Question 6: Since Paul stated that “All scripture is given by inspiration of God,” it is not wrong, because he was an apostle of God. God was telling mankind through Paul that scriptures were all inspired by God and are all the word of God. Do you dare deny this?
Answer: This issue is highly representative. Next, let us communicate on whether these epistles written by Paul and other apostles were really inspired by God and whether they can represent the word of God. That way we will know how to treat these epistles of the apostles. Before we continue communicating, allow us to first read two passages of Almighty God’s word! Almighty God says, “The Pauline epistles of the New Testament are epistles that Paul wrote for the churches, and not inspirations from the Holy Spirit, nor are they the direct utterances of the Holy Spirit. They are merely words of exhortation, comfort, and encouragement that he wrote for the churches during the course of his work. So, too, are they a record of much of Paul’s work at the time. They were written for all of the brothers and sisters in the Lord, and were in order to make the brothers and sisters of all of the churches at the time follow his advice and abide by all of the ways of the Lord Jesus. By no means did Paul say that, be they the churches of that time or of the future, all must eat and drink the things he wrote, nor did he say that his words all came from God. According to the circumstances of the church at that time, he simply communed with the brothers and sisters, and exhorted them, and inspired belief in them; and he simply preached or reminded people and exhorted them. His words were based upon his own burden, and he supported the people through these words. … All he said that was edifying and positive to people was right, but it did not represent the utterances of the Holy Spirit, and he could not represent God. It is an egregious understanding, and a tremendous blasphemy, for people to treat the records of a man’s experiences and a man’s epistles as the words spoken by the Holy Spirit to the churches! … His identity was merely that of a working apostle, and he was merely an apostle who was sent by God; he was not a prophet, nor a foreteller. So to him, his own work and the lives of the brothers and sisters were of the utmost importance. Thus, he could not speak on behalf of the Holy Spirit. His words were not the words of the Holy Spirit, much less could they be said to be the words of God, for Paul was nothing more than a creature of God, and was certainly not the incarnation of God. … If people see the epistles or words like Paul’s as the utterances of the Holy Spirit, and worship them as God, then it can only be said that they are too indiscriminating. To speak more harshly, isn’t this nothing but blasphemy? How could a man talk on behalf of God? And how could people bow down before the records of his epistles and of the words he spoke as if they were a holy book, or a heavenly book? Could the words of God be casually uttered by a man? How could a man talk on behalf of God? And so, what say you—could the epistles that he wrote for the churches not be tainted with his own ideas? How could they not be tainted with human ideas? … If you say that his epistles are the words of the Holy Spirit, then you are absurd, and you are committing blasphemy! The Pauline epistles and the other epistles of the New Testament are equivalent to the memoirs of the more recent spiritual figures. They are on a par with the books of Watchman Nee or the experiences of Lawrence, and so on. It’s simply that the books of recent spiritual figures are not compiled into the New Testament, yet the substance of these people is the same: They were people who were used by the Holy Spirit during a certain period, and they could not directly represent God” (“Concerning the Bible (3)” in The Word Appears in the Flesh).
We can see from Almighty God’s word that although the epistles of the apostles largely conform with God's intentions, yet there is a difference between conforming with God’s intentions and being the word of God. The epistles of Peter and Paul only appeared one after the other following the Lord Jesus’ resurrection and ascension into heaven. When these letters were sent to the churches, how did the brothers and sisters of the churches regard them? They would have said, “These are letters from Brother Peter, these are letters from Brother Paul.” They would not have treated these letters as the word of God, because these apostles never said that they were God. They only admitted that they were disciples who followed the Lord Jesus. Therefore, the brothers and sisters of the churches at the time would have treated these letters and words as the words of other brothers. Peter and Paul also never said that their words were inspired by God or were the word of God. That’s the historical context of the time. But today, we treat these epistles and words of the apostles as the word of God and regard them in the same category as the word of God. This is against historical fact! The epistles of these apostles only came out of their burden to the church. It was to support the churches at the time. Their epistles cannot represent the word of God. God’s words are God’s words, man’s words are man’s words. If we cannot distinguish which are God’s words and which are man’s words in the Bible, that’s a very serious problem. In fact, there is only a portion of God’s word in the Bible. Only the words personally spoken by Jehovah God, the words of Moses as instructed by Jehovah God, the words conveyed by prophets from Jehovah God, and the words personally spoken by the Lord Jesus are truly the word of God. We can see that the words of prophets all have a special label. They say, “Thus said the LORD.” This explains that they are conveying God’s words and making people see clearly that they are mimicking the original words of God. Therefore, only the words conveyed by prophets from God, the words personally spoken by Jehovah God that were recorded, and the words personally spoken by the Lord Jesus that were recorded by the apostles are the true word of God. Only this portion of the words in the Bible is the word of God. Apart from this portion, all the words spoken by the apostles and things recorded by God’s servants are man’s testimonies and man’s words.
It is not accurate to say that the Bible was inspired by God and all God’s word just based on one line from the epistle of an apostle. In the age of the apostles, no one would have treated the letters of Peter and Paul as the word of God, and no one would have regarded these apostles as Christ. These apostles never dared to call themselves Christ either. Only Christ represents God and the Holy Spirit. Thus, we should not treat the words of these apostles as the word of God. The words of these apostles don’t represent God and moreover don’t represent the Holy Spirit. Also, God has never testified to the Bible as such. The Lord Jesus only said that the Bible is a testimony of God, but did not say that the Bible was inspired by God and was all God’s words. The Holy Spirit has also never testified to anyone about the Bible in this way. Only the Holy Spirit and God incarnate know best about the inside story of the Bible. No man can fathom the inside story of the Bible. The Bible is a record of God’s work and personal experiences and testimonies written by people who served God. It is merely man conveying God’s words or man bearing witness to God’s work by describing their own experiences after receiving the enlightenment of the Holy Spirit. None of this was personally written by God. That’s a fact! Though the records and epistles of the apostles were enlightened by the Holy Spirit, they cannot represent the word of God. Therefore, “All scripture is given by inspiration of God and all the word of God” is the wrong viewpoint. It doesn’t conform with the facts whatsoever!
The word of God is the truth. A life of experience can only live out a limited portion. No matter how much of God man knows, he cannot express God’s words. No matter how weighty man’s testimony, his words cannot be compared to God’s words. This is because the difference between God’s essence and man’s essence is heaven and earth. Man can never express God’s words. Even the prophets could merely convey God’s words. Even those used by the Holy Spirit cannot express God’s words. All they can discuss are their own experiences and testimonies. Christ has a divine essence, so what He expresses is naturally God’s words. Man’s substance is humanity, so what he expresses is naturally man's experiences and knowledge. Even if it conforms with the truth, it cannot be compared in the same breath as God’s words. People of today go against historical fact and insist that man’s words in the Bible are God’s words. This is something that completely deceives people and resists God. It is regarded as blaspheming God.
Excerpted from the movie screenplay of Disclose the Mystery About the Bible