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.

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Clouds and Flesh, Part 2

Continuing on with verses the World Mission Society Church of God uses to support their interpretation that Jesus' return "on the clouds" means that He will be born again in the flesh...

Revelation 10:1--I saw still another mighty angel coming down from heaven, clothed with a cloud. And a rainbow was on his head, his face was like the sun, and his feet like pillars of fire.

They say that “clothed with a cloud” means “clothed in flesh.” But is it not possible for Jesus to wrap clouds around Himself like a robe? Clouds are used to describe a covering or garment in other verses, and substituting the word “flesh” would not make sense in the other verses. Why interpret it as “flesh” just in this verse?  Here are the others...

and the LORD said to Moses: 'Tell Aaron your brother not to come at just any time into the Holy Place inside the veil, before the mercy seat which is on the ark, lest he die; for I will appear in the cloud above the mercy seat.” (Lev 16:2)
Does this mean that God was appearing as a man in flesh over the atonement cover?

He binds up the water in His thick clouds,
      Yet the clouds are not broken under it.

He covers the face of His throne,
And spreads His cloud over it.” (Job 26:8-9)
Does God use His flesh to wrap up the waters or cover the moon?

When I made the clouds its [the earth's] garment,
      And thick darkness its swaddling band
” (Job 38:9)
Is the earth clothed in flesh?

How the Lord has covered the daughter of Zion
      With a cloud in His anger!
...” (Lam 2:1)
Here Israel is covered with a cloud, but not flesh—it’s descriptive of the Lord’s anger.

You [God] have covered Yourself with a cloud,
      That prayer should not pass through.
” (Lam 3:44)  
God may have covered Himself with flesh as Jesus, but that’s not what this verse is talking about. It would be pretty sad for us if Jesus’ flesh was so thick He wouldn’t hear our prayers.

Thick clouds cover Him, so that He cannot see,
      And He walks above the circle of heaven.
” (Job 22:14)  
Similarly, if Jesus’ flesh was so thick that He didn’t see us from heaven, I would be very discouraged.

He made darkness His secret place;
         His canopy around Him
was dark waters
And thick clouds of the skies.” (Ps 18:11)
If dark flesh were His canopy or covering, maybe we should be looking for a Savior with dark skin?

Then Solomon spoke:
      'The LORD said He would dwell in the dark cloud.” (2 Chron 6:1)
Is this the Lord having dark skin again? No, it’s describing the cloud of the Lord’s presence.
Daniel 7:13--
"I was watching in the night visions,
      And behold,
One like the Son of Man,
      Coming with the clouds of heaven!
      He came to the Ancient of Days,
      And they brought Him near before Him."

When you look at this Scripture alongside Matt 28:18, “And Jesus came and spoke to them, saying, 'All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth,” and Luke 22:29, “And I bestow upon you a kingdom, just as My Father bestowed one upon Me,” then it looks as though Dan 7:13 is talking about Jesus’ first coming. The WMSCOG says that since Jesus was born as a baby, “clouds” here means “flesh."

If this vision is about Jesus’ first coming, then it could easily be something happening in the heavenly realm before Jesus is born on the earth.

Or it could be happening when Jesus ascends into heaven. If you look at Acts 1:9, “Now when He had spoken these things, while they watched, He was taken up, and a cloud received Him out of their sight,” and John 20:17, “... ‘I am ascending to My Father and your Father, and to My God and your God.’” Can you imagine Jesus ascending into a cloud and then riding on that cloud straight into the scene in Daniel 7?  Isn’t it possible that Jesus was given authority and a kingdom before He came to earth, and had an official ceremony for it after He returned to heaven?  Or that the giving of authority and the kingdom was repeated, maybe for emphasis or as a “job well done”?

Ahnsahnghong (page 221 of the Water of Life book) and the WMSCOG seem to believe that a actual cloud could not physically support the body of Jesus, and that Jesus would have to be waiting around in the sky (like a satellite maybe?) until it was time to return, that He would not be able to travel between heaven and earth when it was time to descend in the clouds.

Though Jesus was a physical being after His resurrection, His body was not of ordinary flesh like we have. In John 20 verses 19 and 26, we see two different occasions when Jesus appeared in a room when all the doors were closed and locked. And in Mark 16:19, Luke 24:51, and Acts 1:9, He physically goes up into the sky. If His resurrection body can do these things, it should be no problem for a Him to come on an actual cloud.

Since the angels in Acts 1:11 said, “…why do you stand gazing up into heaven? This same Jesus, who was taken up from you into heaven, will so come in like manner as you saw Him go into heaven.” What does this mean?
Descending from the sky from the clouds? Probably.
In a physical form of flesh that we can see? Probably.
Being born as a baby again? Probably not since He did not go into heaven as a baby.
Why did the angels question the people about standing around looking at the sky? I think because the people needed to stop looking so intently for Jesus’ return and get to the business of telling the world about Him.

I have a little more about clouds that I'll post next time...

Click here to go on to Part 3.

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