Want to Join a Korean Doomsday Cult?

This past Sunday I received a message from someone who attends White Fields. She said that she was in Alta Park in Longmont when a couple approached her who were from the Worldwide Mission Society Church of God, seeking to evangelize her.

When she told them that she is a Christian, they questioned her salvation and told her that Jesus had claimed that he would come again as a man, give his church a new name, and that in order to be saved, one needs to be part of this church, and adhere to several “new covenant requirements” including keeping all of the feasts mentioned in the Book of Leviticus.

They mentioned that they belonged to a branch of this church which had recently started in Boulder, and that they were planning to start a Longmont branch soon as well.

I had never heard of this group before, so I looked them up. Turns out they have some pretty crazy doctrines, which, unsurprisingly, they kept quiet about in this interaction in the park.

Who are they and what do they believe?

The Worldwide Mission Society Church of God (WMSCOG) was founded by Ahn Sahng-Hong in South Korea in 1964. He was a long-time Seventh-day Adventist, until he split off to establish his own religion.

They believe in God the Father and God the Mother, and they believe that their founder, Ahn Sahng-Hong (deceased) was the reincarnation of Jesus Christ (this is what the people in Alta Park were talking about when they said Jesus came back as a man and gave his church a new name), and that his wife (still alive) is the incarnation of God the Mother.

Ahn Sahng-Hong’s wife, Jang Gil-ja, is not only considered to be divine as God the Mother, but she is also known as “The Bride of Christ” – because she was married to Ahn Sahng-Hong, whom they believe to be the reincarnation of Christ.

Along with referring to him as “Christ Ahn Sahng-Hong,” they also believe that he is the Holy Spirit and they baptize and pray in the name of the Father, Son and Ahn Sahng-Hong.

I just threw up a little bit in my mouth as I wrote that…

They teach that all people were originally created as angels in Heaven, but then sinned against God and were sent to Earth as a second chance to return to God. The only way for humans to be saved and return to heaven is by keeping the Levitical feasts and following the teachings of Ahn Sahng-Hong, which includes believing in God the Mother, AKA Jang Gil-ja, Ahn Sahng-Hong’s wife, who gives everlasting life.

When you lay it out like this, it’s pretty clear how crazy this is. Not only is it a cult of personality, it is a radical deviation from Biblical doctrine. It’s not surprising that they keep most of this stuff to themselves when they go out preaching in parks.

And yet, the WMSCOG is growing very rapidly. They boast of 450 churches in Korea and 3000 around the world.

The member of our church who met them concluded her message to me by saying that this whole experience made her realize how unprepared she was to explain and, if necessary, defend what she believes and why.

How should you respond if you are approached by the WMSCOG? Or by any other pseudo-Christian group that has their own heterodox interpretation of the Bible?

There is one thing which is common to every religion in the world, other than Christianity: they teach that salvation is something that you have to earn. The gospel message of Jesus Christ, on the other hand, teaches that salvation is something that Jesus earned for you, and which is given to you by God as a free gift.

Notice that the soteriology (doctrine of salvation) of the WMSCOG is one of salvation by works.

Here’s what the Bible has to say:

“for it is by grace that you have been saved, through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; not as a result of works, so that no one may boast,” (Ephesians 2:8-9).

On the matter of feasts and Sabbaths:

“Therefore no one is to act as your judge in regard to food or drink or in respect to a festival or a new moon or a Sabbath day— things which are a mere shadow of what is to come; but the substance belongs to Christ” (Colossians 2:16-17).

“But now that you have come to know God, or rather to be known by God, how is it that you turn back again to the weak and worthless elemental things, to which you desire to be enslaved all over again? You observe days and months and seasons and years. I fear for you, that perhaps I have labored over you in vain” (Galatians 4:9-11).

The gospel is not a call to celebrate feast days and Sabbaths in order to obtain salvation, it is the good news of who Jesus is and what He has done for you, in order to save you. Anyone who teaches that such things are necessary for salvation is not only wrong, they are creating a different gospel.

Jesus said that when he would return again, he would come to judge the living and the dead. The teachings of the WMSCOG are not only incorrect and dangerous, they are heretical; both in their deification of Ahn Sahng-Hong and Jang Gil-ja and in their teaching of salvation by works, which goes contrary to the clear teaching of the Bible that we are justified by God through faith in Christ and his finished work on the cross.

In the big picture, this is just another re-branding of an old, and widespread lie: that you can (and must) work your way to God. The good news of the gospel is that salvation is not earned by your performance being good enough, but on the sufficient sacrifice of Jesus on the cross. Rest in that, and be on guard against those who teach otherwise.

For more on the Worldwide Mission Society Church of God and sources for this article, check out these sites:

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9 thoughts on “Want to Join a Korean Doomsday Cult?

  1. My daughter is wrapped up in this mess.. She has been for 3 yrs now. She will not listen to anyone and has even stopped coming around her grandfather who is a retired minister. I pray for her constantly. I feel defeated.. I know that is something sent from the devil to make me give up on my daughter. I refuse to give her up. She was given to God when she was a baby, she was baptised in the Christian faith.. Brittany wanted to be a preacher when she grew up. Now they have her out lying to people. Please pray for my family and my daughter Brittany. I’m at a loss to know what to do and so is my family

  2. I recently got concerned. This girl invited me for a bible study on campus. But I eventually found out about her cultish beliefs. She belongs to the World’s Missions Church of God. She rambled on about God “the mother”, salvation by works, keeping the OT feasts, keeping the Sabbaths, etc. I looked up the church and its a cultish demonic false heresy. That doctrines made me sick. The Holy Spirit had me basically feel nauseous from hearing that sick false gospel. May you please cover this one ? People are falling for that satanic cult and doctrine. They are also hypocrites because they talk about obeying the law yet the worship a false god. They also take bible verses out of context to fit their agenda. I’m still very nauseated and heated about them leading others to hell.

    1. Hi Ashley, thanks for sharing your story. I’m grieved to hear this is as well. It sounds to me like the group you encountered is the same as the one in my post. The name is slightly different, but with such a long name, I’m guessing they have some shorthand version of it as well. The “God the Mother” thing, the salvation by works, the OT feasts, Sabbath keeping, etc. are all identical to the group I’m talking about in this post. I’m pretty sure it’s the same group. May God open people’s eyes to see the truth and see through these lies!

  3. BUT JESUS SAID WE ARE TO CONTINUE TO CELEBRATE THE PASSOVER . THAT IS NOT COMMUNION . YOU HAVE GIVEN SO VERSES FROM THE OLD TESTAMENT.
    GO TO THE NEW TESTAMENT AND DIG DEEP. IN THERE YOU WILL FIND WE ARE NOT TO EAT FOOD THAT HAS BEEN OFFERED TO OTHER GODS. YOU KNOW EASTER IS A MANMADE CELEBRATION,CHRISTMAS IS A MANMADE CELEBRATION THAT HAS IT ORIGINS IN PAGANISM.
    ALL I CAN SAY IS DON’T BE LIKE THE JEWS WHO DID NOT ACKNOWLEDGE WHO JESUS REALLY WAS. REMEMBER, THE NEW TESTAMENT WAS NOT IN EXISTENCE AT THAT TIME. SO BE CAREFUL YOU DON’T MAKE THE SAME MISTAKE, IT WOULD MEAN THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN LIFE IN HEAVEN OR LIFE IN HELL.

    1. All caps, eh?
      Did Jesus tell us to celebrate the Passover, or did he institute a new meal ritual which represented his body and his blood broken and shed for us? 1 Corinthians 11 shows us that the early Christians celebrated this meal often, not yearly like the Passover would have been.
      Easter is man made, eh? In the sense that Christians chose to commemorate and celebrate the resurrection of Jesus? And you have a problem with that? No one is saying you shouldn’t celebrate Passover, but please do remember that Jesus is the true Passover lamb who was slain so we could be saved from death.
      Here is something for you to consider: John’s gospel tells us that Jesus participated in the celebration of Chanukah – which is not a biblical feast instituted by God in the law. It commemorates something good, but it’s not a biblical feast. And yet Jesus celebrated it and used the occasion for furthering his mission. Is it wrong for us to use the non-biblical but yet good celebrations in our culture (such as that of the incarnation) as a point of contact by which to further Jesus’ mission?
      Have you ever read Colossians 2:16-17?
      „Therefore let no one pass judgment on you in questions of food and drink, or with regard to a festival or a new moon or a Sabbath. These are a shadow of the things to come, but the substance belongs to Christ.”
      ‭‭Colossians‬ ‭2:16-17‬ ‭ESV‬‬ https://www.bible.com/bible/59/col.2.16-17.esv

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