Some people, in their study of the Lord Jesus’ return, only base their studies on the Bible’s prophecies, but they do not seek to listen to God’s voice. What is the problem with this practice?
The Answer from God’s Word:
“First, let us not verify each statement. Instead, let us look at howworks. Let us take the path we walk and compare it with the truth to see if this path is in line with , and use the work of the Holy Spirit to check whether such path is correct. As for whether this statement or that statement has come to pass as foretold, we humans should not stick our noses into it. It is better for us to speak instead of the work of the Holy Spirit and the latest work that God has been doing. The Bible comprises the words of God told by the prophets and the words written by the men God used at the time; only can explain those words, only the Holy Spirit can make known the meaning of those words, and only God Himself can break the seven seals and open the scroll. You are not God, and neither am I, so who dares lightly to explain the words of God? Do you dare to explain those words? Even if the prophets Jeremiah, John and Elijah were to come, they would not dare to try and explain those words, for they are not the Lamb. Only the Lamb can break the seven seals and open the scroll, and none other can explain His words. …”
… The last days are no more than the last days and no more than the Age of Kingdom, which do not represent the Age of Grace or the Age of Law. It is just that, during the last days, all the work in the six-thousand-year plan of management is revealed to you. This is the unveiling of the mystery. This kind of mystery is something that can be unveiled by no man. No matter how great an understanding man has of the Bible, it remains nothing more than words, for man does not understand the substance of the Bible. In reading the Bible, man may understand some truths, explain some words, or subject some famous passages and chapters to his petty scrutiny, but he will never be able to extricate the meaning contained within those words, for all man sees are dead words, not the scenes of the work of Jehovah and of Jesus, and man has no way of unraveling the mystery of this work. Therefore, the mystery of the six-thousand-year plan of management is the greatest mystery, the most profoundly hidden, and wholly unfathomable to man. No one can directly grasp the will of God, unless He Himself explains and opens it up to man; otherwise, these things will forever remain riddles to man, remaining forever sealed mysteries. Never mind those in the religious world; if you had not been told today, you would not have grasped it either. This work of six thousand years is more mysterious than all the prophecies of the prophets. It is the greatest mystery from creation to the present, and no one among the prophets throughout the ages has ever been able to fathom it, for this mystery is only unveiled in the final age and has never before been revealed. If you can grasp this mystery, and if you are able to receive it in its entirety, then all religious persons will be vanquished by this mystery. Only this is the greatest of visions; it is that which man longs most keenly to grasp but it is also that which is most unclear to him.
from “The Mystery of the Incarnation (4)” in
The Jews of the time all read from the Old Testament and knew of Isaiah’s prophecy that a male infant would be born in a manger. Why then, with this knowledge, did they still persecute Jesus? Is this not because of their rebellious nature and ignorance of the work of the Holy Spirit? At that time, the Pharisees believed that the work of Jesus was unlike what they knew of the prophesied male infant; man of today rejects God because the work of the incarnate God does not conform to the Bible. Is not the substance of their rebelliousness against God one and the same? Can you be such that you accept without question all the work of the Holy Spirit? If it is the work of the Holy Spirit, then it is the right stream. You should accept it without the slightest misgivings, rather than picking and choosing what to accept. If you gain some knowledge from God and exercise some caution against Him, is this not an act truly uncalled for? What you ought to do is accept, without the need for further substantiation from the Bible, any work so long as it is that of the Holy Spirit, for youto follow God, not to investigate Him. You should not search out further proof for Me to show that I am your God. Rather, you ought to discern whether I am of benefit to you; that is the key. Even if you have found out much irrefutable proof within the Bible, it cannot bring you fully before Me. You are one who lives within the confines of the Bible, and not before Me…. Though the Bible prophesied that a male infant would be born, none could fathom upon whom the prophecy would come to pass, for man did not know the work of God, and this is what caused the Pharisees to stand against Jesus. Some know that My work is in man’s interests, yet they continue to believe that Jesus and I are two entirely separate beings who are mutually incompatible. At the time, Jesus only spoke to His disciples a series of sermons in the Age of Grace, such as how to practice, how to gather together, how to ask in prayer, how to treat others, and so forth. The work He carried out was that of the Age of Grace, and He expounded only on how the disciples and those who followed Him ought to practice. He did only the work of the Age of Grace and none of the last days. When Jehovah set down Old Testament law in the Age of Law, why did He not then do the work of the Age of Grace? Why did He not make clear in advance the work of the Age of Grace? Would this not have been of benefit to the acceptance of man? He only prophesied that a male infant would be born and come to power, but He did not carry out in advance the work of the Age of Grace. 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. Jesus had spoken only of the signs of the last days, of how to be patient and how to be saved, how to repent and confess, as well as how to bear the cross and endure suffering; never did He speak of what man in the last days should enter into or how to seek to satisfy . As such, would it not be an act of fallacy to search within the Bible for God’s work of the last days? What can you discern merely holding the Bible in your hands? Be it an interpreter of the Bible or a preacher, who can foreknow the work of today?
from “How Can Man Who Has Delimited God in His Conceptions Receive the Revelations of God?” in The Word Appears in the Flesh
Each stage of God’s work was not expressly in order to fulfill the predictions of the ancient prophets, and He did not come to abide by doctrine or deliberately realize the predictions of the ancient prophets. Yet His actions did not disrupt the predictions of the ancient prophets, nor did they disturb the work that He had previously done. The salient point of His work was not abiding by any doctrine, and doing the work that He Himself should do. He was not a prophet or a seer, but a doer, who actually came to do the work He was supposed to do, and came to open His new era and carry out His new work. Of course, when Jesus came to do His work, He also fulfilled many of the words spoken by the ancient prophets in the Old Testament. So too has the work of today fulfilled the predictions of the ancient prophets of the Old Testament. It’s just that I don’t hold up that “yellowed old almanac,” that’s all. For there is more work that I must do, there are more words that I must speak to you, and this work and words are of far greater importance than explaining passages from the Bible, because work such as that has no great significance or value for you, and cannot help you, or change you. I intend to do new work not for the sake of fulfilling any passage from the Bible. If God only came to earth to fulfill the words of the ancient prophets of the Bible, then who is greater, God incarnate or those ancient prophets? After all, are the prophets in charge of God, or is God in charge of the prophets? How do you explain these words?
from “Concerning Appellations and Identity” in The Word Appears in the Flesh
Many people believe that believing in God means never straying from the Bible and that straying from the Bible means betraying God. Is this kind of view correct?
“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 they ultimately nailed the innocent Jesus to the cross, having charged Him with not following the law of the Old Testament and not being the Messiah. What was their essence? Was it not that they didn’t seek the way of compatibility with the truth?."
How did the Bible take shape? What type of book is the Bible exactly?
“The Old Testament, which describes Jehovah’s work in Israel, and the New Testament, which describes Jesus’ work in the Age of Grace, are both records of God’s work in two different eras. The Old Testament records His work in the Age of Law, and so it is a history book. The New Testament is a product of God’s work in the Age of Grace, and when the new work has begun, both testaments are out of date. So the New Testament is also a history book. Of course, the New Testament is not as systematic as the Old and does not record as many things.”
In one’s faith in God one must not stray from the Bible; anything straying from the Bible is fake and heretical. Is this tenable?
“The Bible is a history book. If during the Age of Grace you were to eat and drink the Old Testament, practicing the requirements of the Old Testament age, then Jesus would forsake you, condemn you. If you had tried to impose the Old Testament on Jesus’ work, you would have been called a Pharisee. … In Jesus’ day, He led the Jews and all those who followed Him according to the work of the Holy Spirit in Him...."
Question 27: The Bible is testimony to God’s work; only through reading the Bible can those who believe in the Lord recognize that God created the heavens and earth and all things and see God’s wonderful deeds, His greatness and almightiness. In the Bible there are lots of God’s words and lots of testimonies of man’s experiences; it can provide for the life of man and be of great benefit to man, so what I’d like to pursue is, can we actually attain eternal life through reading the Bible? Is there really no way of eternal life within the Bible?
Lord Jesus has 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” (Jhn 5:39-40). Some people are confused. They think: Given that the Bible is a record of God’s word and man’s testimony, reading the Bible should give us eternal life. Then why is it that the Lord Jesus said there is no eternal life in the Bible?