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.

Monday, November 28, 2011

More Inaccuracies - Scientific and Historical

Sometimes when a person is giving a speech, whether it's a pastor, politician, teacher, or whoever, they will work anecdotes, stories, or trivia into their speech.  It makes it more interesting, and can often give them a boost in the opinion of the listener.  Maybe it makes them sound more educated if they can show off a little extra knowledge.  At the very least, it gives the listener a piece of extra information that they may connect with.

But what about when those anecdotes, stories, and trivia turn out to be false?  In one instance, I heard my pastor begin sharing an email about earthquake safety.  As he started to read it, a kind member of the congregation gave him a signal to stop and move on with the sermon.  I recognized the email too.  She graciously saved him from the embarrassment of reading an internet rumor as if it were legitimate.

Unfortunately, it shows a lapse of judgment on the part of the speaker to not do a better job verifying their information.  But I understand that my pastor is human and makes mistakes, just like I do.

If I found this type of thing happening regularly with the same speaker, it would lower my opinion of them.  How much trust can a person earn when they regularly neglect fact-checking?

What would you think of a president who kept doing that?  It would not reflect well on him.  Some people we hold to a higher standard, don't we?

What if it was happening in a church which claimed to be led by "Mother God" herself in the flesh?


Thomas Edison
The World Mission Society Church of God said,
"Thomas Edison, the genius of invention, did not spare thousands of prayers for a single invention. That was why God gave him many ideas beyond human thought, so that he could contribute greatly to the civilization of mankind. The light bulb that lights up the darkness is one of the results of his prayer." (from Prayer)

But Thomas Edison said,
"I never have denied Supreme Intelligence. What I have denied and what my reason compels me to deny, is the existence of a Being throned above us as a god, directing our mundane affairs in detail, regarding us as individuals, punishing us, rewarding us as human judges might. I do not wish to have the public think that I deny the merit of the world's great moral teachers - Confucius, Buddha, Christ. They were great men - truly wonderful. Their teachings are summed up in the Golden Rule, and any man who follows that will be far higher and far happier than any man who does not. But the worship of an individual God is not a necessary detail of following the Golden Rule." (from 1910 New York Times interview)

A Popular Song
The World Mission Society Church of God said,
"A song titled 'Nobody' was popular in the United States at one time. This song expressed defiance against the age in negative terms. It was a worldwide popular song to arouse sympathy from a large number of people. How regrettable!
These are the words of the song: "Who is fit for the presidency in the world?" "Nobody." "Who can stop wars?" "Nobody." "Who is respectable in the world?" "Nobody." Like this, this song contains negative words-nobody, nothing, or impossible. Considering it was so popular among the youth, we can guess how spiritless and pessimistic they were in those days." (from The Kingdom of Heaven Has Been Forcefully Advancing)

Ok, now, try to find evidence of this song.  If it was so very popular, surely it would be listed online somewhere.  I've found nothing at all.  I listen to a wide variety of music, but I can't recall a song like this.  Can you find evidence of it?  Anyone?  I'll update this if anyone can enlighten me.

Lugworms and Crabs
The World Mission Society Church of God said,
"Lugworms dig their holes very well, even though they have soft bodies and no part of their bodies is hard enough to be used as a tool. However, crabs, even though they have better physical conditions than the lugworms, do not try to make their homes but live in the holes digged by others.
This comes from their different life habits: The lugworms tend to concentrate on one thing, while the crabs tend to do many things at once, not steadily concentrating on one thing. The crabs have a hard shell and strong claws serving as good tools; they protect themselves against enemies while eating food; they are busy doing many other things while crawling. Consequently they do not make their own homes." (from With All Your Heart And With All Your Mind)

In the context of the sermon, we're supposed to see that it's better to be like the lugworm which focuses on one thing so well it can make its own home even though it's just a soft worm, as opposed to the crab which is too busy doing many things and consequently does not make its own home.
Does it change anything to know that lugworms spend almost their entire lives in their u-shaped burrows in the sand of the beach?  And some crabs do burrow their own homes, like this one or this one.
And besides that, does it really make sense to compare a worm and a crab in this way?

Those three examples may seem a little silly to point out, but this next one disturbs me.

Christian Populations
The World Mission Society Church of God said,
"Today, Christianity is gradually declining in the world. In Korea, the number of Christians has decreased every year since 1990." (from The Spring of the Water of Life)
"Since the 1990's, the number of Christians has been rapidly decreasing in the United States and Europe due to the younger generation's indifference and disregard." (from an article in "Monthly Chosun Magazine by the Church of God," April 2011, the same book you see here.)

This research shows that in Korea between 1995 and 2005, the Christian population increased by 2.9% .
This research shows that in the United States between 1990 and 2000, the Christian population increased by 5%.
This research shows that in Europe between 2000 and 2010, the Christian population increased by 0.23% (small, but still an increase).

How can that possibly happen if the number of Christians has been decreasing?

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Daniel's Prophecy

One of the most impressive things about the Bible (for me, at least) is its record of fulfilled prophecy.  The fulfilled prophecies in the book of Daniel are especially intriguing.

The World Mission Society Church of God uses Daniel's prophecies to amaze their new or potential converts.  What's wrong with this?

First, to the uninformed person, it sounds as if the WMSCOG is sharing a spectacular revelation.  The hearer may think, "Wow!  If the WMSCOG can reveal something so amazing, what else can they tell me about the Bible?  Maybe I should listen to them."  What the hearer may not realize is that this is NOT a revelation that originated with the WMSCOG.  Bible scholars for ages have written about Daniels fulfilled prophecies.

Second, the WMSCOG takes the fulfillment of these prophecies a step too far.  They have withheld the true facts of history in order to force the appearance of a fulfilled prophecy, and the WMSCOG is not the only group who has made this error.

I've already examined this at length regarding the claim that the Papacy is the Antichrist.  But with the WMSCOG's "Evidence Book" in my hand, the errors are so glaring at me that I believe it needs to be revisited.

Many Bible scholars agree that the four kingdoms of Daniel are:
  • the Babylonian Empire (head of gold)
  • the Medo-Persian Empire (chest and arms of silver)
  • the Greek Empire (belly and thighs of copper)
  • the Roman Empire (legs of iron)
Note that some identify the four beasts of Daniel 7 the same way, but others divide the Medes and Persians for the second and third beasts, making the Greek Empire the fourth beast.  You can read about that here.  If you need to refresh your memory, here's where you can read Daniel 2 (the dream of the statue) and Daniel 7 (the vision of the four beasts).

It's when we get to the statue's feet and toes partly of iron and partly of clay, and the ten horns of the fourth beast, with the little horn that comes up to subdue three horns... that's where you see a few more differences among the Bible scholars, and that's where the WMSCOG takes a definite wrong turn.

Let's take a look into their "Evidence Book."

On page 154, it says,
Rome exercised its power politically and religiously.  It was divided into ten countries until 476 A.D.
Lombards (Italy)
Franks (France)
Burgundians (Switzerland)
Visigoths (Spain)
Suevi (Portugal)
Alemanni (Germany)
Anglo-Saxons (England)
Vandals, Heruli, and Ostrogoths.
The Lombards did not cross the Danube into Roman territory until the 540s, and did not enter Italy until 568.  (My links for you are from Wikipedia for your convenience, but you can look up this information in any printed history book also.  I can refer you to some if you need it.)

This list of "ten countries" also ignores other tribal groups such as the Bretons, the Bavarians, and the Basques, who show up in various history books and maps, and does not mention that the eastern part of the Roman Empire was still alive and well.  So these "ten countries" are not as clear as they are presented to be.

Then moving on to page 158, we read,
After Rome was divided into ten countries from 351 to 476 A.D., Heruli was destroyed by the Papacy in 493 A.D., Vandals in 534 and Ostrogoths in 538.  The Papacy was established in 538 A.D.  The Papacy fell in 1798 A.D. (Pius VI was forced into exile when French troupes invaded the Vatican.)
The Evidence Book gives paragraphs of information about the end of the Heruli and the Vandals, but only one sentence about the Ostrogoths, on page 159.  It happens to be the line taken from the Wikipedia page about the year 538.

Why didn't they say any more about the Ostrogoths?  Because they were NOT destroyed in 538.  Read about the Gothic War and you'll see that the Ostrogoths put up a fierce and long resistance, and their last king wasn't killed until 553.

Also, the Papacy was NOT "established" in 538, which you can read about here.  There is more information about the dates of 538 and 1798, and their error and misuse, here and here.

One last page to look at, page 175.

This page says that the remaining seven kingdoms accepted Catholicism and swore allegiance to the Pope.  What they haven't told us is that:
  • The Anglo-Saxons did not convert to Christianity until the 7th century.
  • The Alemanni were conquered and incorporated into the Frankish kingdom in 496, and also did not convert to Christianity until the 7th century.
  • The Lombards did not secure their kingdom in Italy until 572.
  • The Burgundians were destroyed in 534, and were mostly Catholic by the time they were conquered.
  • The Suevi were also eventually conquered in 585, after they had converted to Catholicism.
Therefore, by the time the Ostrogoths were destroyed (in 553, not 538), there were 5 kingdoms conquered, not 3, and one more if you extend the time to 585.

Then near the bottom of the page, under the title "The Dark Ages," they tell us there was the "slaughtering of numerous saints."  According to the WMSCOG's own doctrine, this is impossible because they claim there were no saints during that time.

They also put the development of Protestantism after the supposed fall of the Papacy in 1798.  Protestantism, which began with the Reformation in 1517, was already well developed by then.

I know I've gone over all this in previous posts, but I thought you would like to see it with the pages from the Evidence Book for comparison.

It's quite interesting to study what Bible scholars have to say about this part of Daniel's prophecy.  But do not make the mistake of studying the false 'facts' of the World Mission Society Church of God.

Friday, November 18, 2011

Who is worthy to open the scroll and the seals... Revelation 5 and 6

And I saw in the right hand of Him who sat on the throne a scroll written inside and on the back, sealed with seven seals. Then I saw a strong angel proclaiming with a loud voice, “Who is worthy to open the scroll and to loose its seals?” And no one in heaven or on the earth or under the earth was able to open the scroll, or to look at it.
So I wept much, because no one was found worthy to open and read the scroll, or to look at it. But one of the elders said to me, “Do not weep. Behold, the Lion of the tribe of Judah, the Root of David, has prevailed to open the scroll and to loose its seven seals.
--Revelation 5:1-5
I remember my sister and other WMSCOG members talking to me about these verses.  This is a passage the World Mission Society Church of God uses to try to explain that Ahnsahnghong is the second coming of Jesus who is the only one who can unseal the scroll and "unlock the mysteries" of the Bible.  The scroll in Revelation 5, they say, is the Bible.

"Why do you say this scroll is the Bible and not something else?" I asked.
The answer was, "Because the Bible was written on a scroll, as you can see in Luke 4:16-17, '...He [Jesus] stood up to read, and the scroll of the prophet Isaiah was handed to him....'"

Just because it is a scroll does not prove it is the Bible.
Yes, the words of the Lord were written on scrolls.  This is evident throughout the Bible.  But think about it... were the Scriptures the only things written on scrolls?  Of course not.  The common way to write anything was by scroll.  We can even see an example in Acts 19:19,
A number who had practiced sorcery brought their scrolls together and burned them publicly. When they calculated the value of the scrolls, the total came to fifty thousand drachmas.

Another reason they insist this scroll is the Bible is that, they say, Ahnsahnghong explained, restored, and revealed Biblical truths that have been either long lost or hidden for ages.  That is exactly what this website and others like it are here to debate.

For example, in their study on the Secret of the Seven Thunders, they claim that Ahnsahnghong restored the 7 Feasts of God, which were written on the back of the tablets of the Ten Commandments.  One problem (among others) is that the Bible says only the Ten Commandments were written on those tablets and nothing else.  You can find details about that in this article.

Is there another way to tell if the WMSCOG's interpretation here is correct, that the scroll in Revelation 5 is the Bible, and Ahnsahnghong has opened its seals to reveal its hidden mysteries?
All we have to do is continue reading in Revelation to see the WMSCOG's contradiction.

The first thing we need to know is that the WMSCOG considers Revelation (at least this part of it) to have a definite sequence.  They say in their sermon The Passover and the Sign of Promise:
Rev 7:1-3 『After this I saw four angels standing at the four corners of the earth....
"After this" means after the occurrence of the event described in Revelation 6: "The stars in the sky fell to earth, as late figs drop from a fig tree when shaken by a strong wind." Here the stars in the sky and a fig tree represent the nation of Israel. And wind means war. Israel was involved in a great war during which the Jews suffered horribly as late figs drop from a fig tree when shaken by a strong wind; 6,000,000 Jews were killed by the German Nazis during that war, which was the Second World War. Therefore, "after this" means "after the Second World War" (Rev 6:12-17).
The WMSCOG says that the sealing of the 144,000 in Revelation 7 occurs after the events of Revelation 6:12-17.  Let's go back and see what that is...
Rev. 6:12-13  I looked when He opened the sixth seal, and behold, there was a great earthquake; and the sun became black as sackcloth of hair, and the moon became like blood.  And the stars of heaven fell to the earth, as a fig tree drops its late figs when it is shaken by a mighty wind.

The Seals are opened in order. 

The sixth seal comes in sequence after the first five seals.  If the sixth seal is the Second World War, as the WMSCOG claims, then the first five seals must have happened before (or at least within) World War II.  Let's consider the first five seals:

First Seal, Rev. 6:1-2, the White Horse
...He who sat on it had a bow; and a crown was given to him, and he went out conquering and to conquer. (Rev. 6:2)
Bible scholars have several possibilities of who (or what) this conqueror is.  There has been plenty of conquering in history.  Yes, it's possible that this has happened already.

Second Seal, Rev. 6:3-4, the Red Horse
...And it was granted to the one who sat on it to take peace from the earth, and that people should kill one another; and there was given to him a great sword. (Rev. 6:4)
Again, there has been plenty of conflict on earth, with people killing one another.  Yes, it's possible that this also has happened already.

Third Seal, Rev. 6:5-6, the Black Horse
...A quart of wheat for a denarius, and three quarts of barley for a denarius; and do not harm the oil and the wine. (Rev. 6:6)
Whether you consider this economic problems, scarcity of food, or scarcity of spiritual food, it is possible that this has happened already.

Fourth Seal, Rev. 6:7-8, the Pale Horse
...And the name of him who sat on it was Death, and Hades followed with him.... (Rev. 6:8)
Yes, there have been times when the death tolls from wars or natural disasters or diseases have been staggering, but...

...And power was given to them over a fourth of the earth, to kill with sword, with hunger, with death, and by the beasts of the earth. (Rev. 6:8)

Whether you consider verse 8 to be the result of only the fourth seal, or of the second (sword), third (hunger) and fourth (death) seals together, or however you wish to figure it ... ONE FOURTH of the earth has been killed.

I'd like to know -- What does the WMSCOG figure has killed a fourth of the earth?  When did that happen?

If the WMSCOG believes that the 6th seal has happened already (WWII), then they must have an answer for what killed 1/4 of the earth.  So, what was it?

And then the  
Fifth Seal, Rev. 6:9-11, the Cry of the Martyrs
...I saw under the altar the souls of those who had been slain for the word of God and for the testimony which they was said to them that they should rest a little while longer, until both the number of their fellow servants and their brethren, who would be killed as they were, was completed. (Rev. 6:9,11)
There are more martyrs killed between the opening of the fifth seal and the last day.

According to the WMSCOG...
...there were no true Christians on earth for many, many centuries, until Ahnsahnghong "re-established" the Passover and the "sealing work" began in 1948.
Therefore, there were no saints (according to the WMSCOG) who could have been martyred before 1948.

...the end of the world is imminent--God will judge the world by fire, and it could happen any day soon.
Have there been any WMSCOG members killed because of their faith yet?  (Wouldn't this be featured prominently on the official church webpage if even one had been martyred?)  Will there be any martyred before judgment day?

...those with the seal of God are protected from all disasters, and "Mother Jerusalem" will take them straight to heaven with her.
If someone is protected from all disasters by God's seal, then how is it even possible for them to be martyred?

Bible scholars have a variety of ideas about what the scroll represents, such as the destiny of mankind or the inheritance deed of the saints.

But is it the Bible that was sealed and only Ahnsahnghong can open the seals and reveal its secrets?  Definitely not!  The fifth seal alone contradicts the WMSCOG's own teaching.

Besides that, there are far too many other contradictions and problems with Ahnsahnghong and the WMSCOG's so-called "revealed secrets," making them an unreliable source for any Bible information.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Letting your light shine...or seeking glory from men?

I've been thinking lately about the emphasis the World Mission Society Church of God puts on its community service activities.
Yesterday there was a missionary visiting my church.  He shared about the work God has been doing through his ministry in another country, taking care of abandoned babies and rescuing children from living in sewers.

It's not an uncommon thing to hear Christians share about the good that different ministries are doing around the city, around the country, and around the world.  It maybe providing meals to those in need, helping victims of natural disasters, donating money for good causes....

There are a few good reasons for spreading the news about these things.  It encourages people to see the good that's being done.  It inspires them to get involved themselves and do something to make a difference in the world.  It draws attention to the needs in this world and let's us know ways we can help that we may have been unaware of before.  It brings attention to God and displays His goodness.

On the other hand, there is a danger of going too far in spreading the news about good works.  When the emphasis turns from being encouraging, inspiring, and God-honoring to being prideful, attention-getting, and building up one's own reputation... there is a problem.
It's the difference between
Matthew 5:14-16, "...let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven."
and Matthew 6:1-6
Take heed that you do not do your charitable deeds before men, to be seen by them. Otherwise you have no reward from your Father in heaven. Therefore, when you do a charitable deed, do not sound a trumpet before you as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets, that they may have glory from men. Assuredly, I say to you, they have their reward. But when you do a charitable deed, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, that your charitable deed may be in secret; and your Father who sees in secret will Himself reward you openly....
We are not to flaunt our good works to receive praise from people.

Have you ever visited the World Mission Society Church of God website and seen their list of awards?  Here it is on their English website.

Now, I know God is the judge of men's hearts, not I.  But to me, such a list of "Awards Received" has the appearance of seeking "glory from men," especially considering how the list is made.

When I analyzed the list, there were a total of 113 awards listed.  Of those 113, one is from 1995, one is from 2001, and the rest are from 2002-2011.

Now consider this... many of those awards are actually multiple awards for the same event or 'good deed' listed separately.  For example, the Mayor of Daegu gave a plaque to the WMSCOG and a letter of appreciation to its volunteers in thanks for their help regarding the "Daegu Subway Arson Tragedy" in 2003--that is listed as two awards.  Or likewise, the WMSCOG received plaques of appreciation in 2003 from both the Mayor of Kimcheon and the Head of Yeongdong County for helping the flood victims of typhoon "Lusa"--also listed as two awards.  (Incidentally, there was no typhoon "Lusa" in 2003, but there was a typhoon "Rusa" in 2002, which the WMSCOG lists 2 additional awards for.)

Here are a few other examples:
  • 5 awards are regarding Typhoon Maemi in 2003.
  • 6 awards are regarding heavy rain and flooding in August 2002.
  • 5 awards are regarding the 46th North Gyeongsang Province Sport Festival (2008)--all 5 of those are from the governor of the province and dated July 22, 2008.
  • At least 8 awards (possibly 2 more) are regarding the 8th Busan FESPIC Games held in 2002--and 6 of those are from the "Consulate General of the People's Republic of China in Busan" dated Nov. 1, 2002.
  • And 22 awards (!) are regarding the 2003 (22nd) Daegu Summer Universiade--many of those sharing the same source and date, such as the 6 awards from the "Minister of the Ministry of Culture and Tourism" dated June 25, 2004.
Therefore, at least 46 of those 113 awards are from these 5 events alone.  This is a little like a country winning the Olympic gold medal for ice hockey, but wanting to count it as 23 gold medals--one for each player.

It's also interesting to note the delay in the award date compared to the event date.  For example, that Summer Universiade in Daegu was held in August of 2003, yet 10 of the awards for it were given in June and August of 2004.  Then there's the award from the Mayor of Busan regarding the 14th Busan Asian Games dated Sept. 5, 2003, yet those games were held in Sept-Oct of 2002.  And don't forget those awards for typhoon "Lusa" received in 2003, which probably refer to typhoon "Rusa" which occurred in 2002.

Yes, it's interesting, isn't it?  It made me wonder if the World Mission Society Church of God is trying to inflate their award count, and perhaps requesting awards and recognition for services performed.

President's Volunteer Service Award
If you are wondering the same thing, you might want to check out one of their latest awards--from "The White House Washington," the President's Volunteer Service Award.  It's right at the top of the list on that page of awards, and on the church's Korean website it's displayed quite prominently.

There is an informative article about it here.  And here is information about the award itself.

It turns out this award from the President is available to anyone for the asking.  You basically just have to perform the required number of service hours (you are on the honor system here!), request your award package, pay a small fee, and there you have it!

I don't want to minimize the award too much.  When used properly, it's a nice token of appreciation for someone who is involved in community service.  I know my children would feel quite special to earn one, and I would congratulate them for it.

However, when all it really takes to get one is to sign up as a "Certifying Organization," tally up the hours of your volunteers (verifying them yourself--or not), and submit an order, you can see how the process might be misused by someone trying to increase their own prestige.

Think about it... the award is only supposed to be given to U.S. citizens who have performed a minimum number of community service hours (unpaid and not court-ordered).  But certificate packages can be ordered BLANK!  Yes, that means any name can be written on the certificate!

The English website only shows only one Presidential award, for the WMSCOG, but the Korean website shows two.  The award missing from the list on the English site is the one that has Kim Joo-cheol's name on it.  (I find it hard to believe that Mr. Kim is a U.S. Citizen.)  Plus, the award for "World Mission Society Church of God" displays a "Lifetime" level award (the "Call to Service" award), which is not available to groups.  It's enough to give this award a suspicious appearance.

Update September 1, 2012 -- I just noticed that the English website now shows both awards, but the problem still remains.  A group is not eligible for a "Lifetime" level award ("Call to Service"), and even the most basic award is only available to United States citizens.

Update November 1, 2012 -- I'm adding screen shots of the awards as displayed on the WMSCOG's English awards page, just for the record.

Update November 17, 2012 -- The WMSCOG has put out a new video called "Come to Heavenly Mother," which shows the President's Call to Service Award featuring the name "Zahng Gil-jah."  Remember, only United States citizens are eligible for this award.  Are we to believe that Zahng Gil-jah and Kim Joo-cheol are both United States citizens?  Here's a screen shot of the award.