Question 3: No matter the rest, the pastors and elders are preaching from the Bible. Aren’t they exalting the Lord and testifying to Him by expounding the Bible and making man hold firm to the Bible? As such, is it honestly wrong for them to keep doing so? How can you say that they’re only hypocritical Pharisees?
Answer: Expounding on the Bible seems correct in men’s eyes. But when they’re expounding on the Bible, they’re actually resisting God. What men would do that? Are they not hypocritical Pharisees? Aren’t they antichrists who are resisting God? Why do they resist God with their preaching? Why do they condemn Him? Some people don’t understand these. They still think expounding the Bible exalts and testifies God. The Jewish chief priests, scribes, and Pharisees were all scholars and experts on the Bible, and were always preaching the Bible to people. If expounding the Bible is exalting God and testifying to God, then why is it that when the Lord Jesus came to do work and preach, they fervently resisted and condemned the Lord Jesus, and in the end colluded with the government leaders to crucify Him? The religious pastors and elders today know the Bible well, and preach for years. If preaching the Bible is equivalent to exalting God, and bearing witness to God, then why do they resist and condemn instead of seeking and investigating when Almighty God comes to express the truth and do the work of judgment? Where does the problem lie? Isn’t this an important issue for every believer in God to reflect upon? Besides, if the leaders of the religious world do exalt God and bear witness to God when they’re expounding on the Bible, then in the Age of Grace, when the Lord Jesus came, why didn’t He do His work in the temple? In the last days, when Almighty God comes, why does He not work in churches either? It’s because the leaders of the religious world aren’t exalting or testifying to God. They’re all hypocritical and self-conceited Pharisees. They’re antichrists who control the religion to oppose God. How could they allow God to exist on this earth? Could they permit voices that testify to God in the religious world? If the incarnate Christ worked and preached in religion and churches in the last days, He would’ve been arrested, handed to the government, and crucified. If people testified to God in churches, they would be persecuted and face arrest undoubtedly. As the Lord Jesus said, “Behold, I send you forth as sheep in the middle of wolves” (Matthew 10:16). That’s the truth of the matter. Why can’t people still see that? Given the fact that the Pharisees resisted and condemned God, we should be clear about whether exalting the Bible is really bearing witness to God! Can those who truly exalt and bear witness to God resist Him? Can they make an enemy of God? Besides, we should also know this: The Bible contains more than God’s words. It has man’s words too. So exalting the Bible and exalting God aren’t the same thing. Obeying it and obeying the Lord’s commandments aren’t the same thing. Religious Pharisees only focus on the preaching of man’s words, biblical knowledge and mere theories when they’re expounding on the Bible. They preach and testify man’s words instead of focusing on the preaching and testifying of God’s words, of the truth God expressed in the Bible. How could this be exalting and testifying to God? Isn’t this just resisting and betraying God? And so, that’s why all those who think expounding on the Bible is exalting God and bearing witness to God are simply fools. They don’t understand the spirit or see things through. They’re fools who worship, believe, and follow the religious leaders blindly. Isn’t that a fact?
Back then, the Pharisees in Judea worked to interpret the knowledge and doctrines within the Bible to practice religious rituals, observe doctrines and keep man’s inheritance. They then discarded God’s commandments and put His way aside. And when the Lord Jesus came, they fervently resisted and condemned Him and crucified Him upon the cross. Thus they were cursed and punished by God. Today religious pastors and elders often expound and testify about the Bible to us. But they don’t focus on spreading and testifying to God’s word, nor expounding the Lord Jesus’ will, much less His requirements for mankind. They rarely testify to His divine substance and His loveliness, nor guide man to practice and experience the Lord’s words, nor fellowship about how to hold on to the Lord’s commandments and follow His will. They merely focus on expounding and exalting man’s words in the Bible, asking them to practice and follow man’s words as God’s and the truth. And they solve their problems by looking to man’s words in the Bible, rather than the words of God, rejecting and resisting God’s words in the Bible with man’s words in the Bible. Take how to enter the kingdom of heaven. The Lord Jesus told man clearly, “Not every one that said to me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that does the will of my Father which is in heaven” (Matthew 7:21). But the pastors and elders put aside the Lord Jesus’ words, and regard man’s words in the Bible as truth, as the standard that one enters the kingdom of heaven, and preach that one can enter just by suffering for the Lord. They replace and reject God’s word with man’s word, and so lead many people astray. That’s the most evil and vicious way that the religious pastors and elders resist God. And they also preach the Bible out of context. They resist and condemn Almighty God with man’s words in the Bible. They try their best to delude, control, bind, and bar the believers from accepting Almighty God’s work of the last days, keeping them tightly bound and under their control. Just as Almighty God says, “Look at the leaders of every denomination and sect. They are all arrogant and self-right, and they interpret the Bible out of context and according to their own imagination. They all rely on gifts and erudition to do their work. If they were incapable of preaching anything, would those people follow them? They do, after all, possess some learning, and can speak a little of doctrine, or know how to win over others and how to use some artifices, through which they have brought people before themselves and have deceived them. Nominally, those people believe in God—but in reality they follow their leaders. If they encounter those who preach the true way, some of them would say, ‘We have to consult him about our belief in God.’ See how they require someone’s consent to believe in God; is that not a problem? What have those leaders become, then? Have they not become Pharisees, false shepherds, antichrists, and stumbling blocks to people’s acceptance of the true way?” (“Only Pursuing the Truth Is Truly Believing in God” in Christ’s Talks with Church Leaders and Workers). According to these facts, how can we say that religious pastors and elders are exalting and bearing witness to God whenever they’re preaching? Aren’t they using their expounding of the Bible as an excuse to resist God by twisting its words out of context? They’ve long become obstacles and stumbling blocks for man to accept the true way and return to God, and they are antichrists fully revealed by Almighty God’s work of the last days. Is this honestly not a fact that we can all see clearly yet?
According to man’s notions, expounding the Bible exalts and testifies to God. From how the religious leaders and the Pharisees expounded it, we can see this isn’t the truth of the matter at all. What the Pharisees exalt and testify about is the Bible, but not God. What they preach is primarily man’s words in the Bible instead of God’s words. They use man’s words in the Bible to replace and resist the words of God. They resist and judge God with out-of-context quotes of man’s words in the Bible. Their purpose in expounding isn’t to exalt or bear witness to God, but to deceive and control people for their own despicable purposes. Expounding like this just resists God. It’s evil. So when God comes to do His work, they control people firmly using the Bible, causing them to believe blindly in the Bible, setting them upon the path of resisting God. So, the religious leaders, the Pharisees’ expounding is all about resisting God. They quote biblical words out of context, using man’s words to resist God and to oppose Him, and to establish their own kingdom. And so, how should we expound the Bible to really exalt and testify to God? The Bible is the record of God’s work and God’s testimony. So when expounding the Bible, we should follow God’s words and truth in it to exalt and testify to Him. We should spread and testify to His words in the Bible. It’s based on God’s requirements and God’s words that we fellowship about God’s will and the truth in God’s words, and that we testify to God’s work and disposition and God’s substance and loveliness, and lead people in the practice and experience of God’s words, so that they live by them, and exalt and testify to the Lord Jesus in everything. Only expounding the Bible this way exalts and testifies to God, which is after God’s heart, and is truly serving God. Man’s words in the Bible are there just for reference and assistance. They can never be equivalent to God’s words. But the religious pastors and elders only focus on expounding the words of man contained in the Bible. They take man’s words written in the Bible as God’s words, and the truth, as their rules of personal conduct, as a way to handle problems. And yet they seldom focus on the words of God. They use man’s words in the Bible to replace God’s words, to nullify them. Do they bear witness to God when expounding the Bible this way? Aren’t they exalting and bearing witness to man? Besides, when they’re preaching the Bible, they only focus on explaining theology. They just list the figures’ names, places, and historical facts to flaunt and show off themselves. Isn’t that how they deceive and control people? Aren’t they making man worship and follow them? Back then, the earliest Pharisees misinterpreted the Bible when preaching in order to control and deceive man. And so, they led the believers to follow man and resist God. Judaism then became an independent kingdom against God. Today in the last days, the religious pastors and elders are playing the same trick to make people put blind faith in the Bible and worship it, causing the Bible to take God’s position in the hearts of men. Unknowingly, believers are led to forsake the Lord’s words and oppose Him. They’ve turned the religious world into an independent kingdom against God as well as a strong bastion against His work. Expounding the Bible like this, aren’t they opposing and blaspheming God? Isn’t this the Pharisees’ and the antichrists’ schemes to oppose God and build their independent kingdom? How could it be said that they exalt God and testify to Him? A crafty way for the Pharisees to resist God is to willfully misinterpret the Bible and thereby deceive and control man. The Bible is God’s testimony. According to man, expounding the Bible testifies to God. These hypocritical Pharisees, however taking advantage of this notion, try to exalt and testify about the Bible. They replace God with the Bible. And they resist Him with the Bible and trick man, leading them to believe in and worship the Bible blindly. They become traitors to God who worship and follow biblical scholars. This is the most sinister and cunning scheme for Satan to oppose God and deceive man, one that is the most difficult to see through and easily misleads man.
Let’s read Almighty God’s word. “Those who read the Bible in grand churches recite the Bible every day, yet not one understands the purpose of God’s work. Not one is able to know God; moreover, not one is in accord with the heart of God. They are all worthless, vile men, each standing on high to teach God. Though they brandish the name of God, they willfully oppose Him. Though they label themselves believers of God, they are ones who eat the flesh and drink the blood of man. All such men are devils who devour the soul of man, leading demons who purposefully disturb those who try to step onto the right path, and stumbling blocks that impede the path of those who seek God. Though they are of ‘robust flesh,’ how are their followers to know that they are antichrists who lead man in opposition to God? How are they to know that they are living devils who specially seek souls to devour?” (“All Who Do Not Know God Are Those Who Oppose God” in The Word Appears in the Flesh). “The most disobedient person is one that intentionally defies and resists God. He is the enemy of God and is an antichrist. Such a person always retains hostility against the new work of God, shows no intent to submit, and has never gladly obeyed or humbled himself. He exalts himself before others and never submits to another. Before God, he considers himself the most proficient in preaching the ‘word’ and most skillful in working on others. He never discards the treasures already in his possession, but treats them as family heirlooms to be worshiped, to be preached to others, and used to lecture those fools who adore him. There are indeed some such people in the church. It can be said that they are ‘indomitable heroes,’ generation after generation sojourning in the house of God. They think preaching the ‘word’ (doctrine) to be their highest duty. One year after another and one generation after the other, they perform their holy and sacred duty. None dare touch them and none dare openly reproach them. They became ‘king’ in the house of God, acting tyrannically through the ages. These demons seek to join hands and together destroy My work; how can I allow these living devils to exist before Me?” (“The Truly Obedient Shall Surely Be Gained by God” in The Word Appears in the Flesh). It can be seen that religious pastors and elders often expound on the Bible, but they simply don’t understand the truth and don’t know God. So they’re exactly the hypocritical Pharisees, false shepherds, false workers who deceive, restrict, bind and harm people. They lead people to deny and condemn Christ to the extent that people resist and go against God, and all become Satan’s accomplices and puppets. Isn’t this an obvious fact?
from the movie script of Break Through the Snare