I was wondering, does God have a name by which we are known to Him at conception; or, does He just know us by our earthly name that our parents give us?
I would say yes to your first statement
Scripture and sacred tradition are quite explicit about God having a special name that is known only by Him and us. He knew us in Himself from all eternity and our “name” is hidden with God in Christ: it is who we truly are in God’s eyes. It is isn’t a verbal or vocalized name. Better to think of it as a ‘knowledge’, a kind of supreme, ineffable manner in which God is known uniquely and intimately to each person.
From all eternity, God has had this “Idea” of who we are and He created our soul according to that “idea” He had of us. However we have the freewill to search for the fullness of our selfhood in God or turn the other way and “form” ourselves in our own man-made “image” rather than the one God has of us.
The best biblical metaphor for this “vocation” to which each person is called, is the white stone mentioned in the Book of Revelation, with a new name written upon it - known only to the one who receives it, given to the "one who overcomes (Revelation 2:17).
There was this great Scottish mystic called George MacDonald (1824-1905). He wrote a mystical tract on this very passage of Revelation that I think gives one much to ponder:
To the one who offers unto this God of the living the own
self of sacrifice, to the one who overcomes, the one who has
brought the individual life back to its source,
this one of the Father’s making, God gives the white stone. To the one who
climbs on the stair of all the God-born efforts and Godgiven
victories up to the height of individual being—that of
looking face to face upon the ideal self in the bosom of the
self God created, realized in that person through
the Father’s love in the Elder Brother’s devotion—to that
person God gives the new name written on the white stone.
It is only when the person has become the name that God
gives the stone with the name upon it, for only then can the
person understand what that name signifies. It is the blossom,
the perfection, the completion, that determines the
name; and God foresees that from the first, because God
made it so; but the tree of the soul, before its blossom comes,
cannot understand what blossom it is to bear, and could not
know what the word meant, which, in representing its own
unarrived completeness, named itself.
God’s name for a person must then be the expression in a
mystical word—a word of that language which all who have
overcome understand—of God’s own idea of the person, that
being whom God had in mind when God began to make the
child, and whom God kept in mind through the long process
of creation that went to realize the idea.
The true name is one which expresses the character, the
nature, the being, the meaning of the person who bears it. It is
the person’s own symbol—the soul’s picture, in a word—the
sign which belongs to that person and to no one else. Who
can give a person this name? God alone.
And for each God has a different response. With every person
God has a secret—the secret of the new name. In every
person there is a loneliness, an inner chamber of peculiar life
into which God only can enter. I say not it is the innermost chamber
—but a chamber into which no brother, nay, no sister
From this it follows that there is a chamber also—(O God,
humble and accept my speech)—a chamber in God into
which none can enter but the one, the individual, the peculiar
person—out of which chamber that person has to bring
revelation and strength for others.
This is that for which each person was made—
By creation, then,
each person is isolated with God.
to reveal the secret things of the Father.
Each of us is a distinct flower or tree in the spiritual garden of
God—precious, each for our own sake, in the eyes of the One
who is even now making us—each of us watered and shone
upon and filled with life, for the sake of our flower, our completed
being, which will blossom out of each of us at last to
the glory and pleasure of the great Gardener. Each is growing
toward the revelation of that secret to ourselves, and so to
the full reception, according to our measure, of the divine.
Every moment that we are true to our true selves, some new
shine of the white stone breaks on our inward eyes, some
fresh channel is opened upward for the coming glory of the
flower, the conscious offering of our whole being in beauty
to the Maker.
Each of us has within us a secret of the Divinity
As St. Catherine of Siena said, “Be who God meant you to be and you will set the world on fire”.
My Parents always told me that God has a most beautiful name for me and that when He calls it, my soul will recognize it and I would know He is talking to me. They said that human beings do not have that ability to give each person a very unique name – that no one else has had or will ever have.
If He, using two eyes, a nose, mouth, and ears can make each of our faces look so different. . . . Oh my! :clapping:
Praised be God! Praised be the Creator of the universe! :highprayer:
I think He does have a unique name for each of us. In Revelation Jesus says that He will give all of us a white stone with a name written on it, that nobody will know but us and God.
So we’ll all have something special and unique between us and God in heaven. How cool is that?!
Jeremiah 1:5 ‘Before I formed you in the womb I knew you.’
That was a really beautiful meditation. It’s so amazing to realize that no human being is repeatable, and we all have a purpose that only we can complete. Completely changes the way I see the stranger walking by me on the street.
I don’t think God needs to have a name for each of us. The purpose of a name is identification, identity, and God, being who He is, doesn’t really need to name us to know who we are. He knows us all intimately before we are ever named.
I wonder, will we ever know that special name during our life, or only when we see it embossed on our pneumatikon soma?
Here is a link to an interesting video in relation to God having a “Name” for us:
It was an episode of a BBC television television series called ‘The Monastery’ and ‘The Monastery Revisited’ first transmitted in the UK in 2005-2006. It is filmed in a Benedictine monastery called Worth Abbey.
In the episode above, if you go halfway through too 29 minutes in you will find one of the monks, Brother Francis, discussing the “white stone with the new name” with one of the ordinary people who had signed up to participate in the reality show (by living in a monastery for 40 days and 40 nights and then returning after 18 months).
It’s a fascinating little segment and I hope you guys watch it
The man, called “Tony”, has a profound experience, a sort of mystical experience if you will after being told about the “white stone”. If you watch on a little bit, you will see him discuss leaving behind his job in the “soft porn” industry in the wake of his “experience” as well as his struggle to stay sober.
Name (at least in the OT/NT) also represents one’s character and authority, no?
In that case we might all be given special assignments/authority by God.
Again, that’s an example of man naming things in order for man to be capable of understanding identity.
I contend that God doesn’t need such a thing. Sure, He can use names, but He doesn’t need them.
The concept of having a unique God-given name is something which I never knew about before until I read this thread.
I wonder is the literal understanding/interpretation of the word “name” in Revelation confusing things?
In other words perhaps the name (in Revelation) is really a description for our soul?
Whoever has ears, let them hear what the Spirit says to the churches. To the one who is victorious, I will give some of the hidden manna. I will also give that person a white stone with a new name written on it, known only to the one who receives it.