Let's look at the content described in Revelation 6 and test the information given to Manhee Lee.
Shinchonji/Shincheonji receives its information from one source (Mr. Lee), who received his information from a spiritual creature (two creatures on a mountain in South Korea according to one account). Shinchonji believes the information comes from an angel (a holy spirit), from Jesus Christ, and from God.
Before continuing, let's think about this. Many historians, religious leaders, politicians, and professors would find it amazing to interview Jesus or a heavenly creature. Now, picture having an encounter with spiritual entities from heaven and receiving information from them. If this were to happen, what would you do?
Since the voice in the New Testament warns us of deceptive spiritual creatures, spiritual visions, and false leaders (I Tim. 4:1, I Jn. 4:1), it is important to test information from these sources.
Testing a final leader's experience, of course, does not mean physically persecuting a leader or his followers, who are loved by God. But, it is necessary to avoid deception (I Jn. 4:1, I Tim. 4:1, Lk. 21:8). Many leaders of religions and apocalyptic groups have been deceived by supernatural experiences.
According to Manhee Lee's experience, he says that the content of Revelation chapters 2 and 3 refer to a specific church in South Korea that received Jesus' words and betrayed him. This church is the Church of the Seven Golden Lampstands. In response to this, he wrote seven letters to the seven pastors (messengers) of the church to warn them to repent (Creation of Heaven and Earth, p.209).
Because the seven pastors and church members did not repent, God punishes the betrayers, which is the content of the judgment in Revelation chapter 6. Manhee Lee writes, ¨These four living creatures judge the seven pastors and their people at the church of the seven golden lampstands. They are judged because they refused to repent even after receiving the letters from Jesus¨ (The Creation of Heaven and Earth, p. 192).
Manhee Lee explains the majority of the symbols in chapter 6 in relation to this event. For example, the sun, moon, and stars (Rev. 6:12,13) refer to the chosen people in the Church of the Seven Lampstands, and the rolling away of the sky (Rev. 6:14) is the destruction of the church (pp. 192,193). As Mr. Lee himself summarizes on p. 220, ¨Revelation 6 describes the judgment of the chosen people who betrayed.¨
When we test this explanation with the Bible and spiritual discernment, what do we see in Revelation 6? Why doubt Shinchonji's explanation and the spirit revelation to Manhee Lee?
First, there is a problem with Mr. Lee's experience and perception of the Church of the Seven Lampstands. Manhee Lee attended this church, but it really was another apocalyptic group with problems of its own. To obtain more information, see the article about the history of Manhee Lee before Shinchonji.
Second, Revelation 6 describes a theme that is much bigger. At the end of the chapter, people on earth are afraid of God's wrath. The last verses reveal that it's the time of the ¨wrath of the Lamb¨ and the ¨wrath of the one who sits on the throne.¨ It is known as the ¨great day¨ of wrath (Rev. 6:16, 17).
Why is this significant?
According to the Old Testament, the wrath of God, although partially fulfilled at times against Samaria and Babylon and other nations, is fully fulfilled at a future time when God puts a stop to the increased wickedness on earth - a time like Noah's age when God has had enough. This time of wrath and judgment is also identified as the Day of the Lord (Zeph. 1:14,15). In Isaiah 2:10-21, for example, the allusions to the Day of the Lord match the description in Revelation 6:16,17.
¨Men will flee to caves in the rocks and to holes in the ground from dread of the LORD and the splendor of his majesty, when he rises to shake the earth¨ (Is. 2:19).
So, the ideas in God's Word about the Day of the Lord and God's wrath refer to a final time of judgment for humanity at large (Zeph. 1:14-2:3, Isaiah 2:10-21, Isaiah 13:9-13, Joel 2:31-3:3, 9-15, Amos 5:18-20, Isaiah 34:2-4).
Another theme in Rev. 6 (and in the Old Testament references) is that the day of wrath and judgment is global, not local. Zephaniah 1:18 prophesies that the whole world will be consumed. Isaiah 13:11 says that God will punish the world for its evil. In Rev. 6:4, 6:8, 6:10, and 6:15, the Bible refers to the earth and the inhabitants of the earth.
Jesus Christ mentions that these days will ¨come upon all those who live on the face of the whole earth¨ (Lk. 21:35) and speaks of a ¨time of punishment in fulfillment of all that has been written¨ in the Old Testament (Lk. 21:22).
In contrast, the vision to Manhee Lee changes the global meaning of earth from Revelation 6 (i.e. subtracts this from the text) and adds a different meaning about a local church in South Korea.
Fourth, Rev. 6 speaks of a dreadful time of death and humans being killed (Rev. 6:4, 6:8, 6:11). Peace is taken from the earth and the inhabitants slay each other in the second seal. In the fourth seal, Hades and death are mentioned as people are killed by the sword, famine, and plagues.
These words (sword, famine, plagues) are used by God in the prophets to refer to real and powerful judgments. See Jer. 32:24, 36, Jer. 29:17-19, Jer. 14:11,12, Ezek. 7:8-19. Shinchonji subtracts this meaning and adds a spiritual meaning, referring to spiritually dying in the Church of the Seven Lampstands.
Fifth, there are two methods of interpreting the Bible. The safe approach is allowing the ideas from God in the written word be the standard, letting the meanings speak to our hearts (when given). The other way is the ¨revelation¨ method, which reveals meanings behind the texts that the texts do not reveal on their own.
This is what we notice with Manhee Lee's explanation in Revelation 6.