I Understand the Bible Anew and Welcome the Second Coming of Jesus
By Difrem, India
The Bible Is the Basis of My Faith
I was born into a Catholic family. Although many of us in the local area followed God, many still smoked, drank alcohol, and worshiped idols, and there were even some in our church congregation who committed adultery. I knew nothing about the Bible back then, and when I saw the church leaders and my fellow believers living in such a way, I blindly followed suit and smoke and drank as well. One day in 2011, several brothers who believed in the Lord Jesus came to our village to preach the gospel. While I listened to their sermon, my heart was stirred by several passages from the Bible: “And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free” (John 8:32). “I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man comes to the Father, but by Me” (John 14:6). Although I wasn’t entirely clear what the Lord Jesus meant when He said these things, I knew that God possessed the truth, that He could bestow life upon us, and that if we believed in God then we had to listen to His words, for only by doing this would God be pleased. Only then did I begin to reflect, and I thought: “I believe in God and yet I’m living a life of smoking and drinking, and this makes me no different from those who don’t believe in God. This doesn’t accord with the truth. As a believer who follows God, I should stop living this degenerate life, and instead I must focus on living according to God’s words, seek to know God and gain the truth.” I then began to focus on reading the Bible, and I began to attend meetings with the preacher brothers to study.
While I was studying the Bible, I read the Ten Commandments and saw that they clearly stipulate that we are not to worship idols, and yet we Catholic believers go against God’s requirement and worship all manner of idols, doing exactly what God hates. I then thought about how the priests and church leaders never preached to us about how to keep the Lord’s way, but instead led us to do things which violated the commandments. I felt that by believing in God here in this church, I would simply not be able to gain the truth, and so I decided to leave the Catholic church and become a Christian. I was overjoyed, and I thought: “If I don’t read the Bible then I won’t understand God’s will. It looks as though reading the Bible and acting in accord with God’s requirements in the Bible are so important! From now on, I must read the Bible more and adhere to the Bible, for only by doing that will I come to know God and obtain both truth and life, and be commended by God.”
Later on, at a meeting, a preacher brother said very emphatically, “‘All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness’ (2 Timothy 3:16). God’s words are all recorded within the Bible and there are no words of God beyond those that are in the Bible. Departing from the Bible is heresy and we must absolutely adhere to the Bible. Only the Bible can give us life!” Hearing this, I became even more certain of the importance of the Bible. From that day on, I yearned to read the Bible and commit sections to memory even more, and I listened eagerly to the pastor’s expounding on the Bible. Whenever I saw the people around me browsing webpages online, I would think: “You’re all looking at things which are useless, and which belong to the world. You really are wasting your life and your time. I mustn’t be like you, but must spend all my time reading the Bible, for only by doing that will I attain eternal life.” I also often told the brothers and sisters I was with not to deviate from the Bible, that only by focusing more on reading the Bible would they be able to know God, and that only by making the Bible the basis of their faith would they be able to receive life. At that time, our faith was very great; we preached the gospel together and established a Christian church in the local area.
My Spirit Becomes Parched and I Feel Lost and in Pain
In 2018, I found that the church was no longer anything like it had been before. The sermons given by the pastor were dry and lifeless, without any light whatsoever. He just harped on about the same old Bible verses and historical stories of spiritual persons, and his sermons had nothing at all to do with our real lives or our spiritual lives, nor was I gaining anything from reading the Bible. My spirit felt weak, I was losing my faith in God, and I no longer yearned for the Bible. I felt very confused: “What’s going on?” I thought. “Why can’t I stay devoted to God?”
In my search for new insights and understanding, I began to search online and to listen to sermons from pastors from all over the world. After listening to a few sermons, however, I found that they also just talked about the same old things, without any new light whatsoever. I felt crushed, and all I could do was pray and seek guidance from God.
The True Light Is Revealed to Me in a Movie
One day, while I was searching for videos on YouTube, I noticed a gospel movie entitled Disclose the Mystery About the Bible. The name of the movie caught my eye and I thought that I would surely gain something new here. So, I hurriedly clicked on the link and began to watch the movie. When I watched it the first time, I felt very confused. The movie said that there were words and work of God that were not in the Bible, but that flew directly in the face of the pastor’s teachings, didn’t it? And yet when the gospel preachers in the movie gave fellowship, they listed many facts and their argument was reasonable and well-grounded. It all sounded brand new to me, so I decided to watch it again. I saw the brothers and sisters in the movie get into a debate over the view that “We must base our faith in the Lord on the Bible, all of God’s words are within the Bible, there are no words of God beyond those that are in the Bible, and to go beyond the Bible is heresy.” Some of the brothers and sisters agreed with this view, while others believed that there existed words of God which were not in the Bible. I couldn’t help but wonder: “Are there really any words of God that are not in the Bible? The pastor had always said, ‘God’s words are all in the Bible, to go beyond the Bible is heresy, and we must base our faith in the Lord on the Bible.’ So what on earth is the truth here?” With this confusion in my mind, I continued to watch the movie.
Brother Shen from The Church of Almighty God fellowshiped this, “Brothers and sisters, all those who are familiar with the Bible know that in the compilation of the Bible, because of the compilers’ disagreement and omission, some of God’s words conveyed through the prophets were not included in the Old Testament. This is an acknowledged fact. How can you say that outside the Bible there are no God’s work and word? Aren’t those omitted prophecies of the prophets God’s words? The Lord Jesus said more words than those in the New Testament. John 21:25 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.’ This proves that not all the Lord Jesus’ work and word are recorded in the New Testament. So, the saying that outside the Bible there are no God’s work and word doesn’t accord with the fact. Brothers and sisters, we should also know both the Old and New Testament came into being from man’s record after God finished one stage of His work. At first, the Bible only had the Old Testament. All the Lord Jesus’ work and word went beyond the Old Testament. If according to ‘any belief beyond the Bible is a heresy,’ won’t we condemn the Lord Jesus? Brothers and sisters, from these facts we can see the saying ‘outside the Bible there are no God’s work and word and any belief beyond the Bible is a heresy’ is groundless.”
Then Brother Guo 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 didn’t 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 during 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. Is this not folly? Does doctrine need to be applied to the work of God? And must it be according to the foretellings of prophets? 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)” in The Word Appears in the Flesh).
Brother Shen continued with his fellowship, saying, “Over so many years, we all thought that any belief apart from the Bible was heresy. Today, after reading Almighty God’s word, we know: God never works according to the Bible or works by consulting the Bible, much less does He look for paths in the Bible to lead His followers. Rather, He’ll bestow to man a newer way and do a newer work. God is the Ruler of all things. He is not only the Lord of the Sabbath but the Lord of the Bible. God is entitled to do His own work. He can do a new work according to mankind’s need. So, ‘outside the Bible, there are no God’s word and work, and any belief apart from the Bible is heresy,’ this saying is untenable.”
I then heard Brother Guo give fellowship, saying: “What the Bible records is limited. The Old Testament only records the work of Jehovah, and the New Testament only records the work of the Lord Jesus. The Bible only prophesies God’s end-time work. However, it doesn’t record the details, because in the end time God does the work of judgment, which is a new work outside the Bible. God is the expresser of truth, the Ruler of the universe and all things. His richness is unfailing and inexhaustible, and no created being can fathom Him. So, the contents of the Bible alone can’t make clear all God’s deeds. Let’s read a passage of Almighty God’s word. Almighty God says, ‘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)” in The Word Appears in the Flesh).”
Brother Guo continued, “We all read the Bible in the past, but we weren’t clear about the inside story of the Bible. Today, Almighty God’s word has disclosed it. Let’s read a passage of Almighty God’s word. 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 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 they 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 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’d best seek God’s will of today’ (“Concerning the Bible (4)” in The Word Appears in the Flesh).”
Then Brother Shen fellowshiped: “From Almighty God’s words, we see that the Bible is only a historical record of God’s former works. It can’t save man. The Bible can never be compared with God. God is the spring of living water of life. His word and utterance flow unceasingly. However, what the Bible records is very limited. This is a fact that no one can deny. God is an ever-new and never-old God. In each age, He does a new work and expresses new words. Like in the Age of the Grace, the Lord Jesus did a new work and expressed new words. But the Jewish priests and Pharisees held on to the Old Testament. They not only rejected and condemned the Lord Jesus, but even nailed Him on the cross, committing a monstrous sin. Today, the end-time Christ, Almighty God, expresses all the truths, which are not recorded in the Bible at all. Since there is no record, the Bible can’t substitute for God’s end-time work and all His words. Brothers and sisters, we can no longer hold on to the Bible. We should seek God’s present will and search for the Holy Spirit’s working. Only this is after God’s heart.”
After watching this in the movie, I felt very much in agreement with their fellowship. When the Lord Jesus came to perform His work, He certainly didn’t just say what is recorded in the New Testament, for God is the Creator, and His bounty is endless and inexhaustible. What’s more, God doesn’t base His work in the Bible, and it was only after God had finished His work that man then recorded His work and set it down in the Bible. If God came to perform a new work, it would surely not be recorded in the Bible already. God must surely go beyond the Bible to perform His work, just like the Lord Jesus’ words and work went beyond the Old Testament. Therefore, it seemed as though the view that the pastor had taught us, that “God’s words are all within the Bible, there are no words of God beyond those that are in the Bible and to depart from the Bible is heresy” is wrong, and it does indeed delimit God. My heart felt greatly illuminated just then, and what moved me most were the words they read which had explained the mysteries in the Bible so clearly. From the bottom of my heart, I was certain that no human being could possibly have spoken these words, that they were surely the utterances of God, and that only God could reveal these mysteries. Thinking this, I carried on watching with even greater interest.
Can We Receive Life If We Depart From the Bible?
The two brothers then gave fellowship on the topic, “How can we receive life in our belief in the Lord?” The main character, Feng Jiahui, asked: “Then, how will we believe in the Lord and receive life if we leave the Bible?” This was precisely the issue I was wondering about, as our pastor had often said to us, “Only by adhering to the Bible can we receive life. How could we receive life if we depart from the Bible?” I was itching to know how they would answer this question in the movie.
Brother Shen answered, “Sister Feng, your question is very crucial. This is what we believers all want to know. The Lord Jesus once said this, ‘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). Before, we also studied the Bible again and again, thinking we could gain eternal life from it. Actually, the Bible only testifies God. Brothers and sisters, if we want to gain truth and life in believing in God, the Bible’s testimony is not enough.”
After that, Brother Guo read a passage of Almighty God’s words: “Christ of the last days brings life, and brings the enduring and everlasting way of truth. This truth is the path through which man shall gain life, and 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. … The steps of God’s work are vast and mighty, like surging waves and rolling thunders—yet you sit and passively await destruction, sticking to your folly and doing nothing. In this way, how can you be considered someone who follows the footsteps of the Lamb? How can you justify the God that you hold on to as a God who is always new and never old? And how can the words of your yellowed books carry you across into a new age? How can they lead you to seek the steps of God’s work? And how can they take you up to heaven? What you hold in your hands is the letters that can provide but temporary solace, not the truths that are capable of giving life. The scriptures you read are that which can only enrich your tongue, not words of wisdom that can help you know human life, much less the paths that can lead you to perfection. Does this discrepancy not give you cause for reflection? Does it not allow you to understand the mysteries contained within? Are you capable of delivering yourself to heaven to meet God on your own? Without the coming of God, can you take yourself into heaven to enjoy family happiness with God? Are you still dreaming now? I suggest, then, that you stop dreaming, and look at who is working now, at who is now carrying out the work of saving man during the last days. If you do not, you shall never gain the truth, and shall never gain life” (“Only Christ of the Last Days Can Give Man the Way of Eternal Life” in The Word Appears in the Flesh).
Brother Shen then went on fellowshiping: “Brothers and sisters, from Almighty God’s words, we understand only Christ can express the truth, redeem mankind, and save mankind. Only if man comes to Christ can he receive truth and life. The Bible can’t replace God’s authority and power and can’t give man life on behalf of God, much less replace the Holy Spirit’s working. Only if we accept and obey the end-time Christ can we receive the Holy Spirit’s working and gain truth and life. If man doesn’t accept the words expressed by the end-time Christ, he can’t gain life, because the Bible isn’t God but just the testimony of God’s work. Here we see, life isn’t from the Bible but from Christ. Only Christ is the Lord of the Bible and the spring of life.”
Brother Guo also said: “Brothers and sisters, before, we believed in God only according to the Bible. In our eyes, the Bible represented the Lord and God. The Bible replaced God in our hearts. Rather than believe in God, we believed in the Bible. So, when Almighty God, the end-time Christ, works, we think what He speaks and does doesn’t agree with the Bible and then deny and reject and even condemn and resist. We know God’s disposition is righteous and doesn’t tolerate man’s offense. In the past, the chief priests, teachers of the law, and Pharisees, though believing in God for generations, held on to the Old Testament, and by the law, they condemned the Lord Jesus, and crucified the Lord Jesus. Today, when Almighty God came, we resist His work by the Bible once again. Isn’t it the same as the Pharisees’ resisting the Lord Jesus in the Age of the Grace? We should draw a lesson from the Pharisees’ failure. The Lord Jesus said, ‘I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man comes to the Father, but by Me’ (John 14:6). Before I accepted God’s end-time work, I didn’t understand the meaning of this word. Today, I understand, only the last Christ is the gate to enter the kingdom of heaven. Only if we accept and obey the last Christ can we be led onto the way of being saved.”
After listening to Almighty God’s words and the fellowships given by the two brothers, I finally understood that merely adhering to the Bible could not help me to know God, much less give me life. I’d always believed that eternal life could be found within the pages of the Bible, and that if I wanted to obtain truth and life, then I had to read the Bible more. Now I understood that the Bible is nothing more than a testimony to God’s past work; eternal life is not to be found within the Bible, for only God can bestow eternal life on us. If I treated the Bible as if it were God, then I would be blaspheming God, and ultimately I would make the same mistake as the Jewish Pharisees when they used the Bible to delimit and defy the Lord. The more I pondered these words and fellowships, the better I thought them. These words gave me some new understanding about the substance of the Bible and about the relationship between the Bible and God.
The Lord Has Returned, Bringing the Way of Truth
Just before the movie ended, I heard Brother Shen in The Church of Almighty God give fellowship, saying, “Brothers and sisters, since 1991, the last Christ, Almighty God, has expressed millions of words, that is, this book The Word Appears in the Flesh. It discloses the biggest mystery, God’s six-thousand-year management plan, and points out the only way for us to be saved and to gain truth.” When I heard that the Lord Jesus had returned and was expressing new utterances, my heart was filled with excitement and joy. It turned out that the words that had just been read were the utterances of the second coming of Jesus. I never imagined that the Lord would truly have returned already. I had unexpectedly welcomed the Lord’s return and had listened to truths that were both practical and new! The Lord had returned and had been working for 28 years already, but I had only just heard these glad tidings. I’d found out so late, but I was still very lucky, as God had used this special method to lead me to hear His voice! I’d never before known the path to receive life but had believed that I could receive life just by adhering to the Bible. Now I knew that I had just been daydreaming! Thanks be to God for showing me the path to receive life, and I made a resolution: From this moment on, I will follow the new words expressed by the second coming of Jesus!
I Receive the Supply of God’s Living Water of Life
The next day, I told the brothers and sisters in my church the happy news of the Lord’s return, and showed them the movie, Disclose the Mystery About the Bible. After watching the movie, some of them recognized Almighty God as the second coming of Jesus, and they began to seek the truth alongside me, and I was greatly encouraged. Afterward, I searched on YouTube for the YouTube channel of The Church of Almighty God, and watched many gospel movies such as Yearning and Knocking at the Door, and they really helped me a lot. Although after watching these movies, I came to understand some truths and some of my confusion in my belief in the Lord was dispelled, there were still many things I didn’t understand, and I looked forward to the day when I would be able to investigate these issues with brothers and sisters from The Church of Almighty God. I therefore tried to call The Church of Almighty God to make contact with the brothers and sisters, but I wasn’t successful because of the poor cell phone reception. I felt a little disappointed, but then I thought that my having been able now to watch these movies and understand these truths was all down to the guidance and leadership of God, and whether there was the Indian branch of The Church of Almighty God nearby or not, I would still keep on seeking the truth. I thought about how the city of Sodom had had only one righteous man, Lot, and that God sent angels to save him. I therefore believed that God would open up a way for me. And so, every day I downloaded from YouTube some movies produced by The Church of Almighty God and watched them with my family, and we began to pray together for God to lead us to understand the truth.
Later, I thought about leaving a message on the website of The Church of Almighty God. I was soon in contact with the brothers and sisters of The Church of Almighty God in the local area, and I began to attend their meetings. Together with the brothers and sisters, I attended meetings and read Almighty God’s words, and each time I felt very provided for and I felt a sense of release and enjoyment in my heart. Through attending meetings, I also came to understand that God’s work moves ever onward and that, on the foundation of the Lord Jesus’ work of redemption, in the last days God performs the work of judging and purifying man with words, so as to save mankind from the influence of Satan once and for all and lead all who are purified by His words into the kingdom of God—this is God’s work in the Age of Kingdom. As soon as God’s new work in the last days began, the churches of the Age of Grace no longer had the work of the Holy Spirit. Therefore, the religious world of today is experiencing unprecedented desolation, pastors have nothing to preach and just say the same old things, our spirits are unsupplied by listening to them and instead just get darker and darker, we become dispirited and weak, and we end up with nowhere to turn. Only now do I understand that only by keeping pace with God’s new work can we obtain the work of the Holy Spirit and receive the watering and supply of God’s living water of life. I give great thanks to Almighty God, for it was Almighty God who led me before Him to accept His salvation in the last days. From this day on, I wish to believe in God in earnest, and to walk the path in pursuit of truth and life! Thanks be to God!