Hello Brother Xiaoyang,
After your bearing witness to Almighty God’s work of the last days for me, I have watched many gospel movies, videos and songs, and artistic performances on The Church of Almighty God’s website. I can see that The Church of Almighty God truly has the work and guidance of the Holy Spirit. Especially after I read several passages in The Word Appears in the Flesh expressed by Almighty God, I feel that Almighty God’s words are quite practical, carry authority and power, and are something that cannot be said by any man. So, I do want to investigate. However, when I think of what the pastor and elder often say — “All of God’s words and work are in the Bible and there is no word or work of God outside of the Bible. Our belief in the Lord must be based on the Bible. As long as we don’t leave the Bible, when the Lord comes we will be taken up into the kingdom of heaven” — I get confused and can’t figure out why the work and word of Almighty God goes beyond the Bible. Please fellowship this aspect of the truth with me.
Hello Brother Xinzhi,
I have received your email. The question you have raised in it is very crucial. It is exactly the same one with which many people who are investigating Almighty God’s work of the last days are concerned. Since the pastors and elders in the religious world often say, “God’s words and work are recorded in the Bible and can’t appear outside the Bible. We must practice our faith in accordance with the Bible. As long as we don’t leave the Bible, when the Lord comes back we will be raptured into the kingdom of heaven,” when we hear that the last Christ, Almighty God, has performed new work and expressed new words, we can’t figure out why His work and word exceeds the Bible. But have we ever thought about whether the words of the pastors and elders accord with the words of the Lord or the fact of God’s work? Did God ever say anything like that? Did the Holy Spirit ever say anything like that? If the answers are all no, then are we right in holding such a view? Next, let’s fellowship about this issue.
First, are God’s words and work all within the Bible? Is there no word or work of God outside of the Bible?
People who understand the Bible all know that God’s work and word came first, and then the Bible. The Bible was put together by mankind many years after God’s work. As is known to all, in the beginning, God created the heavens and earth and all things with His word, and He destroyed the earth with the flood, burned Sodom and Gomorrah, issued forth laws and commandments through Moses, and so on. When Jehovah God did the work at that time, the Old Testament didn’t exist. Some people who followed God compiled and arranged the five books of Moses, David’s psalms, Isaiah and Ezekiel’s books of prophecy, etc., to be made into a book — the Old Testament. In addition, when the Lord Jesus appeared and performed His work in the Age of Grace, He expressed the way of repentance and performed many miracles, healing the sick, casting out demons, and He was ultimately crucified, completing the work of redemption. At the time, the Lord Jesus’ work and words were not recorded in the Bible at all; it was in a religious conference after AD 300 that religious leaders of all nations selected the Four Gospels from the disciples’ records of the Lord Jesus’ work, some of the apostles’ letters that they wrote to each church, and the Book of Revelation written by John, to then be made into another book — the New Testament. From these facts we can see that the Bible came after God’s work and word and is just a historical record of God’s past work. If God had not worked or spoken, there would not have been the Bible.
Moreover, we all know that, it is inevitable that some content was missed or deleted during the process of compiling the Bible. This is a fact. Just as in the Age of Law, some words of God conveyed by the prophets were not collated into the Old Testament but into the Deuterocanonical books. Besides, the Lord Jesus said more words than what was recorded in the Four New Testament Gospels. He worked for three and a half years, and during that period, He gave many sermons, completed lots of work, and said countless words. The amount of words of the Lord Jesus recorded in the Four New Testament Gospels is far too limited. As John said, “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” (John 21:25). We can clearly see from these facts that the work and words of Jehovah God and the Lord Jesus were not completely recorded in the Bible, and that the Bible only contains a limited account of God’s words. These words are only a drop in the vast sea of God’s life, only a ten-thousandth, a trillionth of God’s life. So the words “The work and words of God are all within the Bible, and there is no work and word of God outside of the Bible” aren’t consistent with the fact, much less do they conform to the truth. They are absolutely the conception and imagination of man.
The Lord Jesus once 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” (John 16:12–13). “And if any man hear my words, and believe not, I judge him not: for I came not to judge the world, but to save the world. He that rejects me, and receives not my words, has one that judges him: the word that I have spoken, the same shall judge him in the last day” (John 12:47–48). Moreover, there are many places in Revelation with prophecies that say, “He that has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches” (Revelation 2–3). The words of the Lord Jesus and the prophecies clearly say that the Lord Jesus will return to express the truth and carry out the work of judgment in the last days. How could this work be compiled into the Bible in advance? If, as we believe, the work and word of God did not exist outside the Bible, and when the Lord Jesus returns in the last days His work is unable to go beyond the Bible, how could these prophecies of God be fulfilled and accomplished?
Almighty God says, “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. … 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)” in The Word Appears in the Flesh).
God’s word is spoken very clearly. The judgment work God does in the last days is higher than the work of the Age of Law and the Age of Grace, and is new work God has never done before. Thus it couldn’t be written into the Bible in advance. In the last days, Almighty God has opened the scroll, broken the seven seals, expressed millions of words, and revealed the truths and mysteries that man has never known. For example: God’s six-thousand-year management plan for the salvation of man, the significance of God’s names, the mystery of God’s incarnation, how God does the work of judgment, how man escapes sin to receive cleanness, what kind of person God saves and perfects and what kind of person He eliminates, humanity’s outcome and destination, etc. These are precisely the words of the Holy Spirit to the churches and the truths God gives us humans that we require to be saved. It can be seen that God’s work is an ongoing development. If we only stick to the Bible and refuse to accept the new work and word of God, then we will fail to receive God’s salvation.
Second, does our believing in God only based on the Bible conform to the Lord’s will?
As we all know, the Pharisees of that time were familiar with the Bible, but had no real knowledge of God and no reverence for God in the slightest. When the Lord Jesus appeared to do His work, they condemned His work and word according to the Old Testament, saying that His work and word went beyond the Bible. Ultimately, they crucified the Lord Jesus, offending God’s disposition, and were thus punished and cursed by God. Obviously, in our belief in God, if we only judge and treat God’s work and word based on the Bible, and do not seek the work of the Holy Spirit or the truth, then it will be easy for us to do things that resist God and offend His disposition as the Pharisees had done, and the consequences will be unthinkable. The Bible is merely a record of God’s work and word in the past and a testimony to God’s work. In seeking and investigating the true way, we can use the Bible as a reference. The main thing is to confirm it based on whether or not there is the work of the Holy Spirit and the truth. As 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 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). In the last days, Almighty God has expressed the truth of millions of words. These words are abundant, fruitful, and comprehensive, allowing us to greatly open up our vision and our life to be nourished. No matter what problems, difficulties and confusions we have, we can find solutions to them in God’s words, which truly makes us see that Christ is the truth, the way and the life, and that Christ is the way of eternal life. Only by following the work and word of Almighty God, Christ of the last days, can we follow the footsteps of the Lamb, and can we gain the truth and life. If we blindly cling to the letters of the Bible and refuse to accept the way of eternal life brought by Almighty God, we will become the foolish virgins that will in the end be left weeping and gnashing their teeth in the disasters. By then, regret will be too late.
Brother Xinzhi, I hope the above communication will bring you a little help. In investigating God’s work, as long as we recognize the voice of the Holy Spirit and can confirm the work of the Holy Spirit, we should accept God’s work without delay. Only thus can we follow God’s footsteps and gain God’s full salvation.