By Understanding the Relationship Between God and the Bible, I Welcomed God’s Return

By Jean, Cameroon

Editor’s Note: Jean, a Christian, happened to come across the film Come Out of the Bible one day and was confused by the title. He couldn’t figure out why, in one’s belief in God, it would be necessary to come out of the Bible. After watching the film, however, he gained an entirely new understanding. Let’s have a look at his story!

Through Watching a Movie, I Unexpectedly Learned of the Lord’s Return

In September of 2018, while scrolling through YouTube, I happened to watch a film called Where Is My Home. I found the words recited in this film to be gentle and yet full of authority. After watching the film, I wanted to learn more about the church that had produced the film, The Church of Almighty God, so I did a web search to see what I could find. The web search, however, yielded several negative reviews of the church, but I was unable to ascertain the verity of these reviews. After a period of reflection, I decided I shouldn’t blindly accept the appraisals of other people, but should decide for myself whether or not this was a good church. Accordingly, I decided to download some of the church’s movies to watch.

I downloaded a film called Awakening. The film helped me understand the source of the current bleakness and desolation afflicting the church. Next, I watched a film called Yearning, which related how the Lord Jesus has already returned to do the work of judgment starting from the house of God. This was very exciting to me. Later on, I contacted The Church of Almighty God through the Internet and met Sister Louise. Sister Louise introduced me to several other brothers and sisters of the church. When interacting with the brothers and sisters of The Church of Almighty God, I felt they treated others with such sincerity—this was a far cry from the way people treated each other in my church. I really enjoyed interacting with them and so I prayed and attended meetings with these brothers and sisters in the name of Almighty God.

The Film Title Come Out of the Bible Left Me Feeling Puzzled

One night, I was scrolling through movies on The Church of Almighty God website, trying to decide which one I should download when I came upon the title Come Out of the Bible. I didn’t understand why, in one’s belief in God, it would be necessary to come out of the Bible. Shouldn’t belief in God be in accordance with the Bible? I thought back to the negative reviews of The Church of Almighty God I had read on YouTube perhaps the church got such negative reviews because of this idea of coming out of the Bible? I thought to myself, “If we don’t go through the Bible, how are we supposed to believe in God? The Bible tells us how to believe in and fear God. Belief in God must be in accordance with the Bible and any departure from the Bible is heresy. If I come out of the Bible, won’t I be betraying God?”

In the following two days, I stopped praying in the name of Almighty God and stopped downloading the hymns and watching the films of The Church of Almighty God. Instead, I fasted, hoping that God would enlighten me and let me know if Almighty God was truly the returned Lord Jesus. On the first night of my fast, however, I didn’t receive any enlightenment from God and so I decided to read the Bible. I opened my Bible up to Book of Revelation chapter 1 and began reading. In the Book of Revelation chapter 1, verse 8, I read the following: “I am Alpha and Omega, the Beginning and the Ending, said the Lord, which is, and which was, and which is to come, the Almighty.” Then in chapter 11, verses 16-17, I saw the following passage “And the four and twenty elders, which sat before God on their seats, fell on their faces, and worshipped God, Saying, We give You thanks, O LORD God Almighty, which are, and were, and are to come; because You have taken to You Your great power, and have reigned.” At that moment, I felt as though these two passages were God’s guidance to me, because, according to the Book of Revelation, God’s name in the last days will be “the Almighty,” that is, Almighty God. This discovery made me want to continue seeking the truth and meeting with the brothers and sisters of The Church of Almighty God. I also thought to myself that I must watch Come Out of the Bible, so that I could get down to the facts of the matter.

What Is the Real Relationship Between God and the Bible?

That night I watched Come Out of the Bible and heard the following quote from Sister Wang of The Church of Almighty God: “You just said that God wouldn’t depart from the Bible to do the work of salvation, and anything that does is heresy. This brings to mind a question for me: Which was first, the Bible, or God’s work?”

Then Sister Wang continued, “In the beginning, Jehovah God created heaven and earth, all things. He carried out work such as destroying the world with the flood, and destroying Sodom and Gomorrah. When God did these things, did the Old Testament exist?”

Hearing Sister Wang’s question, I thought to myself: During the time when God created heaven and earth, destroyed the world with the flood and destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah, the Bible didn’t exist yet!

I continued watching to see what Sister Wang would say. She went on to say: “When God was doing these things there really was no Bible. That is to say, God’s work came first, and only after that was it recorded in the Bible. And in the Age of Grace, when the Lord Jesus came to work there was no New Testament of the Bible. More than three hundred years AD, religious leaders from all over the world gathered in a conference and selected Four Gospels from the disciples’ records of the facts of the Lord Jesus’ work. They also added some of the letters the apostles wrote to the churches, as well as the Book of Revelation written by the disciple John. They compiled all of these things to make up the New Testament of the Bible. Brothers and sisters, from the process of the Bible becoming the book that it is, we can know that it is only a record of God’s past work. Without God’s work, we would not have the record of the Bible, which is to say that God would not work based on what is in the Bible. He is not restricted by the Bible because God just carries out His work of salvation according to His own plan and mankind’s needs. So, we cannot limit God’s work to just what is within the Bible, nor can we use the Bible to define His work. We particularly cannot say ‘Anything that departs from the Bible is a heresy,’ because God has the right to do His own work, and He has the right to depart from the Bible and do His work.”

Hearing Sister Wang’s fellowship, I felt very ashamed. What she said was true—before the Lord Jesus Christ did His work, there was no New Testament. The New Testament was composed sometime after three hundred years AD, when leaders of the religious world convened in a conference and selected the gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke and John, some of the letters written by the apostles to the church, and the Revelation to John. They compiled these contents into one book, which would become known as the New Testament. In this sense, the Bible really is just a record of God’s previous works. When God performs a new work, we’re incapable of finding God’s new words within the Bible.

Next, Sister Yang in the film said kindly: “That’s right, if we say that ‘Anything that departs from the Bible is a heresy,’ then aren’t we condemning God’s work throughout the ages? Everyone knows that at that time, the work of the Lord Jesus was not based on the Old Testament. He preached the way of repentance, He healed the sick, cast out demons, did not observe the Sabbath, forgave others seventy times seven times, and more. None of these things appeared in the Old Testament, and they were even completely contradictory to the laws of the Old Testament. The Jewish priests, elders, and scribes of the time condemned the work of the Lord Jesus as heresy precisely because His work was not carried out according to the Old Testament. I remember that in Acts 24:14, Paul said, ‘But this I confess to you, that after the way which they call heresy, so worship I the God of my fathers, believing all things which are written in the law and in the prophets.’ Everyone think for a moment: If we were to weigh this based on our own perspectives, what Paul preached would have been heresy, so how could we not condemn the way of the Lord Jesus that we believe in today?”

That’s right! When the Lord Jesus came to perform His work, He didn’t do so in accordance with the Bible, but, rather, went beyond the Bible. If we say that any departure from the Bible is heresy, are we not condemning the work of the Lord Jesus? I thought to myself, judging by my notions, if I had been born in the time of the Lord Jesus, there’s no guarantee I wouldn’t have resisted the Lord Jesus’ work. If I continue to uphold the Bible and resist the work of Christ of the last days, how will I be any different from the priests and all those that resisted God in the temple? Having realized all this, I felt an even greater sense of God’s love and salvation. It was God’s guidance that made me continue watching this movie and allowed me to understand this aspect of the truth, thereby preventing me from resisting God.

Later in the film, Sister Yang read a few passages of Almighty God’s word that relate to this issue: “No one knows the reality of the Bible: that 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?” “The Bible is a historical book, and if you had eaten and drunk the Old Testament during the Age of Grace—if you had put into practice what was required in the time of the Old Testament during the Age of Grace—Jesus would have rejected you, and condemned you; if you had applied the Old Testament to the work of Jesus, you would have been a Pharisee. … During the time of Jesus, Jesus led the Jews and all those who followed Him according to the Holy Spirit’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. So, too, were His work, His teachings, and the authority and power of His words beyond any man 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. He didn’t come to explain the Old Testament or uphold its work. His work was not in order to allow the Age of Law to continue developing, for His work gave no consideration to whether it had the Bible as its base; Jesus simply came to do the work that He ought to do. … 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!

Sister Wang had this fellowship, “Through God’s words, we have understood that for many years, we have all conflated God with the Bible. We have all thought that all believers in God must believe in the Bible, and all those who depart from the Bible cannot be called believers, that it is heresy. The truth is that the Bible only encompasses a true record of God’s first two stages of work. That is, the Bible is a true testimony of God’s two stages of work of guiding and redeeming mankind after He created heaven and earth and all things, and mankind. It does not represent all of God’s work for saving mankind. The words of God that are recorded in the Bible are too limited! They are just a tiny fraction of the expression of His life disposition, and they do not represent all of it! God’s work is not based on the Bible, and it does not refer to the Bible, and He particularly does not find His way from within the Bible to lead His followers. God’s work is always moving forward. He opens up a new age, and He does new work. That is, He indicates a new path for mankind, bestows even higher truths upon us, and allows us to gain greater salvation from Him! That is why He will not lead mankind based on His old work. He will not work based on the Bible because He is not merely the Lord of the Sabbath, but He is also the Lord of the Bible! He fully has the right to step outside the bounds of the Bible and to do new work according to His own plan and the current needs of mankind! God’s work in the new age and His work in the old ages recorded in the Bible couldn’t possibly be the same. So saying that ‘Departing from the Bible is heresy’ does not stand at all!”

From Almighty God’s word and this fellowship, I learned that the Bible is just a record of God’s two previous stages of work, but cannot represent the entirety of God’s salvation of humankind. God never works according to the Bible, nor does He consult the Bible, just as the Lord Jesus went beyond the Old Testament when He came to perform His new work. Not keeping the Sabbath, breaking bread, drinking wine—none of this is recorded in the Old Testament. God is the Lord of creation, He has the right to go beyond the Bible and perform works according to His own plan. I was extremely excited when I thought of this, because no pastor had ever mentioned anything of the kind.

Next, I heard Sister Yang fellowship the following: “Let’s all take a look at what is said in the words of Almighty God: ‘What I am teaching you is simply the substance and inside story of the Bible. I’m not asking that you don’t read the Bible, or that you go around proclaiming that it is totally devoid of value, but that you have the correct knowledge and view of the Bible. Don’t be too one-sided! Although the Bible is a history book that was written by men, it also documents many of the principles by which the ancient saints and prophets served God, as well as the recent apostles’ experiences in serving God—all of which were really seen and known by these people, and can serve as reference for the people of this age in pursuing the true way. … these books are still out of date, they still belong to the old age, and no matter how good they are, they are only suitable for one period, and are not everlasting. For God’s work is always developing, and it can’t simply stop at the time of Paul and Peter, or always remain in the Age of Grace in which Jesus was crucified. And so, these books are only suitable for the Age of Grace, not for the Age of Kingdom of the last days. They can only provide for the believers of the Age of Grace, not for the saints of the Age of Kingdom, and no matter how good they are, they are still obsolete.’”

Then Sister Wang said, “Brothers and sisters, the way Almighty God explains the Bible and what He says about it are most accurate. This entirely represents the will of God! Of course we corrupt humans aren’t qualified to evaluate the Bible, only Christ incarnate and the Holy Spirit have the authority to do that. Since the Bible came from the appearance and words of Christ as well as the work of the Holy Spirit, and it is the record of God’s work in the Age of Law and the Age of Grace, and it is also a true testimony for God’s work, this is what makes the Bible so precious! The Bible can help us understand God’s past work and some of His requirements for mankind at that time which is why every believer in God particularly loves and treasures the Bible. However, something that cannot be denied is that all the Bible can do is help us understand the history of God’s work, but it certainly cannot help us keep up with the pace of His current work, or gain the way of eternal life! This is why we cannot equate God Himself with the Bible, believe that the Bible is God’s everything, and that as long as we read the Bible we can gain life. This perspective is mistaken! Our saying this is not a rejection of the Bible at all, and we’re not saying that the Bible doesn’t have its value, it’s just so that people can approach the Bible correctly. You absolutely cannot be like the Pharisees, never going outside the bounds of the Bible, otherwise you will miss the opportunity to be saved by God.”

I reflected on how, when I first saw the title Come Out of the Bible, I felt a certain amount of resistance, thinking that people believe in God through the Bible, that it is the Bible that shows us how to believe in and fear God and by coming out of the Bible, I would effectively be abandoning God. From this, I see how the Bible had taken the place of God in my heart. Instead of saying I believed in God, it would be more accurate to say I believed in the Bible. You could even say that I saw the Bible and God as being equal. This was a very grave error! In so doing, was I not a slave to the Bible, as Almighty God has characterized the Pharisees? Is this not a blasphemy and betrayal of God? What’s more, I learned an important lesson through this experience: When investigating whether something is the true way and comes from God’s work, we should never believe other people’s judgments, but must investigate the matter clearly for ourselves.

Does the Bible Contain Eternal Life? How to Attain Eternal Life

I continued watching the film and saw them discussing the following issue: Sister Wang said, “There’s no eternal life in the Bible. Even though this doesn’t accord with our own notions, this is a fact that cannot be denied because when the Lord Jesus rebuked the Pharisees long ago, He warned people: ‘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’ (John 5:39–40). The Lord Jesus clearly indicated that there is no eternal life in the Bible, and if people want to gain eternal life by relying on the Bible, that is wrong! The Bible just bears witness to God, but if people want to gain the truth and life in their belief in God, just relying on the Bible is not enough. Gaining the truth, and gaining life must come from Christ!”

Sister Yang carried on with her fellowship: “That’s right, in fact, the words of the Lord Jesus were fulfilled long ago. Thinking of those Pharisees who upheld the Old Testament, they never gained eternal life. They were actually punished because they resisted the Lord Jesus’ new work. But the disciples who went beyond the Old Testament and followed the Lord Jesus gained the grace of redemption. So if we want to gain eternal life from God, only if we go beyond the scope of the Bible and accept God’s newest work and words, can we gain the way of eternal life. If we just blindly uphold the Bible, not only can we not gain God’s praise, but we will be just as Paul said: ‘But the scripture has concluded all under sin,’ and we will lose God’s salvation. The Israelites of the time could just enjoy God’s promises from the Age of Law from believing in Jehovah God. If they did not accept the redemption of Jesus Christ, they could not be forgiven of their sins, and they especially could not enjoy the peace and joy, and the abundant grace bestowed by the Lord. This is a fact!” Sister Zhao in the film also fellowshiped, “Mm, these are now the last days, and God has returned in the flesh and is doing a new stage of work. If we believe in God and want to gain the truth and life, just relying on the testimony of the Bible is not enough. We must gain truth and life from Christ, because only Christ is able to express the truth to redeem and save mankind. God is the Giver of life, the Bible cannot replace His almightiness, or represent God in giving life to mankind. It particularly cannot replace the work of the Holy Spirit. Only by accepting and obeying Christ can we gain the work of the Holy Spirit and gain the truth, and life. If we only believed in the Bible, but did not accept the practical God incarnate, then we would have no way to gain life because the Bible is not God, it is nothing more than a testimony to God’s work.”

Through these sisters’ fellowships, I realized that the Bible is just a historical record of God’s first two stages of work—it is just a testimony to God’s work and does not contain eternal life. Only by following Christ may we attain eternal life.

I kept watching and heard the following passages of Almighty God’s word: “You need not look for further substantiation from the Bible; if it is the work of the Holy Spirit, then you must accept it, for you believe in God to follow God, and you should not investigate Him. You should not seek further evidence of Me to prove that I am your God, but should be able to discern whether I am of benefit to you—this is what is most crucial. Even if you find much irrefutable proof within the Bible, it cannot bring you fully before Me. You merely live within the confines of the Bible, and not before Me; the Bible cannot help you know Me, nor can it deepen your love for Me. … The work of God in each age has clear boundaries; He does only the work of the current age, and never carries out the next stage of work in advance. Only thus can His representative work of each age be brought to the fore. Jesus spoke only of the signs of the last days, of how to be patient and how to be saved, of how to repent and confess, and of how to bear the cross and endure suffering; never did He speak of how man in the last days should achieve entry, nor of how he should seek to satisfy God’s will. As such, is it not ridiculous to search the Bible for God’s work of the last days? What can you see by merely clutching the Bible? Be it an expositor of the Bible or a preacher, who could have seen the work of today in advance?” “Since there is a higher way, why study that low, outdated way? Since there are newer utterances, and newer work, why live amid old historical records? The new utterances can provide for you, which proves that this is the new work; the old records can’t sate you, or satisfy your current needs, which proves that they are history, and not the work of the here and now. The highest way is the newest work, and with the new work, no matter how high the way of the past, it is still the history of people’s reflections, and no matter its value as reference, it is still the old way. Even though it is recorded in the “holy book,” the old way is history; even though there is no record of it in the “holy book,” the new way is of the here and now. This way can save you, and this way can change you, for this is the work of the Holy Spirit.

Sister Zhao said in fellowship: “Although God’s work in the last days was only prophesied in the Bible, and there were no actual records of it, it is based on mankind’s actual needs and it is work that is deepened and made loftier based on the foundation of the Bible. Just like when the Lord Jesus came, although He didn’t work according to the Old Testament, He did work according to mankind’s requirements and God’s own plan. He completed a stage of the work of redemption on the foundation of the work of the law, that is, He completed a new, loftier stage of work on the foundation of the Old Testament. In that stage of work, He didn’t revoke the old law, but perfected it.” Sister Yang continued to fellowship, “Yes, and likewise, in the last days today, God is doing another stage of newer, loftier work on the foundation of the Lord Jesus’ work of redemption based on mankind’s needs, based on God’s management plan, uttering so many words that can purify and save mankind. He is also revealing all the mysteries of God’s management plan. These are things that God never said in the Age of Law or in the Age of Grace. They are also the scroll, the seven seals that God is opening up in the last days. This fulfills the prophecy in the Book of Revelation: ‘He that has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches’ (Revelation 2:17). It is also written in Revelation 5:1–5: ‘And I saw in the right hand of Him that sat on the throne a book written within and on the backside, sealed with seven seals. And I saw a strong angel proclaiming with a loud voice, Who is worthy to open the book, and to loose the seals thereof? And no man in heaven, nor in earth, neither under the earth, was able to open the book, neither to look thereon. And I wept much, because no man was found worthy to open and to read the book, neither to look thereon. And one of the elders said to me, Weep not: behold, the Lion of the tribe of Juda, the Root of David, has prevailed to open the book, and to loose the seven seals thereof.’ These prophecies only existed after the Lord Jesus had completed His work. It goes without saying that these prophecies are certainly the things that God is going to achieve, as well as the work of salvation that God is going to do in the last days. Now, God has become flesh and has come to utter words. He has done a stage of the work of judgment and purification, and has uttered many words that can allow people to be saved. These words are not in the Bible, but are words that are outside of the Bible. These enriching words of life are the way of life God has bestowed upon mankind in the last days, and they are the only path for man’s salvation. If we refuse to accept them, we will never be able to be truly watered by the living water of God’s life, and we will never be able to gain the truth or life from God.”

I always believed that the Bible contained eternal life, but through Almighty God’s words I’ve realized that the Bible is not the truth. The Bible just helps us know God, but it can’t replace God and cannot do the work of God Himself. Only Christ is the way, the truth and the life. Only by accepting the work of Christ of the last days, Almighty God, can people gain life. Having realized all this, I became even more sure that Almighty God is the returned Lord Jesus and decided to meet and worship God with the brothers and sisters of The Church of Almighty God!

After accepting Almighty God’s work in the last days, I’ve come to understand the truth of God’s three stages of work, the truth of God’s incarnation, and the truth of God’s work of judgment in the last days, among others. You could say I’ve gained great spiritual supply and happiness through learning these truths. I also want to give thanks to Almighty God for welcoming me into this big family with so many brothers and sisters with whom to fellowship God’s word. Whenever I encounter problems or have any questions, everyone helps me resolve them—I can really feel their loving care. From now on, I want to pursue and practice the truth and fulfill my duties as God’s creation.

Extended reading:

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