Friday, December 12, 2014

Reading PCG's Booklet, The Key of David

Let us now read Gerald Flurry's booklet, The Key of David.

It is now written in this booklet that it was first printed in 2002. This is somewhat misleading. The Key of David booklet was originally made early in PCG's existence sometime around 1996 or earlier but at present I am unaware of when it was printed. The original booklet was composed of  four chapters, three of which were written by Gerald Flurry, the other (Chapter 2) by Wilbur Malone. Malone died in 2005 and his name is no longer mentioned in this booklet. Whatever happened a new version of this booklet was released in 2002, possibly after drastic revisions. Afterwards it was reprinted in 2005, 2010 and 2011.

Considering that PCG's TV show is entitled The Key of David, I suspect this booklet will be most revealing. Let us see what Flurry has to say.

For this post I am reading through the current 2011 version of this booklet. You can read this booklet on their website.

The writing reads:
The Key of David
It Unlocks the Whole Universe!

Chapter 1
Mr. Armstrong did continue to associate with that church for a few more years, but he never became a member. (p. 3.)
This is total nonsense. HWA was a member of the Church of God Seventh Day. He was even a paid minister of theirs. It is amazing that despite the documented which proves otherwise Flurry is still parroting HWA's deceptive claim that he was never a member of the Church of God Seventh Day.
Sadly, the leader did not accept the correction. We should all consider the eternal consequences!
The leader in question, Andrew Dugger, lived long after these events.
When you talk about the key of David, you’re talking about a rulership opportunity that will never come again to any of God’s people. God doesn’t make this extraordinary promise to those in Sardis, or to the Laodiceans. But to the Philadelphians, who have this key, God says, “Him that [conquers] will I make a pillar in the temple of my God, and he shall go no more out …” (Revelation 3:12). These blessed individuals will be at headquarters in Jerusalem throughout eternity! (p. 5.)
That's new. Here Flurry is saying only the Philadelphian era can become Christ's bride, not the Sardis era (Church of God Seventh Day) or the Laodicean era (any COG group that does not join PCG to pay tithes to Flurry and Co.).

In the context of Flurry's teachings, "Christ's bride" is an elite rank within the God Family that is not available to those who are born into the God Family after Christ's return. Only PCG members have this opportunity to be born into such a high rank, according to Flurry.
It is hard to fathom the level of royalty God’s Philadelphians truly are. God has given them knowledge He never gave to the other eras of His Church because He is specifically training His headquarters personnel who will teach the key of David vision to the world. (p. 8.)
Note how Flurry here claims that PCG has more understanding and divine revelation then even the Apostles. Flurry boasts that PCG is greater then the Apostles.
God’s Church today has members in nations all over the world—because we are going to teach the whole world! (p. 12.)
PCG does has members all over the world. There are members in Europe, the Philippines, South Africa, Australia, New Zealand, the Caribbean. But they only number about 5000 it would seem. Also it is well known that UCG and LCG (and quite possibly COGWA) are larger then PCG.

Chapter 2
The key of David vision is all about God’s family government. (p. 18.)
But according to Flurry one can only submit to God's family government by joining PCG. In other words the key of David vision is simply a slogan that tells people that they must join PCG to gain salvation and the escape the Great Tribulation.
Those members who do not deny God’s government are Philadelphians, in both the Philadelphian and Laodicean eras. The Philadelphians are the only members of God’s Church who submit to His government, or rule. That is the major characteristic that sets the Philadelphians apart as God’s very elect. (p. 18.)
What Flurry really means is that one must join PCG to be a Philadelphian. It is Flurry's assertion that only PCG members are Philadelphians who will escape to the Place of Safety. But being honest about this teaching sounds rather self serving, so Flurry writes in this spiritual sounding manner to say one must join PCG to escape the Great Tribulation in a way that seems sober minded and unselfish. In other words this is largely loaded language.
The end-time Philadelphians have more truth than any other Church ever. They are going to work at headquarters in the World Tomorrow (verse 12). They will be better equipped to teach God’s complete vision than any other group. They probably will have more revealed knowledge than all the other Church eras combined. (p. 20.)
Again Flurry claims he and his PCG are greater then any other church, even that of the Apostles described in the New Testament.
Today, there is only one church that fully supports the The [sic] United States and Britain in Prophecy as written by Mr. Armstrong: the Philadelphia Church! One Laodicean Church has its own version, which was not inspired by God. It falls far short of the revealed version published by Mr. Armstrong. (p. 21.)
Actually there are other COG groups that provide that booklet and many others online.

Which other COG group ("Laodicean Church") is Flurry talking about here? Most likely he is referring to Global Church of God, Living Church of God or the United Church of God. But beyond that I cannot be certain.
We must realize that the history and prophecy concerning David’s throne is the essence of Christ’s gospel message, with a weighty emphasis on the God Family royalty. The most royal of all those positions will be given to the firstfruits—those called and chosen before Christ’s Second Coming. (p. 23.)
Even during my time as a follower of LCG I never heard them or any other COG person writing of David's throne in such a way. We are about to see another distinctive feature of Flurry's reinterpretation of HWA's doctrines and teachings.
It doesn’t take a scholar to figure out who truly is continuing in the traditions of Mr. Armstrong. All one needs to do is examine the magazines and other printed materials of the various groups. Only one has consistently stayed true to what Mr. Armstrong has taught—the Philadelphia Church of God. Only we have the daily, or continual, spiritual sacrifice. (pp. 24-25.)
If this is true then why has PCG altered HWA's writings? Clearly HWA's writings are not good enough for Flurry and Co.
We won a bitter six-year court battle with Satan the devil. We have had to fight and conquer Satan in many battles. With God’s very elect, that is a way of life. (p. 25.)
PCG did not win the court case against WCG. PCG actually lost the case. But the post-trial negotiations went very well for PCG and they got the copyrights after paying $3 million to WCG for them. That is not a victory. That is a financial transaction. But PCG constantly tries to obscure the facts about it.
The key of David unlocks everything in the Bible, beginning with the third of the Bible that is prophecy. If you lose that, you become blind and forsake God. (p. 26.)
 Here Flurry is crudely threatening the eternal lives of his readers.

Chapter 3

In this chapter Flurry boasts how there is a sign proving which church is the one, true church. Of course Flurry wants to persuade the reader that this distinction belongs to the church he leads, namely the Philadelphia Church of God.

Chapter 4
God wants to teach us family government. One man should always head the physical family. This is the kind of family government that will be in force for eternity! God will not use collegial government. He will not use a republic. He will not use a democracy. He will use family government. God the Father will rule over His Family forever. And that Family will rule the universe forever. (p. 39.)
Note the reference to "collegial government." This is a (now rather out of date) reference to Roderick C. Meredith trying to have his Global Church of God operate with a collegial government in which the leader (Meredith) did not quite have absolute power. However by 1998 this arrangement fell apart and Meredith engineered a schism in which he left Global and took about 80% of members with him to start up another COG splinter group which he could more firmly control, namely the Living Church of God. After that Meredith reverted back to one man rule but he has made sure to be somewhat less blunt about this state of affairs to LCG members then was the case in the latter days of HWA's WCG.
Jesus Christ was God’s beloved Son. God the Father and Jesus Christ shared a perfect family-type relationship before Christ became a man. And they shared a perfect father-son relationship when Jesus lived on Earth as a human. (p. 39.) 
I thought Stephen Flurry said they did not have a family relationship until the Word was conceived in the womb of the Virgin Mary. That there was no God Family until that moment. At least that is what he seems to say in his booklet, God is a Family, which was discussed in a previous post.
Jesus Christ is going to be the King of the firstfruits, who will become kings under Him. He will be Lord of the firstfruit lords. Can we envision Jesus Christ and the firstfruits ruling on the throne of David? (p. 40.)
In a sense "firstfruits" is the same as "Christ's bride" and "Philadelphians". It is the promise of Flurry and HWA before him that church members will be resurrected as immortal God beings who, not only will they be as fully God as God is God, but they will outrank all other immortal God beings who will be born into the God Family after Christ's return. They will be the children of Christ and "Christ's bride" and can never hope to attain the same level of glory as "Christ's bride". This idea that church members will be part of the very elite of the God Family, a sort of super-God Family, is a very old idea. I once listened to a sermon by Richard Armstrong where he stated the following concerning the people who get the opportunity to become immortal God beings after Christ's return.
But they won't have the same opportunity for position that you have because now you now have a chance to prepare in helping and teaching them later on. You see. They are still going to have a lot to overcome but they won't ever attain to the same position that any of us could in the government of God. And that's a fact.  (Richard Armstrong, October 13, 1957.)
So we see this idea that church members will be some sort of elite God Family within the wider God Family was already firmly established as early as 1957. In the world of the COGs this is an old idea.
In the World Tomorrow, the firstfruits will be ruling with Jesus Christ as kings and lords—ruling both Church and state. We will rule it all! (p. 40.)
Some wonder why PCG members continue to stay despite the numerous problems there. It is partly because they listen to statements like this and actually believe them, or at least believe them enough to remain in PCG. They are told that they are special and great and important, but only if they stay in PCG. If one leaves then, so PCG's leaders tell them, they will be forsaken by God, cast into the Great Tribulation which supposedly will happen any moment now as may be seen in the following words.
In the near future, at Christ’s return, a momentous occasion will occur. ... Before God can build, He must destroy. That is what modern business people would call creative destruction. After punishing Israel in the Tribulation, God plans to reunite all of Israel into one powerful nation. The physical nations of Israel are extremely divided today. In fact, most nations of Israel have lost their identity. (p. 40.)
So you dream of seeing America and Britain being destroyed? You think the Great Tribulation is some sort of "creative destruction"? What madness. Are these the words of a man in touch with reality?

Chapter 5

This chapter discusses the life of Zadok as recounted in the Bible. Here Flurry praises Zadok as a praiseworthy example of loyalty to God's man because he remained loyal to King David all his life even though many others . The implication being that the reader should remain loyal to PCG till the very end. Or else.

This chapter first appeared as a two part article in The Philadelphia Trumpet (November 1993 and December 1993). Also Dennis Leap is credited as a co-author in the original articles but there is no credit to Leap given in this booklet. Dennis Leap has been whitewashed out of this article.
At Solomon’s coronation all the people cheered, “God save King Solomon!” When Elizabeth II was crowned queen all the people cheered, “God save the queen!” King Solomon was anointed with oil, in a religious ceremony, setting him apart in the eyes of God. So was Queen Elizabeth. (p. 48.)
Queen Elizabeth was anointed that way largely because many years ago Britain become Christian and they took those customs from the Bible. It does not prove any ancestral link as Flurry implies in this booklet.
Some in Britain might know that the royal family’s ancestry can be traced all the way back to King David. But it is not intellectually fashionable to proclaim that today. (p. 48.)
The reason "it is not intellectually fashionable" to say such things is because it is not true. The British and American people are not descended from the Jews. DNA evidence shows conclusively that the British and Americans are not descended from the Jews.

Also the British speak English, an Indo-European language, while the Jews of Biblical times spoke Hebrew, a Hamito-Semitic language completely unrelated to English or any other Indo-European language. Herman Hoeh obscured this problem by saying the Assyrians spoke an Indo-European language. That is nonsense. Also the Indo-European Hittites were not Assyrian as Hoeh inaccurately claimed. The Assyrians spoke the Assyrian language which is a now extinct Hamito-Semitic language related to Hebrew. More on this topic may be seen in a previous post.
Only the PCG teaches that God’s government is from the top down. God’s government could never be democratic! (p. 56.)
Many COG groups practice one man rule just as Flurry does. This is highly misleading nonsense. Very often Flurry insists the other COG groups are not worth following by claiming they do not have God's government, more specifically that they have abandoned the proper form of government within the church which Flurry calls "God's government", which Flurry defines as "one-man rule" in Isaiah's End-Time Vision and From the Beginning. It is important to realize that this is not true. In fact many of the other COG groups have one man rule but one would not know that if he or she only read Flurry's writings. Why does Flurry say untrue things?
Our supreme test is to “keep” all that God revealed through Mr. Armstrong and remain loyal to the leadership God is using today. If we are true sons of Zadok, then we will remain loyal to God’s truth. We will know which men are being led by God. (p. 56.)
How can Flurry claim to follow "all that God revealed through Mr. Armstrong" when PCG has altered HWA's writings.  

It is also to be noted that in this section Flurry uses a Scripture from Ezekiel to say that PCG members will be glorified as the "sons of Zadok" for staying loyal to PCG when so many other WCG members did not choose to follow Flurry.
God loves Zadok for that loyalty—so much, in fact, that He labels the faithful 5 percent in the last hour as “sons of Zadok ”! That is the title of God’s highest nobility in the last era of God’s Church! Sons of Zadok is just another way of saying the Philadelphians today. (p. 57.)
Once again Flurry is cultivating a sense of importance and elitism among PCG members for staying within PCG. Flurry tells them that staying in PCG is proof that they are close to God and among the greatest of humanity in the entire world. What a way to get people to pay three tithes and extra offerings to PCG.
How could we possibly get wrapped up in material things in this dying world—or be ambitious for ourselves—if we keep this glorious vision in mind? (p. 57.)
It is talk like this that produces fanatics.
Look again at Ezekiel 40:46. This “altar” is referring to the ministry in the World Tomorrow—the sons of Levi, or ministers, who will not be sitting on David’s headquarters throne. God’s faithful elect today will be given charge over those ministers. We will come near to God, receive our instructions directly from Him, and carry those instructions out—directing operations from headquarters throughout the universe and for eternity! (p. 57.)
To me this sounds very similar to the rationale behind praying to saints as practiced by Catholics.
How is this any different from the Catholic veneration of the saints?

Chapter 6
Since the time that was written, English officials have removed the stone underneath the old coronation chair, giving it to Scotland. Why? Because England has degenerated in its faith. The once-great British Empire has lost the knowledge of its identity as Ephraim, one of the most important tribes of Israel. (p. 60.)
Or maybe London just wanted to keep the people of Scotland happy. Seriously, handing over a valued historical artifact is some sort of moral failing? What a strange thing to say.
The whole world is going to have to come to understand what this stone is all about! It really does have to do with surviving as a nation or as a Church or as an individual. That stone ought to give you a special relationship with God. It isn’t today in Israel like it should, but it certainly should and it could. (p. 62.)
The Stone of Destiny gives one a special relationship with God. How? It's a stone.

How is this not idolatry?
This verse also shows a sacred promise from God to Jacob that his family would include two great nations in the end time. This promise is made in the context of a stone. Or you could say in the context of God’s house (Genesis 28:18, 22). (p. 63.)
The stone is God's house? Strange. I thought you said He lived somewhere up in the north.
What a stone of destiny! Do you really comprehend what this stone means? (p. 65.)
Why are you trying to make people impressed with a stone. It is what people have done with that stone that makes it historically important. Not the stone itself.
The offspring of these two young boys were to assume great wealth and power. Who could deny that this refers to the United States and Great Britain? (p. 65.)
Anyone who knows that British Israelism is untrue.
As we have said, all truly converted Christians become Jews spiritually! If you are converted, then as far as God is concerned, you are a Jew! If you are in God’s Church, you are a Jew! ...

“[S]alvation is of the Jews.” Circumcision is of the heart. And if you want to face the truth, Jews are sitting on the throne in England. Physical Jews have always sat on that throne for a very symbolic reason. If we are going to have a future position of rulership with Christ, then we must become spiritual Jews! ...

All of us must face the fact that prior to our conversion, we were spiritual Gentiles. We were outside of God’s promises. But now, as Paul stated, “ye are no more strangers and foreigners, but fellowcitizens with the saints, and of the household of God” (verse 19). (pp. 66-67.)
Then why ban interracial marriage among "spiritual Jews" (PCG members)?
After the king was crowned, the people said, “God save the king”! That sounds very English! Or should we say Jewish? It is a very biblical statement! Remember, this famous statement is made in the presence of the pillar stone.
Of course it sounds English. You are quoting from the King James Version which is a revision dating from the 1760s (not 1611 as is often assumed). So of course it sounds English. It is a translation into English. The whole point of translating the Bible is to make it sound like the translated language, in this case English.
They were weary of the horrible times. They realized they had to get back to their roots—back to the religion and promises associated with Jacob’s pillar stone. If they did this, they knew God would back the nation. (p. 68.)
Once again reverence for a stone is equated with moral strength. What madness!
Is the work Jesus Christ is doing through Jacob’s stone, David’s throne and Mr. Armstrong marvelous in our sight? It should and must be if we are going to make it into the Kingdom of God. (pp. 72-73.)
You must be very impressed and awe inspired by PCG or else you will go to the Lake of Fire. That is the real message delivered here from Flurry.

Chapter 7
We know England is going to lose its king and queen. The royal family will be killed or taken into captivity. What will happen to that stone in the Tribulation?

What if God worked out a way for the very elect to obtain possession of that stone just prior to the return of Jesus Christ? This is what He did in Jeremiah’s time. God never let the stone fall into the hands of the Gentiles in the time of Jeremiah.

We don’t really know the immediate future of that stone and throne. But for over 25 centuries, the kings of Israel, Ireland, Scotland and England have been crowned on that stone. And yet nearly all of the people in Britain and the United States don’t know this precious history! (p. 75.)
England does not have a king. Has not since 1953.

My word! Now Flurry is claiming the British royal family is going to be treated very badly during the Great Tribulation.
Will the preliminary turmoil open a way for our escape to a place of protection? (p. 77.)
Once again Flurry dangles the carrot of a place of safety to escape the supposed catastrophe that HWA and his imitators have been insisting will happen just a few years from now continuously since the 1930s.
So there will be a tabernacle over there in the Middle East, in the midst of a lot of trouble. It is there for an important reason. In this context, it is clearly where God is. If it’s the very elect tabernacle, God is right there leading His people. You can see that by the way God is talking to Moab here—and I have a strong feeling that the people of Moab are going to obey! (p. 78.)
Here Flurry is speculating that the Kingdom of Jordan will welcome PCG members with open arms.
Do you suppose God might also get us involved with that stone? Does it seem illogical that God would use His people, who have the key of David and are about to sit on the throne of David, to get that stone, which is a symbol of that throne and of Christ? Certainly not to me. (p. 79.)
And so Flurry speculates that somehow PCG will acquire the Stone of Destiny and hide it for safe keeping in the place of safety (Petra, Jordan) during the Great Tribulation in order to hand it over to the glorified Christ. Yet another tall tale to keep staying in PCG look attractive to the lay members to distract them from the many problems within PCG.
Mr. Armstrong had to establish God’s law and government. He was the Elijah who restored all things just before Christ’s return. I have continued the same law and government that he taught. No other church can truthfully make that claim! (p. 81.)
Then why did PCG change HWA's words in at least three of his writings that PCG now publishes? PCG has made numerous doctrinal changes to what was taught under HWA.
Why would God be revealing such details now? We must be getting awfully close to the fulfillment of these prophecies! (p. 81.)
God did not reveal these details. Flurry proclaimed himself to be the one man through whom God works in the world. Flurry unveils these new doctrines of his as "new revelation"and because he teaches that God cannot be found outside of PCG the members just take it and accept thinking they will be damned with the Great Tribulation if they leave or are kicked out of PCG.
It is prophesying of a time when Britain loses the stone. Is this an indirect way of God saying that the first and last overturns are transported by God’s own leaders? It won’t be long until we know for sure. (pp. 82-83.)
This is yet another new doctrine Flurry has unleashed upon the PCG members. As far as I know HWA has never taught that the Stone of Destiny would be overturned again during the Great Tribulation. As far as I know HWA did not discuss the fate of the British royal family in specific detail.

Chapter 8
So we have prophecies about Israel from the beginning to the end. The key of David vision has been spoken about for thousands of years. And we will be speaking about it forever. (p. 84.)
Nonsense.
Even more chilling is this fact: As much as Satan hates physical Jews, we must never forget that Satan’s hatred runs much deeper for spiritual Jews. Realize that Satan is going to go after spiritual Jews most of all! (p. 88.)
Flurry is simply trying to create an induced phobia among his followers in order to distract them from the problems within PCG. Take like this is designed to make PCG members fearful of an enemy outside of PCG in order to distract them from the problems within PCG.
In verse 9, we see that while Philadelphia was doing its great work, the synagogue of Satan was growing within its ranks. God has revealed that this synagogue of Satan was the Laodicean era in embryo. What is truly amazing about this new revelation is that God did not give it to us until the Laodicean era was already born. There is an important reason why. This astounding revelation is vital for God’s true Church today, in the Laodicean era. (p. 89.)
This is yet another change in doctrine that Flurry has made. As far as I can tell HWA never taught that the Laodiceans were somehow connected to the Synagogue of Satan. He taught that was the embryonic Catholic Church.  
God will force the lying Jews, today’s Laodiceans, to admit that Mr. Armstrong was right. He will make them admit that the Philadelphia Church was right. He will force them to know He loved Mr. Armstrong and the PCG.

Do we doubt God will do this? Christ says, “I will make ….” This is a very personal statement. If they refuse to admit Mr. Armstrong was right—if they refuse to admit the PCG is right and that God loved Mr. Armstrong and loves us, then there will not be any Family of God for them. How will God force them to do this? Through the terrors of the Tribulation. It would be far better for them to repent and admit this today, which is why warning the Laodiceans is a large part of our work. (p. 90.)
Join PCG or be damned in the Great Tribulation. That is what Flurry is essentially saying here.
Just look at the British royal family. It has the royal Jewish heritage of King David himself. But today the monarchy has been so battered, bruised and beaten, it will never recover the dignity it once had. The walls of the palace have been riddled with scandal. Who has been the driving force behind the defamation of the royal family? Satan the devil. He desires to bring as much indignity to that throne as he can. Do we realize that the British royalty could stop all of the gross degeneration and its painful consequences? All they would have to do is be guided by God’s spiritual Jews. (p. 91.)
The British royal family is being defamed by Satan the devil. The answer to their troubles is to meekly submit to what PCG's leaders say. "God's spiritual Jews" is this instance is just PCG jargon meaning PCG, or more specifically PCG's leaders. The 1% in PCG, not the 99%.
So where you find all of God’s truth that was revealed to Herbert Armstrong, you will find the spiritual Jews! (p. 94.)
HWA taught that New Testament prophets had no administrative power over lay members. PCG changed this doctrine by proclaiming Gerald Flurry to be That Prophet.

Also HWA taught many teachings regarding prophetic events that can no longer be taught. So it is impossible to teach everything HWA taught.
Through faith the spiritual Jews knew precisely why they were in a court battle, fighting for God’s truth. The Laodiceans did not fight for God’s truth because Christ’s faith is not in them! That is why He is on the outside knocking on their door (Revelation 3:20). (p. 95.)
Do they know why they ended up paying $3 million to Tkach's WCG?
Preserving God’s oracles requires great spiritual depth. It requires a spiritual Jew. Only the spiritual Jews have the faith of God. (p. 95.)
In HWA's WCG "preserving God's oracles" described how the Holy Bible was preserved by the Jews and the Greeks to be read today. It is yet another change Flurry makes to say that this applies to PCG itself.

Chapter 9
Many have trouble believing the full extent of this vision. But realize: The key of David is the only true vision of the future! (p. 97.)
More cultic, black and white thinking.
We must overcome Satan as Christ overcame him. We do this by supporting the messenger and the message—by doing God’s Work. (p. 97.)
And so overcoming Satan is reinterpreted to mean pay three tithes and extra offerings to PCG. How convenient for Gerald Flurry and his collaborators.
The key of David vision contains a message that is so beautiful that only a very sick mind would hate the message. (p. 98.)
And so anyone who happens to disagree with Flurry is demonized as having "a very sick mind" in order to make PCG members think there is no legitimate reason to disagree with Flurry.
Now is the greatest moment in the history of the Church. We have more truth than any Church era has ever had, and Christ is about to return! (pp. 98-99.)
Then why call yourselves Christians?
Revelation 12:3 reveals that Satan has ruled over every resurrection of the Holy Roman Empire. The final resurrection is now almost fully formed. (p. 101.)
Nonsense. HWA and his followers have been saying this ceaselessly regardless of the facts since the 1930s. It is nonsense.
We must never underestimate Satan’s hatred for God’s Church. He rabidly hates each member! He hated Christ. He wanted desperately to destroy Him. Should Christ’s Church expect anything less? (p. 101.)
Flurry is just trying to create an induced phobia in his followers to make them dependent upon him and his PCG.
Revelation 12:14 is referring to the same woman as verse 1— the one with a crown of 12 stars. What gives her the ability to withstand Satan the devil? She sees the crown of 12 stars. She sees the throne of David ruling over the tribes of Israel. Her mind is focused on the key of David vision. She is so inspired by the magnitude of the vision, nothing can dissuade her. Our individual lives must be totally wrapped up in this vision, or there will be no place of safety for us. (pp. 102-103.)
In other words do what PCG says and pay the three tithes and extra offerings.
Notice, this power is comprised of 10 crowns. God’s Church is the greatest threat to this political power, because we are going to take those crowns away. (p. 103.)
This is just a bizarre fantasy based on HWA's false prophesies. It also shows another reason why PCG members stay despite the problems within it. At least some of them think they are doing the right thing. They think the best way to combat the (non-existent) European Beast Power is to be within PCG, the only place that knows the truth about it. Of course most of the other COG groups also teach this very same doctrine but Flurry tries very hard to keep PCG members separated from the other COG groups.

Chapter 10
What a vision! God is going to bring peace to the cosmos forever—and He is going to administer that peace from the throne of David.

Notice: The government, administered from that throne, is what brings the peace. There will never be peace on Earth, or anywhere else, unless it is administered from David’s throne.

This scripture shows that there will be no end to this glorious rule. No end of time—no end of space. Clearly, the throne of David represents extraordinary loyalty. You can see why, if we are to share that throne, God must try and test us so severely today. (p. 104.)
Flurry promises his members such indescribable glory awaits them if only they continue doing what Flurry and his collaborators say within PCG for the rest of their lives.
One definition Gesenius’ Hebrew-Chaldee Lexicon gives of one of the Hebrew words for increase (which shares the same root as the one in Isaiah 9:7) is “progeny; increase of a family.” Does this mean that the Family of God will keep growing forever? It very well could! (Request our Prophesy Again booklet for a full explanation.) (p. 104.)
And so Flurry introduces yet more "new revelation" to keep his followers dazzled in order to keep them within PCG.
We will be governing from that throne and will help extend peace that goes on and on, with no end! That is something to spend a lot of time thinking about. (p. 105.)
This is one way to get on a spiritual high as he likes to tell his followers. People are easier to manipulate if they devalue their lives today. It is easier for them to give more and more money if they have their minds focused on the supposed great reward that awaits them instead of looking after their own resources to manage their lives effectively.
“In that day” is our time now; “the days of old” is the time of Herbert W. Armstrong. The “remnant of Edom” means everything Mr. Armstrong left behind that was dismantled by Edom, or the Edomite Laodiceans (this terminology is explained in our Obadiah booklet). (p. 105.)
That Obadiah booklet (discussed in a previous post) says that the Laodiceans will divide into two halves during the Great Tribulation. One half, the Jacobite Laodiceans will "repent", which PCG redefines as converting to PCG. The other half, the Edomite Laodiceans will not do so and betray the Jacobite Laodiceans and have them killed off by the European Beast Power. I find it one of the more bizarre booklets that PCG has produced. It is rarely mentioned in the other booklets. This instance is a rare exception.
And though we will never match the size of that Work, nevertheless God commands that we work toward that end. We are great weightlifters— raising up these ruins as in the days of old. We must be excited and stirred if we are to succeed in such a monumental calling. (p. 106.)
Flurry constantly promises PCG lay members that great things await them if they only stay with PCG and continue to do the many things required of them as PCG members. And not just after Christ's return, even in this present life, such as apparently finding the Ark of the Covenant and taking the Stone of Destiny into hiding in the place of safety to protect it from the Nazis. These are empty promises designed to make PCG members make great sacrifices for PCG while thinking it is no great thing and ignoring the deprivation their tithing to PCG produces.
Building God’s house today could be the concluding chapter of raising those ruins. That magnificent building may go a long way toward blotting out what happened in Pasadena, the greatest tragedy of this age. (p. 106.)
And so Flurry tries to justify using more then PCG's yearly income into building an auditorium to his followers.
Nobody can ever stop you from obeying God! They can even kill you—but you can die obeying God. (p. 109.)
This is the sort of extremist rhetoric that produces fanaticism. Getting PCG members conditions to anticipate and fantasize about enduring such things makes them very devoted to what they view as the noble cause of staying in PCG and supporting them by providing the three tithes and extra offerings.
Jesus Christ is the Head of His Church. He directly leads it. The Philadelphians understand that. The Laodiceans do not. (p. 110.)
This is what Flurry wants PCG members to strongly believe: that Christ is the head of PCG. Flurry presents this idea as though this makes one who believes this to be superior to all the other COG groups.

No doubt this feeling of superiority towards the other COG group must be very seductive to many within PCG. PCG was unable to attract any WCG minister to join them aside from the two who started it. WCG lay members who joined PCG must have found it an amazing thought that they were the elite of the world and superior even to the many other leaders of WCG they had previously looked up to but had not joined PCG. This is one reason why so many PCG members stay despite the problems within it.
We must remember that we are in a war with Satan in his worst wrath. God gives strong emphasis to that unparalleled war (Revelation 12:9-12). And considering the horrors ahead, the place of safety is a wonderful physical prize. That is a promise from God—so He has to look after that place of safety, wherever it is, to ensure He can fulfill that promise. God will never break a promise. (p. 111.)
Flurry has always held out the promise of taking PCG members to a place of safety to escape the horrors of the supposedly soon coming Great Tribulation. Also making PCG members fearful of Satan and telling them that Satan is more powerful now then at any other time in human history serves to make PCG members fearful of an enemy outside PCG causing them to ignore the problems within PCG or simply ignore them as the price for protection for Satan. It is like a protection racket.
Like Baruch, we are all prone to allow our thinking to get off at times. But look at the big picture: Evil is about to come upon all flesh. Almost all humanity is about to be destroyed! How important is your life? How important, really, are the things you are concerned about? This is no time to have some great ambition for yourself. (p. 111.)
Here Flurry is devaluing the ordinary affairs of PCG lay members so that they will believe that it is necessary and good to send in even more money to PCG. The PCG member's natural tendency to save money and resources for his or her own ends are canceled out by listening to alarmist and emotive rhetoric such as this.
Half of the Laodiceans are going to make it into the Family of God! That is wonderful news that we must keep in mind. (p. 112.)
Flurry dogma that half of the Laodiceans will repent is based on the ideas and teachings of the proven false prophet, Herbert Armstrong. He said Christ would return in 1975.

HWA said there were seven church eras. This is nonsense. I idea he took from G. G. Rupert who taught that the Philadelphian era was the Millerites of the 1830s and 1840s and everything after that was the Laodicean era.

And the idea that half of the Laodiceans will be saved while the other half will be doomed came from HWA. But HWA rarely talked about that doctrine, as far as I can tell. It is Flurry who constantly uses that doctrine to make PCG fearful of ever leaving for another COG group or joining any other religion.
There is a lot of darkness in this world. But don’t look at these as days of darkness—recognize them as the days when the darkness is about to end. Mankind has suffered horrendously for 6,000 years! God the Father and Jesus Christ and the great host of angels have all been waiting and waiting for this day—and now it is almost here! (p. 113.)
HWA and his imitators have been ceaselessly insisting this is the case since the 1930s. They are all false prophets. We must have no regard for their fear inducing false prophecies which are used to exploit people.

Chapter 11
Mr. Armstrong had to establish God’s law and government. He was the Elijah who restored all things just before Christ’s return (Matthew 17:10-11). I have continued the same law and government that he taught. No other church can truthfully make that claim! (p. 118.)
PCG cannot truthfully make that claim as PCG has made many changes to what HWA taught but claimed these changes to be "new revelation".
The Jewish nation, America and Britain need to hear that most inspiring and precious message now so they can remember it when they are experiencing the holocaust of all holocausts! (p. 120.)
And get more tithes payers.
Think about all those kings from the house of David who sat on David’s throne. They will continue doing so until Christ returns, which is extremely imminent. (p. 120.)
Flurry has always said Christ's return would be very soon. This is nonsense.
We are the Bride of Jesus Christ. God’s primary interest is in spiritual Jews (Revelation 3:9)—not physical Jews! Only about 5 percent of Christ’s Church today—the spiritual Jews—will rule in the Jerusalem headquarters forever. The stakes are lofty. (p. 121.)
Here "spiritual Jews" is simply PCG jargon meaning PCG members in good standing with PCG. I wonder what the "physical Jews" would have to say about this? I am sure they would not be impressed with such talk.
The Philadelphia Church of God has a special connection to Nehemiah. We have a booklet showing how the events of Nehemiah’s time apply prophetically to our time today (request a free copy of Ezra and Nehemiah—Building God’s Temple). (p. 123.)
That booklet was discussed previously on this blog (Part 1, Part 2 and Part 3). It asserts that Ezra and Nehemiah are similar to the rise of PCG and that God's spiritual temple is PCG today. But Flurry made it habit to claim certain books of the Bible were all about the Tkach changes, the rise of PCG in opposition to them, PCG members go to the place of safety and all others are doomed to endure the Great Tribulation. That is what Flurry taught in Malachi's Message and he repeated those themes in many other booklets. His Ezra and Nehemiah booklet merely continued that habit of his.
What inspiring words! Ernest Martin was honored to be deeply involved with that dig—in fact, he directly assisted Dr. Herman Hoeh on the project. Yet, he left God’s Church before Mr. Armstrong even died. Then, just a few years ago, he died on January 16—the same day Herbert Armstrong died in 1986. Is that an ominous sign? Was his death a sign of what happens eternally to saints who reject the instructions of God’s end-time apostle? (p. 125.)
Flurry has always asserted since he started PCG that January 16 would have significant prophetic events occur then. It is disgusting that he chose to use this man's death in a desperate attempt to make this doctrine seem believable to PCG lay members.

Chapter 12

In this chapter, Gerald Flurry insinuates that in time Tkach's WCG will conspire with the authorities to somehow silence PCG. This idea is very similar to what Gerald Flurry taught in his 1991 booklet, The Lion Has Roared. That booklet was the second booklet PCG produced. All these years later Flurry once again presents this idea to his followers in order to induce fear within PCG members so that they will rally around Flurry and Co to resist the threat outside of PCG. This also has the affect of distracting PCG members from the problems within PCG.
For some reason, they want to exile us to the land of Judah, today called Israel. This may be how God’s people will begin their journey to the place of safety. (p. 128.)
Here Flurry speculates that PCG members will somehow be sent to Petra, Jordan, to be in a place of safety protected from the Great Tribulation.
Could God rely on any of the Laodiceans to deliver His message? They can’t do it—they’re too weak! What about us? (p. 129.)
Once again Flurry belittles the other COG groups as unworthy in order to persuade PCG members that they must stay in PCG and continue paying three tithes and extra offerings to them.
There is a captivity associated with the key of the house of David. This talks about Shebna having his authority stripped from him and given to Eliakim, and Shebna being carried away in a mighty captivity. This is a serious warning—to all of us. (p. 130.)
Flurry seems to be saying here that Tkach will be sent into exile by the blood thirsty Germans.
He built and planted the throne in Ireland. Later it was moved to Scotland and England. (p. 133.)
Shouldn't that be Scotland and then England?

This is all nonsense derived from British Israelism. It simply did not happen. Jeremiah did not go to Ireland. There was no Princess Tea Tephi who continued to the royal line of David in Scotland. It is all nonsense.
Can you see why God will have no Laodicean as a part of this? God is going to put us in headquarters forever because we have remained loyal to David’s throne—and because we’ve been given so much that we can teach! (p. 140.)
This is an attempt to persuade people to join PCG so that they will pay tithes and offerings to PCG.

Chapter 13

Once again Flurry shows his sick imagination. This time he says that the members of the other COG groups will get nuked for not joining PCG.
The Laodiceans will have to “dwell with the devouring fire,” or nuclear bombs. Nuclear fire will wake them up to their tragic spiritual condition. What an incredible price they will have to pay to get back in step with God! When the doors of the Tribulation close in around them, they will suddenly realize how wrong they have been. The Laodiceans have deceived themselves about their lying, but deep down they still know they are liars! So God must punish them. That is their only hope to be in God’s righteous Family. (p. 143.)
No. They have not "deceived themselves" about PCG. Very likely they know that Gerald Flurry does not have God's blessing. They see how he has made many doctrinal changes which he calls "new revelation".

Once again it is never admitted that there are legitimate reasons not to join PCG. Either you are in PCG and are one of God's jewels, or not therefore you will be nuked. This simply presents the potential convert with no choice in this matter.
God says to meditate on the terror to come. We must face it. (p. 144.)
Of course Flurry wants his readers to meditate on such frightful things. Scared and fearful pwoplw have a hard time thinking for themselves and are inclined to panic and be more open to suggestions that they would not listen to if they were calm and collected.

Chapter 14
The main job of the Philadelphia ministry is to fill the lives of God’s people with hope! (p. 149.)
Many ex-members of PCG would say that PCG ministers have greatly failed to do this.
You should meditate the rest of your life on that statement! The quality of our faith must have “sure foundations.” Our faith must be so strong, so real, that it is established on the “sure foundations” of new Jerusalem! (p. 151.)
In other words, never leave PCG despite the many problems within it. Do not think of leaving even if you are ordered to do things you really do not want to do.
Study Hebrews 11, known as the faith chapter. Paul shows us here that some of God’s people were tested to the point of death. But the threat of death didn’t stop them, because they also had this vision. Before Christ returns, some of us may also have to give up our physical lives. (p. 154.)
Once again Flurry insinuates that persecution will come to PCG. In reality Armstrongism in America has never had to endure such a trial. This is just blatant fear mongering designed to get PCG members determined to remain loyal to PCG despite the problems within it.
To allow ourselves to become carnal and reject this vision is such a shameful sin. To fail to grasp the key of David vision in all of its significance and beauty is truly a tragedy. (p. 155.)
Once again Flurry insinuates that unless one agrees with what Flurry says in this booklet then he or she will be cast into the Great Tribulation. Once again Flurry is crudely threatening the readers of this booklet that terrible things will occur unless they follow Flurry's words.
The key of David vision represents some of the most incredible revelation from the mind of God! Yet to whom is God giving that revelation? To babes. When will men learn this vital lesson? We must be childlike to have God speak to us through new revelation (Matthew 18:1‑3). When we remain childlike, Christ will continue to reveal to us. When we become stubborn, self-willed or rebellious spiritually, the revelation stops. (p. 157.)
What is the key of David vision aside from the God Family dogma as taught by HWA under a different label? Many of the other COGs who are viciously demonized as Laodiceans by PCG's leaders also believe the key of David vision just as much as PCG members and PCG ministers. Why does Flurry say untrue things?
David was a king who sat on a throne. The key of David vision is the gospel put into a royal Family-of-God framework. The very elect, men and women like David, become royal God—as God is God! It is God’s ultimate, most majestic creation. (p. 158.)
In other words it is HWA's God Family doctrine as taught by Flurry. The only difference being an emphasis on how royal being a member of the God Family is.

Flurry ends this booklet with these words.
This is royalty unknown to the mind of man apart from God. These kings and priests are called today to have the most exalted crowns in God’s Family.
Not even the angels were ever offered these positions of royalty. It will be the supreme royalty of the universe forever!
God creates sovereign gods out of clay!
Even today, I can address God’s very elect as “Your Royal Majesties, Sons of God,” because they are God in embryo. Let’s seize this most godly, royal moment! (p. 158.)
But there is no such moment to seize because the God Family doctrine is nonsense.
Isaiah 42:8: "I am the Lord: that is my name: and my glory will I not give to another, neither my praise to graven images."

Isaiah 43:10: "Ye are my witnesses, saith the Lord, and my servant whom I have chosen: that ye may know and believe me, and understand that I am he: before me there was no God formed, neither shall there be after me."
Isaiah 44:6: "Thus saith the Lord the King of Israel, and his redeemer the Lord of hosts: I am the first, and I am the last; and beside me there is no God..."
Isaiah 44:8: "Fear ye not, neither be afraid: have not I told thee from that time, and have declared it? ye are even my witnesses. Is there a God beside me? yea, there is no God; I know not any." (From Mike of Mike's Enlightenment Page.)
Here are some other posts that discuss the God Family doctrine.
  • The God Family discusses how I first learned of this doctrine and how Roderick C. Meredith claim it was 'revealed' to HWA's group.
  • A Problem in the God Family Doctrine discusses how HWA taught that humanity was simply Plan B for God. According to HWA God originally intended to have Angels govern the Universe but Lucifer's rebellion forced God to create Humanity instead. This aspect of HWA's God Family doctrine is never discussed in Stephen Flurry's booklet.
  • Called to the Truth? Will all in the God kingdom be Equal? discusses how the COGs teach that those who become God Beings at the return of Christ will be superior in rank then all other people who become God Beings afterwards, even though all are supposedly as fully God as God is God. The COGs nevertheless teach that there will be ranks and that the God Family will be divided into an elite (the deified church) while the rest will be inferior in rank. This aspect of the God Family doctrine is never discussed in Stephen Flurry's booklet.
  • Reading PCG's Booklet, God is a Family discusses Stephen Flurry's booklet (1995) which teaches the God Family doctrine. It also discusses how Stephen Flurry misleadingly uses a Protestant commentary to insinuate the Bible teaches the God Family when the author of this commentary never taught the God Family doctrine at all.
Another article of interest: Why 1975? which details how HWA and Herman Hoeh developed the doctrine that the Great Tribulation would begin in 1972 and that Christ would return in 1975. The fact that this failed to occur proves that HWA was a false prophet. He was not off by a few years, HWA was wrong.
When a prophet speaketh in the name of the Lord, if the thing follow not, nor come to pass, that is the thing which the Lord hath not spoken, but the prophet hath spoken it presumptuously: thou shalt not be afraid of him. (Deuteronomy 18:22).
There is no need to follow Gerald Flurry or his Philadelphia Church of God. God is not with them. PCG's teachings are not true. There is no need to give them any money.

4 comments:

  1. This is one of the most amazing remarkable analysis I've seen on the topic. It is stellar.

    It exposes some extremely obvious flaws that cut right to the core and expose the PCG as a complete fraud.

    Ephraim and Manasseh are not Jews. Jews are the tribe of Judah. Even if they were lost, which they are not, they are of Israel. Therefore, even if you want to claim physical blessings by becoming a spiritual Jew, you simply can't get to physical nations that are Ephraim and Manasseh, even if they existed as separate nations which they don't. How could the PCG ever explain away this obvious flaw.

    The next thing is that unless Jesus is THE king, there is absolutely NO king of Israel today and certainly not a king descended from Judah, so the promise to King David would have been broken if it were not for Jesus being King.

    The problems multiply when you consider that the current British Monarchy comes from Germany. The whole proposition of the PCG is totally insane.

    There is no need to follow Gerald Flurry or his Philadelphia Church of God. God is not with them. PCG's teachings are not true. There is no need to give them any money.

    Yes, what you say is true, but it's far worse than that: II Timothy 3 describes the Flurrys and adds, "from such turn away". So it is a command from the Bible to have nothing to do with the Flurrys.

    Anyone who is still attending the PCG is breaking the Scripture and defying God.

    And, oh, by the way, there is no physical place of safety -- it's just an Armstrong myth based on a stupid idea.

    I'm sure we can find much more wrong with the booklet if we really tried hard, but you covered just about everything that could be covered.

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  2. The Armstrong movement did not examine the principle of the Samaritans in any sort of logic-based depth. The activities that created what was known at the time of Jesus as the Samaritans was some really brilliant geopolitical strategy, the ultimate in "divide and conquer". In order to keep what had been the nation of Israel (northern kingdom) from regaining power, foreigners, gentiles, were relocated to that region to basically change the genetic structure and culture of the region, the national goals, and the religious belief system. This, they did, very successfully, a fact that we can know from the attitudes prevalent towards Samaritans in the Gospels. That they were no longer considered to be Israelites would seem obvious.

    The idea that there were captives who maintained purity while in exile, that these people never returned to their native land, that they wandered and migrated like their alleged forefathers in the desert, eventually settling Europe, and that Manasseh and Ephraim ended up as misnamed, but pure and distinct peoples who inhabited England in the 1600s is preposterous!

    Time, migration, intermarriage amongst the existing population of the British Isles would have subjected these people to their own "Samaritanization" program, a process which in a melting pot nation is called "assimilation". So, by the standards which the Jews held during the time of Jesus, cultural standards which are often considered to be a benchmark by Armstrongism, had they known about them, the prevailing attitudes towards England and the USA would have been identical to the attitudes towards the Samaritans.

    I don't recall any discussions, during the time in which I've been participating in these blogs and forums, regarding the location of the Samaritans today. Except for Biblical anecdotes, they have been largely lost or forgotten. Certainly, it is recognized that they could not be known as lost tribes of the House of Israel. Yet, some obscure religious leaders expect us to place great prophetic import upon some similarly "mongrelized" peoples, as if they were pure genetic product from the original tribal lines, somehow unknowingly subjected to an unnatural distillation process over which they had no control.

    It is ludicrous.

    BB

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    Replies
    1. The United States and British Commonwealth are the Lost Samaritans!

      Ha, ha, ha, ha, ha!

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    2. Yes, that is a clever play on words for those of us who are truth-seekers and have reinvestigated without having the conclusions dictated to us, but for the benefit of splinter group members who might be tuned in, assuming that Ephraimites and Manassites were even part of the nomadic Germanic tribes wandering about Europe, that would be about the size of it. Their heritage would be similarly mongrelized as were the Samaritans. Up until the post-Christian era, Europe's religious heritage was Yahweh-based, as were the beliefs of the Samaritans, but the beliefs did not conform 100% to the law of Moses. In Europe's case, they conformed with the beliefs of the "Holy" Roman empire, and this was true particularly with the Anglican Church.

      As a parallel, where are the Benjamites and Levites today? Basically, they were assimilated into the southern kingdom, and became what we know today as Jews. There are some people living today who have the Cohenine haplotype, but they are by no means pure Levite.

      These days, with ease of travel and free motion around the globe, everyone is marrying everyone, often without regard to what used to be considered racial barriers. So, British Israelism becomes more and more ridiculous and untenable with each passing year.

      BB

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