File this under “Yet another cult group”.
The apostle Paul made no pretenses to Timothy as to the challenges that would face him in pastoral ministry. Having warned him that “evil men and impostors will proceed from bad to worse” and having established the sufficiency of Scripture to deal with these things, Paul charges Timothy to “preach the word”. And with that charge, Paul tells Timothy the nature of his preaching is both positive (exhort) and negative (rebuke, reprove). It is to be thorough, balanced, and substantive.
Paul encourages him to be diligent in the preaching ministry, being ready when times are good or bad and then warns him that the time will come when they will want their ears tickled and accumulate for themselves teachers in accordance with their own desires.
It is interesting that the only solution that Paul offers Timothy for when these people seek after false teachers is the very thing that drives them away: They could not stand sound doctrine, so they went to find those who would offer fine words and phrases to appease them and make them feel good.
Sometimes, no matter how clearly you explain a text to someone, there simply is no getting passed the defenses in their mind that are intent on ignoring everything you say and hardening their heart against His truth. It is times like this that one must rely entirely upon the Holy Spirit to be the Great Evangelist and trust that as you faithfully proclaim the truth of the Gospel, He will soften their hearts and break down every stronghold.
This past Saturday, I had a conversation with some members of the “Elohim Academy”. Since moving to my house, I have been visited twice by this group (three times total in the last year). Each time, it is the exact same pitch, even though they are different people.
The Elohim Academy is a mix of Unitarianism and Bi-theism. I do not mean that to be confusing. In one discussion, we elaborated on their conception of God. They used Unitarian arguments of God “manifesting” Himself as Father, Son, and Spirit — they even referred to the Trinity. However, they are Bi-theistic in that there is Father God and Mother God.
Father/Spirit/Son is a man named Ahnsahnghong (they refer to him as Christ Ahnsahnghong). He was the second coming of Christ, but has since
died ascended (1985). He established his first church in 1964. By 2008 the group claimed one million members worldwide.
The purpose of the Elohim Academy (which is really the World Mission Church of God based in South Korea) is to “teach” us about Elohim: That God is both Father and Mother. Yes, that is right. There is a Mother God. Without this knowledge, no one may be saved. “Mother” is his wife. She still roams the earth in their South Korean campus.
I know what you are thinking: “The Bible doesn’t teach anything about a ‘Mother’ God!” Once you tell them this they move right into their prepared argument and verses.
Allow me to present a composite conversation of my three experiences so that should you encounter this group you will have some better preparation that perhaps you can effectively share the Gospel (be quick – the leaders are quick to break off conversations, and so you must be effective in the few moments you have). Keep in mind that my conversations, though I explain where they err, were intended to be instructional to understand their teachings. Given that only one month has passed since my last experience with them in this neighborhood, I expect more encounters.
As stated, this is a composite conversation drawn from my recent experiences representing elements of several conversations and is intended to show the arguments and flow of the conversation and what one might expect when discussing with them:
Elohim Academy (EA, hereafter): “Good afternoon. We are students of the Elohim Academy, which is a theological school that teaches about God. Most people have heard about God, but we have found that most people are unaware of Mother God and do not realize that they need to believe in Her in order to be saved. Can I take a few moments to share what the Bible says about Mother God?”
Me: Mother God? The Bible does not speak of a “Mother God”, Miss.
EA: Oh, it most certainly does. In Revelation 22:17 we read:
“The Spirit and the bride say, “Come.” And let the one who hears say, ‘Come.’ And let the one who is thirsty come; let the one who wishes take the water of life without cost.”
Now, we turn to Revelation because it speaks to us who live in the end times. In this verse, we know that the Spirit mentioned is God, and we know that only God can give life, right?
Mike: Well, yes, only God can give life, but the bride there is the Church.
EA: But, only God can give life, this passage can only refer to God. The church cannot give life.
Mike: I agree that only God can give life, but the passage refers to something that is spoken, something that is offered, and while the Church itself cannot give life, the Church tells everyone to come to Christ in order to receive life. Notice that the text tells us, also, “let the one who hears say, ‘Come’”. This is not an indication that the one who hears can give life. He is simply offering it. The Spirit gives life, the Church proclaims the Gospel, which is the offer of life.”
EA: No, I disagree, only God can give life and, more importantly, while the Church is often called the Bride of Christ, there is a more complete understanding of who the Bride is – it is Mother God. May I show you another passage?
EA: Thank you. Now, once again in Revelation we see that the Bride is described for us. We know who the Bride is:
Rev 21:9-10 Then one of the seven angels who had the seven bowls full of the seven last plagues came and spoke with me, saying, “Come here, I will show you the bride, the wife of the Lamb.” And he carried me away in the Spirit to a great and high mountain, and showed me the holy city, Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God…
Now, this is obviously a symbolic passage because this is not a literal lamb. Obviously, a lamb cannot have a wife. The Lamb is Christ. A person. And notice also that Jerusalem is above and is said to be coming down out of heaven. Since the church is here on earth, the bride cannot be the church. May I show you another verse?
Mike: Before you do, I want to understand what you are suggesting. You want me to take the word “Lamb” as non-literal and view this passage as symbolic and therefore the description of “Jerusalem” that follows in verses 11 and following as being non-literal. Is that correct?
EA: Yes. The passage can’t be taken literally. It is symbolic of something else. But, in Galatians 4:26 we read:
But the Jerusalem above is free; she is our mother.
So, to this point we have seen that the God has a Bride, the Spirit and the Bride offer life (only God can do this), this bride was in heaven and is said to come down out of heaven and this Jerusalem is our Mother.
Mike: Excuse me, but can we go back to Revelation 21 for a moment?
Mike: I think you have confused what it means for something to be a symbol and something to be a simple metaphor. Now, I had asked you earlier if you wanted me to look at the word “Lamb” as non-literal and that you wanted me to look at the description of Jerusalem as being non-literal. But, you were able to tell me who the Lamb was easily. That is because this is not symbolism that is intended to be cryptic. The Lamb is a metaphor for a person that is easily identifiable. Obviously, we know who the Lamb is referencing just in the book of Revelation as the Lamb who was slain before the foundation of the world – Jesus Christ. In the same way, the wife of the Lamb is explained. That is, the metaphor is clearly understood from within the very passage under discussion. There is no reason to go to an explanation that is several books away written entirely by a different author all together. Jerusalem is clearly —
EA: But, the passage in Galatians tells us that Jerusalem is our Mother—
Mike: Jerusalem is described as a city. Notice the description that follows about the walls, the gates, the adornments, the jewels, the names of the apostles. If all of this explanation is intended to be an extended metaphor of “the wife of the Lamb” then what exactly does this description match? How is it symbolic of a person?
EA: I am explaining this to you: Jerusalem is our Mother. The Bible speaks of her as the Jerusalem from above. But, this cannot be the church because the church is below, here on earth.
Mike: Well, you are presuming that God’s Church is only here on earth. A Christian would declare that God’s Church is also here and in Heaven as well. Now, I don’t think you have established any good reason to conclude that Jerusalem in Revelation 21 is anything other than the New Jerusalem spoken of in verse 2. As for Galatians, once again, you are missing the context entirely—
EA: Mother God is being revealed to us in this passage. She is from above, but even the church is here below. This can only be in reference to Mother God.
Mike: In Galatians 4 –
EA: And this is what was revealed to us from the very beginning. In Genesis 1:26-27, we read:
Then God said, “Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness; and let them rule over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the sky and over the cattle and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.” God created man in His own image, in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them.
Now, everything on earth is a pattern and a shadow of things in heaven. So, we know that when God is speaking He says “Let US make man in OUR image…” There is more than one person there. He is speaking to someone. God then created man in his own image. MALE and FEMALE He created them. Since everything on earth is a pattern and shadow of things in heaven and there are male and female created in the God’s image, we see that Father God and Mother God created man in their own image.
Mike: I mean no disrespect, but if you keep leaving the passages of Scripture under discussion to support them using other passages of Scripture with an interpretation that I don’t agree with, we will never have a fruitful conversation. Did you not earlier tell me that you believed the Spirit was God?
Mike: And Jesus tells us that God is Spirit, which means He is not bound to a physical location like a physical body on a man. That is the nature of spirit. Spirit is not physical. Paul refers to the invisible God, we are told that no man sees God. Yet, from all this, you conclude that “image” means something that we can tangibly understand only in terms of gender. I don’t think you understand what it means to be created in the image of God.
EA: Yes, it means that we are created after His image. Male and Female. And it shows that Mother God has been revealed from the beginning and is even revealed to us in Galatians and Revelations as we have just seen.
Mike: Yes, but as I stated before, your theology depends entirely upon verses that have nothing to do with one another and are removed far from their context. Further, you do not let a more natural explanation tell you what the verse says, but force your view upon the passage.
At this point, the Elohim Academy depart politely. I thank them for the conversation and urge upon them the warning that unless they believe in the true Christ, they will die in their trespasses and sins. They leave with no further word.
There is much from the three conversations that I have left out. The point of the sample dialogue is to give an idea of the kinds of verses and arguments to expect from this group. They are not expecting someone to be able to look at the text and explain to them the context and it completely throws their prepared argument off course when one does. But, while it may serve a purpose in getting their attention, the real obstacle is that they have a completely false Christ in mind. The goal of our evangelism to these folks is the same as our evangelism to all people: Proclaim the true Christ of Scriptures and him crucified.
It is heart breaking to see so many young people sincere in their conviction that they are doing “God’s work” and so blatantly deceived. But, we must preach the Word faithfully and convincingly and trust the Holy Spirit to be the Great Evangelist.