn 4:42). The Samaritans reject the faith based on the words of the woman, because in hearing the Savior himself they had found something better which enabled them to know “that this is indeed the Savior of the world.” And it is certainly better to see the WORD with one’s own eyes and hear him teaching and, without using other teachers, impressing images on our mind which then discovers the forms of truth in a most clear manner. That is certainly better than it is not to see him and, not illuminated by his power, only to hear about him through others who see him. For it is impossible for the same affection which comes about in the mind of one who sees, to be experienced by one who has not seen but is only taught by one who has. For it is better to walk by sight than by faith (cf. 2 Cor 5:7).” Origin, Spirit & Fire, p. 245
- Origin, Spirit & Fire, p. 244
- Origin, Spirit & Fire, p. 245
- Origin, Spirit & Fire, p. 245