- Daily Devotionals
- Bible Devotions
- Devotional Topics
- Spiritual Growth
- Christian Testimonies
- Gospel Videos
In the Age of Law, God took the name Yahweh; in the Age of Grace, He took the name Jesus, and the Book of Revelation prophesied that God would have yet another new name. Why does God change names? I nearly shut the door on the’ return because I didn’t understand this aspect of the truth. But in the end, after a period of seeking and investigating, I finally understood the mysteries behind God’s name and welcomed the return of the Lord Jesus.
In September 2017, a friend of mine invited a Brother Yang to share a sermon with us. That day, I went to the appointed place ahead of time, and after everyone exchanged greetings, we began our Bible study.
Brother Yang gave us fellowship on God’s work of salvation for mankind, integrating. He talked about Yahweh’s work in the Age of Law, the Lord Jesus’ work of crucifixion in the Age of Grace, and then the prophecies in the Book of Revelation that God would open the scroll and seven seals in the last days. It was also prophesied in Revelation that God would speak to all the churches and that all those with ears should hear. Whether they are Christians, Catholics, or Eastern Orthodox, they should all be wise virgins and heed the voice of God so that they may welcome the return of the Lord Jesus. Brother Yang’s sermon was well-reasoned and full of light; it was really beneficial for me. I had believed in God for decades, but I had never heard anyone explain God’s work of saving mankind so clearly. I felt very happy and longed to keep listening to Brother Yang.
After lunch, Brother Yang smiled and said, “The Bible says in 1 Peter 4:17: ‘For the time is, that judgment should begin at the house of God.’ It is clear from this that when God returns in the last days, He is to do a step of the work of judgment and purification, to classify all people according to their kind, and in the end those who are cleansed of their satanic dispositions will enter the kingdom of heaven. The Lord Jesus has already returned and done the work of judgment beginning with the house of God and the scroll prophesied in the Book of Revelation has been opened. Sister, would you like to read the words uttered by God in the last days?”
“Hm? The Lord has returned? The scroll has been opened?” I was very surprised to hear Brother Yang say this. Thinking of the mysterious sheepskin scroll of legends opened, covered with words on both sides, I felt incredibly excited. Brother Yang handed a book to me, and as I took it I asked, “This is the scroll opened by God?” I couldn’t wait to open it, but as soon as I paged to the back of the book and saw the words “PUBLISHED BY THE CHURCH OF” I was stunned. I thought, “Could Brother Yang really be a member of The Church of Almighty God?” I felt a touch of displeasure and thought: “I’ve heard that the God members of The Church of Almighty God believe in is called Almighty God, but the God that I’m waiting for is named Jesus. How could He be called Almighty God? No, I need to give this more thought.” I then said: “I’m sorry, I need to watch the store tonight. That’s all for today.” Brother Yang saw that I was getting up to leave and advised me: “Sister, we must listen carefully to the words uttered by God. If you have any questions, we can seek and pray together.” He also said that God’s sheep listen to His voice and asked me to pray and seek more to gain God’s guidance.
Over the next few days, every time I thought of Brother Yang’s fellowship from that day there was a nonstop battle in my heart. “Brother Yang’s fellowship really did possess light and the guidance of the Holy Spirit. If Almighty God is the Lord Jesus returned, if I don’t listen isn’t it shutting the door on God? But it’s very clear that God’s name is Jesus, so how could He be called Almighty God?” The more I thought about it the more conflicted I was. I didn’t know if I should continue seeking or not. I later thought of the chief priests, scribes, and Pharisees of the Age of Law, who had served God for their entire lives and were always calling out the name of Yahweh, but when the Lord Jesus did come among mankind to work, they clung to their own notions, believing that anyone who wasn’t called Messiah was not God. They thus resisted and condemned the Lord Jesus and nailed Him to the cross. I should learn from the bitter lessons of failure of those who came before—I can’t walk down the same wrong path that they did!
Two days later, Brother Yang, Sister Zhang, and my church friend Ms. Fang came to see me in the store. Ms. Fang then shared her experience of how she was rebellious and resistant, and then gained certainty on Almighty God’s work of the last days. I was very moved and was willing to continue to discuss the Lord’s return with them.
I then opened up and shared the confusion within me. “I’ve believed in the Lord along with my mother since I was little. I’ve prayed to the name of the Lord Jesus for half my life and I’ve enjoyed many blessings from the Lord. The Lord is clearly named Jesus, but now you say that the Lord is uttering words under the name of Almighty God. What is this about? If I accept the name of Almighty God isn’t that betraying the Lord Jesus?”
Brother Yang calmly replied: “Sister, it’s perfectly normal for us to be unable to immediately accept that the Lord is doing new work under the name Almighty God. This is caused by our lack of clarity on the aspect of the truth related to God’s name. Let’s think about it: In the Age of Law, God’s name was Yahweh, but then His name changed to Jesus in the Age of Grace. Is accepting the name of Jesus betraying the God Yahweh?”
I was taken aback by Brother Yang’s words, and said quickly: “Of course not. The Lord Jesus and Yahweh are the same God.”
Brother Yang smiled and said: “Sister, since Yahweh and Jesus are the same God, why did Yahweh change His name to Jesus? After praying to the Lord for decades, do we know why He’s called Jesus? Do we know the mystery behind God’s name?”
I didn’t say anything, but thought to myself: “Where can I learn about this mystery?”
Seeing that I wasn’t saying anything, Brother Yang took out his phone and found two passages of Almighty God’s words for me to read.
I read these words of Almighty God: “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” (“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. … In each age and each stage of work, My name is not baseless, but holds representative significance: Each name represents one age” (“The Savior Has Already Returned Upon a ‘White Cloud’” in The Word Appears in the Flesh).
Brother Yang said, “From Almighty God’s words we see that the name God is called by in each age is always meaningful; they represent the work God does and the disposition God expresses in that age. We all know that earliest mankind knew nothing; they didn’t know how to live, how to interact with others, and how to worship God and let God be exalted. Then, in the name Yahweh, God started His work in the Age of Law in accordance with mankind’s needs. The disposition He expressed was that of mercy, curse, majesty and wrath. God used Moses to proclaim His laws and commandments, and so that they knew that God created the heavens, the earth, and all things, how they ought to make sacrifices and worship God, what is good and what is evil, and so on. Those who broke the law would be stoned to death, or burned by heavenly fire, while those who complied with the law would gain God’s mercy and blessings. God standardized their behavior and guided them in having a life that was possessed of order and regularity. During the later period of the Age of Law, mankind became more and more deeply corrupted by Satan, and they were incapable of keeping the laws and commandments, so they all faced the danger of being executed by the law. Only when God became flesh to serve as a sin offering for man and bore the sins of man could man be qualified to come before God. Therefore God did a stage of work of redeeming mankind with the name Jesus, expressed a disposition of mercy and love, brought the way of
After listening to Almighty God’s word and Brother Yang’s fellowship, I suddenly realized: “So the name God takes is based on the requirements of His work and the needs of us corrupt mankind! No matter what name He takes in what age, they all represent His work and disposition in that age and they are all meaningful. I’ve believed in the Lord all these years and have been praying to the Lord every single day, but I never knew what deep significance there was in His name. And in the past I never understood why Yahweh’s disposition was so majestic in the Age of Law, why those who violated the law were incinerated and damned, but the Lord Jesus was full of mercy and love for people and said to forgive seventy times seven times. It turns out it’s because the work was different and the dispositions God expressed were also different. This contains God’s kind intentions to save mankind!”
The Bible is a record of God’s work in the past. It is not entirely God’s words but contains man’s words. The author of the Bible is men, not God. So we should treat it correctly and should not treat it as if it were God.
By Kally Pastors and elders always tell us that all the words in the Bible are God’s words and that the Bible is given by inspiration of God. As the Bible says, “All scripture is given by inspiration of God” (2 Timothy 3:16). So, we have been holding the belief that everything in the Bible is the word of God. But today, when studying the Bible together with Sister Qi, I gained a new knowledge of this notion. When we read several passages of the scriptures, Sister Qi said that there are not only the words of God but also the words of man, of the serpent, of Satan, and of an ass in the Bible. And then she showed the following verses to me. Genesis 3:1: “And he said to the woman, Yes, has God said, You shall not eat of every tree of the garden?” This is what the serpent said to Eve. Job 2:2: “And Satan answered the LORD, and said, From going to and fro in the earth, and from walking up and down in it.” This is what Satan said to God. Numbers 22:30: “And the ass said to Balaam, Am not I your ass, on which you have ridden ever since I was your to this day? was I ever wont to do so to you?” This is what an ass said to his master. After reading these verses, I couldn’t help but feel confused in my heart: Right, these are not the words of God but are the words of Satan, of the serpent, and of an ass. Then why did Paul say that all scripture is given by God? Why do the pastors and elders say that everything in the Bible is God’s word? Sister Qi seemed to have read my mind and then shared some knowledge with me. She said, “In fact, in the Bible, we find that God never said that everything in the Bible is His word, nor did the Holy Spirit testify it. The saying ‘All scripture is given by inspiration of God’ only represents Paul’s personal knowledge instead of God’s will. And the belief pastors and elders hold is just based on the words of Paul, not God. We believers in God should view everything according to God’s words.” Hearing this, I nodded my agreement. She then said, “Now we understand that not all the words in the Bible are God’s words. Then, what parts of the Bible are God’s words? I think it’s necessary for us to clarify this issue.” Thereupon, we continued the discussion. Sister Qi went on, “In the Bible, only the words spoken by Jehovah God, the words Jehovah God instructed Moses to say, the words God asked the prophets to convey, the words said by the Lord Jesus, and the prophecies God revealed to John in Revelation are God’s words; apart from these, the biographies of man and letters of apostles are all man’s words. They only represent their personal experiences and knowledge, not God’s words, and moreover cannot be said to be the word of God. “Let’s take a look at all the words that God enlightened the prophets. To differentiate God’s words from prophets’ words, the words of God conveyed by the prophets are always first marked ‘the LORD has spoken’ or ‘thus said the LORD’ according to God’s will. For example, Exodus 16:23: ‘And he said to them, This is that which the LORD has said …’; Ezekiel 5:8: ‘Therefore thus said the Lord GOD …’; and Jeremiah 7:20: ‘Therefore thus said the Lord GOD …’ etc. Aren’t these all facts? Are you able to accept this?” I nodded and answered, “Yes, I can.” Thank the Lord! Today, I have obtained these gains from studying the Bible together with Sister Qi. Well, brothers and sisters in the Lord, have you also understood these? If you want to know more about the mysteries of the Bible, read more on our God and the Bible page, or in the following articles. Does Believing in the Lord Means to Believe in the Bible What Kind of Book Is the Bible? Who Wrote the Bible?
I thought I was reborn after being baptized, but I still commit sins. Am I really reborn? After a fellowship, I suddenly saw the light.
By Gao Han Referring to life, we all know that man has life as long as his flesh lives; life is what supports our physical life to live; when the flesh dies, his life disappears. People in the world all sigh: Our life only lasts for a few decades, and it passes in the blink of an eye. So, whether kings and princes or common people, they all hope to get a way of having eternal life. The biography of historical characters recorded that Qin Shihuang searched for the elixir of life in his whole life by making an inspection tour of his country. When he just got to the border of Shaqiu, he suddenly caught a severe chill and later died of it. Emperor Wu of Han took the so-called exotic medicines like golden elixir (jindan) and edible jade to live long. But these kinds of medicinal stones had toxic side effects, he still didn’t get longevity. In fact, man’s life is only a breath. People who don’t believe in the Lord Jesus think they have life as long as their flesh lives. We believers in the Lord think we have gained life because we’ve believed in the Lord. As a matter of fact, this is absolutely wrong. For the physical life will disappear in a flash; our belief in the Lord doesn’t mean we’ve gained life. Then, what is real life? About this, let’s see what the Lord Jesus said, “Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds out of the mouth of God” (Matthew 4:4). “I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man comes to the Father, but by me” (John 14:6). “I am the bread of life: he that comes to me shall never hunger; and he that believes on me shall never thirst” (John 6:35). From the Lord Jesus’ words, we can see: Real life refers to the word of God, that is, God’s word itself is life. When the world began, God created the heavens and earth and all things with His word. God said let there be light and there was light; God said let there be air and there was air. As a result of one sentence of God’s words, there were birds and beasts, and living things flourished on the earth. Moreover, the life of all things is endless. Grass and trees are withered in this winter and will grow leaves in the next spring. As the words of God were spoken, the growth patterns of all things and the changes of four seasons were set forever. God’s word is the authority of life, and has God’s authority. God’s word is truth, and truth itself can be man’s life and man’s everlasting life. This is the way of eternal life God bestows on us. If we really live out the truth, if the truth can really be our life, then we will never die. This fulfills the words in the Bible, “He that believes on the Son has everlasting life” (John 3: 36). If we can accept God’s words in our heart, understand and accept the truth from God’s words to achieve changes in our life disposition, then when the truth becomes our life, we will surely live forever. However, it is undeniable that we believe in the Lord, but we do not focus on experiencing and practicing the Lord’s word. We spare no effort to suffer and bear the cross, to expend and give up things and work hard for the Lord, but we were still bound by these sins, such as, arrogance, selfishness, jealousy, hate, craftiness, and so on, living a life of constantly sinning and confessing. Whatever we live out is what our inner life is. We indeed have no life. How can truth become our life? In fact, truth becoming our life is the process of truth changing our life disposition. In seeking the truth, when the truth enters our heart, we can abandon everything belonging to the world and hate sin; when we act according to God’s words, the truth will form a new life in us and our living out will be the likeness of a new man; when we live by truth, we will love and obey God, worship God, and love others as we love ourselves. Only in this way can we have the truth as our life. The Lord Jesus is the truth, the way, and the life. He mainly did the work of redemption of mankind by being crucified. Thus the word He expressed was limited, so is the truth we understand. When He returns, He will speak again. Just as John 16:13 records, “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.” This verse tells us clearly that when the Spirit of the truth comes, He will lead us into all the truth. The Spirit of truth comes, that is, God Himself comes. Leading us into all the truth means that God will say more words. If we receive God’s words, practice and experience His words all the time, and finally understand the truth from God’s words, our inward sin will be collapsed. This is the process of gaining life. For example, we originally liked telling lies and deceiving God. When we prayed to God, we said nice words, but after that, we didn’t practice them. Even though we did little things, we were to conduct a transaction with God. Our mouth said we were willing to satisfy God, but when we encountered things which were not in line with our conceptions, we would complain about God. After we understand the truth, even though we confront things that make us miserable, we can pray to God and obey, not complaining any more, and can rebel against our own motivations. When we get some knowledge of God, we will do negative and sinful things less and less, and we will practice the truth and live out the reality of positive things more and more. If we always pursue and experience the truth in this way to the point that we have no corrupt dispositions at all and our living out is entirely the reality of the truth, then we really gain the truth. Truth is life, and the word of life is truth. When we experience the truth and gain the truth, we can live by the truth and live out the likeness of a true human. That is the fruit of having truth as our life. When we gain the truth, we will gain the everlasting life and will never die. Only then will that be the real immortality. You may also like: To Gain Eternal Life, You Must Know the Source of It