Posted in theology

What’s in a name?

By Elizabeth Prata

I love names. The Bible is filled with weird sounding names, genealogies, and unnamed people. I will be anxious to learn the Ethiopian Eunuch’s name, the Woman at the Well, the Woman with 12 years of blood, the Gadarene Demoniac, and the Thief on the Cross.

In addition, we will be given a new name after the final judgment of all things:

He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. To him who overcomes, to him I will give some of the hidden manna, and I will give him a white stone, and a new name written on the stone which no one knows but he who receives it. (Revelation 2:17).

Jesus gave Simon a new name, Cephas which means Peter. So too Levi, he became known as the Apostle Matthew. God renamed Abram to Abraham, his wife Sarai was given the name Sarah. Jacob was renamed by God as Israel. Many more were renamed, went by another name, or had a nickname (like James, Jesus’ disciple, nicknamed Boanerges, Son of Thunder.) The angel Gabriel told Zacharias to name his son John (the Baptist). (Luke 1:13).

Continue reading “What’s in a name?”
Posted in encouragement, theology

Your name is written…but where?

By Elizabeth Prata

The Bible says that our names are written down.

Nevertheless do not rejoice in this, that the spirits are subject to you, but rejoice that your names are recorded in heaven. (Luke 10:20)

to the general assembly and church of the firstborn who are enrolled in heaven, and to God, the Judge of all, and to the spirits of the righteous made perfect, (Hebrews 12:23)

He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. To the one who conquers I will give some of the hidden manna, and I will give him a white stone, with pa new name written on the stone that no one knows except the one who receives it. (Revelation 2:17)

Everyone who wins the victory will wear white clothes. Their names will not be erased from the book of life, and I will tell my Father and his angels that they are my followers. (Revelation 3:5)

When I’m teaching, and a child has finally exceeded his limit of chances and warnings, we call for his agenda notebook which goes home every day, and write his name down in it. It’s a sobering moment. He knows it’s serious, he knows he’s in trouble. He looks downcast. The other children quiet down too, not wanting their name to go home with a “bad note” to mom and dad.

We also have a program where we write a note to mom and dad on a postcard lauding the child for good work or super behavior. We mail it. They love to see their names written on the gaily colored postcard coming in the “real mail”, just for them. They are so proud.

Imagine the gravity of the moment when your name will be revealed in heaven…where will it be written down? It it in the Lamb’s Book of life in heaven? Or is it written on a tombstone where you will endure the second death?

If you have repented of your sins to Jesus, who was the sacrificial lamb taking on the sin of the world, died, and was resurrected, and turned your life over to Him, snatching it away from satan, your name will be revealed in heaven in glory as a righteous child of God. If not, then your name will be revealed in heaven as a child of satan and you will be cast to the second death.


These are not popular thoughts, I know. Everyone likes to think his name is written in heaven and glory awaits, because “God is love” and how could he not love me, they think. But the truth is that “many will go to destruction.” (Matthew 7:13). Please don’t let that be you. Repent, live for Christ, follow His precepts, obey righteousness, and these fleeting troubles will melt away as the postcard to heaven reveals your lauded name to the Father.

names in heaven verse

Posted in salvation, theology

When God speaks a name twice

By Elizabeth Prata

Bible trivia: When a name is used twice in a row it is an expression of intimacy, communicating great emotion.

Abraham! Abraham! Genesis 22:11.

Jacob, Jacob. Genesis 46:2.

Moses, Moses! Exodus 3:4.

Samuel! Samuel!1 Samuel 3:10.

Martha, Martha. Luke 10:41.

Simon, Simon. Luke 22:31.

Jerusalem, Jerusalem Matthew 23:37.

Saul, Saul. Acts 9:4

My God! My God! Matthew 27:46; Psalm 22:1.

Now think of the other time a name is used twice, this time not from God or Jesus to a beloved person, but from people who thought they had beloved intimacy with Jesus- but didn’t.

Lord, Lord. Matthew 7:21-23.

“Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father who is in heaven will enter. “Many will say to Me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in Your name, and in Your name cast out demons, and in Your name perform many miracles?’ “And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; DEPART FROM ME, YOU WHO PRACTICE LAWLESSNESS.’

That verse takes my breath away in its devastating truth. Many in this case means in Greek a high number, great in extent. If many will say to Him Lord, Lord, pleading an intimacy that had never existed, we know that on this day there are many who claim an intimacy with Jesus they do not have. They think they do, but they don’t. They’ll find out later. It’s the unsettling truth that we live with now, and will sadly watch later as the bitter truth emerges.

This should enhance our gratitude to Jesus all the more. Prayers of thanks to Jesus for His cross, His resurrection, His salvation, and His assurance are not inappropriate at any time.

If you are unsure whether you say ‘Abba, Father’ and will be received, or wonder if you will be one who says Lord, Lord later and be rejected, then I recommend these resources to you:

Is It Real? 11 Tests of Genuine Salvation

Can I Be Sure I’m Saved?

by faith you have been saved verse1

Posted in encouragement, theology

Where everybody Knows Your Name

By Elizabeth Prata

In the 1980s, the Cheers television show dominated the comedic airwaves. It was hilarious and maintained its high-ratings almost throughout its historically long run, 11 years, from 1982 to 1993. Thus, its weekly entry into American living rooms meant that the theme song was destined to become entrenched into the psyche of the viewer for decades afterwards. “Where everybody knows your name” was the theme song and it goes a little something like this –

The lyrics say:Making your way in the world today takes everything you’ve got.

Taking a break from all your worries, sure would help a lot.
Wouldn’t you like to get away?
Sometimes you want to go
Where everybody knows your name,
and they’re always glad you came.

As the song played, I used to admire each attractive painting of each tinted character, and I’d yearn for the bonhomie the show promoted. Yes, I want to be where everybody knows my name. Yes, I want to be in a place where I am recognized, and loved for who I am. Yes, I want to be where they’re always glad I came. Is there such a place? Yes, and it’s not in a bar.

The place where everybody knows your name is heaven. And for each person either the homecoming is either joyful or fearful. There are books kept, and your name is in those books. Your deeds are kept in the books. And He knows your name – and He knows your deeds.

And I saw the dead, the great and the small, standing before the throne, and books were opened; and another book was opened, which is the book of life; and the dead were judged from the things which were written in the books, according to their deeds.” (Revelation 20:12)

And if anyone’s name was not found written in the book of life, he was thrown into the lake of fire.” (Revelation 20:15)

On the one hand, your homecoming may be brief. They will know your name but if your name is not found written, you will be thrown into torment, receiving your wish to be forever separated from Jesus. On this earth, when the person in authority opens your file, and stares at you, it is a heart-stopping moment. Have you ever been to the principal’s office? And he opens your file? It makes your toes curl. Have you ever been to the doctor’s office? And he opens your file? It makes your stomach drop. Have you ever been to court? And he opens your file? It makes your heart beat faster. This will be like that but infinitely worse.

On the other hand…

He who overcomes will thus be clothed in white garments; and I will not erase his name from the book of life, and I will confess his name before My Father and before His angel.” (Revelation 3:5)

On the other hand, if you believe, confess, and repent, when they open the book and find your name in it, Jesus will confess your name to the Father and to the angels. You will be admitted permanent entry into the most glorious place possible…the place where everybody knows your name, and they’re always glad you came.

*This essay was published on The End Time in March 2010.

Posted in encouragement, Uncategorized

The great thing about Jesus is…

There are so many great things about Jesus. They are innumerable. Today let’s look at two passages, one from the Old Testament and one from the New. God isn’t one way in the OT and another in the NT. The two testaments are linked and it is a unified whole. Both Testaments reveal the same God, Son, and Spirit. Continue reading “The great thing about Jesus is…”

Posted in discernment, Uncategorized

False teachers dishonor the mighty name of God

“The early church was married to poverty, prisons and persecutions. Today, the church is married to prosperity, personality, and popularity.” Leonard Ravenhill.

We are living in a plague now. It is a plague of false teachers. False teachers bring a different Gospel, or meld the true Gospel with a false one, and they try to make the people forget the True and Living God. Jeremiah had complained to God about the false prophets and their message.

“But I said, “Alas, Sovereign LORD! The prophets keep telling them, ‘You will not see the sword or suffer famine. Indeed, I will give you lasting peace in this place.’” (Jeremiah 14:13)

He was concerned that the falsely positive messages would dampen their fervor and alertness of the people. Any message that a person accepts that is not from God is inherently damaging. Paul referred to this process as gangrene. (2 Timothy 1:7). This is why we must insist on proper interpretation of biblical messages from our pulpits, read books that have proper representations of the Gospel and God, it is why we must study for ourselves so when a TRUE message of peace does come, we can rely on it.

Later, God answered Jeremiah, Continue reading “False teachers dishonor the mighty name of God”