** Who is Mother God? Who is Christ Ahnsahnghong? Is the WMSCOG the one true church? Is their interpretation of the Bible legit?**
FIRST, A STATEMENT OF CONCERN
Please note: This isn’t an exercise in “I’m right” and “You’re wrong.” I’m engaging these questions on whether certain churches are teaching a distorted Gospel because Jesus Christ’s true Gospel alone saves us from eternal separation from God. I believe what the writers of the Bible teach, which is that all people are made in God’s image and are of eternal worth to God, and neither God nor I wish to see anyone live apart from Him.
Secondly, the purpose of this article (and all articles in this series) is not to argue whether certain churches, sects, or religious groups are “cults” or not. These articles are to inform and respond. Whether these groups are “cults” or not, I prefer my readers to decide themselves. The following articles will be helpful:
- How Do We Identify “Christian” Cults? What’s the Difference Between a Cult & a Denomination?
- Interacting with “Christian” Cult Members: Tips & Strategies
- About (Poor) Biblical Interpretation: Responding to “Christian” Cults… or Anyone Who Misuses Scripture.
(God From the Machine has published a book titled Searching the Bible for Mother God: Examining the Teachings of the World Mission Society Church of God, available in paperback and Kindle on Amazon. Click here to learn more.)
The Church of “Mother God” and “Christ Ahnsahnghong”
In the past few years, I’ve had several people share that they’d been approached by members of a church that believed in “Mother God.” Many of the encounters took place on the Rutgers University campus and in northern New Jersey. The people I know who had encounters with these people came to refer to them as the “Mother God Cult.”
Recently, I learned this “Mother God Cult” is actually the World Mission Society Church of God. If I didn’t know better, the name of the church wouldn’t have caught my attention much; I probably would’ve figured it was just another denomination I’ve never heard of before. Based on their website, the home church in South Korea appears to be simply called the Church of God. (For simplicity’s sake, I’ll just use “COG” to refer to the World Mission Society Church of God/Church of God throughout this article.)
Within the past few months, I’ve come into closer contact with the COG. A housemate of some friends started dating a girl who is a member of the COG and the housemate is now deeply involved. Shortly after, I found out a student of mine grew up in the COG and is currently a member. I learned of this because she had invited another student of mine to a COG service; he accepted, not realizing it wasn’t a traditional Christian church.
Considering all of this, I decided it was time to look deeper into the COG. Some people have provided me with links to websites criticizing the COG, mostly by former members, but I decided first, before considering what critics have to say about the COG, to let the COG speak for itself.
Before I read any criticisms of the COG, I visited the COG’s own website to see how they explained their own beliefs. Let it be noted that at the time of the writing of this article, I’ve not looked at any other websites concerning the COG. This article is a response strictly to the COG’s beliefs as explained on their own website: http://usa.watv.org/
History: Church of God
The COG started in South Korea. Here is a brief overview of their history gathered from their website:
- 1948 – Baptism of “Christ” Ahnsahnghong “according to the prophecy of King David.”
- 1964 – “Christ” Ahnsahnghong established the Church of God.
- Feb. 1985 – “Christ” Ahnsahnghong “ascended” (which I assume means he died).
- 1987 – Twenty COG churches established in Korea.
- Late 90’s- early 2000’s – Church spreads outside of Korea to several countries, including to the USA in LA.
- Sept. 2000 – Completed New Jerusalem Temple in Bundang-gu, Seongnam, South Korea.
- Dec. 2000 – New York church established.
- 2008 – One million members registered worldwide
- 2009 – 2nd NY church established.
*Oddly, nothing in their history on their website mentions Mother God.
Overview: Church of God’s Beliefs
The COG explains history as three 2,000-year eras with 3 saviors, a savior for each era: The Age of God the Father (Jehovah), the Age of God the Son (Jesus), and the Age of the Holy Spirit (Ahnsahnghong). Ahnsahnghong, a Korean man, was the 2nd Coming of Jesus Christ, though he has since died. Despite this, we’re now in the Age of the Holy Spirit.
According to the COG, without accepting the current savior, Ahnsahnghong, we will not have salvation. Thus, Jesus Christ is not enough: “…salvation will never be given to those who are stuck on the name of Jesus in this age.” We must accept “Christ Ahnsahnghong” for salvation in this age and pray in his name.
The COG partakes in 7 “feasts” or ritual celebrations throughout the year. All 7 of these have grounds in the Old Testament, but, according to the COG, each of them should’ve been practiced throughout all 3 ages in slightly different forms. For example, the COG has a yearly mass gathering where they partake in the “Passover,” though it appears to more closely resemble the Lord’s Supper. Other examples include the Day of First Fruits/Resurrection Day and the Feast of Weeks/Pentecost. Partaking in the COG’s version of the Passover is required for salvation.
The COG also believes in Mother God, also called Jerusalem Mother. She is “the Second Coming Jesus’ [Ahnsahnghong’s] wife.” Jesus didn’t give his people eternal life 2,000 years ago because he was waiting for the appearance of his wife, through whom eternal life will come. God the Mother is currently living in South Korea.
In a video on the website, Mother God is shown at the New Jerusalem Temple in Korea, surrounded by many happy, well-dressed admirers. The video shows her holding their hands, walking with them, and hugging them. In a testimony, Nathan from Memphis, USA, says, “This is the place where our heavenly mother dwells, the land of prophecy, so I came here to receive the water of life that you can only receive here in Korea from God the Mother.” A female Korean teen states, “If God the Mother does not exist, there would be no happiness in the world.”
The COG website clearly teaches that eternal life can only come through Mother God.
Who is Ahnsahnghong?
God? Christ? Holy Spirit? All of the above?
The COG makes a lot of claims about Ahnsahnghong. From the COG website:
“For our salvation, God divided six thousand years into three ages : the age of the Father, the age of the Son, and the age of the Holy Spirit, and He allowed a different Savior’s name for each of these ages—the name of Jehovah in the age of the Father, the name Jesus in the age of the Son, and the name Ahnsahnghong in the age of the Holy Spirit.”
“Now we are living during the last age of the Holy Spirit. Thus, God has been administrating His plan of salvation, using the new Savior’s name, the name of the Holy Spirit-Ahnsahnghong. Salvation is only given to those who believe in the name of the Savior that God has allowed to the people living in that particular age. Because we are now living in the age of the Holy Spirit, we must receive the Holy Spirit, Ahnsahnghong, as the Savior of this age.”
“The name is Ahnsahnghong, Jesus’ new name.”
“The God in heaven is our God the Father. Just as we have a physical father on this earth, we have a spiritual Father in heaven. He is God the Father, Ahnsahnghong.”
JESUS’ 2nd COMING: IT AIN’T A SECRET
*Is Ahnsahnghong the Second Coming of Jesus Christ?*
Since the COG uses the Bible extensively to explain their beliefs, I will use the Bible to critique their beliefs.
Could Ahnsahnghong possibly be the Second Coming of Jesus Christ? First, let’s look at what’s written in the Bible about Jesus’ Second Coming. The Bible writers clearly teach three facts about Jesus’ Second Coming:
(1) Jesus will return in the same way as he left.
(2) Jesus’ return will be visual and known by everyone.
(3) With Jesus’ return will come the resurrection of the dead.
Let’s look at these 3 facts closer…
After Jesus’ crucifixion, death, and resurrection, he taught his disciples for 40 days and then ascended into heaven. Christians call this event “The Ascension.”
“And after He [Jesus] had said these things, He was lifted up while they [the disciples] were looking on, and a cloud received Him out of their sight. And as they were gazing intently into the sky while He was going, behold, two men in white clothing stood beside them. They also said, “Men of Galilee, why do you stand looking into the sky? This Jesus, who has been taken up from you into heaven, will come in just the same way as you have watched Him go into heaven.”
Before going, Jesus had promised he would return for his believers:
“Do not let your heart be troubled; believe in God, believe also in Me. In My Father’s house are many dwelling places; if it were not so, I would have told you; for I go to prepare a place for you. If I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself, that where I am, there you may be also.”
In the meantime, Jesus’ disciples were to spread Jesus’ good news of salvation, bringing more and more people to salvation through Christ until he returns. (See the Great Commission in Matthew 28:16-20.)
As the angels say in Acts 1:11, in the same way Jesus left, he will return. It will be visual and known by all:
“Then they will see the Son of Man [Jesus] coming in a cloud with power and great glory.”
“Behold, He [Jesus] is coming with the clouds, and every eye will see Him, even those who pierced Him; and all the tribes of the earth will mourn over Him. So it is to be. Amen.”
The bodily resurrection of the dead is a regular teaching throughout both the Old and New Testament. (See all of 1 Corinthians 15 and Matthew 22:23-33, where Jesus criticizes the Sadducees, who don’t believe in the resurrection. He says they don’t understand Scripture or the power of God.) The resurrection will occur at the Second Coming:
1 Thessalonians 4:16-17
“For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first. Then we who are alive and remain will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air, and so we shall always be with the Lord.”
With Jesus’ Second Coming and the resurrection of the dead will also come the Final Judgment. (See Chapters 19-21 of Revelation.) Depending on a person’s interpretation of “The Millennium,” which is only taught in the Bible in Revelation 20:1-6 (even traditional, conservative Christian scholars understand it in different ways), the Final Judgment may occur at the same time as the resurrection of the dead or later, after Jesus’ Millennium reign.
Interestingly, Jesus also gives a warning when speaking of his Second Coming. He warns not to be fooled by frauds claiming to be the Second Coming of Christ:
[Jesus said,] “Then if anyone says to you, ‘Behold, here is the Christ,’ or ‘There He is,’ do not believe him. For false Christs and false prophets will arise and will show great signs and wonders, so as to mislead, if possible, even the elect. Behold, I have told you in advance. So if they say to you, ‘Behold, He is in the wilderness,’ do not go out, or, ‘Behold, He is in the inner rooms,’ do not believe them. For just as the lightning comes from the east and flashes even to the west, so will the coming of the Son of Man be.”
This is particularly interesting because Jesus is saying, yes, there will be false Christs, even ones that seem real with “great signs and wonders” but don’t believe them because it’ll be clear to all when the real Christ comes because of the specific manner of his return. Further, no one will need to tell us Christ has returned; we will know.
So, let’s recap: Jesus will return by descending from the sky to earth; everyone will clearly understand that this is Jesus; and once he returns, the dead are resurrected.
Does Ahnsahnghong fulfill any of these biblical requirements of Christ’s Second Coming? In fact, does he fulfill even one of these biblical truths? How many times have false Christs appeared in history, claiming to be Jesus’ Second Coming – only to die?
There’s a very good reason why Christianity has flourished for 2,000 years: Because Jesus died but didn’t stay dead.
Moreover, when Jesus returns, he’s here to stay.
“Christ” Ahnsahnghong is dead. He’s been dead since February of 1985. He’s not coming back. He is not the Christ. He is a fraud.
NEXT: Ahnsahnghong, The Mashed-up Trinity & Mother God
**God From the Machine has published a book for evangelizing, educating, and refuting the World Mission Society Church of God titled Searching the Bible for Mother God: Examining the Teachings of the World Mission Society Church of God, available in paperback and Kindle on Amazon. Click here to learn more.