Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Overview of the February 2015 Issue of The Philadelphia Trumpet

The latest issue of PCG's Philadelphia Trumpet (February 2015) is now out. This issue is focused on Britain, no doubt occasioned by PCG's recent purchase of property for a British college campus. Could it be that PCG is wishing to gain more members within Britain?

Also this is the 25th anniversary issue of The Philadelphia Trumpet. How is that any different from celebrating birthdays? PCG's leaders forbid their followers from observing birthdays (the anniversary of one's birth) and yet they celebrate the anniversary of their magazine.

They have also changed the font of the magazine's title. This ends the format of the title that has been used since the February 2004 issue. (At first it was white but they made it red in the February 2012 issue.)

Let us take a look at what PCG's leaders have to say this time.

The circulation for this issue is 312,399, which is the lowest circulation for any issue since March 2011. The Philadelphia Trumpet's circulation continues to fall.

Gerald Flurry has a personal article stating that this issue is focused on Britain.

Brad MacDonald has an article claiming that the rise of the British Empire was divinely preordained as a part of God's covenant with Abraham. This is based on the inaccurate doctrine that the British and American peoples are descended from the Israelites of the Old Testament. This doctrine is inherited from British Israelism. Silenced.co has shown how British Israelism is built on a foundation of sand. In fact DNA evidence refutes British Israelism.

Dennis Leap has an article insisting that British people are becoming alienated from their identity and because of this Britain is falling apart.

Richard Palmer has an article recalling Rudyard Kipling and presenting him as wisely foretelling that if Britain turned away from God the British Empire would collapse. Citing Kipling in this manner seems to be fairly popular among the COGs. LCG also cites Rudyard Kipling in their booklet promoting the false dogma of British Israelism.

Phillip Nice and Grant Turgeon have an article celebrating PCG's acquisition of a property in Edstone as a second college campus for PCG. Grant Turgeon is the son of Wayne Turgeon and the grandson of Gerald Flurry.

Richard Palmer also has a little article recalling how Herbert Armstrong's group used to have a college campus in Britain. This is done to boast that PCG is the only legitimate continuation of HWA. Left unmentioned is the fact that there are literally hundreds of other COGs groups that continue to teach HWA's doctrines.

There is an Infographic detailing the possessions of the British Empire by 1800.

Richard Palmer also has an article saying that Britain's membership in the European Union is disadvantageous for Britain and that Britain would have been better off staying out of it. It also states that Britain is getting ready to leave the EU and this act will help the EU to integrate itself more efficiently. PCG teaches that the EU will become a blood thirsty military superpower which will conquer America and Britain and turn them into slaves.

And after that the issue returns to regular fare.

Joel Hilliker has an article bemoaning how many Americans are supposedly no longer having dinner together the way he thinks they should. He also relates the following anecdote from his family life.
Soon after reviewing these rules [from a 1963 book] with my children, one of them corrected my wife on the placement of an errant elbow during a meal. I told my daughter it is far more rude for a child to correct an adult than for an elbow to be misplaced. (p. 23.)
He ends the article with an exhortation for families to eat together at the dinner table saying this is how children can learn from their parents.

Wik Heerma has an article condemning Valentine's Day as a "pagan" custom that is forbidden by (PCG's) God. PCG bans many mainstream holidays among their members in order to socially isolate them from mainstream society so that they will become socially dependent upon the group. This article is heavily based on Herman Hoeh's article condemning Valentine's Day.

Gerald Flurry has an article insisting that people who do not agree with what PCG's leaders say have deceived themselves. This is done in order to discredit every other religion besides PCG, especially the mainstream Christian churches, in order to gain more tithes paying members.

Worldwatch has a few little articles saying America and Britain are being bested by international rivals and that Germany is growing stronger in order to convince people of PCG's prophetic scenarios. They often do that.

Societywatch has a few little articles insisting that America is falling apart. One of them quotes The Washington Times (How appropriate,) to say US business have been given an incentive to hire illegal immigrants. Wake up, PCG. That has already been happening for decades.

Joel Hilliker also has a little article calling upon people to exercise regularly.

Joel Hilliker also has a little article insisting that Britain will return to greatness after Christ's return. Again this is based on the inaccurate dogma that the British are the descendants of the Biblical Israelites. It is not true, so this prophecy based on that false idea is also false and doomed to failure.

There are letters as well. This time there is no graph showing what type of responses they have received.

Also the letters page promotes a Key of David telecast which seems to be about Gerald Flurry's teaching that he is 'That Prophet'. More on this topic may be seen in a post about this teaching (Part 1 and Part 2).

Strangely one of the letters is signed Timothy Oostendarp. Is this the same Timothy Oostendarp who has written articles for The Philadelphia Trumpet since at least 2005? If this is the case this is quite baffling. Are they that desperate for positive feedback that they need to quote a letter one of their own authors?

One letter claims we are now in the times of the Gentiles.
The implications of the Russia and Chinese axis are huge.... China has now surpassed America as the number one economy in the world. We are now officially in the “times of the Gentiles.”
Armstrongism has long had many differing views about the "times of the Gentiles". There was a time HWA said it lasted for thousands of years until Britain seized control of Jerusalem from the Ottoman Turks in 1917 during World War I. The idea even helped contribute to the development of Herbert W. Armstrong's false prophecy that Christ would return in 1975.

Another letter insists America is going broke.
There are those who believe that we have not done enough damage yet .... I certainly disagree, but I watched a bunch of liberals on TV discussing our president’s economic error in not borrowing an additional $3 trillion in order to better stimulate the economy. We have successfully assured our dollar’s weakening, the downgrading of our debt, and a position in which trillions of dollars will be due just as our financial crisis is at its peak. The economic reality is that America, once the richest nation that ever existed, is now broke!
This is nonsense. In fact America per capita had more debt during the 1940s because of World War II. Here are some relevant words from a previous post.
The US national debt was actually higher per capita during World War II and immediately afterwards. Did the US go bankrupt then? The picture below shows US federal debt compared with GDP from 1940 to 2014. (Click to enlarge.)
US federal debt compared with GDP 1940-2014

It may be seen that US federal debt was actually higher in the World War II era and immediately afterwards. However it is fairly easy to not notice this fact because of inflation. This fact is not often stated but it is true. ...
US federal debt was actually higher during the World War II era and immediately afterwards.
It is unfortunate that so many people are needlessly worried that America will go bankrupt. Alas, PCG's writers are not helping to correct this widespread misconception.

Noticeably absent from this issue are Stephen Flurry, Robert Morley, Anthony Chibarirwe and Jeremiah Jacques. Also there is no article promoting their "Correspondence Course" in this issue. (It actually just teaches people to view the world through PCG's dogmas.)

And so we have seen how once again PCG's leaders have produced a magazine issue designed to persuade people into joining PCG and paying three tithes to PCG's leaders.

Also it needs to be stated that Silenced.co has shown how British Israelism is built on a foundation of sand. In fact DNA evidence refutes British Israelism. British Israelism is false. Any prophecy based on it is sure to fail.

Monday, December 29, 2014

PCG Only Supported Milošević in 1999

To anyone who bothers to notice it has long been plainly seen that the leaders of PCG support Milošević and present him and the Serbs as victims of sinister aggression at the hands of sinister Germans. While many were horrified at the various atrocities committed by forces loyal to Milošević PCG says that the Serbs are the victims of a covert plot by the Germans.

Philadelphia Trumpet, June 2002

However PCG only decided to adopt this hard stance in support of Milošević in 1999. There are three pieces of evidence that strongly suggest that PCG's leaders did not decide to show sympathy to Milošević and his followers until 1999.
  • Ron Fraser's 1998 article ("Crisis Point of Western Leadership", September 1998, Philadelphia Trumpet) did not take sides in regards to the Kosovo War between Belgrade and the KLA. If anything he seemed to view Milošević as an enemy of America. But that soon changed. (This may be seen in a previous post.)
  • Gerald Flurry's booklet about the Yugoslav Wars (Germany's Conquest of the Balkans) was only made in 1999. The first two chapters  are adaptations of articles published in The Philadelphia Trumpet in 1999. That is when the change in stance happened. (As may be seen in these previous posts: Part 1 and Part 2.)
  • An episode of The Trumpet Daily ("Germany's Conquest of Europe", February 9, 2014), hosted by Stephen Flurry, cited a Key of David episode from 1999 in order to boast of PCG's pro-Milošević stance. (As may be seen in this previous post.)

Ron Fraser's 1998 Article

This article was written during the early stages of the Kosovo War fought between the Belgrade government and the Kosovo Liberation Army, an armed organization that was waging a guerrilla war seeking to create an independent Kosovo.

However PCG's leaders did not yet adopt their stance in support of the Milošević regime. So when Ron Fraser wrote about this war in the September 1998 issue of The Philadelphia Trumpet he did not take Milošević's side. If anything he seemed to view him as an enemy of America.
The American President had promised that his government would not permit a repetition of the Bosnian tragedy. Meanwhile, the British Prime minister declared, “This is Milosevic’s final warning”; Robin Cook, foreign minister for Britain, warned Milosevic that he should take the threats of retribution from the West most seriously. The UN warned Milosevic; Madeleine Albright, U.S. Secretary of State, repeated President Clinton’s warning; NATO rattled its sabers in pitiful war games in Albania; and world leaders and shuttle diplomats talk in huddled meetings of air strikes.

Talk, talk, talk—threats, but no action! The Serbian leader has the world’s greatest powers checkmated!
Very often PCG's leaders write of an opponent of America and exclaim that America is unable to deal with them thus (supposedly) proving that America is on the verge of collapse. Fraser talks of Milošević in that way here.

Gerald Flurry's 1999 Booklet

In 1999 PCG published a booklet entitled The Rising Beast. (In 2011 it was renamed Germany's Conquest of the Balkans.) This booklet contained the two articles that announced PCG's decision to view Milošević as the victim of sinister, covert German aggression.

Chapter 1 is largely based on Gerald Flurry's article, "Croatia Reveals the Rising Beast!", from the January 1999 Philadelphia Trumpet. This article introduced Flurry's contention that Germany's recognition of Croatia as an independent state in December 1991 started the Yugoslav Wars. This 'fact' has been endlessly proclaimed by PCG's leaders ever since.

But in fact the Yugoslav Wars had already been unleashed months before this diplomatic act.

The war had already ended in Slovenia (June-July 1991) with the result that Belgrade withdrew Federal troops in October 1991. Slovenia was already de facto independent by December 1991. Also the fighting had been raging for months in Croatia by December 1991. The Belgrade government had already seized Vukovar from Croatia after a three month siege which killed about 3000 people (August 25-November 18, 1991). All this occurred before December 1991.

Furthermore soon after the act of diplomatic recognition Croatia and Belgrade made a ceasefire in January 1992 that lasted for a year before conflict resumed between Croatia and Belgrade. However in the meantime the world's attention soon turned to the horrors of what happened in Bosnia.

Chapter 2 of the booklet is largely based on Gerald Flurry's article, The Unseen Danger in Kosovo, from the May 1999 issue of The Philadelphia Trumpet. This article introduced Flurry's contention that the Kosovo Liberation Army was a puppet of the Germans used as part of a sinister plot to subdue Yugoslavia. Despite the problems with this assertion, (such as the fact that one news article reported that a spokesman for the KLA mentioned that "the KLA included in its ranks volunteers from Sweden, Belgium, the UK, Germany and the US") PCG has continued to repeat this inflammatory assertion ever since.

PCG has often repeated this accusation ever since, exploiting the pain and suffering of the Kosovo War simply to demonize Germany and persuade their followers that Germany will soon arise as a military superpower that will destroy America and Britain.

Stephen Flurry's 2014 Trumpet Daily Broadcast

This episode of The Trumpet Daily, hosted by Stephen Flurry, has already been mentioned in a previous post. In that post I wrote the following:
Boasts that, while hardly anyone talked about what was really happening, Gerald Flurry did so in 1999. From this point the program cites several articles and a telecast by PCG since 1999 supposedly "exposing" Germany's malevolent plan against the Serbs.

It even shows a 1999 broadcast of The Key of David entitled "Serbs' Greatest Fear", in which Gerald Flurry states that Germany was the hidden mastermind behind NATO intervention over the Kosovo War. (18:50-19:25)
The fact that PCG only appeals to writings dating back to 1999 in this program indicates that this position of portraying NATO intervention as helping Germany was only taken up by PCG's leaders in 1999. On the other hand Gerald Flurry's booklet on this matter, Germany's Conquest of the Balkans (formerly entitled The Rising Beast), quotes earlier news articles. At present, because there is little information regarding what PCG said about Yugoslavia in its early years, it is hard to discern what PCG said about Yugoslavia in those early days.  
Conclusion

Because of these three things it I am persuaded that it can be confidently stated that PCG's leaders decided to support Milošević and portray him as a victim of German aggression from 1999 onwards.

It is very unfortunate that PCG's leaders have decided to exploit the pain and suffering caused by the Yugoslav Wars to demonize Germany, even claiming Germany sparked the Yugoslav Wars in December 1991 when fighting had begun long before then.

Friday, December 26, 2014

Article Against God Family Heresy

This is from the August 3, 1993 issue of Worldwide News. It was cited by Stephen Flurry in his booklet, God is a Family, as seen in a previous post.

***

Does elohim refer to a family of divine beings?

Is elohim a singular, or a plural, word? What does it show about the nature of God?

By K.J. Stavrinides

The word elohim can refer to the true God, to a false god, to angels, and to human beings. In its rather wide application, this name is unusual and difficult to translate into English. The ability of this word to refer correctly to God, angels, man, and man-made gods can be understood only if the root of the word is kept in mind; it is somewhat like referring to the "powers that be," whether they are human or divine, singular or plural. In this light, it becomes clear that the Hebrews applied the name elohim to the true God because it conveyed one of his attributes-that of power.

When elohim refers to a singular being (the true God or a false god), it takes a singular verb. When it refers to more than one being, as in the heavenly powers (the angels or God and the angels) or in the human powers (the judges), it takes a plural verb. In neither case does the word elohim refer to a family of beings, whether they are human or divine. The following passages are sufficient to make the use of this word clear.

God (elohim) created

In Genesis 1: 1, elohim takes the singular verb bara, which means "he created." The verb, then, tells us what was done by the one God. Even with this point in mind, the objection can be raised that collective nouns in English (church, nation, etc.) take singular verbs. That answer will not do, in this case, because one needs to ascertain first that elohim is such a word. It cannot simply be assumed to be so. It is not obvious in Hebrew, and no authority on the Hebrew language has ever said such a thing. In fact, the voice of scholarship has been united on this point, that elohim, when speaking of the Creator, refers to a single deity. The use of the word in the Old Testament is ample testimony of this truth, as the following examples show.

Greater than all the gods (elohim)

Exodus 18:11 compares the true God with all the false gods (elohim) and says that none of them is like him. This is clearly a plural reference, yet not about a family of beings. It is historically accurate to say that the false gods to which Exodus refers were not members of one family.

Ashtoreth the Goddess (elohim)

1 Kings 11:5 is perhaps one of the clearest examples of the singular use of elohim in which it cannot possibly be construed to refer to a family of divine beings. After all, it is plainly obvious that "Ashtoreth the goddess (elohim) of the Sidonians" was but one deity, not a family of such beings.

Lower than the angels (elohim)

Psalm 8:5 says that God made man a little lower than the angels (elohim). Since all the angels were created beings, there are no father angels, mother angels, or offspring angels. Christ made it clear that angels do not marry. This use of elohim is not in the context of a family.

Bring him to the judges (elohim)

Exodus 21:6 constitutes the law regarding Hebrew slaves. If the freed slave expressed a desire to continue to serve his master, he was to be brought before "the judges (e1ohim)" where his desire would be made official. The judges were an institution of Israel and did not constitute a family.

The above passages may suffice to indicate that the word e1ohim-in its reference to God, angels, judges, and false gods-is not a collective noun; it is not like "church," "nation," etc. The concept of a divine family of beings is not applicable to the true God, and certainly did not arise out of the Holy Scriptures. Some reasons for the inappropriateness of the concept may also be helpful.

The names "Father" and "Son" do indicate a family relationship. (We can omit reference to the Holy Spirit, in this light, because the name "Holy Spirit" does not immediately suggest a family relationship.) This is perfectly acceptable and biblically sound. The error creeps into the concept when the relationship is understood in terms of separate beings. The following will make the explanation easier to understand.

In a human family, a father and a son are two beings. One is the father because he existed while the son was not yet born. The father provides for the son, because the son needs his help. Human beings are limited. They have a beginning, they have needs, and the father-son relationship is meaningful only in light of these limitations.

It is a gross misunderstanding to think of God in such terms. God is spirit. He has no limitations in space or time. In other words, it is not true that the Son had a beginning or that the Father existed while the Son did not. Neither is it true that the Father looked after a young Son during some childhood, or provided for the Son's "needs." Rather, the names "Father" and "Son" reveal important truths about God.

The book of Hebrews speaks of the Son in various ways. He is referred to as a Son, as the "'brightness of His glory," and as the "express image of His person." These are three ways of expressing the same idea. As the Son is God, he has no needs, and he is not in the same relationship to the Father that a human son is to his parent.

The names "Father" and "Son" are applied to God, without the limitations that hold true in a human family. This is another way of saying that God is not a family (a word that has meaning only in the context of limited human beings). God is infinite, eternal, and in all ways unlimited. The attempt to make elohim reflect a family of divine beings is not only impossible historically, linguistically, and culturally; it is theologically wrong, and inappropriate in the discussion of the true God.

Sunday, December 21, 2014

No Good Reason to Ban Christmas for Christians: Reading PCG's Plagiarized Denunciation of Christmas

Since it is nearly Christmas let's take a look at PCG's anonymously written booklet, The Truth About Christmas (2013), and see how it compares to HWA's booklet, The Plain Truth About Christmas.


As will be seen later PCG's booklet is very similar to HWA's booklet. This is similar to how Stephen Flurry plagiarized one of HWA's booklets. Although PCG's booklet does quote HWA's booklet every now and then (PCG, pp. 3-4, 13, 15-16, 18) large parts of it are essentially repeated in PCG's booklet without attribution, sometimes even word for word as is seen below. To quote words or ideas without attribution is plagiarism.

PCG's booklet may be read on their website. HWA's booklet may be read elsewhere (html and PDF).

HWA forbade his followers from observing Christmas. This practice is continued in numerous COG splinter groups including Meredith's LCG and Gerald Flurry's PCG. HWA plagiarized this practice from the Jehovah's Witnesses. The fact that they also shun Christmas is never mentioned in either HWA's booklet or PCG's booklet.

HWA also plagiarized his ban on birthdays from the Jehovah's Witnesses. Both booklets introduce the idea that birthdays are forbidden. This ban on birthdays was used to socially isolate followers from the surrounding society.


It is important to understand that the reasons presented by HWA for abandoning Christmas are wrong and often quite badly misinformed. Both booklets, for instance, insist that Christmas is a continuation of the Babylonian religion deifying Nimrod and Semiramis. It is never admitted in either booklet that this idea comes from Alexander Hislop's book, The Two Babylons, which was made in the 1850s. It was an anti-Catholic polemic designed to vilify the Catholic Church and the Papacy. That book has been proven to be nonsense.

As Bereans Did has done great work in documenting just how absurd and fanciful many of the justifications for shunning Christmas are. Here is some of what As Bereans Did has said on this matter.
Over the years, As Bereans Did has done some great research on Christmas. Like "The Plain Truth About December 25th" which makes the case about why the December 25th date likely did not originate in paganism after all. "Jeremiah 10 and Christmas Trees" which makes the case on why Jeremiah was referring to idol worship, not Christmas trees. "On Nimrod and Christmas Trees" part 1, part 2 and part 3, which make the case on how the origin of Christmas Trees has been distorted. "Nimrod's Birthday Was January 6?" which makes the case that the claims on Nimrod's birthday are faulty. And "Quotes Before Christmas" which makes the case that most of the claims the COGs make about Christmas' pagan origins are based on questionable research. And we haven't even found the time to explain how winter was a great time of year for sheep to be in the fields of Bethlehem (see point 5 of the linked article). 
So there is no good reason for a Christian to shun Christmas. In fact this teaching in effect served mainly to socially isolate HWA's followers from mainstream society in order to make them socially dependent upon the group of HWA's followers. The abusive way this teaching has been used to isolate followers from family and friends is just one of many persuasive reasons why the COG groups are often identified as cults.

HWA's Christmas ban was also a way to get more money from his followers who no longer spent money on Christmas, as HWA obliquely reveals himself in his booklet.
But I can say by years of experience, as I believe most pastors and ministers can say, that when the month of December rolls around, nearly all professing Christians forget to give gifts to Christ and His cause [HWA's group, Radio Church of God renamed in 1968 as Worldwide Church of God] almost altogether. December often is the most difficult month to keep Christ's work [HWA's cult] from dying. People are too busy trading gifts back and forth among themselves to think of Him and His Work [HWA's cult], it seems. Then, in January and even into February it seems they have to catch up from what they spent for Christmas, so they seldom get back to normal in supporting Christ and His Work [HWA's cult] before March. (HWA, p. 19.)
That is the real reason HWA banned Christmas. Herbert Armstrong wanted more money.

***

Now that some of the facts behind HWA's self serving ban on Christmas has been exposed let us take a look and see just how similar PCG's 2013 booklet is to HWA's booklet.

HWA's quotes are from the 1970 version as shown here at herbertwarmstrong.org. I have also consulted the version at Pabco's Home Page.

Highlighting notes similar passages.

None of these similarities are acknowledged within PCG's booklet as being from HWA's booklet and thus constitutes plagiarism. One unfamiliar with HWA's teachings would have thought these words were devised by the anonymous PCG author instead of being an unacknowledged imitation of HWA's words.

And so the quotes begin:

***

The word "Christmas" means "Mass of Christ," or, as it came to be shortened, "Christ-Mass." It came to non-Christians and Protestants from the Roman Catholic Church. And where did they get it? NOT from the New Testament - NOT from the Bible - NOT from the original apostles who were personally instructed by Christ - but it gravitated in the fourth century into the Roman Church from paganism. (HWA, p. 6.)

Christmas means “mass of Christ,” which came to be shortened to “Christ-mass.” Nearly every person who claims to be Christian—whether Catholics, Protestant or otherwise—and even many non-Christians keep this annual holiday. But where did they get this custom? It’s not in the New Testament. We find no record of the original apostles celebrating this day. It is nowhere recorded in the Bible. In fact, it wasn’t until long after Christ and the apostles died that this holiday became an accepted Christian celebration. (PCG, p. 3.)

***

Notice that the Bible itself proves, in Song of Solomon 2:11 and Ezra 10:9, 13, that winter was a rainy season not permitting shepherds to abide in open fields at night. (HWA, p. 8.)

Song of Solomon 2:11 and Ezra 10:9 and 13 show that winter was a rainy season, thus confirming that the shepherds would not have been in open fields on December 25, during the dead of winter. (PCG, p. 5.)

***

The New Schaff-Herzog Encyclopedia of Religous Knowledge explains it clearly, in its article on "Christmas": "How much the date of the festival depended upon the pagan Brumalia (Dec. 25) [This is incorrect, according to As Bereans Did - Redfox712.] following the Saturnalia (Dec. 17-24), and celebrating the shortest day of the year and the 'new sun'...cannot be accurately determined. The pagan Saturnalia and Brumalia WERE TOO DEEPLY ENTRENCHED IN POPULAR CUSTOM TO BE SET ASIDE BY CHRISTIAN INFLUENCE...The pagan festival with its riot and merrymaking was so popular that Christians were glad of an excuse to continue its celebration with little change in spirit and manner. Christian preachers of the West and the Near East protested against the unseemly frivolity with which Christ's birthday was celebrated, while Christians of Mesopotamia ACCUSED THEIR WESTERN BRETHREN OF IDOLATRY AND SUN WORSHIP FOR ADOPTING AS CHRISTIAN THIS PAGAN FESTIVAL." (HWA, pp. 9-10.)

 “The pagan festival with its riot and merrymaking was so popular that Christians were glad of an excuse to continue its celebration with little change in spirit and in manner,” says the New Schaff-Herzog Encyclopedia of Religious Knowledge. ...

Schaff-Herzog further says, “Christian preachers of the West and the Near East protested against the unseemly frivolity with which Christ’s birthday was celebrated, while Christians of Mesopotamia accused their Western brethren of idolatry and sun worship for adopting as Christian this pagan festival.” (PCG, pp. 4-5.)

[Note: HWA's quote regarding dating is very misleading, as is shown by As Bereans Did.]

***

Since the celebration of Christmas has come to the world from the Roman Catholic Church, and has no authority but that of the Roman Catholic Church, let us examine the Catholic Encyclopedia, 1911 edition, published by that church. Under the heading "Christmas," you will find: "Christmas was NOT among the earliest festivals on the Church...the first evidence of the feast is FROM EGYPT." "PAGAN CUSTOMS centering around the January calends gravitated to Christmas." (HWA)

The Catholic Church’s own encyclopedia, the Catholic Encyclopedia, makes many startling admissions about this subject. Here are just a few from the 1911 edition. “Christmas was not among the earliest festivals of the church.” That’s right—Christmas was not instituted by Jesus Christ, nor was it observed by any of the apostles personally instructed by Christ. “The first evidence of the feast is from Egypt” (not Jerusalem). About A.D. 200, Egyptian theologians began celebrating the birth of Christ on the 25th of Pachon, which corresponds to May 20 on our calendar. “Pagan customs centering round the January calends gravitated to Christmas.” (PCG, p. 6.)

***

But if we got Christmas from the Roman Catholics, and they got it from paganism, where did the pagans get it? Where, when, and what was its real origin? (HWA, p. 10.)

The Catholic Church adopted the custom from pagans. But where did the pagans get it? (PCG, p. 6.)

***

Nimrod, grandson of Ham, son of Noah, was the real founder of the Babylonish system that has gripped the world ever since - this system of organized competition - of man-ruled governments and empires, based upon the competitive and profit-making economic system. Nimrod built the tower of Babel, the original Babylon, ancient Nineveh, and many other cities. He organized the world's first kingdom. The name "Nimrod," in Hebrew is derived from "Marad," meaning "he rebelled." (HWA, pp. 10-11.)

Nimrod, grandson of Noah’s son Ham, laid the foundation of a system of organized competition. He ruled based on the competitive and profit-making economic system. He built the tower of Babel, the original Babylon, ancient Nineveh, and many other cities, and organized this world’s first kingdom—all in defiance of God. (PCG , p. 7.)

***

Nimrod was so evil, it is said he married his own mother, whose name was Semiramis. After Nimrod's untimely death, his so-called mother-wife, Semiramis, propagated the evil doctrine of the survival of Nimrod as a spirit being. ...

Through her scheming and designing, Semiramis became the Babylonian "Queen of Heaven," and Nimrod, under various names, became the "divine son of heaven." Through the generations, in this idolatrous worship, Nimrod also became the false Messiah, son of Baal the Sun-god. In this false Babylonish system, the "Mother and Child" (Semiramis and Nimrod reborn) became chief objects of worship. (HWA, p. 11.)

Nimrod was so evil, it is said he married his own mother, whose name was Semiramis. Semiramis, through her schemings, had become known as the Babylonian “queen of heaven.” That made Nimrod the “divine son of heaven.” Together they became a perverted mother-son tandem. (PCG, p. 9.)

***

This worship of "Mother and Child" spread over the world. The names varied in different countries and languages. In Egypt it was Isis and Osiris. In Asia, Cybele and Deoius. In pagan Rome, Fortuna and Jupiterpuer. Even in Greece, China, Japan, Tibet is to be found the counterpart of the Madonna, LONG BEFORE THE BIRTH OF CHRIST! (HWA, p. 11.)

But Baal was not Nimrod’s only other name—he had many names. In Babylonia he was known as Tammuz. In Syria and Greece, Adonis—which also meant lord. In Egypt he was the god Osiris, and was identified in “mystery” symbolism as the bull. (PCG, pp. 9-10.)

***

The original Madonna and child symbol of Christmas came from Semiramis and her son Horus, illustrated by this rare Egyptian sculpture. (HWA, p. 13.)

THE ORIGINAL MADONNA The original Madonna-and-child symbol of Christmas came from Semiramis and her son Horus, illustrated by this relief from the Ptolemic period in Dendera, Egypt. (PCG, p. 9.)
***

But when it comes to the most important part of all in this Christmas observance - the Christmas shopping season - the buying and exchanging of gifts - many will exclaim triumphantly, "Well, at least the Bible tells us to do that. Didn't the wise men give gifts when Christ was born?"

Again, we are due for some surprises, when we learn the plain truth. First, let's look at the historic origin of trading gifts back and forth, then see exactly what the Bible DOES say about it.

From the Bibliotheca Sacra, volume 12, pages 153-155, we quote: "The interchange of presents between friends is alike characteristic of Christmas and the Saturnalia, and MUST HAVE BEEN ADOPTED BY THE CHRISTIANS FROM THE PAGANS, as the admonition of Tertullian plainly shows." (HWA, p. 18.)

But what about what many consider to be the most important Christmas tradition, that of buying and exchanging gifts? At least that is in the Bible—right? After all, didn’t the wise men give gifts at Jesus’s birth?

The facts show that, even here, Christmas-keepers are in for some surprises.

Bibliotheca Sacra, Volume 12, notes, “The interchange of presents between friends is alike characteristic of Christmas and the Saturnalia, and must have been adopted by Christians from the pagans, as the admonition of Tertullian plainly shows.” (PCG, p. 15.)

***

The name "Santa Claus" is a corruption of the name "St. Nicholas," a Roman Catholic bishop who lived in the 5th century. Look in the Encyclopedia Britannica, volume 19, pages 648-649, 11th edition, where you'll read: "St. Nicholas, bishop of Myra, a saint honored by the Greeks and Latins on the 6th of December... A legend of his surreptitious bestowal of dowries on the three daughters of an impoverished citizen...is said to have originated the old custom of giving presents in secret on the Eve of St. Nicholas [Dec. 6], subsequently transferred to Christmas day. Hence the association of Christmas with Santa Claus..." (HWA, p. 16.)

“St. Nicholas, bishop of Myra, a saint honored by the Greeks and Latins on the 6th of December …. A legend of his surreptitious bestowal of dowries on the three daughters of an impoverished citizen … is said to have originated the old custom of giving presents in secret on the Eve of St. Nicholas, subsequently transferred to Christmas day. Hence the association of Christmas with Santa Claus …” (Encyclopedia Britannica, 11th edition). (PCG, p. 16.)

***

Through the years, parents punish their children for telling falsehoods. Then, at Christmas time, they themselves tell their little children this "Santa Claus" lie! Is it any wonder many of them, when they grow up and learn the truth, begin to believe God is a myth, too?

One little fellow, sadly disillusioned about "Santa Claus," said to a playmate, "Yes, and I'm going to look into this 'Jesus Christ' business, too!" Is it Christian to teach children myths and falsehoods? (HWA, p. 16.)

Parents work all year to teach their children not to lie, yet when Christmas comes along, they themselves tell the “Santa Claus” lie. A small child is taught to believe in a man who goes around giving gifts to everyone on Christmas Eve, but no one ever sees him. That child is taught that Santa Claus knows everything about him, and that he better behave or he won’t receive a gift. Then when the child grows older, he is told there really isn’t a Santa.

Consider it! What ultimate good comes from teaching our children this false idea and setting them up for disillusionment? This bizarre tradition could actually do much to damage the foundation of their faith in the very real, living God! (PCG, p. 16.)

***

And so the quotes come to an end.

***

Another similarity of note is the following:

Page 14 of HWA's booklet contain pictures of burning yule logs at the top and of a holly wreath below.

Page 14 of PCG's booklet contains pictures of a holly wreath at the top and of burning yule logs below. Yes, they are on the same page number.

It is not amazing how PCG's writers imitate HWA's booklet?

***

Having seen that there is no good reason to ban Christmas for Christians, that HWA banned Christmas to get more money and that the myth of Nimrod and Semiramis is nonsense from a discredited 1850s anti-Catholic polemic, I wish every reader a happy and merry Christmas.

Also it needs to be stated that there is no good reason for a Christian to avoid celebration of Christmas or to isolate him or herself from family and friends because of this. If there is a Christmas celebration or family gathering they would like to attend then they should go if possible and not worry about HWA's ban on Christmas.

Saturday, December 20, 2014

Overview of the January 2015 Issue of The Philadelphia Trumpet

The latest issue of PCG's The Philadelphia Trumpet (January 2015) is now available. Let us see what PCG's leaders have to say here.

The cover was made by Dmitri Jackson.

This issue has a circulation of 314,408, which is the second lowest circulation figure for The Philadelphia Trumpet since March 2011. Only the last issue (November-December 2014) had a slightly lower circulation figure (313,286). The Philadelphia Trumpet is still quite low compared with the last three years.

Gerald Flurry has an editorial fear mongering that President Obama will be a lame duck President and that this will only lead to more problems and crises for America.

Jeremiah Jacques has an article fear mongering about Russia and China's friendly relations with each other. Even calling them an "axis". Considering that both Russia and China were on our side during World War II that seems quite historically insensitive.

Dennis Leap has an article insisting that corporal punishment of children is perfectly fine and must be done by parents.

Robert Morley has an article fear mongering that the US is just about to collapse financially because of its national debt. If the national debt was going to collapse the US it would have happened in 2008.

Joel Hilliker has an article discussing the current spate of violence within the State of Israel which has occurred as a tragic continuance of the recent deadly conflict in the Gaza Strip. Hilliker fear mongers that the State of Israel will soon ally with a German dominated European Union only to be betrayed by the Europeans.

Jeremiah Jacques has an article encouraging people how to deal with turbulent emotions and crises by staying calm and reminding oneself that eventually the problem will pass.

Anthony Chibarirwe has an article discussing the war in Afghanistan bemoaning recent troop withdrawals as a sign America is falling apart.

Karl Lorenz has a side article saying the Arab world has been falling apart since the Arab Spring arose in 2011. I was quite saddened to see Lorenz moaning that Libya has reduced oil production since 2011.
In 2011, the U.S. led an air campaign supporting the “Arab Spring,” ousting Qadhafi from power. The result was catastrophic. Oil production was halved to 810,000 barrels per day. Since 2011, 32,000 people have been killed. The nation is locked in war. (Karl Lorenz, p. 18.)
To moan about oil while people were and are dying in Libya (he even mentions the oil first) strikes me as dreadfully immoral and representative of an attitude that devalues human life.

Richard Palmer has an article fear mongering that Germany is plotting to replace America and fill in the supported power vacuum America is supposedly allowed to occur.

Herbert Armstrong is included with an article boasting that he knows the nature of God. It is an excerpt from his book, Mystery of the Ages, which has been shown to be deeply flawed and in error about many things as may be seen in this critical review of Mystery of the Ages by Herbert Armstrong.

An article insisting that world peace will soon occur once Christ returns is included. It advertizes PCG's so called "Bible Correspondence Course". It promises to enlighten readers about the Bible but it is actually made to indoctrinate people into accepting PCG's dogmas and joining PCG.

Worldwatch has little article about Britain supposedly getting ready to leave the European Union. Another side article insist the US dollar is about to be rejected by the nations of the world. Another side article states that persecuted Christians are appealing to the Pope for help. PCG cites this to insinuate the Pope is conspiring to assume great power. Another side article fear mongers about Hamas and portrays them as very powerful. Another side article moans about Iran trying to advance its interests while fighting Abu Bakr al Baghdadi's lackeys. Imagine that, a state trying to get something for doing something else.

Societywatch has a little article moaning that immigrants transform society with their (non-English) languages. Another side article condemns how more Americans are declining to get married. Another side article complaining about a for profit Chapel getting in legal trouble for refusing to perform a ceremony for a homosexual couple in yet the latest attempt by PCG's writers to induce an exaggerated sense of alienation among their readers from mainstream society. PCG and the other COGs use fear and hatred of homosexuals to cause members to ignore the problems among themselves.

Stephen Flurry has a short article extolling the pleasure of reading a book and taking time to thoroughly understand it.

Joel Hilliker has a short article saying the recent Republican victory in the mid-term elections will not save America from the coming catastrophe Armstrongism has constantly insisted will occur soon since the 1930s.
They [US senators and congresspersons] don’t understand the spirit they are dealing with and what it all means. Only our booklet America Under Attack explains. (Request your free copy.)
Reading that one would not know that there are hundreds of other COG groups most of which, like PCG, believe America will soon face catastrophe and national destruction at the hands of blood thirsty Germans.

There are some letters but nothing I feel worthy of mentioning here.

And so we see once again how PCG's leaders have produced a magazine issue in order to persuade people to pay three tithes and extra offerings to PCG. That is how PCG was able to get an income of $19.5 million in 2012.

Friday, December 19, 2014

PCG's Brad MacDonald's New Tithe Funded Home

The Journal's article by Edward Malone discussing PCG's recent property acquisition in Britain also mentions that PCG's Brad MacDonald will be living within the mansion that PCG has recently acquired.
Mr. Macdonald and his family will live in the Edstone mansion. (p. 23.)
So now we see where some of PCG's tithe money is going, namely providing Brad MacDonald to live within a large mansion PCG has acquired.

(Hat tip for The Journal issue: Otagosh.)

Unaccredited: PCG's Herbert W. Armstrong College

The latest issue of The Journal is now out. (Hat tip: Otagosh.)

Among other things it contains a fascinating article by Edward Malone discussing PCG's purchase of a property to become a future collage campus. It happens to mention that PCG's Herbert W. Armstrong College is unaccredited.
The PCG operates a small liberal-arts and theology college, Herbert W. Armstrong College, also known as AC, in Edmond, Okla. Established in 2001, AC offers two-year and four-year unaccredited degrees.  
It graduated its first class in 2006, having obtained federal-government permission to accept international students in 2003. (p. 23.)
And so it can now be more firmly established that PCG's Herbert W. Armstrong College is in fact unaccredited.

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Bitter Fruits of Gerald Flurry's Rantings of a Last Crusade

Back in 1998 Gerald Flurry wrote an article for the August 1998 issue of The Philadelphia Trumpet entitled The Last Crusade. (The article was later reprinted in the August 2001 issue and the January 2011 issue.)

August 1998 issue.

The article fear mongers that the Catholic Church will soon lead the European Union to embark on an unstoppable armed rampage plunging the world into nuclear World War III eventually conquering America, Britain and the State of Israel and taking the "Israelite" inhabitants into exile as slaves.

This article was later incorporated into Gerald Flurry's booklet, The King of the South, which was discussed in a previous post. In the 2003 version of that booklet it was Chapter 2. In the current 2011 version it is Chapter 3.

Here is some of what I wrote about that chapter:
In this chapter Flurry accuses the Roman Catholic Church of planning to create the European Beast Power to seize control of Jerusalem for herself. He cites the painful history of the Crusades as evidence of what the Papacy has done through history. Flurry claims the Crusades are merely faint foreshadows of what the Papacy will do in the end time while allied with the future European Beast Power. ...
Here Flurry insinuates that the EU leaders are already under the influence of Satan in choosing to accept Cyprus as a member of the EU while being more reluctant about Turkey. ... 
That chapter, filled with fact free anti-Catholic hysterics, was very hard to read. It is removed from any semblance of reality. He simply uses the doom and gloom writings of HWA and presents them yet again to readers to create a false sense of crisis in the minds of his readers. But what he writes in this chapter is nonsense. This is not to belittle what happened during the crusades but no one in the Papacy is planning to do this... It is just manipulative demagoguery to get peoples' tithes.  

August 2001 issue.

However Flurry's fearful title foretelling of a last crusade appears to have gained attention. It has not caused people to breath in relief that they had found the answer, instead this article has spread fear and discord.

***

Here is one article from Truth Out by an activist who advocates for the separation of church and state within the US armed forces that mentions Gerald Flurry's article. This article condemns how one "jet fighter squadron" had been renamed as the Crusaders for unnecessarily stirring up hostility among peoples who use that word as a derogatory epithet.

He happens to mention Flurry's claiming a last crusade is to occur in the future.
Christian fundamentalist extremists eagerly anticipate a new, nuclear-armed crusade, believing that it fulfills blood-drenched, biblical end-time prophecies and eschatology. In August 2001, Protestant prophecy magazine The Philadelphia Trumpet published an article opening with the lines, "Most people think the crusades for Jerusalem are a thing of the past - over forever. They are wrong. Preparations are being made for a final crusade and it will be the bloodiest of all!" (Michael L. Weinstein, "The United States Military...A Crusader Force?" May 2, 2012, Truth Out.)
Actually this crusade is portrayed by PCG as a bad thing and as something committed by a future European superpower. Also PCG forbids members from serving in the armed forces however PCG's secretiveness makes this sort of information hard to see for those unfamiliar with HWA's dogmas.

But it must be stated that PCG and related groups do have a tendency to become excited at seeing events they think are fulfillment of their prophecies in order to boast that they are right.

***

Let Us Reason Ministries quotes this article as well in an article denouncing the violence used by some Palestinians during the Second Intifada from 2000 onwards. Here the article quotes Gerald Flurry's article while arguing that the Palestinian leadership under Yasser Arafat was determined to follow the path of armed combat.
“We know but one word: struggle, struggle. Jihad, Jihad, Jihad. When we stop our intifada, when we stop our revolution, we go to the greater Jihad, the Jihad of the independent Palestinian state with its capital Jerusalem.” (The Philadelphia Trumpet, Vol. 12, No. 7, August 2001, p. 5. Published by Philadelphia Church of God, Edmond, OK.)
Here is the words from Flurry's article in context. 
Here is what Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat said in 1996: “We know but one word: struggle, struggle. Jihad, jihad, jihad. When we stop our intifada, when we stop our revolution, we go to the greater jihad, the jihad of the independent Palestinian state with its capital Jerusalem.”

Jihad is the Arab cry for holy war. They will get their war. But it will not be holy. It will lead to the worst suffering this planet has ever experienced!
One wonders if the author from Let Us Reason Ministries was aware of the true nature of PCG. That is it anti-trinitarian, falsely condemns assembling on Sunday as the mark of the Beast, that God is a family of beings into which PCG members may be "born" into and other such heretical things.

***

Now here is something to worry about. Here is the Facebook account of one person from the Muslim world who seems to think that PCG's proclamations that there will be a future crusade somehow proves that the West is engaged in a grand conspiracy against the Muslim world.

This person does not seem to have posted on this Facebook account often but this person wrote about the 2011 printing of Gerald Flurry's article on February 6, 2011. It is disconcerting how often this account mentions that one article by Gerald Flurry.

This account sums up the previous posts regarding Flurry's article in this post dated October 29, 2012. (Please note: English is not this author's first language.)
The United States and the West's war against Islam, the war bucked up and delusioned by Jews in the form of stronghold over the local US politics (which furthur effects the global politics), was started in Media and Globally after the 1998's United States embassy bombings in Tanzania and Kenya. But there are some heavly alarmed facts: 
Philadelphia Trumpet, run by Philadelphia Church of God, is an authority among the WASPs, Zionists, Freemasons, illuminaties, and the fundamental Jews and Christians of USA and the rest of the world. Its more than 75,000 copies are publishing and distributing freely, every month. 
In August 1998 publication of Trumpet, its Editor in Cheif Gerald Flurry wrote the below article: 
"|http://www.thetrumpet.com/…/113.0.5.0/religion/islam/the-la…|" 
with the heading: "...Most people think the crusades are a thing of the past—over forever. But they are wrong. "There is going to be a final crusade, and it is going to be the bloodiest one of all!..."" 
And in the very month attacks on embassies were triggered...Was it an coincidence..??? 
Wait a minute...!!! 
He wrote the same article in August 2001... 
"|http://www.thetrumpet.com/…/middle-…/israel/the-last-crusade|" 
Got the point..?? 
In September 2001, 9/11 was dramatized....!!! Now beginning with these words: "Most people think the crusades are a thing of the past—over forever. But they are wrong. Preparations are being made for a final crusade, and it will be the bloodiest of all!" 
Please emphasize on the last sentence: "Preparations are being made for a final crusade"...!!! 
Now...!!! 
In January 2011 He again wrote the same article...!!! 
Keepind in the mind the revolutionary "Arab Spring" wave across the Arab world beginning in December 2010...... 
"|http://www.thetrumpet.com/…/roman-catholic…/the-last-crusade|" 
Now the wording was: 
"Most people think the crusades for Jerusalem are a thing of the past—over forever. They are wrong. Preparations are being made for a final crusade, and it will be the bloodiest of all! The exceedingly good news is this: The world will never again see a bloody crusade for Jerusalem. And nothing is more important than your understanding why!..." 
Were these coincidence...?? Keep in mind that Gerry Flurry is not a common man...He himself is an authority among fundamentals...Keep in ming 1994 "Clash of civilization"...USA's foriegn policy making is different from the rest of the world...They build it on the researcha and guidelines of Think Tanks...The top among which, is "RAND Corporation"...heavily influnced by the people like Samuel P. Huntington and Gerrald Flurry.....!!!! 
Do not panic and create panic...They are making their moves...But Allaah swt is making His moves....!!!
My word! One despairs seeing how PCG's madness is fueling other people to become fearful. It is sad to see PCG's writings contribute to the tensions between the West and the Muslim world. In itself this is a small thing but it is frightening to imagine how this sort of inflammatory messages contribute to the tensions within the Middle East.

On the other hand I have to give this person credit for learning that the article in question was printed three times (1998, 2001 and 2011).

***

Note: There are non-PCG links claiming to have the PDF file of the August 2001 issue of The Philadelphia Trumpet. Do not download them. It is just malware.

***

And so we see how at least one of Gerald Flurry's articles has attracted attention, in one instance causing a person from the Muslim world to inaccurately suspect that Flurry's article was evidence of some sort of grand conspiracy against Muslims. Gerald Flurry's message does not bring hope to the world, instead it has caused fear and as this particular article shows it has the potential to sow discord.

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Gerald Flurry Denying the Truth About HWA's 1975 in Prophecy

PCG has released an article by Gerald Flurry entitled "Was Christ a Cult Leader?" (December 12, 2014). This article was published in the January-February 2007 issue of Royal Vision.

In this article Gerald Flurry discusses how a journalist made an article about PCG in 1994.
Back in 1994, a local newspaper published an article about the Philadelphia Church of God. The author titled the article, “Is It a Cult or ‘God’s Church’?” One subhead was about our unorthodox beliefs—as if that is bad.
What sort of beliefs was the journalist talking about? Flurry gives a slight indication later in the article.
Webster’s Dictionary describes a cult as “a group with unorthodox beliefs.”
Here Flurry subtly redefines a cult as simply "a group with unorthodox beliefs" in order to minimize the fact that the word cult is often used upon groups which perpetuates oppressive practices upon its members.

So what did the reporter do to cause such offense?
The reporter had this to say in his article: “During the mid-1950s, he [Mr. Armstrong] published a pamphlet entitled, ‘1975 in Prophecy.’ It warned of a worldwide nuclear war in 1972 and Christ’s return three years later. … When the world didn’t end on schedule, Armstrong withdrew his pamphlet from circulation.” I was asked about this statement before the article was published. I told the reporter that not one of Mr. Armstrong’s critics could prove that statement about the book and they never have over the years! That is because Mr. Armstrong never said those events would occur on those dates. There was only speculation that those events could happen in that time period. I took the time to explain this in detail. The reporter still wrote the same statement without proof. And so the error is perpetuated without excuse! But reporters read such statements and often believe them because there are several critics making these claims. If people hear a statement frequently enough, they often believe it.
Is it not amazing how Gerald Flurry can say such things?

In fact HWA embraced the idea that the Great Tribulation would begin in 1972 and that Christ would return in 1975.

However HWA never talked about the spurious reasoning behind dating Christ's return in 1975 in his booklet, 1975 in Prophecy. The dating is, however, discussed in other booklets such as Herman Hoeh's highly inaccurate booklet, A True History of the True Church.

These facts are explained in greater detail in the previous post, Why 1975?

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.