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By Xiang Guangming
As believers in the Lord, we all know that God’s name is 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, “Jesus Christ 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 be saved” (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,. 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!
The original text reads “which is.”
If you want to know more about the mystery of the names of God, read more on our God’s Name page, or in the following articles.
Once saved, we are always saved and then can enter the kingdom of heaven. Is this view correct? Being truly saved is not that simple. Read this article to learn the true meaning of being saved and find the way to true salvation.
Many brothers and sisters treat the Bible as God. Is this attitude correct? What kind of book is the Bible? Who wrote the Bible? Read this article to get the answers.
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.