Why Was God Called “Jehovah” and Then “Jesus”?
When I was small, I went with my grandmother to gatherings at church. Our neighbors would also come to our home often to tell me stories from, and they told me that was Jehovah, and that I could call on the name Jehovah God whenever I had a problem. In my childish ignorance, I therefore became aware that God’s name was Jehovah. My kindergarten was a Christian school, and the teacher there said that God’s name was Jesus, and she told us that we could pray to the name of the whenever we had any problem. At that point, I thought to myself: Is God’s name not Jehovah? How come He is now called Jesus? What’s the connection between Jehovah and Jesus? As I grew up, I read in the Old Testament: “Jehovah is My name for ever, and this is My memorial to all generations” (Exodus 3:15). However, the New Testament records, “Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved” (Acts 4:12). I therefore felt perplexed and thought: The Old Testament says that we must hold to the name Jehovah God forever, so why then does it say in the New Testament that we can only be saved through the name of the Lord Jesus? I felt very confused and didn’t know whether to pray to the name Jehovah God or to the name of the Lord Jesus when I said my prayers. After this period of confusion, I decided that I would pray to the name Jehovah God first, and then I would thank the Lord Jesus for the grace He bestowed on me, and finally I would ask the Holy Spirit to guide me. I thought: If I use all these names in my prayers, then at least one of them will be right. After a while of doing this, however, I still felt confused. I thought: There is only one God, so why was God’s name Jehovah one minute and Jesus the next? Which one is God’s true name?
The Significance of God Taking the Names Jehovah and Jesus
Time flew by, and soon I was starting college. One day, I was just reading a post online that one of my friends had made when Sister Si Jie from Hong Kong, seeing that I had “liked” some posts about belief in the Lord, added me as a friend. After that, I often chatted with Sister Si Jie about matters of faith, and we both talked of the things we came across in our daily lives. Soon after, Sister Si Jie invited me to attend one of her church’s gatherings, and I quickly said I would. After a few of these gatherings, I felt that the sister’s fellowships were very practical. She began talking about Genesis and talked about how God created everything in heaven and on earth, as well as mankind, in the very beginning, how mankind had developed all the way up till today, and she also talked about some prophecies concerning the Lord’s return, and so on. She allowed me to gain some new understanding ofand my spirit felt supplied—I felt that there was little this sister did not understand.
At one gathering, I raised the issue with the sister that had perplexed me for such a long time, and said, “There is only one God, so why is God’s name recorded in the Old Testament as Jehovah, and recorded in the New Testament as the Lord Jesus? Which name should I be calling on when I pray?”
Sister Huang, who was also in attendance at the gathering, gave fellowship and said, “Brother, there is a mystery within the name of God. We who believe in the Lord all know that God’s name is recorded in the Old Testament as Jehovah and that it is recorded as the Lord Jesus in the New Testament. No one, however, can understand why the Bible would record God as having different names. Only God Himself can explain this mystery. Let me read to you some passages of God’s words and then you’ll understand.”
The sister read: “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 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.
“‘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. ‘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. … Only Jesus is the Redeemer of mankind. He is the sin offering that redeemed mankind from sin. Which is to say, the name of Jesus came from the Age of Grace, and existed because of the work of redemption in the Age of Grace. The name of Jesus existed to allow the people of the Age of Grace to be reborn and saved, and is a particular name for the redemption of the whole of mankind. And so the name Jesus represents the work of redemption, and denotes the Age of Grace. 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. ‘Jesus’ represents the Age of Grace, and is the name of the God of all those who were redeemed during the Age of Grace.”
Sister Huang continued her fellowship, saying, “We understand from God’s words that God uses different names to change the age. ‘Jehovah’ and ‘Jesus’ were the names God took during the Age of Law and the Age of Grace respectively, and they both hold representative significance. In the Age of Law, God took the name ‘Jehovah,’ and this name represented the disposition He expressed to man during that age, that of majesty, wrath, cursing and mercy. The people of that time did not know how to live on earth, much less how to worship God. They were also capable of doing bad things, such as murder and theft, and so on. Therefore, God used Moses to proclaim His law in order to lead mankind; those who kept the law were able to gain God’s blessings, but those who violated the law had to make sacrifices to atone for their sins, or else they were burned or stoned to death. All the Israelites who lived under the law knew that Jehovah was a merciful God, but also that He was a God who could curse people. Therefore, it was most appropriate for God to use the name ‘Jehovah’ to launch the work of the Age of Law. At the end of the Age of Law, however, people gradually became unable to keep the law, and they were all faced with the danger of being condemned and put to death for offending the law. In order to save man, God became flesh and took the name ‘Jesus’ to launch the work of the Age of Grace, and to express His disposition of mercy and lovingkindness. The Lord Jesus bestowed abundant grace on man, He healed the sick and cast out demons, and finally He allowed His sinless flesh to be nailed to the cross, thus accomplishing the work to redeem all mankind. After that, whenever someone sinned, they had only to confess and repent their sins to the Lord Jesus, and their sins could then be forgiven. The name ‘the Lord Jesus’ subsequently became known to all, and both adults and children alike began to call on the name ‘the Lord Jesus,’ whereas the name ‘Jehovah’ was no longer mentioned. We can see from the two stages of God’s past work that the names God took represented the work He performed during those ages, as well as the dispositions He expressed.”
Listening to the sister’s fellowship about the significance of God’s name, I felt it to be something fresh and new and my heart filled with light. The reason why God took the name “Jehovah” or “Jesus” was because of the needs of His work. Whichever age God was working in determined the name of God that people would call on—this was such a mystery. I began to be interested in the sister’s fellowship, and I continued to listen in earnest.
The Significance of God Taking the Name “Almighty God” in
The sister then went on with her fellowship, saying, “When we were redeemed by the Lord Jesus, although our sins were forgiven, our sinful nature still remained within us. We are therefore still able to sin frequently, and we have not been gained entirely by God. In order to save us utterly from sin, in the last days God performs a stage of work upon the foundation of the Lord Jesus’ work of redemption, that of utterly purifying and saving man. God’s name has also changed along with His work, and the name He has now taken is ‘Almighty God.’”
When I heard the name “Almighty God,” I didn’t think much about it. Because Sister Huang’s fellowship had allowed me to understand the significance of the names taken by God in the previous two ages, I really wanted to know the significance of God taking the name “Almighty God” in the last days, and so I immediately asked her to go on with her fellowship.
Sister Si Jie then said, “There are in fact prophecies in the Bible made long ago that concern God being called ‘Almighty God’ in the last days, and we only need to look carefully in order to find it.” The sister directed me toward the Book of Revelation: “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). “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” (Revelation 11:16–17).
After reading these verses, I became utterly convinced. As it turns out, the Book of Revelation long ago prophesied what God’s new name would be, so why didn’t I ever notice it? These verses refer to God’s new name and the Almighty respectively. In other words, that the Lord will take a new name when He returns was predestined long ago, and the Lord will take the name “Almighty God” to launch His work. But at that point, I still didn’t know what the significance of God being called “Almighty God” in the last days was.
Sister Si Jie gave fellowship, saying, “There is a significance to God taking the name ‘Almighty God’ in the last days. Let’s read another passage of God’s words, and then we’ll understand better. God says, ‘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. 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. … 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.’
“We can see from God’s words that, in the last days, God’s name is no longer Jehovah, and it is no longer Jesus, but is Almighty God who possesses great power. With the name Almighty God, God performs the work of judging and purifying with words, He exposes man’s inner satanic corrupt dispositions and corrupt essence and, through the judgment and chastisement of His words, He allows us to know the factual truth of our corruption by Satan and our nature and essence. At the same time, we also come to know God’s righteous and inviolable disposition, and within us there then arises a heart which reveres God. When those who love the truth accept God’s judgment and are purified, God then begins the work of separating each to their own kind and of rewarding the good and punishing the wicked. Those who have been purified by God will be left over amidst the disasters and will be led into God’s kingdom. Those who hate the truth and who resist God, however, will become embroiled in the disasters and punished. This is how God’s six-thousand-year management plan will come to an end. In the end, God will show all mankind that not only can He guide man’s life and be a sin offering for man, but that He can also purify and change man—God is the First, He is the Last, and no one can fathom His wondrousness or His deeds. Calling God ‘Almighty God’ in the last days is therefore most appropriate. Though God’s name has changed, the God we believe in is still one God.”
To enable me to understand more easily, Sister Huang gave me a metaphor: “Say there is a man who used to be a teacher, and everyone used to call him ‘teacher.’ If he then became a doctor, then everyone would call him ‘doctor.’ If he went into business and became a successful manager, then everyone would call him ‘the manager.’ Although this man is given different titles, he is still the same man. Similarly, no matter how many names God has, His essence does not change, and He is still one God. Because God takes different names in different ages, however, we should pray to the name God has taken in this current age, for only by doing that will we be able to obtain. When the Lord Jesus came to perform His work, for example, only by praying in the name of the Lord Jesus could people obtain God’s guidance. We are now in the last days and God has begun His new work of the Age of Kingdom. The work of the Holy Spirit has moved to the work of Almighty God, and so only by praying to Almighty God can we obtain the work of the Holy Spirit and the enlightenment and illumination of God. If we do not do this, we will fall into darkness and find that we have nowhere to turn.”
After listening to the sister’s fellowship, I came to understand the significance of God taking the name Almighty God in the last days. I also marveled at the power of Almighty God’s words, that they could so clearly explain the significance of the names God takes in each age. Who else could have spoken these words except God? I therefore decided to investigate Almighty God’s work of the last days.
Why Must God Take a Name?
At a gathering, we fellowshiped again about the truth of God’s name, and a sister gave fellowship: “God had no name in the beginning. It was only because God wanted to save mankind that He took a name. For example, it says in Exodus 3:13 and 3:15: ‘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 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.’ At that time, God wanted to use Moses to lead the Israelites out of Egypt, and that is the only reason He took the name Jehovah. When God’s work of managing mankind comes to an end, God will no longer use such an appropriate yet incomplete name to represent Himself. God’s name will not be Jehovah, it will not be Jesus, and He will no longer be called Almighty God. Instead, He will be called God Himself—He who possesses great power and great authority—that is, He will be called ‘the Creator.’ Just assays, ‘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.’”
After listening to the sister’s fellowship, I became totally clear on why God takes a name. Afterward, whenever I had the time, I would read the words of Almighty God and watch the gospel movies and sketches produced by The Church of Almighty God. God’s words revealed to me such mysteries as God’s three stages of work, the incarnation and how God comes to perform the work of judgment. I perceived the authority and power of God’s words, and I felt that only God could express the truth and reveal such mysteries. After some time, I came to be certain that Almighty God is the Lord Jesus returned, and I gladly accepted God’s work of the last days. From then on, I began to pray to the name of Almighty God, and I often attended gatherings online and read God’s words with my brothers and sisters, and my spirit felt very supplied. Thanks be to God for bringing me back into His family.
Read more on our Names of God page, or click on the related articles below.
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