Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Divine Pattern Myths from PCG

The entire Armstrongite movement is descended from the Millerite movement of the 1830s-1840s. William Miller used various esoteric numerological patterns he believed were encoded in the Bible and divine in origin to determine that Jesus Christ had to return in 1844.

They produced the Seventh Day Adventist Church, which produced the Church of God (Seventh Day), and from there came HWA. Also the Jehovah's Witnesses, a cult from which HWA derived many of his teachings, are descended from a non-sabbatarian branch of the Adventist movement.

With such roots it is no surprise that Armstrongism has from its very beginning used such divine patterns to determine the (supposed) workings of God. Hence HWA's predictions that Christ had to return in 1936, 1975, by 2005, etc. (PCG have removed that reference in their edition of Mystery of the Ages as may be seen in the October 21, 2004 Pastor General's Report, p.4, paragraphs 4 and 5, top left hand column.) Chronological patterns were sought for in such events as HWA's ordination which was linked with Christ's Resurrection, or the Radio Church of God beginning to broadcast on Radio Luxembourg in 1953 which was linked with the supposed beginning of the Great Tribulation in 1972. The failure of the 1972-1975 prophecy and many others proves that Armstrongism follows a false prophet.

This Armstrongite tradition continues with Gerald Flurry's PCG as may be seen in his article "James, Part 6: Elijah's Prayer" on pages 36-45 (PDF pp. 38-47) of the January-February, 2006 Royal Vision.

He starts this article off with a real mind bender with his teaching on the (supposed) true meaning of James 5:17-18.

These verses read, "Elias was a man subject to like passions as we are, and he prayed earnestly that it might not rain: and it rained not on the earth by the space of three years and six months. And he prayed again, and the heaven gave rain, and the earth brought forth her fruit."

Those verses may seem rather straight forward, but according to Gerald Flurry that is actually a prophecy of the latter Elijah (HWA) praying for God to stop sending the church revelation for three and a half years. This is supposedly fulfilled in the time period January 16, 1986-July 16, 1989. Note that the "pagan," Roman, Papal Gregorian Calendar is used for this pattern and not God's Sacred Calendar which "Elijah" supposedly restored to "God's Church." No actual historic evidence from the life of HWA is produced to support this remarkable assertion. We are simply to accept "That Prophet's" word that those Scriptures are to be understood in that manner. In the same way that Tkach tried to convince us that HWA wanted to dismantle his own ideological edifice now Flurry tries to put this alleged prayer in HWA's mouth. Flurry is clearly projecting the present into the past.

We will focus on July 16, 1989 in due time, but before that there is another supposed prophecy that Flurry says was fulfilled before then.

One divine pattern is taught in this article to be been fulfilled on March 11, 1989.

Here Gerald Flurry suggests that he began writing Malachi's Message on March 11, 1989 in order to place this event within an alledgedly Biblical pattern. Gerald Flurry links this alleged beginning of Malachi's Message with a prophecy from Daniel 8.

"The very elect were crying out to God, How long before you cleanse the sanctuary? And in [Daniel 8] verse 14, God answers that it would be after 2,300 sacrifices--or 1,150 days... Mr. Armstrong died on January 16, 1986. After 1,150 days, or around March 11, 1989 (probably the exact day), God began to revealing to me the truths contained in the book Malachi's Message. In God's eyes it was at that point that the sanctuary was cleansed. (p. 38, PDF p.40.)"

This was the beginning of what would later be entitled Malachi's Message. It is to be noted that this places the beginning of Flurry's writing of Malachi's Message after Jules Dervaes completed the Letter to Laodicea, which was completed in January 1988. Hence "That Prophet" is wrong to say that "God began to revealing to me the truths contained in the book Malachi's Message" when Jules Dervaes already wrote down the supposed revelation over a year before Flurry began to write Malachi's Message and he even sent it to Gerald Flurry and John Amos, as this list proves.

Another divine pattern is attached to July 16, 1989.

As earlier stated Gerald Flurry taught that HWA prayed for God to shut down any new revelation to "God's Church" for three and a half years. This period supposedly started upon HWA's death on January 16, 1986. What event happened three and a half years later that Gerald Flurry can use to once again impress his followers with some "new revelation"?

In Raising the Ruins Stephen Flurry relates how his father first showed him Malachi's Message. On July 14, 1989 Stephen Flurry returned home to Oklahoma and when they met Gerald Flurry presented to him the unfinished manuscript of Malachi's Message. However Stephen Flurry did not read until two days later on July 16.

What he did not mention in that book length recruitment narrative is that Gerald Flurry, following the long tradition of Armstrongite numerological chronology, tries to bestow a divine significance to the date Stephen Flurry first read Malachi's Message.

"Finally, MY SON READ THE ROUGH DRAFT OF MALACHI'S MASSAGE ON SUNDAY, JULY 16, 1989--EXACTLY 3½ YEARS AFTER MR. ARMSTRONG DIED! (January-February, 2006, Royal Vision, p. 38, PDF p. 40.)"

It needs to be noted here again that similar to PCG's January 16 doctrine, once again Gerald Flurry is using the "pagan," "Roman," "Papal" Gregorian Calendar to produce this chronological and numerical pattern. He is not using "God's Sacred Calendar" which "Elijah" (HWA) supposedly restored to "God's Church."

This numerical pattern is not mentioned in Raising the Ruins.

Then there is January 16, 1990 and the baptism of Stephen Flurry into PCG.

As part of PCG's fixation on January 16 Stephen Flurry was baptized into PCG. Stephen Flurry was baptized on the anniversary of HWA's death at his own suggestion. His father bestowed a significance to this date using his son's baptism. This is taken as (generally) the cut off point for the legitimacy of baptism within WCG. Anyone baptized into WCG after this date are regarded, in general, by PCG as having been baptized in the Laodicean church and therefore must be rebaptized into PCG. Those baptized into WCG before this day are not required to be rebaptized for PCG. (See p. 41, PDF p. 43, of the January-February, 2006 Royal Vision which is quoted in January 16th, PCG Information. Also see Pastor General's Report, November 12, 2006, cited as Document 3 in Examples of a Tightly Controled System (Philadelphia Church of God). Note that this PGR is not in PCG Information's archive.)

Again this is not mentioned in Raising the Ruins.

One is struck by how much prominence Gerald Flurry gives to his son. His first reading of Malachi's Message heralds the fall of the "latter rain." His baptism signals the end of WCG's ability to bestow the (non-trinitarian) spirit of God upon baptism. He is allowing his son to be a part of the Gerald Flurry Personality Cult. Even more he is fostering Stephen Flurry's own personity cult through the propagation of such myths.

After all this Gerald Flurry attack Tkach's reform of the anti-doctors healing doctrine further asserting that God will heal in each and every case, continuing HWA's deadly anti-medicine superstition. Several months after this article was published a young Australian PCG member died a premature death because he did not take necessary medication.

Then he warns that Laodiceans are spiritually sick and they need to go through the Great Tribulation to be healed. "THANK GOD for the Tribulation! Without it, it appears 95 percent of the Laodiceans would die forever! [Instead "only" half will die forever after the Great Tribulation.] What a loving God we have! (p. 43, PDF p. 45.)"

Then he speculates that God must have revealed enough of what will happen for HWA to pray that divine revelation will cease for three and a half years. HWA must have known what would happen but asked for God to fulfill his plans.

Flurry is wrong. HWA actually expected Christ to return by 2005 as may be seen in Mystery of the Ages, so he anticipated any problems to be over now and the church enjoying Year 4 of the Millenium. So HWA's perspective was very inaccurate. (As stated above PCG have removed that reference. See the October 21, 2004 Pastor General's Report, p.4, paragraphs 4 and 5, top left hand column.)

Furthermore Flurry offers absolutely no evidence that HWA prayed for divine revelation to cease entering into "God's Church" for three and a half years, beyond his peculiar interpretation of James 5:17-18. We are expected to believe that God revealed this information to him. Why? Because he said so. We are supposed to just take his word for it. So much for "proving all things."

Flurry then ends by playing his readers' heart strings with an appeal to warn the Laodiceans (with whom PCG members are forbidden to contact), telling the readers that the greatest act of love they can do to them is to warn them and appeal to them to repent (by joining PCG). "IF WE DELIVER JAMES' MESSAGE, IT WILL BE ONE OF THE GREATEST ACTS OF LOVE WE HAVE EVER COMMITTED!... GOD IS CONCERNED ABOUT EVERY SINGLE ONE OF THESE PEOPLE! (p. 45, PDF p.47.)"

This statement makes PCG members convinced that Flurry loves the Laodiceans, even though he has ordered PCG members to shun them and have no contact with them.

Also as discussed in a previous post one of Flurry's appeals is that he teaches a narrative of redemption in which half of the Laodiceans will repent and be saved after the Great Tribulation after which all shall be reunited in one big happy family just as it was under HWA. Although the thought of having half of the Laodiceans die forever may seem a very frightening thought (it is) it also gives believers the assurance that half of them will repent and be saved. By presenting this future redemption of Laodicea narrative in this way, that the Great Tribulation will save half of them but if it did not happen then 95% will be lost, Flurry convinces the PCG members that the Great Tribulation is actually a very merciful and loving act.

Flurry tells his followers that this "revelation" from James is from God. "I now know what James means--because GOD REVEALED IT! (p. 45, PDF p.47.)"

All of these supposedly important divine patterns are part of Gerald Flurry's conscious attempt to expand upon the various foundation myths of PCG. These foundation myths serve to establish his (and Stephen Flurry's) authority and legitimacy as the true successors of HWA, that God is working through them.

However it is not possible to believe that God is working through PCG as Malachi's Message plagiarized Jules Dervaes' works. As others have mentioned, all of this fixation on numerical patterns is just a smokescreen hiding the fact that Malachi's Message is a plagiarized work based on Jules Dervaes' Letter to Laodicea which could not have been revealed by God to Gerald Flurry and cannot be the Little Book.


  1. Oh man, I read your blog for a reason. 'Cause it's dawgone good, that's why!!

    Excellent article!

  2. Man I tell you, if Flurry actually believes this crap he rants about, those people in the PCG are in danger!

    Shades of a Waco type of Terry Ratzmann all over again.

    After the criticism Gerald received from Fox news, the man went bonkers. What will it take to have him go over the edge? Hopefully his son is still sane.

  3. Again you put the puzzle together very well -- much better than I could.

    Gerald Flurry called Joseph Tkach Sr. out in his early literature, for concocting doctrinal "rollbacks" made by Herbert Armstrong.

    Now he's claiming prayers said by HWA, without any evidence at all to back them besides an interpretation of one Bible verse.

    Perhaps we should ask where in Scripture Elijah tells off Elisha (since the church understood Mr. Tkach Sr. to be the "Elisha" successor).

    P.S. Some of this stuff happened at Robber's Cave Park?! Is there some prophetic significance to that name?

  4. Richard, I find it curious that Tkach Sr. was portrayed as the end time Elisha since HWA declared that there would be no end time Elisha. However like the early Tkach WCG Flurry has also chosen to ignore that declaration.

    Clever P.S. that is. There must be a prophetic significance to the name of Robber's Cave Park.

  5. Although I can't see into the future personally I don't believe that PCG will turn into a Waco like situation, based on the situation as it is now. To me it seems that certain factors are needed to produce this situation, which are not now present. They need to gather arms for instance. Also they seem to be to focused on material things (building the College, Auditorium, getting money, gaining respectability) to follow that particular route. May they not end up in such a situation.

    However it cannot be emphasized enough that the people in PCG are in danger! Because it is indeed a destructive, mind-control Bible based cult. PCG is a threat to their well being due to authoritarianism, high demands, triple tithing, needlessly induced fear of an apocalyptic future, and the eternal threat of disfellowshipment. May those caught in its grasp be free one day.