World Mission Society Church of God

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World Mission Society Church of God
Founder Ahn Sahng-hong
Type Religious
Headquarters Bundang, South Korea
General Pastor
Joo-Cheol Kim

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. Joo-Cheol Kim is the General Pastor of the Church. After founder Ahn Sahng-hong died in 1985, the Church expanded its activities to other parts of the world and began to use the name World Mission Society Church of God. Its headquarters are located in Bundang, Sungnam City, Kyunggi Province.

The church believes in God the Father and God the Mother,[1] and that it is restoring the truth of the early church.[2]

Name[edit]

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.

History[edit]

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 3,000 churches abroad. It is still expanding.[3]

Timeline[edit]

  • April 28, 1964 – Ahn Sahng-hong establishes the Witnesses of Jesus Church of God in South Korea;[4][5]
  • 1970 – Establishes 4 churches in South Korea;[4]
  • 1980 – Total of 13 churches establishes in South Korea;[4]
  • 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;[4]
  • 1990 – Total of 30 churches established in South Korea;[4]
  • 1996 – Total of 107 churches established; 100,000 registered members;[4]
  • 1997 – Establishes 3 churches abroad (LA, U.S., Lahore, Pakistan and Essen, Germany);[4]
  • 1998 – Total of 210 churches;[4]
  • 1999 – 200,000 registered members;[4]
  • 2000 – Total 300 churches in South Korea; 400,000 registered members;[4]
  • 2001 – The first visiting group from abroad (U.S.);[4]
  • 2002 – Carries out missionary work in 70 countries;[4]
  • 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);[4]
  • 2004 – Receives a Medal of Honor; 1st launching ceremony for self-supporting missions abroad teams; 600,000 registered members;[4]
  • 2005 – Opening ceremony of Okcheon Go&Come training institute;[4]
  • 2006 – Opening of the Church of God's History Museum;[4]
  • 2007 – Over 100 churches have been established abroad; 800,000 registered members;[4]
  • 2008 – One million registered members;[4]
  • 2009 – Appears in March of Monthly Chosun;[6] 32 short-term mission teams sent abroad;[4]
  • 2010 – Appears in October of Joongang monthly;[7] 427 short-term mission teams sent abroad; delivers donations for Earthquake Victims in Haiti and Chile to UN (fund raised from charity concerts);[4]
  • 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;[4]
  • 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;[4]
  • 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;[4]
  • 2015 - Receives Korean Presidential Citation Group Award[8]
  • 2016 - Receives Queen's Award for Voluntary Service in UK[9][10]

Beliefs and practices[edit]

The church believes in God the Father and God the Mother[1] by claiming to be restoring the truth of the early Church.[2]

The World Mission Society Church of God believes that all of its teachings are based on the Bible, as explained in the numerous books written by Ahn Sahng-hong.

Second coming of Christ[edit]

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 and Revelation 2:17), and it states that he fulfilled biblical prophecies that only Jesus could have fulfilled.[11]

God the Mother[edit]

Because the Bible mentions "the Spirit and the bride" in Revelation 22:17, the Church believes that the bride is God the Mother. Its interpretation of Genesis 1:26–27's use of "us" and "our" has two gods: a male image of God and a female image of God. It calls the female image of God "God the Mother" and teaches 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 Mother."[12]

Feast days[edit]

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.[13] The church observes the/feasts according to the New Covenant established by Jesus by distinguishing from the feasts kept in the Old Testament.

Sabbath[edit]

It believes in the Saturday Sabbath according to Genesis 2:1 but celebrates it not from sunset to sunset but from sunrise to sunset.[citation needed] It considers the Sabbath to be a sign between God and God's people according to (Ezekiel 20:12, Exodus 31:13), and it 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. Between services, members participate in various church-related activities such as Bible studies, watching church produced videos, or preaching in the local community.[14]

Idolatry[edit]

According to the church's interpretation of Exodus 20:4, items such as crosses, statues and stained glass are considered a form of idolatry and are not erected on or in their churches.[15][16]

Human origin and redemption[edit]

The Church believes that all human beings were originally created as angels in Heaven. They sinned against God and were sent to the earth as a second chance to return to God. 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. They include believing in God the Mother, who is the Bride to give them life in the last days.[17]

Baptism[edit]

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

Prayer[edit]

The Church believes that prayer must be done in the name of the Holy Spirit Ahn Sahng-hong in the last days and that women must wear veils, according to 1 Corinthians 11:1–16 while they pray.[14]

Evangelism[edit]

Members travel from house to house and in shopping malls, hospitals and college campuses to share their beliefs.

Compared to traditional Christianity[edit]

The World Mission Society Church of God holds many views differing from mainstream Christianity, as its critics have detailed. Mainstream sources also report that the World Mission Society Church of God predicted the end of the world and other controversies, but its members claim that such critics have fabricated these stories or misinterpreted what was actually taught.[18]

Affiliated institutions[edit]

  • 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 [19]
  • Messiah Orchestra
  • Saet-byul Kindergarten

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b "Joongang Monthly Magazine". Joongang Il Bo. Retrieved 4 April 2013. 
  2. ^ a b "WATV". WATV. Retrieved 4 April 2013. 
  3. ^ "WATV – Worldwide". Retrieved 3 June 2013. 
  4. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u v w "WATV – History". WATV.org. Retrieved 3 June 2013. 
  5. ^ "[異色 종교단체 탐구] 하나님의교회 세계복음선교협회 월간조선 – 영향력 있는 사람들에게 영향력 있는 잡지". Monthly.chosun.com. 2009-02-21. Retrieved 2014-01-08. 
  6. ^ "Monthly Chosun". Monthly Chosun. Retrieved 4 April 2013. 
  7. ^ "Joongang monthly". Joongang monthly. Retrieved 4 April 2013. 
  8. ^ "하나님의교회, 바다의 날 '대통령단체표창' 수상". joongboo daily news. 9 June 2015. 
  9. ^ "Old-Trafford's World Mission Society Church of God bestowed with prestigious Queen's voluntary award". Messenger Newspapers. 8 July 2016. Retrieved 15 July 2016. 
  10. ^ Kim, Jin Oh (11 July 2016). "영국 여왕, 하나님의 교회에 국가 최고 자원봉사상 수여". ajunews. Retrieved 15 July 2016. 
  11. ^ "WATV – Second Coming Christ". WATV. World Mission Society Church of God. Retrieved 2013-03-18. 
  12. ^ "WATV – Heavenly Mother". World Mission Society Church of God. Retrieved 2013-03-18. 
  13. ^ "WATV – Feasts of God". World Mission Society Church of God. Retrieved 2013-03-18. 
  14. ^ a b "WATV – Fundamentals". World Mission Society Church of God. Retrieved 2013-03-18. 
  15. ^ "WMSCOG Bible Q&A". World Mission Society Church of God. Retrieved 2013-05-24. 
  16. ^ "Washington City Newspaper". Washington City Newspaper. Retrieved 2013-05-24. 
  17. ^ "WATV – About Soul". World Mission Society Church of God. Retrieved 2013-03-18. 
  18. ^ "Christian Apologetics and Research Ministry". Archived from the original on 2013-10-22. recruit 144,000 members. 
  19. ^ "affiliated institutions". 

External links[edit]