“Faith in God” (4) – Is Keeping to the Bible Equivalent to Believing in the Lord?

The Bible’s Christianity’s canon,
the foundation of our faith. Amen! We must keep the Bible’s words and hold it firm as that’s belief in the Lord. This is the truth! Now everyone, think for a moment about the Jewish chief priests, scribes, and the Pharisees. Their faith in God followed the Bible; they kept the Bible. What were the results? When the Lord Jesus appeared and did His work, they chose to keep the Bible rather than follow Lord Jesus. In the end, they crucified the Lord Jesus upon the cross. The Pharisees were cursed by God because they clung to the Bible and resisted the Lord Jesus. What lessons can we learn from their failure? Well, now that Brother Yu has talked so, we finally understand. Those who believe just in the name of the Lord Jesus can’t be saved and enter the kingdom of heaven. We all must accept the second coming of the Lord Jesus and obey God’s work in the last days
to enter the kingdom of heaven! Right! There still are many brothers and sisters
who don’t understand this. They continue to live in their own illusions. They think if they keep the Lord’s name, maintain the Bible, and listen to pastors and elders, when the Lord returns,
He’ll bring them to the kingdom of heaven. They follow pastors and elders
in resisting and condemning the returned Lord, and they don’t even know it. (Right.) It seems that what our brothers and sisters most need to learn is how to believe in God so as to gain His approval and be raptured into the kingdom of heaven. Right. Indeed. Hey, Brother Yu, how about this? (Yes.) Tomorrow I’ll call the brothers and sisters together,
and you can commune with everyone. How does that sound? OK! Wonderful! (That sounds wonderful.) Thank God! Then tomorrow I’ll invite another brother and we’ll all commune. Okay. That’s great. Great! Thanks be to the Lord!
I’ll gather brothers and sisters from our church to listen … Thanks be to God. Thanks be to the Lord! We are indeed fortunate to feel the work of the Holy Spirit
as we do today. (Indeed.) Wow! Many brothers and sisters have come here today! (Yes!) Sister Yang’s here. (Sister Yang.) You’re all here. (Yes.) Well, these past days, Brother Yu has given us such insightful fellowship. (It’s true.) It does seem that
the path we have taken in our faith in God strayed a bit. Yes. What’s most important in having faith in the Lord
is to follow His words and practice them always. This is truly obeying God’s work. (Yes.) Yet we seem to only focus on working
and preaching for the Lord, and not on practicing and experiencing His words. (Yes!) The pastors and elders that interpret the Bible quote Paul’s words the vast majority of the time and then seldom quote the Lord Jesus. (That’s right!) In this way, we are unconsciously worshiping Paul
and following his example. That is quite true. Inevitably, this strays from the Lord’s way. Isn’t this a deviation of our faith in God? That’s true it is. At last we now understand. We don’t believe according to the Lord’s words; we blindly follow our pastors and elders. Of course this leads to the wrong path. (Yes!) We’re really foolish and ignorant! We are indeed. Hey, sister. I’ll take these books over. (Thanks.) Thanks. (Sure.) They even treat Paul’s words as God’s words. Right! Pastors and elders often quote Paul
when they discuss welcoming the Lord’s return; they want us to always obey the ruling authority. They’ve also defined that
what is condemned by the authorities is utterly false. As a result, though Almighty God has performed His work for years, we’ve not pursued or investigated. That’s right! Plus, we follow them in resisting
Almighty God’s work in the last days. We’re close to becoming sinners through the ages, incurring God’s cursing and punishment. Oh! The consequences are severe! Thinking of that now makes me really scared. (Indeed.) We’ve listened to them interpret the Bible for years, but instead of knowing the Lord Jesus’ words, we just know Paul’s. In this way,
the Lord Jesus’ place in our hearts becomes smaller. Aren’t we straying from the Lord’s way? That’s true. We blindly obey the words of our pastors and elders; we allow them to set standards and control all. Even in studying the true way,
we feel the need to ask them. It’s true. Isn’t it obvious that
we’re worshiping and following men? (That’s true!) Hey! I do not agree with what you’re saying! Brother Yu is here! … Welcome! What’s his name? Oh, Brother Zhao. Hello, Brother Zhao! (Hello, my brother!) Please, come sit. Hey, everyone please sit! Let’s listen carefully. We can’t miss this opportunity! Don’t believers look forward to the Lord’s return? (Yes.) We should seize this chance. We give thanks to God! May God lead us! (Good!) My brothers and sisters,
please continue with your discussion. Yes, Sister Ma, please continue. Then I’ll continue. I don’t agree at all with what you’ve said. Paul’s words are in the Bible, and therefore, they were inspired by God, they are God’s words. (Amen!) Pastors and elders may discuss Paul’s words the most but even then they’re still exalting
and bearing witness to the Lord. They don’t stray from the Bible or the Lord’s words. Amen! Believing in Him’s believing in the Bible. Regardless of sect, if it strays from the Bible,
then it’s heresy! (Amen!) We believe in the Lord and must act according to the Bible; we must keep the words of the Bible. (Yeah.) The Bible’s Christianity’s canon,
the foundation of our faith. Amen! Leaving the Bible’s leaving the Lord; we leave it, how can we believe in the Lord? Yeah, there’d be no way to believe in the Lord. The Lord’s words are written in the Bible. Where else could we ever find His words? If our faith in the Lord’s not based on the Bible, then on what is it based? Right. It’s true. The Bible’s the foundation of our faith. Haven’t Christians based their faith
on the Bible for thousands of years? (Yes!) Do you see now? What believers do not retain the Bible? Those without the Bible are simply not Christians. Unbelievers don’t have the Bible,
because they don’t believe in the Lord. Correct! Therefore, to believe in the Lord is to believe in the Bible. We must keep the Bible’s words and hold it firm
as that’s belief in the Lord. This is the truth! (Amen!) Sister Ma, you say that because Paul’s words are in the Bible, they were inspired by God, they’re God’s words. That’s not quite proper, is it? Did the Lord Jesus say,
“All scripture is given by inspiration of God”? Did the Holy Spirit testify this? The answer’s no. Certainly not. No, He didn’t. Then how can you say that
all the words in the Bible were inspired by God? Anyone familiar with the Bible knows that the words of God conveyed by the prophets
are quite clearly marked. It’s clear to see which words were inspired by God
and are from God and which were spoken by men. Yes! Yet none of the words in Paul’s epistles
are marked as having been inspired by God and from God. Therefore, how can you say that
all of Paul’s words are God’s words? Right. Yes. Was Paul a prophet? (No.) Does the Bible say that
Paul was instructed by God to convey His words? It does not. Certainly not. Right, it doesn’t. We know that Paul was just an apostle spreading the gospel. The letters he wrote to each church were simply an attempt to console his brothers and sisters
in time of great difficulty. Right! So these words just represent Paul’s experiences and knowledge. They’re the words of a human. How can we say that
those words were inspired by and came from God? (Yes!) There’s one point we must be clear about. Only God incarnate can express the words of God, because Christ’s substance is God Himself. Amen! Paul is just a man; he is not Christ. Therefore, regardless of whether or not Paul’s words
are recorded in the Bible, they’re just man’s words. (Yes.) This is an undeniable fact! Correct. Yes. God’s words are God’s words; man’s words are man’s words. Man’s words can never become the words of God. Clearly, we cannot treat the words of man
as if they were the words of God just because they are in the Bible. Right. Yes, that’s right. If we understand that they are man’s words, but still want to treat them as if they were the words of God, are we not distorting facts and betraying the truth? Isn’t this resisting and blaspheming God? (Yes!) It’s an undeniable fact. Brother Zheng is right! Brother Zheng has been listening to the Eastern Lightning
just a few months. I’m shocked he already has such insight
and has made such progress! Ah! Wonderful! Apparently, the Eastern Lightning
really does come from God’s work; it clearly has the truth! Yes! Hey, why aren’t Brother Liu and Sister Jiang here? Where are they? They won’t be coming. They’re listening to the Eastern Lightning with Brother Zheng. What? Oh my! If Brother Liu and Sister Jiang
also believe in the Eastern Lightning, then we’re all in trouble. (Yes. Right.) They’ve a lot of prestige and will lead others to believe in the Eastern Lightning as well. That’s true. That’s absolutely right. If this continues, the pillars in the church and other good believers
will follow the Eastern Lightning. Our church will not be able to survive! That is so true. Ah! Never once did I think that
our best church members would all accept the Eastern Lightning! Yes, they all understand the Bible. The Eastern Lightning is too powerful! We keep trying to prevent them from pursuing it, but we still can’t stop them
from studying the Eastern Lightning. Yes. The number of true believers in the church
is always going down. Elder Sun, please tell us what we should do! Yes, we must figure something out now. I believe expelling Zheng Xun and the rest isn’t enough; we must ruin them, we must disgrace them! Right! True! Ideally, we should make our believers
pray for the Lord to curse them all. Indeed. They should all be cursed. Yes. Everyone must promise the Lord they won’t investigate the Eastern Lightning, nor read the words of Almighty God. (Yes.) This way,
no one will investigate the Eastern Lightning any more. Tell me now, what do you think of this? Good! That’s we’ll do! I fully agree. That’s a good plan! Hey, Elder Sun, I think that if we don’t want the faithful
to listen to the Eastern Lightning, we should tell them that Zheng Xun accepted bribes
and was bought off by the Eastern Lightning preacher. Why else would he try so hard
to believe in the Eastern Lightning?! That’s right. Right. Man’s out for his own interests. Man lives just for money. Good point. Yes, that’s right. If we say this to them, they’ll surely all believe it! Yeah! This is a good idea! We’ll do that! Yes! You are right! It is a great idea! Good idea. That should work! The church collected pamphlets from the CCP
and the religious communities that resist and condemn the Eastern Lightning. We’ve arranged them into a small brochure. You must distribute these brochures
to every single believer that we know. OK. Will do. That way, the faithful will not listen to the Eastern Lightning any more. Great! That’s what we’ll go do. It’s a good plan! Hey, Elder Sun, by resisting the Eastern Lightning, we’re obeying the authorities
and in accordance with the Bible. (Right.) But if we spread rumors about the Eastern Lightning, are we not bearing false witness against others? (Yes!) The Lord Jesus forbids us from bearing false witness. Will this offend the Lord? Will we incur His wrath? Ah! I don’t feel good about this. What do you know? What should we do? Just let all of the faithful go and believe in the Eastern Lightning? Yeah! We can’t hold back when it comes to the Eastern Lightning. By doing this, we are protecting our sheep and our church. (Right.) We are being loyal to the Lord. That’s right! Yes. We are. Loyalty to the Lord? Protecting the sheep? That doesn’t give the right
to spread rumors and to frame people. How could this be framing people? I really do not understand. Your faith’s been in vain if you can’t even grasp this point! You must see it like this: We must do whatever it takes to protect the church. As long as our intentions are good,
then we’re not doing evil. Amen! Yes! Indeed! Don’t worry about it. Just be sure to get it done. If there’re any problems,
the responsibility will be all mine. If Elder Sun says that, my mind is at ease. Right now we must all resist the Eastern Lightning. (Right.) If this fails, I’ve one last resort … Oh, one last resort? We’re far too invested in Paul’s words. We’ve treated Paul’s words as the Lord’s. Brothers and sisters, the problem we just discussed is quite important! Indeed. That’s right. This impacts whether our belief in the Lord
will gain His approval as well as the rapture into the kingdom of heaven! (Right!) In truth, many believers think,
“Belief in the Lord is belief in the Bible,” and that “keeping the Bible is believing in the Lord.” Now is this view in accordance with the words of the Lord? Did the Lord Jesus ever say,
“Keeping the Bible is believing in the Lord”? Not at all. He did not. The Lord Jesus never said that. According to this view, “Belief in God is belief in the Bible
and keeping the Bible is believing in God.” Now everyone, think for a moment about the Jewish chief priests,
scribes, and the Pharisees. Their faith in God followed the Bible;
they kept the Bible, correct? That’s right. Correct. What were the results? When the Lord Jesus appeared and did His work, they didn’t accept or obey Him. Instead, they judged the Lord Jesus and said His words and work overstepped the law of the Old Testament. What’s more, because the Lord expressed the words of God, they actually convicted Him of blasphemy. And as a result, they crucified Him on the cross. That’s true. In light of this fact, do we dare still say that
belief in the Lord is belief in the Bible and keeping the Bible is believing in the Lord? (No.) When we put the Bible above all else, does that mean we fear and magnify the Lord? When we have blind faith in and keep the Bible, does that mean we obey and worship the Lord? It does not. Does it mean that we follow God’s will? No. Some believers only believe in the Bible and keep the Bible; they can’t magnify the Lord
or practice and experience His words, nor do they seek truth, obey God’s work,
or follow His footsteps. They even resist and condemn God’s work
based on the literal words of the Bible. Are they not hypocritical Pharisees? Are they not antichrists who take God as their enemy? Yes! The Lord Jesus once rebuked the Pharisees: The Lord Jesus exposed
the Pharisees’ flawed method of faith quite clearly. The Pharisees’ faith in God was only based upon the Bible. All they did was according to it. They valued the Bible above everything else; they thought that keeping the Bible
would give them eternal life. However, they didn’t accept the truth
expressed by the Lord Jesus. They chose to keep the Bible rather than follow Lord Jesus. They clung to the Bible
and used literal interpretations to attack the Lord Jesus. They denied and condemned truths expressed by the Lord. In the end, they crucified the Lord Jesus upon the cross. That is why they were cursed and punished. Yes, this is the truth! Therefore, we can see that
if a believer only believes in and worships the Bible, but then denies Christ incarnate
and rejects God’s work and leadership, they certainly will not be obtaining God’s praise. Yes. Is what I say not true? (Yes, it is.) It seems dangerous to continue to keep the Bible. I’m worried. Brothers and sisters, let’s read some of Almighty God’s words. (OK!) Please turn to page 944. Let’s read it together. (OK.) Be honest, don’t you think these words refer to us? Almighty God’s words are in line with our true conditions. Right! We have believed in the Lord for all these years and really treated the Bible as if it were the Lord. (That’s true!) We thought following the Bible was after the Lord’s heart, that worshiping the Bible meant the Lord was with us. It’s true. As long as I put the Bible near my pillow when I sleep, I feel as if the Lord is protecting and keeping me. My heart is at peace and so I sleep very well. Yes! That’s right! In the past, we would often say that we already had all of God’s salvation; it was all contained in the Bible. I never realized that by saying that, I was delimiting God only within the Bible. Therefore, I never studied Almighty God’s work in the last days. How could we have been so foolish and ignorant?! (Indeed.) Brothers and sisters, Almighty God’s words expose the greatest deviations and errors
in the religious people’s faith in God to us. Right. If we compare it to our own experiences, it seems we’ve believed in the Lord but never really practiced or experienced His words. We’ve never searched for the truth in the Lord’s words
or obtained the enlightenment of the Holy Spirit. We’ve never tried to find the Lord’s will within His words. The result is that we have never followed the Lord’s way, and we have never really known the Lord. That’s right. We thought if we could memorize some biblical passages, God would have a place in our hearts, that if we could explain some of the Bible, it would mean that we did know God. And even we falsely thought that as long as we could explain the Bible
and memorize a lot of the text, we would be in accordance with God’s will. That’s right! All believers place the Bible above everything else. In their hearts, the Bible has already replaced the Lord. Yes. Many think to exalt and keep the Bible
is to exalt and bear witness to the Lord. In truth, these actions completely stray from the Lord’s way and will. Right. This is especially true
during the Lord’s appearance and work in the last days. Many still cling to the Bible and wait till they see for themselves the Lord descend with the clouds. They don’t search for the Holy Spirit’s work and utterance. Even though they’ve heard the witness
of the Church of Almighty God that the Lord has returned and He is Almighty God and is uttering the truth
and doing judgment work in the last days, they don’t search for God’s appearance and work. They even follow religious pastors and elders
in denying, judging, and condemning Almighty God. They’ve become those who believe in yet resist God. They will be forsaken by God,
thrown into great disaster and punished. Yes. This happens when people blindly believe in and worship the Bible, confine God within its limits, and unconsciously walk the path of resistance against God. The Pharisees were cursed by God because they clung to the Bible and resisted the Lord Jesus. What lessons can we learn from their failure? It’s wrong for believers to keep the words of the Bible. We must practice and experience the Lord’s words. We must search for the truth in the Lord’s words
and gain the Holy Spirit’s work. This is especially true when the Lord returns. When we hear someone bear witness to the Lord’s arrival, we must search for God’s present work and words. This way, we can follow the footprints of God’s work; we’ll be raptured before God’s throne and receive the supply of water of life, obtain truth and salvation, and enter the kingdom of heaven. Amen! Wonderful. We have a path now. Thanks be to God. Almighty God’s words are indeed good. What you say is practical and true. (Yes.) Thank God! Praise God! We’ve believed for years
but never grasped how the Lord and the Bible relate. Indeed. We believe in the Lord but fail to magnify Him, emphasizing the Bible instead. We value classic Bible passages above all else. We memorize a few dead Bible passages, but don’t obey the Lord, live by and practice His words. (Yes.) This is especially true when it comes to His return. I stubbornly kept the Bible. In no way did I search for the work
or for the utterance of the Holy Spirit. (Yes.) When I heard that the Lord’s returned as Almighty God who is doing His work of judgment in the last days, I didn’t explore it. Instead, I followed my pastors and elders
in resisting and condemning. Believing in the Lord like this,
how are we different from those hypocritical Pharisees? We believe in Him but don’t know we’re resisting Him. Yeah. This is the case. Had Almighty God not revealed this, if it were not for His words, nobody would know about
their deviations or errors in their faith. In truth, before God spoke or started His new work, our belief in the Lord according to the Bible was not wrong. This is because the Bible is a witness to God; it’s a record of God’s words and work
during the Age of Law and the Age of Grace. Indeed! We who read it become aware of God’s existence. We learn about God’s almightiness and wisdom, how He created all and rules over all. (Yes.) In addition, we can see what God said and did during the previous two stages of His work, as well as His wishes and demands on all of mankind, His many actions revealed to all of humanity, and so on. Yeah. Correct. Indeed. The Bible specifically contains the Lord Jesus’ work of redemption during the Age of Grace, the abundant grace and truth He gave mankind, allowing us to see God’s true love and mercy toward humanity. Praise be to God. Yes, thanks be to the Lord. If we did not have the Bible, it would be hard for us to understand God’s past work. (Right.) Therefore, the Bible is a necessary and classic book for us believers. The Bible helps us believe in and know God truly, and also to walk the right path of life. Correct! Yeah! However, regardless of how valuable the Bible is
or how much it has helped humanity, the Bible does not represent God
or replace the work of the Holy Spirit, much less does it stand in for God in the work of salvation. Isn’t this true? Yes. It’s true. That’s quite right! This is a fact! It’s certainly is true, don’t you agree? God is the Lord of creation, the source of all life. Furthermore, God gives humanity a steady stream of life
that is utterly inexhaustible. (Amen!) However, the Bible is just a historical book
about God’s past work. How could it ever be on par with God? That’s true! Yes! It can’t be put on the same level as God! The Bible is the Bible. God is God. The Bible and God are different. (Yeah.) Belief in one does not mean belief in the other. (Right.) Everyone, am I right? Yes. That’s correct. Indeed. I finally understand. The Bible is merely a limited collection
of God’s work and words, meanwhile, God is both true and living, God is the source of man’s life. Most of all, the Bible in no way compares with God! (Correct.) Hey! That reminds me of a story.
I’d like to share it with you all. It doesn’t quite fit this situation,
but it does illustrate a problem. What story? Tell us! Tell us about it. A father once took the time
to write a long letter to his son. And his son held this letter tight
and cried rivers of tears every day. He desperately longed for his father
to return and be with him. And then one day, his father did return from far, far away. Guess what happened? His son didn’t acknowledge him,
and he said the letter represented his father. Tell me,
isn’t this just the most stupid thing for the son to do? (Yeah.) Doesn’t the father just have to scold his son? It’s a good analogy, right? It explains the problem! (Yes!) It’s clear what we used to think that “the Bible represents the Lord
and faith in the Bible is faith in the Lord” is not a valid viewpoint at all. Yes. That’s true. Correct! You’re absolutely right! Praise God! Our faith in God can’t be based just on the Bible. We must base our faith on what God actually says and the work of the Holy Spirit. This is what’s most important to faith in God! (Correct. Yes.) If we don’t even understand this basic knowledge
concerning faith in God, aren’t we too foolish and ignorant? It’s true. Yes. This is like it was in the Age of Grace
when the Lord Jesus came and did His work. Could man obtain the work of the Holy Spirit
if all they did was read the Old Testament, but not accept the words and work of the Lord Jesus? (No!) Could they gain the Lord Jesus’ salvation? (No. Of course not.) Correct! Obviously not! And so, when the Lord Jesus has returned in the last days
as Almighty God, and He is expressing truth and doing His work of judgment, can those of us who only keep the Bible
and the Lord Jesus’ work, obtain the work of the Holy Spirit
and God’s salvation of the last days? Of course not! Sister, we cannot continue to keep the Bible like this. Correct! Thus, when Almighty God does His new work in the last days, we must all seek the truth within His words,
as well as listen to His voice, follow the footsteps of His work, (That’s right.) and undergo the judgment and chastisement of His words. Only by undergoing God’s work like this
can we obtain truth, (Right.) know God, and gain purification and salvation. This kind of faith is the only way to gain God’s praise. (Amen.) Thanks be to God! Now that they’ve spoken to us, we understand at last! When God does new work, we must follow Him! (Correct!) Captain Huang, do not worry. This time the information is all true. We’ll definitely catch the Eastern Lightning preachers. Just wait and see! If we can catch them this time, Elder Sun, it’ll be because of you! The government will not treat you badly. That’s good!

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