By Xiaoyou, United States
December 1, 2017 Friday
Recently, I’ve read some discussions among many believers on a forum about the topics “Is all of God’s word in the Bible?” and “Is everything in the Bible all God’s word?” After reading them, I felt that I’ve indeed gained a lot. Many questions I have never thought about before have become much clearer through these discussions. I felt that this kind of discussion is of great benefit to the growth of our life and I have not experienced the enjoyment within my spirit like this for a very long time.
December 3, 2017 Sunday
Today is the Lord’s Day. The pastor preached: “‘Search the scriptures; for in them you think you have eternal life: and they are they which testify of me’ (John 5:39). Thesaid with His own mouth that the Bible is His testimony. So our belief in the Lord must be based on the Bible. The Bible is the only path for us to know the Lord.”
Pondering over his words, I felt as if there was a problem within them, but I couldn’t figure out what it was. After I got home, I read the scriptures over and over. Then I found the full version of the verses was like this, “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). From the surface-level understanding of these words, I thought the meaning of these scriptures was: We think there is eternal life in the Bible and the Bible is God’s testimony, but the fact is that only God can bestow life upon us, not the Bible. We study the Bible so as to gain life, but ignore that we should come to the Lord to gain it. I thought about what the Lord Jesus said: “I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man comes to the Father, but by me” (John 14:6). The Lord never bore witness to the Bible as such. But now we treat the Bible in this way. Are we too worshipful of it? Must our believing in God be based on the Bible? I’m confused.
December 5, 2017 Tuesday
Thanks be to the Lord! Today I discussed with a sister about whether believing in God has to be based on the Bible, and her fellowship benefited me.
She asked: “Did the Bible exist at the time when Noah and Abraham believed in God? Did theyaccording to the Bible?” Her questions struck me speechless. I thought about that at the time when the ancient saints believed in God, the Bible didn’t exist, so they indeed didn’t believe in Him in accordance with the Bible. In that case, what did they base their belief in Him on? Through studying the Bible with her, I found out that they believed in God on the basis of the word of God.
Take Noah for example. The Bible says the following: “And God looked on the earth, and, behold, it was corrupt; for all flesh had corrupted his way on the earth” (Genesis 6:12). Then God told Noah to build an ark (See Genesis 6:13-21). “Thus did Noah; according to all that God commanded him, so did he” (Genesis 6:22). Another example is Abraham. the Bible says: “Now Jehovah had said to Abram, Get you out of your country, and from your kindred, and from your father’s house, to a land that I will show you: And I will make of you a great nation, and I will bless you, and make your name great; and you shall be a blessing: And I will bless them that bless you, and curse him that curses you: and in you shall all families of the earth be blessed. So Abram departed, as Jehovah had spoken to him” (Genesis 12:1-4). I thought that so many ancient saints and prophets recorded in the Bible all believed in God, experienced His work and fulfilled His commission on the basis of His words and under His leadership and guidance. In comparison with them, today we believe in God according to the Bible, but our faith in Him and knowledge of Him cannot be compared with theirs at all. Their belief didn’t follow the Bible, yet it is much better than ours and their faith in God is far beyond our reach. So it is out of line with reality that the pastor said belief in God must be based on the Bible.
It seems that in believing in God we should find a person who has the work of the Holy Spirit and understands the truth with whom we can communicate. Otherwise, it is truly hard to understand the Bible and!
December 6, 2017 Wednesday
After I got home from work today, I saw that there was a message for me on my Facebook page left by the sister. After I opened it, I found out that she had fellowshiped some more about the topic that we discussed yesterday. What she followshiped was very fresh and was what I have never heard before.
She wrote: “About the question whether we can really know the Lord in accordance with the Bible, let’s share a passage of words of God first: ‘The Jews of the time all read from the Old Testament and knew of Isaiah’s prophecy that a male infant would be born in a manger. Why then, with this knowledge, did they still persecute Jesus? Is this not because of their rebellious nature and ignorance of the work of the Holy Spirit? … What you ought to do is accept, without the need for further substantiation from the Bible, any work so long as it is that of the Holy Spirit, for you believe in God to follow God, not to investigate Him. You should not search out further proof for Me to show that I am your God. Rather, you ought to discern whether I am of benefit to you; that is the key. Even if you have found out much irrefutable proof within the Bible, it cannot bring you fully before Me. You are one who lives 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.’ We all know that the reason why in the Age of Grace the Pharisees crucified the Lord Jesus was that they held on to the Bible and didn’t seek or investigate God’s new work. This tragic historic fact warns us that we are incapable of knowing God or His work if we only believe in Him on the basis of the Bible. Think back to the time when the Lord Jesus came to perform His work. Did the apostles who followed Him believe in Him on the basis of the Old Testament? No, they all sought to know God based on the actual work and word of the Lord Jesus and the enlightenment and guidance of the Holy Spirit. Not one person got to know Him and followed Him based on the Bible. This is a fact. So we cannot use only the Bible as our basis to measure each step of God’s new work. The Bible can only be used as a reference when we investigate God’s work. The most important thing to determine this is based on whether or not there is the work of the Holy Spirit and the truth. Only in this way can we make the correct decision.
Now the prophecies of the Lord’s return have basically all been fulfilled. Every one of us is watching for His return. At this time we should all pay attention to hearing God’s voice. We should not hold on to the Bible blindly or even dogmatically believe that belief in God must be based on the Bible. As this type of action and the viewpoint are unwise. God’s word tells us: ‘Today, everyone wants to find the prophecies of the work of the last days in the Bible, they want to discover what work God does during the last days, and what signs there are for the last days. In this way, their worship of the Bible becomes more fervent, and the closer it gets to the last days, the more credence they give to the prophecies of the Bible, particularly those about the last days. With such blind belief in the Bible, with such trust in the Bible, they have no desire to seek the work of the Holy Spirit. In people’s conceptions, they think that only the Bible can bring the work of the Holy Spirit; only in the Bible can they find the footsteps of God; only in the Bible are hidden the mysteries of God’s work; only the Bible—not other books or people—can clarify everything of God and the entirety of His work; the Bible can bring the work of heaven to earth; and the Bible can both begin and conclude the ages. With these conceptions, people have no inclination to search for the work of the Holy Spirit. So, regardless of how much of a help the Bible was to people in the past, it has become an obstacle to God’s latest work. Without the Bible, people can search for the footsteps of God elsewhere, yet today, His footsteps have been contained by the Bible, and extending His latest work has become double difficult, and an uphill struggle. This is all because of the famous chapters and sayings from the Bible, as well as the various prophecies of the Bible.’
Sister Xiaoyou, God has told us clearly through His words that in believing in and following Him, we should not stubbornly hold on to the Bible but should keep up with the footsteps of the work of the Holy Spirit and seek God’s footprints in His new work and words. I sincerely hope that these words I have shared with you can be helpful for you to resolve your confusions. May God bless you!”
What she has shared with me are very deep. Although her fellowship is something that I have never heard before, it is indeed in line with the fact and has resolved my inner confusion. I really think that there is an important message within the contents she has shared with me, but I still cannot get what it is even after reading it several times. I should not let it go. I should ask her about it when she is online tomorrow.