An open letter was sent to Downey UBF chapter and the rest of the UBF congregation by Rebekah Kim on July 13, 2011 that talks about UBF for what it really is behind close doors. [This letter was provided by a former member of the chapter]
Here is the English version/translation of the letter:
1 Samuel 2:27-34:
“27 Then a man of God came to Eli and said to him, “Thus says the LORD: ‘Did I not
clearly reveal Myself to the house of your father when they were in Egypt in Pharaoh’s
house? 28 Did I not choose him out of all the tribes of Israel to be My priest, to offer upon
My altar, to burn incense, and to wear an ephod before Me? And did I not give to the
house of your father all the offerings of the children of Israel made by fire? 29 Why do you
kick at My sacrifice and My offering which I have commanded in My dwelling place, and
honor your sons more than Me, to make yourselves fat with the best of all the offerings of
Israel My people?’ 30 Therefore the LORD God of Israel says: ‘I said indeed that your
house and the house of your father would walk before Me forever.’ But now the LORD
says: ‘Far be it from Me; for those who honor Me I will honor, and those who despise Me
shall be lightly esteemed. 31 Behold, the days are coming that I will cut off your arm and
the arm of your father’s house, so that there will not be an old man in your house. 32 And
you will see an enemy in My dwelling place, despite all the good which God does for
Israel. And there shall not be an old man in your house forever. 33 But any of your men
whom I do not cut off from My altar shall consume your eyes and grieve your heart. And
all the descendants of your house shall die in the flower of their age. 34 Now this shall be
a sign to you that will come upon your two sons, on Hophni and Phinehas: in one day
they shall die, both of them.”
This passage is the prophecy about God’s judgment message for Eli’s household.
Through this judgment message, it can clearly be seen that Eli’s dying was not by
accident, but by God’s judgment. If he followed God’s will and repented absolutely he
wouldn’t have died like that and he would’ve been able to serve God’s will.
God wants to reveal that the upcoming tsunami and earthquake in LA are not by accident
but by God’s judgment through this message I am writing to you. An earthquake and big
tsunami is coming to LA. The intensity of this earthquake will be strong like Japan’s and
the tsunami will come 60 miles (96,5Km) inland, which is 10 times bigger than Japan’s. In
1994, there was an earthquake in LA with the place of origin underneath a building where
pornographic movies were made. Through this, God showed that it wasn’t just a natural
phenomenon, but God’s judgment so that He could help people to repent. It seemed that
Americans were aware of it in the beginning, but as time goes by they forgot about God
and ran wild.
Again, God wants to do His work through an earthquake and tsunami in America that’s 10
times stronger than Japan’s tsunami was. Recently, there was an earthquake in the town
called Christchurch, New Zealand, one month before Japan’s earthquake. This shows
that Japan’s earthquake and tsunami were not just by accident, but by God’s will.
Actually, the upcoming earthquake in LA was prophesied by servants of God over 20
years ago, and they said that it would happen after Japan’s earthquake. They also
prophesied that there would be nuclear explosions in Japan. At that time, people
assumed this prophecy might be fulfilled by North Korea shooting a nuclear bomb to
Japan. However, God accomplished these prophesies by nuclear explosions through
Japan’s earthquake being near a nuclear power plant. The earthquake occurred in Japan
on March 11, 2011. The servants of God prophesied that there will be 6 months of grace
period from Japan’s earthquake to the great earthquake in LA. Nobody knows the exact
date, but interestingly, 6 months after March 11 is September 11, the date of the 911
attacks. And there was an earthquake in Christchurch, New Zealand on July 5 again. This
shows the upcoming earthquake in LA is also not just a natural phenomenon but God’s
Here specifically, we should think about the problems in UBF.
First, the testimony writing and sharing that UBF values the most, spiritually became so
corrupted that God cannot accept it anymore as a repentance offering. Our testimonies
should be a sincere offering of repentance. We used to write testimonies to confess our
sins to God and people. We struggled hard to accept the word of God and obey it through
our testimonies. But how are our testimonies these days?
Actually the confession that leads to repentance is somewhat different than the testimony
that we write these days. We have to throw away our sinful desires in order to repent. The
true confession that leads to repentance comes from the strong will to cut off our sinful
desires. Many people believe that once we confess our sins, in other words, once we
reveal our sins in our testimony, then all our sins will be forgiven. But as our conscience
knows, we cannot consider that as true repentance.
Although our Bible students wouldn’t be able to discern what true repentance is in their
testimonies, the leaders should have discerned it and helped them to get a right
repentance. In fact, the UBF leaders don’t have the spirituality to discern it. So as long as the students continue to write their testimonies, the leaders regard them as their
repentance and clap for them. The problem is that if they keep writing testimonies in this
way, they deceive themselves that they really repented and this deceiving would make
them lose their conscience. If they lose their conscience, they cannot get the true
repentance even though they eagerly want to. It is because our conscience is the only
place where the spirit is dwelling, so if we lose our conscience, there is no spiritual hope
to get there. I cannot deny that in UBF there are a lot of souls who already lost their
When you see my message, some of you might think that I have been influenced by
Pastor Seung Woo Byun. It is true that I have read almost all of his books, but I am not
saying this by the influence of him. I already had the truth that he is proclaiming in my
heart before I knew him. So I could give different teachings to my Bible students than
UBF Bible teachers did. It was very absolute, and it was something that no other Bible
teachers taught in UBF. So there was one missionary who came to America following me.
She confessed that the reason she followed me was that she knew I was the one who
could lead her to the right way, spiritually discerning her. Many other Bible teachers
recognized her based on her religious activity and devotion, but I was the only one who
regarded her as the one who wasn’t born again yet and kept praying for her for that
However, she was totally changed after marriage. From the process of getting married,
we were in conflict with each other spiritually. In short, the man who was supposed to get
married to her was not spiritual, and he was full of fleshly desire. But he got a lot of
recognition from people in UBF and served the work a lot.
As a matter of fact, he was a deformed person spiritually, raised up by UBF. I don’t want
to reveal everything that he did as a deformed person in this message. But I cannot deny
that there are a lot of deformed people in UBF. I wanted her to help and serve him with
the truth so he could be a real spiritual man, but she didn’t like it and rebelled against me.
I could not but cut the relationship with her and I had to let her go her own way for one
and a half years. During that time, she had to visit Korea for a visa matter, and she
bought Pastor Byun’s book by chance. She figured out that what he was saying in the
book was exactly the same as what I had taught her for more than 10 years. So she
could recognize my teaching was right and it wasn’t just my unique idea.
What I have been teaching uniquely was:
First, salvation is not only being forgiven but being free from sin.
For example, a lot of UBF 2nd gens in America live worldly lives, but they have a high
level of knowledge about the way of salvation through 1:1 bible studies, so they could
even teach others about it. Therefore, they believe that they can be saved for sure with
this knowledge, even though they live worldly lives.
But I do not believe they could be saved in this way. Salvation is not like that. Salvation is
being free from sins and turning away from sin. I realized this through spiritual
Second, getting saved once is not permanent. In other words, those who have been
saved could be deserted by God because of un-repented sins.
I realized this through the Bible. The Bible tells us this truth, that the believers, disciples,
and even the apostle Paul could be deserted by God. So I taught a narrow way in the
matter of salvation and kept teaching Bible students to choose the narrow way in order to
be saved. That’s why my Bible students had to struggle to choose either the narrow way
that I was teaching or the broad way that UBF was teaching.
As I mentioned above, I want to say that the way of salvation that UBF is teaching is
different from the Bible. We study the book of John’s gospel thoroughly in UBF. In chapter 8 of John’s gospel, it says about being free from sins. So we believe that when we hold to the word of God, we will know the truth, and the truth will set us free. Then how come there are a lot of members who don’t get this freedom in their practical lives in UBF? I know that a lot of people are struggling with this matter. And almost all of them give up struggling and end up getting a false confidence that we can get this freedom only by faith, not in their practical lives.
Then why didn’t we get this freedom like the Bible says even though we studied the Bible
and taught it so diligently? It is simple. It is because the one we have taught and learned
isn’t the perfect truth. About this, Pastor Byun pointed out four topics.
I think UBF is better than local churches in two topics among the four. So God had been
able to use UBF very preciously.
Of the four, I am going to explain the two good things first and then the two bad things
(1) UBF emphasized repentance and faith while local churches emphasized only faith in
order to be saved. This was our great inheritance of UBF, and through an absolute
method of writing testimonies we had made an effort to repent. However, we lost the spirit
of this, and nowadays we are confused whether the writing of a testimony is the method
of repentance or the method of false confession and false comfort.
(2) The faith that leads to salvation is not the level of believing Jesus as their Savior but
following Jesus as their King and Lord. With this truth, we had helped people to be
disciples, shepherds, and missionaries, not just to be believers. That was because we
knew that Jesus is not merely our Savior but our King and Lord.
However, this part was so diluted.
Many 2nd gens don’t know who Jesus is, even though they believe they do.
When UBF Bible teachers teach their Bible students, they put on them the relative
standard not the absolute one. Also, they put value only on coming to the meetings and
remaining in the UBF ministry. They don’t teach them the fact that they have to accept
Jesus not only as their Savior but their King and Lord in order to be saved. But isn’t it
biblical for the Bible teachers to teach the souls the way of salvation with accepting Jesus
as their King and Lord?
(3) Theory about being born again. We have taught that being forgiven is directly
connected with salvation. This is a wrong concept. We couldn’t be free from sins
practically because of this. Churches have emphasized only on justification between
justification and rebirth to get salvation. But John Stott said, “Salvation and being forgiven
are not synonyms.” As mentioned above, salvation comes from being free from sins.
Being free from sins means not to commit sins habitually. Jonathan Edwards said, “if we
are ruled over by sins thinking that we are saved, that is the evidence that we are not
born again.” Also, John Stott said, “New birth gives new life. Children of God cannot live
with sins. They might commit sin from time to time, but they cannot live with it continually.”
Kenneth Hagin said, “Born again people have the external proof that comes from the right
way of life automatically.”
Now, we need to think about whether we taught and proclaimed to Bible students about
salvation in this way or we regarded them as born again people as long as they wrote a
testimony based on the cross message in a conference and came to the meetings.
Even though it is right that we should bear souls’ sins that come from weakness, it is a
different issue for us to help souls: 1) to repent of their sins, knowing the seriousness of
their sin. And 2) to just accept and help them as if they are still secure in their salvation
regardless of their sins.
Stephen Charnock said in his book, “Seek for the rebirth. Rebirth is as important as
justification. Therefore, you have to seek it with a sincere heart just like you do to be
forgiven. You have to eagerly want your nature to be changed. You need both rebirth and
justification. Those who don’t believe they can get the practical righteousness in their soul
and spirit cannot get the righteousness that comes from Jesus by faith. … Two things
happened after the fall: our status was changed and our nature was changed as well.
That’s why both our status and nature must be recovered.”
Also John Ryle said in his book, “We always have to remember the fact that there are two
things Jesus did to save the sinners. He washes away our sins with His blood and
forgives us without a cost. This is justification. And He makes us perfect new creations by
giving us the Holy Spirit practically within our soul and spirit. This is rebirth.”
Stephen Chanock said, “When we consider God’s honor, can we expect that God will
forgive a person who commits sin continually and habitually by his will? Even in the world, if people commit sin, they have to turn from it in order to be forgiven… Therefore without being a new creation, we cannot expect to be saved and we cannot find any proof that he was credited to be righteous.”
Likewise, many people dealt with the justification and rebirth matter correctly, but we,
UBF leaders, cannot deny that we have given the credit of rebirth to those who accepted
justification only. There are some people who get the rebirth (change of their nature)
when they accepted justification in UBF. But many people become shepherds and
missionaries without experiencing a change of their deep natural desires.
Justification and rebirth are really different and you can only be saved when you get both
of them. Also, when we don’t know this truth, we cannot get real freedom from sins.
(4) Getting saved once is not permanent. In other words, God could desert those who
have been saved, but still have un-repented sins. UBF is ignorant about this truth. So
even though they didn’t get rid of all their sins and even committed habitual sins, they
have false confidence that they could still go to heaven because at one time they met
David Pawson said in his book “once saved, always saved?” that “Our thought is
occupied with the concept of ‘eternal security’. It’s not a surprise that people think of
being saved as being secure in general. However, it is necessary to restudy this concept
even though it is common in the churches… I am going to add two things that I observed.
I discovered two important things after debating about this matter with many Christians
over the past few years.
First, almost all of them who believe the concept ‘once saved always saved’ get that
concept from others teaching. They didn’t realize it by themselves but by hearing others
opinion. Basically, they were influenced by theological interpretation based on a few
verses rather than reading and studying the Bible by themselves. In other words, they
already had a predetermined idea about it, so it would be hard for them to find out the
truth on their own from the Bible.
When I asked my fellow preachers why they preach like that, no one told me that it was in
the Bible. Every one without exception told me, “I belong to Calvinism.” It shows that they
have been influenced by Calvin’s theological teaching rather than the Bible itself.
Second, those who studied the Bible depending only on the Holy Spirit had concluded
that people have to keep their salvation in order to go to heaven. Because of this, they
trembled at the fact that they wouldn’t keep their sincere attitude toward the new
Likewise, we cannot feel secure with the fact that we are shepherds and missionaries.
Paul always had a trembling heart for his own salvation. Then how can we feel secure
even though a great servant of God like Paul wasn’t like that?
I saw the death of late missionary Isaac Shin in Czech Republic. He had liver cancer and had been treated by the help of shepherd James Surh [John (Chun) Baik’s bible teacher (shepherd)] at Kyung Hee University Medical Center. But there was no more hope for him, so Pastor Mark Yang led him to Busan to get urine therapy as the last method to be healed.
But Pharmacist Yong Tae Kim, the representative of the urine therapy in Korea, said that
missionary Isaac Shin couldn’t be healed by it and that he was almost on his death bed,
so he recommended him to go to the hospital right away. Pastor Mark Yang had to go
back to Seoul because he had a busy schedule there, so he asked us to take care of
missionary Isaac Shin.
No one thought he would die the day after missionary Mark Yang left. When he entered
the hospital, he couldn’t even sit or lay down because his body pain was so severe.
It was so miserable. He had to wander around on the bed and on the floor and
everywhere. It was like he was in hell. In him, I couldn’t even find the concept of heaven.
He kept asking me to call the doctor. They gave him painkillers but it didn’t work at all.
That night, missionary Hannah Shin, his wife, suggested him to put hope in heaven to prepare for his death, but missionary Isaac Shin glared fiercely at her saying “You mean I am going to die? Am I going to die?!” He bursted in anger at her even though he was dying with severe pain. There was no heaven in him at all. He couldn’t confront his death in that situation.
When my father passed away, he showed a quite different attitude toward his death as a
believer. He also had liver cancer and had been in the hospital for almost one month.
During one month, he was in great pain so he couldn’t even move well, but he always
prayed in tongue and praised God with hymn songs. On the day he died, he knew he
would die so he left the hospital and went home with my mother. Right before he died, he
told my mother to help him sit straight and he prayed in tongue loudly and praised God
with hymn songs. Then he said, “now it is finished, let me lay down.” Then he went to
heaven very peacefully.
I was shocked at missionary Isaac Shin’s death, which had nothing to do with Jesus and heaven practically because I knew how my father died. How can a missionary’s death be just like an unbeliever’s? I cannot say this is only his story, this is our UBF’s story.
Dear UBF staff shepherds, missionaries, and shepherds,
The reason I am writing you this is not because I want to, but because the voice of the Holy Spirit compelled me to. The Holy Spirit told me about the specific book, chapter, and verses to give this message to you. Jesus says He wants this message to be a sign (1 Sam 2:34) to you like the man of God did in the period of Eli’s. Namely, nobody should say that LA UBF members are martyred in a tsunami and earthquake.
Two sons of Eli went to war carrying the Ark of the Covenant. (1 Sam 4:4) The reason
they went there was to serve the work of God as the priests. Yet they died at the same
time in the war, and Eli also died because of this. If there was no message of God, people
would think that they died in the middle of serving God’s work. Also people would feel
sorry for Eli’s death because he died with the news of his sons’ death while they were
serving God. However, God raised up the man of God to give the punishment message to them and it could be a sign that their death is not by accident but by God’s will and the result of their
34 “Now this shall be a sign to you that will come upon your two sons, on Hophni and
Phinehas: in one day they shall die, both of them.”
God told me to give the same sign to all [current] UBF members. So I want to spread this sign widely. We must repent all our sins and wrong doings in front of this message. UBF
members who live however they like and think they are safe because they were once
saved, and those who go to the wide way that has nothing to do with the Bible, even
those that teach and study the Bible, you need to listen to the judgment message and to
repent. This message is the warning message not only for LA UBF members, but for all UBF members. God is warning of an earthquake and tsunami in LA to the servants of God who listen to His voice. When General Titus conquered Jerusalem in the first Century, do you think all the believers died? No! Those who were awake and listened to the voice of God at that time heard the warning of God and left Jerusalem in advance.
But those who denied the world of listening to the voice of God and lived their lives
foolishly even gathered at the temple in Jerusalem and died miserably. Do not say that LA UBF members are martyred when a tsunami and earthquake come in LA. They are not martyred, but they were punished by God for not heeding the warning of God’s judgment.
I pray that the voice of the Holy Spirit to the churches in this message may be testifying to
P.S. Those who believe this message, please leave the city as soon as possible and move at least to Arizona.