Part One: Shincheonji and their interpretation of the Bible
Shincheonji claims to have the open word, where only through Lee Man Hee can one truly understand the secrets of the Kingdom of Heaven which are all hidden away in a series of parables and metaphors. Within a Shincheonji Bible study, a series of words and metaphors are redefined and backed by scripture, forming a “parable dictionary” which redefines the metaphorical language like cloud, fire, and even what it means to lie according to the Bible.
Shincheonji references Matthew 13:11-15, Isaiah 34:16 and Hosea 12:10, citing that every verse has its pair. Therefore, in order to obtain true salvation, one must know and understand all of the Secrets of the Kingdom of Heaven.
When studying with Shincheonji, their approach to the bible may appear to be unique and refreshing. However, when you compare their teachings to another Korean cult known as the World Mission Society Church of God. A comparison between the two doctrines not only demonstrates that their interpretations are incorrect, it also shows that that Lee Man Hee’s doctrine was heavily influenced by other Korean sects that predate Shincheonji.
Below is a non-exhaustive list of some of the metaphorical language that both Shincheonji and the World Mission Society Church of God distort in order to support their doctrine.
|Parable||Shincheonji Bible Verses||World Mission Society Church of God Bible Verses|
Shincheonji: The symbol of the invisible world
|Matthew 17:5God speaking from a cloudActs 1:9Jesus being hidden away in a cloud||Jude 1:12 great cloud of witnesses (referring to people)Hebrews 12:1People being referred to as cloudsProverbs 25:14:People who boast are like clouds without rain|
|Matthew 3:16 (God descending on Jesus like a dove)Revelation 18:2(‘Fallen! Fallen is Babylon the Great!’ She has become a dwelling for demons and a haunt for every impure spirit,a haunt for every unclean bird)||Isa 46:10-11 From the east I summon a bird of prey; from a far-off land, a man to fulfill my purpose. What I have said, that I will bring about; what I have planned, that I will do.|
Shincheonji: A person’s heart; Jesus’s Church.
WMSCOG: A person’s heart, the world
|Parable of Sower (Matthew 13)1 Corinthians 3:16||Parable of Sower (Matthew 13)1 Corinthians 3:16|
|Bread / Hidden Manna / Food:|
Shincheonji: God’s open word
|John 6:53-58Peter understanding JesusLuke 22:14-20Eating Jesus’s flesh meant understanding Revelation||John 6:53-58Reference to the PassoverLuke 22:14-20Passover will be hidden until the time of fulfillment|
Shincheonji: Word of Testimony
WMSCOG: Baptism and Faith
|Zech 4:11-15Revelation 11:3-5Both referencing the two Olive Trees declaring their testimony||Luke 10:34 (He went to him and bandaged his wounds, pouring on oil and wine. Then he put the man on his own donkey, brought him to an inn and took care of him.Luke 4:18, Luke 3:21: Being baptized and the anointing with olive oil.|
Shincheonji: Old Wine: the closed word
New Wine: the open word
WMSCOG: The Passover; Hidden Passover
Aged Wine: The Hidden Passover (also Hidden Manna)
|Matthew 5:17 Jesus fulfilling the LawJohn 15:1 Jesus being the true vine (which produces grapes, which produces wine)||Luke 10:34: pouring on oil and wineIsaiah 25:6: On this mountain the Lord Almighty will prepare a feast of rich food for all peoples, a banquet of aged wine—|
Shincheonji: Word of God
WMSCOG: Word of God in different eras
|Deuteronomy 32:1-2: God’s words being like rain||Deuteronomy 32:1-2: God’s words being like rainFormer Rain: Word of the ApostlesDry Season: Crops are scorched (dark ages)Latter Rain: Second Coming, Harvest|
|Beast and Horns:|
Beast: A person or organization that doesn’t understand God’s word
Horn – A person of Authority:
WMSCOG: Represented Different Kingdoms and the Devil
|Psalms 49:20 People who lack understanding perish like a beastProverbs 30:1-2 Only a brute who lacks understandingDaniel 7:24: 10 Horns referencing 10 kings||Daniel 7:24: The 10 horns representing 10 kingsDaneil 8: Leopard: Beasts that were fast (King Alexander the Great)Bear: Media and Persia Mouth of Beast like Lion: Babylon (worshiping Idols)|
The above table demonstrates just how easy it is to twist scripture, especially when one takes the verses out of context to redefine symbols while ignoring the original historical context and original language in which the text was written.