The answer from God’s word:
“The Bible is not completely a record of God’s personal utterance. It is only an account of the first two stages of God’s work. Part of it is the record of the prophecies of the prophets, and part of it is the experiences and knowledge written by the men used by God throughout the past generations. It is unavoidable that man’s experiences are mixed with human views and knowledge. In these many books, some words are men’s notions, prejudices, and erroneous understandings. Of course, most of the words are from the inspiration and enlightenment of the Holy Spirit and are correct understandings, but still they cannot be said to be completely accurate expression of the truth. Their views on certain things were simply their own experiential knowledge or the inspiration from the Holy Spirit. The prophecies of the prophets were revealed by God personally. For example, the prophecies spoken by Isaiah and by Daniel, Ezra, Jeremiah, and Ezekiel at that time were revealed directly by the Holy Spirit. They were foretellers, men who received the spirit of prophecy. They were all prophets of the Old Testament. In the Age of the Law, these men who received revelation from Jehovah spoke many prophecies, which were directly revealed by Jehovah.
People of today always believe that the Bible is God and God is the Bible, and they believe that God spoke just so many words in the Bible and all the words in the Bible were spoken by God. Even all the believers in God believe this: Although the sixty-six books of the Old and New Testaments were written by men, they were God-breathed and are a record of the words of the Holy Spirit. This is man’s erroneous understanding and is not completely factual. Actually, apart from the books of prophecy, the books in the Old Testament are mostly records of history. In the epistles of the New Testament, some are of man’s experiences, and some are from the inspiration of the Holy Spirit. For example, the epistles written by Paul were of man’s work, and they were all inspired by the Holy Spirit. They were letters written to the churches and were his exhortations and encouragements to the brothers and sisters of the churches, not words spoken by the Holy Spirit. He could not speak on behalf of the Holy Spirit, and he was not a prophet, much less had he seen visions. Those letters were written to the several churches of that time such as Ephesus, Philadelphia, and Galatia. Therefore, Paul’s epistles in the New Testament were the letters he wrote to those churches, and they were not revelations from the Holy Spirit or words directly from the Holy Spirit, but were only Paul’s exhortations, consolations, and encouragements to the churches during the time he worked and were also a record of the many works he did at that time. They were written to all the brothers and sisters in the Lord and were simply to have the brothers and sisters in all the churches at that time listen to his exhortations and walk in all the ways of the Lord Jesus. He did not say that the churches at that time and in the future must eat and drink what was from him or that his words were completely from God. He only fellowshipped with the brothers and sisters according to the conditions of the churches at that time, exhorting them and stirring up their faith. He only gave preachings or gave admonishments and exhortations; he spoke according to his burden, and by these words he sustained those people. As he worked as an apostle to all the churches at that time and was a worker used by the Lord Jesus, he had to be responsible for the churches and had to take charge of the work of the churches and know the states of the brothers and sisters. So, he wrote letters to all the brothers and sisters in the Lord. All his words that edified others and were positive were right, but his words could not represent the words of the Holy Spirit and could not represent God. If people consider the records of man’s experiences and man’s epistles as the words the Holy Spirit speaks to the churches, it is a greatly wrong view, and it is a great blasphemy! This is especially so with Paul’s epistles to the churches. For he wrote letters to the brothers and sisters according to the situations and the conditions of the churches at that time so as to exhort the brothers and sisters in the Lord, so that they could receive grace from the Lord Jesus; he wrote them to encourage the brothers and sisters of that time. It can be said to be a burden of his own and also a burden given to him by the Holy Spirit. After all, he was an apostle to lead all the churches at that time, and it was his responsibility to write to all the churches to give them exhortations. As his identity was only a working apostle, a sent apostle, not a prophet or a foreteller, to him his own work and the life of the brothers and sisters were most important. Therefore, he could not speak on behalf of the Holy Spirit; his words were not the words of the Holy Spirit, much less could they be said to be the words of God. For he was only a created being, not God incarnate. He was different from Jesus in identity. Jesus’ words were the words of the Holy Spirit, the words of God, because his identity was Christ—the Son of God. How could Paul be equal with him? If people consider epistles or words like Paul’s as the utterance of the Holy Spirit and worship them as God, this only means that they are too lacking in discernment. To put it seriously, aren’t they purely blaspheming God? How could man speak on behalf of God? How could people bow down to the record of man’s words and epistles as a ‘holy book,’ a ‘heavenly book’? Can man speak God’s word at will? How could man speak on behalf of God? So, could his letters to those churches not be mixed with his own thoughts or with things of his own will? It was according to his own experiences and the degree of his life that he wrote letters to the churches. Suppose Paul expressed one view in his letter to the church of Galatia and Peter expressed another view in his letter to it. Which one was from the Holy Spirit? No one can tell. So, it can only be said that they both had a burden for the church. But their letters represented their different statures, represented their supply and sustenance to the brothers and sisters, and represented their burdens for the church. They only represented man’s work but were not absolutely from the Holy Spirit. If you say that their epistles were the words of the Holy Spirit, you are absurd. It is a blasphemy! Paul’s epistles and other epistles in the New Testament are like the writings of the spiritual men of modern times. They can be mentioned in the same breath with the spiritual writings of men such as the books of Watchman Nee or the experiences of Lawrence. Only, the books written by the men of modern times are not compiled into the New Testament; but the substance of these men is the same. They are all men used by the Holy Spirit in a certain period, and they cannot directly represent God.
The Gospel of Matthew in the New Testament records the genealogy of Jesus. At its beginning, it says that Jesus was the son of Abraham, the son of David, and the son of Joseph. Following that, it says that Jesus was conceived by the Holy Spirit and born of a virgin. This means that Jesus was not the son of Joseph, the son of Abraham, or the son of David. But the record in the genealogy forcedly relates Jesus to Joseph. Following the genealogy, it begins to record the course of Jesus’ birth. And then it says that Jesus was conceived by the Holy Spirit and born of a virgin and was not the son of Joseph. But the genealogy clearly says that Jesus was the son of Joseph. Because the genealogy was written for Jesus, it recorded the characters of forty-two generations. When the line reaches the generation of Joseph, it immediately says that Joseph was Mary’s husband. That word was to prove that Jesus was the son of Abraham. Doesn’t this contradict the foregoing record? The genealogy clearly records the characters of Joseph’s family and is clearly Joseph’s genealogy. But Matthew asserted that it was Jesus’ genealogy. Wasn’t this denying the fact that Jesus was conceived by the Holy Spirit? So, wasn’t the genealogy written by Matthew something of human will? It is even more something ridiculous! So you can know that this book is not completely from the Holy Spirit at all. Maybe some people thought that God had to have a genealogy when he was on earth. So they put Jesus in the forty-second generation of the family of Abraham. It is really too ridiculous! How could God have a genealogy when he came to earth? If you say that God has a genealogy, haven’t you put God among the created beings? God is not of earth, he is the Creator, and he is different from man in essence though he is flesh, so how could you put God and created beings in the same category? Abraham could not represent God. He was an object of Jehovah’s work at that time, and he was only a faithful servant approved by Jehovah and a member of the Israelites. How could he be the ancestor of Jesus?
Who wrote the genealogy of Jesus? Did Jesus himself write it? Did Jesus personally tell them ‘write a genealogy for me’? It was written by Matthew after Jesus was crucified. At that time, Jesus did many works, but his disciples did not understand them and he did not explain them. After he left, his disciples began to preach and work everywhere. For the sake of that stage of work, they began to write letters and write the gospels. The Gospels in the New Testament were written twenty to thirty years after Jesus was crucified. Before that, the Israelites all read the Old Testament. That is, those people in the Age of the Grace all read the Old Testament. The New Testament came into being in the Age of the Grace. When Jesus did his work, there was not the New Testament. After he resurrected and ascended to heaven, men later recorded his works, and thus the four Gospels came into being. Besides, such books as Paul’s letters and Peter’s letters and Revelation appeared. More than three hundred years after Jesus ascended to heaven, men later selected them and put them together. Then the New Testament came into being. The New Testament appeared after the work was done; it did not exist before that. God did so many works, and the apostle Paul did so many works. Later, the letters written by Paul and Peter were collected together, and John’s record of the greatest vision he saw on the island of Patmos was put as the last book because it prophesied the work to be done in the end time. All these were arranged by men later. This is not so with the ‘words’ of today. Today, the records are made according to the steps of the work, and all that people contact is God’s personal works and words. There is no need for man to meddle in it. The words directly from the Spirit are arranged step by step in a proper order, different from that of men’s records. Their records were according to their education and qualities, and what they recorded was their experiences. They each had their own way of recording and had their own knowledge, and their records were all different. So, if you worship the Bible as God, you are too ignorant and too foolish!”
from “A Statement About the Bible (3)” in The Word Appears in the Flesh
“Who of you would dare to say today that all the words spoken by the men used by the Holy Spirit are from the Holy Spirit? Who would dare to say so? If you say so, why was Ezra’s book of prophecy discarded? And why were the books of those ancient saints and prophets discarded? Since they were all from the Holy Spirit, why do you dare to select among them as you like? Are you entitled to select among the works of the Holy Spirit? And many stories that happened in Israel were also discarded. If you think that all the books written in former times were from the Holy Spirit, why were some of them discarded? Since they were all from the Holy Spirit, they should all have been kept and given to the brothers and sisters in the churches to read, and should not have been discarded and selected according to man’s own will. This would have been right. When I say that the experiences of men like Paul and John were mixed with their own seeing, I do not mean that their experiences and knowledge were from satan, but that they had things of their own experiences and of their own seeing. They gained their knowledge according to the actual background of their experience at the time. Who would dare to say with certainty that it was completely from the Holy Spirit? If the four Gospels were completely from the Holy Spirit, why is it that what Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John communicated about the works Jesus did at that time were different? If you do not believe, you may read the records of Peter’s denying the Lord three times in the Bible, which are different, each having its own ‘characteristics.’”
from “A Statement About Address and Identity” in The Word Appears in the Flesh
“My dissecting the Bible this way today does not mean that I loathe it or deny its value for reference. I am making clear and explaining to you its original value and its origin, lest you always be kept in the dark. For people have too many views about the Bible and most of them are wrong. Having such views about the Bible, they not only cannot gain what they should gain, but even worse it will hinder the work I want to do, and it will be a great disruption to the future work, bringing only disadvantages and no advantages. So I am only asking you to know the substance and the inside truth of the Bible. I am not asking you to not read the Bible or to preach that the Bible is a worthless book. Rather, I am asking you to have a correct knowledge and view about the Bible. Don’t be too one-sided! Although the Bible is a book of history written by man, it records many principles by which the ancient saints and prophets served God and many experiences of the recent apostles’ serving God, which are men’s true seeing and knowledge, and all these can be a reference for those who pursue the true way in the present age.”