Bible Study: Providence 30 Lessons
Providence conducts a bible study all over the world referred to as the 30 lessons or Principles. The bible study is not like any other bible study you might have experienced. It’s a series of lectures that are progressive, meaning you have to learn the beginner lessons to understand the intermediate lessons, and based upon that foundation of principles we teach a few advanced lessons that help the reader to understand how the prophecies of the Old Testament and New Testament apply to this advanced time period.
Misunderstandings caused by tabloids
There is a common misunderstanding among outsiders who were exposed to media broadcasts about Providence back in 1999-2005. At the time the news portrayed the organization as a cult that worships it’s founder as a god. The broadcast called the organization JMS, an acronym which members had used to mean, “Jesus Morning Star,” but the news acted as though JMS stood for the initials of the founder’s name thus making it look as though members worship him. JMS has never been used officially by members to refer to the organization. Members refer to the organization as, “Providence.” Pastor Joshua Jung Myung Seok often preaches only God and the Lord Jesus Christ can be considered, “Lord,” and that any person that claims to be Jesus, God, the Holy Spirit, or the Lord of second coming is false and idolatrous. These contradictions between public perception and the organization’s actual teachings have caused problems for members in the past.
Providence 30 lessons teach both about the Physical & the Spiritual
The Providence 30 lessons are based on a fundamental understanding of the difference between the physical and the spiritual. One can see that Jesus did the same in his sermons as he often preached in parables about the, “kingdom of Heaven.” Many traditional interpretations of the bible center only on the physical world and thus try to apply principles of the physical world to scriptures that refer to strictly spiritual phenomena. These strict literal physical interpretation are what have caused so many apparent contradictions between science and religion over the past century.
Art, science and medicine has made a lot of progress ever since the Renaissance. It was during that time that we began translating and printing the bible into spoken languages. The world also began implementing literacy for the masses as the world of academia transferred from religious scholars to the secular domain. So we have been reading the bible for ourselves for over 400 years, yet our interpretations of the bible have not really changed since the reformation. Unlike fundamentalist Christian theology, this bible study does not introduce interpretations that require one to disregard recent advances in science. If God created the world, then we should be able to resolve the conflicts between science and religion by considering both the laws of the physical world and the principles of the spiritual world which which only the domain of religion can teach.
Resolving contradictions contained within traditional bible interpretation
Pastor Joshua Jung Myung Seok’s teachings address many of the unresolved debates held within Christianity over the past 2000 years. In the Providence 30 lessons, there are lessons that specifically address the confusion over Creationism, Adam & Eve, Noah’s flood, Predestination, the humanity and divinity of Jesus, what constitutes heretical teachings, what happens after we die, and how the prophecies of the bible will be fulfilled in the last days.
The key Providence teachings center on the Lord’s imminent second coming. The most common theme is that the most critical thing to do in this time period is to be prepared spiritually by living a life of faith while physically alive in the body. Another common theme is that believers should raise their level of love for the Lord to that of a bride relationship of spiritual love with the Lord as preached in the Matthew 25:1-13 in the last book of the bible, Revelation.
Though Providence churches share fundamentally the same doctrines of salvation based on Jesus Christ as most Christian denominations our doctrines and teachings stress the importance of the effects of our daily life of faith on our spiritual life in the eternal world. Through the Providence 30 lessons, we interpret many of the aspects of the bible far less literally. Rapture, resurrection, advent, and even the Lord’s second coming are understood to have both a physical and mental aspect, but also a fundamental spiritual aspect – unlike most traditional Christian bible interpretations which teach a strictly physical resurrection, rapture, and second coming.
Providence church members are also known for their high standards of daily life which typically exclude smoking, drinking, and habitually drinking unhealthy amounts of caffeine. With more of an emphasis on nurturing the spirit through the daily life of faith members are also known for waking up early for prayer and for regular service attendance.
One key difference between Providence 30 lessons and the typical Christian teachings about the last days is that Providence stresses that the Lord Jesus Christ absolutely will not come back in his physical body from out of the sky at the second coming, but will come in spirit and must be received in spirit, and that He will work through people who are physically alive as God has always done in every time period.
Jung Myung Seok continues to reveal the deep secrets of revelation hidden within the bible, and each year our doctrine expands to contain more and more about the realities of this world and the spiritual world through the Providence 30 lessons.