By Wang Li
I used to be a preacher of the True Jesus Church. When I attended meetings, I was deeply moved when Elder Zhen 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). Apostle Paul told us that all scripture is given by inspiration of God. All ofis in and there is no word of God outside it. So, we should never ever, depart from the Bible. As long as we hold on to the Bible, we will be able to enter the kingdom of heaven and gain . …” After listening to her sermons, I made up my mind to never leave the Bible no matter what happened. Later, after Elder Zhen passed away, our church began to split and I saw the deacons often scramble for the church money. Then I left that 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 expressed new words. The little scroll prophesied in Revelation has been opened.” At his words, I was surprised and asked at once, “What? The Lord has come back and expressed new words?” He nodded his head. I said angrily, “All of God’s words are in the Bible. Outside it, there is no word of God. Only the Bible comes from God and God’s inspiration. Have you forgotten? Your departure from the Bible means that you have strayed away from the true way. Is this 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! You call yourself a preacher?” The more I said, the angrier I got. But regardless of what I said, he didn’t change his stance, and neither did he get angry. He just sat down and said to me peacefully, “Presently, we are already in the late period of. The prophecies of the Lord’s coming have been fulfilled. Since there is someone who is preaching that the Lord has come back and that the little scroll prophesied in Revelation has been opened, you should investigate. I don’t understand much, what about listening to their sermons tomorrow?” Hearing what he said, I felt angry. But I was also a little worried. I was afraid that I would abandon the Lord if the Lord really returns. So 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’s brought the little scroll that my husband spoke of.” After my prayer, my heart calmed down and I remembered 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, so 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 took out a book and read, “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 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 thoughts? Then I snatched the book from my husband’s hand. My husband said, “Read it. All of these are 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 the words seriously. I thought: Who can speak such words of mercy and advise people not to jump to conclusions, but to investigate the Lord’s return 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 are no words of God outside the Bible. Shall I go and listen to their preaching? Lord, I am bewildered. If I tread the wrong way, one hundred souls in our church will be affected. But if You truly have come back yet I don’t investigate, will these souls be ruined because of me? 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 two sisters to come with me and my husband to go listen to their sermons. When we got there, Brother Yang fellowshiped 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 fellowshiped 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. Brother Yang also said that the reason God 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 was in accordance with the Bible, made sense, and was very clear. I thought: “Could it be true that the Lord has done a new work?” But soon I thought of what Elder Zhen had preached, “All of God’s words are in the Bible, and there is no word of God outside it.” Thinking of this and hearing brother Yang talk about God’s words outside the Bible annoyed me, so I didn’t dare listen anymore. When I looked around at others, they were all listening with all their hearts, especially the two sisters who came with me. I signaled them to stop listening and for us to leave. At this moment, Brother Yang asked me, “Sister, what do you think of what I fellowshiped? Is there anything that you do not understand?” I said, “All of God’s words are in the Bible. If we don’t read the Bible, are we still believers in God? I can’t accept your fellowship. 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 prophecy of the little scroll in Revelation has truly been opened? Has the Lord really come back? But I still don’t understand: Aren’t there no words of God outside the Bible? Why do they say that God has expressed new words? 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, prepared the food but had no appetite for it. I sighed all day.
Seeing me live in severe torment, my husband invited other co-workers from our denomination and Brother Yang to come to my home. Brother Yang said, “Sister, many believers thought that all of God’s words are in the Bible, and that there is no word of God outside the Bible. So when we preach that the Lord has returned and expressed new words, you are reluctant to accept it. This is quite understandable. Let’s fellowship about this matter 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’ words are not all recorded in the Bible. As we all know, the Lord Jesus worked on earth for three and a half years, 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 recorded 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 were all written down, then the world would be too small to accommodate them. That is why there are still words of God outside the Bible. Sister, isn’t that so?” When I heard this, I thought: Yes, how come 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 have believed in God this way. Now that what you said goes beyond the Bible, are we still believers in God if we leave the Bible? Please explain it in more detail.”
He nodded and said solemnly, “The Gospel of John 16:12–13 says, ‘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 disciples then were too small in stature to bear them, the Lord Jesus didn’t speak them. Only when the Lord is incarnated asfor 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 possibly be written in 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 are not recorded in the Bible. Could it be that the little scroll prophesied in Revelation refers to God’s new words outside the Bible?
The brother read several passages of God’s words for me, “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 is only a record of the two former 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 Bible is only a limited record of God’s word and work, and in no way can the Bible represent God. Based on our imagination and notions, we think that there are no words of God 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 created being. Why was the nation of Israel destroyed? What did the Pharisees do wrong? It is because they held on to 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 the reason that He didn’t abide by the laws as their justification. They committed a heinous crime, falling under the punishment of God. Doesn’t the destruction of Israel tell 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?”
After listening to the words the brother read and pondering the brother’s fellowship, I said in delight, “Through your fellowship, I finally understand: The Bible is only a record of the two former stages of work carried out by Jehovah and Jesus. God’s new work in the last days is a new work outside the Bible which is not 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 relied on my imagination and notions to hold on to 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 on to the Old Testament and refused to accept the new work of the Lord Jesus, while I held on to the New and Old Testaments and didn’t accept God’s new work of the last days. I almost became an evil servant. Thank God for preparing this opportunity for me, arranging for you all to come to my home to fellowship with me again. Thank God for His love and for Him 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.”
Afterward, Brother Yang fellowshiped with me about some truths, 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 Almighty God is the returned 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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Now, disasters are occurring frequently everywhere. In the Philippines, the pandemic and the famine have not passed yet and powerful Typhoon Molave, Goni and Tropical Storm Atsani have landed. Biblical prophecies of the coming of the Lord have been fulfilled. It stands to reason that the Lord has returned—so why have we yet to welcome His arrival? Will we not be plunged into the great tribulation if this carries on? And just what should we do to welcome the Lord’s coming?