What's in the Name?

July 2018



Name Covenant

Names have always carried significant meanings in the Bible. There is a covenantal aspect to names being given: that a person would be or would become the name that he/she has been given.

God emphasizes this fact through the story of Abraham. When God made a covenant with Abram that he would become the father of many nations, God changed his name from Abram to "Abraham". He also changed Abraham's wife name from Sarai to "Sarah". (Genesis 17:2-16)

Similarly, Jacob's name was changed to "Israel" after contending with God and demanding His blessings. (Genesis 32:22-28)
In addition, Saul's name was changed to "Paul" as God transformed him from being a murderer of Christians to an Apostle to the lost Gentiles. (Acts 13:9)

There are other name changes in the Bible that I won't mention here, but suffice it to say that God often seals covenants with new names, and so a change of name should never be taken lightly.

Unfortunately, in seeing how God works, the enemy imitates what God does. He, too, is in the business of changing names as a way to make a covenant with us; something that many people may not be aware of, and so have fallen prey to.



A Name Change

I was having lunch with a friend when she happened to mention that she had changed her name. She had done so officially, by deed poll through the Department of Internal Affairs. She had already informed some of her friends of this name change, and now she was informing me.

When she revealed her new name, my spirit immediately became uneasy. It was an Arabic sounding name that had a demonic connotation to it. I explained that changing names should not be taken lightly as it involves making some form of covenant with someone or something in the spiritual realm. I then told her that her new name could be demonic, and if I was correct, then it would mean she had made a covenant with a demon, which would obviously not be good.

She looked annoyed, and was adamant that there was nothing wrong with her new name, and so she told me that she would keep it and continue to use it. I asked her to let me prove to her that it was demonic. And so with her permission, I began to call out the spirit of her new name, and it manifested in no time at all, proving to her that I was right.

She sat looking disappointed and concerned, then asked me if I could cast the demon out of her. I said that I could only do so if she was willing to give up her new name and officially change it back to the one given when she was born, to which she said, "No". She wanted the demon out, but wanted also to keep her new name. I laughed and said that her wish to keep and use the new name would give the demon legal rights to stay in her body, thus making it very difficult, if not impossible, to cast out.



Heart Wounds

My friend confessed that the new name had been giving her problems. Her mother was upset and had demanded that she change it back, whilst her father had decided just to disown her altogether. Such reactions from both of her parents had deeply hurt her.

She also admitted that she had been feeling like she was living a double life. Some friends call her by the old name, while some others call her by the new name.

I asked her what the reason was for the name change, to which she replied that it was out of the hurt caused by her ex-boyfriend. When he decided to leave her, she hated herself, wishing she was someone else. In her plight to change herself, she decided to change her name.

Feeling sorry for her, I pointed out that by keeping her new name, not only was she keeping the demon in her body and had made a covenant with it, but she was also dishonouring her mother and father to which there is a consequence. The Bible says,

Ephesians 6:2-3
2 “Honor your father and mother”—which is the first commandment with a promise—3 “so that it may go well with you and that you may enjoy long life on the earth.”

And so by the same token, in dishonouring her mother and father, things would not go well with her, and that her life would be cut short.

I saw then that there was a spiritual battle within her: a part of her wanted to keep the new name, another part wanted to be free of the demon. Since she was not able to make up her mind, I had no choice but to give her time, praying for her silently in my heart, and asking for the leading of the Holy Spirit.



Deliverance

It was time for us to part as lunch was now over, and I offered to give her a lift to the station. While we were waiting for the train, I heard the Holy Spirit urge me to cast out the demon anyway, despite its legal right to stay in her body (usually when a person cannot decide, there is another demon at work keeping her under the bondage of indecision). 

Going by what the Holy Spirit was instructing me to do, I told her that I was now willing to try and cast out the demon despite its legal rights to stay -- and that we would see what was going to happen. She nodded in agreement. So we went to a quiet part of the platform, away from most people, and I began casting out the demon under my breath in the Name of Jesus. Immediately she started choking and coughing. I continued my commands for it to leave her body, when I saw the train approaching, I thought to myself, "Oh no, I've run out of time -- the train is here, she has to go, but I'm not finished!"

The train stopped and the doors opened. She had to get on board, and I had to let her go. She jumped onto the train just before the doors closed, still coughing and choking. She looked out of the window at me, as if she still really needed me. Then I saw her point to her phone. I looked bewildered, not understanding at first what she was trying to say, but then I realised she was wanting me to continue over the phone.

Sure enough, my phone rang just as I was getting into my car, and for the next 20 minutes we continued the deliverance over our mobile phones. She coughed for a time, the demon trying to hold on to its legal rights, not wanting to leave. And so, I got her to break the covenant she had made with it, renounce the new name, make a covenant with Jesus Christ instead, repent from dishonouring her parents, forgive her ex-boyfriend, and state that she would change her name back -- all of which she was now willing to do.

Then there was silence on the phone. I asked her to tell me what was going on, to which she answered, "I am crying tears": The demon was apparently sad to have to leave her body, now that its legal rights had been broken. She then described the demon going along her arms and out through her fingers. Hallelujah, it left!  Praise God!



Back to Normal

When she arrived home, she texted me the following messages:

"I feel different"
"I feel like just one person"

Then two days later, she messaged me again, telling me that she had gone to the Department of Internal Affairs to change her name back. As she signed the document, she felt an anger rise within her, but she went through with the signing anyway (hmm... another demon to deal with another time). Both of her parents were very happy, and they spent the day with her. Praise God for bringing families back together, destroying the work of division of the enemy. Praise be to Father God, the Lord Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit who snatched her from what would have been a very destructive covenant bond with the enemy.