Korean Church of Bethlehem

Pastors

The Bread of Life

“Bethlehem” means “the place of making bread” where Jesus Christ, the bread of life (John 6:35), was born. I welcome you and impart of you to visit the place of making the bread of life, the Korean Church of Bethlehem. When you check and taste the variety of bread here, I hope you will be touched by the great inspiration and grace of God.

A long time ago I was walking alone on 34th Street in Manhattan. It was lunch time. I was searching for food for lunch with nothing specific in mind and passed by a pizza store. Because I had never tried it before, while I was hesitating about whether to eat it or not, the shape of pizza looked similar to a Korean pancake called “bindaetuck” and made me curious. I decided to buy it for my lunch.

Holding a slice of pizza in my hand I looked at a person next to me who put the red pepper flakes coming out of the little holes of the jar. I copied him and was fascinated with the mixed taste of pizza with flour, cheese, and hot red pepper that was not available to me in Korea. The hot pizza just taken out of the oven made it taste more fascinating to me. Afterwards, I had pizza for lunch more often, especially when I was tied up.

Later on, besides the pizza, I could find other kinds of delicious food as I continuously lived in this country. In other words, without experience, there is no way to know the taste and nutrition of food.

Just like there are lots of different foods for us in the world, Jesus Christ (the Messiah) came to this world not only to give us the bread of life, but also to resolve our problems. God wanted to experience our suffering, agony, weaknesses, and various temptations (Hebrews 4:15).

In this world there are tremendous suffering, agony, hardship, temptation, broken heartedness, bitterness, and fear oppressing us without freedom. Instead of love, joy, and peace, there is disappointment due to anxiety, discontentment, and complaints. The world is the place where we become captives of the powers of death and failure. In this incorrigible world Jesus Christ was anointed by the Holy Spirit and worked under the plan of God, who wanted to save people.

To fulfill his will effectively, God established the church of God in this world that Hades (the power of death) cannot overcome. Then, he commanded us to do the same work as his.

He helped the believers accompanied with signs practice the same ministries that he did. This is what today’s churches should do.

Apostle Peter said, “Silver or gold I do not have, but what I have I give you. In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, walk.” (Acts 3:6) Like what Peter did, God gives believers the name and authority of Jesus Christ (Matthew 28:18-29, John 1:12).

Thus, believers overcome the world with what God gives them and have victory in life so that they can glorify the good God, the heavenly father who loves us.

Then Jesus declared, “I am the bread of life. He who comes to me will never go hungry, and he who believes in me will never be thirsty.” (John 6:35)

By having sincere faith in God, in Jesus’ name, I hope you will receive the name of Jesus Christ, eat the bread of life fully, and be filled with the spring of eternal life.

What do we believe and practice?

  1. God (the Creator) and Satan (the Devil; ruler holding the power of Death) exist. The spiritual world with angels and spirits and the physical world coexist.
  2. Man consists of spirit (life) which does not perish eternally.
  3. The eternally non-perishable spirit (life) leaves the flesh (death of body), and enters an eternal realm for eternal life.
  4. The eternal realm is the Heaven governed by God is love, and the Hell ruled by Satan(Devil) that is cursed.
  5. All men are to be judged by good and evil, and have eternal life in either heaven or hell.
  6. Jesus Christ, the only Son of God, was sent to the world and took judgment on behalf of all men. Those who believe in Him as the Savior will not receive judgment for hell, but will be the people of God in the Kingdom of God.
  7. The truth stated above is evidenced in the Bible, the word of God. The Bible is written by the Holy Spirit, the spirit of God.
  8. The Holy Spirit, the Spirit of God, will come into the spirits of those who believe in Jesus Christ as the Savior and confess it, and it will dwell in them.
  9. The Holy Spirit dwelling in the spirits of believers is a personality that has a relationship with believers, and grants to them various spiritual gifts and power to help with the correction of their personalities.
  10. Those who believe in Jesus Christ, confess it, and become witnesses will be accompanied with signs which prove the word of God in the Bible.
  11. Signs or spiritual gifts accompanied with believers do not originate from man’s power, but from God’s power and authority for the purpose of witnessing to Jesus Christ.
  12. Believers overcome the spirits of the world by the wisdom, power, and authority of the Holy Spirit, and they correct their personalities in order to be victors for God’s glory.
  13. By the grace of God, as the spirit and soul go well, the body will be healthy and everything else will prosper.
  14. The Korean Church of Bethlehem is engaged in special healing ministries that help people resolve various kinds of human problems and illnesses in common through Spiritual Healing Counseling which God conducts and guides from beginning to end.
  15. In the Korean Church of Bethlehem, the Holy Spirit helps people directly receive the answers of God, and makes them experience healing and correcting of the incorrigible problems of their personalities. Therefore, the well-being of the spirit and soul extends to prosperity with a healthy body. People will have the cheerful experience of a fresh start as men of happy families and decent members of society. Our ministries will help them bear spiritual fruit with which God will be pleased and through which God will be glorified.

What is the Mission of the Bethlehem Presbyterian Church?

Jesus, the Son of God, came into the world as a human whose flesh came from the Word in the beginning. He conducted many good works for people. The Bethlehem Presbyterian Church was founded to inherit the same virtuous work that Jesus did for people.

Jesus did good works for people in the world as follows:

  • Disseminated the good news of the kingdom of God.
  • Forgave sinners and saved them from destruction and death.
  • Healed the sick to help them live in joy.
  • Delivered demon-possessed people and people under the power of devils.
  • Comforted alienated people and people with heartache.
  • Encouraged hopeless people with the purpose of life.
  • Helped people acquire a new lives and made their lives abundant.

Likewise, the Bethlehem Presbyterian Church fulfills the will of God by doing same good works that Jesus did in the same method that Jesus used. In scripture, it says, “you may enjoy good health and that all my go well with you, even as your soul is getting along well” (3 John 1:2). We aim to realize the word of God by restoring the lives of Christians in this order. Then, God will be pleased to be glorified by His children who are renewed with a happy and respected life in Jesus.

The Vision of Pastors

The vision of pastors is that pastors and all the members of this church would receive faith, hope, and love through the grace of God, and then practice them.

First, we restore spirituality by letting Jesus Christ dwell in our hearts by faith. Restoration cannot be acquired by neither prayer, nor hope, nor love, but by letting the Holy Spirit come into us when we receive Jesus Christ in our hearts and by having faith in him.

Thus, faith comes into our hearts through the word of God. In contrast, hope and love are the ability to show things in our hearts outwards. So, those whose spirituality have not been restored by faith cannot have the power to express hope and love. Therefore, the first one we must have is faith, not hope or love.

Second, hope is the vision of pastors. It is said in 1 Peter 1:5-7:

“who through faith are shielded by God’s power until the coming of the salvation that is ready to be revealed in the last time. In this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while you may have had to suffer grief in all kinds of trials. These have come so that your faith—of greater worth than gold, which perishes even though refined by fire—may be proved genuine and may result in praise, glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed.”

Those who are saved by believing in Jesus Christ would be tempted by worldly spirits. The may suffer shortly by the temptations. When they overcome them, they will receive God’s credit, glory, and honor, which are more precious than gold. The power to overcome Satan’s temptation comes from hope.

It is also said in Romans 15:13, “May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.”

God helps us to be full of hope in our faith by the power of the Holy Spirit. Therefore, It is very important for those who have faith to be filled up with the Holy Spirit. The fullness of the Holy Spirit means that being ruled over by His personality. In other words, it means that the fullness of faith, hope, and love is equivalent to having the Holy Spirit.

Let’s sum up why it is said that love is the greatest out of faith, hope, and love. Faith is the basic condition of grace for salvation; hope is the inner power to expect the resurrection of one’s body; and love is the power to sacrifice ourselves for other people’s salvation.

Because of these levels, it is said that we must have faith, hope, and love; but love is the greatest. We not only value our lives, but also become Christians with love who can reach the level to love others’ lives.

The vision of a pastor is to become a man full of faith, hope, and love so that he can treat all lives equally.

The followings are extracts from the original article
written by Reporter, Byung Man Woo of New York Ilbo

Everything is for the Glory of God

The Reformed Union Theological Seminary, Rev. Dr. Yohan Lee assumed the Deanship
Cultivating God’s servants (ministers) is rewarding, but requires a great deal of responsibility. Isn’t it an important mission for a seminary to train a responsible man on God’s calling? To fulfill such a mission, Rev. Dr. Yohan Lee has assumed the Dean of the Reformed Union Theological Seminary. The following is a summary of my interview with Dr. Lee who speaks of his vision as the Dean.

 How do you feel about assuming the Deanship?

John Calvin said in his book, Institutes of the Christian Religion, “No knowledge of God, no knowledge of yourself. The Bible as the revelation of the word of God is the only medium to obtain knowledge of God.” Thus, Theology is developed for people to accept, learn, study, and train the revelation of God’s will that He makes people understand through His inspiration.

Therefore, the role of the Dean is to believe what is written in the Bible about the will of God (the theme of Theology) as Christian principle and to motivate teaching staff and students to be fully engaged in God’s teaching. For that, I am working and praying hard. Everything that we do is for the glory of God by knowing and teaching the Lord, who sacrificed for us because of His love toward us. When with joy and appreciation we do our best in tasks given to us, we can bear good fruit. Likewise, I accept taking on the Dean’s responsibilities and will try my best to perform this important mission adequately.

 Can you introduce the Reformed Union Theological Seminary (RUTS)?

RUTS is affiliated with the General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church in Korea (GAPC), whose members comprise over 4,000 local churches. It is 9 years old and the first one legally approved in the Eastern Area of USA among the 50 seminaries in the GAPC. The first Dean was Dr. Kuk Whan Cho and the 7th commencement was held this year.

Based on Calvinism’s Reformed Fundamentalism, RUTS applies Theology formed with the Reformed faith. It is a seminary following the conservative Reformed theology training to nurture ministers of Christ through the practice of the Westminster Confession of Faith.

The graduates of RUTS will receive degrees awarded by the Seminary of the General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church in Korea, approved by the Education Department of Korea. In addition, they are qualified to take the Pastoral Candidate Exam of the General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church in Korea. After they are ordained, pastors can transfer to GAPC in Korea and engage in the ministry as a member pastor.

RUTS offers college level and graduate level programs including the Ph. D Program. The Ph. D program of Christian Counseling has an especially unique curriculum which deals with the research in non-academic areas of the practical way of a Christian’s personality changes beyond theological theories.

 What is the vision of the Reformed Union Theological Seminary?

RUTS is under the umbrella of the General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church in Korea along with over 4,000 member churches. RUTS in New York complies with the Rules and Regulations of GAPC. With the Westminster Confession of Faith the goal is cultivating spiritual leaders for the body of Christ. I think those who study theology will become the important ministers of the 21st century which requires a high level of intellectual and spiritual qualifications. Time goes by and all the things in the world change. But, the word of God remains same. RUTS in New York implements the mission to train faithful disciples of the Lord in Calvinism’s Reformed Fundamentalism of GAPC. The seminary will provide education and training to improve faith quality, personal quality, spiritual quality, and preacher quality.

The Lord said, “But I, when I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all men to myself.” (John 12:32 NIV) Thus, through the spirit of the cross God’s children on call will learn the Lord, who is the path, the truth, and the life and discipline in His word with the professors practical dedication in the ministries.

 What is the goal of the Reformed Union Theological Seminary?

As Jesus Christ said, “…..you will be my witnesses …… to the ends of the earth.”(Acts 1:8 NIV), we will transform “those called by God into leaders.” Our goal in the course of education and training for self-preparation and the leadership quality is as follows: First, as leaders students establish clear religious belief by experiential faith. Second, students become mature Christians with moral and religious personalities as leaders. Third, students institute leadership through experiential faith.

Students will be trained and will realize in academic ways by studying and researching the fact that these goals can be attained by only the Bible, only faith, only obedience, and only the grace of God.

 Can you introduce yourself?

I was ordained in July, 1990. Currently, I am a senior pastor of the Korean Church of Bethlehem located at 140 Forest Avenue, Paramus, NJ. I am the president of the General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church in the Eastern USA. In 2003 I received my Ph.D from the Evangelical Christian University of America. From 2003 to 2006 I was a professor of Christian Counseling at the Reformed Union Theological Seminary.

 Anything for readers of this article?

It is not easy to cultivate spiritual leaders. But on June 17, 2011 Dr. Sin Jae Lee, the Chairman and the Chancellor of the headquarters of the Seminary of the GAPC in Korea appointed me as the Dean of the Reformed Union Theological Seminary in New York. I will do my best to take the responsibilities. Also, I hope many candidates for spiritual leaders will apply for RUTS.

The Reformed Union Theological Seminary TEL 201-543-1825