Research Report on Ryu Kwang Su, Darakbang
(Korean Presbyterian Church Evangelism General Assembly)
By the International Korean Christian Coalition against Heresy (IKCCAH)
Some 87 heresy research professionals from Korea, USA, Japan and Europe founded the International Korean Christian Coalition against Heresy (hereunder, “IKCCAH”). IKCCAH held its inauguration meeting along with ‘the 1st International Conference’ on 9 Nov 2011. The purpose of establishing IKCCH was to” protect Korean Christian churches with reliable research on heresy not subject to any political influence or financial inducements.” Founding members pointed out that, “Externally, Korean churches are threatened by aggressive propagation from cults and internally, there are cult-friendly members within Orthodox churches. We will strongly respond against people, group and media that support heresy within Orthodox Christianity. ” One year since its foundation, IKCCAH announced that it will “release reports on cults for the benefit of Korean churches and to keep our promise” in Nov. This is the second report that looks into ‘Pastor Ryu Kwang Su’s (hereunder, “Ryu”) Darakbang.’
This report refutes the recent argument from the religious world that “Ryu’s Darakbang is not heretical” based on Darakbang training manuals including <The Gospel Letter>, <Gospel Messages for the field>, <Basic Messages> and <The 12 Meaning of Acceptance>. It also sheds light on heretical elements in Modalistic Trinity similar to the Local Churches and demonology similar to that of Kim Ki Dong Berea. Refer to the below Table of Contents. <Editor’s note>
1. Current status of Ryu’s Darakbang
2. Purpose of study on Ryu’s Darakbang
1. Various heretical theories including Modalistic Trinity and Christology
1) Darakbang’s Christology and Modalism (secret of the Trinity) almost identical to the Local Churches
2) Argument that equates acceptance of Christ with indwelling of the Holy Spirit
3) Exclusive Ecclesiology that Darakbang is the only vehicle that spreads the Christian Gospel in 2000 years of church history
4) Misunderstandings on terms such as ‘experience the Christ’ used in the Local Churches and the threefold office of Christ (secret of Christ, secret of acceptance and secret of Immanuel)
5) Darakbang’s Modalism that says the resurrected Jesus Christ is the Holy Spirit
6) Distorted Christology on the innocence of Jesus Christ
7) Non-biblical right to mobilize angel and right to bind Satan based on Ryu’s Darakbang theory
2. Darakbang demonology similar to Kim Ki Dong Berea’s dualistic demonology
1) Distorted interpretation on the purpose of Jesus Christ coming to this world
2) Darakbang’s sins of ancestors similar to generational curses theory
3) Darakbang’s ransom to Satan theory identical to Berea theory
4) The remnant theory that they are the only ones left in the last age
1. Current status of Ryu’s Darakbang
Some 9 denominated Christian churches have announced Ryu’s Darakbang (Korean Presbyterian Church Evangelism General Assembly) as a heresy or a cult. The 9 churches include Goryo Theological Seminary (1995/45, 1997/47/heresy), the Presbyterian Church of Korea (1996/81/false religion), the General Assembly of Presbyterian Churches in Korea (1996/81/heresy), the Korean Presbyterian Church (1996/81/Chritianity’s dangerous idea, ban participation), Korea Evangelical Holiness Church (1997/52/false religious movement), the Korean Methodist Church (1998/23/heresy), Reformed Presbyterian Church of Korea (1995/45/fake Christianity, false religious movement), the General Assembly of the Reformed Presbyterian Church in Korea, and the Korea Baptist Convention. It was also included in the list of heresy in the Christian Council of Korea in 2004.
On 27 Aug 1998, Ryu gave excuses on his wrongdoings that it was a mistake and that many seem to have misunderstood him. He promised to make corrections in a hearing at Torch Mission Center but little has changed since. He is now more bold and blunt with his arguments. It seems that what he said in the hearing was simply a stop-gap measure to get off the hook. Theories from the Local Churches (Wtiness Lee) embedded in the Darakbang are recently being revealed and they show clear signs of heresy. Nothing has changed in heretic aspects of Ryu’s Darakbang.
2. Purpose of study on Ryu’s Darakbang
Ryu’s Darakbang gathered its followers in 1997 and established the ‘Korean Presbyterian Church Evangelism General Assembly.’ On 21 Jun 2011, it held a joint service with the General Assembly of the Reformed Presbyterian Church in Korea (Pastor Choi Kyung Sam) .1) This triggered division within the General Assembly of the Reformed Presbyterian Church in Korea into two; one under Pastor Choi Kyung Sam and the other under Pastor Jang Se Il. The Christian Council of Korea granted membership to Ryu’s Darakbang classified as a cult by the major 9 Christian churches. This incident sent shockwaves and much confusion in the Korean religious world. Against this backdrop, IKCCAH considered the Christian Council of Korea’s embracing of Darakbang as its member as a ‘process to remove Darakbang’s label as a heresy.’ It could no longer overlook the situation and hence launched investigation into Ryu’s Darakbang. This report aims to unveil the true identity of Darakbang by disclosing not only the existing but new heretical elements in Darakbang.
There are two most important heresies in Darakbang.
First, it is strongly influenced by the cult Local Churches (Witness Lee) and supports distorted Christology that separates Modalistic Trinity from training new Christians. This becomes more evident as Darakbang branched out as a separate Christian church. Ryu’s Darakbang claims that it is “the only evangelism movement recovered in 2000 years” and that this is “the secret of Trinity, the secret of acceptance and the secret of Immanuel.”
Second, Ryu’s Darakbang advocates ‘dualistic demonology’ like Kim Ki Dong Berea. This theory considers that all curses on human including disease, misfortune, accident and poverty are due to demons. The curse will be removed once we accept Jesus Christ and expel demons. This theory views the Christ and demon on an equal footing. It claims that not only does “one must know demons in order to know Jesus Christ” but also that the purpose of Jesus Christ coming to earth is to “destroy the evil.”
1. Various heretical theories including Modalistic Trinity and Christology
1) Darakbang Christology and Modalism (the secret of Trinity) quite similar to the Local Churches
In Early Churches, there was the heretic Christology called ‘Apollinarios’2). Apollinarios separates Jesus Christ’s deity and humanity, and considers only the spirit of Jesus Christ ‘God’ while denying Jesus’ humanity. Ryu views Jesus Christ’s spirit as ‘God himself’. This is a concept that says incarnation of Jesus Christ and indwelling of the Holy Spirit in Christian saints are the same, which is shared with the Local Churches. Take a look at <The Gospel Letter> that supports Ryu’s argument.
“(1) God who is spirit put on physical body and came to earth in order to save man. (John 1:14)
(2) Therefore, He is sinless and His spirit is divine. (1 Corinthians 15:45)
(3) He is non other than Jesus Christ
(4) Jesus has both a divine nature and a human nature (Mt 16:16~19) – Divine nature is God and the human appearance is Jesus Christ.”(<The Gospel Letter>, How Can You Meet God?)
Take a look at Ryu’s message in <Gospel Messages for the field>.
“(3) 1 Corinthians 4:45~50 God – Spirit of Jesus Christ is God
(4) John 1:14 Human – Jesus became flesh and made His dwelling among us.”(<Gospel Messages for the Field >, Chapter 19 The Resurrection of Jesus Christ)
“His spirit is God but became flesh. This is an important message in the New Testament. You need to realize Jesus Christ is working in you. Death of Jesus Christ is very important.”(<Gospel Messages for the field >, Chapter 18 Why Did Jesus Have to Die?)
In summary, Ryu preaches that Jesus is God becoming flesh to dwell among us and that He became spirit again, which is the concept of Modalistic Trinity. It advocates a wrong Christology that ‘equates God with Spirit of Jesus Christ.’ We cannot brush off Ryu’s comments simply as a mistake or theological ignorance because these statements are repeated and emphasized as ‘secrets’ in training manuals including < Gospel Messages for the field > and <The Gospel Letter>. By reading writings of Witness Lee, the founder of the Local Churches, we can find similarities with Ryu’s arguments.
“God after the incarnation is different from God before. Before He was just God but after, He is God dwelling in Human flesh.” (Witness Lee, <The Triune God to Be Life of the Tripartite Man>, p54)
“He became like us but why? It was so that we can be like Him. Today, we have God’s life and God’s character. Therefore, you are just like God.” (Witness Lee, <The Practical Way to Live a Life According to the High Peak of the Divine Revelation in the Holy Scriptures>, p63)
“We need to realize that He is the Father hidden in spirit, and not only is He the son who appeared in human society but also the spirit that dwells within us.” (Witness Lee, <The Two Great Mysteries in God’s Economy>, p21)
In conclusion, Ryu’s Darakbang and the Local Churches’ theories can be explained as the following: “Father = Son Jesus Christ = Holy Spirit”. This is the Modalistic Monarchianism, a heretic theory, asserted by Sabellius 3).
2) Argument that acceptance of Christ is the same with indwelling of the Holy Spirit
The Local Churches separate Jesus Christ into three parts including spirit, soul and body as it does with believers. It interprets the incarnated Jesus Christ to be the same as believers with Holy Spirit living inside. This is true from the Local Churches’ Modalistic perspective that the Holy Spirit is God the Father. It considers Jesus to be the first man with the Holy Spirit (God) living inside and calls this ‘God-man’. 4) That is, it sees spirit of the Lord God coming down in the body of man to be the same as indwelling of the Holy Spirit and Jesus Christ in believers. This is what Ryu calls ‘the secret of Trinity’, ‘the secret of Immanuel’ and ‘the secret of acceptance.’
The Local Churches say the Father is the Son and the Son is the spirit. This is what they call ‘the reality of God’ or ‘Christ.’ Ryu also identifies incarnation of Jesus Christ with indwelling of the Holy Spirit. He uses the same terminologies used in the Local Churches. Take a look at Ryu’s writings in Darakbang publications.
“Acceptance means that the Holy Spirit dwells in us. You need to understand what indwelling of the Holy Spirit is in order to understand the meaning of acceptance. …God came into us. The Word became flesh. What do you call this? → Indwelling of the Holy Spirit! You need to understand this. Jesus came inside you, and those who believe in His name or who accepted Him are given the authority to become son or daughter of God….”(Ryu Kwang Su, <Basic Message>, p2, Twelve Meanings of Acceptance)
“It is the secret of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. What is? God the Father said and God the Son came to earth and achieved all the Words. God came in an appearance of human who is God the Son. Correct? God came inside us now. Who is He? It is God the Holy Spirit, right? This is the amazing secret of salvation. You have just received the Words. The Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit, triune God came inside us to realize this incredible salvation. This God is now inside you. How? In the form of God the Holy Spirit. This is the amazing secret of God the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit.”(Ryu Kwang Su, <Basic Message>, Twelve Meanings of Acceptance)
“God came inside us. We fail in our flesh and mind, but God never fails.”(Ryu Kwang Su, < Gospel Messages for the Field >, Chapter 2 – New Life (3) What does it mean for the Holy Spirit to be with you?)
All things considered, it can be understood that acceptance of Jesus Christ is having God the Holy Spirit dwell inside believers. This same concept is stated in Witness Lee’s writings as well.
“You will realize that the economy of God is God’s plan to ’supply himself among people’. God’s economy is God providing Himself to people. God’s goal is to supply only ‘Himself’ to us.” (Witness Lee, <The Economy of God>, p9~10)
“If children born from God are not God then who are they? Wouldn’t children and father be of the same kind? John 3:6 reads, ‘Flesh gives birth to flesh’. You and your parents are of the same type of flesh. It goes on to say, ‘Spirit gives birth to spirit’. These two spirits are of the same kind and from the same root. We were born from God and became many God – men, God’s children. Jesus Christ whom we believe in and worship was the first God-man.”(Witness Lee, <The God-Man Living>, p40)
The Local Churches say that accepting Jesus is accepting God. God is with men to ‘supply and dispense Himself’, and this is what they call the ‘economy of God’. This confirms that the Local Churches’ theories are not different from but the same as what Ryu supports.
3) Exclusive Ecclesiology that claims Darakbang is the only vehicle preaching the Gospel in 2000 years of church history
The biggest problem with Darakbang lies in its exclusivity; it is the only channel spreading the Christian Gospel while established churches don’t. This exclusive ecclesiology of Darakbang is the reason that it is defined as a heresy by all denominated Christian churches.
Darakbang had openly criticized established Orthodox churches in the past. It argued that “existing Christians should receive Jesus anew,” “some 98% of Korean Christian churches are possessed by evil spirits,” or “only Darakbang has been announcing the Gospel since the Early Churches.”
Even now, Pastor Ryu comments that “existing Christians fail to receive the blessing of Immanuel” that means “God is with us.” From Apollinarianism and Modalism’s viewpoints, existing church members who are taught Orthodox Christianity would not be considered to have received the blessing of Immanuel. Does existing Orthodox Christianity deny the indwelling of the Holy Spirit or incarnation? Why does Darakbang say that existing Christians fail to receive the blessing of Immanuel? Hear what Ryu has to say about the existing church members.
“Existing Christians do not receive the blessing of Immanuel. How big a blessing would it be if God is to be with each one of you? The greatest weakness of the existing church members is that they can not enjoy this blessing. If pastors fail to experience this blessing then they can not enjoy the grace of God.”(<The Gospel letter>, 3rd Meeting How Can You Meet God?)
“It tells us that Christian church members and key members know so little about the blessing. This evangelism movement teaching that Jesus is the Christ is implemented in Korea out of so many countries and more specifically, in Darakbang among so many denominated Christian churches.”(<The Gospel Letter>, 9th Meeting Prayer is a “Spiritual Science”) Pastor Ryu seems to be saying that true evangelism movement is taking place only in Darakbang.
In 2008, the argument that Darakbang is the only vehicle that recovers the Gospel in 2000 years is more evidently expressed in <Church and Faith> (www.amennews.com). (Refer to the article dated 20 Jan 2008. “Darakbang recovers the Gospel in 2000 years/Pastor Ryu continues his argument to trigger heresy accusations”)
“A pastor provoked quarrel when I said it is recovery of the Gospel in 2000 years. ‘Pastor Ryu, do you mean to say there has been no spreading of God’s grace until now?’ No, of course there were! But I could not find preach on God’s grace described in the bible. I will correct myself if I do but I have not found any despite my research. I am saying that it has been 2000 years since there was a perfect propagation of Christianity stated in the bible. How long has it been (from Exodus until now: note from the recorder)? It has been 4200 years! You have emerged after 4200 years (Audience: Amen!). This is extraordinary. Many will regret or come to realize. History will continue to unfold. We need to understand church history accurately. The most difficult part to understand is the Gospel. We learn it with the grace of God. The Gospel ‘the virgin will give birth to a son’ has recovered after 2000 years.”5)
Ryu say that only Darakbang recovered the Gospel in 2000 years.
“The Gospel is gone and thus, another complete failure. So, a person who understands the value of the Gospel has come. ‘She will give birth to a son and will call him Immanuel.’ Everything has recovered. How long did it take to get from here to there (From Exodus to Isaiah 7:4: note from the recorder)? You’d be disagreeably surprised that it took 2000 years. Some 2000 years to recover the Gospel despite that there were priests and prophets.” 6)
Why does Ryu say that Darakbang has recovered the Gospel in 2000 years? Because he preaches Modalism and Christology different from what has been taught in a typical denominated Christian church in the past 2000 years of church history.
“What did our Darakbang find out? It is nothing that typical denominated Christian churches do. Darakbang is an organization with answers to evangelize properly. This is why it is different and it should not be seen as the same. Others say it is different and I don’t think it is the same. It is a question of what is right. If we are the same, we should do away with our church. Darakbang is different for sure. There are noises but it doesn’t matter. If it was the same, then it will die.” (29 May 2007 Yewon Church)
4) Use of phrase such as ‘experience the Christ’ from the Local Churches and misunderstandings on the threefold office of Christ (the secret of Christ, the secret of acceptance and the secret of Immanuel)
Ryu often use phrases like ‘secret of Christ’ and ‘experience Christ’ that are also used mostly in the Local Church cults. The Local Churches use phrases like ‘Reality of God’ quite often and it is the same with Ryu. The Local churches’ version of ‘experience Christ’ is based on Modalistic Trinity’s perspective. For Local Churches, it is seeing the reality of God the Father, ‘Life of God’, ‘Reality of God’ or ‘Reality of Christ’. Witness says the following;
“We need to live with the realization of Jesus Christ, the Spirit. When you call out ‘Oh Jesus Christ’, you experience Jesus the Spirit inside you. Jesus is realized in the form of the Spirit. The more you call out for Jesus, the more you will realize Christ, the Spirit. Reality mostly refers to existence of being within divine aspect of Triune God. This Spirit is the reality of God.”(Witness Lee, <The New Jerusalem>, p396)
“Therefore, the Father’s love, the Son’s grace and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit are not independent but ‘three stages for one’ that enable us to own and experience. Similarly, the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit are not three separate Gods but are ‘three aspects of one God’ for us to own and experience. For example, ice melts into water and water evaporates into steam. ‘One substance exists in three forms’. When ice or water becomes steam, it helps us breathe. In the same line, all things the Father owns are delivered to the Holy Spirit who brings Him inside us to experience. There are many examples that help us explain and describe God within His Trinity.” (Witness Lee, <God>, p297)
Take a look at Ryu’s phrase ‘experience Christ’. In order to differentiate Darakbang, he emphasizes the ‘secrecy’. In <The 12 Meaning of Acceptance>, Ryu says,
“Acceptance does not simply mean receiving God through bible study at church but it refers to experiencing a huge secret. Once a person accepts Jesus, an enormous secret is revealed. ‘We have accepted ’means that we have realized a huge secret. In the name of Lord Jesus, I pray that you receive the rich blessings. It is all the secret of Jesus Christ who lives inside us. You must realize this.”
“There are two messages in the Scripture. One is about acceptance of Jesus and the other is about experiencing the power of Jesus. Once you become aware of these two, you have realized all that you need to know in your life of faith.”
In summary, the ‘secret’ of accepting Jesus is the indwelling of the Holy Spirit. And to experience Christ seems to be of the same meaning as that in Local Churches. See what ‘experience Christ’ refers to in Ryu’s <Gospel Messages for the Field>.
“You really have to enjoy. You learn all about Jesus through bible studies but what is important is that believers need to enjoy the grace of God through Jesus Christ. And we need to learn how to do so. This part of enjoying Jesus is not happening so well at all. The situation is the same with believers of 5 years and of 10 years. Sometimes, the longer you’ve believed in, the worse. The problem is that it doesn’t get better.”(<Gospel Messages for the field >, Chapter 27 Let’s Enjoy the Abundant Grace of Christ)
As has been discussed, enjoying Christ boils down to experiencing the three-fold offices of Jesus Christ. Ryu talks of Christ from a Modalistic perspective where Christ is God, the Son and the Holy Spirit. Ryu strongly stresses three offices of Jesus including the King, the prophet and the priest. Orthodox Christianity also talks about Triune Jesus. Then, why does Ryu say that we should “realize this in particular?” Ryu’s Triune is different from that from Orthodox Church. Ryu refers to Triune of ‘anointment’ with the concept of ‘Christ’ in the Local Churches. In short, Ryu’s anointment refers to Jesus being the ‘reality of God’, the ‘secret of Immanuel’ and the secret of enjoying Christ’s grace as is the case with the Local Churches.
God dwelling in us as the Spirit of Jesus is ‘Christ’, ‘anointment’ and ‘Immanuel’, which is the same as ‘indwelling of the Holy Spirit’ and Darakbang’s ‘secret of acceptance’. The Messiah (Greek: Messias, Hebrew: Mashiah) means ‘the anointed’. In Greek, it is Christos. In the Old Testament, it was mostly kings, prophets and priests who were defined as ‘the anointed’. In the Old Testament era, there were kings, prophets and priests appointed by God.
However, it is only Jesus who held all three roles. That is why John the Baptist confessed that he is not the Christ (John 1:20). The Scripture clearly states that only Jesus Christ is the foretold ‘Christ’, the anointed and thus ‘the only promised Messiah’.
Pastor Park Jin Kyu has been criticizing Darakbang.
“In his book <How to Enjoy God and How to Practice the Enjoyment of God>, Witness Lee introduces two steps to enjoy God. First step is to ‘pray with spirit’ and the second step is to ‘apply the principle of incarnation (p79). Is there any similarity between Witness Lee’s statement that ‘the way to enjoy God is the secret of piety’ and Ryu’s theory that ‘experiencing Christ is the secret of Christ?’”
“Witness Lee claims that ‘one needs to be a king in order to practice enjoyment of a king’ and introduces two ways to enjoy God, one of which is ‘Immanuel’. Then, what is the best way for us to enjoy God or the Christ? It would be for us to become God or the Christ. Therefore, the Bible does not tell us to enjoy the Christ.” (Witness Lee, < How to Enjoy God and How to Practice the Enjoyment of God >, p81)
5) Darakbank Modalism on the resurrected Jesus Christ being the Hole Spirit
The Local Churches assert “living the reality of resurrection in spirit.” Difference between Darakbang and the Local Churches is that latter do not use the term the Holy Spirit but ‘spirit that gives life’, ‘the spirit’ or ‘the completed spirit’. Similarity between the two is that both argue “Jesus Christ died and was resurrected to become the Spirit. “ This is referred to as the resurrection by Ryu multiple times. Take a look at Witness Lee’s writings first.
“When that completed Spirit comes alive, this is what’s called living in the resurrected and completed Spirit. This resurrection is not a power nor an object but a personality. This is why we call it ‘resurrection of Jesus’. The resurrected reality is the final and completed Spirit of Triune God. Therefore, we will have – the Triune God, Jesus Christ, the Spirit, the resurrected God. We live within these and we will live within resurrection that is a personality – God.”(Witness Lee, <The Economy of God and God>, The Proper Living of Men, p62)
In his writings, Ryu defines indwelling of the Holy Spirit from a Modalism point of view as resurrection just like the Local Churches. In <Gospel Messages for the Field> Chapter 1 Assurance of Salvation, he says the following;
“One would need to know the following three in order to understand the Gospel. The Scripture defines the Gospel as; first, Jesus is the Christ! And second, this Jesus Christ has resurrected and is currently alive, that is He is living with us through the Holy Spirit. Early churches emphasized this. This is the message that saved people in the Early Churches. Jesus is the Christ who still lives to closely guide you all through the Holy Spirit. The resurrected Jesus should always be highlighted because He was raised from the dead.” (<Gospel Messages for the Field >, Chapter 1 Assurance of Salvation)
Ryu’s statements in <The Gospel Letter> include;
“God has spared no expense in order to save His people. He became a man (John 1:14), shed His blood, resurrected, ascended to heaven and even now He guides us through the Holy Spirit. Even so, most people do not understand what salvation means.”(<The Gospel Letter>, 6th Meeting Now That I’m Saved, How Have I Changed?)
6) Distorted Christology on Jesus’ innocence
Darakbang’s arguments on Jesus’ innocence fail to go beyond its Christology and Modalism. Jesus is innocent because His spirit is God. And saints reborn after accepting Jesus have God inside them and thus they are also free of sin. Ryu explained “the four characteristics of Jesus the Savior”; first, a savior should not have original sin; second, a savior should not have voluntary transgression; third, the Spirit should be God; fourth, flesh should be a physical body of man. Here are some writings of Ryu.
<The Gospel Letter>, 3rd Meeting How Can You Meet God?
First, “He should be free of original sin. Genesis 3:15. He should not be an offspring of a woman or of Adam. All descendents of Adam were born with the spirit of curse. An offspring of a woman means that
He is not an offspring of Adam. That He was born from the Virgin Mary means that He was born without original sin. All who were born after Adam inherited the spirit of curse. There is no way out without receiving new life. The Catholic Church says that the Virgin Mary does not have original sin. Isn’t Mary an offspring of Adam? We know too little about the Bible. We don’t have the basics for salvation.”
Second, “He should not have voluntary transgression. Pilate could not find charge against Jesus.”
Third, “2 Corinthians 15:45~50 The spirit is God.”
Fourth, “Flesh should be in appearance as man. Only when all these four conditions are met can He be the Savior.”
It would be right to say that Jesus is sinless but this is not because He was born from a virgin. Does being an offspring of a virgin mean that He was not an offspring of Adam? In flesh, Jesus is son of Adam (Luke 3:38) and son of David (Mathew 1:1). That He is born from Virgin Mary does not mean that He was born without original sin. His personality came directly from Mary. He was a humane like us but was conceived by the Holy Spirit and thus was born sinless. Ryu claims that “Jesus’ spirit is God and therefore, He has no sin.” His argument seems to come from the wrong theory of Modalistic Christology. Johan Calvin commented in <Institutes of the Christian Religion> that,
“We do not hold Christ to be free from all taint merely because he was born of a woman unconnected with a man but because he was sanctified by the Spirit, so that the generation was pure and spotless, such as if would have been before Adam’s fall. Let us always bear in mind, that wherever Scripture adverts to the purity of Christ, it refers to his true human nature, since it were superfluous to say that God is pure.”(<Institutes of the Christian Religion >, Book 2 Chapter 13 Section 4)
Calvin adverts that that Jesus was born from Virgin Mary itself does no verify that Jesus is innocent. Jesus was innocent because He was conceived through the Holy Spirit and He is God the Father. If this is the only Gospel in 2000 years and the secret of Immanuel, then we know what Ryu’s evangelism is. Ryu’s Darakbang says Jesus is sinless because God is the Spirit. Based on this logic, it would be safe to say that saints who received the Holy Spirit are also sinless.
7) Non biblical theories on right to mobilize Angel and to bind Satan based on Ryu’s Darakbang
This has been causing problems but Ryu continues to support the idea through his Darakbang training manuals despite that he had promised to make corrections in the past. This implies that he still agree to such concept. In the Bible, an Angel is found to help man often. Orthodox Theology discusses Satan and Angel’s activities and history but does not state that believers have the power to mobilize Angel and bind Satan. What Ryu supports is closely related to the Modalistic Christology.
Ryu promised he will not use such terms again in an open hearing just to get away. The phrases bind Satan and mobilize angel implies that Modalistic Trinity ‘God Himself’ (Christ) dwelling in faithful Christians give orders direct. This is the same concept with the God-man theory from the Local Churches.
Incarnation of Jesus Christ is fundamentally different from indwelling of the Holy Spirit in God’s children. Incarnation refers to God the Son appearing as true human to redeem us. Although He was a man, He had the personality of God the Son. Hence, He is not two but one Christ, my Jesus Christ and my God who deserves our worship. Incarnation of Jesus Christ is basically different from indwelling of the Holy Spirit in saints and it is not the God-man theory that claims man can be God. But Darakbang views the two as if they mean the same and develops various religious doctrines under the name of ‘secrets’. It claims man has the power to ‘mobilize armies of angel’ and ‘bind Satan’, which only God can do. This is an essentially different Gospel from the one that we believe in. Let’s take a look at Ryu’s message in <Jesus’ Name> in Gospel Messages for the Field.
“What is the difference between calling the name of the Lord Jehovah and calling on Jesus? The difference lies in whether God comes inside us or not. Jesus coming inside us to be with us is what we call ‘acceptance’.”
“Thus, when we call on Jesus, we will meet God at first hand. In the name of Jesus has the power of enabling us to meet God. This is where ’I am in the Father and the Father in me’ and ‘I am in Jesus Christ and Jesus Christ in me’ came from. We need to understand properly.”
“When we expel evil we would say, ‘In the name of the Lord Jesus Christ of Nazareth, I command evil spirits out!’. But one who knows more would say, ‘’Jesus Christ inside me commands you to come out!’ This would be more accurate.” (<Gospel Messages for the Field>, Jesus’ Name)
“If I expel ghosts with the power of the Holy Spirit of God, the Kingdom of God would already be within us. How can man loot household goods of the strong without first tying up the strong” Only after binding the strong can he loot goods. – Christ’s power and authority that combines the power of the sky above and the power of the earth below is our background. And we already have spirit of the Creator of heaven and earth inside us. If we depend on His authority and pray in the name of Jesus Christ, Satan will be bound and expelled.” (<Gospel Messages for the Field >, Chapter 6 Prayers that Receive Answers)
“This great Jesus Christ, the Lord came to people. You call on Jesus and you are calling Jehovah. You call on Jesus and Satan’s power will be destroyed. Work of wonders will unfold. Therefore, the phrase ‘I command in the name of Jesus Christ!’ is nothing usual. Everything will work. It means that God shall directly command! And He will show wonders.”(<Gospel Messages for the Field>, Chapter 19 The Resurrection of Jesus Christ)
“Jesus’ name has huge authority over servants of Lord and in particular, servants who pray. But that authority is not used. If it is not used, then no work will be done. There are two things to be commanded.
First, do not soothe but command the evil spirit. Second, command the angels. And we receive answers right away. The effect will be enormous. Why? Because you used the authority.” (<Gospel Messages for the Field >, Chapter 4 Jesus’ Authority)
Ryu says angels are ‘servants of God’ and, at the same time, ‘servants who do errands on our behalf’, based on which he argues that Christian saints have the power to mobilize angels in many occasions. However, in both New and Old Testaments, not once was an angel called by a saint but it was God who sent angels with His sovereignty.
2. Darakbang demonology similar to Kim Ki Dong Berea dualistic demonology
Unlike Berea, Darakbang does not claim that demons are spirits of unbelievers after death. This is the basis which Darakbang protest that it is different from Kim Ki Dong Berea demonology. However, looking into the basic arguments of Darakbang, we find that it is the same as dualism demonology from Berea.
1) Distorted interpretation on the purpose of Jesus Christ coming to this world
There are two Scriptural phrases that Darakbang values the most. One is the Genesis 3:15 and the other, 1 John 3:8. In Genesis it reads, “I will make you and the woman hate each other; her offspring and yours will always be enemies. Her offspring will crush your head and you will bit her offspring’s heel.” In 1 John it reads, “The reason the Son of God appeared was to destroy the devil’s work.” Similar to Berea theory, Ryu advocates that Jesus came to dwell among us with the aim to destroy the devil and all problems will be resolved once we accept Jesus Christ. Ryu views that this is the key to the Gospel and spreading this message is evangelism. Take a look at Ryu’s < Gospel Messages for the Field >.
“1 John 3:8 states that the Son of God appeared to destroy the devil’s work. Then, what is the devil’s work? It is the incident in Genesis 3. Man did something and God made him die. He came to destroy this. And Jesus Christ assigned this task to us. Therefore, destroying devil’s work is spreading the Gospel. Rome 10:13 reads, ‘For whoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.’ When we call upon the name of Jesus, power of evil will be destroyed.” (<Gospel Messages for the Field >, Chapter 42 The Reason to Remain Vigilant)
It defines evangelism as “screening out those who worship idols”(<Darakbang What is Evangelism?>, Darakbang training center for world evangelism, p14). This tells us that the purpose of spreading the
Gospel is not to save us from death as a result of broken relationship with God but to save us from the devil.
Let’s read Kim Ki Dong’s <Selection of question and answers on religious belief> No 97.
“Relationship between 1 John 3:8 and John 3:16: God’s intention is to punish the devil.…Therefore, God created heaven and earth to destroy devils and made man in His image. …Plan to punish the devil came before salvation of men. In other words, we should know that God did not plan to send the only Son to save men because He loves men, but men were created to send His only Son.”(Kim Ki Dong’s <Selection of question and answers on religious belief> No 97 p199)
As one can see from the above, there is more weight on the fact that Jesus came to earth to destroy devils than on the purpose to save men.
2) Darakbang’s sins of ancestors similar to generational curses theory
Ryu teaches ancestors’ sins apart from the original sin and voluntary transgression. He preaches the theory of generational curses 7) that says sins of ancestors are inherited to descendants. What is ‘sins of ancestors’ that Ryu mentions? Does he mean to say that all sins aside form the original sin and transgression of ancestors are passed on to descendants?
Ryu said, “Jesus was born from a woman and thus does not have sin.” This reflects theories from Berea that ① He is by the Spirit God and thus without sin ② Jesus was born from a woman and thus does not inherit ancestral sins. (<The Gospel Letter>, Basic Message p 10, 4th Meeting Why is Jesus the Only Way for Us? 5th Meeting Why Don’t I Have Assurance?)
Berea Kim Ki Dong claims that Adam’s spirit continues to be inherited but sin of woman is not passed on. He says that by believing in Jesus, we will be free from original sin, transgression and sins of our ancestors.
Ryu details on diseases from these sins in his <The Gospel Letter> 10th Meeting.
“There are three causes of disease; ① Sins of ancestors – Idol worship is punished to the third and fourth generations (Exodus 20:4, 2 Samuel 12:15). These unknown diseases can not be cured by medical treatment. ② Original sin – Genesis 3 incident. Because the unsaved are under the curse, healing is impossible. ③ Transgression (2 Kings 5:27, 2 Chronicles 21:12~19, 1 Corinthians 5:5) Serious diseases fall upon you due to continued gambling or drinking and the like. ”(<The Gospel Letter > 10th Meeting Why Does Prayer Heal Diseases?)
Kim Ki Dong’s < The Original Teachings of Berea Academy > p659 reads as follows.
“Eve sinned first but why is Adam’s sin being inherited not that of Eve’s? Because God formed man first and then made one spirit so this spirit is being inherited. Through Adam, a spirit is passed on like a vine. Although Eve was the first to eat from the tree of knowledge of good and evil and sinned, this sin is not inherited. Adam ate from the tree passed to him and disobeyed. This sin of disobedience is being inherited. That is why satanic sin of Eve stays with her and is not passed on.” (<The Original Teachings of Berea Academy >, p659)
Ryu said that diseases are curse from ancestral sins and that the incurable diseases will go down to the third and fourth generations. That is, medically incurable diseases are due to sins of ancestors. Then those who believe in Jesus Christ should not be afflicted by incurable diseases and those with medically incurable diseases should be non- believers only. This argument also comes from dualism demonology and shares the same logic with the theory on generational curses.
3) Darakbang’s ransom to Satan theory identical to Berea theory 8)
The phrase from 1 John 3:8 “The reason the Son of God appeared is to destroy the devil’s work” appears multiple times in both Ryu and Darakbang training manuals. Darakbang was criticized as Satan ransom theory and it can still be very much misunderstood. It simply interpreted redemption as being in debt. It argues that price for sin has been paid by the book. Take a look at Ryu’s writings below.
“Ransom is paid in exchange for something, right? He made payment to Satan in return for redemption of humankind for all our failure. And then, Jesus opened the door. “(<Why is Darakbang Ryu Kwang Su called a cult?>, 142~143)
“Without confidence in this, everything will become uncertain. With no confidence, everything becomes meaningless. Those who don’t have this assurance are no better than slaves who still work in harsh fields even after they have been redeemed, or debtors who falsely think they owe money even after they have paid all their debts.”(<Gospel Messages for the Field>, Chapter 22 & 29, 1 Assurance of Salvation)
As said above, Ryu interprets the Atonement as being indebted to swindlers, and that we are indebted to Satan and had to pay ransom to Satan. Concept of atonement (redemption) is not “debtors paying all their debt” as defined by Ryu but “Jesus took upon Himself to atone for our sins and to make us right with God.” To be more specific, atonement means “to recover relationship with God by making up for a wrong. For “the wages of sin is death” blood of animals served to atone for sin in the Old Testaments while in the New Testaments, Jesus Christ sacrificed His life. Ryu uses the same expression that Berea uses by saying our redemption in Jesus is a ‘resolution by law.’
Professor Min Byeong Wan who teaches systematic theology at Darakbang gives a lame excuse about Ryu’s Satan ransom theory that it is to “get even with Satan.” If that should be the case, how is he to explain the below? Take a look at what is stated in < The 12 Meaning of Acceptance >.
“Acceptance is meeting all legal conditions to receive answers to prayers”, “Accept Jesus. Acknowledge the fact that Jesus is with you and embrace His power. All conditions are met. All legal conditions have been satisfied. Jesus died on the cross by law. Jesus’ resurrection is also a victory by law. Jesus paid for all our sins. As per Genesis 2:17…Therefore, we should not think little of the term acceptance. Acceptance means that one is qualified to receive answers from God. The person has achieved Genesis 3:15. Everything is addressed in accordance with law. Those who accept Jesus are qualified with all conditions of prayer. And by spreading the Gospel, he or she is blessed to save a soul that is more valuable than what the whole world contains. Do you agree? He or she has truly possessed all.”
Berea argues that Jesus legitimately addressed demon.
“Some would ask ‘Why did God show tolerance for so long when He could destroy demon immediately when it challenged Him?’ But God did not acknowledge and tolerate a betraying angel. God wanted to deal with illegitimacy in a legitimate way.”(Kim Ki Dong <Demonology> Vol. 1, p66)
The above statements display the concept of saving God’s people by compensating the Satan.
4) The remnant theory that they are the only ones left in the last age
‘Darakbang uses the term ‘Remnant (the one who will be left behind) 9)’ indicating young people in its church and say that it refers to ‘the next generation’. However, in the Scripture, remnant is not used for such meaning. Remnant in English means ‘those who are left behind’ and was used by the Seventh-Day Adventist Church and Jehovah’s Witnesses. This word has an exclusive meaning that they, as a minority, are the only ones left and saved, while the others will be subject to the final judgment.
Darakbang explains that its ‘remnant’ refers to the stump in Isaiah 6:13. In Isaiah, it says only the small stump will be left. God said ‘Yet I save seven thousand in Israel who have never bowed down. These seven thousand are those who kept their faith in God until the end. There should be no issue if the phrase ‘the ones left behind’ refers to ‘Faithful Christians’. However, if it is to be used to refer to a specific church, then it would be considered a heresy even if the excuse is that the phrase indicates the next generation. It would be the same as claiming that the 144,000 in Revelation 7 are members of that one specific church.
In Romans (9:27~29), it reads that Isaiah cries out concerning Israel, “Though the number of the sons of Israel be like the sand of the sea, it is the remnant that will be saved. For the Lord will carry out his sentence on earth with speed and finality. It is just as Isaiah said previously “Unless the Lord Almighty had left us descendants, we would have become like Sodom, we would have been like Gomorrah.”
It is clear that the remnant refers to believers that God left behind not a specific group.
Sources quoted in this report are the most updated Darakbang training manuals including <The Gospel Letter>, <Gospel Messages for the Field>, <Basic Messages> and < The 12 Meaning of Acceptance>. Also, I have quoted online materials (2012) downloaded from Yewon Church Immanuel Methodist Church. Online sources include recording of Pastor Ryu’s sermons that well presents his ideas undisclosed at normal times. The Local Churches’ theories are quite bluntly expressed.
Darakbang emulates the Local Church theories as they are. It is unclear whether these theories come from Pastor Lee Tae Wha at San Hae Won Church but the concepts are similar. Darakbang is almost identical to the Local Churches particularly when it comes to the key doctrines of God-man theory, basis of which include ① Modalism ② Apollinarianism and ③ Anthropology. It uses the same phrases
such as ‘experience Christ’, ‘Reality of Christ’ and ‘secret of Immanuel’. It also interprets the meaning of resurrection from the perspective of Modalism at Local Churches and argues that Jesus came as the Holy Spirit. It plainly repeats arguments of Berea Dualism, Demonology and exclusive ecclesiology.
In conclusion, ICKKH hereby reconfirms and officially announces Darakbang as a heresy in its nature. The leading 9 denominated Christian Churches in Korea have already defined Darakbang as a cult. Therefore, any group or personnel supporting Darakbang or claiming Darakbang not a heresy shall be defined as supporters of a cult and be subject to warning and be heavily reprimanded. Additionally, denominated churches or organizations that enlist Darakbang as a member shall be defined as cult-supporters.
1. From Darakbang
<The Gospel Letter>, < Gospel Messages for the field >, <Basic Messages>, <The 12 Meaning of Acceptance> and training manuals
Ryu Kwang Su, <Spreading Level> > and <Biblical Darakbang Evangelism>
Hoe Man Hyeok, <What is Darakbang evangelism?>, Darakbang training center for world evangelism, 1996
And many other Darakbang materials and streaming videos on sermon
2. From Christian churches critical of Darakbang
Park Jin Kyu, <Why is Darakbang Ryu Kwang Su called a heresy>, KyungHyang Publication, 1997
Park Yong Kyu, <Darakbang; Heresy Research Report>,『Shinhakjinam』no.282, 2005
The General Assembly of the Reformed Presbyterian Churches in Korea Heresy Investigation Committee Theological Committee, “Heresy Review Report and Assessment on Theological Issues regarding Evangelism General Assembly Pastor Ryu Kwang Su”, 16 Apr 2011
Mi Name Ki, <Ryu Kwang Su’s Darakbang is a different evangelism>, 2012
Lee Young Ho, <The Local Church Theories in Ryu Kwang Su’s Darakbang>, 2012
Goryo Theological Seminary, “Report on Ryu Kwang Su and Darakbang Evangelism School,” <Church & Faith>, Nov 1995
Park Jin Kyu, “Relevance between Ryu’s Darakbang Doctrine and Kim Ki Dong’s Demonology,” <Church & Faith>, Aug 1995
The Korea Presbyterian General Assembly Theological Study Report, “Truth of Darakbang movement from the Reformed Theology Viewpoint,” <Church & Faith>, Nov 1995
3. From the Local Churches
Witness Lee, <The Triune God to Be Life to the Tripartite Man>, Living Stream Ministry
Witness Lee, <The Practical Way to Live a Life According to the High Peak of the Divine Revelation in the Holy Scriptures>, Living Stream Ministry
Witness Lee, <New Jerusalem>, Living Stream Ministry
Witness Lee, < God’s Economy and the Proper Living of a God-Man>, Living Stream Ministry
Witness Lee, <The Economy of God>, Living Stream Ministry
Witness Lee, <How to enjoy God>, Living Stream Ministry
Watchman Nee, <The Spiritual Man>, Word of Life Books
4. From Berea Kim Ki Dong
Kim Ki Dong, <Original Teachings of Berea Academy>, Berea Press, 2005
Kim Ki Dong, <Studies on Demonology>(Vol 1, 2 and 3), Berea Press
Kim Ki Dong, <Spirits of Seduction>( Vol 1, 2 and 3), Berea Press, 1993
Kim Ki Dong, <The Picture of God’s Will that All Saints Must Know>, Berea Press, 2001
Kim Ki Dong, <Let Us Know the Holy Spirit>, Berea Press, 1992
Kim Ki Dong, <Selection of question and answers on religious belief>, Berea Press, 1999
Cheon Bong Jae, <New Wave in Korean Churches and Rev Kim Ki Dong>, New Knowledge Press, 1995
Kim Ki Dong, <Christ’s Healing and His Holy Signs in My Life >, Berea Press, 2002
Kim Ki Dong, <The Lord’s Prayer>, Berea Press, 1996
Kim Ki Dong, <Factors which Shade the Soul>, Berea Press, 2000
Kim Ki Dong, <The 7 Works>, Berea Press, 1998
5. <Church & Faith> and <Contemporary Religions>
“Public hearing to verify Pstor Ryu as a heresy,” <Church & Faith>, Oct 1998
“Darakbang recovers the Gospel in 2000 years,” <Church & Faith>, 20 Jan 2008
“Is the establishment of Darakbang solely for evangelism and out of pure passion or is it division of church?” <Contemporary Religions>, Feb 1998
“Watch Darakbang evangelism movement on the field,” <Contemporary Religions>, Oct 1996
Eom Mu Hwan, “What is the problem with Darakbang evangelism movement?” <Contemporary Religions>, Sep 1996
Cho Chan Gu, “Is Ryu’s Darakbang evangelism movement valid inside and out?” <Contemporary Religions>, Dec 1995
1) Source: Bible Power (http://www.biblepower.co.kr) 28 Jun 2011 (Dispute over the General Assembly of The Reformed Presbyterian Churches in Korea embracing Darakbang Korea Presbyterian Church Evangelism General Assembly), Park Dong Il
2) Apollinarious was a bishop of Laodicea who did not acknowledge unity of Jesus’ divinity and humanity but claimed the theory on monolithic personality. It acknowledged Jeusus’ divinity only and denied His humanity. It says Jesus’ soul is God but His body is human. God’s logos and human body combines with a single gender. Since soul controls human, God’s divinity controls Christians and argues Monophysitism. It was reprobated as heresy in Constantinople in year 381.
3) Sabellius was a theologian from the 3rd century. He was born in Pentapolis in Egypt and proclaimed Modalistic Monarchianism like Arius. Along with Praxeus, Epigonus, Noetus and Cleomenes, Sabellius supported Modalistic Trinity that says God appears in three modes.
4) Key theories from Local Churches include Modalism that claims God=Jesus=Holy Spirit and Man can become God (God-Man).
5) Jeong Yun Seok, <Church & Faith> 20 Jan 2008, “Darakbang recovered the Gospel in 2000 years/Pastor Ryu sticks to his argument that Darakbang is special. This has triggered controversy about whether it is a heresy or not.”
6) Ibid. Ryu Kwang Su’s comments
7) Cindy Jacobs and Lee Yun Ho, a missionary, spread the idea that sins done in the past by ancestors run in the family, and even to those who believe in Jesus. Korean religious community defined the theory as a heretical belief.
8) Satan ransom theory advocates that the death of Christ on the cross was a ransom paid to Satan to save people held captive. This is a non-biblical heretical teaching that began from Manichaeism in the Early Churches and developed by Origen.
9) The remnant theory claims that there are those left for God’s salvation while Isaiah and other prophets warned the fall of Israel, which was interpreted by St. Paul in Romans 9:27 and 11:5. “A remnant chosen by grace” and “only the remnant will be saved” tell us that God did not destroy all who sinned but left some behind for God himself. 1 Kings 19:18 also mentions the 7000 remnants.