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Be Specific!

The King James Version (KJV) is mostly used in these lessons. Click here to access the KJV online.
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It must ever be remembered that Satan, the Father of Lies, is also the Father of Stolen Identities.  He does not have creative power himself, so he twists; he manipulates, he lies.  He takes attributes belonging to the Creator and claims them for himself, while trying to paint the Father with his own evil characteristics.  Thus, people are led to fear the very One to Whom they should flee and call upon for help in the fight against Satan.

Satan's method of warfare, his stealing and usurping that which belongs to the Almighty alone, can be seen in his boast, made when he was cast out of heaven.  This boast has been preserved in Isaiah:

How you are fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning!  . . . For you have said in your heart: 'I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of . . . [Elohim]; . . . I will ascend above the heights of the clouds, I will be like the Most High.'  (Isaiah 14:12-14, NKJV)

After the flood cleansed the earth, Satan quickly reestablished idolatry, seeking to turn all to worship himself.  Even while Noah and Shem yet lived, men were worshipping demons.  By the time of Abraham, idol worship was fully ingrained in the minds of the majority of the people.  Elohim called Abraham to come out and be separate; to serve no other gods.

stone relief During this time Satan sought to bind people in service to himself by having his demons present in their temples.  A rich man or a king could build a temple, appoint priests  and ceremoniously invite a specific demon, by a specific name, to live in the inner sanctum, the "most holy place" of that temple.  The priest appointed to serve that particular demon-god could then come in, offer sacrifices and offerings, and call upon the name of that god to petition for a favor.  People would pay the priest to ask the demon questions, work magical acts or in some way bless them or curse others. 

This was no mere charade.  The reason people were willing to pay the priest and give offerings to the “god” was because it worked!  Satan had many ways to deceive and keep the people entranced with his deceptions.  Their occult worship had many mysteries and fascinating ceremonies to allure the mind and keep the people coming back for more. The specific name of an individual demon-god was held to be very important. Without knowing their name, it was believed that a person could not get in touch with the demon. If an enemy learned the name of your god, he could offer a bigger offering and getyour god to come over to his side and destroy you.  This meant that people desperately kept secret the name of their god.  Over time, there were thousands of gods inhabiting thousands of temples and answering to thousands of names.

It was assumed that the more hidden the name, the more power it contained.  If a god was "unknown," no one assumed he lacked a name.  Instead, it was believed that the name was simply very deeply hidden.  In his address to the men of Athens on the Areopagus, Paul used this belief in his favor to preach about the Creator:

Then Paul stood in the midst of the Areopagus and said, "Men of Athens, I perceive that in all things you are very religious; for as I was passing through and considering the objects of your worship, I even found an altar with this inscription:

TO THE UNKNOWN GOD.

Therefore, the One whom you worship without knowing, Him I proclaim to you: . . . [Elohim] who made the world and everything in it."  (Acts 17:22, 23, NKJV)

The necessity of praying to a specific god by his personal name was a concept that was well-understood throughout the ancient world.

In the ancient world, knowledge of a person's name was believed to give one power over that person.  A knowledge of the character and attributes of pagan "gods" was thought to enable the worshipers to manipulate or influence the deities in a more effective way than they could have if the deity's name remained unknown.  To that extent, the vagueness of the term el frustrated persons who hoped to obtain some sort of power over the deity, since the name gave little or no indication of the god's character.  This was particularly true for el, the chief Canaanite god.  The ancient Semites stood in mortal dread of the superior powers exercised by the gods and attempted to propitiate them accordingly.  They commonly associated deity with the manifestation and use of enormous power.1 

In order to access the god, a generic title could not be used as that was ineffectual.  Thus, it was a continual battle to keep hidden the name of one's own god, while learning as many hidden names of other gods as possible.  By the time of the enslavement of the Israelite nation, Egypt had over 2000 named gods and some of those gods had hundreds of names.  The priests jealously guarded the knowledge of the gods secret names, because this knowledge was what gave them power over the gods since it was believed that when a god was called upon by his personal name, he must answer.

No Egyptian being, natural or supernatural, can avoid the calling of his name.  . . . In Egypt magic . . . is based almost entirely on the use of this possibility . . . The priest-magician devotes allEgyptian hieroglyphics his learning and power to 'knowing' (rokhu) the exact texture of the name . . . [as] the magical chant (khrou) which exactly reproduces all those elements [of the spoken name] give to him who possess it the complete ownership of the name-souls thus evoked.  To the irresistible call which attracts their vital substance all beings, visible and invisible, must answer.  . . . The person who is adjured or evoked, not being able to avoid the declaration of his name, . . . keeps his name secret.  From the most humble spirit to the most powerful of the gods, each has a 'secret name,' which no one is supposed to know.  He defends it jealously as his very life.  For, as the texts say, 'this is his name by which he breathes.'2

Some Egyptian gods had multiple names.  From the top 358 most well-known Egyptian gods' names, the following are just those gods whose names began with "A":

Aa, Aah, Aapep, Abtu, Ah, Ahemait, Ahti(2), Ailuros, Aken, Aker, Amathaunta, Amaunet, Amemait, Amen, Amen Ra, Amen Re, Amenhotep, Ament, Amentet, Amentit, Ammam, Ammit, Ammon, Ammon Ra, Ammon Re, Ammut, Amn, Amon, Amon Ra, Amon Re, Amsit, Amun, Amun Ra, Amun Re, Anat, Andjety, Anedjti, Anet, Anezti, Anhur, Anit, Ankh, Ankhet, Ankt, Anouke, Anpu, Anti, Anubis, Anuket, Apademak, Apedemak, Apep, Apepi, Apet, Apis, Apophis, Aptet, Arensnuphis, Ari Hes Nefer, Arsnuphis, Aset, Aten, Aten Ra, Aten Re, Aton, Aton Ra, Aton Re, Atum, Atum Ra, Atum Re,

What Satan cannot destroy outright by lies, he twists and corrupts by misunderstanding or placing a wrong emphasis.  While it is true that all should call upon the Father, directing their prayers specifically to Him by calling upon His personal name, it is not true that names are magical.  Correspondingly, a title is not non-magical.  This is the trap into which the pagans fell: belief that names contained inherent magical power. 

The all-important reason that one should know the Father's and the Son's personal names is an understanding of the meaning of Their names inspires faith in the heart of the petitioner.  Faith in the Father's love, faith in His willingness to hear and answer prayer, confidence in His promises is what is necessary to release the divine power.

Faith is the primary prerequisite for answered prayer.  The Saviour repeatedly linked His ability to answer petitions made Him to the level of faith in the heart of the petitioner.  After exclaiming in surprise over the level of faith the Roman centurion had, ("Verily I say unto you, I have not found so great faith, no, not in Israel."  Matthew 8:10) the Saviour turned to the centurion and said, "Go thy way; and as thou hast believed, so be it done unto thee."  (Matthew 8:13, KJV)

This principle was reinforced again later when the Syro-Phoenician woman asked for her daughter to be healed.  When told, "It is not good to take the children's bread and throw it to the dogs," her faith grew stronger.  "True," she said, "yet even the little dogs eat the crumbs which fall from their masters' table."  (See Matthew 15:21-28.)  To this answer of faith, the Saviour rejoiced: "O woman, great is your faith!  Let it be to you as you desire."  (Verse 28, NKJV.)

Here is where the importance of knowing the Creator's personal name is seen.  His name is a revelation of His power, His function and His character.  When one knows this, all other gods fade into oblivion.  All that remains is the one true Elohim, the Creator of heaven and earth Who loves each one of His children as though there were not another individual on the face of the earth.

If anyone loves . . . [Elohim], this one is known by Him.  Therefore concerning the eating of things offered to idols, we know that an idol is nothing in the world, and that there is no other . . . [Elohim] but one.  For even if there are so-called gods [elohim], whether in heaven or on earth as there are many gods and many lords), yet for us there is only one Elohim, the Father of whom are all things, and we for Him; and one . . . [Saviour], through whom are all things and through whom we live.  (I Corinthians 8:3-6)

praying woman This is the knowledge that is crucial for all living in the closing days of this earth's history.  To many people, the days ahead appear dark and fearful.  Revelation lists the seven last plagues, the wrath of Elohim, to be poured out unmixed with mercy upon this sinful earth.  At this time, it is absolutely essential for Elohim’s people to have faith in His power to deliver, both from enemies without and sin within.

Call upon the name of the Father.  Lay aside titles and words Satan has appropriated for demons.  Call upon Him specifically and in faith.  Let your faith grasp the promises given in Love.  The message of Elijah and Moses resounds through the years to this day:  Who is on Elohim's side?  If Baal is your god, serve him; but if Elohim is the Creator, then with repentance and humility, obedience and faith, serve Him. 

According to your faith be it unto you.

 

1 El, #410, The New Strong's Expanded Dictionary of Bible Words.)

2 Encyclopædia of Religion and Ethics,  James Hastings, John A. Selbie, and Louis H. Gray, eds., (New York: Charles Scribner's Sons, 1917), Vol. 9, p. 152.