Revealing the Mystery: The Significance of God’s Name
When I was in high school, there was a Christian student fellowship in my school, and every week they organized a church activity. Once my teacher invited me to join them. After attending the activity several times, I was moved by the Lord’s love. And one year later, I received baptism and formally turned to the Lord. Then I preached the gospel ofto my relatives and friends. And some of them came under the name of the Lord as well. In the Lord Jesus’ warm loving bosom, I enjoyed His abundant grace. I often read the Bible and prayed, and participated in the church service. So far, I have believed in the Lord for 35 years.
One day in August of 2016, after finishing the Sunday worship, I was all ready to leave when Brother Chen of our church came over and said, “Sister, here is a book. It’s a good book and can help us know God. I’ll lend it to you for a week.” With these words, he passed me a book entitled The Way to Know God. I thanked him and put it into my bag.
After getting home, I opened the book with curiosity. And this passage of words caught my eye: “Every one of you should examine anew how you have believed in God throughout your lives, so that you may see whether, in the process of following God, you have truly understood, truly comprehended, and truly come to know God, whether you truly know what attitude God bears to the various types of human beings, and whether you truly understand the work that God is enacting upon you and how God defines your every act. This God, who is by your side, guiding the direction of your progress, ordaining your destiny, and supplying your needs—how much do you understand this God, when all is said and done. How much do you really know about this God? Do you know what work He enacts on you every single day? Do you know the principles and purposes on which He bases His every action? Do you know how He guides you? Do you know the means by which He provides for you? Do you know the methods by which He leads you? Do you know what He wishes to obtain from you and what He wishes to achieve in you? Do you know the attitude He holds toward the various ways in which you behave? Do you know whether you are a person beloved of Him? Do you know the origin of His joy, anger, sorrow, and delight, the thoughts and ideas behind them, and His essence? Do you know, ultimately, what kind of God is this God that you believe in? Are these and other questions of the sort something that you have never understood or thought about? … No matter how many years a person has believed in God, if they have never experienced or perceived anything in God’s words, then assuredly they are not walking the path toward salvation, theiris assuredly without actual content, their knowledge of God too is assuredly zero.” These questions made me reflect: How much knowledge have I had of God after believing in Him for so many years? Have I met the Lord’s requirements? Actually I had never thought about these questions. I suddenly became aware that I had come carelessly in my years of belief. So I became interested in this book and began to read on piece after piece.
From the book I knew: In God’s first command to man after He created man, “Of every tree of the garden you may freely eat: But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, you shall not eat of it: for in the day that you eat thereof you shall surely die” (Genesis 2:16-17), there is God’s will and His worries for man. That is because God has a responsibility to man since His creation of man, and He has to watch over and protect man, and He hopes man can believe in and obey His words. That God personally used skins to make clothing for Adam and Eve shows that God treated them as His dearest ones and took care of their basic necessities, and it also reveals God’s humbleness and affection, and that God is, like a parent of man, full of concern, responsibility and care toward them. Later, because man was corrupted to the extreme and refused to repent, God destroyed the world with a flood, but when He saw mankind disappearing, His heart was weeping and bleeding. Besides, I knew from the book how God especially treasured and cherished Abraham’s sincerity and obedience toward Him, how Job pursued to fear God and shun evil during his lifetime, and so on. I was deeply touched and attracted by the contents of the book. It allowed me to feel God’s love for us human beings, and have more understanding of God’s intention of saving man. Its contents were so comprehensive and detailed, and even God’s thoughts and ideas behind His words and work were interpreted very clearly. I had never received such enlightenment during my years of reading the Bible. If the inner meaning of these scriptures had not been interpreted in this way, perhaps I would never comprehend them even if I read the Bible for a lifetime. At ordinary times, when I read the Bible, I never gained any light, and I would feel my eyes too tired and not want to read on after reading it for a while. But when I read this book, I felt different. The more I read it, the more enlightened I became within. And I was unwilling to have a rest in spite of my weary eyes.
I was very curious: Who wrote this book? It’s such a spiritual book. It seems that the writer has a good knowledge of God. … Soon I read it through and gained a lot, feeling an inexpressible joy in my heart.
When I returned the book to Brother Chen as scheduled, he invited me to have a meeting online with some brothers and sisters. Considering that I didn’t know how to use the software on the Internet, I refused him. But he invited me time after time, and also kindly lent his computer to me and taught me how to operate it. I was moved by his kindness, and thus agreed to have a meeting with brothers and sisters online.
In the meeting, Brother Li and Sister Ye communicated with me about the truths concerning God’s six-thousand-year management plan to save mankind, the three stages of God’s work, and God’s incarnation. They also told me that the Lord Jesus has returned and His name is Almighty God, and that God has long ago become flesh and started the work of judgment beginning with the house of God. I was very delighted and excited to hear that the Lord has come back. But I couldn’t accept it when hearing Brother Li say thatis Almighty God. I thought: The Bible clearly records, “Jesus Christ the same yesterday, and to day, and for ever” (Hebrews 13:8). If I don’t pray in the name of the Lord Jesus, then am I not betraying Him? I have believed in the Lord half of my life; if I betray Him at the crucial moment of welcoming His return, then am I not completely finished?
Seeing that I couldn’t accept God’s name—Almighty God, Brother Li fellowshiped with me, “Sister, the verse ‘Jesus Christ the same yesterday, and to day, and for ever’ (Hebrews 13:8) refers to the immutability of God’s disposition and His substance. It doesn’t mean that God’s name is ever unchanging. Now God has come to do new work. Although His name has altered because of the change in era, Almighty God is God Himself, the returned Lord Jesus. Almighty God says: ‘Changes in His name and work do not prove that His essence has altered; in other words, God will always be God, and this will never change. If you say that the work of God is unchanging, then would He be able to finish His six-thousand-year management plan? You only know that God is forever unchanging, but do you know that God is always new and never old? If the work of God is unchanging, then could He have led mankind all the way to the present day? If God is immutable, then why is it that He has already done the work of two ages? … And so, the words “God is always new and never old” refer to His work, and the words “God is immutable” refer to what God inherently has and is. Regardless, you cannot make the work of six thousand years hinge upon a single point, or circumscribe it with dead words. Such is the stupidity of man. God is not as simple as man imagines, and His work cannot linger in any one age. Jehovah, for example, cannot always stand for the name of God; God can also do His work under the name of Jesus. This is a sign that God’s work is always progressing in a forward direction.
‘God is always God, and He will never become Satan; Satan is always Satan, and it will never become God. God’s wisdom, God’s wondrousness, God’s righteousness, and God’s majesty shall never change. His essence and what He has and is shall never change. As for His work, however, it is always progressing in a forward direction, always going deeper, for He 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 His creations to see His new will and new disposition’ (“The Vision of God’s Work (3)” in The Word Appears in the Flesh).
In the process of God’s salvation of us human beings, He has done different work and assumed different names in different ages, but His substance is forever unchanging. God will always be God. Whether God’s name is Jehovah or Jesus, God’s substance never changes, and there is always the same God working. At that time, the Jewish Pharisees knew not that God’s name would change as His work changed from one age to the next. They believed that only Jehovah was their God and their Savior, and they clung to the word ‘Only Jehovah is God and besides Him there is no other savior.’ When God did His work under the name of the Lord Jesus, they frantically condemned and resisted Him. Ultimately, they crucified the Lord Jesus, committing a heinous crime, and were punished by God. If we deny God’s substance because of the change in His name, and deny that the work is done by one God, then are we not like the Jewish Pharisees who held on to the name of Jehovah?
Sister, the change in God’s name has great significance. Almighty God says: ‘The name of Jesus was taken for the sake of the work of redemption, so would He still be called by the same name when He returns in the last days? Would He still be doing the work of redemption? 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 He 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). ‘God may be called by many names, but among these many names, there is not one that is able to encapsulate all of God, not one that can fully represent God. And so, God has many names, but these many names cannot fully articulate God’s disposition, for God’s disposition is so rich that it simply exceeds man’s capacity to know Him. There is no way for man, using the language of mankind, to encapsulate God fully. … One particular word or name does not have the capacity to represent God in His entirety, so do you think His name can be fixed? God is so great and so holy, yet you will not permit Him to change His name in each new age? Therefore, in every age in which God personally does His own work, He uses a name that befits the age in order to encapsulate the work that He intends to do. He uses this particular name, one that possesses temporal significance, to represent His disposition in that age. This is God using the language of mankind to express His own disposition’ (“The Vision of God’s Work (3)” in The Word Appears in the Flesh).
As God is a wise God and He is inscrutable to us human beings, we shouldn’t look on His work according to our own conceptions and imaginations. God is rich and bountiful, and so a single name is incapable of fully representing God’s work and His disposition. It can only represent one part of God’s disposition. God takes different names in different ages to represent His disposition and His work in that age. Besides, it has already been prophesied in the Bible, ‘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), and ‘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). Though God’s name changes, His substance doesn’t change. Jehovah, Jesus, and Almighty God are one God. When God has brought new work and changed His name, the Holy Spirit will uphold the work under the new name. So, today when we call on the name of Almighty God, we’re not betraying the Lord Jesus but keeping up with the steps of God’s work.”
Hearing Brother Li’s fellowship, I felt that it was in accord with God’s work, and there were biblical bases for it. I also realized that Almighty God’s words are indeed the truth and have made the significance of God’s name so clear and plain. Through Almighty God’s words and Brother Li’s fellowship, I became aware that God’s name actually has such great significance, and I truly saw that only God’s words can reveal all mysteries. That in the last days God’s name is Almighty God has been long ago prophesied in the Bible. Just as the name of Jehovah God changed to the Lord Jesus, God’s name changes along with His work. God’s name has altered, but His substance remains unchanged. God is still God, and this is forever unchanging. Thank God for allowing me to understand this mystery. The sermon preached by the believers of the Church of Almighty God is so good! Therefore, I decided to investigate the way carefully so as not to miss the Lord’s coming again.
After I had attended the meetings several times with the brothers and sisters from the Church of Almighty God, my daughter saw some negative information online about the Church of Almighty God, and started to hinder me from meeting with them. When seeing those negative words, I was weak within, doubting whether Almighty God was the returned Lord Jesus. When I calmed my heart down to reflect on the fellowship in the meetings with the brothers and sisters, I felt that their fellowship was all about the knowledge of God’s work and their achievements after experiencing God’s words, which was quite helpful to me. Additionally, through reading Almighty God’s words, I became certain that they are the truth that God expressed to do the work of judging and purifying man on the basis of the Lord Jesus’ redemption work. Just as the Bible says, “For the time is come that judgment must begin at the house of God” (1 Peter 4:17). It was thus obvious that the way of Almighty God neither goes astray from the Lord’s way nor departs from the Bible. And Romans 10:17 says, “… faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.” Those negative propaganda online didn’t correspond with the preaching I had heard and what I had seen. They were not true. Later, I learned from my brothers and sisters that the book The Way to Know God I had read was the truth most recently expressed by Christ of the last days—Almighty God. No wonder those words explained God’s work and His thoughts and ideas so clearly and so plainly. Indeed, who apart from God Himself could know God’s work and His thoughts so well? After reading so many words of Almighty God, I was confirmed in my heart: Almighty God is exactly the returned Lord Jesus! With this confirmation, I was no longer influenced by those rumors.
One month later, when the pastor and preachers in my original denomination heard that I was investigating Almighty God’s work, they all came to talk with me, and spread to me their notions about God’s work in the last days. They tried to persuade me to deny that Almighty God is theof the Lord Jesus, and to give up investigating the true way. But I didn’t listen to them, for I had been certain about the way of Almighty God. After a meeting of the church council, the pastor, preachers, and leaders of the church asked me to state my position, and said, “If you continue believing in Almighty God, you will not be allowed to have meetings in our church, and other churches will not receive you. You can choose for yourself!” Through reading Almighty God’s words and attending meetings with the brothers and sisters of the Church of Almighty God for over a month, I really had understood many truths and gained some actual knowledge of God. I knew for sure that Almighty God’s words are precisely the personal utterances of the returned Lord. When I accepted God’s work of the last days, I actually has followed the footsteps of God. And I knew that in one’s faith in God he ought to obey God rather than men, and that if one loves all other things more than God, he won’t please God. So I replied to them firmly, “I choose to go on investigating the Church of Almighty God!” And so, I was expelled from my former church.
Afterward, I went to my former church no more. And whenever I was free, I would read Almighty God’s words, and watch the gospel videos and movies on various special topics made by the Church of Almighty God on the Internet. Through watching these videos and movies, and listening to the brothers’ and sisters’ answers to different religious notions, I understood more and more truth, and felt ever more brightened within. I was completely renewed. Thank Almighty God for leading me to follow the footsteps of the Lamb and attend the feast of the Lamb. All the glory be to Almighty God!