Question 6: Since Paul said that the Bible was all inspired by God, it can’t be wrong. Because Paul was God’s apostle, God told people through him that the Bible was all inspired by God and was God’s word. How dare you deny that?
Answer: The issue is very typical. Next, let’s fellowship about whether the epistles written by Paul and other apostles were inspired by God and whether they can represent God’s word. Then we’ll know how to treat these apostles’ epistles. I remember two passages of Almighty God’s word. Let’s read them before we fellowship. Almighty God says, “Paul’s letters in the New Testament to the churches were not the revelation of the Holy Spirit, nor words directly from the Holy Spirit; they were simply Paul’s exhortation, consolation, and encouragement to the churches during the time he worked, as well as a record of much work done by him. He wrote these letters to all the brothers and sisters in the Lord, and thereby exhorted those of the various congregations at that time to heed his counsel and follow all the ways of the Lord Jesus. He did not say that all churches now and forever must eat and drink his words, or that his words came entirely from God. He was simply communicating with his brothers and sisters according to the situation in the churches at the time, exhorting them and buoying their faith. He was simply preaching or giving admonishment and exhortation. He wrote those words according to his burden, offering them as a means of support. … Everything he said that edified others and had a positive effect was correct, but his words did not represent the words of the Holy Spirit, and did not represent God. To regard man’s letters, the record of man’s experiences as words spoken by the Holy Spirit to all of the churches, is a grave misunderstanding and the worst kind of blasphemy. … He was not a prophet or a foreteller, just a working apostle, a sent apostle, and so his own work and the life of his brothers and sisters were what mattered most to him. So he could not speak on behalf of the Holy Spirit; his words were not the words of the Holy Spirit, much less the words of God, because he was merely one of God’s creations and not God incarnate. … If people hold the letters or words like Paul’s to be the utterance of the Holy Spirit, and worship them as God, it shows that they are too undiscriminating. To put it baldly, are they not purely blasphemers? How can a human being speak on behalf of God? How can people prostrate themselves before the letters and words of a man, holding them to be a holy book, a heavenly book? Do God’s words simply fall off of man’s lips? How can man speak on God’s behalf? Think about it: When Paul wrote letters to the churches, how could they not be colored by his own ideas? And by his own will? … If you say that their letters are the words of the Holy Spirit, you are absurd, and it is blasphemous! The Pauline epistles and the other epistles of the New Testament are no different from the writings of spiritual men in modern times, and can be compared to the spiritual writings of men such as Lawrence or Watchman Nee. It was only that these writings were never incorporated into the New Testament. But these people in essence were the same: They were people used by the Holy Spirit for a period of time, and could not directly represent God” (“Concerning the Bible (3)” in The Word Appears in the Flesh).
From God’s words, we can see that although the apostles’ letters mostly agreed with God’s will, yet agreeing with God’s will is different from being God’s word. Peter’s and Paul’s letters appeared after the Lord Jesus’ resurrection and ascension. When those letters were sent to the churches, how would the brothers and sisters of that time treat them? They would say, “These letters are from Brother Peter. Those are from Brother Paul.” They wouldn’t treat those apostles’ letters as God’s words, because the apostles had never said that they themselves were God. They were just disciples who followed the Lord Jesus. So, the brothers and sisters in the churches would treat their letters and their words as the words from a brother. Peter and Paul had never said that their words were inspired by God and were God’s words. This is the historical background of that time. But today we treat the apostles’ words as God’s words, and even equate them as God’s words. It’s against the historical facts! God’s words are God’s words and man’s words are man’s words. If we don’t discern in the Bible which are God’s words and which are man’s words, this is a serious problem. In fact, only part of the words in the Bible are God’s words. Only the words Jehovah personally said, the words Jehovah revealed to Moses, the words Jehovah let the prophets convey, and the words the Lord Jesus said personally are truly God’s words. We see that there is a special mark in all the prophets’ words. They said, “Thus said the LORD” and “Thus says the LORD.” It shows that they were conveying God’s words. And people could see clearly that they were simply repeating God’s words. So, only God’s words conveyed by the prophets, and Jehovah’s words which were recorded, and Jesus’ words recorded by the apostles, are truly God’s words. In the Bible, only this part is truly God’s words. Except for this part, the words spoken by the apostles and the things recorded by God’s servants are man’s testimonies and man’s words.
If according to only one word in the apostles’ letters, we say that the Bible is inspired by God and is all God’s word, this is not correct. In the age of apostles, no one treated the letters of the apostles Peter and Paul as God’s words. And no one regarded apostles as Christ. And those apostles never dared to call themselves as Christ. Only Christ can represent God and the Holy Spirit. So, we can’t treat the apostles’ words in the Bible as God’s words. The apostles’ words don’t represent God, much less the Holy Spirit. God has never testified the Bible like that. The Lord Jesus only said that the Bible was God’s testimony, but didn’t say that it was inspired by God and was all God’s words. The Holy Spirit had never testified the Bible to anyone like that. Only the Holy Spirit and God incarnate know the inside truth of the Bible. No one else can fathom it. The Bible is an account of God’s work written by those who served God and is testimony of men’s experiences. All these weren’t written by God personally. It’s only men’s conveying of God’s words or their testimony of God’s work through their experience after being enlightened and illuminated by the Holy Spirit. It’s a fact. Although the apostles’ records and letters had the Holy Spirit’s enlightenment, they couldn’t represent God’s words. So, the view that “the Bible is all inspired by God and is all God’s word” is wrong. It goes against the facts.
God’s word is the truth. Through all one’s life, he can only live out a limited part. However well one knows God, he can’t express God’s word. However powerful one’s experiences and testimonies are, they still can’t be compared to God’s word, because man’s substance is vastly different from God’s. Man can never express God’s word. Even the prophets could only convey God’s word. Even if used by the Holy Spirit, they couldn’t express God’s word. They could just talk about their own experiences and testimonies. Christ has divine substance, so naturally what He expresses is God’s words. Man’s substance is humanity, so naturally what he expresses are man’s experience and knowledge. While matching the truth, they can’t be compared to God’s word. People of today go against the historical fact and insists that man’s words in the Bible are God’s words. It’s completely deceiving man and resisting God and this is blaspheming God.
from the movie script of Disclose the Mystery About the Bible