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, November 20, 2010

Galatians 4:26 -- Part 4

Still working on...
Galatians 4:26  But the Jerusalem that is above is free, and she is our mother.

I'll be quoting again from the WMSCOG page about "Heavenly Mother."

They say that "through the history of Abraham's family, God has revealed to us how we can inherit the kingdom of heaven."  And that the "reason why Isaac was chosen as Abraham's heir was that Isaac was the son of Sarah, who was free.  This history shows us that the heavenly inheritance will be given to those who are born of the heavenly Mother, who is free."

I've already examnined how Abraham represents himself (not God), and how God established His covenant with Isaac because he was the promised child, born miraculously to Abraham and Sarah.

The WMSCOG says that God chose Isaac to become God's heir because his mother (Sarah) was a free woman, not a slave.  They say that Eliezer was a servant, so both his parents were slaves, thereby disqualifying him to be Abraham's heir.  And Ishmael's mother (Hagar) was also a slave, and "this is why God could not allow Ishmael to become Abraham's heir," even though his father (Abraham) was free.  They say that "the key factor in deciding an heir is 'Mother.'"

Is it true that the status of a child's mother (slave or free) determined whether or not that child could become an heir?  Let's think about this now...

Was Eliezer disqualified as an heir because his mother was a slave?  No, Abraham said, "You have given me no children; so a servant in my household will be my heir.” (Gen. 15:3)
Eliezer would have been Abraham's heir if Abraham had no children of his own when he died, despite the status of his mother.  (By the way, it's interesting to wonder why Abraham didn't mention his nephew Lot as his heir.  Makes me wonder exactly who Eliezer was to Abraham....)

How about Ishmael?  Was he disqualified because his mother was a slave?  God's special covenant was not passed to Ishmael, that's true, but God did promise to bless him and make him into a great nation.  (Gen. 17:20).

What about when Sarah said to Abraham, "Get rid of that slave woman and her son, for that woman’s son will never share in the inheritance with my son Isaac.”  (Gen. 21:10)  Can you understand Sarah's animosity toward Ishmael?  Ever since she offered her maidservant to her husband she had regretted it and had problems getting along with Hagar.  Finally she had a son of her own, and she "saw that the son whom Hagar the Egyptian had borne to Abraham was mocking." (Gen. 21:9)  It is no wonder she wanted him gone.

If you read further in Genesis 21, you see that God told Abraham not to worry about Ishmael.  Even though Ishmael would not receive Abraham's earthly inheritance or be a part of the covenant God made with Abraham, He told Abraham He would still "make the son of the slave into a nation also, because he is your offspring.” (Gen. 21:13)

Another question is... Are there other cases in the Bible that would show us if a mother's status (slave or free) did indeed influence someone's inheritance?

There are three that come to mind.
#1 -- After Sarah died, Abraham married again, a woman named Keturah, and she bore him sons.  (Gen. 25:1-2)  We don't know anything about Keturah, but it's likely that she was not a slave, isn't it?  Yet, "Abraham left everything he owned to Isaac." (Gen. 25:5)  But with Ishmael gone, Isaac was the firstborn son, with all the privileges associated with that birthright.

#2 -- Isaac married Rebekah and had twin sons, Esau and Jacob.  Esau and Jacob had the same mother, a free woman, and yet Jacob (the second born) got the birthright and the blessing of the firstborn instead of his brother.  (Gen. 25:19-34 and chapter 27)  There wasn't even a blessing left for Esau. (Gen. 27:38-40)  At least Ishmael got a blessing.

#3 -- The 12 sons of Jacob came from 4 different women.  (Gen. 29:31-35; 30:1-24 and 35:16-18)  Leah and Rachel, his two wives were free women, and they gave him 6 and 2 sons respectively.  Rachel's servant Bilhah bore Jacob 2 sons, and Leah's servant Zilpah also bore Jacob 2 sons.  The mothers of those 4 sons were slaves.  Were they excluded from the inheritance of their father, Jacob?  NO.  God blessed ALL 12 sons of Jacob and grew them into the 12 tribes of Israel.

So the WMSCOG's logic chain to interpret Galatians 4:26 is flawed.  Next time we can examine what that passage from Galatians really means.

Click here to go on to Part 5.

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