by Zhang Yu
The New Testament records: “Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must ” (Acts 4:12). “ the same yesterday, and to day, and for ever” (Hebrews 13:8). Like many Christians, I thought that the was the Savior and God could only be called Jesus. But I recalled that the Old Testament says: “I, even I, am the LORD; and beside me there is no savior” (Isaiah 43:11). In the Age of Law, God personally told people that the name Jehovah was His name and would last forever. However, why did become Jesus when He was incarnated to do the work of redemption in the Age of Grace? Which is actually God’s name, Jehovah or Jesus? The questions puzzled me all along.
One day, after one of my co-workers of the church read a passage from The Vision of God’s Work (3) to me, I had some new understanding of the change of God’s name. The passage says: “Can the image of one person and one particular name represent God in His entirety? 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 work of redemption, so would He still be called by the same name when He returns in the last days? Would He still do 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? 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. Regardless of whether it is the age of Jehovah, or the age of Jesus, each age is represented by a name.” After the co-worker fellowshiped with me, I realized: God does different work in different ages and takes different names. He uses the name to change the age and represent the age. When God’s work of saving mankind moves forward, His name will change accordingly. Just as the name Jehovah represented the work of God in the Age of Law. In that age, God issued the laws to guide man’s life on earth and expressed the man-pitying, man-cursing disposition. The name Jehovah represented the God who possesses great power and is full of wisdom. In the Age of Grace, God did a new work, so He changed His name, which was not Jehovah but Jesus. God used the name Jesus to represent His work of redeeming mankind in the Age of Grace. The Lord Jesus bestowed abundant grace upon people and expressed the disposition of mercy and love. From the fact that God’s name changed from Jehovah to Jesus, we can see that God’s name doesn’t remain forever, but changes according to the change of the age of the work. The age is moving forward, so God’s name is bound to change when the Lord returns to do His new work in the last days.
We also consulted the prophecies in Revelation, which say, “He that has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit said to the churches; To him that overcomes will I give to eat of the hidden manna, and will give him a white stone, and in the stone a new name written, which no man knows saving he that receives it” (Revelation 2:17). “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). These words prophesied that when the Lord Jesus returns, He will have a new name. It can neither be the name of Jesus nor Jehovah. Then what will be the new name? We noticed that Revelation 15:3 records: “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.” Revelation 19:6 says: “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 omnipotent reigns.” From the prophecies, I know God’s new name in the last days is the Almighty, that is, Almighty God. Though Jehovah, Jesus and Almighty God are called differently, yet They are one God, who is, and who was, and who is to come, the Almighty. It turned out that Revelation had already prophesied the new name of the returned Lord. Not until then did I realize it. I really thanked God’s guidance!
Later on, I read another passage in The Vision of God’s Work (3), “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. His work, however, is always progressing forward and always going deeper, for He is always new and never old.” “There are those who say that God is immutable. That is correct, but it refers to the immutability of God’s disposition and 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.” After reading these words, I thought of the verses, “I, even I, am the LORD; and beside me there is no savior.” “Jesus the same yesterday, and to day, and for ever.” Then I finally understood the true meaning of these verses. God’s management plan of saving mankind is progressing forward. When each age of God Himself comes, He will take a new name to accomplish His work of the current age: In the Age of Law, God was called by the name of Jehovah; in the Age of Grace, God’s name was Jesus; when the last days come, God will still change His name and will be called Almighty God. But no matter how God’s name changes, His substance never alters, and His main disposition that is righteous, His holy substance, His almightiness and wisdom, as well as what He has and is won’t change. God says, “I, even I, am the LORD; and beside me there is no savior” (Isaiah 43:11). The records “Jesus Christ the same yesterday, and to day, and for ever” (Hebrews 13:8). These verses truly mean that the inherent disposition of God and what He has and is have never changed and will never change, but don’t mean that God’s name remains forever as we imagine. If we hold on to such conceptions, we misinterpret God’s word. As a result, we will define God and His work, and even directly resist God according to our conceptions and imaginations. Let’s recall the time that the Lord Jesus came to do His work in the Age of Grace. Because the Israelites under the law didn’t know God’s substance, they held on to the false understanding of the word “I, even I, am the LORD; and beside me there is no savior.” They didn’t allow God to change His name but condemned the Lord Jesus, for in their heart only Jehovah was God and only He was their Savior. When God changed the age and did a new work to save them in the name of Jesus, they didn’t know what the Lord Jesus expressed is the truth and is God’s disposition and all that He is, much less did they know the essence of the Lord Jesus’ work or the change of the Holy Spirit’s work. They never thought the Lord Jesus was God incarnate who came to earth. Although God’s name changed and He was not called Jehovah, the Lord Jesus was the Spirit of Jehovah becoming a flesh to do the work of redemption in the name of Jesus. They only followed the letters of the Bible, rejected and resisted the Lord Jesus and His work. Ultimately they nailed the merciful Savior Jesus onto the cross alive, and thus committed a heinous crime and offended God’s disposition, resulting in the destruction of the entire Israeli nation, with many people fleeing to all parts of the world and having no place to stay. The painful fact was a warning to each of us who follows the Lord Jesus: In God’s constantly renewing and changing work, we should have a heart of fearing God and can’t define God’s name or His work at will.
Now I know that God is God. No matter what name God is called by, there is only one God. God is the Creator, the Ruler of all things, and the source of the life of all things. He controls all things and provides for the needs of all things. He is the only true God from everlasting to everlasting and He is the truth, the way and the life. Whether He is called by the name of Jehovah, Jesus or Almighty God, They are one Spirit. No matter in which age or whatever name God is called by, God’s righteous, holy, beautiful and good substance never changes. God will always be God Himself who saves us.
Further reading on this topic: