Joel Hilliker created the cover. On the page with the table of contents is the following caption describing the cover.
The various biblical titles associated with an end-time prophet who comes on the scene just before Christ's return. (Joel Hilliker)And the titles in question are: Malachi, breaker, the knock, Joel, Habbakkuk, Elisha, Watchman, teacher of righteousness, lawgiver, king, Micah, new thing, ambassador, Zechariah, a voice, counselor.
In a previous post discussing Flurry's booklet, Micah, it has already been mentioned that Flurry in that booklet proclaimed himself to be the "breaker (a king or leader)" sent by God to lead WCG members out of Tkach's WCG and to join his PCG.
God sent a breaker (a king or leader) to lead the way so His faithful remnant sheep could know where God was working. God then gave His tiny remnant the little book—Malachi’s Message to God’s Church Today—so they could understand what had occurred and what He was commissioning the breaker and the little group to do (Rev. 10:1-10). (Gerald Flurry, Micah, 2000 version, p. 25.)It has also been mentioned a previous post how Flurry compared himself to Winston Churchill as a watchman warning the world about a coming catastrophe in the same way as Winston Churchill warned Britain about the peril of Nazi Germany.
Also it has been previous noted in a previous post about Joel that Flurry proclaimed himself to be a teacher of righteousness mentioned in Joel 2:15. However I was reading the current 2006 version so it is quite possible that particular section was added in a post-1999 version of that booklet.
And so with that we begin.
So there are actually three voices here in Isaiah 40. There is John the Baptist. There is Mr. Armstrong. And there is a voice that comes on the scene during the final era of God’s Church, the Laodicean era—a voice bringing God’s message to God’s own lukewarm Church. This third voice is the final one; two voices have already come and gone. This is the LAST VOICE before Jesus Christ returns! It is the voice that says, “BEHOLD YOUR GOD!” (p. 3.)These words seem to indicate that Flurry seems to believe that Christ will return very soon and that he himself is the last voice to announce God's will before Christ's return.
After that Flurry boasts that PCG is proclaiming its message even within the State of Israel.
Our message is reaching the cities of Judah (or Palestine) today. But I still expect that message to become more powerful. (p. 4.)It is now fourteen years since these words were written. Has PCG's increased their presence there either through their television presence or in terms of gaining members there?
Later on Flurry begins to talk about the British throne which he claims to be the direct continuation of the throne of David, a doctrine inherited from HWA who took that idea from British Israelism.
If God is going to give REVELATION about this throne, it will only come through a prophet or an apostle (Eph. 3:5). This man will have the responsibility to preach to the world the revealed prophecy about David’s throne—the key of David. Some man will always be there to tell people about this single greatest hope in the world. (p. 4.)As seen previous in a previous post concerning Flurry's booklet, Jeremiah and the Greatest Vision in the Bible, Flurry teaches that a minister in "God's Church" will always preach and declare that the British throne is the continuation of the throne of David and that (PCG's) Christ will return to sit on that specific throne.
Flurry boasts that PCG prints HWA's writings and then uses this fact to say this proves that his PCG is the sole legitimate continuation of HWA's WCG.
From the beginning, the PCG has been able to distribute The United States and Britain in Prophecy. It was the first booklet by Mr. Armstrong that we reprinted. In 1992, we printed the small 1945 version. We have distributed more than 50,000 copies of that booklet. Now we have printed the larger 1980 version. God says we have to continue that message. (p. 4.)Flurry goes on to say that unless a church publishes HWA's writings it is not a true church and has no connection with God.
How much do the Laodicean churches understand about this vision? They don’t teach it because THEY HAVE LOST IT. None of the Laodicean churches even want the God-inspired United States and Britain in Prophecy. It is about the greatest vision in the Bible, and when you lose it, you lose everything. Those who have it are Philadelphian; those who don’t are Laodicean. (p. 4.)In fact many of HWA's writings are freely available over the Internet. That is how I got to read while I was an Armstrongite.
Around here Flurry says that along with the covenant that the House of David would always have a monarch to continue David's royal line there was another covenant that there would always be a minister who would proclaim the truth regarding the British throne. Flurry says that HWA is this man, and he himself, Gerald Flurry, has succeeded HWA in this matter. This teaching has already been discussed in a previous post regarding Gerald Flurry's booklet, Jeremiah and the Greatest Vision in the Bible.
God’s one-man rule will be disputed more and more as time continues. As the spiritual war heats up, you will see God’s one-man rule called into question more than anything else in this Church. People will say that one-man rule is an evil thing! But that is only true if that one man isn’t being ruled by the great God who will sit on David’s throne! FOLLOWING GOD'S MAN IS ACTUALLY FOLLOWING GOD. God says we are cursed if we follow a mere man (Jer. 17:5). This work is not about a man. “That prophet” doesn’t even have a biblical name. This helps us to focus on God. (p. 5.)If "that prophet" does not have a biblical name what are the names written on the cover of this booklet then? PCG is all about Gerald Flurry. It is founded on the teaching that Flurry is the legitimate successor to HWA. Flurry appointed himself to this position after he was fired as a minister from Tkach's WCG. All those who disagree are vilified as Laodiceans who are doomed to be cast into the Great Tribulation.
Meditate on these verses in Jeremiah 33, in the context of those two covenants. THERE IS A SPIRITUAL THRONE OF DAVID IN GOD'S CHURCH TODAY. We experience a type of what it will be like over all the Earth once Christ returns. EVENTUALLY THE WHOLE WORLD WILL BE UNIFIED AROUND THAT THRONE! (p. 5.)Beginning here Flurry says that it is his duty to warn the British Royal family about their sins and if the royal family do not listen to Flurry nuclear disaster awaits them. Flurry also speculates that he will deliver a warning to Prince Charles after assuming the throne. (pp. 5-7).
I don’t yet know exactly how God will want this fulfilled. But remember, there is a connection between that man in the Levitical priesthood—that prophet—and the king or queen sitting upon the throne of David today. This verse specifically says “king.” Will it be King Charles? It will take great faith just to “go” and “speak” to that king. How direct will this message be? This isn’t a message that the British royalty will want to hear! (p. 5.)If the British royal family does not listen to Flurry nuclear disaster awaits them and the people of Britain.
If this “king” fails to heed, it will affect not only his throne, but all of Israel! Cities are to be uninhabited. Cities like London, Manchester, New York City, Chicago, Los Angeles and Dallas! These major cities are to be left like a desolate “wilderness”— an uninhabited plain, flattened and unpopulated. How terribly important our message is! This catastrophe can only be avoided if they hear that prophet. It is their only escape! (p. 6.)Flurry claims that only those who submit to his authority can escape the Great Tribulation. He made similar claims in his 1993 booklet, Lamentations and the End-Time Laodiceans.
If you remember history, you realize that the people of Israel should know about and be a part of that covenant. God does hold the British people specifically (and all Israel generally) accountable for scorning that throne and covenant today! (p. 6.)It is very ironic that an American like Gerald Flurry should say such things considering the fact that the United States of America was founded as an independent nation by waging an armed struggle to overthrow British rule. It is bizarre with this history that Flurry should speak of the British throne in this way.
Flurry fantasizes that London will become a tourist attraction after it is destroyed by the German led Europeans.
God gives special attention to “this great city” where David’s throne is. That has to be London, England! This scripture says many nations will come to see the total destruction of this city—it will be a bigger tourist attraction than the Coliseum of Rome or any other ruins on Earth. People will wonder, how did this happen? Imagine London being the number-one tourist attraction in Europe. And why? Because it is totally obliterated! Not one inhabitant left! People will ask why God punished London more than any other city until this time. That devastation will show they did not listen to our message—just as many other destroyed cities did not listen! (p. 6.)It is a bit hard to imagine that considering that London will only be destroyed for about three and a half years, according to Flurry. Also would not these tourists avoid London because they might be scared of radioactive fallout? Flurry so loves to cry out that the cities of America, Britain and the State of Israel will be destroyed by nuclear attacks.
If this king doesn’t repent, he is going to have the burial of an ass! (verses 18-19). What a tragic ending for the world’s most famous and important royalty. (p. 6.)Flurry really wants to his way with everyone, even the British royal family. Flurry also said this in his booklet, Jeremiah and the Greatest Vision of the Bible, as seen in a previous post.
Proclaiming the warning about this destruction is a hard job. It is not a message that guilty people want to hear. Yet no one can prevent this message from going out. God says it will happen. We must deliver the message to Israel, and to that king. How much can you support a man to deliver it? If you love God’s people, and you love this world as God does, you will do all you can to help proclaim this desperately needed message. (p. 6.)That is the real point of Flurry's grandstanding: he is trying to impress and overawe people into sending him and his PCG money. It is all about the money.
Did you know Gerald Flurry has "the most important job on Earth"? Well, that is what he says.
Jeremiah knew God would have to send someone to deliver His message in the end time. And that watchman must have the most important job on Earth, because we’re about to face the worst catastrophe ever, just before Christ returns! (p. 7.)And Flurry means himself when he talks of a "watchman". He is talking about himself.
Look at Europe today, and you see a boiling pot ready to spill over at any time! It was never boiling when Mr. Armstrong was around. What he warned about all those years is REALLY boiling today! (p. 7.)Flurry may now say that Europe was not "boiling" in HWA's time but HWA always claimed that Europe was "boiling" from the 1930s onwards. Flurry is manipulating PCG members' memory of what happened in HWA's time. Many WCG members thought Franz Josef Strauss would be the European dictator who would conquer America because of the constant barrage of fear mongering false prophesies that WCG's leaders told to them.
Yet, in some ways, we face a more intense warfare. So I also believe it is now time that God wants to magnify my office. I fulfill the office of "that prophet." (p. 8.)Finally Flurry just admits it simply and plainly. He says he is "that prophet." But he still goes on and on about how great and powerful he is for another 32 pages in order drum this idea into PCG members' head even more firmly.
Curiously in the booklet, Who is "That Prophet", which was released the year after this magazine issue, Flurry does not directly state that he is "That Prophet" in this section.
This part is entitled "A New Thing". As mentioned above "a new thing" is actually a euphemism for Flurry's one man rule over PCG ministers and members as shall be seen later on.
At the start of this part Flurry provides a most fascinating account of how he converted into a WCG member and then how he was cast out of WCG. Flurry very rarely discusses so much of his personal history. The fact that Flurry himself shares these details of his life here shows how important he regarded his declaration to be "That Prophet". Let's take a look. (For the record Flurry was born in 1935.)
I was 25 years old when God called me into His Church. My life was a mess. I had grown up in a family where my dad, who was an alcoholic, gave me a lot of severe discipline. Some of it I certainly needed, but many of my needs went unfulfilled. So when the time came, I was happy to move out on my own. I wanted to live the “exciting life” everyone in the world was living. Yet it wasn’t that way at all. Soon I felt life was hopeless and empty. I even started trying to prove whether or not there was a God. The more I tried to prove it, the more I thought God did not exist. This discouraged me even more."Mr. Armstrong was very stable"? What planet was Flurry living on? HWA was not stable at all. HWA went gallivanting around the world while leaving his followers neglected. HWA's anti-medicine superstition drove many WCG members to die because they were indoctrinated into not going to doctors or using medicines. HWA banned makeup because he disapproved of how his elder daughter looked one day inflicting so much misery upon the females members of WCG. HWA deposed his own son and shunned him for the rest of his life. And over the years he went back and forth on this issue. In 1980, thanks to David Robinson, it became public knowledge that HWA committed incest with his daughter for ten years (recently confirmed to have happened by his own niece his own niece and his own grandson). How can Flurry say HWA "was very stable"? Nothing could be further from the truth.
My mother had been called into the truth in 1957, and from that time until 1961 she tried endlessly to convert me. I rebelled against that and persecuted her for what she was doing. Whenever Herbert Armstrong came on the radio, she would turn up the volume so I could hear him, and that upset me. I was antagonistic against him and his message— that is, until my life had finally become so miserable and hopeless that I would do anything to change it, even if it meant getting interested in “mom’s religion.”
I eventually came into the Church and began to think of Mr. Armstrong as a father. My own father was lacking in many ways—he didn’t know how to teach me; no one had taught him. But I saw that Mr. Armstrong was very stable. Following him helped me stabilize my life and become stronger. (p. 9.)
I knew he [HWA] was God's man. (p. 9.)He was not.
Then Flurry talks about how HWA died he was stunned by this but thought the new leader, Tkach Sr., would just keep things going as before. At first Flurry thought everything was fine. He and his congregation even sent Tkach a letter and received Tkach as a visitor.
At that time, I pastored nearly 500 people in the Oklahoma City area, and we all signed a card for Mr. Tkach, showing our support and inviting him to the area. He decided to come, and I was thrilled. Here was the man who replaced Herbert W. Armstrong. I was truly supportive of him. (p. 9.)But as time went on Flurry gradually learned that things were changing in WCG.
Doctrinal changes began to come from headquarters, which were unsettling to me. I had seen nothing but stability and strength in the Church for all those years; even in the 1970s, when the Church went off track, Mr. Armstrong was there to set everything straight. This time, he wasn’t there to fix the problem. (p. 9.)So Flurry says he saw "nothing but stability and strength in" WCG until Tkach took over. What planet was he living in? It is very hard to take these words at face value. With the shenanigans regarding Garner Ted Armstrong's adulteries, the disappointment of 1972, the rise of Stanley Rader (who is never mentioned in this magazine issue), dissatisfaction of WCG members at HWA's visits to world leaders, the purging of Garner Ted Armstrong, C. Wayne Cole and those said to be "liberal" within WCG how can Flurry say he saw "nothing but stability and strength in" WCG?
But as we shall soon see there is a reason why Flurry claims WCG was so perfect before Tkach, it is to claim that his own PCG is so perfect and to justify his one man rule over PCG.
After this Flurry talks about how he and John Amos were fired in December 1989.
Then on December 7, 1989, the late John Amos (my assistant pastor) and I were fired from the Worldwide Church of God. We sat in the office of Joseph Tkach Jr. for about four hours. I was in emotional shock because of what was being said. It was obvious that Mr. Tkach Jr. seriously disagreed with what Mr. Armstrong had taught. This surprised me, because on some naïve level I believed that when I went to Pasadena, I might be able to contribute to helping God get the Church back on track with what He had revealed to me in Malachi’s Message. ...While talking about this Flurry says that he came to appreciate how desperately they needed HWA.
Leaving Mr. Tkach’s office that night, I was more discouraged than I had ever been in my life. I didn’t know what was going to happen. ...
My daughter, who was working at Pasadena headquarters at the time, was going to travel back with us. She had a little yellow pickup truck, and I let her take my airplane ticket so I could drive the truck home. The trip took three days. I needed those days to sort things out in my mind. As I drove, Church issues weighed so heavily on my mind that I sometimes would have to stop the truck and walk around. What in the world was happening to God’s Church? I wondered.
Soon thereafter, the Philadelphia Church of God began. God created a “new thing” again. We were a Church that wanted to make its work revolve around a man who was put there by God to do His work. It was to be God’s creation.
The Laodiceans don’t want God’s government. They don’t want “the evils of one-man rule,” as they have said many times. THOSE WORDS ARE STRAIGHT FROM THE MIND OF THE DEVIL! They don’t even discuss the blessings of one-man rule, when that man follows God. Think about it: Was the era of Herbert Armstrong evil? I know that Mr. Armstrong’s rule was wonderful. It almost drove me crazy after he died, when we no longer had that wonderful gift. Is one-man rule bad? I have to say my experience with one-man rule was absolutely splendid! I exalt the office, not the man. But Mr. Armstrong was a wonderful blessing all my adult life. I know. I experienced it. I don’t care what any carnal-minded rebel says. (p. 10.)Of course Flurry found HWA's one man rule over WCG "wonderful." Flurry was a WCG minister and enjoyed the benefits of working for HWA. The tithes and extra offerings of WCG members and co-workers supplied his income. He had the respect and even fear of the members he was in charge of in Paco, Washington (1973-85) and then in Oklahoma after he was transferred there. He had respect, power and authority over the WCG members in his congregation. He was over 500 members in Oklahoma City. And before he joined HWA's Radio Church of God he had none of those things. So of course he adored life in HWA's WCG. He was not one of the lowly members who gave and gave till it hurt.
And as for any of those lay members should dare to point out to Flurry that things were not so good for them or for others they are simply demonized as a "carnal-minded rebel".
After this Flurry extols the virtues of one man rule, calling it a "new thing" that must be supported or else one will be cast into the Great Tribulation. One man rule is here euphemistically referred to as a "new thing". This was previously discussed in a previous post about Flurry's booklet, Jeremiah and the Greatest Vision in the Bible.
Soon this new thing will rule the Earth. Thankfully, it will last forever. What a fabulous joy to be able to help Christ establish His rule over the Earth and the universe. We must be grounded in this concept if we are to be a part of what God is creating. Our ministers must be grounded in this concept today. It is God’s majestic creation, and humanly it revolves around that prophet. This is a deep, deep, deep concept that we must learn before we can ever be born into God’s family. (p. 10.)
God always builds His work around a man. ... The Church revolves around a man—Christ’s man. This you can and must prove to yourself. You are under a curse if you just follow a man (Jeremiah 17:5). It must be Christ’s man. This government of God is the hope of the world. This is how God would solve all the world’s problems, even today, if they would heed His message. It all revolves around finding God’s man! (pp. 10-11.)So why is one-man rule a new thing? Because under the Old Covenant submitting to the law was manditory and enforced as a law. But under the New Testament such compliance must be done willingly as an act of will. Flurry also states that submitting to PCG's authority will make you one of the elite within the God Family.
Why is this a “new thing”? The book of Jeremiah is prophecy for the end time. Anciently God established a letter-of-the-law government. Moses enforced it on Israel even when they didn’t like it. Today we have God’s Holy Spirit and must choose God’s government. Nobody is forced to submit. Most of God’s people have chosen to reject God’s one-man government. They often talk about “the evils of one-man government.” They refuse to let God’s Church revolve around a man. They must be plunged into the Tribulation, where God makes them choose His government or eternal death. VOLUNTARILY ACCEPTING GOD'S GOVERNMENT TODAY QUALIFIES US TO BE CHRIST'S BRIDE—THE HIGHEST POSITION MAN CAN ATTAIN IN GOD'S KINGDOM. (p. 11.)Flurry's claim that submitting to "God's government" seems quite disingenuous. If a PCG minister orders a member to no longer attend services or forbids them from associating with any PCG member how can this be done voluntarily? Such restrictions are forced upon people.
Then Flurry claims that some verses in Micah actually talk about Flurry specifically. He claims that Micah prophesied of Flurry as the "breaker". This teaching has already been mentioned in a previous post discussing Flurry's booklet, Micah: God's People Rise Up As His Enemy.
But calling himself the breaker is not enough for Flurry. Flurry even says that he is a "king" and "counselor".
But is this king, this counselor, God? Or, again, is God using a man? In fact, “king” and “counselor”apply to the office I hold. Remember, the woman, or the Church, must revolve around ONE MAN. The Laodiceans will not look to one man. They don’t get God’s counsel because they don’t have His family government. (p. 12.)So Flurry is a king he says.
I have to make “kingly” decisions sometimes. We all have to make certain decisions, because we will rule as kings and priests in the World Tomorrow. So if God’s very elect are kings and priests in embryo today, as God said He has made us (Revelation 1:6), then there must be a “king” over them. Is that bad? If God is leading him, it is the greatest blessing possible! I know, because I experienced it under Mr. Armstrong. (p. 12.)
And just to drive the point home at the end of this part Flurry says that one-man rule, which he calls a "new thing", to be the greatest thing for PCG.
God’s GREATEST GIFT to His Church is the “new thing”! (p. 12.)
And so Part 2 comes to an end. But there is still more in this magazine issue which shall be discussed in a future post.
To be continued...
[Update: October 20, 2014: This analysis is concluded in Part 2.]