Opinions By COGwriter
The Philadelphia Church of God (Philadelphia) had its roots in the Worldwide Church of God. Although there are many obvious similarities, this author has often been asked about the differences in their teachings. The intent of this article is not to cause division, but the Bible teaches that two cannot walk together unless they are agreed (Amos 3:3) and agreement probably will not come if the groups hold differing views. This article primarily includes quotes from official publications or its leadership (though several comments towards the end are from former PCG members). Many of the teachings in this article are unique to PCG, but not all, and some are similar.
Similar to some others, Philadelphia improperly claims:
The PCG is the only Church that holds onto ALL of what Christ established through Mr. Armstrong (Flurry, Gerald and Leap, Dennis. Ezra and Nehemiah: Building God's Temple. Booklet. 1997. p.29).
People who were around when Herbert Armstrong was alive (or even those who were not) may have a different opinion after reading this article in its entirety (it should be noted that none of the unique PCG doctrinal statements found in this article were actually taught by Herbert Armstrong).
Furthermore, PCG reported:
In this end time, 95 percent of God's people have gone astray because they failed to follow Herbert W. Armstrong's example as he followed Christ (For more information, write for a free copy of Malachi's Message) (Flurry, Gerald. The Law of History. Philadelphia Trumpet, February 2002, p.5).
While there is a lot of truth in the first portion of that statement, the mentioning of Malachi's Message demonstrates part of why PCG is part of that 95 percent.
Note: any bolding of text was added by me. Most of my comments, however, will be in italics. PCG has certain unique teachings, as well as some that based more on preferred tradition than what the Bible actually teaches. This article will provide documented evidence of that.
The Fundamental Difference
PCG claims its alleged flooding of revelation is what makes it unique:
"Malachi's Message, the centerpiece of our literature, contains a lot of new revelation in the area of prophecy which God did not reveal to Mr. Armstrong" (Flurry, Gerald. Worldwide Church of God Doctrinal Changes and the Tragic Results. Booklet. 1994. p.2). "Only the Philadelphia Church receives God's revelation today" (Flurry, Gerald. From the Beginning. Booklet. 1996. p.4). "The PCG has kept all of revealed knowledge God gave to Mr. Armstrong. All of the Laodicean groups have rejected at least part of that revelation. Therefore, GOD HAS GIVEN THEM NO NEW REVELATION SINCE MR. ARMSTRONG DIED! BUT THE PCG HAS BEEN FLOODED WITH REVELATION. We are the only group that is eating from the tree of life! And you can prove it. Because the Laodiceans have rejected God's revealed government, God will not use them to do His Work" (Flurry, Gerald. From the Beginning. Booklet. 1996. p.25).
"AND CHRIST’S DISCIPLES TODAY KNOW WHO THIS MODERN-DAY JOHN, OR ELIJAH, WAS! They must know who he was or they could not do God’s work. His name was Herbert W. Armstrong. His headquarters was Pasadena, California. ONLY he restored all things in this end time. (Many of God’s people remember when Mr. Armstrong spoke of 18 truths he restored to God’s Church.)" (Flurry G. Is California Under a Curse? Philadelphia Trumpet, December 2003, p.1).
These two statements from Gerald Flurry are clear contradictions. If HWA restored all things, then PCG would have no need to be "FLOODED WITH REVELATION". The fact that Gerald Flurry has made numerous changes proves that HE DOES NOT BELIEVE THAT HWA RESTORED ALL THINGS. Any who remain with PCG because they believe that PCG is the most faithful to the teachings and practices of the old Worldwide Church of God under HWA are deceiving themselves!
Furthermore, as is shown in the section titled Government, PCG is among the groups that have rejected governance.
Gerald Flurry's Inspiration/Authority
PCG claims extra-human inspiration for its Malachi's Message booklet:
The PCG does believe that Malachi's Message is more than a human work (Leap Dennis. As quoted in Philadelphia Official Responds. The Journal. June 30, 1998. p.8).
Malachi's Message was delivered to me and the PCG in 1989. A MIGHTY ANGEL DIRECTLY FROM GOD REVEALED IT! (Flurry, Gerald. The Little Book. Philadelphia Trumpet. Sept-Oct 1992).
Yet they changed it:
The PCG's main publication, Malachi's Message, was drastically improved in 1991. Much of that summer was spent on adding sections, editing, and giving it a new format like most other small books. The improvements are astounding (Flurry, Stephen. 1991: A Year to Remember. Philadelphia Trumpet. February 1992).
There have been many changes from the original booklet in 1990 (which I read) and the newest 1995 version (which I also read) which makes me wonder the same thing about revising Malachi's Message that a former Philadelphia pastor asked, "Why would anyone dare to change a revelation from God?" (Schaeffer, Randy. In Former PCG Elders Say Church in Crisis, Moving Away from Its Founding Principles. The Journal. June 30, 1999. p.9).
Yet PCG claims the booklet was prophesied:
Malachi's Message Prophesied!...'And ye shall know that I have sent this commandment unto you, that my covenant might be with Levi, saith the LORD of hosts' (Mal. 2:4). This is a specific prophecy about Malachi's Message. GOD SAID 'I SENT' THIS MESSAGE TO YOU, AND 'YOU SHALL KNOW' THAT GOD SENT IT! They will know before or during the Great Tribulation that Malachi's Message is from God (Flurry, Gerald. Malachi's Message to God's Church Today. Booklet. 1995. p.30).
These prophesies in Malachi could occur only after Mr. Armstrong was dead (Flurry, Gerald. Malachi's Message to God's Church Today. Booklet. 1995. p.143.).
Today, people often ask, 'Where does Mr. Flurry get his authority? Where does Mr. Flurry and the PCG get authority to rebuild the temple?' Zerubbabel's experience typifies the PCG today. In a similar vein, we get our authority from some original signed documents. Our are not civil, legal documents. The documents authorizing the PCG and our work are the writings of Herbert W. Armstrong. The PCG is the only Church that holds onto ALL of what Christ established through Mr. Armstrong (Flurry, Gerald and Leap, Dennis. Ezra and Nehemiah: Building God's Temple. Booklet. 1997. p.29).
Even a casual reading of this document should reveal to any with eyes to see that PCG admits that it does not hold onto ALL of what Christ established through Mr. Armstrong.
Adding to the Book of Revelation
Robert Kuhne, a former PCG member, reported,
Gerald Flurry is putting Malachi’s Message on the level of Scripture: "MALACHI'S MESSAGE IS AN UNWRITTEN PART OF THE BOOK OF REVELATION"..."THE LITTLE BOOK IS A PROPHETIC SECTION OF THE BOOK OF REVELATION [PT Sept./Oct. 1992, "The Little Book" article pg. 6, 7]".
He has a picture showing the page of the PT (Philadelphia Trumpet) quote at his website. He also mentioned that PCG did not repeat this particular quote in a Philadelphia Trumpet article on the same subject 6 years later. I would simply like to quote a portion of the Book of Revelation itself here, "For I testify to everyone who hears the words of the prophecy of this book: If anyone adds to these things, God will add to him the plagues that are written in this book; And if anyone takes away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part from the Book of Life, from the holy city, and from the things which are written in this book" (Revelation 22:18-19).
Many years ago, Gerald Flurry began referring to himself as "that Prophet":
[At PCG's ministerial conference in June, 1999] God gave his end-time prophet the clearest understanding of his office and commission that he has ever had.... The conference instruction revolved around Pastor General Gerald Flurry's five lectures, collectively titled, 'That Prophet.' Mr. Flurry's starting point, John 1:19-25, shows that Jews in Christ's time who knew the Bible not only expected the 'Elijah' prophesied to return right before Christ's Second Coming, but also an unnamed prophet. After revealing that he fulfills the office of 'that prophet,' over nine hours Mr. Flurry expounded the Old Testament scriptures defining that office, in Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel, Malachi, Hosea, Micah and other books--even Genesis (Ministers learn to support prophet. Philadelphia News, July/August 1999).
It probably should be mentioned that most in the real Church of God consider that the term "that Prophet" which PCG refers to is an Old Testament prediction of Christ, not a self-appointed human leader such as Gerald Flurry.
Gerald Flurry is not God's prophet. Those interested in learning the truth about Christian prophets should study the article How To Determine If Someone is a True Prophet of God; here is a related link in Spanish/español: ¿Cómo determinar si alguien es un verdadero profeta de Dios? There is also a sermon-length video titled How to determine if someone is a true prophet of God.
Gerald Flurry's Claimed Titles
In the July/August 2000 edition of Royal Vision, Gerald Flurry specifically calls or refers to himself the following variety of titles (listed in the order they occur in that issue): that prophet, the last voice, a third voice, the physical head of God's work, the last and final voice, a prophet, God's man, one that was prophesied by Jeremiah and Ezekiel, this watchman, end-time watchman, a prophet to the nations, Christ's man, a breaker, a modern type of Micah, this king, this counselor, the breaker whom God has chosen, God's watchman, prophesied by Habakkuk, a lawgiver, His lawgiver, God's leader, an end-time Malachi-type prophet, the one who fulfills Zechariah's role in the end-time, ruler over His household, a type of Elisha, the conduit, God's true prophet, the voice, that voice, type of Joel, a preacher of righteousness, this man (of God), an end-time Obadiah, a warrior for God, the one God actually wants us to focus on, and only a messenger--at least one of those titles he is taking refers to Jesus. The titles of the articles, all of which were written by Gerald Flurry were (in order of appearance, all CAPS from G. Flurry), THAT PROPHET PART ONE: WHO IS 'THAT PROPHET'?, THAT PROPHET PART TWO: A NEW THING, THAT PROPHET PART THREE: GOD'S WATCHMAN, THAT PROPHET PART FOUR: THE THRONE AND LAWGIVER, GOD'S COMMAND, ZECHARIAH'S FLYING SCROLL, THAT PROPHET PART FIVE: THE ELISHA WORK, and THAT PROPHET PART SIX: THE VOICE OF THE DAY OF THE LORD. He also calls PCG "God's greatest gift" (p.12).
Furthermore, Gerald Flurry wrote:
And I have been the conduit for revelation from all the major and minor prophets, Colossians, Lamentations, Daniel, Revelation, the former prophets and other books. All this prophetic revelation has come from God through THAT PROPHET (p.33).
Gerald Flurry also stated:
THERE IS A SPIRITUAL THRONE OF DAVID IN GOD'S CHURCH TODAY"(p.5)
And then he essentially implies he sits on it; he also said,
I have to make 'kingly' decisions at times (p.12).
When commenting about other COGs, Gerald Flurry wrote:
Almost every book or booklet which I have written is filled with prophecy...Do they even have a smattering of the abundance of new revelation which God has rained down on His people through me? (p.15).
I have the authority of of God's watchman--THAT PROPHET...God sets ONE WATCHMAN at a time (p.17).
He also wrote:
This verse indicates a NEW COMMISSION for the PCG...This trumpet-blowing commission is directed towards me personally (p.18).
The Sept-Oct 2003 edition of the Philadelphia News lists these titles under Gerald Flurry's name:
Pastor General of the Philadelphia Church of God; Imperial College Chancellor; Philadelphia Foundation Founder and Chairman.
But apparently all of those titles were not enough, so in November 2010 he decided he also needed to be an apostle, so he added yet another title. For part of his justification he wrote wrote "the office of apostle is a sign that God wants us to do still a GREATER WORK than what we have done" (Flurry G. Member and Co-worker letter. Philadelphia Church of God, November 8, 2010, p. 10). I think that repentance would be the greater work that PCG should consider. PCG, in my view, is guilty of spiritual, and sometimes also physical, idolatry (see also The Bible, Peter, Paul, John, Polycarp, Herbert W. Armstrong, Roderick C. Meredith, and Bob Thiel on Church Government).
I consider Gerald Flurry to be both a false prophet and a false apostle (nor do not agree with many of the other titles he has claimed for himself). Gerald Flurry is not God's prophet. Those interested in learning the truth about Christian prophets should study the article How To Determine If Someone is a True Prophet of God; here is a related link in Spanish/español: ¿Cómo determinar si alguien es un verdadero profeta de Dios? There is also a sermon-length video titled How to determine if someone is a true prophet of God.
Gerald Flurry a Type of Elisha?
At former PCG member Robert Kuhne's webpage he quoted from PCG booklet, Who is That Prophet? (TP is Kuhne's abbreviation for that booklet) written by Gerald Flurry, and then from HWA:
Elisha followed Elijah anciently. So it should be no surprise that there is an Elisha type who follows the end-time Elijah. The Elisha work has some great examples for us, because Elisha was always grounded in Elijah's instructions, and he carried on the Elijah work. Where on earth is there someone who points you back to the end-time Elijah and continues the end-time Elijah work? [TP pg. 67p4,5]
My office must be a type of the Elisha office [TP pg. 68p6]
That is also a prophecy that the same evil will surface in this end-time -- in the Elisha work. ... Elisha continued God's educational work, which indicates that our work will do the same, at least in a limited way [TP pg. 70p4,8]
Elisha promised never to leave Elijah. That is what the Elisha work is like today. ... He was being prepared to carry on the Elijah work. ... I was chosen to lead God's Elisha remnant. ... This is the attitude we must have in continuing Elijah's work! [TP pg. 71p2,3,4,5]
This strikes at the heart of how we continue the Elijah work today. ... God has to have a man fulfill the Elisha role today [TP pg. 74p3,4]
The above quotes make it clear that Gerald Flurry believes that he is doing the Elisha work and is that he is Elisha or a type of Elisha. However, this contradicts what Herbert W. Armstrong believed and wrote:
But I think God has called me for a job to do. If I have been someone in the power and the spirit of Elijah, remember there is no prophecy that God will have an Elisha follow Elijah. (Armstrong, Herbert W. Congress of Leading Ministers Hears Defined and Reemphasized Spiritual Organization of Church. Worldwide News, March 6, 1981, p. 12)
And recently Gerald Flurry began teaching,
The original Elijah and the end-time Elijah held extremely important “father” offices for God. The Philadelphia Church of God, like Elisha, recognizes that fact. This is the foundational issue that sets the pcg apart from any other Church of God group. If you follow the Elisha example in this respect, God will make you a king with a headquarters position forever. Why? Because this foundational truth points us to God the Father (Flurry G. From the Editor: An Open Letter to the Churches of God. Philadelphia Trumpet. February 2006).
Hence, Gerald Flurry is admitting that the Elisha matter is the foundational issue that sets PCG apart from the other groups.
Last Hour Stated to Have Started May 5, 2001
The January 2002 Philadelphia Trumpet contains the following quote,
problems have only escalated in the time since the beginning of the 'last hour' was announced by our editor in chief on May 5 of last year (Jenkins, Mark. The Resource War. p:21).
It is undeniably 'the last hour' (Fraser, Ron. The Coming World Crisis. p:7).
Apparently Gerald Flurry (Philadelphia Trumpet's editor in chief) declared to PCG supporters that the last hour began on May 5, 2001.
On pp:6-7 of the same issue, Ron Fraser lists "Last Hour's First Minutes" to support PCG's position that the 'last hour' began in May 2001. In addition, Ron Fraser wrote,
Since the "last hour" of the age of man began, the pace of events has accelerated...The minds of three clever men who have really thought about and deeply pondered the state of global affairs, and who all reached the same conclusion: We crossed a line in the year 2001. Is it mere coincidence that one other mind would reach the same conclusion from a totally different perspective? Lord Chalfont, Dr. Kissinger and Dr. Friedman all drew the same logical conclusion by applying their deep perspectives on history and current events, by the process of HUMAN REASONING, to the phenomenon of unprecedented change upon entry into the year 2001.
Our editor in chief, Gerald Flurry, reached the same conclusion based upon BIBLICAL REVELATION! At the time that Mr. Flurry spoke on this phenomenon of the world entering an unprecedented time of turmoil, such as has not been experienced in the totality of man's history to date, he was not aware of the conclusions of these other men. Indeed, the thoughts of Lord Chalfont and Doctor Kissinger had not been published at the time. Yet, our editor in chief brought out the following in his Personal in the November 2001 edition of this magazine: "In a sermon in May, I said we should expect this last hour to be different than any other hour in the history of man! Just four months later, the face of the world changed dramatically. ... THE WORLD HAS ENTERED ITS LAST HOUR! IT IS PLAIN FOR ALL TO SEE!" They are powerful words. They are revelatory words, straight out of your Bible! (Fraser, Ron. The Coming World Crisis. p:5).
However PCG's self-declared 'prophet', Gerald Flurry also stated,
we have, first we have the seven years and then we printed Mystery of the Ages. And now we have the six years of the crisis years, and uh, seven more years will take us to January the 16th, 2010. What do you suppose might happen then? I'll tell you this, it's a 19 year time cycle - January the 16th. I would think probably something pretty dramatic is going to occur. Tribulation gonna begin? Well, I certainly think, uh, it could. Something is gonna happen, and I don't think it's gonna be good for this, this uh, world, and certainly for Israel, it's not gonna be good. [G. Flurry sermon, The Mantle of Elijah part II, 3/8/03, tape1:side2]
The above quotes were directly taken from the R. Kuhne website.
The Last Half of the Last Hour Began June 2005
PCG later declared,
Earlier this year, on June 4, our editor in chief announced in a sermon that the world had now entered the last half of the last hour. Less than five months after his 2001 announcement, 9/11 jolted the United States. After the June announcement, in less than three months, Katrina smashed into the Gulf Coast (Flurry, Stephen. Tragedy of Biblical Proportions. Philadelphia Trumpet, November 2005, p. 20).
If the first 1/2 hour lasted four years, one who think that the last 1/2 hour would not last more than twice that long. Thus, this should help people realize that PCG was not led by God's Spirit for this and certain other prophetic pronouncements.
Who are "God's Most Majestic Royalty"?
Notice another claim from Gerald Flurry:
One of God's greatest and rarest gifts to mankind is a very loyal minister. Usually these men are supported by an equally noble and loyal wife. They are God's most majestic royalty (Flurry, Gerald. From the Beginning. Booklet. 1996. p.1).
What is the "Little Book" in Rev 10:2,8-10?
PCG makes a big deal about claiming it is the only Church of God (COG) faithful to the teachings of HWA, yet it makes many claims about its book Malachi's Message that contradict HWA's teachings:
The stormy wind comes in the form of the little book of Rev. 10. THAT LITTLE BOOK IS MALACHI'S MESSAGE. That little book is the vanguard of the STORMY WIND. (Flurry, Gerald. The Little Book. Philadelphia Trumpet. Sept-Oct 1992).
We also firmly believe that Malachi's Message is the little book of Revelation 10. (Leap Dennis. As quoted in Philadelphia Official Responds. The Journal. June 30, 1998. p.8).
The little book and our message is to measure the Church to prove that they are Laodiceans (Flurry, Gerald. Lamentations and the End-Time Laodiceans. Booklet. 1993. p.6.).
God has commissioned the PCG to prophesy again. God has given us the LITTLE BOOK--Malachi's Message--because we are the only Church which knows how to 'PROPHESY AGAIN' (Flurry, Gerald. From the Beginning. Booklet. 1996. p.34).
We now 'prophesy AGAIN,' after God's message was stopped by His own people (Rev. 10:11). Revelation 10:11 actually says, "And he said to me, 'You must prophesy again about many peoples, nations, tongues, and kings' " (Flurry, G. The Solution to Israel's Problems. Philadelphia Trumpet, Dec 2002, p. 26).
Although this verse does talk about prophesying again, it says nothing about the message being stopped by God's own people (for in truth, God's own people never stopped proclaiming the true Gospel--though some who claimed to be God's people did stop).
PCG also claims:
Malachi’s Message is an unwritten part of The Book of Revelation…The Little Book is a prophetic section of The Book of Revelation (Gerald Flurry, Philadelphia Trumpet Sept./Oct. 1992, "The Little Book" article pg. 6,7).
That is not consistent with what Jesus said, “For I testify unto every man that heareth the words of the prophecy of this book, if any man shall add unto these things, God shall add unto him the plagues that are written in this book” (Revelation 22:18).
Carefully notice the following:
The entire chapter of Revelation 10 speaks about the commission of the Philadelphia Church of God...It is the only organization in existence today that adheres to God's form of government and follows and preaches the teachings restored by Mr. Armstrong (Anderson, Eric and Jenkins, Mark. This is the Philadelphia Church of God. Philadelphia Trumpet, February 2002, p. 19).
Really? Please read below (and also the section titled Government which shows that PCG has changed governance):
What Herbert Armstrong Actually Taught About Revelation 10
Herbert Armstrong had a completely different view of Revelation 10 and many other PCG claims:
Now notice this tenth chapter--an inset chapter, not necessarily at all occurring at the TIME sequence of the end of the ninth chapter. The actual recording of EVENTS, TIME-WISE, is not continued until chapter 11, verse 15.
This chapter 10 has been virtually OVERLOOKED. I did not comment on it in the earlier days, or expound it when I wrote the OUTLINE of the book of Revelation, or the full booklet on the revelation. There was NO WAY it could have been understood then--until after subsequent events--just as we could not have understood how Satan sways the entire WORLD, as explained in Eph. 2.1-2, until we had radio and television.
A MIGHTY ANGEL comes down from heaven, his face as the SUN, his feet as pillars of fire. His voice was as the roar of a lion. He set his right foot upon the sea, and his left upon the earth.
He had a LITTLE BOOK open.
This mighty angel in the second half of this inset prophecy, beginning verse 6, swears by the Eternal GOD there shall be "time no longer" (A.V.--marginal translation—"no more delay". But the angel continues, "But in the days of the voice of the seventh angel, (7th trumpet--which shall be the 7 last plagues--and which also is the PRECISE TIME of Christ’s coming as KING over the earth)--when He shall begin to sound the mystery of God should be finished..." (verse 6-7).
I italicized "when He shall" referring to the sounding of the last and FINAL trumpet, to show that the time setting of this brief two-part inset prophecy is NOT AT OR IMMEDIATELY AFTER the 6th trumpet of chapter 9) --but SOME TIME PRIOR TO IT! Therefore, in time setting, this is a flashback. Now continue:
The Apostle John in his vision is told to take the little book which is open in the hand of the angel, and eat it up.
HOW LIKE EZEKIEL'S PROPHECY!
It was sweet as honey in his mouth but BITTER in his stomach.
The message of that little book seems to be what the angel next said, "Thou must prophesy [proclaim--preach—foretell] again before many peoples, and nations, and tongues and KINGS!"
The message of the little book written on both sides of a rol1, to be eaten and swallowed, takes us directly back to Ezekiel's prophecy. Ezekiel himself, as I have shown. NEVER WENT TO ISRAEL, NEVER DELIVERED THAT MESSAGE. It was not a prophecy for the Israel of his day--but for OUR DAY, NOW. Ezekiel's prophecy was NOT a message to MANY NATIONS, speaking different languages, and to their KINGS. It was to the REBELLIOUS PEOPLE of the House of Israel and it was emphasized to Ezekiel they were NOT of strange speech--NOT foreign Gentile nations.
This WORK OF GOD did carry that message to those same people in OUR DAY, prior to January, 1972.
I felt I had reason to believe it was POSSIBLE that OUR WORK would be FINISHED by January, 1972, I wrote and printed that many times. But I also said I WAS NOT SETTING DATES--it was not CERTAIN!
It was a possibility. But being HUMAN, many of those supporting me in this Work did take it as a definite date. Up until then they sacrificed to send in tithes and offerings for God's WORK, when the Work did NOT end in January, 1972, some FOOLISHLY said, "Now I'm through going without things I like to have--my Lord delayeth His coming!" Read what God says of those who say and do that (Matt. 24:48-51).
Now WHEN is the TIME of this prophecy in Revelation?
Read right on. Chapter 11 is merely a chapter division written by MEN. But John's book of Revelation continues right on. The apostle, in his vision, is told now by this same angel to rise and MEASURE THE TEMPLE. But LEAVE OUT the court which is for the Gentiles, for they shall tread down the Holy City for 3 1/2 years.
So the TIME of our prophecy is at least 3 1/2 YEARS before Christ's coming--before THE GREAT TRIBULATION before the beginning of the DAY OF THE LORD and before the seventh angel blows the last trumpet!
Then it continues on into the message of the TWO WITNESSES--also referred to and perhaps identified in Haggai and Zechariah.
And THEY SHALL PREACH A LAST WARNING TO THE WHOLE WORLD FOR 3 1/2 YEARS! And it is not until after ALL THIS, that the time element picks back up with the sounding of the 7th trumpet in chapter 11:15.
Therefore, MY CONCLUSION?
Could it be possible, after proclaiming the Gospel of THE KINGDOM OF GOD, as well as Ezekiel's warning to the people of Israel, that, beginning January, 1972, when my PRESENT CAMPAIGN of walking through the doors God said He would open (Rev. 3:8) to KINGS, and many NATIONS of DIFFERENT LANGUAGES commenced, that it is the FULFILLMENT OF THIS PROPHECY OF REVELATION 10?
To me it comes as a STARTLING, AMAZING EYE-OPENING NEW LIGHT DIRECT FROM GOD!
THAT IS THE MOST IMPORTANT PHASE OF GOD'S WORK TODAY!
And THE JOB IS GETTING DONE! (Armstrong, Herbert W. Co-worker letter, November 19, 1976).
Thus, for PCG to state that it has the same teachings as HWA is again shown as incorrect.
Wrong Teaching on the 'Man of Sin'
In his book, Malachi's Message (1995 edition), in the chapter titled "Man of Sin," Gerald Flurry wrote:
God’s Church has applied 2 Thessalonians 2:4 to the world for the most part. But it doesn’t apply to the world...
“Even him [the “son of perdition”], whose coming is after the working of Satan with all power and signs and lying wonders” (2 Thessalonians 2:9). The word “signs” is rendered “pretended signs” by the Revised Standard Version. This “son of perdition” is heavily influenced by Satan...In 2 Thessalonians 2, Paul discusses signs and lying wonders of a false leader or lying apostle (Revelation 2:2)...
Mr. Tkach was an innermost disciple—more so than other Church leaders—in those last seven years of Mr. Armstrong’s life. The leadership discussed in 2 Thessalonians 2 must be in Pasadena today. (pp. 79,88,89,99)
But this false leader is not J. Tkach Sr. who Gerald Flurry originally identified nor anyone who was part of the Tkach Administration in Pasadena in 1995. Furthermore, the type of signs and lying wonders that the Apostle Paul referred to were have not accompanied any in the Tkach Administration.
Furthermore, while Gerald Flurry tries to 'spiritualize' that away, the reality is that the rest of the verses in 2 Thessalonians 2 did not happen:
9 The coming of the lawless one is according to the working of Satan, with all power, signs, and lying wonders, 10 and with all unrighteous deception among those who perish, because they did not receive the love of the truth, that they might be saved. 11 And for this reason God will send them strong delusion, that they should believe the lie, 12 that they all may be condemned who did not believe the truth but had pleasure in unrighteousness. (2 Thessalonians 2:9-12)
The emergence of the Tkach Administration did not come with ALL POWER, SIGNS, AND LYING WONDERS. Nor did it result in the world believing a strong delusion--they believed the usual delusions that they have always believed.
Also notice verse 8 in 2 Thessalonians 2:
8 And then the lawless one will be revealed, whom the Lord will consume with the breath of His mouth and destroy with the brightness of His coming.
Joseph Tkach , Sr. died in 1995 and Jesus has not come. Nor do I believe that any around in Pasadena in the Tkach Administration are possibly the subject of 2 Thessalonians 2:8. Gerald Flurry is in error.
To learn the truth about the identity of the 'man of sin,' please rely on what the Bible, not traditon or Gerald Flurry's writings differ from. An article to assist with this would be Who is the Man of Sin of 2 Thessalonians 2?; here is a related link in Spanish/español: ¿Quién es el Hombre de Pecado de 2 Tesalonicenses 2? Here is a link to a related YouTube video, in English, titled Who is the Man of Sin?
Gerald Flurry is not God's prophet. Those interested in learning the truth about Christian prophets should study the article How To Determine If Someone is a True Prophet of God; here is a related link in Spanish/español: ¿Cómo determinar si alguien es un verdadero profeta de Dios? There is also a sermon-length video titled How to determine if someone is a true prophet of God.
Iran the King of the South?
In yet another doctrinal change, PCG teaches that Iran (a non-Arabic country) is the prophesied King of the South.
Gerald Flurry wrote:
Daniel 11:40 tells us the king of the south will “push” at the king of the north. When does this push occur? It must happen after the book of Daniel was revealed in this end time. Daniel 12:9 tells us the time of the end began when Daniel was revealed. So the king of the south must arise after Daniel was revealed to God’s end-time Church—to Herbert W. Armstrong. However, many of the specifics of Daniel’s book have been revealed to the Philadelphia Church of God today...
“Thus,” Mr. Armstrong wrote, “was the prophecy of verse 4 fulfilled to the letter.” He continued: “Now notice what follows. From here the prophecy foretells the activities only of two of these four divisions, Egypt, [anciently] called ‘king of the south,’ because it is south of Jerusalem; and the Syrian kingdom, [anciently] the king of the north, just north of Judaea.”...
Daniel 11:42 implies that Egypt will be allied with the king of the south, or Iran...
The king of the south, or Iran, is going to “push at him”—that is, the king of the north (the European Union)...
The king of the south is about state-sponsored terrorism. That is how Iran became king! Daniel 11:40-43 is an end-time prophecy. It is about a nation that is always pushy in its foreign policy. It pushes until it starts a war. Having such power means that it must be a large oil-producing country. This king is close to Jerusalem, Egypt, Ethiopia and Libya.
Who else could it be in this end time but Iran?
Iran is extremely radical and the king over radical Islam" (Flurry, G. The King of the South. PCG Booklet).
We have prophesied for over 13 years that Iran would head up the “king of the south.” We have also prophesied that the Iranian power would ally with Egypt (Flurry G. Iran-Egypt Alliance Prophesied. Philadelphia Trumpet, March 2008, p. 33).
Gerald Flurry also wrote:
“And at the time of the end shall the king of the south push at him [here’s the Iranian king of terror—the king of the Middle East]: and the king of the north [the resurrected Holy Roman Empire in Europe] shall come against him like a whirlwind, with chariots, and with horsemen, and with many ships; and he shall enter into the countries, and shall overflow and pass over” (Daniel 11:40). This is an end-time prophecy about how powerful and aggressive radical Islam is, and it’s rapidly growing stronger. Iran’s foreign policy is to bully and push its way into controlling the Middle East. It will take more than nice words to stop this pushy terrorist nation. That elephant in the room—the king of terror—Mr. Obama almost overlooks altogether!
President Obama’s speech has also shaken the European nations. It will lead to a clash between these two powers as Daniel prophesied. Europe can now see that America will do nothing to stop the king of the south, or the terrorist movement led by Iran. (Flurry G. How President Obama’s Cairo Speech Will Shake the Nations: Barack Obama’s speech is a great turning point in this world. June 22, 2009 | From theTrumpet.com http://www.thetrumpet.com/index.php?q=6287.4728.0.0)
Since the early 1990s, we have believed and taught that Iran would lead the radical Islamist world and be the king of the south. Today Iran is “king” in the Middle East...(Flurry G. The King of the South, PCG booklet. Copyright © 1996, 2001, 2003, 2007, 2008).
Here is what I wrote in the Trumpet magazine, July 1993—nearly 18 years ago: “So when does the king of the south ‘push’ at the king of the north? It must happen after the book of Daniel was revealed to Herbert W. Armstrong in this end time. Daniel 12:9 tells us the time of the end begins when Daniel was revealed. [The book can only be understood in this end time (Daniel 12:4, 9).] So the king of the south must arise after Daniel was revealed to God’s end-time Church—specifically to Herbert W. Armstrong. These verses point to a king of the south that is yet future. And I believe all indications point to radical Islam, headed by Iran, as this king.”
How could I have known so long ago that Iran would be the king of the south and clash with the Holy Roman Empire? Because of what was happening in Iran and the Middle East, coupled with Bible prophecy…(Flurry G. Libya and Ethiopia Reveal Iran’s Military Strategy. Philadelphia Trumpet, April 2011)
How could Gerald Flurry know a falsehood about Iran being the final King of the South?
Well, since Iran is mainly east of Jerusalem, it was not from geography or the Bible. Iran might be a king of the East, but it is not the King of the South.
Since Herbert W. Armstrong believed that king would be Egypt and/or an Arabic Muslim leader, as that is what was published while he was alive by the church he was the physical leader of (see Is There A Future King of the South?), Gerald Flurry did not get this from Herbert W. Armstrong.
So, in my view, Gerald Flurry got it from his own imagination.
HWA's WCG taught that the King of the South would be an Arab-Moslem confederation:
But who is the 'king of the south'?...in verse 40 we skip to 'the time of the end'...The verse undoubtedly found partial fulfillment in the offensive of 1896...But Mussolini did not finish the prophecy...Just as there is yet to be a final 'king of the north'...there may very well emerge in the same manner a final 'king of the south'--an overall leader of an Arab-Moslem confederation...Germany (Assyria in Bible prophecy) and perhaps the rest of Europe will be in league in the future with a union of Arab nations...But in the end, the European-Arab alliance will prove short-lived...the 'king of the north' will ultimately turn against the Arab 'king of the south'...The Arab-Moslem Confederation will, of course, be thrown into chaotic disarray in the fact of invasion (The Arab World in Prophecy. Plain Truth. December, 1979).
So under HWA, the old WCG taught that the King of the South would be a Arba-Muslim confederation and as even PCG cited above, based south (mainly east like Iran) of Jerusalem. I do not recall seeing anything in the old WCG literature indicating that Iran would be the king of the South.
What was taught about Iran was:
Iran will eventually become linked with the Soviet Union. This is not to say that Iran...will be incorporated into the Soviet Union...Rather, there will generally be only political linkage in the form of alliances or vassal states dominated by Moscow" (Why Russia Will Not Attack the United States, reprint 1980, p. 11).
Those who want to understand more of this matter should read the article titled Is there a Future King of the South?
PCG's Keynote Prophecy is Iran as Head of King of the South
PCG seems to be intentionally going out on a limb in regarding its position regarding Iran. Notice the following:
The Rise of the King of the South
The rise of Iran and radical Islam and its inevitable clash with a German-led European superpower is the keynote prophecy of Gerald Flurry and the Trumpet. The prophecy is found in Daniel 11:40: “And at the time of the end shall the king of the south push at him: and the king of the north shall come against him like a whirlwind, with chariots, and with horsemen, and with many ships; and he shall enter into the countries, and shall overflow and pass over.”
The Islamic Republic of Iran is the head of the international network of Islamic terrorism—the biblically prophesied “king of the south.” ...
The Bible reveals that neither America nor Israel will confront this prophesied king of the south. (Flurry S. Five Prophecies to Watch. The Philadelphia Trumpet, August 2009, p. 4)
So, does the above mean that if Israel, for example, does eliminate the Iranian nuclear threat that PCG will admit its "keynote prophecy is in error?
If Israel does eliminateIran's nuclear threat, hopefully those that still support PCG will wake up. And hopefully, those that prayerfully study this entire article now will realize that PCG is simply not how it represents itself.
Ethiopia is Apparently Misunderstood
Gerald Flurry is watching Ethiopia as he wrote:
Until now, I have not understood much about why the two nations of Libya and Ethiopia are mentioned in verse 43, along with Egypt. These two nations are the key that unlocks the strategy of radical Islam...
There are several Middle East nations not mentioned in Daniel 11:40-44 either by their ancient or modern names—for example, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Yemen, Pakistan, Afghanistan, etc.
But two more nations are mentioned for a reason I have not understood as I do now.
Libya and Ethiopia
“But he [the king of the north] shall have power over the treasures of gold and of silver, and over all the precious things of Egypt: and the Libyans and the Ethiopians shall be at his steps” (Daniel 11:43). Why did God inspire the mentioning of Libya and Ethiopia? Every word in God’s inspired Bible has significance. God placed two nations in the same verse as Egypt for a definite reason. This verse states that Libya and Ethiopia are also going to be closely allied with Iran!..
So you need to watch Libya and Ethiopia. They are about to fall under the heavy influence or control of Iran, the king of the south...
Whoever heavily influences or controls Ethiopia will undoubtedly also control the small areas of Eritrea and Djibouti on the Red Sea coastline. These areas only recently became independent of Ethiopia. Also, I believe the Bible view is that these small areas are included as a part of Ethiopia...
I did a television program on January 27 of this year. The viewers were asked to watch Libya and Ethiopia because of new understanding I had received the previous day...
We believe that the new understanding we received about Libya was a miracle. We also believe the timing of when we received that understanding was a miracle.
Such miracles are not just coincidence.
You need to continue to watch for Libya and Ethiopia to make a severe and rapid turn into the radical Islamic camp.
So the Bible indicates that Libya and Ethiopia also have to be subdued by the king of the north because they were in the radical Islamic camp. Those two nations were “at his steps.” Both countries have already been influenced by radical Islam. But they are not in the radical Muslim camp—yet. (Flurry G. Libya and Ethiopia Reveal Iran’s Military Strategy. Philadelphia Trumpet, April 2011)
So, according to Gerald Flurry, the fact that he did a telecast where he made some speculation about Libya was a miracle as the civil unrest in the Arab world spilled over into Libya. Some in PCG apparently consider his imaginations miraculous. Yet, according to various researchers and translations, it appears that the term "Ethiopia" in Daniel 11:43 is a mistranslation. This suggests that this is another area that those in PCG may be misled by. For additional details, please see the article Is There A Future King of the South?
Gerald Flurry Claiming a Fulfilled Prophecy that Simply is Not Being Fulfilled
Gerald Flurry wrote the following in the October-November 2012 edition of the Philadelphia Trumpet:
Egypt Unites With Iran and Fulfills a Bible Prophecy...
Over the last 20 years, I have been explaining the prophecy in Daniel 11 which says that Egypt would fall to radical Islam, ally itself with Iran, trash its peace treaty with Israel, and become a violent enemy of Israel and the United States.
In August, that prophecy was fully and totally fulfilled! It is now reality!
Egypt and Iran are now allies...
A Fulfilled Prophecy
In a January 2006 letter to co-workers, I wrote: “We have said for years that Egypt has been a friend to the West, but because of this prophecy [Daniel 11:42], we also said that could change. … As the MB grows more popular it will strengthen its ties with Islamic powers throughout the region—especially Iran. … [W]atch for Cairo to distance itself from America. Should the MB ever take control, there is no doubt that a strong alliance between Iran and Egypt will be built.”
That is a fulfilled prophecy.
Egypt and Iran are not now strong allies. His "prophecy" has not been fulfilled. Simply do a google news search and you will find many articles explaining that Egypt is still a rival to Iran and that they are not strong allies. Gerald Flurry may disagree, but the Iranians mainly support Shi'a Islam and the Egyptians Sunni Islam--and the two groups are not close enough together to consider them "strong" allies.
Furthermore, the meeting in August 2012 between leaders of those two nations did not fulfill any biblical prophecies in Daniel 11.
Another Prophetic Change, Psalm 83
In yet another doctrinal change, PCG teaches that the king of the South will be knocked off before the US, etc. will be:
This king of the north, after conquering and securing the resources of the king of the south, is prophesied to then turn its attention to the biblical nations of Israel—specifically the United States and Britain, in addition to the Jewish state located within its newly acquired Middle Eastern territory—and to swiftly demolish them! It will strip these subjugated nations of their wealth (Hilliker J. and Morley R. The Battleground. The Philadelphia Trumpet, March 2006, p. 19).
Gerald Flurry also preached this change a few years ago. I verified with the late John Ogwyn around that time that this was not the order that was taught at HWA's Ambassador Colleges. However, this was apparently the order that HWA felt may occur prior to WWII, but later HWA realized that the US, Britain, etc. would be eliminated before the King of the South would be (Psalm 83, as well as Daniel 11, supports the correct position).
Furthermore, PCG has taken this even further in 2011:
Psalm 83 is fulfilled almost immediately after a Germany-led Europe conquers Iran and radical Islam (Daniel 11:40-43).“Keep not thou silence, O God: hold not thy peace, and be not still, O God. For, lo, thine enemies make a tumult: and they that hate thee have lifted up the head. They have taken crafty counsel against thy people [Israel], and consulted against thy hidden [or sheltered] ones” (Psalm 83:1-3).
These enemies are conspiring against biblical Israel. (Flurry G. A Mysterious Prophecy. Philadelphia Trumpet, May-June 2011).
Because he falsely claims that Iran is the King of the South, he misunderstands Psalm 83.
Since Herbert W. Armstrong believed that king would be Egypt and/or an Arabic Muslim leader and that Psalm 83 happens prior to the King of the South being taken over by the German-led King of the North, as that is what was published while he was alive by the church he was the physical leader of (see Is There A Future King of the South?), Gerald Flurry did not get this from Herbert W. Armstrong.
So, in my view, he got it from his own imagination.
Here is what Psalm 83 states:
3 They have taken crafty counsel against Your people,
And consulted together against Your sheltered ones.
4 They have said, “Come, and let us cut them off from being a nation,
That the name of Israel may be remembered no more.”
5 For they have consulted together with one consent;
They form a confederacy against You:
6 The tents of Edom and the Ishmaelites;
Moab and the Hagrites;
7 Gebal, Ammon, and Amalek;
Philistia with the inhabitants of Tyre;
8 Assyria also has joined with them;
They have helped the children of Lot. (Psalms 83:3-8, NKJV)
This deal happens while the prince/King of the North is still on speaking terms with the King of the South, though they both lie to each other:
27 Both these kings’ hearts shall be bent on evil, and they shall speak lies at the same table; but it shall not prosper, for the end will still be at the appointed time. (Daniel 11:27)
In a December 1979 Plain Truth article by Keith Stump titled The Arab World in Prophecy it states
But who is the “king of the south”?…in verse 40 we skip to “the time of the end”…The verse undoubtedly found partial fulfillment in the offensive of 1896…But Mussolini did not finish the prophecy…Just as there is yet to be a final “king of the north”…there may very well emerge in the same manner a final “king of the south”–an overall leader of an Arab-Moslem confederation, possibly bearing the very title Mahdi…a prophetic psalm (Psalm 83) provides additional insight into the Mideast picture. Germany (Assyria in Bible prophecy) and perhaps the rest of Europe will be in league in the future with a union of Arab nations…But in the end, this European-Arab alliance will prove short-lived…And the king of the north shall come against him [the king of the south]…Daniel 11:40-41...The Arab-Moslem Confederation will, of course, be thrown into chaotic disarray in the fact of invasion.(Stump K. The Arab World in Prophecy. Plain Truth, December 1979, pp. 11-12).
So notice carefully that in the above, the deal in Psalm 83 was under taught under Herbert Armstrong's leadership to occur BEFORE the King of the North overpowers the King of the South. So, once again, we have another improper change of doctrine by PCG.
PCG Misunderstands the Sequence of Daniel 11
Gerald Flurry misunderstands certain key features in the sequence.
Back in the January 2004 issue of the Philadelphia Trumpet, Gerald Flurry wrote:
"“And at the time of the end shall the king of the south push at him: and the king of the north shall come against him like a whirlwind, with chariots, and with horsemen, and with many ships; and he shall enter into the countries, and shall overflow and pass over. He shall enter also into the glorious land, and many countries shall be overthrown: but these shall escape out of his hand, even Edom, and Moab, and the chief of the children of Ammon” (Dan. 11:40-41). The king of the north is a united Europe, and the king of the south is radical Islam led by Iran...Europe will win this war. But that victory will trigger some other events. Europe will then ally itself with the moderate Arabs and attack America, Britain and the nation called Israel.
Many Bible prophecies thunder that truth. (Flurry G. Personal: Russia Frightens Europe— and Fulfills Bible Prophecy. Philadelphia Trumpet, January 2004).
This sequence is in error, because the coming King of the North will eliminate the USA (the land with the strongest fortresses) in Daniel 11:39, which comes before the destruction of the King of the South in Daniel 11:40-43. For more details, please check out Who is the King of the North?
Because of relying on Gerald Flurry's improper prophecies and error-prone prophetic interpretations, those in PCG will not understand world events at the end. Of course, those willing to accept what the Bible teaches (and who will truly live as Christians; watch also Living as a Christian: How and Why?) can. Those in PCG will NOT be protected as they hope are there leader is misunderstanding what the Bible teaches on this sequence--a sequence which is critical to the final end time understanding of key biblical prophecy.
Insistence on Ten Nations in the European Power
PCG keeps insisting that the European power will end up with ten nations running it. Here is one such item:
The Trumpet has long forecast, based on Bible prophecy, that Europe would be dominated by a combination of 10 nations. Currently the eurozone is made up of 16.
Could this crisis be what whittles Europe down to 10 core nations? Perhaps. But as one EU senior negotiator said, “The eurozone debt crisis has a long way to run. No one knows where it is going to end up. Only one thing is sure, the eurozone will change.”
The Bible tells us that Europe will become a more unified group of 10 nations. This is where the trend is leading. Keep watching the euro crisis. (Germany and France Discussing New European Currency. June 24, 2010 | From theTrumpet.com)
While there is a “Euro” crisis and it is possible that it could be replaced as my book 2012 and the Rise of the Secret Sect states, this insistence on a 10 existing nation EU is not biblically correct (for some other comments, see also PCG Gerald Flurry: EU to be Smaller). Notice what the Bible actually says:
12 “The ten horns which you saw are ten kings who have received no kingdom as yet, but they receive authority for one hour as kings with the beast. 13 These are of one mind, and they will give their power and authority to the beast. (Revelation 17:12-13)
The above scripture does NOT say that ten existing nations will be the group that gives their power to the Beast, but ten kings who had not kingdom get power and transfer it. This, as I have written before (see Herman von Rompuy, the Greek Debt Crisis, and Where May this Lead?), means that a political/structural shift is expected to happen in Europe. Hence while nations will be involved, this is more likely groups of nations, combinations of nations, or redrawn territorial borders. To teach that this means that there must be 10 nations as they currently exist is in error.
Herbert W. Armstrong’s old church taught:
These ten nations, or groups of nations, comprising the modern revived Beast, are to fight Christ at His coming. This shows the time for the fulfillment of this prophecy…Remember that there must be TEN NATIONS or groups of nations to comprise the final resurrection of the modern “Holy Roman Empire”! (AMBASSADOR COLLEGE, BIBLE CORRESPONDENCE COURSE. LESSON 32 (1963, 1965, 1967, 1969)
Furthermore, since PCG was able to pay for the rights of the book The Mystery of the Ages, perhaps they may wish to reflect on what of the late Herbert W. Armstrong’s taught on this point:
“And in the days of these kings…”–it is here speaking of the ten toes, part of iron and part of brittle clay. This, by connecting the prophecy with Daniel 7, and Revelation 13 and 17, is referring to the new UNITED STATES OF EUROPE that is now forming, out of the European Common Market, before your very eyes! Revelation 17:12 makes plain the detail that it shall be a union of TEN KINGS OR KINGDOMS that (Rev. 17:8) shall resurrect the old ROMAN EMPIRE. So, mark carefully the time element! “In the days of these kings”–in the days of these then nations or groups of nations that shall, IN OUR TIME, resurrect briefly the Roman Empire… (The members of the European Common Market are probably not the same ten that will resurrect the Holy Roman Empire.) (Armstrong HW. Mystery of the Ages. Dood, Mead & Company, New York, 1985, pp. 301,302-303)
PCG should not keep teaching nor implying that the scripture is speaking of ten existing nations unless they also add an expression indicating groups of nations or some other qualifier.
The European Union currently has 27 member nations, with several additional nations likely to join. As a result of the Lisbon Treaty (see the older article European empire formed yesterday, but few in America seemed to notice), all the nations in the EU are obligated to adopt the Euro once their economies are ready for it. So, the Lisbon Treaty would need to be modified if this is to be changed (it would take 15 of the 27 European nations representing at least 65% of the population of the European Union to make such a change law).
And though the Bible supports the idea of some type of consolidation, it is highly unlikely that most of the countries now in the EU will not become part of the final Beast power. This is not to say that some may not possibly leave, but to continually teach that it will be whittled down to ten currently existing nations is going beyond what scripture teaches.
PCG’s Gerald Flurry is a self-appointed prophet. And if this position that the EU must become ten nations is one of his “prophecies”, this will be another area that he will be shown to be a false prophet.
When Herbert W. Armstrong was alive, here is essentially what was taught about the 1150 days (2300 evenings and mornings) of Daniel 8:14,
Turn in your Bibles to verse 14 of chapter 8...
A great European Church-State union will be in control of Palestine and the whole Western World. It will prohibit the Truth. It will "cast down the truth to the ground." It will practice and prosper!
It will persecute and martyr God's Holy people. It will be allowed to tread Jerusalem underfoot and to prohibit the daily sacrifice at the sanctuary for 1150 days. It will substitute its own abominable, idolatrous rites in place of the evening and morning sacrifice. Jesus referred to this same event in Matthew 24:15. "When ye therefore shall see the abomination of desolation, spoken of by Daniel the prophet, STAND IN THE HOLY PLACE, (whoso readeth, let him understand;) Then let them which be in Judea flee into the mountains ... for then shall be great tribulation ..."--climaxing in the second coming of Jesus Christ (verses 15-21).
The Gentiles will tread down Jerusalem for 1260 days (Rev. 11)--a period that includes the 1150 days. It is the time of the two witnesses...God will suddenly intervene in human affairs. He will put an end to this idolatrous system (The 2300 Days Revealed. Plain Truth, August 1965, pp. 25-29; first published in the Good News, June 1960 with the title Daniel's "2300 Days" Prophecy REVEALED AT LAST!).
PCG has a different view.
Specifically concerning Daniel 8:14 and its interpretations, PCG's Gerald Flurry wrote,
2 Thessalonians 2 reveals when the 1150 days began...Malachi's Message irrefutably proves that the temple of God is the Church in this end time...On January 16, 1986, the daily was taken away, signaling the beginning of the 1150 days. Using January 16, 1986, as our beginning point makes Saturday, March 11, 1989 the end of the 1150 days...Though I do not remember the exact date God began revealing Malachi's Message to me, it is safe to say that it was on or around March 11, 1989. (Daniel Unsealed at Last! PCG Booklet, 2004, pp. 26-27).
I should probably mention that PCG teaches that there will be two abominations of desolation, that HWA only had it half right, and that we are living between the time of the spiritual abomination in PCG's view (the Tkach administration of WCG) and the final physical abomination. This, of course, is still a change to what HWA taught especially since PCG teaches that HWA's WCG was:
...only half right (Flurry G. Daniel-Unsealed At Last! 2004, p. 36)
The duality of Daniel 8 and 11 resolves around this physical/spiritual temple (ibid, p.60).
These are both doctrinal changes from a group that claims to not have them.
Thus, for PCG to state that it has the same teachings as HWA is again shown as incorrect.
PCG seems to teach that something related to Gerald Flurry is prophesied in many parts of the Bible--those once part of WCG must realize that HWA never taught that anything like that would occur for any successor of his.
Elijah and Herbert W. Armstrong
Some have reported to me that in order to become a member of the Philadelphia Church of God that one MUST state that Herbert W. Armstrong was the prophesied Elijah (nowhere in my Bible do I see that as a biblical requirement even though I believe that HWA did in a sense fill that role). Here are some official quotes that support those reports:
Mr. Armstrong (or God's end-time Elijah) came 'before the great and terrible day of the Lord'" (Flurry, Gerald. Lamentations and the End-Time Laodiceans. Booklet. 1993. p.6.). "We must remember and teach that Mr. Armstrong was a man of God ...He fulfilled the prophesied role of God's end-time Elijah" (Flurry, Gerald and Leap, Dennis. Ezra and Nehemiah: Building God's Temple. Booklet. 1997. p.15). "Failure to recognize this powerful man of God condemns a person's religion. This Elijah would be doing a great work for God and God's people would be helping him get the work accomplished. Have you seen this man of God? Have you recognized this work of God? Nothing is more important to your physical and spiritual salvation!...TRUE GOSPEL ENDS WITH MR. ARMSTRONG (Flurry, Gerald. Malachi's Message to God's Church Today. Booklet. 1995. Pp.52,130.).
The one predominant issue for God's people in the end time revolves around a modern-day Elijah...Mr. Armstrong was God's end-time Elijah...Mr. Armstrong was directed in the work by the great God for 57 years. Either we build our lives around the 'Elijah' family or we lose everything (Flurry, Gerald. Malachi's Message to God's Church Today. Booklet. 1995. p.52,94,120.).
Those interested in what both the Bible and HWA taught about Elijah should read the article The Elijah Heresies. The actual predominant issue for God's people at the end time is if they wish to have a Laodicean or Philadelphian work (please see the articles Should the Church Still Try to Place its Top Priority on Proclaiming the Gospel or Did Herbert Armstrong Change that Priority for the Work?, The Philadelphia Church Era and The Laodicean Church Era).
Extra-Biblical Requirement to Attend Services
PCG apparently has added an extra-biblical requirement to attending church services:
New prospective members of Flurry's church are asked the question: 'Do you believe Mr. Armstrong fulfilled the role of the end-time Elijah? If they don't believe this then we don't invite them [to services]' (The Philadelphia Trumpet. January, 1993, page 15) (Quoted in Nickels, Richard. Appendix C. In Early Writings of Herbert W. Armstrong. 1996. p.232).
Extra-Biblical Requirement for Baptism
In addition to apparently requiring the profession that HWA was Elijah (see Elijah and Herbert W. Armstrong above), PCG has another non-biblical obstacle for baptism: reading the Mystery of the Ages (MOA).
Here is a link to an alleged checklist that PCG used for ministerial determination in India: http://www.gentileassembly.org/photos/minister-rusme-3.gif This is consistent with PCG extra-biblical requirements for attendees.
In the February 2002 issue of the Philadelphia Trumpet the article titled 'Continuing to Fight' by Dennis Leap contains the following quotes, "If Mr. Armstrong were alive today, he would be attending with PCG!" (p.26).
Really? Presumptuousness appears to be one area PCG should take an internal look into (as the following additional quote in that article demonstrates).
"MOA is required reading for those who seek baptism in the church, and church policy mandates reading the book before services because 'it provides the key to understanding the Bible' " (p. 26).
HWA never required that anyone read 'Mystery of the Ages' to be baptized! Furthermore, you can read the Bible from Genesis to Revelation and you will never see anywhere that anyone had to read anything in order to be baptized (though certainly reading the Bible is taught).
Extra-Biblical Requirements to Avoid "Laodiceans" and COG Family Members
The front page of the Jan 2006 edition of The Journal contains the following about PCG:
The founder and leader of the Philadelphia Church of God, one of the larger of many splits from the Worldwide Church of God of the last decades of the 20th century, emphasized during a Sabbath service in Edmond, Okla., Dec. 3 that members of his church must shun “disfellowshipped” and “Laodicean” church members.
In an hour-long sermon before the headquarters congregation of the PCG, Pastor General Gerald Flurry,
70, expanded church policy to prohibit any kind of fellowship with former PCG members and all “Laodiceans,” even if they are members of a church member’s immediate family.
PCG members may no longer associate with their own children, parents or siblings if their children, parents or siblings are disfellowshipped PCG members or members of the WCG or any of its splinter groups other than the PCG...
Mr. Flurry, in some of their writings and speeches, characterize Laodiceans as not much different from and no better than nonbelievers. Indeed, Mr. Flurry, along with several other modern-day Church of God leaders, seems to see Laodiceans as worse than abject heathens. PCG members are permitted to have friendly contact with supposed heathens—those who have never been Sabbath-keeping Christians, including members of Sunday- observant churches—but not with their fellow Church of God members whom the PCG judges to be Laodiceans...
“As long as they [unbaptized or invalidly baptized former church attendees] were unconverted, we can have a relationship there,” Mr. Flurry said...
Mr. Flurry noted that he explained this principle in an article in The Philadelphia News of May-June 1998.
“I wrote . . . that we avoid certain ones in love,” he said. Shunning, disfellowshipping, marking and avoiding Laodiceans serve the higher purpose, said the PCG leader, of sending an important message. “Avoiding these people . . . get[s] a message across to them that they are influenced by the devil and we don’t want to have anything to do with them.” (Cartwright D. PCG clarifies disfellowship policy, gives main purpose of church: the need to expose Satan. The Journal: News of the Churches of God. January 31, 2006, p. 1,20).
Furthermore, Gerald Flurry himself wrote the following:
Greetings, ministers and wives!
I want to clarify the Philadelphia Church of God’s policy on contact with disfellowshiped family members. This issue has not been clear among all our ministers and members. We need to become more unified on it.
Around 1985, Joseph Tkach spoke of a couple in the Church who had some family members disfellowshiped, and he told them that they were to sever their relationship with those people and not to fellowship with them. He told Mr. Armstrong about this situation publicly, and Mr. Armstrong agreed with him publicly.
Notice 1 Corinthians 5:9-11: “I wrote unto you in an epistle not to company with fornicators [speaking spiritually]: Yet not altogether with the fornicators of this world, or with the covetous, or extortioners, or with idolaters; for then must ye needs go out of the world. But now I have written unto you not to keep company, if any man that is called a brother [speaking of somebody in the Church] be a fornicator [again, this could be referring not just to physical fornication, but spiritual sins as well] or covetous or an idolator, or a railer, or a drunkard, or an extortioner; with such an one not to eat.”
God is saying that when fornicators, covetous, idolators, railers, drunkards, extortioners and those with spiritual problems have to be put out of the Church, the rest of us should not keep company with them or eat with them. We are not to fellowship or socialize with them. Certainly there might be an emergency in the family where you might be needed to work out the details of a will or something similar; it is all right to deal with them on that level. But we must keep in mind what God has said.
We have had members in the pcg who have been taken out because they violated this plain command.
We are living in the fearsome time the Apostle Peter spoke of in 2 Peter 2:1-3, the time of “false prophets also among the people” and “false teachers among you, who privily shall bring in damnable heresies,” when “the way of truth shall be evil spoken of.” Peter warned that “through covetousness shall they with feigned words make merchandise of you”! This is talking about people who had been close friends and even family members! Satan is influencing minds, and he will use any means he can to reach those in the inner court. In commanding us to avoid the Laodiceans, God is trying to protect His people from predators!
Satan is subtle, and he knows how to use people to destroy you...
2 Thessalonians 3:6 reads, “Now we command you, brethren, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that ye withdraw yourselves from every brother that walks disorderly, and not after the tradition which he received of us.” Certainly all the Laodicean groups are walking disorderly. They’re not walking after the traditions given us by God’s government through Mr. Armstrong.
We have to look upon people that are in the Laodicean churches as being disfellowshiped. Revelation 11:1-2 says they’ve been cast out; they have been put out of the Church of God. We must not keep company or fellowship with them by going to restaurants and things like that. In the past, some members have been told that these relationships are okay as long as religion is not discussed. That is not what God says. Scripture makes it clear that there should be a complete cut-off.
“And if any man obey not our word by this epistle, note that man, and have no company with him, that he may be ashamed. Yet count him not as an enemy, but admonish him as a brother” (verses 14-15). I know it is painful to cut off contact with family.
(Flurry G. Pastor General's Report. December 10, 2005 • Vol. 2, No. 39).
Let me comment here that 1 Corinthians 5:9-11 is referring to brethren who are committing physical fornication, not spiritual fornication. Gerald Flurry apparently has trouble with understanding that book of the Bible (as well as others)--he should read the context.
In addition, it appears that Gerald Flurry is trying to say that all non-PCG members in any COG, are by definition, disfellowshiped.
For those not in any COG (or even for those that are), let me state that Gerald Flurry is NOT following the Bible nor normal COG practices in this regard. The fact that Herbert Armstrong may have once determined that the members of one family should avoid certain ones who have been disfellowshiped is not the same as what Gerald Flurry has done.
Gerald Flurry is a legend in his own mind, and apparently has many misled by his PERSONAL, not COG, teachings. It is sad.
Further down in the article he also wrote:
Avoiding the Laodiceans also puts a message across to them that they are influenced by the devil, and need to repent.
There are, however, a couple of exceptions to this principle. In the case of a mate in a Laodicean Church or one who left the pcg, that relationship should be preserved as long as the mate is “pleased to dwell with” (1 Corinthians 7:10-14). But if that mate becomes hostile and stirs up contention, it should be cut off.
Wherever there is hostility, you must cut off every tie. Sometimes that hostility can be very subtle.
There is also the case of unbaptized children (or those not validly baptized) who have left the Church. Mr. Armstrong, for example, had a relationship with his daughter—and he believed she never was converted, and the fruits were there to prove that. As long as they were unconverted, we can have a relationship there—but we do have to be awfully careful. We may have to make a judgment about someone’s conversion in a few cases, but we don’t want to use that as a cop-out either. If your children have been baptized and left, that relationship should be severed.
We must obey God’s command.
I believe this is Gerald Flurry's, not God's, command he wants obeyed. The Bible NEVER says that it is wrong to fellowship with Laodiceans (and at best, there are some of those in PCG, and at this stage, probably no true Philadelphians). The Bible never says to disfellowship someone outside of your fellowship, simply because they are not part of a particular corporate church.
Gerald Flurry also added:
“Now I beseech you, brethren, mark them which cause divisions and offences contrary to the doctrine which ye have learned; and avoid them” (Romans 16:17). In an article titled “If One Is Disfellowshiped, Which Family Comes First?” Mr. Armstrong commented on this verse: “It does not say all except members of your flesh and blood family. It speaks of any who has been a Church member. And it says avoid them. It’s a command, and if we try to be more kind, more righteous than God and disobey that command, we convict ourselves of disobedience of God’s command” (Good News, April 1980). He concluded by discussing Matthew 10, which says we must love our father and mother less than God.
I don’t think there would be a difference between a marked person and one who is disfellowshiped.
Gerald Flurry may not think that there should be a difference, but the Bible does distinguish between both. And more importantly from the perspective of the old Worldwide Church of God, Herbert Armstrong did. He did not forbid contact with the disfellowshiped--they basically were not allowed to attend services until their personal problem was resolved. This is once again another change from PCG.
Here is a pdf link to the PCG Laodicean report from Gerald Flurry that has his policy.
Note to those unfamiliar: Someone may be disfellowshiped for misconduct (like Paul had happen to the individual involved with his step-mother in I Corinthians). Some one tends to be "marked" if they "cause divisions and offences contrary to the doctrine which ye have learned". Marking is usually restricted to individuals who intentionally are trying to cause doctrinal problems, not one who may simply hold opinions that differ from the majority of the brethren (Paul concurred with this difference, see Romans 14).
Apparently, Gerald Flurry (who claims to be following the teachings of HWA) forgets that HWA never taught that fellowship with people of other Church eras was not prohibited. To the contrary, he encouraged members to attend CG7 if there was no WCG church available in their area, or while traveling. This is just another "extra-biblical" requirement that PCG has made.
Telling Women not to Get Pregnant
One formerly in PCG who talked with one still in PCG emailed me stating that PCG is teaching that women should not get pregnant as it is too close to the end.
Here are comments from some of the emails that I received:
Flurry made a announcement in The Church that no one could have any children any more .As He said it’s time to go, any moment, and He wants all the people to tell all of their familys… that are in some of what He calls “Off Shoots” He wants them all back..?
…a CD just was distributed in all Churches, of the [PCG] “of course.”.. They are to tell ALL , The family members and “all others” that left and in “THE OFF SHOOTS”. “That it is time” for all to return to “The True Church”, as it’s time to go very soon now.. They are not allowed to have anymore children, if they do it’s possible they might be put out and unable to go to the Place of Saftey...
As far as this being the time for all to reunify and come with him and PCG now, this is similar to repeated rantings of RCG’s David Pack who expects this will happen on/by August 30, 2013 for his group (for details see Why Not the Restored Church of God? and many items from the June 2013 posts in News of Those Once Affiliated with GCG).
As far as the pregnancy issue, Jesus told of a time when being pregnant would be a problem:
15 “Therefore when you see the ‘abomination of desolation,’ spoken of by Daniel the prophet, standing in the holy place” (whoever reads, let him understand), 16 then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains. 17 Let him who is on the housetop not go down to take anything out of his house. 18 And let him who is in the field not go back to get his clothes. 19 But woe to those who are pregnant and to those who are nursing babies in those days! 20 And pray that your flight may not be in winter or on the Sabbath.
21 For then there will be great tribulation, such as has not been since the beginning of the world until this time, no, nor ever shall be. 22And unless those days were shortened, no flesh would be saved; but for the elect’s sake those days will be shortened (Matthew 24:15-22).
As far as when the time will come to not get pregnant, I actually wrote about this in my book 2012 and the Rise of the Secret Sect as follows:
A year or two after this Daniel 9:27 deal is made, women may wish to be careful about becoming pregnant, as Jesus warned that the time right at the beginning of the Great Tribulation would be hard on those who are pregnant or nursing (Matthew 24:19).
Notice that Jesus said it would be a problem being pregnant when it is time to flee and that this fleeing happens after the time when the abomination of desolation is standing in the holy place (Matthew 24:15), which is also discussed in Daniel 11:31. But Daniel 11:31 does not happen until three and one half years after the deal in Daniel 9:27 is made. Here are fuller quotes from Daniel:
26b And the people of the prince who is to come
Shall destroy the city and the sanctuary.
The end of it shall be with a flood,
And till the end of the war desolations are determined.
27 Then he shall confirm a covenant with many for one week;
But in the middle of the week
He shall bring an end to sacrifice and offering.
And on the wing of abominations shall be one who makes desolate,
Even until the consummation, which is determined,
Is poured out on the desolate.” (Daniel 9:-26-27)
31 And forces shall be mustered by him, and they shall defile the sanctuary fortress; then they shall take away the daily sacrifices, and place there the abomination of desolation. (Daniel 11:31)
The seven year (‘one week’) covenant has not been confirmed, hence the Great Tribulation cannot happen for at least 3 1/2 years. The ‘him’ in Daniel 11:31 is the final King of the North (Daniel 11:40) and was called a ‘prince’ when he first confirms the seven year deal–which simply has not yet happened.
Presuming that the reports are right that Gerald Flurry made the announcement in May/June 2013 to stop having children, his timing, in my view at least, is premature. Gerald Flurry claims to be a prophet, but he is not a true prophet of God. He needs to rely more on the Bible and less on his own imaginations.
Focus on Outside Appearance
Bob Kuhne reported:
The Liberty Bell Park children's playground was a gift in 1978 to the children of Jerusalem paid for by the Ambassador International Cultural Foundation which was founded by Herbert W. Armstrong. Upon discovering in 1997 that the original plaque commemorating the park's donation was missing, Gerald Flurry offered the city a replacement plaque. The new plaque states that the playground was a gift from the Philadelphia Foundation, Herbert W. Armstrong founder and Gerald R. Flurry president, which is a two-fold lie: The playground was not donated by the Philadelphia Foundation which was not founded by Herbert W. Armstrong. This is just a lying "sign," written up in the July/Aug. 2001 Royal Vision, pg. 1.
In addition, the Philadelphia Church of God has many other signs & wonders which supposedly "prove," for anyone who really wants to believe, that it is the one-and-only church organization doing the work of God today. Below is a partial list of PCG copycats. Note: After spending over $100,000 to purchase HWA's piano and two candelabras (see below), a $100,000 tithe check was "miraculously" received to cover the cost (we think we know who sent it in).
HWA Original GRF Counterfeit Ambassador College (called A.C.)
Imperial College - now renamed
Herbert W. Armstrong College, and
shortened to Armstrong College (AC)
(elementary & high school)
(elementary & high school)
Cultural Foundation (AICF)
Philadelphia Foundation - now renamed
Cultural Foundation (AICF)
Auditorium (house of God) Auditorium (house of God) Plain Truth magazine (PT) Philadelphia Trumpet magazine (PT) Good News magazine Royal Vision magazine
newspaper for members
newspaper for members
Booklets Booklets (same size and format) TV Program TV Program (same format) Copyrighted literature
Purchased 19 HWA copyrights
($3,000,000 + $2,000,000 court costs)
HWA purchased Steinway piano in
Purchased WCG's 1983 Steinway piano
($52,500) - they got the wrong one
Two candelabras in auditorium
Purchased HWA's two candelabras
Black ebony table and 10-12 chairs from
Mr. Armstrong's conference room at
Purchased this table and chairs ($27,000) Young Ambassadors (singing group) Young Ambassadors (singing group)
...Comment: PCG members get a warm and fuzzy feeling and are made to feel right at home with all the many WCG/PCG similarities.
Pastor General visits Big Sandy, acquires sculpture
April 13, 2009
BIG SANDY, TX – Pastor General Gerald Flurry arrived here on the former campus of Ambassador College Wednesday, April 8, at 2:40 p.m. to personally inspect the condition of the bronze sculpture that has dominated its entryway for over 40 years.
“Swans in Flight,” a bronze-and-steel sculpture depicting the five stages of a swan taking flight, was unveiled in 1968 by Herbert W. Armstrong and English sculptor David Wynne in a ceremony attended by members of the Worldwide Church of God and the local press. The artist personally oversaw the installation of the five bronze swans in a 120-foot-long reflecting pool…
Referring to Amos 9:11, Mr. Flurry said, “We have a responsibility to raise the ruins. We are going to show the world the best of the human spirit, combined with God’s Holy Spirit.” He added, “God has given us these gifts to raise up the ruins and He’s even giving us some of the treasures He gave to Mr. Armstrong. This swan sculpture is going to bring life to our campus in a special way.” (Source: http://www.pcog.org/article.php?articleid=82)
PCG later reported:
Ambassador letters to adorn Armstrong Auditorium
January 28, 2010
EDMOND—In the most recent instance of the ruins of Herbert W. Armstrong’s legacy being raised, the Philadelphia Church of God has acquired the bronze letters from the Ambassador Auditorium’s dedication inscription...
Receiving the letters from Ambassador was not only a significant blessing financially, but also in terms of incalculable sentimental value. Facilities manager and Ambassador College graduate Roger Brandon said, “In one sense [the letters] are worthless to someone else … I saw them and had to walk away. You get a bit emotional.” The only words that need to be newly cast are “Armstrong Auditorium” and “Philadelphia.”...
The letters will take up their new home in the Grand Lobby on the center onyx wall between the two candelabra, just as they did in Ambassador under Mr. Armstrong, dedicating the building to God. In addition to the candelabra, the letters join the Swans in Flight sculpture by Sir David Wynne and a 9-foot Steinway concert grand piano from Ambassador Auditorium as a group of treasures the PCG has acquired from the former Worldwide Church of God campuses. The mission of the PCG via its Armstrong International Cultural Foundation is to revive and continue the cultural and humanitarian legacy of Herbert W. Armstrong. (Source: http://www.pcog.org/article.php?articleid=97)
PCG, who has changed the message, governance, and so many teachings that HWA's WCG had, seems to focus a lot on outward appearances to try to persuade themselves and others that they are more similar than they are. PCG wants to look like they are the most faithful.
It may be a good time to remind everyone that Hezekiah destroyed the bronze serpent that God had Moses make in Numbers 21:8-9 because of how it was revered later (2 Kings 18:4). While having bronze letters of itself is not necessarily a problem--idolatry can occur even with objects that God commanded. The acquistion of multiple relics should be a concern to all who believe the Bible.
Relics were not even really part of the Church of Rome to any degree until Emperor Constantine and his mother Helena started to collect relics in the fourth century (see What Did the Early Church Teach About Idols and Icons?). PCG seems to have gotten into the relic collection business itself.
Jesus Himself taught:
Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you are like whitewashed tombs which indeed appear beautiful outwardly, but inside are full of dead men's bones and all uncleanness. Even so you also outwardly appear righteous to men, but inside you are full of hypocrisy and lawlessness. 29 Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! Because you build the tombs of the prophets and adorn the monuments of the righteous (Matthew 23:27-29).
An article of related interest may be Are the Laodiceans the Modern Sadducees and Pharisees?
Different Single Greatest Proof of God's Existence
Many people think they believe God, but do not. Do you believe the Bible? The booklet I just offered you--The United States and Britain in Prophecy--is the single greatest proof of God's existence and that the Bible is God's Word (Flurry, G. The Solution to Israel's Problems. Philadelphia Trumpet, Dec 2002, p. 1).
Biblically, it appears that God believes His creation is the single greatest proof of His existence, "For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even His eternal power and Godhead, so that they are without excuse" (Romans 1:20). As far as the Bible being true, that is a bit more complex, but I certainly am not ready to state that a booklet from PCG is 'the greatest single proof'.
PCG often claims that those Christians not part of it are Laodicean and seems to sometimes use non-biblical definitions of Laodiceans:
Several different churches have been formed by former Worldwide Church of God ministers. All of these churches--including the WCG--are Laodicean except one (Flurry, Gerald. Malachi's Message to God's Church Today. Booklet. 1995. p.6).
Now there are two Churches of God--The Philadelphian and Laodicean. The Philadelphia Church of God started just 4 years after Mr. Armstrong died...The Laodiceans will die in the Great Tribulation discussed in Matthew 24:21 (Flurry, Gerald. Lamentations and the End-Time Laodiceans. Booklet. 1993. pp. 1-2.).
Fifty percent of God's own Laodicean Church will lose their eternal lives because they do not want to live by the giving spirit of the word (Flurry, Gerald. From the Beginning. Booklet. 1996. p.15).
God sends strong delusion to see if His people are Philadelphia or Laodicean...THE LAODECIANS DIE IN THE TRIBULATION AND CONSEQUENTLY ARE SEALED (Flurry, Gerald. Malachi's Message to God's Church Today. Booklet. 1995. pp.11,49).
The book that most forcefully condemns the end-time Laodicean rebellion is Malachi (Flurry, Gerald. From the Beginning. Booklet. 1996. p.29).
What is the main problem with God's Laodicean Church today? They do not want to face all the really hard questions like--why all of these doctrinal changes? They don't want to face the really hard question--is Mr. Armstrong God's end-time Elijah? Why? Because they want to be part of Babylon (Flurry, Gerald and Leap, Dennis. Ezra and Nehemiah: Building God's Temple. Booklet. 1997. p.4).
Who is skilled in the law? Is it the Worldwide Church? Is the Global Church? Is the United Church? No!. The PCG has the only people of God who are truly skilled in the law! The Laodiceans are no longer skilled in the law (Flurry, Gerald and Leap, Dennis. Ezra and Nehemiah: Building God's Temple. Booklet. 1997. p.34.).
Because the Laodiceans measure God's law and government so badly, they have to be put in the outer court. They were in the inner court, but they rebelled and God no longer does His Work through them (Flurry, Gerald. From the Beginning. Booklet. 1996. pp. 21-22).
Let me give you an example of how badly they measure God's law and government. One member of the board of directors in the United Church of God sent out a packet of their beliefs to many of their members...Here is a quote from one of those letters: 'We find it interesting that the only one of the '18 truths' restored by Mr. Armstrong which has not been changed by the apostates [referring to current WCG leadership] is the 'truth' about church government'...The first doctrine listed among the 18 restored truths is GOVERNMENT , which is built on God's law. This government directed the most successful Work of God ever on this earth--in terms of numbers of people! For over 50 years, God used this government to preach the Gospel around the world (Mat 24:14). All of these Laodicean ministers supported that government while Mr. Armstrong was alive! Now they somehow think God has commissioned them to change it! Somewhere along the line they were hypocrites, either then or now (Flurry, Gerald. From the Beginning. Booklet. 1996. p.22,23).
The Laodicean ministry ridiculed God's truth about the place of safety. They failed to teach the people about a future captivity and holocaust (Flurry, Gerald. Lamentations and the End-Time Laodiceans. Booklet. 1993. p.26.).
Where is God's temple today? It is within the PCG! On of the main tasks of the PCG is to help God's people locate God's true temple after the Laodicean destruction (Flurry, Gerald and Leap, Dennis. Ezra and Nehemiah: Building God's Temple. Booklet. 1997. pp.42-43.).
Micah 7:1 is a blanket condemnation of all God's Laodicean churches (Flurry, Gerald. U.S. Justice and our 'Evolving Constitution'. Philadelphia Trumpet. January 2001. p. 6).
Remember, the big Laodicean problem is God's law (Flurry G. The Prophecy of Habakkuk. PCG Booklet. 1995, p.5).
PCG had better read the Bible again and notice that Christ condemns the Laodiceans for having a different work than the Philadelphians (PCG itself admits that it has a different work than HWA's WCG did). The Bible makes it clear that the Laodiceans do obey the commandments of God (Revelation 12:17), thus the law itself is NOT the big problem for the Laodiceans.
I mean, that synagogue of Satan became the Laodicean era. So that caused Mr Armstrong a lot of trouble (Flurry G. Prophesying Again Part 4, November 1, 2003. Sermon transcript at http://www.pcog.info/, January 13, 2004).
There is nothing in Revelation 2 or 3 that suggests the "synagogue of Satan" has to do with Laodicea.
In principle, God begins where His own sinning Church is, especially their headquarters in Pasadena. And in general, that principle applies to the state where God’s sinning headquarters is. So it is fitting that God begins the worst part of His punishing America in California. The headquarters of God’s own sinning, Laodicean Church is there (Flurry G. Is California Under a Curse? Philadelphia Trumpet, December 2003, p.2).
This is an area where PCG differed from others. Many of us, many years ago, stated that WCG was no longer part of the COG, whereas PCG seems to feel that it is/was the HQ for the Laodiceans well past the time it was a COG. The Laodiceans are not promised protection from the tribulation, but still are part of the COG. Yet WCG does NOT meet the criteria of being part of the true COG as it is not part of "the rest of her offspring" for WCG is not among those "who keep the commandments of God and have the testimony of Jesus Christ" (Revelation 12:17). WCG teaches against keeping the commandments of God and has changed Jesus' testimony to fit the Protestant view.
In many places, PCG has suggested that the Tkach administration is Laodicean. And beyond that in one of its booklets, PCG's G. Flurry makes this statement,
A Laodicean is one who will not obey God's law or follow His government (Flurry G. Zephaniah's Day of the Lord. PCG booklet, 2004, p. 11).
PCG has this only partially right. Laodicea is made up of two words which essentially mean the people decide, hence there would appear to be a rejection of government associated with Laodicea.
On the other hand, suggesting that the Tkach administration is Laodicean is not correct. Also, stating that the Laodiceans will not obey God's law is also incorrect. PCG teaches, correctly, that Revelation 12:13-16 is referring to the Philadelphians going to a place of safety. And that vs. 17 is referring to the Laodiceans.
Here is what Revelation 12:17 states,
And the dragon was enraged with the woman, and he went to make war with the rest of her offspring, who keep the commandments of God and have the testimony of Jesus Christ.
Three points here:
1) Revelation 12:17 includes the Laodiceans, and most likely the remnants of Thyatira and Sardis as it says 'the rest'.
2) These Laodiceans and others do keep the Law of God, specifically the Ten Commandments. The Tkach administration does not.
3) Despite claiming knowledge of the law, PCG has unbiblical requirements and organizational idolatry. PCG has strayed like the Apostle Paul warned that some others had:
5 Now the purpose of the commandment is love from a pure heart, from a good conscience, and from sincere faith, 6 from which some, having strayed, have turned aside to idle talk, 7 desiring to be teachers of the law, understanding neither what they say nor the things which they affirm. (1 Timothy 1:5-7)
Hence, PCG may wish to re-look into its positions on these matters. PCG fails to realize that Jesus condemns the Laodiceans for their work--this is obviously a different work than the Philadelphians have (for the true Philadelphians only receive praise from Jesus)--PCG's writings clearly show that it has a different work than HWA's WCG had. The Apostle Paul condemns PCG's basic approach, which also overlooks writings from the Apostle John (1 John 5:21; 3 John 9-11).
Be Not Concerned About the Laodiceans?
Here are some of Gerald Flurry's comments about Laodiceans:
I mean you just cast them all out!, that sounds, I guess rather humorous to people in the (blank silence, edited?, probably Worldwide) Church of God and some of those laodicean Churches, BUT THAT IS IN FACT WHAT GOD HAS DONE, HE’S SAID ‘NOW YOU GET THEM OUT OF HERE’ AND DON’T WORRY ABOUT THEM!. We’ve got a different work, and it IS a work that’s going to qualify you to be in Headquarters forever, so let’s get busy and do it and DON’T WORRY ABOUT THOSE PEOPLE! ... BECAUSE I’M PUTTING THEM ASIDE! You cannot do this work in this last hour, especially with all those laodicean attitudes (Flurry G. Prophesying Again Part 4, November 1, 2003. Sermon transcript at http://www.pcog.info/, January 13, 2004).
PCG appears to forget that 'Philadelphia' means 'love the brethren'. Teaching that no one is to 'worry about' (or apparently have brotherly love or concern) about them shows that PCG has disqualified itself from being considered part of the true Philadelphia portion of the Church of God. Revelation 3:9 makes clear that simply calling oneself part of the Philadelphia Church does not make one part of it.
The Identity of the 144,000
Gerald Flurry claims:
Study the chronology of Revelation 6 and 7. It clearly reveals that the 144,000 are the Laodiceans (Flurry, Gerald. Malachi's Message to God's Church Today. Booklet. 1995. p.49).
Stephen Flurry's Book Fulfills Prophecy?
Gerald Flurry believes that the latest book by his son, is fulfilling prophecy as he wrote:
Raising the Ruins draws on all the material we obtained in the court battle to expose what happened to the Worldwide Church of God after Mr. Armstrong died...Habakkuk...Several biblical prophecies show that the WCG must be exposed. God says it will happen...My son's book is an important part of that prophesied exposure (Flurry, Gerald. Philadelphia Trumpet letter. December 20, 2006).
While Stephen Flurry's book has some items of historical interest (as well as some distortions), I do not believe it fulfills prophecy the way that Gerald Flurry is suggesting.
In chapter 6, the book makes some interesting observations about the Tkach WCG:
Less than four months after Mr. Armstrong died, Church Administration informed its ministers that several books would need to be “updated”...
Mystery of the Ages Serialization
Mr. Armstrong began serializing Mystery of the Ages in the July 1985 issue of the Plain Truth...
As with any serialization, one might expect editors to condense some portions of the text. But to do so in a way that completely alters the author’s clear intent cannot be considered an abridged version of the original text—rather a corrupt version.
The most glaring deletion occurs at the end of Chapter 6—“Mystery of the Church”—in the July-August 1986 Plain Truth installment...
The Plain Truth version then omits six paragraphs about the Philadelphia era and the leader who God prophesied to raise up during that era (Mr. Armstrong, as the church had always believed). Mr. Armstrong wrote, “To this era—or to its human leader—God had set before it an open door …. This church and/or its leader had but little strength. Neither were of great and powerful stature in Satan’s world but those of this era were faithful to the Word of God. Though much of the original gospel truth, imparted to the original apostles by Jesus in person, had been lost, it was restored through the Bible to this era of God’s Church who were faithful in keeping it.” (Flurry S. Fingerprints--the 6th Chapter from Raising the Ruins. Philadelphia Trumpet, March 2007, pp.27-28).
But this type of revisionism is what PCG has also done to HWA's book "The Mystery of the Ages" as shown in the next section.
Mystery of the Ages as God's Inspired Words and Prophesied?
PCG makes some true and some unusual claims about Herbert Armstrong's book the Mystery of the Ages:
Although I agree that WCG did not discontinue because of cost, it seems quite presumptuous to state that the Mystery of the Ages are "God's inspired words."
The number one reason listed in the Pastor General's Report for discontinuing Mystery of the Ages was COST! That's right--COST! Now that is spiritual FRAUD! How could the WCG afford to donate $200,000 and more to various relief funds, and yet be unable to afford to print God's inspired words?! (Flurry, Gerald. Malachi's Message to God's Church Today. Booklet. 1995. p.129.).
However, if PCG considers the Mystery of the Ages "God's inspired words," why did it edit portions out? In its 2003 version that it now controls, it edited out the statement on page 245 "No prophets are mentioned as having either administrative, executive or preaching functions in the New Testament Church." I presume that Gerald Flurry edited this out as it contradicts his own positions about his claim to be a prophet.
Robert Kuhne reports that Gerald Flurry's PCG has edited out at least four statements (numbers added by me) from HWA's Mystery of the Ages:
1) "No prophets are mentioned as having either administrative, executive or preaching functions in the New Testament Church". [MA, pg. 245 top, PCG first edition]
2) "Meanwhile, an individual few in Old Testament Israel did obey God and by becoming God's prophets, they became part of the very foundation of the New Testament CHURCH OF GOD. The Church is built on the solid FOUNDATION of the prophets (Old Testament) and apostles (New Testament), Jesus Christ himself being "the chief corner stone" (Eph. 2:20)." [MA, pg. 174 (both 1985 hardback & 2003 PCG copyright softback)]
3)"The prophets set in the foundation of the Church are those of the Old Testament, whose writings were used to form a considerable part of New Testament and gospel teaching and functioning. No prophets are mentioned as having either administrative, executive or preaching functions in the New Testament Church." [MA, pg. 244 (1985 hardback), pg. 245 (1997 pirated softback)]
4) "All teaching came from Christ through the apostles -- and a few times Christ communicated to apostles via the prophets (of which there are none in God's Church today since the Bible for our time is complete)." [MA, pg. 350 (both 1985 hardback & 2003 PCG copyright softback)]
Presuming Robert Kuhne is accurate (as he has been) this suggests that some in PCG are attempting to "rewrite history" (the Tkach administration did that with HWA's autobiography by editing out all references to the Philadelphia and Sardis Church eras).
Regarding Mystery of the Ages, PCG has argued in court,
...that to prohibit PCG's use of the book would be to suppress both the unique expression of ideas in the book...and the ability of PCG's members to live according to their religious faith (Leap, Dennis. Continuing to Fight. Philadelphia Trumpet. Feb 2002, p.27).
So in other words, PCG seems to be saying that PCG could not exist if it had not illegally copied and distributed Mystery of the Ages.
Notice another claim:
Revelation 10...So here we are in this transition. There’s a little a little book talked about and MOA in Verse 7 that’s talked about, that leads right into the second coming of Jesus Christ (Flurry G. Prophesying Again Part 4, November 1, 2003. Sermon transcript at http://www.pcog.info/, January 13, 2004).
Would HWA agree? I do not believe so, nor do I believe this PCG tradition is biblical.
Changed Another of Herbert W. Armstrong's Writings
PCG altered another document written by Herbert Armstrong titled Who or What is the Prophetic Beast?
Notice how one paragraph was written in the original version. Note the bolding (which is added here for clarity):
This coming great martyrdom is THE GREAT TRIBULATION (Matthew 24:9, 21-22). This tribulation is not the wrath of God — the last plagues. It is the wrath of Satan (Rev. 12:12), inflicted at the behest of HIS apostate church by the coming “United States of EUROPE” and against the true people of GOD! It is a persecution — a torturing — a martyring of the saints of God — the very elect who cannot be deceived (Matt. 24:24). Except those days of Great Tribulation be shortened, no flesh would be saved. But, for THE SAKE OF GOD’S PERSECUTED SAINTS those days shall be shortened.
Notice this same section in PCG’s version:
This coming great martyrdom is THE GREAT TRIBULATION (Matt. 24:9, 21-22). This tribulation is not the wrath of God—the last plagues. It is the wrath of Satan (Rev. 12:12), inflicted at the behest of HIS apostate church by the coming “United States of EUROPE” and against the people of GOD! It is a persecution—a torturing—a martyring of the saints of God who have become lukewarm and lost God’s protection. Except those days of Great Tribulation be shortened, no flesh would be saved. But, for THE SAKE OF GOD’S PERSECUTED SAINTS, those days shall be shortened.
Now some with PCG will conclude that the change is accurate and so that this is not a big deal.
They, however, would be wrong for at least two reasons.
The first is that this is another proof that PCG is NOT faithful to what it claims that it is.
And secondly, because the change is NOT completely accurate. While it is true that the lukewarm Laodiceans will not receive protection that is promised to the Philadelphians (the real ones, not the false ones like PCG who claim the name, cf. Revelation 3:9), the truth is that many people will be converted through the preaching of the two witnesses and apparently the third angel’s message during the time of the Great Tribulation and the Day of the Lord.
These converts are NOT likely to be “lukewarm”. They will likely help the two witnesses and many of these converts will be martyred during the time of the Beast and the Antichrist.
PCG has repeatedly adjusted (in a negative manner in most cases) the biblical truths that the late Herbert W. Armstrong taught.
The change to Who or What is the Prophetic Beast? is just the latest. Hopefully, those associated with PCG will wake up and realize that it is NOT the faithful remnant of the Philadelphia portion of the Church of God.
While PCG claims to be faithful to HWA's form of governance, it also claims that portions did not work and needed to be changed:
Since Mr. Armstrong's death, all of the Laodicean groups have rejected the restored knowledge of the government of God. They no longer believe in government from the top down...One Man Leadership...All of these Laodicean groups have rejected Mr. Armstrong as God's end-time Elijah. And THEY HAVE REJECTED THE TRUTH THAT GOD WORKS THROUGH ONE MAN AT A TIME...Jesus Christ gave authority to Peter as the chief apostle...The other apostles were sent around the world--only Peter had authority to bind and loose!...Now all of the Laodicean groups have rejected these scriptures. God sent Mr. Armstrong to restore all things (Matt. 17:11). God sent Mr. Armstrong to restore His government in the Church. The Worldwide Church of God (WCG), the Global Church of God, and the United Church of God have all turned away from this revealed form of government (Flurry, Gerald and Leap, Dennis. Ezra and Nehemiah: Building God's Temple. Booklet. 1997. pp.17-18).
And so, we really have to gear things up for this time we’re living in. It’s not a normal time. It’s not even like it was in Mr Armstrong’s time. This is truly an abnormal time in this last hour, that this world has never, ever seen before. And so our work has to be geared to that. Our message has to be geared to that....And so, if we are going to prophesy again, it basically means we’re going to have the same message, we’re going to have the same Government, we’re going to have the same law, and so you and I have to submit to that law and Government that Mr Armstrong was taught through Jesus Christ and we, we so we couldn’t prophesy again really unless we knew what that Government and law was...Mr Armstrong, in his era almost never worked directly with the Regional Directors. Now, what he did, was place one man over the ministers and I can name some of them; Rod Meredith, Wayne Cole, I believe Dennis Luker for awhile, and Joe Tkach and Garner Ted Armstrong (Laughs) … I think was in there as well, and you know something? That never, ever worked! Now I’m not saying the government didn’t work to the extent that Mr Armstrong could preach the Gospel round the world; it certainly did but that one man over the ministry never did work, and Mr Armstrong said it didn’t. And you know why it didn’t work? Because that man would...well, overstep himself and he was, actually ended up running the Church...Mr Armstrong went to world leaders! What do you do when you have to go to world leaders? How do you run the Church when you don’t have anybody to do what you want them to do? And of course they didn’t, and of course, every time he had problems to deal with and he even said (Whining) near the end of his life that system never did work...See, I feel it’s critical that I stay in touch with the Regional director’s, UNLIKE what Mr Armstrong did...So I think, in essence, God is saying ... this is not something, that, uh is, is unimportant. I think God is saying alright, NOW LET’S CHANGE THE GOVERNMENT TO FIT THE TIMES! Here we are in a time of no more delay. We’re in the last hour, and I think Christ is saying ‘I WANT YOU TO RISE UP AND I WANT YOU TO RUN THIS THING DIFFERENT THAN THE WAY IT WAS DONE IN THE PAST...Instead of setting up that normal machinery to meet the highly abnormal need, the normal standards were not good enough at such a critical time. So they had to change the way they administered the Government. And so we enter into this time, brethren, and let me tell you, it’s getting to be pretty, pretty, fiercely bad. We enter into this time and Jesus Christ is showing me that there really is a change in the administration of our Government. There really is a change in that. Satan has been cast down. Now that’s a different situation...Mr Armstrong’s structure of Government really will not work ... to get this job done...NOW LET ME TELL YOU, I CAN PROPHESY WITHOUT HESITATION AND ABSOLUTELY KNOW THAT I’M RIGHT: YOU’RE GONNA SEE THAT AS WE GO ALONG, THE GOVERNMENT OF THIS CHURCH IS GOING TO BE ATTACKED LIKE NOTHING ELSE EVER HAS IN THIS CHURCH!" ...But what is the Gospel? What is it. Well, it’s the Good News of the coming Family of God, which is administered by the Government of God; the very same Government that we have today, that’s what the Gospel is! And so we’re learning to administer that Government...If we don’t love the Government of God, all we are is a laodicean. That’s ALL we are. We must love the Government of God most of all! (Flurry G. Prophesying Again Part 4, November 1, 2003. Sermon transcript at http://www.pcog.info/, January 13, 2004).
It appears that since G. Flurry says that HWA's governance did not work, that G. Flurry's form is superior and that his is the 'government of God'. Thus, it appears that G. Flurry has rejected at least a portion of the restored truth about governance (see also The Bible, Polycarp, Herbert W. Armstrong, and Roderick C. Meredith on Church Government).
Who Does the Work?
Only that group which declares the Micah [7:1] revelation does God's work (Flurry, Gerald. U.S. Justice and our 'Evolving Constitution'. Philadelphia Trumpet. January 2001. p. 6).
It is of interest to note that a literature search revealed that to the best of my knowledge, Herbert Armstrong never produced any literature about Micah 7:1, thus apparently was not part of a group that did Mr. Flurry's version of 'God's work'. Herbert Armstrong tended to emphasize Matthew 24:14;28:19-20.
Broadcasting to over 400 million people worldwide, The Key of David has received various international awards in recognition of its contribution to broadcast excellence (Key of David Website, 6/01/01).
It should be noted that according to the February 2002 Philadelphia Trumpet PCG appears to be on 26 stations (See station listing at keyofdavid.com web site, and note that many stations are listed multiple times). 400 million seems to be a potential audience, not the actual one, in 2001. PCG now claims 200 stations and a potential audience of 600 million.
Gerald Flurry has clearly changed the work as he also wrote,
The commission is no longer to preach the gospel to the world (Daniel-Unsealed at Last!, 2004, p.45).
This is NOT what HWA taught. In HWA's sermon The Mission of the Philadelphia Church Era,
I want to speak on the mission of the Philadelphia Era of the Church...Today's mission of the Church you will find in Matthew 24:14. And this gospel of the kingdom…that is the same gospel that Jesus preached…shall be preached in all the world for a witness unto all nations; and then shall the end come...Now He said the mission of this Church, then, that this gospel of the kingdom shall be proclaimed in all the world for a witness unto all nations and then shall he end…the end of this world…come, and the second coming of Christ to introduce the world tomorrow, another world altogether...And how in Revelation 18:4 that God has called us out from among them, to be separate. Well, brethren, all those things have been restored and there is a mission for this Church that never applied, and has never been done by any other Church. This gospel of the kingdom has been restored and shall be preached in all the world for a witness to all nations.
Furthermore, PCG and others seem to forget that the Philadelphians are those who 'hold fast', which includes holding fast to the work of the Philadelphia era of the Church. Many seem to forget that it is the Laodiceans that have a different work, a different commission than the Philadelphians.
And that different work is a major part of why Jesus condemns them (see Revelation 3:14-16).
More information can be found in the article, Should the Church Still Try to Place its Top Priority on the Work of Proclaiming the Gospel or Did Herbert Armstrong Change that Priority?
But in spite of claiming that it is a different work, Gerald Flurry suggests that what God wants now is the same work as he recently wrote,
"Mr. Armstrong has been dead 20 years now. But did the Almighty God who empowered his work die? Is God too weak to do the same marvelous work today—simply because a man has passed from the scene? (Flurry G. From the Editor: An Open Letter to the Churches of God. Philadelphia Trumpet. February 2006).
PCG simply does not have what Gerald Flurry suggests is the same marvelous work today. And that is one of the main reasons I do not support PCG (I also reject that God's true angel gave Gerald Flurry Malachi's Message, etc.).
Ambassador Auditorium In Haggai (and How PCG teaches it is Laodicean)
Interestingly, PCG seems to admit that it is Laodicean:
Haggai 2:9 states, 'The glory of this latter house shall be greater than of the former, saith the LORD of hosts: and in this place will I give peace, saith the LORD of hosts. As I wrote in the Haggai booklet, that verse is a prophecy that God would build a physical house of God through an end-time type of Zerbubbal!...NOW WE UNDERSTAND THIS VERSE AS PROOF GOD PROPHESIED THAT THE AUDITORIUM-HIS HOUSE--WOULD BE BUILT IN THIS END TIME!...'IN THIS PLACE' The jewel in the crown of Pasadena headquarters: Ambassador Auditorium...The abomination will stand in the holy place...GOD IS POINTING US TO THE SOURCE OF THE SPIRITUAL ABOMINATION: ITS HEADQUARTERS BUILDING...The Laodiceans didn't truly grasp what Mr. Armstrong taught about the abomination of desolation, and now they'll have to EXPERIENCE IT (Flurry G. Daniel. PCG Booklet, 2004, pp.42-45).
For those unfamiliar with the COGs, I need to point out that other than Gerald Flurry and his followers, no one else that I am aware of considers that the Ambassador Auditorium was prophesied in Haggai. This is simply another area where PCG has changed teachings to suit its purposes, whatever they may be.
Herbert Armstrong specifically said,
When ye therefore shall see the abomination of desolation, spoken of by Daniel the prophet, stand in the holy place, (whoso readeth, let him understand:). And you find in Luke 24:20 that that refers to the same thing, and the abomination of desolation, there spoken of, was Jerusalem being surrounded by armies. Now that applied to 70 A.D. It is going to apply again because so many things happen in a dual manner, sort of a one-two punch as I sometimes call it, and Jerusalem will again be surrounded by armies. In fact, it is to a great extent right now. (Mission of Philadelphia Church Era. Sermon, 12/17/83).
HWA also taught,
Luke 21:20 speaks of the same thing as "Jerusalem compassed with armies." This is the correct meaning of this "abomination." It is the armies--not a statue--that make Jerusalem desolate. From this time (Dan. 12:11) to Christ's coming will be 1290 days. Now, verse 12, "Blessed is he that waiteth, and cometh to the 1335 days." Never before have we understood these periods of 1260, 1290, and 1335 days. But it seems evident, now, a blessing is pronounced on us-GOD'S CHURCH--who wait and endure until the 1335 days--approximately 1335 days prior to Christ's coming. But since no one can know the day or the hour of His coming, we probably shall not be able to know the exact day that this 1335 days begins. But apparently that is the time when OUR WORK SHALL END. That will be a time when the UNITED EUROPE shall appear --the revival of the medieval "Holy Roman Empire." We shall then be warned, and readied to be taken to a place of refuge and safety from the Great Tribulation. Forty-five days later "the beast's" armies will surround Jerusalem. Thirty days later the Great Tribulation will probably start with a nuclear attack on London and Britain--and possibly the same day or immediately after, on United States and Canadian cities. [Armstrong HW. The Time We Are In, Now. PASTOR GENERAL'S REPORT - VOL.1, NO.15 NOVEMBER 20, 1979].
HWA never taught that the abomination of desolation had anything to do with Ambassador Auditorium.
Hence, since PCG teaches something different, it seems to be strongly suggesting that it is Laodicean.
In October 2004, Robert Kuhne reported,
Although the PCG still teaches its members to pay the third tithe (RV July/August 2004, pg. 28), a member who was seeking third tithe assistance recently told us that Ron Frasier personally told him "the church has discontinued that program."And a former PCG minister confirmed to us that the PCG does not distinguish between first, second, and third tithe, but treats them all the same to support "the work," which of late has been the construction of beautiful homes for the inner circle PCG ministry. Construction of an auditorium is also soon to start.
Actually, a chart of how 2005 income was spent by PCG was in the PCG Pastor General's Report dated April 8, 2006. The chart shows,
Assistance $ 79,502.11 1%.
Although the chart rounds this "Assistance" to 1% of expenditures, it actually is less than 2/3 of one percent of PCG's income. Thus this seems to confirm Robert Kuhne's report. PCG apparently collects third tithe, but does not seem to distribute it as the old WCG did.
Membership Data and Other Statistics
In October 2004, Robert Kuhne reported,
Gerald Flurry has admitted that the PCG saw a 6% decrease in membership during the year 2003. If we apply this 6% decrease to our calculated number of 5550 members above, we get a 2004 membership of about 5217 members. Below is his quote: I'll tell you something that, well I just want you to know the truth, what's happening, but we, we are in good financial standing right now. In 2003, this stunned me a little bit, we actually decreased in members by six percent. Six percent from 2002. ... When you think about that six percent decrease, brethren, and really it happened the year we finally won the court case ... it certainly has the stench of spiritual death. ... What about the six percent decrease in the members - what does that mean? ... What is going to happen to those people? ... It is about spiritual death. ... Six percent of God's family just died or are dying. [G.F. sermon, That Prophet, 2/7/04, tape1:side2] In 2003 we had a six percent decrease in members. [G.F. sermon, Spiritual Revolution, 4/17/04, side2] Comment: 'Evangelist' Marvin Campbell was reported to have said at the 2004 PCG feast site in Greenville, South Carolina, that church membership was 5153. This is very close to our calculation above after applying the 6% decrease admitted by Gerald Flurry. It would appear that the PCG has only limited appeal to those unfamiliar with HWA, and that a significant number of current PCG members are becoming aware of the facts.
Stephen Flurry reported that PCG has: "a modest income of $14 million or so" (Flurry S. Raising the Ruins, Part Two. The Philadelphia Trumpet, August 2009, p. 31).
PCG reported the following statistics:
Telephone calls received in 2008
Trumpet magazines distributed in waiting rooms in the last 10 years
On January 7, 2011, Stephen Flurry reported the following:
Worldwide attendance stands at about 5,500. Serving those brethren, we have 72 ordained ministers—41 of them employed by the Church. Counting ministers and employees, 115 people work for the Church full-time. Another 60 are on payroll as part-timers. We’ve added 55 employees just since 2006, when the college first started turning out four-year graduates.
Our total worldwide income in 2010 amounted to $20.6 million—a solid 5 percent increase over 2009. Seventy-two percent of that revenue is donated by members of the Philadelphia Church of God. The other 28 percent comes from co-workers and donors who voluntarily offer their financial support. http://www.thetrumpet.com/index.php?q=7818.6421.0.0
In October 2011, the following was reported:
Shane Granger, marketing director for the Philadelphia Church of God…said Edmond is one of 18 sites around the world that will be attended by 4,700 members of the Philadelphia Church of God, which has 200 congregations spread over 65 countries.
Either some PCG members have been lost this year and/or about 15% of its membership was not expected to attend the Feast of Tabernacles in 2011. Because of its extra-biblical requirements for membership, etc., I am hesitant to conclude that PCG is actually a COG.
In November 2011, the following was apparently reported in a co-worker letter written by Gerald Flurry:
…our building fund donations are $700,000 less than they were last year. I want you to think about that.
Before we built Armstrong Auditorium, we sent a letter to our Church members only, asking for pledges to the building fund. We used those pledges to determine how much we could invest in construction and loan repayment until all the construction costs were repaid in full. We’ve enjoyed using the auditorium for over a year now, but we still have a big balance left on the loan–over $7Million…And if our ways are pleasing God, no recession or depression could make a bit of difference.
Now, presuming that the above is authentic, this suggests that PCG may have shrank (shrinking membership would tend to be a factor in less donations, recessions would as well).
Unleavened Bread only Needs to be Eaten Two Days
In a disturbing move, in April 2013, PCG put out the following:
EATING UNLEAVENED BREAD
During the Days of Unleavened Bread, there was some confusion in several congregations about the requirement to eat unleavened bread. Exodus 13:7 states that unleavened bread shall be eaten for seven days. Does this mean that we must eat unleavened bread on each day of this Feast? NO. It is not required to eat unleavened bread for seven days. This instruction means that whenever bread is eaten during this Festival it must be unleavened. It does not mean unleavened bread must be eaten each day.
The command to eat unleavened bread is like the commandment in Exodus 20:9 that states: “six days shall you labour …” This does not mean we must work each day, Sunday to Friday. It means that whenever we work, it must be during the six days preceding the Sabbath. Likewise, the instruction that unleavened bread shall be eaten for seven days means that whenever bread is eaten during the Days of Unleavened Bread, it must be unleavened. We are not required to eat unleavened bread each day.
Mr. Flurry wants us all speaking the same thing, as God has instructed us in His Word. Let’s all take note of this teaching so that there is peace and harmony in all churches on this issue. (Announcements. Philadelphia Church of God, April 13, 2011
But the Bible teaches:
15 Seven days you shall eat unleavened bread. (Exodus 12:15)
UCG has a similar position which is based on tradition instead of the Bible--for details please see UCG and Its Unleavened Bread Study Paper.
As far as PCG's claimed argument, humans do actually do their work on the six days of the week whether or not they are physically at a job, hence I disagree with PCG's assessment here.
We have only a tiny span of time to do God's warning Work! Our message is about the death of nations! (Ezek. 33:11). No message even comes close to the importance of our message! (Flurry, Gerald. Member and Co-worker letter, 3/13/02).
So God lets us work in this most exciting time ever in this world, and B, right to the very transition time of Jesus Christ but notice, We have a different commission...We’ve got a different work, and it IS a work that’s going to qualify you to be in Headquarters forever (Flurry G. Prophesying Again Part 4, November 1, 2003. Sermon transcript at http://www.pcog.info/, January 13, 2004).
Must Find an Individual to Find God
PCG also has the following unusual teaching:
So Micah was told to DECLARE this message. That means that there has to be a type of Micah today who is DECLARING this same message. Remember this message is tied directly to Christ's return (Mic.1:3). It is for the end time! It is up to you to find the individual who is delivering that message. That is the only way to find God (Flurry, Gerald. U.S. Justice and our 'Evolving Constitution'. Philadelphia Trumpet. January 2001. p. 6).
Problem with Alcohol
Here is part of what Robert Kuhne reported:
In 1993 Gerald Flurry was arrested and taken to jail after being found intoxicated and passed out behind the wheel of his automobile. The PCG membership was never told the truth about this incident, only that he was cited for having a couple of empty beer containers inside his car.
I read the court documents and police report that are at Robert Kuhne’s website.
The court documents state:
ON OR ABOUT THE 18TH DAY OF SEPTEMBER, 1993, THE CRIME OF BEING IN ACTUAL PHYSICAL CONTROL WAS UNLAWFULLY COMMITTED IN OKLAHOMA COUNTY, OKLAHOMA BY GERALD RAY FLURRY WHO WILFULLY AND KNOWINGLY WAS IN ACTUAL PHYSICAL CONTROL OF A MOTOR VEHICLE…WHILE HE WAS UNDER THE INFLUENCE OF INTOXICATING LIQUOR…AGAINST THE PEACE AND DIGNITY OF THE STATE OF OKLAHOMA.
The documents also state that “the crime of transporting an open container of intoxicating liquor was unlawfully committed by…Gerald Ray Flurry”. Thus, the documents state that Gerald Flurry committed two crimes.
In the police report, the officer stated that Gerald Flurry was “passed out behind the wheel”. The officer stated that when Gerald Flurry was asked for his driver’s license, he said he did not have it. But the officer stated that Gerald Flurry took out a $20 bill instead. The officer repeatedly told Gerald Flurry to put the money back in his wallet and asked for his driver’s license. The officer noted the smell of “a heavy odor of liquor” from Gerald Flurry’s breath. The officer observed that Gerald Flurry “had trouble standing still without staggering”. When the officer asked Gerald Flurry if he had been drinking, he indicated that he had.
The officer “administered three field sobriety tests” and Gerald Flurry “failed all three sobriety tests”. The officer concluded that Gerald Flurry’s alcohol levels exceeded the legal maximum.
The police report then states:
“At approximately 2248 on 9-18-93 this officer informed the male subject later identified as Flurry, Gerald Ray that he was under arrest for APC and TOC.”
APC is apparently an abbreviation that means “Actual Physical Control” , essentially having a motor vehicle under your control while “under the influence of intoxicating liquor” (another court document has the abbreviation “DUI”). And TOC is apparently an abbreviation that means “transporting an open container-liquor”.
After arresting Gerald Flurry, the officer had his vehicle impounded and transported him “to Oklahoma County Jail in OKC”.
In his own handwriting, Gerald Flurry wrote (and signed):
If the District Attorney presented the evidence to a jury, they could find me guilty of the charge.
Gerald Flurry also pleaded “nolo contendre” to the charges and someone paid one or more fines on his behalf.
Of course, people do make mistakes and sometimes get arrested for them. My main point in posting this is that Robert Kuhne, who was a PCG member for some time after this, states that the PCG membership was not told the truth about this matter. The court documents apparently tell more than PCG's membership was told about this.
Parallels between him and Joseph Smith
David "Persuitte believes that Smith also stole his ideas from the sources available to him in his day, especially from Vermont minister Ethan Smiths View of the Hebrews (first published in 1823), which had been published only a few years before." More information on that is included in Persuitte's book Joseph Smith and the Origins of the Book of Mormon (2nd Edition) which is available at http://www.christianity-books.com/Joseph_Smith_and_the_Origins_of_the_Book_of_Mormon_2nd_Edition_078640826X.html
In a college class decades ago, I recall hearing that Joseph Smith tended to drink to excess, claimed an angel led him to a cave that contained most of what we now call the Book of Mormon, that the Book of Mormon was not quite original, and that Joseph Smith claimed to be a prophet.
A police report, posted at the www.pcg.info website on Gerald Flurry, suggests that he drank to excess, while Gerald Flurry himself claimed that a "mighty angel" revealed Malachi's Message to him, and Gerald Flurry regularly claims to be a prophet. Furthermore, Robert Kuhne claims that much of Malachi's Message is not original to Gerald Flurry but was very similar to something written by Jules Dervaes a few years earlier.
Specifically R. Kuhne wrote,
The Letter To Laodicea is a collection of seven letters written by a former WCG member, Jules Dervaes, to the late Pastor General of the WCG, Joseph W. Tkach, Senior. His letters contain the heart and core of Malachi’s Message and pre-date it by almost two years. This is the single fact I discovered which forced me to reevaluate Gerald Flurry's claim that Malachi's Message was a revelation from God. The evidence below positively establishes the dates of the two writings: Gerald Flurry says he received his "revelations" in 1989 (DUAL pg. 27 top; 1995 letter). Click the image below to read the letter. Malachi’s Message was originally written in 1989 (MM pg. ix p4; LB pg. 4p3). The Letter To Laodicea (request a copy at www.viadelrey.com) was written c. 1987 and delivered to Joseph W. Tkach, Sr. by certified mail.
I do not accept that either Joseph Smith or Gerald Flurry received their information from one of God's faithful angels, nor do I believe these self-appointed individuals are prophets. While the Bible does make clear that God will give some the gift of prophecy towards the end-time, I do not believe those two were recipients.
Wrong About the "Prince of Rosh"
Gerald Flurry apparently claimed to have received some type of divine message that made him conclude that Russian President Vladimir Putin is the "prince of Rosh" in Ezkiel 38 (see PCG’s Gerald Flurry points to Russia’s Putin as the ‘Prince of Rosh’ of Ezekiel 38:2 and Vladimir Putin mobilizes troops, while pro-Russian supporters demonstrate in east Ukraine; but PCG is still not right about the ‘prince of Rosh’). This is in error and also contradicts writings from the late Herbert W. Armstrong who taught that Ezekiel 38 happens after Jesus returns (for details see PCG’s Gerald Flurry points to Russia’s Putin as the ‘Prince of Rosh’ of Ezekiel 38:2).
Mystery of the Ages Lawsuit Comments from Former PCG Couple
Robert & Claudia Kuhne, who are former PCG members, reported the following regarding the PCG's settlement with WCG,
With the PCG now able to freely print and distribute Mr. Armstrong's material, is this the miracle from God that Gerald Flurry has "prophesied"? As mentioned above, miracles are events that cannot be explained without invoking divine intervention. If you examine the circumstances surrounding this latest development, you can easily see that it is no miracle and Gerald Flurry's "prophecy" has not been fulfilled. Gerald Flurry's "prophecy" consisted of three parts, namely that
1) he would win the court case, and that
2) God would provide a way for him to
3) mail out Mystery of the Ages again. While he may now be able to mail out MA again, that right was not won in court and there is no evidence that God had anything to do with it. What has actually happened is that Gerald Flurry lost the court case and, facing an impending damages trial, had no choice but to offer settlement and pay for what he tried to get for free.
Gerald Flurry has been forced to offer payment rather than endure the humiliation of having damages assessed against him. He didn't win any war, rather the WCG has forced him to "say uncle" and pay for what they said he stole. His choice was a simple one: pay damages decided by a jury and receive nothing but humiliation, or pay a settlement (probably more than the damages would have been) and receive the right to print MA and be able to boast of a miraculous fulfilled prophecy. No divine intervention is required (i.e. no miracle)...And there is no divine intervention required to explain what the WCG did. They simply agreed to sell MA, which they do not value anyway, for a sure $3 million, rather than take their chances on what a jury might award them (probably less than that). Even though the WCG won the court case, it appears they were going to have difficulty proving much in the way of damages, so they opted to try to recover court costs by accepting the PCG settlement offer. The WCG was not successful in keeping Mr. Armstrong's material out of print, but they did succeed in forcing Gerald Flurry to pay a high price for it...Gerald Flurry has known all along that he could make part of his "prophecy" appear to be fulfilled by offering money, and that is why he was so bold in his RV Sept./Oct. 2002 article, "Habakkuk Reveals the Outcome of Our Court Case." If fact, settlement overtures were going on at the very same time he came out with his so-called "new revelation" from Habakkuk. Rather than Habakkuk revealing the outcome, I think it was the $3 million. Please don't be fooled by Gerald Flurry's sleight of hand. It is like a magician - you may not be able to explain how he does the illusion, but you KNOW it is a trick. You may not know all the details of how Gerald Flurry has pulled off this illusion, but you KNOW that God does not do miracles for someone practicing the deceit detailed throughout the rest of this document...We apologize if any part of this letter seems strong or offensive because we do not intend it that way. We just want you to know where we stand and the real reasons, and be motivated to seriously look into what we have discovered" (The PLAIN TRUTH About Malachi’s Message And THAT PROPHET, http://www.pcog.info/ 3/29/03).
Comments from a One-Time PCG Member
Here are some comments from another former-PCG member:
I recently left the Philadelphia Church of God...The ministers believe they are the only members in the inner court of God's spiritual temple. To them it is practically a sin to do something as simple as offer a condolence to a nonmember, especially if that person is a member of another Church of God. To them such people are nothing but nasty Laodiceans who are to be treated as though they have been marked. I know this because an Edmond minister said this several years ago in a sermon. He said brethren in any of the other offshoot churches should be regarded as marked and disfellowshipped. The longer I am out of the PCG, the more I see how hypocritical and arrogant it is, specifically the ministry, which rules by fear and intimidation. Yet most of the lay members are honest, decent and faithful. I hope they wake up in time to see how misled they are (Daniel, Michael. Letter to the Editor. The Journal. April 30, 2001, p.4.).
Now Gerald Flurry is building a headquarters complex and college campus just north of Edmond. Yet we are supposed to be in a time of "no more delay." Approximately $200,000 homes are to be built on this land for the ministry, and this information comes from a headquarters minister himself; it is not just a rumor (Daniel, Michael. Letter to the Editor. The Journal. April 30, 2001, p.4.).
Comments from another Former PCG Member
A former PCG member, sent me (Dr. Thiel) the following that she sent to another PCG member years ago:
Dear *****: It seems there is no longer a powerful work being done by the PCG. And that is one of the main reason's we are called now! But remember that even "stones can cry out" to get the God's work done. God will work through whoever is willing to do it. As the PCG's work has sunk, another organization has been rising to the challenge.
There are also some relatively minor differences as well. An example would be that in the May 2002 edition of the Philadelphia Trumpet, PCG's Gerald Flurry wrote that he felt that the then 60 year-old Edmund Stoiber who was then running to be Germany's chancellor was a likely candidate to be "the king of fierce countenance of Daniel 8" (vss.23-24). Although he presents some interesting reasons for his position, I personally wrote years ago that I felt that Stoiber may be a little to old to fulfill that position. Then later, Gerald Flurry changed his mind.
Another difference is that PCG still has not (as far as I can tell) figured out what HWA's list of 18 restored truths actually was (as far as I can tell, they basically use the Tkach list, though I would say that they actually do teach most of what the Tkach administration left off the list). However, most is not the same as all. It seems clear that PCG has rejected the truth about what the true Gospel is (and its priority on proclamation) as well as changed governance.
PCG is bizarre in that it emphasizes faithfulness to governance so highly, condemns those COG groups that changed it, yet admits that it changed governance itself. Cannot those in PCG see the clear contradiction in PCG's positions here?
It is also odd how PCG has changed several writings of Herbert Armstrong while claiming that they are the most faithful to what he taught. It remains wrong about Iran, despite now trying to insist that Gerald Flurry has fulfilled predictions related to that.
An obvious, and MAJOR, problem with PCG, documented in this article, is that PCG does not seem to know the difference between the holy and the profane. Although Gerald Flurry claims, "The PCG is the only Church that holds onto ALL of what Christ established through Mr. Armstrong", this is simply not true. PCG claims that Mystery of the Ages contains "God's inspired words," yet edits some out. PCG claims that Malachi's Message is the "little book" of Revelation 10. PCG added extra-biblical requirements for attending services. Remember what the Bible says, "For I testify to everyone who hears the words of the prophecy of this book: If anyone adds to these things, God will add to him the plagues that are written in this book" (Revelation 22:18).
Gerald Flurry has taken so many titles to himself that this should at least give his followers reason to pause and consider. He simply does not have the fruits for some of those titles and others are inappropriate for other reasons. Gerald Flurry is not God's prophet. Those interested in learning the truth about Christian prophets should study the article How To Determine If Someone is a True Prophet of God; here is a related link in Spanish/español: ¿Cómo determinar si alguien es un verdadero profeta de Dios? There is also a sermon-length video titled How to determine if someone is a true prophet of God. The most faithful COG group, is not PCG which mainly labels itself "Philadelphia," but the Continuing Church of God that leads the Philadelphia remnant.
PCG itself has massive organizational idolatry. So despite its insistance on knowing/keeping the law, its excessive reliance on non-biblical doctrines eliminates it from being Philadelphian.
Although it has been reported that "The doctrinal differences among the Churches of God are miniscule. You can't get a knifes edge between us on doctrines" (Dart, Ron. CEM Founder Talks About Bickering, Bridges, the Future. The Journal. July 31, 1999. p.6), this author does not believe that one can examine the teachings of groups, such as PCG, and come to that conclusion (nor apparently would Herbert Armstrong, for proof please check out some quotes from HWA on holding fast to doctrine).
It seems that PCG has admitted to making more major changes from HWA's teachings than any other group I am aware of that claims to be faithful to HWA's teachings.
Laodicean Warning to God's People you have read this far you are probably a current or former member of one of the Churches of God and may be interested in reading this warning article which was published in The Journal.
Three other articles of interest may be The Philadelphia Church Era, The Laodicean Church Era, and Are the Laodiceans the Modern Sadducees and Pharisees?
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B. Thiel. Teachings Unique to the Philadelphia Church of God. www.cogwriter.com 1999/2000/2001/2002/2003/2004/2005/2006/2007/2008/2009/2010/2011/2012/2013/2014 0226