By Josh Paczok
Would you be able to spot a fraud if you saw one? How would you go about doing that? How can we as Christians discern between who is telling the truth and who is lying? Spiritual fraud is rampant in our world today. Many Christians have even been led astray by the various false teachers. You and I, however; do not have to fall victim to such schemes.
Jesus said that there would be false Christ’s who would rise up and deceive people in the last days. I believe that the man Ahnsahnghong was one such deceiver. Ahnsahnghong was a man who declared himself to be Jesus Christ. He said that he was the fulfillment of Christ’s promised return. He also taught a new method of salvation, which involves works and rituals. Not only did Ahnsahnghong proclaim himself to be a messenger of God, his followers declare that he himself was divine, and that he was the second coming of Christ.
There are three reasons that I believe that Ahnsahnghong was a deceiver. The first reason that I believe that Ahnsahnghong was a deceiver is that his teachings directly contradict the teachings of God’s Word. According to Ahnsahnghong’s teachings there are many necessary rituals and beliefs which merit salvation. According to this teaching, in order to be saved a person must keep the Jewish passover as long as they live. Although the next requirement contradicts the first, it is still necessary for salvation according to Ahnsahnghong’s teaching. He said that in order for a person to be saved, a person must follow all the teachings of the Bible. Another requirement for salvation that Ahnsahnghong taught was that a person must believe in “Mother God.” They do not believe that God the Father is in fact female, rather the belief is that “Mother God” is another person of the Godhead. A fourth requirement of salvation according to Ahnsahnghong is that a person must keep the Jewish Sabbath day all of their life. Standing in intimidating opposition to the teachings of Ahnsahnghong are the words of almighty God! According to God, salvation is by grace through faith in Jesus Christ who died for our sins and rose from the dead. According to the Bible, there is nothing that a person could do to earn his salvation. Even if we were capable of doing good on our own, we could not earn salvation because God in His perfection must deal justly with our sinfulness. This truth is described in Romans chapter three. Thus says the Lord:
“Now we know that whatever the law says it speaks to those who are under the law, so that every mouth may be stopped, and the whole world may be held accountable to God. For by works of the law no human being will be justified in his sight, since through the law comes knowledge of sin. But now the righteousness of God has been manifested apart from the law, although the Law and the Prophets bear witness to it–the righteousness of God through faith in Jesus Christ for all who believe. For there is no distinction: for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and are justified by his grace as a gift, through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus, whom God put forward as a propitiation by his blood, to be received by faith. This was to show God’s righteousness, because in his divine forbearance he had passed over former sins. It was to show his righteousness at the present time, so that he might be just and the justifier of the one who has faith in Jesus. Then what becomes of our boasting? It is excluded. By what kind of law? By a law of works? No, but by the law of faith. For we hold that one is justified by faith apart from works of the law.” (Romans 3:19-28)
First of all notice, that the purpose of the Law was never to save anyone. Instead the Law proves that everyone is in need of a savior. Secondly notice that Jesus Christ is that savior. Thirdly notice that the reason that God has done all of this is to demonstrate His righteousness. Our salvation is not about us, or about what we can do. Salvation has always been about God’s righteousness and His love. Therefore any system that denies this truth by adding works as a means of salvation, is blasphemy because it usurps the honor and glory that belong to God.
Another belief that Ahnsahnghong’s followers hold is that there is a female member of the Godhead, who they call “Mother God.” This belief either originates from a preconceived notion which led to the misinterpretation of Scripture, or it could have originated from a careless handling of the text. Ahnsahnghong’s followers cite Galatians 4:26 as their proof text for this doctrine. This verse says: “But the Jerusalem above is free, and she is our mother.” A simple reading of the context in which this verse occurs is more than sufficient to demonstrate that Paul is not declaring that there is a female member of the Godhead. Instead, Paul is using an allegory to contrast the difference between those who attempt to attain salvation by the law, and those who successfully receive salvation by grace. Don’t take my word for it! Read Galatians chapter four for yourself! A third belief of the followers of Ahnsahnghong is that only Ahnsahnghong was able to understand the Scriptures. In their belief system the Scriptures are meaningless without Ahnsahnghong’s interpretation. In opposition to this lie, stands the Word of God. The Bible says:
“But, as it is written, “What no eye has seen, nor ear heard, nor the heart of man imagined, what God has prepared for those who love him”– these things God has revealed to us through the Spirit. For the Spirit searches everything, even the depths of God. For who knows a person’s thoughts except the spirit of that person, which is in him? So also no one comprehends the thoughts of God except the Spirit of God. Now we have received not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, that we might understand the things freely given us by God. And we impart this in words not taught by human wisdom but taught by the Spirit, interpreting spiritual truths to those who are spiritual. The natural person does not accept the things of the Spirit of God, for they are folly to him, and he is not able to understand them because they are spiritually discerned.” (1 Corinthians 2:9-14)
Here there are several truths, which contradict Ahnsahnghong’s lie. The Apostle Paul begins this passage with a practical illustration of the truth that he is about to share. The only person who can really comprehend you is you. Thus, we are only able to comprehend God’s truth because we have God’s Spirit indwelling us. We as believers in Jesus Christ are able to comprehend the truths of God’s Word, not because we are intellectually capable, but because God Himself does the comprehending for us. Obviously, the person who does not have the Spirit of God cannot understand the Scriptures. So actually the followers of Ahnsahnghong are correct in saying that they cannot understand the Scriptures, but then, neither could Ahnsahnghong.
The second reason that I believe that Ahnsahnghong was a deceiver is that his coming was not anything like the prophesied return of Christ. Ahnsahnghong was born in South Korea. He was baptized in a cultic church in 1948 and began his ministry soon after. Unlike Ahnsahnghong’s experience God’s Word indicates that Jesus will return in the same body He left with, in the same manner in which He left. Luke reports in his account of Christ’s ascension:
“And when he had said these things, as they were looking on, he was lifted up, and a cloud took him out of their sight. And while they were gazing into heaven as he went, behold, two men stood by them in white robes, and said, “Men of Galilee, why do you stand looking into heaven? This Jesus, who was taken up from you into heaven, will come in the same way as you saw him go into heaven.” (Acts 1:9-11)
Jesus is not only going to return in the same manner in which He left, He is also going to return to the same place from where He left. The prophet Zechariah prophesied regarding Christ’s second coming that He will literally stand on the mount of Olives. It is written: “On that day His feet shall stand on the Mount of Olives that lies before Jerusalem on the east, and the Mount of Olives shall be split in two from east to west by a very wide valley, so that one half of the Mount shall move northward, and the other half southward.” (Zechariah 14:4)
Notice how the prophet says “His feet shall stand.” The emphasis is on the fact that He will literally stand on the mount of Olives. Ahnsahnghong has not done any of the things that Christ said He would do upon His return.
The third reason that I believe that Ahnsahnghong was a fraud is that he is dead! If Ahnsahnghong was really the return of Christ, he would not have died. As it is written: “We know that Christ, being raised from the dead, will never die again; death no longer has dominion over Him.” (Romans 6:9)
There are many false teachers who have come to deceive people. In order to not find ourselves falling victim to their wicked schemes, we must rely totally on the Word of God. It is through meditation and careful study of the Word of God that the Lord will equip us to stand against these evil liars. There are many counterfeits but there is only one truth. How well do you know the Truth?
Josh Paczok is a graduate of Word of Life Bible Institute in Pottersville, NY and has a BA in Bible/Theology from Appalachian Bible College in Beckley, WV.