I came to recognize that God is the Creator of the universe and the one who operates it
I was born in Cheolsangun, Pyeonganbuk-do in 1939 as the first son of three brothers. After the Liberation Day of August 15, 1945, our family came down to the south and spent a period of refuge during the Korean War and finally settled in Seoul. A few years later, during my second year at Seoul National University High School, I took a leave of absence and briefly lived in Busan. At that time, I began to attend the Youngnak Church. As a teenager, who experienced the confusion of the war and the hardship of the refuge life, I wanted to have the spiritual comfort through the religion.
One day, while living in Busan, I happened to see a poster for the ‘Revival Meeting of Elder Park, Tae-sun, the Messenger of Fire’ on the electric pole. Intrigued by the poster, I went to the meeting place, Busan Chunbukyo Church. There, I saw a large crowd gathered, clapping the hands and singing hymns. As I had never clapped the hands while singing hymns, the scene felt strange and unfamiliar to me. Although Elder Park Tae-sun was expected to arrive in an hour, I did not wait and left before His arrival.
In 1959, I enrolled in the College of Education of Seoul National University, majoring in Earth Science Education. I had a friend, Jae-hwan (the late Oh Jae-hwan, Senior Deacon) in the same department who attended Chunbukyo Church and we often had religious debates. Jae-hwan tried to explain to me about Chubukyo Church doctrines whenever he had a chance. But it did not initially resonate much with me. At that time, I was attending the Sekwang Presbyterian Church, and I had been hearing such stories that portrayed the Chunbukyo Church as heretical sect and their Holy Water as the water Elder Park washed his hands and feet in. And I was accepting the newspaper stories which criticized the Chunbukyo negatively almost everyday. However, through ongoing debates with him and his sincere persuasion, I gradually developed an interest in the doctrines of the Chubukyo, such as ‘The one in the East’ and ‘The Olive Tree.’ As time passed, my friend’s heartfelt advice began to take effect.
Our department frequently used to conduct outdoor field studies related to our course of study. In 1960, on a particular Sunday, Jae-hwan and I went to conduct a geological survey on Gwanak Mountain. While on the mountain, I put a piece of caramel candy from Shinangchon that Jae-hwan had given me into my mouth as we ascended the mountain. During that time, I sensed a very sweet and pleasant fragrance wafting from somewhere. I looked around but couldn’t spot any flowers or anything that could account for such a fragrance. Later, when I mentioned it to Jae-hwan, he said he did not smell anything like that at all. I could not help but find it rather strange, thinking to myself, ‘It’s quite weird. There was definitely a fragrance…’
On the way back from the outdoor field study, Jae-hwan took me to the Twenty
Thousand Altar (the Chunbukyo Church with the seating capacity of 20,000) in Cheongamdong. The majesty of the Church, perched on a hill by the Han River was truly impressive, and the sight of tens of thousand of people gathered there was truly spectacular. Until then, as I had only heard negative rumors about Chunbukyo, I could not help being surprised in my heart.
On that day, I attended the service at the Chunbukyo Church for the first time. However, when Elder Park Tae-sun delivered the sermon, it was difficult to understand what He was talking about even though I paid full attention. Although the Elder seemed to explain in a simple manner, I could only hear the sounds and could not comprehend the content. I felt completely lost and remained somewhat distant amid the atmosphere of everyone else being fully engaged in the sermon. After attending the service this way, Jae-hwan began to ask me to attend the Chunbukyo service more actively.
I found myself deeply contemplating whether to follow my friend’s advice and go to Chunbukyo Church or to continue attending the Presbyterian Church as before. I spent a night in prayer at Segwang Church and also talked to the pastor and the elder about my dilemma. They cautioned me, saying, “In the last days, the anti-Christ will appear and lead people astray,” advising me not to get swept up in the Chunbukyo but to diligently attend the Presbyterian Church. However, such an advice to simply stay away from Chunbukyo no longer provided a clear solution.
I had negative opinions towards Chunbukyo Church,
but the more I learned about it,
the more I felt that what is said by established churches
and the media is completely different from the actual one.
It was one of those days when I continued to wrestle with my thoughts. I could not resist Jae-hwan’s insistence for me to receive the blessing from God, and I ended up going with Jae-hwan to the Chunbukyo Church in Jung-gu, Kapgu. Upon entering the church, I noticed rows of water bottles on either side of the entrance, and an indescribably pleasant fragrance emanated strongly from there. Surprisingly, the fragrance was the same as what I had smelled when I had the Shinangchon caramel before, but it was much more intense this time. I later learned that the water placed at the entrance had been blessed by Elder Park. As I entered the worship hall, the wonderful fragrance continued to vibrate, and when I asked Jae-hwan about it, he explained that the fragrance was the grace given by God. Despite having smelled that fragrance twice and my friend’s explanation, I could not completely shake off the doubt in the corner of my heart due to the negative stories I had heard about. I thought to myself, ‘I heard they use perfume in the Chunbukyo Church to deceive people. Did they perhaps spray perfume?’ and I looked around. However, no matter how much perfume was used, this couldn’t be this strong as if it was poured directly into the nostrils, and the wonderful fragrance was distinctly different from the regular perfumes.
On that day, many people gathered at the Chunbukyo Church in Jung-gu, Kapgu, to receive the blessing from God. People lined up, taking turns to receive the blessing. I noticed that Elder Park lightly touched people’s eyes and stomach with both hands. When it finally came to my turn, Elder Park laid His hands on me and pointed out my stubbornness and also said, “You’re deeply immersed in the Bible.” He spoke as if He knew everything about me which left me utterly astonished. After having His hands on me, I inexplicably felt joy and happiness, and even when situations arose that would have angered me in the past, I felt no anger rising within me.
In particular, after witnessing the spectacle of God
actually blessing the Water of Life,
I came to realize how malicious
and groundless the rumors about Chunbukyo Church were.
Afterwards, I once visited the Village of Faith located in Sosa, Kyunggido with Jae-hwan. The clean and beautiful scenery of the Village, the joyful expression of the people and the innocent children running around were very impressive. Especially, when I saw the stores without cashiers, I realized that ‘this is the very place where people live far away from sins.’ And, the more I became aware of Chunbukyo, the more I realized that what is said by established churches and media is completely different from the actual one. Especially, after witnessing firsthand that the Water of Life, which had been ridiculed as ‘water that he washed his hands and feet in’ was actually being blessed towards the water bottles with ‘shh! shh! sounds, I came to realize how malicious and groundless the slander was.
I gradually came to understand God’s sermons as I attended the Sunday service at the Twenty Thousand Altar. God explained the biblical prophets, including Elijah, in a way that was entirely new and fascinating, different from what I had heard in the established church. Moreover, one particular sermon left a deep impression on me to get salvation one must have nothing to do with sin. This message resonated with me. Even though my father strongly opposed my attendance at the Chunbukyo Church, I could not change my mind. Watching my father, who only heard the rumors about Chunbukyo Church, made me reflect on my past and led me to the conclusion that I must follow a true path to salvation, no matter what difficulties I might encounter.
In 1963, I entered the military. I received the basic training at Nonsan Training Center and continued to serve there. While enduring the frustrations of not being able to attend the worship services during my military life, the Chunbukyo Weekly sent by my friend, Jae-hwan, provided great strength. I could purify my heart by reading the sermons published in the Weekly. When I read testimonials of faith, I longed for attending the service and receiving the grace of God. When my workplace was relocated to the 27th Division, I was allowed to go out on Sunday, and I could attend the service at the nearby Geumma Chunbukyo Church. Having the opportunity to attend the service for just one day a week was invaluable to me. At that time, Geumma Chunbukyo Church was a small rural church on a hill, and one day during service the fragrance was strongly felt. It felt as if the church was filled with the fragrance. In the grace of fragrance, I deeply realized that God was with us, even at the rural church. I could genuinely feel the truth in the hymn. “Whether it is a tiny house or palace, wherever the Lord is, it is Heaven.”
Discharged from the military service and after graduation, I began to teach in Seoul. And I also started to attend the early morning service at Dobong church. On one occasion, I joined fellow church members for the house visits. We visited a home where a patient had been suffering due to a long-standing bed sore on his back. Witnessing the person’s pain, we felt great sympathy. Since we did not have the Water of Life or blessed caramel, we quickly applied a piece of blessed caramel wrapping paper to the bed sore. The affected area was severely inflamed, with pus oozing out. However, after the church members sang hymns for a while, we re-examined the bed sore. We found it miraculously dried up and looked like normal skin. All of us were greatly surprised.
In 1981, God proclaimed that the Olive Tree is God and He precisely explained matters that only the Creator could clarify, such as the creation of humans and celestial operations. As the one who majored in earth science, God’s words about the universe and earth were truly astonishing. His statements about solar temperature and volcanic eruptions contained content that was never taught in school. Especially, His words about heating the earth were truly impressive. God does the role of stoker and heats the core of the earth. Contemplating the extremely complicated rock’s varying heat conductivity and all other conditions such as geothermal heat, sunlight and wind, He makes adjustments and prevents the plant roots from drying out or becoming frozen so that we can have a bountiful harvest. These are really surprising words of God. The fact that I had the opportunity to directly hear the words of God, the Creator of the universe and all, it was impossible not to be profoundly moved. Listening to the precious words, I became deeply grateful and reverent towards God, who came to this land to save the humans.
In 1981, the first Holy Dew Spirit Day was started, and from then on, a celebratory music concert has been held every year. I became active in the Seoul Men’s Choir, and one of my memorable moments was when we won the first place at the 1986 Holy Dew Spirit Day music competition. At that time, all choir members worked diligently together in practice. I vividly remember the moment when we finished our performance and came down from the stage, God was smiling brightly. I have remained active in the Zion Men’s Choir and spent my leisure time meaningfully.
I am very thankful to God
for the indescribable grace of fragrance
and the power of the Water of Life
that blooms the corpse.
In 1999, upon retiring from my teaching career, I moved to Gijang Village of Faith and began working as a security guard in the Dongburi near the Village. During that time, I often witnessed the grace pouring down like a radiant light over the Gijang Faith Village area. Not only the security guards but also the residents and even the people passing by on the road, we all witnessed that sight together As I gazed at the clear, luminous Holy Spirit shining in the night sky, I offered prayers of gratitude to God for allowing such grace.
As I followed this way, I witnessed many individuals who received grace and bloomed beautifully after death. Among them, one of the most memorable was the former Minister, Seong Yeong-soon, who passed away in 2001 at the age of 72. The skin of her body after washed with the Water of Life became so clear and fair that it seemed to shine like a fluorescent light. Having known her well during her lifetime while residing in the same accommodation, I was astounded by her remarkably beautiful appearance, which was beyond comparison with her when she was alive. Although I had seen many bodies blooming after death, I had never witnessed a body with skin shining like a fluorescent light. At the funeral service, both family members and church members were in awe of this sight and expressed gratitude for God’s great power.
Throughout nearly fifty years of following this way, I deeply realized that God had been with me, granting His grace. Whenever I faced difficulties and beseeched God for help, He provided great comfort, peace and the strength to move forward. I pledge to strive to keep the Law of Liberty as He taught and live a life which has nothing to do with sin. I pray earnestly today again to become a branch who can stand in the light of God.