Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Reading PCG's Booklet, The Prophet Joel

Let us now read through Gerald Flurry's booklet, The Prophet Joel: Christ's Bride and the Day of the Lord. This booklet was first published in 1995. It has since been revised in 2003, 2004 and 2006. You can read the current version of this booklet on their website. It is the same version read here.

 The subtitle reads "Christ's Bride and the Day of the Lord".

Recently I cannot help but see that his writings have a constant theme: Gerald Flurry claims to have "new revelation" which inevitably turns out to be his announcement that (insert name of Biblical book here) is (1) all about the Tkach changes, (2) the rise of PCG in opposition to them and (3) only PCG members will be taken to a place of safety while (4) all others will be damned by enduring the Great Tribulation.

I wonder if that will change here. Will it?
God has finally revealed the full meaning of the book of Joel! But not to the Bible scholars of this world. God was not going to reveal the full meaning of Joel until the Laodicean era of His Church appeared on the scene ... That is because the strongest warning in this heavy prophecy is directed to God’s own lukewarm Church.

This is what none of the commentaries see! The number-one tragedy in this book of tragedies is the trouble in God’s own Church. Many members are in danger of going into the Tribulation. Many others are in danger of losing their eternal lives. (p. 2.)
As expected, Flurry says Joel is all about the Tkach changes and the rise of PCG. This is exactly the same message Gerald Flurry produces with just about every booklet he wrote, or at least the ones I have read so far.
The word of God did not come to a committee! It did not come to a group of scholars. It came to a man—as it always does! So if God reveals more truth about Joel in this end time, it would be revealed to one man. That man, of himself, is not important. But God’s word is. Our responsibility is to find God’s message—and the right man. (p. 3.)
Flurry uses the Book of Joel to claim that God reveals truth to a man. Flurry naturally claims to be the man God is revealing truth to now. This statement also reveals Flurry claim to be the rightful bearer of one man rule (misleadingly called "God's government") within PCG.
This is an end-time message. So God will obviously reveal the full meaning of this book today. Then a man—a messenger—will proclaim the message with extreme urgency. Other scriptures will make this even more obvious as we continue. (p. 3.)
But if this one man (he means himself, Gerald Flurry, of course) is the only one who properly understand what Joel is saying, does that not means that Flurry has assumed all the authority of Joel?
The ministers are commanded to lead all of God’s people in fasting and to call a solemn assembly—an urgent meeting about repentance. All of God’s people are to come to where Christ and His revelation are. They must heed God’s revelation given in the book of Joel—either now, or in the Tribulation. Everybody should stop their work now and come to God’s Work. God prophesied that He would make the Laodiceans come back to the Philadelphian message (Revelation 3:9). It’s only a matter of when. (p. 7.)
Translation: Join PCG or be damned in the Great Tribulation. Get out of whatever non-COG group right now and pay me and my collaborators three tithes now or be damned.
When God gives us the full revelation from Joel, it is near “at hand.” We are being plunged into the preliminaries of the book of Joel now! We are in the gun lap today. World conditions are going to get vastly worse—quickly! (p. 8.)
It is now nineteen years since this booklet was first published. Eight years since this latest version came out. What a long gun lap. Have world conditions gone worse since then? That is not the first time someone said we were in the "gun lap".That happened shortly before 1972.
God would never have cut them [the "Laodiceans"] off had they not rejected His government! Every Laodicean group in existence has rejected the government God taught through Mr. Armstrong. (p. 8.)
Flurry once again brings out his canard that the "Laodiceans" have rejected "the government God taught through Mr. Armstrong", which Gerald Flurry admits in his booklet Isaiah's End-Time Vision is actually "one-man rule". In fact many COG groups continue to have one man rule to this day. Why does Flurry say untrue things?

This is just simply a crude way Flurry claims PCG is different from every other COG group. Too bad for him this claim happens to be untrue.
This is why our message is so urgent today. Soon, only those people God protects will escape these towering catastrophes! (p. 9.)
Flurry says "those people God protects" when he actually means PCG members. He is yet again intimidating WCG members and ex-WCG members into joining PCG to save themselves from the Great Tribulation and the supposed nuclear war soon to come.

It is now nineteen years since this booklet was first published. Eight years since this current version was published. Has Flurry's dire threat arrived?
The Hebrew word for holy does not mean a moral quality. It always means “separated, or set apart, for God.” God’s “holy mountain” is the loyal Philadelphia remnant, which is doing His Work. This work consists of, specifically, delivering a terrifying message to God’s own people around the world. (p. 10.)
So Flurry finally admits that he is trying to terrify people, specifically to terrify other Armstrongites into joining PCG. He claims he does it as part of God's will but actually he uses the fear he preach to intimidate people into joining PCG with the promise of escape from this supposed coming catastrophe.

How many PCG converts would have joined if they knew we would all be here nineteen years after this booklet first came out? (Eight years since this version's release.)

Flurry throws in a lot of doom and gloom in this booklet. Here is a little more. Anything to get a few more tithe payers.
This bloodcurdling destruction kills most people, yet leaves a few petrified with fear. Never has this Earth seen so much appalling evil! Every face turns black with agonizing pain! Why can’t mankind repent now and avoid this day of darkness? ... Nuclear winter has blocked out the shining sun, moon and stars! The heavens are trembling. Why can’t men see where this world is headed? (p. 12.)
In 1995, when he first published this booklet, he was already boasting that PCG had an annual income of "multiple millions". (These words are not in the current version of that booklet.)
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. (Gerald Flurry, The Little Book, 1995, p. 7.)
 Flurry is just trying to get more tithe payers with this booklet that claims to be about the writings of Joel.
There is towering hope in this verse. God may “repenteth … of the evil.” He may change many of our problems immediately. ... Who knows, God may remove the big trial you have now. Your whole life could be revolutionized today! God promises forgiveness as well as punishment. And He never lies (Hebrews 6:18). (p. 14.)
But if God only reveals revelation to one man (Gerald Flurry) then the only way to "repent" is to follow Gerald Flurry, meaning join PCG and pay three tithes and extra offerings to his institution.

Later Gerald Flurry claims Joel 2:23 is all about himself, Gerald Flurry, and that Joel calls him "a teacher of righteousness".
A remnant of God’s people will not be cut off. Some of them will receive the former and latter rain. They will be fed spiritually as they were in the glorious past—that is, under Herbert W. Armstrong! This spiritual education would come through “a teacher of righteousness.” [Gerald Flurry.] God prophesied that a leader [Gerald Flurry] would be sent to move His lamp. Not only would he hold fast to what was rejected, but the spiritual rain—revelation from God—would fall abundantly for him and his followers. (p. 17.)
Gerald Flurry claims to have received "new revelation" from God and this is a major claim for his authority over PCG members. His "new revelation", at least at first, is simply to say that (insert name of Biblical book here) is actually all about the Tkach changes and the rise of PCG in opposition to that. That is what he said in Malachi's Message. It was so successful for him that he decided to repeat this message using just about every book in the Bible. So there is no abundance of "new revelation" as he claims here, but rather the same "new revelation" is repeated again and again.

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.

We now continue.

After this Flurry speculates on what will happen to the Laodiceans in the Great Tribulation. He speculates that after PCG members have fled to the place of safety many Laodiceans will repent. (In other writings Flurry says it will be half of them.) These repentant Laodicenas will be encouraged by having visions and prophesies delivered to them.
Joel refers to people who are going to prophesy, dream dreams and see visions. Would God use people who don’t have God’s Holy Spirit in them to prophesy? I don’t think so. These Laodiceans had a history with God before they went into the Tribulation. They were plunged into the Tribulation because they rebelled against God. When they repent, God can use them in a special way. Perhaps, God will also give His Spirit to be with those who repent, but were never baptized. They could have dreams and see visions to give them hope in the worst crisis ever. ... 

God is to pour out His Holy Spirit upon the repentant Laodiceans. Then young and old people receive revelations from God to encourage them. They are scattered and probably have no real leadership. I don’t see any other practical way for God to encourage them. ... The Laodiceans will then remember God. They’ll remember how they were taught the truth, and realize how they then “departed” from God. They will also remember that we warned them of this rebellion. (pp. 18-9.)
Pay me my tithes and only then shall these things not happen, in other words.

Elsewhere Flurry also claims these repentant Laodiceans will be massacred by the unrepentant Laodiceans in collaboration with the European Beast Power. He wrote that in his booklet entitled Obadiah.

Then Flurry talks about the end of the Great Tribulation. Time for more blood and gore.
It was in the valley of Jehoshaphat where Asa, Hezekiah and Josiah cast and burned the idols of Israel. It was a common burial place. It still is today. In the future, God is going to continue the tradition. The valley of Jehoshaphat is going to become a massive grave—the biggest grave ever on Earth! ...

All of the Israelites are to be removed from their nations (verse 6). Mind-staggering times are coming upon this world very soon. That means God’s very elect have a gigantic responsibility. ...

People are going to be wading in human blood! (verses 12-13). ... The valley of Jehoshaphat is going to be overflowing with blood. People are going to be wading in blood all over this Earth! They are going to get sick of blood, blood and more blood. Human beings are going to be crushed like grapes by the billions! (pp. 20-1.)
The reason he focuses so much on blood and gore is because he is a cult leader. He is trying to stir up fear among PCG members in order to make them rally around him.

Then at the end he writes a few words saying that this news is actually joyous because after all this Christ shall return and all will be well.

Flurry ends with these words.
The theme of this book is the Day of the Lord, and its strongest warning is to God’s own people. We must blow the trumpet in Zion. Mind-paralyzing times are coming. The people must be warned. But they must also hear the end result of God’s inspiring plan. We need this glorious vision to get us through the difficult times ahead. (p. 22.)
But how can PCG members "blow the trumpet in Zion" by warning the Laodiceans if they are forbidden to have contact with Laodiceans, as they have been since at least 2000?

So we see that this booklet simply repeats what Gerald Flurry taught in Malachi's Message, that Old Testament prophesies are all about the Tkach changes, the rise of PCG in opposition to that and that PCG members will be spared from the Great Tribulation while all others will be left behind to endure its horrors. Although these things are presented somewhat differently it is essentially repeating the same themes contained in Malachi's Message.

And he seems to think Joel 2:23 is specifically talking about him and Joel calls him "a teacher of righteousness".

Odd. I seem to recall how one man said, "And do not be called teachers; for One is your Teacher, the Christ." (Matthew 23:10, New King James Version.)

His name was Jesus by the way, but I doubt he will listen to one who talks like that.

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