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.

Friday, April 30, 2010

Something Good

This experience of dealing with my sister involved in such a group has been simply dreadful. But I see one good thing that has come of it.

Romans 8:28 says, "And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose." Dreadful things do happen to us in this life, but God is able to carry us through them and even find a way to work them into something good.

What is the good that has come about for me through this? I have been able to see my faith in Jesus through a new perspective. I can now understand better the way non-believers, especially Jews, react to the Christian faith.

When I hear Ahnsahnghong being refered to at "Christ Ahnsahnghong" or "My God Ahnsahnghong" or in other ways being given the attributes and credit that should only be given to God... Or when I hear of the woman called "Mother Jerusalem" who is being hailed as "Mother God" and also given worship... It makes me sick to my stomach, an anguish of soul that imposters are being woshiped as only God should be.

I think that must be similar to the feeling some Jews have when they think of Jesus Christ and all the worship He receives.

And when I am frustrated at how much devotion my sister and other church members give to the World Mission Society Church of God, how they spend so many hours in church services and prayer meetings and Bible studies, and how they give so much of their money... And I am especially frustrated knowing that their church does not deserve their devotion.

I think that must be simliar to the feeling some atheists and other non-believers have when they see how devoted I am to my faith, how much time I spend at my church, and how much money I give.

So with this new perspective of how others view my faith, I can be more sensitive and understanding. That is a good thing.

Monday, April 26, 2010

Examining Prophecies--Passover, Part 2

I was investigating whether or not the World Mission Society Church of God's Passover prophecy would pinpoint Ahnsahnghong as the second coming Christ, when a question about dates came up...

In 2009, the WMSCOG celebrated Passover on April 9, while the Jewish community using the Hebrew calendar celebrated on April 8. When I asked about the difference, I was told that it must be because the Jews start their day at sunset, but the WMSCOG believes that Biblically the day should start at sunrise. Ok, I thought, that must be what accounted for the difference...until Passover came this year, 2010.

When I heard the news talking about Passover on March 29, I expected my sister to say that she and her church would be keeping the date on March 30--a day later, just like in 2009. But NO--they kept the same date. I was totally confused--why was it different? So now I've had to investigate a new thing--calendars.

It turns out that the WMSCOG does not follow the Hebrew (Rabbinic) calendar, or the Karaite Jewish Calendar, or the Samaritan Calendar, or any of the other several "Biblical" calendars that I was able to find. Either they have (1)made mistakes in their scheduling or (2)made their own "sacred" calendar.

(1) If they have mistakenly kept the wrong day, for example celebrating Passover on the 15th day of the first month instead of the 14th day, then they are not even keeping Passover according to their own requirements. They believe eternal life is given through keeping the Passover exactly on the correct day. If their own leader, "Jerusalem Mother", who is supposed to be God herself, can't keep the correct day, then she clearly is NOT God.

(2) If they have made their own calendar (which could be to cover up mistakes or to just be different from every other church), then how are we to know except by their own word, if their method of calendar making is correct. Every other calendar also has Biblical reasons they believe their calendar is the only correct one. Should we believe the WMSCOG's calendar simply because it was made by their "gods"? No you must prove that Ahnsahnghong or Mother Jerusalem are God first.

If one was going to be very legalistic in their search for the only preacher whose church is celebrating the Passover exactly right, then you cannot prove that Ahnsahnghong fulfills this prophecy, especially because of the problem with the calendar. It becomes circular again, since you must prove he is God before you can prove he has the right calendar and is keeping Passover the right way.

If one is not so legalistic, and only looks for a preacher whose church takes the Lord’s Supper at about the time of Passover, then there are many of those. This prophecy would not pinpoint Ahnsahnghong. And really the prophecy itself would be flawed since it assumes that the Passover is nowhere to be found apart from the second coming Christ, and yet the Passover is being kept in a number of other churches.

Either way this prophecy fails in proving Ahnsahnghong as the second coming Christ. And since it was the key prophecy, Ahnsahngong's whole claim is unsupported.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Examining Prophecies--Passover, Part 1

Finally, the key prophecy. Will this be the one to pinpoint Ahnsahnghong as the second coming Christ? Let's see...

When Christ returns
He will restore the Passover—the “Tree of Life.”
Gen. 3:22; John 6:53-54; Matt. 26:11-26; Heb. 9:28
They read Hebrews 9:28 to mean that when Christ returns to bring salvation, the “salvation” spoken of is the Passover, and that the church of the second coming Christ will be the only one to keep the Passover.

To the World Mission Society Church of God, the “Passover” is not the traditional Seder meal, but taking the Lord’s Supper (or Communion, the bread and the wine), on Passover evening. They also believe it is the physical act of eating the bread and the wine, at the specified hour on the proper day and in the correct manner, that provides the eternal life promised through the new covenant. We could argue that taking the bread and wine of the Lord’s Supper is symbolic of truly believing in the sacrifice of Jesus’ body and blood as payment for our sins. And that we are free to partake of it and remember the sacrifice of Jesus any time of the year, as often (or seldom) as is helpful to our personal faith.

But since I know that the WMSCOG is very legalistic, I’ll approach it that way, assuming for the moment that it is the day, time, and manner of the Passover that is of supreme importance, and not the sacrifice and belief that it is a symbol of….

The WMSCOG has claimed that "the Passover was abolished at the Council of Nicaea in A.D. 325," and then "the Passover completely disappeared from the world." (source) If Ahnsahnghong really did have the only church in the world with the correct (legalistically speaking) practice of Passover, and the prophecy was interpreted correctly, then BINGO!—that would be the key to point to him as the only one to fulfill this prophecy. So the question becomes, was Ahnsahnghong’s church the only one, and are they celebrating Passover correctly?

Well, with some work, time, and the internet, we can track down other churches that DO celebrate the Passover—the bread and the wine on Passover night. It’s easier to find them when it’s Passover season as you can look up their calendars and see it there. For example, look for different Churches of God (like Church of God 7th Day), Adventist churches, Messianic Jewish churches.... Keep in mind that they might call the celebration the “Lord’s Supper” or “Communion,” but held on Passover night it is still “Passover”.

When I brought this point up, I was told that those churches did not count because of a variety of reasons: they might not do footwashing (some actually do, though), they are a newer congregation and could be copying the WMSCOG (but some are older), they are not celebrating on exactly the right day (wait…not even the Messianic Jews?!). In 2009, the WMSCOG had their Passover celebration on April 9, but the Jewish people celebrated on April 8 according to the Hebrew calendar. Jewish culture is steeped in tradition--could they have the wrong date? That did not sound right, so I've been investigating... I'll let you know next time what I found.

Click here to go on to Part 2.

Monday, April 19, 2010

Examining Prophecies--Lost Truth, Zion

There are just a few more prophecies to look at...

According to the World Mission Society Church of God, when Christ returns
He will restore lost truth / open the seven seals.
Rev. 5:1-5

This is another circular proof. The second coming Christ will open up the secrets of the Bible, but why should we believe him unless we know already that he is the second coming Christ? Again, only useful after you prove the second coming Christ. It’s useless as a proof for anyone, much less Ahnsahnghong.

He will establish Zion
Hosea 3:5

Zion is where the Lord’s feasts are celebrated, Passover in particular. Passover was abolished and disappeared from the earth and has been re-established. Therefore, whatever church celebrates Passover (and all the Lord’s feasts) is the true church and its leader/founder is the second coming Christ, because only God himself can bring back the Passover. (all according the WMSCOG)

In truth, there are quite a few Christian churches that do celebrate the traditional Feasts of the Lord. The WMSCOG says that they are the only church to do the Feasts the right way. But again, there are other churches who make the same claim. The WMSCOG would say that they know they are the ones who have it right because "second coming Christ" Ahnsahnghong told them so. And then this becomes another circular argument.

This is yet another prophecy related to the Passover. You’ll notice that the WMSCOG weaves this theme of the Passover through many of the “prophecies” they cite. It turns out that the Passover is their key prophecy. If that prophecy is interpreted correctly and Ahnsahnghong is the only one to fulfill it, then everything will fall into place. I'll look at that next time...

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Examining Prophecies--David's Throne, Part 2

Well, the prophecy the World Mission Society Church of God uses about David's throne is a bit complicated. I have shown already that of all the instances when David's throne, or the Root of David, was mentioned in the Bible, none of them had anything to do with David becoming king at age 30 and reigning 40 years. The WMSCOG says that since Jesus, though baptized at 30, only preached for 3 years, He left part of that prophcy unfulfilled, so the second coming Christ had to preach the remaining 37 years. Ahnsahnghong was baptized at 30, and lived another 37 years before he died. So even though he died, he fulfilled this prophecy and must be the second coming Christ, they say.

They look at Luke 3:21-23, a passage that describes Jesus being baptized and then says, "Now Jesus Himself began His ministry at about thirty years of age." Then they say that Jesus purposely waited until He was 30 years old to be baptized and begin ministering specifically so He could fulfill this part of the David's throne prophecy (to parallel David becoming king at age 30). Why would Jesus wait until He was 30, if not for this reason, they ask?

First, they completely ignore the word “about” in Luke 3:23, “Now Jesus Himself began His ministry at about thirty years of age.” The Greek word for “about” is there in the sentence. The WMSCOG takes seriously Rev. 22:18-19 which warns about adding or taking away from the Bible. Yet, that’s what they do with this verse, because leaving in the word “about” would force them to admit that Jesus might not have been exactly 30. He may have been 31, or 32, or even 29 ... but that wouldn’t fit their David’s throne prophecy interpretation.

Second, read these verses:
Num. 4:1-3, 21-23, 29-30
1 Then the LORD spoke to Moses and Aaron, saying: 2 “Take a census of the sons of Kohath from among the children of Levi, by their families, by their fathers’ house, 3 from thirty years old and above, even to fifty years old, all who enter the service to do the work in the tabernacle of meeting.

21 Then the LORD spoke to Moses, saying: 22“Also take a census of the sons of Gershon, by their fathers’ house, by their families. 23 From thirty years old and above, even to fifty years old, you shall number them, all who enter to perform the service, to do the work in the tabernacle of meeting.
29 "As for the sons of Merari, you shall number them by their families and by their fathers’ house. 30 From thirty years old and above, even to fifty years old, you shall number them, everyone who enters the service to do the work of the tabernacle of meeting."

1 Chron. 23:2-5
2 He also gathered together all the leaders of Israel, as well as the priests and Levites. 3 The Levites thirty years old or more were counted, and the total number of men was thirty-eight thousand. 4 David said, "Of these, twenty-four thousand are to supervise the work of the temple of the LORD and six thousand are to be officials and judges. 5 Four thousand are to be gatekeepers and four thousand are to praise the LORD with the musical instruments I have provided for that purpose."

Couldn’t Jesus’ waiting until he was about 30 years old have something to do with the priests’ ages when they were eligible to minister in the Temple?

Here’s another thing to think about regarding this prophecy...
Let’s just assume for a minute that the prophecy DOES have something to do with the years of David’s reign. Would it make sense that Ahnsahnghong fulfilled the prophecy?
Just a reminder, the WMSCOG asserts that since David became king at age 30 and ruled for 40 years, and Jesus was baptized at age 30 and preached for 3 years, and Ahnsahnghong fulfills this “prophecy” because he was baptized at age 30 and preached 37 years (the remainder of the 40 years that Jesus didn’t complete).

But let’s look at David’s life and how he became king….
David was anointed king by Samuel under God’s direction when he was just a boy. (1 Samuel 16) So actually, David was given the kingship by God Himself when he was young. We don’t know exactly how old he was, but he was the youngest of 8 sons and only the 3 oldest were able to go into battle.

If the David’s throne prophecy is about ages and years, why is there no mention of Ahnsahnghong when he was young and what he was doing at about the same age as David was at his first anointing? The Bible (Luke 2) tells us that when Jesus was 12 he was in the temple amazing people with His knowledge and insight. Wonder what the boy Ahnsahnghong would have been doing, about 1930, in Korea, surrounded by Buddhist parents, family, and society?

David became king at age 30 and reigned 40 years, according to 2 Sam. 5:4, the verse that the WMSCOG references. But read the next verse, 2 Sam. 5:5, “In Hebron he reigned over Judah seven years and six months, and in Jerusalem he reigned thirty-three years over all Israel and Judah.” (You can read more about this in 2 Sam. 2) David did not actually become king of “Israel” when he was 30—he was only king of Judah. He reigned over Judah for 7 years and did not become king of all Israel until he was 37!

It was the people who anointed him king both at 30 (over Judah) and 37 (over Israel).
It was God, through the prophet Samuel, who anointed him king when he was a boy.

Out of all this, it seems that the most significant times were when David was anointed as a boy, and when he finally became king of all Israel at age 37. Why would the WMSCOG pick the anointing at age 30? Because they can make it fit their purposes, perhaps?

And, since all the Bible is so meaningful, and everything is written as a shadow of things to come (as the WMSCOG so often says). Why would God split the preaching years of the “Christs” into 3 for Jesus and 37 for Ahnsahnghong? If the “prophecy” were meant to be interpreted in the sense that the WMSCOG interprets it, wouldn't we be looking for the 1st Christ to preach 7 years (David’s time ruling over Judah) and the 2nd Christ to preach for 33 years (David’s time ruling all Israel)?

After all this study, the conclusion is that the WMSCOG’s interpretation and application of the David’s throne prophecy fails.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Examining Prophecies--David's Throne, Part 1

Another prophecy the World Mission Society Church of God uses to prove Ahn Sahng-Hong as Christ...

When Christ returns
He will reign on David’s throne.
Hosea 3:5; Luke 1:31; 2 Sam. 5:4
According to the WMSCOG, Jesus did not completely fulfill the prophecy of receiving David’s throne.

Since King David was 30 years old when he became king and reigned for 40 years, that is what Jesus was expected to do also. Jesus began His kingship (was baptized) at 30 years old (Luke 3:23), but only ministered for 3 years (approximately). Therefore, His ministry was incomplete. The second coming Christ will have to be baptized at 30 (like David) and preach for the unfulfilled 37 years. Ahnsahnghong was baptized at 30 years old in 1948 and preached the remaining 37 years, dying in 1985. (This is why they will also say that his death was also to fulfill a prophecy—he could not keep preaching after 37 years because he would have exceeded the allotted time.)

Isa. 55:3; Heb. 13:12
Additionally, the sign of the true prophetical King David (according to the WMSCOG) will be that he restores the Passover. This is another prophecy the WMSCOG uses to point to Passover, but I’ll look at the Passover separately, later. Right now, I’m going to look at David’s throne….

Finally, here would be a nice, specific prophecy (baptized at 30, preach for 37 years)—IF it was interpreted correctly, but it’s NOT! I have never, ever seen any Jewish scholar reporting that the prophecy of reigning on David’s throne means that the Jews expected the Messiah to be baptized at 30 years old and rule for 40 years. If there is one out there, the WMSCOG ought to reference it. “Sitting on David’s throne” has nothing to do with the years of David’s reign—it’s all about the family line of David. Why would the WMSCOG misinterpret this prophecy? Because what kind of chance is there that a man from Korean family would be descended from the Jewish King David?

I searched the Scriptures to find out what is meant by “reigning on David’s throne.” As I read each one I asked, in this passage is “David’s throne” referring to the years of reign (beginning at 30, reigning for 40 years)? Or is it referring to the descendants of David ruling on the throne of Israel? Not once did I see a Scripture that could have been meant to refer to the years of reign. If I’ve missed one, I hope someone will be kind enough to point it out.

I'm going to save space and just write the Scripture references. You can look them up quickly at www.biblegateway.com.

2 Sam. 3:9-10
This is before David even began to rule as king. When Abner spoke this, did he know already the years of David’s rule? No. He was talking about David and his line being established as rulers of Israel and Judah.

1 Kings 1:13, 29-37
1 Kings 2:4, 10-12, 24, 33, 45
1 Kings 3:6-7

These verses all refer to Solomon becoming king after David, about Solomon being given David’s throne. As a matter of fact, Solomon did reign for 40 years (1 Kings 11:42), but we don’t know how old he was when he became king. Nevertheless, these verses are given when Solomon BECAME king. Were they limiting their king to 40 years of service? No, they expected David to have descendants sitting on the throne forever.

Psalm 132:11
Isa. 16:5

Who will sit on the throne? “One from the house of David”—a descendant of David.

Isa. 9:7
The Messiah to reign on David’s throne will reign from “that time on and forever,” not a mere 40 years.

Jer. 13:13-14
Jer. 17:25
Jer. 22:1-5
Jer. 29:16

Who are the kings who sit on David’s throne in the book of Jeremiah? Not kings who began their rule at 30 years old and continued for 40 years. They were descendants of David, ruling over Israel and Judah.

Jer. 33:17-21
Who is the man that will sit on the throne? A descendant of David.

Isa. 11:1, 10
Rev. 5:5
Rev. 22:16

These are all about someone from the "root of David" or the "root of Jesse" (who was David's father). That is a reference to the family line, not a number of years.

Luke 1:31-33
Was Jesus expected to reign for only 40 years? No. Did He need someone to complete His remaining 37 years of preaching? No. He rose from the dead and lives forever Himself. “His kingdom will NEVER end.”

But wait—if the prophecy of David’s throne means that the second coming Christ must be a descendant of David, doesn’t that contradict the previous prophecy of him being a Gentile (the order of Melchizedek)?

No, remember Hebrews 7--the prophecy about Melchizedek was not about being a Gentile. Only members of the tribe of Levi were permitted to be priests according to the law. Melchizedek did not obtain his priesthood from his genealogy. Jesus also is not a priest because of His genealogy. He was not from the tribe of Levi. His was a God-given priesthood. Being a priest in the order of Melchizedek does not mean that the Christ must be a Gentile. It means that the Christ is not from the tribe of Levi.

We could say that because Ahnsahnghong was a Gentile, he was definitely not from the tribe of Levi, and so he still would fulfill this prophecy of being in the order of Melchizedek. But He does not fulfill the prophecy of being one of David’s descendants to sit on David’s throne (as it is rightly interpreted).

Click here to go on to Part 2.

Monday, April 12, 2010

Examining Prophecies--Melchizedek

A continuing look at the prophecies the World Mission Society Church of God uses to prove Ahnsahngong as God, the second coming Christ. Remember, the goal is to see if the prophecies point to Ahnsahnghong as the unique one to fulfill them....

When Christ returns for the second time
He will come in the order of Melchizedek.
Hebrews 7:1-4
"For this Melchizedek ... without father, without mother, without genealogy, having neither beginning of days nor end of life, but made like the Son of God, remains a priest continually."

The WMSCOG says this means that the second coming Christ will fulfill these prophecies:
1) He will bless us with eternal life through the Passover bread and wine.
2) He will be born among unbelievers ("without father or mother").
3) He will be born of Gentiles ("without genealogy").
4) He is God ("without beginning of days or end of life").
(These are taken straight from the church website: http://english.watv.org/truth/christ_melchizedek.html)

Looking at those points one by one:
#1 about the Passover—I’ll look at that separately with the prophecy about “restoring the Passover.”

#4 about being God, without beginning of days or end of life…well, we know that Ahnsahnghong was born and then died here on earth and no one saw him alive again. So to say that he fulfilled this part of the prophecy already assumes that he is God. The conclusion of examining these prophecies will show whether he is God or not.

#2 and 3 are similar—he will be born to Gentile unbelievers. We can discuss whether this is an accurate interpretation since reading the rest of Hebrews 7 gives a much clearer idea of what being a “priest in the order of Melchizedek” means, and there are serious ramifications of having God raised by unbelieving parents (Was his family Buddhist? As a child did he honor his parents and worship a false god?!?!).

However, just going with it for now… yes, Ahnsahnghong fulfilled that interpretation of the prophecy, but let’s estimate how many other people would also fulfill this prophecy. A conservative estimate of the world’s population is 6.6 billion. We’ll take the large estimate of 18 million Jews and 2.1 billion Christians. That still leaves more than 4 billion people. Even considering that there were fewer people in 1948 and that not all of those people are “from the east”, that is still an enormous number! Even if you consider South Korea only, the population who are not Jewish or Christian still numbers about 25 million!

But what does it really mean to come "in the order of Melchizedek"? The WMSCOG frequently takes verses out of context. If you read all of Hebrews chapter 7, you can see clearly that Paul was showing all the ways Jesus as a priest was similar to the priest Melchizedek. By law, the priests were to be from the tribe of Levi, but Melchizedek was not. The idea is NOT that the Christ needs to be from a non-Israelite (Gentile) family, but that he is from a non-Levite family.

Hebrews 7:16
"who has come, not according to the law of a fleshly commandment, but according to the power of an endless life."
(He was not a Levite, but He did raise Himself from the dead.)

In other words, in Hebrews 7, Paul is talking about the Jesus who lived, died and rose again, not another, different second coming Christ.

You can see how easy it is to start with the assumption that Ahnsahnghong is the second coming Christ, and then look for all the “prophecies” he fulfilled. It’s much harder to start with the prophecies (even the WMSCOG interpretations), and use them to pinpoint Ahnsahnghong as the only one who fulfilled them. But I'll keep looking for a more specific prophecy...

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Examining Prophecies--The Last Adam

A continuing look at the prophecies the World Mission Society Church of God uses to prove Ahnsahngong as God, the second coming Christ. Remember, the goal is to see if the prophecies point to Ahnsahnghong as the unique one to fulfill them....

When Christ returns for the second time
He will come as the last Adam.
Rom. 5:14, "Nevertheless death reigned from Adam to Moses, even over those who had not sinned according to the likeness of the transgression of Adam, who is a type of Him who was to come."
1 Cor. 15:45, "And so it is written, “The first man Adam became a living being.” The last Adam became a life-giving spirit.'"

First of all, the WMSCOG says that Paul (in Romans 5:14) is not talking about Jesus, but about the Second Coming Christ. They think that since Paul says that Adam “was a type of Him who was to come” and since Jesus had already come when this was written, that Paul must be referring to one "to come” in the future. But this is not correct. Reading the following verses (vv. 15-21) and it is obvious that Paul is contrasting Adam and Jesus. To read verse 14 grammatically correct, think of it this way—Adam, in his time, was a pattern of the one who was to come, after Adam’s time. Paul was writing about Jesus in verse 14, but since I’m trying to look at things from a WMSCOG perspective, I’m going to put that aside and continue on…

So, coming “in the pattern of Adam” according the WMSCOG means:
1. From 1 Cor. 15:45, the Last Adam is a “life giving spirit”—he will give us spiritual life. How is spiritual life given? Through the Passover.  
2. From Adam came Eve, the mother of all living. The Last Adam will give us (show us) the Heavenly Mother.

In regards to #1, this is one of the prophecies related to Passover. I'm going to tackle the Passover prophecies later. But let’s consider #2, the Last Adam showed us the Heavenly Mother…

When I had the chance to talk to my sister’s study leader, I asked her what it was that qualified this woman in Korea as the Heavenly Mother? Are there prophecies concerning her that would point to that woman in particular, over all the other women on earth, as the Heavenly Mother? The answer was … No, we know she is the Heavenly Mother because Ahnsahnghong said so—he pointed her out; it’s on his word.

So now, disregarding scriptures used to prove the existence of a “Mother God”, let’s think about if the “last Adam” prophecy can point out Ahnsahnghong as the Second Coming Christ. Here’s how the argument goes…. Second Coming Christ will show us who the Heavenly Mother is. Ahnsahnghong said that Zang Gil-Jah (or Chung Gil Cha, I'm not certain of the spelling) is the Heavenly Mother. Ahnsahnghong is right because he is the Second Coming Christ. How do we know he’s the Second Coming Christ? Well, because he showed us the Heavenly Mother, of course.

It is a circular argument. It doesn’t prove anything. This prophecy fails to point out any particular person as the second coming Christ since anyone can point to any woman and say, “There she is, your heavenly mother!” This prophecy (even if it were interpreted correctly), is only useful after you have already proven someone to be the Christ.

As for the existence of a "Mother God" at all...that it a topic for another day.

Examining Prophecies--From the East

A continuing look at the prophecies the World Mission Society Church of God uses to prove Ahnsahngong as God, the second coming Christ. Remember, the goal is to see if the prophecies point to Ahnsahnghong as the unique one to fulfill them....

When Christ returns for the second time
He will come from the east.
This means Korea since it is the farthest country east (without crossing water).
Isa. 24:15-16; Isa. 46:11; Isa. 41:2

Isa. 41:2 mentions simply “one from the east,” not specifying how far east. Isa. 46:11 mentions someone “from the east…from a far country.” That scripture has already been fulfilled by Cyrus of Persia. It may be a dual prophecy with another fulfillment to come, but if Persia was described as a “far country” then it is not necessary for “far” to mean as far as Korea.

Now for Isa. 24:15-16: “ Therefore glorify the LORD in the dawning light,
      The name of the LORD God of Israel in the coastlands of the sea.
      From the ends of the earth we have heard songs:
      “Glory to the righteous!”...”

The WMSCOG puts “in the east” together with “the ends of the earth” to reach the conclusion of Korea, which is the farthest country east on the continent of Asia. But there is also some land in China which is still a little east of Korea, and there is LOTS of land in Russia that extends well east of Korea. The WMSCOG also ignores the phrase “in the coastlands of the sea” which refers to the Mediterranean Sea west of Israel. If these verses are meant to pinpoint the second coming Christ in the way that the WMSCOG interprets, then you must consider that he might come from the west ends of the earth, which would be Portugal? Morocco? Senegal? No? Perhaps they want to consider the east only and that reference to be a sea in the east—then that could be Japan? Or one of the South Pacific islands?

Actually, this verse describes people from all over the world, east to west, giving glory to God—not a specific country that will produce the second coming Christ.

But we’ll say we are looking for a second coming Christ from somewhere in the east. (I have heard of that prophecy before, and there is significance about the east throughout the Bible.) Ahnsahnghong does fulfill that prophecy, but so does everyone else living in the continent of Asia (and that’s a lot of people—well over a billion in China alone). With the mobility of people in this era, though, we could also look for someone living in the west who has family roots in the east. So that narrows the search…well…slightly…

Friday, April 9, 2010

Examining Prophecies--The Fig Tree

A continuing look at the prophecies the World Mission Society Church of God uses to prove Ahnsahngong as God, the second coming Christ. Remember, the goal is to see if the prophecies point to Ahnsahnghong as the unique one to fulfill them....

When Christ returns for the second time
He will appear when the nation of Israel is restored (1948).
According to the parable of the fig tree, which is symbolic for Israel:
Matt. 24:32-33; Luke 13:6-7; Isa. 5:7; Jer. 24:5

I've been unable to get details about Ahnsahnghong’s baptism, but for the purpose here, let’s accept the church’s statement that he was baptized in 1948, the same year Israel was restored. Yes, Ahnsahnghong would then fulfill this prophecy…but what about everyone else baptized in 1948? Or what about those born in 1948? Plus, this prophecy can be interpreted to be “any time after Israel’s restoration,” since Matt. 24:32-33 says that when these things happen we know the end is “near--at the doors” because “when its branch has already become tender and puts forth leaves, you know that summer is near. ” There are several verses in the Bible talking about Jesus coming “soon” (look in the book of Revelation), and Peter said “The end of all things is at hand [near]” (1 Pet. 4:7). Well, it’s been almost 2000 years—obviously God has a different idea of “soon” and “near” than we do. Therefore, we need not look only to the year 1948, but anytime after as well. This prophecy then rules out anyone who died before 1948. But everyone alive in or after 1948 fulfills this prophecy.

The re-establishment of the country of Israel is very significant in Bible prophecy. But look at Luke 21:29 (a parallel to Matt. 24:32), "Then He spoke to them a parable: 'Look at the fig tree, and all the trees.'" It's entirely possible that Jesus was NOT using the fig tree as a symbol for Israel, since He says to look at ALL the trees. The fig tree is among a number of trees that lose its leaves in winter, and it's cycle of fruit and leaves is very noticeable, so it could easily be that Jesus was just using it as a visual example.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Examining Prophecies--A New Name

A continuing look at the prophecies the World Mission Society Church of God uses to prove Ahn Sahng-Hong as God, the second coming Christ. Remember, the goal is to see if the prophecies point to Ahn Sahng-Hong as the unique one to fulfill them....

When Christ returns
He will come with a new name.
God’s people first called on the name of Jehovah to be saved, and then the name of Jesus. In the end days He will reveal a new name on which men must call to be saved.
Rev. 3:12 and Rev. 2:17

I don’t think Rev. 2:17 should be used for this prophecy since it says that the new name will be known only to the one it is given, and the name of Ahn Sahng-Hong is known by many people.  So that leaves us with one solitary verse about a new name, but it's a good one, so for the sake of argument let’s go with the WMSCOG interpretation. Does this help us narrow the list of candidates?  Who has a different name…?  Yes, Ahn Sahng-Hong fulfills this prophecy, and so do 99+% of the people in the world.  (That percentage is just my own guess, by the way.)  This prophecy would only rule out any person with the name of Jehovah or Jesus (or variants, like Yeshua or Joshua).  I can’t say I’ve met any human named Jehovah, but there are a fair number of men named Jesus on my side of the world and I know a Joshua—they’re out.

BUT, When God is referred to with a “name” in the Bible, it’s not meant as a name like “Bob” to tell Him apart from another god named “Joe.” Names that are used for God are deep with meaning and express an aspect of His character.

If God were to appear in the flesh again with a new name (as the WMSCOG claims), it would not be any of these previously used names (not just in words only, but in meaning, for these are Hebrew names, and translated to another language they might sound different, but would be the same name in meaning—like “John”, “Ian”, and “Sean” are the same names from different countries.)

I've seen a list of about 100 names of God, from Jehovah Shalom (the LORD of Peace) to El Emet (The God of Truth) to Elohei Mishpat (God of Justice) to Eloah Selichot (God of Forgiveness) to Immanuel (God with us) and Jesus (the Greek form of Joshua, which means "The LORD Saves").

I wonder… What does the name “Ahn Sahng-Hong” mean? And is it different in meaning from all the other names used for God in the Bible?

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Examining Prophecies--He will come in the flesh

When I questioned how Ahnsahnghong can be proven to be the Christ, I was told to look at the prophecies. Just as how it might be hard to believe in Jesus as the Messiah, looking at the prophecies He fulfilled is very convincing. In the same way, the World Mission Society Church of God says, there are prophecies about the return of Jesus, and if Ahnsahnghong fulfills those prophecies, then he must be the second coming Christ, even if it seems unlikely just by the looks of things.

With Jesus, there are numerous, SPECIFIC prophecies that He fulfilled, like...
He will be descended from David - 2 Sam. 7:16
He will be born in Bethlehem - Micah 5:2
He will be pierced - Zech. 12:10
He will enter Jerusalem on a donkey - Zech. 9:9
Even the time of His appearing - Daniel 9
and those are just a few. They can be used to narrow down a list of potential Messiahs to pinpoint the One.

For Ahnsahnghong, it may be easy to say he is the Christ and then find "prophecies" that he supposedly fulfilled. But what if you just look at those so-called prophecies and see if they can pinpoint Ahnsahnghong as the one-and-only second coming Christ? If they are valid prophecies, and if Ahnsahnghong is "the One", then that is exactly what should happen. Does it?...

I'll examine these prophecies (the same ones the WMSCOG uses) one by one.

When the second-coming Christ appears:
He will appear in the flesh, as at His first coming.
Christ will come on the clouds:
Luke 21:27-28; Matt 24:30; Rev. 1:7
“Cloud” is symbolic of flesh (people):
Heb. 12:1; Jude 1:12
Therefore, the second coming Christ will be born in the flesh as a baby.

I disagree with the interpretation of "clouds" equaling "flesh", and I will show that through the Bible another time. But let’s just say for the sake of argument that this is a correctly interpreted prophecy. How can that help us narrow down the possibilities of who the second coming Christ could be? Hmmm, who has been born in the flesh…? Yes, Ahnsahnghong has fulfilled that prophecy...along with every single person on earth. So this prophecy does nothing to show that Ahnsahnghong (or anyone else) is the second coming Christ. This prophecy is so unhelpful that I think it shouldn’t count at all. … Oh wait, yes, it can be helpful—interpreted this way, it rules out any being appearing in a supernatural way, such as riding on an actual cloud.

On the other hand, Acts 1:9-11 says
"Now when He had spoken these things, while they watched, He was taken up, and a cloud received Him out of their sight.  And while they looked steadfastly toward heaven as He went up, behold, two men stood by them in white apparel, who also said, “Men of Galilee, 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.”"

The WMSCOG says that "in the same way" (NIV) means that he will be in the flesh, just as he ascended in the flesh. But the Greek word that is translated "in the same way" or "in like manner" has to do with action, manner, the way something is done. The angels are therefore referring to the action of Jesus ascending into the sky, not His appearance, as in what He was wearing or what He looked like.

Please note that Christians do believe in a physical return of Christ, but when the WMSCOG talks of Jesus returning in the flesh, they don't just mean a physical return, they mean that He will be born again as a baby--a much different idea.

It is reasonable to look for Christ to return from the sky or on the clouds. But if you followed the WMSCOG interpretation and looked for someone born in the flesh, anybody can fulfill that!

Monday, April 5, 2010

Resurrection Day

Over this past Holy Week, from Palm Sunday, to Passover, to Good Friday, to Resurrection Day, I have been realizing just how different World Mission Society Church of God is from traditional Christianity.

Their focus is:
toward the act of Passover and away from the sacrifice of Jesus on the cross.
1 Cor. 1:18—“For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God.”

toward the name of Ahn Sahng-Hong and away from the name of Jesus.
Phil. 2:10-11—“that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of those in heaven, and of those on earth, and of those under the earth, and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.”

toward “Mother God” (Zahng Gil-Ja) and “Father Ahn Sahng-Hong” and away from the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.
Gal. 4:6—“And because you are sons, God has sent forth the Spirit of His Son into your hearts, crying out, “Abba, Father!"”

toward Ahn Sahng-Hong as the Holy Spirit incarnated and away from the Holy Spirit who lives in you.
Romans 8:11—“But if the Spirit of Him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, He who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through His Spirit who dwells in you.”

toward legalism and all they must do in order to attain heaven and away from the grace of God that gives salvation freely.
Romans 3:22-24—“even the righteousness of God, through faith in Jesus Christ, to all and on all who believe. For there is no difference; 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”


Yesterday was the day we Christians celebrate the Resurrection of Jesus.
Anybody can claim to be the Christ, and many people have. But who has been able to prove it?

Jesus not only fulfilled the prophecies about the messiah in the Old Testament—He also performed healings and miracles, AND He RAISED HIMSELF from the DEAD.

Romans 1:4
and declared to be the Son of God with power according to the Spirit of holiness, by the resurrection from the dead”

How does the WMSCOG support the claim of Ahn Sahng-Hong’s being the Christ? I’ll look at that next time….