What would you think of final prophets who would not let themselves be corrected by the Bible? This would seem strange and spiritually haughty. All Christians know that we must submit to God's Word and let the Scriptures correct us. All Scripture is God-breathed and useful for correction (2 Tim. 3:16). In Christian thinking, the Scriptures contain spiritual truths from Christ for our lives.
In end-time groups, final prophets use a series of statements that make it nearly impossible for Christians to correct them with God's Word. These spiritual points elevate the prophet's voice over God's voice in the written word. Even though final prophets encourage Christians to test their revelation with the Bible, their claims simultaneously make it difficult to correct their revelation with the Bible. This is why many end-time movements continue to exist today.
What are these points that make it difficult to correct revelations to final leaders/prophets?
1. Final prophets have the power to remove what seems clear in Scripture.
Since final prophets claim to receive information from angels, Jesus, or God, this allows them to give the real meaning to prophetic and non-prophetic parts of the Bible. Even clear parts of the Bible can mean something different if the leader uses a different connection or a spiritual definition of a word. The true meaning of a verse in the written word does not depend on what the words communicate on their own. For instance, Ac. 1:9-11 does not mean what most Christians think it means. The final prophet has the authority to define figurative/hidden language in reference to clouds and give the right meaning.
Since Jesus and God are seen to be working through the prophet, the leader becomes the ¨revealer¨. The prophet does not submit to the written word, but reveals it. This gives unlimited interpretation power to the leader. It also means he does not have to submit to the ideas that God was making clear in the written word.
When leaders have this special anointing, it disarms Christians from using comprehensible passages in the Bible (the written word) to correct a final leader. When a group is challenged, the final leader and his group respond by saying that the true meaning of many verses is hidden. In this way, the final leader does not have to submit to the meaning that Christians clearly see God's voice saying in Scripture.
Once I met up with a leader in a movement in Latin America. When he pointed out that the Son of God did not exist before coming to earth, I told him that most Christians see the Scriptures saying the opposite (Jn. 1:1, Jn. 17:5, Mic. 5:2, Jn. 8:58, Phil. 2:6, etc.). This pastor agreed with my comment and, paraphrasing him, said, ¨What you really need is revelation knowledge to see this.¨
Secondly, another consequence of this relates to members of these movements. When final leaders introduce new definitions, connections, and explanations to the written word, followers accept the new interpretations thinking this is what the Bible is affirming all along. They believe the Bible is saying new things even when Christians see the written word saying something else. This makes it hard to use Scriptures to correct revelations when final prophets have given the same verses new meanings.
For example, Jesus refers to a visible coming in Mt. 24:27 when he uses lightning. But, Christians cannot use this to correct Shinchonji's teaching of an invisible return because SCJ uses other verses (e.g. Lk. 10:18, Rev. 11:19) to show that lightning in Mt. 24:27 is not visible. This is why Christians and members of end-time groups can debate and get nowhere. Both sides are using the written word in different ways.
2. A final leader claims that Jesus has opened up seals to them in the Bible.
When a final prophet proclaims that Jesus or God has opened seals and mysteries to them in the Bible, it makes it difficult for outside Christians to refute what they reveal because the Christian world is said to only go by a closed book/sealed prophecies. Manhee Lee makes this point when talking about the importance of a revealed word and the time of unsealed prophecies (Creation of Heaven and Earth, pp. 6-9).
In Christian thinking, a revelation to a leader must still submit to the clear ideas in the written word. But, leaders with a revealed word argue that Christians are like the Pharisees in the first coming. They cannot rightly interpret the written word when the prophecies are sealed. When the Bible is made to be a completely sealed book, it implies that what most Christians see the Bible saying does not necessarily mean it is the right meaning.
One person wrote saying that one Shinchonji instructor told him and another person to completely put aside what they had thought the Bible was saying before. For example, Shinchonji gives a revealed meaning to the events in Rev. 6, 8, & 9, referring to the church of the seven golden lampstands. Most Christians, however, see the events referring to people in the whole world.
When Christians try to use the voice in God's written word to correct Shinchonji, Manhee Lee's writings claim that Christians are using a closed book, which they cannot interpret or understand correctly.
3. Final leaders claim that all Christians who do not believe in their revelation are deceived by Satan and follow traditions of men.
In end-time movements, the group's literature has many statements about Christians being in darkness and only using traditions of men. In Christian thinking, ¨traditions of men¨ are ideas that are not clearly stated in God's written revelation. It's extra information. For example, the Pharisees held on to a Corban tradition that nullified God's command to honor one's parents (Mk. 7:9-13).
To final prophets' ¨traditions of men¨ are defined as Christian beliefs that the majority of Christian churches have about Christ Jesus and the written word. In Manhee Lee's writings, he teaches that all ministers in Christianity are either going by the traditions of men or are unscriptural and blinded.
The problem is that this forces insiders to rely more fully on what the final leader reveals to be true than what the voice in the written word is saying. This is why it is hard to correct members with the written word since they have been trained to think that the written word is only open to the final leader. They believe outside Christians are deceived by Satan's kingdom.
4. Final leaders use circular reasoning/interpretation.
When a final prophet employs circular reasoning/interpretation, it is nearly impossible for Christians to correct them with the written word. For example, many leaders have revealed that they or their group is ¨the servant¨ in Mt. 24:45-47. The servant is the final leader, which is revealed by the final leader. But, the written word on its own does not speak of one final servant (but faithful servants in general). The leader can give this circular interpretation even if Christians see the written word saying something different.
Taken together, these four statements make it hard for Christians to correct final leaders with God's Word. In addition, leaders have much spiritual pride and confidence that no believer can answer their questions or give them better interpretations. They are the teachers and everyone in Christianity must listen to them.
Since we are supposed to humbly put ourselves under/submit to the Lord's voice in Scripture, it is important to let God's voice in the written word correct the voice in a revealed word, not the other way around. All Scripture is God-breathed and useful for correction (2 Tim. 3:16,17). When end-time leaders use these points to support new interpretations, Christians should be cautious.