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Gospel Reader

Someone said, “The scriptures state ‘for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved’ and that ‘Jesus Christ the same yesterday, and to day, and for ever.’ God’s name is immutable, and we should hold forever to the Lord Jesus’ name, but you believe in Almighty God—isn’t that betraying the Lord Jesus?”

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Response: Just because the Bible states that “for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved” and that “Jesus Christ the same yesterday, and to day, and for ever,” some people determine that God’s name can only be Jesus and not Almighty God, and that believing in Almighty God is betraying the Lord Jesus. This is nothing more than an absurd view, plain and simple, and it shows that these people do not know God at all. The words written in the Bible that “for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved” and that “Jesus Christ the same yesterday, and to day, and for ever” are not wrong, but they do not prove that God can only be called Jesus and that His name can never change. We all know that God’s name in the Age of Law was Jehovah, and that His name changed in the Age of Grace to Jesus. Is this a name that never changes? Actually, it is not that God’s name never changes. We’ll understand once we take a look at this prophecy in Revelation. Revelation 3:12 states: “Him that overcomes will I make a pillar in the temple of My God, and he shall go no more out: and I will write on him the name of My God, and the name of the city of My God, which is new Jerusalem, which comes down out of heaven from My God: and I will write on him My new name.” It is clearly prophesied here that God will have a new name in the last days. How could this name still be Jesus? If it were still Jesus, then how is that a new name? Therefore, we must never conclude that God’s name will never change.

Take the Name of Almighty God in the Age of Kingdom

Almighty God says: “Some say that the name of God does not change, so why then did the name of Jehovah become Jesus? It was prophesied of the coming of the Messiah, so why then did a man by the name of Jesus come? Why did the name of God change? Was not such work carried out long ago? Cannot God this day do a new work? The work of yesterday can be altered, and the work of Jesus can follow on from that of Jehovah. Cannot then the work of Jesus be succeeded by another work? If the name of Jehovah can be changed to Jesus, then cannot the name of Jesus also be changed? This is not unusual, and people think so[a] only due to their simple-mindedness. God will always be God. Regardless of the changes to His work and His name, His disposition and wisdom remain forever unchanged. If you believe that God can only be called by the name of Jesus, then you know too little” (“How Can Man Who Has Defined God in His Conceptions Receive the Revelations of God?” in The Word Appears in the Flesh). “There are those who say that God is immutable. That is correct, but it refers to the immutability of God’s disposition and His substance. Changes in His name and work do not prove that His substance has altered; in other words, God will always be God, and this will never change” (“The Vision of God’s Work (3)” in The Word Appears in the Flesh). “In each age, God does new work and is called by a new name; how could He do the same work in different ages? How could He cling to the old? The name of Jesus was taken for the sake of the work of redemption, so would He still be called by the same name when He returns in the last days? Would He still be doing the work of redemption? Why is it that Jehovah and Jesus are one, yet They are called by different names in different ages? Is it not because the ages of Their work are different? Could a single name represent God in His entirety? This being so, God must be called by a different name in a different age, and must use the name to change the age and to represent the age. For no one name can fully represent God Himself, and each name is able only to represent the temporal aspect of God’s disposition in a given age; all it needs to do is to represent His work. Therefore, God can choose whatever name befits His disposition to represent the entire age” (“The Vision of God’s Work (3)” in The Word Appears in the Flesh). “Could the name of Jesus—‘God with us’—represent God’s disposition in its entirety? Could it fully articulate God? If man says that God can only be called Jesus and may not have any other name because God cannot change His disposition, these words are blasphemy indeed! Do you believe that the name Jesus, God with us, alone can represent God in His entirety? God may be called by many names, but among these many names, there is not one that is able to encapsulate all of God, not one that can fully represent God. And so, God has many names, but these many names cannot fully articulate God’s disposition, for God’s disposition is so rich that it simply exceeds the capacity of man to know Him. … And so, for man, God has many names, yet He has no one name, and this is because God’s being is too bountiful, and the language of man too impoverished. One particular word or name does not have the capacity to represent God in His entirety, so do you think His name can be fixed? God is so great and so holy yet you will not permit Him to change His name in each new age? Therefore, in every age in which God personally does His own work, He uses a name that befits the age in order to encapsulate the work that He intends to do. He uses this particular name, one that possesses temporal significance, to represent His disposition in that age. This is God using the language of mankind to express His own disposition. … You should know that God originally had no name. He only took on one, or two, or many names because He had work to do and had to manage mankind. Whatever name He is called by—did He not freely choose it Himself? Would He need you—one of His creatures—to decide it? The name by which God is called is a name that accords with what man is capable of apprehending, with the language of mankind, but this name is not something that man can encompass. You can only say that there is a God in heaven, that He is called God, that He is God Himself with great power, who is too wise, too exalted, too wondrous, too mysterious, and too almighty, and then you can say no more; this little bit is all you can know. This being so, can the mere name of Jesus represent God Himself? When the last days come, even though it is still God who does His work, His name has to change, for it is a different age” (“The Vision of God’s Work (3)” in The Word Appears in the Flesh).

From Almighty God’s words, we can know that God did not have a name in the beginning. Only because mankind was corrupted by Satan later on, and because God had to work to save mankind and manage mankind did He take a name. Furthermore, God uses His name to change the age, to represent the work of the present age and the disposition He expresses in that age. No matter how ages and His work change, and no matter how God’s name changes, God’s substance is immutable. That is to say, the words “Jesus Christ the same yesterday, and to day, and for ever” (Hebrews 13:8) were spoken in reference to the immutability of God’s original disposition and essence, and did not mean that God’s name could never change.

In accordance with the principles and the needs of His work, God changes His name in each age. The name chosen expresses His disposition in that age and represents His work in that age. This is how God’s names are derived. For example, the name Jehovah was God’s name at the time when He led the Israelites out of Egypt, and He only took this name when He was about to begin the work of the Age of Law. At the time, Moses asked God: “Behold, when I come to the children of Israel, and shall say to them, The God of your fathers has sent me to you; and they shall say to me, What is His name? what shall I say to them? … And God said moreover to Moses, Thus shall you say to the children of Israel, Jehovah, the God of your fathers, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob, has sent me to you: this is My name for ever” (Exodus 3:13, 15). Only from this were people made aware that God’s name was Jehovah, and it was the name God took in the Age of Law according to the needs of His work. Almighty God says: “‘Jehovah’ is the name that I took during My work in Israel, and it means the God of the Israelites (God’s chosen people) who can take pity on man, curse man, and guide the life of man. It means the God who possesses great power and is full of wisdom. ‘Jesus’ is Emmanuel, and it means the sin offering that is full of love, full of compassion, and redeems man. He did the work of the Age of Grace, and represents the Age of Grace, and can only represent one part of the management plan. That is to say, only Jehovah is the God of the chosen people of Israel, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, the God of Jacob, the God of Moses, and the God of all the people of Israel. And so in the current age, all the Israelites apart from the tribe of Judah worship Jehovah. They make sacrifices to Him on the altar, and serve Him wearing priests’ robes in the temple. What they hope for is the reappearance of Jehovah. Only Jesus is the Redeemer of mankind. He is the sin offering that redeemed mankind from sin. Which is to say, the name of Jesus came from the Age of Grace, and existed because of the work of redemption in the Age of Grace. The name of Jesus existed to allow the people of the Age of Grace to be reborn and saved, and is a particular name for the redemption of the whole of mankind. And so the name Jesus represents the work of redemption, and denotes the Age of Grace” (“The Savior Has Already Returned Upon a ‘White Cloud’” in The Word Appears in the Flesh). God clearly expresses the work, disposition and meaning represented by His name in each age. Although God must take a new name in each age, the essence and identity of God remain immutable. Let’s take an example. When a person originally teaches at a school, people call him “Teacher,” but then he goes to work at a hospital, so people call him “Doctor.” As his work changes, the name by which people call him changes too. But no matter how people address him, he is still the same person. Even though God’s name changed in the Age of Grace, His substance did not, and He still worked as God Himself. What is regretful, however, is that the Israelites at the time did not accept God’s new name; they believed that God’s name could only be Jehovah and could not be Jesus. If His name was Jesus, then He was not God. In their hearts, only Jehovah was their God and their Savior. They held on to the scripture verse “I, even I, am Jehovah; and beside Me there is no savior” (Isaiah 43:11), so when God came with a new name to change the age and perform new work, they rejected and condemned the Lord Jesus. They had never imagined that the Lord Jesus could be the appearance of Jehovah, and that He was God Himself. They clung to the literal meanings and rules of the Bible and did not seek the truth or know God’s work, and so they ended up committing a heinous sin, and crucified the merciful Savior, the Lord Jesus, alive upon the cross. By doing this, they angered God Himself, and in the end the retribution they deserved was delivered upon them—the pain of national subjugation! They lost their homeland and were scattered to the four corners of the earth.

Now, we are in the last days and have once again arrived at a time of changing ages. Although the people of this time have been redeemed by the Lord Jesus and their sins have been forgiven, the sinful nature of man still exists. Moreover, man is becoming more and more corrupted, even surpassing the level to which the people of Noah’s time were corrupted; they live in sin, unable to free themselves, and they are without a path to follow to cast off sin and be purified. In order to completely save mankind, God sets about performing a stage of new work, being the work of “judgment beginning in God’s house.” In accordance with the needs of corrupt mankind and the difference of this work, God expresses His principally righteous, majestic and wrathful disposition; He is no longer the Lamb of redemption, but is rather “the Lion of the tribe of Juda” (Revelation 5:5). God will use this kind of disposition to thoroughly bring this old age to an end, God will use this kind of disposition to judge and chastise the rebelliousness, corruption and injustice in the whole of mankind to separate each person according to their kind, and God will lead those who belong to Him into His kingdom and destroy those who belong to Satan. God will be greatly glorified throughout the entire universe, will reign as King over all the earth, and the nations of the earth will become “the kingdoms of our Lord, and of His Christ” (Revelation 11:15). Therefore, the last age is called the Age of Kingdom. Because of the change of ages, and because of the differences in the work God does and in the disposition He expresses, God’s name also needs to change. He is no longer called Jesus and is called Almighty God in accordance with the work He performs and the disposition He expresses. It is with this name that He concludes the work of His entire 6000-year management plan. This fulfills the words of the Book of Revelation, such as 15:3: “And they sing the song of Moses the servant of God, and the song of the Lamb, saying, Great and marvelous are Your works, Lord God Almighty; just and true are Your ways, You King of saints”; 19:6: “And I heard as it were the voice of a great multitude, and as the voice of many waters, and as the voice of mighty thunder, saying, Alleluia: for the Lord God Almighty reigns”; and 1:8: “I am Alpha and Omega, the Beginning and the Ending, said the Lord, which is, and which was, and which is to come, the Almighty.” Even though God’s name has changed in the Age of Kingdom, His work is still that of God Himself. He was once called Jehovah and was also once called Jesus, and now He is called Almighty God. But no matter what name God takes, His substance won’t change. Jehovah, Jesus and Almighty God are one God. This is absolutely true. Almighty God says: “God’s wisdom, God’s wondrousness, God’s righteousness, and God’s majesty shall never change. His essence and what He has and is shall never change. As for His work, however, it is always progressing in a forward direction, always going deeper, for He is always new and never old” (“The Vision of God’s Work (3)” in The Word Appears in the Flesh). “In each age and each stage of work, My name is not baseless, but holds representative significance: Each name represents one age. ‘Jehovah’ represents the Age of Law, and is the honorific for the God worshiped by the people of Israel. ‘Jesus’ represents the Age of Grace, and is the name of the God of all those who were redeemed during the Age of Grace. If man still longs for the arrival of Jesus the Savior during the last days, and still expects Him to arrive in the image He bore in Judea, then the entire six-thousand-year management plan would stop in the Age of Redemption, and would be incapable of progressing any further. The last days, furthermore, would never arrive, and the age would never be brought to an end. That is because Jesus the Savior is only for the redemption and salvation of mankind. I took the name of Jesus for the sake of all the sinners in the Age of Grace, and it is not the name by which I shall bring the whole of mankind to an end. Although Jehovah, Jesus, and the Messiah all represent My Spirit, these names only denote the different ages in My management plan, and do not represent Me in My entirety. The names by which people on earth call Me cannot articulate My entire disposition and all that I am. They are merely different names by which I am called during different ages. And so, when the final age—the age of the last days—arrives, My name shall change again. I shall not be called Jehovah, or Jesus, much less the Messiah, but shall be called the powerful Almighty God Himself, and under this name I shall bring the entire age to an end” (“The Savior Has Already Returned Upon a ‘White Cloud’” in The Word Appears in the Flesh).

What then is the attitude of people toward God’s coming and the change of God’s name in the last days? From a general observation of the entire religious world, it seems that many people still hold on to “for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved” and do all they can to resist and condemn the reincarnated Lord Jesus—Almighty God. They say that people who believe in Almighty God believe in another God and are betraying the Lord Jesus. If people have this understanding, then isn’t their belief in the Lord Jesus a belief in a God other than Jehovah? Is this not so very preposterous and absurd? Are they not delimiting God? Are they not cut from the exact same cloth as the Jewish Pharisees who resisted the Lord Jesus back then? If this is the case, then the tragedies of history will be played out once again on us! Therefore, we must learn the lesson of the Pharisees and not delimit God. We should have a humble heart and truly seek and study the mysteries God reveals and the truths He expresses, and we will then see that Almighty God is Jehovah who once guided mankind’s life on earth, that He is the Lord Jesus who once redeemed mankind, and that He is even more so the returned Lord Jesus that people have yearned for for so long. Almighty God tells us: “I was once known as Jehovah. I was also called the Messiah, and people once called Me Jesus the Savior because they loved and respected Me. But today I am not the Jehovah or Jesus that people knew in times past—I am the God who has returned in the last days, the God who shall bring the age to an end. I am the God Himself that rises up at the ends of the earth, replete with My entire disposition, and full of authority, honor and glory. People have never engaged with Me, have never known Me, and have always been ignorant of My disposition. From the creation of the world until today, not one person has seen Me. This is the God who appears to man during the last days but is hidden among man. He resides among man, true and real, like the burning sun and the flaming fire, filled with power and brimming with authority. There is not a single person or thing that shall not be judged by My words, and not a single person or thing that shall not be purified through the burning of fire. Eventually, all nations shall be blessed because of My words, and also smashed to pieces because of My words. In this way, all people during the last days shall see that I am the Savior returned, I am the Almighty God that conquers all of mankind, and I was once the sin offering for man, but in the last days I also become the flames of the sun that burn all things, as well as the Sun of righteousness that reveals all things. Such is My work of the last days. I took this name and am possessed of this disposition so that all people may see that I am a righteous God, and am the burning sun, and the flaming fire. It is so that all may worship Me, the only true God, and so that they may see My true face: I am not only the God of the Israelites, and am not just the Redeemer—I am the God of all creatures throughout heavens and earth and seas” (“The Savior Has Already Returned Upon a ‘White Cloud’” in The Word Appears in the Flesh). “The day will arrive when God is not called Jehovah, Jesus, or Messiah—He will simply be the Creator. At that time, all the names that He has taken on earth shall come to an end, for His work on earth will have come to an end, after which His names shall be no more. When all things come under the dominion of the Creator, what need has He of a highly appropriate yet incomplete name? Are you still seeking after God’s name now? Do you still dare to say that God is only called Jehovah? Do you still dare to say that God can only be called Jesus? Are you able to bear the sin of blasphemy against God?” (“The Vision of God’s Work (3)” in The Word Appears in the Flesh).

Footnotes:

a. The original text reads “which is.”

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