Recently, a Pastor visited me, and I took him to the Mall of America, the biggest mall in America. As we were walking, we met a person who wanted to talk to us. Immediately, I realized that he wanted to share the gospel with us. I was happy and wanted to hear what he had to say. Another person joined him and tried to talk to me. The conversation and everything that happened later forced me to investigate and led me to write this. I am sharing this for information-sharing purposes and would like you to evaluate the information and beware so that you will not get trapped or deceived.
Highlights from our Conversation
Everything started with the statement that Christ had returned. I wanted to hear more as it was a red flag. Then it went to many prophecies, observance of Passover, Sabbath, celebration of Christmas, etc. Everyone except their church is heresy and false. Only they are accurate, and everyone else is waiting for judgment. As the conversation progressed, we sat down to talk, and they refused to speak to the pastor who was with me since he was asking many questions. I was asking questions but in a way to understand what they are trying to say and who they are.
As things progressed, they started picking one verse and jumping to another to prove their point. In the end, I had to tell them that I am a Pastor and I have studied theology, and what they are saying tells me that they are cults. At that point, everything changed. Till that time, they were telling me that I was a cult, and the moment I told them, they did not want to talk to me.
They asked me which day I worship God. I said every day. They were upset and said I was lying. I told you to come to our church, and we have prayer meetings on Saturday also at times. Finally, as they tried to escape, I asked them the church's name. They would not tell as they suspect I would go around and tell others about them (I think they got that right) and lead more people to heresy and falsehood. They won’t disclose their name or anything. I challenged them and gave them my card, saying if you have the truth, why are you afraid.
Finally, they revealed the name when I insisted that if they were sure that they are spreading truth, why were they trying to hide? It was the World Mission Society Church of God. It is a religious movement which originated in South Korea in 1964. After the founder Ahn Sahng-hong, whom they claim as Christ, died in 1985, Kim Joo-cheol and Zahng Gil-jah changed the church's name to Witnesses of Ahn Sahng-hong Church of God. After that, the Church expanded its activities to other parts of the world and began using the World Mission Society Church of God as its name. Its headquarters and main church are in the southeast of the Seoul metropolitan area. The church has distinctive beliefs that set it apart from mainstream Christian denominations.
Central Teachings of this group
- Belief in God the Mother: One of the most distinctive teachings of the WMSCOG is its belief in God the Mother. They assert that there is a Heavenly Mother as well as a Heavenly Father, based on interpretations of certain biblical passages.
- Observance of the Passover: The WMSCOG places significant emphasis on the observance of the Passover, considering it a key sacrament. They believe that the Passover is necessary for salvation and practice it annually.
- Sabbath Day Observance: Similar to some other Christian denominations, the WMSCOG observes the seventh-day Sabbath (Saturday) as a holy day of rest and worship.
- Feast of Unleavened Bread and other Jewish Festivals: In addition to the Passover, the WMSCOG observes other biblical festivals, including the Feast of Unleavened Bread and the Feast of Tabernacles, which are rooted in the Old Testament.
- Mother God's Role in Redemption: The WMSCOG teaches that God the Mother plays a crucial role in the process of salvation and that acknowledging both God the Father and God the Mother is essential for attaining eternal life.
- Ahn Sahng-hong is Christ, who had already come and should be titled Christ Ahn Sahng-hong.
- Jesus Christ was supposed to rule 70 years. Like David became king at the age of 30, Jesus started his ministry at the age 30 after taking baptism. He lived for another 3 years. There is a total of 37 years left in his rule. When Israel became a nation in 1948, Ahn Sahng-hong started the balance rule and he was alive till 1985. That way he completed 70 years of rule. ( I know this do not make sense but that’s what the people whom I met told me.)
- A person has to be baptised in the name of Ahn Sahng-hong.
- They believe it is restoring the truth of the early church.
- They use the word "prophecy" a lot during the conversation and pull up verses from here and there to prove their belief.
Few Bible Verses to note
- If anyone tells you then, ‘See, here is the Messiah!’ or, ‘Over here!’ do not believe it. For false messiahs and false prophets will arise and perform great signs and wonders to lead astray, if possible, even the elect. 25 Take note: I have told you in advance. 26 So if they tell you, ‘See, he’s in the wilderness!’ don’t go out; or, ‘See, he’s in the storerooms!’ do not believe it. 27 For as the lightning comes from the east and flashes as far as the west, so will be the coming of the Son of Man. ( Mathew: 24:23-27, CSB)
- Jesus told them, “Watch out that no one deceives you. 6 Many will come in my name, saying, ‘I am he,’ and they will deceive many. ( Mark 13:5-6)
- Then he said, “Watch out that you are not deceived. For many will come in my name, saying, ‘I am he,’ and, ‘The time is near.’ Don’t follow them. (Luke 21:8, CSB)
- “Jesus said to him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.” (John 14:6, NKJV)
- “But there were also false prophets among the people, even as there will be false teachers among you, who will secretly bring in destructive heresies, even denying the Lord who bought them, and bring on themselves swift destruction. And many will follow their destructive ways, because of whom the way of truth will be blasphemed.” (2 Peter 2:1–2, NKJV)
- “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. By this you know the Spirit of God: Every spirit that confesses that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is of God, and every spirit that does not confess that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is not of God. And this is the spirit of the Antichrist, which you have heard was coming, and is now already in the world.” (1 John 4:1–3, NKJV)
Helpful Video links for a more detailed study
ConclusionIt's important to note that the teachings and practices of the World Mission Society Church of God have been a subject of controversy and criticism, and there are varying perspectives on the group within the broader Christian community. The church has been involved in legal and public controversies, and its teachings have been a point of debate and discussion among religious scholars and Christian theologians.
I have no doubt that it is a cult group who claim tremendous growth in the last decade. They have even tried to remove videos which challenge their claims. I came to know that they are very active in many college campuses and are trying to reach and influence many Christian students and convert them.