In 1994, I believed in the Lord Jesus because of the illness of my husband. After my husband was healed, my faith in the Lord was greater. I didn’t cut any meeting. In the meetings, the pastor often told us, “The last days have arrived. The Lord is coming to receive us, so we must hold on to the Lord’s way, and never depart from the Bible, or go to other churches to listen to sermons. Especially those of ‘Eastern Lightning’, for many of their words are beyond the Bible. If we listen to their sermons, it is a betrayal of the Lord because it is said in the Bible: ‘For I testify to every man that hears the words of the prophecy of this book, If any man shall add to these things, God shall add to him the plagues that are written in this book: And if any man shall take away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part out of the book of life, and out of the holy city, and from the things which are written in this book’ (Revelation 22:18–19). Thus, we only read the Bible in our belief in the Lord, and we shouldn’t read any books outside the Bible.” So we strictly did as the pastor told us.
One day in 2003, I visited my aunt out of town. I met several brothers and sisters there. They warmly fellowshiped their experiences of believing in the Lord with me. Their fellowship was very good, for I had never had their understandings of the verses. Their experiences were very practical and I had never heard of such experiences in our meetings, even our pastor’s were not as good as theirs. Their fellowship deeply attracted me. Just as I was attentively listening to their fellowship, one of the brothers surnamed Yang took a book from his bag, saying, “God has come to do a new stage of work and expressed new words. The understanding we just fellowshiped is gained through reading God’s newest words….” Hearing him say God has done new work, my heart sank, thinking: I felt their fellowship was good just now, but how come he changed a book, and said it is God’s new words? Isn’t it beyond the Bible? Aren’t they adding to the Bible? It is clearly said in the Revelation that the words of the Bible mustn’t be added to or taken away, but they said God had expressed new words. How can this be possible? The more I thought, the more I was afraid because this was a big deal. The pastor had told us that adding to the Bible would be condemned and asked us not to listen. So I no longer listened to them. Sitting on the kang, I kept silent with a cloud on my brow.
At the sight of this, the brother patiently fellowshiped with me, but no matter what he said I didn’t listen. Finally, I said impatiently, “You said God expressed new words. It is wrong. The Bible clearly says: ‘For I testify to every man that hears the words of the prophecy of this book, If any man shall add to these things, God shall add to him the plagues that are written in this book: And if any man shall take away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part out of the book of life, and out of the holy city, and from the things which are written in this book’ (Revelation 22:18–19). So you are adding to the Bible, which should be condemned. I won’t listen to you.” “Sister,” said Brother Yang with a smile, “if we read this verse carefully, we can know that in the Revelation it is said that if any ‘man’ shall add to these things, then the man will have plagues. This is not referring to God. We can’t use these words to define God. God can freely do His work and express words. God’s business is up to God Himself….” However, whatever the brother said, I couldn’t take in. My face darkened, not looking at them and sitting there dumbly. The more I listened, the more I felt what they said were not the words in the Bible, and the more I felt annoyed. I wasn’t able to listen anymore, and said impatiently, “Enough. However correct you said, I won’t follow you.” Seeing my attitude, Brother Yang said nothing more. At this time, my aunt called me to another room, and advised me, “Xiaoxia, during these years of believing in the Lord, we are expecting for His coming every day. Now He really has come, we should listen carefully. Don’t you remember the Bible says: ‘Blessed are the poor in spirit: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are they that mourn: for they shall be comforted. Blessed are the meek: for they shall inherit the earth. Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness: for they shall be filled’ (Matthew 5:3–6). Think about what you said just now, ‘However correct you said, I won’t follow you.’ Is it in accordance with the Lord’s will? Besides, is your attitude that a man who believes in the Lord should have? Faith comes by hearing. If we don’t listen, how can we know whether it is right or wrong?” Hearing my aunt’s words, I thought it made sense: The brother is kindly to fellowship with me, telling me God has returned. Anyway, I shouldn’t treat him like that. Whether it is right or wrong, I should seek humbly. At that time, with a little smile, I entered the room with my aunt. Looking at the smile on my face, Brother Yang said gladly, “I believe it is God’s arrangement that we can meet here today. Let’s play a hymn.” Then he turned on the recorder, and played a hymn of life experience: “I walk on the way to the kingdom, and raise my head to look to God. Your kindly face is smiling at me, Your gentle words engraved on my mind. You are so concerned with me, for fear that I may wander destitute in a strange land. Since my belief in You, I’ve become spiritually strong, thus walking on this way with vigorous strides” (“I Walk on the Way to the Kingdom” in Follow the Lamb and Sing New Songs). Listening to the song, I felt the words spoke right to my heart. Surprisingly, there was such a good song in their church. I couldn’t help beating time to the music.
After listening to the song, Brother Yang again wanted to fellowship with me. I hurriedly interrupted him and said, “Stop. I really can’t follow you.” The brothers and sisters saw I still refuse to listen, so they no longer forced to fellowship and went home. At that time, only Brother Yang and Brother Zhang left in the room. Once Brother Zhang wanted to fellowship with me, I at once said, “Just stop!” I didn’t allow him to say any words, which made him worriedly walk back and forth.
Before long, Brother Zhang walked before me with a Bible in his hand, and said with a smile, “Sister, see what is in my hand?” I thought: You’re really trying to make conversation. Using a Bible to test me, you’re too naive. I have believed in the Lord for ten years; how can’t I know the Bible! I smiled with a little defiance and answered casually, “Isn’t it the Old and New Testament?” The brother deliberately separated the Old Testament and the New Testament, pointing at the Old Testament, and asked me, “Do you know what this part is?” I said with disdain, “This is the Old Testament.” Then pointing at the Old Testament, the brother mildly said to me, “Who did the work of the Old Testament?” “Of course Jehovah did,” I sniffed. And then he pointed at the New Testament and asked me, “Who did this work?” “The Lord Jesus did,” I blurted out. Immediately Brother Zhang asked, “Sister, is there the New Testament before the Lord Jesus?” I said, “Of course not!” Quickly Brother Zhang said, “So who brought the New Testament?” I said carelessly, “The Lord Jesus brought it.” “There are also such sentences as it shall not add to or take away from the words in the Old Testament. Why do we accept the work of the Lord Jesus?” asked Brother Zhang. I said, “Where are they? Why have I not seen them?”
The brother turned to the Old Testament, and said, “Sister, look at these verses: ‘Now therefore listen, O Israel, to the statutes and to the judgments, which I teach you, for to do them, that you may live, and go in and possess the land which the LORD God of your fathers gives you. You shall not add to the word which I command you, neither shall you diminish ought from it, that you may keep the commandments of the LORD your God which I command you’ (Deuteronomy 4:1–2). ‘What thing soever I command you, observe to do it: you shall not add thereto, nor diminish from it’ (Deuteronomy 12:32).”
After reading the words, I was surprised, “It’s true! Why haven’t I seen them? There indeed are such words in the Old Testament.” With a litter humorous expression, Brother Zhang said, “So since Jehovah had commanded that no words should be added to or diminished from it, why did the Lord Jesus come and add such a thick New Testament?” Hearing such question, I stunned, “True. There is such commandment in the Old Testament. Why did it add so much beyond the Old Testament?” Brother Zhang said, “So when God comes again, will He do the work of the Old Testament done by Jehovah or the work of the New Testament done by Jesus?” Hearing this, my heart brightened. I said, “Ah! Neither of the two. There should be new work. So, you preach….” Seeing I finally understood, the two brothers were very happy and said, “God appears to those who hunger and thirst for righteousness. As long as we have a seeking heart, God will enlighten us. About this question, let’s fellowship in detail.”
Then Brother Zhang said, “Shall not ‘add to and diminish’ in these verses and Revelation refers to man, not God. The prophecy is about what God will accomplish in the future, so man absolutely shouldn’t add to or take away from it; otherwise, man will offend God, which is God’s admonition to man. However, we can’t take the admonition God gives us to ask God in turn. Just as before the Lord Jesus came to do His work, man all followed the Old Testament. It is commanded in the Old Testament that the priests lead the people to worship Jehovah in the temple, and that no work should be done on the Sabbath day, etc. However, when the Lord Jesus came to work, He didn’t enter the temple or observe the Sabbath; instead He preached the gospel of the kingdom as walking with the disciples. In the wilderness, on the hills, and on the fishing boats, they met together and worshiped God; on the Sabbath, the disciples became hungry, so the Lord Jesus took His disciples to pick and eat ears of grain in the grain fields and so on. All these were absent from the Old Testament, and exceeded the law of the Old Testament, and did outside the Old Testament. The people in the Age of Law condemned the Lord Jesus just because He didn’t enter the temple, didn’t observe the Sabbath, and said the words not according to the Old Testament, accusing Him of preaching a new way, which departed from the Bible and added to the Bible, and finally the Pharisees crucified Jesus for Him not following the law of the Old Testament. Thus, if we don’t know the principle of God’s work, it is easy for us to oppose God. Actually, the Lord Jesus has already prophesied for the work He will do when He returns. It is recorded in John 16:12–13 that the Lord Jesus once told us, ‘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….’
“From this verse, we can understand that God has prophesied that He will express words to do new work in the last days. The words Almighty God expresses are not adding to the prophecy in Revelation, but just to fulfill it. Revelation 2:17 says: ‘He that has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches; To him that overcomes will I give to eat of the hidden manna….’ The words ‘Spirit says to the churches’ and ‘the hidden manna’ actually refer to the words God will express when He comes again in the last days. Let’s read a paragraph of Almighty God’s words.”
The young brother read: “The work done by Jesus during the time of the New Testament opened up new work: He did not work according to the work of the Old Testament, nor did He apply the words spoken by Jehovah of the Old Testament. He did His own work, and He did newer work, and work that was higher than the law. Thus, He said: ‘Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfill.’ Thus, in accordance with what He accomplished, much doctrine was broken with. He took the disciples to the grain fields to pick and eat the heads of grain, He did not keep the Sabbath, and said ‘the Son of man is Lord even of the sabbath day.’ At the time, according to the rules of the Israelites, whosoever didn’t keep the Sabbath would be stoned to death. Jesus, however, neither entered the temple nor kept the Sabbath, and His work had not been done by Jehovah during the time of the Old Testament. Thus, the work done by Jesus exceeded the law of the Old Testament, it was higher than it, and was not in accordance with it” (“Concerning the Bible (1)”). After reading the word, he continued to fellowship, “From this we can know that ‘shall not add to and take away’ in Revelation is God’s demand for man. Man shouldn’t apply the words to God, using the words to constrain God, and not allowing Him to do new work and express new words outside the Bible. If so, isn’t it upside down and put the cart before the horse?”
Hearing the words, I felt the words really carried authority. None of men can speak such words. At this time, Brother Zhang said, “The work done and the words expressed by God Himself aren’t adding, then what is adding? Just as Jehovah God asked Adam: ‘But of the fruit of the tree which is in the middle of the garden, God has said, You shall not eat of it, neither shall you touch it, lest you die’(Genesis 3:3). But the serpent enticed Eve and said, ‘You shall not surely die,’ which is against God’s original meaning, but adding its own meaning. This is substituting one with the other, so this is adding. Sister, doesn’t the serpent know the intention of God’s words?” Listening with concentration, I answered, “Yes, it does.” Brother Zhang said, “Why does it say so?” Being asked such a question, I was dumbstruck, only looking at him but not knowing how to answer. Brother Zhang went on saying, “This is because when the serpent spoke to Eve, it had intents and schemes. It stole the beams and changed the pillars to perpetrate a fraud so as to make man betray God and to achieve its goal of deluding and consuming all of humanity. This is the serpent deliberately adding to God’s words with its sinister intention.” At that time, I listened open-mouthed. Then Brother Zhang asked me, “So, who said the words that ‘we shouldn’t depart from the Bible in believing in the Lord’? Are there such words in the Bible?” “No, it is our pastor who said it,” I replied straight out. Suddenly I realized: Yeah! Since there aren’t such words in the Bible, but our pastor said so — doesn’t the pastor add to the Bible? Brother Zhang said, “The words such as ‘Don’t go outside and listen to other sermons’, ‘Don’t read other books except the Bible’, ‘God won’t do new work anymore’, ‘Only our denomination is the true way’, etc., who said these words? Are they God’s words in the Bible?” “No!” I said. “So who ever added to the Bible? What are their intentions? Whom should be added to the plagues written in this book?” At that time, I felt the brother’s tone was so powerful. I was speechless, and even feeling I was in a cold sweat. The pastors and elders in the church who always preach that shall not add to the words in the Bible and whoever do so will have plagues, and always condemn others are actually the ones who add to the Bible and should be punished. It’s so terrible. Again Brother Zhang said, “They add to God’s words to control the believers in their hands, not allowing them to seek God, let alone accept God’s new work. Are there any differences from the words, the intention and the outcome of the words the serpent spoke to Eve?” It gave me the chills. Due to my ignorance and blindness, I trust the words of pastors and elders, believing in God without a seeking heart. If Almighty God hadn’t arranged such environment to choose me, wouldn’t I have been eliminated by God because of believing the words of pastors and elders? The more I thought, the more dreadful I felt. The two brothers fellowshiped with me all afternoon and taught me several hymns. I felt like a wandering child who finally returned home, and saw his family. Words failed to express the excitement in my heart. Before leaving, the brothers gave me a book of God’s words.
When I got home on the next morning, I opened the book of Almighty God’s words and read: “How should the Bible be approached in the belief in God? This is a question of principle. Why are we communing this question? Because in the future you will spread the gospel and widen the work of the Age of Kingdom, and it’s not enough to merely be able to talk of God’s work today. To broaden His work, it is more important that you are able to resolve people’s old religious conceptions and old means of belief, and leave them utterly convinced — and getting to that point involves the Bible. For many years, people’s traditional means of belief (that of Christianity, one of the world’s three major religions) has been to read the Bible; departure from the Bible is not the belief in the Lord, departure from the Bible is an evil cult, and heresy, and even when people read other books, the foundation of these books must be the explanation of the Bible. Which is to say, if you say you believe in the Lord, then you must read the Bible, you must eat and drink the Bible, and outside the Bible you must not worship any book that does not involve the Bible. If you do, then you are betraying God. From the time when there was the Bible, people’s belief in the Lord has been the belief in the Bible. Instead of saying people believe in the Lord, it is better to say they believe in the Bible; rather than saying they have begun reading the Bible, it is better to say they have begun believing in the Bible; and rather than saying they have returned before the Lord, it would be better to say they have returned before the Bible. In this way, people worship the Bible as if it were God, as if it were their lifeblood and losing it would be the same as losing their life. People see the Bible as being as high as God, and there are even those who see it as higher than God. If people are without the work of the Holy Spirit, if they cannot feel God, they can carry on living — but as soon as they lose the Bible, or lose the famous chapters and sayings from the Bible, then it is as if they have lost their life” (“Concerning the Bible (1)”).
God’s words spoke right to my heart. My belief in God in these years is just like this, never seeking where the Holy Spirit works, and thinking as long as not departing from the Bible, doing as the Lord’s demands, when God comes, we will be taken to the kingdom of heaven. However, today Almighty God has come and disclosed the mystery about the Bible. God’s word says: “Not everything in the Bible is a record of the words personally spoken by God. The Bible simply documents the previous two stages of God’s work, of which one part is a record of the foretellings of the prophets, and one part is the experiences and knowledge written by people used by God throughout the ages. Human experiences are tainted with human opinions and knowledge, which is unavoidable. In many of the books of the Bible are human conceptions, human biases, and human absurd interpretations. Of course, most of the words are the result of the enlightenment and illumination of the Holy Spirit, and they are correct interpretations — yet it still cannot be said that they are entirely accurate expressions of the truth” (“Concerning the Bible (3)”). I also read God’s words about Jesus’ genealogy. God said: “The Gospel of Matthew of the New Testament documents Jesus’ genealogy. At the start, it says that Jesus was a descendant of Abraham, the son of David, and the son of Joseph; next it says that Jesus was conceived by the Holy Spirit, and born of a virgin — which would mean He was not the son of Joseph or the descendant of Abraham, that He was not the son of David. The genealogy, though, insists on associating Jesus with Joseph. Next, the genealogy begins to record the process by which Jesus was born. It says Jesus was conceived by the Holy Spirit, that He was born of a virgin, and not the son of Joseph. Yet in the genealogy it is clearly written that Jesus was the son of Joseph, and because the genealogy is written for Jesus, it records forty-two generations. When it goes to the generation of Joseph, it hurriedly says that Joseph was the husband of Mary, words which are in order to prove that Jesus was the descendant of Abraham. Is this not a contradiction? The genealogy clearly documents Joseph’s ancestry, it is obviously the genealogy of Joseph, but Matthew insists that it is the genealogy of Jesus. Does this not deny the fact of Jesus’ conception by the Holy Spirit? Thus, is the genealogy by Matthew not a human idea? It is ridiculous! In this way, you know that this book did not come entirely from the Holy Spirit” (“Concerning the Bible (3)”). After reading the paragraph of God’s dissection of Jesus’ genealogy, I have other idea of the Bible. In the past, I thought every word, even each punctuation mark was inspired by God, absolutely without the least bit of error, but after reading the dissection of Almighty God about the Bible, I realized that there are indeed many human impurities in the Bible. If God hadn’t come and disclosed the mystery about the Bible, none could have discovered the error. Through several days’ seeking and investigation, and the fellowship of brothers and sisters of the Church of Almighty God, I became more certain about Almighty God’s work, confirming Almighty God is the return of Jesus. So I happily accepted God’s new work and welcomed His return.
Source from: Find the shepherd