Parable of the Two Seeds.

Dear reader,

When a final prophet says that an angel, Jesus, and God gave them a revealed word/revelation, Christians must be cautious and test it with the Bible.  The Apostle John said to test the spirits (I Jn. 4:1).  Testing, of course, is not physically persecuting a leader (or their followers), who are loved by God, but it is necessary to avoid deception.  To paraphrase one Christian brother, bad teachings lead to bad experiences.

One discerning test is to see how the spiritual entities (the angel, Jesus, and God) treat the Bible.  Do they submit to God's Word or do they reveal new meanings that are outside the idea communicated in context?  Does a prophet's revealed word provide meanings that the written word does not reveal on its own?  Does the prophet's voice connect verses that seem unrelated or controlled?  Is the revealed word a different voice than the voice in God's written word?

With this in mind, let's test Shinchonji's revelation about the parable of the two seeds.

According to Manhee Lee, the parable of the two seeds in Mt. 13:24-29 is the first parable people should learn in the Bible (Creation of Heaven and Earth, p. 289).  To understand the background, Mr. Lee teaches that God prophesied in Jer. 31:27 that he would plant the house of Israel and the house of Judah with the seed of man and the seed of beast.  Mr. Lee says that this was fulfilled in Jesus' first coming.

¨Approximately 2,600 years ago, God prophesied through the prophet Jeremiah that the day was coming when he would plant the house of Israel and the house of Judah with the seed of man and the seed of beast (Jer. 31:27, NKJV).  This prophecy was fulfilled roughly 600 years later in Jesus' first coming (Mt. 13:24,25)¨ (Creation of Heaven and Earth, p. 289).

Manhee Lee explains that the two seeds planted in the parable (Mt. 13:24-29) represent Jesus' word (a good seed) and Satan's word (a bad seed).  At the end, Christ harvests the good/wheat-like seeds. These seeds symbolize believers in God's word, seen as Shinchonji's revealed word at spiritual Mt. Zion (Shinchonji).  Those who do not enter Shinchonji belong to Satan's seed.

¨Those born of God's seed (i.e. the wheat-like believers) will be harvested into the barn of heaven.  The barn of heaven is Mt. Zion where God's people sing the new song.  On the other hand, anyone who is not harvested at the time of the harvest has proven they belong to the weeds, which are born of the devil's seed. ...Jesus prophesied that he would come back to harvest the field where he had sown the seed.  This prophecy is finding its fulfillment today after 2,000 years.¨ (Creation of Heaven and Earth, pp. 302,303).

In addition, Manhee Lee teaches that Jesus' seed and Satan's seed are in the same field, which represents Christian churches.  According to Mr. Lee, people must leave their churches, which have Satan's seed in them, and come to Shinchonji.

¨In this parable the good seed is the word of God, and the man who sowed it is Jesus.  The field is Jesus' church, and the enemy is the devil.  The weeds the enemy sowed represent the words of the devil.  Since the weeds were sown among the wheat, it is clear that the good seed and the weeds are planted in the same field.  This tells us that the word of God is mixed with the word of Satan within the churches of Jesus.  Again, Satan's word has been sown in the church...The true grain (wheat) refer to true believers who are born again of the word of God.  The weeds are church congregation members who are born of the word of Satan....  Which of these two groups of churchgoers will the angels harvest when the time comes? Certainly it will be the wheat-like believers, born of the word of God, who are harvested (Mt. 13:30, Rv. 14:14-16).  The children of Satan (the weeds) will be left behind in their churches¨ (Creation of Heaven and Earth, pp. 300, 301).

Since this is a revelation to Manhee Lee, what do we notice when we test it with the Scriptures?

First, using parables to give revealed meanings has been a characteristic of apocalyptic leaders and end-time groups in South Korea for a long time.  See article on the history of Manhee Lee before Shinchonji.  Mr. Lee was associated with (and studied under) apocalyptic leaders before Shinchonji.

Second, Manhee Lee's revelation does not take into account the meaning of the planting in Jeremiah 31. In context, God's voice is prophesying a final restoration for Israel (Jer. 30, 31).  In Shinchonji thinking, physical Israel is fully rejected by God, not fully restored.  The opposite is true in the written word.  God's voice (in five of the minor and three of the major prophets) speaks of a final restoration.

The promises in Jer. 31 were partially fulfilled when the Jews returned from the Babylonian exile and partially fulfilled in the Messiah's first coming via the new covenant.  Yet, on account of God's loving faithfulness, he promises to reveal his glory through a final restoration of Israel in the end: spiritual renewal, Jerusalem's exaltation, a Jewish return to their land, rescuing Israel from their enemies, and peace under the Messiah's reign.

Jesus told the Jews that they would not see him again until they blessed his return (Lk. 13:35).  For a more in depth study on a final restoration, consult Lk. 1:32,33, Ac. 1:6,7, Ac. 3:19-21, Rom. 11:1,11,12, Rom. 11:25-28, Ezek. 34, 36,37, Micah 4:6-5:5, Zeph. 3:9-20, Is. 9:7, Is. 10:20-11:16, Is. 14:1,2, Is. 27:6, Is. 35, Zech. 8:7,11-13, 20-23, Zech. 13:1,2, Jer. 30, 31,32, Jer. 33:6-16, Amos 9:11-15, Joel 3.
The two seeds in Jer. 31:27 refer to the promise that God would restore Israel (the house of Israel and the house of Jacob) in the future.  The references to planting and the seed of man and beast (people and animals) is a common analogy of restoration and future prosperity.  Similar symbols are used in Ez. 36:9-11.

¨I am concerned for you and will look on you with favor; you will be plowed and sown, and I will multiply the number of people upon you, even the whole house of Israel.  The towns will be inhabited and the ruins rebuilt. I will increase the number of men and animals upon you, and they will be fruitful and become numerous.  I will settle people on you as in the past and will make you prosper more than before (Ez. 36:9-11).

God also makes use of the imagery of sowing in reference to Israel in Hos. 1:10,11 (using a play on words with the name Jezreel).  See Hos. 2:21-23 and Hos. 14:4-7 for a future restoration.  In the prophets, the references to sowing, planting, and building carries positive connotations of future blessing and stability.

Manhee Lee's revealed word misses the context in Jer. 31 and reveals that the beast (NKJV's translation of Jer. 31:27) refers to what Satan would sow.  Mr. Lee calls Satan a beast and applies it to Jer. 31:27.  ¨Revelation figuratively calls Satan the devil, the dragon, and the ancient serpent (Rev. 20:2).  This is why the weeds Satan sowed are called the seed of beasts (Jer. 31:27)¨ (Creation of Heaven and Earth, p. 291).

When we look at the verses surrounding Jer. 31:27, God is the one who is planting, not God and Satan.  God will plant (restore) Israel among the people and animals.  It will not be a desolate time, but a time of rebuilding and prosperity.  In the written word, it does not mention Satan in this context.

Third, Manhee Lee's revealed word states that the field in which Jesus plants his seed is the church.  ¨In this parable the good seed is the word of God, and the man who sowed it is Jesus.  The field is Jesus' church...¨ (Creation of Heaven and Earth, p. 300).  However, the written word declares that the field is the ¨world¨.  Jesus answered, ¨The one who sowed the good seed is the Son of Man.  The field is the world¨ (Mt. 13:37, 38).  Even though some believers see a secondary application to Satan's influence in Christian churches that do not honor Christ Jesus, the text speaks of his kingdom in the world.

Lastly, Shinchonji's revealed word makes the ¨good seed¨ in the parable refer to those who are born of Shinchonji's revealed word.  To Christians, this is an example of an end-time movement appropriating the Bible to make it refer to their group's situation or message.  The revealed word in Shinchonji makes the good seed in the parable refer to those who believe in the revealed word, which is circular interpretation.

In the written word, the two seeds are the righteous and the unrighteous (Mt. 13:38), similar to the good and bad fish in the parable of the net and the lake (Mt. 13:47-51).  Jesus' point is that there will be a final separation of the righteous and the wicked in the end.  It doesn't define righteousness as ¨believing and obeying a final revelation¨.  Christian righteousness is much deeper than that.

After testing this parable, we see how the revealed word from a prophet figure is giving meanings by quoting the written word, but not by submitting to what the voice in God's written word is saying.  In Christian thought, the written word is superior to the voice of prophets since the written word is more reliable.