Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Reviewing Malachi's Message (1990 Edition)

Recently I went and read Malachi's Message to God's Church Today, the book that Gerald Flurry published shortly after he was expelled from WCG in December 1989.

I decided to read the 1990 edition of Malachi's Message, thus seeing what was originally written by him.

It is well known that Gerald Flurry's ideas were taken from Jules Dervaes' Letter to Laodicea, which were written before Malachi's Message.

But here I read through this book to see what would stand out and comment on it.

And so we begin:


"There is no greater honor than being in the ministry." p. 3.

This was the first statement I found odd. Now on the one hand he is trying to emphasize what a grave responsibility it is being in the ministry in order to condemn Tkach's reforms and demonstrate that he was failing in his responsibility by changing doctrines.

On the other hand this statement also reveals the severely authoritarian society created within HWA's WCG. Ministers were very powerful and had great power over lay members. Many stories have been written regarding how ministers had tremendous power within the group.

Flurry's not being idealistic, this is how HWA's WCG was.


"With a wrong attitude we are going to die for all eternity." p. 7.

This is spiritually abusive language made to make people panic that making the wrong decision will cause them to go to the lake of fire. Alas, this sort of language is fairly common within this book. Anyone who reads this will that sort of intimidating talk occurring often.


"Now if we deny that [HWA was the end time Elijah], we are calling Christ a liar!" p. 10.

One of the Armstrongites' favorite tricks is to present an opinion and invoke the name of God in order to silence any disagreement. It is used very often and has produced a horde of people with severe black and white views of the world. Flurry is once again indulging in this vicious trick in order to lure people into joining his little group.
One of the peculiar characteristics of PCG was its dogmatic insistence that HWA was the end time Elijah. At the time (early 1990) this was good advertising for PCG because there was no alternative COG that exalted HWA in this way. (Of course that is not true now. Today many COGs also make this dogmatic claim.)

Garner Ted Armstrong's Church of God, International was started before HWA died so it was impossible for them to advertise their devotion to HWA in this way. But PCG could do so and thus tapped into the disaffection of those devoted to HWA's ideas and lured them away from WCG. Meredith was, it would appear, biding his time for WCG to settle a libel suit that had been ongoing since 1979, and disaffection among the WCG ministers would not bloom into a mass departure until Tkach's Christmas Eve sermon in 1994 .


"Who else but God's church keeps His law today?" p. 10.

"God's Church...alone truly keeps God's law." p. 78.

What poppycock! The law cannot be kept. There is no separation between moral laws ("God's law") and ceremonial laws ("law of Moses"). HWA was completely wrong on this matter. The destruction of the Temple in Jerusalem in AD 70 made keeping the law utterly impossible. The law cannot be fulfilled. No one keeps it today. That is what Grace is, God's unmerited favor upon believers cancelling the penalty for failing to fulfill the law, partly to account for the fact that the law cannot be fulfilled.

The hubris of these Armstrongites, imagining they and they only keep the law. If we could keep the law, it would have been unnecessary for Jesus die for us.


"[HWA] instructed the ministers to insist that every baptismal candidate read Mystery of the Ages." p. 15.

I have no idea if this is true, but I have heard that prospective members are required to read Mystery of the Ages, Malachi's Message and That Prophet (which says Gerald Flurry is That Prophet) before they can be baptized.

After reading this book I see more clearly how idolatrous regard for Mystery of the Ages is build deep into the founding of PCG. So much so PCG would later wage a very expensive court case against WCG (which they lost) that lead to PCG getting the copyright from WCG for about three million dollars. 

(Of course anyone could read Mystery of the Ages and many other of HWA's writings on other COG websites during this court case. But you will never see PCG acknowledge this fact.)


"The WCG may be growing in membership until Christ return, but does that always mean it is doing God's will?" p. 24.

One intriguing thing about this book is that Gerald Flurry seems to have thought that WCG would greatly expand in membership for embracing mainstream evangelical doctrines. How wrong he was.

It is amazing that one who dares to call himself "That Prophet" and claims to know the future course of events did not see WCG falling apart but instead thought that WCG could expand in membership.

Another false prophecy from he who calls himself 'That Prophet'.


"Matthew 25:1-10 indicates 50 percent." p. 25.

Here he throws in this disgusting belief of his that the parable of the ten virgins means half of the Laodiceans will be cast in the lake of fire using that parable.

But it is useful for him in that this supposedly new 'revelation' supposedly reveals that God is revealing new truths to Flurry. This is the real reason why Flurry concocted this disgusting doctrine.

It's also useful in inciting fear among his followers of being a 'Laodicean'.


"God is knocking - to a great extent through Malachi's Message." p. 26.

Here Flurry uses the powerful and memorable image of Jesus knocking on the door of a believer's heart and twist it into Jesus hectoring Tkach and his followers to return to the heresies of HWA. How disgusting. The arrogance of this man, to assume this scripture, read by so many all over the world, is only talking about Gerald Flurry's condemnation of Tkach changing WCG doctrine.   


Flurry says the 144,000 are the Laodiceans. Declares Laodiceans' spiritual fate to be decided by God after the Great Tribulation and before the Day of the Lord. Any Laodiceans still in rebellion then are to be cast to the lake of fire and eternally destroyed.

This adds another sick twist to Flurry's No Contact policy. According to Malachi's Message:

PCG members are shunning the 144,000.

My word! This cult is sick!


Levi (as mentioned in Malachi) is HWA, accoring to Flurry (p. 32.).

Also Flurry teaches that Zerubbabel is HWA, Joshua is Tkach. But this idea was most likely taken from Jules Dervaes' Letter to Laodicea, fourth scroll (April 28, 1987), which also taught this before Malachi's Message was printed in late 1989.


"No more needs to be added to the house." p. 35. Flurry says this to say that HWA's church had no need for additions. Then why did it 'need' that That Prophet? Why did he have to add the doctrine that Tkach is the Man of Sin (p. 47)? HWA never taught that the Man of Sin of 2 Thessalonians 2 would be a man within the Church of God, but instead always said it would be the final Pope.


In page 44 Flurry refers to the Laodiceans as a "disease". Note the dehumanizing rhetoric against Laodiceans. This allows him to treat them badly. At first he seems to mean WCG members but eventually he extends the definition of Laodiceans to all who are in WCG and all Armstrongites who left WCG but are not in PCG.


Flurry condemns WCG considering giving aid to disaster victims. "Instead of spending money to warn the people why it's happening, we help them financially....Tithes and offerings are going to be spent in vain if they continue this approach." pp. 54-5.

Pp. 69-70 also condemns aid to disaster relief.

I find this quite grating. To me it serves as a very bad sign for where Gerald Flurry is going to lead his followers. In several places in Malachi's Message Gerald Flurry says one should be concerned about the direction in which WCG teachings appeared to be heading in. The early readers of Malachi's Message should have been concerned about the direction this teaching indicated within PCG.

To self-righteously ignore the plight of those afflicted by disasters seems like a very bad way to start up a new COG.

One time, infamously, HWA condemned sending money to aid the refugees in Nigeria during the Biafra War (1967-70) and called upon co-workers to instead send that money to him instead to preach.

Coworker letter  2/27/70 
"THE APPEAL [to help refugees] WAS TO TREAT THE EFFECT, NOT THE CAUSE!… THIS WORK OF GOD is DOING SOMETHING BIG AND IMPORTANT TO STOP THE CAUSE—to PREVENT MORE BIAFRANS from starving… you are having A PART  in spreading Christ’s Gospel… Right HERE is the MOST IMPORTANT WORK ON EARTH TODAY… GIVE generously as you are able.. The way to DO SOMETHING about the starving and dying in Biafra, India, Egypt, and other such areas suffering evils, is to DEAL WITH THE CAUSE, not the effect—to HELP IN THIS GREAT WORK OF THE LIVING CHRIST!" (From Pam Dewey's website.)

Alas, it would appear that Gerald Flurry took this advice to heart.

It's also sad to see that one of the reasons Flurry gives for opposing donating to charity is that soon there will be so many colossal disasters coming before Christ's return that giving to charity will be useless. It's been about 24 years since he wrote those words and nothing has changed.

There will be more in a future post.

Sunday, February 24, 2013

LCG Loses Two Canadian TV Stations, Another May Soon Go

Banned by HWA has revealed that Meredith's LCG has lost two Canadian TV stations and may soon lose their number one station in Canada as well.

Because of this Meredith called for a church wide fast on February 23 in a desperate attempt to get more money from LCG members.

I am glad that LCG has lost the ability to lure more people into the grasp through those TV stations. I was deceived by Meredith, Ames, John Ogwyn and Co. after watching their TV show on a local TV station in early 2000. It was not until 2008 that I finally woke up and realized they had lied to me. HWA was not an accurate forecaster of events as they claimed. They never discussed HWA's false prediction that Jesus Christ would return in 1975 in any of their writings.

Meredith, Ames, John Ogwyn and the other leaders of LCG deceived me.

That is why I started this blog in the hope of helping people to stay away from the deceiving influence of these deceptive scoundrels.

But on the other hand I am quite saddened to hear that cult leader Dave Pack has acquired one of LCG's TV slots. Pack's cult, the so-called Restored Church of God, is even more authoritarian and dictatorial than Meredith's LCG. At least women are allowed to wear makeup in LCG. Pack continues to impose HWA's makeup ban upon church members. I think it would be even worse to fall under Pack's influence than Meredith's.

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

The Terror in North Korea

After North Korea has detonated a third nuclear explosion there has been a lot of attention of North Korea.

Deservedly North Korea is known all over the world for being a particularly horrific authoritarian society.

Here are some resources detailing the depraved evil of the North Korean regime.

This will not be easy reading.

North Korea: exposing the terrors of the gulag. (Assist News).

being a Christian is a serious political crime in North Korea. Some 200,000 'criminals' are incarcerated in the secretive State's gulag, including tens of thousands of Christians. Possession of a Bible is punishable by public execution. To eliminate disloyal family lines, the regime's policy dictates that three generations of any dissident be incarcerated in concentration labour camps where starvation and gross cruelty ensure the death rate is kept high. It is almost beyond belief that this horrific reality could have endured for more than 60 years. Refugee survivors such as Soon Ok Lee have testified that Christian prisoners are treated even more harshly than other political prisoners. As survivors' testimonies become available, the terrors of the North Korean gulag are exposed. ...

[From a CBS report] When three generations of Kang Chol-hwan's family were incarcerated in 1977, he was only 9. Kang survived 10 years in Camp 15 at Yodok. His testimony is remarkably similar to Shin's, except that Kang was released in 1987 after his 'disloyal' grandparents died. Kang subsequently fled to China after being alerted that security police were coming to arrest him for listening to foreign radio broadcasts. Today Kang lives in South Korea, where works as a journalist and human rights advocate. He became a Christian in South Korea,...

 Kang Chol-hwan later wrote a book, The Aquariums of Pyongyang.

North Korea kills two Christians (Mission News Network).

According to the ministry [Open Doors] that serves persecuted Christians worldwide, one Christian died in one of North Korea's notorious labor camps. Estabrooks explains, "In the first case, this man went back voluntarily and began to share his faith quite extensively within the country. Ultimately, he was informed on, arrested, and put in prison." Open Doors contacts followed the case to the labor camps, where--under a regime of hard labor, little food, and torture--he died.

Estabrooks goes on, "The second situation, which we've learned today, was a Christian going back to China for Bible training and was killed by a border guard as he tried to cross the river.

"He was very excited about his new faith and wanted to share the Gospel with his family," says an Open Doors worker. "He wanted to come back to China to study the Bible more so he could explain the Christian faith better to his family. It is heartbreaking that he was killed. I cannot stop thinking: 'If only he had arrived a little later at the border river, the guard would not have seen and shot him. He could still be alive today.'"

Escaped North Korean Refugee Reveals Nation's Desire for Nuclear Weapons, Intense Persecution (Christian Post)

"Timothy," a 24-year old North Korean refugee...has revealed to Open Doors USA, a persecution watchdog group, that he was tortured almost to the point of death for trying to escape to China nine years ago...

"I remember they showed us cartoons and animated movies about bad Christians," Timothy shared of the 15 years he spent in North Korea. "The Christian God was a monster for me. However, when I was 11, I witnessed the public execution of a Christian. His crime was that he had hidden tiny Bibles in the roof of his house."

"The same year a lady was shot," the refugee continued. "She had escaped to China and went to church there, but a North Korean spy discovered her activities. He had her arrested and sent back to North Korea, where she was also killed in public. I am convinced these practices still occur in my country. As for myself, I learned to trust in God. Thanks to Him, I am still alive."

For a more general overview of the North Korea system of oppression seeThe Hidden Gulag by David Hawk, US Committee for Human Rights in North Korea. (PDF.)

It will be a good day when North Korea's vicious and hopelessly dysfunctional dictatorship will come to an end. May that day soon come.

There appears to be some cracks within the regime. They are not invincible.
The North Korean leadership measures most of its decisions against one single overriding standard:  the effect on regime survival. The elites fear if they lose control, the North Korean state will collapse and if that happens, "the South Koreans and Americans will hang us, and if they don't our own people will," Kim Jong Il reportedly told Communist Party leaders in a secret speech in late 1996 at the peak of the Great North Korean Famine (according to an interview I did with a senior defector in 1998)....

A month ago Kim Jong Un purged the vice marshall of the North Korean military, one of the most powerful figures in the army. He did not go quietly: In one report when soldiers were sent to remove him from office, a fire fight broke out with his personal security detail and 30 soldiers died. Last week Kim and his uncle purged the new defense minister, who had only held office for seven months. In July Kim reportedly increased his own personal security to protect himself from any potential assassination plots. Recent graffiti in some parts of the country are openly criticizing Kim's leadership, an exceedingly rare act of dissent usually punishable, for those caught, by a slow death in the political prison camps. (Andrew Natsios, Why North Korea Launched the Missile, US Committee for Human Rights in North Korea)
The day of its fall will be a good day.

Monday, February 4, 2013

How Bob Thiel Decided to Make Himself a Prophet

Banned by HWA had a great post discussing Bob Thiel's bizarre, legalistic hang up over American football.

There was this great comment that well describes how Thiel leaped over the edge to declare himself a prophet, just like Gerald Flurry, Ronald Weinland and Joseph Smith before him.

Have some sympathy for Thiel. 
He believes God used Rod Meredith to save the church from the Tkach apostasy. 
He then heard Rod Meredith encourage him in the idea that he is a prophet.  
He then heard Rod Meredith disavow his prophethood. 
How to reconcile all of this? There are really only two options Thiel can embrace: 
1. God wasn't using Rod Meredith to start Global and LCG, which means Thiel's decade of pro-LCG polemics were the false writings of a deluded fanatic, and Thiel wasn't in the One True Church™ after all. 
2. Just as God used Rod Meredith to lead the true remnant out of WCG, so too has God used Prophet Bob to lead the true remnant out of LCG. 
Prophet Bob has done a great job of documenting the falsity of all the other non-LCG ACOGs. For him to embrace #1 is thus to admit that ALL the ACOGs are false, and he might as well join the Greek Orthodox Church. 
If there's a positive spin on any of this, it's that he has burned all his ACOG bridges. His next step is to become an anti-ACOG critic. Of course, he will have to develop some real humility to admit he was deceived, so we may have to endure quite a few more years of CCOG first.

Personally I find it very difficult to have sympathy for him. If he decided to disappear from public view and process his expulsion from LCG personally I would have more respect for him than I do now. But for him to arrogantly proclaim himself a prophet and beg for tithes and loyalty from any wandering Armstrongite out there so he can exploit them is disgusting. He will not get far, but that will be little comfort to those sucked into his influence.

False prophet Bob Thiel (COGWriter) is also a liar.
It has been an exciting week as statistics show that in our first thirty days, the Continuing Church of God was able to reach over 2,000,000 people over the radio and over 100,000 over the internet.
The largest radio stations here in Los Angeles with a listening audience from Santa Barbara to San Diego and from Santa Monica to Riverside cannot garner that many listeners to a station at one time.  They never have and never will, particularly if it is a talk radio show.  Thiel is a liar. (Banned by HWA.)
And the idiot is still whining about the US government assuming more debt. As I explained before it is good for a government to spend more during a recession in order to take up the slack in the economy caused by people not spending as much as before. National debt is nothing like credit card debt.

Most important, this credit-card metaphor is a totally false analogy because, unlike a consumer on a spending spree who later has to pay the piper, government’s borrowing strategy directly affects economic growth. When deficit spending helps increase growth, that, in turn, makes the debt less burdensome. The Federal Reserve also has the power to buy public debt ‑ a prerogative not available to consumers. (Source)

This self proclaimed prophet does not even understand simple economics.

Bob Thiel is just a joke who perfectly personifies everything wrong with Armstrongism in miniature.

Sunday, February 3, 2013

Roderick Meredith Wants Your Inheritance

Banned by HWA had this amazing and horrifying post which discussed how Roderick C. Meredith told his followers, in an article in the January-February 2013 Living Church News (pp. 1-2, 34), to will their inheritance to his cult organization.

I would like to take the opportunity now to encourage many of you who are growing older to think about giving a good part or all of your estate to the Work of the living God. Many of you, no doubt, would like to do this but “simply have not gotten around to it.” Many want to do it, as this one man said—but simply put off making out a will so that your intentions will be carried out when you die. God’s word encourages responsibility and wise estate planning. “A good man leaves an inheritance to his children’s children, but the wealth of the sinner is stored up for the righteous” (Proverbs 13:11). Pray that God will give you wisdom in planning for how your assets may be helpful to your children— and to God’s Church—after you die. And it is important that you think about this, because if you just “do nothing” your estate may go to people who will not appreciate what you are leaving behind, or it may even go to the state and be part of the budget of some government treasurer to use as he desires!...

If we truly have our “hearts” in God’s Work, we will obviously want to give generously! This should not be a mystery to any of us. So we should each think about how we can best do this. A wonderful example as a “hero of the faith” was Raymond Jorgensen, the Iowa farmer who willed his entire farm with the buildings and equipment and everything to God’s Work enabling us to move to our new Headquarters in North Carolina! Some of you remember his wonderful example. By giving that entire property—which was valued at nearly a million dollars—he certainly indicated to our Father in heaven exactly where he stood! His wonderful gift will never be forgotten by me, nor by many of us who are profoundly thankful that God put this action into his mind and heart.

This is merely the latest continuation of exploitation from Armstrongite cult leaders. From HWA's long history of begging for money, to Dave Pack's Clarion Call sermon Armstrongite cult leaders have long ruthlessly exploited their followers.

Making members feel as though they need to give a large part (or even all) of their inheritance is a terrible thing. Truly the men leading these cults are ravenous wolves who care nothing about how their greed destroys the people below them.

Recently Ronald Weinland was sent to jail. Roderick C. Meredith deserves to be cast in with him as well.