Devotional Reading: Are All of God’s Words in the Bible?
“Siyu, in chapters 3 and 22 of Revelation, theprophesies many times, “I come quickly.” We have been longing for the Lord Jesus to return for so many years, and now He has returned to speak His words and perform a new stage of work …”
Siyu stood at the window, frowning, with the words of her neighbor Sister Zhou echoing over and over in her ears. But she thought of what the pastors and elders often preach: “and works are all recorded in the Bible and there are none outside the Bible. If we want to await the Lord’s coming, we have to stick to the Bible.” Siyu thought to herself, “The Lord will definitely return in the last days. But if all of God’s words and works are in the Bible, how can the Lord possibly speak any more words or perform any new works when He returns in the last days?” Thinking this, Siyu felt very confused. She turned and walked back to the table, and she then prayed to God, seeking the answers. Siyu then opened the Bible and, just at that moment, she was drawn to chapter 2, verse 7 of Revelation. She read in a soft voice: “He that has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches.” “What the Spirit says to the churches?” she thought. “He that has an ear, let him hear? Revelation is a book of prophecy concerning the Lord’s return, so could it be that when the Lord returns in the last days, He really will speak more words? But the pastors and elders say that the Lord’s words and works are all in the Bible. What exactly is the truth of the matter?” Siyu pondered this for a long time, but still she couldn’t quite understand it.
Siyu thought about her co-worker Sister Xiang Yang, who had a pretty clear understanding of the Scriptures and whose thoughts and insights were more advanced than other people’s, and so she paid a visit to Xiang Yang’s home. Unexpectedly, when she got there Xiang Yang’s cousin, the preacher Sister Rui, just happened to be there too, and Siyu gave thanks to the Lord for arranging this meeting! After they sat down, Siyu could not stop herself from telling Sister Rui about the confusion in her heart.
After listening to Siyu, Sister Rui gave fellowship, saying: “Thank the Lord. After reading the verse in the Book of Revelation, we can figure out that it is possible that the Lord will speak more words when He returns in the last days—this comes from the enlightenment of the Holy Spirit and it is the Lord’s guidance! When we listen to sermons, we often hear pastors and elders saying, ‘All of God’s words and works are in the Bible, and there are no works or words of God outside the Bible.’ But have we ever wondered whether or not this statement tallies with the Lord’s own words and with the facts of God’s work? Let’s think about it: Did Jehovah God or the Lord Jesus ever say such a thing? Has the Holy Spirit ever said such a thing? In reality, everyone who is familiar with the Bible knows that, while the Bible was being compiled, due to the disagreements between the compilers and the omissions they made, there is a part of the words transmitted by the prophets in the Age of Law that is not recorded in the Old Testament, but which was collected into the Deuterocanonical books. The New Testament also only records a part of the words and works of the Lord Jesus. The Lord Jesus preached and worked for three-and-a-half years back then, and He must have spoken so many words and given so many sermons that the words and works of the Lord recorded in the four gospels are but a drop in the ocean. Just as the disciple John says: ‘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). Evidently, that which is recorded in the Bible is just a limited part of God’s words and works. How then can we say that all of God’s words and works are recorded in the Bible, and that there are none outside the Bible?”
Siyu pondered Sister Rui’s fellowship, and she nodded her head and said, “Yes, the words of God transmitted by the prophets in the Age of Law were not all recorded in the Old Testament, and this is a widely known fact! When the Lord Jesus was performing His works in Judea, He preached all over and preached wherever He went. How many words must He have spoken in just one day? What’s more, the Lord Jesus officially performed His works on earth over a period of three-and-a-half years, and His disciples couldn’t possibly have written down every single word He said! It seems that there really is a limited selection of God’s words and works recorded in the Bible, and to say that there are none of God’s words or works outside the Bible simply does not accord with the facts!”
Sister Rui nodded her head, and she continued her fellowship, saying: “Besides, it is prophesied in many places in the Bible that the Lord Jesus will return in the last days to speak more words and perform more works, and that He will judge mankind with words. 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). ‘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 12:48). It is prophesied in many places in chapters 2 and 3 of Revelation that: ‘He that has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches.’ And Revelation chapter 10, verse 4 says: ‘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.’ Chapter 12, verse 9 of the Book of Daniel says: ‘And he said … for the words are closed up and sealed till the time of the end.’ These prophecies, such as ‘When He, the Spirit of truth, is come, He will guide you into all truth,’ ‘The word that I have spoken, the same shall judge him in the last day,’ ‘what the Spirit says to the churches,’ and ‘The words are closed up and sealed till the time of the end,’ mean that the Lord Jesus shall return in the last days to speak more words and perform more works. If we accept the view of the pastors and elders, that ‘there are none of God’s words or works outside the Bible,’ then how shall these prophecies be fulfilled and accomplished?”
Siyu suddenly saw the light, and she said excitedly, “Thank the Lord, this fellowship accords with the truth as well as with the facts of God’s work! The Bible clearly prophesies that God will express truths and perform His work of judgment in the last days, and yet pastors and elders say ‘All of God’s words and works are in the Bible and there are none outside the Bible.’ Does that then mean that the words and works of the Lord when He returns will automatically appear in the Bible? Impossible! By saying this, aren’t the pastors and elders denying the Lord’s prophecies?”
“That’s right. The Bible was compiled and put together after God had completed His work and was based on the records of the prophets and apostles. God’s work came first, and the Bible came after, so the words and works of the Lord when He returns cannot be recorded in the Bible prematurely! The views of the pastors and elders just don’t tally with God’s words, nor do they accord with the facts of God’s work!” said Xiang Yang in all earnestness as she looked at Siyu.
Sister Rui turned on her tablet computer and said, “Actually, a sister recently told me that the Lord Jesus has returned already and has long been incarnated among man, expressing His words and performing the work of judgment. At first, I wasn’t able to accept this news, as I believed that all of the Lord’s words and works were recorded in the Bible, and so how could the Lord speak more words and perform more works when He returned? However, the sister later fellowshiped patiently with me and read several passages of God’s words to me, and I finally realized that the view I was clinging to was wrong. It just so happens that those passages of God’s words are on my tablet computer. Sister Siyu, would you like to read them?”
Siyu nodded, took the tablet computer and read: “‘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…. 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)’). ‘The work of God in each age has clear boundaries; He does only the work of the current age and never does He carry out the next stage of work in advance. Only in this way can His representative work of each age be brought to the fore’ (The Word, Vol. 1. The Appearance and Work of God. How Can Man Who Has Delimited God in His Notions Receive the Revelations of God?). ‘God’s words have no end, like water gushing from a spring they will never run dry, and thus no one can fathom the mysteries of God’s management plan’ (‘Chapter 12’ of Interpretations of the Mysteries of God’s Words to the Entire Universe).”
Sister Rui then said, “From God’s words and that sister’s fellowship, I came to understand that God is the Creator, that God is the source of mankind’s life and that God’s deeds are so bountiful that they are simply inestimable and eternally unfathomable. God utters His words to water and supply us, like an ever-flowing wellspring of living water. The Bible only collected together a very limited selection of the works and words of God during the Age of Law and the Age of Grace, and yet pastors and elders say, ‘All of God’s words and works are recorded in the Bible and there are none outside the Bible,’ as though God couldn’t possibly perform any new work or speak any new words. By saying this, are they not delimiting God and blaspheming against Him? Returning in the last days, God will speak His utterances and perform new works, and if we always delimit God’s work, won’t we then be apt to miss our chance to welcome the coming of the Lord and will lose His salvation? The Jewish chief priests, scribes and Pharisees back then relied on their own conceptions and imaginings, believing that the words and works of the Lord Jesus went beyond the Old Testament, and they used this as an excuse to condemn and deny the Lord Jesus’ words and works. In the end, they crucified the Lord Jesus upon the cross, thus offending God’s disposition, and they were cursed and punished by God. In the last days, at this key time of the Lord’s coming, if we don’t learn from the lesson of the Pharisees’ failure and we arbitrarily delimit God’s words and works, then we will be apt to repeat the same mistakes as the Pharisees!”
Xiang Yang then said, “Yes indeed. The view that ‘there are none of God’s words and works outside the Bible’ is just plain wrong. If we don’t apply our discernment in the light of God’s words and just carry on clinging to this view, then we will very likely lose God’s salvation in the last days!”
Siyu said cheerfully, “Thank the Lord! Today’s fellowship has finally dispelled the confusion in my heart! The Bible is actually just a record of the two previous stages of God’s work, and it only records a very limited selection of God’s works and words. It does not represent all of God’s works and words, and it especially does not record the works and words of God when He returns in the last days. These two passages from the Bible now spring to mind: ‘Great and marvelous are your works, Lord God Almighty’ (Revelation 15:3). ‘O Jehovah, how great are Your works! and Your thoughts are very deep. A brutish man knows not; neither does a fool understand this’ (Psalm 92:5–6). God’s wisdom is unfathomably profound, and His deeds are bountiful and rich. How then can we restrict and delimit His works and words within the Bible? From today’s fellowship, I am now certain that not all of God’s words and works are recorded in the Bible, and that the Lord who returns in the last days will surely speak more words and perform His work of judgment. Faced with God’s work of the last days, I no longer wish to cling to my own mistaken conceptions and imaginings, but instead I wish to be a wise virgin, have a God-fearing heart, seek the truth more and focus on hearing God’s voice, for only in this way will I be able to welcome the Lord’s return and attain His salvation in the last days!”
Xiang Yang nodded and said amen to Siyu, and she couldn’t wait to say, “Yes! If the Lord really has returned to speak His words but we cling to our conceptions and refuse to seek or accept His work—would this not make us the foolish virgins? Oh, Sister Siyu. Since we are now certain that the Lord will speak more words and perform His work of judgment when He returns, my cousin said just now that a sister had testified to her that the Lord has returned already! Let’s ask my cousin to get in touch with that sister and we’ll continue our seeking, and we will see whether or not the One she bears witness to really is the Lord Jesus returned.”
“This is what I’m thinking, too,” said Siyu. Turning to Sister Rui, she then said, “Sister Rui, could you take us to …”
And Sister Rui nodded her head gladly.