What exactly is the relationship between God’s work and the Bible? Did God’s work come first or did the Bible come first?
The Answer from God’s Word:
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? … By reading the Bible, at most you’ll understand a little of the history of Israel, you’ll learn about the lives of Abraham, David, and Moses, you’ll find out about how they revered Jehovah, how Jehovah burned those who opposed Him, and how He spoke to the people of that age. You’ll only find out about God’s work in the past. The records of the Bible relate to how the early people of Israel revered God and lived under the guidance of Jehovah. Because the Israelites were God’s chosen people, in the Old Testament you can see all the people of Israel’s loyalty to Jehovah, how all those who obeyed Jehovah were cared for and blessed by Him, you can learn that when God worked in Israel He was full of mercy and love, as well as possessed of consuming flames, and that all the Israelites, from the lowly to the mighty, revered Jehovah, and so the whole country was blessed by God. Such is the history of Israel recorded in the Old Testament.
from “Concerning the Bible (4)” in
The work of creation happened before there was mankind, but the Book of Genesis only came after there was mankind; it was a book written by Moses during the Age of Law. It’s like the things that happen among you today: After they happen, you write them down to show to people in the future, and for the people of the future, what you recorded are things that happened in times past—they are nothing more than history. The things recorded in the Old Testament are Jehovah’s work in Israel, and that which is recorded in the New Testament is the work of Jesus during the Age of Grace; they document the work done by God in two different ages. The Old Testament documents the work of God during the Age of Law, and thus the Old Testament is a historical book, while the New Testament is the product of the work of the Age of Grace. When the new work began, these books became out of date—and thus, the New Testament is also a historical book. Of course, the New Testament is not as systematic as the Old Testament, nor does it record as many things. All of the many words spoken by Jehovah of the Old Testament are recorded in the Bible, whereas only some of the words of Jesus are recorded in the Four Gospels. Of course, Jesus also did a lot of work, but it wasn’t recorded in detail. That less is recorded in the New Testament is because of how much work Jesus did; the amount of His work during three-and-a-half years on earth and that of the apostles was far less than the work of Jehovah. And thus, there are less books in the New Testament than the Old Testament.
… During the time of Jesus, Jesus led the Jews and all those who followed Him according to’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. His work, His teachings, His authority—no one had done this 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? His work was in order to lead a new path, it was not to deliberately pick a fight against the Bible, or to deliberately dispense with the Old Testament. He simply came to perform His ministry, to bring the new work to those who yearned for and sought Him. … 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?
from “Concerning the Bible (1)” in The Word Appears in the Flesh
Before, the people of Israel only read the Old Testament. That is to say, in the Age of Grace people read the Old Testament. The New Testament only appeared during the Age of Grace. The New Testament didn’t exist when Jesus worked; the people after He was resurrected and ascended to heaven recorded His work. Only then were there the Four Gospels, in addition to which were also the epistles of Paul and Peter, as well as the Book of Revelation. Only over three hundred years after Jesus ascended to heaven, when subsequent generations collated their records, was there the New Testament. Only after this work had been completed was there the New Testament; it had not existed previously. God had done all that work, the apostle Paul had done all that work, and afterward the epistles of Paul and Peter combined, and the greatest vision recorded by John in the island of Patmos was put the last, for it prophesied the work of the last days. These were all the arrangements of later generations…. Thus, if you worship the Bible as God you are extremely ignorant and stupid! Why do you not seek the work of the God of today? Only the work of God can save man. The Bible cannot save man, it has not changed at all for several thousands of years, and if you worship the Bible you will never gain.
from “Concerning the Bible (3)” in The Word Appears in the Flesh
Question 24: You testify that the Lord Jesus has already returned as Almighty God, that He expresses the entire truth that will allow people to attain purification and to be saved, and that He is currently doing the work of judgment beginning with God’s house, but we don’t dare accept this. This is because the religious pastors and elders frequently instruct us that all of God’s words and work are recorded in the Bible and there can be no other words or work of God outside of the Bible, and that everything that goes against or beyond the Bible is heresy. We cannot discern this problem, so please can you explain it for us.
Almighty God has come to do the work of judgment in the last days; is this in line with the contents of the New Testament? Religious circles always use the Bible to delimit God’s work; this is just so ridiculous and absurd! Superficially, they seem to respect the Bible, but all they actually are doing is trying to protect their status and domination. They are not genuinely seeking the truth; ...the only way to be accurate is to base our determination of what is or isn’t the true way, or God’s work, on whether or not the work of the Holy Spirit and the truth exist.
There are indeed many places in the Bible that prophesy God’s work of the last days. We would like to know regarding Almighty God’s appearance and His work: How does this fulfill and achieve those prophecies?
“In the last days, when I open My scroll (the scroll refers to all the words of My mouth, the words I speak in the last time, which are all the content of My scroll), I will tell you this.”
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...."
In the Bible’s Book of Revelation it says, “If any man shall add to these things, God shall add to him the plagues that are written in this book: And if any man shall take away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part out of the book of life, and out of the holy city, and from the things which are written in this book” (Rev 22:18-19). What is the relationship between God’s work of the last days and the prophecies of the Book of Revelation? Does God’s work fulfill all of the prophecies of Revelation?
“When you have finished reading this book, when you have experienced each step of the work of God incarnate in the Age of Kingdom, you will feel that the hopes of many years have finally been realized. You will feel that only now have you truly seen God face-to-face; only now have you gazed upon the face of God, heard the personal utterance of God, appreciated the wisdom of God’s work, and truly sensed how real and almighty God is."