A common error or distortion in revelations from spirit beings (angels or Jesus) in end-time movements is that Jesus became a spirit after ascending into heaven. It is then held that, as a spirit, Christ returns to invisibly guide a prophet´s movement or uniquely incarnates the prophet´s body. In the latter case, the prophet becomes the physical body or presence of Jesus´ spiritual return.
Notice these points below from the SCJ website.
"When Jesus returns, he comes in the form of the holy spirit (Rv 1;7;Rv 2:18, 29; Rv 22:17) and dwells with the one who overcomes (Rv 3:12, 21). If Jesus dwells with the one who overcomes, then the one who overcomes becomes the tree of life, along with his disciples (i.e. the twelve tribe leaders). This is how the tree of life appears at the time of the second coming, which is the time of revelation (Rv 22:1-2)." (2)
Since this information comes from a revelation/revealed word, it needs to be compared to God´s safe voice in the written word (2 Tim. 3:16). Christians need to test since spirit-revelations can be deceptive (I Tim. 4:1, I Jn. 4:1). Testing, of course, is not unkingly attacking Mr. Lee, but testing his revealed word. In Christian thinking, the voice in God´s written word is used to correct spirit-revelations, not the other way around.
It is intriguing because the first sign from Jesus about the end is an implied warning against spirit returns. In Lk. 21:8, the Messiah tells Christians not to listen to (or follow) leaders who claim to represent his return (in his name) and announce events about the end. ¨Watch out that you are not deceived. For many will come in my name, claiming, ´I am he,´ and, ´The time is near´Do not follow them¨ (Lk. 21:8).
For some reason, God foresaw humans needing to remember this. Naturally, no final prophet, especially a Korean, could convince the world that they are the same physical Messiah from Judea, which would be easy to refute. Rather, they claim to embody a spirit-return (a spirit incarnation). They come in his name and in his authority. In this sense, they are the physical presence of the second coming. In Shinchonji´s article on Rev. 1:7. they teach that the fulfillment of every eye seeing Jesus is when the world sees Mr. Lee.
No physical Jesus is expected to return because a) Mr. Lee teaches that the Messiah is a spirit and returns invisibly (through revealed meanings of verses like the ones quoted above), and b) the Messiah´s spirit is in Mr. Lee. Thus, final prophets fulfill Lk. 21:8 (I am he) through a spirit incarnation in a human flesh that comes in Jesus´ name.
A second problem with a spirit-Jesus return is that when we submit to the voice in the written word, Christians see God did something marvelous to Jesus´ humanity. The Son of Man became the first, new human (a glorified, higher human) of a future race. God glorified Jesus´ body, not his spirit. Christ is the first glorified human, which is why he is called the first from the dead and the firstfruits of what is to come (I Cor. 15:20, Col. 1:19, Rev. 1:5).
Christ´s resurrected body was human, but also different (a higher model). He could do things that normal human bodies cannot do. The point is that Christ prophesied that something would happen to his human body (Jn. 2:19-21), not his spirit. After his resurrection, Christ proved that he was not a spirit (Lk. 24:39, Jn. 20:27). In fact, the Jewish authorities had to invent a story to explain away the missing body.
As many Christians researchers note, a resurrection body without a transformed (human) body is like a wedding without a bride. It´s a contradiction of terms. From both Scriptures and the early writings of Jews and Christians, the resurrection symbolizes new life to the human body. This is why Paul said Jesus´ body was raised to never ¨see decay¨ (Ac. 13:34). In Christian thinking, Jesus is the first super-glorified human with a new body.
According to the written word, a resurrected body is superior, more powerful, and indesctructible (I Cor. 15:42-44). This means that a resurrection body cannot be destroyed after a thousand years. It is a spiritual body in the sense that it is a greater model, unlike the natural, mortal body (full of sin and corruption). A spiritual body is not immaterial. The word ¨body¨ in Greek (in 1 Cor. 15) is a physical body, not a spirit-body.
How do Shinchonji instructors respond to these points?
(Consult SCJ articles or instructors for fuller answers). However, some answers I have heard are that a) Jesus was transfigured into a spirit (and is a spirit) because of the vision John saw in Rev. 1, b) Jesus could not have entered heaven as a human because heaven is a spiritual place, which means he must be a spirit, and c) many verses in God´s Word refer to the Spirit of Christ, which means that Jesus must be a spirit.
Regarding the first point, the vision of the Son of Man in Rev. 1 is not a literal vision, but a figurative description of Christ in glory, similar to the visions of God in glory (see Dan. 7:9). Second, when I Cor. 15:50 speaks about flesh not inheriting the Kingdom of God, it´s referring to sinful flesh (mortal bodies). However, glorified, human bodies are different. They are a higher model made for glory! Jesus had a glorified body, which can exist in a place of glory. Mk. 16:19 says, ¨After the Lord Jesus had spoken to them, he was taken up into heaven and he sat at the right hand of God.¨
As one Christian thinker noted, the physical world is much more complex than scientists realize. If that is so, how much more a supernatural place of glory?
Concerning the last point, it is only valid if the New Testament revelation makes it known that Jesus is ¨only¨ a spirit now. But, the truth is that the written voice gives two truths - Jesus is God´s Son (spirit and divine, having all God´s attributes) and a resurrected human (the Son of Man, the firstfruits from the dead). Both are true.
For example, the apostles continued to call Jesus a man (albeit, a glorified man) way after the resurrection and ascension (see I Tim. 2:5, Ac. 17:30). Further, in Hebrews, Jesus is called our high priest forever. He is a high priest who took on himself a human nature (Heb. 2:14-17). In Phil. 3:21, God´s voice reveals that Jesus still has his same body in glory.
¨But our citizenship is in heaven, and it is from there that we are expecting a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ. He will transform the body of our humiliation that it maybe be conformed to the body of his glory, by the power that also enables him to make all things subject to himself¨ (Phil. 3:20,21, NRSV).
Lastly, Jesus corrects a spirit return by stating that nations and persons will see him when he appears (Mt. 24:30). His return will be visible, like lightning (Mt. 24:27). The spirit entities in SCJ (i.e. the revealed word) change the meaning of lightning in this context (citing other verses, like Lk. 10:18) and make ¨seeing¨ Jesus in Rev. 1:7 equivalent to seeing a different flesh, Mr. Lee. But, the written word does not make these qualifications, only Mr. Lee does. The voice in the written word is the one we are supposed to listen to.
When God´s voice announces that the ¨same Jesus¨ before the ascension is the one who is returning (see Ac. 1:11), this is the voice that Christians should hold to. The Jesus who left was not a spirit. He was/is a glorified human and will be seen when he appears in power and glory (Mt. 24:30). When Christians look carefully at the written word and what it teaches about Jesus´ resurrection nature, the Messiah is not just a spirit, but also a glorified human.
This is one of the points spirit-revelations distort/change about the Christian faith.
When these leaders claim that they are guided by spirit entities (the spirit of prophecy, angels, Jesus, or God), we must be careful. The voice in the New Testament warns us about spirit-revelations (I Tim. 4:1, I Jn. 4:1).
For almost two thousand years, Christians have seen two important points about the Son of God - Jesus Christ was a supernatural person (i.e. claimed to be God´s Son, did supernatural acts, spoke of descending from a supernatural world, etc.) and Jesus was also very human (he walked, talked, slept, died, and rose again as a new human).
How then should we understand Rev. ch. 2 and 3 of the Spirit and Jesus speaking?
Second, the Holy Spirit is often so intimately associated with Christ that he is called the Spirit of Christ, and so closely associated with God that he is called the Spirit of God, and is so closely associated with holiness that he is called the Holy Spirit (Rom. 8). Thus, the references to the Spirit of Christ can also be seen as Christ working through the Spirit.
1. The Lord Jesus is called the first glorified man with a new human body (I Cor. 15:20). The Lord still has his glorified body (Phil. 3:21). A resurrected body cannot be destroyed (I Cor. 15:42). What happened to Jesus´ physical body if he is only a spirit now?
2. If the Lord Jesus is no longer a glorified man, why did the disciples still call him a man after the ascension (I Tim. 2:4, Acts 17:31)? The revelation in the Bible is that Jesus continues to be a glorified man.
Thank you again for your time and interest. Hope this helps you with this topic.
(1) ¨The Promised Pastor,¨ Shinchonji Website Articles. http://blog.daum.net/scjsun/8539389, Accessed January 8, 2014.
(2) "The secret of the fruit of the tree of life and the tree of the knowledge of good and evil," Shinchonji Website Articles. http://blog.daum.net/wuri0267/8726747, Accessed January 11, 2014.