And behold, “wise men” from the east came to church…

Over the weekend, we’ve received multiple reports from church pastors in Auckland that Shincheonji members visited their Christmas services and attempted to invite unsuspecting worshippers to join their deceptive studies.

Amid the joy and celebration of Jesus’s birth as the Saviour of the world, Shincheonji members like “Dennis” and “Cecilia” (who don’t believe Jesus’s birth is worth celebrating) tried to take advantage of these churches’ open and hospitable culture by recruiting among their flock.

Unlike the wise men in Matthew 2:1-12 to came to worship Jesus, these “wise” people brought gifts of fake names and spent their time attempting to recruit church leaders and members and “harvesting” personal details from church bulletins. When confronted, they claimed to be from “New Heaven New Earth” (a false name for their group) and refused to answer questions about their identity and purpose directly.

Shincheonji is a high-control group founded in 1984 by Lee Man-Hee, a 92 year-old Korean man whose followers treat him like a king. However, like King Herod in the Bible, he seems to be “greatly troubled” whenever Christians delight in the birth of Jesus, the Promised One and true Son of God who died and rose for sinners.

We’d like to warn fellow Christians to keep alert this holiday season, especially for:

  • Any newcomers at your worship services who act suspiciously, e.g. inviting people they’ve just met to their own bible studies, asking for contact details, taking photos without permission (if necessary, NZ law permits you to issue them a trespass notice on the spot, or to report any unwanted activities to the police).
  • Phone calls or messages from strangers claiming to offer free Bible or theology classes online (it will cost you the best years of your life because of their works-based and manipulative approach to the Bible)
  • People who claim their group teaches the Bible “only from God’s Word”, yet avoids or disguises their church affiliation using false names such as “New Heaven New Earth”, “Mount Zion”, “Cornerstone” or “Pathways” (The Bible teaches that all forms of lying & deceit are detestable to God, e.g. Proverbs 6:16-19, Romans 3:7-8)

Finally, for the Shincheonji NZ members who read this page, we continue to pray for you to find the courage to think critically about whether your “Promised Pastor” can truly be the saviour of the world like our Lord Jesus has proved Himself to be by His birth, death and resurrection for our sins. If you need help or have any questions, please feel free to contact us in confidence at or on our Facebook page.

More information for churches regarding Shincheonji:

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