Heavenly Graffiti And Tattoos

In the Living Bible Version of Scripture, Luke 10:20 records Jesus telling His disciples after they had returned from being sent out - "However, the important thing is not that demons obey you, but that your names are registered as citizens of heaven." I love how Jesus does not dismiss the subjection of demons altogether, He just focuses our attention on the "important thing" - the location of your true citizenship, Heaven.

Christ charges us to "rejoice that your names are written in heaven." The words "written" or "registered" come from the original word Graph0. This word means to write, engrave or to describe. I believe this is where we get the word graffiti.

The original word used for "heaven" in this verse is Ouranos. This word means air, sky and God's abode. This word derives from another word, Oros, meaning a mountain. When you place a mountain in heaven you get Mount Zion, the Holy Mountain of God.

So, applying the meanings of these words back into the text, Luke 10:20 might read....It is good that demons are subject to you in my name, but that should not be your focus. The important thing is that you know your names are graffitied all over the Holy Mountain of God in Heaven!

And why not? In the book of Revelation, Jesus shows John a vision of the New Jerusalem. On the gates of the new city are imprinted or graffitied the twelve tribes of Israel. On the foundations of New Jerusalem are written or graffitied the twelve apostles of Christ.

When many people and Pastors read this verse they tend to end it with "but rejoice that your names are written in the Lamb's Book of Life." Although the Lamb's Book of Life is located in Heaven and your name is there if you believe in Christ Jesus - that is not what the text seems to say here, nor portray. What an image! What a love statement - my name, the believer's name is graffitied on His Holy Mountain in Heaven because of Christ!

Still within heaven we see even more engravings, we call them tatoos. For Christians there will come a day when The King will be delivering and inscribing new names. Christ's promises to those "who overcome" -

"He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. To him who overcomes, I will give some of the hidden manna. I will also give him a white stone with a new name written on it, known only to him who receives it." - Revelation 2:17

What an extremely intimate gift the Lord has for each of believer in Christ! God only knows what the criteria is for this new name. But I am not to concerned about the criteria because I know - "Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows." (James 1:17)

Notice the new name given to each of us is in written-form and can only be known or read by the believer - "known only to him who receives it." To me this suggests a personal, Holy language and Holy history that is shared only between the believer and God. That will be amazing!

That inscription was on a stone, next, God takes His writing utensil and applies it to the "overcomer's" body.

"Him who overcomes I will make a pillar in the temple of my God. Never again will he leave it. I will write on him the name of my God and the name of the city of my God, the new Jerusalem, which is coming down out of heaven from my God; and I will also write on him my new name." - Revelation 3:12

A lot of identification going on here.
  1. First, Jesus writes on believer's bodies the name of Father God.
  2. Second, Jesus writes on Christian's bodies the name of God's city - New Jerusalem.
  3. Lastly, Jesus writes on believer's bodies His new name.  
All these tattos should come as no surprise because Christ returns to earth with us at the beginning of His Millennial Reign with a tattoo of His own - "On His robe and on His thigh He has this name written: King of kings and Lord of lords." (Revelation 19:16)

Although I have never had a tattoo, I envision these names as beautifully tattooed names that claim ownership, declare citizenship and reveal relationship. Three stamps of new names, bought at the highest price, will each shout - "You are mine! You belong here! I love you!"