How are we supposed to free ourselves from the spiritual emptiness and the degenerate life and find a genuine life? I was so lost and befuddled before, but now I’ve found the answer.
The Little Scroll, the Word Outside the Bible?
By Wang Li
I was a preacher of the True Jesus Church. When I attended meetings, I was deeply moved by what Elder Zhen in our church preached, “All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: That the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished to all good works” (2 Timothy 3:16–17). He said, “Apostle Paul told us that all scripture is given by inspiration of God. All of God’s word is in the Bible and there is no God’s word outside it. So, we should never, ever depart from the Bible. As long as we hold onto the Bible, we will be able toand gain . …” After listening to her sermons, I made up my mind to stick to the Bible whatever happened. Later, after Elder Zhen passed away, our church began to split and I saw the deacons often scrambled for the money. Then I left my former denomination and established a house church. My husband and I gave sermons in turn, and he often went out to have meetings with co-workers, shepherding the flock.
Once, after my husband came back from a meeting, he said, “The Lord has returned and done a new work, and has unrolled the scroll recorded in the Book of Revelation. This fulfills the prophecy in Revelation.” At his words, I was surprised and asked at once, “What? The Lord has come back and brought the little scroll?” He nodded his head. I said angrily, “All God’s word is in the Bible. Outside it, there is no God’s word. Only the Bible completely comes from God and God’s inspiration. Have you forgotten it? Your departure from the Bible means that you have strayed away from the true way. Is this the faith in the Lord? Will you be able to enter the kingdom of heaven? What a shame that you have believed in the Lord for so many years! Call yourself a preacher?” The more I said, the angrier I got. But whatever I spoke, he was still steadfast, neither did he get angry. He just sat down and said to me peacefully, “The little scroll is the Revelation that has been opened, the new work done by God, and the fulfillment of the prophecies in the Bible.” I thought: You are fighting back. The faith in the little scroll is departure from the Bible. Then I lost my temper and said, “I warn you, you can’t preach to the one hundred believers in our church. You can’t take any one of them away to read the little scroll. You don’t read the Bible and leave the Lord while I must defend the true way and protect the flock.” He said patiently, “The prophecies about the coming of the Lord have all been fulfilled. I don’t understand much, so you can investigate it yourself. What about listening to their sermons tomorrow?” Hearing what he said, I had no idea what I should do. I kept crying out to the Lord in my heart, “O Lord! Have you really come back? Lord! Your word is a lamp to my feet, and a light to my path. I am very confused. Please enlighten me to understand whether it’s You who bring the little scroll that my husband spoke of.” After my prayer, my heart calmed down and I thought of the Parable of the Ten Virgins, “And at midnight there was a cry made, Behold, the bridegroom comes; go you out to meet him” (Mat 25:6). I thought: There is a cry made at midnight that the bridegroom comes, so is this prophecy fulfilled today? My husband said the Lord has returned and if it is true, I should be a wise virgin to welcome the return of the Lord. But he has already departed from the Bible. O Lord! What should I do? At that moment, my husband was reading the words in the little scroll, “I advise you to tread the path of belief in God with care. Do not jump to conclusions; what’s more, do not be casual and carefree in your belief in God. You should know that, at the very least, those who believe in God should be humble and reverential. Those who have heard the truth and yet turn their nose up at it are foolish and ignorant. … I still advise you to be humble, to not be over-confident, and to not exalt yourself too highly” (“When You Behold the Spiritual Body of Jesus Will Be When God Has Made Anew Heaven and Earth”). Hearing these words, I thought: Who said this? Don’t draw conclusions lightly, don’t be over-confident, and don’t be too arrogant. How could He know my thought? Then I snatched the book from my husband’s hand. He said, “Read it. These are all the Lord’s words.” I read a passage of words in the book, “Today, God has new work. You may not accept these words, they may feel odd to you, but I advise you not to reveal your naturalness, for only those who truly hunger and thirst for righteousness before God can obtain the truth, and only those who are truly devout can be enlightened and guided by God. Nothing will come of seeking the truth through quarreling. Only by seeking calmly can we obtain results. When I say that ‘Today, God has new work,’ I am referring to God’s return to flesh. Perhaps you do not mind these words, perhaps you despise them, or perhaps they are of great interest to you. Whatever the case, I hope that all those who truly yearn for the appearance of God can face this fact and give it careful consideration. It is best not to jump to conclusions. This is the way that wise people should act” (Preface). When I finished reading, I felt that these words were told by a merciful father who persuaded me not to reveal my naturalness or quarrel but to treat them seriously. I thought: Who can speak these words with mercy and advise people not to jump to conclusions but to investigate this fact carefully? I felt that these words were similar to that of the Lord. So I prayed silently, “O Lord! Are these words from You? My husband asked me to investigate this way, but I still believe that there is no God’s word outside the Bible. Shall I go and listen to them? Lord, I am bewildered. Once I tread the wrong way, one hundred souls in our church will be affected. But if You have truly come back but I don’t investigate, will these souls be ruined in my hands? How should I give account to You? Lord! I should make an investigation even just for the sake of these souls. …”
The next day, I invited another two sisters to listen to the sermons together with my husband and me. Brother Yang talked from Genesis all the way through to Revelation, saying that every stage of God’s new work was done on the foundation of the last one. Then he talked from the work of the Age of Law to the work of the Age of Grace and then to the work of the Age of Kingdom—the work of fulfilling the little scroll. Brother Yang also said that the reason God was incarnated to express words was in order to transform, purify and perfect man, to separate wheat from tares, to reveal the outcomes of all kinds of men, and to do the work of rewarding the good and punishing the evil and dividing men into their kinds. I felt that what the brother talked about matched the Bible, made sense, and was very clear. I thought: Could it be true that the Lord has done a new work? But the scripture occurred to me, “All scripture is given by inspiration of God….” And Elder Zhen had preached, “All God’s word is in the Bible, and there is no God’s word outside it.” The thought of this annoyed me so that I didn’t dare to listen anymore. When I looked around at others, they were all listening with all their hearts, especially the two sisters coming with me. I signaled them to stop listening and go back. At this moment, Brother Yang asked me, “Sister, what do you think of what I preached? Is there anything that you do not understand?” I said, “All God’s word is in the Bible. If we don’t read the Bible, are we still believers in God? I can’t accept your word. We should go back to seek the leading of the Lord first. I believe He will never forsake us.” With that, I insisted on going home before they could explain further.
After I went home, I thought: What they said makes sense. The little scroll is indeed recorded in the Bible. Then I turned to Revelation 5:1, “And I saw in the right hand of him that sat on the throne a book written within and on the backside, sealed with seven seals.” I thought: Can it be that the little scroll prophesied in Revelation is truly fulfilled? Brother Yang said that the three stages of work in the Age of Law, the Age of Grace, and the Age of Kingdom are all carried out by one God, and that one stage follows the other. This has fulfilled the prophecies in the Bible. Could it be that the little scroll is the gospel brought by the Lord Jesus when He comes back? But I still don’t understand: How come the little scroll appear, since all scripture is given by inspiration of God and there is no God’s word outside the Bible? I prayed within my heart, “O Lord! I am very confused, and this is a big thing concerning life and soul. Please guide me and prepare a chance for me to ascertain whether what they are preaching is Your return.” In those few days, I felt tormented, taking up a glass of water and then putting it down, preparing the food but having no appetite for it. I sighed all day.
Seeing me live in great torment, my husband invited other co-workers in our denomination and Brother Yang to come to my home. Brother Yang said, “Sister, you said on that day that all God’s word is in the Bible. This is a common question in the religious world. Since we have believed in the Lord and read the Bible for many years, we think that all God’s word is in the Bible, and that there is no God’s word outside the Bible. So when we’re now told that the prophecy about the little scroll is fulfilled, we are reluctant to accept it. This is quite understandable. Let’s fellowship about this question together. First, let’s turn to 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.’ This verse tells us that the Lord Jesus’ words are not all recorded in the Bible. As we all know, the Lord Jesus worked on earth for three years and a half, speaking many words and performing many signs and wonders. These were not all recorded in the Bible. Besides, what the Lord Jesus had said and done before the age of 29 were not in the Bible, either. It can be seen that the Lord’s word is not all recorded in the Bible and that the Bible only recorded a limited portion of the work and words of the Lord Jesus on earth. If they are all written down, then the world would be too small to accommodate the Bible. That is why there are still God’s words outside the Bible. Sister, isn’t that so?” When I heard this, I thought: Yes, how come that I forgot this verse? I thought for a moment and said, “Brother, all that you fellowshiped is reasonable, and I can understand it. However, we have been reading the Bible since we believed in God and for many years, all believers in the Lord believe in God this way. Now that the little scroll you are talking about is beyond the Bible, are we still believers in God if we leave the Bible? Please explain it in more details.”
He nodded and said solemnly, “The Gospel of John 16:12–13 said, ‘I have yet many things to say to you, but you cannot bear them now. However, when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself; but whatever he shall hear, that shall he speak: and he will show you things to come.’ It can be seen from these verses that the Lord still had many things to tell us. But He didn’t speak them out at that time. So, only when He comes back will He tell them to us. These are the things that are beyond the Bible and they are not recorded in the Bible. Because the then disciples were too small in stature to bear them, the Lord Jesus didn’t speak them. Only when the Lord is incarnated as the Son of man for a second time to do the work of the last days on earth will He express them. This is the expression of the Spirit of truth, which can’t be possibly written in the Bible. For Revelation is a book of prophecy written by John who received revelation after 90 A.D. Today, the word expressed in the little scroll is the mystery revealed by God in the last days and is a new work that has been done by God outside the Bible. So, we can’t confine God’s word to the Bible. …” While listening to the brother’s fellowship, I thought: Indeed, the Lord said in these verses that there were many things that He did not yet speak, and they were not recorded in the Bible. Could it really refer to the prophecy of the little scroll to be opened by the returned incarnate Lord? Is the little scroll they read really the new word expressed by God outside the Bible? The brother said, “Revelation 5:1 said, ‘And I saw in the right hand of him that sat on the throne a book written within and on the backside, sealed with seven seals.’ The One who sits on the throne—mentioned in this verse—is God Himself. The book in His hand means God’s work in the last days and the work of salvation of the last days God bestows upon man outside the Bible. ‘Sealed with seven seals’ means that God will open the book personally in the last days.” After these words, the brother asked me, “Sister, what do you think after this communication?” I said, “The little scroll you talked about is God’s new word outside the Bible and is the fulfillment of the prophecy. Now I see.”
The brother said, “So let’s read some passages of God’s words again.” “All that is recorded within the Bible is limited and unable to represent all the work of God. The Four Gospels have fewer than one hundred chapters altogether in which are written a finite number of happenings, such as Jesus cursing the fig tree, Peter’s three denials of the Lord, Jesus appearing to the disciples following His crucifixion and resurrection, teaching about fasting, teaching about prayer, teaching about divorce, the birth and genealogy of Jesus, Jesus’ appointment of the disciples, and so forth. These are but a few writings, yet man values them as treasures, even verifying the work of today against them. They even believe that Jesus only did so much in the time after His birth. It is as if they believe God can only do this much, that there can be no further work. Is this not ludicrous?” (“The Mystery of the Incarnation (1)”). “The work of God in each age has clear boundaries; He does only the work of the current age and never does He carry out the next stage of work in advance. Only in this way can His representative work of each age be brought to the fore. Jesus had spoken only of the signs of the last days, of how to be patient and how to be saved, how to repent and confess, as well as how to bear the cross and endure suffering; never did He speak of what man in the last days should enter into or how to seek to satisfy God’s will. As such, would it not be an act of fallacy to search within the Bible for God’s work of the last days? What can you discern merely holding the Bible in your hands? Be it an interpreter of the Bible or a preacher, who can foreknow the work of today?” (“How Can Man Who Has Defined God in His Conceptions Receive the Revelations of God?”). “If you wish to see the work of the Age of Law, and to see how the Israelites followed the way of Jehovah, then you must read the Old Testament; if you wish to understand the work of the Age of Grace, then you must read the New Testament. But how do you see the work of the last days? You must accept the leadership of the God of today, and enter into the work of today, for this is the new work, and no one has previously recorded it in the Bible. Today, God has become flesh and selected other chosen ones in China. God works in these people, He continues on from His work on earth, continues on from the work of the Age of Grace. The work of today is a path that man has never walked, and a way that no one has ever seen. It is work that has never been done before—it is God’s latest work on earth. Thus, work that has never been done before is not history, because now is now, and has yet to become the past. People don’t know that God has done greater, newer work on earth, and outside of Israel, that it has already gone beyond the scope of Israel, and beyond the foretellings of the prophets, that it is new and marvelous work outside of the prophecies, and newer work beyond Israel, and work that people can neither perceive nor imagine. How could the Bible contain explicit records of such work? Who could have recorded every single bit of today’s work, without omission, in advance?” (“Concerning the Bible (1)”). The brother said, “God’s words tell us: The Bible can’t represent all of God’s work and it’s only the record of the former two stages of God’s work. The details of God’s work in the last days are not recorded in the Bible because God’s work of the last days is a new work done by God outside the Bible. The record in the Bible is only the limited work and word of God, and in no way can the Bible represent God. We think that, based on our imagination and notions, there is no God’s word outside the Bible. This is an absurd viewpoint. We all know that God is the wellspring of living water. His word is inexhaustible and infinite, and is unfathomable to any man. Why was the nation of Israel destroyed? What has the Pharisees done wrong? It is because they held onto the Old Testament and verified God’s new work against the letters of the Old Testament. When they didn’t match, they started to resist and condemn God’s new work. In the end, they crucified the Lord Jesus on the cross, using His refusal to follow the Old Testament as their justification. They committed a heinous crime, falling under the punishment of God. Isn’t the destruction of Israel telling us that the Bible cannot replace God’s work? Don’t God’s words advise us to be humble and reverential and to treat the fact of the return of the Lord with careful consideration?”
I said in delight, “Through your fellowship, I finally understand: The Bible is only the record of the former two stages of work carried out by Jehovah and Jesus. God’s new work in the last days—the work of opening the little scroll—is a new work outside the Bible without being recorded in the Bible. Now I really see the light. This third stage of work is the work of word God is doing outside the Bible in the last days. I only rely on my imagination and notions to hold onto the Bible and define God’s work, refusing to believe that there is still God’s word outside the Bible. I realize that my view was too absurd and fallacious, which was the same as that of the Pharisees. They held onto the Old Testament and refused to accept the new work of the Lord Jesus, while I held onto the New and Old Testaments and don’t accept God’s new work of the last days. I almost became an evil servant. Thank God for preparing this opportunity for me, so that the brothers came to my home and fellowshiped with me again. Thank God for His love and for His not forsaking me. Thank God, indeed!” At this point, tears of gratitude welled up in my eyes. Brother Yang also said happily, “Thank God! This is the result achieved by the work of the Holy Spirit.”
Afterward, Brother Yang fellowshiped with me about the truths on such as God’s incarnation, the three stages of work, and so on. The more I listened, the more correct I felt they were. Finally, my notions were all resolved. I was convinced that this was the return of the Lord Jesus. So I prayed to God, “Almighty God! Thank You for Your salvation. It contains Your earnest intentions that the brother fellowships with me patiently time and again, so that my notions can be resolved; it’s because of Your selection and calling for a second time that I can return before You. God, I’m willing to commit all the brothers and sisters in our church into Your hand. Please guide and enlighten them to come before You and return before Your throne.” Later, I invited brothers and sisters of the Church of Almighty God to testify about God’s work of the last days to the one hundred people in our church. Thank God! Most believers who sought God’s work returned to the house of God. All the glory be to God!
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