What will of God is concealed within the Lord Jesus’ refusal to observe the Sabbath? And what inspiration does it bring to us today?
God’s Name Has Changed!
One morning, I was about to go out the door when Chen Ying, my old schoolmate, came, whom I hadn’t seen for over twenty years. I immediately let her into my house. “What made you think of coming to my house?” I asked as I made tea. She said, “I came specially to tell you some great news: The Lord has come back, His name is , and the work of the has ended.”
I felt it was incorrect, so I refuted her, “The says, ‘… for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved’ (Acts 4:12). Also, our preachers often say that only Jesus is our Savior and that the name of Jesus is immutable. We can never abandon the name of Jesus.”
Chen Ying said, “Exodus 3:15 reads, ‘the LORD God … is my name for ever, and this is my memorial to all generations.’ In this verse God told people definitely that only Jehovah was the Savior and was God’s name for ever. But when Jesus came and did His work, why did people regard Jesus as the Savior and no longer prayed in the name of Jehovah? Wasn’t God’s name changed? Actually, the words recorded in the Bible ‘for ever’ and ‘to all generations’ apply only to one particular age. For example, the people in the Age of Law must hold on to the name of Jehovah until the age came to an end. But, after Jesus began the work of the Age of Grace, people under the law had to accept the name of Jesus, and only if they prayed in the name of Jesus could they receive the work of the . It is also said in Almighty : ‘The conclusion of the Old Testament Age of Law meant that the work principally conducted under the name of Jehovah had come to an end. After this, the name of God was no longer Jehovah; instead He was called Jesus, and from here on the Holy Spirit began the work principally under the name of Jesus’ (‘The Vision of God’s Work (3)’ in The Word Appears in the Flesh).”
Hearing that, I said to myself, “What she communicated is true. I never thought of that before.”
Then Chen Ying said to me solemnly, “Xiaoting, just think about this: The earliest Pharisees had been longing for the coming of the Messiah, but it turned out that the Lord Jesus came. Because the name was different, they resisted and condemned Jesus and nailed Him to the cross. Today Almighty God has started new work. If we don’t seek the truth and still hold to the name of Jesus, rejecting the returned Jesus—Almighty God, aren’t we the same as the earliest Pharisees?” With that she took a copy of The Scroll Opened by the Lamb out of her bag and said, “This is the word expressed by God in the last days. You should investigate it carefully.”
Her last few words pricked my heart. “What she said is reasonable,” I thought. “It is a fact that the Pharisees waited for the Messiah yet rejected the Lord Jesus. If the Lord Jesus is really not called Jesus but called by a new name when He returns, and I do not accept it, then I am resisting God.” Thinking of that, I felt uneasy and wanted to find the answer in the Bible. I turned to Revelation and saw the words: “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). “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). I thought, “It is indeed prophesied in the Bible that the Lord Jesus will have a new name when He returns, and ‘the Almighty’ is spoken of in many verses including chapter 1, verse 8 in Revelation. Will the Lord Jesus really no longer be called Jesus but called by a new name at His return? Chen Ying said that God has started new work and is called Almighty God now, that if people don’t accept the new name of God, it is in vain for them to call on the name of Jesus, and that only calling on Almighty God conforms to God’s will. Is that true? But, if I happen to follow a false one, I will be betraying the Lord, and I will be in hell forever.”
Not long afterward, my waist and right leg were unbearably painful because one of the disks was herniated and pushing on a nerve in the right leg. I could hardly walk and had to lie in bed all day. One day, my husband said to me, “Since you believe in Jesus, ask Him to heal you.” I replied, “Let’s kneel down and together.” “As long as your illness can be cured, I will do so,” said my husband. And then, we prayed to the Lord, “Dear Lord Jesus! You can make the dumb speak and the paralytic walk, and only You have such authority. Isn’t my illness in Your hands all the more? May You heal me.” I thought that the Lord Jesus would make my husband come before Him through my illness and so He would certainly cure my illness. We prayed for a whole day, but I didn’t get better. The next morning, when my husband asked me if my condition was improving, I lied that I was better and could get out of bed, fearing that he would say something offensive. But unexpectedly, at noon my illness suddenly worsened, my legs completely unable to move. My husband sent me to the hospital. After examination, the doctor said I needed an operation on my waist. Then we returned. Back home, my husband complained, “Didn’t you say that your illness would be cured by praying to Jesus? Why is it more serious now?” I didn’t say anything. I was a bit puzzled and thought, “When I was ill before, as long as I cried out to the Lord Jesus sincerely, I would get better. But now my illness hasn’t improved but rather become aggravated. O Lord, why is it so?”
I had never been to a hospital since my childhood. I was filled with fear at the thought of the operation, so I prayed to the Lord Jesus constantly in my heart. On the day of the operation, several sisters in my church came and prayed for me. They asked the Lord to be with me and bestow upon me peace and joy. But I was very nervous somehow, and my heart thumped violently. Even the doctor saw my nervousness and kept encouraging me. When I got on the operating table, I was so nervous that my teeth were chattering. At the time I suddenly remembered what Chen Ying said to me: Jesus has started new work, it is useless to pray in the name of Jesus, and we can only receive the work of the Holy Spirit by calling on Almighty God. So I immediately prayed in my heart, “O Almighty God, please quiet my heart so that I am not afraid. May the Lord protect my heart. Whether the operation succeeds or fails, it is all in Your hands.” After I made such a prayer, my heart calmed down gradually. Later the doctor told me that the operation was very successful and that it should have taken four hours but they completed it in only two hours. At his words, I was filled with gratitude toward God. During the few days of my stay in the hospital, I kept pondering, “Since I was ill, each time I prayed in the name of Jesus, I received no answer, but when I prayed to Almighty God, I was blessed by God. Before I didn’t believe what Chen Ying said, but now I have truly experienced it. Has the Lord really come back? Is God really not called Jesus but Almighty God now? …”
After I was released from the hospital and returned home, my husband reminded me, “Now that you stay at home and rest, you can read The Scroll Opened by the Lamb.” I told him my misgivings. He said, “Are you not a believer in Jesus? Will you not get the answer after reading the book? If it is right, you accept it; if not, refuse it.” At his words, I said to myself, “Right! How can I tell whether Almighty God’s work is true or false without reading the book? Besides, I have just had a personal experience. I should make an investigation indeed.” Thus, I opened The Scroll Opened by the Lamb. Almighty God said: “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?” in The Word Appears in the Flesh). After reading these words of Almighty God, I suddenly realized the truth: God’s name is changed constantly in accordance with God’s work. From the work that God has done, we can see that the name of Jehovah was changed to Jesus when the Age of Grace arrived. Hasn’t God’s name already changed? Then the name of Jesus can also be changed in the last days; is it not right? God is the , God’s thoughts are higher than man’s thoughts, and everything God does is replete with God’s wisdom. God alters His name; there is certainly His good intention in it. Man is insignificant; how can he fathom the things God wants to do? How can I define God? On the great event of Jesus’ returning, I can’t hold on to my own view blindly all the more. Otherwise, I will really become a person that resists God just like the Pharisees. So, I must have a humble, seeking heart so that I may understand God’s work.
Just when I was seeking and examining the work of Almighty God, Chen Ying and Sister Li came to see me. I felt it was an opportunity offered by God and that I could just ask them about the problems I could not resolve. After they sat down, I said, “I have read Almighty God’s word and known that God’s name can be changed—the name of Jehovah was changed to Jesus in the Age of Grace, and likewise, God’s name can also be replaced by a new name when the Lord Jesus returns in the last days—for God’s wisdom soars higher than the heavens and God’s work is unfathomable to man. Now I don’t dare to blindly insist that God’s name is immutable. But I have a question: The Bible says, ‘ the same yesterday, and to day, and for ever’ (Hebrews 13:8). Yet what Almighty God says is also factual. So I’m in confusion. What is the explanation for this?”
Seeing that I had a seeking heart, Chen Ying said to me with a broad smile, “Xiaoting, I used to have the same thought as you. It was Almighty that solved my puzzle. Let’s read Almighty God’s word together.”
Then she asked me to read these words of Almighty God: “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. … the words ‘God is immutable’ are in regard to what God inherently has and is. … His substance and what He has and is shall never change. His work, however, is always progressing forward, always going deeper, for God is always new and never old. In every age God assumes a new name, in every age He does new work, and in every age He allows the creatures to see His new will and His new disposition” (“The Vision of God’s Work (3)” in The Word Appears in the Flesh).
Then Chen Ying communicated, “The words in the Bible ‘Jesus Christ the same yesterday, and to day, and for ever’ refer to that God’s inherent substance, God’s disposition, and what God has and is are immutable, and they are not in regard to God’s name. Although God does different work and assumes different names in different ages during the process of saving man, God is always God, and God’s substance will never change. That is to say, no matter whether God’s name is Jehovah, Jesus, or Almighty God called in the last days, God’s substance doesn’t change, and He is the unique God Himself forever. In addition, God’s work is constantly progressing and going deeper according to the needs of the corrupt mankind. Each of God’s names represents one age and one part of work in His management plan. Different names represent different ages and different work. For example, in the Age of Law, God began an age in the name of Jehovah and decreed laws to make people know what was sin. When man could not keep the laws and had no sin offering, Jesus became flesh to serve as a sin offering and brought the Age of Grace. But the Lord Jesus’ work just redeemed man, and man still lived in the condition of sinning and confessing. Almighty God ushered in the Age of Kingdom by expressing the words to judge and purify man. From these we can see that the age and the content of God’s work and God’s name do not remain unchanged but are always new, which does not conflict with the immutability of God’s substance.”
After reading God’s words and listening to Chen Ying’s communication, I thought, “That accounts for it! The immutability is in reference to God’s substance, and being always new and never old is in regard with God’s work. We should not confuse them. I originally believed God’s name could never be changed, and thus, when my old schoolmate testified about the work of Almighty God to me, I was unwilling to seek and examine it, so that I nearly became a person that opposed God. If it were not for my experience—before my operation, I cried out to Almighty God and then received peace and joy—I would have persisted in my mistaken belief and stubbornly opposed God to the end. In that case, would I not have lost the last salvation of God?” Thinking of that, I was really afraid, and also filled with gratitude toward God. I said, “I never imagined the name Almighty God has such a profound significance. God is so wise! Almighty God is absolutely the returned Jesus! Although Their names are different, yet They are actually one God. Today I can follow the steps of God; this is Almighty God’s great salvation for me. I really thank and praise Almighty God!”
a. The original text reads “which is.”