Jesus´ Promise of the Counselor.
When a final prophet appears and demands the whole Christian world to listen to him because of a revelation from spiritual entities (angels, the Spirit of prophecy, Jesus, or God), it's important to test the information with God's written word. The written word is God's breath (or voice) to the Christian world (2 Tim. 3:16) and it's superior to revelation words. When there is a difference, the written word should be believed, not the revealed word.
Let's test one of the revelations in Shinchonji – the definition of the Counselor.
In Manhee Lee's book, Creation of Heaven and Earth, he teaches that when Jesus refers to the coming of another Counselor, he is referring to another flesh and the Spirit of Truth, not just the Spirit of Truth. "The advocate Jesus sends from heaven is both spirit and flesh" (Creation of Heaven and Earth, p. 436). One Shinchonji article even calls Christians heretics for only believing in the Counselor as the Spirit of Truth instead of a human/role that the Spirit of Truth works through.
"Without even realizing that the Counselor refers to a role instead of a specific entity, many groups claim that the Counselor is the holy spirit of God. Because they base this claims on their own faulty arguments and standards they cannot be considered orthodox; these are the actions of heretics." (1)
Both Shinchonji and Christians believe Jesus refers to the Counselor as the Spirit of Truth, but the real question is if the written word also defines the Counselor as another flesh. Since everything must be according to the Bible (the written word), the written testimony needs to be the final authority that others can see too, not just Shinchonji.
What points make Shinchonji's revelation unreliable?
First, spirit entities to other prophets have misapplied the Counselor meaning and tried to use this same promise in their movements (see the Muslim and Baha’i application of the Counselor promise to their prophets). The arguments are complex too. Thus, this should make us suspicious.
Second, for centuries Christians have read the account of the Counselor in Jn. 14:16 and no Christian church has believed that Jesus' voice was referring to another flesh. If God wanted believers to follow another flesh, it should be clear that Jesus was referring to the Holy Spirit and ¨a flesh¨. If only the Counselor-flesh sees Jesus referring to a flesh role, it is circular.
In Christian thinking, Jesus was not saying the Spirit of the Counselor would enter only one flesh. The written word points to the Spirit of Truth entering many Spirit-empowered followers. The Counselor would be invisible and would come to Jesus' followers shortly. This Counselor would be with Jesus' disciples forever.
"And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Counselor to be with you forever – the Spirit of truth. The world cannot accept him, because it neither sees him nor knows him. But you know him, for he lives with you and will be in you" (Jn. 14:16,17).
Third, another problem is that Manhee Lee rests on a Korean-Chinese translation of ¨advocate¨ as if this were the original language in God's Word. Mr. Lee uses the Chinese-Korean word, ¨Bohaesah¨ for ¨advocate¨, which means ¨someone who helps alongside, a teacher who protects with grace¨ (Creation of Heaven and Earth, pp. 434, 435). Thus, Mr. Lee says, "Any pastor who belongs to God must speak God's word on God's behalf, protect God's people with grace, and teach only the words of the path leading to God" (Creation of Heaven and Earth, p. 435).
This Korean-Chinese translation lends to Manhee Lee's teaching in a physical teacher. But, the real definition is what Jesus says. In Jesus' definition, Christians only see the second, divine Counselor-presence being God's Holy Spirit.
Fourth, Manhee Lee uses a spirit-flesh teaching to support the Spirit of the Counselor entering his flesh. He says that "just as" God's spirit entered and worked through Jesus, the Spirit of the Counselor must enter and work through the last pastor. He writes, "Spirit(s) work through flesh. That is, a spirit chooses a person and uses that person to speak and work on its behalf" (Creation of Heaven and Earth, p. 437). He then uses the example of the spirit of Elijah working through the flesh of John the Baptist. See our article on this point.
Even if there are cases where God or spirits work through flesh (like in the case of Judas), it is not true that spirits always work through flesh. In the written word, spirits can work through visions and dreams (Mt. 2:13), through voices (Ac. 8:26), and through temporary bodies of their own (Gen. 18, 19). God, who is spirit, speaks in many ways (Heb. 1:1). Manhee Lee needs to show that Jesus specifically said that the Spirit would be another flesh, not just the Holy Spirit.
Fifth, in Ac. 1:4,5, Jesus revealed that the promise of the Father (the Counselor) would come shortly. If Manhee Lee's revelation is correct, then it implies that Jesus only sent the apostles 50% of the promise in the first century and they were without the real Counselor-flesh in their time.
What is the importance of this Counselor-flesh doctrine?
If true, it means that Manhee Lee is the flesh of God's spirit and the mouth of God's spirit. This is seen in the way he compares himself to Jesus. According to Mr. Lee, since God's spirit united to Jesus' flesh, people who heard Jesus were hearing God and people who saw Jesus were seeing God. The same has happened to Mr. Lee. Since he has this same indwelling, those who hear him and see him are hearing and seeing God.
"At the first coming, God, who is spirit, worked within Jesus. This is why Jesus said that anyone who saw him had seen the Father (Jn 14:8-10, 12:44-46). It is also why Jesus was able to tell people that his words were not his own, but they were the words of the Father who sent him…Just as God, who is also a spirit, worked through Jesus' flesh, the spirit of the truth, who acts as our advocate, dwells within and speaks through the promised pastor (Jn 14;16-17, Rev. 19:9-10, 22:8,9)" (Creation of Heaven and Earth, pp. 438,439). "The spirit of the advocate, who comes in the name of Jesus, is the one who speaks on behalf of Jesus. Therefore, the person who receives the spirit of the advocate also becomes the advocate that speaks on behalf of Jesus. Just as Jesus and God are one (Jn 10:30), the pastor to whom the spirit of the advocate comes unites with that spirit (Creation of Heaven and Earth, p. 440).
Appendix: What about the Counselor who teaches us ¨all truth¨ in Jn. 16:13-15? Do Christians know ¨all truth¨ if they have the Spirit of the Counselor?
I have heard Shinchonji instructors use this argument to show that Christians today do not have the Spirit of the Counselor or the promise from Jesus because they do not know ¨all truth¨. The idea is that only a leader with perfect mastery of the Bible has the Spirit of the Counselor.
Manhee Lee uses a Korean translation, tongdal, of ¨searches¨ in 1 Cor. 2:10 to mean ¨master, be well-versed in, or have thorough knowledge of something¨ (Creation of Heaven and Earth, p. 441). Having perfect mastery is a sign of the Spirit-Counselor in Mr. Lee. He writes, ¨Since 1 Cor. 2:10 says that the spirit searches even the deep things of God, we can recognize the promised pastor as the person who has mastered the Bible and who is teaching it accordingly. The promised pastor, who has united with the spirit of truth, has mastered the Bible through the word of truth and is teaching it in Shinchonji Church of Jesus and at Zion Christian Mission Center¨ (Creation of Heaven and Earth, pp. 441, 442).
Thus, Shinchonji gives ¨all truth¨ a mastery-definition that applies to Shinchonji, which is self-defining and circular. In context, Jesus refers to the truths that the Spirit would reveal to them in the lives of the apostles, which is seen in Acts and in the epistles. This is what Paul recognizes in I Cor. 2:10-13. The Spirit has shown them things from God, not from the wisdom of man. Lastly, according to Vine's Dictionary of Greek words, the word for ¨searches¨ in I Cor. 2:10 is ¨eraunao/ereuna,¨ which means ¨search¨ or ¨examine¨ (2).
( (1) ¨The founder of a church, the Counselor, and holy spirits,¨ Shinchonji Website Articles. Accessed January 11, 2014. http://shinchonjireport.blogspot.com/2012/10/shinchonji-leemanhee-founder-of-church_19.html