How are we supposed to free ourselves from the spiritual emptiness and the degenerate life and find a genuine life? I was so lost and befuddled before, but now I’ve found the answer.
Why Does God’s Name Change?
In 1998, I began to believe in the Lord Jesus because of an illness. After I started to believe in the Lord and go to church, 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 that only by keeping the name of the Lord Jesus and praying to His name at all times could we gain salvation and when the Lord returned.
A few years just flew by. One day, one of the elders said to us, “There is a church called Eastern Lightning. They say that the Lord has come back and He has done a stage of new work and expressed new words. His name is Almighty God. What they say doesn’t match the Bible. 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.won’t change at any time. But the followers of Eastern Lightning say that God’s name has changed, and that He is no longer called the Lord Jesus but Almighty God. This is denying the Lord’s salvation and betraying the Lord. Now they are spreading their gospel everywhere to steal our flock. So none of us should entertain any strangers at home. We can’t listen to any preaching that leads us away from the name of the Lord Jesus. 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 the Bible well, 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 any time….” After that, I prayed often, and asked the Lord to guard me so that I could keep His name and would not listen to the sermons from Eastern Lightning’s followers, even if they were 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. For the sake of saving face I was unwilling to refuse him, so I accepted it. My daughter just happened to be at home and played the CD. I heard some of the 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 believers in 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 forgotten all that? How can you be so silly? …” Sister Yu kept nodding with fear as she listened to me speaking. Once she went 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 warning her. Later, more and more people came to our village to preach the gospel of Almighty God. But every time I met them, I always walked away 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 unfamiliar young women standing in front of me. I didn’t want to allow them to speak, so 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 into your beliefs? No way!” After saying this, I turned and went back to my lunch. A few days later, when I was preparing the dinner, I heard Bam! Bam! Bam! on the door. I thought: “Have the believers of Almighty God come again? Well, I didn’t give them face last time, surely they can’t have come again so soon?” With a suspicious attitude, I went to open the door, only to find it was the two women that came last time. So 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 coming to preach the gospel to me? They are attempting to make me give up the name of the Lord Jesus, but that’s impossible.” As I was thinking this, I heard their voices 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 to, “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. O Lord, please keep me from being disturbed or dragged into their group.” After my prayer, I got back to doing my things while humming a song: “Rock, rock, Jesus Christ, neither is there salvation in any other….” I have no idea how long they stayed before they left.
The next morning, after I finished my breakfast, it became gloomy and the wind started to blow strongly. After a while, it began to rain heavily. Suddenly I heard Bam! Bam! Bam!—there was someone pounding at my door again. I thought: “Have those two women come again?” I prayed to the Lord in hurry and asked Him to keep my heart safe. Yet a few minutes later, the banging on the door came again. I thought: “It’s raining so hard outside. If they are my relatives or friends and are left outside the door, what will they think of me?” Thinking of this, I went to open the door. It was indeed the two women. Before I could open 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 shook with cold. At that time, I didn’t have the heart to shut them out. And I also remembered the words 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: “We are all believers in God. Why do they suffer this?” I wanted to give them towels to dry themselves and ask them to change out of their damp clothes into something dry, but the elder’s warning 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. If that happens, I will have ruined myself due to my sympathy and I will be forsaken by the Lord when He returns. That would be too silly.” I was irritable and agitated, and overwhelmed with regret at allowing them to come in. Then I noticed that they helped one another smooth their wet hair, and kept saying, “Thank God. Thank God…” I said unhappily, “It’s so stormy today. Why do you suffer this？You needn’t have made the effort for me. Whatever you say, I won’t listen. I only believe in the Lord Jesus. I won’t believe in any other gods.” Hearing this, they didn’t get angry but smiled and one of them said patiently to me, “Aunty, we can understand your feelings. 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 could never 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 Jehovah; and beside me there is no savior’ (Isaiah 43:11). 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. I never found the answer. As time passed, I forgot about it. And that day, when this question was suddenly raised again, I still had no 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 finishes one step of work and begins the work of a 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, it was Jesus; and in the Age of Kingdom today it is Almighty God. Jehovah, Jesus and Almighty God are one God. Although God’s name changes 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.…” What the sister was saying was very strange to me. I’d never heard someone say that God has one name for every age. What they said seemed to make sense. But I remembered the elder once said, “No matter the time or era, God’s name won’t change. We shouldn’t listen to anything which asks us to depart from the name of the Lord Jesus. Eastern Lightning followers don’t even cling to the name of the Lord Jesus….” I knew I shouldn’t listen to them any longer. If I followed their belief, wouldn’t my believing in the Lord for so long have been in vain? At the thought of this, I didn’t dare to listen more. I interrupted her and said impatiently, “The rain has relented now. You can go, and please 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 again.” As I was saying this, I opened the door and saw them out. Seeing my firm attitude, the two sisters left reluctantly.
After they left, I kept wondering why they were so zealous when we are all believers in God. I treated them coldly and refused them again and again, but they still maintained 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 mankind doesn’t change. God has different names because each age is different….” Thinking about this, I hurriedly opened Revelation to check. Then I found that the Almighty is 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 hadn’t I noticed those verses? Why hadn’t the pastors and elders talked about that? They said God’s name wouldn’t ever change, but why did the name of Jehovah change into Jesus? And what about the Revelation prophecy 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, “O 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 over the next few days. In meetings, the pastors and elders still repeatedly warned us to be cautious about Eastern Lightning followers and not to entertain strangers. But seeing that there were only a few people attending the meetings, and how deserted the church looked, I felt even more desolate and helpless. The elders always preached the same sermons and I couldn’t gain anything from them any more. So I often thought to myself: “Why do the believers of Eastern Lightning have such great faith? I shut them out several times, but they still kept preaching the gospel to me in spite of the wind and rain. What are they really doing it for?” Confused and conflicted, I could only pray to the Lord again, “O Lord, I can’t sense Your presence at all. Where are you now? The brothers’ and sisters’ faith has grown cold, and fewer and fewer people come to the meetings. Could it be that You have really done new work using the name 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 my village had begun to believe in Almighty God those two years. There must be some reason for it. And the Lord Jesus once said, “Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness: for they shall be filled” (Matthew 5:6). It seemed that my blindly rejecting the gospel of Almighty God was really not in line with the Lord’s will. The Lord has given me a strong and courageous heart, but I didn’t dare to even contact the believers of Almighty God as I was so 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 the people from Eastern Lightning if they came to me again.
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