Before Jesus performed the work, He merely lived in His normal humanity. No one could tell that He was God, … Read More “The Essence of the Flesh Inhabited by God” (Excerpt 101)
Who Can Give Me the Way of Eternal Life? The Bible or God?
By Yang En
My cousin and two sisters spread the gospel of the kingdom of Almighty God to my wife and me. My wife accepted it. However, as a denominational leader reading the Bible much more than them, I didn’t think anything of them at all, nor did I want to hear their fellowship and testimony. Later, whenever they came to have a meeting with my wife, they would invite me to join them, but I made excuses to refuse. Once, I really couldn’t wriggle out of it, and thereby attended the meeting. However, when they said, “Only by keeping pace with God’s work of the last days, can we obtain everlasting life,” I couldn’t accept it. I thought: The Bible is the way ofbestowed by God. As long as I hold on to the Bible, I then will obtain eternal life. From then on, I listened to their fellowship no more.
One day at noon, my wife advised me to catch up with God’s work of the last days early, lest I should be forsaken by the Lord. I said, “If you wanna listen to and believe what they said, I won’t object to it. But I remind you; it is certainly right for us to hold on to the Bible and the Lord’s way. Believing like this, we will certainly gain eternal life. When they come here next time, don’t open the door for them. Locked outside, they will go away naturally.” My wife said, “Is it proper?” I said, “We should have faith in the Lord. We shouldn’t blindly obey them without discernment, otherwise our own life will be harmed. It is most important to receive life by believing in the Lord. We’d better think carefully before we do.” My wife was affected by my words, and accepted my opinion. She agreed not to open the door for them next time. I gave a nod of approval.
The next evening, the northwest wind blew strongly. It was very cold. My wife and I had supper early and went into bedroom. Soon afterward, hearing a knocking on the door, I knew it was my cousin and the others who came to spread the gospel of the kingdom to us again. So I said to my wife, “It is our cousin and the others knocking on the door. Don’t open it for them.” As my wife sank into a dilemma, I beckoned her not to open the door. We quietly lent an ear to what was going on outside of the door. After half an hour or so, they went away. Then I took a seat and saw the Bible peacefully. After a while, I felt bad and lay in bed. But my uncomfortable feeling got more and more serious, and moreover, I began to have a headache. Even though I wanted to pray to the Lord, I couldn’t get up. I said to my wife feebly, “I got a bad headache, and feel unwell. But I didn’t have a cold. Why does my head ache?” She said quickly, “Tonight, we didn’t open the door for our cousin and the others. What we have done must be wrong. We’ve offended the Lord.” I touched my head and reflected on myself: Did I really offend the Lord as to my closing the door on them? Could what they spread truly be the return of the Lord Jesus? Does the Lord really do a new work beyond the Bible? On such a cold day, I shut them outside the door—this couldn’t be done by an unbeliever, let alone a believer in the Lord. I simply had no humanity in doing like that. I have read the Bible for years, and often preach the Lord’s words. I, however, failed to live out His words and didn’t have love toward the brothers and sisters. Didn’t I shame the Lord’s name? Thinking about all of this, I came to regret, and felt guilty within my heart. I said to my wife miserably, “Maybe we are wrong. Well, we really shouldn’t have treated them that way.” She said, “After observing them these days, I have never found they had ulterior motives. What they talked about was in accordance with the Bible. They invited you to attend, but you were always reluctant to do that. The Lord, ‘Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness: for they shall be filled’ (Matthew 5:6). We now cannot feel the presence of the Lord. We are hungry in our spirit, but we don’t actively investigate. The Lord sent them to preach us the gospel of kingdom. This was the love of the Lord falling upon us. We should seek and investigate. Next time, we must listen to them carefully.” I agreed with her. After that, I prayed to the Lord silently in my heart, “O Lord! Tonight, it is so cold. I shut the brothers and sisters believing in Almighty God outside. I was so lacking in humanity. They repeatedly invited me to communicate with them together, but I refused all along. And I always looked down on them and thought myself higher above them, without holding a heart of humble seeking. O Lord, my heart is too hardened. You let me fall ill and endure sufferings. This is out of Your discipline, and also is Your love to me. Thanks for Your grace. I am willing to repent. Next time, when the brothers and sisters come again, I will humble myself and seek Your work. May You lead me to be able to discern Your voice….” The next day, before I knew it,Ｉcompletely had recovered from my illness. Thanks be to the Lord.
On the third night, my cousin and the others came to my house in the rain. My wife hurried to find clothes for them to change into. After taking a seat, my cousin asked me, “Cousin, we came to your house the evening before last, and saw your door was closed. Did you not stay at home?” With my head bowed, I blushingly told them what had happened that evening. After that, I raised my head and said, “In the past, I stuck to the opinion that what is in the Bible is God’s word. Through your fellowship and my reading of Almighty God’s words, I have understood that in the Bible, only the words Jehovah personally said, the words Jehovah revealed to Moses, the words Jehovah let the prophets convey, the words Jesus said personally, and the prophecies the Holy Spirit enlightens are truly God’s words. Outside of these, other words came from man, Satan, or animals. In spite of this, I still think that no matter how many God’s words the Bible recorded, the Bible is the way of eternal life given by God. As long as we hold on to the Bible, we can get eternal life. Many people also think so. Therefore, I would like to know: Can I gain eternal life through holding on to the Bible and the Lord’s way?” Sister Jiang said patiently, “Brother, first we should understand who said the words, ‘The Bible is the way of eternal life given by God. As long as we hold on to the Bible, we can get eternal life.’ Jehovah God didn’t say these words, nor did the Lord Jesus or the Holy Spirit say. Only seeing things in accordance with God’s words is most accurate. Not based on God’s words, such an opinion is untenable. The Lord Jesus said, ‘Search the scriptures; for in them you think you have eternal life: and they are they which testify of me. And you will not come to me, that you might have life’ (John 5:39-40). At that time, the Jewish people held on to the Old Testament. They thought there was eternal life in the Bible, and that as long as they held fast to the Bible, they would gain eternal life. However, the Lord Jesus told them the Bible just was a testimony of God’s work and there was no eternal life in the Bible. And they must come to Him if they wanted to gain eternal life. It was recorded in John 14:6: ‘Jesus said to him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man comes to the Father, but by me.’ The Lord Jesus said He is the way, the truth, and the life, and that man could come to the Father only by Him. But He didn’t say the Bible was the way, the truth, and the life, much less did He allow man to come to the Father by the Bible. It makes us see, God has life, but the Bible does not have life. Just as Almighty God says, ‘The way of life is not something that can be possessed by just anyone, nor is it easily obtainable by all. That is because life can only come from God, which is to say, only God Himself possesses the substance of life, there is no way of life without God Himself, and so only God is the source of life, and the ever-flowing wellspring of living water of life.’ ‘God Himself is life, and the truth, and His life and truth coexist. Those who are incapable of gaining the truth shall never gain life. Without the guidance, support, and provision of the truth, you shall only gain letters, doctrines, and, moreover, death. God’s life is ever-present, and His truth and life coexist. If you cannot find the source of truth, then you will not gain the nourishment of life; if you cannot gain the provision of life, then you will surely have no truth, and so apart from imaginations and conceptions, the entirety of your body shall be nothing but flesh, your stinking flesh. Know that the words of books do not count as life, the records of history cannot be feted as the truth, and the doctrines of the past cannot serve as an account of words presently spoken by God. Only that which is expressed by God when He comes to earth and lives among man is the truth, life, God’s will, and His current way of working. If you apply the records of words spoken by God during past ages to today, then you are an archaeologist, and the best way of describing you is as an expert on historical heritage. That is because you always believe in traces of the work that God did in times gone by, only believe in the shadow of God left from when He previously worked among man, and only believe in the way that God gave to His followers in former times. You do not believe in the direction of God’s work today, do not believe in the glorious countenance of God today, and do not believe in the way of truth presently expressed by God. And so you are undeniably a daydreamer who is completely out of touch with reality. If now you still cling to words that are incapable of bringing life to man, then you are a hopeless piece of deadwood, for you are too conservative, too intractable, too impervious to reason!’ (‘Only Christ of the Last Days Can Give Man the Way of Eternal Life’). From God’s words, we can see God is the source of life, the Expresser of the truth, and the source of eternal life, but the Bible is not the source of life, not the expression of the truth, let alone the source of eternal life. God is the ever-flowing wellspring of living water, while the Bible is just a historical record of God’s work, with too limited God’s words. Only the truth expressed by God in the last days can bring us eternal life. Holding on to the Bible is merely holding fast to lifeless letters and is delimiting God within the Bible, which can’t make people know God or God’s work. As believers in God, if we don’t seek His present work, but live in our own concepts and imaginations and think we can gain eternal life by rigidly sticking to the Bible, then we are in the clouds and will be eliminated by God’s work in the end.”
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