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, February 2, 2019

Counter Counter Argument -- "Ahnsahnghong Died"

By special request from a World Mission Society Church of God member, I will be addressing several key points and counterarguments that the WMSCOG uses to respond to objections.

Continuing the counter-counter-argument series...

Let's start with the argument:
Ahnsahnghong cannot be Christ because he died.

Now let's consider the WMSCOG's counter-argument (with quotes from Truth of God the Mother, though the ideas appear on many websites) and responses to each part:

Prophecies about King David...
[Regarding Hosea 3:5, Ezekiel 34:11-24, and Ezekiel 37:24-27]
"Through this, God lets us know that He will come in the name of David. Ezekiel wrote this about 450 years after King David's death. Obviously, these prophecies are not about the physical King David but about the spiritual King David."
Yes, there are Messianic prophecies that relate to King David. And yes, because of the timing of these verses, we know that they are not referring to the actual King David because he had already passed long before. I'm not sure I would use the phrase "spiritual King David," but the verses do speak of the Messiah's characteristics (a shepherd and king) and lineage (from the family of David).

Jesus came as King David...
[Regarding Isaiah 9:6-7 and Luke 1:31-32]
"Through this prophecy, again, God lets us know He will be born in the human form as the spiritual King David...
"Jesus Christ received the throne of David. So it's important to understand the relationship between Jesus and King David."
Yes, Jesus fulfilled the prophecy of reigning on "David's throne." There are multiple verses in the New Testament which show Him being called the "Son of David."

And here is where the WMSCOG takes a wrong turn, when they interpret what "reigning on David's throne" means.

The Relationship between Jesus and King David
30 Years Old...
"David was 30 years old when he became king. And Jesus was 30 years old when He was baptized and began His gospel ministry....
"Jesus could have been baptized at any other age. He was born to preach, then why did He wait until he turned 30 to start preaching? He could've easily started at a much younger age and accomplished much more....
"Christ Ahnsahnghong was born in 1918 and was baptized in 1948 at 30 years old."
They are saying that why else would Jesus wait until He was 30 to be baptized except to match David who became king at age 30. And since Ahnsahnghong was also 30 when he was baptized, then David = Jesus = Ahnsahnghong.

I have previously written about this "prophecy," but regarding the age of 30, the first thing to know is that Luke 3:23 says Jesus was "about thirty years of age." The presence of that word "about" means that the exact age of 30 was not important. He could have been 29, 30, 31, or even 32.

Beyond that, why would Jesus have waited until He was 30? That was the minimum age when priests were eligible to serve in the temple (Num. 4:1-3, 21-23, 29-30; and 1 Chron. 23:2-5). Waiting until the age of 30 would mean no one could argue about His age, that He was too young.

40 Year Reign...
"Additionally, King David reigned forty years. Then what does this mean about Jesus' gospel ministry?"
[The next quote is from the embedded video:]
"Jesus did the gospel work for 3 years and then ascended to heaven while King David reigned for 40 years. Then who will fulfill the gospel work of the remaining 37 years of King David?"
Again, I wrote about this in another article, but regarding 40 years, is there any verse that actually says the Messiah would reign (or preach) for 40 years? No. The prophecy was that Jesus would reign "from that time on and forever" (Isa. 9:7) and "His kingdom will never end" (Luke 1:31-33).

Plus, notice the verse that comes after the one often quoted by the WMSCOG:
"David was thirty years old when he became king, and he reigned forty years. In Hebron he reigned over Judah seven years and six months, and in Jerusalem he reigned over all Israel and Judah thirty-three years." (2 Sam. 5:4-5)

David did not become king of "Israel" until he was about 37, because for the first 7 1/2 years he was only king over his own tribe of Judah. There was "war between the house of Saul and the house of David" about who would be the next king (2 Sam. 3:1).

Also, with the WMSCOG's teaching that everything is "copy and shadow" (Heb. 8:5), if it were truly a prophecy that the Messiah's preaching would be split in a way that equals 40 years like David's reign, that split would have been 7 years and 33 years, NOT 3 years and 37 years.

Ahnsahnghong preached for 37 years...
"At the end of his reign, Kind [sic] David passed away and was buried. In the same way, Christ Ahnsahnghong passed away in 1985 after preaching for 37 years. Christ Ahnsahnghong's death lets us know He is Second Coming Christ who fulfilled prophecy. ... Christ Ahnsahnghong even prophesied about His death in a religious magazine in Korea.... his death is proof that He is Second Coming Christ."
First, from the time Ahnsahnghong was baptized until he died, it was only just over 36 years. To stretch that to 37 years takes more than the usual rounding. And this is assuming he started preaching right away after his baptism.

And what of Ahnsahnghong "prophesying" about his own death? The quote from the article:
"'The Second Coming Jesus has to come to the earth in secret and pass away after preaching the gospel for 37 years...,' says the Church of God."
The article is dated 1981, about four years before Ahnsahnghong died in 1985. They calculate that the time from his baptism in 1948 to his death in 1985 is 37 years (1985-1948=37), so he must have been speaking about himself as the "Second Coming Jesus."

However, he was baptized in Dec. 1948 and died in Feb. 1985--again, just over 36 years. Now, if these dates referred to someone's life, born in Dec. 1948 and died in Feb. 1985, would you say that they lived for 37 years? No, you would say they lived 36 years.

It is the same for Ahnsahnghong. He preached 36 years, not 37 years.

I have shown why the "40 year reign" is not correctly interpreted as a prophecy, but let's say, hypothetically for a moment, that it is correct. When we look for the fulfillment of a prophecy, do we look for something that is close? No, even the WMSCOG agrees that prophecy is fulfilled exactly.

For example, Jesus was prophesied to be born in Bethlehem (Micah 5:2 and Matt. 2:4-6). If He had been born in Jerusalem, about 10 km away, would we say that He fulfilled the prophecy? No, close is not good enough.

Likewise, Ahnsahnghong's just-over-36 years is close, but not an exact fulfillment of his own "prophesy" of 37 years.

The True Meaning of David's Throne...

Let's go back to the relationship between Jesus and King David. What did the prophecies mean when they said the Messiah would sit on "David's throne"? It simply meant that the Messiah would be born into David's family line, which Jesus fulfilled both through Mary's line (Luke 3) and Joseph's line (Matthew 1).

I'll be examining more of the WMSCOG's counterarguments in the near future. If there is one in particular you'd like me to address, please say so!