By Xiang Guangming
As believers in the Lord, we all know thatis Jehovah in the Old Testament, and Jesus in the New Testament. We also know that the Lord once prophesied that He will come again in the last days. So here is a question: Will the Lord still be called Jesus when He returns? I believe most brothers and sisters will answer yes, because it is said in the , “ 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). On the basis of these verses, we think God’s name will never change and the Lord will still be called Jesus when He comes again. But is this view correct?
Before answering this question, let’s first take a look at the following verses, “I, even I, am Jehovah; and beside me there is no savior” (Isaiah 43:11), and “Jehovah … is my name for ever, and this is my memorial to all generations” (Exodus 3:15). These verses clearly tell us that Jehovah is God’s name forever and will last for all generations, and that apart from Jehovah God, there is no other Savior. But why do we pray in the name of Jesus and accept Him as our Savior? Well, on the outside, God’s words appear contradictory, but in fact they are not. God’s saying “to all generations” and “for ever” was about His work in that age. His name would not change until His work in that age was completed. In fact, each name of God represents His work and the disposition He expresses during that age. For example, the name Jehovah represented God’s work of leading the lives of newly-created humans on earth during the Age of Law, and His disposition represented was majesty, wrath, curse, and mercy. During that age, anyone who followed Jehovah God had to hold on to the name of Jehovah and abide by His laws, and only by doing so could they live under God’s care and protection. However, at the end of the Age of Law, people were corrupted by Satan more and more deeply, and were increasingly unable to keep the law, facing the danger of being condemned and cursed by the law. In order to save mankind, God began the work of a new age—the work of the Age of Grace. So accordingly, God’s name changed from Jehovah to Jesus, which represented God’s redemptive work and His disposition of compassion and love. During that age, only if people accepted and prayed in the name of Jesus could they receive God’s salvation. That is the real meaning of this verse, “Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved” (Act 4:12). But regardless of whether God’s name is Jehovah or Jesus, they both represent one God, and God’s substance and what He has and is are immutable. That is to say, the words “the same yesterday, and to day, and for ever” apply to God’s inherent essence and not to His name.
At this point, let’s turn back to the question raised at the beginning. Since in the Age of Law God took the name of Jehovah and then changed it to Jesus in the Age of Grace, will He still take the name of Jesus when He comes back in the last days? As for this question, I once read a passage in a book which gave me a clear answer, “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” (“How Can Man Who Has Defined God in His Conceptions Receive the Revelations of God?”). These words make it more clear that God’s name is not immutable, but changes with His work. Since the name of Jehovah can be changed to Jesus, the name of Jesus can also be changed to any other name. When the Lord returns, the age will change, and so will His name. Therefore, we mustn’t use our notions and imaginations to delimit God’s name, thinking that God can only be called Jehovah or Jesus and that He may not be called by any other name. Speaking of this, I remember that it is prophesied 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.” We may notice here that it says “my new name,” so it must be a name God has never used before. As we all know, God already took the name of Jehovah in the Age of Law, and His name Jesus has been called on by us believers for two thousand years. Then if the Lord is still called Jesus when He returns in the last days, how will it be a new name? So from this we can be sure that the Lord will no longer be called Jesus when He comes back. Here, some of you may ask: If it is not Jesus, then what will God’s new name be? To answer this question, let’s look at what the Bible says. It is prophesied in the Book of Revelation, “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), “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 11:17), and “Great and marvelous are your works, Lord God Almighty; just and true are your ways, you King of saints” (Revelation 15:3). Besides, it is also prophesied in Revelation 4:8, 16:7, 19:6, and many other places in the Bible that God’s new name in the last days will be the Almighty, that is, Almighty God. From this, we can see that when God returns in the last days, He will use the name Almighty God to do the work of judgment of the last days prophesied in the verse, “For the time is come that judgment must begin at the house of God” (1 Peter 4:17). Therefore, whoever accepts the name Almighty God will be blessed, and will be purified and saved by God, and in the end be raptured up into the kingdom of heaven.
Brothers and sisters, from the above fellowshiping, I think every one of you may be clearer about what name God will take in the last days. With regard to welcoming the Lord’s return, we cannot determine that the Lord will still be called Jesus when He comes back based on our imaginings, otherwise, we may easily miss the opportunity to welcome His return and be raptured into the kingdom of heaven. Only if we put aside our own notions and imaginations as well as our wrong viewpoints, and seek the truth with a humble heart, can we welcome the Lord’s return, as the Lord once said, “Blessed are the poor in spirit: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven” (Matthew 5:3). Amen!