Believers in God Should Not Merely Cling to the Bible
I am a Christian of the Church of the Almighty God. Every time when I see those who hold on to the Bible and are not willing to accept God’s new work, I will recall my behaviors of resisting God and refusing to accept God’s new work because of my keeping the Bible before. Whenever I think of this, my heart is like being stabbed by a knife, and I feel terribly ashamed and extremely regretful.
It was in the late fall of 2002. One day when I was studying the Bible at home, two sisters came to my home to preach the gospel, saying, “Sister, our long-expected has come back. He is the incarnate Almighty God. You should investigate quickly.…” Hearing their words, I came to know they were those who preached Eastern Lightning like what the leader said. They no longer read the Bible but turned to read another book which was said to be an uplifting of the Bible. I thought: Since we believe in the Lord, we should read the Bible, because the Bible testifies for God and is all-embracing, and only in the Bible can we gain . This is what all believers know. So, I should never accept the way they preach. At this thought, I cast the two sisters out of my house. Later, I heard that they had no place to go but to stay in the garden outside the village for one night. When hearing this, I felt so bad in my heart, but then I changed my mind and thought: Our believing in the Lord is believing in the Bible. For God’s works are all in the Bible. Departing from the Bible is not believing in the Lord. Since the way they preach has left the Bible, I cannot accept it no matter who preaches it to me.
In the next two years, there were sisters coming to preach the gospel to me constantly, but I refused all of them. Around the Spring Festival in 2004, one day, my husband went up to the flat roof to air the wheat to be milled because the weather was especially fine. When he stood on the flat roof, he saw two sisters who preached the gospel standing not far from my doorway. Although the weather was fine that day, the temperature was still pretty low. My husband said to me, “Those two sisters have come here for several times, but you always shut them out. The day is so cold. Just let them in to warm themselves.”
I said to him, “Don’t you forget what the leader said? Those who accept Eastern Lightning will be expelled from the church. Think about it!”
At my words, my husband said, “Is what the leader said after the Lord’s will? The Lord said: ‘But love you your enemies, and do good’ (Luke 6:35). The Lord teaches us to love others as we love ourselves and also to love our enemies, but the leader does not allow us to contact the people who . Is this right? In my opinion, this is completely against the Lord’s will.”
Seeing that my husband was determined to let them in, I warned him, “It is OK to let them in to warm themselves, but you cannot listen to or accept the way they preach, because it deviates from the Bible. Just remember this.”
After the two sisters came into my house, they kindly engaged in a small talk with me, but I replied with a poker face and said to them, “I know your intent. Let me make it clear: You can eat and drink in my home. Just don’t preach your teachings. I know that you do not read the Bible, but I need to keep the way of the Lord and I cannot leave the Bible. If you still want to preach to me, then you’re just wasting your breath. I won’t accept it.” In spite of my firm attitude, the two sisters still kept communicating with me and even helped me with my work, without being angry at all.
Seeing that they were with such a loving heart, I thought: They have come here several times. I’m always neither hostile nor friendly to them, but they still keep fellowshiping to me with unflagging patience. This is what the brothers and sisters of our church cannot achieve. They are so loving and full of faith, which proves that they have . Or else, who can have such great love? The leader always says that the people of Eastern Lightning are not good, but I feel that these two sisters are dignified and upright and not like what the leader said. What’s this all about? I couldn’t understand anyway. At this moment, I saw one of the two sisters wanted to fellowship with me, so I immediately began to talk about something else and didn’t give her the chance to speak. Seeing my indifferent attitude, my husband glared at me. The sister seemed to have read my mind and said nothing more. Then they helped me pick the greens for a whole afternoon and left at dusk.
Next day when my husband and I were working in the yard after breakfast, one of the two sisters came again. I felt amazed while seeing her, thinking: My attitude to them was so bad yesterday. I didn’t expect that she would come again. Seeing that I was working, the sister offered to help me and fellowshiped with me at the same time. Only then did I know that her name was Luo Lan. Luo Lan said, “Sister, I can tell that you believe in the Lord with a true heart. Then why don’t you accept the returned Lord? What do you think of Almighty God’s work of ?”
I said, “Before you there were someone else preaching to me the gospel of Almighty God, and all were refused by me. But I see that you are all with a loving heart, from which I can tell you have the work of the Holy Spirit and the presence of the Lord; otherwise, you won’t come here again after being treated coldly yesterday. I find that you believers in Almighty God are not like what the rumors say. Our leader told us not to listen to you, and not to read your book or contact with you. Now it seems that what the leader said is not after the Lord’s will. I feel pretty peaceful in my contact with you.”
My husband then said, “Yeah, from your living out, we can see you are truly not like what the leader said. The views we hold of you before are wrong.”
Then I frowned and said, “But there is one thing I don’t understand. Shouldn’t we believe in the Lord on the basis of the Bible? It is unacceptable to me that you no longer read the Bible. The Bible contains the full salvation of God, and departing from the Bible is not believing in God. So I really can’t accept it if you ask me to leave the Bible.”
After hearing my words, Luo Lan said, “Sister, many of the believers in God hold the viewpoint that one must believe in God according to the Bible and any work outside the Bible cannot be God’s work. However, does this viewpoint conform to the Lord’s will? Is there any basis for this in ? If we think that holding to the Bible is believing in God, then are we following God? Actually, only conducting our belief in accordance with the Lord’s word is most accurate. Especially on the matter of the Lord’s coming, we should even more rely on the Lord’s word and absolutely cannot define God’s work according to our notions and imaginations. Why are there so many sects in the religious world? Isn’t this because people’s understandings are different and that they all follow their own imaginations? The consequences will be serious if we do not believe in God according to God’s word, do not seek God’s will, do not know God, and do not seek and investigate God’s new work, but live in our notions and imaginations. Thinking of the Jewish Pharisees at that time, although they declared themselves to be faithful to Jehovah, they held on to the Bible rigidly when the Lord came to do His new work, thinking that the way preached by the Lord wasn’t the true way, for His name was not Messiah and it was not in line with the Bible. Thus, they resisted and condemned the Lord Jesus and nailed Him to the cross in the end, committing a heinous crime. Isn’t what the Pharisees did worthy for us to reflect on ourselves?
“The Lord Jesus said: ‘And you have not his word abiding in you: for whom he has sent, him you believe not. 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 5:38-40). From the word of the Lord Jesus, we can understand that we won’t gain God’s approval if we only keep the Bible and do not come before God to gain the life, because only God can save men while the Bible can neither save men nor replace the new word and work of God. In John 16:12-13 the Lord Jesus 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.’ From the record of the Bible, we can see that the Lord Jesus still had many things to say, but people could not bear them at that time. So it is only until the Lord Jesus comes back that He will bestow more truths to us. Today, God is incarnated again and has expressed millions of words, resolving men’s confusion and revealing all the mysteries in the Bible, which allows us to have a correct viewpoint on the Bible and understand God’s work, God’s disposition, and all He has and is, so that we can have a clear belief.”
Luo Lan said, “Let me read a passage of Almighty God’s word to you.” So saying, she took out a book from her handbag, opened it, and read: “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 the belief in the Lord, departure from the Bible is an evil cult, 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 say you believe in the Lord, then you must read the Bible, you must eat and drink 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. 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” (“Concerning the Bible (1)” in The Word Appears in the Flesh). “After all, which is greater: God or the Bible? Why must God’s work be 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? Isn’t this all absent from the commandments of the Old Testament? If Jesus honored the Old Testament, why did He defy 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).
Luo Lan fellowshiped, “From God’s word, we can see that it is completely wrong for us to regard the Bible as greater than God and think that outside the Bible there is no God’s work, because the Bible is recorded and edited by people after God did His work, and it is just the testimony of God’s work and the record of the first two stages of God’s works. God doesn’t do His work according to the Bible but according to His own plans. This is an irrefutable fact. For example, in the Age of Grace, when the Lord came, didn’t He also come out of the Bible to do His new work? Almighty God says: ‘For God’s work is always developing, and it can’t simply stop at the time of Paul and Peter, or always remain in the Age of Grace in which Jesus was crucified. And so, these books are only suitable for the Age of Grace, not for the Age of Kingdom of the last days. They can only provide for the believers of the Age of Grace, not for the saints of the Age of Kingdom, and no matter how good they are, they are still obsolete. It is the same with Jehovah’s work of creation or His work in Israel: No matter how great this work was, it was still outdated, and the time would still come when it passed. God’s work is also the same: It is great, but there will come a time when it ends; it cannot always remain amidst the work of the creation, nor among that of the crucifixion. No matter how convincing the work of the crucifixion, no matter how effective it was in defeating Satan, work is, after all, still work, and the ages are, after all, still ages; work cannot always stay on the same foundation, nor can times never change, because there was the creation and there must be the last days. This is inevitable! Thus, today the words of life in the New Testament—the epistles of the apostles, and the Four Gospels—have become historical books, they have become old almanacs, and how could the old almanacs take people into the new age? No matter how capable these almanacs are of providing people with life, no matter how able they are to lead people to the cross, are they not outdated? Are they not bereft of value? Thus, I say you should not blindly believe in these almanacs. They are too old, they cannot bring you into the new work, and they can only burden you. Not only can they not bring you into the new work, and into the new entry, but they take you into the old religious churches—and if so, are you not regressing in your belief in God?’ (‘Concerning the Bible (4)’ in The Word Appears in the Flesh). From God’s word we can know that God does His work according to the background at that time and the needs of the human being, not the record of the Bible. The Lord Jesus was nailed to the cross by the Pharisees just because the work He did went beyond the laws of the Old Testament. This is a fact obvious to all. The Bible is not God but just the testimony of God’s works. God’s work is progressing forward all the time. If we only hold on to the Bible, refuse to accept the new work God does outside the Bible in the last days, and miss the return of the Lord Jesus, we will be filled with regret. The Pharisees at that time rigidly held on to the Bible, didn’t accept but even resisted and condemned the new work the Lord Jesus did, and thus received punishment; while those who stepped out of the Bible and followed the Lord Jesus gained God’s redemption. Likewise, today Almighty God has expressed new words and done new work. If we keep the Bible and do not accept the newest words and work of God, we won’t gain God’s approval but will be eliminated by God’s work. So, only when we follow God’s new work can we gain .”
My husband said then, “Hearing what you said today, I come to know that we really cannot delimit God’s work to the Bible according to our notions and imaginations anymore. We indeed should be discreet in case we walk the path of the Pharisees.”
Luo Lan continued, “God expresses new word and reveals the mysteries in the Bible to make us have a correct understanding of the Bible, so that we will no longer adore the Bible or treat it as God, and can step out of it to accept God’s work of the last days. For only then can we gain life. As Almighty God says: ‘ of the last days brings life, and brings the enduring and everlasting way of truth. This truth is the path through which man shall gain life, and the only path by which man shall know God and be approved by God. If you do not seek the way of life provided by Christ of the last days, then you shall never gain the approval of Jesus, and shall never be qualified to enter the gate of the kingdom of heaven, for you are both a puppet and prisoner of history. Those who are controlled by regulations, by letters, and shackled by history will never be able to gain life, and will never be able to gain the perpetual way of life. That is because all they have is turbid water that has lain stagnant for thousands of years, instead of the water of life that flows from the throne. Those who are not supplied with the water of life will forever remain corpses, playthings of Satan, and sons of hell. How, then, can they behold God? If you only try to hold on to the past, only try to keep things as they are by standing still, and do not try to change the status quo and discard history, then will you not always be against God?’” (“Only Christ of the Last Days Can Give Man the Way of Eternal Life” in The Word Appears in the Flesh).
My heart was deeply shocked by Almighty God’s word with authority. And I said, “I feel what you fellowshiped is in line with the truth and is so practical. I finally understand the inside story and the origin of the Bible. Before, I held on to the Bible all the time, thinking that departing from the Bible was not believing in the Lord, and thus treasured it so much. Now I know that the Bible is only the record of God’s work and that God and God’s work came first and then the Bible. I used to regard the Bible as greater than God and think that it is impossible for God to do work outside the Bible, which is indeed not in accordance with the truth. My notions nearly ruin me.”
Luo Lan said, “Yeah. If we blindly keep the verses, isn’t the substance of us the same as that of the Pharisees? It is resisting God if we hold on to the Bible and use it to measure and define God. The Lord 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). The Lord Jesus has already given us the caution that there is no eternal life in the Bible and that only Christ is the truth, the way and the life. Thinking of the saints through the ages, did they believe in God according to the Bible? No. They believed on the basis of God’s word. For example, there was no Bible when Noah believed in God; there was also no Bible when Abraham believed in God; and there was even more so no Bible when Moses believed in God. However, people of the last days believe in God but measure God’s work according to the Bible. This is completely a wrong viewpoint.”
My husband said, “Yes. Only God is the truth, the way, and the life, and only those who follow God and hold on to God’s word are true believers in God. The Bible just testifies for God and is no more than a historical record of God’s work.”
Hearing the sister’s fellowship, I felt very sad in my heart, thinking: It turns out that I have held on to the wrong viewpoint these years and thus resisted God’s work of the last days. I even drove out the sisters who preached the kingdom gospel time and again. Then will God still show His mercy to me? The more I thought the sadder I was in my heart, and I dared not raise my head to look at the sister.
The sister saw that I did not say anything and asked me, “Sister, if there is any question you don’t understand, please ask. Let’s fellowship together.”
I raised my head and looked at her, saying, “Because of my notions and being hoodwinked by the leader, I once defined God’s work in my notions and imaginations, and didn’t investigate but refused God’s work of the last days many a time. Didn’t I commit a sin? It seems that I have no qualification to accept God’s work and that God won’t accept me anymore.”
Luo Lan said with a smile, “Sister, you have misunderstood God. God’s coming to work this time is to save men to the utmost. Let’s see how Almighty God says: ‘God did not come this time to strike people down, but rather to save people to the greatest extent possible. Who is entirely free from errors? If everyone is struck down, then how could it be called salvation? Some transgressions are done on purpose and other transgressions are done involuntarily. With involuntary matters, you can change after you recognize them, so would God strike you down before you change? Is this how God saves people? It is not like that! Regardless of whether you transgress involuntarily or out of a rebellious nature, just remember: Hurry and wake up to reality! Press onward; no matter what situation arises, you must press onward. God is working to save people and He will not randomly strike the people He wants to save’” (“God’s Will Is to Save People to the Greatest Extent Possible” in Records of Christ’s Talks).
Luo Lan fellowshiped, “From God’s word, we can feel God’s will of saving men. God’s coming to do the work of judgment this time is to save us who have been deeply corrupted by Satan. It was because you didn’t understand God’s work before that you refused the gospel of God. God won’t condemn one’s sin casually. He will give every one of us a chance to be saved as long as we have a heart of seeking and investigating and accept His work. For God regards men as precious and He is not willing to abandon any soul. So, we need to understand God’s will. Let’s listen to a hymn of God’s word then. ‘The Almighty has mercy on these who suffer deeply. At the same time, He is fed up with these people who have no consciousness, because He has to wait too long for the answer from humans. He desires to seek, seek your heart and your spirit. He wants to bring you food and water and to awaken you, so you are no longer thirsty, no longer hungry. … He is watching by your side, waiting for you to turn back. He is waiting for the day your memory suddenly recovers: becoming conscious of the fact that you came from God, the fact that you came from God, somehow and somewhere once lost, falling unconscious on the roadside, and then, unknowingly having a father.’” (God Is Seeking Your Heart and Your Spirit).
When listening to this, I couldn’t to conceal the emotion and indebtedness in my heart anymore and knelt down to pray to God, “Oh my Lord! I have rebelled against You and resisted You too much. I believed in You but held on to the Bible. I didn’t know You, refused to accept Your gospel, and even slammed the door in the sisters’ face. I am indeed not qualified to come before You. However, You did not give me up but still sent the sisters to preach the gospel to me. I feel that I am like a prodigal coming back home finally. I will step out of the Bible to believe in You and follow You.”
After the prayer, I said to the sister with emotion, “I was blind and did not know God before and hurt God’s heart. Today, since I’ve known that the Lord has come back, I cannot adore the Bible or treat it as God anymore. Almighty God is the return of the Lord Jesus and only His word is the truth. I am willing to accept the work of Almighty God.”
My husband was also moved and said, “I am willing to accept the work of Almighty God, too.”
If you have any understanding or enlightenment from God, welcome to share with us via the online chat window at the bottom of the website or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org. We sincerely hope we’ll grow spiritually through sharing with each other.