Why does God have different names in different ages? What are the meanings behind God’s names?
1. Why does God have different names in different ages? What are the meanings behind God’s names?
Relevant Words of God:
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. There is no way for man, using the language of mankind, to encapsulate God fully. Mankind has but a limited vocabulary with which to encapsulate all that they know of God’s disposition: great, honored, wondrous, unfathomable, supreme, holy, righteous, wise, and so on. Too many words! This limited vocabulary is incapable of describing the little that man has witnessed of God’s disposition. Over time, many others added words that they thought better able to describe the fervor in their hearts: God is too great! God is too holy! God is too lovely! Today, human sayings such as these have reached their peak, yet man is still incapable of clearly expressing himself. 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. Even so, many people who have had spiritual experiences and have personally seen God nevertheless feel that this one particular name is incapable of representing God in His entirety—alas, this cannot be helped—so man no longer addresses God by any name, but simply calls Him “God.” It is as though the heart of man is full of love and yet also beset with contradictions, for man does not know how to explain God. What God is is too bountiful, there is simply no way of describing it. There is no single name that can summarize God’s disposition, and there is no single name that can describe all that God has and is. If someone asks Me, “Exactly what name do You use?” I will tell them, “God is God!” Is that not the best name for God? Is it not the best encapsulation of God’s disposition? This being so, why do you spend so much effort seeking after the name of God? Why should you cudgel your brains, going without food and sleep, all for the sake of a name? 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? 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 iswith 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.
from “The Vision of God’s Work (3)” in
Some say that the name of God does not change. Why, then, did the name of Jehovah become Jesus? It was prophesied that the Messiah would come, so why then did a man by the name of Jesus come? Why did the name of God change? Was such work not carried out long ago? Is God unable to do newer work today? 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 other work? If the name of Jehovah can be changed to Jesus, then cannot the name of Jesus also be changed? None of this is odd; it is just that people are too simple-minded. God will always be God. No matter how His work changes, and regardless of how His name might change, His disposition and wisdom will never change. If you believe that God can only be called by the name of Jesus, then your knowledge is far too limited. Do you dare assert that Jesus will forever be the name of God, that God will forever and always go by the name of Jesus, and that this will never change? Dare you assert with certainty that it is the name of Jesus that concluded the Age of Law and will also conclude the final age? Who can say that the grace of Jesus can bring the age to an end?
from “How Can Man Who Has Delimited God in His Conceptions Receive the Revelations of God?” in The Word Appears in the Flesh
Supposing that the work of God in every age is always the same, and He is always called by the same name, how would man know Him? God must be called Jehovah, and apart from a God called Jehovah, anyone called by any other name is not God. Or else God can only be Jesus, and apart from the name of Jesus He may not be called by any other name; apart from Jesus, Jehovah is not God, andis not God either. Man believes it is true that God is almighty, but God is a God who is with man, and He must be called Jesus, for God is with man. To do this is to conform to doctrine, and to confine God to a certain scope. So, in every age, the work that God does, the name by which He is called, and the image that He assumes—what work He does at every stage all the way down to today—these do not follow a single regulation, and are not subject to any limitations whatsoever. He is Jehovah, but He is also Jesus, as well as Messiah, and Almighty God. His work can undergo gradual transformation, with corresponding changes in His name. No single name can fully represent Him, but all the names by which He is called are able to represent Him, and the work that He does in every age represents His disposition.
from “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.
from “The Vision of God’s Work (3)” in The Word Appears in the Flesh
The work that Jesus did represented the name of Jesus, and it represented the Age of Grace; as for the work done by Jehovah, it represented Jehovah, and it represented the Age of Law. Their work was the work of one Spirit in two different ages. The work that Jesus did could only represent the Age of Grace, and the work that Jehovah did could only represent the Old Testament Age of Law. Jehovah only guided the people of Israel and of Egypt, and of all the nations beyond Israel. The work of Jesus in the New Testament Age of Grace was the work of God under the name of Jesus as He guided the age. … Although They were called by two different names, it was the same Spirit that accomplished both stages of work, and the work that was done was continuous. As the name was different, and the content of the work was different, the age was different. When Jehovah came, that was the age of Jehovah, and when Jesus came, that was the age of Jesus. And so, with each coming, God is called by one name, He represents one age, and He opens up a new path; and on each new path, He assumes a new name, which shows that God is always new and never old, and that His work never ceases to progress in a forward direction. History is always moving forward, and the work of God is always moving forward. For His six-thousand-year management plan to reach its end, it must keep progressing in a forward direction. Each day He must do new work, each year He must do new work; He must open up new paths, must launch new eras, begin new and greater work, and along with these, bring new names and new work.
from “The Vision of God’s Work (3)” in The Word Appears in the Flesh
“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 name Jehovah is a particular name for the people of Israel who lived under the law. 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 andof 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. 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.
from “The Savior Has Already Returned Upon a ‘White Cloud’” in The Word Appears in the Flesh
How does God rule over and administer the entire universe world?
God is the One who rules over all things, and who administers all things. He created all that there is, He administers all that there is, and He also rules over all that there is and provides to all that there is. This is the status of God, and the identity of God. ...at the same time, He commands all that there is, and decides the fate of all that there is, and what direction it moves in; moreover, He guides the fate of all mankind, and the direction of mankind.
Why is it said that God’s two incarnations complete the significance of the incarnation?
The first incarnation was to redeem man from sin through the flesh of Jesus, that is, He saved man from the cross, but the corrupt satanic disposition still remained within man. The second incarnation is no longer to serve as a sin offering but to fully save those who were redeemed from sin. This is done so that those forgiven can be delivered from their sins and be fully made clean ....
What is the nature of the problem of man not knowing the significance of God’s name or accepting His new name?
If you use conceptions to measure and delineate God, ...Because man does not know God, because he has so many conceptions, and because, instead of complying with reality, all of his knowledge of God is cut from the same cloth, and rigid and inflexible. Thus, having come to earth today, God has once more been nailed to the cross by man.
What is true belief in God? How should one believe in God in order to obtain His praise?
Though many people believe in God, few understand what faith in God means, and what they must do to be after God’s heart. ...True faith in God means experiencing the words and work of God based on a belief that God holds sovereignty over all things. So you shall be freed of your corrupt disposition, shall fulfill the desire of God, and shall come to know God. Only through such a journey can you be said to believe in God.