I listened and felt her fellowshiping was well-founded, then I said, “In the past, the elders often said, ‘The heavenly Father is called Jehovah and His beloved son is called Jesus. They are one God.’ At that time, I couldn’t understand why Jehovah and Jesus have different names since they are one God. Now I know God’s work of saving mankind changed and that the ages changed too, sochanged correspondingly. This is really profound. But why does say, ‘Jesus the same yesterday, and today, and forever’ (Hebrews 13:8). Why is that?”
The other sister answered, “Although this verse says God is immutable, it doesn’t mean that God’s name is immutable. We can learn from God’s words above that His name is applicable only to the present age and that it won’t last forever. The ‘forever’ mentioned here means God’s disposition and God’s substance are immutable. Let’s see what Almighty God says.
Almighty God says, ‘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. If you say that the work of God always stays the same, then would He be able to finish His six-thousand-year management plan? You merely know that God is forever unchanging, but do you know that God is always new and never old? If the work of God never changed, then could He have brought mankind to today? If God is immutable, then why is it that He has already done the work of two ages? … and the words ‘God is immutable’ are in regard to what God inherently has and is. Regardless, you cannot define the six-thousand-year work in one point, or portray it with mere static words. Such is the stupidity of man. God is not as simple as man imagines, and His work cannot stop in one age’ (‘The Vision of God’s Work (3)’).”
After reading, she went on fellowshiping, “From Almighty God’s words we can see that God’s immutability refers to the immutability of His substance. Although in different ages God has different names and reveals different dispositions, His substance and original disposition doesn’t change. For instance, God’s main disposition in the Age of Law was manifested in burning and cursing, and in the Age of Grace it was mercy and compassion. But God’s original disposition of compassion and mercy, majesty and wrath, righteousness and holiness remains forever unchanged. So does what God has and is, such as His wisdom, humility, hiddenness, and so on. Moreover, of saving mankind never changes. There is always the same God doing the work of salvation.”
The other sister said, “Yes, if we think that God’s name is immutable based on our notions and imaginings, we will easily create parameters for God. Just as when thecame to do His work, the Jewish Pharisees didn’t know Him, nor did they know that God’s name would change with the age and His work. So, for generations, they clung to the verse for generations ‘Jehovah … is my name for ever, and this is my memorial to all generations’ (Exodus 3:15). They thought only Jehovah was their Savior, was their God. So when God did His work of redemption with the name Jesus, they searched for every flaw with the Lord Jesus, thus condemning and resisting Him. And then they nailed Him onto the cross and thus committed a heinous crime. If we, like them, hold onto the opinion that God’s name can never change, aren’t we following in their footsteps? This way, we’ll resist God easily.”
After listening to the sisters’ fellowshiping, my heart was much brighter but I also felt very sad. I’d always believed that God’s name is immutable, but in fact I’d known nothing about what that immutability meant. Today, their fellowshiping really made this question clear. Only through their fellowshiping and God’s words, did I realize that this verse doesn’t mean that God’s name is immutable but refers to the immutability of God’s substance, God’s righteous disposition, and what God has and is. All along, I’d been clinging to the name of the Lord and refused to listen to the brothers and sisters who preached the gospel of Almighty God. I had unwittingly made myself one who abandoned the Lord. Then I asked again, “Through your fellowshiping, I understand that when God starts to do His new work, His name will change accordingly. And His name represents His work and disposition in each age. Please fellowship in detail what work God is doing with the name Almighty God and what disposition this name represents.”
She replied, “Thank God. This directly involves the crucial matter of whether we can be saved by God. Let’s continue to search Almighty God’s words for the answer.
Almighty God says, ‘In His final work of concluding the age, God’s disposition is one of chastisement and judgment, which reveals all that is unrighteous, publicly judges all peoples, and perfects those who truly love Him. Only a disposition such as this can bring the age to an end.have already arrived. All things will be classed according to their kind, and will be divided into different categories based on their nature. This is the time when God reveals people’s outcome and their destination. If people do not undergo chastisement and judgment, then there will be no way of revealing their disobedience and unrighteousness. Only through chastisement and judgment can the end of all things be revealed. Man only shows his true colors when he is chastised and judged. Evil shall return to evil, good shall return to good, and people shall be classified according to their kind. Through chastisement and judgment, the end of all things will be revealed, so that the evil will be punished and the good will be rewarded, and all people will become subject under the dominion of God. All the work must be achieved through righteous chastisement and judgment. Because man’s corruption has reached its peak and his disobedience has been too serious, only God’s righteous disposition, which is principally one of chastisement and judgment and is revealed during the last days, can fully transform and complete man. Only this disposition can expose evil and thus severely punish all the unrighteous. Therefore, a disposition such as this possesses the significance of the age, and the revelation and exhibition of His disposition is for the sake of the work of each new age. God does not reveal His disposition arbitrarily and without significance’ (‘The Vision of God’s Work (3)’). ‘People have never engaged with Me, have never known Me, and have always been ignorant of My disposition. From the creation of the world until today, not one person has seen Me. This is the God who appears to man during the last days but is hidden among man. He resides among man, true and real, like the burning sun and the flaming fire, filled with power and brimming with authority. There is not a single person or thing that shall not be judged by My words, and not a single person or thing that shall not be purified through the burning of fire. 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’ (‘The Savior Has Already Returned Upon a “White Cloud”’).
From Almighty God’s words we can understand that in the last days, the Lord Jesus has returned to flesh with the name Almighty God. He has His righteous and majestic disposition that tolerates no offense, and has started His work of judgment and chastisement. He uses words of judgment and chastisement to reveal and dissect mankind’s satanic nature, one that resists God, hates the truth, and makes us an enemy of God. All those who can accept and obey God’s judgment and chastisement come to know their own corrupted nature, their selfishness and baseness, arrogance and conceit, as well as God’s holiness and righteousness. They see God’s goodness, faithfulness, humbleness and loveliness, thus reaching a state of hating themselves and then forsaking themselves so as to gradually shake off their deep-rooted sinful nature and live by God’s words. This is one of the effects that Almighty God’s work of judgment and chastisement will achieve in the last days. Meanwhile, through God’s judgment and chastisement, the true believers and false believers, the tares and wheat, goats and sheep, the servants of good and evil are all revealed. When God’s work comes to an end, He will group everyone according to their kind and complete His work of rewarding the good and punishing the evil. In the last days, only Almighty God’s righteous disposition, which is principally one of chastisement and judgment, can thoroughly purify and transform people, conclude the old age, reward the good and punish the evil, and take mankind to a wonderful destination. Therefore, God takes the name Almighty God in the final age—this is determined by the righteous disposition of God and the work He carries out in the last days.”
I said, “Now I understand. In a new age, God changes His name and expresses His righteous and majestic disposition. Only in this way can God do the work of judging and purifying us and rewarding the good and punishing the wicked. Thinking back to my past, I often lived sinfully and couldn’t obey the Lord’s way. But if I continue to stick to the name Jesus instead of accepting Almighty God, and keep believing that God is love and mercy and has forgiven my sins, I will never get rid of my sinful nature and attain sanctity. Almighty God’s words really carry authority and power, and brim with His righteous disposition that tolerates no offense. Now I truly understand that changing Jesus’ name to Almighty God is to save mankind and is what corrupted mankind most needs.”
The other sister said, “That’s right. We can learn from God’s work that no matter how God works, it is all for the sake of mankind. Let’s read another passage of Almighty God’s words.”
I said gladly, “Let me read it.” She opened the book and then handed it to me.
Almighty God said, “The day will arrive when God is not called Jehovah, Jesus, or the Messiah—He will simply be called the Creator. At that time, all the names that He took on earth shall come to an end, for His work on earth will have come to an end, after which He shall have no name. When all things come under the dominion of the Creator, why call Him by a highly appropriate yet incomplete name? Do you still seek God’s name now? Do you still dare to say that God is only called Jehovah? Do you still dare to say that God can only be called Jesus? Can you bear the sin of blasphemy against God? ” (“The Vision of God’s Work (3)”).
At the mention of overcomers, we will think of the prophecies in the Book of Revelation, “And I looked, and, see, a Lamb stood on the mount Sion, and with him an hundred forty and four thousand, having his Father’s name written in their foreheads” (Revelation 14:1), “These are they which came out of great tribulation, and have washed their robes, and made them white in the blood of the Lamb” (Revelation 7:14). Here, the 144,000 prophesied in the scripture are the overcomers whom God wishes to make. They are the ones who stand testimony during the great tribulation, and who are approved by God and qualified to enter the kingdom of heaven. Becoming an overcomer is something that every believer in the Lord longs for, and it is the goal we seek. Many brothers and sisters believe this: We’ve followed the Lord for many years, during which we’ve toiled, given things up, expended ourselves, preached the gospel and shepherded the church and, throughout this time, we have suffered mockery and slander from worldly people and the misunderstanding of our relatives; and despite being persecuted and arrested by our own government, we never retreat. As long as we follow the Lord in this way to the end, we will be the overcomers.
Actually, our faith and will to suffer hardships are admirable, but is the viewpoint “As long as we keep the Lord’s name, give up everything, expend ourselves, and work hard for the Lord, we will become overcomers in the end,” really right, according to our understanding? To answer this question, we should look at what God’s words say. It is prophesied in the Book of Revelation, “These are they which were not defiled with women; for they are virgins. These are they which follow the Lamb wherever he goes. These were redeemed from among men, being the first fruits to God and to the Lamb. And in their mouth was found no guile: for they are without fault before the throne of God” (Revelation 14:4-5), “These are they which came out of great tribulation, and have washed their robes, and made them white in the blood of the Lamb” (Revelation 7:14). God’s words say, “Those who God refers to as overcomers are those who are still able to stand witness, maintain their confidence, and their devotion to God when under the influence of Satan and under siege by Satan, that is, when within the forces of darkness. If you are still able to maintain a heart of purity and your genuine love for God no matter what, you stand witness in front of God, and this is what God refers to as being an overcomer.” “Those who are made complete before the disaster are obedient to God. They live reliant on Christ, witness Christ, and exalt Him. They are the victorious male children and the good soldiers of Christ.” From these prophecies and God’s words, we can know that the true overcomers are those who speak no lies and harbor no treachery in their hearts, and whose corrupt dispositions are cleansed. Moreover, they are the ones who closely follow the footsteps of the Lamb, who understand the truth and know God. No matter what Christ says or in what ways He works, they follow and obey Him, exalt God and bear witness to God in all things, and their loyalty to God is absolute and undivided. Faced with the terrible circumstances of Satan’s ruthless persecution, pursuit and capture of people, they are able to continue to put the truth into practice, perform their duty as a creature of God, and obey God unto death, bearing a beautiful and resounding testimony to God. Only by attaining to these criteria can someone be an overcomer in the true sense of the word; it does not just refer to those who toil, give things up and expend themselves for the Lord, and who do not retreat during persecution and tribulations.
At this point, let’s take a look at ourselves: Though we’ve followed the Lord for many years, during which we’ve given up many things and expended ourselves, suffered and paid a price for the Lord, it’s undeniable that we still haven’t escaped our corrupt dispositions and have yet to be cleansed. For example, while we are toiling and working for the Lord, we can often commit sins, disobey and resist God, we do not pay attention to practicing the Lord’s words but do things in accordance with our own whims and desires; sometimes we covet fame, fortune and status, exalt and bear witness to ourselves so that brothers and sisters hold us in high esteem and look up to us, and we bring believers before ourselves; when interacting with others, we are unable to stop ourselves from telling lies and deceiving them in order to protect our personal interests, and when our own fame, fortune and status are involved, we can even go so far as to envy and scheme against our brothers and sisters; our working and suffering are not for loving God and satisfying God, but for obtaining crowns and rewards, so after having done some work and endured some suffering, we flaunt our seniority, self-righteously asking God for a share in the heavenly kingdom in return; when God’s trials come upon us, we can misunderstand and blame God, and even betray Him; when someone bears witness to God’s work of the last days for us, misconceptions can arise in us and we can carelessly judge and condemn His work … We are still capable of committing frequent sins, being controlled and dominated by our sinful natures, and we are capable of resisting God and betraying Him. How can someone like this who has not been changed or purified be called an overcomer?
Then someone may ask, “In the light of our behaviors, it’s true that we do not measure up to the criteria of being an overcomer. So, what exactly do we have to do to become overcomers?” It is said in the Bible, “And I will bring the third part through the fire, and will refine them as silver is refined, and will try them as gold is tried” (Zechariah 13:9). In 1 Peter 4:17 it says, “For the time is come that judgment must begin at the house of God.” God’s words say, “I have previously said that a group of overcomers are gained from the East, overcomers who come from amid the great tribulation. What is the meaning of such words? They mean that these people who have been gained only truly obeyed after undergoing judgment and chastisement, and dealing and pruning, and all kinds of refinement. The belief of such people is not vague and abstract, but real. They have not seen any signs and wonders, or any miracles; they do not speak of abstruse letters and doctrines, or profound insights; instead they have reality, and the words of God, and a true knowledge of the reality of God.”
From God’s words we can know that, the true overcomers are those who have gone through God’s judgment and chastisement, as well as all manner of trials and refinement, and who have some knowledge of God. They also have some knowledge of their own corrupt nature, they have attained true obedience, and no matter what trials or tribulations befall them, they are able to obey God and accept the judgment and chastisement of God’s words and, ultimately, their satanic corrupt dispositions are changed and purified. When Satan’s temptations come to them, they can stand witness for God, overcome Satan’s leaguer and break free of its influence. They then no longer live by their corrupt dispositions, their actions and comportment are all founded on God’s words and they live out the reality of God’s words. Only such people are the true overcomers. When experiencing God’s work, they gradually gain some knowledge of their satanic corrupt nature, such as arrogance and conceitedness, selfishness and baseness, and lying and cheating, and they see the truth of how they have been corrupted to the core by Satan and that they may resist and betray God at any moment. They see that they are living entirely in the image of Satan and that they don’t deserve to live before God. Simultaneously, they also appreciate that God’s disposition does not tolerate any offense, and thus they develop a heart that reveres God and they become able to obey God and live by His words. What’s more, because they understand the truth and know God, they come to have discernment about negative things, and are able to see through Satan’s schemes and stand witness for God when encountering all manner of temptations from Satan. They become the ones who truly love, obey and revere God, their satanic corrupt dispositions are thoroughly purified and changed, and they are completely gained by God—only these people are the ones who reach the criteria of being overcomers. Just like Job, as recorded in the Bible: No matter how cruel the methods Satan adopted to torment Job, be it making him lose a mountain of sheep and cattle as well as his great fortune, having his body covered with sores, using his friends to harass him, or attacking his integrity through his wife, Job didn’t submit to Satan or speak even a word of complaint against God, but instead he said, “Jehovah gave, and Jehovah has taken away; blessed be the name of Jehovah” (Job 1:21), and “shall we receive good at the hand of God, and shall we not receive evil?” (Job 2:10). Faced with these trials, Job could stand witness for God, and follow God’s way of fearing God and shunning evil, and so he was an overcomer who emerged from tribulation and trials. Peter is another example: He followed the Lord Jesus all his life, took Jesus as his example, pursued the supreme love of God and was crucified upside down for God, obedient to God unto death, thus bearing a resounding and beautiful witness. He was also a true overcomer who came through tribulation, a first fruit made complete by God, and one who entered and gained .
The Book of Revelation also prophesies, “Behold, I come quickly: hold that fast which you have, that no man take your crown. 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 3:11-12).
“He that has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches; To him that overcomes will I give to eat of the hidden manna, and will give him a white stone, and in the stone a new name written, which no man knows saving he that receives it” (Revelation 2:17).
“For the Lamb which is in the middle of the throne shall feed them, and shall lead them to living fountains of waters: and God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes” (Revelation 7:17).
From these verses, it is easy to see that perfecting a group of overcomers is the work that the Lord Jesus has come again to perform. So, if we want to become one of those overcomers, we need to accept the second coming of the Lord, follow the footsteps of God and experience the work of judgment and chastisement by His word, for God has personally spoken His utterances to perform the work of purifying and saving us. If we can be the who listen to God’s voice, we’ll then be able to attend the wedding feast of the Lamb and obtain the truth and life from Him. In the end, because we will have experienced God’s work of the last days, we will not only have true knowledge of God, but our corrupt dispositions will also be cleansed to different degrees. Only then will we be, in the true sense, a group of overcomers who have passed through great tribulation.
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