Jung Myung Seok
President of Christian Gospel Mission
Bringing love and peace in the world
through an open mind of religion and life
Among religious circles, especially in Christianity, the non-believing world is considered to be the “world” and the people that live in it as “worldly people.” In other words, the religious people call it the secular world and they are determined not to pursue the values of the secular world. Religions are charged with providing a deeper sense of value than the value system of the secular world. Despite that, a vast majority of religious people give off an air of being separate from the world they seek to save. In the mist of all these, the Christian Gospel Mission, led by President Jung Myung Seok, is gaining attention by walking in line with the people through a much more active method of ministry involving cultural exchange activities, community service, and a variety of other activities.
Proposing a new vision for the Christian gospel
What kind of an organization is the Christian Gospel Mission and what are its goals?
“More than simply going to heaven after death, we must create heaven on earth while we are still alive.” The goal of the Christian Gospel Mission is to create the ideal world on the earth.
Our goal is to bring to life the teachings of God that are written in the Bible through effort and hard work, in order to break free from the religious view which has become a prisoner to mythological interpretations. President Jung sees that the reason young people distance themselves from the church is because of the literal minded ministry methods of today’s Christianity. He points out that rather than teaching the words of God and Jesus, Christianity is much more focused on maintaining their organization. Our purpose is to break through these limitations and create churches in which the teachings of God and Jesus Christ are alive and well. Domestically, we have over 400 churches that have been established, and internationally, there are churches and 50 different nations with a total membership in the 200,000s. We are growing into a vibrant international organization.
Human beings are bundles of truth
What are the 30 principles that President Jung realized?
The 30 principles is a product of organizing the words he received from God through 30 years of extreme training and over 2,000 readings of the bible into 120 charts.
President Jung said that after realizing the truth, he realized that human beings were made in the image of God and that they were bundles of truth. However, as a result of the fall, they live ignorant lives having lost their sense of value.
When people hear the 30 principles, they not only find answers to their questions about the bible, all of their lives’ problems melt away like the melting snow. They will have satisfactory answers to the issues of fire, last days, rapture, purpose of creation and fall, and the secrets of the second coming.
The bible is a book written with parables and symbols
Then what would you say is the key point of the 30 principles?
During the 4,000 years of the Old Testament the Jews believed that in the Last Days God will come down on the clouds, judge the non-believers with fire, resurrect the Jews, and make the ideal world. Unfortunately, because of their faith in such things they rejected Jesus who came as the son of a carpenter and ultimately crucified him to death.
In the same way, today’s Christians believe in Jesus and believe that he will return in the Last Days. However, just as the Jews did, they believe that Jesus will return literally on the clouds, judge the people with fire, resurrect the physical bodies, and rapture people.
We can figure how the New Testament prophecies will be fulfilled by examining how the Old Testament prophecies were fulfilled in the New Testament.
Many Christians believe that the prophecies in the Old Testament will be fulfilled at the Second Coming because they did not happen at the first coming. Matthew 11:13 tells us that all the prophets and the law were fulfilled with John the Baptist. This means that the prophecies about the Messiah’s advent the Old Testament were fulfilled in Jesus’ time.
The bible is a book written with parables and symbols. Just as clouds become purified through the process of evaporation caused by sunlight, the Jewish people who believed in God and obeyed the New Testament word were the clouds. Although Jesus appeared on such clouds 2,000 years ago, the Jewish people failed to realize that. Instead, they kept their eyes in the sky. That is why they failed to receive him.
The judgment of fire also isn’t literally a judgment of fire. The fire is a parable for God’s words of truth. (Luke 12:49, 2 Pet 3:7). The judgment of fire refers to all the physical and spiritual problems being solved through the words of truth in the Last Days. The earth will not be destroyed by fire in the Last Days.
The Last Days refer to the point of intersection between the end of the former times and the beginning of the new times. The transition point of history is the Last Days. Resurrection also happens in the same way. (Isaiah 29:19, Eze 37:12~, Dan 12:2~, 1 Thes 4:16~) The resurrection does not refer to the revival of dead bodies but to the resurrection of the times, resurrection of the domain, the resurrection of action.
John 5:24 shows that the resurrection refers to the renewal of a person’s spirit that happens when he/she believes that follows the Messiah. The rapture also doesn’t refer to being caught up in the clouds. The earth is in the air. Therefore, it refers to all history being fulfilled on the earth. We can discover the present by examining the past and discover the future by examining the present. History always repeats.
Instructions for salvation, “Words of Salvation”
Please describe the “Words of Salvation” written by President Jung
There are tens of thousands of books in the world but not one is properly written about salvation. That is why he wrote the book on salvation. It took 6 years to write. It took him over 20 years of struggling to realize the complete truth and receive the salvation of these times.
Originally, President Jung wanted to write about hell. He wanted to write a book that told people, “Hell is a terrible place. Therefore, don’t go there.” To convey that message, he wanted to write a detailed description of hell and then conclude with the message, “Therefore, believe in God so you will be spared from hell. And also believe in the Messiah.” But then, he heard a voice that told him, “do you think people go to hell because they don’t know that hell is a terrible place? They go to hell even though they know what it is like.”
Then he wanted to write about heaven. However, he heard a same voice tell him, “do you think people don’t go to heaven because they don’t know that it is a great place? Why are there so many people who’ve failed to go there? Everybody knows that heaven is a great place. The reason people don’t go to heaven is not because they don’t know.”
As a result of these voices, he thought a long time about what to write. Then he concluded, “Salvation is the only thing I can write about. If people receive salvation, they will go to heaven and avoid hell.” The salvation book is the book that he wrote as a result of those realizations.
This book is not just a book about salvation as a theory; it is a book written based on the salvation history God is making in the present time. That is why this book is so realistic. Because a book about salvation cannot be written unless Jesus teaches it to him, he had to pray deeper than he had prayed before and he had to write it with all his heart, will, and life. The salvation book can be seen as the instruction for salvation that God brings to this time period in a way that fits.
Contributing to world peace through cultural exchange
Please tell us about the various cultural exchange activities of Global Association of Culture and Peace.
God is not just a god of religion, but a God of arts and culture as well. We believe that culture and arts are gifts God gave to those He loves. Therefore, we focus on culture and arts activities to express thanksgiving to God. President Jung’s Global Association of Culture and Peace involves the Global Village Arts Festival, Asian Youth International Exchange, as well as various other activities. Every year, we support cultural exchange programs ranging from arts to sports.
The Global Association of Culture and Peace, which is an international civilian exchange organization, works to provide a place for people to understand each other through sports, arts, and various types of cultural exchange, transcending the limits of nationality and making world peace come true.
Beginning with the International Peace Soccer Competition that was held in August 1999, there have been a total of six additional soccer competitions including the one held at the World Cup soccer stadium in Daejeon from August 11th to 17th in 2002. During the 2002 World Cup that was co-hosted by Korea and Japan, our organization received recognition for finding ways to bring members from 35 nations together transcending religions and ideologies.
Realizing the value of life amidst gunfire
There has to be some motivation for President Jung to create an international organization like this.
President Jung entered the military at a young age and served two tours of duty in Vietnam. He tells us that it was during those times that he realized the terror of death and the meaninglessness of life. He felt it deep down in his bones. He also confesses that the reason he was able to survive so many harrowing, life threatening, experiences was because of God’s protection. That is what led him to decide to live only for God.
There, on the crossroads of death and life, he found the true meaning of life. resident Jung, who was determined to share the teachings of God with the world, saw the young people in the 70’s and 80’s lost and wandering as a result of losing their sense of value. He realized that he needed to save these people. In the midst of the gunfire in Vietnam, he heard a voice from God that told him to love lives and realised that in order for our society to live, we must save our young people. That has become the direction of his ministry.
President Jung, who is currently working on international ministry, has written a book about the things he has experienced of God with a desire to share God’s message.
A place one can feel the hand of God through nature, Wolmyeongdong
What kind of a place is Wolmyeongdong Conference Center?
Wolmyeongdong Conference Center, which is located in Jinsan-myon of Choong-nam Geumsan-kun, is a place that is like the umbilical cord for the Christian Gospel Mission. It is also President Jung’s hometown.
Wolmyeongdong means a place where the moon is bright and big. Our members worked with President Jung for over 10 years to develop, investing tremendous amount of sweat and tears to complete.
The reason this place was developed was because President Jung lived his life of prayer here. This is where he heard the voices from God and realised the word. That is why it holds a special meaning. It is also a place where people can feel the hand of God through nature that surrounds it.
Geographically, it is a convergence point between two mountain ranges. Noryang and Charyang mountain ranges converge in a dragon formation at Wolmyeongdong. The spot has long been the object of legends that tell of a great world-renown figure who will appear from the region. It doesn’t seem a mere coincidence that President Jung was born in that area.
Even as late as the early 1900’s the region was an abandoned remote mountain village that people rarely visited. Now, the numbers of members who visit every year are staggering. It has been transformed into a place visited by hundreds of thousands of people per year.
In the summertime the conference center hosts all types of performances. It also serves as a venue for sporting events as well as a place to improve one’s physical health. In the wintertime it is possible sled and ski along with many other types of winter activities. For that reason, the conference center is considered by members to be a natural resting place for all seasons.
After developing Wolmyeongdong, President Jung told us, “Just as Wolmyeongdong, which was a pitiful place before development, has become an invaluable place through development, I urge all of you to become precious beings that are developed and useful to God.” President Jung’s words suggest many things to us.
Practising the mind of Christ through public service
We know that a part of the Christian Gospel Mission’s activities involve public service.
The public service arm of the Christian Gospel Mission was established through the desire of President Jung to practice the teachings of Jesus who cared for the sick and the poor and healed them through giving the word. We pursue programs that practice the love of Christ with the understanding that love is more powerful than anything else in the world.
We focus our activities on helping to nurture young people. Providing proper guidance to our young people is the key to guaranteeing the future of our society. Another axis of the philosophy of “Peace in the family” that Christian Gospel Mission advocates is the philosophy that arming the young people with a healthy mentality will enable them to create healthy families in their future.
Our public service efforts of providing for the needs of our neighbors are important for fortifying the attitude of social responsibility and instilling a sense of belonging to the society.
These public service activities are grounded in faith. Therefore, they teach people the mind of Christ who served freely. We believed that serving others with great dedication is valuable in itself. Each of our member churches run at least one public service program. It is an expression of our desire to bring about world peace.
We are involved in more than 50 community service programs including the aforementioned movement for family peace, campaigns aimed at creating a healthy society, activities for cleaning up the environment, youth guidance and cultural activities, children’s charities, restoration of facilities and equipment, blood drives, relief for victims of natural disasters, cost-free medical clinics, assistance for farmers, charities for the poor, assistance for the elderly and disenfranchised, international charities, sponsoring marathons, choir performances, etc. Each month, more than a thousand people are involved in such public service activities throughout the nation as well as numerous activities throughout the 50 member nations.
God’s work is revealed in history
Christian Gospel Mission is considered by the established denominations as heretical. Is there a standard by which heresy is determined?
When you examine the scriptures, you will find that in every time period the people of God were not welcomed. In fact, recounting that reminds us of a sad and painful history in which those sent by God were treated as heretics. This was the case for Jesus who came to this world as the Messiah. All of his disciples were also accused of heresy and were given no choice but to walk the path of martyrdom.
In the eyes of the Jewish people who were the establishment at Jesus’s time, Jesus and his disciples were undoubtedly heretics. However, as followers of Jesus’s teachings , we can’t help but blame the unfortunate outcome on the ignorance of the Jewish religious leaders. The concept of heresy is extremely relative and always dynamic. We believe it should be left up to history to label anyone a heretic or not.
Yesterday’s heresies became today’s orthodoxies. In light of this simple and plain truth, we must reject the black and white notion that tradition is always right and heresy is always wrong.
If you search the scriptures, you will find that in 1 John 2:22, it is explained that anyone who denies the father and the son is the antichrist. President Jung and we, the members, worship Jesus Christ as much as anyone else. In essence, the people who serve God according to His will and put His will to practice are the the true people of God. We believe that President Jung is a true man of God who does his best to fulfill God’s will. All of us faithfully follow his teachings to do the same.
Only God is the protector of nations
Could you tell us, as a religious person, your take on the current issue of North Korea’s possession of nuclear weapons and the condition of peace in Northeast Asia?
It is true that the issue of nuclear arms in North Korea severely threatens peace not only for Northeast Asia but also for the entire world. Seeing the recent progress in the talks and their willingness to rejoin the six party talks is greatly reassuring. I believe that guaranteeing peace for the Korean peninsula would be difficult if the issue is not resolved soon. Since God’s words were sown on this land 200 years ago, Korea has steadily grown into a Christian nation that leads the world in spirituality. These facts show that God will not allow the escalation of North Korea’s nuclear crisis.
In 1994, when Korea’s military alert was escalated to an all-time high under the pressure of North Korea’s nuclear development, leaders and members from the entire nation gathered to pray all night. As a result of God’s answer to those prayers, the situation was quickly defused.
I think it is time for all of us to pray for Korea’s peace as well as the peace of the world, and ask God to be our nation’s guardian. I think it is time for all religious people to become one. On June 17th, the leaders from the nation gathered at Wolmyeongdong to ask for salvation of this nation and to pray for its safety.
The goal of creating 1,000 churches in Korea and preaching the gospel in 120 nations
Please tell us the future plans of the Christian Gospel Mission
Until now, President Jung has been focusing all his energy on raising people rather than building structures. Each quarter, we hold passing ceremonies for thousands of people. That is our vision and the goal of our ministry. Currently, there is also a leadership training program with roughly 4,500 participants training to be leaders. Those leaders will be used to fulfill God’s will by continuing our work with the ministry as well as our public service activities.
Towards that end, the construction of the World Mission Center is nearly completed. The World Mission Center will be used as the headquarters for international ministry with the purpose of sending out missionaries, hosting various meetings and seminars, as a center for research and development, as well as a hub for all administrative matters.
Our ministry efforts in Asia, Europe, and the Americas are growing more active each day because we are focusing our efforts and pursuing our goal of establishing a thousand churches domestically and to create branches in 120 nations throughout the world.
We will push to share the mind of God with the world through expanding our international cultural exchange programs that break down walls between people and religions. The missionaries who are sent out to the world will also play the role of cultural ambassadors who will teach the world about the true Korea.
Make yourself into a work of art
Finally, what would you like to say to the readers who are reading this article?
Human beings are immensely great beings who carry within them the value of God. God wants to fulfill His will through people. That is why the value of our being is incalculable.
Living in this world requires money, fame, and power. However, we know very well that a life lived without truth is a life that is empty. If we spend our precious youth lost and wandering in the much of alcohol, smoking, and sexual immorality, we will wake up one day having lost our true self.
Just as we envision beautiful objects when we draw up our plans for a work of art, it is a given that our creator God wants us to live beautiful lives. I wish that rather than pursuing worldly things that are meaningless at best, I hope that everyone will regain the value of their precious lives by the power of God.
At the wedding, the bride is at the height of her beauty as she takes the bridegroom’s hand. Jesus told us that we must become the brides of God and that we must remain awake in our most beautiful state to become the brides of God. President Jung leads us to make ourselves into masterpieces and to be used for the world. I urge everyone not to ruin themselves through their own actions but instead to continue making the effort to become perfect. That is the mission God gives us today and that is His message.
A sculptor carves on a tile
the dreams of a 1000 years
Everyday I go brimming with hope
“Action more than Words.”
Even though my body is small, I understand everything
Even though my eyes are small, they penetrate
this world to the next
All that remain of my life
is to be used as his hands and feet.
1 Oct 1988 at Sangdo-dong, A poem that contain’s President Jung’s confession of his creed.
President Jung Myung Seok
Born in 1945, Chungnam Geumsan-gun Jinsan-Myun, graduated from Wesley Seminary. The founder and President of Christian Gospel Mission. Made his debut as a poet in 1995 in “Literary Fiction”, and wrote “Spiritual Poem 1,2,” “Book of Parables,” “Heaven’s Words, My Words 1,2,3,4,” “Words of Salvation,” and other works. Also, through various national and international organizations, he spreads all kinds of artistic activities. Now, through the Global Association of Culture and Peace, he organizes various arts, sports, and lively cultural activities for peace.
Original Article on Sisa News August 2005 edition, page 34 to 52.