Christian Reflection: Do God’s Words and Work Exist Outside the Bible?
By Saverio, Italy
The Book of Revelation predicts, “Behold, I come quickly” (Revelation 22:7). In recent years, all the prophecies predicting the Lord’s return have basically been fulfilled, and many people feel that the Lord may quite possibly have already come. In addition, Eastern Lightning long ago began witnessing that in the last days, God has come again to speak new words that are outside the Bible and to conduct a new stage of work, and also that Almighty God is the returned Lord Jesus. Brothers and sisters from every denomination who sincerely believe in the Lord and yearn for the truth have recognized God’s voice through reading Almighty God’s words and turned to Almighty God. But some brothers and sisters think that “all of God’s words and work are recorded in the Bible, and God’s work and words do not exist outside the Bible,” and so they refuse to seek out or investigate God’s utterances and words in the last days. Is the entirety of God’s words and work all contained within the Bible? Do God’s words and work exist outside of the Bible? Understanding these questions is critical to whether or not we can receive the returned Lord and gain God’s salvation in the last days! Today, we will discuss the issues surrounding these questions.
- The Lord Jesus Clearly Prophesied That He Will Speak New Words When He Returns in the Last Days
- Is the Entirety of God’s Words and Work Recorded in the Bible?
- Must God’s Work Be Based on the Bible? Can the Bible Represent God?
- How Should We Act When We Hear People Preaching News of the Lord’s Return?
The Lord Jesus Clearly Prophesied That He Will Speak New Words When He Returns in the Last Days
First, let’s take a look at several passages from the Bible. 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: 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). And in chapters 2 and 3 of Revelation, it is prophesied many times that: “He that has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches.” Also, chapter 5, verses 1–5, “And I saw in the right hand of Him that sat on the throne a book written within and on the backside, sealed with seven seals. And I saw a strong angel proclaiming with a loud voice, Who is worthy to open the book, and to loose the seals thereof? And no man in heaven, nor in earth, neither under the earth, was able to open the book, neither to look thereon. And I wept much, because no man was found worthy to open and to read the book, neither to look thereon. And one of the elders said to me, Weep not: 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.” And, chapter 22, verses 12–13, “And, behold, I come quickly; and My reward is with Me, to give every man according as his work shall be. I am Alpha and Omega, the Beginning and the End, the First and the Last.” The Lord Jesus prophesied that He would return in the last days to open the book and loose the seven seals, as well as speak to the churches, open up to us all the truths and mysteries we have never heard, do the work of judgment beginning with God’s house and separate the wheat from the chaff, the good from the evil servants, and the sheep from the goats, reward good and punish evil, and arrange the destinations of all kinds of people. All of this work will be accomplished when the Lord returns, and the details of this work are not recorded in the Bible. If we go by the statement “all of God’s words and work are recorded in the Bible, and God’s work and words do not exist outside the Bible,” how will these prophecies of the Lord be fulfilled or accomplished? This proves that in the last days, God will definitely express the Holy Spirit’s words to the churches and carry out the final stage of His work to save mankind, both of which will be outside the Bible.
Is the Entirety of God’s Words and Work Recorded in the Bible?
Furthermore, brothers and sisters who understand the Bible well know that in the process of compiling and editing the Bible, the prophecies of certain prophets were not included in the Old Testament due to oversights by the compilers, and were instead compiled in the deuterocanonical books. Similarly, the New Testament does not contain complete records of the Lord Jesus’ words and work, as is stated in John 21:25, “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.” The Lord Jesus officially worked for three and a half years, during which He led His disciples as He traveled and preached in many places. He spoke many words and expressed much truth, but in total there are only several tens of thousands of His words recorded in the Bible, which at most might be the number of words He spoke in a single day of preaching, merely the tip of the iceberg of the totality of words spoken by Jesus. So, to say that “all of God’s words and work are recorded in the Bible, and God’s work and words do not exist outside the Bible” doesn’t fit with the facts at all, and is based purely on our own notions and imaginings.
God’s words say, “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 verifying 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 Mystery of the Incarnation (1)”). “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. … Who could have recorded every single bit of today’s work, without omission, in advance? Who could record this mightier, wiser work that defies convention in the 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)”).
God’s words state very clearly that the Bible contains only a portion of His words and work during the Age of Law and the Age of Grace, and a very limited portion at that. In addition, it only contains prophecies regarding His words and work in the last days, not detailed records. Before God does the work of the last days, the work He will do and words He will express will not appear in the Bible of their own accord, because people are merely created beings. People are incapable of fathoming the work God will do, much less recording God’s work of the last days before it has even been done. We all know that when the Lord Jesus came to the world to carry out His work, He preached the gospel of the kingdom of heaven, preached the way of repentance, told people to pray and confess their sins, taught people to be tolerant and patient, performed many miracles, cured the sick, cast out demons, was crucified to redeem mankind, etc. None of the words or work of the Lord Jesus were recorded in the Old Testament of the Bible, nor could anyone have recorded His words before He spoke them, or any of His work that He had not yet performed. In the same way, the truths expressed and work performed by God in the last days must necessarily exist outside the Bible. It is impossible for detailed records of God’s end time work to exist in the Bible.
Must God’s Work Be Based on the Bible? Can the Bible Represent God?
God’s word says, “After all, which is greater: God or the Bible? Why must God’s work be 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? Isn’t this all absent from the commandments of the Old Testament? If Jesus honored the Old Testament, why did He defy 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?” (“Concerning the Bible (1)”).
God is the Lord of creation, the source of life for all things. God’s richness is infinite and inexhaustible, and from the moment God began performing His work to save mankind, in both His issuance of the laws and commandments and preaching the way of repentance, He has always expressed the truth, expressed His disposition and all that He is, and ceaselessly watered, provisioned, and guided mankind. God’s words and work are based on His management plan and the requirements of mankind. They have never been based on the Bible, and are not limited by the Bible. When God created the heavens, the earth, and all things, or when He destroyed the world with a flood, or burned Sodom, or led the Israelites out of Egypt, or used Moses to proclaim the law, or personally came incarnate and was crucified to redeem mankind, and many other things, not one of these things was done based on the contents of the Bible. All of these things were done outside the Bible. If we limit the entirety of God’s work and words to what is within the Bible, aren’t we belittling and blaspheming God? The Lord Jesus said, “Search the scriptures; for in them you think you have eternal life: and they are they which testify of Me. And you will not come to Me, that you might have life” (John 5:39–40). The Lord’s words clearly tell us that the Bible is only a testimony of God’s work. It cannot represent God, it cannot stand in place of His work, and it cannot grant people the truth and life. We all recognize that God, not the Bible, is the Creator of the heavens, earth, and all things; we all recognize that it is God, not the Bible, who observes our hearts; we all recognize that it is God, not the Bible, who guides and redeems mankind; and we all recognize that it is God, not the Bible, who will bring the words spoken by the Holy Spirit to the churches and fulfill the prophecies in the last days. Only God, who is supreme, has paramount authority; only God can do the requisite work to save mankind; and only God can grant us the truth, the way, and the life in every age. So, the Bible cannot be compared with God, much less represent God.
As Christians, we should respect the fact of God’s work rather than delimit God’s words and work by clinging to our notions and ideas. Much less should we seek a basis for reason in all things from the Bible. If we were to do that, we could easily condemn and resist God, leave the returned Lord outside the door, and forever lose our chance to receive God’s salvation. To do this would be just like the chief priests, scribes, and Pharisees of Judaism, who longed for the coming of the Messiah to liberate them from the Roman government, yet when the Lord Jesus expressed new words and did new work that were outside the Old Testament, the Judaic religious leaders were arrogant and self-important. They had no desire whatever to seek the truth, and stubbornly clung to their own notions and ideas, believing that because the Lord Jesus’ words and work were outside the Old Testament, they were heresy. They made all kinds of accusations against Him, wildly resisted, condemned and blasphemed Him, and even colluded with the satanic Roman government to have Him crucified, thereby committing a grievous sin and leading to the tragic death of the nation of Israel. We can see that if we take our own notions and ideas as a basis to delimit God’s words and work, we can easily end up doing things that resist God and offend God’s disposition!
How Should We Act When We Hear People Preaching News of the Lord’s Return?
After hearing the above fellowship, it is safe to assume that brothers and sisters who yearn for the truth recognize that the entirety of God’s words and work is not contained only in the Bible, that God’s words and work exist outside the Bible, and that in the last days, when the Lord returns, He will speak new words, do a new stage of work, and fully save mankind. So, today, when faced with news of the Lord’s return, how should we act in this situation?
The Lord Jesus once taught us, “Blessed are the poor in spirit: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. … Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness: for they shall be filled” (Matthew 5:3, 6). From these words, we can understand that our attitude toward the truth should be our attitude toward God. God wants us to be people who humbly seek and yearn for the truth—this is the only way to completely gain God’s blessings. Consider the example of Peter: In the Bible it is written that Peter’s brother Andrew ran to see him after meeting the Lord Jesus and shared the news that he had met the Messiah, so he brought Peter to visit the Lord Jesus. Peter did not cling to any notions, nor did he refuse to investigate. Instead, he went to see the Lord Jesus, and through the Lord Jesus’ sermons and work, determined that the Lord Jesus was the Messiah and received the Lord’s salvation (See John 1:40–42). When the Lord Jesus called the other disciples who followed Him, they did not cling to the Old Testament either. Instead, with fear of God in their hearts, they humbly sought, and in the end were also able to recognize God’s voice in the words of the Lord Jesus, determined that He was the prophesied Messiah, followed Him without resistance, and received the Lord’s salvation.
So, if we wish to receive the returned Lord, while treating the Bible in the correct manner, we must also follow the examples of Peter and the others who followed the Lord Jesus, maintain an attitude of humble seeking, and focus on listening for God’s voice. Only in this way can we be reunited with the Lord and gain His salvation in the last days. If we cling to our notions, never seek or investigate, and do not take advantage of the time we have, the moment that God’s work concludes, we may lose God’s salvation of the last days forever.
Thanks be to the Lord for His enlightenment and guidance. Amen!