Apart From the Bible, Has God Made Utterances?
By Xunqiu, Singapore
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. Today, God has become flesh and selected other chosen ones in China. God works in these people, He continues on from His work on earth, and continues on from the work of the Age of Grace. 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 do not 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 foretelling 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? Who could have recorded this mightier, wiser work that defies convention, in that moldy old book? The work of today is not history, and as such, if you wish to walk the new path of today, then you must depart from the Bible, you must go beyond the books of prophecy or history in the Bible. Only then will you be able to walk the new path properly, and only then will you be able to enter into the new realm and the new work” (“Concerning the Bible (1)” in The Word Appears in the Flesh). Almighty God’s words showed me that the Bible is just a record of God’s words and work in the Ages of Law and Grace, but not of His words and work in the last days. If we just cling to the Bible and don’t seek what the Holy Spirit says to the churches in the last days, we won’t be able to keep up with the Lamb and welcome the Lord’s return. This truth is crucial to us being able to welcome the Lord.
One day in January 2018 I met Sister Xie and Sister Chen online, and they had such unique insights on the Bible. Their fellowships were so practical and filled with light. They told me the causes of the churches’ desolation, how to be a wise virgin and welcome the Lord, why the Pharisees resisted the Lord Jesus, the work God will do in the last days as prophesied in Revelation, and more. They fellowshiped with me over several days and I understood more than I had in over 10 years of listening to my pastor. It all felt so fresh and new, and I wondered in amazement how they could gain so much light from the Bible. I started taking part in their gatherings to learn more truths and mysteries and know the Lord better.
At one of these gatherings, Sister Xie told me happily, “I have some great news! The Lord has returned and is expressing the truth and doing the work of judgment in the last days.” I was thrilled to hear this, but I found it a little hard to believe, so I asked, “Is it true?” Sister Chen said, “Yes, it’s true. The Lord has returned as Almighty God. He’s uttering words and doing the work of judgment.” I suddenly thought of a post I’d seen on Facebook that said Eastern Lightning is testifying that the Lord’s returned to speak and do judgment work, and that what they preach goes beyond the Bible. I was suddenly on my guard, and quickly asked Sister Chen, “Do you believe in Eastern Lightning?” She said frankly, “Yes.” I got a bit flustered and thought of how the pastor and elders always said that all of God’s words and work are in the Bible, that faith in the Lord must be based on the Bible, and departing from the Bible is heresy. What these sisters were preaching went beyond the Bible. Hadn’t they strayed from the Lord’s way? So I said, “What you preach is different from what our pastor and elders preach. I’m afraid I can’t meet with you anymore.” I then abruptly disconnected. But the news of the Lord’s return kept my mind buzzing for ages after. I thought of how enlightening and practical the sisters’ fellowships had been. I’d understood so much about the mysteries in the Bible and about God’s will. I wondered: “Could Eastern Lightning be from God? If I don’t listen and miss my chance to welcome the Lord, it will be too late for regret.” But when I thought of what the clergy say, I worried that I might be led astray. My heart felt like it was being pulled in two different directions, so I just prayed in earnest to the Lord, asking Him to guide me to make the right choice.
I was supposed to have another discussion with the sisters online the next morning. Thinking about how loving and patient they always were, I thought it would be rude of me not to let them know I wouldn’t be attending. So I went online as usual, and once we were connected, I said, “Your fellowships have been so enlightening and what you’ve read to me is really practical. But you say the Lord Jesus has returned and is doing new work and expressing new words. This goes beyond the Bible and strays from the Lord’s way. Pastors and elders say God’s words and work are all within the Bible. How could there be new words from God outside the Bible?”
Sister Xie then said patiently, “Pastors and elders always say, ‘God’s words and work are all within the Bible and can be found nowhere else.’ But does this view accord with the facts and with God’s words? Did the Lord Jesus ever say this? Did the Holy Spirit? If it’s not based on God’s words, nor on the truth, then this view is just one of man’s notions and it doesn’t hold water. People well-versed in the Bible know that because those who compiled the Old Testament left things out, some of Jehovah God’s words conveyed by the prophets were not recorded in the Old Testament. Ezra’s prophecies, for example, were not included in the Bible, and this is a well-known fact. While the Lord Jesus worked, He didn’t just speak the limited words that are recorded in the Four Gospels. It’s just as what the Gospel of John says, ‘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). If we go by that view held by pastors and elders, wouldn’t we be denying and condemning those words of God that weren’t recorded in the Bible? Also, the Lord Jesus clearly foretold: ‘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). It’s also prophesied many times in Revelation: ‘He that has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches’ (Revelation Chapters 2, 3). Then there’s the scroll to be opened by the Lamb and the peals of the seven thunders. These words tell us that when the Lord returns in the last days, He’ll speak more utterances, and these utterances can’t be recorded in the Bible in advance. If God’s words can only be found in the Bible, how will these prophecies be fulfilled? God is the Creator, the spring of ever-flowing living waters, how could He only have spoken these limited words recorded in the Bible? The clergy say ‘God’s work and words are all in the Bible and can be found nowhere else,’ but doesn’t this deny and condemn the work and words of the returned Lord Jesus?”
After listening to her fellowship, I thought, “Yes, the Lord prophesied He would return and speak more words, and those words would have to be beyond what’s in the Bible.” But the thought of departing from the Bible troubled me, and I thought, “Pastors and elders always say that departing from the Bible is heresy. What if I go astray in my faith? I’ve believed in the Lord for so long and have always read the Bible. Christians all over the world base their faith on the Bible. The Bible is the pillar of our faith. How can anyone depart from it and still believe in the Lord?” I fell silent at this thought.
Seeing I wasn’t saying a word, Sister Chen didn’t carry on with the fellowship. After we disconnected, she sent me a clip called Does God Work According to the Bible? from a gospel movie called Come Out of the Bible, and asked me to watch it. I opened the link and watched the main character Wang Yue fellowshiping with a pastor. It drew me in right away. She said, “You just said God wouldn’t do His salvation work outside of the Bible, and anything that goes beyond the Bible is heresy. So I have a question for you: Which came first, the Bible or God’s work? God created all things in the beginning. He flooded the world and burned Sodom and Gomorrah. Did the Old Testament exist when God did those things? Did the New Testament exist when the Lord Jesus came to work in the Age of Grace? Both the Old and New Testaments were compiled based on people’s records of God’s finished work. God doesn’t work according to the Bible and He’s not limited by it because He works according to His own management plan and the needs of mankind. We can’t then limit God’s work to the Bible or use the Bible to delimit God’s work, because God has the power to do His own work.” My heart brightened at Sister Wang’s fellowship. I thought, “The New Testament didn’t exist when the Lord Jesus came to work, and the Old Testament didn’t exist when God created all things and issued the laws. This is undeniable! How had I not thought of this before?”
The fellowship in the video went on: “If we say anything that goes beyond the Bible is heresy, aren’t we condemning all of God’s words and work throughout history? When the Lord Jesus worked, He didn’t do it according to the Old Testament. He preached the way of repentance, healed the sick, cast out demons, didn’t keep the Sabbath, forgave people seventy times seven times, and more—none of this was in the Old Testament. The Pharisees, chief priests and scribes used these things against the Lord and condemned His work as heresy. They believed in God yet defied Him.”
The sister then read two passages of Almighty God’s words. “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?” (“Concerning the Bible (4)” in The Word Appears in the Flesh). “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. … 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!” (“Concerning the Bible (1)” in The Word Appears in the Flesh).
Sister Wang then went on: “The Bible is just a record of the two stages of God’s work in the Ages of Law and Grace. It’s a testimony of the two stages of God’s work in which He guided and redeemed mankind after creating all things and making mankind. It cannot represent God’s entire work to save mankind. God’s work moves ever onward. God begins a new age and does new work in the last days. He gives more truths to man that allow us to be free of sin once and for all, so we can be cleansed, fully saved, and enter His kingdom. So God doesn’t guide man based on His old work recorded in the Bible, and He particularly wouldn’t repeat work He’s already done. God is the Lord of both creation and the Bible. He has the power to go beyond the Bible and to do new work according to His management plan. That’s why ‘God’s words and work are all in the Bible and to depart from the Bible is heresy’ is an untenable claim which simply delimits and blasphemes God. Anyone who says this doesn’t know God’s work and resists God. God works according to His plan, not the Bible. The Lord Jesus preached the way of repentance, cast out demons and healed the sick, He didn’t keep the Sabbath and taught people to always forgive—didn’t all of this go beyond the Old Testament? He even broke the laws of the Old Testament, but wasn’t this still God’s work?” I’d had faith in the Lord for so long and had always believed and clung to what the clergy said, that “God’s words and work are all in the Bible and to depart from the Bible is heresy.” Hadn’t I been condemning God’s work? Now I see how foolish and confused I was!
Whenever I had time after that, I watched gospel movies and videos produced by The Church of Almighty God on YouTube. One day, I clicked on a movie clip called What Is the Relationship Between God and the Bible? God’s words in that clip moved me deeply. Almighty God says, “From the time when there was the Bible, people’s belief in the Lord has been the belief in the Bible. Instead of saying people believe in the Lord, it is better to say they believe in the Bible; rather than saying they have begun reading the Bible, it is better to say they have begun believing in the Bible; and rather than saying they have returned before the Lord, it would be better to say they have returned before the Bible. In this way, people worship the Bible as if it were God, as if it were their lifeblood, and losing it would be the same as losing their life. People see the Bible as being as high as God, and there are even those who see it as higher than God. If people are without the work of the Holy Spirit, if they cannot feel God, they can carry on living—but as soon as they lose the Bible, or lose the famous chapters and sayings from the Bible, then it is as if they have lost their life” (“Concerning the Bible (1)” in The Word Appears in the Flesh). “They believe in My existence only within the scope of the Bible, and they equate Me with the Bible; without the Bible there is no Me, and without Me there is no Bible. They pay no heed to My existence or actions, but instead devote extreme and special attention to each and every word of Scripture. Many more even believe that I should not do anything I wish to do unless it is foretold by Scripture. They attach too much importance to Scripture. It can be said that they see words and expressions as too important, to the extent that they use verses from the Bible to measure every word I say and to condemn Me. What they seek is not the way of compatibility with Me or the way of compatibility with the truth, but the way of compatibility with the words of the Bible, and they believe that anything that does not conform to the Bible is, without exception, not My work. Are such people not the dutiful descendants of the Pharisees? The Jewish Pharisees used the law of Moses to condemn Jesus. They did not seek compatibility with the Jesus of that time, but diligently followed the law to the letter, to the extent that—after having charged Him with not following the law of the Old Testament and not being the Messiah—they ultimately nailed the innocent Jesus to the cross. What was their essence? Was it not that they didn’t seek the way of compatibility with the truth? They obsessed over each and every word of Scripture while paying heed neither to My will nor to the steps and methods of My work. They were not people who sought the truth, but people who rigidly clung to words; they were not people who believed in God, but people who believed in the Bible. Essentially, they were watchdogs of the Bible” (“You Should Seek the Way of Compatibility With Christ” in The Word Appears in the Flesh).
After watching this clip, I realized that knowing the Bible well isn’t the same as truly knowing or obeying God. The Jewish Pharisees were great at expounding the Scriptures, yet they had the Lord Jesus crucified. This shows that understanding the Bible doesn’t mean understanding God, and just because someone adheres to the Bible, it doesn’t mean they follow the Lord’s way. I realized that although I’d read the Bible for years and knew a bit about it, I didn’t really know the Lord at all. I’d wrongly believed the Bible could represent the Lord, that faith in the Bible was faith in Him, that adhering to the Bible was adhering to the Lord’s way. When Sister Xie testified that God had appeared and was working in the last days, I didn’t dare look into it. And later, after reading Almighty God’s words, I still found it hard to accept despite knowing in my heart that His words are the truth and the voice of God, simply because they are not recorded in the Bible. I’d worshiped and clung to the Bible and refused to accept God’s new utterances and work. How was I any different from those Pharisees who’d resisted the Lord Jesus? This thought scared me. “I must let go of my notions,” I thought. “I must read more of Almighty God’s words.”
At the next gathering, I told the sisters about what I’d gained and understood from watching those gospel movies. They were overjoyed, and read a passage of God’s words to me. Almighty God says, “Christ of the last days brings life, and brings the enduring and everlasting way of truth. This truth is the path by which man gains life, and it is 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 nor gain the perpetual way of life. This is because all they have is turbid water which has been clung to for thousands of years instead of the water of life that flows from the throne” (“Only Christ of the Last Days Can Give Man the Way of Eternal Life” in The Word Appears in the Flesh).
Sister Xie then shared fellowship, saying, “In the last days, Almighty God ends the Age of Grace and begins the Age of Kingdom. He expresses the truth and does the work of judgment beginning with God’s house to cleanse and save mankind once and for all. Almighty God has spoken millions of words. Most can be found in The Word Appears in the Flesh—the Bible of the Age of Kingdom. He’s uncovered important mysteries in the Bible such as the wise virgins welcoming the Lord, what being raptured is, the overcomers being made before the disasters, the mysteries of God’s 6,000-year management work, the inside story of His three stages of work, the relationships between the three stages of work, and their outcomes, the mysteries of the incarnation and judgment in the last days, the truth about the Bible, and more. Almighty God also reveals His righteous, majestic disposition that tolerates no offense. He exposes and judges the truth of mankind’s corruption by Satan, dissects the root cause of why people disobey and resist God, and tells us what His will and requirements for man are. These include what true faith in God is, what it means to obey God, fear God and bear witness for God, how to practice the truth and be honest, how to live out a meaningful life, and more. Almighty God’s words are plentiful and contain everything we need. These truths are the way of eternal life God gives to man in the last days. They can cleanse and change us, free us from sin, fully save us and lead us into God’s kingdom.”
The sister’s fellowship made everything crystal clear. Almighty God expresses so many truths, He truly is the eternal fount of living waters! I knew in my heart that Almighty God’s words are the voice of God and that He is the Lord Jesus returned. I’d believed in God all those years but never really knew Him, and instead believed what the pastor and elders said. I’d limited God’s utterances and work to the Bible and refused to accept God’s kingdom gospel. God still didn’t abandon me, but used the sisters to preach the gospel to me time and time again. I’ve been so fortunate to hear God’s voice and welcome the Lord’s return, and enjoy the sustenance of the living waters which flow from the throne. This is God’s grace for me. I’m so grateful to Almighty God!