Biblical Answers to the World Mission Society Church of God

Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits, whether they are of God; because many false prophets have gone out into the world.--1 John 4:1

Are you or a loved one struggling with this group? Do you need Biblical answers about the World Mission Society Church of God (WMSCoG or CoGWMS), their founder Ahnsahnghong (Ahn Sahng/Sang-Hong) or their current leader "Mother Jerusalem" (a.k.a. "Heavenly Mother God," Zang/Zahng Gil-Jah, or Chung Gil Cha)? Thank you for coming here. I hope my blog helps you. Questions and comments are always welcome.

Saturday, February 2, 2019

Counter Counter Argument -- "Ahnsahnghong Died"

By special request from a World Mission Society Church of God member, I will be addressing several key points and counterarguments that the WMSCOG uses to respond to objections.

Continuing the counter-counter-argument series...

Let's start with the argument:
Ahnsahnghong cannot be Christ because he died.

Now let's consider the WMSCOG's counter-argument (with quotes from Truth of God the Mother, though the ideas appear on many websites) and responses to each part:

Prophecies about King David...
[Regarding Hosea 3:5, Ezekiel 34:11-24, and Ezekiel 37:24-27]
"Through this, God lets us know that He will come in the name of David. Ezekiel wrote this about 450 years after King David's death. Obviously, these prophecies are not about the physical King David but about the spiritual King David."
Yes, there are Messianic prophecies that relate to King David. And yes, because of the timing of these verses, we know that they are not referring to the actual King David because he had already passed long before. I'm not sure I would use the phrase "spiritual King David," but the verses do speak of the Messiah's characteristics (a shepherd and king) and lineage (from the family of David).

Jesus came as King David...
[Regarding Isaiah 9:6-7 and Luke 1:31-32]
"Through this prophecy, again, God lets us know He will be born in the human form as the spiritual King David...
"Jesus Christ received the throne of David. So it's important to understand the relationship between Jesus and King David."
Yes, Jesus fulfilled the prophecy of reigning on "David's throne." There are multiple verses in the New Testament which show Him being called the "Son of David."

And here is where the WMSCOG takes a wrong turn, when they interpret what "reigning on David's throne" means.

The Relationship between Jesus and King David
30 Years Old...
"David was 30 years old when he became king. And Jesus was 30 years old when He was baptized and began His gospel ministry....
"Jesus could have been baptized at any other age. He was born to preach, then why did He wait until he turned 30 to start preaching? He could've easily started at a much younger age and accomplished much more....
"Christ Ahnsahnghong was born in 1918 and was baptized in 1948 at 30 years old."
They are saying that why else would Jesus wait until He was 30 to be baptized except to match David who became king at age 30. And since Ahnsahnghong was also 30 when he was baptized, then David = Jesus = Ahnsahnghong.

I have previously written about this "prophecy," but regarding the age of 30, the first thing to know is that Luke 3:23 says Jesus was "about thirty years of age." The presence of that word "about" means that the exact age of 30 was not important. He could have been 29, 30, 31, or even 32.

Beyond that, why would Jesus have waited until He was 30? That was the minimum age when priests were eligible to serve in the temple (Num. 4:1-3, 21-23, 29-30; and 1 Chron. 23:2-5). Waiting until the age of 30 would mean no one could argue about His age, that He was too young.

40 Year Reign...
"Additionally, King David reigned forty years. Then what does this mean about Jesus' gospel ministry?"
[The next quote is from the embedded video:]
"Jesus did the gospel work for 3 years and then ascended to heaven while King David reigned for 40 years. Then who will fulfill the gospel work of the remaining 37 years of King David?"
Again, I wrote about this in another article, but regarding 40 years, is there any verse that actually says the Messiah would reign (or preach) for 40 years? No. The prophecy was that Jesus would reign "from that time on and forever" (Isa. 9:7) and "His kingdom will never end" (Luke 1:31-33).

Plus, notice the verse that comes after the one often quoted by the WMSCOG:
"David was thirty years old when he became king, and he reigned forty years. In Hebron he reigned over Judah seven years and six months, and in Jerusalem he reigned over all Israel and Judah thirty-three years." (2 Sam. 5:4-5)

David did not become king of "Israel" until he was about 37, because for the first 7 1/2 years he was only king over his own tribe of Judah. There was "war between the house of Saul and the house of David" about who would be the next king (2 Sam. 3:1).

Also, with the WMSCOG's teaching that everything is "copy and shadow" (Heb. 8:5), if it were truly a prophecy that the Messiah's preaching would be split in a way that equals 40 years like David's reign, that split would have been 7 years and 33 years, NOT 3 years and 37 years.

Ahnsahnghong preached for 37 years...
"At the end of his reign, Kind [sic] David passed away and was buried. In the same way, Christ Ahnsahnghong passed away in 1985 after preaching for 37 years. Christ Ahnsahnghong's death lets us know He is Second Coming Christ who fulfilled prophecy. ... Christ Ahnsahnghong even prophesied about His death in a religious magazine in Korea.... his death is proof that He is Second Coming Christ."
First, from the time Ahnsahnghong was baptized until he died, it was only just over 36 years. To stretch that to 37 years takes more than the usual rounding. And this is assuming he started preaching right away after his baptism.

And what of Ahnsahnghong "prophesying" about his own death? The quote from the article:
"'The Second Coming Jesus has to come to the earth in secret and pass away after preaching the gospel for 37 years...,' says the Church of God."
The article is dated 1981, about four years before Ahnsahnghong died in 1985. They calculate that the time from his baptism in 1948 to his death in 1985 is 37 years (1985-1948=37), so he must have been speaking about himself as the "Second Coming Jesus."

However, he was baptized in Dec. 1948 and died in Feb. 1985--again, just over 36 years. Now, if these dates referred to someone's life, born in Dec. 1948 and died in Feb. 1985, would you say that they lived for 37 years? No, you would say they lived 36 years.

It is the same for Ahnsahnghong. He preached 36 years, not 37 years.

I have shown why the "40 year reign" is not correctly interpreted as a prophecy, but let's say, hypothetically for a moment, that it is correct. When we look for the fulfillment of a prophecy, do we look for something that is close? No, even the WMSCOG agrees that prophecy is fulfilled exactly.

For example, Jesus was prophesied to be born in Bethlehem (Micah 5:2 and Matt. 2:4-6). If He had been born in Jerusalem, about 10 km away, would we say that He fulfilled the prophecy? No, close is not good enough.

Likewise, Ahnsahnghong's just-over-36 years is close, but not an exact fulfillment of his own "prophesy" of 37 years.

The True Meaning of David's Throne...

Let's go back to the relationship between Jesus and King David. What did the prophecies mean when they said the Messiah would sit on "David's throne"? It simply meant that the Messiah would be born into David's family line, which Jesus fulfilled both through Mary's line (Luke 3) and Joseph's line (Matthew 1).

I'll be examining more of the WMSCOG's counterarguments in the near future. If there is one in particular you'd like me to address, please say so!

Wednesday, January 30, 2019

Counter Counter Argument -- "There is Only One God"

By special request from a World Mission Society Church of God member, I will be addressing several key points and counterarguments that the WMSCOG uses to respond to objections.

Continuing the counter-counter-argument series...

Let's start with the argument:
The Bible says there is only one God, like in 1 Timothy 2:5, so how can there be two--God the Father and God the Mother?

Now let's consider the WMSCOG's counter-argument (with quotes from Truth of God the Mother, though the ideas appear on many websites) and responses to each part:

Think of Adam and Eve...
"Are Adam and Eve one person or two people? I think most people would agree and say they are two people. However, the Bible says they are one.
"Genesis 2:24 So a man will leave his father and mother and be united with his wife, and the two will become one body.
"According to God, Adam and Eve are one person, one body. Does this mean that God doesn't know how to count? Of course God knows how to count! But in the eyes of God, Adam and Eve are one."
The response is that since the two people in a married couple are considered "one," so are "Father and Mother" two who can also be considered "one," and therefore there is no contradiction with the verses that insist there is only one God.

First, there is a difference in being numerically one and metaphorically one. My husband and I are numerically two people, though metaphorically you can say that we are "one" in love, teamwork, finances, etc. If I'm going to travel some place exciting, I want to share the experience with my husband because we are deeply connected as "one" couple, but the airline will make us buy two seats, and on a crowded flight, those two seats might not even be next to each other.

Will the airline allow me to purchase just one seat for the two of us because we are "one" in marriage? Absolutely not, even if we could fit in one seat. That's because we are numerically two people.

So how do you know if the verses about "one" God are speaking numerically or metaphorically? You look at the context. The context tells you that there is numerically one God.

Also, considering Gen. 2:24 (and in Mark 10:8), when it says, "the two will become one flesh," this is a euphemism. Can you guess what expression is substituted by this euphemism? Read 1 Corinthians 6:16, "Do you not know that he who unites himself with a prostitute is one with her in body? For it is said, 'The two will become one flesh.'"

Yes, this phrase is talking about sex (please excuse my bluntness). Therefore, we can ask the WMSCOG, "If you insist that 'Father and Mother' are 'one' because in marriage 'two become one flesh,' then you are referring to their sexual union, right?"

Who sinned in the Garden of Eden?...
[Regarding Romans 5:12-17]
"Was it Adam who actually sinned in the Garden of Eden? People know that it was Eve who sinned first. But in these verses, it's Adam who gets blamed for sinning against God, even though God explicitly told both Adam and Eve not to eat from the tree of knowledge of good and evil....
"But because Adam and Eve are husband and wife, they are one body, the Bible regards them as one. And so only Adam is referenced here, almost as if Eve wasn't there. But we all know that she was. It's the same with God."
It is true that during the first sin incident with the fruit in the Garden of Eden, Eve sinned first, then Adam. It is also true that Adam takes the blame for the first sin, not only in Rom. 5:12-17 but also 1 Cor. 15:21-22. Is it because Adam and Eve are considered "one"? No.

For one thing, Eve does not escape blame (1 Tim. 2:13-14 and 2 Cor. 11:3). And both Adam and Eve received individual punishment (Gen. 3:16-19).

But why would the blame be given to Adam primarily? Here is a good explanation. Basically, Adam was created first and was put in authority. Adam had the role of leader, while Eve's role was as helper (Gen. 2:18). Adam failed to protect his wife and failed to admit to his sin when God asked him about it. Notice God spoke to Adam before speaking to Eve.

It's interesting that the writer of this counter-argument says God "explicitly told both Adam and Eve not to eat from the tree." Actually, God "explicitly" gave this command before Eve was created, so we only have record of Adam being told not to eat from the tree (Gen. 2:16-18). Eve knew about the command (Gen. 3:2-3), but we are not told specifically if she heard it directly from God or indirectly from Adam.

The example of the temple...
"Take the example of the temple. Most Christians know that the sanctuary has two parts -- the holy place and the most holy place. But to anyone standing outside the sanctuary, it looks like just one sanctuary. However, when you enter the temple, you can clearly see that there are two parts inside.
"I bring up the temple because, in the Bible, the temple represents God (John 2:21). So just as the temple looks like one from the outside, when in reality there are two parts inside, for many, God has existed as being only one. This shows our limited understanding of God, just as if we were standing on the outside of the temple."
The temple represented God's presence with His people. And it was in the Most Holy Place, where the Ark of the Covenant was kept, where God said His presence would appear in the cloud above the Ark (Lev. 16:2). If the WMSCOG's analogy were true, why were there not TWO Arks of the Covenant so that both rooms in the temple would have God's presence in this way? No, there was only ONE.

Also, if the temple represents God because Jesus said, "Destroy this temple, and I will raise it again in three days," speaking of His body (John 2:19-21), then what about 1 Cor. 6:19, "Do you not know that your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, who is in you...?" Does that mean we also have "two parts inside" since the temple represents us as well?

God refers to Himself in the plural...
"How would you explain Genesis 1:26 where God says, "Let us make human beings in our image, to be like us?" Here, God refers to Himself in the plural form, not singular. This is clear testimony that God is not only one, but two. Otherwise, if God were only one, the verse would read, 'Let me make human beings in my image, to be like me.'"
This show a lack of understanding of the Hebrew language. I've already written about the structure and use of the word "Elohim" (read all three parts).

Here's something else to think about. If there were two images of God--a male image and a female image, as the WMSCOG teaches--why doesn't Gen. 1:26 read, "Let us make man in our images..."?

Only one verse...
"Our faith cannot be based only on one verse. We cannot say that there is only one God the Father basing it solely on 1 Timothy....
"As true Christians who claim to believe in God and the Bible, we cannot deny God the Father and God the Mother who referred to Themselves as "us," even if in one verse, God is referred to as being only one."
There are MULTIPLE verses, not just one, that emphasize there is only ONE God. If you'd like to read them, start here or even here.  Do you want a list written by someone else? Try this one, or this one.

I'll be examining more of the WMSCOG's counterarguments in the near future. If there is one in particular you'd like me to address, please say so!

Tuesday, January 29, 2019

Counter Counter Argument -- "How can Ahnsahnghong be the Christ?"

By special request from a World Mission Society Church of God member, I will be addressing several key points and counterarguments that the WMSCOG uses to respond to objections.

We can call this the counter-counter-argument series.

Let's start with the argument:
Many people, upon hearing the teaching that Ahnsahnghong is the "Second Coming Christ" say something like, "How can this be? He is just a Korean man! It's hard to believe!"

Now let's consider the WMSCOG's counter-argument (with quotes from The True WMSCOG, though the ideas appear on many websites) and responses to each part:

It's just like 2000 years ago...
"Today, 2 billion people in the world easily believe that a 33 year old Jewish carpenter... is the Christ.... When Jesus appeared 2,000 years ago, the people at that time did not see the glory of God, but instead they saw a 'mere man'."
Yes, it is true that when Jesus walked the earth, many people did not believe in Him as the Christ (Messiah), but now we (Christians) believe in Him. Many do not believe in Ahnsahnghong as the "Second Coming Christ," but that has no bearing on whether he actually is or not.

There are numerous people in the world who have claimed to be the Christ. They could say the same thing, "It's like 2000 years ago! People did not believe Jesus then, just like they don't believe me today!" That doesn't mean anything.

But let's look beyond that because their point is that is was possible for people (like the disciples) to know that Jesus was the Christ. They could know because of the Old Testament prophecies and Jesus's teachings.

Apply the same standard...
"Now, the reason I believe that Christ Ahnsahnghong is the second coming Christ, is based on the standards by which the disciples were able to recognize Jesus at His first coming.
1. Christ Ahnsahnghong fulfilled the prophecies of the second coming
2. Christ Ahnsahnghong taught the words of eternal life"
1. The Prophecies
This is a circular argument because the "prophecies" that the WMSCOG use are verses that they themselves interpret in such a way to fit Ahnsahnghong. You will not find these "prophecies" from other established and well-regarded Bible scholars.

I've written extensively about these "prophecies," but please let me know if you think there's one I've missed or need to give more attention. You can find these posts on my index page. In short, the "prophecies" do not work.

2. The Teachings
Ahnsahnghong's teachings are flawed, which shows that he is not God. I've written multiple articles about different problems in WMSCOG doctrine (see the index), not to mention this list of mistakes.

But when the WMSCOG says Ahnsahnghong "taught the words of eternal life," they really mean that he "restored the Passover." This is also incorrect because a) the Passover did not "disappear from the world" or need to be restored, and b) it's not the act of eating a bit of bread and drinking a bit of wine that saves us.

I'll be examining more of the WMSCOG's counterarguments in the near future. If there is one in particular you'd like me to address, please say so!