Disclose the Mystery of God’s Names—Jehovah and Jesus
One day, Xunguang came to visit her co-worker Wang Li. After they chatted for a while, Xunguang raised a question, “In the age of the Old Testament, God’s name was Jehovah; in the age of the New Testament, God’s name was Jesus. And according to the prophecy in Revelation, ‘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), in the last days, when the Lord comes again He will have a new name. Why does God take different names in different ages?”
Thinking for a short while, Wang Li answered with a smile: “I’ll share a bit of my personal knowledge and understanding on this question.”
She continued: “To understand why God takes different names in different ages, we must first understand why God took on names. Before communicating, let’s first read this passage: ‘You should know that God originally had no name. He only took on one, or two, or many names because He had work to do and had to manage mankind. Whatever name He is called by—did He not freely choose it Himself?’ From these words, we can see that God is the Creator and did not originally have a name, and that He then took on different names in accordance with the needs of His work of saving mankind. Let’s use an example. In Exodus 3:13 it records: ‘And Moses said to God, Behold, when I come to the children of Israel, and shall say to them, The God of your fathers has sent me to you; and they shall say to me, What is his name? what shall I say to them?’ And Exodus 3:15 says: ‘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.’
From these verses we can see: God took the name ‘Jehovah’ when He called Moses to lead the Israelites out of Egypt. It was only after He took this name, which made it convenient for the Israelites to call and pray to Him, that they came to know that the Lord who created the heavens and earth and all things, and who is the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob, was named Jehovah. From then on, God began the work of the Age of Law with the name Jehovah, which means that He started His management plan to save mankind.”
Having heard her words, Xunguang nodded thoughtfully and said: “Oh! Now I see. The name Jehovah taken by God represents God’s work of leading mankind in the Age of Law.”
Wangli continued speaking, “Yeah! The names God has taken in each age are extremely significant. Apart from making it convenient for the Israelites to call and pray to Him, His names also represent the different dispositions He expresses as well as His different work in different ages. In the Age of Law, God took on the name Jehovah, and this name represented God’s disposition of majesty, wrath, curse and mercy, which He expressed to mankind in that age. Just as a passage of words 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; the God who possesses great power and is full of wisdom.’ Then, with the name Jehovah, God began the work of the Age of Law. He promulgated laws and commandments and officially led newborn mankind to live on earth. He required people to strictly comply with the laws, to learn to worship Him, and to respect Him as great. Blessings and grace would follow anyone who upheld the law; anyone who violated the law would be stoned to death or be burned to death by the fire from heaven. So the Israelites under the law strictly abided by it, and revered the name of Jehovah as holy. They lived under the guidance of Jehovah for several thousand years. In the latter period of the Age of Law, as mankind became more and more corrupt and sinful and they were incapable of adhering to the law, they were all in constant danger of being punished for violating the law. Therefore, God performed the next stage of His work—the work of redemption, under the name Jesus. He initiated the Age of Grace, concluding the Age of Law, and expressed God’s compassionate and loving disposition. He also bestowed rich grace upon man, and in the end was crucified for man, thus saving man from Satan’s grip. In the Age of Grace, when the Lord came, if He was not called Jesus, but was called Jehovah, then God’s work would have remained in the Age of Law, and corrupt mankind would have never received God’s redemption; in the end, man would have ended up being condemned and punished for violating the laws. The name Jesus that God took on was to allow the people in the Age of Grace to be born again and gain salvation. It represents God’s work of redemption as well as His disposition of mercy and love. All those who prayed in the name of Jesus were the ones who kept up with God’s new work and who lived in the Age of Grace, while those who still prayed in the name of Jehovah were people who remained in the old age and did not gain the Lord Jesus’ salvation. At that time, people who had caught up with God’s new work started praying in the name of Jesus, holding His name as holy, receiving redemption from God and enjoying His rich grace. With this new work carried out by God, God’s management plan to save mankind was able to continue moving forward.”
Saying this, Wang Li opened a mobile app, and then handed the phone to Xunguang and said: “Xunguang, read this passage.”
Xunguang took it and read: “The work that Jesus did represented the name of Jesus, and it represented the Age of Grace; as for the work done by Jehovah, it represented Jehovah, and it represented the Age of Law. Their work was the work of one Spirit in two different ages. … Although They were called by two different names, it was the same Spirit that accomplished both stages of work, and the work that was done was continuous. As the name was different, and the content of the work was different, the age was different. When Jehovah came, that was the age of Jehovah, and when Jesus came, that was the age of Jesus. And so, with each coming, God is called by one name, He represents one age, and He launches a new path; and on each new path, He assumes a new name, which shows that God is always new and never old, and that His work never ceases to progress in a forward direction. History is always moving forward, and the work of God is always moving forward. For His six-thousand-year management plan to reach its end, it must keep progressing in a forward direction. Each day He must do new work, each year He must do new work; He must launch new paths, launch new eras, begin new and greater work, and along with these, bring new names and new work.”
Then Wang Li fellowshiped: “We can see from this passage that God is the wise, almighty Master. He is great, He is abundant, and He is all-encompassing. Any one particular name cannot possibly express the entire disposition of God. In each age, God has only done a part of His work, and He has only revealed part of His disposition. God has not expressed all that He has and is. So, He takes on a different name each time He carries out a new stage of work. There is one name for every age, and each name represents a portion of His work and a portion of His disposition. By continuously carrying out new work and adopting new names, God reveals to man His almightiness, wisdom, and His wondrousness and unfathomableness, so that we see that He is not only Jehovah, the God who promulgated the laws to guide people’s lives and who can have mercy on people and curse people, but that He is also the Lord Jesus—the Redeemer, who is full of love and mercy. God’s work and His names are closely related. When God begins working under a new name and people accept this new name, this is keeping pace with His work; if people don’t accept His new name, then they are opponents and traitors of God. In the age of Grace, those disciples who accepted God’s new work and followed the Lord Jesus were not departing from the true way nor betraying Jehovah God. In fact, they were keeping up with God’s footsteps, and were the ones faithful to God, while the Pharisees, who thought themselves to be faithful to Jehovah God, and insisted on Jehovah’s name alone, rejected the Lord Jesus. As a result, their ‘loyalty’ did not meet with Jehovah God’s approval, but rather quite the opposite: They became targets of God’s curse and punishment. Therefore, only by accepting God’s new name and keeping pace with the footsteps of God’s work can one gain God’s salvation.
“It’s the same in the last days. Though we humans have been redeemed by the Lord Jesus, we still live in sin and have not been cleansed; therefore, in the last days, God has taken on a new name based on the needs of His work and has performed another stage of work—purifying and saving mankind. About the new name, there is a clear prophecy in Revelation, which says: ‘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). This name represents God’s work of purification as well as the disposition God has expressed in the last days. All those who pray in His new name keep pace with God’s new work, while all those who still pray in the name of Jesus remain in the old age.
“Now, all those who have kept pace with God’s new work are praying in the new name of God, and are receiving God’s purification and salvation. And at the time when they are thoroughly purified by God, which is also the day when God’s work of salvation (that is, God’s management plan) concludes, the names God has taken for His work on earth will also end accordingly. Just as this passage says: ‘The day will arrive when God is not called Jehovah, Jesus, or Messiah—He will simply be the Creator. At that time, all the names that He has taken on earth shall come to an end, for His work on earth will have come to an end, after which His names shall be no more. When all things come under the dominion of the Creator, what need has He of a highly appropriate yet incomplete name?’ When God’s management plan concludes, He will no longer be called Jehovah, or Jesus, or the Almighty, but will be called God Himself; He will be called the Lord of Creation. This is the most suitable name for people to call God.”
Hearing this, Xunguang felt clear of mind and sight, and said: “Thank God! After listening to your fellowship, I feel enlightened in my heart. I know the meaning of God taking on different names in different ages. It seems that our faith in God cannot only hold on to a single name of God. Rather, we should accept God’s new name when He does new work.”