Lou: If you were to sense the presence of Satan, would it help to call on the angels? Would it help to recite the name of Jesus several times? What do you think of such approaches?
Graham: If you’re using the name for the purpose of “magic,” you should know that Jesus never went by that name. “Jesus” is an English pronunciation of the Greek Iesous. His actual name in Hebrew and Aramaic was Joshua (Yehoshuah or Yeshuah), and I’ve never heard anybody using “Joshua” to scare the Devil away. So I regret it very much when people use the name of Jesus as a good luck charm. I think it is an insult to Him and does us a lot of damage. But I hear it all the time. We’re always singing about those precious two syllables, “Je-sus,” and He never went by that name. What matters is the Person, not the name. If we could remember Him and call on Him, that would be the only way to go.
Lou: But you could use the name “Jesus” at that point.
Graham: Yes, because we know who we mean by it. If I’m thinking of the real Person when I say “Jesus,” even though that’s an English pronunciation of a Greek transliteration, He will understand that. But if I’m just using that name as a good luck charm, I might as well use garlic to scare off vampires and that sort of thing. I think it is diabolical to use His name as magic. Why would the Devil be scared of the name anyway? But if Jesus were there, the Devil certainly would flee. So I would want Him there by whatever name you might call Him.
Lou: But if the Devil could deceive a third of the angels, what chance do we have to resist him by ourselves?
Graham: Well, there were people in the Bible who did succeed in resisting him, like Job. Job even called to God for help and no help seemed to come. And yet he survived.
Lou: But things seemed to get worse when he called for help.
Graham: Things did get worse, that’s right. The more he called for help, the worse things got. He said, “God, I call and You never answer me” (based on Job 30:20). And yet Job did not let God down. I believe God wishes to bring us to the point where we can actually stand singly and alone, and the only restraint on the Devil is, “You may not take his life” (Job 2:6). The incredible thing is that Job survived. But did you notice Job bragging about it when it was all over? Oh no, he was humbled by it all, and he was hardly prepared when God said, in effect, “You did wonderfully, Job (Job 42:7-8)! When you felt you were doing so badly, here in heaven I was saying, ‘Now there’s a perfect man.’” But that was God speaking about Job, Job himself was not conceited (see Job 42:1-6).
Lou: You used the expression “to stand singly and alone.” You don’t mean standing without God, do you? Do you mean standing alone as far as the presence of others is concerned?
Graham: Satan was given a completely free hand with Job. Satan said: “Just let me get my hands on him, and he’ll curse You to Your face” (Job 2:5). So Satan eventually took everything away from Job. All Job had to help him, it appeared, were those theologians; and they were all wrong. They were miserable help (Job 16:2). Satan’s final effort to deceive may come most persuasively through caring theologians. So we must be alert. But Job was certainly protected to the extent that Satan could not kill him.
Lou: Yet he had to trust in the truth, and he was growing in his understanding of what that truth was, wasn’t he?
Graham: He was still learning and growing at the time of his suffering. At this point I can’t help but use Ellen White’s magnificent thoughts on what it means to be sealed. It is to be so settled into the truth, both intellectually and spiritually, that one cannot be moved (Ellen G. White, Last Day Events, 219; Ellen G. White, Seventh-day Adventist Bible Commentary, volume 4, 1161). As we have said, that is the work of the Spirit. It was the Spirit of Truth and his conversations with God that brought Job to a similar place. It was all God’s doing, but Job’s part was to always say “yes” to God. And if we can say “yes” to God long enough, the heavenly Physician can heal us and bring us to the place where Job was.