World Mission Society Church of God
|This article relies too much on references to primary sources. (May 2013)|
|Founder||Joo-Cheol Kim and Jang Gil-ja|
|Headquarters||Bundang, South Korea|
World Mission Society Church of God, also known as the Church of God, is a new religious movement that began in South Korea in 1964 and is now active in over 175 different nations. The church was established by Kim Joo-cheol and Jang Gil-ja after Ahn Sahng-hong's death in 1985. Its headquarters are located in Bundang, Sungnam City, Kyunggi Province.
- 1 Name
- 2 History
- 3 Beliefs and practices
- 4 Compared to traditional Christianity
- 5 Affiliated institutions
- 6 References
- 7 External links
World Mission Society Church of God, or the Church of God, is the name used identically in affiliated churches distributed in Europe, Asia, Africa, Oceania, North America and South America. The church's name "Church of God" is a verbatim designation of 1 Corinthians, chapter 1, verses 1–2.
The church was established by Kim Joo-cheol and Jang Gil-ja after Ahn Sahng-hong's death in 1985. Its headquarters are located in Bundang, Sungnam City, Kyunggi Province. Currently there are 450 churches in South Korea, and 2,200 churches abroad. It is still expanding.
- April 28, 1964 – Ahn Sahng-hong establishes the Witnesses of Jesus Church of God in South Korea;
- 1970 – Establishes 4 churches in South Korea;
- 1980 – Total of 13 churches establishes in South Korea;
- 1985 – Ahn Sahng-hong dies in February. After his death, the Witnesses of Ahn Sahng-hong Church of God was created, later to be called Church of God World Mission Society for the purpose of registering and managing the organization's assets.
- 1988 – 10,000 registered members;
- 1990 – Total of 30 churches established in South Korea;
- 1996 – Total of 107 churches established; 100,000 registered members;
- 1997 – Establishes 3 churches abroad (LA, U.S., Lahore, Pakistan and Essen, Germany);
- 1998 – Total of 210 churches;
- 1999 – 200,000 registered members;
- 2000 – Total 300 churches in South Korea; 400,000 registered members;
- 2001 – The first visiting group from abroad (U.S.);
- 2002 – Carries out missionary work in 70 countries;
- 2003 – Volunteer work for the Daegu subway tragedy (free meals for 55 days) and receives presidential citation; approximately 500,000 registered members; supports 176 countries at the Daegu Universiade (with over 90,000 mandays);
- 2004 – Receives a Medal of Honor; 1st launching ceremony for self-supporting missions abroad teams; 600,000 registered members;
- 2005 – Opening ceremony of Okcheon Go&Come training institute;
- 2006 – Opening of the Church of God's History Museum;
- 2007 – over 100 churches have been established abroad; 800,000 registered members;
- 2008 – One million registered members;
- 2009 – Appears in March of Monthly Chosun; 32 short-term mission teams sent abroad;
- 2010 – Appears in October of Joongang monthly; 427 short-term mission teams sent abroad; delivers donations for Earthquake Victims in Haiti and Chile to UN (fund raised from charity concerts);
- 2011 – Receives US President's Volunteer Service Award from Barack Obama; sharing love with neighbors in and abroad for commemorating the 94th birthday of Ahnsahnghong; appears in April Monthly Chosun;
- 2012 – Worldwide environmental cleanup campaigns for the Passover; blood drives to give live through Passover; 2,200 churches in 150 countries have been established; over 1.75 million members registered;
- 2013 – 2013 Winter Student Camp, Street Cleanup Campaign (Seoul, Busan, Daegu, Incheon, Chungju and Yeosu of Korea and Lima of Peru), Worldwide Volunteer Service for the Passover, Orchestra Concert for the Church of God Students;
Beliefs and practices
The World Mission Society Church of God believes that all of their teachings are based on the Bible, as explained in the numerous books written by Ahn Sahng-hong.
Second coming of Christ
The Church believes that Jesus was to come a second time in the flesh. They believe that Ahn Sahng-hong is the Second Coming Jesus who came with a new name (Revelation 3:11–12, Revelation 2:17) and state that he fulfilled biblical prophecies that only Jesus could have fulfilled.
God the Mother
Because the Bible mentions "the Spirit and the bride" in Revelation 22:17, the Church believes that the bride is God the Mother. According their interpretation of Genesis 1:26–27's use of "us" and "our," there are two Gods, a male image of God and a female image of God. They call the female image of God "God the Mother". They teach that in the last days God the Mother has to appear on earth in the flesh. The Church believes that God the Mother is Jang Gil-ja, the source of salvation.
The church celebrates the seven feasts laid in Leviticus 23; Passover, Unleavened Bread, First Fruits, Feast of Weeks, Feast of Trumpets, Day of Atonement, and Feast of Tabernacles. The church observes these feasts according to the New Covenant established by Jesus, distinguishing from the feasts kept in the Old Testament.
The Church believes in the Saturday Sabbath according to Genesis 2:1 but do not celebrate it from sunset to sunset but from sunrise to sunset. They consider the Sabbath to be a sign between God and God's people according to (Ezekiel 20:12, Exodus 31:13), and must be kept as a service according to (Luke 4:16), different from the Old Testament regulations. Members are encouraged to keep the three services on the Sabbath day. In between services, members participate in various church-related activities such as Bible studies, watching church produced videos, or preaching in the local community.
Human origin and redemption
The Church believes that all human beings were originally created as angels in Heaven. When in Heaven they sinned against God and were sent to the earth as a second chance to return to God. They believe that the only way for humans to return to heaven is by keeping the Passover with bread and wine (Jesus' flesh and blood) and following the teachings of the Bible, as taught by Ahn Sahng-hong, which include believing in God the Mother, who is the Bride to give them life in the last days.
The World Mission Society Church of God holds that baptism is the first step towards salvation and must be done in the name of the Father (Jehovah), of the Son (Jesus), and the name of the Holy Spirit, Ahn Sahng-hong.
18 Then Jesus came to them and said, "All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. 19 Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age." – Matthew 28:18–20
World Mission Society Church of God members travel from house to house, shopping malls, hospitals and college campuses to share their beliefs.
Compared to traditional Christianity
The World Mission Society Church of God holds many views differing from mainstream Christianity, and its critics have detailed these differences. Mainstream sources also report that the World Mission Society Church of God predicted the end of the world and other controversies, while its members claim that such critics have fabricated these stories or misinterpreted what was actually taught.
- Okcheon Go&Come Training Institute
- Jounyisan Training Institute
- Elohim Training Institute
- The Church of God Theological Institute
- The Church of God History Museum
- The International We Love U Foundation 
- Messiah Orchestra
- Saet-byul Kindergarten
- "Joongang Monthly Magazine". Joongang Il Bo. Retrieved 4 April 2013.
- "WATV". WATV. Retrieved 4 April 2013.
- "WATV – Worldwide". Retrieved 3 June 2013.
- "WATV – History". WATV.org. Retrieved 3 June 2013.
- "[異色 종교단체 탐구] 하나님의교회 세계복음선교협회 월간조선 – 영향력 있는 사람들에게 영향력 있는 잡지". Monthly.chosun.com. 2009-02-21. Retrieved 2014-01-08.
- "Monthly Chosun". Monthly Chosun. Retrieved 4 April 2013.
- "Joongang monthly". Joongang monthly. Retrieved 4 April 2013.
- "WATV". WATV. Retrieved 4 April 2013.
- "WATV – Second Coming Christ". WATV. World Mission Society Church of God. Retrieved 2013-03-18.
- "WATV – Heavenly Mother". World Mission Society Church of God. Retrieved 2013-03-18.
- "WATV – Feasts of God". World Mission Society Church of God. Retrieved 2013-03-18.
- "WATV – Fundamentals". World Mission Society Church of God. Retrieved 2013-03-18.
- "WMSCOG Bible Q&A". World Mission Society Church of God. Retrieved 2013-05-24.
- "Washington City Newspaper". Washington City Newspaper. Retrieved 2013-05-24.
- "WATV – About Soul". World Mission Society Church of God. Retrieved 2013-03-18.
- "Christian Apologetics and Research Ministry". Archived from the original on 2013-10-22.
recruit 144,000 members.
- "affiliated institutions".
- World Mission Society Church of God Official website (English)