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, December 28, 2011

Ahnsahnghong's Birthday, Baptism, and Death

If you have talked with a World Mission Society Church of God member or visited the official church website recently, you probably already know that this year they celebrated Christmas.  No, not exactly Christmas... they celebrated Ahnsahnghong's birthday which happened to fall on December 25, 2011.  They even have a new website highlighting it.

(UPDATE Jan. 12, 2012 -- That new website is gone, but you can find the information here and here.  It's interesting how much publicity the WMSCOG put into celebrating Ahnsahnghong's birthday Dec. 25, 2011.  Why is there no record of such celebration any other year on their website?)

(UPDATE Apr. 10, 2012 -- That website it back again, but different.  This time it only shows several videos from the WMSCOG's "I Have Already Come" campaign.  Strangely though, it has no apparent link to their main church website.)

How does someone's birthday fall on a different day each year, I wondered?  The lunar (lunisolar) calendar of Korea (same as the Chinese calendar) is different from the solar calendar that we commonly use, the Gregorian calendar.

If you measure your birthday on the lunar calendar, and each year convert the date to the Gregorian calendar, you'll find that it falls on different 'Gregorian' days each year.  This is similar to seeing January's full moon (for example) on a different day of January each year.

I thought I ought to investigate, and not just this, but other important dates.  For your reference, here's a handy Gregorian-Lunar calendar converter (provided by the government of Hong Kong).  I'll go through this step by step...

Ahnsahnghong's Birth Date

The WMSCOG tells us that Dec. 25, 2011 is the 94th birthday of Ahnsahnghong.
They say his birthday by the lunar calendar was Dec. 1.

Actually, Dec. 1918 to Dec. 2011 is only 93 years.  What they really mean (which didn't come across well in the translation) is that Ahnsahnghong's birthday is the 1st day of the 12th month.

You can see in the calendar of 1918 that the 12th month, 1st day, is January 13, 1918.  This birthday (January 13, 1918) was verified by a friend, and also calculates the "94th Anniversary" correctly to Dec. 25, 2011.

From this we need to remember:
Birthday = Jan. 13, 1918 = 12th month, 1st day (early 1918)

Ahnsahnghong's Baptism

The WMSCOG says Ahnsahnghong was baptized in 1948, but the New Covenant Passover Church of God (the NCPCOG, another church founded by Ahnsahnghong) give us a more specific date, Dec. 16, 1948.

Here's the calendar for 1948.  We know they mean the Gregorian Dec. 16, and not the lunar 12th month, 16th day, because that would be January 26.  Jan. 26, 1948 would be too early because Israel did not declare independence until May 14, 1948.

From this we need to remember:
Baptism = Dec. 16, 1948 = 11th month, 16th day (late 1948)

Ahnsahnghong's Death

The WMSCOG tells us that Ahnsahnghong "ascended" (died really, here's his grave) in February 1985.  A more specific date of Feb. 25, 1985, is given in this article (third paragraph under the first bullet point).

Here's the calendar from 1985.
From this we need to remember:
Death = Feb. 25, 1985 = 1st month, 6th day (early 1985)

Now Some Calculations

Since we know these dates, let's see how they work with the WMSCOG's claims that Ahnsahnghong
1)  was baptized at 30 years old, and
2)  preached 37 years (they count this from his baptism, not from when he officially established his own church in 1964.).

First, how old was Ahnsahnghong when he was baptized?
Jan. 13, 1918 to Dec. 16, 1948 = 30 years, 11 months, 3 days (Gregorian)
12th month, 1st day early 1918 to 11th month, 16th day late 1948 = 30 years, 11 months, 16 days (lunar)

Yes, technically he was 30 years old, but nearly 31.

Second, how long did he 'preach' from baptism to death?
Dec. 16, 1948 to Feb. 25, 1985 = 36 years, 2 months, 9 days (Gregorian)
11th month, 16th day late 1948 to 1st month, 6th day early 1985 = 36 years, 1 month, 20 days (lunar)

Just over 36 years--that takes extra rounding to get up to 37 years.

Thought you might be interested to know all that.

Perhaps a greater question, considering the WMSCOG's insistence on avoiding anything with pagan origins,
Why are they keeping Ahnsahnghong's birthday according the lunar calendar, instead of the "Sacred Calendar"?

For more information...
...about the WMSCOG's claimed prophecy of 37 years, please read my posts about David's Throne, Part 1 and Part 2.

I find it especially compelling that they use 2 Samuel 5:4 for this prophecy,
"David was thirty years old when he began to reign, and he reigned forty years."

But they don't seem to read on to the next verse, 2 Samuel 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."

If God truly meant this as a prophecy about 40 years of preaching divided between Jesus' first and second comings, it would have been divided 7 years and 33 years, NOT 3 years and 37 years.
The "David's Throne" prophecy has been wrongly interpreted by the WMSCOG.

Monday, December 5, 2011

The "New Name" -- Information Control

The World Mission Society Church of God places great emphasis on the "new name" of God in this age.  They say that using this "new name" is essential to salvation, that you cannot be saved and enter heaven without believing in this "new name."  This is part of their Truth of Life teaching.

They place this emphasis on both the "name of the Holy Spirit" and the "name of His Bride."  Here are some quotes from their sermon, "The Value of the New Name":
Now, let's consider how great the new name, the Savior's name in the age of the Holy Spirit, is, how valuable the name of His Bride, the new Jerusalem our Mother, is and how important the names are for us, Their children. ...
Some say that more people will receive the truth if we do not speak or teach in the new name. Absolutely not! The most precious thing is the new name written on our foreheads. What makes us valuable is the new name. ...
In these last days, God has come to this earth as the Spirit and the Bride with the new name. We are God's people; we ought to know the name of God our Father and the name of our heavenly Mother, the new Jerusalem. For we may go to heaven or hell according to whether we believe in Their names or not, and by Them our value is determined. ...
God has promised to give the eternal kingdom to His children who know the names of the Spirit and the Bride, the heavenly Father and Mother. ...
We must take pride in the new name and boast that we are God's children. ...
If we do not proclaim the new name for fear of persecution, God's name will be erased from our minds. But if we proclaim the name more boldly and confidently despite persecution, it will be inscribed more deeply within us. ...
 The devil our wicked enemy knows that, and he tries to take away the name of our Father from us and erase the name of our Mother from our minds, so that we may not attain the eternal glory of heaven. ...
The Bible teaches that we, who love God's name, are to continually proclaim His glorious name so that it may be praised in the world. ...
Considering this fact, we should confidently boast in the new name before all people and boldly proclaim it to them.
Now, let's openly pronounce God's name on our foreheads, so that His name will be quickly proclaimed even to the ends of the earth.
They claim that the name of the Holy Spirit is "Ahn Sahng-hong," and the name of the Bride is "Zahng Gil-ja."  These are not alternate spellings or pronunciations of Jesus.  They are the actual names of the founder of the World Mission Society Church of God (who died in 1985) and his "spiritual wife" who currently leads the church as "Heavenly Mother Jerusalem."

If these two names are so very important for salvation and should be proclaimed boldly to the world without fear of persecution, then...
  • Why do so many people report being baptized by the WMSCOG before being told the name of Ahnsahnghong, whom they are being baptized into?
  • Why do so many people report being told to wait when they ask about the woman in the pictures at the church?
  • Why do so many people report that they are approached by WMSCOG evangelists who are not open and candid about the name of their church, much less the names of their gods?
  • Why is there no mention at all of these two names in the government applications for tax exemption filed by the church in Los Angeles or the church in Bloomingdale, Illinois?
  • Why does the sermon I quoted above repeated talk about the "new name" but only once says the name of Ahnsahnghong?
  • Why, out of 156 online sermons at the official church website (verified as of Dec. 5, 2011), only 6 sermons mention the name of Ahnsahnghong, and 0 (that's right, zero) mention the name of Zahng Gil-ja?
Seems to me that although the WMSCOG likes to talk about the importance of proclaiming the names of their gods, they are reluctant to share the actual names with people.

This control of information is one of the key factors in destructive mind control.  Watch out--it's a red flag!

The White Stone (comment moved from "The name of Jesus")

I received comments overnight on my post "The name of Jesus" and thought they'd be best addressed in a separate post.  So here they are:

On December 4, 2011, at 11:52 pm, Anonymous wrote,
"In the bible, Jesus is represented as many things such as a white stone/cornerstone. Revelation is written about things to come right? What must take place after Jesus' death right? Well, in revelation 2, apostle John saw the vision of Christ and recorded what he was told, what Jesus said was, that he will give the ones who does his will, hidden manna, and a white stone with a NEW NAME written on it, known to only those who recieve it. Okay... so then who is the white stone in the bible? Jesus. So, a white stone with a NEW NAME means Jesus' NEW NAME. Jesus' new name is Christ Ahnsahnghong. Jesus did not say to apostle John that He would give us the same name, but a NEW NAME. God will bless those who recieves the NEW NAME, Christ Ahnsahnghong."

My dear Anonymous, did you know that Revelation 2:17 is the only verse in the Bible that mentions a "white stone"?  There is no other verse about a white stone to support your statement that "Jesus is represented as many things such as a white stone."

However, there is support for the tribes of Israel being represented by white stones--read Deuteronomy 27:2 and Joshua 4:1-7.

Maybe you would say that since Jesus is compared to a cornerstone (Ephesians 2:20) or a rock (Matthew 7:24-25) or a stone of stumbling (1 Peter 2:8), then He must be the stone in Rev. 2:17?

No, the word for "stone" in Rev. 2:17 is "psephos" which means "a pebble, a small stone, or a vote."

In contrast, the word used for "cornerstone" in Eph. 2:20 means "the chief corner."  The word used for "rock" in Matt. 7:24-25 means "a rock, ledge, or cliff."  And the word for "stone" in 1 Pet. 2:8 means "a stone or millstone."  Each is a different Greek word with a slightly different meaning.

In fact, there is only one other place in the Bible where you will find the same "stone" (psephos) used in Rev. 2:17.  It's the word translated "vote" in Acts 26:10,
"...and when they were put to death, I cast my vote against them."

You see, the white stone in Rev. 2:17 is a voting pebble.  A black stone meant a vote of no or condemnation, while a white stone meant a vote of yes or acceptance or acquittal.  This is documented by historians.

The question is not "Who is the white stone?"  It's "What does a white stone mean?"  It means we have been accepted by God.

Anonymous followed up with another comment just a few minutes later, which I will address here also, with my responses inline...
On December 5, 2011, at  12:11 am, Anonymous wrote,
"To truly understand, i think everyone needs to study the bible fully before judging."
Yes, I do study the Bible fully.  Apparently, the study methods of the WMSCOG are lacking, since they show little concern for the meaning of the original language or the historical context.
"Matthew 7:13 "Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it. But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it."
Those who think they know God follow the easy & simple way, the way where it is comfortable for them to fit through, which the wide. But those who know God, know that it is not easy to follow his will, but try their best to fit through and endure the squeeze, the small."
I think you should read this article about Kim Joo-cheol's statement that "the church with a small number of members is the true Church."
"Anyways, i also think if you are doubting Christ Ahnsahnghong, ask your preachers to prove to you, Who will come, What will be the sign he will bring, Where on Earth will he come, When will he come, Why will he come, and How will he come through ONLY the bible. So all the who what where when why and how facts. Then judge according to your heart and not hearing others."
My pastors do teach all these things according to what is in the Bible, but with more accuracy and consistency than the World Mission Society Church of God.
"Unless someone can prove anything is falsehood, they must prove it through the bible.
Only through the bible can we know what is the truth. :)
btw, Christ Ahnsahnghong never went, "Oh look at me I am the Messiah, I am the Christ." He never boasted about it. People recognized Him through studying the bible, gathering all the facts, and it all connected and lead to Christ Ahnsahnghong."
The only way to "recognize Him through studying the Bible" is to distort both the Bible and history.  As much as the WMSCOG claims not to follow "opinions of men," that is exactly what they do.  I think you should follow your own advice about not listening to others (particularly the WMSCOG) and reading the Bible for yourself (the whole thing, not just selected verses) and doing your own historical research.