Manhee Lee holds that he is the final pastor in a long line of chosen pastors.
To support this teaching, he uses Adam as the first chosen pastor. Thus, Genesis 1-3 becomes a figurative account of how God chooses his first pastor. ¨Thus, understanding Genesis 1 literally and thinking that it records the creation of the natural world raises many contradictions. The order of creation is recorded figuratively to hide the secret of the creation of God's world from the evil one¨ (Creation of Heaven and Earth, p. 33).
First, although many Christian thinkers have used figurative meanings for Genesis in the past, this explanation seems far-fetched and beyond the simple meanings given.
These examples bring to light a central problem. (See the article on SCJ Interpretations.) The authority for making these connections is subtly based on ¨I say so¨ or ¨My revelation makes it so¨ authority (followed by Scripture connections or spiritual reasoning), but not based on the Scriptures themselves. When a final prophet is the one who makes these interpretations, it is subjective revelation, not proof-supported or objective.
Another problem is that Manhee Lee´s figurative explanations and arguments against a literal interpretation (i.e. millions of years of life on earth, the appearance of Cain´s wife, Cain´s fear of being killed by other people, and the appearance of light on the fourth day) end up creading more spiritual problems than answers.
This means God created people at the beginning of time, before Adam appeared, who did not have his words. This creates spiritual problems. Why would the first humans not have God´s words? How long did these humans exist without God´s Word? These and more questions complicate things with his figurative explanation (1).
Another problem with this figurative explanation is that Manhee Lee makes Gen. 1-3 a spiritual parable about the creation of a pastor instead of a real account of God's glory and power in creating a physical world from nothing. Shincheonji changes the story and focus.
The message God reveals is that the human race needs a savior to restore a broken creation and bring humans back into a perfect and beautiful relationship with God. It is a promise and blessing repeated in Gen. 12 that finds its answers in the Messiah, not a final pastor who is not the Messiah. Even early Jewish sources recognized the importance of the Messianic promise after the creation account (2).
(1) An unbiased reading of the Scriptures state that Adam was the first man to be alive, not receive God´s words. ¨Thus, it is written, ´The first man, Adam, became a living being´¨ (I Cor. 15:45). Before Adam, there were no other men. This is why he is called the first.
(2) ¨The Palestinian Targum testifies that in Gen. iii.15 there is promised a healing of the bite in the heel from the serpent, which is to take place "at the end of the days, in the days of the King Messiah." In the Palestinian Midrash to Genesis (Bereshith Rabba xii) we read: "The things which God created perfect since man sinned have become corrupt and do not return to their proper condition until the son of Perez (i.e. according to Gen. xxxviii. 29, Ruth iv. 18 ff. the Messiah out of the tribe of Judah) comes." http://hadavar.org/drupal/book/export/html/107, Accessed July, 2013.