Question:

Hi Brother Jeff,

On my way out my apartment today, two ladies talked to me about "God our Mother" and pointed to Galatians 4:26 as evidence. I did some research on the belief and found out that they're most likely from the World Mission Society Church of God. They want to have a Bible study with me so I'll be meeting with them Sunday afternoon after worship. I intend to do some further study on them tonight and tomorrow to prepare and maybe some good fruit will come of it!

I was just curious what you might know about them or have some general advice about what to do when you agree to a Bible study with this kind of person. I was also shocked to find that you don't have any information on the La Vista site about them, the first occasion since discovering your web site where I didn't find the answer to a question I have and I've been looking at this site very regularly since fall of 2010. Congratulations on a resource so excellent that it's shocking for it to be missing something!


Answer:

Given the thousands of denominations out there, I'm not at all surprised that I haven't covered most of them yet.

The World Mission Society Church of God was started by a couple in Korea in 1964. The founder, Ahn Sahng-Hong, is claimed to be God, the Father, and his wife, Zahng Gil-Jah, is God, the Mother. Ahn Sahng-Hong also claimed to be Jesus at his second coming. According to their doctrine, the male form of God can appear as either the Father, Son, or Spirit depending on the need. Thus, Ahn Sahng-Hong is said to be all three. Interestingly, Ahn Sahng-Hong wrote several books and never claimed to be Jesus. This is a claim that his followers have added since his death.

"Let no one deceive you by any means; for that Day will not come unless the falling away comes first, and the man of sin is revealed, the son of perdition, who opposes and exalts himself above all that is called God or that is worshiped, so that he sits as God in the temple of God, showing himself that he is God" (II Thessalonians 2:3-4). While Paul had someone else in mind, the point remains the same. There are those in their arrogance who claim to be God and in doing so show themselves to be in opposition to God.

Ahn Sahng-Hong has since died in 1985 and Zahng Gil-Jah has inherited his organization. Zahng Gil-Jah, by the way, had divorced her husband in order to marry Ahn Sahng-Hong [Zahng Gil Jah’s Ex-Husband’s Side Of The Story?].

They use a part of a sentence taken from an allegory to make the claim that there is a female half to God. "But the Jerusalem above is free, which is the mother of us all" (Galatians 4:26). What would be interesting to ask is "Who, then, is the bond woman Hagar?" since this is passage uses the story of Hagar and Sarah. Biblically, the new Jerusalem is the church with all the saved. "But you have come to Mount Zion and to the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, to an innumerable company of angels, to the general assembly and church of the firstborn who are registered in heaven, to God the Judge of all, to the spirits of just men made perfect" (Hebrews 12:22-23). That the church is seen as the bride of Christ is clearly stated in Ephesians 5:23-27. It is not an individual as this group claims.

This is a sabbatarian organization, mixing pieces of the Old Testament, such as the feasts with the New Testament. This is because "Ahnsahnghong was baptized into the Seventh Day Adventist religion in 1948 at age 30, and remained a follower for 16 years" prior to his forming his own religion [Examining the World Mission Society]. Like the Seventh Day Adventist, this group has been making prophecies. Ahn Sahng-Hong claimed that Jesus would return in 1967 and 1988, joining the popular bandwagon of predictions that year [Examining the World Mission Society]. They currently have a pamphlet that "predicted that Jesus or “the husband” would return on “the last day of the year 2012 A.D.”[Examining the World Mission Society].

Another wild belief is their claim that all humans are actually fallen angels who are serving time on earth before returning to heaven. It is based on "Then the dust will return to the earth as it was, and the spirit will return to God who gave it" (Ecclesiastes 12:7). While our spirits do come from God, this verse does not state that we are angels, let alone fallen angels. The belief assumes preexistence to life on earth, which cannot be supported from the Scriptures.

The Christian Apologetics and Research Ministry has a fairly good summary, with only a few mistakes, on this false religion with citations at "World Mission Society Church of God."