By Xiaowei, France
In the golden autumn, blown by the wind, the yellow withered leaves were falling down from the trees slowly, and the ground was covered with a thin layer of them. In a residential building, Zhang Yongxin was sitting at the desk in his study. As he looked through the, he furrowed his brow and whispered, “In the Old Testament, was Jehovah, but in the New Testament, God’s name was Jesus. Why are they different?” He spent a good deal of time pondering over it. Just at that moment, there was a knock at the door.
It was his old co-worker, Yang Mingzhi whom he hadn’t seen for many years. They sat on the sofa, talking happily. And unknowingly an hour passed quietly. Suddenly, Zhang Yongxin remembered the question of God’s name, so he said to Yang Mingzhi, “Mingzhi, I just don’t understand a question. Shall we explore it together?”
Yang Mingzhi put down the cup, saying, “Thank God! Just say it. Let’s rely on God to fellowship about and explore it.”
Zhang Yongxin asked hurriedly, “It is recorded in the Old Testament that God is called Jehovah. But in the New Testament, it is recorded that God’s name is Jesus. Why are they different? This question always makes me puzzled. Mingzhi, what do you think of this question?”
Yang Mingzhi said with a smile, “Yongxin, I also had the same confusion as you before. Thank God for His leading and guidance and I have understood this question now. If you want to know the reason for that, firstly, answer me a question. Did God have name originally?”
Zhang Yongxin answered, “It is recorded in Genesis that God was called Jehovah originally.”
Looking at Zhang Yongxin, Yang Mingzhi said seriously, “For so many years, we have always thought that God’s name was Jehovah originally and firmly believed this saying. Not until I saw the words in a spiritual book did I understand that it is our imagination and not the fact. How about I read a paragraph of words for you? It will benefit us to know God!”
Zhang Yongxin, who was frowning deeply and thinking, nodded his head. Then, Yang Mingzhi took out a book from his bag and opened it, reading, “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, isn’t it freely chosen by Him? Does He need you, a creature, to decide it? The name by which God is called is according to what man can apprehend and the language of man, but this name cannot be encapsulated by man.” Then he said, “In our conception, we think that God’s name was Jehovah originally. But these words tell us clearly that God had no name originally and His name was taken from the time when He worked to save man. When I studied the Bible, I also found that Exodus 3:13 and 3:15 recorded: ‘And Moses said to 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, the LORD 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, and this is my memorial to all generations.’ It further proves that God had no name originally. God was called God. Jehovah is the name that He took on for leading the Israelites out of Egypt. And then God began the work of the Age of Law with the name of Jehovah.”
Zhang Yongxin nodded his head and said, “Now that you say it, this passage which you read speaks very clearly and it also has a basis in the Bible. God didn’t have name originally. It seems that God’s name is God. Why didn’t I find it in the past? Mingzhi, during the Age of Law, God was called Jehovah. Afterward, His name was Jesus. There is only one God, but why are the names different? Just talk more about this question.”
Looking at the perplexed appearance of Zhang Yongxin, Yang Mingzhi couldn’t help but think he himself was confused like that originally. As he turned over the pages of the book in the hands, he said, “Yongxin, don’t worry. The words in this book can solve all your problems.” When he finished speaking, he passed the book to Zhang Yongxin, and continued to say, “After you read these paragraphs of words, you will understand it.”
Zhang Yongxin received the book and earnestly read, “In each age, God does new work and is called by a new name; how could He do the same work in different ages? … 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? In this way, God must be called by a different name in a different age, must use the name to change the age and represent the age, for no one name can fully represent God Himself. And each name can only represent God’s disposition during a certain age and needs only to represent His work. Therefore, God can choose whatever name befits His disposition to represent the entire age.
“‘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.
“And so, each time God comes, He 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 is always progressing forward. 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 onward. Each day He must do new work, each year He must do new work; He must open up new paths, must begin new eras, begin new and greater work, and bring new names and new work.”
After reading the words, Zhang Yongxin still concentrated his attention on the words in the book. And then Yang Mingzhi continued to say, “Through these words, we understand that God’s name changes as the ages and the work change. Moreover, God differentiates the ages according to His names. In each stage of God’s work, God takes on a specific name which possesses the significance of that age to represent His work in that age and the disposition that He is expressing. For example, God began the work of the Age of Law with the name of ‘Jehovah.’ And this name represents the disposition of majesty, wrath, curse, and mercy which God expressed to mankind in that age. Then Jehovah decreed laws and commandments to lead the early peoples to live on the earth. If they complied with the law and the commandments, they would be blessed by God. If not, they would be punished by God. At the end of the Age of Law, because mankind became more and more corrupt, couldn’t keep the law and reached the point that they had no sacrifice to offer, they would face the danger of being put to death. In this background, God ended the Age of Law and began the Age of Grace with the name of ‘Jesus.’ And this name means the sin offering that is full of love and compassion, and redeems man. It represents God’s work of redemption as well as God’s disposition of love and mercy. During that age, thebestowed abundant grace and blessings on mankind, and finally He was crucified for man and saved man from Satan’s hands. From then on, man began to pray to and call out to Jesus. From this, it isn’t difficult for us to see that God differentiates the ages according to His name, and moreover, the name He takes on in each age represents His work and the disposition He expresses in that age.”
Zhang Yongxin suddenly saw the light, nodding his head unceasingly and saying, “Alas! So that is what it is. God differentiates the ages according to His name. When He ends the old age and begins the new age, He will take on a specific name to represent His work and the disposition that He is expressing in that age. Oh, right! Mingzhi, Revelation prophesies, ‘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’ (Revelation 3:12). Here it is said the ‘new name.’ Will the Lord have a new name when He returns?”
Yang Mingzhi said, “Right! The prophecy comes from God. It can’t be wrong. Since it is called the ‘new name,’ when the Lord returns, He won’t be called Jesus any more. Because the Age of Grace has passed, God will usher the work of new age with a new name.”
Zhang Yongxin said hurriedly, “Mingzhi, there are prophecies in the Bible about the ‘new name’ of the Lord when He returns. Right?”
Yang Mingzhi said, “Certainly! Revelation 1:8 states, ‘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.’ Revelation 11:16-17 also states, ‘And the four and twenty elders, which sat before God on their seats, fell on their faces, and worshipped God, Saying, We give you thanks, O LORD God Almighty, which are, and were, and are to come; because you have taken to you your great power, and have reigned.’ Besides these, many other scriptures such as Revelation 4:8, 16:7 and 19:6, prophesy that the new name of God inis ‘the Almighty.’”
Zhang Yongxin leafed through the Bible, saying, “That’s for sure! It turns out that the new name of the Lord is called Almighty God. No wonder that we can’t wait for the Lord’s return. It turns out that God has changed a new name when He returns. If we even don’t know God’s new name, how can we welcome His return? I really thank the Lord! Today I not only understand why God changes His name, but know His new name. I will not worry that I can’t welcome the Lord. Mingzhi, you really understand more and more. If you don’t come today, how can I understand these?”
Yang Mingzhi said, “It’s altogether God’s grace that I can understand it from this book. The words in this book can solve all our problems.”
Zhang Yongxin took the book and looked earnestly, saying, “So this book is really a treasure! Mingzhi, can you lend it to me?”
Yang Mingzhi said, “Thank God! I come to see you today to give this book to you.”
Zhang Yongxin said happily, “It’s really wonderful! You really give me a treasure.”
They smiled at each other …
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