We don’t know many of the details of the kingdom, but during the kingdom (the ‘1,000 years’ reign of Christ on the earth — Rev. 20:4; 5:10), and even after the kingdom (when God is ‘all and in all’ — 1Cor. 15:28), the saints will probably still be known by their names. We can see this in the existence of the angels — who dwell with God (Mat. 8:10; Mark 13:32; Luke 1:19),1 are at one with him (Ps. 103:20), and yet still have their own names (Dan. 9:21; 12:1; Luke 1:19)2 — and, even more so, in the life of the Lord Jesus, who dwells with God (Acts 7:55),1 is one with him (John 10:30), and still has his own name (Phil. 2:10), the name he had while a flesh and blood human like us.
A few passages talk about people’s ‘names’ being written in the ‘book of life’ (Phil. 4:3; Rev. 13:8; 17:8; 20:12; 20:15; 21:27). Although this is talking about more than just a ‘name’, it’s probably safe to say it also means the saints will keep their actual names.
The one who conquers will be clothed thus in white garments, and I will never blot his name out of the book of life. I will confess his name before my Father and before his angels. (Rev. 3:5)
- Also see ‘Who dwells in heaven with God?‘
- Also see ‘What angels are named in the Bible?‘
Do you have any thoughts then on Revelation 2:17, where it talks about the one who conquers being given a white stone with a new name on it – whose name is it, and will it be used?
I don’t know what to make of it. Obviously it’s a blessing but, as of yet, I don’t understand it. I looked at the verse because I thought it might talk about an extra name that will be used in the kingdom, but then thought maybe it wouldn’t be because the verse seems to say that ‘no one knows’ the name. Any suggestions?
I am unable to to directly answer your question.
1. However, you may be aware that to each of the 7 churches in Rvelations 2 &3 there are allusions to each church about something special to just that church e.g the mention to being lukewarm would appear because of the lukewarm water being piped to the Laodicea. This comment may not have had the same impact at the other towns.
2. Rev 2:13 “Satan’s seat” because this was the city of pagan worship of the Emperor – all citizens being called upon to periodically offer a pinch of incense to the Emperor God. The death penalty fell on all those who refused to do so.
3. Rev 2:17 “white stone” it was here that a white stone was used as a ticket to a function. What greater contrast with a ticket into God’s Kingdom.
As well as that Jim white and black stones were used in terms of judgement. A white stone for aquital and a black stone if condemned.
It is interesting to note that the angel names we know of carry God’s title El in their names.
Gabriel = mighty man of God (El)
Michael = who is like God (El)
So as well as being a people for God’s Name our new name in the kingdom may carry one of the many titles of God in a way that is unique to ourselves.
What about Abram aka Abraham, Sarah aka Sarai , Jacob aka Israel, and Saul aka Paul? Didn’t God change all thei names from what they used to be called? Whenever God has a promise or purpose for people didn’t he change them to fulfill what he promise them? Help me out because if God did it back then who says he can’t do it in the future.
Thanks for your comment. You’re right, God did change those people’s names (except for possibly Saul/Paul; that’s not clear in the text — see the following link for an entry about Saul/Paul’s name change: https://bibleq.net/answer/1923/), and God can certainly continue to do that sort of thing, if he chooses to. However, the evidence, presented in the main answer above, suggests that in the kingdom people will keep the names they had before the kingdom.
The words of Isaiah would seem to indicate that just about anything from this present life will not be included in our life in the Kindom. See Isa.65:17
The context of Isa. 65:17 tells us what the ‘former things’ are that ‘shall not be remembered or come into mind’. The things that ‘shall not be remembered’ are called ‘the former troubles’ in v16. They are the terrible things mentioned in v1-15. Then v18ff. presents the positive of what will be replace, and by what.
Yes, you are right Luke. This is a classic case of the need to always read our Bibles in context.