Flossing Flurry's Flaws --

 

“Malachi's Message” or Malachi's MADNESS?

 

                                 Jesus Christ said the TRUTH would make us free (John

                                 8:32).  Paul warned us to "PROVE ALL THINGS."  Yet

                                 the attitude of Gerald Flurry's "Philadelphia Church of God,"

                                 seems to be a parody of the California gun law, "Use a gun,

                                 go to jail" -- Flurry's teaching seems to be, "Ask a question,

                                 get disfellowshipped"!  He avoids serious doctrinal issues,

                                 questions and debates like the Bubonic Plague!  Is he hiding

                                 something?  What is the TRUTH about his book called

                                 "Malachi's Message" for the end-time?

 

                                                          William F. Dankenbring

 

         In a recent issue of The Philadelphia Trumpet, published by Gerald Flurry and the Philadelphia Church of God, Gerald Flurry states in the lead article that his book Malachi's Message  IS the prophesied fulfillment of the Scripture in Revelation 10, where we read:

 

                                 "And I saw another mighty angel come down from heaven, clothed

                                            with a cloud:  and a rainbow was upon his head, and his face was as

                                            it were the sun, and his feet as pillars of fire:  And he had in his hand

                                            a LITTLE BOOK open:  and he set his right foot upon the sea, and

                                            his left foot on the earth, and cried with a loud voice, as when a lion

                                            roareth:  and when he had cried, SEVEN THUNDERS uttered their

                                            voices.  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. . . . And I went unto the angel, and said unto him, Give me the

                                            LITTLE BOOK.  And he said unto me, Take it, and eat it up; and it

                                            shall  make thy belly bitter, but it shall be in thy mouth sweet as honey.

                                            And I took the LITTLE BOOK out of the angel's hand, and ate it up;

                                            and it was in my mouth sweet as honey:  and as soon as I had eaten

                                            it, my belly was bitter.  And he said unto me, Thou must prophecy

                                            again before many peoples, and nations, and tongues, and kings"

                                            (Rev.10:1-11).

 

         In this recent article, Gerald Flurry asserted dogmatically and without shame that HIS book, Malachi's Message, IS this "little book" mentioned in Revelation 10, which was sweet as honey to the taste, but bitter as bile to the stomach!  He claimed without pause or proof that things uttered by the "seven thunders" were seven messages contained in his book!

 

         I have read Malachi's Message -- and brethren, I assure you -- I tell you most plainly and pointedly -- that it is no prize winner.  It is a product of Gerald Flurry's own imagination, riddled with doctrinal errors and huge gaping flaws -- EASILY disproved by ANYONE who has an open mind, who is willing to question, test, and examine the statements, and LOOK UP EVERY quoted SCRIPTURE!  Gerald Flurry's book is NOT the "little book" John was told to eat, and has nothing whatsoever to do with the "seven thunders"!  It is an IMPOSTOR, JUST LIKE GERALD FLURRY IS AN IMPOSTOR!

 

         Let's take a good look at some of the GLARING ERRORS contained in Malachi's Message -- before YOU become hooked on spiritual poison and become a  spiritual fatality!

 

                                             Gerald Flurry Versus the Real Malachi

 

         Now, I have nothing "personal" against Gerald Flurry and his new organization.  Howver, I have heard some things about them which cause me to grieve.  They appear to have retreated into a form of "isolationism" and are not carefully "proving all things," as Paul commanded us to do (I Thess.5:21).  They have retreated into the past, a time warp, where Herbert W. Armstrong -- despite his many faults, blemishes and errors -- is virtually "worshiped," put up on a pedestal, and glorified as the "Elijah" to come.  Yet Herbert Armstrong himself admitted he was not a "prophet," and made many, many mistakes throughout his life.  The prophecies concerning the coming "Elijah" say that he will restore the truth of God.  Herbert Armstrong did restore some of God's truth -- but far from all of it -- and he was in error on some very important points. 

 

         Furthermore, the Elijah to come is prophesied to "turn the heart of the fathers to the children, and the heart of the children to the fathers" (Mal.4:6) -- and the dropout rate of young people from the Worldwide Church of God was enormous when Herbert Armstrong was alive.   They have failed to truly

reconcile fathers and children.  Family break-ups were at high levels.  Husbands were divorcing wives and wives were leaving husbands.  The situation in the Worldwide Church of God, during Herbert Armstrong's later years, was chaotic, with divorce and remarriage at all-time highs.  Certainly these would not be the "fruits" of the ministry of the "Elijah" to come!

 

         Gerald Flurry is right to compare the present-day leader of the Worldwide Church of God to "Judas Iscariot."  The modern leadership of the Church is indeed betraying Jesus Christ and His truth!  The Worldwide Church of God has truly slipped into a state of precarious apostasy!

 

                                                 The Great Errors of Gerald Flurry

 

         However, Flurry himself is also grievously wrong in many of his doctrines, espoused in Malachi's Message.  He is totally wrong to use the prophecy in Zechariah concerning "Joshua the high priest" and to claim it refers to Joseph Tkach.  Notice!  According to Flurry:

 

                                 "Joshua was Zerubbabel's chief assistant.  They are both end-time types

                                            of two men who work together just before Christ's return.  Joshua rebelled

                                            and 'despised the day of small things.'  He turned away from the way

                                            Zerubbabel built.  That is how Satan got to him (Zech.3:1). 

 

                                            "The 'man of sin' rules in God's Temple (or Church) and rejects the past

                                            instructions of 'he' who was 'taken out of the way' (II Thes.2).  There is

                                            to be a Judas-like betrayal today, just as there was with Joshua.

 

                                            "And end-time Joshua and the 'man of sin' reign in God's Church just before

                                            Christ's return (Zech.3:8; II Thes.2:1-3).  Are the one and the same?  Both turn

                                            away from past instructions.  Both have filthy garments.  Failing to submit to

                                            Christ's government is the major problem of both men" (MM, p.61).

 

         Sadly, this exegesis is all mixed up, spiritually.  The "man of sin" of II Thessalonians refers most directly to the future "BEAST" or ruler of the end-time Babylonian Empire (Rev.17:10) who will literally sit in the Temple of God, soon to be rebuilt in Jerusalem (Rev.11:-1-2).  He will literally sit in the Temple and proclaim that he is God. Paul writes of him, "He will oppose and will exalt himself over everything that is called God or is worshiped, so that he sets himself up in God's temple, proclaiming himself to be God" (II Thess.2:4).  Joseph

Tkach does not literally claim that he is "God."  This prophecy can only refer to him as a secondary type, since he does "exalt himself" and sits in the "Church" and acts with brazen impunity as he changes doctrines.  But the primary meaning of this Scripture is obviously as a reference to the end-time Dictator who, like Antiochus Epiphanes, will desolate God's Temple and install the abomination of desolation (see Dan.11:31-32; Matt.24:15-21) and who will persecute God's people (Rev.12:14-16).

 

                                                    Who is "Joshua" the High Priest?

 

         Flurry also completely misunderstands the significance of "Joshua the high priest" in Zechariah 3, also.  Let's notice this passage carefully.  "Then he showed me Joshua the high priest standing before the angel of the LORD, and Satan standing at his right hand to accuse him.  The LORD said to Satan, 'The LORD rebuke you, Satan!  The LORD, who has chosen Jerusalem, rebuke you!  Is not this man a burning stick snatched from the fire?" (Zech.3:1-2).

 

         Notice!  This man is snatched FROM the "fire," a type of the Great Tribulation.  That means he is SAVED!  He is a chosens vessel of Almighty God!  He is most defnitely NOT an "apostate" who starts out well but ends up going astray!  Rather, the exact OPPOSITE is true!  Let's continue the passage:

 

         "Now Joshua was dressed in FILTHY CLOTHES as he stood before the angel.  The angel said to those who were standing before him, 'Take off his filthy clothes.'  Then he said to Joshua, 'See, I have TAKEN AWAY YOUR SIN, and I will put rich garments on you.'  Then I said, 'Put a clean turban on his head.'  So they put a clean turban on his head and clothed him, while the angel of the LORD stood by" (Zech.3:3-8).

 

         This scene shows a man who was filthy with sins, but who REPENTED -- and who was then used mightily by God!  This describes the very opposite of a man plunging into APOSTASY -- it shows a man FORSAKING apostasy and REPENTING of a grievous, filthy,  spiritual past!

 

         In ancient times, Joshua the high priest and Zerubbabel the governor of Judah worked together, as a team, to rebuild the temple of God, which was accomplished from 520 to 516 B.C.  They were a powerful team -- Joshua did not forsake the Work of God, as Gerald Flurry seems to claim, and plunge into apostasy -- not at all.  Rather, he and Zerubbabel were TYPES of the end-time TWO WITNESSES of the Book of Revelation!  Notice it!  God shows Zechariah a vision of a gold lampstand with seven lights, and two olive trees beside it (Zech.4:1-3).  God then says, "This is the word of the LORD to Zerubbabel:  'Not by might nor by power, but BY MY SPIRIT,' says the LORD Almighty.  What are you, O mighty mountain?  Before Zerubbabel you will

become level ground.  Then he will bring out the capstone to shouts of "God bless it!' God bless it!"'  Then the word of the LORD came to me:  'The hands of Zerubbabel have laid the foundation; his hands will also COMPLETE IT.  Then you will know that the LORD Almighty has sent me to you" (Zech.4:4-9).

 

         Notice!  This cannot refer to Herbert Armstrong, not even in type.  Even if one suggests that God used him to begin His end-time work in 1934, he is now DEAD.  He most certainly will NOT "complete" or "finish" the Work of the Church!  Therefore, he was NOT an end-time "type" or fulfillment of "Zerubbabel"!  That should be perfectly plain.

 

         The Scripture goes on, however, "Who despises the day of small things?  Men will REJOICE when they see the plumb line in the hand of Zerubbabel. . .'  Then I asked the angel, 'What are these two olive trees on the right and the left of the lampstand?'  Again I asked him, 'What are these two olive branches beside the two gold pipes that pour out golden oil?'  He replied, 'Do you not know what these are?'  'No, my lord' I said.  So he said, 'These are the TWO WHO ARE ANOINTED TO SERVE THE LORD of all the earth'" (Zech.4:10-14).

 

         What is this talking about?  These two "anointed ones" were Zerubbabel and Joshua the high priest!  They were a type of the TWO WITNESSES of the End Time!   They worked TOGETHER to finish and complete the WORK OF GOD on earth, prior to the return of Jesus Christ!

 

         Therefore, in no way could this prophecy refer to Herbert Armstrong -- who is now DEAD -- and Joseph Tkach -- who has now turned ASIDE from the true paths of God!

 

         Rather, as John writes in the book of Revelation, Almight God says:

 

                                 "And I will give POWER TO MY TWO WITNESSES, and they

                                            will prophecy for 1,260 days, clothed in sackcloth.  These ARE

                                            the two olive trees and the two lampstands that stand before the

                                            Lord of the earth.   If anyone tries to harm them, fire comes from

                                            their mouths and devours their enemies.  This is how any one who

                                            wants to harm them must die.  These men have power to shut up the

                                            sky so that it will not rain during the time they are prophesying; and

                                            they have power to turn the waters into blood and to strike the earth

                                            with every kind of plague as often as they want" (Rev.12:3-6).

 

         How clear!  Joshua the high priest and Zerubbabel were two powerful servants of God who were types of the end-time Two Witnesses prophesied in the book of Revelation.  In no way, therefore, is "Joshua" a type of that miserable dog and cur Joseph W. Tkach who has sold his soul to the devil and has departed from the faith and followed in the diabolical footsteps of Judas Iscariot, the supreme traitor of all time!

 

                                                        Flurry and the "Temple"

 

         Flurry is also dead wrong when he claims, "Even if a temple is built in Jerusalem, it will not be the temple of God [his emphasis].  The Jews have not been commissioned to build God's temple -- as Zerubbabel was.  If they build a temple, it would be the Jew's temple" (MM,  p.47). 

 

         This is utter nonsense.  The prophet Daniel foretold of a Temple of God in Jerusalem during the last days (see Dan.8:9-14, 23-25) where sacrifices will be performed (Dan.9:26-27) and where the abomination of desolation will be literally placed (Dan.11:31-32).  Jesus Christ also foretold of this same Temple or "holy place" (Matt.24:15; Mark 13:14).  And John in Revelation connects this future Temple with the two witnesses, and was told specifically to "measure" it, but not to measure the "outer court" because "it has been given to the Gentiles" who will trample it down for three and one half months, during the "Great Tribulation !(Rev.12:1-2).

 

         Furthermore, to claim that this Temple would not be God's Temple shows an astonishing lack of understanding.  God plainly COMMANDS His people, the Jews, to rebuild His Temple.  The prophecies of Haggai are all about this phenomenal End-Time coming event.  God declares, "'Go up into the mountains and bring down timber and BUILD THE HOUSE, so that I may take pleasure in it and be honored,' says the LORD" (Haggai 1:8).

 

         Talking about this end-time Temple, God says, "This is what the LORD Almighty says:  'In a little while I will once more SHAKE THE HEAVENS AND THE EARTH, the sea and the dry land.  I will SHAKE ALL NATIONS, and the desired of all nations [Christ the Messiah!] will COME, and I will fill this house [the End-Time Temple!] with glory,' says the LORD Almighty. . .

'The glory of this present house will be greater than the glory of the former house,' says the LORD Almighty.  'And in this place I will grant peace,' declares the LORD Almighty' (Hag.2:6-9).

 

         Gerald Flurry says any Temple the Jews build will not be God's Temple?  That is exceedingly strange.  Malachi the TRUE prophet of God declares:  "See, I will send my messenger, who will prepare the way before me.  Then suddenly the Lord you are seeking will COME TO HIS TEMPLE; the messenger of the covenant, whom you desire, will COME,' says the LORD Almighty" (Malachi 3:1).  Christ will return TO HIS TEMPLE in Jerusalem!  One of

the final things remaining that must be accomplished before the return of the Messiah is the rebuilding of His Temple!  Read my articles on "Coming Soon -- A Temple In Jerusalem!", "Prepare the Way of the Lord!" and "Will a Temple Soon Be Built?"

 

         Hence, here we see that Gerald Flurry's "Message" is the EXACT OPPOSITE OF MALACHI'S MESSAGE!  Only Satan the devil could inspire him to call his horrible error "Malach's Message"!  Whom will you believe?

 

                                                   The Mystery of the 144,000

                       

         Flurry claims that the Laodicean Church is the 144,000 and will all perish in the Great Tribulation, suffering martyrdom.  Flurry states that the 144,000 of Revelation are "sealed" after the Great Tribulation and before the Day of the Lord (Rev.6:9-16; 7:1-4).  This of course is true.  But then Flurry goes off the track, and claims that only the 144,000 are "sealed" after the Great Tribulation because, according to him:

 

                                 "The Laodiceans will DIE and be sealed during the 2 1/2 year

                                            Tribulation.  Therefore, we can see that the 144,000 of God's people

                                            receive their salvation through the Tribulation experience -- and

                                            death" (p.29). 

 

         He adds,

 

                                 "Again, the Bible indicates that all the Laodiceans who enter

                                            God's Kingdom must DIE for God  (Rev.6:9-11; 12:11-12). 

                                            You should read every word. . . . The Laodiceans have to prove

                                            themselves by dying for God"  (MM, p.30, his emphasis).

 

         These Scriptures simply do not say what Gerald Flurry says they say.  Rather, Rev.6:9-11 speaks of MANY true Christians dying during the Great Tribulation.  But it does not say ALL will perish in martyrdom!  Similarly, Revelation 12:11-12 merely states that the devil will come down to the earth with great wrath and fury.  Verses 14-16 show that some of God's people will be protected from Satan; but others will be persecuted.  There is NO MENTION OF MARTYRDOM, although it will certainly happen to SOME!  Persecution is NOT "martyrdom"!  Many will be persecuted, thrown in prison, and treated horribly.  Some will definitely be martyred -- but nowhere does God say all the Laodiceans will be martyred -- only that they will suffer the "fire" of the Great Tribulation (Rev.3:18).  In the process, many of them will finally REPENT, and learn their lesson. 

 

         Who then are the real 144,000 of Revelation?  Let's understand!  The apostle John sees them after the Great Tribulation (Rev.6:11-17), during a pause before the Day of the Lord begins, when God Himself sends plagues upon the earth (Rev.7:1-2). John says quite clearly that they are 12,000 from EACH of the 12 tribes of Israel (Rev.7:3-8) who are also "servants of our God" (v.3).  Being servants of God, these people already have God's Holy Spirit.  Therefore, these must be SURVIVING CHRISTIANS from all the remnant Churches of God who have come THROUGH the Great Tribulation, and are still alive!  At this time they will be "sealed" in their foreheads (v.3). 

 

         What is this "sealing"?  It cannot be receiving of God's Spirit -- they already have that, being "servants of God."  To claim that is is "death," as Flurry does, makes no sense whatsoever.  These people are SURVIVORS, still alive at the end of the Great Tribulation!  What, then, is it?  Notice!  "Then I heard him call out in a loud voice, 'Bring the guards of the city here, each with a WEAPON in his hand.'  And I saw six men coming from the direction of the upper gate, which faces north, each with a deadly weapon in his hand.  With them was a man clothed in linen who had a writing kit at his side.  They came in and stood beside the bronze altar. . . . Then the LORD called to the man clothed in linen who had the writing kit at his side and said to him, 'Go throughout the city of Jerusalem and PUT A MARK on the FOREHEADS of those who grieve and lament over all the detestable things that are done in it.'"

 

         Ezekiel continues:  "As I listened, he said to the others [other angels], 'Follow him through the city and KILL, without showing pity or compassion.  Slaughter old me, young men and maidens, women and children, but DO NOT TOUCH ANYONE WHO HAS THE MARK" (Ezekiel 9:1-6).

 

         This "mark" is the same thing as the "seal" in Revelation 7:3 -- it is the "seal" or "mark" of divine PROTECTION and setting apart!  In other words, the PLAGUES OF GOD which will fall upon the earth during the Day of the Lord, will not harm or touch the "sealed" and protected servants of God who are still alive at that time!  They will be supernaturally SPARED and SAVED from the judgment that will fall upon the heads of all the wicked!

 

                                                         "The Government of God"?

 

         Unfortunately, Gerald Flurry's so-called "Philadelphia Church of God" is no more the true "Philadelphia Church" than is the Worldwide Church of God or some other cult!  It is just one more off-shoot of Worldwide -- one more "sect" that has arisen during these last days to lead people astray into error!  Satan the devil seems to have a slot for virtually everybody, and many subtle ways in which to deceive people. 

 

         Flurry believes that the "government of God" is only in his "church" group today.  He thunders at everybody else: 

 

                                 "When we reach 'the great and dreadful day of the Lord,' all

                                            rebellion from the Church against the Elijah Work  [which he

                                            claims is his work] is removed.  At that point, all Firstfruits

                                            support what Christ has restored  through HWA or they are

                                            dead spirtually!  Even though HWA died before 'the great and

                                            dreadful Day of the Lord,' there are many who still don't support

                                            what Christ restored though him.  When that Day arrives,

                                            ALL CHURCH MEMBERS WHO STILL REBEL AGAINST

                                            GOD'S GOVERNMENT WILL BE CUT OFF FOREVER!"

                                            (MM, p.29).

 

         Flurry's "church government" is just another totalitarian, dictatorial, heavy-handed, tyrannical form of HUMAN government.  Although professing to be God's Church, and therefore claiming God is in charge of ONLY that Church, Flurry has proved by his errors and his attitude that God is not in that Church! It is just another of Satan's End-time Deceptions!

 

         Speaking about Church government in the TRUE Church, Jesus Christ said very plainly:

 

                                 "Ye know that the princes of the Gentiles EXERCISE DOMINION

                                            over them, and they that are great exercise AUTHORITY upon them.

                                            BUT IT SHALL NOT BE SO AMONG YOU:  but whosoever will

                                            be great among you, let him be your minister [servant]; and whosoever

                                            will be chief among you, let him be YOUR SERVANT:  even as the

                                            Son of man came not to be ministered unto, but to minister, and to

                                            give his life a ransom for many" (Matt.20:24-28).

 

         Flurry threatens all who don't follow HIM and his group with DEATH in the Great Tribulation, unless they repent NOW.  He claims their "sealing" means being MARTYRED during the Great Tribulation.  Knowing that we serve a righteous and a just God, I suspect that God will reserve for Gerald Flurry the very punishment that he so quickly threatens so many others with!

 

         On the last page of his book, page 83, Flurry says:

 

                                 "We are going to be accused of rebelling against God and His

                                            authority.  WE ARE DOING JUST THE OPPOSITE! . . . Who

                                            has a government problem?  The whole battle we face is struggling

                                            to cling to Christ's government. . . . WE ARE NOT REBELLING

                                            -- WE ARE TAKING A STAND AGAINST THOSE WHO ARE!"

 

         Of course, Joseph Tkach and the Worldwide Church of God do accuse Flurry and his group of rebelling against "Church authority" and the "government of God."  But now Flurry and his group are accusing others of the very same thing when they disagree with him!  So what we see here is a strange theological oxymoron.  Flurry is guilty of doing the very same thing he accuses Tkach and the Worldwide Church of doing!

 

         If Flurry were taking a stand against those who are rebelling against God, and if he were standing up for the TRUTH of God, and not just for old ERRORS and doctrinal mistakes of the past,  then I would have nothing against him -- I would cheer him and and root for his team.  But alas, I cannot do that.  The "fruits" have proven that his group is just another "miniature Worldwide" with all of its governmental errors and doctrinal faults -- including the abuse of authority and stubborn refusal to admit and confess their mistakes, and to repent and receive proven and provable new Truth!  Flurry and his Church have shown no interest whatsoever in the revealed new truth God has given us of the correct dates to observe the Passover and Pentecost!  In fact, he ridicules the truth, and insists that anciently the Jews kept the Passover at the beginning of Nisan 14, and later lost that knowledge -- despite all the evidence of the Jewish history, Talmud, Mishnah, and the Bible itself, to the contrary! 

 

         I sincerely wish that Gerald Flurry and his "Philadelphia Church of God" were truly seeking to serve God and seeking His Truth.  But the "fruits" prove otherwise.  Yet many former Worldwide Church of God members are being sucked right into the vortex of his spiritual whirlpool, where they will drown, spiritually, unless they free themselves from his error and authoritarian management!

 

                                                Whom Will You BELIEVE?

 

         Finally, in the conclusion of his book, Malachi's Message, Gerald Flurry declares, with seeming sincerity and authority:

 

                                 "Brethren, please study and digest this message, and pray fervently

                                            for God to guide you.  BELIEVE YOUR BIBLE  -- NOT MEN!

                                            Your eternal life hangs in the balance" (MM, p.83,

 

         On this one thing Gerald Flurry is certainly right.  You should definitely "BELIEVE YOUR BIBLE -- NOT MEN!" (p.83).  And that includes Gerald Flurry!

 

         Flurry also tells people who read his book, "

 

                                            "GOD COMMANDS -- TEST YOUR LEADERS"  (p. 5).

 

         This also is very good advice.  And it applies just as much to Gerald Flurry  as it does to Joseph W. Tkach, or any other man on the earth, today!  Flurry declares:

 

                                 "The point is, THOSE CLOSE TO GOD FOLLOWED

                                            JESUS CHRIST -- not some of the deceived leaders in

                                            God's Church." 

 

         Flurry continues:

 

                                 "We often ask the question, 'Is he out of the Church?'  But that

                                            isn't the most important question.  That isn't the question the

                                            Apostle John was most concerned about.  His followers were

                                            'cast out' of the Ephesus Church [era -- II John 9,10] -- but it was

                                            because they were actually FOLLOWING CHRIST!  Following

                                            Christ has gotten many people kicked out of God's Churches --

                                            when those Churches were going astray.  A CHRISTIAN IS ONE

                                            WHO FOLLOWS CHRIST -- not a man or a church organization"

                                            (MM, p.4).

 

         Isn't that amazing?  Gerald Flurry knows this truth.  He even writes about it.  Indeed, a TRUE CHRISTIAN IS  ONE WHO FOLLOWS CHRIST!  But why, then, doesn't Gerald Flurry do as he says, and FOLLOW CHRIST?   Christ kept the Passover with the Jews of His day, throughout His life (Luke 2:41-49).  He kept Pentecost on the same day as the Jews, in their synagogues (Luke 4:16-21).  He acknowledged that the Pharisees and scribes "sit in Moses' seat" and that we should "observe and do" -- what?  "ALL therefore WHATSOEVER they bid you observe" (Matt.23:2-3)!

 

         Why doesn't Gerald Flurry take the hint -- and OBEY GOD?

        

         Is Flurry, therefore, really  "FOLLOWING CHRIST?" 

        

                                                      "WOE To the Shepherds"!

 

         The Word of God has some strong words for modern ministers, like Gerald Flurry, who claim to be His official representatives.  God Himself thunders, "To the shepherds:  Thus said the Lord GOD:  Ah, you shepherds of Israel, who have been tending yourselves!  Is it not the flock that the shepherds ought to tend?  You partake of the fat, you clothe yourselves with the wool, and YOU SLAUGHTER the fatlings; but you do not tend the flock.  You have not sustained the weak, healed the sick, or bandaged the injured; you have NOT BROUGHT BACK THE STRAYED, or looked for the LOST; but you have DRIVEN THEM WITH HARSH RIGOR, and they have been scattered for want of anyone to tend them" (Ezek.34:2-5, Tanakh).

 

         Jeremiah the prophet wrote, "'WOE to the shepherds who are destroying and scattering the sheep of my pasture!' declares the LORD.  Therefore this is what the LORD, the God of Israel, says to the shepherds who tend my people:  'Because you have

SCATTERED my flock and DRIVEN THEM AWAY [through "disfellowhipment" as well as other means, including "boring them to death" in some cases] and have not bestowed care on them, I will bestow PUNISHMENT on you for the EVIL you have done,' declares the LORD'" (Jer.23:1-2).

 

         I sincerely hope that Gerald Flurry and those ministers with him will both come to full repentance before they go so far adrift from the truth which they once held that they earn for themselves the full, undiluted and undiminished WRATH and fury of God, which He will pour out on the wicked shepherds, the evil ministers, and all those who MISLEAD God's people!  As the apostle Paul wrote to the Romans, "The WRATH OF GOD is being revealed from heaven against ALL the godlessness and wickedness of MEN WHO SUPPRESS THE TRUTH by their wickedness, since what may be known about God is plain to them, because God has made it plain to them. . . . so that [these] men are without excuse" (Rom.1:18-20).

 

         This is no small matter, but something ALL should take with the utmost seriousness and urgency. 

 

         Presently, the "Philadelphia Church of God" possesses fatal and dangerous errors.  They came out of Worldwide, but not "all the way out" of Babylon!  They still have the Babylonian, authoritarian, despotic form of "church government" which does not come from Scripture but from Babylon and the tyranny of Roman Catholicism, masquerading as the truth of God.  God's true ministers are not autocrats or dictators -- they are loving and gentle shepherds who love the flock with tenderness and rule with meekness and gentlesness (I Pet.5:1-4; Matt.23:8-12).

 

         I hope and pray that the leaders of the Philadelphia Church of God will come to a much fuller and deeper repentence and submission to the will of God.  It is right that they should help  expose the errors of Worldwide -- but they should not blind themselves to REAL new truth, and bring people into servitude and cruel "bondage" to themselves -- replacing one dictatorship with another!  They themselves must also open their eyes to the fact that Herbert Armstrong did not have all the truth, and that we must continue to GROW in grace and the knowledge of God's Word and HIS LAWS (II Pet.3:18).  If they follow the example of Worldwide, and put people out for asking questions, or bringing up serious new truth, then they are no better than the apostates they are fleeing from -- they are just "the pot calling the kettle black" -- modern hypocrites!

 

                                                           A FINAL WARNING

 

         Some people think I speak out too harshly and strongly in denunciation and condemnation of the errors of others -- whether they be Joseph Tkach, Gerald Flurry, Garner Ted Armstrong, Ron Dart, Roderick Meredith, or anyone else. 

However, I do not believe that to be the truth.  Those same people would probably condenn John the Baptist for saying to the Pharisees -- the leaders of the "Church of God" of that day and era --

 

                                 "O generation of VIPERS, who hath warned you to flee from the

                                            wrath to come?  Bring forth therefore FRUITS MEET FOR

                                            REPENTANCE" (Matt.3:7-8).

 

            These sincere and well-meaning people don't think I should speak out so negatively, but just concentrate on "preaching the gospel."  I suppose they would also, therefore, condemn Christ Himself, who said of false ministers and apostates of His time --

 

                                 "WOE unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! . . . Ye serpents, ye

                                            generation of vipers, how can ye escape the damnation of hell?" (Matt.

                                            23:27, 33).

 

            It is not right to cover up evil, or to ignore doctrinal error.  It is SIN to do so!  God's Word thunders, "Thou shalt not hate thy brother in thine heart:  thou shalt in any wise REBUKE THY NEIGHBOUR, and not suffer SIN upon him" (Leviticus 19:17).  The apostle Paul put it plainly:  "And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but RATHER REPROVE [EXPOSE] THEM. . . . But all things that are REPROVED [DISCOVERED, EXPOSED] are made manifest by the light:  for whatsoever doth make manifest is LIGHT" (Ephesians 5:11-13).   Will you come to the light?