Is It Heresy to Depart From the Bible?

One day, Sister Linda told me, “The Brother Lin I know is investigating CAG and he said the Lord Jesus has already returned as Almighty God incarnate.” She advised me to investigate as well. I thought: “My pastors always tell us that their preaching departs from the Bible and don’t allow us to contact them, and say that in doing so we are betraying God.” Therefore, I refused at once. Later I felt uneasy.

However, afterward, the thought occurred to me that everything had two sides, so how could there be only negative reviews of CAG?

I watched dozens of movies of CAG later, and found them to be quite positive, not something heretical at all. After much thought, I told myself, “However much confusion I have, even if there is only a one in a hundred chance to welcome the Lord, I’m willing to grasp it rather than miss it.”

Is It Really Heresy to Depart From the Bible?

One day, as I was browsing the videos of CAG, this sentence popped up: “Is It Really Heresy to Depart From the Bible?” This sentence piqued my interest immediately. Then, I couldn’t wait to open this video.

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In the movie, Sister Wang fellowshiped: “You just said that God wouldn’t depart from the Bible to do the work of salvation, and anything that does is heresy. This brings to mind a question for me: Which was first, the Bible, or God’s work?”

Hearing this question, I said to myself, “Of course God’s work came first.”

Sister Wang continued: “That’s right! In the beginning, Jehovah God created heaven and earth, all things. He carried out work such as destroying the world with the flood, and destroying Sodom and Gomorrah. When God did these things, did the Old Testament exist?”

“No, it didn’t. God is the Beginning. When He created the heavens and earth and all things, there was even no written language, let alone the Bible!” I answered silently in my heart.

Sister Wang went on saying: “That’s right, when God was doing these things there really was no Bible. That is to say, God’s work came first, and only after that was it recorded in the Bible. And in the Age of Grace, when the Lord Jesus came to work there was no New Testament of the Bible. More than three hundred years AD, religious leaders from all over the world gathered in a conference and selected Four Gospels from the disciples’ records of the facts of the Lord Jesus’ work. They also added some of the letters the apostles wrote to the churches, as well as the Book of Revelation written by the disciple John. They compiled all of these things to make up the New Testament of the Bible. Brothers and sisters, from the process of the Bible becoming the book that it is, we can know that it is only a record of God’s past work. Without God’s work, we would not have the record of the Bible, which is to say that God would not work based on what is in the Bible. He is not restricted by the Bible because God just carries out His work of salvation according to His own plan and mankind’s needs. So, we cannot limit God’s work to just what is within the Bible, nor can we use the Bible to define His work. We particularly cannot say ‘Anything that departs from the Bible is a heresy,’ because God has the right to do His own work, and He has the right to depart from the Bible and do His work.”

After I heard these things from Sister Wang, I suddenly saw the light. Yes, God’s work came first, and the Bible came after. How come I never once thought of such a simple problem? When the Lord Jesus came to carry out His work, there was no New Testament yet, the New Testament wasn’t formed until over three hundred years after the Lord. After God did some work, God’s followers recorded what God had done so that people could understand and get to know God more and thus the Bible was created. The sister’s fellowship was all true and irrefutable. God is the Creator and how He does His work is His own affair. As a small creature, I was unqualified to define God’s work—that was too senseless.

I continued watching the movie and saw Sister Yang from CAG fellowship: “That’s right, if we say that ‘Anything that departs from the Bible is a heresy,’ then aren’t we condemning God’s work throughout the ages? Everyone knows that at that time, the work of the Lord Jesus was not based on the Old Testament. He preached the way of repentance, He healed the sick, cast out demons, did not observe the Sabbath, forgave others seventy times seven times, and more. None of these things appeared in the Old Testament, and they were even completely contradictory to the laws of the Old Testament. The Jewish priests, elders, and scribes of the time condemned the work of the Lord Jesus as heresy precisely because His work was not carried out according to the Old Testament. I remember that in Acts 24:14, Paul said, ‘But this I confess to you, that after the way which they call heresy, so worship I the God of my fathers, believing all things which are written in the law and in the prophets.’ Everyone think for a moment: If we were to weigh this based on our own perspectives, what Paul preached would have been heresy, so how could we not condemn the way of the Lord Jesus that we believe in today?”

Hearing this, I was taken aback: “Indeed, at that time the chief priests, scribes and Pharisees condemned the Lord Jesus’ work as heresy, because His work went beyond the Old Testaments. If I don’t seek and investigate God’s new work and think according to my notions and imaginings that any belief apart from the Bible is a heresy, then won’t I condemn God’s work? Moreover, If the Lord Jesus has really returned, won’t I miss the opportunity to greet the Lord’s return and lose His salvation?” With this in my mind, I felt a bit scared and didn’t dare stubbornly hold on to my notions and imaginings anymore.

Does God Work According to the Bible?

Then, I saw Sister Wang continue to say: “As for the issue we’ve discussed today, please allow us to read some of Almighty God’s words together. ‘No one knows the reality of the Bible: that it is nothing more than a historical record of God’s work, and a testament to the previous two stages of God’s work, and that it offers you no understanding of the aims of God’s work. Everyone who has read the Bible knows that it documents the two stages of God’s work during the Age of Law and the Age of Grace. The Old Testament chronicles the history of Israel and Jehovah’s work from the time of creation until the end of the Age of Law. The New Testament records Jesus’ work on earth, which is in the Four Gospels, as well as the work of Paul—are these not historical records?’ ‘The Bible is a historical book, and if you had eaten and drunk the Old Testament during the Age of Grace—if you had put into practice what was required in the time of the Old Testament during the Age of Grace—Jesus would have rejected you, and condemned you; if you had applied the Old Testament to the work of Jesus, you would have been a Pharisee. … During the time of Jesus, Jesus led the Jews and all those who followed Him according to the Holy Spirit’s work in Him at the time. He did not take the Bible as the basis of what He did, but spoke according to His work; He paid no heed to what the Bible said, nor did He search in the Bible for a path to lead His followers. Right from when He began to work, He spread the way of repentance—a word of which there was absolutely no mention in the prophecies of the Old Testament. Not only did He not act according to the Bible, but He also led a new path, and did new work. Never did He refer to the Bible when He preached. During the Age of Law, no one had ever been able to perform His miracles of healing the sick and casting out demons. So, too, were His work, His teachings, and the authority and power of His words beyond any man in the Age of Law. Jesus simply did His newer work, and even though many people condemned Him using the Bible—and even used the Old Testament to crucify Him—His work surpassed the Old Testament; if this were not so, why did people nail Him to the cross? Was it not because it said nothing in the Old Testament of His teaching, and His ability to heal the sick and cast out demons? His work was done to lead a new path, it was not to deliberately pick a fight against the Bible, or to deliberately dispense with the Old Testament. He simply came to perform His ministry, to bring the new work to those who yearned for and sought Him. He did not come to explain the Old Testament or uphold its work. His work was not in order to allow the Age of Law to continue developing, for His work gave no consideration to whether it had the Bible as its base; Jesus simply came to do the work that He ought to do. Thus, He did not explain the prophecies of the Old Testament, nor did He work according to the words of the Old Testament Age of Law. He ignored what the Old Testament said, He cared not whether it agreed with His work or not, and cared not what others knew of His work, or how they condemned it. He simply kept doing the work that He ought to do, even though many people used the foretelling of the prophets of the Old Testament to condemn Him. To people, it appeared as if His work had no basis, and there was much of it that was at odds with the records of the Old Testament. Was this not man’s error? Does doctrine need to be applied to the work of God? And must God work according to the foretelling of prophets? After all, which is greater: God or the Bible? Why must God work 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? Is this not all absent from the commandments of the Old Testament? If Jesus honored the Old Testament, why did He break with these doctrines? You should know which came first, God or the Bible! ’”

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Then Sister Wang fellowshiped: “Through God’s words, we have understood that for many years, we have all conflated God with the Bible. We have all thought that all believers in God must believe in the Bible, and all those who depart from the Bible cannot be called believers, that it is heresy. The truth is that the Bible only encompasses a true record of God’s first two stages of work. That is, the Bible is a true testimony of God’s two stages of work of guiding and redeeming mankind after He created heaven and earth and all things, and mankind. It does not represent all of God’s work for saving mankind. The words of God that are recorded in the Bible are too limited! They are just a tiny fraction of the expression of His life disposition, and they do not represent all of it! God’s work is not based on the Bible, and it does not refer to the Bible, and He particularly does not find His way from within the Bible to lead His followers. God’s work is always moving forward. He opens up a new age, and He does new work. That is, He indicates a new path for mankind, bestows even higher truths upon us, and allows us to gain greater salvation from Him! That is why He will not lead mankind based on His old work. He will not work based on the Bible because He is not merely the Lord of the Sabbath, but He is also the Lord of the Bible! He fully has the right to step outside the bounds of the Bible and to do new work according to His own plan and the current needs of mankind! God’s work in the new age and His work in the old ages recorded in the Bible couldn’t possibly be the same. So saying that ‘Departing from the Bible is heresy’ does not stand at all!”

After watching this, I felt very ashamed. Yes, the Bible was nothing more than a testament to the previous two stages of God’s work and the records in it were too limited. From when God created the heavens and earth and all things, to when He led mankind’s life on earth in the Age of Law, to when the Lord Jesus redeemed mankind in the Age of Grace, God performed innumerable works on man and spoke innumerable words, so how could the New and Old Testaments possibly contain all of it? If I delimited God’s words and work to the Bible, believed that departing from the Bible was heresy, and used the Bible in place of God, would I not then be treating God with contempt? Would I not then be so arrogant?

Does the Bible Contain Eternal Life?

One day, while watching the film Come Out of the Bible, I was drawn to a passage of fellowship in it: “There’s no eternal life in the Bible. Even though this doesn’t accord with our own notions, this is a fact that cannot be denied because when the Lord Jesus rebuked the Pharisees long ago, He warned people: ‘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 clearly indicated that there is no eternal life in the Bible, and if people want to gain eternal life by relying on the Bible, that is wrong! The Bible just bears witness to God, but if people want to gain the truth and life in their belief in God, just relying on the Bible is not enough. Gaining the truth, and gaining life must come from Christ!”

Yes, the Lord Jesus told us long ago that the Bible did not contain eternal life and was merely a witness for Him, and that only He has the truth, the way, and the life. I went on watching this film and saw Sister Yang read a passage of God’s words, “Since there is a higher way, why study that low, outdated way? Since there are newer utterances, and newer work, why live amid old historical records? The new utterances can provide for you, which proves that this is the new work; the old records cannot sate you, or satisfy your current needs, which proves that they are history, and not the work of the here and now. The highest way is the newest work, and with the new work, no matter how high the way of the past, it is still the history of people’s reflections, and no matter its value as reference, it is still the old way. Even though it is recorded in the ‘holy book,’ the old way is history; even though there is no record of it in the ‘holy book,’ the new way is of the here and now. This way can save you, and this way can change you, for this is the work of the Holy Spirit.

Sister Zhao gave fellowship, saying, “Although God’s work in the last days was only prophesied in the Bible, and there were no actual records of it, it is based on mankind’s actual needs and it is work that is deepened and made loftier based on the foundation of the Bible. Just like when the Lord Jesus came, although He didn’t work according to the Old Testament, He did work according to mankind’s requirements and God’s own plan. He completed a stage of the work of redemption on the foundation of the work of the law, that is, He completed a new, loftier stage of work on the foundation of the Old Testament. In that stage of work, He didn’t revoke the old law, but perfected it.” Then Sister Yang fellowshiped this, “Yes, and likewise, in the last days today, God is doing another stage of newer, loftier work on the foundation of the Lord Jesus’ work of redemption based on mankind’s needs, based on God’s management plan, uttering so many words that can purify and save mankind. He is also revealing all the mysteries of God’s management plan. These are things that God never said in the Age of Law or in the Age of Grace. They are also the scroll, the seven seals that God is opening up in the last days. This fulfills the prophecy in the Book of Revelation: ‘He that has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches’ (Revelation 2:7). It is also written in Revelation 5:1–5: ‘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. And I saw a strong angel proclaiming with a loud voice, Who is worthy to open the book, and to loose the seals thereof? And no man in heaven, nor in earth, neither under the earth, was able to open the book, neither to look thereon. And I wept much, because no man was found worthy to open and to read the book, neither to look thereon. And one of the elders said to me, Weep not: behold, the Lion of the tribe of Juda, the Root of David, has prevailed to open the book, and to loose the seven seals thereof.’ These prophecies only existed after the Lord Jesus had completed His work. It goes without saying that these prophecies are certainly the things that God is going to achieve, as well as the work of salvation that God is going to do in the last days. Now, God has become flesh and has come to utter words. He has done a stage of the work of judgment and purification, and has uttered many words that can allow people to be saved. These words are not in the Bible, but are words that are outside of the Bible. These enriching words of life are the way of life God has bestowed upon mankind in the last days, and they are the only path for man’s salvation. If we refuse to accept them, we will never be able to be truly watered by the living water of God’s life, and we will never be able to gain the truth or life from God.”

Seeing this, I understood that if I wished to gain life I had to come out of the Bible and follow God’s footsteps, and only then could I gain God’s salvation. At the same time, I also understood that God’s work forges ever onward: In the Age of Law, Jehovah God proclaimed the laws and led people in their lives, so that they learned to worship God; in the Age of Grace, the Lord Jesus incarnated to do His work of redeeming mankind—He was crucified and took on man’s sin to redeem man from sin; in the last days, based upon the Lord Jesus’ work of redemption, Almighty God has done the stage of work of judgment beginning from God’s house and has expressed words to judge and purify mankind, so that we can thoroughly escape the bondage of sin. God’s last days’ work doesn’t stray from the Bible. Instead, it is a newer and higher work carried out on the foundation of God’s work in the Age of Law and the Age of Grace. The three stages of work are closely linked together, complementing one another. The Bible in the Age of Kingdom—The Word Appears in the Flesh—is the way of eternal life God bestows upon man. Only by following God’s new work can I receive the provision of the living water of life. If I clung stubbornly to the Bible and failed to follow God’s new work, I would end up suffering a famine.

Afterward, I initiated contact with the brothers and sisters of CAG and began my life in the church. I recalled how I not only had no heart whatsoever to seek when I learned that the Lord has returned to do new work, but blindly held to my notions and rejected God’s new work. I really was too stupid and blind! Thank God for leading me, I heard His voice through watching these videos and welcomed the Lord’s appearance. This is God’s grace and blessings. All the glory be to Almighty God! Amen!

Extended Reading:

How to Treat the Bible in Believing in God?

3 Bible Facts Allow You to Know the Essence of the Bible

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