Jung Myung Seok

The Beginning of Life

The Beginning of Life

At the beginning, 1945, Pastor Jung Myung Seok was born in a remote village (Wolmyeongdong) as the third child in family of seven children. He started believing in God’s existence at a young age of six. Being born in a village where the Christian gospel has not been preached to, he came to believe in Jesus when a christian elementary school started to share the gospel with the children in class. After which, Christian missionaries came to distribute free bibles to each household in Songmak-ri. That was when he first started to read the bible. 

  • Visiting the dangerous “Narrow Gate Rock” at Dragon’s Gate Cave

    The Dragon’s Gate is truly a precious place; there’s a breathtaking rock perched on the cliff, a pine tree that grows out of a rock, and the exquisite scenery of the deep valley of Daedun Mountain. 

    The Dragon’s Gate also boasts of many special rocks. Some look like human sculptures, some are as tall as towers, some take the form of a person in prayer, some have images of figures embracing each other and yet others are in the shape of animals. 

    The Knife Rock

    There is a particular rock by the Dragon’s Gate cave which looks like it has been split into half by a big knife. Because of that, the space in the middle of the rock formed a narrow path – so narrow that someone with a big build simply cannot pass through. This path was right next to the spot where I frequently prayed during my ascetic life of prayer.

    When I started leading a church, I brought some members to see Dragon’s Gate. A curious male Deacon wanted to visit the place where I prayed, but his big build made it impossible to pass through. However, he exclaimed: “Teacher, even though I am big in size, I am really good at climbing mountains!”

    I asked him: “You are heavier than me by at least 10 kg, are you sure that you are able to pass through?” 

    He answered: “I can definitely pass through it effortlessly! In the past, I’ve frequently climbed steep mountains where I could have easily fallen to my death. Let me first have a try at the entrance. If I really cannot pass through, I’ll just look from there instead of going further.”

    I cautioned him: “There is no one to help you when you are travelling on that path. You have to rely on your own skills and abilities to pass through.”

    The male Deacon then entered the entrance of the narrow path. I asked: “Can you go in?” His worried wife pleaded with him: “My dear, listen to the Teacher! Please don’t go in.” The male Deacon answered: “Don’t scare me!” 

    After which, he stepped onto the difficult path, pressing his back onto the inner rocks, and walked a few steps, moving even slower than a tortoise. It was so difficult that he could only inch forward a tiny step at a time. Also, he had to stick his back and both hands against the rock to move forward.

     Then, he stopped and said to me: “It is so difficult to get through!” 

    I replied: “If you are not confident, come back out!” He replied: “Even though it is very difficult to go forward, but I will try!”

     I said: “Right now, I can only pray for you. Please call out to the Lord to grab hold of you tightly!” The male Deacon then called out to the Lord while he was moving forward and he succeeded in the end!

     I went on the path to take a look at the place behind the rock where he was. He was breaking out in cold sweat and was so nervous that he froze up.

     His wife said to him: “Since I am smaller in size than you, I can definitely pass through as well!”

    What I realized from this incident

    On that day, we all went through the path in between “the rock that was sliced apart with a knife” – the Narrow Gate Rock, which is symbolic of the narrow gate mentioned in

    Matthew 7: 13-14 

    “Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it. 14 But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it.”

    In our life too, we encounter situations like the narrow path – challenges abound and are difficult to overcome. We can now live up to a hundred years, but people might die 30, 50, or even 70 years earlier than expected due to a single accident – isn’t that scary? While praying in the mountains, I called out to the Lord countless of times to protect my life in the midst of danger.

    That was how I was able to survive the harsh weather over long periods of time during my ascetic life of prayer. In the face of danger, we can avoid death if we call out to the Lord earnestly. When we call out to the Lord, then He can lead us through the narrow gate of life. 

  • Becoming the Lord’s Body

    I’ve had a few close shaves with death. One such time was when I was overwhelmed with depressing thoughts, when I felt utterly useless and inadequate. But, in that moment, I was saved by Jesus. 

    It started with a rich businessman. I met an important businessman who was ill, and he lamented that his riches were useless because he had a sickly body. This struck me, and so I offered to pray for his health. After sincerely praying, he started feeling better and showing signs of recovery.

    Thankful for my prayers, he offered a gift in return. However, I simply told him that it would be good if he could believe in God and start going to church diligently, to which he promised. Upon his insistence to give me a gift, I told the church near my house needed a new bell, since the old bell had been spoilt for awhile and so, the villagers now lacked something that could remind them to work and rest. Immediately, he agreed and gave me some money. I then used the money to head to the nearest city that sells church bells.

    I almost killed myself

    On the journey, I bumped into a group of students. Looking at them, I felt the fire of evangelism in me light up. I thought to myself:

    how should I approach them? Should I start with, “how are you? Do you go to church?” No – this way of starting the conversation is so old-fashioned; they’ll definitely ignore me. 

    Or maybe: “Hello! The weather is really nice, right? I guess you all are going somewhere for a holiday?” No, that sounds odd, too. Or I could ask them, “Hi, have you all read the bible? Do you have any questions? I have read it many times, and have lots of comments!” But asking this way is too unexpected too. 

    The desire to evangelise them burst out from my chest as I ran through the scenarios in my head. However, I couldn’t gather the courage because I was too shy and my mouth was not able to finish what I wanted to say. Every time I finally mustered the courage to walk over to the students, my mind went blank and I would dejectedly walk back. The students looked at me, walking towards them then walking backwards. Two steps forward, one step back. Feeling utterly disappointed in myself, I kept rebuking myself. I was angry that I couldn’t do God’s work, even after He serendipitously put an evangelism candidate before me. You can’t even say a single word, and yet you want to evangelise and become an announcer? Believing myself useless, I was frustrated that I’d continuously disappointed Jesus and worried my parents.

    I got more and more agitated and more upset. In a moment of anger, I left my seat and ran out of the train carriage door. In that moment, I truly felt like dying. Jump down and die – that’s the best solution. Images of my failure to talk to the students flashed in my mind. I closed my eyes and was prepared to jump down.

    Jesus saved me

    Suddenly, something grabbed my neck, I was so shocked that the thought of jumping off the train was banished immediately. “Who was it who grabbed me? Is it the train driver? I did not see him just now?” I thought. I looked around but strangely, there was not a single person.

    “It must be my reaction from wanting to escape from death. I’m despicable. I am really unbelievable. I do not even have the determination to die!”

    When I was shaking my head at myself, I heard a voice that is about to cry saying: “I have already died for you. Why then, do you want to die?”

    Immediately I recognized it as Jesus’s voice. Jesus said it in a very sad tone and that frightened me. I told Jesus that I felt useless because I didn’t even have the courage to talk to people, I was unable to help the Lord to spread the gospel. I cried tears while confessing my stupidity. Jesus replied saying:

    “A child would not be able to hold a very big object, right? Why are you discouraged and chose death because of this? Do you know how precious life is? Do you know how sad I am without a body?”

    I replied, “But, everything I do, I don’t do well.”

    “You will do well after you’re grown up. Let’s start by evangelizing one by one. Live with me and become my body.”

    Since that incident, Jesus’ words became engraved in my mind. I evangelised one at a time, thinking that Jesus is working through my body. One step at a time, I spread the word to the whole nation, and now to the world. I’ve since become more confident in preaching the word to crowds. 

    Although I’m no longer young, I’m still driven by the fiery heart to live for the Lord. I confessed to Jesus every day saying: “Lord, don’t worry about me, I am living for the Lord, and living to fulfill the will of the Lord. Thus, no matter what hardship I faced, it is ok. I am a happy man!

    We’ve all been there; there are days where you feel like giving up on yourself because you feel that you’re lacking. Listen to my story – even though it’s hard now, know that if you entrust it to the Lord, you will overcome this difficulty and do big things and become a happy person! 

  • The Story of Two Eggs

    Recently, an incident that occurred when I was nine came to mind. Some guests were visiting my house but there was nothing at home that we could serve them with. So, my mother gave me some money to buy two eggs from the village marketplace down the mountain and instructed me to make a quick trip.

    The journey to and fro the marketplace was about 6 km. Going to the marketplace, I could make it down quickly, but coming back was a different story. Since I had to run with an egg in each hand, it slowed down my progress. With my mother’s voice instructing me to quickly come home, I decided to put an egg each in my pocket, freeing my hands so I could sprint home quickly. I ran home all the way, slowing down only when I was nearing my house.

    Never did I expect..

    As I stuck my hand into my pockets to retrieve the eggs, I came into contact with something wet. With a sinking heart, I realised that the eggs had broken due to the rigorous movement of my sprint. My face paled and my heart quickened. 

    What should I do? What have I done? Oh, why did I put the eggs in my pocket, knowing that they would break? Mother is still waiting to cook these eggs for our guest! 

    I considered running back to get two more eggs, but was stopped when I realised I had no money left. What should I do? The more I thought about it, the more absurd thoughts would come to mind. Briefly, I even contemplated running away from home. Although I was mere metres away from home, I continued to wander around outside aimlessly for a long time. Even when the moon hung high in the sky, I still didn’t return home.

    Eventually, my mother came out to look for me and found me in a bush nearby. “What are you doing here? Why didn’t you go home after so long? I was so worried about you!”

    “I’m sorry mom, I broke the egg…” I cried as I spoke.

    “The eggs broke? How?”

    “You told me to come back quickly so I placed the eggs in my pockets so I could run faster and return sooner. I only realized the eggs broke after that.”

    “You didn’t dare to come home because of this?”

    “Yes… I’m sorry mom…”

    “Don’t be silly. If the eggs broke, so be it. It isn’t that big of a deal. Besides, the guests have long left. It’s late, let’s go home.”

    That day, my mother held my hands throughout the entire journey as we made our way back home. Holding her hands, all of my worries disappeared and warmth coursed through me.

    As I reflected about the past

    Thinking about it now, I realise that God will hold your hand throughout it all.

    Even as I think back to this incident years later, I laugh at my naivety – that I didn’t dare to go home simply because of two broken eggs.

    “Ah, just like how the things that caused us so many worries when we were young eventually turn out to be such a small matter after we have grown up, the Lord is telling me through this incident that the things that I am worrying about now will feel like nothing when I look back upon them in the future.”

    “Just as how I felt so at ease and without worries when my mother held onto my hands then, I want the Lord Jesus to lead me forward holding my hands. In this way, I will have nothing to worry about.”

    Year after year, I continued to live with this attitude till today and would like to pass on this mentality, encouraging teenagers who currently fear the difficulties ahead of them.

    Your difficulties are ordinary things, just like the two eggs. There is nothing that the Lord can’t fix. So, let the Lord hold your hand, and overcome all your difficulties with ease.

  • Become united with the Lord through the Spirit!

    If you pray deeply, you can become united with the Lord in spirit, and become a god in managing everything. Only by knowing the things that have happened in Providence in the past, can you know me and the Will of God and the Holy Son Jesus. They have raised me, taught me, and worked upon me. They allowed me to recall, and so I wrote this article

    The Eagle’s Peak

    The Dragon Gate Cave covers up to 70% of Mt. Daedun. While standing above the valley, your view would be blocked by the mountain, so only half of the scenery can be seen. As you climb the valley, you will see a towering peak with a striking image of an eagle’s head. This peak is about 10m away from the Dragon Gate Cave Observatory Tower. 

    Most people are unaware of this place as it is partially blocked by rocks and trees. It is only when you climb up this valley that you can experience the breathtaking view of the Dragon Gate Cave and the scenery surrounding Mt. Daedun.

    The peak is so tight that when one person kneels down, there is barely any space left. Therefore, it is very dangerous for two people to climb up together. If one falls, it would be a 100m drop. You would likely lose your balance and fall off, especially in times of typhoon. Therefore, like an abalone stuck to a rock, you would need to sit on the boulder while gripping tightly.

    From the peak, there is a beautiful view of the Dragon Gate Cave precipice, Seven Stars Peak, Taigu Temple Peak, and the boulders of the other peaks.

    In the Dragon Gate Cave also lies a tree that has withstood the test of time, thus the name ‘Thousand Year Pine Tree’. This tree is a masterpiece of nature. However, because the route to the peak is too dangerous, it later became out of bounds. Before it was made out of bounds, and before Mt. Daedun became a tourist attraction, I visited frequently.

    To get to the peak, you would have to climb a vertical rock cliff that is over a 100m high. Even if you could climb well, you would still feel fearful, because you’ll have climb the boulders, with only your bare hands, without any support. It is the most dangerous part when ascending the peak.

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    While praying here one day, the Lord told me to open my eyes. I opened my eyes, stood up and looked around. I could clearly see the boulders and cliffs spreading out from my position (Eagle’s head) to the Seven Stars Peak and Taigu Temple, just like an eagle spreading out its wings. In the Bible, the eagle is a symbol of ‘God’ and the ‘Messiah’. A place for training one’s mentality and receiving the grace of inspiration.

    The eagle’s head rock is a place where thoughts overflow. The Lord made me realize that this is the place where the thoughts of God and the Holy Son Jesus overflows. The Lord led me through the Holy Spirit, from where I first prayed (Dragon Gate Cave, Seven Star Peak Observatory Tower) to this place.

    From then on, I named this place the ‘Eagle’s Peak’. After which, I came to know understand why Jesus led me to realize that this place is formed in the shape of an eagle. 

    The Bible prophesied that God will send an eagle from the East.

    Isaiah 46:11

    “From the east I summon a bird of prey; from a far-off land, a man to fulfil my purpose. What I have said, that I will bring about; what I have planned, that I will do.”

    I realized these two things from the Lord: from Heaven’s point of view, the eagle is the Holy Son Jesus; from Earth’s point of view, it is the person who has come to testify as His body.

  • The Teacher

    How do you want to live your life? Do you simply go through the motions of life, existing from day to day? In my life, I can say that I’ve found meaning by spreading God’s Word because I’ve followed the teachings of the wisest teacher – the Lord.

    Who am I?

    I’ve always doubted myself – I’m not smart; I don’t think quickly; and I can’t speak well in front of crowds. I prayed, telling God sincerely: “Lord! I am ignorant and stupid. Now matter how deeply I think, there is just no possibility of me becoming smart. People constantly call me stupid, saying that my brain is useless. I thought that what I’ve done so far is wise, but I’ve realised that it was foolish and so, I’m a stupid person without wisdom. Yes! I now realise and acknowledge that I am stupid.” 

    My ignorance pained me, and I cried in agony. Suddenly, in that moment, I heard a voice gently comforting me: 

    “I already knew you are neither intelligent nor wise, so please stop cursing yourself. No matter how stupid and useless a person may be, as long as he has the heart to learn from someone wise, he can also gain wisdom. But no matter how smart and wise a person maybe, if he learns from a foolish teacher, he will definitely become a fool. Therefore, foolishness and lack of wisdom is not the problem; the problem is whether you follow the intelligent teacher or not.”

    This spurred me. With a renewed sense of motivation, I searched high and low for the wise teacher. Yet, I realised with disappointment, that in my village, no such person existed. 

    The Wise Teacher is non other than Jesus

    That night, while praying, I realised that the wise teacher is someone I already knew: the Lord himself. I confessed that Jesus was the one and only wise teacher. Since then, whenever I prayed, through my thoughts, the Lord will appear and teach me the words of the Bible. He taught me about the laws of creation and reasons of the universe. Gradually, I came to see and understand God’s words in a clearer manner. Scriptures that were once confusing became understandable.

    This continued for a few years. Then, I felt the Lord’s inspiration in my heart: Since I became the teacher who taught you, after learning from me, you too, go out and become the Teacher who teaches others about this word.

    Looking back at the past

    Years have passed since the Lord told me this. Till today, remembering what the Lord told me, I’ve been sharing the word of this time period to all parts of the world. With God’s word of the time period and God’s mentality, the Lord made me a wise teacher by letting me learn from Him.

    You too – who will you learn from? How do you want to live your life? This is the best time to think about making yourself. Then, find your wise teacher and make yourself into that great person by learning the Word of God. In this way, your spirit and body will become the greatest person on this earth.

  • What is the purpose of your life?

    After entering the spiritual world, your mentality, heart, and soul will grow to resemble God’s. You will come to know what you couldn’t understand in the world and about God. You will understand about the Holy Son, and will also understand and realize your path in life. That’s the significance of the spiritual world. 

    Entering the Spiritual World

    If you pray deeply, you can enter the spiritual world from the physical one. The spiritual world has thousands of levels. Whether it is entering a low-level spiritual world or a high-level spiritual world, so long as one enters the spiritual world, it is considered that one has succeeded in praying. 

    The physical body remains but the soul travels to the spiritual realm together with one’s mentality, thoughts, and heart. In the physical realm, one’s spirit will only exist at the level of the body.(one’s physical mentality, heart, and soul) However, if one’s mentality, heart and soul enters into the spiritual world, its spirit will exist in the spiritual realm as well. When this is done frequently, the spirit itself will be able to travel into the spiritual world successfully.

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    The infamous eagles peak that Pastor Jung Myung Seok used to pray on during his ascetic life prayer. He has command all members not to try to pray there for it was extremely dangerous

    The challenge of prayer that transcends the boundaries of this world. I have often cautioned that the famous eagle’s peak at Daedunsan mountain is extremely dangerous and steep and advised members not to try praying there.

    In order to offer a deep prayer that crosses from this world into the spiritual world, I often starved when I went to the mountain or cave to pray. Praying at the cliff of the rocks is difficult. If you have a physical body, how can you forget about the hunger, cold, heat, worries and anxieties and pray deeply? The only way is to forsake the sense of consciousness of the body. However, because the body lives is subject to the laws of the physical world, it is difficult to focus our thoughts and spirit to go into the spiritual world through prayer.

    Just like in this world, it is challenging to live in another country, all on your own. One has to invest a lot of time to adapt to living in the new country, and cannot assimilate well without changing their lifestyle. In the same way, this reason also applies when entering into the spiritual realm. That’s why it is not easy to go to the spiritual world.

    There was once, I started feeling cold in the midst of prayer, and I opened my eyes out of curiosity. Unknowingly, the day had already changed into night. In this way, I realized that I was so focused on prayer that I didn’t even feel the passage of time. For a physical person, because one prays physically, there is nothing to say when praying, so it is hard to pray deeply.

    If you pray spiritually, the Holy Spirit will inspire and move your heart, and you can feel the heart of the God, Holy Spirit and Holy Son. At that time, you will pray according to the inspiration that comes to mind. When you pray in that manner, you will not feel the passage of time. This will become not a prayer of mere words, but a prayer made using the heart, soul and spirit.

    Leading a spiritual life

    When you see the spiritual world, you will be able to differentiate between the good and bad path of life. You will also understand the reason for the existence of your spirit, the path of death in hell and also the path of Heaven where God dwells, and you can even meet with God. You have to meet the Saviour Lord, because it is through him you will know the complete path of life.

    Pastor Jung Myung Seok praying sincerely in the Hwetgol cave behind Wolmyungdong in the late 90s, while developing Wolmyeongdong. It was one of the prayer cave he used to pray in and studying the bible

    I know this because I have gone and found that path of life when I met the Lord through deep prayers into the spiritual world while suffering all kinds of difficulties and hardships praying at the mountains for over 20 years and more. I did this because more than anything else, I wanted to know clearly the purpose of my life. I wanted to meet the Lord since I believed he is the one who can answer all my questions about life.

  • Persistence & Perseverance

    Once, as I was about to go to church, it started pouring heavily. It was so heavy that I couldn’t even step outside. However, I told myself that I couldn’t skip service simply because of bad weather. Since I had no umbrella, I ended up dashing to church while covering my head. 

     

    The continuous rain through the night led to deeper streams – the river was about three meters high! I was terrified, and wondered if I should just head home instead. However, I steeled my resolve: I’d already made it this far, and I was determined to make it to church. 

     

    I took a ginger step towards the stream, but soon got weighed down by the water. Feeling my body leaning into the water, I frantically searched for something to hold on to. I was able to grab hold onto something which did not break even when I pulled it while taking a few more steps to cross the stream.

     

    After that, I had to cross another stream. This time, even more water came gushing, and the stream was far wider than the previous one. Though it came up all the way to my thighs, I managed to cross over and reached church safely. However, I found that there was no one

    God's burning and anxious heart

    However, I found that there was no one else in church. Even my mother, and the female elder, who always arrives earlier to ring the bell, were not there. I thought of God, and how He would feel when he saw that no one was in church to pray, wouldn’t He feel sad? I thought that I should comfort His heart, and prayed confessing that I would be faithful in doing His work.

    As I prayed, a miracle happened: a vision came to me, a huge fireball the size of the sun charging towards me. In that moment, a surge of energy came upon me and I felt God’s burning and anxious heart. With that feeling, I prayed even more earnestly to become a person of God and accomplish what people would not accomplish.

    Many years had passed since then. I realized only through one’s effort of being persistent and perseverance, could we come to understand and feel God’s presence and His love for us. I understood this principle while taking action to love God throughout my life.

  • Coming back to life, the story behind my name

    My mother told me that when I was three months old, I was almost buried alive. 

    At that time, I had jaundice; my skin was yellowish and I had difficulty breathing. I was sickly, frail, and so close to death. So, my mother covered my body with a thin comforter and pushed me to a cold corner of the room. She had planned to bury me in the hill behind the house at night. Everything had been prepared already – my mother had a pick and an earthen jar outside the house to bury me in. 

    When night fell, she picked me up and carried me to bury me. Even if he’s already dead, let me just look at him one more time before I bury him. She thought. 

    So, she pulled back the thin blanket. Looking at me with my eyelids tightly closed, she said silently:

    “This is the last time. Good bye. I couldn’t save you and now I let you go. I’m very sorry. Dear God, please let this child go to a wonderful world.”

    My Mum's grief

    But in that moment as she was about to pull the blanket over me, my eyes flew open! She looked at me as I blinked several times and closed my eyes. Yet although my eyes were alive, my body was completely stiff and dead. My mother cried. You struggled with all your strength to open your eyes so you could see your mom one last time before you leave. Thank you my child, good bye.

    She could not bear to bury me since my eyes were still alive. So, after she covered me again, she squatted next to me and kept watching. She thought in despair: “What’s the use that he is alive only in the eyes? When life has gone from his eyes too, I will carry him out and bury him.” 40 minutes later, she lifted the covering from me once more and saw me open my eyes and blink again! 

    Since my eyes still had life, she felt hopeful and could not bury me. She kept me covered with a thin comforter and peeked at me every now and then. I was so weak that I would only blink a couple of times and close my eyes again. She could not do anything but keep watching. She spent the whole night like that. 

    The next day, her mother-in-law asked her, “Did you bury the child?” My mother replied, “I wanted to see his face one more time before burying him.

    When I lifted the cover, he blinked his eyes. So I wondered if he would live. I spent the whole night awake.”  Then her mother-in-law chided her, “How could the child live? It’s not that he’s alive. It’s only the blinking of the eyes before he dies. He will not survive this morning and he will die before noon. Just go prepare breakfast.” 

    After my mother set the breakfast table, she went back to take a look at me. Then, she saw that my fingers were moving too. As time passed, the swelling of my face subsided and by that afternoon, I was showing signs of recovery, and by the third day, I fully came back to life. Only then, my mother could believe that it was God who saved my life. A person coming back to life is truly a miraculous joyous event. 

    My mother told me the story of how I survived. After that event, she named me ‘Myung Seok (명 Seok)’, because she thought I would live a long life. All my siblings’ names were given by my grandfather, but I was the only one who was named by my mother. She was deeply inspired by how I died and came back to life.

    The Chinese character for my name, ‘Myung’, means ‘bright.’ Just as the sun and the moon bury themselves behind the clouds and surface again, my life also dipped and surfaced in the past. The sun and the moon exist for as long as the time allotted by the Creator. A good name is a name with a good meaning. The Bible says this too. 

    I realized that the Lord had named me through my mother. In later days, while I was carrying out the work that the Lord entrusted to me, the second letter of my name, ‘Seok’ 锡 was changed to the ‘Seok’ 析  which means ‘to split, to interpret, or to be intelligent,’ based on the message of Matthew 3:10. In this way, together with the Lord, I made history splitting good and evil, and the old time and new time, by delivering the Word of God.

    You too, need to live up to the meaning of your name. I shared the story of how I died and came to life. Satan made me ill and tried to take my life away, but because the Lord saved me, I live my life only for him. Even now, I live every day following only the Lord’s Will, thanking Him and realizing how he saved my life.