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Is Heaven Real?

Question: Caryl, I would like to know your review or opinion on the book, "Heaven is So Real" by Choo Thomas. Please read it and let us all know. Thank you!

Answer:

Is Heaven Real?
Discerning Choo Thomas’ book Heaven is so Real

The same “old-new” is happening again.  The same old story goes something like this; person has religious experience, is not rooted in Biblical truth, receives spiritual manifestations, hears and believes doctrines of demons, and writes a book or starts a church based on unbiblical false doctrines, which deceive other undiscerning people.

The Seventh Day Adventist church founder, Ellen G. White, received spiritual experiences and phenomena. Mary Eddy Baker, founder of Religious Science, rejected church doctrine and instead relied on supernatural experiences to form her false teachings, and Joseph Smith, founder of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, received visions in his youth of a separate God the Father and a Jesus Christ telling him to reject the established churches and form his own.  There are too many examples of “There were false prophets also among the people, even as there shall be false teachers among you (2 Peter 2:1)” to cite here. 

This is the same “old-new” happening again. ChooThomas.com relates the following.  In 1992, a woman named Choo Thomas got saved at her local church.  Two years later she saw a Jesus vision while attending a church service, and one year later she began experiencing strange physical manifestations that she credited to the Holy Spirit.  In 1996, Choo Thomas claims to have been taken to Heaven by her Jesus vision and told to write down everything verbatim in her book, Heaven is so Real.  She admits that she “Didn’t do any full-time church work or know many of God’s words, but He chose me for His special work anyway. By showing me heaven and all the other visions I have been privileged to experience, He began to prepare me for the ministry He has called me to (p.3 On Heaven’s Road).”  She admits her physical manifestations of what she believes is the holy Spirit causes her to shake so uncontrollably and forcefully that they nearly throw her from her bed, causing her stomach pain and fear. 

Her book was published in 2003 and has sold thousands of copies internationally, and now over five years later it is still being found and read by many unsuspecting Christians who find the book mesmerizing and Godly.  This article documents these facts, and points to links in which others have already debunked the false teachings contained in her book, and so we will simply point you to those articles and sites rather than re-do what has already been done. 

Informative articles about spiritual deception in general can be read on this website under the articles titled Spiritual Counterfeits and The Deceiver. Also consider viewing the video Supernatural Powers: The Battle Between Good and Evil for a firm Biblical foundation regarding visions of angels or other Heavenly beings. 

Suffice it to say that we should not marvel at false apostles, deceitful workers, pretending to be apostles of Christ because Satan also transforms to an angel of light so his ministers do the same thing pretending to be ministers of righteousness (2Corinthians 11:13-15).  Choo Thomas says she can’t control the shaking, sweating, pain, and violent outbursts when her Holy Spirit comes on her, but the Scriptures say that the “spirits of the prophets are subject to the prophets” for God is not the author of confusion, but of peace as in all churches (1 Corinthians 14:32,33).  Choo Thomas’ book has replaced the Bible for some, but we must hold onto the faithful Word that through sound doctrine we can exhort others (1Titus 1:9).  Additionally, we know that some will lie, perjure, and defile themselves with any other thing that is contrary to sound doctrine (1Timothy 1:10).  And we have to be constantly reminded that some will not endure sound doctrine but because they want their ears scratched will gather to themselves false teachers (2Timothy 4:3).

BACKGROUND OF THE BOOK

Amazon.com gives the official description of Choo Thomas’ book, Heaven is so Real.  They write, “Not once, not twice, but ten times in one month the Lord appeared to Choo Thomas and took her on a breathtaking journey. Over 500,000 readers around the world (in 43 languages) have bought copies of this book! Here is a personal story of how she saw the living Christ, visited hell, and walked in heaven.”

“On January 19, 1996, I woke up at 3:00 in the morning. My body was shaking…I turned my head on the pillow to look in the direction of the sound, and there, all-aglow, was a figure dressed in white garments. It was the Lord… How could this be happening to me? I wondered…as I began to tremble…and to weep tears of love and joy.  ‘My daughter…I am your Lord, and I want to talk to you. I am going to visit you many times before this work is done.’  The impact of His voice, His words, His message hit me with a supernatural force…”

The book is 224 pages long and is published by Creation House (October 2003). 

According to the Let Us Reason Ministries website article Believing the Devils lies more than God’s Truth , Dr. Yonggi Cho, the Korean mega-church pastor who mixes Christianity with Buddhism and New Age concepts, wrote the forward to Choo Thomas’ book.  Additionally, he translated the work for his large Korean audience.  The article states the book was on the top 10 Christian charismatic books sold, and was an international best seller in 2003 when it was published.

Some of the obvious extra-Biblical concepts Choo Thomas writes about are documented in Wikipedia.  Choo Thomas writes about fishing in Heaven, a lifeless valley where disobedient Christians are sent, the paying of tithes as a requirement for salvation, and claiming that Jesus dictated her book verbatim and every word is true.  She also speaks about strange physical manifestations like shaking, rocking, and stomach upset that accompany her visions.

Choo Thomas endorsed Shelby Corbitt’s false prophecy about the rapture in 2007. Choo Thomas posted this false prophecy on her own website under the January 12, 2007 post. Not only does she endorse false prophets, she makes extraordinary claims about her book.  Choo Thomas' website says this about Heaven is So Real.
“Heaven is so Real is our Lord Jesus’ end time book. He only used my body to write this book. . . He is letting people know what it takes to enter His Kingdom, through this book.

Remember, none of our salvations are secure until the end. . .The Lord himself took me to heaven 17 different times, in my transformed spirit body.  This book is a great tool for the salvation of souls. . . Currently over 60 countries are translating and re-printing this book and most of the translations are being done by pastors who were transformed by the book after reading it. . .#1 bestseller in Korea. . .It is truly an end time book. The book is an International best seller and is on the charismatic best seller list in the US.”

Choo Thomas states her book is “Jesus’ end time book.”  Yet, our Bible is the only end time truth we need.  There are curses associated with adding or taking away anything from the prophecies contained in the Book of Revelation, which is our final Biblical New Testament prophetic book (Revelation 22:18,19).  She states that Jesus used her body to write her book.  This is akin to channeling or spirit writing.  Choo Thomas says that Jesus is letting people know what it takes to enter His kingdom through her book.  We know what it takes to enter the kingdom, and it is not contained in Choo Thomas’ book rather it is found in Scripture.  In Matthew 19, the Biblical Jesus answers the question “What shall I do to have eternal life?”  He answers, first keep the commandments of God, then forsake this world and all its trappings, and follow Him.

She writes “None of our salvations is secure until the end,” but the Biblical Jesus redeemed us to the Father by his shed blood, in which we are justified and sanctified.  Claims of going to Heaven 17 times in her transformed spirit body directly contradict Biblical teachings regarding the resurrection of the saints in 1Corinthians 15:52-54 “This mortal must put on immortality.”  This happens at the future “last trump” not now while we are still in mortal bodies. 

WHO IS AUTHOR CHOO THOMAS?

According to her own website ChooThomas.com, “Choo Thomas is a simple, down-to-earth Korean American . . . In 1992, she accepted Jesus as her Lord and Savior . . . Two years later, she saw Jesus' visible presence at a Neighborhood Assembly of God in Tacoma, Washington and in 1995, she began having physical manifestations from the Holy Spirit.  In 1996, the Lord Jesus escorted Choo into heaven and told her to record what she has seen and heard, bringing forth the book, "Heaven is so Real.”

Wikipedia states, “Many claim to have their faith impacted by reading her book or by watching her video promotion of the book. Alternatively others claim that this book contradicts Scripture and terrifies people into heaven.”  Notice that some are impacted by watching her video promotion of the book.  This video is unsettling.  For a disturbing insight into Choo Thomas, see her on YouTube rocking back and forth as she speaks in a trance-like language describing her visions of Jesus. She states that the Holy Spirit makes her stomach hurt as if it is going to explode, and this is why she has to rock back and forth to ease the pain.

Take notice of the eerie and chant-like new-age music in the background.  At time marker 1:35, the screen reads, “Holy Songs Sung by Choo Thomas.”  She also has available free downloadable hour long MP3 files of her chanting these “spirit songs.”  This is what the viewer hears in the background as they watch her video.  It is chilling hearing her voice which sounds similar to wailing in an unknown language or tongue.

SpiritLessons.com offers the free downloadable recordings of Choo Thomas singing these “holy or spirit songs.”  The site also carries a Power Point lesson from her book regarding the end-times as they are dictated in the book.  These lessons are mixed with Scripture references taken out of context and distorted.  Full videos of Choo Thomas can be seen here along with the transcripts of the videos.  They can be viewed in many different languages.   

MANY DECEIVED

Public review ratings on Heaven is so Real are posted on the Amazon.com site. Amazon shows that 87% of the readers gave the book Heaven is so Real a five star rating, which is the best.  And 44% of the readers gave it one star, which is the worst.  There were very few “in-between” ratings.  Readers either loved or hated the book.  However, the majority of readers believed the book was good and life changing.  Here is a sample of a few reviews both positive and negative.  Many of the reviewers identify themselves as Christians.

As part of the negative 44% minority, TJC wrote,

“While reading this book I was thrown into the worst 1 and a half weeks of my entire life and I'm not being dramatic. The Jesus and Holy Spirit that I know was not the God that I read about in this book.” 

Here is another minority reviewer’s opinion.  This is a lengthy review, but she articulates her impressions very well, and so it is included in its entirety. Allyssa Smith wrote, 

“This book is a counterfeit, a deception, and demonically inspired.  I believe the author speaks the truth. She is experiencing spiritual encounters, but by which spirit? That is the question.  Her Jesus comes to her with a face she cannot see. He has demons peeking out at her from around his head. Her Jesus sends her into convulsions that she calls shakings. The results of these shakings cause her physical, disabling illness.

Her Jesus shows her ‘his children’ presently held in a purgatory-type state. ‘His children’ are hopelessly waiting to be sent to hell. He also reveals to her a lake filled with his "filthy, dirty" blood that is intermingled with our sins.  Her Jesus has Choo Thomas at his side as he is worshipped by prostrate souls in his throne room; a posture she has no impulse to take herself. He gave her a crown to wear, an event that is yet to happen for all Christians rewarded at the Judgment Seat of Christ at the end of this age. 

Choo Thomas elevates herself to the same status as John (who wrote the book of Revelation), Elijah and other prophetic Biblical writers as she, a self proclaimed prophetess, writes her last-days book. She tells us that the reading of her book by Christians everywhere is a necessary and pivotal end-time event that must occur in order for last-days prophesy to be fulfilled. Jesus Christ, Himself, waits for Choo Thomas, alone, to set things in motion, single handedly, by the power of her visions, translations, the creation of this book, and her heavenly dance. 

Choo Thomas' dance, taught to her by her Jesus, takes her approximately one year to learn and refine. She describes the elaborate, excruciatingly detailed movements she must practice for hours and days and weeks and months. She obsessively masters this dance during a period of isolation where she must memorize the numeric sequence of how many times her wrist twirls, etc., and her Jesus tells her she is being prepared for a final delivery of this prophetic last-days dance before her church congregation. It must be performed with one hundred percent accuracy. This is her mission and she must not fail. 

Choo Thomas arrives at the appointed church on God's appointed day after being told it must be danced without error in front of these people but no one in church leadership will allow her the dance! 

She takes us to a heaven that has the tortured souls and flames of hell within the sight of heaven's inhabitants. Her heaven shows us the "powder rooms" or bathrooms within its castles. Won't we have a glorified body? 

This heaven has walls covered with mirrors so she can gaze at her own image after she changes into her heavenly robe and crown. Sadly, the central theme of this book seems to parallel this thought. The glory of this author's last-days exploits overshadows the glory of the King of Kings and Lord of Lords from its beginning to its end. It is difficult to read past the repetitive praises of Choo Thomas to find the Holiness of our God! 

Choo Thomas sees her mother, burning in the flames of hell, yet she associates her spiritual visions to that of a gift generational passed down to her from this same woman. I fear that may be true. 

I sincerely pray the ongoing torment this woman is experiencing will soon come to an end. I pray freedom for her mind and healing for her soul. May God's Light of Truth bring peace and deliverance to her.  If you must read this book, I advise you read it carefully.”

A recent (October, 2008) reviewer called Spurt gives a condemning account of his experience in reading the book.

“I can't believe I got this book in a Christian Bookstore, it should only be sold in a secular bookstore or online under the "New Age" category. First of all this book is very repetitive. A big focus seems to be how special, good, and obedient Choo is. Her body shakes and then come the visions, but her experiences reek of the occult (the body molding is creepy and disturbing) some of it sounds like astral projection with a bit of eastern mysticism thrown in. I just got an uneasy feeling reading this book and it contradicts the Bible in so many ways.”

Here are some reviewers who liked the book and believed it was from God.  As part of the positive 87% majority, Tommy C. Ellis, a pastor and a prison chaplain said,

“Usually, when ministers read from the pulpit, we limit ourselves to a short paragraph. I read nearly two pages of her book, and was met with silence and amazement. Each time I read, I felt such an anointing.” 

A.A. Pentland-Firth, part of the 87% says,  

“When I read this I realized that the God we serve is alive, loving and kind. I realized His judgments are real and truth to accept things the way they are and to live a life accordingly shines through.  I hope as many people as possible get a chance to read this book, it will change lives,”

F. Ganus says of the supernatural experiences contained in this book,

“When I took the book home and read it, I was so taken by this book. It was especially for me. I can relate to Choo's experience in dancing before the Lord. I have my own supernatural experience concerning dancing before Him. This book was chosen for me. I felt the presence of Holy Spirit and His love as I was reading this book.”  

There are 236 comments, some as recent as January 2009, posted on Choo Thomas’ first video mostly by people claiming to be Christians, and the vast majority of them believe this book and its author are from God because it reveals Jesus’ end time message and it has changed their lives.  There are also Christians who take the Biblical position and are attempting to convince the Biblically ignorant of Choo’s false teachings and heresy. Sadly, as current and recent postings show, many people are still reading and being deceived by Choo Thomas’s “doctrines of demons”.


MINISTRIES FIGHTING THIS DECEPTION

The Let Us Reason Ministries website has an excellent and in depth article on the book, which exposes its false teaching. The article is titled, Believing the Devil’s lies more than God’s Truth and has much to say about the false doctrines contained in Choo Thomas’ writings, here’s a few excerpts: 

“From the start, none of this is healthy for someone who wants the truth found in God’s word from His mouth. We are in an outbreak of new age assaults and lying signs and wonders- people are going to heaven more often than the space shuttle goes to space. It is all very unbelievable- and I will prove it.”……….

…….“Going back to the beginning- she (Choo Thomas) has no testing of who this being of light is. From her own words that contradict the Bible it cannot be the Jesus of the Bible. I recommend for people to stop trying to scratch their itching ears for something new and learn directly from the Bible what God has said about these subjects, because this is what Jesus called the truth. Lest they find themselves in the same condition as Choo who has been visited by another Jesus and fulfill what Jesus warned in Matt 24:4: ‘Take heed that no one deceives you.’”

The Longtom Radio End-Time Ministry had this to say about Choo Thomas’ work, “If we are to take Choo Thomas's word that this book is really written by Jesus, thru her, then we can then glue it to the back of our Holy Bible and make another book of our Holy Scriptures. Satan will appear as an angel of light and impersonate the real Christ Jesus to receive glory due to the real Christ Jesus.”

“If anyone comes to Christ from her book -then they came to the wrong Christ. The Christ people should come to is the Christ of the Holy Bible -Not Choo Thomas's revelation from a false spirit god! This is why we are warned to "try the spirits" -how do we "try the spirits"? We line up what the spirit is saying against God's Word.”

According to the Longtom Radio End-Time Ministry website, Choo Thomas stated Jesus celebrates His birthday on December 25th.  It seems improbable that the Jesus of the Bible would be ignorant of his true birthday, and additionally claim He was born on a pagan holiday.  It would be unlikely His birthday would supercede his death and resurrection day, and that He would place no emphasis on God’s celebratory festivals contained in Leviticus 23.  Choo Thomas’ Jesus is not our Biblical Jesus.

Now is a good time to heed Peter’s warning,Be ye therefore sober and watch unto prayer (1Peter 4:7)”.

January 2009

 
 
(please email your questions to Caryl here)
 
 
 
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