By Wang Ya In the past, I saw the Bible recorded, “And Jesus, when he was baptized, went up straightway […]
Why Does God’s Name Change?
In 1998, I began to believe in the Lordbecause of an illness. After I believed in the Lord, our pastors and elders often preached to us, “Neither is there salvation in any other” (Acts 4:12). “ the same yesterday, and to day, and for ever” (Hebrews 13:8). They also told us only by keeping the name of the and praying to His name at all times could we gain salvation and enter when the Lord returned.
A few years just flew by. One day, the elder said to us, “There is a church called. They say that the Lord has come back. And He has done a stage of new work and expressed new words. His name is . What they say doesn’t match the . It’s written in the Bible, ‘Neither is there salvation in any other’ (Acts 4:12). ‘Jesus Christ the same yesterday, and to day, and for ever’ (Hebrews 13:8). Brothers and sisters, only the Lord Jesus Christ is our Savior. Only by trusting in His name can we be saved. God’s name won’t change at any time. But the followers of Eastern Lightning say that God’s name has changed, no longer called the Lord Jesus but Almighty God. This is denying the Lord’s salvation and betraying the Lord. Now, they spread the everywhere to steal our sheep. So no one shall receive any strangers. Any preaching that leads us away from the name of the Lord Jesus, we can’t listen. If we are stolen by them we’ll be abandoned by the Lord when he returns….” After I heard the elder’s words, I thought: The elder knows better the Bible, and he is the leading sheep of our church. So what he says must be right. The Lord Jesus was crucified for the redemption of mankind. Only Jesus is our Savior under heaven and only by believing in His name can we be saved. The Lord’s name will never change at all times…. Since then, I prayed often, and asked the Lord to guard me, so that I could keep His name and would not listen to the sermons of Eastern Lightning’s followers, even if they are my relatives, friends or acquaintances.
One day at a meeting, sister Yu whispered to me, “My neighbor is a believer in Almighty God. He told me ‘Jehovah, Jesus and Almighty God are one God. Though they are called by different names, it doesn’t mean that they are not one God. He gave me a CD of hymns. I was too ashamed to refuse him for the sake of my face, so I accepted it. My daughter was exactly at home and played the CD. I heard some hymns. They are wonderful …” Hearing this, I interrupted her immediately and said, “How can you be so bold? We can’t listen to their songs. The elders often tell us that the believers of the Almighty God don’t believe in the name of the Lord Jesus and that we shouldn’t listen to their preaching and hymns. Have you forgot it? How can you be so silly? …” Sister Yu kept nodding with fear as hearing my words. Once she came back home, she returned the CD to the neighbor and promised never to contact him again. When I learned about that, I was very glad and thought that I was loyal to the Lord in doing so. Later, more and more people came to our village to preach the gospel of Almighty God. But every time I met them, I always ran away to try to avoid them.
One day in March of 2003, I was having lunch at home when I heard someone knocking at the door. I thought it was my brother or sister, so I hastily ran to open the door, only to see two strange young women standing in front of me. Not allowing them to speak, I closed the door. They shouted outside, “Aunty, please open the door. Our long-expected Lord Jesus has really come back.” I replied angrily, “Go! Go! Go! Go away quickly! You want to draw me to believe with you? No way!” After saying it, I turned and came into my room for lunch. A few days later, when I was preparing the dinner, I heard “bam bam bam” from the door. I thought: Do the believers of Almighty God come again? Well, I didn’t give them face last time, they can’t come again so soon? With suspicion, I went to open the door, only to find it was the two women that came last time. Then I yelled angrily, “You two again?! …” With that, I slammed the door. Full of anger and hatred in my heart, I thought: How come the believers of the Almighty God keep preaching the gospel to me? They attempt to make me give up the name of the Lord Jesus. It’s impossible. As I was thinking this, I heard their voice coming from outside again, “Aunty, our Lord Jesus has really come back. Almighty God is the Lord Jesus we’ve longed for day and night. Please open the door and listen to us…” I shouted to them, “Go away quickly! I’ll never listen to your preaching. I only believe in the Lord Jesus. Only the Lord Jesus is our Savior under heaven. It’s enough for me to have the Lord Jesus. Go away!” After saying this, I came toto God, “O loving heavenly Father Jehovah, Savior Jesus Christ, Abba Father, I know that the Lord is my only reliance, and that only by relying on the Lord Jesus can I be saved. Oh Lord, please keep me from being disturbed and dragged away by them.” After my prayer, I got back to do my things while humming a song: “Rock, rock, Jesus Christ, neither is there salvation in any other….” It was not known how long they stayed before they left.
The next morning, after I finished my breakfast, it became gloomy and the wind blew strongly. After a while, it began to rain heavily. Bam! Bam! Bam! I heard someone pounding at my door. I thought: Do the two women come again? I prayed to the Lord in hurry and asked Him to keep my heart. Yet in a few minutes, the banging on the door came again. I thought: It’s raining so hard outside. If they are my relatives or friends and are shut outside the door, how will they think about me? Thinking of this, I went to open the door. Indeed, they are the two women. Before I opened my mouth to speak, they both eagerly called me, “Aunty …” The rain was trickling down their cheeks, wetting the thin clothes they wore and they shocked with cold. At that time, I could hardly bear to shut them out. And I also remembered the word of the Lord Jesus, “Be not forgetful to entertain strangers” (Hebrews 13:2). So I let them in. Looking at their wet clothes, I couldn’t help thinking in my heart: We are all believers in God. Why do they suffer this? I wanted to give them towels to dry themselves and asked them to change out of their damp clothes into something dry, but the previous warning of the elder occurred to me then. I thought: If I give them towels and clothes, they will have more reason to come to my house to preach the gospel. In that case, I will ruin myself due to my sympathy and I will be forsaken by the Lord when He returns. Am I not too silly? I was irritable and agitated, overwhelmed with regret at allowing them to come in, when I noticed that they helped one another smooth the wet hair, and kept saying, “Thank God. Thank God…” I said unhappily, “It’s blowing so strongly and raining so hard. Why do you suffer this？You needn’t put effort on me today. Whatever you say, I won’t listen. I only believe in the Lord Jesus. I won’t believe in any other Gods.” Hearing my words, they were not angry but smiled and one of them said patiently to me, “Aunty, we can understand your feeling. I also used to believe that only by trusting in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ can we be saved, and that God’s name can only be Jesus. So, I can hardly figure out why Almighty God is the returned Lord Jesus and how the name of the Lord Jesus can change. Later, I read the verse in the Old Testament, ‘I, even I, am the LORD; and beside me there is no savior’ (Isaiah 43:11). Then how can these words be explained. It is clearly said in the verse that there is no savior but Jehovah and that Jehovah is His name forever. But why did the name of Jehovah become Jesus? What is God’s name? Jesus? Or Jehovah?” These words stunned me. Actually our elders had also talked about this problem before, telling us that the heavenly Father was called Jehovah, His beloved son was called Jesus, and they were one God. I couldn’t understand why they were one God but were called by different names. Yet I still didn’t find the answer. As time goes on, I had forgotten it. And today, when this question was suddenly raised again, I just had nothing to answer.
Another sister continued saying, “Aunty, it is said in the revelation 1:8, ‘I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the ending … which is, and which was, and which is to come, the Almighty.’ From the verse we can see that we all believe in one God. That God has different names is just because the ages are different. He has one name for every age. Thus, after God finished one step of work and began the work of the new age He will have a new name. Such as in the Age of Law, God’s name was Jehovah, in the Age of Grace was Jesus, and in the Age of Kingdom today is Almighty God. Jehovah, Jesus and Almighty God are one God. Although God’s name changes just because the age is different, the purpose of God’s work of salvation hasn’t changed. Now, the work of the Age of Grace has concluded. God has revealed the mysteries in Revelation and begun to do the work of the Age of Kingdom with the name of Almighty God.…” The sister’s words were very strange to me. I’d never heard someone said that God has one name for every age. What they said seemed to make sense. But I remembered the elder once said, “At any time, God’s name won’t change. Anything which asks us to depart from the name of the Lord Jesus, we shouldn’t listen. Eastern Lightning followers even don’t cling to the name of the Lord Jesus….” Never can I listen to them any longer. If I follow their belief, won’t it be in vain that I believe in the Lord for so long time? At the thought of this, I didn’t dare to listen more. I interrupted her and said impatiently, “The rain relents now. You can go and never come again. I am really too busy to believe in your God. You needn’t waste your time on me. I won’t listen to you.” As I was saying, I opened the door and let them go. Seeing my firm attitude, the two sisters left reluctantly.
After they left, I kept wondering: We are all believers in God, why are they so zealous? I treated them in such a way and refused them again and again, but they still maintain their faith. And they even told me, “We believe in one God … In the Age of Law God’s name was Jehovah, in the Age of Grace was Jesus and in the Age of Kingdom is Almighty God. Although God’s name changes, the purpose of God’s work of saving man doesn’t change. God has different names just because the age is different….” Thinking this, I hurriedly opened Revelation to check. Then I found the Almighty had been mentioned in many verses such as, “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). “Alleluia: for the Lord God omnipotent reigns” (Revelation 19:6). Does the Almighty refer to Almighty God? I was bewildered: I often read the Bible in my daily life but why have not I noticed those verses? Why haven’t the pastors and elders talked about that? They said God’s name wouldn’t change at any time, but why did the name of Jehovah change into Jesus, and the Revelation prophesy that God would be called Almighty God? What to make of this? These questions and the two sisters’ words kept echoing in my mind. And the more I thought about them, the more I was confused. I didn’t know what to do so I knelt before the Lord to pray, “Oh Lord, You know I understand little about the Bible and that I have no discernment, either. Now I feel quite upset and confused since I don’t know why Your name has changed. Will you still be called Jesus when You return? I am not willing to lose Your salvation. May You inspire and guide me….”
And thus, I grew restless for the next few days. In meetings, the pastors and elders still repeatedly warned us to be cautious against Eastern Lightning followers and not to receive strangers. Seeing there was only a few people attending the meetings. It was pretty deserted. And I felt even more desolate and helpless. The elders always preached the same sermons and I couldn’t gain anything from them. So I often thought to myself: Why do the believers of Eastern Lightning have such great faith? I shut them out of the door several times, but they still kept preaching the gospel to me in spite of the wind and rain. What are they really after? Confused and conflicted, I could only pray to the Lord again, “Oh Lord, I can’t sense Your presence at all, where are you now? The brothers and sisters are cold in faith, fewer and fewer people came to the meetings. Could it be that You have really done the new work with the name of Almighty God? Oh Lord, please guide me so that I won’t lose my way.” After praying, I recalled that more and more people in our village began to believe in Almighty God these two years. There must be some reasons within. And the Lord Jesus once said, “Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness: for they shall be filled” (Matthew 5:6). I just blindly rejected the gospel of Almighty God, this was really not in line with the Lord’s will. The Lord has given me a strong and courageous heart, but I even didn’t dare to contact the believers of Almighty God as I was timid and fearful. It was evident that I had been tricked by Satan. When I thought it through, I felt more secure, and decided to listen carefully to their preaching if the people of Eastern Lightning came to me again.