By Yang Jian
When I believed in the Lord Jesus in the church of Justification by Faith, I often read and recited the Bible and often heard the pastors and elders preach, “In believing in the Lord, one could not depart from the Bible. Departure from the Bible is not the faith in the Lord, for the Bible is given by inspiration of God.” Later I read 2 Timothy 3:16, “All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness.” So I thought the Bible was the holiest book, which was indeed the words of God and given by inspiration of God. I not only believed it firmly, but also exhorted brothers and sisters to treat the Bible like this. Only by holding on to the Lord’s words in the Bible can we be true believers in the Lord, and only such can be the purest belief.
On one occasion when we went to visit brothers and sisters in another place, we encountered the brothers and sisters of the Church of Almighty God luckily. They gave me a book and said the words in it are the words of God. I was then dumbfounded and thought, “Aren’t the words of God all in the Bible? Only the Bible is given by inspiration of God and is the words of God. How come they say this book is words of God?” I said doubtfully, “All the words of God are in the Bible; how can you say the words in this book are spoken by God? This is not the Bible!” They said, “Brother, look at the name of this book.” I then noticed that the book’s name is The Word Appears in the Flesh. I shook my head, not knowing what the meaning was. Seeing I was confused, a sister fellowshiped, “The words in this book are truly the utterances expressed by God in the last days, and the work of God in the last days exactly fulfills the prophecy of the Bible ‘For the time is come that judgment must begin at the house of God’ (1 Peter 4:17). In the last days, the Lord has returned and done a stage of work of judgment with the word. If you want to know how the Lord Jesus does the work of judgment when He returns, you must read more words expressed by Almighty God, for Almighty God is the return of the Lord Jesus. He does the work of judgment of the last days based on the redemptive work of the Lord Jesus. Almighty God reveals all the truths and mysteries of mankind’s salvation as well as the mysteries of the Bible.” Though I didn’t understand the meaning of the words “The Word Appears in the Flesh,” what the sister fellowshiped was indeed in line with the Bible, which seemed that this book didn’t depart from the Bible. Yet, what were the contents? Can they be the same as those in the Bible? But they said that after reading this book I could understand the mysteries of the Bible and of God’s work of the last days. At that time, I was curious about it, saying, “I’ll read it.” Thus, I went home with this book.
One day, I read the words of Almighty God, “Not everything in the Bible is a record of the words personally spoken by God. The Bible simply documents the previous two stages of God’s work, of which one part is a record of the foretellings of the prophets, and one part is the experiences and knowledge written by people used by God throughout the ages. Human experiences are tainted with human opinions and knowledge, which is unavoidable. In many of the books of the Bible are human conceptions, human biases, and human absurd interpretations. Of course, most of the words are the result of the enlightenment and illumination of the Holy Spirit, and they are correct interpretations—yet it still cannot be said that they are entirely accurate expressions of the truth” (“Concerning the Bible (3)” in The Word Appears in the Flesh). At that moment, my heart skipped a beat, “Why is it said that the Bible is not entirely the expression of God and is tainted with human conceptions and human absurd interpretations? What is it about? The Bible is clearly the expression of God and inspired by God. Though written by people, the Bible is given by inspiration of God, which is recorded in the Bible. It can’t be wrong! How could it be said that there are human absurd interpretations? How could it be possible? The Bible is the purest book and not mixed with human will. It is approved by the entire religious community.” This thought made me not want to read any more. At that time, I was completely lost in thought and could not figure them out. At last, I put the book away, pacing back and forth in my room and engaging in a mental struggle, “Should I read it or not? If I read it, I really can’t accept these words. Isn’t it a denial of ‘All scripture is given by inspiration of God’? If I don’t read it, some words in this book are truly good and allow man to know how to believe in, obey and love God, which is indeed beneficial to man’s belief in God. And I also knew some mysteries from it.” Then I had a second thought, “If I put it aside and don’t read it any more, I won’t reach a conclusion about it. No, I should read on to see what on earth it says. And on what basis it says that the Bible is not entirely the expression of God, with the mixture of human absurd interpretations.” At the thought of that, I opened this book again to seek the answers purposefully. I then turned to Concerning the Bible (3), and saw Almighty God’s words, “The Gospel of Matthew of the New Testament documents Jesus’ genealogy. At the start, it says that Jesus was a descendant of Abraham, the son of David, and the son of Joseph; next it says that Jesus was conceived by the Holy Spirit, and born of a virgin—which would mean He was not the son of Joseph or the descendant of Abraham, that He was not the son of David. The genealogy, though, insists on associating Jesus with Joseph. Next, the genealogy begins to record the process by which Jesus was born. It says Jesus was conceived by the Holy Spirit, that He was born of a virgin, and not the son of Joseph. Yet in the genealogy it is clearly written that Jesus was the son of Joseph, and because the genealogy is written for Jesus, it records forty-two generations. When it goes to the generation of Joseph, it hurriedly says that Joseph was the husband of Mary, words which are in order to prove that Jesus was the descendant of Abraham. Is this not a contradiction? The genealogy clearly documents Joseph’s ancestry, it is obviously the genealogy of Joseph, but Matthew insists that it is the genealogy of Jesus. Does this not deny the fact of Jesus’ conception by the Holy Spirit? Thus, is the genealogy by Matthew not a human idea? It is ridiculous! In this way, you know that this book did not come entirely from the Holy Spirit. There are, perhaps, some people who think that God must have a genealogy on earth, as a result of which they assign Jesus as the forty-second generation of Abraham. That is really ridiculous! After arriving on earth, how could God have a genealogy? If you say that God has a genealogy, do you not rank Him among the creatures of God? For God is not of the earth, He is the Lord of creation, and although He is of flesh, He is not of the same essence as man. How could you rank God as of the same kind as a creature of God? Abraham cannot represent God; he was the object of Jehovah’s work at the time, he was merely a faithful servant approved of by Jehovah, and he was one of the people of Israel. How could he be an ancestor of Jesus?” (“Concerning the Bible (3)” in The Word Appears in the Flesh).
After reading these words, I was astonished. Oh! Such a genealogy was written by Matthew; how could he make such a big error? I have read the Gospel of Matthew for several times and even memorized it, but how did I not find such a big mistake? I immediately opened the Gospel of Matthew to see the genealogy of the Lord Jesus. Suddenly I came to my senses. I gaped at the Bible, dumbfounded. After a while, I talked to myself, “Matthew, Oh, Matthew, how could you…? Ay!” What I most feared and worried about happened: There are errors and human impurities in the Bible. I felt so restless, walking to and fro. I thought: As things are what they are now, I have no choice but to admit the facts. Matthew did say that. Are these words truly from God? If not, how can the deviation in the Bible that no one has found though reading it for thousands of years be spoken out? These words are extraordinary! It is understandable that I didn’t find it, but those pastors and elders who have read the Bible for decades also failed to find it. Today Almighty God’s words point out this deviation and flaw. Who can articulate this except God? In that case, not every scripture is given by inspiration of God. No, I need to find more definite words to verify it and make it clear. When the brothers and sisters of the Church of Almighty God come, I should fellowship with them about it.
Several days later, the brothers and sisters of the Church of Almighty God paid me a visit. They asked me, “Brother, have you read the book? If you have any questions, we can fellowship about them together.” I said, “Well, here you are. I’ve read about the genealogy by Matthew in this book, which says there are human impurities and human ideas, but I didn’t understand it. Paul says that all the scriptures are given by inspiration of God. Since the Bible is inspired by God, it should be from God. How come there are human ideas and human impurities in it?” A sister then said, “Actually, I had the same thought as you that the Bible is breathed by God. Not until I had read the words of Almighty God did I know that the Bible is not entirely given by inspiration of God, where there are human ideas and human impurities. This way, I was able to truly put aside the Bible, treating it correctly. Let’s read a passage of Almighty God’s words. Almighty God says, ‘Today, people believe the Bible is God, and that God is the Bible. So, too, do they believe that all the words of the Bible were the only words God spoke, and that they were all said by God. Those who believe in God even think that although all of the sixty-six books of the Old and New Testament were written by people, they were all given by inspiration of God, and a record of the utterances of the Holy Spirit. This is the erroneous interpretation of people, and it does not completely accord with the facts. In fact, apart from the books of prophecy, most of the Old Testament is historical record. Some of the epistles of the New Testament come from people’s experiences, and some come from the enlightenment of the Holy Spirit; the Pauline epistles, for example, arose from the work of a man, they were all the result of the Holy Spirit’s enlightenment, and they were written for the churches, were words of exhortation and encouragement for the brothers and sisters of the churches. They were not words spoken by the Holy Spirit—Paul could not speak on behalf of the Holy Spirit, and neither was he a prophet, much less did he see visions. His epistles were written for the churches of Ephesus, Philadelphia, Galatia, and other churches. And thus, the Pauline epistles of the New Testament are epistles that Paul wrote for the churches, and not inspirations from the Holy Spirit, nor are they the direct utterances of the Holy Spirit. They are merely words of exhortation, comfort, and encouragement that he wrote for the churches during the course of his work. So, too, are they a record of much of Paul’s work at the time. They were written for all of the brothers and sisters in the Lord, and were in order to make the brothers and sisters of all of the churches at the time follow his advice and abide by all of the ways of the Lord Jesus’ (‘Concerning the Bible (3)’ in The Word Appears in the Flesh).” After reading God’s words, the sister fellowshiped with me patiently and said, “Almighty God’s words have made it very clear that not all the scriptures are God’s utterances. For example, Paul’s epistles, are merely his own knowledge of experiences and some enlightenments of the Holy Spirit and in them there are human opinions and human impurities. They are neither God’s utterances nor completely from the Holy Spirit. Only the words spoken by God Himself are completely God’s utterances, that is to say, only the words of Jehovah transmitted by Moses and the prophets, the words of the Lord Jesus, and the prophecies revealed to man by the Holy Spirit, like the prophecies in the Revelation, are the words of God. Except these, none is God’s word. So we couldn’t treat human words, human opinions and some enlightenments and illuminations of the Holy Spirit as the words of God. Such is blasphemy against God, for God is God and man is man. Thus, we know that not every scripture is given by inspiration of God.”
I thought, “Having read the Bible for several years, I’m not familiar with the Bible, but I know that the Bible is given by inspiration of God in Paul’s words. However, after hearing these words today, I really can’t accept that not every scripture is given by inspiration of God, and I just can’t calm down. Though I can’t accept it, all these words are reasonable and indisputable. The Bible is inspired by God in Paul’s words, but this book says that Paul’s epistles couldn’t be on behalf of the utterances of the Holy Spirit and the words spoken by the Holy Spirit, and only the utterances of God are God’s words. For instance, the words spoken by the Lord Jesus are all the utterances of the Holy Spirit. But I treated Paul’s epistles as the words breathed by God. Was I wrong? Hearing these words, if I still treat Paul’s words, human words, as the utterances of God, as the words of the Holy Spirit, it will be blasphemy! Won’t I be in a lot of trouble? Ay! I should really get it straight, or, I really don’t know which book I should read.” Then I asked the sister as I thought, “You said not every scripture was given by inspiration of God, then how should I treat the Bible in the future? Read it or not?” The sister replied with a smile, “To this question, let’s read the words of Almighty God. Almighty God says, ‘Today, I am dissecting the Bible in this way and it does not mean that I hate it, or deny its value for reference. I am explaining the inherent value and origins of the Bible to you to stop you being kept in the dark. For people have so many views about the Bible, and most of them are wrong; reading the Bible in this way not only prevents them from gaining what they ought to, but, more important, it hinders the work I intend to do. It is a tremendous nuisance for the work of the future, and offers only drawbacks, not advantages. Thus, what I am teaching you is simply the substance and inside story of the Bible. I’m not asking that you don’t read the Bible, or that you go around proclaiming that it is totally devoid of value, but that you have the correct knowledge and view of the Bible. Don’t be too one-sided!’ (‘Concerning the Bible (4)’ in The Word Appears in the Flesh).”
After hearing the words of Almighty God and the fellowship of brothers and sisters, I understood that God said these words not to make man deny the Bible or the value of the Bible, but let them treat the Bible correctly, not worshiping and giving much credence to it and not even holding onto the words in the Bible as the words of God or worshiping the Bible as God, which are wrong. If man cannot treat the Bible correctly but worships it, they will not accept God’s new work. The words of Almighty God transformed my conceptions, and I knew that the Bible is a book of history which records God’s work and not all the words in it are God’s words. Before, I dared not say even one “no” to the Bible, thus, when some people spread the kingdom gospel of Almighty God to me, I dared not listen to them or read their book for fear of deviating from the Bible. After reading the words of Almighty God, I become more certain about the work of judgment starting from the House of God that Almighty God does in the last days, and I also understand many mysteries of the Bible, treating the Bible correctly. If I still insist that the Bible is God-breathed and except the Bible there is no God’s word, it will thwart God’s work and word, interfere with the work of God.
Later, I read more words of Almighty God. Almighty God says, “Christ 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? The steps of God’s work are vast and mighty, like surging waves and rolling thunders—yet you sit and passively await destruction, sticking to your folly and doing nothing. In this way, how can you be considered someone who follows in the footsteps of the Lamb? How can you justify the God that you hold on to as a God who is always new and never old? And how can the words of your yellowed books carry you across into a new age? How can they lead you to seek the steps of God’s work? And how can they take you up to heaven? What you hold in your hands is the letters that can provide but temporary solace, not the truths that are capable of giving life. The scriptures you read are that which can only enrich your tongue, not words of wisdom that can help you know human life, much less the ways that can lead you to perfection. Does this discrepancy not give you cause for reflection? Does it not allow you to understand the mysteries contained within? Are you capable of delivering yourself to heaven to meet God on your own? Without the coming of God, can you take yourself into heaven to enjoy family happiness with God? Are you still dreaming now? I suggest, then, that you stop dreaming, and look at who is working now, at who is now carrying out the work of saving man during the last days. If you do not, you shall never gain the truth, and shall never gain life” (“Only Christ of the Last Days Can Give Man the Way of Eternal Life” in The Word Appears in the Flesh).
God’s words allowed me to understand that Almighty God is the incarnate Christ. Just as the Lord Jesus’ work and word at that time, Almighty God does a newer and higher work beyond the Bible. The Bible cannot at all document the work that God has not yet done and the words that God has not yet spoken. So, if man wants to keep pace with the step of God’s work, they should read the actual words of God. If man doesn’t know that the words of Almighty God are spoken by the Holy Spirit and are the voice of God, but always worships and puts much blind belief to the Bible, refusing to accept God’s work and word of today, then they will be ones who don’t live before God but in the Bible. How could such people gain God’s salvation in the last days? So, today when God comes to work and speak, man should put the Bible aside to follow God’s work in the Age of Kingdom and read the words of Almighty God, for Almighty God’s words are the truth and the expression of God Himself, without any human opinion and impurity. When man understands God’s will of expressing words and saving humanity in the last days and understands the substance and the inside story of the Bible, they will not worship the Bible or put blind faith in it any longer.
From: Grow in Christ