The Bright Story of a Dark Name

The following testimony is from a friend:

Recognizing the spirit of death

“Death is swallowed up in victory. O death, where is your victory? O death, where is your sting?”-1 Cor. 15:54-55

Death is an enemy. He is the root of all fear, anxiety, stress, and despair. According to Revelation 6, Death can be a person, possibly an evil spirit or angelic being, and is closely related to Hades, another evil entity. Before God revealed their activity in my life, I had long been trying to conquer fear, anxiety, and so on without attaining any lasting victory. I knew God was my peace; I knew Jesus was the Prince of peace. And I knew I ought to trust God and find rest in Him. Yet, no matter how hard I tried, I never learned to enter that rest that God has promised in Christ Jesus. Indeed, I tasted many times God’s peace in prayer, worship, and reading His word, yet it never lasted. I prayed and prayed and fasted against fear and anxiety, trying to cast out the demons behind those negative thoughts. I got some deliverance but still was not totally free.

Until one day, it came across to me that I might have a spirit of death.

Named after “Death”

From age 6 to 23, my official name contains a blatant word for death. Before I knew how to reason the whole situation, I hated that word for death in my name, which was to be written on every worksheet, every notebook, every test paper, and wherever my identity was required. It was such a torment. I looked at the name and tried to fit myself in, but was never able to. It didn’t look like me; it didn’t sound like me. For a long time, I didn’t know who I was. And because the name seemed pretty masculine as well, I also had a hard time learning about girlhood and womanhood. But most importantly, it planted so much fear in my heart that I thought being fearful was just part of who I was. I was indeed living under the shadow of death, a very dark place, and was afraid of any exposure, because my name brought me guilt and shame as well. My father, who gave me this name, said I agreed to have this name and thus should be responsible for my own action. Yes, the 6-year-old me consented because I trusted my father, just as I consented to let him molest me around that age as well. But that’s another story.

At age 20, by God’s grace, I accepted Jesus as my Savior and Lord, and was able to resonate deeply with the verses in Hebrews, “Since therefore the children share in flesh and blood, He Himself likewise partook of the same things, that through death He might destroy the one who has the power of death, that is, the devil, and deliver all those who through fear of death were subject to lifelong slavery.” (Heb. 2:14-15) How grateful I was for His salvation, that I shall no longer be subject to the fear of death! Hallelujah! By that time, I was legally able to change my name, which was something I had been long anticipating. Yet, since I did not know what my name should be, I decided to wait. I already had other nicknames that I was quite used to, and I thought probably it was fine for me to keep that name, as I may have opportunities to share the gospel and my testimony with it. At one point, I prayed to God that if He wanted me to keep this name for my life, I was willing—as long as He may use it to glorify His name, I was fine with it. It’s just a name, isn’t it? And Jesus has conquered death, so there is nothing more to be afraid of. I have survived with that death in my name, so maybe it won’t hurt at all.

Journey with a new name

Yet God did not think that way. He put the desire for a new name in my heart, and when His time was fulfilled, He gave me a new name—a beautiful, feminine name, a name I felt very at home with. That was how I started to learn how important a name is in God’s sight. Evil names are actually a curse, an invocation, and an invitation to evil spirits. How these demons would love to have people named after them! That’s a blatant welcome to them to live in the person. I’ve seen names that mean pride, sadness, anger, hatred, seduction, and so on, and I believe that is an open door for those specific demons to influence the name owner. Note that a name that contains both positive and negative meanings will not cancel the curse. A person whose name means pure and seductive will not be exempt from the curse of seduction. It is just a sneaky move of the devil. For many years he deceived me since my name actually means life and death. I thought it wasn’t that harmful because there was also meaning for life in my name, and maybe it somehow nullified the meaning of death. That was a huge lie. It is just like quoting God’s word for distortion; the aim is only confusion and deception.

When I realized the spirit of death might be in me, I was rather shocked. Didn’t I change my name, Lord? Then why isn’t he gone along with that? 

I tried to cast out the demon, yet he was pretty at home within me and wouldn’t go. Then the Lord revealed to me that I had to get rid of everything that had my previous name on it. Everything. I was stunned. 17 years were not a short time, and I kept many things that had my old name attached for memory’s sake.

“Why would the ‘death’ in my old name affect me, while I no longer go by that name? Does it mean that I have to get rid of anything that contains the word death? Is that even possible?” I asked the Lord.

“No, but anything that you used to identify with the name, you have to totally destroy.” the Lord replied.

Then I understood. I had to cut off any ties I had with my previous name, which was a false identity. It was never me. God may have used it to make me think about what life was and thus led me to Christ, yet He never intended me to be called by a name accursed with the word death. So, even though I was hesitant at first, I marched on and destroyed everything from school workbooks, test papers, drawings, cards I received, student ID cards, personal seal, and passport to emails, and other documents. It took me hours to finish and clean up the trash. The part with cards from friends was the most difficult one, as I knew these witnesses of friendships would be forever gone once destroyed. Yet God gave me a warm assurance, “I would make everything new.” Amen. So be it, Lord!

Deliverance and victory

After cleaning everything up, I sat there for a while and realized the spirit of death was already gone. I no longer felt anything in me resonate with my previous name and the word death in it anymore. The name itself seemed dead. Just as the Lord said, “He will swallow up death forever.” (Isa. 25:8) It was the first time in my life that I had a little idea of what victory truly meant. It was the first time in my life that I felt I had the ability, by God’s grace, to shut fear and stress, and anxiety totally out of my door. I knew there was still a long way to go, yet it gave me hope and courage when I recalled Jesus holding the keys of Death and Hades (Rev. 1:18). I made up my mind if I ever heard anyone calling my previous name or any nickname related to it, I would not respond. This is spiritual warfare, and I ought to watch out.

By the way, just days before I got delivered from the spirit of death, I found the melody and lyrics of a song emerging in my mind again. The song began with greeting darkness as a friend, and since I turned to God, I cut off all secular music from my list as soon as I knew they were not pleasing to Him. Since then, I have never been humming that song again. Why would it suddenly pop up so naturally? Now I have the answer—it was probably the spirit of death prompting me so. In my case, I didn’t feel he made me specifically suicidal, as many may think when hearing the name “death,” yet he was sucking the very life out of me in a more subtle way. As if there was a black hole in me sucking light away, I felt like he was constantly consuming any joy, peace, and hope in me, strangling me with endless stress, anxiety, and fear to bring me to his final destination, which was death. Praise the Lord that he is gone now. Before, I used to cry at least once a week on average, often for no obvious reason. It was just like the tank was somehow full, and I needed to let it out. Once, while I was crying, I stopped and asked myself, “Why do I seem to be mourning here while I should be praising and rejoicing in the Lord? What’s wrong with me?”

I had no answer. To suppress it seemed worse, so I still chose to cry at that time. Now I know it was very possibly the spirit of death behind it. Death wants mourning. How precious it is to be comforted by the Lord. And indeed, only the Lord of the dead and the living can grant comfort to a mourner.


If you don’t know Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior, you can receive Him into your heart, and He can deliver you from darkness and sin and have your name written in His Book of Life.

If you are sincere, you can say this simple prayer to the Father (it doesn’t have to be word for word):

“God, I recognize that I have not lived my life for You up until now. I have been living for myself and that is wrong. Please forgive me of all of my sins just as I forgive others. I need You in my life; I want You in my life. I acknowledge the completed work of Your only begotten Son Jesus Christ in giving His life for me on the cross, I believe in my heart Jesus is Lord and was raised from the dead and I long to receive the forgiveness you have made freely available to me through this sacrifice. Come into my life now, Lord. Take up residence in my heart and be my king, my Lord, and my Savior. From this day forward, I will no longer be controlled by sin, or the desire to please myself, but I will follow You all the days of my life. Those days are in Your hands. I ask this in the Lord and GOD Jesus’ precious and holy name. Amen.

One thought on “The Bright Story of a Dark Name

  1. Kelly Flanagan

    Thank you for sharing your experience your emails have helped me so much prayers peace and love to you always in Jesus Christ name

    Sent from Yahoo Mail on Android

    Liked by 1 person

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