Bible Reading Made Easy

The epistles in the Bible were all written by men. If men’s word were said to be God’s word, wouldn’t those people have become God?

The answer from God’s word:

People nowadays hold the belief that the Bible is God, that God is the Bible, and that God has only spoken what is in the Bible, and every word in the Bible is God’s own word. Everybody who believes in God even thinks this: Though the sixty-six books of the Old and New Testaments were written by human beings, they were God-breathed and were a record of the words of the Holy Spirit. This is an erroneous understanding; it does not accord completely with the facts. In truth, with the exception of the books of prophecy, the Old Testament is mostly a historical record. Some of the New Testament epistles derive from human experiences, others from the enlightenment of the Holy Spirit; the letters of Paul, for instance, are from human work, and they were all enlightened by the Holy Spirit. These letters, which Paul sent to the churches, offer words of exhortation and encouragement to the brothers and sisters there; they are not the words of the Holy Spirit. Paul could not speak on behalf of the Holy Spirit. He was not a prophet, and moreover he did not see visions. These letters were written to the churches of that time in Ephesus, Philadelphia, Galatia, and other places. Therefore, 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. He was an apostle of the churches at that time, a worker used by the Lord Jesus, and so he bore a responsibility for the churches and their work and needed to have a grasp of the situation among his brothers and sisters; that is why he wrote letters to all his brothers and sisters in Christ. 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. This is particularly true of Paul’s letters to the churches, for he was addressing their circumstances and situations at that time, counseling his brothers and sisters in Christ so that they might receive favor from the Lord Jesus, trying to encourage them. It was his own personal burden, and the burden given him by the Holy Spirit, for after all he was the apostle charged with the leadership of the churches at that time, and writing letters exhorting the churches was his responsibility. 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. His identity was different from that of Jesus, whose words were the Holy Spirit’s words, God’s words. For Jesus was the Christ, the Son of God; how could Paul be His equal? 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? Those letters were based on Paul’s own personal experiences and the extent of his own life growth. If Paul wrote a letter to the churches of Galatia expressing one view, and Peter wrote a letter to them expressing another view, which one came from the Holy Spirit? It’s impossible to say. All we can say is that both Paul and Peter bore a responsibility toward the churches, but their letters reflected their own individual stature as well as their supply and support to the brothers and sisters and their burden toward the churches; they only represented the aspect of man’s work, and did not come entirely from the Holy Spirit. 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.

from “Concerning the Bible (3)” in The Word Appears in the Flesh

Today, who of you dare to say that all the words spoken by those who were used by the Holy Spirit came from the Holy Spirit? Does anyone dare to say such things? If you do say such things, then why was Ezra’s book of prophecy discarded, and why was the same thing done to the books of those ancient saints and prophets? If they all came from the Holy Spirit, then why do you dare to make such capricious choices? Are you qualified to choose the work of the Holy Spirit? Many stories from Israel were also discarded. And if you believe that these writings of the past all came from the Holy Spirit, then why were some of the books discarded? If they all came from the Holy Spirit, they should all be kept, and sent to the brothers and sisters of the churches to read. They should not be chosen or discarded by human will; it is wrong to do that. Saying that the experiences of Paul and John were mixed with their personal seeings does not mean that their experiences and knowledge came from Satan, but only that they had things that came from their personal experiences and seeings. Their knowledge was according to the background of the actual experiences at the time, and who could confidently say that all of it came from the Holy Spirit? If the Four Gospels all came from the Holy Spirit, then why was it that Matthew, Mark, Luke and John each said something different about the work of Jesus? If you don’t believe this, then look at the accounts in the Bible of how Peter denied Jesus three times: They are all different, and they each have their own characteristics.

from “Concerning Appellations and Identity” in The Word Appears in the Flesh

By dissecting the Bible in this manner today, I am not saying that I despise it, or deny its value as a reference; rather, I am clarifying its origins and its original value so that you do not remain forever in the dark. For people hold so many opinions about the Bible, most of which are incorrect, and reading the Bible in this way not only prevents people from getting the things they need, but more importantly, it impedes the work that I am going to do. It is a massive disruption to My future work, bringing no good, only harm. So all I want is for you to understand the Bible’s substance and the true story behind it; I am not forbidding you to read the Bible or asking that you decry it as a worthless book. Rather, I am trying to give you a correct understanding of the Bible, an accurate view. Don’t be too one-sided! Although the Bible is a history book written by human beings, it records the principles by which many of the ancient saints and prophets served God, as well as the apostles’ experiences of serving Him in more recent times, which are real seeing and knowledge that can serve as a reference for people seeking the true way in the present age.

from “Concerning the Bible (4)” in The Word Appears in the Flesh

The Work of the Holy Spirit

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