Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Reading PCG's Booklet, The Little Book (1995)

Let us now read through Gerald Flurry's booklet, The Little Book. This was first published in 1995. Here Flurry claims that Malachi's Message is actually the Little Book mentioned in Revelation 10. He first unveiled this doctrine in 1992. Previously Gerald Flurry had taught that the Little Book was the Bible. Also in this booklet Flurry makes no mention of the fact that HWA once claimed the Little Book referred to his meetings with world leaders. You can read the original 1995 version online. It has since been revised in 2004, 2007 and 2010.

The current version may be read at their website. However I am not reading that booklet here except to compare quotes.

The artwork is credited to one Steve Wilkins in the 1995 version. However his name does not appear in the current 2010 version even though it still uses a somewhat modified version of his artwork.

We now begin.
There was an angel assigned to each of the seven Church eras (verse 20). The angel over the Laodicean era had the little book in his hand. One of his major responsibilities was to get the little book delivered. (p. 2.)
Why does Flurry imagine that the angel in Revelation 10 is the angel of the Laodicean era? Who told him that? Did HWA teach that?
In the past, some of us have thought the little book was Mr. Armstrong’s book Mystery of the Ages. That book is very profound revelation from God, but it covers a much more comprehensive subject than the little book. Mystery of the Ages does not contain seven thunderous messages like a lion’s roar! The number seven pictures completion. The whole story is told of how a thunderous storm strikes God’s Church (and the world) in this end time. God’s Church is treacherously led astray. The Great Tribulation and Day of the Lord are approaching with lightning speed. However, the little book reveals a joyous ending.

When the little book comes on the scene, it is a time of fear in God’s Church and on the world scene. It’s like a barrage of seven thunders and a lion’s roar as God is about to pounce on His prey and correct His Laodicean Church and this evil world! (pp. 3-4.)
PCG Information pointed this fact out but it deserves mentioning again. Later in the booklet Flurry announces that the seven thunders are the last seven chapters of Malachi's Message. But originally Malachi's Message had no chapters. The copies of Malachi's Message mailed out in January 1990 did not even have chapters. You can read this 1990 version of Malachi's Message and see this is the case.
Gerald Flurry now claims the seven thunders of Rev. 10 are the last seven chapters of his book Malachi’s Message (LB pg.10 bottom). However, the original draft of MM was just a collection of notes with no chapters, and was compiled into the 1990 version, which also has no chapters, ...

If MM were truly inspired, would there not have been seven chapters instead of none, and then nine? This is clearly an uninspired afterthought. (Source.)
We now continue. 
“And when the seven thunders had uttered their voices, I was about to write: and I heard a voice from heaven saying unto me, Seal up those things which the seven thunders uttered, and write them not” (verse 4). The angel told John not to write this vision of the little book. Imagine. The message of this little book was first revealed 1,900 years ago! However, it was not written until 1989!
What is Flurry saying? John did write about the Little Book. He did not write about what the seven thunders said. Why is Flurry so imprecise about what happened here?
John did write that the little book would be produced IN THIS END TIME. (p. 4.)
Where did he say that? Flurry is just reading stuff into Revelation.
The “man of sin” was revealed to us in a great falling away from God—after Mr. Armstrong died (2 Thessalonians 2:3-11). But we still would not have recognized this treachery for what it really is without Malachi’s Message. God took Mr. Armstrong out of the way and then clearly revealed what was happening. (p. 4. Page 5 in the current version.)
Here Flurry is claiming the full mystical significance of the Tkach changes would have been humanly unknowable without Malachi's Message.

The last paragraph of page 6 is also quite intriguing.
Natural disasters have intensified mightily since Mr. Armstrong died. There have been earthquakes, floods, droughts and fires. There have also been an alarming increase in family break-down, race problems and out-of-control crime. One journalist said 1993 was the "SCARIEST YEAR IN AMERICAN HISTORY" (because of the floods, fire, etc.) That is also true of the British people. Already South Africa has lost control of its country. That catastrophe and a lot more going to happen to America and Britain, if we don't heed God's Word. (p. 6.)
PCG's order for PCG members to shun Laodiceans is not helping to bring families together.

Also look at how PCG viewed the end of apartheid and the introduction of majority rule: "South Africa has lost control of its country." I am sure a lot of people who were denied the right to vote in elections, who were arbitrarily listed as belonging to some Bantustan and not South Africa and were forced to endure the pain of racial discrimination would not be impressed with how PCG has labelled the state of South Africa during the end of apartheid.

Not surprisingly this part of the booklet has been changed a lot. (See pp. 6-7 of the current version.) There is now no mention of 1993 being the scariest year and no mention of South Africa losing "control of its country." Instead Flurry mentions 9/11, a poll saying Americans felt the terrorists were somehow winning and a vague fear that America has become dependent on the resources of non-Israelites.

Flurry, as he is wont to do, boasts of how great and mighty PCG has become over the years since it started.
Look at how the PCG has grown since Malachi's Message was first mailed just prior to January 16, 1990. Already we have bought and paid for three new buildings with over 8500 square feet and are producing a beautiful monthly magazine that is mailed to tens of thousands of homes in over 80 countries. We have access to hundreds of millions of people with our television program. Our annual income is now into the multiple millions. (p. 7.)
In this section Flurry fear mongers that the end of this age is very close to occurring, that since HWA's death events are spiraling faster and faster. It is intriguing in the current version how Flurry's warning has been updated to mention the 9/11 terror attacks.
The people who eat and digest the little book are the very elect. They remain or become Philadelphians. God’s people who refuse to eat and digest it become Laodicean and enter into the outer court where they unwittingly await the Great Tribulation (Revelation 11:1-2). They and the world reject the little book and fail to understand the prophesied events. Only God’s very elect understand the prophecies of the little book. (pp. 7-8. Page 7 in the current version.)
Believe in Malachi's Message by Gerald Flurry or be slain in the Great Tribulation.

Flurry also appeals to the memory of the late John Amos, who was his ministerial assistant and was instrumental in starting up PCG until his death in 1992.
As we said before, the little book is Malachi’s Message. And God commands us to “eat it up.” We must study it thoroughly. So much is at stake! The late John Amos said he read it 14 times! Perhaps that is one reason why God used him so powerfully in this Work. After you have heeded God’s command to “eat it up,” God has a monumental job for you to do! (pp. 8-9. Page 8 in the current version.)
The Malachi's Message available today is not the same Malachi's Message that John Amos would have read. Over the years it has been revised numerous times. The last revision was in 2004.
The outer court, or Laodiceans, went to sleep and stopped prophesying. The inner court rises up and prophesies again the way Mr. Armstrong did. First Mr. Armstrong prophesied. When he died, the WCG stopped prophesying. Then God raised up the PCG to “prophesy again.” (p. 10. Page 9 in the current version.)
Here Flurry is clearly talking about the Tkachite WCG. But elsewhere, including the current version of Malachi's Message (PCG's Little Book), Flurry teaches that all other COG groups except PCG are Laodicean. How can these other Laodiceans be accused of having "stopped prophesying"? The other COG groups are just as much into prophetic speculation as PCG is. Why does Flurry say untrue things?

It must be noted that the current version now reads "The outer court, or Laodiceans, went to sleep and stopped doing God’s prophetic Work." Why would Flurry change these words? Is he obliquely admitting that the non-WCG Laodiceans are preaching prophetic speculations just like PCG? Yet he still vilifies non-WCG Laodiceans as though they were just like the Tkachite WCG that moved away from Armstrongism. The non-COG Laodiceans cannot be accused of being like the Tkachite WCG as they still believe many of the doctrines and teachings of HWA. Many in fact believe that HWA was the end time Elijah and that one man rule is the correct way to operate church government.
Why does God mention the times of the Gentiles and not the Tribulation? It’s probably because it helps us to see the shortness of time better. The Gentiles are rising inside and outside the nations of Israel—very fast! That is easy for us to see. Israel is collapsing from within and is about to be attacked from without.

The Philadelphians are to rise and measure God’s Church. A great portion of that measuring is holding on to what Mr. Armstrong taught! The word “measure” means to judge by any rule or standard. What Mr. Armstrong taught has a lot to do with our standard. We must measure ourselves by God’s word. Just rising, or rousing ourselves out of sleep spiritually, is a part of measuring God’s Church. (p. 10.)
Armstrongism has long had this suspicion that non-Israelites rising up and gaining greater acceptance in society is a sign that the end of the age is about to come. There is this fear that the Israelites ("white" Caucasians) will lose their power to non-whites. It causes them a lot of needless anxiety.

Flurry boasts that "A great portion of that measuring is holding on to what Mr. Armstrong taught!" Then why does PCG deviate from what HWA taught by calling Gerald Flurry "That Prophet"? HWA taught from 1953 until his death that New Testament Prophets have no administrative power over members. Why did PCG's leadership change at least three of HWA's writings, Mystery of the Ages, The Proof of the Bible and Who or What is the Prophetic Beast? There may very well be more.

(Note: "God’s word" is now "God’s Word" in the current version of this booklet.)

Also Flurry speaks here of "the shortness of time". It is now nineteen years since this booklet was published. The "Laodiceans" (whether in Tkach's WCG or not) have not suffered any sort of divine punishment for not paying Flurry three tithes by joining PCG.

From this point on Flurry then gives a synopsis of Malachi's Message insisting that it is the Little Book of Revelation 10.

Later he says... 
Satan tried to overthrow God and rule the universe. He still has that ambition and exalts himself that way in God’s Church, if he can. (p. 18. Page 17 in the current version.)
So Flurry now says Satan was trying to "overthrow God and rule the universe." Why did Flurry say that Satan was trying to have a collegial government with God in his 1993 booklet, God's Family Government?
Again, none of the Laodiceans believe Mr. Armstrong was the end-time Elijah. That is why they are blind to the real meaning of 2 Thessalonians 2! (p. 19. Page 18 in the current version.)
Again, many non-WCG Laodiceans believe that HWA was the end time Elijah. This statement is present in the current version of this booklet. Why does Flurry say untrue things?
“And then shall that Wicked be revealed, whom the Lord shall consume with the spirit of his mouth, and shall destroy with the brightness of his coming” (verse 8). The King James Version even capitalizes the “W” in wicked, as if to say this is no ordinary man. (p. 18. Page 19 in the current version.)
Or maybe this reflects the now archaic spelling convention of capitalizing all nouns which was the practice in English until the 1700s. In fact until sometime in the 1700s it was the rule in English to capitalize all nouns. Perhaps the translators viewed that word as a noun and capitalized it accordingly.
Some of us may have known a few details of Malachi’s Message before it was printed. Two or three people have said they understood most of it before it was written. Malachi’s Message was revealed to me in 1989. God revealed it! There was no reason for God to do so if a few already understood the message! I hope all of us would challenge such statements. Malachi’s Message is a new vision from God. It’s a new revelation—not something somebody already knew!

This new revelation is God’s way of saying that we must give the little book a special importance and the majesty it deserves. Only then can we properly respond to the great Work of God—much of which revolves around the little book. (pp. 20-1. Page 20 in the current version.)
Actually it is widely known that many of the ideas within Malachi's Message were plagiarized from The Letter to Laodicea by Jules Dervaes, written December 1986-January 1988. It was sent to 237 WCG ministers including Gerald Flurry and John Amos. In fact on September 26, 1990 Jules Dervaes sent a letter to Gerald Flurry in which he denounces Malachi's Message as "a direct and clear plagiarism" of his work. Flurry is here denying all this.

Also looking back at events in the Tkach changes it should be no surprise that some people would have wondered if the Tkach changes symbolized the rise of the Laodicean era. It seems most likely that is what Flurry means mentioning that some "understood most of [Malachi's Message] before it was written". There was a lot of confused speculation about what the Laodicean church would be. Some thought the Laodiceans would be not be made manifest until the worthy WCG members fled to the place of safety (Petra, Jordan). Flurry alludes to this idea in Malachi's Message. Some thought Garner Ted Armstrong's splinter group would be the Laodicean church. There was even speculation that Stanley Rader might be the Man of Sin who would later leave WCG and incite political authorities to persecute WCG members.

With such a wild mix of ideas in this milieu it should be no surprise that other persons should come to similar ideas to that presented in Malachi's Message. (Or maybe they just encountered Jules Dervaes, either in person or in writing, while he was protesting the Tkach changes.) 

Flurry ends his booklet with these words.
It is God's own work we are honored to do. But we need to prove that Malachi's Message is the centerpiece of God's Work. We must "eat it up" and believe what God says. Then we will be motivated to act! Just knowing these truths is not enough. We must act on God's Word in faith. Let's stretch and strain to get the little book to God's Laodicean brethren. (p. 22.)
But how can PCG members "stretch and strain to get the little book to God's Laodicean brethren" if they are ">forbidden to have contact with Laodiceans, as they have been since at least 2000?

So we see that Flurry is trying to gain converts by claiming that their booklet, Malachi's Message, is prophesied of in the Bible. But it should now be seen that in fact there are a lot of problems to what Flurry says in this booklet.

1 comment:

  1. OK, explain this: How have all these false prophets from Armstrong to Flurry missed the rise of the Arab nations against Israel? Flurry is a total fool to ignore what happened September 11, 2001 and a total fool to see the power the Arabs have -- not just in (currently) controlling the world's oil supply, but the growth of Sharia Law and Islam.

    Assuredly these Bible scholars should have divined that the entire Old Testament has the thread of the two brothers struggling as Israel and Arabs continue their war against each other.

    Blind fools.