I’ve Seen the Opened Scroll
By Jose, Spain
When I accepted the Lord, I learned where everything came from and the source of human corruption by reading the Bible. I learned about Jehovah God issuing the law and commandments, the Lord Jesus healing the sick, driving out demons, resolving problems, giving man abundant grace, and being personally crucified as a sin offering to redeem mankind from sin. The Bible helped me understand the Lord’s salvation, and I read a few passages every day. Our pastor told us all the time that the Old and New Testaments were complete and they contained all of God’s words, and we could never, ever stray from the Bible. I believed it.
In March 2016 I ran into a brother in the Lord while running an errand with my cousin. While chatting, he told me that the Lord Jesus has returned, that He’s Almighty God in the flesh and is expressing truths to do the work of judgment beginning with the house of God. As he spoke, he took a book out of his bag and said it contained truths expressed by God in the last days. I took a look at it. On the cover it said The Scroll Opened by the Lamb. I was startled. I’d never seen that book before but he said all the words in it were God’s words. I wondered, “How could that be? Only the Bible contains God’s words. How could they be in any other book? The pastor tells us that all of God’s words are in the Bible, that anything else strays from the Lord’s way, and that’s heresy.” Just then I remembered the pastor had told us that all sorts of heresy would rise up in the last days, and our best protection is not listening to or reading it, and not having contact with those people. At that thought, I couldn’t help but feel guarded against that brother and I stopped listening to him. But my cousin loved his fellowship and testimony. He said he wanted to read The Scroll Opened by the Lamb and look into Almighty God’s work of the last days. I was shocked to hear that. I thought, “How could you agree to that so casually? Have you really forgotten what the pastor said, that ‘All of God’s words are in the Bible?’” I was having none of it. I urged him not to go investigating it blindly, but he wouldn’t listen. Instead, he told me I should look into it too. He’d been a believer for over 20 years, was well-versed in the Bible, and knew his own mind in his faith. Since he’d decided to look into it, I didn’t want to force the issue. After all, everyone can decide for themselves. From then on, he started sharing the enlightenment he gained from reading The Scroll Opened by the Lamb and wanted me to take a look at it. As soon as I thought of the pastor’s warning, I didn’t dare read it. I said to him resolutely, “Don’t ask me to read this anymore. You have your faith, I have mine.” I stubbornly clung to my own ideas, thinking I was being faithful to the Lord’s way.
Not long after, a Christian friend of mine happily told me that he had found a church with the Holy Spirit’s work and that their sermons were enlightening. Confusions he’d long had in his faith had been resolved and he wanted me to go, too. I was really curious about that church, so I asked, “Which church is it?” He said, “The Church of Almighty God.” I was so surprised to hear this. I wondered, “What if that church really does have the truth? Why is everyone around me starting to believe in Almighty God? Is God telling me to investigate Almighty God’s work of the last days? Could the views I hold be wrong?” I prayed to the Lord, asking for His guidance.
My cousin mentioned Almighty God’s work of the last days to me again later, saying Almighty God had expressed lots of truths, uncovered all sorts of truths and mysteries we’d never known about, revealed how Satan corrupts people, how God works step by step to save mankind, the root of mankind resisting God, how to resolve their sinful nature and be purified, and so on. He said he’d gained more from those words than from his 20 years of faith in the Lord. He also said that Almighty God’s words fulfill prophecies in Revelation about the Holy Spirit speaking to the churches, and that He is the Lamb opening the scroll. He told me I should go see for myself. As he shared his fellowship, he looked so happy, as if he had found a treasure. I felt there might be some truth in The Church of Almighty God, so I decided to check it out.
I met with members of The Church of Almighty God the next day. I got straight to the point and shared my confusion: “My pastor always says that nothing outside of the Bible contains the word of God, that it’s all in the Bible, and anything beyond that is heresy. How can you say that everything in this book is God’s word?”
Brother Zhang shared this fellowship with me: “Lots of religious people think that all of God’s words are in the Bible, and can only be found in the Bible. But is that in line with the facts? Did God ever say that all of His words are in the Bible? Did God say it’s heresy to depart from the Bible? People who understand the Bible all know that the Old and New Testaments were put together 300 years after the Lord. God’s work came first, and then the Scriptures. That is, God’s work in each age isn’t based on existing Scriptures. Back when Jehovah God led the Israelites out of Egypt, did He issue His laws, decrees and commandments based on their Scriptures? Of course not. There were no Scriptures then. In the Age of Grace, the Lord Jesus’ work was to spread the way of confession and repentance, to teach people to love others as themselves, love their enemies, and forgive seventy times seven times. He also healed the sick on the Sabbath. Was all this done based on the Old Testament? The Lord Jesus’ work and words weren’t recorded in the Old Testament and they contradicted God’s requirements for man in the laws and commandments, like ‘Eye for eye, tooth for tooth’ (Exodus 21:24), making a sacrifice after sinning, and not working on the Sabbath. If we take the human view that God’s work and words don’t exist outside the Bible and anything else is heresy, wouldn’t we be condemning the Lord Jesus’ work? God is always new and never old, and His work is always moving forward. He doesn’t base His work on the Bible or consult with it. He particularly doesn’t find a path to guide His followers in it, but He goes beyond the Bible to do new work and guide people onto a new path. God isn’t just the Lord of the Sabbath, but also the Lord of the Bible. He has every right to go beyond the Bible, to lead and save mankind, doing new work according to His management plan and what humanity needs.” how can we limit God’s work and words to the Bible based on our notions and imaginings? How can we say that God cannot speak or work beyond what’s in the Bible?”
I was astounded by Brother Zhang’s fellowship. I’d been a believer all those years but had never heard such enlightening fellowship. God is always new and never old. His work and words aren’t based on the Bible but on the needs of His management work. That fellowship accorded with the Bible and the facts of God’s work. I was puzzled. How could they understand so much?
As if he was reading my mind, Brother Zhang went on, “Our little bit of understanding comes entirely from Almighty God’s words. Almighty God’s words in the last days reveal all the truths and mysteries of God’s work.” He then read a passage of Almighty God’s words. “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? … 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! Being the Lord of the Sabbath, could He not also be the Lord of the Bible?” (The Word Appears in the Flesh).
I was fully convinced by God’s words. God created and rules over all. He’s perfectly free to work however He wishes. As humans, we have no right to confine or delimit His work to the Bible. Even though that’s what I was thinking, I still worshiped the Bible and just couldn’t let go of my notions. Then, they patiently found a lot of Bible verses about God’s work in the last days, like this prophecy from the Lord Jesus: “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 there was John 12:47–48: “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.” The Lord Jesus clearly said that He would express truths to do judgment work in the last days and there’s this prophecy in the Bible: “For the time is come that judgment must begin at the house of God” (1 Peter 4:17). All their fellowship was very well-founded and I agreed with it all in my heart, but I wasn’t ready to admit that I’d been wrong. Back at home, I rushed to open up my Bible and carefully inspected and pondered everything they’d quoted. I found that God’s judgment work in the last days that they bore witness to really had been prophesied in the Bible. I couldn’t contain my amazement and asked myself, “What if Almighty God really is the returned Lord?” I then said this prayer to the Lord: “Oh Lord! I felt the fellowship the brothers and sisters shared today really was enlightening. What they read from Almighty God’s words was authoritative. No human being could have spoken them. And Almighty God’s words reveal mysteries of the truth I’ve never understood from reading the Bible all these years. Lord, I’m not entirely certain if You have returned as Almighty God. Please give me guidance.”
The next day, the brothers and sisters showed me a movie, Disclose the Mystery About the Bible. In it, a brother with the Church shared fellowship on the main character’s idea that “God’s words don’t exist outside the Bible, and anything else is heresy,” which I found particularly moving. He said, “Over the course of compiling the Bible some of God’s words conveyed by prophets didn’t entirely make it into the Old Testament because of omissions and conflicts between editors. This is a widely known fact. So how could we say God’s words and work are only found in the Bible? Were the prophets’ prophecies that were left out not God’s words? The Lord Jesus said more than just what’s in the New Testament. Over the more than three years that the Lord Jesus worked, we have no idea how much he spoke or preached, how many times over the amount that’s recorded in the Four Gospels. Like it says in the Gospel of John, ‘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 the Lord Jesus’ work and words were not fully recorded in the New Testament. What’s in the Bible is a very limited portion of God’s words that absolutely doesn’t include everything He said. So, saying that there are no work and words of God outside the Bible and anything else is heresy is not in line with the facts. It’s baseless.”
Watching this, I thought, “That’s true. Not all Jehovah God’s words are in the Old Testament. He guided people’s lives on earth for millennia. There’s no way His words to the prophets were only those in the Bible. The Lord Jesus preached for three and a half years. How could the Four Gospels possibly have recorded all of His words? I guess I can’t be so quick to judge. I have to approach this carefully.” And so I eagerly watched on.
The brother in the movie continued his fellowship: “We’ve all read the Bible in our faith in the past, but we haven’t been clear on the reality of the Bible. Now Almighty God’s words have revealed it to us. Almighty God says, ‘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? Bringing up the things of the past today makes them history, and no matter how true or real they might be, they are still history—and history cannot address the present, for God does not look back on history! And so, if you only understand the Bible, and understand nothing of the work God intends to do today, and if you believe in God but do not seek the work of the Holy Spirit, then you do not understand what it means to seek God. If you read the Bible in order to study the history of Israel, to research the history of God’s creation of all the heavens and earth, then you do not believe in God. But today, since you believe in God, and pursue life, since you pursue the knowledge of God, and do not pursue dead letters and doctrines or an understanding of history, you must seek God’s will of today, and you must look for the direction of the Holy Spirit’s work. If you were an archeologist you could read the Bible—but you are not, you are one of those who believe in God, and you had best seek God’s will of today’ (The Word Appears in the Flesh).” Then he shared this fellowship: “People recorded God’s work and words and compiled the Bible from them after He had finished His work. It’s just a historical record of God’s past work and nothing but a testimony to His work. It doesn’t represent God, and it particularly can’t take God’s place in saving mankind. The Bible simply can’t be compared to God. God is the source of life, His words are the immeasurable fount of living waters, while the Bible is just a history book about God’s work. It records a limited amount of God’s words. How can the Bible be put on a par with God? God is always new and never old. He does new work and utters new words in every age. If we cling to His past words while condemning God’s work and words of the new age, we’ll become resistant to God. Take the Age of Grace, when the Lord Jesus did new work and uttered new words. The Jewish priests and Pharisees clung to their old Scriptures, thinking they contained all of God’s work and words, so they resisted and condemned the Lord Jesus. They colluded to crucify Him, committing a heinous sin. Now Almighty God, Christ of the last days, expresses truths and does the work of judgment, which the Bible has no record of. Since it’s not in the Bible, there’s no way the Bible could replace God’s work and words of the last days. If people only uphold the Bible without accepting God’s current work and words, they won’t gain His salvation of the last days. They’ll be eliminated through His work and words of the new age.”
I carefully considered it at this point. The Bible really is just a testimony of God’s work and its record of God’s words is limited. I’d always listened to the pastors and elders before, thinking that all God’s words are in the Bible, and nowhere else. But that’s a ridiculous, absurd notion. God’s work to save mankind moves ever onward. If God’s work and words were limited to the Old Testament and He’d never done the redemption work in the Age of Grace, everyone would have been living under the law, condemned and put to death for violating the law. Then humanity wouldn’t have survived until today. Without the Lord returning in the last days and working to judge and cleanse man, we would keep living in sin, unable to escape. God is holy, so how could we, awash in filth, see the Lord’s face or be taken into His kingdom? After Disclose the Mystery About the Bible was over, I thought back over the plot. My old perspectives had been shattered by Almighty God’s words. I decided to properly look into Almighty God’s work of the last days.
The brothers and sisters later sent me a copy of The Scroll Opened by the Lamb. Almighty God’s words totally laid bare my thoughts and ideas, my motivation to be blessed, and my corrupt dispositions— arrogance, deceitfulness, and selfishness. The more I read, the more certain I became that these words came from the Holy Spirit, from God. Only God can see into people’s hearts and minds, and expose all our wrong motives and inner corruption. Almighty God has expressed so many truths, like His aim in managing mankind, the inside story of the Bible and of His three stages of work to save mankind, what true faith and submission to God are, who can get into His kingdom, and more truths that I’d never heard in all my years in religion. It really opened my eyes. I saw that Almighty God’s work and words totally fulfill what 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” (John 16:12–13). There’s this prophecy in Revelation, too: “And no man in heaven, nor in earth, neither under the earth, was able to open the book, neither to look thereon.” “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” (Revelation 5:3, 5). Almighty God has now uncovered all truths to mankind about what’s needed to be cleansed and fully saved. I saw this is what’s written in the scroll of the last days, and is God’s work of judgment beginning with His house.
Over just a few months of reading Almighty God’s words, I understood more than I had in over 10 years of faith in religion. I truly saw that God’s words are the fount of living waters, an inexhaustible supply sustaining us. I became fully certain that Almighty God is the Lord Jesus returned. I was filled with excitement, but felt a lot of regret at the same time. I thought about how I’d blindly worshiped the Bible and listened to the pastor, delimiting God’s words to the Bible based on my notions and imaginings. I’d been so unreasonable. But God didn’t cast me out. He knocked at my door over and over through brothers and sisters and guided me to hear His voice so I wouldn’t miss the Lord’s return. I give thanks for Almighty God’s salvation for me.