V. Questions and Answers on the Inside Story of the Bible
Question 2: Paul made it very clear in (2Ti 3:16) “the entire Bible is inspired by God”, so that all words in the Bible are God's words, and that the Bible represents God, We are going by Paul's words. How can this be wrong?
Answer: Many people in religious circles believe that the Bible is inspired by God. They believe what Paul said about this. But no one investigates whether Paul had any basis for this statement. They have such a view all because they worship Paul too much and have too much blind faith in Paul. Has anyone considered whether Paul’s statement conforms with God’s word? Is it supported by the words of the Lord Jesus? Are there words of the Holy Spirit as proof? People use Paul’s words to blindly conclude that the Bible is entirely inspired by God. Does this conform with the Lord’s word, conform with the truth? If this statement by Paul is corroborated by the words of the Lord Jesus or the Holy Spirit, then we should accept and obey that, which is completely in line with the Lord’s intentions. But we all know very clearly that Paul used to resist God and oppose the Lord Jesus. It’s a recognized fact that he was the ringleader of the opposition against the Lord Jesus’ work. Even though the Lord Jesus chose Paul as an apostle to spread the gospel, Paul is still a created creature. Therefore, his words are undoubtedly all the words of a man. The Lord Jesus is God, while all of the Lord Jesus’ apostles and disciples are men. The apostles and disciples of the Lord Jesus cannot be compared to the Lord Jesus Himself. If they are not supported by the words of the Lord Jesus or the Holy Spirit, then no matter what man says, we cannot accept them blindly. Otherwise the consequences will be unimaginable. Thinking back to the time when the Pharisees resisted and condemned the Lord Jesus, many people rejected the Lord Jesus because they followed the Pharisees. They were eliminated and condemned precisely because they resisted the Lord Jesus. Have we not absorbed these lessons? Actually, in the Bible, only the words of Jehovah God, the words spoken by the Lord Jesus, the words of the Holy Spirit, the words of God conveyed by the prophets, and the prophecies in the Book of Revelation, are God’s word. Apart from that, it’s all the records and letters of man. These all count as testimonies of God’s work and have a need to be recorded in the Bible, but we must not treat man’s words as the word of God. Man’s words are man’s words, and only God’s words are truly the word of God. If we insist that the words of man and Satan in the Bible are the word of God, then that’s slandering and blaspheming God! Therefore, the saying that “All scripture is inspired by God and is all the word of God”, does not conform with the facts.
Let’s read a passage of Almighty God’s word. “In fact, apart from the books of prophecy, most of the Old Testament is historical record. Some of the epistles of the New Testament come from people’s experiences, and some come from the enlightenment of the Holy Spirit; the Pauline epistles, for example, arose from the work of a man, they were all the result of the Holy Spirit’s enlightenment, and they were written for the churches, were words of exhortation and encouragement for the brothers and sisters of the churches. They were not words spoken by the Holy Spirit—Paul could not speak on behalf of the Holy Spirit, and neither was he a prophet, much less did he see visions that John beheld. His epistles were written for the churches of Ephesus, Philadelphia, Galatia, and other churches. And thus, 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.… He did the work of an apostle of the churches of that time, he was a worker who was used by the Lord Jesus, and thus he was given the responsibility of the churches, he was charged with carrying out the work of the churches, he had to learn about the situations of the brothers and sisters—and because of this, he wrote epistles for all of the brothers and sisters in the Lord. 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! … 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?” (“Concerning the Bible (3)” in The Word Appears in the Flesh).
The words of Almighty God make it very clear. The Bible contains not only the word of God, but also the words of various people. This is the truth and we should respect it, make distinctions, and treat the Bible correctly. But many believers still believe in the Bible blindly and worship the Bible. They all believe Paul’s statement that “All scripture is given by inspiration of God.” They think as long as it is recorded in the Bible it should be the word of God, and treat the various words of man as well as Satan as God’s words. What kind of problem is this? Is this not resisting and blaspheming God? All words spoken by man are clearly marked in the Bible as man’s words. Why do people have to insist that they are God’s words? Is it that man’s words will become God’s words if they are compiled into the Bible? What kind of logic is that? The Bible also includes the words of the ancient serpent, words of Satan. Do people dare say that these are also God’s words? It shows that all those who think everything in the Bible is all the word of God are completely absurd! Even if people don’t understand the truth they should at least respect facts. They shouldn’t be turning things upside down.
We all know that only God’s word is the truth, the way, and the life. Words spoken by man that conform with the truth all come from their experience and knowledge of God’s word. But even with the enlightenment and illumination of the Holy Spirit, they are still man’s words, and cannot be compared with the word of God. The word of God is the expression of God’s disposition and all that He has and is. It is the reality of positive things and can be man’s life. Words spoken by man that conform with the truth all come from man’s experience and understanding of God’s word and the truth, and all represent the stature of man at the time. But we should be clear that the truth of God’s words can never be fully experienced by man. No matter how deep their knowledge of God’s word and the truth, they cannot reach the original essence of the truth. That is to say, words spoken by man that conform with the truth cannot be equated to the truth. Man’s being able to speak words that conform with the truth does not mean that man is possessed of the truth. Moreover, it does not represent that man is the truth. This is because the Holy Spirit bases His work on man’s actual stature, enlightening and guiding man to gradually understand the truth and enter the reality. Therefore, the words that conform with the truth spoken by those used by God all are limited experience and understanding of the truth and are very different to the essence of the truth. The words that conform with the truth can only provide people with a bit of help and benefit. They cannot be man’s life and cannot be compared to God’s word. Almighty God says, “All the words of enlightenment of the Holy Spirit do not represent God’s word, do not represent truth, and they do not pertain to the truth. It can only be said that those people have some understanding of truth, and some enlightenment of the Holy Spirit.… Truth is the life of God Himself, representing His own disposition, representing His own substance, representing everything within Him.” (“Do You Know What Truth Really Is?” in Records of Christ’s Talks). Therefore, the words of God and the words of man in the Bible cannot be confused. The preaching of many religious pastors are based not on the word of God but on the words spoken by man in the Bible. They regard man’s words in the Bible as the truth and make people practice and comply with them. This makes it easy to create confusion, because man’s words cannot be man’s life and only God’s words can be man’s life. Pastors always treat man’s words in the Bible as the truth and make people practice and enter them. Isn’t that putting the cart before the horse? Is this exalting God and bearing witness to God? Further, the words “All scripture is given by inspiration of God” were spoken by Paul. God has never witnessed to the Bible in this way and the Holy Spirit has never said such words. Moreover, no prophets or apostles have said such words. The words “All scripture is given by inspiration of God” as spoken by Paul can only represent his personal view and are not supported by the word of God. Therefore, for people to think that the Bible is entirely inspired by God, that it is all the word of God, and that the Bible represents God, all of this is incredibly wrong. We should see this fact clearly and treat the Bible correctly. That way, God will be satisfied.
from the movie script of Break the Shackles and Run