What will of God is concealed within the Lord Jesus’ refusal to observe the Sabbath? And what inspiration does it bring to us today?
Who Has Added to the Bible?
In 1994, I believed in the Lordbecause of the illness of my husband. After my husband was healed, my faith in the Lord was greater. I didn’t cut any meeting. In the meetings, the pastor often told us, “The last days have arrived. The Lord is coming to receive us, so we must hold on to the Lord’s way, and never depart from the , or go to other churches to listen to sermons. Especially those of ‘Eastern Lighting’, for many of their words are beyond the Bible. If we listen to their sermons, it is a betrayal of the Lord because it is said in the Bible: ‘For I testify to every man that hears the words of the prophecy of this book, If any man shall add to these things, God shall add to him the plagues that are written in this book: And if any man shall take away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part out of the book of life, and out of the holy city, and from the things which are written in this book’ (Revelation 22:18-19). Thus, we only read the Bible in our belief in the Lord, and we shouldn’t read any books outside the Bible.” So we strictly did as the pastor told us.
One day in 2003, I visited my aunt out of town. I met several brothers and sisters there. They warmly fellowshiped their experiences of believing in the Lord with me. Their fellowship was very good, for I had never had their understandings of the verses. Their experiences were very practical and I had never heard of such experiences in our meetings, even our pastor’s were not as good as theirs. Their fellowship deeply attracted me. Just as I was attentively listening to their fellowship, one of the brothers surnamed Yang took a book from his bag, saying, “God has come to do a new stage of work and expressed new words. The understanding we just fellowshiped is gained through reading God’s newest words….” Hearing him say God has done new work, my heart sank, thinking: I felt their fellowship was good just now, but how come he changed a book, and said it is God’s new words? Isn’t it beyond the Bible? Aren’t they adding to the Bible? It is clearly said in the Revelation that the words of the Bible mustn’t be added to or taken away, but they said God had expressed new words. How can this be possible? The more I thought, the more I was afraid because this was a big deal. The pastor had told us that adding to the Bible would be condemned and asked us not to listen. So I no longer listened to them. Sitting on the kang, I kept silent with a cloud on my brow.
At the sight of this, the brother patiently fellowshiped with me, but no matter what he said I didn’t listen. Finally, I said impatiently, “You said God expressed new words. It is wrong. The Bible clearly says: ‘For I testify to every man that hears the words of the prophecy of this book, If any man shall add to these things, God shall add to him the plagues that are written in this book: And if any man shall take away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part out of the book of life, and out of the holy city, and from the things which are written in this book’ (Revelation 22:18-19). So you are adding to the Bible, which should be condemned. I won’t listen to you.” “Sister,” said Brother Yang with a smile, “if we read this verse carefully, we can know that in the Revelation it is said that if any ‘man’ shall add to these things, then the man will have plagues. This is not referring to God. We can’t use these words to define God. God can freely do His work and express words. God’s business is up to God Himself….” However, whatever the brother said, I couldn’t take in. My face darkened, not looking at them and sitting there dumbly. The more I listened, the more I felt what they said were not the words in the Bible, and the more I felt annoyed. I wasn’t able to listen anymore, and said impatiently, “Enough. However correct you said, I won’t follow you.” Seeing my attitude, Brother Yang said nothing more. At this time, my aunt called me to another room, and advised me, “Xiaoxia, during these years of believing in the Lord, we are expecting for His coming every day. Now He really has come, we should listen carefully. Don’t you remember the Bible says: ‘Blessed are the poor in spirit: for theirs is. Blessed are they that mourn: for they shall be comforted. Blessed are the meek: for they shall inherit the earth. Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness: for they shall be filled’ (Matthew 5:3-6). Think about what you said just now, ‘However correct you said, I won’t follow you.’ Is it in accordance with the Lord’s will? Besides, is your attitude that a man who believes in the Lord should have? Faith comes by hearing. If we don’t listen, how can we know whether it is right or wrong?” Hearing my aunt’s words, I thought it made sense: The brother is kindly to fellowship with me, telling me God has returned. Anyway, I shouldn’t treat him like that. Whether it is right or wrong, I should seek humbly. At that time, with a little smile, I entered the room with my aunt. Looking at the smile on my face, Brother Yang said gladly, “I believe it is God’s arrangement that we can meet here today. Let’s play a hymn.” Then he turned on the recorder, and played a hymn of life experience: “I walk on the way to the kingdom, and raise my head to look to God. Your kindly face is smiling at me, Your gentle words engraved on my mind. You are so concerned with me, for fear that I may wander destitute in a strange land. Since my belief in You, I’ve become spiritually strong, thus walking on this way with vigorous strides” (“I Walk on the Way to the Kingdom” in Follow the Lamb and Sing New Songs). Listening to the song, I felt the words spoke right to my heart. Surprisingly, there was such a good song in their church. I couldn’t help beating time to the music.
After listening to the song, Brother Yang again wanted to fellowship with me. I hurriedly interrupted him and said, “Stop. I really can’t follow you.” The brothers and sisters saw I still refuse to listen, so they no longer forced to fellowship and went home. At that time, only Brother Yang and Brother Zhang left in the room. Once Brother Zhang wanted to fellowship with me, I at once said, “Just stop!” I didn’t allow him to say any words, which made him worriedly walk back and forth. Before long, Brother Zhang walked before me with a Bible in his hand, and said with a smile, “Sister, see what is in my hand?” I thought: You’re really trying to make conversation. Using a Bible to test me, you’re too naive. I have believed in the Lord for ten years; how can’t I know the Bible! I smiled with a little defiance and answered casually, “Isn’t it the Old and New Testament?” The brother deliberately separated the Old Testament and the New Testament, pointing at the Old Testament, and asked me, “Do you know what this part is?” I said with distain, “This is the Old Testament.” Then pointing at the Old Testament, the brother mildly said to me, “Who did the work of the Old Testament?” “Of course Jehovah did,” I sniffed. And then he pointed at the New Testament and asked me, “Who did this work?” “Thedid,” I blurted out. Immediately Brother Zhang asked, “Sister, is there the New Testament before the Lord Jesus?” I said, “Of course not!” Quickly Brother Zhang said, “So who brought the New Testament?” I said carelessly, “The Lord Jesus brought it.” “There are also such sentences as it shall not add to or take away from the words in the Old Testament. Why do we accept the work of the Lord Jesus?” asked Brother Zhang. I said, “Where are they? Why have I not seen them?”
The brother turned to the Old Testament, and said, “Sister, look at these verses: ‘Now therefore listen, O Israel, to the statutes and to the judgments, which I teach you, for to do them, that you may live, and go in and possess the land which the LORD God of your fathers gives you. You shall not add to the word which I command you, neither shall you diminish ought from it, that you may keep the commandments of the LORD your God which I command you’ (Deuteronomy 4:1-2). ‘What thing soever I command you, observe to do it: you shall not add thereto, nor diminish from it’ (Deuteronomy 12:32).”
After reading the words, I was surprised, “It’s true! Why haven’t I seen them? There indeed are such words in the Old Testament.” With a litter humorous expression, Brother Zhang said, “So since Jehovah had commanded that no words should be added to or diminished from it, why did the Lord Jesus come and add such a thick New Testament?” Hearing such question, I stunned, “True. There is such commandment in the Old Testament. Why did it add so much beyond the Old Testament?” Brother Zhang said, “So when God comes again, will He do the work of the Old Testament done by Jehovah or the work of the New Testament done by Jesus?” Hearing this, my heart brightened. I said, “Ah! Neither of the two. There should be new work. So, you preach….” Seeing I finally understood, the two brothers were very happy and said, “God appears to those who hunger and thirst for righteousness. As long as we have a seeking heart, God will enlighten us. About this question, let’s fellowship in detail.”