new heavens new earth

The New Heavens and New Earth Church (Shincheonji)

Last Monday I received a phone call from a pleasant- sounding man who called himself Ivers. He wanted to invite me to an online prayer meeting that is to happen next Monday. He said that the focus of recent prayer meetings has been Afghanistan and Covid . They have had people take part from many denominations. It sounded good to me, so I agreed.

Ivers then asked if I would like to talk to him some more later in the week to get to know each other better. We made an appointment to meet on Zoom. The day of the meeting he texted me to ask if I would be alright if a lady from their outreach team joined the conversation. I agreed.

So on Wednesday we had our Zoom meeting. Both Ivers and Dewi were very personable and friendly people. Dewi took the major part of leading the conversation. A pleasant 45 minutes, but there was something odd about them. Ivers looked like a robot or someone playing a role, and while Dewi was very friendly, she managed to speak in very general terms without actually revealing much about herself. You would describe it as a typical first meeting with people, but there was something not quite right.

I did ask the name of the church that they were a part of, and they told me it was a non-denominational church founded in Korea called New Heavens and New Earth Church.

The New Heavens and New Earth Church, it turns out, is a Korean- based cult and not the mainstream christian church they lead people to believe. It also goes by the name of Shincheonji which is the Korean word for New Heavens and New Earth. The group’s official name is Shincheonji, Church of Jesus, the Temple of the Tabernacle of the Testimony.

The group was founded in 1984 by Lee Man-hee who was previously involved with a Korean cult called the Olive Tree. Lee teaches that he is the one true pastor who is to come at the end times. They do not come out and say that he is Jesus reborn, but it is hinted. He is the only person who can interpret the Bible correctly, and all the prophecies concerning the end times church in Revelation have come true in their church.

Amongst their heretical teachings, they deny the Trinity, they claim that the 144,000 witnesses in Revelation 7:4 are members of the so-called 12 tribes of Shincheonji, that angels are actually human beings, and that Revelation 7:2 “I saw another angel coming up from the East bearing the seal of the Living God” is a prophecy concerning Lee.

In Korea they actively target christians from normal churches by inviting them to Bible Studies where they indoctrinate participants with their unorthodox teaching. When a person joins the group, they are strongly encouraged to break off contact with friends and family members so that the group becomes their sole source of friends.

In Australia, the group targets University students, particularly those from overseas. In the UK, they have a group called Parachristos which has infiltrated Anglican churches and offered its Bible Studies to lure people.

This group shows all the standard heretical beliefs and practices of cults:

  • vague or generic description of their beliefs to those outside the group

  • theology which is outside the standard teaching of christian churches

  • the elevation of the leader as the only true source of authority and teaching

  • the description of the group as the only true church, and its followers as the only ones who will be saved

This all goes to show that christians need to be on their guard against such deceptive groups. The spiritual gift of discernment of spirits has never been more needed,

The New Heavens and New Earth Church (Shincheonji)

Last Monday I received a phone call from a pleasant- sounding man who called himself Ivers. He wanted to invite me to an online prayer meeting that is to happen next Monday. He said that the focus of recent prayer meetings has been Afghanistan and Covid . They have had people take part from many denominations. It sounded good to me, so I agreed.

Ivers then asked if I would like to talk to him some more later in the week to get to know each other better. We made an appointment to meet on Zoom. The day of the meeting he texted me to ask if I would be alright if a lady from their outreach team joined the conversation. I agreed.

So on Wednesday we had our Zoom meeting. Both Ivers and Dewi were very personable and friendly people. Dewi took the major part of leading the conversation. A pleasant 45 minutes, but there was something odd about them. Ivers looked like a robot or someone playing a role, and while Dewi was very friendly, she managed to speak in very general terms without actually revealing much about herself. You would describe it as a typical first meeting with people, but there was something not quite right.

I did ask the name of the church that they were a part of, and they told me it was a non-denominational church founded in Korea called New Heavens and New Earth Church.

The New Heavens and New Earth Church, it turns out, is a Korean- based cult and not the mainstream christian church they lead people to believe. It also goes by the name of Shincheonji which is the Korean word for New Heavens and New Earth. The group’s official name is Shincheonji, Church of Jesus, the Temple of the Tabernacle of the Testimony.

The group was founded in 1984 by Lee Man-hee who was previously involved with a Korean cult called the Olive Tree. Lee teaches that he is the one true pastor who is to come at the end times. They do not come out and say that he is Jesus reborn, but it is hinted. He is the only person who can interpret the Bible correctly, and all the prophecies concerning the end times church in Revelation have come true in their church.

Amongst their heretical teachings, they deny the Trinity, they claim that the 144,000 witnesses in Revelation 7:4 are members of the so-called 12 tribes of Shincheonji, that angels are actually human beings, and that Revelation 7:2 “I saw another angel coming up from the East bearing the seal of the Living God” is a prophecy concerning Lee.

In Korea they actively target christians from normal churches by inviting them to Bible Studies where they indoctrinate participants with their unorthodox teaching. When a person joins the group, they are strongly encouraged to break off contact with friends and family members so that the group becomes their sole source of friends.

In Australia, the group targets University students, particularly those from overseas. In the UK, they have a group called Parachristos which has infiltrated Anglican churches and offered its Bible Studies to lure people.

This group shows all the standard heretical beliefs and practices of cults:

  • vague or generic description of their beliefs to those outside the group

  • theology which is outside the standard teaching of christian churches

  • the elevation of the leader as the only true source of authority and teaching

  • the description of the group as the only true church, and its followers as the only ones who will be saved

This all goes to show that christians need to be on their guard against such deceptive groups. The spiritual gift of discernment of spirits has never been more needed,