It Is Important to Know the Relationship Between the Bible and God! - Bible Study
When I told my pastor I was moving to the north, she took my hand and said, “We are already in the last days. No matter who spreads gospel to you, don’t believe it if it’s different from our faith. We should remember: To depart from the Bible is to not believe in the Lord and we can’t deny the authority of the Bible.” Keeping these words in my heart, after I came to the north, I didn’t attend any meetings but just read the Bible at home.
One day in 2012, when I visited my younger sister, she happily said to me, “The Lord Jesus has come and carried out new work!” I was stunned by her words and thought: How does she know that the Lord Jesus has returned since she has never believed in the Lord? So I told her, “You have neither believed in the Lord nor understand the Bible. What do you know?” Then I stood up and was ready to go home. Before I left, she said to me, “Don’t you believe in the Lord just for looking forward to His return? Now the Lord Jesus has returned, and you should be happy. God’s sheep hear His voice. Though you don’t believe my words, other people will preach this gospel to you if you have been chosen by God.” Then, she gave me a book The Word Appears in the Flesh and asked me to read it at home. However, thinking of the pastor’s words, I didn’t take it.
A few days later, my neighbor, Chen Jing, came to visit me. When chatting with her, she joyfully said to me, “Sister, do you know that? The Lord Jesus has returned and carried out a new stage of work outside the Bible!” Saying that, she took out a book from her handbag and handed it to me. When I saw the book, I was surprised: “How is this book the same as the book which my younger sister asked me to read?” Then, I remembered my younger sister’s words, “God’s sheep hear His voice. Though you don’t believe my words, other people will preach this gospel to you if you have been chosen by God.” I thought: “Now there really is someone preaching gospel to me. Is Chen Jing really sent by the Lord?” I felt that all this seemed to be the Lord’s arrangements. However, because I held the view that leaving the Bible was leaving the Lord, I dared not believe their words for they didn’t read the Bible. I kept silent for a while. Chen Jing seemed to have read my mind. She earnestly said to me, “Sister, we can’t miss this opportunity! Here is the book. If you have any questions, just search the book and you’ll find the answers.” Seeing her sincerity, I took the book.
Two days later, Chen Jing visited me again. She asked me with a smile, “Sister, have you read the book I gave you last time?” I answered, “No, I haven’t. This book is different from the Bible. Our pastor said that no one can deny the authority of the Bible and that leaving the Bible is leaving the Lord.” Chen Jing said, “Sister, tell me, which came first, the work of the Lord Jesus or the records of His work in the Bible? And which is greater, God or the Bible? We can’t define God’s work to the Bible. The Bible says, ‘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’ (John 21:25). This scripture tells us that there are many other things the Lord Jesus did which were not recorded in the Bible. Can we say that they are not works of the Lord? The Bible only records some of the things that the Lordand did when He lived with His disciples, so it is not complete. If we think the Lord Jesus only said and did what was recorded in the Bible, then we will easily define the Lord’s work. Since the Bible doesn’t even record all of the Lord Jesus’ words, can it record the work of the returned Lord Jesus in advance? Wasn’t the work the Lord Jesus did in the Age of Grace only recorded by the apostles after the completion of His work? Sister, am I correct in what I say?” Her words suddenly lit up my heart: That’s right. The Lord Jesus’ work came first, and then the apostles’ written accounts. So it can’t be recorded in the Bible in advance how the returned Lord Jesus will work. There is something in what she says. I should seek.
After Chen Jing left, I went before God and prayed, “O Lord, have You really returned? Both Chen Jing and my sister told me that You have done new work outside the Bible. I feel what they said is reasonable. But the preacher told us that any work outside the Bible isn’t Your work. Dear Lord, how did this come about? What should I do? O Lord! May You guide me.” After the prayer, I remembered Chen Jing told me, “If you have any questions, as soon as you read the book you will find the answers.” I thought: “Can this book resolve the questions that I have trouble understanding? Why not read it to find the answers? Even if Chen Jing’s word is correct, I won’t know unless I read this book. Besides, if the Lord Jesus really has returned and I miss this opportunity because of not reading this book, how can I face the Lord? In that case, when the Lord Jesus destroys this corrupt humankind, I will say, ‘O Lord, I didn’t know that You returned.’ And then the Lord Jesus will say to me: ‘I sent your sister and Chen Jing to tell you I returned time after time, but you didn’t believe. Who can you blame?’ At that time, I will have nothing to say but live to repent.” With these thoughts, I opened up The Word Appears in the Flesh and saw the title “Concerning the Bible (1)” in the table of contents. I was startled: “‘Concerning the Bible (1)’? Isn’t everything in the Bible the work of God? What can be said about the Bible? Who dares to comment on the Bible? I should read this passage carefully.” Then I turned to that passage and read: “What kind of book is the Bible? The Old Testament is the work of God during the Age of Law. The Old Testament of the Bible records all the work of Jehovah during the Age of Law and His work of creation. All of it records the work done by Jehovah, and it ultimately ends the accounts of Jehovah’s work with the Book of Malachi. The Old Testament records two pieces of work done by God: One is the work of creation, and one is the decreeing of the law. Both were the work done by Jehovah. The Age of Law represents the work under the name of Jehovah God; it is the entirety of the work carried out primarily under the name of Jehovah. Thus, the Old Testament records the work of Jehovah, and the New Testament records the work of Jesus, work which was carried out primarily under the name of Jesus” (“Concerning the Bible (1)” in The Word Appears in the Flesh). “How should the Bible be approached in the belief in God? This is a question of principle. … For many years, people’s traditional means of belief (that of Christianity, one of the world’s three major religions) has been to read the Bible; departure from the Bible is not a belief in the Lord, departure from the Bible is heterodoxy and heresy, and even when people read other books, the foundation of these books must be the explanation of the Bible. Which is to say, if you believe in the Lord, then you must read the Bible, and outside the Bible you must not worship any book that does not involve the Bible. If you do, then you are betraying God” (“Concerning the Bible (1)” in The Word Appears in the Flesh). Thank the Lord. These words are so true and revealed exactly what was in my heart. The preacher indeed told us that departure from the Bible was not belief in the Lord, and I also believed that to believe in the Lord was to believe in the Bible, and that leaving the Bible was leaving the Lord. Moreover, I had never thought about how the Bible should be approached in the belief in God. So, how should we treat the Bible? Carrying this question, I continued to read carefully: “From the time when there was the Bible, people’s belief in the Lord has been the belief in the Bible. Instead of saying people believe in the Lord, it is better to say they believe in the Bible; rather than saying they have begun reading the Bible, it is better to say they have begun believing in the Bible; and rather than saying they have returned before the Lord, it would be better to say they have returned before the Bible. In this way, people worship the Bible as if it were God, as if it were their lifeblood, and losing it would be the same as losing their life. People see the Bible as being as high as God, and there are even those who see it as higher than God. If people are without the work of the Holy Spirit, if they cannot feel God, they can carry on living—but as soon as they lose the Bible, or lose the famous chapters and sayings from the Bible, then it is as if they have lost their life. And so, as soon as people believe in the Lord they begin reading the Bible, and memorizing the Bible, and the more of the Bible they are able to memorize, the more this proves that they love the Lord and are of great faith. Those who have read the Bible and can speak of it to others are all good brothers and sisters. For all these years, people’s faith and loyalty to the Lord has been measured according to the extent of their understanding of the Bible. Most people simply do not understand why they should believe in God, nor how to believe in God, and do nothing but search blindly for clues to decipher the chapters of the Bible. People have never pursued the direction of the work of the Holy Spirit; all along, they have done nothing but desperately study and investigate the Bible, and no one has ever found newer work of the Holy Spirit outside of the Bible. No one has ever departed from the Bible, nor have they ever dared to do so. … People’s approach to the Bible is one of obsession and faith, and no one can be entirely clear about the inside story or essence of the Bible. So, today people still have an indescribable sense of wonder when it comes to the Bible, and they are even more obsessed with it, and have even more faith in it” (“Concerning the Bible (1)” in The Word Appears in the Flesh). After reading these words, I was too shocked to say anything. I thought: That’s true. In my belief in the Lord, I have never thought about why I should believe in God or how to believe in God, nor did I pursue the direction of the work of the Holy Spirit, much less did I dare to think about finding newer work of the Holy Spirit outside the Bible. All I knew was that we should read the Bible in belief in God, and I thought if we did not depart from the Bible we had true faith in the Lord. In meetings, I listened to the pastors and elders interpreting the Bible; at home, I read the Bible by myself. Because I thought that everything should have the Bible as its basis, if I heard some words that didn’t conform with the Bible, regardless of who said them, I would think they were wrong. Could this kind of view really be wrong?
To figure out this question, I continued to read God’s words after dinner: “With such blind faith in the Bible, with such trust in the Bible, they have no desire to seek the work of the Holy Spirit. In people’s notions, they think that only the Bible can bring the work of the Holy Spirit; only in the Bible can they find the footsteps of God; only in the Bible are hidden the mysteries of God’s work; only the Bible—not other books or people—can clarify God’s everything and the entirety of His work; the Bible can bring the work of heaven to earth; and the Bible can both begin and conclude the ages. … Does doctrine need to be applied to the work of God? And must God work according to the foretelling of prophets? After all, which is greater: God or the Bible? Why must God work according to the Bible? Could it be that God has no right to exceed the Bible? Can God not depart from the Bible and do other work? Why did Jesus and His disciples not keep the Sabbath? If He were to keep the Sabbath and practice according to the commandments of the Old Testament, why did Jesus not keep the Sabbath after He came, but instead washed feet, covered head, broke bread, and drank wine? Is this not all absent from the commandments of the Old Testament? If Jesus honored the Old Testament, why did He break with these doctrines? You should know which came first, God or the Bible! Being the Lord of the Sabbath, could He not also be the Lord of the Bible?” (“Concerning the Bible (1)” in The Word Appears in the Flesh). These words were like a call stirring me from a long slumber. I remembered that Genesis records that God existed before the existence of humanity. The Bible is merely a record of God’s work, so how could God be subject to the restriction of the Bible? God is the Creator. He has the right to depart from the Bible and exceed the Bible to do other work. For example, Jehovah God proclaimed laws and commandments in the Age of Law. However, in the Age of Grace when the Lord Jesus came, He didn’t do His work according to the work in the Age of Law but did the work of redemption. Only after God completed His work, did man record His work in the Bible. The Bible is just a book, so how can it be greater than God? These words were so clear to me. No wonder both Chen Jing and my younger sister said God has done a new work outside of the Bible, and no wonder Chen Jing said, “If you have any questions, as soon as you read the book you will find the answers.” When I realized the value of this book, I regretted not having read it earlier. Later, I saw more of God’s words: “Without the Bible, people can search for the footsteps of God elsewhere, yet today, His footsteps have been contained by the Bible, and extending His latest work has become doubly difficult, and an uphill struggle. This is all because of the famous chapters and sayings from the Bible, as well as the various prophecies of the Bible. The Bible has become an idol in people’s minds, it has become a puzzle in their brains, and they are simply incapable of believing that God can work outside of the Bible, they are incapable of believing that people can find God outside of the Bible, much less are they able to believe that God could depart from the Bible during the final work and start anew. This is unthinkable to people; they cannot believe it, and neither can they imagine it. The Bible has become a great obstacle to people’s acceptance of God’s new work, and a difficulty to God’s broadening this new work” (“Concerning the Bible (1)” in The Word Appears in the Flesh). “You must understand the Bible—this work is of the utmost necessity! Today, you need not read the Bible, for there is nothing new in it; it is all old. The Bible is a historical book, and if you had eaten and drunk the Old Testament during the Age of Grace—if you had put into practice what was required in the time of the Old Testament during the Age of Grace—Jesus would have rejected you, and condemned you; if you had applied the Old Testament to the work of Jesus, you would have been a Pharisee. If, today, you put the Old and New Testament together to eat and drink, and practice, then the God of today will condemn you; you will have fallen behind the Holy Spirit’s work of today! If you eat and drink the Old Testament and the New Testament, then you are outside the stream of the Holy Spirit! During the time of Jesus, Jesus led the Jews and all those who followed Him according to the Holy Spirit’s work in Him at the time. He did not take the Bible as the basis of what He did, but spoke according to His work; He paid no heed to what the Bible said, nor did He search in the Bible for a path to lead His followers. Right from when He began to work, He spread the way of repentance—a word of which there was absolutely no mention in the prophecies of the Old Testament. Not only did He not act according to the Bible, but He also led a new path, and did new work. Never did He refer to the Bible when He preached. During the Age of Law, no one had ever been able to perform His miracles of healing the sick and casting out demons. So, too, were His work, His teachings, and the authority and power of His words beyond any man in the Age of Law. Jesus simply did His newer work, and even though many people condemned Him using the Bible—and even used the Old Testament to crucify Him—His work surpassed the Old Testament; if this were not so, why did people nail Him to the cross? Was it not because it said nothing in the Old Testament of His teaching, and His ability to heal the sick and cast out demons? His work was done to lead a new path, it was not to deliberately pick a fight against the Bible, or to deliberately dispense with the Old Testament. He simply came to perform His ministry, to bring the new work to those who yearned for and sought Him. He did not come to explain the Old Testament or uphold its work. His work was not in order to allow the Age of Law to continue developing, for His work gave no consideration to whether it had the Bible as its base; Jesus simply came to do the work that He ought to do” (“Concerning the Bible (1)” in The Word Appears in the Flesh). From these words I came to know: God doesn’t take the Bible as the basis of what He does but speaks according to His work. Today, God has come and opened the little scroll. He has expressed new words and brought forth a new path outside of the Bible. God’s words and Chen Jing’s fellowship brought me a sudden sense of enlightenment, and I came to know why my younger sister and Chen Jing no longer read the Bible. I saw that even though I had read the Bible for more than ten years, I only understood some scriptures and knew nothing about God’s work. God’s words utterly convinced me and I was willing to put aside my conceptions. Afterward, Sister Chen Jing testified of God’s work in the last days to me. Having listened to her fellowship and testimony for a few days, I accepted God’s work in the last days. After reading more words of Almighty God, I was certain that Almighty God is the returned Lord Jesus.
In retrospect, in my belief in God, I was desperately waiting for the Lord Jesus to come again, but when the Lord Jesus returned to work, I didn’t accept His work because it didn’t match my conceptions. If God had given up on me and not moved my younger sister and Chen Jing to preach the gospel to me, I would have been eliminated by God’s work. That was close! Now, by reading God’s word, I have a new understanding of the Bible and can treat it correctly. I understand that the Bible is just a record of God’s work, and that it can never represent God or God’s work. So, we can’t worship the Bible or treat the Bible as God, much less can we see it as being higher than God, and neither can we limit God’s work to the Bible according to our own conceptions, for God is the Lord of the Bible. Praise God for guiding me and allowing me to understand many truths I didn’t understand in my belief in the Lord for over a decade.