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By Li Xiao
Across the blue sky dotted with a few wispy white clouds, some birds flew in a beautiful arc at times. Huizi and Yingxin wandered to the park. They lied on the green lawn, breathing the fresh air and talking about the past happily.
Suddenly, Yingxin turned herself sideways to Huizi and said: “Huizi, telling stories was your favorite before. When you were preaching the gospel, the parables you told achieved pretty good results. I was your big fan! Please tell me one more today!”
Looking at Yingxin, Huizi nodded with a smile, and then told a small story she had read on the Internet vividly.
A beetle flew onto a reed by the river, while a buffalo was grazing nearby. Accidentally, the buffalo swallowed the beetle along with the reed. Then the beetle came to a place which was totally strange to it, feeling terribly uncomfortable. As it was walking along, it met a hookworm. The hookworm asked the beetle where it was from. After the beetle introduced itself, the hookworm did not believe what it said nor believed that there was another world besides the tripe. No matter how patiently the beetle told what it had experienced and seen, the hookworm still did not believe but clung to its own notions and imaginations, thinking that the beetle was telling a lie to cheat it. Thus the hookworm walked away angrily before the beetle finished its words.
After hearing this story, Yingxin laughed heartily and said: “This story is really interesting. How shortsighted, stubborn, and arrogant the hookworm was! It lived in the narrow tripe and was unable to see the world outside. Yet it refused to listen to the beetle’s description, and defined the beetle was talking big with its poor knowledge. Alas! I really feel sorry for the hookworm!” With that, she shook her head again and again.
Huizi said earnestly: “That’s right! After reading this story, I keep thinking that we have the same problem which exists in the hookworm.”
“What do you mean?” Yingxin looked at Huizi curiously.
“Yingxin, we have believed in the Lord for a long time. While we were studying at the seminary, the pastor told us, ‘God’s words and work are all in, outside the Bible there are no more words of God, and anything that exceeds the Bible is heresy. …’ Over these years, we all had the same thought. However, recently I went through lots of literature on the Bible, and have had some knowledge of how the Bible was formed. I feel that our viewpoint seems not right,” answered Huizi with her brows furrowed.
“I have never thought about this. Huizi, what is your viewpoint at the moment? I want to hear what you think. Tell me quickly, please! So I can use it as a guide,” said Yingxin, looking at Huizi confusedly and eagerly.
Huizi nodded, looking at Yingxin, and said: “It was around AD 300 when the Bible was put together by mankind. In the compilation of the Bible, there occurred heated debates among the religious leaders. Moreover, a part of God’s words conveyed by the prophets were omitted by the compilers, and they were not included in the Bible. Furthermore, let’s consider: During the three and a half years when theworked on earth, He said countless words and did so much work. However, all of the Lord’s words recorded in the Four Gospels merely amount to a normal person’s fellowship in several hours. Compared with the Lord Jesus’ preaching and work in the three and a half years, that is only the tip of the iceberg and merely a drop in the ocean. As John recorded: ‘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’ (John 21:25). This proves that not all of the Lord Jesus’ words and work were recorded in the Bible. So, are the prophecies of the prophets that were omitted and the unrecorded Lord Jesus’ words during His three-and-a-half-year preaching and work God’s words or not? And, does our viewpoint that all God’s work and words are recorded in the Bible accord with the facts?
“After listening to your fellowship, I understand the viewpoint that all of God’s work and words are recorded in the Bible is wrong,” said Yingxin, with her expression turning serious.
Then Huizi continued: “The pastors and elders often told us that everything beyond the Bible was a heresy. I had the same viewpoint before. However, through studying the Bible recently, I found there was something wrong with this viewpoint. In the beginning, when God created the heavens and the earth and all things, there was no human, not to mention the Bible. God used a flood to destroy the world, burned Sodom and Gomorrah…. When God did this much, the Bible didn’t exist either. Besides, God leading the Israelites out of Egypt, decreeing laws and so on are all recorded by Moses after God has done that. It is impossible for him to record in advance the work that God has not yet done. It is the same case with those books of the prophets. Only after God has revealed His words to the prophets did they write them down. They could not do that previously before God told them. So tell me, did God’s work and words come first or did the Bible come first?”
Yingxin looked at Huizi with staring eyes, thought for a while, and said: “I think God’s words and work came first before they were able to be recorded and compiled into books. That matches up with historical facts and objective laws.
Huizi nodded and said: “I think so too. From the accounts of the Bible, we can know that when Jesus came to do work, there was only the Old Testament but no New Testament. It was Jesus who brought forth the gospel of the kingdom of heaven and taught man to confess his sins and repent to God. Moreover, He healed the sick and cast out demons, fed five thousand with five loaves of bread and two fish, and performed many signs and wonders. In the Old Testament there was only the prophecies of the Lord Jesus’ work but no detailed account of it. It was not until the Lord Jesus was crucified and finished His redemption work that the apostles recorded His work and words, organized them into the books of gospel, and compiled them into the New Testament. From the compilation of the Bible I found that it is just a record of God’s work: The things recorded in the Old Testament are Jehovah God’s work in Israel, and what is recorded in the New Testament is the work of the Lord Jesus during the Age of Grace. Whatever work God does is according to His plan of managing mankind, not the Bible. The Bible cannot represent God. Consequently, the statement ‘everything beyond the Bible is a heresy’ is untenable.”
Yingxin nodded, and mused: “It sounds reasonable. It seems that the viewpoint ‘God’s words and work are in the Bible, there are no words of God outside of the Bible, and everything beyond the Bible is a heresy. …’ is completely invalid. If we keep holding on to these conceptions and imaginations, are we not like the hookworm in the story? There was another beautiful world outside the tripe, but the hookworm only believed its own notions instead of the beetle’ words, so it would not see the beautiful sun and moon in the end.”
Huizi replied: “Right! We human beings are just creatures, and how can we fathom God who created the heavens and the earth and all things? Take the earliest Pharisees for example. They had been waiting eagerly for the arriving of Messiah, but when the Lord Jesus came, they used the laws of the Old Testament to condemn Him, and furthermore, joined hands with the Roman government to crucify the merciful Lord Jesus. In the end, they were punished and cursed by God and lost His salvation. But those who were willing to put aside their notions and longed for and sought the truth, they obtained the Holy Spirit’s guidance and enlightenment and followed the footsteps of the Lamb. From the Lord Jesus’ words, they recognized Jesus as Christ, the coming Messiah prophesied in the books of the prophets. Hence, they received God’s grace and were living in His blessings. Today, the Lord Jesus’ gospel has been spread to the ends of the universe! So …”
Yingxin interposed: “So, when the words and work of God which we hear are not the same as what we imagine, we should seek humbly and not hold on to our own notions and imaginations arrogantly and stubbornly just as the hookworm. Only when we learn to seek humbly can we welcome the Lord’s return. Huizi, would you agree with that?”
“Amen!” answered Huizi, looking at Yingxin with a happy smile.
A flock of birds were joyfully hovering in the air. The sky was so blue, and the grass so green. Looking at everything before their eyes, Huizi and Yingxin were longing for the future …
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