True Meaning of God’s “New Name” in Revelation 3:12
By Anyuan, Philippines
It’s recorded in Revelation 3:12: “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.” When some brothers and sisters see the words “My new name” in this prophecy, they think that perhaps the Lord will take on a new name and won’t be called Jesus when He returns. But there are also some brothers and sisters who believe that thewon’t change His name, and that only He is our Savior based on these verses: “ the same yesterday, and to day, and for ever” (Hebrews 13:8), and “Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must ” (Acts 4:12). However, if God’s name will not change, then what’s the true meaning of God’s name prophesied in Revelation 3:12? Will God change His name when He returns? Will He still be called Jesus? Now let’s fellowship about the truth of God’s names.
Will God’s Name Change?
Some people think God’s name is Jesus and it will never change. Is it really so? Is God’s name unchangeable? Let’s first look at these two verses, “I, even I, am Jehovah; and beside Me there is no savior” (Isaiah 43:11). “[Jehovah] is My name for ever, and this is My memorial to all generations” (Exodus 3:15).
In these verses, God tells us clearly that apart from Jehovah God, there was no Savior and the name Jehovah would last forever. When the Lord Jesus came to work, people called Him the Savior. If God’s name was unchangeable, why then did the name of Jehovah become Jesus? This proves that God’s name is not eternally unchanging.
Some people may ask: “Since God’s name is changeable, then how should we understand the words recorded in the Bible: ‘[Jehovah] is My name for ever, and this is My memorial to all generations’?” Actually, God’s name being forever means that His name does not change during that current age. That is to say, as long as God’s work in that current age hasn’t ended, we should keep His name in that age, and only by doing so can we gain the work of the Holy Spirit and God’s approval. However, when God starts a new work, His name will change accordingly. Then, only by accepting God’s new name will we have God’s approval. Take the disciples, for example, such as Peter and John. They all accepted God’s new name in that age—the Lord Jesus, and followed God’s new work, so they were able to obtain the work of the Holy Spirit and the Lord’s salvation. This makes us understand that God’s name is not immutable and it changes with God’s work in the new age. However, no matter how thechanges, God is still one God, and it is only that God is called differently. The Bible says, “Jesus the same yesterday, and to day, and for ever” (Hebrews 13:8). What does this verse mean? Actually, it means that God’s substance and disposition are immutable, and doesn’t mean God’s name is unchangeable. There’s a passage of words that explains this very clearly, “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. If you say that the work of God is unchanging, then would He be able to finish His six-thousand-year management plan? You only know that God is forever unchanging, but do you know that God is always new and never old? If the work of God is unchanging, then could He have led mankind all the way to the present day? If God is immutable, then why is it that He has already done the work of two ages? … [T]he words ‘God is immutable’ refer to what God inherently has and is. Regardless, you cannot make the work of six thousand years hinge upon a single point, or circumscribe it with dead words. Such is the stupidity of man. God is not as simple as man imagines, and His work cannot linger in any one age. Jehovah, for example, cannot always stand for the name of God; God can also do His work under the name of Jesus. This is a sign that God’s work is always progressing in a forward direction” (“The Vision of God’s Work (3)”). From this, we can see that God Himself is unchanging. This refers to God’s disposition and essence, not His name. God has performed different work and has adopted different names in different ages, but regardless of whether His name is Jehovah or Jesus, His substance never changes. It is always the same God working. Take the Pharisees in Judaism for example. They did not know that the name of God would change with the age, so they thought that only Messiah was their God and their Savior. As a result, when God changed His name to do the work of redemption with the name Jesus, they frantically condemned and resisted the Lord Jesus, and finally crucified Him, committing a heinous sin and being punished by God. We should take the example of the Pharisees as a warning. We shouldn’t, according to our own notions and imaginations, conclude that God’s name will never change, let alone say God’s name in the last days will still be Jesus; otherwise we would be delimiting God.
The Significance of God Taking Different Names in Different Ages
So why does God take different names in different ages? What’s the significance of God taking different names? Let’s read this passage, “‘‘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; the God who possesses great power and is full of wisdom. ‘Jesus’ is Emmanuel, which means the sin offering that is full of love, full of compassion, and which redeems man. He did the work of the Age of Grace, and He represents the Age of Grace, and can only represent one part of the work 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 Jewish people, worship Jehovah. They make sacrifices to Him on the altar and serve Him in the temple wearing priests’ robes. What they hope for is the reappearance of Jehovah. Only Jesus is the Redeemer of mankind, and 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 came into existence because of the work of redemption in the Age of Grace. The name of Jesus came into existence 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. Thus, 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 have stopped in the Age of Redemption, and could not have progressed any further. The last days, furthermore, would never arrive, and the age would never be brought to an end. This is because Jesus the Savior is only for the redemption and salvation of mankind. I took the name of Jesus only for the sake of all the sinners in the Age of Grace, but it is not the name by which I shall bring the whole of mankind to an end” (“The Savior Has Already Returned Upon a ‘White Cloud’”). This passage tells us the meaning of God taking a different name in each age. God’s name in the Age of Law is Jehovah, which represents the work that God did in the Age of Law, and also represents the disposition He expressed to man during that age, that of majesty, wrath, curse and mercy. Jehovah God proclaimed the law and the commandments, allowing people to know what sin is, how to live and worship God on earth. Those who adhered to the law and the commandments could be blessed by God, while those who violated the law would be cursed and punished by God. Therefore, the Israelites under the law strictly abided by the law, revered the name Jehovah as holy, and had lived under the leadership of Jehovah God for thousands of years. By the end of the Age of Law, mankind was in danger of being put to death by the law due to their increasing corruption, failing to keep the law and the commandments, and having no sacrifices to offer to God. So, in order to save mankind, God began the Age of Grace, took the name Jesus, and did the work of redemption. In other words, the name Jesus represents the work that God did in the Age of Grace, and it also represents His merciful and loving disposition that God expressed in the Age of Grace. The Lord Jesus showed the utmost love and compassion, provided man with the way of repentance and was finally crucified to redeem mankind so that they are no longer convicted by the law and have the opportunity to come before God to pray and enjoy His grace and blessings. It can be seen that God has a fixed name in each age, but no one name can fully represent Him. Therefore, in each stage of new work, God will take a particular name, one that possesses temporal significance, to represent His work and disposition in that age. Moreover, it can be seen that God is always new and never old, and when God does the work of the new age, He will no longer use the old name. Only when we accept God’s name of the new age can we gain the Holy Spirit’s work and gain God’s approval.
Welcoming the Lord’s Return by Accepting His New Name in the Last Days
Then, will the Lord change His name when He returns? In fact, some Bible verses already tell us that when the Lord returns He will have a new name, such as “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), “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 1:8), “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” (Revelation 19:6), “And the four beasts had each of them six wings about him; and they were full of eyes within: and they rest not day and night, saying, Holy, holy, holy, LORD God Almighty, which was, and is, and is to come” (Revelation 4:8), “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” (Revelation 11:16–17). From these verses we can see that God will have a new name. So, we can be sure that when the Lord returns He will not be called Jesus. Besides, we can see a lot of verses which say that God’s name is the “Almighty.” Apart from these verses, other verses also mention the Almighty such as Revelation 15:3, Revelation 16:7, Revelation 16:14, Revelation 21:22, and so on. According to these prophecies, when the Lord returns to do new work, His name will be changed to the Almighty. And God will start a new age and conclude the work of the Age of Grace under the name the Almighty, so that people will know God’s entire disposition and honor the name the Almighty as great. If we accept the new name of God in the last days, we have welcomed the return of the Lord Jesus.
Now people of Eastern Lightning testify that the Lord Jesus has returned and His name is Almighty God, which fulfills the prophecies in Revelation. And they also testify that Almighty God has expressed many truths and is doing the work of judging and purifying man, and He will classify each person according to their kind and separate the tares from the wheat. Those who accept the judgment of God’s words and be cleansed can be made overcomers before the disaster and enter God’s kingdom, while those who refuse to accept the judgment of God’s words will fall into the great disaster. This fulfills these prophecies in the Bible, “I have yet many things to say to you, but you cannot bear them now. However, when He, the Spirit of truth, is come, He will guide you into all truth: for He shall not speak of Himself; but whatever He shall hear, that shall He speak: and He will show you things to come” (John 16:12–13). “For the time is come that judgment must begin at the house of God” (1 Peter 4:17). “He that rejects Me, and receives not My words, has one that judges him: the word that I have spoken, the same shall judge him in the last day” (John 12:48). “And in the time of harvest I will say to the reapers, Gather you together first the tares, and bind them in bundles to burn them: but gather the wheat into my barn” (Matthew 13:30). According to these biblical prophecies, Almighty God is the returned Lord Jesus. We’d better seek humbly to avoid missing the chance to welcome the Lord’s return.
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