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, June 30, 2010

Ahnsahnghong's Mistakes

If Ahnsahnghong is God, then we’d expect him to not make any mistakes, especially when it comes to the Bible. When I hear pastors make a mistake during a sermon (for example, recently my pastor said that Ruth had 3 sons, when the Bible says she had 2), I know it’s an accident—they merely misspoke, they’re not perfect, and it happens to the best of us. BUT if the speaker is supposed to be God in the flesh, he should NOT make mistakes—especially not mistakes in either recalling Biblical information OR in interpreting a clear Bible passage.

Ahnsahnghong makes these mistakes. Therefore he is not God. Here are some examples from his book, “The Mystery of God and the Spring of the Water of Life.”

(The page numbers correspond to the English/Korean edition I read.)

Page 105 (Chapter 8)
“Although the people of Judah seemed like they were observing God’s laws, they neither realized the Passover, the greatest commandment in the Law, nor kept it.”

Is the Passover the greatest commandment? In Matthew chapter 22 and Mark chapter 12, Jesus says that the greatest commandment is to love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul, mind, and strength. Ahnsahnghong and the WMSCOG say that it is through the Passover that we can love God completely. But if Passover were the greatest commandment, as Ahnsahnghong said, Jesus would have said so also when asked about it in Matt. 22 and Mark 12.

Page 449 (Chapter 33)
“…when the Israelites were released from slavery in Egypt, the houses that kept the Passover by putting the blood of a lamb on their doorframes were saved, while the houses not marked with the blood of the lamb suffered the plague. Even Egyptians who put the lamb’s blood on their houses, were saved (Ex. 12:12-14, 37-38).”

If you read the story of the Passover in Exodus 12, there is no mention of any of the Egyptians putting the lamb’s blood on their houses and being saved from the plague. While it’s possible that they would have been saved if they had done so, it seems that none of them did because verse 30 says that concerning the Egyptians, “there was not a house without someone dead.” And yet Ahnsahnghong says that there were some Egyptians saved?

Page 465 (Chapter 34)
“…Jesus Christ went up to the temple and preached every day during the Feast of Tabernacles, and on the last day of the feast He said:” (and a quote follows from John 7:37-39)

John 7:14 (NIV) says, “Not until halfway through the Feast did Jesus go up to the temple courts and begin to teach.” He did not preach every day during the feast.

You might think these are just unimportant errors, but is this something God would do? No.

Monday, June 28, 2010

What about you?

I've been sharing my experience with my sister and the World Mission Society Church of God. Would you like to share a little about your experience and how the WMSCOG has impacted your life?

You are welcome to leave a comment here... I'd prefer if you don't share any personally identifying information, but if you are willing to share your experience it may be an encouragement to others to know that they are not alone.

If you'd like to leave a message for me and NOT have it posted for everyone, please just write "DO NOT POST" in the message and I will keep it private.

And also, I am open to comments and corrections on any of my posts. If you notice a mistake or you disagree with me (any WMSCOG members reading?), you are welcome to let me know.

“The LORD bless you and keep you;
The LORD make His face shine upon you,
      And be gracious to you;

The LORD lift up His countenance upon you,
      And give you peace.”

Numbers 6:24-26

Faith and Works--Part 2

It's been pretty hard to get real answers from a World Mission Society Church of God member when I ask about confusing or questionable doctrine, but I did finally get an answer about this one...

How is it that the WMSCOG says that you must obey ALL of God's commandments in order to get to heaven, when the Bible so clearly says that our salvation comes by God's grace and not our own actions? It is God who makes us righteous. We cannot do it ourselves.

Here's the explanation I was given (my paraphrase)...
Yes, it it God who makes us righteous by His grace. Our actions are not what makes us righteous. But the way He extends that grace is not simply by our belief and trust in Him and the sacrifice of Jesus. God has given us commands (like the Passover). We must obey what God has told us to show Him that we have faith in Him. He has told us what to do, and when we do it (ALL), then we show we have faith in Him, and then He will give us His grace.

Ok, now think about that.... It circles right back to works--our salvation depending on our own actions (such as physically ingesting the Passover bread and wine, on the right day, at the right time). It is not really free grace at all.

So how then do we reconcile salvation by faith, with the verses that tell us how important works are?
James 2:14-19
14 What does it profit, my brethren, if someone says he has faith but does not have works? Can faith save him? 15 If a brother or sister is naked and destitute of daily food, 16 and one of you says to them, “Depart in peace, be warmed and filled,” but you do not give them the things which are needed for the body, what does it profit? 17 Thus also faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead.
18 But someone will say, “You have faith, and I have works.” Show me your faith without your works, and I will show you my faith by my works. 19 You believe that there is one God. You do well. Even the demons believe—and tremble!

John 15:5-8
5 ″I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing. 6 If anyone does not abide in Me, he is cast out as a branch and is withered; and they gather them and throw them into the fire, and they are burned. 7 If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, you will ask what you desire, and it shall be done for you. 8 By this My Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit; so you will be My disciples."

Luke 6:46
"But why do you call Me ‘Lord, Lord,’ and not do the things which I say?"

Ephesians 2:8-10
8 For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, 9 not of works, lest anyone should boast. 10 For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them.

We are saved by grace, through faith, when we believe and trust in Jesus.
Romans 10:9-10
that if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. For with the heart one believes unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.

If you truly love God and believe in Him, your life will show it. Your life will start to change so that you will live in a way that pleases Him. You will WANT to do good works and obey Him. You may not always succeed, and you may have a different impression of how to obey God than the Christian standing next to you. But your heart will be in the right place.

1 Samuel 16:7
...For the LORD does not see as man sees; for man looks at the outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart.

If you say you believe God and love Him, but you live your life in a way that shows no regard for the way He wants you to live, if you don't care about what He wants you to do and only want to do your own thing--then you may need to examine yourself and see if you really love Him or not. Perhaps you are just saying so, but it's not in your heart.

And so there is an important difference here....
According to the WMSCOG, you obey God so that you can be saved.
According to the Bible and mainstream Christianity, you obey God because you are saved.

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Faith and Works--Part 1

Psalm 130:3 (NIV)
If you, O LORD, kept a record of sins,
O LORD, who could stand?

There is NO WAY any of us can be good enough, do enough, to earn our way to heaven. As you can see, if you try to follow ALL of God's commands, you will inevitably fail. It's not just attending church and tithing and other things that show outwardly. It's also (and especially!) about the heart, our attitudes and motives.

Think you have finally conquered sin in your life? Then you are lying to yourself...
1 John 1:8 If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us.
Romans 3:23 for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God

If you are relying on what you do--following ALL of God's commands--so that He will save you. are not going to make it. You can NEVER be good enough that way. What hope is there then? God gives us salvation not because of what WE do, but because of what HE has done. He will give us that salvation freely by His grace and mercy when we believe in Him and accept Jesus' payment on our behalf for our sins--by FAITH, not by works.

Romans 3:23-24
for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, being justified freely by His grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus

John 3:16-18
16 For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. 17 For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved.
18“He who believes in Him is not condemned; but he who does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.

Romans 5:1-2
Therefore, having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom also we have access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God.

Galatians 2:21
I do not set aside the grace of God; for if righteousness comes through the law, then Christ died in vain.

Galatians 5:4
You have become estranged from Christ, you who attempt to be justified by law; you have fallen from grace.

Ephesians 2:8-9
For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast.

2 Timothy 1:9
[God] who has saved us and called us with a holy calling, not according to our works, but according to His own purpose and grace...

John 6:28-29
Then they said to Him, “What shall we do, that we may work the works of God?”
Jesus answered and said to them, “This is the work of God, that you believe in Him whom He sent."

Romans 4:2-5
For if Abraham was justified by works, he has something to boast about, but not before God. For what does the Scripture say? “Abraham believed God, and it was accounted to him for righteousness.” Now to him who works, the wages are not counted as grace but as debt.
But to him who does not work but believes on Him who justifies the ungodly, his faith is accounted for righteousness

Romans 9:30-32 (NIV)
What then shall we say? That the Gentiles, who did not pursue righteousness, have obtained it, a righteousness that is by faith; but Israel, who pursued a law of righteousness, has not attained it. Why not? Because they pursued it not by faith but as if it were by works.

Are those enough examples for you? It's clear through Scripture that it's not our actions that save us, but God's grace through our faith.

Click here to go on to Part 2.

Monday, June 21, 2010

The Law of Moses vs. the Law of Christ

With all of the requirements of what a World Mission Society Church of God member must do in order to get to heaven, you might ask them why they are so busy following the law.

The answer I got was that they do not follow the Law of Moses, but the Law of Christ. From 1 Corinthians 9:21 (NIV), "though I am not free from God's law but am under Christ's law." So when the New Testament talks about us not being justified by observing the law, they say it means the Law of Moses (which was given in Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, and Deuteronomy). They will agree that they are not bound by the Law of Moses anymore, but they must follow the Law of Christ.

They use verses like these:

1 Corinthians 9:21 (again), "to those who are without law, as without law (not being without law toward God, but under law toward Christ), that I might win those who are without law" --Paul is under the Law of Christ!

1 Corinthians 11:1, "Imitate me, just as I also imitate Christ." --We must do everything as Jesus did, follow His example in everything, like when he went to the Temple on the Sabbath (Saturday)!

James 2:14, "What does it profit, my brethren, if someone says he has faith but does not have works? Can faith save him?" --See you can't get to heaven by just believing! (so they say...)

What do they say is the Law of Christ? I haven't gotten that complete list, but they do say the Law of Christ includes...
*keep the Saturday Sabbath, NOT Sunday
*keep ALL the Feasts of God, especially Passover
*keep them on the exact right day, in the exact right manner
*be baptized in the new name
*women must wear veils in church or praying
*DON'T celebrate Christmas, Easter, or any other manmade traditions like these
*pay your tithe to the church
*do anything else that God commanded, no matter how small it seems (except things that Jesus changed, such as dietary laws, circumcision, and animal sacrifices)
*and don't forget, you must worship the "Mother God"

Those I've asked say it's not hard, just a day--Passover--oh and Saturdays, the Sabbath. But question them further, and they admit that it is more than that, really.
And if it is ALL that God commanded, then it must also include those commands that I wrote about yesterday.

If that's true, it's a very heavy yoke to bear. Who can manage to keep ALL those commandments ALL of the time?

But what if we look to see if the Bible tells us more specifically what the Law of Christ is? Do a search for "Law of Christ" in the Bible ( is useful for this), and here's what you'll find:
Galatians 6:2
"Bear one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ."

That's it--carry each other's burdens. It's about love.

Now I'm going to search for "command" in the Gospels and see if there is any other specific command...
John 13:34 "A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another; as I have loved you, that you also love one another."
John 15:12 "This is My commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you."
John 15:17 "These things I command you, that you love one another."
--It's about love.

Mark 12:30-31 (This is in Matthew 22 also)
"And you shall love the LORD your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind, and with all your strength. This is the first commandment. And the second, like it, is this: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’  There is no other commandment greater than these.
--It's about love.

Mark 10:19 (This story is repeated in Matthew 18 and Luke 18)
"You know the commandments: ‘Do not commit adultery,’ ‘Do not murder,’ ‘Do not steal,’ ‘Do not bear false witness,’ ‘Do not defraud,’ ‘Honor your father and your mother.’"
--When Jesus talked about the laws (of Moses), this is what He mentioned. Nothing about Feasts or Sabbath. It's about love.

Jesus did not tell us all about how important it was to keep the Sabbath and Feasts faithfully. He told us how important it was to love and have a right heart. Loving others is even harder than loving God. Especially when those others are enemies or otherwise...unpleasant.
It's relatively easy to go to church on special days, pay your tithe, and wear a veil. It is NOT easy to love! Who can do this perfectly?

The WMSCOG says that if you keep the Sabbath and the Feasts, then you will also be keeping all the other commandments, including loving God and others. But this is not true. Our actions do not always match our heart. Have you ever known anyone who could go through the actions of love, but not actually love in their heart? I have.

That was exactly what the Pharisees were doing--all the actions of following the law, but without a heart of love.

Praise God, He saves us by His grace, and not according to how well we keep His commandments--including loving others!
More about grace next time...

Sunday, June 20, 2010

What is required according to the WMSCOG

In thinking about how we are saved, how we will be able to enter heaven, this is what the World Mission Society Church of God says, straight from their main church website (, from the page about the veil, under "Word & Truth":

"God gave us this veil regulation as a sign representing God's authority. Even though this regulation seems minor, it cannot be neglected. None of God's commands were instituted meaninglessly. All of the regulations were given to God's people because they are necessary for our salvation and allow us to enter the kingdom of God.... If we regard God's regulations as trivial, God will regard us as trivial."

In other words, the WMSCOG says that following ALL of God's commands, no matter how minor or trivial, are vitally necessary to gain salvation and enter heaven.

They will tell you that this means: keeping the Saturday Sabbath, keeping ALL the Feasts of God (including Passover), wearing the veil (for women), and everything else that God commanded.  (And don't forget that you must worship the "Mother God" also!)

But here's a difficulty... If ALL of God's commands MUST be followed to enter heaven, then they ought to have a list of ALL of these commands. After all, it is only fair that a church member knows what God expects of them so they don't inadvertently miss one.

No one has been able to give me a list yet of all of these necessary commands. I've seen them start a list (Saturday Sabbath, Feasts of God...), but they never really finish it. They say that if you keep the Feasts of God, then you automatically will be keeping the 10 Commandments. But God commanded more than just the 10 Commandments.

Here are a few of God’s other commands which I wonder if our WMSCOG friends are keeping so that they will be allowed into heaven….

Romans 13:1-7 about submitting to authorities, or obeying the law of the land (when it does not contradict God’s standards of course)… Do you ALWAYS come to a full and complete stop at stop signs when you are driving? How about NEVER driving over the speed limit (even a little)?

How about this one…Lev. 19:27 “Do not cut the hair at the sides of your head or clip off the edges of your beard.” Did Jesus change this requirement? How long is your hair near your ears?
Or Deut. 22:12–Have you put tassels on all your coats?

Here’s something more serious–Matt. 19:9. Do any of your church members get a divorce for any reason other than adultery? How about remarriage after divorce, for any reason? That’s adultery too (Mark 10:11-12).

Or Matt. 5:27-28. Looking at another lustfully is counted as committing adultery. Does your gaze ever linger too long on an of those attractive celebrities or magazine covers?
And Matt. 5:42--"Give to the one who asks you, and do not turn away from the one who wants to borrow from you."  Do you give to everyone who asks?

Here's one that may seem trivial, but the WMSCOG says that doesn't matter.  I wonder if they follow this command? -- Romans 16:16, "Greet one another with a holy kiss."

And perhaps the toughest commandment of all to keep–Do Not Worry. It’s in Matthew chapter 6. Do you never, ever worry…about anything, at any time, even as your first response before you can think rationally about a situation?

That’s just a short list of the many commandments that are in the Bible. Do you really think it is possible to keep them ALL, especially if you don’t have list to refer to so you can check yourself? Heaven is going to be a very empty place if it is only populated by those who have kept ALL of God’s commands.
I’m thankful for God’s grace that saves me despite my failure at keeping ALL of His commands.

Coming soon... the Law of Moses vs. the Law of Christ...and more about God's wonderful grace.

The WMSCOG doesn't really consider ALL commands necessary, like they say they do.  Read this post for more details: Moral vs. Ceremonial Law.

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Judging Others

I have been told things like this, numerous times by World Mission Society Church of God members:
"You say you love God, but you really don't! If you loved God, you would do what He says. You don't do what He says, so you don't really love Him. If you love God, why don't you do what He says?"

They will quote Luke 6:46, "“But why do you call Me ‘Lord, Lord,’ and not do the things which I say?"

By "doing what God says" they specifically mean that I should be
* going to church on Saturday (not Sunday)
* celebrating Passover (that is, the Lord's Supper only on the special night of Passover, not any other night or more than once a year)
* keeping all the Old Testament feasts of God
* NOT celebrating Christmas or Easter

The WMSCOG and its members claim that they follow all the Words of God, that they do keep all God's commands, and so they are the ones who truly love God (or "gods" I should say, because they have 2 of them).

Jesus said, in Matthew 7:1-2, "“Judge not, that you be not judged.  For with what judgment you judge, you will be judged; and with the measure you use, it will be measured back to you."

Yes, when we see sin, we can call it what it is, sin. But we MUST be careful about judging the motives and hearts of others--that's God's job. When you judge others harshly, you open yourself up to being judged yourself with the same measure.

If the WMSCOG wishes to judge others by this measure ("You don't really love God! Why do you not do what He says?"), I will take that measure and turn it around to them.... Do you always do everything that God says?...

I want to explore legalism and grace next. Legalism is doctrine that our salvation, our way into heaven, is gained through the things we do, our works, following the laws and commandments of God. Grace, however, is mercy and favor freely given by God, not earned by what we have done, but by faith in Who we believe. How do we enter heaven--by grace or by works?

Romans 3:21-24 (NIV)
21 But now a righteousness from God, apart from law, has been made known, to which the Law and the Prophets testify. 22 This righteousness from God comes through faith in Jesus Christ to all who believe. There is no difference, 23 for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, 24 and are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus.

Friday, June 4, 2010

Who is the Bride?

When my sister’s WMSCOG study leader was trying to explain to me that the Bride of Christ was Mother Jerusalem, she said that NOWHERE in the Bible is the church presented as the Bride. She said that the church is presented as the guest at the Wedding but NEVER as the Bride. She emphasized that point—NEVER.  The World Mission Society Church of God's goal is to eventually have you believe that the bride of Christ is the Korean woman Zahng Gil-Ja.

But on the contrary, there are many places in the Bible where the Bride/Wife of the Lord is clearly either the church or the nation of Israel. Here are some examples with my own commentary….

Ephesians 5:22-27
23 For the husband is head of the wife, as also Christ is head of the church; and He is the Savior of the body. 24 Therefore, just as the church is subject to Christ, so let the wives be to their own husbands in everything.

Remember studying analogies in high school? Here is the analogy from these verses… husband is to wife as Christ is to _____________ … yes, the answer is “church”. The relationship between a husband and wife is like the relationship between Christ and the church.

2 Corinthians 11:2
For I am jealous for you with godly jealousy. For I have betrothed you to one husband, that I may present you as a chaste virgin to Christ.
If the church is being presented as a virgin to the husband, Christ, but NOT to be the wife…does that make the church the concubine?

Jeremiah 2:1-2 (NIV)
The word of the LORD came to me: 2 "Go and proclaim in the hearing of Jerusalem:
" 'I remember the devotion of your youth,
how as a bride you loved me
and followed me through the desert,
through a land not sown.

By reading this chapter we see that the “you” in this verse is the nation of Israel.

Hosea chapter 2—In this chapter, the wife is the nation of Israel and the children are the Israelites themselves. If Mother Jerusalem is the wife here, then she’s had a serious problem. I’ll just pull out a few verses, but really the whole chapter is relevant.
Hosea 2:2-5
2“Bring charges against your mother, bring charges;
      For she
is not My wife, nor am I her Husband!
      Let her put away her harlotries from her sight,
      And her adulteries from between her breasts;
      3 Lest I strip her naked
      And expose her, as in the day she was born,
      And make her like a wilderness,
      And set her like a dry land,
      And slay her with thirst.
      4 “ I will not have mercy on her children,
      For they
are the children of harlotry.
      5 For their mother has played the harlot;
      She who conceived them has behaved shamefully.
      For she said, ‘I will go after my lovers,
      Who give
me my bread and my water,
      My wool and my linen,
      My oil and my drink.’
Let’s assume here the wife is Mother Jerusalem… the woman god has been adulterous, unfaithful to the man god, chasing after other lovers. And the poor children of Mother are illegitimate, conceived in disgrace. God punishes her and refuses to show love to her children. But after the punishment, He woos her again and restores their relationship. I never knew the heavenly couple of Mother Jerusalem and Ahnsahnghong had such drama in their marriage…

Hosea 2:16-17
16 "And it shall be, in that day,”
      Says the LORD,
hat you will call Me ‘My Husband,’
      And no longer call Me ‘My Master,’
      17 For I will take from her mouth the names of the Baals,
      And they shall be remembered by their name no more.

Hosea 2:19-20
19 "I will betroth you to Me forever;
      Yes, I will betroth you to Me

      In righteousness and justice,
      In lovingkindness and mercy;
      20 I will betroth you to Me in faithfulness,
      And you shall know the LORD.

Remember that to “betroth” means to promise to marry. Again, these verses do not make sense with the story of Mother Jerusalem.

Isaiah 54:4-7
4 "Do not fear, for you will not be ashamed;
      Neither be disgraced, for you will not be put to shame;
      For you will forget the shame of your youth,
      And will not remember the reproach of your widowhood anymore.
      5 For your Maker
is your husband,
      The LORD of hosts
is His name;
      And your Redeemer
is the Holy One of Israel;
      He is called the God of the whole earth.
      6 For the LORD has called you
      Like a woman forsaken and grieved in spirit,
      Like a youthful wife when you were refused,”
      Says your God.
      7 “For a mere moment I have forsaken you,
      But with great mercies I will gather you.

These are more verses that would be scandalous if they were talking about Mother Jerusalem—shamed in her youth and abandoned by God? The bride/wife here is obviously the nation of Israel.

How about Jeremiah chapter 3? Here are verses 14 and 20:
14 “Return, O backsliding children,” says the LORD; “for I am married to you. I will take you, one from a city and two from a family, and I will bring you to Zion.
20 Surely,
as a wife treacherously departs from her husband,
      So have you dealt treacherously with Me
      O house of Israel,” says the LORD.

If Jude 1:12 and Prov. 25:14 can be used to say that clouds=flesh, then surely Jer. 3:20 must mean that wife=Israel, not Mother Jerusalem.

But what about Rev. 22:17?
And the Spirit and the bride say, “Come!” And let him who hears say, “Come!” And let him who thirsts come. Whoever desires, let him take the water of life freely.
The WMSCOG will tell you that since only God can give life, and the “bride” is inviting us to come and take the water of life, then the bride must be God (“Mother God”).
But the very next sentence has the hearers (ordinary people) also inviting us to come and take the water of life. But the same argument would say that we also are gods, and we know that isn’t so.
Therefore, it is not necessary that the bride is God, and it is entirely possible that the bride is the church.  And not just possible...the Bride IS the Church.

PS--You can find an update to this post here.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

The WMSCOG as a Cult

The World Mission Society Church of God founded by Ahnsahnghong (Ahn Sahng Hong), does not seem to mind being called a cult. They will take some of the known characteristics of cults, such as a change of personality for its members, and say that Christianity itself is also a cult if you follow those guidelines.

There are several definitions of the word "cult". If you use the definition, "a group or sect bound together by veneration of the same thing, person, ideal, etc.", then any religion can be called a cult. But from a Christian perspective, we'd use this definition, "a religion or sect considered to be false, unorthodox, or extremist, with members often living outside of conventional society under the direction of a charismatic leader."

Here are other ways to tell if a group is a cult:
from Walter Martin's The Rise of the Cults,
"A cult, then, is a group of people polarized around someone's interpretation of the Bible and is characterized by major deviations from orthodox Christianity relative to the cardinal doctrines of the Christian faith, particularly the fact that God became man in Jesus Christ."

from Josh McDowell and John Stewart's Handbook of Today's Religions,
features that characterize cults include:
"New Truth....God has revealed something special to them. This is usually truth that has never before been revealed and supersedes and contradicts all previous revelations."
"New Interpretations of Scripture....[They] believe they alone have the key to interpreting the mysteries in the Bible."
"A Non-biblical Source of Authority....sacred writings or a source of authority that supersedes the Bible."
"Another Jesus....false teaching about the person of Jesus Christ in the light of historical biblical Christianity."
"Rejection of Orthodox Christianity....They argue that the church has departed from the true faith."
"Double-Talk....they say one thing publically but internally believe something totally different."
"Non-biblical Teaching on the Nature of God (Trinity)....deviation on the doctrine of the Trinity and the nature of God."
"Changing Theology....[members] will learn a doctrine only to find that doctrine later changed or contradicted by further revelation."
"Strong Leadership....central leader figures who consider themselves messengers of God with unique access to the Almighty....This strong leadership leads the cult follower unto total dependence upon the cult for belief, behavior and lifestyle."
"Salvation by Works....No one is taught in the cults that he can be saved from eternal damnation by simply placing his faith in Jesus Christ. It is always belief in Jesus Christ and 'do this' or 'follow that.'"
"False Prophecy....Cult leaders, who believe they have been divinely called by God, have made bold predictions of future events, supposedly revealed by the inspiration of God. Unfortunately, for the cult leaders, these predictions of future events do not come to pass. The one who prophesied is exposed as a false prophet."

If you are a Bible-believing Christian, then there is no doubt that the doctrines of the WMSCOG deviate from traditional Christianity. From that perspective, Ahnsahnghong's church is a cult. Watch out for it.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Misinterpretations about Angels

One of the doctrines of the World Mission Society Church of God (WMSCOG) is that we were once angels, living in heaven, who sinned in heaven and were cast down to earth as punishment.

They take verses out of context to support this, such as…

Job 38:21 (NIV)
“Surely you know, for you were already born!
You have lived so many years!”

They say that this is God telling Job that he should know these things because he was living with God in heaven. BUT if you read the book of Job as a whole, especially chapters 38-40, you can easily see that this is God accusing Job of not knowing what he is talking about.  You can see it better in the New King James:
"Do you know it, because you were born then,
because the number of your days is great?" (Job 38:21)

He throws one question after another at Job, like:

"Have you commanded the morning since your days began,
And caused the dawn to know its place,
That it might take hold of the ends of the earth,
      And the wicked be shaken out of it?
" (Job 38:12-13)

“Can you bring forth the constellations in their season?” (Job 38:32 NIV)

“Can you send out lightnings, that they may go,
      And say to you, ‘Here we
are!’? (Job 38:35)

Does the eagle mount up at your command,
      And make its nest on high?
(Job 39:27)

“Can you take them [light and darkness] to their places? Do you know the paths to their dwellings?” (Job 38:20 NIV)

And in the middle of all that (Job 38:21) God basically says, “Yeah, sure. You know all and can do all. You’ve got all My knowledge and power. Right.”
It’s an example of God using sarcasm. Job knows this too, because in Job 40:4-5, he answers,
“Behold, I am vile;
      What shall I answer You?
      I lay my hand over my mouth.

Once I have spoken, but I will not answer;
      Yes, twice, but I will proceed no further.

God is not saying that Job was living with him in heaven since the foundation of the world—He’s saying that Job doesn’t know what he’s talking about because he has NOT experienced all that.

Another passage taken out of context is Proverbs 8:22-31.
The WMSCOG uses verses like these...
I have been established from everlasting,
      From the beginning, before there was ever an earth.
(Pr. 8:23)
“Before the mountains were settled,
      Before the hills, I was brought forth;
(Pr. 8:25)
“When He prepared the heavens, I was there...” (Pr. 8:27)
to claim that Solomon is saying he, himself, was living in heaven with God since before the world was created.

BUT if you back up in Proverbs 8 to verse 1,
“Does not wisdom cry out,
      And understanding lift up her voice?

And verse 12,
“I, wisdom, dwell with prudence,
      And find out knowledge
and discretion.

You can see that the “I” in this passage is “Wisdom”.
Read all of Proverbs chapters 8 and 9, and you’ll see that Solomon is using personification to represent an abstract quality (wisdom) as a person, like in Pr. 9:1, “Wisdom has built her house….”
He is not talking about an actual woman named Wisdom, just like he is not saying that he, Solomon himself, was created before the world began.

The WMSCOG often takes Bible verses out of context. If you study with them, be sure to read more than just the verses they show you.