New Song Book – Only for the 144,000?
As 2012 comes to a close and the world does not end, I thought it would be a good time to ask, what is the official teaching of the World Mission Society Church of God concerning the end of the world? I have heard lots of things including:
- The world is going to end in 2012 (didn’t happen)
- 2012 is the end of all preaching (although I’m pretty sure that I will see them out preaching this year too)
- The 2012 Passover was supposed to be the last one (didn’t happen)
- The world is going to end in 2018
Whatever it is, it seems the picture is inconsistent across the global organization. Ahn Sahng Hong seems to have written his own prediction about the world ending in 2012 in a book that is available online on the NCPCOG site in Korean here and in the green book. Some long time former members have admitted that they were taught that the world would end in 2012, while other members that recently left the WMSCOG after a short stay deny this (there has been quite a bit of discussion about this in the forum). If anyone knows where an official teaching by the WMSCOG on the end of the world is written down, please let us know.
At any rate, I came across an early edition of the New Song Book from 2001, the official book of songs used at the WMSCOG, and it had a curious title on the front cover. It was titled New Song Book, Only For the 144,000. For those of you who may be unfamiliar with this figure, this is a symbolic number in many religions. In Christianity, it has significance to the destruction of Jerusalem, and to some groups, the end of the world.
New Song Book 2001, Only for the 144,000
You may remember the New Song Book from 2010 where the WMSCOG was found to be singing Catholic and other Sunday worship songs (surprising since they have so much criticism for Sunday-worshiping Christians). By 2010 though, we see that “only for the 144,000” had been removed from the book’s title.
New Song Book 2010
Putting it all together
So what does it all mean? It appears that at one time the “New Song Committee” was saying that the New Song book was “only for the 144,000”. This seems to be in line with Ahn Sahng-Hong’s own teachings on the 144,000. Later, I guess it was changed to be for everyone? We have already seen that changes in the official WMSCOG literature are not unheard of, so it would come as no surprise if the teaching on the 144,000 has changed as well. That seems to be the case.
The Changing Teaching on the 144,000
In 1990, WMSCOG General Pastor Joo Cheol Kim, in a book titled, “My Sheep Listen to My Voice” wrote:
Zion is the church where God’s appointed feasts are celebrated. So the 144,000, who will be redeemed from the earth in the last days, must come out of the people who keep the feasts…There are countless people around the world like the sands by the sea. Among them, we have been especially chosen by God and given the promise of entering the heavenly country.
The Bible depicts the saints, who will receive the glory of salvation on this earth in the last days, as the ‘144,000 redeemed from the earth.’
Surely, the 144,000 people, who will receive the glorious salvation, are those who keep the commandments of God.
The statements above clearly communicate that only 144,000 people will receive salvation and go to heaven (just like Ahn Sahng Hong seems to have taught). However, these statements are in stark contrast to statements by Joo Cheol Kim in later writings. In 2009, in a book titled “Mother’s Wish,” Kim writes:
The 144,000 who are redeemed from the earth do not insist on doing things their own way but follow the Lamb wherever he goes…I truly want you children of heaven to preach the good news of salvation to all people around the world and participate in God’s great work of saving all mankind together.
Later in 2010 in a book titled, “Boast About God” Kim writes:
This is a blessing given not only to the 144,000 but also to all who keep the new covenant. The Bible says that there is a great multitude that no one can count and that all people around the world will stream to Zion in order to learn the ways of God…if we stay silent without doing the work, we cannot save the world.
After reading the WMSCOG literature, it appears that the teaching on the 144,000 went from 144,000 chosen from the innumerable “sands of the sea” “who will receive the glory of salvation on this earth in the last days” to 144,000 plus the innumerable “great multitude”. Why has this change occurred? I’m interested to hear what WMSCOG members have to say about this and the 144,000. What were you taught? Comment in the forum or below if you have something you would like to share.
For more info on what Ahn Sahng Hong wrote concerning the 144,000, click here.