Sunday, May 4, 2014

Reading Malachi's Message: Part 3

Previously I have read a copy of an old 1990 edition of Gerald Flurry's booklet, Malachi's Message to God's Church Today, which was discussed here and here. We now continue from Part 1 and Part 2 of Reading Malachi's Message

Chapter 5

This chapter continues the theme of Chapter 4 and therefore is largely devoted to using Zechariah 3 and 4 to claim that two figures mentioned there, Zerubbabel and Joshua, are a prophecy describing HWA and Tkach. He inists it is a prophecy predicting the glory of HWA's ministry and the subsequent changes under Tkach.

This idea is also presented in Jules Dervaes' Letter to Laodicea. As stated in the last post.
But is this Gerald Flurry's idea? Actually Jules Dervaes taught this idea in his fourth scroll of The Letter to Laodicea, which was written April 28, 1987. This was long before Flurry wrote Malachi's Message in 1989.
 We now continue.

In Malachi's Message Flurry insists that Joshua is a villain who works against the will of God. However when I read it (without assuming that Flurry knows what is the meaning of it) I just do not get that impression. Joshua does not seem to be a villain. Otherwise why would God give him clean garments befitting his office? If anything to me it seems to me that it shows that Satan had attacked Joshua but God restores him to his rightful place. Reading it I never would imagine that this Joshua was some sort of villain. It seems to me like he is a hero who is admired and respected. He is one of the good guys in this narrative. That is how I read it when I look at it.

Mr. Armstrong taught us that he was the end-time fulfillment of Zerubbabel. He also believed there would be an end-time fulfillment of Joshua. This means the message about an end-time Joshua urgently needs to be understood by all of us. 
Maybe Gerald Flurry should also remember that while HWA taught that he was the end time Elijah he also taught that there would be no end time Elisha to follow him.

Now I am persuaded that HWA taught that he was an end time Zerubbabel, but did he teach there would be an end time Joshua afterwards? I have never heard of this. And I notice that Gerald Flurry does not cite a source for his assertion that HWA taught there would be an end time Joshua after him.

God commanded Joshua to speak “according to all that Moses commanded” him. And so we must be very careful today to follow Mr. Armstrong’s instructions. Shortly after Mr. Armstrong’s death, the WCG even sent out a tape comparing this Joshua to Mr. Tkach.
Here Gerald Flurry says "we must be very careful today to follow Mr. Armstrong’s instructions." Maybe Gerald Flurry should follow HWA when he teaches that New Testament Prophets have no administrative role, or that there would be no end time Elisha to follow HWA, or that HWA wrote that Christ would return within two decades when he wrote Mystery of the Ages (which PCG's editors have since surreptitiously deleted).

We see no such attitude in the Laodicean leaders [Tkach's WCG] today. They are often teaching members to turn away from what “Elijah” [HWA] taught us! That is why the administration of the WCG and other Laodicean groups are rebelling against God!
Why is Flurry seeking to slur the other COG groups with Tkach's WCG? Here Flurry is condemning the leaders of Tkach's WCG for no longer teaching what HWA taught and then he seems to accuse other COG groups ("other Laodicean groups" is how he puts it) of doing the same thing. But in fact many COG splinter groups began in order to continue teaching and following HWA's teachings because Tkach made this impossible to do in WCG (at least openly). Why is Flurry condemning these other COG groups? They are essentially doing exactly what Flurry himself sis in starting up another COG groups. Many of these COG groups began in order to resist Tkach's orders to abandon many of HWA's teachings. Why is Flurry speaking as though these other COG groups are just as guilty as Tkach for ending what HWA started? These other COG groups did not rebel against HWA's teachings, they formed themselves together in order to be faithful to HWA as they understood it.

The only conclusion I can come up with is that Gerald Flurry wishes these other COG groups submitted to his leadership and paid him tithes in order for him to be greater and more powerful. He seems to hate the fact these Armstrongites chose not to submit themselves to Flurry's authority. He seems to be paranoid that their existence outside of PCG threatens his own claim to be the only COG group church God is working with today.

Mr. Tkach received very special training from Mr. Armstrong as well. God holds Mr. Tkach accountable as no other man on this Earth! 
No he did not. Tkach was appointed as head of the ministry in August 1979 and served in that role until HWA's death in January 1986. Did he receive any type of special training?


Near the end of this chapter Gerald Flurry condemns WCG gaining accreditation for Ambassador College. 
As you know, the college has now been accredited. That could help some Ambassador graduates get jobs. But no amount of benefits received could ever justify removing God’s government! And we must not forget that God would give far greater benefits to those who obey Him!
Gerald Flurry found employment after graduating from an unaccredited college by being ordained as a minister of WCG. Therefore he has no experience of those Ambassador College who graduates suffered the shame and indignity of learning their degree meant nothing because HWA kept Ambassador College unaccredited. Here we see he ignores this problem. But he never had to deal with this problem himself so how can anyone take this seriously?


With this chapter Flurry's presentation that HWA and Tkach are an end time Zerubbabel and Joshua (an idea that originated with Jules Dervaes) is ended.


Chapter 6

This chapter addresses some the changes that were implemented by Tkach after HWA's death in 1986, presenting them as evidence that a WCG member is under no obligation to remain in WCG now that Tkach has changed doctrines taught previously. (Actually Gerald Flurry changed a few doctrines himself, but that will be discussed later.)

First, take a look at what this does not say. It is not addressed to a worldly religious figure in a Jerusalem temple. 
Why does he say "a Jerusalem temple"? Is that grammatical? Doesn't he mean "a temple in Jerusalem"? There is that strange way with words he has popping up again.

Some could say that God has forsaken His Church. The truth is, God warned us almost 2,000 years ago of this tragic event, and He gave us some startling specifics.
The truth is no one in HWA's WCG before 1986 anticipated that WCG would, as an institution, renounce what it taught and enter the fold of evangelical Protestantism. Rather many Armstrongites, including Gerald Flurry, read the Tkach changes into the Bible as a way of reassuring themselves during this most unexpected crisis. The Tkach changes were not written in prophecy. This is a delusion born out of an attempt to improperly use the Bible to condemn the Tkach changes. No one either warned or anticipated such a thing as the Tkach changes. And they are most certainly not discussed in the Bible.

Those members with the Philadelphia spirit will see and heed the sign. They will see who are the real rebels against God’s government!
Compare this statement with his previous statement "(The Laodiceans are comprised of the WCG and other groups that have left the WCG—except the PCG.)" and it will be seen that " members with the Philadelphia spirit" is confusing jargon meaning "PCG members", people who submit themselves to Gerald Flurry's rule.

Then on January 16, 1986, “he” was “taken out of the way.” Mr. Armstrong died—even though his doctor said he could have lived another 20 years.
So we see Gerald Flurry admitting that HWA had a doctor. Why does Gerald Flurry allow so many PCG members, like Garth MacDonald, refuse to visit doctors or take medicine impairing their health or even killing them? Why does PCG publish a booklet, The Plain Truth About Healing, that condemns going to doctors and make people fearful of going to doctors and taking medicines? Why doesn't he make it clear to PCG members that there is nothing wrong with going to a doctor as HWA did?

It’s all a monstrous fraud that is spiritually deceiving many of God’s people—it would seem at least 144,000 eventually! They are all victims of a satanic fraud occurring within God’s Church.
Here again Gerald Flurry states that the 144,000 are the Laodiceans and that they are in a position of shame for not leaving WCG or for not joining PCG.

What non-COG readers will not know is that since 2000 PCG members have been forbidden to make contact with WCG members or ex-WCG members who have not joined PCG, Flurry's "Laodiceans."

Brethren, I hope you realize the dangerous direction of the Laodicean Church. Some people are going to be lost forever. Those of the Laodicean Church of God must awaken! Or they will slumber right into the Great Tribulation.
Here is yet another crude attempt to intimidate people into joining PCG, paying him three tithes and giving PCG ministers the power to control your life. He is trying to manipulate you.

Dr. Ward explained how the WCG is changing its views about giving to hurricane and other disaster funds. This goes deeper than just giving to disaster victims—who do need help. This is a changing of the Church’s commission established by Christ—through Mr. Armstrong. Instead of spending money to warn the people why disasters are happening, the WCG helps them financially. Soon the world will be literally flooded with disasters! God will bring it to pass as punishment. Tithes and offerings will be spent in vain if they continue this approach. 
Here Gerald Flurry condemns giving money to victims of natural disasters. He made the same point in the 1990 edition of Malachi's Message. If you ever wanted to see what sort of man Gerald Flurry is, then read this. I think it is abhorrent that he should condemn spending money to help people in need. It is just so callous and lacking in affection.

In the near future you are going to see events that will shake this world as never before. Time is running out! The signs all point to the catastrophic end—which will come very soon! The same God who is sending you this message is already moving dramatically to BRING THIS WORLD TO ITS KNEES!
He first wrote Malachi's Message in 1989. It is now 2014, twenty five years later.

If Malachi’s Message is revealed knowledge—it must be from God! If you see it as such, God also must have revealed that to you. Appeal to God for understanding! These truths are too momentous to neglect!
Here Gerald Flurry suggests that if you are agreeing with what he is saying then it must be a sign from God you must join PCG. Of course he would want you to think that. You would have to pay him three tithes if you joined PCG.

What does it mean to have a “belief of the truth”? (2 Thessalonians 2:13). This signifies real faith. It may mean giving up a physical or spiritual family for the truth! 
Alas, many PCG members have done exactly that, not for the truth, but to be in good standing within PCG.


Chapter 7

In this chapter Flurry condemns Tkach's decision to discontinue publication of HWA's writings thus rendering "God's Church" (WCG before 1986-9 then PCG in Flurry's not so unbiased opinion) unable to properly warn the world about the coming Great Tribulation (was was supposed to begin in 1972 according to HWA). Flurry does this to build up his case that Tkach is not worthy of continued allegiance in order to persuade readers to join PCG and pay three tithes and extra offerings to him.

Here Flurry quotes an article by David Hulme advertizing one of HWA's booklets.
The Book of Revelation Unveiled at Last will help you grasp the meaning of these prophecies that at first seem so hard to understand” ....
That quote was made almost one year after Mr. Armstrong died. Now this booklet [The Book of Revelation Unveiled at Last!] is also discontinued. It is desperately needed right now. If you still have it, read it again and judge for yourself. Mr. Armstrong didn’t live to see the end of this age as he thought he would. (So correct that little error in the booklet.)
Here we see that already Gerald Flurry was correcting what HWA, the end time Elijah and Zerubbabel, said in order to make his words seem more probable than it actually was.

The WCG gave $100,000 to the Hurricane Hugo fund and $100,000 to the San Francisco earthquake fund, plus other similar contributions. (But they say they can’t afford to print Mystery of the Ages!) The Church’s real commission from Christ says earthquakes are to increase (Matthew 24:7, 14). God’s money would be far better spent telling the world why these disasters are happening—the cause. God commands the Church to “give them warning from me” (Ezekiel 3:17). God also says, if they are not warned, the ministry is guilty of their blood (Ezekiel 33:1-7, 11). This means the WCG and other Laodicean groups will be plunged into the Tribulation with the world—because the world’s blood is on their head. 
Once again Gerald Flurry condemns giving money to aid victims of natural disasters. Why does he think it so wrong for a church to help out people in need? If even hurricane victims get no meaningful sympathy from him what hope do everyday people have with him?


To be continued...

(Update: May 19, 2021: This reading is continued in Part 4.)

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