By Cai Hong, Malaysia
My Spirit Languished in Darkness, but by Chance I Came Across a Special Bible Study Class
“Mommy, mommy, how can you be asleep again?”
When my daughter woke me up, I realized that I’d fallen asleep again during prayers, and I felt very guilty. I slapped my legs that had gone numb from kneeling for so long, stood up, and walked over to the window. As I gazed at the clear, bright moon hanging in the night sky, I couldn’t help but slip into recollections of the past.
I began believing in the Lord when I was young, and it had now been 35 years. Because of my absorption in the Bible, I became an administrator for the Christian Youth Association of my church, as well as a Sunday School teacher, and I always served the Lord enthusiastically. Over the past few years, however, I felt my spirit becoming more and more parched, I was not finding the Bible very illuminating, and I couldn’t muster up much energy when leading brothers and sisters in Bible study class. I longed for the pastor to nourish me with his sermons, but he always preached the same old things without any new light whatsoever. I wasn’t enjoying what I heard, and my spirit was not being provided for. Most of the faithful who came to hear his sermons were just observing religious ceremony and going through the motions. There were almost none who truly worshiped God in spirit and in truth, and the situation in the church was going from bad to worse. Faced with these circumstances, I continued to study the Bible hoping to find the path to regain my faith, but I still came up with nothing. At that time, I often thought, “My spirit has now sunk low and I even fall asleep during prayers. Am I still a believer in the Lord? Will the Lord abandon me?” I felt so distressed inside, and all I could do was keep calling on the Lord, asking Him to guide me.
One day in September 2017, I met Brother Wang on Facebook and, afterward, we often discussed our understanding of the Scriptures. Brother Wang had a particularly pure understanding of the Scriptures and he fellowshiped in a most illuminating way. He resolved many issues that had previously bothered me, and when I listened to him, I felt my heart fill with light. So as to be able to understand even more, I took the initiative and asked to be invited into their online Bible study class. Over a month of online exchanges, my spirit felt greatly provided for and I came to understand much about biblical prophecies and the Lord’s will. They also sent me some words which were like a spring of fresh water pouring into my heart and watering my parched spirit; I came to very much look forward to our gatherings.
Are There Any New Utterances of God Besides Those in the Bible?
One day, the brothers and sisters played a video for me and, halfway through, I realized that all the actors in the video were holding a book. The book wasn’t the Bible, however, and I couldn’t help but feel surprised. I thought, “How come they aren’t holding the Bible? Christians who believe in the Lord must read the Bible as there are no words of God besides those that are in the Bible. If they don’t read the Bible, could that mean that they have gone astray?” Instantly, my heart was filled with doubts, but so as not to embarrass them, I raised no objection. After our online gathering was over, I sent Brother Wang a message telling him of my doubts, and I decided not to attend this Bible study class again.
Brother Wang replied, saying, “Sister, this book is The Age of Kingdom Bible—The Word Appears in the Flesh. It contains nothing but the new utterances expressed byof the last days, Almighty God, and it is ‘what the Spirit says to the churches’ as prophesied in Revelation. In the last days, Almighty God has appeared and performs His work, He has expressed millions of words and He has revealed the mystery of God’s six-thousand-year management plan as well as many truths and mysteries that are within the Bible. These truths are things that we have never understood over all our years of belief in the Lord.” When I read Brother Wang’s message, I felt very confused, and thought, “I’ve believed in the Lord for 35 years and I’ve never heard that there are God’s words besides those that are in the Bible. And yet they say that this book, The Word Appears in the Flesh, contains nothing but God’s new utterances. How can this be?”
Just then, Brother Wang sent another message, saying, “Sister, we’ve been looking forward to the Lord’s return for over 30 years, and now thereally has returned as Almighty God. He is now speaking His words to the whole world, so shouldn’t we seek and investigate this way? The Lord Jesus said, ‘And at midnight there was a cry made, Behold, the bridegroom comes; go you out to meet him’ (Matthew 25:6). The Lord hopes that when we hear the news of His return, we can be as the wise virgins and actively seek Him, for only by doing that can we welcome the Lord. If we hear the news of the Lord’s return but refuse to look into it because it does not accord with our own notions, then we will be apt to miss our chance to welcome the coming of the Lord, and won’t we then lose the Lord’s salvation?”
The brother’s words awakened me, and I thought, “Yes! I’ve believed in the Lord for so many years, and haven’t I been waiting for the Lord to return all this time? Now someone is testifying that the Lord has returned and that He is once again speaking His words, so I should certainly listen first and investigate it. Only by doing so will I be able to welcome the Lord!”
Afterward, Brother Wang sent another message, saying, “In John 16:12–13, the Lord Jesus said, ‘I have yet many things to say to you, but you cannot bear them now. However, when He, the Spirit of truth, is come, He will guide you into all truth: for He shall not speak of Himself; but whatever He shall hear, that shall He speak: and He will show you things to come.’ Revelation also prophesies in several places that ‘He that has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches’ (Revelation 2–3). From this, we can see that, when the Lord returns, He will speak new words and will tell us all the truths and mysteries we never before understood. These truths are not recorded in the Bible—they are to be accomplished and fulfilled when the Lord Jesus returns in the last days. If we believe that there can be no words and works of God besides those that are in the Bible, how then can these prophecies be fulfilled? How could God’s utterances in the last days appear automatically in the Bible? Therefore, if we want to welcome the Lord, then we should let go of our own notions and first of all read the utterances of God who has returned in the last days, and take heed to listen to God’s voice. If we continue to cling to the Bible and we do not listen to what the Holy Spirit says to the churches, then we will be very likely to miss our chance to welcome the Lord!”
After reading this message, I suddenly felt understanding dawn on me, and I thought, “Ah, I’ve read these verses so many times before, so how come I was never able to figure out? By saying, ‘He that has an ear, let him hear,’ is not the Lord making a request of us? When the Lord returns, He will speak His words to us, and only by focusing on hearing God’s voice will we be able to welcome the Lord and follow His footsteps!” Thinking this, I hurriedly asked Brother Wang to send me more of Almighty God’s words.
Brother Wang then sent me many chapters of words expressed by Almighty God, including “You Should Know How the Whole of Humanity Has Developed to the Present Day” and “All Who Do Not Know God Are Those Who Oppose God.” Through reading God’s words, I came to have some understanding of God’s work, I came to know the origin of mankind’s degeneracy, how Satan corrupts man and how God works to save mankind. I also came to understand that we always delimit God’s work by relying on our own notions and imaginings, and that this was us behaving in a way that opposed God. The more I read God’s words, the brighter my heart became, and I felt that the words of Almighty God possessed authority and power, as though they were indeed the voice of God, and I decided to continue to investigate it.
My Confusion Is Dispelled, and I Come to a New Understanding of the Bible
At our next gathering, I told the brothers and sisters of my confusion: “Sister Lin, Brother Wang, you say that God is performing new work and is expressing new words. But ever since I was small, I’ve heard my pastor say that all of God’s works and words can be found within the Bible and that Christians cannot depart from the Bible in their belief in God, for to do so would be to stray from the true way. I’d like to know what your opinion is on this issue, so I was wondering if you could fellowship with me about this?” Sister Lin then gave fellowship, saying, “Sister, we go along with the pastors and elders of the religious world in the belief that all of God’s works and words are within the Bible and that to depart from the Bible is to stray from the true way. This is a belief held by the entire religious world, but does this view accord with the facts? Does it accord with God’s words? The Lord Jesus never said anything of the sort and the Holy Spirit has never said these words, so exactly what is this view based on? Does it not arise from our own notions and imaginings? As we all know, the Bible is just a record of the two previous stages of God’s work and it is a record of God’s words and work based on the memories of some followers of God once God had finished His work; can we dare say that these people recorded absolutely everything? Also, while the Bible was being edited, the editors disputed with each other and made omissions, and that is why a portion of the words of God transmitted by the prophets was not recorded in the Old Testament, but was rather collected into the Deuterocanonical books. Does that mean that these prophets’ prophecies that were omitted were not the words of God? It states clearly in theof John, 21:25 that, ‘And there are also many other things which Jesus did, the which, if they should be written every one, I suppose that even the world itself could not contain the books that should be written.’ The Lord Jesus worked for three and a half years, and He led His disciples to preach and work wherever they went, so how many words must He have spoken during that time? How many works must He have done? It can therefore be said that there are many of the Lord Jesus’ works and words that were not recorded in the Bible—the words of the Lord Jesus that are recorded in the Bible are just the tip of the iceberg! So then how can the pastors and elders of the religious world say that all of God’s words and works are recorded in the Bible? Doesn’t saying that fly in the face of the facts? If we go by what the pastors and elders say, wouldn’t we then be denying the words of God transmitted by the prophets that are found outside the Bible, and denying the words and work of the Lord Jesus that were not recorded in the Bible? Furthermore, when the Lord Jesus came to perform His work back then, the New Testament did not yet exist, and the way expressed by Jesus of, ‘Repent: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand’ (Matthew 4:17), was not recorded in the Old Testament either. It can therefore be said that the Lord Jesus’ words and work went beyond the Bible at that time. So, by the religious world saying condemningly that anything that goes beyond the Bible is straying from the true way, are they not also condemning the words and work of the Lord Jesus?”
Having said this, Sister Lin sent over a passage of Almighty God’s words: “The things that are recorded in the Bible are limited; they cannot represent the work of God in its entirety. The Four Gospels have fewer than one hundred chapters altogether, in which are written a finite number of happenings, such as Jesus cursing the fig tree, Peter’s three denials of the Lord, Jesus appearing to the disciples following His crucifixion and resurrection, teaching about fasting, teaching about, teaching about divorce, the birth and genealogy of Jesus, Jesus’ appointment of the disciples, and so forth. However, man values them as treasures, even verifying the work of today against them. They even believe that all the work Jesus did in His life amounted only to so much, as if God were only capable of doing this much and nothing further. Is this not absurd?” (“The Mystery of the Incarnation (1)” in The Word Appears in the Flesh).
Sister Lin then gave fellowship, saying, “The content that is recorded in the Bible is very limited. The Old Testament merely records a part of the work of Jehovah God, and the New Testament merely records a part of the work of the Lord Jesus. As for God’s work in the last days, the Bible just contains some prophecies about it and there is no detailed record to be found. In each age, God only does the work of that age and does not perform the next stage of work in advance, and that is why God doesn’t tell us prematurely about His next stage of work. In the Age of Law, for example, Jehovah God just taught man to keep the commandments and laws and He enjoined man to worship God. He did not tell the people of that time in advance about the work He would do during the Age of Grace. Similarly, the Lord Jesus has now returned in the last days and, on the foundation of the work of redemption of the Age of Grace, He expresses His words, performs the work of judgment beginning in God’s house, judges and purifies our corrupt dispositions, and enables us to thoroughly cast off the bonds of sin and be purified and saved by God. The details of this work could not possibly have been recorded prematurely within the pages of the Bible. Therefore, the statement made by the pastors and elders of the religious world, that ‘All of God’s words and works are within the Bible, and to depart from the Bible is to stray from the true way,’ completely flies in the face of the facts of God’s work; it hails from the notions and imaginings of man, and it is a lie, an absurd theory, that is intended to deceive people.”
The words of Almighty God and the sister’s fellowship convinced me utterly, and there was no way to refute it. I couldn’t help but think, “Yes indeed, God encompasses all things and His wisdom is rich and abundant, so how could all His words and works be restricted to the Bible? God has the right to go beyond the Bible to perform His work, so our previous understanding was certainly wrong!”
Brother Wang then sent a verse from the Bible: “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). He then said, “The Bible is just a historical record and a testimony to God’s two previous stages of work. The Bible does not possess eternal life, nor is it the source of life. By believing in the Bible, we can never gain truth or life, nor can we obtain the work of the Holy Spirit, much less attain true salvation. Only God is the truth, the way and the life and only He is the source of our lives; if we wish to gain truth and life in our belief in God, then we must come before God, accept and obey God’s present work and words and follow closely the footsteps of the Lamb, for only then will we be able to attain God’s salvation.”
After listening to Brother Wang’s fellowship, I suddenly saw the light, and I thought, “When I read this verse before, I merely understood that the Bible acted as a testimony for God and I believed that one had to keep to the Bible in one’s faith in God, but I overlooked the fact that God is the truth, the way and the life. Only now do I understand that the Bible is just a testimony to God’s past work and that it cannot represent God, nor does it contain life within it. If I want to gain truth and life, then I have to follow closely the footsteps of God, for only then will I be able to attain God’s salvation. Oh, when I think of my attitude toward God’s new work, with no shred of a seeking heart, clinging to my own notions and rejecting God’s work, I see now how blind and ignorant I’ve been. If I continue to cling stubbornly to the Bible, then won’t I be rejecting the salvation of God? I must investigate in earnest the work of Almighty God in the last days.”
I Understand God’s Work and Joyfully Welcome the Lord’s Return
Afterward, Sister Lin showed us a gospel movie called, Come Out of the Bible, the two passages of God’s words and the fellowship of a sister in the movie drew me in. God’s word says, “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” (“Concerning the Bible (1)” in The Word Appears in the Flesh). “Bringing up the things of the past today makes them history, and no matter how true or real they might be, they are still history—and history cannot address the present. For God does not look back on history! And so, if you only understand the Bible, and understand nothing of the work God intends to do today, and if youbut do not seek the work of the Holy Spirit, then you do not understand what it means to seek God. If you read the Bible in order to study the history of Israel, to research the history of God’s creation of all the heavens and earth, then you do not believe in God. But today, since you believe in God, and pursue life, since you pursue the knowledge of God, and do not pursue dead letters and doctrines, or an understanding of history, you must seek God’s will of today, and must look for the direction of the Holy Spirit’s work. If you were an archeologist you could read the Bible—but you are not, you are one of those who believe in God, and you’d best seek God’s will of today” (“Concerning the Bible (4)” in The Word Appears in the Flesh).
A sister in the movie fellowshiped, “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. 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. 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.”
Through the sister’s fellowship, I finally came to understand that God’s work proceeds ever onward. In the Age of Law, Jehovah God proclaimed the law and the commandments to guide the life of mankind, and to let people know how to worship God and what sin is. In the Age of Grace, by being crucified upon the cross, the Lord Jesus redeemed mankind, He redeemed mankind from the bonds of the law, and so long as people accepted the Lord’s salvation, they were then able to enjoy the Lord’s abundant grace and blessings. What is undeniable, however, is that we still live in a situation in which we sin and confess, over and over, and we can never cast off the bonds and fetters of sin. Now, the returned Lord Jesus—Almighty God, Christ of the last days—is performing the work of judgment and He expresses His words so that our sinful nature may be resolved, so that we can be utterly rid of our sinful nature and finally be qualified to earn God’s promise and enter into our beautiful destination. The work of Almighty God in the last days does not deny the Bible. Rather, on the foundation of the work of the Age of Law and the Age of Grace, God performs a newer, higher stage of work, which is precisely what we as corrupt mankind need. The Age of Kingdom Bible—The Word Appears in the Flesh is the way of life given us by God in the last days, and only by accepting God’s work of the last days can we obtain the supply of the living water of life. Only now do I understand the reason why we are incapable of obtaining the supply of life from God, and why we have fallen into darkness and lost the work of the Holy Spirit; it is because we cling to the Bible, believe that God’s works and words are all to be found within the Bible, and because we refuse to accept God’s work of the last days.
Although I have only been in contact with The Church of Almighty God for a couple of months, I see that the words of Almighty God are the truth, they can resolve my confusion and questions, and they provide for my spirit. I became certain that Almighty God is the Lord Jesus returned and I joyfully accepted God’s work of the last days. When I think back to how I rejected God’s work because I clung to the Bible, I feel so remorseful—I was so arrogant and foolish! Yet God took mercy on me and, through the brothers and sisters sending me messages, meeting with me and fellowshiping with me again and again, God enabled me to understand the inside story about the Bible, as well as its substance, and understand how God works step by step to save mankind until, finally, I let go of my notions and accepted God’s work of the last days, and I began to follow the footsteps of God. Thank God for loving me and saving me!