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What Are the Names of God and the Meaning of Them?
By Zheng Youming
There are many verses in the Bible about God’s names. The names God takes all hold significance. Let’s see God’s names in the Old Testament:
Jehovah: Exodus 3:15 states, “And God said moreover to Moses, Thus shall you say to the children of Israel, Jehovah, the God of your fathers, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob, has sent me to you: this is my name for ever, and this is my memorial to all generations.”
Jealous: Exodus 34:14 states, “For you shall worship no other god: for Jehovah, whose name is Jealous, is a jealous God.”
God used to be called Jehovah. He is our shepherd, and He is Jehovahnissi. What was recorded in the Old Testament was that God used the name Jehovah to do the work of guiding man through the Old Testament era.
God’s names in the New Testament:
Jesus: Matthew 1:21 states, “And she shall bring forth a son, and you shall call his name JESUS: for he shall save his people from their sins.”
Emmanuel: Matthew 1:23 states, “Behold, a virgin shall be with child, and shall bring forth a son, and they shall call his name Emmanuel, which being interpreted is, God with us.”
It was recorded in the New Testament thatwas Jesus, and the name of Jehovah was no longer mentioned. At last the name Jesus spread to the ends of the earth. It’s not difficult to see from the Bible that God’s name was Jehovah in the Old Testament, and Jesus in the New Testament. Why does God take on different names? What do these names mean? And what are the significances of them? I was really curious about God’s names, but didn’t know the mysteries contained within all along.
1. What Does the Name Jehovah Mean?
One day, by chance I saw some words in a book. It says, “‘Jehovah’ is the name that I took during My work in Israel, and it means the God of the Israelites (God’s chosen people) who can take pity on man, curse man, and guide the life of man. It means the God who possesses great power and is full of wisdom. … That is to say, only Jehovah is the God of the chosen people of Israel, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, the God of Jacob, the God of Moses, and the God of all the people of Israel. And so in the current age, all the Israelites apart from the tribe of Judah worship Jehovah. They make sacrifices to Him on the altar, and serve Him wearing priests’ robes in the temple. What they hope for is the reappearance of Jehovah. … The name Jehovah is a particular name for the people of Israel who lived under the law. In each age and each stage of work, My name is not baseless, but holds representative significance: Each name represents one age. ‘Jehovah’ represents the Age of Law, and is the honorific for the God worshiped by the people of Israel.” This paragraph makes it clear to us that although the Old Testament records many names of God, only the name Jehovah can represent the work of that age. There is only one name for each age. Each name represents one stage of work and one part of God’s disposition. The name Jehovah was God’s name which was personally testified to by God when He called Moses to lead the people of Israel out of Egypt, and is also a particular name for God in the Old Testament Age of Law. That is to say, the name Jehovah was taken for God’s work and saving His chosen people. From then on, God began the work of the Age of Law under the name Jehovah, decreeing laws and commandments to lead the newborn mankind to live on earth, requiring man to strictly abide by the laws, learn to worship God and honor God as great. Those who abided by the laws of Jehovah received His blessings and grace while those who violated the laws were stoned to death or burnt by the fire from heaven. Therefore, the Israelites under the law strictly abided by the laws, honored Jehovah’s name as holy, and lived for several thousand years under the leadership of Jehovah, right up until the work of the Age of Law concluded. The name Jehovah represents God’s disposition expressed toward man in that age—majesty, wrath, curse and mercy. The words in this book are wonderful, which solved my years of confusion right away. It turns out that there are so many mysteries about God’s name. God is so wise. Then why did God take the name Jesus in the New Testament? What is the representative significance of the name Jesus? I continued to seek.
2. What Does the Name Jesus Mean?
At the mention of Jesus, we know it is God’s name witnessed by the angel personally sent by God. Just as Matthew 1:21 says, “And she shall bring forth a son, and you shall call his name JESUS: for he shall save his people from their sins.” Matthew 1:23 says, “Behold, a virgin shall be with child, and shall bring forth a son, and they shall call his name Emmanuel, which being interpreted is, God with us.” Philippians 2:9-11 says, “Why God also has highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name: That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth; And that every tongue should confess thatis Lord, to the glory of God the Father.” I continued consulting in that book and found it also mentioned the representative significance of the name Jesus, “‘Jesus’ is Emmanuel, and it means the sin offering that is full of love, full of compassion, and redeems man. He did the work of the Age of Grace, and represents the Age of Grace, and can only represent one part of the management plan. … ‘Jesus’ represents the Age of Grace, and is the name of the God of all those who were redeemed during the Age of Grace. If man still longs for the arrival of Jesus the Savior during the last days, and still expects Him to arrive in the image He bore in Judea, then the entire six-thousand-year management plan would stop in the Age of Redemption, and would be incapable of progressing any further. The last days, furthermore, would never arrive, and the age would never be brought to an end. That is because Jesus the Savior is only for the redemption and salvation of mankind. I took the name of Jesus for the sake of all the sinners in the Age of Grace, and it is not the name by which I shall bring the whole of mankind to an end.” It turns out that Jesus is the name of the God of all those who were redeemed during the Age of Grace, and it represents the sin offering that is full of love, full of compassion, and redeems man. In the Age of Grace, all people honored the name of Jesus as a holy name. We prayed in the name of Jesus throughout the entire age. As long as we prayed in the name of the Lord Jesus, our illnesses would be cured and all our sins would be forgiven, and meanwhile, we could enjoy bountiful grace of God. God used the name Jesus to initiate the Age of Grace, put an end to the Age of Law and express His disposition of love and mercy. Jesus is the Lord God’s name which is above every name. It’s a testimony of God’s glory, a proof of our being saved by grace and the name God bestowed upon us to rely on to defeat Satan!
From God’s two stages of work in the Old Testament and New Testament, we can see that in each age, the name that God takes is not baseless, but holds a representative significance and depends on the needs of God’s work. In each age, God took different names to represent His work and His disposition in that age. At the same time, His name allows us to clearly see the changes in eras and God’s work. For example, at the end of the Age of Law, people became increasingly corrupt and committed more and more sins, and could not even keep the laws, so they were all faced with the danger of being punished at any time for violating the laws. So in order to save mankind, God did the work of redemption in one stage under the name of Jesus, began the Age of Grace, ended the Age of Law, expressed His compassionate and loving disposition, and bestowed upon mankind abundant grace. At last, He was nailed to the cross for the sake of man and redeemed us mankind from Satan’s grasp. When Jesus came to do a stage of work, God’s name changed. The name Jehovah was not mentioned anymore. God did the work of the entire age under the name of Jesus. If the Lord came to do the work in the Age of Grace under the name of Jehovah, not Jesus, then God’s work would stop at the Age of Law. Then we, corrupt mankind, would be unable to receive God’s salvation. In the end, we would surely be convicted and punished for violating the laws. Likewise, if the Lord comes in the last days and is still called Jesus, we can only be forgiven for our sins but will never be able to be cleansed and saved by God.
It is already the last days now. Acts 1:11 says, “Which also said, You men of Galilee, why stand you gazing up into heaven? this same Jesus, which is taken up from you into heaven, shall so come in like manner as you have seen him go into heaven.” So the Lord Jesus will surely come in the last days. Then will the Lord Jesus still be called Jesus when He returns? The name Jesus represents redemption. Although we have been redeemed by the Lord Jesus and our sins have been forgiven since the Age of Grace, we have not cast off our sinful nature and still sin often despite ourselves. We are not completely obtained by God. Then will the Lord change His name when He returns? Revelation 3:12 states, “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.” Here it mentions “my new name.” Since it is a new name, it means that God has never used it and He will no longer be called Jesus. Then, what will God’s new name be? Let’s look at some prophecies. Revelation 1:8 says, “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 11:16-17 also says, “And the four and twenty elders, which sat before God on their seats, fell on their faces, and worshipped God, Saying, 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.” And Revelation 16:7 states, “And I heard another out of the altar say, Even so, Lord God Almighty, true and righteous are your judgments.” Here “the Almighty” is mentioned in these prophecies. This shows that God’s new name in the last days will be the Almighty, that is, Almighty God. Then what significance will the new name hold?
I continued reading this book to seek the answer and then I saw these words, “I was once known as Jehovah. I was also called the Messiah, and people once called Me Jesus the Savior because they loved and respected Me. But today I am not the Jehovah or Jesus that people knew in times past—I am the God who has returned in the last days, the God who shall bring the age to an end. I am the God Himself that rises up at the ends of the earth, replete with My entire disposition, and full of authority, honor and glory. … Eventually, all nations shall be blessed because of My words, and also smashed to pieces because of My words. In this way, all people during the last days shall see that I am the Savior returned, I am the Almighty God that conquers all of mankind, and I was once the sin offering for man, but in the last days I also become the flames of the sun that burn all things, as well as the Sun of righteousness that reveals all things. Such is My work of the last days. I took this name and am possessed of this disposition so that all people may see that I am a righteous God, and am the burning sun, and the flaming fire. It is so that all may worship Me, the only true God, and so that they may see My true face: I am not only the God of the Israelites, and am not just the Redeemer—I am the God of all creatures throughout heavens and earth and seas.” “Therefore, during the Age of Law Jehovah was the name of God, and in the Age of Grace the name of Jesus represented God. During the last days, His name is Almighty God—the Almighty, who uses His power to guide man, conquer man, and gain man, and in the end, bring the age to its close.”
These words are full of authority and majesty, which make me feel God’s righteous and majestic disposition. Now I know that in the last days, God will thoroughly gain man and end the age under the name of Almighty God. I couldn’t help but think of the prophecies in the Bible, “For the time is come that judgment must begin at the house of God” (1 Peter 4:17). “He that rejects me, and receives not my words, has one that judges him: the word that I have spoken, the same shall judge him in the last day” (John 12:48). From this, it can be seen that God will come again in the last days to do the work of judgment and chastisement. He will thoroughly cleanse and change our sinful nature, so that we’ll attain salvation and be perfected to enter God’s kingdom. This shows that accepting the name Almighty God is the only way for us to follow God’s work and attain His salvation in the last days.
You may also be interested in reading more on our Names of God page, or in the selected articles below:
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