Daily Bible Reading: Is All of God’s Word Really in the Bible
Han Zheng, sitting at her writing desk, was reading the word of the Lord Jesus softly, “My sheep hear my voice” (John 10:27). Then, she frowned, as if recollecting something, and then hurriedly looked through the Bible and found a piece of scripture: “He that has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches” (Revelation 2:7). After reading it, she pondered the question: “Do the two verses mean the Lord will speak His word when He comes again?” Then, she thought back on the words Pastor Huo said in the co-workers meeting that day: “All of God’s word and work are in the Bible, and there will be no words of God outside of the Bible. We who wait for the coming of the Lord must hold on to the Bible at all times.” But from the prophecy she saw that the Lord will return and will speak more words. She felt confused and didn’t know what to make of this.
Several days later, the preacher, Sister Rui, and Han Zheng’s co-worker Xiang, came to see her. After an exchange of greetings, she spoke about her confusion.
Sister Rui fellowshiped with her, saying, “If we want to figure these matters out clearly, we must first know what type of book the Bible exactly is and how the word of the Lord was recorded in the Bible. Everyone who is familiar with the Bible all knows the Old Testament records how God created the world and how He did His work during the Age of Law. The content of the creation of the world was recorded in the Five Books of Moses, which are revelations from God, and besides, some prophecies of the prophets and historical facts are recorded in these books, such as The Book of Job, The Book of Isaiah, The Book of Malachi, and so on. The Old Testament was recorded by man after Jehovah God completed His work, containing a total of thirty-nine books. Moreover, one part of God’s work was not collated into the Bible but was instead recorded in the Deuterocanonical books. As we can see, the word of God was not completely recorded in the Old testament. Around AD 300, the New Testament was formed. At that time, people collected the records of the miracles the Lord Jesus performed, which were recorded by disciples, and the letters written by the apostles to the churches. And then, they selected some of them and compiled them into a book. It mainly comprises three parts: The Four Gospels, the epistles of the apostles, and Revelation, which make up twenty-seven books. As we all know, the Lord Jesus had worked for three and a half years, and He said countless words and gave many sermons. Therefore, compared with the Lord Jesus’ preaching in the three and a half years, all of the Lord’s words recorded in the Four Gospels are only a drop in the ocean. 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). This proves that not all of the Lord Jesus’ words and work are recorded in the New Testament and that only a small number of His words are recorded in the New Testament. As is clear, the Bible is a historical book, which was compiled by man. And it only contains a limited account of God’s word and work.”
After listening to the sister’s fellowship, she suddenly realized: I was too careless. The word of God delivered through some prophets are not all recorded in the Bible either. This is a widely acknowledged fact. And when the Lord Jesus was doing His work in Judea, whether He was on the mountains, at the seaside or in the villages, that is to say, no matter where He went, He would preach and speak to people; thus, the disciples who followed the Lord Jesus at the time couldn’t set down every word the Lord Jesus said.
Her co-worker Xiang said thoughtfully: “All the words and work of Jehovah God weren’t recorded in the Old Testament, and all the words and work of the Lord Jesus weren’t recorded in the New Testament, so we can’t limit God’s word to those within the Bible.”
Sister Rui turned on the computer and said: “Regarding this aspect of the truth, the two passages I saw on the Internet explain it very clearly. Let me read them. ‘The things that are recorded in the Bible are limited; they cannot represent the work of God in its entirety. 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. However, man values them as treasures, even comparing the work of today against them. They even believe that all the work Jesus did in His life amounted only to so much, as if God were only capable of doing this much and nothing further. Is this not absurd?’ ‘The work of God in each age has clear boundaries; He does only the work of the current age, and never carries out the next stage of work in advance. Only thus can His representative work of each age be brought to the fore. Jesus spoke only of the signs of the last days, of how to be patient and how to be saved, of how to repent and confess, and of how to bear the cross and endure suffering; never did He speak of how man in the last days should achieve entry, nor of how he should seek to satisfy God’s will. As such, is it not ridiculous to search the Bible for God’s work of the last days? What can you see by merely clutching the Bible? Be it an expositor of the Bible or a preacher, who could have seen the work of today in advance?’”
Sister Rui continued the fellowship, saying: “We can see from the two passages that the Bible is only a record of God’s word in the past, and that the words God has yet to say won’t automatically get written down in the Bible, just as the words of the Lord Jesus couldn’t be written into the Old Testament. At most there were some prophecies regarding the Lord Jesus’ work. Only after the Lord Jesus came, expressed His words and completed His work could people record His words. Similarly, when the Lord comes back to do His work and express His words, we can’t find them in the Old and New Testament. Therefore, it is wrong to limit God’s work and word to those within the Bible and to think there will be no words of God outside of the Bible, and it is completely our own conception and imagining.”
Han Zheng walked over to the window and became lost in contemplation: “During these years of believing in the Lord, I’ve read the Bible many, many times, and how come I didn’t see through such a simple matter? Alas!”
Her co-worker Xiang continued the fellowship, saying: “In the past, we had imaginations about the Lord’s return and delimited God to the Bible, thinking that His word and work were all in the Bible and that He couldn’t possibly come to perform new work. Now it seems this was indeed a major mistake. Remember the Pharisees at that time: They stubbornly held on to the Scriptures. When seeing the words and work of the Lord Jesus were incompatible with the Old Testament, they arbitrarily condemned and denied the Lord Jesus’ work and believed that the Lord’s work couldn’t go beyond the Old Testament, thereby losing the Lord Jesus’ salvation. In the last days, faced with the work of the returned Lord Jesus, if we hold on to the Scriptures and believe that the work of the Lord’s second coming can’t go beyond the Bible, we might very well make the mistakes that were made by the Pharisees.”
“After listening to your fellowship, I finally understand. God’s word is not all recorded in the Bible. The Lord Jesus will speak and utter words outside the Bible when He comes again. Now it seems that we who believe in God can’t define God’s work with our conceptions and imagination; otherwise, we will condemn God just like the Pharisees.” While saying this, Han Zheng resumed her seat.
Sister Rui went on to say: “You’re right. We should take warning from it. Actually, there are many prophecies about the words and work of the Lord’s second coming in the Bible. Let’s study some verses, so that we can understand more clearly. The Bible 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’ (John 16:12–13). ‘He that has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches’ (Revelation 2:7). ‘And when the seven thunders had uttered their voices, I was about to write: and I heard a voice from heaven saying to me, Seal up those things which the seven thunders uttered, and write them not’ (Revelation 10:4). ‘And he said … for the words are closed up and sealed till the time of the end’ (Daniel 12:9). In these prophecies, ‘What the Spirit says to the churches’ and ‘the words are closed up’ all refer to the words expressed by the returned Lord. God performs His work and expresses His word in every age according to the need in that age. God comes again in the last days to end an age and to complete the work of His entire management plan. The work of God in the last days is different from that of Jehovah God and the Lord Jesus, and is built upon the work of the Lord Jesus. These words will reveal all the mysteries, resolve the confusion in our journey of believing in God and point out to us believers of God the path to receiving salvation.”
After hearing the two sisters’ fellowship, the weight these things brought to her heart had been lifted.
Han Zheng released a sigh: “Alas! Now I see that I was really very stupid. There are many places in the Bible that clearly prophesy that the returned Lord will make more utterances. However, I didn’t notice them, and kept listening to pastors and delimited God to the Bible, believing that the Lord couldn’t possibly do work and speak words outside the Bible when He comes. Wasn’t I walking the path of the Pharisees? Now I can confirm that the Lord will perform work and express words when He returns in the last days. I think that if it were not for God pitying me and letting me hear this communion today, it’s likely I would miss the opportunity to welcome the Lord’s return because of my own conceptions. How frightening! Now I wish to be a wise virgin and learn to hear the Lord’s voice; if I hear someone preach that the Lord has returned and spoken words to save mankind, I will investigate.”