Friday, July 25, 2014

Did HWA Foresee the Tkach Changes? (HWA's 1985 Pentecost Sermon)

When I first encountered PCG after reading about them on Bob Thiel's website (before he made himself the unordained, self appointed false prophet) I was taken aback when I read Thiel mentioning that PCG taught that one of their booklets, Malachi's Message, is the Little Book in Revelation 10.

Intrigued I went to PCG's website and saw they had a booklet entitled The Little Book. To me the idea seemed so absurd I decided if they taught this I would not take PCG seriously and instead give my allegiance to LCG. It took a long time but finally the booklet came. I read it. It was written by Gerald Flurry. And indeed it did teach that this Malachi's Message is the Little Book of Revelation 10.

So naturally I decided to ignore PCG and give my allegiance to LCG. (If only I made the same decision in regards to LCG as well. It would be years before I finally realized LCG and Herbert Armstrong were not who they said they were and got myself mentally out of that nonsense.)

While reading this booklet entitled The Little Book I came upon this statement by Gerald Flurry.
Physical marriage is a type of our marriage to Christ. Physical family is a type of the God Family--into which we shall enter. THIS IS THE MISSING DIMENSION IN EDUCATION, OR KNOWLEDGE. But as Mr. Armstrong said to his own Church on Pentecost in 1985, "most of you just don't get it"! (Gerald Flurry, The Little Book, 1995, p. 12.)  
Reading it I interpreted these words as a statement by Gerald Flurry saying that HWA miraculously foresaw the Tkach changes before his death.

Is that really the case?

Recently I found this sermon online. I alluded to it when writing about Gerald Flurry's booklet, From the Beginning. This is what I wrote in that post.
Then Flurry quotes from a sermon by HWA. He loves to bring up this sermon. Flurry portrays this sermon as being a prescient warning from HWA that something might go wrong after his death. Flurry portrays this as the result of remarkable foresight. He had previously mentioned it in his booklet, The Little Book. Is that really the case? Here is his quote.

Mr. Armstrong’s made this very strong, condemning statement in his sermon on Pentecost, May 26, 1985—a few months before he died: “Why is this Church the firstfruits of God’s harvest for His Kingdom?... Brethren I want to say to you, I think that most of you don’t understand that at all. I think that most of you think it merely means that God chose us to get into the Kingdom first and then they’ll come in later. That is not the answer at all. And I perceive that even our ministers, when they preach, take it for granted that the whole goal is to get us into the Kingdom of God and that’s all we’re called for now and for no other purpose—but we’ll get in ahead of the others.... There is a reason why we’re the firstfruits! And I wish I could drive that home. But I fear that MOST OF YOU JUST DON’T GET IT. YOU DON’T UNDERSTAND IT AT ALL. WHY? WHY ARE WE THE FIRSTFRUITS? I’m going to try to make it plain this afternoon and STILL I THINK YOU WON’T GET IT.”  
How terribly prophetic those words have proven to be! Mr. Armstrong perceived that many ministers and members did not understand this precious truth. We can’t rule with Christ if we don’t even understand His family government. (pp. 26-27.)
Reading that quote it seems to me that HWA is not complaining that a great apostasy is about to be unleashed as Flurry seem to imply here and elsewhere. Rather HWA seems to be discussing a fine point of his doctrine concerning why WCG members are supposedly called to the truth earlier then the vast majority of humanity.

You can read or listen to HWA's sermon for yourself online. Is it really what Flurry portrayed here?
As seen above I included a link to that sermon in it but I had not listened to it for myself. Until now.

As I suspected above HWA's sermon is not a premonition predicting the Tkach changes as Flurry insinuated it was in The Little Book and, more specifically, From the Beginning. It is not that at all.

Instead, as I suspected after reading From the Beginning, HWA discusses his doctrine that church members are called first in order to teach all the rest of humanity to become God beings after the return of Christ. For some reason he feels that WCG members and ministers have misunderstood this particular teaching of his. HWA complains that members and even ministers think it is simply random, that one is called into the church and the rest come in later. He says it is not like that. Rather church members are called first in order to expand the God Family so that the rest will be properly called and born into the God Family. That is what HWA was talking about.

At one point in the sermon (55 minutes) he talks about a home for the disadvantaged in Amman, Jordan. He is told that the children housed are only a small part of those so disadvantaged. HWA asks why not make many other such houses? HWA is told that this is not possible as it is necessary to train up teachers who will be able to staff any such newly established houses. HWA says that it is necessary for the church members to be glorified first and only then can the rest of humanity be taught how to become immortal God beings.

How is HWA not belittling God in this teaching? Why does HWA limit God's power in saying that He needs to make more God Family members to convert the rest of humanity? What sort of God is HWA talking about here?

This sermon is most certainly not a premonition that the Tkach changes were just around the corner. HWA was talking about one specific doctrine of his. HWA was complaining that members and ministers had misunderstood one particular doctrine.

So this sermon is not what Gerald Flurry portrays it as.

Once again Gerald Flurry has been caught portraying things contrary to what actually happened. How can anyone trust him?

Of course Gerald Flurry also plagiarized The Letter to Laodicea by Jules Dervaes (written December 1986-January 1988) to write Malachi's Message. Dervaes' writing was sent to 237 WCG ministers including Gerald Flurry and John Amos. In fact on September 26, 1990 Jules Dervaes sent a letter to Gerald Flurry in which he denounces Malachi's Message as "a direct and clear plagiarism" of his work. Even this most important part of the legend of Gerald Flurry is found to be a far lesser thing then Flurry would have us believe.


Sermon Notes

Here are some notes I took of this sermon as I was listening to it. At the start HWA complains that members and even ministers do not get it. He then says he will try to explain it. But then he goes on about the creation of the Earth that was populated by Angels until Lucifer's rebellion which turned him into Satan, and this rebellion causes God to create humans in order to produce new members of the God Family. What HWA says is essentially the same as what he said in his last book Mystery of the Ages, which he was working on at the time. So I did nit bother with any notes until around 44 minutes into the sermon. (This is also the point where he starts shouting frequently. He does that during the rest of this sermon.)

We begin.

Shouts. He says that Jesus started a school, namely his twelve disciples. (44)

Mocks a man who said he gave Jesus his heart. (48)

Shouts. (52)

Shouts. That church members are called to teach humanity and all the future members of the God Family. (54-55)

Talks about home for disabled children in Amman, Jordan funded by the Ambassador International Cultural Foundation. (55-56)

Called to become teachers. (56-57)

Complains that WCG members and ministers do not understand that church members are called to become teachers of those who are called to be born into the God Family after Christ's return. (57-58)

You wonder why you can't convert your family and friends. I wonder myself. (59-60)

(One hour.)

If not [preparing to be rulers,] you are wasting your time. Maybe God has not called you yet. Shouts. (5)

Shouts Doers. (7)

States that he is not trying to convert world leaders because they have not yet been called to understanding by God. (15)

Criticizes some WCG ministers for speaking as though he was trying to convert the world leaders he visits. (16)

End of sermon notes.

The point of that sermon was to say that church members are called now to teach all those who are called after Christ's return how to become immortal God beings in the same way WCG church members were doing then. It is not some miraculous premonition about the Tkach changes before its time.

1 comment:

  1. Herbert Armstrong didn't get that the United States and British Commonwealth are not lost tribes of Israel.

    Herbert Armstrong didn't get that there is absolutely no unbroken line of Feast keeping, Sabbath keeping Christians from the time of the Apostles in the First Century A.D.

    Herbert Armstrong didn't get it that there are no church eras.

    Herbert Armstrong didn't get it that he was a false prophet.

    Herbert Armstrong didn't get it that it was wrong to commit incest with his daughter for 10 years as he started his ministry.

    Herbert Armstrong didn't get it that he exhibited the works of the flesh and no fruit of the Spirit.

    Herbert Armstrong didn't get it that he was narcissistic.

    Herbert Armstrong didn't get it that he set up a Corporate Business based religion that could do nothing but splinter into fragments.

    Herbert Armstrong didn't get it that his remarriage was a mistake from the beginning and that it was wrong to spend $5 million of tithe dollars for the divorce settlement.

    He didn't get it! He just didn't get it!

    And if he didn't get that, you can be sure that he didn't get that Tkrap was a psychopath who was looking to destroy what Armstrong built.

    I'm not sure how to feel about that.

    On one hand, it was dirty and underhanded.

    On the other hand, it was what I asked for in prayer -- that Tkach would admit that Armstrong was completely wrong and close the doors on the Worldwide Church of God.

    Be careful what you ask for.

    I am... now....

    And what's next with Flurry? Is he going to accuse Tkach of burning kittens? Oh the humanity! Oh the outrage! Oh the hyperbole!

    [Hint: Don't allow your cat around these match carrying Republican Dog owners of the Cult of Herbert Armstrong Mafia. Just sayin'. And beware when you hear them say, "Here kitty, here kitty, kitty, kitty"!]