Thursday, December 20, 2012


What’s in a name?
Isaiah 9:6  For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful Counselor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, and The Prince of Peace. 
This verse has fascinated me for my entire life, or at least since the first time I heard it. When I was taught that this very verse, was the birth announcement of the Savior; I was wonder struck at the “unusual” pattern of names.  The more I learn about “language” the more I understand the “whys”. Why did God change the names of certain people in the scriptures; why are we given new names and how are we saved by “A Name”.
John 1:1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.
John 1:14 And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth.

So the word is figurative and literal. Jesus Christ is the word of God manifested in the flesh. The words that come out of his mouth are our sustenance: 
Matthew 4:4  But he answered and said, It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds out of the mouth of God.
 In language, a word is a manifestation of a thought, which is verbalized; it has within it an essence or power. When that word with its essence and inherent authority is given, or imparted or spoken, it is spirit. 
John 6:63 It is the spirit that quickens; the flesh profits nothing: the words that I speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are life.
 So what happens when God changes or rather impart a “new” name? How does the word “new” affect our name? He restores our good name, which from the beginning was known to us.
What's in a name and why change it? To discover the reason for God changing the names of Abraham and Sarah, we must first discover the nature and purpose of a name.
A name reveals the "authority" of an object or person. The purpose is to bring about or reveal God's will.
When God changes a name, He is pointing out a new destiny. It is also called a "status change." You might call it a "spiritual promotion." Through Abraham, that is - by the authority in his name, all the families of the earth will be blessed."And I will bless them that bless you, and curse him that curses you: and in you shall all families of the earth be blessed." (Gen 12:3)  quote courtesy of Paul Harnett
Recently, during this 2012 Christmas season, I have felt compelled to “know” what these names meant, and how they apply to the Savior; and how do I “take upon” this name?
The Lord has a lot to say concerning “names” and their significance on the one named and how that person’s name affects his family.
For instance Noah; his birth announcement
 Genesis 5:29 and he called his name Noah, saying, this same shall comfort us concerning our work and toil of our hands, because of the ground which the Lord hath cursed. 
Wow, what a heavy burden this name was to this child named Noah. I am sure that his father had to have received some revelation concerning the future “calling” of Noah. He did live up to his name sake; he was a “savior” to his family and a “type” of Adam in re-populating the earth after the flood.
Genesis 17:5 Neither shall thy name any more be called Abram, but thy name shall be Abraham; for a father of many nations have I made thee. 
How about Abraham? What an awesome name this was, his very name indicated his purpose in his life. Even his wife Sarah’s name had a significant purpose
Genesis 17:15 And God said unto Abraham, As for Sarai thy wife, thou shall not call her name Sarai, but Sarah shall her name be. 
Sarah means princess. And finally their son Isaac: 
Genesis 17:19 And God said, Sarah thy wife shall bear thee a son indeed; and thou shall call his name Isaac: and I will establish my covenant with him for an everlasting covenant and with his seed after him.
 Isaac’s name means laughter or maybe joy and happiness. Each of these individuals had their name changed, and the change incorporated a covenant that God had established with them, which affects us today, as “children of the promise”.  So it can be said that it’s not so much the name change, but the covenant that is established with the “new” name a guarantor or an outward sign. 
Proverbs 22:1 good name is to be chosen rather than great riches,
loving favor rather than silver and gold.
And finally the name that is above all names:
Matthew 1:21; 23
21 And she shall bring forth a son, and thou shall call his name Jesus: for he shall save his people from their sins.
23 Behold, a virgin shall be with child, and shall bring forth a son, and they shall call his name Emmanuel, which being interpreted is, God with us
In Matthew and also in Luke when the instruction is given to name the child Jesus, we have the abbreviated version of the name given in Isaiah 9
“His name shall be called Wonderful Counselor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, and The Prince of Peace.
This naming sequence or pattern appears only once in the scriptures, it is a unique name, given to only one person at one time in history. This is the name in Hebrew:
This is the “name” of the One we call Jesus, where as Jesus or Yesuha is only a portion of that really big name.
The name Pele-joez-el-gibbor-abi-ad-sar-shalom (Hebrew: פֶּלֶא יֹועֵץ אֵל גִּבֹּור אֲבִיעַד שַׂר־שָׁלֹֽום) is a prophetic name or title which occurs in Isaiah 9:6 in the Hebrew Bible    Wikipedia
Pele: A miracle; a marvel; a wonder
Joez:   not only to counsel and advise but to plan and execute
EL: God
Gibbor: A very mighty and particularly powerful God.
Abi-ad: Ab is Father; ad is perpetual, eternal; irrevocable
Sar-shalom: sar means authority or king, ruler of peace; restorer
Shalom meaning: peace and well being;restorer
Awesome, what a mouthful, I am impressed to believe that when Isaiah spoke these words, he may have actually sung them.

Now to bring this down a notch, I want to bear my testimony on the power of a name. For the past 2 years I have been slogging through and Family search trying to piece (peace) together an assortment of names of my husband’s family members, with minimal help from him.  He seems to have amnesia when it comes to names of grandparents and uncles and even the correct spelling of his own mothers’ name.  But I can’t blame him too much, his mom passed when he was 16 and so the family started to drift from each other. 

But here is where the Spirit of Elijah comes in; I feel like my husband had a really wise and wonderful mother, who maybe like so many mothers mentioned in scripture, was given a bit of insight concerning her children. Maybe she knew that her time would be short with them, and she pondered on what she could leave them so that they would always remember her; a good name that was chosen very carefully.

My husband has five names plus his surname. His name is “Patrick Wade James Edward Paul”. He doesn’t remember anything about the history of his name .He is the only son out of 3 who has such a long name. He told me that he had it “legally” changed to reflect a shorter moniker. But for some reason, the church has all of his names listed; go figure. What I have found is that the 2-4 names seem to be traditional family names on both sides of his family. They represent a paternal grandfather long thought to have gone missing, only to be found in Oregon. One name seems to be a more commonly used name in the past. The only name that hasn’t manifested is Paul. These names have helped me to organize his family tree and because of a misspelling I was contacted by a long lost cousin. Who knew?  So his mom chose him to carry the family names instead of his older brother, would that make him the “First Born”? And because of this, my husband can be a “savior” to his family by gathering up long lost information, even inspiring estranged family members to share stories. I am curious to see how big a tree my husband has, we are moving toward Ireland and Germany and I have a “feeling” that somewhere along the line, his mom and dad’s tree will cross.
So a true meaning of Christmas rest on the unique name of the One, who is our Lord and Savior, even Jesus Christ.
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