Understanding the Mystery of the Names of God From a Movie
By Kom, India
Editor’s Note: Many Christians believe that God’s name is eternally unchanging and that the only path to salvation is through the name of Jesus. That’s because the Bible says: “Jesus Christ the same yesterday, and to day, and for ever” (Hebrews 13:8). But is God’s name really eternally unchanging? Brother Kom came to understand the true meaning of “the same yesterday, and to day, and for ever” from a movie and was able to welcome the returned Lord Jesus. Let’s take a look at his experience.
- The Church Grows Desolate—Where Is the Lord?
- A Movie Provides a Turning Point
- Understanding the True Meaning of “the Same Yesterday, and To Day, and For Ever”
- The Significance of God’s Names
- The Book of Revelation Prophesied That God Would Have a New Name
- Accepting God’s New Name and Welcoming the Lord’s Return
The Church Grows Desolate—Where Is the Lord?
I was born into a Christian family, and from when I was little my family told me that the Lord Jesus was the one true God, and only by upholding the name of the Lord Jesus could we be saved. When I grew up they sent me to divinity school, and our pastor would often tell us, “Jesus Christ is our Savior. The Lord is honest and true and His name will never change. That’s because it says in the Bible ‘Jesus Christ the same yesterday, and to day, and for ever’ (Hebrews 13:8). So we have to uphold the name of the Lord Jesus at all times.” These words even further solidified my faith in the Lord and prompted me to enthusiastically expend myself for the Lord so that when He came I would be taken up into the kingdom of heaven.
I was assigned to shepherd believers in a small town in April 2016 after graduating from divinity school. But attendance at services was pathetically low, usually just 10 to 15 people, and some believers stopped coming altogether when the church wasn’t handing anything out for them. The church manager saw that offerings were diminishing and weren’t enough to cover the money that needed to be put into the church, so he started making loans with interest to believers. When they weren’t able to repay the loans with interest, the financial officer would pick fights with them and then they were even less willing to attend services.
In an effort to revitalize the church I started spreading the gospel of the Lord to the local people. I made home visits to believers and had meetings with them. I would also fast and pray two or three times a week, asking the Lord to guide me so that I would have progress in my work. But no matter how hard I worked, believers stayed busy with household tasks and only came to church occasionally. Seeing the church in such a desolate state left me sleepless on many nights—my heart felt weak and my faith diminished more and more. I then redoubled my efforts in prayer, Scripture reading, and fasting, plus I downloaded and watched some gospel films, but I still couldn’t feel the work of the Holy Spirit. I still felt spiritually empty and in darkness. In my pain, I cried out to the Lord: “Oh Lord! It says in the Bible that as long as we ask in Your name, You will give it to us, but the church is growing more and more desolate. I’ve been praying in Your name so why can’t I feel Your presence? Lord, where are You?”
A Movie Provides a Turning Point
One day in August 2018 I found a movie on YouTube called Disclose the Mystery About the Bible. It explained the mystery behind the Bible so clearly and I finally understood that the Bible isn’t entirely composed of God’s words, that there are human beings’ words as well. In the Bible, only Jehovah God’s words, the Lord Jesus’ words, things communicated through prophets, and what God revealed to John in the Book of Revelation are the words of God, but people’s memoirs plus the things said by the Lord Jesus’ disciples and apostles are all just human words. Human words cannot be placed on par with God’s words. On top of that, not all of God’s words are in the Bible—His words included in the Bible are just the tip of the iceberg. Just as it says in the Gospel of John 21:25, “And there are also many other things which Jesus did, the which, if they should be written every one, I suppose that even the world itself could not contain the books that should be written.” I also saw that the people sharing the gospel in that film read the content of that book with great skill and authority; it gave me a new understanding of the Bible and really lit up my heart. But what I couldn’t comprehend was where those words had come from. They weren’t in the Bible! I downloaded the video and watched it three more times, and the more I watched it the more I liked it. The fellowship was totally in line with the Bible. I found out that it had been created by a group called “Eastern Lightning.” It piqued my interest in other films by Eastern Lightning.
After that I kept searching for Eastern Lightning films and stumbled across one called God’s Name Has Changed?! The title really drew me in so I downloaded and watched it right away. About halfway through it said that when God comes in the last days He won’t be called Jesus but will have a new name—this was quite a shock to me, and I thought, “No, that can’t be true! The Bible very clearly states ‘Jesus Christ the same yesterday, and to day, and for ever’ (Hebrews 13:8). How could God’s name change? For the last two millennia every believer in the Lord has been praying and working in the name of the Lord Jesus. That has never changed. How could Eastern Lightning say that God’s name has changed?” But then I thought about that movie Disclose the Mystery About the Bible—at first I had the same perspective as the main character, Sister Feng, but finally I found out that all the fellowship in the movie was in accord with the Bible, and that it was my own viewpoint that was misguided. Therefore, I decided to wait and see, thinking that maybe in the end I’d understand what was really going on.
Understanding the True Meaning of “the Same Yesterday, and To Day, and For Ever”
Then I heard this fellowship from Sister Yang in the film: “Brothers and sisters, the Bible says, ‘Jesus Christ the same yesterday, and to day, and for ever’ (Hebrews 13:8). This refers to the fact that God’s disposition and His essence are eternal and unchanging. It does not mean that His name will not change. Let’s take a look at the words of Almighty God. 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 His 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 is unchanging, then would He be able to finish His six-thousand-year plan of management? 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” 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 moving in a forward progression’ (‘The Vision of God’s Work (3)’ in The Word Appears in the Flesh). ‘God is always God, and will never become Satan; Satan is always Satan, and 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 creatures to see His new will and new disposition’ (‘The Vision of God’s Work (3)’ in The Word Appears in the Flesh).
“We can see from Almighty God’s words that God Himself is unchanging. This refers to God’s disposition and essence, not His name. Although God has performed different work and has adopted different names during different ages through His process of saving mankind, His essence can never change. God will always be God. So, regardless of whether His name is Jehovah or Jesus, His essence never changes. It is always the same God working. However, at the time, the Jewish Pharisees did not know that God’s name changes along with the transition in the age, in His work. They believed that only Jehovah could be their God, their Savior because over the ages they had maintained that only Jehovah is God, and there is no other Savior but Jehovah. As a result, when God changed His name and came to perform the work of redemption with the name ‘Jesus,’ they madly condemned and resisted the Lord Jesus. In the end, they nailed Him to the cross, committing a heinous crime, and suffering God’s punishment. Just the same, now that we are in the last days, if we deny God’s essence and that this is the work of one God because He has changed His work and His name, that would be human recklessness and ignorance. Each name that God has taken in each age has great significance, and they all hold great salvation for mankind.”
At this point in the film I realized that God’s name can change, and that “Jesus Christ the same yesterday, and to day, and for ever” in the Bible refers to God’s unchanging essence and disposition, but it does not mean that God’s name and work will never change. Also, God’s name changes along with changes in His work. I had been understanding things from just the literal meaning of the Bible, thinking that God’s name would never change—I came to see that was entirely my own imagination! I thought of how the Pharisees believed that Jehovah was their God and that the name “Jehovah” would never change, so that’s why they believed that anyone who wasn’t called “Messiah” wasn’t God when the Lord Jesus came to work. They also wantonly resisted and condemned the Lord Jesus, ultimately losing out on His salvation. I realized I had to put my own views aside and seriously listen to the fellowship in the film so that I didn’t end up going against the Lord just like the Pharisees because of my own imaginings.
The Significance of God’s Names
Then the main character in the film, Wang Hua, brought up another question: “Then what is the significance of His name in each age?” I thought to myself, “This is a great question, and it’s something I don’t have an understanding of. They just shared fellowship that there’s meaning in God taking on a new name in each age and that there’s great salvation for mankind, so what really is the significance of God’s names?”
In the movie, Sister Feng smiled and responded to her. “Sister Wang, this is a very important question that you’ve brought up, and it can be very helpful for our understanding of God. Now, Almighty God has given us the answer to this question. Almighty God 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. “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. … 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. 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’ (‘The Savior Has Already Returned Upon a “White Cloud”’ in The Word Appears in the Flesh).
“From the words of Almighty God, we have understood the meaning of the names God has taken in each age. In the Age of Law, His name was Jehovah, and that name represented what He expressed to mankind in that age: a disposition of majesty, wrath, curse, and mercy. Then, God began the work of the Age of Law with the name of Jehovah. He issued His law and commandments and officially led newborn mankind in their life on earth. He required people to strictly adhere to the law and learn to worship Him, to honor Him as great. Blessings and grace would follow anyone who upheld the law. Anyone who violated the law would be stoned to death, or would be incinerated by the fires of heaven. That is why the Israelites who lived under the law strictly upheld it, and held the name of Jehovah as holy. They lived under the name of Jehovah for a few thousand years, until the Age of Law ended. At the end of the Age of Law, since mankind had become more and more corrupt and they were sinning more and more, there was no way for people to continue to uphold the law. Everyone was facing the constant danger of being punished for violating the law, which is why God carried out His work of redemption under the name of Jesus. He opened up the Age of Grace and brought the Age of Law to an end, expressing God’s disposition of love and mercy. He also bestowed His bountiful grace upon man, and in the end was crucified for man’s sake, thus redeeming us from our sins. From then on, we have begun to pray to the name of Jesus and to revere His name as holy, to enjoy His forgiveness of our sins, and His rich grace. The name ‘Jesus’ is so that the people of the Age of Grace could be born again and gain salvation. Its meaning is being a sin offering of mercy and love for mankind’s redemption. The name ‘Jesus’ represents God’s work of redemption, and it also represents His disposition of mercy and love. Brothers and sisters, we can see from the two stages of work that God has already completed that the name He adopts in each age has its own particular significance. Each name represents God’s work in that age and the disposition He expresses in that age. 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 stopped in the Age of Law, and corrupt mankind never could have gained God’s redemption. In the end, man would have been condemned and punished for violating the law, and when God came in the last days, if He were still called Jesus, corrupt mankind could only gain redemption of their sins, but could never be cleansed and saved to enter into the kingdom of God. This is because we are forgiven of our sins by believing in the Lord Jesus, but our internal sinful nature still exists. We still sin frequently, so we have not been fully gained by God. So, in order to entirely save mankind from sin, God is now performing another stage of work of fully purifying and saving mankind, on the foundation of the work of the Lord Jesus. God’s name must change accordingly.”
After hearing this fellowship I thought, “So whenever God takes on a new name there’s meaning behind it. Each name represents an age, so when the age changes and His work is different, His name changes accordingly. ‘Jehovah’ was the name God adopted in the Age of Law; it represented God’s disposition of majesty, wrath, damnation, and mercy. ‘Jesus’ was the name He took on in the Age of Grace, representing His merciful and loving, benevolent disposition. In the last days, God will come to do the work of purification and full salvation of mankind. When God’s work changes, His name also changes. I never imagined that there were so many mysteries contained within God’s names.” The more I watched the more fascinated I was, so I kept on playing the video.
The Book of Revelation Prophesied That God Would Have a New Name
After that, Sister Feng fellowshiped that God’s name in the last days is “Almighty God,” and referenced Revelation 1:8: “I am Alpha and Omega … said the Lord, which is, and which was, and which is to come, the Almighty.” Plus Revelation 11:16–17 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.” There are lots of other prophecies in the Bible that say that God’s new name in the last days will be the “Almighty” such as Revelation 4:8, Revelation 16:7, and Revelation 19:6. That refers to Almighty God. As I listened to this I quickly flipped through my Bible for confirmation, and as it turned out, all of these Bible verses mentioned the name of “Almighty.” I read these verses several times and felt a sense of shock. I thought, “So God’s name in the last days was clearly mentioned in the Bible long ago, and in the Book of Revelation four living creatures kept praising God day and night, saying ‘Holy, holy, holy, LORD God Almighty, which was, and is, and is to come’ (Revelation 4:8). They were praising the name of Almighty God! There are a lot of other sections that mention the name of ‘Almighty.’ That God will take on the name of ‘Almighty God’ in the last days is completely in line with the prophecies in the Book of Revelation! I’ve believed in the Lord all these years and have read so much Scripture—how could I have failed to discover these mysteries?”
As I continued watching the film, I saw a character who was spreading the gospel say this: “Brothers and sisters, God is a wise God, and every single thing He does has great significance. The name Almighty God fully represents His work and the disposition He expresses in the last days. Without God personally unveiling these mysteries to us, no matter how many years we spent reading the Bible, we wouldn’t know these things. Let’s read the words of Almighty God together. Almighty God says, ‘The work of God throughout all of His management is perfectly clear: The Age of Grace is the Age of Grace, and the last days are the last days. There are distinct differences between each age, for in each age God does work which is representative of that age. For the work of the last days to be done, there must be burning, judgment, chastisement, wrath, and destruction to bring the age to an end. The last days refer to the final age. During the final age, will God not bring the age to an end? To end the age, God must bring chastisement and judgment with Him. Only in this way can He end the age. … 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’ (‘The Vision of God’s Work (3)’ in The Word Appears in the Flesh). ‘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. 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”’ in The Word Appears in the Flesh).
“Brothers and sisters, in the last days, God is doing His work of judgment of the Age of Kingdom under the name Almighty God. He has exposed mankind’s corrupt nature and judged our unrighteousness through His words so that we may know our nature and our essence through reading these words, see the truth of how deeply we have been corrupted by Satan, understand the root of our corruption, and know God’s righteousness, and His disposition which will not tolerate mankind’s offenses. He also points out a path and direction for us to change our dispositions so that we may abandon evil, pursue the truth, achieve a change in disposition and be saved by God. God has come to perform the work of judging and purifying mankind, dividing us according to our kind, and rewarding good and punishing evil, in order to thoroughly save corrupt mankind from Satan’s domain and bring an end to God’s six-thousand-year management plan. God has appeared to mankind in the last days with His disposition of righteousness, majesty, and wrath which will not tolerate offense. He has openly displayed His inherent disposition, and what He has and is to everyone. He has come to judge and chastise all of mankind’s corruption and unrighteousness, to fully save us from sin and restore the original holiness of man. He wants all people to see not only His wisdom in creating the heavens, the earth, and all things, but even more the wisdom of His practical work in mankind. He not only created all things, but He also rules over all things. He was not only able to be a sin offering for mankind, but He is also able to perfect, transform, and purify us. He is the First, and the Last. No one can fathom His wondrousness or His actions. So, calling God by His name of Almighty God is most fitting. The work of the Holy Spirit now is just to uphold the work done under the name of Almighty God. Anyone who prays to the name of Almighty God and truly worships Almighty God can gain the work of the Holy Spirit, and enjoy the rich sustenance for life and watering given by God, or else they will fall into darkness and lose their way. Currently, the churches who are still stuck in the Age of Grace are experiencing desolation. Believers are becoming indifferent in their faith, preachers have nothing to preach about, and people are not moved when they pray to God. In addition, more and more people are succumbing to the temptations of the world. The primary reason of it is that they have not accepted the name of Almighty God, and they have not kept up with God’s new work.”
Seeing this was very exciting for me—Almighty God’s words really are so authoritative! What was particularly full of God’s majesty and righteousness was this: “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.” No one but God could possibly utter words so replete with authority and majesty—I knew this is the voice of God, and that the Lord Jesus truly has returned! I thought of all my hard work in the past in my service and house calls so that believers would act according to God’s words and attend services at church. I would even fast and pray two or three times every week, but there was never any real improvement in the state of the church. Plus my own faith was fading and I couldn’t feel the Lord by my side. I then started to understand that God is doing a new stage of work of judgment and purification of mankind under the name of Almighty God—those of us who were believers in the church weren’t keeping up with God’s new work and so we couldn’t gain the guidance of the Holy Spirit’s work. We fell into darkness. Only by accepting Almighty God’s salvation of the last days, and praying and working in the name of Almighty God can we gain the work of the Holy Spirit.
Accepting God’s New Name and Welcoming the Lord’s Return
At the very end of the film, a sister in The Church of Almighty God read a passage from Almighty God’s words: “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 opens up 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. … From the work of Jehovah to that of Jesus, and from the work of Jesus to that of this current stage, these three stages cover in a continuous thread the entire gamut of God’s management, and are all the work of one Spirit. Since the creation of the world, God has always been at work managing mankind. He is the Beginning and the End, He is the First and the Last, and He is the One who begins an age and the One who brings the age to an end. The three stages of work, in different ages and different locations, are unmistakably the work of one Spirit. All those who separate these three stages stand in opposition to God. Now, it behooves you to understand that all the work from the first stage until today is the work of one God, the work of one Spirit. Of this there can be no doubt” (“The Vision of God’s Work (3)” in The Word Appears in the Flesh). Hearing this gave me further understanding that Jehovah, Jesus, and Almighty God are all one God—even though God has a different name and does different work in each age, He always works in accordance with the needs of humanity. I felt that only God is capable of opening up these mysteries and further verified within my heart that Almighty God is the return of the Lord Jesus, and that accepting the name of Almighty God is not betraying the Lord Jesus. In fact, it is keeping up with the footsteps of the Lamb. Just as Revelation says, “These are they which follow the Lamb wherever He goes” (Revelation 14:4).
I subsequently got in touch with brothers and sisters from The Church of Almighty God and began living a life of the church. By gathering and having fellowship on God’s words with brothers and sisters I started to understand a lot of truths, and all the quandaries I had in my faith have been demystified. I’ve received a lot of spiritual sustenance and my faith in God has gradually been restored. I think back on the past when my soul felt empty and dark, but now I pray in Almighty God’s name every day, read Almighty God’s words, and I feel great enlightenment. I can also feel the work and guidance of the Holy Spirit—there’s a kind of enjoyment and happiness in my heart that I can’t put words to. After becoming certain of God’s work of the last days I wasted no time in sharing the good news of the Lord’s return with my mom, and after she looked into it she also accepted Almighty God’s work of the last days. I have since shared God’s gospel with the other people in the town I’m in and now they also know that the Lord has returned. Now some of them have already started looking into Almighty God’s work of the last days—I truly give thanks to God!