Thank you for taking these topics to heart.
In the New Testament, there is a comment about angels being eager to know the full implications and meanings of our future redemption. In the same way, we can assume that the supernatural kingdom of darkness is also interested in these events.
For the last two hundred years, many supernatural entities (angels, Jesus, a spirit of prophecy) have appeared to apocalyptic leaders with detailed explanations about the last chapter of Christianity - information about the Messiah´s return to earth and the true meaning of ambiguous prophecies.
What makes these supernatural visions so appealing to people?
A supernatural source reveals knowledge and secrets that the Bible does not fully reveal on its own. This makes it interesting. Also, it convinces leaders of end-time movements that their supernatural source must be divine in origin. Leaders recruit people with the material from the revelation-vision and debate other Christians with this information.
With discernment, of course, we understand that just because explanations come from a spirit-revelation, it does not necessarily mean that the explanations are from God. Many leaders have been deceived by spirit entities. They make the Bible say things even though the voice in God´s Word is saying something else. This is why outside Christians are puzzled when they hear the explanations and look at the texts themselves.
Further, final leaders write articles and books filled with pages contending that the real reason Christians do not accept their new teachings is because Satan has deceived them and they are spiritually in darkness. Only the revelation given to their leader, which opens seals and end-time prophecies, can give light.
But, before rushing ahead, let´s get back to the appeal and attraction people feel.
The prophecy models and knowledge from a final leader bring a new freshness to the Bible. One young lady confessed that she started studying with SCJ because she was attracted to the freshness and newness of it all. The Bible had become routine.
Others (in the SCJ testimonial page) have said that it was amazing to hear Shinchonji give such clarity and sureness when talking about biblical prophecies. They say that no Christian minister was able to answer their Bible questions. Only SCJ´s explanations and details were found to be clear.
Newness and certainty (in explaining the Bible and complex prophecies) are two strong reasons. It is also true that some believers join final groups with a sincere heart. They desire to be a part of something big. To paraphrase one member, ¨If you hear that Revelation is being fulfilled in front of your eyes, why wouldn´t you want to test it out for yourself?¨
In many cases, people on the inside have much passion and spiritual zeal, which is commendable. As pointed out by Christian thinkers, many followers in apocalyptic groups have more zeal than a large percentage of church-goers today.
So, why would genuine Christians and Christian thinkers doubt these supernatural entities (angels, Jesus, a spirit of prophecy)? What would cause a sincere believer not to join an apocalyptic group?
Let´s look briefly at five reasons, although many more could be given.
First, there is a clear warning of deception in the New Testament writings (Mt. 24:4,5, I Tim. 4:1, Lk. 21:8, I John 4:1, 2 Pet. 2:1, etc.). If you were entering a foreign country and were warned of false police officers on the interstates, it would make you cautious when you saw police cars coming up to your vehicle.
In the same way, Jesus´ voice warns of deception in Christianity. Many spirit entities have given revelations to final leaders with ¨freshness¨ and ¨clarity¨ about Jesus Christ´s return but have caused destruction in people´s lives and much spiritual harm.
Second, Jesus warns that no final leader should embody his return (Lk. 21:8). In Shinchonji, Mr. Lee, the promised pastor, teaches that Jesus´ spirit enters and embodies his flesh. Mr. Lee is the one all eyes see in Rev. 1:7 (see Shinchonji´s article on Rev. 1:7). He is the white horse (flesh/body) in Rev. 19 that Jesus´ spirit uses to return to earth. But, Christians know that the Messiah is not just a spirit. God glorified his humanity - made him the first new human of a future race (I Cor. 15:20, Rev. 1:5). According to Ac. 1:11, the same Jesus who left is returning, not a spirit Jesus in another flesh.
Third, one of the first attempts to confuse Christians in history was through ¨secret knowledge¨ from Gnostic leaders. These teachers offered new and fresh information about Christ and the universe. But, in doing so, their secrets distorted who the Son of God is.
Today when spiritual entities appear to final prophets and reveal new information/change the identity of Jesus, God, or the Holy Spirit, Christians sense that something is not right. In Shinchonji, there are changes to the Holy Spirit and Jesus. God´s voice in the written word reveals one thing, but the voice in the revealed word/revelation to Mr. Lee says something else. In Christian thinking, heavenly entities honor Jesus´ identity since he is worshipped in heaven and is the same and will be the same (Heb. 13:8).
Fourth, when a revelation from a leader makes its voice the voice in the written word, it also makes Christians alert. When the Scriptures are controlled (connecting verses based on the revelation´s authority), or when the revelation ignores the context in the written word, or when the revelation is saying something about a text but Christians see God´s voice in the Bible saying something else, it is a sign.
One person wrote and said that a Shinchonji instructor told him and another person to put aside everything they thought the Bible was revealing. They were encouraged to only listen to the revealed word. In Christian thinking, this is backwards. Believers are supposed to use the voice in the written word (2 Tim. 3:16) to test spirit revelations to final leaders, not let revelations be the voice in the written word.
Finally, Christians doubt supernatural entities/revelations that bring a message contrary to God´s heart and character. If you have ever received an e-mail from a friend and realized that it was a scam or a virus, you understand this concept. Content determines the degree of reliability. Some people have testified that the strong emphasis on knowledge of prophecies didn´t seem right. Others mentioned that the deception in recruiting others made them uncomfortable.
When one Christian became suspicious, she started reading articles on the SCJ website and noticed a tone in the writings that gave her a bad feeling. Mr. Lee´s writings reflect a tone that is harsh towards all outside Christians - missionaries, evangelists, pastors, etc.
In summary, although revelations from the supernatural world bring freshness and new explanations to Bible prophecies, it is important to be alert about some of these signs that outside Christians notice.
In the articles that follow, we look at these and other points more in depth.