Shincheonji used to teach that the Great Tribulation would not harm Shincheonji, but instead only harm the “churches of the world.”
What happened in reality
Lee Man Hee claimed that COVID-19 is the Great Tribulation, and the Great Tribulation affected and targeted Shincheonji.
18 I will raise up for them a prophet like you from among their fellow Israelites, and I will put my words in his mouth. He will tell them everything I command him. 19 I myself will call to account anyone who does not listen to my words that the prophet speaks in my name. 20 But a prophet who presumes to speak in my name anything I have not commanded, or a prophet who speaks in the name of other gods, is to be put to death.”
21 You may say to yourselves, “How can we know when a message has not been spoken by the Lord?” 22If what a prophet proclaims in the name of the Lord does not take place or come true, that is a message the Lord has not spoken. That prophet has spoken presumptuously, so do not be alarmed.
As we already established, Lee Man Hee claims to be the one who heard and saw and the one who ate the opened scroll which we came to understand means:
1. Lee Man Hee saw and heard the physical fulfillment of all the events of the entire Book of Revelation, from Rev 1 to Rev 22, and received the explanation of the events from an angel.
2. Lee Man Hee attained a complete understanding of the entire Bible, and has perceived the true meaning of Revelation and the realities of its physical fulfillment.
Then, according to Lee Man Hee’s own testimony, he must know what the physical fulfillment of each of the events of the entire Book of Revelation is, because he claims he saw them all. Furthermore, Lee Man Hee testifies the reality of all the events of Revelation according to 5W1H (who, what, when, where, why, how) so he must have also received this understanding if it is true that nothing he teaches are his own thoughts. Then, it would be a problem if Lee Man Hee did not know who was involved in one of the events of the physical fulfillment right?
Before the COVID-19 pandemic began, Lee Man Hee taught that after the 144,000 were sealed the great tribulation would take place, and it would be a judgement of the churches of the world, out of which the great multitude in white would come. Lee Man Hee taught that after the 144,000 were sealed the truth about Shincheonji would be revealed to the world and the great multitude in white would come flooding in.
Shincheonji is not considered part of the “churches of the world” because it is believed to be the kingdom of heaven on earth. In the article ‘We Must Overcome the World’ (381107 – 7 Nov 2021) Lee Man Hee wrote:
Not only do we not belong to the world, we must overcome the world. The number of those who belong to the world is great, and the workers for God’s new thing are few. Even so, we must overcome.
Below are some teachings from Lee Man Hee from before the COVID-19 pandemic began. The quote is presented in its entirety in order to clearly demonstrate that Lee Man Hee did not teach the great tribulation would negatively affect Shincheonji.
‘The Physical Fulfillment of Revelation’ on page 163.
What is the great tribulation from which those dressed in white come? As mentioned, the winds are held back until the angel with God’s seal marks the 144,000 people of the twelve tribes of New Spiritual Israel. In Revelation 7:13-14, because the 144,000 have been gathered, the four archangels release the wind and let it blow over the land, over the sea and over every kind of tree. As explained in Revelation 7:1, wind represents judgment, and the land, sea, and every kind of tree represent all of the churches and churchgoers of the world (Is 5:7, 1 Pt 1:24).
God judges those who have betrayed before later judging the rest of the people of the world (Jer 25:28-29, Ez 9:6). After God plagues the tabernacle of the seven golden lampstands (Revelation 6) and finishes the work of sealing the 144,000 people who will heal all nations, he judges all the churches of the world with the great tribulation. At the time of the judgment in Revelation 6, there are only a few people (i.e., a quart of wheat and three quarts of barley) who come out of salvation by following the word. When Revelation 7 is fulfilled, however, the 144,000 people who are sealed by God proclaim the gospel of the physical fulfillment. Many people will listen to them, understand, and return to God to be saved (Is 1:27, Is 8:13).
In the ‘SCJ Year 36 Sealing Revelation Education from the General Assembly – Session 10’ printout about Revelation 7, point 5 of the explanation of Rev 7:1 states:
5) The land, sea, tree: The Tabernacle of the chosen people that sinned, the world, and the congregation of all the denominations
And on the same printout, point 5 of the explanation of Revelation 7:9-14 states:
5) The great tribulation: Judging the (Churches of the world) (Judgment of the leftovers in the CCK and Babylon)
If this is not clear enough, Lee Man Hee even admitted in a letter to the congregation that he thought good things would happen after the 144,000 were sealed.
‘Special Letter / To Shincheonji family members’ (371105 – 5 Nov 2020)
It was thought that when the 144,000 are sealed, good things would happen, but the unwanted great tribulation struck instead. When the disciples asked Jesus, “Are only a few going to be saved?” Jesus said there is salvation in the small and narrow road. It’s easy to say with words.
Who is Lee Man Hee referring to when he says “It was thought?” It cannot be the churches in the world because they do not interpret Revelation in this way. Does he mean that some people misunderstood? No, otherwise he would rebuke them harshly and explain why they are wrong. Lee Man Hee is referring to all members of Shincheonji because he taught that good things would happen after the 144,000 are sealed. He taught that the great multitude would come flooding into Shincheonji. In fact, the original Korean can be translated as either “I thought” or “It was thought.”
It is clear from observing Lee Man Hee’s teachings about the great tribulation before the COVID-19 pandemic, that he thought the great tribulation would not affect Shincheonji negatively. However, he is now teaching that the great tribulation is taking place and that Shincheonji is currently suffering because of the great tribulation.
‘The Re-Creation of Heaven and Earth, the Hidden Things from of Old, Prophecy, and Fulfillment’ (380915 – 15 Sep 2021)
Additionally, it is recorded that after the 144,000 are sealed, the trial that will come upon the whole world, that is, the great tribulation, will take place for the creation of the multitude in white, but this great tribulation (the Covid-19 pandemic) has currently begun.
‘The Great Tribulation and the Creation of the Multitude in White After the Creation of the Sealed 12 Tribes’ (380123 – 23 Jan 2021)
We are now in the great tribulation.
According to the order recorded in the prophecies, we are now experiencing the great tribulation and the trial. [We] must overcome this trial.
‘Jesus’ Soldiers, the Devil’s Soldiers, and the Pastor in Revelation’ (371031 – 31 Oct 2020)
Once those who have been harvested (Rv 14:14-16) get sealed and their number is filled, there comes to be a great tribulation and trial. This is the trial that comes upon the whole world and the great tribulation. There is no record of its length of time. We must overcome this trial and great tribulation.
‘The Position of Shincheonji Church of Jesus’ (380128 – 28 Jan 2021)
After the work of sealing the 144,000, there is the hour of trial that comes upon the whole world spoken of in Rv 3:10 and the great tribulation spoken of in Rv 7:9-14, and [Jesus] said that at this time, a great multitude in white will come out of the great tribulation.
At the time of the second coming as well, according to the words of Jesus who said that “the believers who belong to Jesus will be persecuted and dragged before the authorities” (Mt 10), due to COVID-19, we, Shincheonji, have suffered harm and pain, and several appointed workers have even been detained. Through whose persecution? Through the persecution by the Protestant Church. This is proof that Jesus’ prophecy has been fulfilled. The evil winds of the ruling powers blew on Shincheonji that created the 12 tribes by sealing the 144,000 born of God’s seed.
If Lee Man Hee really did see the physical fulfillment of all the events of the entire Book of Revelation and receive the explanation from an angel, should he not know key details such as who the great tribulation affects? Even Jesus gave detailed predictions of events before they took place, in accordance with John 14:29.
John 13:18-19, 21, 26 Jesus tells the disciples which one will betray him before it happens.
John 14:2-3, 28-29 Jesus tells the disciples that he will die and resurrect before it happens.
Mark 8:31-32 Jesus speaks plainly that he must be killed and after three days rise again.
Mt 26:33-35 Jesus says Peter will disown him three times before the rooster crows.
Perhaps you might be thinking that even though Lee Man Hee saw the physical fulfillment of all the events in the entire Book of Revelation, this might have been a detail which could not be known until it was fulfilled. If that is the case, then consider Revelation 22:18-19. If Lee Man Hee does not have the complete understanding of the great tribulation (specifically Revelation 7:1 and the reality of the land, sea, and trees) before it takes place, then by teaching the incorrect reality he is adding and taking away. Lee Man Hee explicitly taught that those afflicted by the great tribulation, the land, sea, and trees in Revelation 7:1 did not include Shincheonji, but now due to the COVID-19 pandemic the doctrine has been changed and Shincheonji is included with those afflicted.