WHAT is YOUR NAME, SON?
BY: ELWIN R. ROACH
With the title of this article being posed, I can hear men of authority asking a boy his name and depending on what it is can influence their assessment of him. If he, or his family’s name, are known by them, it will determine what they think of him and how he is treated. If the name is of good character and linage, he will win favor; but if it is that of ill repute their judgment of him will register on the negative side of the character scale and he will be thought of and treated accordingly.
Now, ponder the answer to this question as it is being asked of you, What is your name, ‘son’?
Name is a word by which something is designated and distinguished from others; a word or group of words used to describe or evaluate a person. Name is an unassuming word, and is translated from the Greek onoma, and means character, or nature (Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance). Thayer’s Greek Definitions has this: “…the name is used for everything which the name covers, everything the thought or feeling of which is aroused in the mind by mentioning, hearing, remembering, the name, i.e. for one’s rank, authority, interests, pleasure, command, excellences, deeds etc.”
The Hebrew for name is Shêm, and it is, a “…word (…through the idea of definite and conspicuous position…); an appellation [or designation], as a mark or memorial of individuality; by implication honor, authority, character” (Strong’s).
During ancient times, a name meant a great deal; however, names today do not carry the same significance as in those days of old. Today they are mere titles by which we call a person. Names are a means of identifying one another. Generally, our names have no great significance except to distinguish one person from everyone else. They do not tell us anything about a person, other than in the sense of a reputation one has built of himself. A man’s name has nothing to do with his nature, his character, his great works, his history, or his achievements. It is a mere mark of identity, and no more. But it was quite different in Bible days, and more especially among the Semitic peoples. In the Old Testament there is abundant evidence that names were looked upon as being very sacred and full of life.
For instance, I will self-aggrandize a bit and use my name to bring this home. Elwin Roy Roach, indicates that I was born into the Roach family; but in looking at the meaning of each name, I may or may not fit the meaning; and if they do fit, it is not because my parents knew I would have a life that would be equal to the names:
• Elwin is from the Teutonic, meaning: noble friend.
• Roy comes from the French, roi, meaning king.
• Roach is from the French, roche, and means rock. In Ireland the common phrase “As sound as a roach,” is supposed to have been originally, “As sound as a rock.”
There is also a common fish in Ireland called the roach. The Roach family’s Crest, or Coat of Arms, has three roach-fishes on it. The motto is, “God is my Rock.” It is possible my family were fishers long enough that their family name became “Roach.” It could just as easily been “Fisher,” which I would have liked.
When we put it all together, Elwin Roy Roach would mean–A Noble Friend, a King who is as sound as a Rock, or is a Fisher of men. That is, a Sound, Noble King Fisher. Although some of those things about me may be true, it is only by coincidence; for I don’t think my parents had an inspiration from on high and named me Elwin Roy. Spiritually speaking, however, I hope some of this is true. I believe the meaning of these names speak very well of all who are called to sonship. The point is, to note the significance of names in the Bible, and also to know that by giving your baby boys Biblical names will not insure that they will grow up in those characteristics, such as, Elijah, Isaiah, Jesus, etc.. For example, we have known men and teenage boys with those names, and some of them were devils incarnate. But rather than trying to unravel the mysteries of your natural names, let us see what your real name might be.
“And I saw heaven opened, and behold a white horse; and he that sat upon him was called Faithful and True, and in righteousness he doth judge and make war….and he *had a name written, that no man knew, but he himself. And he hath on his vesture and on his thigh a name written, KING OF KINGS, AND LORD OF LORDS.” Revelation 19:12, 16
*”had a name written,” The Majority Greek Text has it as, “had names written.” (This Greek interlinear version is arrived at by comparing all known manuscripts with one another and deriving from them the readings that are more numerous than any others. There are two published Greek texts which purport to represent the Majority readings — Hodges & Farstad 1982 and Pierpont & Robinson 1991. – Michael D. Marlowe. http://www.bible-researcher.com/majority.html
There are virtually no words to describe the scene of this majestic horseman. There has never been such a rider nor will there ever be. It is truly incomprehensible to the natural mind, and to place in print for that mind to grasp is impossible, yet it can be easily grasped by those who are awake to spiritual realities when they are heard or seen. We therefore continue looking into the symbolic language concerning this mighty King of war in the heavens.
Upon the horseman’s head are many crowns, which signifies many kings, and unlike most kings with flowing robes of grandeur, He is not arrayed in such. He is not seen in an unstained garment of courtly prestige, but is wearing a vesture dipped in blood! His garment does not express an honorary promotion, an inherited station of power by default due to his old father, the king, having died, or any other such government edict or kingdom fiat. His ordination and badge of honor was his blood shed for the cause, which we know was for the salvation of the world. And now we see Him going forth robed in His vesture dipped in His own shed blood, and accompanied by his valiant ones, the 144,000 Sons of God, and together they will bring it all to pass. It is truly, a graphic picture of unprecedented proportions.
Our longtime friend, J. Preston Eby, wrote something to this effect: The number 144,000 in scripture signifies the Sons’ quality, not quantity. Numbers in the scriptures generally do not speak of a literal number, but of the character of things. It is commonly known that 12 is the number of divine government, and 144,000 is 12 squared then multiplied by 1000. One thousand is understood to represent the day of the Lord. When we spiritually count the number of the Sons of God, we do not come up with the exact sum of 144,000; but rather, their character. We see who they are. They are God’s Sons who expresses His government to the highest degree, expression, bringing the day of the Lord! The number reveals their quality, not their quantity.
There is another way to count the number: 100 is full value, children of promise (the Sons of God), 40 is the number for being tested, 4 speaks of creation, and 1000 is the full glory of God. Hence, the 144,000 with the name of their Father written in their foreheads are: the Son’s of God who have been tested and brought forth as a new creation that manifest the full Glory of God, which is the day of the Lord. Either way the number is counted, it adds up to quality rather than quantity. And by having their Father’s name written in their foreheads gives them that quality, character, nature!
The host of heaven with Him, this vast multitude of God’s Sons, are clothed in fine linen, white and clean, which speaks of the righteousness of the saints. Their white horses symbolize the strength in its pure form of godliness. It speaks of the victory and power of Christ Jesus, and all of this is by His blood. It is by His blood that their garments are white and clean, and it is by Him that they conquer.
The sharp, two-edged sword that proceeds from His mouth is the spoken Word. It is a living sword with which to smite the nations; but it is not with brutal force or unmerciful slaughter. It is a Spirit-Word of Truth and Life. The name written on His vesture and His thigh is KING OF KINGS AND LORD OF LORDS! With such a name inscribed upon His thigh, there is neither angel, force, course, nor power to compromise that strength. By no means can the hollow of His thigh be touched as it was with Jacob. What we read here defies human expression, yet men and women in the church and secular fields worldwide futilely attempt it, yet they fail at every turn, and there is good cause for failing. Namely, the book of Revelation is a spiritual book. It is not a natural book of natural flesh and bone events. It speaks of spiritual realities, and these spiritual realities are conveyed to us by signs and symbols. Jesus most often spoke in parables, and He gave the reason why: “Therefore I speak to them in parables, because seeing they do not see, and hearing they do not hear, nor do they understand.” Matthew 13:10 The book of Revelation is akin to the way Jesus spoke over two thousand years ago in parables, signs, symbols, and allegories. Such wonderful things are not meant to be understood by the carnal mind, nor will they ever be.
With this being true, we will not see televangelists declaring or talking about the fulfillment of these heavenly prophecies on their TV shows. The newscasters won’t be broadcasting it as some late, breaking news. And neither will we read about it from the pages of our daily newspapers. When the climactic hour comes, however, we will see those realities expressed with clarity and without question. They will be seen in the lives of men and women all over the world. For you see, the Word of the Lord is spiritual. It speaks of spiritual things. His Word does not depict natural warfare between flesh and blood nations. Wars of nations have nothing to do with the Kingdom of God. They are natural while our wars are spiritual. The battles that John saw while in exile speak of spiritual battles. They are battles between the carnal mind of man and the mind of Christ. They are between light and darkness. These conflicts are between spirit and flesh, between truth and error. These battles rage between that which is righteousness and that which is not. These battles are expressly between life and death. And be sure to know, each of us must experience these battles within our own being in order to overcome all things. It is when we have put death under our feet that the victor’s crown of life is given.
When Jesus was in the world, He knew firsthand such spiritual warfare, but infinitely more intense, we are sure. And He overcame all those powers, particularly the powers of the flesh and of the devil. By His perilous acts and ultimate sacrifice, and especially the power of His Life, He opened wide the way to victory and triumph for all who are called and who are willing to follow the Lamb whithersoever He goeth. They must follow not only into the heat of the battles, but also into the lifestyle of the Kingdom of God. It is strange; but some people don’t mind the war as much as they do the life in the Spirit of holiness. The heat of battle seems to invigorate them, while they are bored with the tranquility of life. (Suggested reading. Pub. #187.06 “And There Was War In Heaven” free upon request.)
Interestingly, the only place we find names written upon people is in the book of Revelation. There is one time in the Old Testament, of course, that Aaron’s name was written upon the rod of Levi, which was symbolic of people, i.e., the entire tribe of Levi. Aaron’s name — his nature, his position, his authority as the high priest — was written upon the tribe of the priesthood that the rod represented, and now, we see the fulfillment of that type in the last book of the Bible.
Let us take a moment and notice the exclusive verses where we read about names being uniquely written upon people:
“His eyes were as a flame of fire, and on his head were many crowns; and he had a name written, that no man knew, but he himself. Revelation 19:12
“…I looked, and, lo, a Lamb stood on mount Sion, and with him an hundred forty and four thousand, having his Father’s name written in their foreheads.” Revelation 14:1
And, “He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches; To him that overcometh will I give to eat of the hidden manna, and will give him a white stone, and in the stone a new name written, which no man knoweth saving he that receiveth it.” Revelation 2:17
“Him that overcometh will I make a pillar in the temple of my God, and he shall go no more out: and I will write upon him the name of my God, and the name of the city of my God, which is new Jerusalem, which cometh down out of heaven from my God: and I will write upon him my new name.” Revelation 3:12
The new name is the new nature of the resurrection power and glory of our ascended Lord. It is not the name of Jesus of old. Not the name of the Jesus of Nazareth. Not the name of the Jesus who was tempted in all points as we are tempted. We have that name right now; but it is His New Name! It is the nature of Jesus the resurrected one! It is the nature of the resurrected Lord Jesus Christ from on high!
Many would settle for having the old name of Jesus who fed the people loaves and fishes, but not they who rule with the rod of iron. They will have nothing less than the Jesus of whom Paul spoke, “Therefore, from now on, we regard no one according to the flesh. Even though we have known Christ according to the flesh, yet now we know Him thus no longer. 2 Corinthians 5:16 (NKJV).
We cannot leave the list of scriptures in reference to names being written without adding a verse from the Old Testament; for it declares the power of a king’s name, and much more the name of our King, THE KING OF KINGS AND LORD OF LORDS:
“Write ye…in the king’s name, and seal it with the king’s ring: for the writing which is written in the king’s name, and sealed with the king’s ring, may no man reverse.” Esther 8:8
The name seals forever the nature, the power, and the authority of the King, and be reminded of the ones that are written on the overcomers: a name no man knows, one’s new name, the name of God, the name of the city of God, the new name of Jesus, and the name of our Father.
There’s a lot of name writing on and in people and once in a stone. It is with stones, of course, as it is with the rods. They are both symbolic of people. A name written on or in a person, or a rod or a stone, simply speaks of the essence that is being imparted. Therefore, the substance of those being written upon is that of God, the city of God, the new name of Jesus Christ, their new name/nature, and the name of their Father. That, my dear friends, is what I call substance, and no man can reverse it! There is no falling away, no backsliding, not a hint of being defeated by anything or any means. These names are without end!
It is no wonder that these names of substance being written upon the 144,000 are recorded in the last book of the Bible; for this is when all things come to a head. This is the unveiling of many events having to do with the end of all things old and the beginning of all things new. The overcomers are certainly part of the beginning and the end of all things. The world will be again turned upside down; but this time, ending all things forever that are contrary to life. These sons of God will be a part of ending old things and making all things new. They manifest the royal substance of the Kingdom as they shepherd the nations with the rod of iron.
Once more we will say that these names are written upon and in no one except the overcomers! For they alone are worthy. They alone are victoriously mature, first within and then without. The substance of those mature names will be manifested in full glory which Paul called the manifestation of the sons of God. This unveiling ushers in those who are as solid as their Rock. They are irrevocably sealed, and no man can reverse it.
It is not my intention or desire to cause consternation to anyone; but for the good of truth which is good for everyone, I am compelled to make it clear that overcoming and becoming can never be achieved by being super religious, walking the strait and narrow path by the will and might of the mind, self determination, knowing the right doctrines, believing end-time truths, doing or not doing things, or belonging to a certain church or special group of believers. It is Jesus the Author and Finisher of everyone’s faith, the First and the Last, the Alpha and the Omega who will make it so as they all walk in union with His Spirit.
If we were able to buck up and overcome all things by the mighty grit of ourselves, there would have been no need for Jesus to have left the glory He had with His Father and suffer the humiliating death of the cross. But there was a need, a great need, and He, therefore, descended from His celestial glory and made it possible for us to ascend and overcome all things. He made the way, and it is by Him, in Him, and through Him that we will mature, overcome, and take on the substance of His new name that is written upon and in us. The Lamb’s Father, who is our Father, will also write His name on our foreheads, filling our minds with the substance of Himself!
“Then I looked, and behold, the Lamb was standing on Mount Zion, and with Him one hundred and forty-four thousand, having His name and the name of His Father written on their foreheads.” Revelation 14:1 (NAS) The Diaglott also includes His name along with His Father’s name having been written on their foreheads, which we noticed earlier in Revelation 3:12 when Jesus said, to him that overcomes, I will write upon him the name of my God, and My new name.
What is the significance of having both names written in their foreheads rather than the one name, especially since Jesus said in John 17:11-23 that He and His Father were one? We might think that by having one name that the other came with the package, but not necessarily so. I believe both names are mentioned in order to signify that the overcomer’s mind would be the substance of both characters. The mind of the followers of the Lamb upon the Mountain of the Kings (Zion) would be that of the Father and the Son.
The character of the Father is that of guidance, firm correction, authority, and power. The character of the Son is that of obedience, responsibility, empathy, trustworthiness, having no condemnation, sacrificial, and a savior. The Son identifies with man in his weakness, temptations, and passions. The Son is the mediator. And with the 144,000 having both names (natures) written upon their foreheads, they have the mature substance of both, the Father and the Son, and they can easily rule the nations with and as a rod of iron.
The Greek word for rule comes from poimaino, meaning: to shepherd, guide, govern. This speaks of a ministry of love and care. It is not the wielding of an iron rod in a tyrannical manner. But rather, it is the firm exercise of authority to assure that the purpose is accomplished. Ruling with a rod of iron is undergirded with all the firm guidance of a father and the loving care of a good shepherd. It is the ministry of Christ through a people who have become one in Him and their Father, and when they are seen, the Father and the Son are seen
“And he that overcometh, and keepeth my works unto the end, to him will I give **power over the nations: And he shall rule them with a rod of iron; as the vessels of a potter shall they be broken to shivers: even as I received of my Father.” Revelation 2:26-27 Again, the rod symbolizes His unbreakable authority, and that authority is of His Spirit, His word, and His law of the Spirit of Life. They are unbendable, and the 144,000 overcomers are the corporate manifestation of the three in the hand of their Father to break to shivers the vessels in need of being broken. They are also they who tread out the wine press. **power: Grk. exousia, authority
Treading out the winepress is similar, if not the same, as ruling with a rod of iron. The rod is used to break people like a potter breaks his vessels when they are in need of being made new. The afflicted are pressed and broken in order to bring forth something much greater, new wine, life from the world of death. Those broken to shivers are the marred and cracked vessels who are unusable and unfit for the glorious Kingdom of God. They are not able to hold the simple water of the Word or the wine of the Spirit.
It is difficult to repair cracked vessels of clay; but it is a simple matter to break them to ***shivers, grind them to powder, and cast them into the Potter’s field to be weathered, worn, and reduced to pliable clay. When the time is right, they are then reformed in the Potter’s hands, and all are made new as Revelation 21:5 speaks. . ***shivers: Grk. suntribo, to crush completely.
As it is with the reforming of the Potter’s vessels, the treading out of the winepress brings forth a higher, everlasting form of life. For instance, ripe grapes are full of sweet juices. They possess beauty and nutrition. They are pleasant to the eye and the taste. A burst of energy can be had when grapes are eaten; but the true life, the higher life of the vine is not known until it is released. That releasing is due to the crushing of its fruit, and seemingly a spoiling during the fermentation process. But there is no spoiling. There are no values lost. To the contrary, much is gained. The life of the vine in that fruit is released and manifested in the process of bruising and dying. There is a marvelous transformation and resurrection. Abundant life comes out of death. Now we know why wine is called spirits. The spirit/life has been released as the essence of the fruit is transformed. Many may appear as though they are rich and full of life, like plump, religious grapes, yet they will never drink of the new wine of the Kingdom without the treading out of the winepress, or being vessels broken to shivers and made new.
We should note that neither the treading out of the winepress nor the breaking of vessels are in vindictive vengeance. There is no anger of any sort, and neither is it a cold, uncaring, retribution to someone who “deserves” God’s harsh, legal “justice.” By no means is this rule of iron done in malice or without heartfelt feelings of love. These rulers have no need to see anyone suffer, even though there is often great suffering on the road to correction and change.
Before closing, let us note David in a verse of the Psalms concerning him having been one of the types of Jesus, the apple (the pupil, the central focus) of God’s eye. This verse captures so clearly the spirit of those whose foreheads have the name of their Lord Jesus and the name of their Father written therein, and who rule (shepherd) with a guiding rod of iron: “So he shepherded them according to the integrity of his heart, And guided them by the skillfulness of his hands.” Psalm 78:72. (NKJV)
This is what is awaiting the 144,000, the rod of iron, the company of Sons who stand with the Lamb on Mount Zion, and who rule in the name of the Son and of the Father. They shepherd according to the integrity of their heart, which is the Lord’s, and they guide with the skillful understanding, knowledge and wisdom of their Father. Brethren, that’s the mighty host of God’s sons whose name is written upon and in their foreheads. It is they who stand upon Mount Zion and rule the nations in His irrevocable name, and the LORD set the tone very well for that which we speak when Jeremiah wrote:
“‘…I will take you, one from a city and two from a family, and I will bring you to Zion. And I will give you shepherds according to My heart, who will feed you with knowledge and understanding. Then it shall come to pass, when you are multiplied and increased in the land in those days,’ says the Lord, ‘that they will say no more, The ark of the covenant of the Lord. It shall not come to mind, nor shall they remember it, nor shall they visit it, nor shall it be made anymore. ‘At that time Jerusalem shall be called The Throne of the Lord, and all the nations shall be gathered to it, to the name of the Lord, to Jerusalem. No more shall they follow the dictates of their evil hearts.’ And ‘I will set up shepherds over them who will feed them; and they shall fear no more, nor be dismayed, nor shall they be lacking, says the Lord.'” Jeremiah 3:14-17 & 23:4 (NKJV)
You see, the throne of the Kingdom wherein God abides, and from where His glory comes, is no longer in the temple made with hands. He is no longer confined to one place where no man can approach. The throne is a city! The throne is a people, and the glory of the inscribed names of the Son and the Father are seen in them as they shepherd all the people by the integrity of their hearts which will usher them into the fullness of life for evermore.
These royal shepherds do not wield a rod of iron in a harsh, autocratic manner, as mentioned previously. Not at all. But they do rule firmly and exercise authority to insure that God’s ultimate purpose of removing the burden of sin and death from every soul is accomplished. These rulers are not uncaring tyrants, but are undergirded with the love and care of the chief Shepherd. This iron rule is the ministry of Christ through a people who have become one with Him in every way while standing upon Zion with Him. It is from that high place called the Mountain of the Kings, having His name and His Father’s name written in their foreheads, that they rule.
And now, my dear friends, what is your character? What is your nature? that is–what Is Your Name, Son? You cannot say that you are your Father, nor that you are Jesus Christ; but that is your authority, your power, your love, your nature, your name; for all those characteristics are written in and upon you, inside and out. You are a Son of God, born of His life whose name will be fully manifested in due season! The sealing of this Name cannot be reversed! Neither you nor anyone else can disannul it! The package has been signed, sealed, and ready for worldwide delivery! Do you hear a crescendo of AMENS? I do!
Again, what Is Your Name, Son? And I can hear the answer from the words of a song echoing in my spirit: “On my mother’s side, it is Jesus. On my Father’s side, I am called Emmanuel!” If this is so, what is your plan? “On my mother’s side, it is to be crucified. On my Father’s side it is to be glorified”
WHAT is YOUR NAME, SON [Elwin R. Roach] 1