“He has a name written on him that no one knows but he himself. He is dressed in a robe dipped in blood, and his name is the Word of God…. On his robe and on his thigh he has this name written: king of kings and lord of lords” (Revelation 19:12-13,16).
Recently, I was shocked to learn that some Christians believe Jesus is going to return on a white horse with a tattoo on his thigh. Not only that, but he also has us tattooed on the palms of his hands. Is that what the Scriptures really say? Will Yeshua have a tattoo of “the name that only he knows” on his leg? If so, couldn’t anyone tattoo their thigh with some random letters or words and claim they are the King of Kings and Lord of Lords deceiving the whole world? I hope that the anti-christ doesn’t own a white horse, have a robe dipped in blood, and carry a sword!
Why is it that many Christians believe such non-Biblical ideologies? The only answer could be their interpretation of Scripture has become so skewed their doctrine of grace has no boundaries. They have created a sinful savior who is incapable of delivering anyone so they remain in their rebellious carnality while proclaiming Jesus as their Lord.
Tattoos in Scriptures
“And do not make any cuttings in your flesh for the dead, nor put tattoo marks on you. I am the LORD”(Leviticus 19:28).
The Hebrew word for ‘tattoo’ is qaqu and means “to cut or imprint” the skin. In the verses surrounding tattoos, God makes it clear that His covenanted people were not to worship the gods of the the nations around them by drinking blood, divining spirits, selling their daughters into religious prostitution, or cutting their bodies for the dead. Some say that the command is only for Israel, but don’t the words “I AM the LORD” have significance to Christians? Or, “Be holy as I am holy?” It would seem not as 25% of all tattoos per year are religious in nature. Just search online for ‘Christian tattoos,’ –– there are 108,000,00 tags.
As with many of God’s commands, the ‘cutting or imprinting the skin’ has become a cultural phenomenon that denies its religious root of worshipping other gods. This rationalization of sin transforms tattoos into an acceptable behavior by believers, except for a few remnant souls who take God’s word seriously.
Tattoos are also called body art. The making of a mark, figure or writing by pricking and inserting pigment under the skin is no longer considered the same thing as cutting the flesh for the dead. Receiving a tattoo ‘number’ was scorned by Jews in concentration camps during the Holocaust; however, now Christians tattoo birth dates of babies, death dates of loved ones, and anniversary dates under their skin. It seems the ‘other god’ is idolatry of self and flesh. Branding the human body with flowers, words, and even more reprehensible, Scripture verses, takes away from the handiwork of the Creator who made each of us in His image in order to reflect His glory.
I have learned from asking people who have tattoos that most, if not all, are done in memory of a loved one or someone who hurt them deeply. These individuals justify their tattoo as a lasting memorial for ‘the dead,’ helping them to overcome the emotional pain. Instead of turning to Yeshua to be set free from depression, sadness, anger, bitterness, deep pain and suffering, they cut and mar their bodies.
I know one young man who tattooed yod-hey-vav-hey, the holy name of God, on his back. He said it was to honor God. How can something that God forbids to be done bring Him honor? From the death perspective I wondered, “Is Jesus still dead to that man that he needed to cut his flesh for him?” “Is a tattoo an honorable memorial to Yeshua?” According to the Scriptures, Yeshua is alive and seated at the right hand of the Father in heaven (Luke 22:69, Ephesians 1:20, Colossians 3:1); therefore, a tattoo to honor him is blasphemy.
The Engraved Hands of Messiah
“See, I have engraved you on the palms of my hands …” (Isaiah 49:6).
The word ‘engrave’ in Hebrew is patah and is only used in reference to engraving the names of the Tribes of Israel on stone. This ‘engraving’ never refers to a tattoo or body art on the flesh. The markings on Yeshua’s hands are scars from the nails that pierced his hands on the cross –– not a tattoo!
“Then he said to Thomas, ‘Put your finger here; see my hands. Reach out your hand and put it into my side. Stop doubting and believe” (John 20:27).
“When he was at the table with them, he took bread, gave thanks, broke it and began to give it to them. Their eyes were opened and they recognized him, and he disappeared from their sight” (Luke 24:30-31).
Thomas was a doubter to Yeshua’s resurrection. The scars that he touched were not tattoos from some tattoo artist in Israel. They were the crucifixion marks of a dead man come back to life! They evidenced his resurrection! The two men from Emmaus also recognized Yeshua by the scars on His palms when He broke bread with them. His scars were real scars from a real event and not some drawings he received in a tattoo parlor. It is those same scars from the nails in his hands and feet that when He returns, “all the people of the earth will look on the one they pierced and mourn” (Zechariah 12:10, Revelation 1:7).
Faithful and True Witness of God’s Word
“I saw heaven standing open and there before me was a white horse, whose rider is called Faithful and True. With justice he judges and makes war. His eyes are like blazing fire, and on his head are many crowns. He has a name written on him that no one knows but he himself. He is dressed in a robe dipped in blood, and his name is the Word of God” (Revelation 19:11-12).
Yeshua is called Faithful and True. To what is Yeshua “Faithful and True?” The name written on his thigh: “The Word of God.”
Yeshua was faithful and true to every Word spoken by his Father. It was the essence and reality of his earthly life. He remained sinless by never breaking one of his Father’s commandments. If he had broken even one commandment, like Leviticus 19:28 regarding tattoos, he would have sinned against his Father and become an ‘unfaithful and a false witness’. Moreover, he would have been unable to offer himself as atonement for sin.
“Then they said to Jeremiah, ‘May the LORD be a ‘true and faithful’ witness against us if we do not act in accordance with everything the LORD your God sends you to tell us” (Jeremiah 42:5).
“To the angel of the church in Laodicea write: ‘These are the words of the Amen, the ‘faithful and true’ witness, the ruler of God’s creation” (Revelation 3:14).
“For you know that it was not with perishable things such as silver or gold that you were redeemed from the empty way of life handed down to you from your forefathers, but with the precious blood of Messiah, a lamb without blemish or defect [tattoo]” (1 Peter 1:18-19).
Yeshua’s Tzizit or Tassels
“Speak to the Israelites and say to them: ‘Throughout the generations to come you are to make tassels (tzizit) on the corners of your garments with a blue cord on each tassel. You will have these tassels to look at and so you will remember all the commands of the LORD, that you may obey them and not prostitute yourselves by going after the lusts of your own hearts and eyes” (Numbers 15:38-39, Deuteronomy 22:12).
The four corners of a Jewish prayer garment has tassels or tzizit to remind the wearer about the name of God, the power of God, the anointing of God, and most importantly, the commands of God. Putting tzizit on the hem of the garment was a reminder to the commands of yod-hey-vav-hey and not to follow after the lusts of the eyes and heart.
Yeshua was born into Tribe of Judah which makes him Jewish. As a Jewish child, he was taught the Torah commands. As a Jewish man, he obeyed the command in Numbers and wore tzizit on the four corners of his garment. Tzizit are made of multiple strings and knots that have a numerical value for the tetragrammaton Yod-Hey-Vav-Hey or the memorial name of God. It would be more probable that the name of God ‘written’ on Messiah are his tzizit resting on his thigh as returns with his armies.
“On his robe and on his thigh he has this name written: King of Kings and Lord of Lords” (Revelation 19:16).
No earthly king bears his thigh to the world, so why would the eternal and holy King of Kings and Lord of Lords bear his? Kings wear robes and Yeshua is no different. His robe, however, will have the testimony of God’s name on it. Yeshua, the Faithful and True witness, will restore the name of his Father when He returns. There will be no confusion as to who he is as his “thigh will bear the Name.”
Imprinting the Word of God
“Keep my commands and you will live; guard my teachings as the apple of your eye. Bind them on your fingers; write them on the tablet of your heart” (Proverbs 7:3-4).
The Israelites were given a powerful way to remember the commands of God and it wasn’t with a tattoo on their body. Specifically, they were to tie the commands as symbols on their hands and bind them on their foreheads. They weren’t to write, engrave, or tattoo them literally on their hands or foreheads as that would have been disobeying God and sinning.
“These are the commands, decrees and teachings the LORD your God directed me to teach you to observe …. Tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads. Write them on the door frames of your houses and your gates” (Deuteronomy 6:1, 8-9).
According to the provision in new covenant (Jeremiah 31:31; Ezekiel 36:24), the Word of God is written on our hearts by the Spirit of God. The Amplified Bible describes the new covenant relationship with God with commandments as ‘imprinted on our hearts’. If we could just tattoo Scriptures, like the fruits of the Spirit or 1 Corinthians 13 on our bodies and be at peace with God, then the new covenant promise of the Spirit would be unnecessary. Each individual must make a choice to either love God and His Word as it is written or willfully rebel against Him to become a flesh billboard.
“But the mercy and loving-kindness of the Lord are from everlasting to everlasting upon those who reverently and worshipfully fear Him, and His righteousness is to children’s children — To such as keep His covenant [hearing, receiving, loving, and obeying it] and to those who [earnestly] remember His commandments to do them [imprinting them on their hearts]” (Psalm 103:17-18 Amplified Bible).
King Yeshua will be returning to Jerusalem on a white horse. His witness to the Word of his Father will be Faithful and True. His Kingdom will be ruled with justice, and an iron scepter for those who refuse to obey his Father’s commandments. Following the Commander of God’s armies, dressed in white, are those who will rule and reign with him because the Spirit of God imprinted His commands on their hearts and not their precious, sanctified bodies.
Tattoos on Yeshua. Not ever.
Christian tattoos, nope.
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