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.

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Is there anything true in what World Mission Society teaches?

When my sister first started attending a “new church” (she hadn’t yet told me what it was, just that it was a Church of God) and she shared with me some of the Bible studies she had been learning, I often thought there was something interesting about them, an interesting way they fit the Scriptures together, but it also occasionally seemed that something was not quite right, though, as I said before, I couldn’t quite put my finger on it. It was several months before she dropped the bomb, so to speak, and shared a study about “mother god” and how we were once angels. I’ve asked myself, why did it take until then for the alarms to blare out to me? It was because there had been enough truth and Scripture quoting so far to make me put aside any unsettled feeling I had and wait to see what would come next.

2 Corinthians 11:14 says that Satan masquerades as an angel of light. 1 Peter 5:8 warns us to be self-controlled and alert because our enemy the devil prowls around like a lion looking for someone to devour. And Ephesians 6:11 and 2 Corinthians 2:11 say that the devil “schemes”—he doesn’t just wait around for someone to approach him, but plans carefully ways to get at us. Matthew 24:24 says that false Christs and false prophets will come to deceive even the elect.

What does that all mean? We ALL should be on guard for the enemy’s schemes against us. Satan will try anything to conquer God’s people, even pretending to be something good. (I often tell my kids to be aware—“bad guys” often look just like “good guys” on the outside.) What I see with the WMSCOG is that there is just enough truth mixed in with the false doctrine to make it easier to swallow and harder to detect, especially in the beginning when they are trying to draw you in.

So what are some things the WMSCOG has right? Here are a few (and if you have something to add, go for it)....

1. God does love you dearly, as a father loves his child (a perfect father, not like some of the fathers we see nowadays in society). The WMSCOG talks a lot of Mother Jerusalem’s and Father Ahnsahnghong’s love for their children. While they are wrong about Mother Jerusalem and Ahnsahnghong being gods, the true God of the Bible does really love you so much that He willingly endured suffering so that He could have a relationship with you personally.

2. The Bible does have an amazing record of fulfilled prophecy, such as with the Book of Daniel. But the WMSCOG themselves did not discover or put together this record of fulfilled prophecy—it is general knowledge among Biblical scholars. In fact it’s so astonishing to look at fulfilled prophecy in the Bible, that some skeptics have ventured to say that it’s all contrived, but not so. And this is one of the things that support the reliability of the Bible as God’s word.

3. God does want us to obey Him and follow His commands. Exactly which commands can sometimes be a matter of debate, but yes, He does want us to live a holy life. BUT He saves us through Jesus’ work on the cross, not through our work of living a righteous life. When the WMSCOG talks about being saved by faith, it’s more that they mean that they have faith that God has told them all the commands they must follow to be saved, and that if they follow those commands, He will save them. They believe they MUST follow every command and regulation, no matter how small, IN ORDER TO BE saved. But on the contrary, the Bible repeated says that we are not saved because of what we do. We seek to obey God and live a holy life BECAUSE He has ALREADY saved us.

4. God is mysterious in many ways. There are things we don’t fully know or understand about Him. If we really knew EVERYTHING about God, well then, He wouldn’t be a very big God would He. But everything He wants us to know about Him He has revealed to us in the Bible. If anyone wants to “unlock secret knowledge” for you from the Bible with some new revelation from God, be skeptical! God warns us in Revelation chapter 2 about tolerating a false prophet who reveals “so-called deep secrets”. If God reveals something to you, it WILL NOT contradict what He has already revealed through the Bible. If “god” tells you a new meaning to a verse of Scripture (such as the idea of “mother god”), but it contradicts what’s in the rest of the Bible, you can be sure it was NOT God who spoke to you.

5. You can use one passage of the Scripture to help you understand or interpret another passage of Scripture, and it is quite remarkable how different verses in the Bible can fit together like a puzzle to show a bigger picture. For example, seeing how a particular Greek word is used in Matthew can give you a more complete understanding of a verse where the same Greek word is used in Revelation, even though the English translation comes out slightly different. But, you must do this carefully, taking into account the full counsel of the Bible. If you match up the wrong verses (such as the WMSCOG has done to make “clouds” equal “flesh”), you will end up with a wrong understanding and contradict what God has revealed in the rest of the Bible.

I once read an author who explained it this way…
Satan may tell you things that are true, but they don’t equal to the truth.

For example, Satan may tell a discouraged wife, “Your husband doesn’t pay enough attention to you.” (true) “He doesn’t help with the kids or housework.” (true) “He works late every night and then goes out, like he doesn’t want to be around you.” (true) “You don’t feel any love for him anymore, and that guy at work has been flirting with you.” (true) “Conclusion: It’s all right for you to have an affair/get a divorce. God will understand.” (false)

Now try this, “Galatians 4 says that the Jerusalem that is above is our mother.” (true, those are the words) “Elohim is a Hebrew word used for God that has an ending used for plural words.” (true) “God made men and women.” (true) “An earthly family has a mother, father, and children, and we are called children of God, and God is called Father.” (true) “Conclusion: There are two Gods, we have a heavenly father and mother, and father god just hasn’t revealed mother god until now.” (false)

1 John 4:1
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.

Monday, March 29, 2010

A Letter to My Sister

My Dear Sister,

One day, I’m sure, you’ll see all the writing I’ve been doing online here, and you’ll recognize us—you and me—even if you don’t recognize my name. I hope you will understand why I am here doing this.

If, when you read this, you are still with the WMSCOG, I’m afraid you might not understand that I am doing this because I love you. I am fighting for you, not against you, praying that God will open your eyes so you can get away from this organization that is taking advantage of your time, money, faith, and trust. Many of the people that I have met through your church have been very friendly and nice. It is not them personally who I am against, but the organization and the leaders who have been deceiving you. I realize you are probably not happy with me, but if our positions were reversed, I hope you would fight for me also.

But I hope that when you read this letter you have already broken free. This song has been playing in my head all day today—“Forgiven” by Sanctus Real. There is a line that says, “I don’t have to carry the weight of who I’ve been cause I’m forgiven.” I pray that when you reconnect with Jesus, you will have a deeper relationship with Him than before, as you feel the depths of His forgiveness and love. May He bring you healing and release the weight that burdens you. Please know that I’ll continue to pray for you and I’ll be gratefully praising God to have you back again.

Love you, Sis.

Sunday, March 28, 2010

What is the Seal?

The WMSCOG talks a lot about all the dreadful things that are happening these days--earthquakes, typhoons, fires, floods, hurricanes, epidemics, attacks.... They make it all sound so frightening, and then tell you about a special way you can be protected from all these things--by getting the "seal of God" through celebrating the Passover. After all, they say, whenever the Israelites kept the Passover they were protected, and when they did not keep the Passover, they were not protected.

In my last post I looked at whether the Bible supports that claim about the Passover always providing protection to the Israelites, and it turned out the answer is NO.

But if keeping the Passover does not get you the seal of God, then are there any other clues in the Bible about what does?

How about these verses:

2 Cor. 1:21-22
Now He who establishes us with you in Christ and has anointed us is God, who also has sealed us and given us the Spirit in our hearts as a guarantee.

Eph. 1:13-14
In Him you also trusted, after you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation; in whom also, having believed, you were sealed with the Holy Spirit of promise, who is the guarantee of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, to the praise of His glory.

Eph. 4:30-32
And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption.  Let all bitterness, wrath, anger, clamor, and evil speaking be put away from you, with all malice.  And be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God in Christ forgave you.

From these verses, we see that the Holy Spirit seals us to show we belong to Him when we believe, not after we perform a certain ceremony or finally acheive a perfect life. In Eph. 4, Paul says the people were already sealed before they were able to get rid of bitterness, rage, anger, etc. They weren't perfect, yet they were sealed as belonging to God. That gives me hope.

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Is Passover the Seal of God?

Well, I might as well tell you right off--from everything I've learned, the evidence shows that Ahnsahnghong is NOT the second coming Christ, "Mother Jerusalem" (Zahng Gil-Ja) is not God either because her claim is based on his, and the World Mission Society Church of God (which I'll refer to as the WMSCOG or COGWMS) is full of contradictions in their doctrine and practice. I'll share with you reasons why I've come to that conclusion, but if anyone wants to share with me new information to change my mind, feel free...

First of all, it's Passover season. The Passover will be celebrated on March 29 around the world by the Jewish people (and some Christian churches also). The WMSCOG talks about all the disasters and plagues that are happening in the world, and that to be safe, you must keep the Passover because it will give you God's seal of protection.

If you do the WMSCOG study about the Passover as the seal of God, they will tell you that throughout the history of the Israelites you can see how every time they celebrated the Passover, God protected them. And when they did not keep the Passover, they were not protected.

They use 2 examples, the original Passover in Egypt and the Passover during the reign of Hezekiah.

In Exodus, when God sent the plague of the death of the firstborn, the Israelites who kept the Passover were “passed over” by the death angel. The Egyptians who did not keep the Passover were struck by this plague. This was the very first Passover (Exodus 12).

Then in 2 Chronicles 30, they’ll show you how King Hezekiah celebrated the Passsover in the Southern Kingdom of Judah, while the Northern Kingdom of Israel scorned them and would not keep the Passover. Then they take you to 2 Kings 18 & 19 and tell you that the Northern Kingdom of Israel was conquered and taken captive because they did not keep the Passover, but since the Southern Kingdom of Judah did keep the Passover they were not destroyed even though they were a much smaller kingdom.

Here’s the problem—If the Passover was the key to protection from God, it should be clearly represented as so throughout the Bible and history with many examples. It’s clear with the original Passover that God was distinguishing His people from the Egyptians. And we could make a good case that God protected King Hezekiah and Kingdom of Judah, but it may have been because of their love and obedience to the Lord and may not necessarily be a direct result of the Passover.

But what about the other times the Israelites kept the Passover? Do we see God’s protection on them because of it? I wanted to find all the occurrences of Passover mentioned in the Bible to check it out…

Exodus 12 – This is the original Passover when the Israelites were delivered from Egypt, and also gives some restrictions on who may celebrate the Passover.

Exodus 34 – God gives Moses some commandments for His people, and the Passover is among them.

Leviticus 23 – Here are directions for celebrating the feasts of God, including Passover.

Numbers 9 – This is the first anniversary of the Passover, and the Israelites celebrate as God directed them. God also gives Moses an alternative date to celebrate for those who were unclean. There is no mention about what it may have protected them from this time.

Numbers 28 – Directions for the Passover offerings are here.

Numbers 33 – This just mentions that the Israelites left Egypt the day after the Passover, as a review of their history.

Deuteronomy 16 – Here are more directions for celebrating the Passover.

Joshua 5 – This is the first celebration of the Passover in the Promised Land, with Joshua as leader, just before battle of Jericho. They won this battle, but was this a direct result of the Passover? Could be, but I think it was more of a fulfillment of God’s promise to give them the land.

2 Kings 23, and 2 Chronicles 35 – King Josiah celebrated the Passover. There is no mention of any special case of protection for the Israelites. And what happened to King Josiah? He died in a battle.

2 Chronicles 30 – King Hezekiah celebrates the Passover. This is the example of protection the WMSCOG uses.

Ezra 6 – The exiles celebrated the Passover when they returned to Jerusalem. They were able to rebuild despite opposition. Does this mean they were protected by the Passover?

And finally, Ezekiel 45 – This passage give directions about offerings to celebrate the Passover.

That’s it for the Old Testament. Only 6 distinct Passover celebrations are mentioned. And only 2 of those examples can show a comparison between a group who kept the Passover and a group who did not. Those are the 2 examples the WMSCOG uses (the Passover in Egypt and King Hezekiah’s Passover). Of other 4 occurrences:
--The 1st anniversary Passover makes no mention at all of a battle success or any other protection.
--Joshua won the battle of Jericho after his Passover but we don’t see what would have happened to any of them who didn’t celebrate it, so it’s hard to make a clear comparison.
--King Josiah’s Passover did not protect him personally in battle.
--The exiles celebrated the Passover, and as far as we know, Israel continued keeping the Passover from then until the time of Jesus. BUT they weren’t protected from being conquered and occupied by the Romans.

We also know that throughout the book of Judges, the Israelites experienced many cycles of falling away from the Lord and being handed over to their enemies, then returning to the Lord and finding relief from their enemies, only to fall away again. If the Passover were the key commandment to gaining God’s protection and favor, wouldn’t we expect to see it in the book of Judges with the Israelites keeping the Passover, neglecting it, and then celebrating it again? Instead, God hands them over to their enemies because they’ve done evil by following other gods, and then sends relief through a judge because He has compassion on them. There’s NO mention of Passover at all in the entire book of Judges. It’s nicely summed up in Judges 2:11-19. So apparently celebrating the Passover is not as important as worshiping God alone.

How about the New Testament…does what we learn there show that the Passover provides God’s protection? Here are the mentions of Passover in the New Testament:

Matthew 26; Mark 14; Luke 22; John 11, 12, 13, 18, 19 – These are all referring to the Passover at the time of the Last Supper and Jesus’ crucifixion.

Luke 2; John 2, 4, 6 – These chapters all mention other Passovers during the time of Jesus.

Acts 12:4 – Herod intends to bring Peter out for public trial after the Passover, but the night before the trial an angel releases him from prison. Did Peter celebrate the Passover while he was in prison? Unlikely, but he probably did keep the Passover in other years.

1 Corinthians 5:7 – This compares Jesus to the lamb of the Passover.

Hebrews 11:28 – This verse mentions Moses’ faith in keeping the original Passover.

So Jesus kept the Passover but He was not protected from crucifixion, though we know that He was destined to die for the sins of us all. The Jews in general kept the Passover at this time in history (and until today), and they were not protected from the Romans (think of the destruction of Jerusalem in the 1st century), but you might make the case that they did not believe in Jesus and therefore lost the protection.

But what about Jesus’ disciples, who we know both believed in Him and kept the Passover? All but one of them were martyred. They were NOT protected.

My conclusion:
From studying the Passover through the Bible and history, there is no consistent connection between the act of celebrating the Passover and having God’s protection. The WMSCOG claim--that whenever the Israelites kept the Passover they were protected and that when they did not celebrate the Passover they were not protected--is FALSE.

How I Came to Start This Blog

I've never written a blog before, but I've thought about it for quite a while. It's kind of new and strange, but this is why I'm here...

About two years ago, my sister started attending a new church. She lives halfway across the state from me, so I wasn't able to visit it with her, but she told me how interesting it was and started sharing some of the things she was learning. She said it was a Church of God, and it sounded pretty much ok and I was glad she found a church she enjoyed, but once in a while she'd say something that was a bit unsettling, though I couldn't put my finger on it exactly. Then one night, months later, she told me about "Mother God" and how we used to live in heaven as angels until we sinned and were cast down to earth.

Wow! Then I knew this was a VERY different church than I had been expecting. It turned out the church was World Mission Society Church of God, founded in Korea by a man named Ahnsahnghong, who they believe was the second coming of Christ (God) and who died in 1985. Now the church is headed by a Korean woman (Zahng Gil-Jah, sometimes spelled Chung Gil-Cha) whom they call "Mother Jerusalem" (or "Mother God") and whom they worship as God in the flesh, living here on earth.

I did not grow up in church, but in college I found faith in Jesus Christ. Faith became a huge part of my life (I've been a Christian now for almost 20 years), and all of a sudden I was in a close encounter with a cult. And yet, my sister, who was not a stranger to Jesus (she had been attending mainstream Christian churches) believed in it and wanted me to be a part also.

At first I was devastated and overcome with emotional turmoil. How could she, who had professed faith in Jesus, now worship this man and this woman as Gods?! She was taking part in hideous blasphemy! But then I realized that when Jesus was on earth, He was accused of blasphemy too. I needed to put aside my emotions and look at this more rationally.

When I first became a Christian, I studied intensely--could Christianity and the claims of Jesus be proven? If I were in a court of law, would the evidence point towards truth? Or would it just turn out to be another one of those nice stories that had no real support? I was ready to drop it if God didn't prove Himself for me. But He did.

Now, I thought, I had better give these new claims a fair chance and do some studying about them. If Ahnsahnghong's claim to be the second coming of Christ turned out to be true, it would have an immense impact on my life, and I would want everyone to know about it (just like when I met Jesus). However, if the claim turned out to be false, then this church would be a tool of Satan, turning people away from the true God to worship others, and I would want everyone to know about that too (so they could avoid it).

So in this blog I will be sharing what I have studied and learned, questions I'm trying to find answers to (maybe you can help me?), and thoughts that inspire me along the way.

I hope it will be useful to you if you have also encountered Ahnsahnghong's World Mission Society Church of God.