Special Report on Gerald Flurry,

Garner Ted Armstrong,

Roderick C. Meredith

 

 

 

This was written 15 years ago,, but still gives valuable insight into these men and the ministries they founded. Joseph Tkach and Garner Ted Armstrong are now deceased, but their work still lingers and leads people astray. 

 

"Wherever the Carcass Lies,

There Will the Vultures Gather"

 

                                 Spiritually, physically and morally the Worldwide Church

                                 of God appears to be imploding.  It has been reported that

                                 Joseph Tkach Jr. wants to be observing Easter Sun-rise

                                 services by Easter 1994!  He has already been observed

                                 eating shrimp in a restaurant and justified it to a church mem-

                                 ber by saying, "I'm a Gentile!"  As the woes of the Church

                                 increase, more and more members are leaving, falling prey

                                 to the siren song of various pied pipers.  The vultures are

                                 gathering for a real feast!

 

                                                        William F. Dankenbring

 

         Jesus uttered a strange prophecy in the Mount Olivet prophecy.  He said, in describing the days before His second advent (Matt.24:3), "Had not those days been cut short, not a soul would be saved alive; however, for the sake of the elect, those days will be cut short."  H went on:

 

                                 "If anyone tells you at that time, 'Here is the Christ?' or, 'There he is!'

                                            do not believe it; for false Christs and false prophets will rise and bring

                                            forth great signs and wonders, so as to mislead the very elect, -- if that

                                            were possible.  (I am telling you this beforehand.)

 

                                            "If they tell you, 'Here he is, in the desert,' go not out; 'here he is, in the

                                            chamber,' do not believe it.  For like the lightning that shoots from east

                                            to west, so will be the arrival of the Son of man" (Matt.24:22-27, Moffatt).

 

            Notice!  Great deceptions, delusions, spiritual apostasy, was predicted by the Messiah, Jesus Christ --- Yeshua Ha Moshiach -- in the days just before His second coming to planet Earth!  But notice also -- He continued:

 

                                 "Wherever the carcass is, there will the vultures gather" (v.28).

 

            In a similar prophecy in Luke 17, Jesus declared: 

 

                                 "Where there is a dead body, the vultures will gather" (Luke 17:37).

 

            What is a "vulture"?  Vultures are unclean birds which feast on carrion -- the corpses of dead animals, including men and women.  The original Hebrew and Greek words refers to a "bird of prey," rapid in flight, such as the black vulture, falcon, or kite.  The birds hasten  to the prey. 

 

         I find it singularly interesting that spiritual "vultures" appear to be circling over the remains of the Worldwide Church of God, today, picking off those who leave the drowning ship, feasting on them like birds of prey!  Jesus' very words are a choice description and prophecy of just this very kind of activity!

 

         What more apt description could there be to picture the demise of Worldwide!  According to the November 8, 1997 issue of Christianity Today  magazine,

 

                                 "Up to half of the 100,000 members of the Worldwide Church of God

                                            (WCG) -- which has moved toward orthodoxy after 60 years of rejecting

                                            basic Christian beliefs -- may bolt following the latest round of doctrinal

                                            changes, observers and former members say.

 

                                            "Two splinter groups, each claiming the mantle of WCG founder Herbert

                                            W. Armstrong, are poised to gain members and dollars in the wake of the

                                            anticipated exodus" (p.59).

 

            Actually, not two but three off-shoot churches are poised to gain members from the splitting up and rupture of Worldwide, spiritually.  They are the Church of God, International (CGI), founded by Garner Ted Armstrong, son of Herbert W. Armstrong, who left Worldwide in a severe power-struggle in 1978; Gerald Flurry, minister in Oklahoma, who left in January, 1990 and formed his "Philadelphia Church of God" (PCG), which lionizes Herbert Armstrong, calls him the prophet "Elijah," and compels new members to acknowledge Herbert as their "spiritual father" before accepting them into fellowship; and lastly, Roderick C. Meredith, long-time Church evangelist ordained in the early '50s, who broke off in December 1992/January 1993 to form up his "Global Church of God" (GCG).  The income of all three groups is in the millions of dollars, with memberships ranging from 1,500 to 4,000 or so.

 

         Joseph Tkach now writes that the teaching of the Trinity is basic doctrine of the Church -- a concept repudiated violently by Herbert W. Armstrong, during his days as leader of the organization.  According to Tkach, however,  "The Bible teaching is that there is one God, who is the Father, the Son, the Holy Spirit."  He says that it is incorrect to refer to any of these as "Persons," or "Beings," or "Entities."  To him, they all comprise "one God" -- one Being -- apparently a Three-headed God Being with Three Minds (the mind of the Father, the mind of Christ, and the mind of the Holy Spirit) -- sort of a schizoid god. 

 

         Not only has Tkach violently changed the church's perception of the Godhead, however, he insists, "It is not my idea, nor is it the idea of some fourth century theologians.  It is the plain Bible teaching."  (Even Catholic and Protestant theologians will admit there is nothing "plain" in the Scriptures about the concept of the Trinity!  So Tkach even surpasses his mentors in this regard!)

 

         According to reports, says Christianity Today  magazine:

 

                                 "Church observers also believe the group will drop a requirement that

                                            members adhere to Levitical dietary laws on 'clean' and 'unclean' foods"

                                            (ibid. ).

 

            Supporting this conclusion is the report I heard recently that a church member of the Worldwide Church of God saw Joseph Tkach, Jr., in a restaurant eating shrimp -- which is forbidden church members to do.  It is considered an abomination -- unclean filth!  The shocked member confronted Tkach, Jr., and asked him what he was doing and why he was eating shrimp.  Joe Junior's reply:  "It's OK for me to eat;  I'm a Gentile!"   Thus we may expect Church members to be permitted to eat all the meats forbidden in Leviticus 11 -- pork, shellfish, lobsters, ham, pickled pig's feet, catfish, and all the unclean things which Almighty God forbad to His people, to preserve their health and physical and spiritual well-being.

 

         As these changes take effect, and are put in place, we may surely see more and more members, fed up with the disturbing changes, depart from the Church, seeking fellowship elsewhere.  But where will they go?  The predators are lined up in the aisles, waiting their chance at these newly disenfranchised "sheep," who are so used to group-think and the cult mentality -- who are looking for a "new leader" to replace the one whom they have lost!  Rather than repent of their own sins and blindness, they are simply looking for another church

"association" where they will feel the most "comfortable." 

 

         However, there is an old saying -- "Don't jump from the frying pan into the fire!"  Three major off-shoots have sprung up from the remains of Worldwide -- CGI, PCG, and now GCG.  What is the truth about these three outfits?  Are they truly serving God?  Where do they fit in God's overall Plan?

 

                                                               Garner Ted Armstrong

 

         What about the Church of God, International, under the leadership of Ted Armstrong, second son of Herbert and Loma D. Armstrong?

 

         Writes Richard Nickels, long-time church member and commentator on the church scene:

 

                                 "It was common knowledge among the ministry in the early 1970's as to

                                            the moral turpitude of Herbert's son Garner Ted.  The fact that the father

                                            allowed this to go on in deference to his son appeared to be more than

                                            mere nepotism. . . .

 

                                            "The sordid episode of the 1977 'marriage' of HWA to Mrs. Martin, a divorcee

                                            many years his junior, made us wonder if he had conveniently changed the D &

                                            R [divorce and remarriage] doctrine to pave the way for doing what he had vehe-

                                            mently taught against for so many years.  In 1973 and prior had a WWC minister

                                            or member done such a thing, they would have been put out of the church.  Was

                                            it all right for him to do it just because he was 'God's apostle'?  Then in 1984 he

                                            divorced Ramona Martin, following a bitter lawsuit over alimony. . . .

 

                                            "For a number of years, I, like so many in the church, was too blinded to serious-

                                            ly question the double dealing going on.  Finally, in 1973, I cut my own throat

                                            by questioning GTA personally about his moral qualifications for the ministry.

                                            It cost me my job. . . What precipitated this was a church employee's meeting

                                            conducted by GTA.  He was reacting strongly against the prevalent rumors of his

                                            immoral escapades.  He denied them.  Garner Ted commanded all of us present to

                                            come to him personally if we had any doubts.  Young and naive as I was, I took

                                            him literally."

 

            What happened, when young Richard Nickels took Garner Ted Armstrong at his word?  Notice the consequences -- and decide for yourself whether Ted Armstrong has any business whatsoever being a "leader" over an end-time remnant of the true body of Chirst, the Church of God!

 

                                 ". . . Taught to be obedient to church ministers, I realized that I did have

                                            doubts because I heard the 'rumors' directly from the lips of top church

                                            ministers.  So I wrote a note to GTA, setting up a meeting to discuss the

                                            matter.  GTA was out of town and designated his two top assistants to

                                            talk with me.  I wanted to know if GTA had repeatedly engaged in adultery

                                            while a minister, as minister after minister had told me.  If so, I stated, he

                                            could not continue to be a minister according to I Timothy 3.  They did not

                                            give definite answers. . .

 

                                            "When GTA returned to Pasadena, the report to him of what [I] was asking

                                            caused him to fly into a rage.  GTA called me up on the phone.  He shouted

                                            that he and his father were above the qualifications for the ministry

                                            as given in I Timothy 3, and that if I had any more questions about his conduct,

                                            I would have to present them before himself and his father personally.  He said

                                            that anyone who would ask such questions was out of a job and out of the

                                            church!  I have never shaken so much in fear.  I went home and fasted and

                                            prayed for three days. . .

 

                                            "I feel that Garner Ted Armstrong, as did his father Herbert W. Armstrong,

                                            actually believes he is above the laws of God in the Bible, and that because

                                            of his 'special' calling, he does not have to obey the same laws other 'laymen'

                                            or 'lower rank' ministers do.  A wit once remarked that HWA was 'a legend

                                            in his own mind.'  How could a humble minister make the statement, as HWA

                                            did, 'follow me into the Kingdom of God'? Or another remark, 'Where I am,

                                            there is the work of the church.'

 

                                            "Former U.S. President Richard Nixon is reported to have said, 'When the

                                            President does it, that makes it legal.'  He merely flaunted the laws of man.

                                            Those who are claiming to be above Bible law are on far more serious grounds"

                                            (Richard Nickels, "Hebert W. Armstrong:  1892-1986," published paper, Giving

                                            and Sharing, 2014 NE 85th St., Vancouver WA 98665).

 

            In the light of Mr. Nickel's personal experience at the hands of a volatile, enraged and out-of-control Garner Ted Armstrong, lacking in every one of the "fruits of the Spirit of God " -- "love, joy, peace, long-suffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, self-control" (see Gal.5:22-23) -- should any be so foolish as to follow such a man who claims to be the representative of God and Jesus Christ?  God forbid!

 

         Al Carrozzo, former minister of the Worldwide Church of God, confirmed the adulterous liasons of Ted Armstrong -- who has never ever admittred them in public, to this very day!  Carrozzo quoted Ted's own confession in a meeting between the two of them:

 

                                 "'Al, let's get one thing straight!  I'm a no good, fornicating, adulterating

                                            son of a . . .!'  These highly emotional words initiated a private conversation

                                            between Garner Ted Armstrong and me at l0:05 a.m. on Wednesday, May

                                            16, 1973, in the seclusion of his television studio office.  This was not

                                            the first or the only time Ted ever admitted that he was an adulterer.  In

                                            spite of repeated public denials, Ted has privately admitted that he has been

                                            guilty of flagrant, continuous adultery and fornication for almost a quarter

                                            of a century -- as a church member, an executive, and an evangelist!"  (p.44,

                                            "The Profligate Son," 1977Ambassador Report,,PO Box 60068, Pasadena

                                            CA 91116).

 

            Seemingly, many people are truly "lemmings."  They follow their leaders in a mass movement wherever they lead, even right over a cliff to spiritual suicide!  Thousands still follow this self-styled "man of God" today.  Truly, Jesus Christ warns such hypocrites, who say one thing and do another, "Woe to you, you impious scribes and Pharisees!  You shut the Realm of heaven in men's faces; you neither enter yourselves, nor will you let those enter who are on the point of entering.  Woe to you, you impious scribes and Pharisees!  you traverse sea and land to make a single proselyte, and when you succeed, you make him a

son of Gehenna twice as bad as yourselves" (Matt.23:13-15, Moffatt).

 

                                               The Second Vulture -- Gerald Flurry 

 

         The next group to split off and form a sizable church group from the remnants of Worldwide was Gerald Flurry, in December 1989.  He is said to have "written" a book, actually collected from notes he made, and put together by his staff, entitled "Malachi's Message."  Its very title, however, is a direct perversion of the truth and has no relation to the message of the REAL "prophet Malachi"!

 

         Interestingly, The WATCHMAN EXPOSITOR  contains an expose of Gerald Flurry's "Philadelphia Church of God," entitled, "Teachings of a False Prophet." Gerald Flurry, former minister of the Worldwide Church of God, left the Church in December of 1989, almost three years after I was booted out, and formed up his own new "church," taking members from the rapidly apostasizing Worldwide.  His book "Malachi's Messages" seemed to document many of the changes in doctrine and the new direction Worldwide was headed -- but, alas, sometimes the "cure" is worse than the "disease."  Flurry's new church became a despotic, corrupt, man-worshipping "cult" which disfellowshipped doubters or those with questions at the drop of a hat!  Among the errors of Flurry's Church, Gerald Flurry --

 

         1.  Rejects God's revealed truth about the correct day and manner to observe Passover.  Insists the original date was beginning of Nisan 14, and that the lambs were slain between sunset and twilight following Nisan 13.  Claims the Jews changed the date hundreds of years before Christ, due to Egyptian influence -- without any evidence for this "conclusion" whatsoever!

 

         2.  Rejects the true and provable date for Pentecost -- 50 days after the high holy day of Nisan 15, which today brings us to Sivan 6.  Although both Christ and Paul clearly acknowledged the authority of the Pharisees and scribes on this question (Matt.23:2-3; Phil.3:5-6), and Paul said he was taught "the exact manner of the law" as a Pharisee (Acts 22:3), and still claimed to be  a Pharisee in 60 A.D., a quarter century after his conversion, and the Pharisees taught Pentecost (or Shavuot) should be observed fifty days after the first holy day of Passover (Nisan 15), Flurry, along with Worldwide, Global, and International Church of God, rejects this simple and easily proven truth!

 

         Among Flurry's other errors:

 

         3. Claims the 144,000 of Revelation (see Rev.7) are the "Laodicean" members of the Worldwide Church of God and that they will all be martyred in the Great Tribulation.  How strange, since Revelation 6:9-11 pictures the Great Tribulation as the fifth seal, followed by the heavenly signs (the sixth seal -- Rev.6:12-17), and then -- when all the 144,000 are supposed to be DEAD according to Flurry, God sends His angel with the "seal of the living God" to "seal" his servants, the 144,000, who are 12,000 from each of the tribes of Israel (Rev.7:1-8).  Why "seal" them if they are already dead?  This pictures them as still LIVING at the END of the Great Tibulation, and being "sealed" with God's protection from the plagues of the Day of the Lord (see chapters 8-9, Rev.16).  Sealing, here, clearly refers to divine protection (see also Ezek.9:1-11).

 

         4.  Claims his is the ONLY TRUE CHURCH -- all others are heretical sects!  In other words, you must follow Flurry in order to be "saved"!  

 

         5.  Claims Herbert W. Armstrong was the "Elijah" to come,  turned the hearts of the fathers to the children, and vice versa, reconciling families -- despite the fact that Herbert Armstrong's divorce and remarriage doctrine from 1934 to 1974 wrecked thousands  of marriages. He himself did not set a good role model for a parent, and was guilty of incest with his daughter Dorothy for a period of ten years during the 1930's and 40's.  For documentation on these things see: 

 

         Ambassador Report,  PO Box 60068, Pasadena CA 91116

         Emissary Publications, 9205 S.E. Clackamas Rd., #1776, Clackamas OR 97015

         Watchman Fellowship, Inc., PO Box 13251, Arlington TX 76094-0251

         Giving and Sharing, 2014 NE 85th Street, Vancouver WA 98665

 

         6.  Claims Herbert Armstrong was a prophet "in the power and spirit of Elijah," despite the fact that between 1934 and 1986, he made over 200 false prophecies  and predictions -- including the prediction that Rommel would reach Jerusalem during World War II, Mussolini was the "beast" of Revelation, Christ would return in the 1940's, later revised to 1975, that Hitler wasn't really killed in his Berlin bunker but still lived hiding out somewhere, probably Argentina, that man would never place a man on the moon or return him to earth safely, that the British would lose the war over the Falkland Islands, etc., etc., etc.!  Quite a "record" for a modern-day "Elijah"!

 

         7.  Claims the "high priest Joshua" of Zechariah 3 is none other than Joseph Tkach himself -- despite the fact that he also says Joseph Tkach is the "son of perdition" of II Thessalonians 2.  This is a strange mind-boggling conclusion since obviously II Thessalonians 2 refers to the "beast" of Revelation (and only to Joseph Tkach as a "type"!), but "Joshua" in Zechariah 3 is a forerunner and "type" of one of the TWO WITNESSES of Revelation! (Zech.3:4-5, 8; 4:2-7, 11-14; Rev.11:3-11; compare especially Zech.4:11-14 and Rev.11:4).

 

         8.  Flurry himself has been guilty of several false prophecies.  In the March 1991 issue of the Philadelphia Trumpet,  he implied the drought then ravaging California was due to the legal action the state of California took against the Worldwide Church of God in 1979; he said in sermon tapes this drought would continue till the state repented.  The drought ended -- but the state never repented.  In another false prophecy, Flurry declared the Los Angeles riots of 1992 were predicted in Ezekiel 5 -- even though the "city" referred to in Ezekiel 5 is "Jerusalem" (see Ezek.5:5). 

 

         9.  Perhaps the most bizarre statement made by Flurry was in the Sept-Oct. 1992 Trumpet  where he claimed that his book "Malachi's Message" was "delivered to me . . . A MIGHTY ANGEL DIRECTLY FROM GOD REVEALED IT!" (his emphasis).  Originally, however, Flurry said he came to understand the things in his book from many months of study.  Flurry rebuked several members of his church who said they understood most of the message of the book even before Flurry wrote it, but Flurry in the same article declared, "THAT IS A HORRIBLE FALLACY! . . . There was no need for the mighty angel to come if a few already understood the message!" (his emphasis).  At other times Flurry has said he has been falsely accused of saying a "mighty angel" revealed it to him by his detractors.  As we see, his own words condemn him.  He is a liar -- you cannot have it both ways (see John 8:44).

 

         10.  Flurry also claims his "Malachi's Message" is the "little book" mentioned in Revelation 10 and is therefore "divinely inspired Scripture" and goes so far as to boast,"'MALACHI'S MESSAGE' IS AN UNWRITTEN PART OF THE BOOK OF REVELATION!" (again, his emphasis!).  Has he never read the warning in Revelation 22:18 and the "curse" God puts on anyone who would "add to" the things written in Revelation?  "For I testify unto every man that heareth the words of the prophecy of this book, if any man shall add unto these things, GOD SHALL ADD UNTO HIM THE PLAGUES  that are written in the book" (Rev.22:18!).

 

         The truth is, Gerald Flurry is a false prophet.  But, he does see the apostasy of the leadership of Worldwide, and that is why many people have been persuaded to join his church.  Little do they know that they have leaped from the frying pan into the very flames of the fire!

 

         A correspondent recently wrote me the following letter, showing his experience with Flurry's PCG:

 

                                 "I recently read a little of your articles and found them to be quite interesting,

                                            regarding the 'false prophet' Gerald Flurry!  I attended with his PCG for a short

                                            while after coming out of the WCG because of their major  changes in doctrines.

                                            I am now a 'free'  lance Christian!  (No more middle men).  I learned very quickly

                                            that Flurry was idolizing H.W.A.,  as well as making a bunch of false and ques-

                                            tionable prophecies.  The man (Flurry) is still trying to steal  the disgruntled

                                            members of the other churches.  Pray and pay is still their agenda. -- He is a little

                                            dictator, just like H.W.A. was!"

 

            Another former member of Flurry's church wrote in December, 1991 the following words of warning:

 

                                 "I became associated with Flurry and his M.M. [Malachi's Message] in January

                                            of 90.  I was the 2nd person to leave the Dayton, Ohio congregation of the WWCG.

                                            I was extremely excited to belong to the remnant of what I thought was the Phila-

                                            delphia era of God's Church since after reading MM I was convinced that the WCG

                                            was Laodicean.  Mr. Flurry wrote on such in his MM.  I later found out that this

                                            idea or truth was not original to Mr. Flurry but had been given to Mr. Dankenbring

                                            approximately two full years before MM and I feel Mr. Flurry was likely reading

                                            Mr. Dankenbring's Prophecy Flash. "

 

            The letter writer goes on to discuss great personal corruption and Nazi-like tactics among the leadership of the Philadelphia Church of God, and warns:

 

                                 "In ending this letter I hope that anyone who should read it can get some idea

                                            of the type of reckless leadership that is prevalent in the PCG.  Flurry was

                                            content to kick me out and aid in the reckless shepherding of John Amos and

                                            Dennis Leap.  Once they got me out they could discredit me to the PCG member-

                                 ship and call me all the names they could.  But there is a God in heaven who saw

                                            it all. . . . So to all who take the time to read this, Beware of those wolves who

                                            come to you in sheep's clothing, who are inwardly wolves.  I for one warn any-

                                            one who is the least bit interested in Gerald's PCG, TRUST NO MAN.  THIS

                                            TYPE OF SPIRITUAL LEADERSHIP WILL LEAD YOU TO A JIM JONES

                                            TYPE ENDING.  Think what they would be like in rough times and under

                                            pressure as leaders if they act this way well fed and in prosperous times.  I fear

                                            for all in the PCG and all who entertain MM. "

 

            As the old addage goes, Caveat emptor --  "Let the buyer beware"!   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 with which he so quickly threatens so many others!

 

         It is this very concept of Church Government which is so dangerous about Flurry's group, which is picking up many members frosm the disintegrating Worldwide Church of God.  The poor members/sheep are being led to the slaughter, and don't even realize it.  Like the innocents who were victims of

suicide/murder at Jonestown, Guyana, several years ago, who followed a man thinking he was God's servant,  without checking up and PROVING the truth, those who follow Gerald Flurry and his strange prophetic blend of errant egomania, are headed for their own doom. 

 

                                                    And Now -- Roderick Meredith

 

         The third group to spring out of the demise and remains of the Worldwide Church of God, and bringing many former members into their flock and church organzation, is the Global Church of God, set up by Roderick C. Meredith.  Meredith, who suffered excruciating eclipse during the past fifteen years, suddenly finds himself leading another "branch" of the End-time Church of God.  Is his church better than the other two mentioned in this article?  Meredith, despite the brief promises that he would preach the "full gospel,"and the "whole law" of God, and His commandments, has already renigged on his promise.  In fact, several whom he accuses of "Judaizing" have been forced to resign or were kicked out unceremoniously from his "Global Church of God." 

 

         Interestingly, Joseph Tkach, Sr., of the Worldwide Church of God, claims that Herbert Armstrong warned him to watch out for Roderick Meredith -- that he was an "ambitious" man.  Meredith has always reminded me of "yon Cassius," in Shakespeare's play Julius Caesar.  "Yon Cassius hath a lean and hungry look -- such men are dangerous!" Caesar was told.  Cassius told Brutus, "It is not in our stars, but in ourselves, that we are underlings. "  Meredith's lean frame, and hatchet-faced intensity, gave new meaning to the term spiritual "Nazi."  Like one of Hitler's own storm-troopers, Meredith was famous in his Worldwide days for the quickness of his disfellowshipping "errant ministers," on the spot, and cutting people down to "size" with his "authority." 

 

         Tkach says Herbert Armstrong told him Meredith could not be trusted:

 

                                 "In late 1985 Mr. Armstrong told me that Dr. Meredith deeply desired

                                            to be pastor general, and warned me that just as Dr. Meredith had been

                                            a continuous thorn in Mr. Armstrong's side, so he would be a continual

                                            problem to me.  Mr. Armstrong had himself suspended Dr. Meredith

                                            from attending services for about eight months in 1979-80" (The World-

                                            wide News, January 26, 1993).

 

            Meredith has since been joined by Raymond McNair, also former evangelist of the Worldwide Church of God, and his brother-in-law (Meredith's first wife was Raymond's sister). 

 

         In June of 1975, Raymond McNair filed for divorce against his wife of twenty years, something no Worldwide Church of God evangelist had ever done.  He had the backing of the two Armstrongs, because in their eyes his wife Leona had departed from the Church and was attending lectures of Ernest Martin, a minister who had left the Church to form his own group in Pasadena, the Foundation for Biblical Research.  The divorce became final in 1976, and not long thereafter Raymond married a new wife.  Whether or not this "new marriage" was really an adulterous relationship in God's sight, didn't seem to matter to those responsible for the action.  Yet Jesus Christ said plainly in the Scriptures: 

 

                                 "But I say unto you, That whosoever shall put away his wife, saving

                                            for the cause of fornication  [Greek porneia  meaning "adultery, sexual

                                            immorality, harlotry, incest" --- see Strong's Exhaustive Concordance,

                                            #4202, and Thayer's Greek-English Lexicon ], causeth her to commit

                                            adultery:  and whosoever shall marry her that is divorced committeth

                                            adultery" (Matt.5:32).

 

         Mrs. Leona McNair had never been accused of adultery, or incest, or harlotry, or any of the sins which would fall into the category of porneia.  Nor had she departed from her husband, or left him, or refused to be a wife to him.  They undoubtedly had their problems, like all married couples do, but their marriage had produced several fine children and had endured 20 years.  Why the sudden rush to judgment and divorce?  The real cause appears to have been solely religious motives -- Leona despised the corruption she saw within the Worldwide Church of God, and Raymond tolerated it and remained steadfastly loyal to Herbert Armstrong, despite the evidence of intrigue, politics, sexual sins, authoritarianism, egotism, tyranny, and the like. 

 

         The McNair divorce might have been forgotten and swept under the rug, except that Roderick C. Meredith subsequently spent five minutes lamblasting Mrs. McNair in front of one thousand Worldwide ministers in an early 1979 ministerial meeting in Tucson, Arizona.  He said that Leona McNair had cursed her husband, and deserted him.  Then, in the June 1979 Pastor's Report  Meredith went even further, describing her as a horrible example of a wife.  He wrote:

 

                                 "A classic example of this [marital desertion] would be Mr. Raymond

                                            McNair's situation.  His wife refused  to be a wife to him for over two

                                            years -- to sleep with him, cook for him, or even civilly communicate

                                            with him in a decent manner.  Rather, she had left  God's Church and

                                            was even FIGHTING God's Church and Mr. McNair, turning his children

                                            against him and literally cursing  him to his face.  Finally, upon advice

                                            of Mr. Armstrong and Mr. Ted Armstrong, he was forced to make legal

                                            the already existing FACT that she had deserted him  and was no longer

                                            his wife in any way whatsoever " (italics and emphasis his).

 

            When Mrs. Leona McNair heard of this, she filed a libel and slander lawsuit against the Worldwide Church of God and Roderick Meredith in 1979.  She said that contrary to these allegations, Raymond had cut off her financial support, himself moved into separate sleeping quarters, and on a number of occasions took her to the door and yelled at her to get out of the house.  Leona's daughter corroborated this information in court.  In 1984 a jury unanimously  awarded Leona McNair $1.26 million in compensative and punitive damages.  The presiding judge told the jury that their verdict renewed his faith in the jury system. 

 

         Says Richard Nickels of this case:

 

                                 "The jury had decided that Meredith's statements (which obviously

                                            were based on what Raymond McNair told him) were lies, and that

                                            his conduct was extreme, outrageous and intentional, causing Leona

                                            McNair severe emotional distress.  The jury found out that Leona

                                            McNair had not deserted her husband, it was the other way around,

                                            she had been forced out.  Meredith and the Worldwide Church of God

                                            were convicted of libel and slander" (Giving & Sharing Newsletter,

                                            August 1993, no.23, page 3).

 

            Money talks in the legal system, and the Church appealed the decision.  The verdict was overturned on technical grounds, and a new trial was ultimately approved.  The Church, perhaps seeing a repetition of fate, and even a greater cost, decided this time to settle out of court, and in December of 1992 the Church settled for $750,000.  Meredith, at this point, no longer needed the legal umbrella of the Worldwide Church of God to fight this case.  Is this one major reason why he waited until December 1992 to leave Worldwide and to begin his own "Global Church of God"?

 

         I, like Richard Nickels, would find it very difficult to trust a minister or ministers who have been convicted and found guilty of lies, distortion, libel, slander, and causing immense emotional grief and stress to another human being.  One wonders if such a man himself is any longer truly "human" or some sort of Nazi monster. 

 

         Of such men, who have wielded power and authority over others, and who abused and tyrannized those under their care and tutelage, the famed Russian writer Fyodor Dostoyevky (1821-1881) wrote:

 

                                 "Whoever has experienced the power, the unrestrained ability to humiliate

                                            another human being automatically loses power over his own sensation.

                                            Tyranny is a habit -- it has its own organic life -- it develops finally into a

                                            disease -- a habit that can kill or coarsen the very best man to the level of

                                            a beast.  Blood and power intoxicate -- the man and the citizen die with

                                            the tyrant forever.  Return to human dignity through repentance and regen-

                                            eration becomes almost impossible."

 

         Roderick C. Meredith and his "Global Church of God," which some refer to as the "Global Church of Rod, " has also rejected the truth abut Passover being on Nisan 15, as the Jews have faithfully observed it for the past 3,500 years, or ever since the time of Moses.  He also rejects the truth about Pentecost or Shavuot being on Sivan 6, and ridicules this truth, with the discredited argument, "If it were on a fixed date, then why count? "  He and his ministers simply ignore the fact that the date for Pentecost had to be counted in order for it to always fall 50 days after the Passover high holy day, because Nisan and Iyar, the first two months of the sacred calendar,  sometimes had 29 or 30 days each, depending on the year.  Therefore, in ancient times Pentecost or Shavuot could fall on Sivan 5, 6, or 7.  The only reason it always falls on Sivan 6, today, is due to the fact that the calendar today does not allow for this variation, as it is a "calendar of the dispersion," a permanent mathematical calendar, used today to keep the Jews around the world in unity, so they observe the same day everywhere. 

 

         Only the truly "ignorant" would claim Pentecost is not Sivan 6, today, because that would obviate the need to "count"!  Although this question has been answered repeatedly, and even CGI admits it is a bogus question, Meredith remains stultified in his ignorance.  It appears that his real motive in starting up "Global Church of God" is simply to "compete" with his old nemesis, Ted Armstrong, and the "new boy on the block," Gerald Flurry, to carve out for himself a "market share" of the erstwhile Worldwide Church of God followers.

 

         Although Meredith claims to teach the "FULL gospel," it is obvious that this is just a ploy -- a sham.  In his writings he seems to stress the "Ten Commandments," and says people should obey "even the least" of them -- yet were not the "Ten" all written by the finger of God?  How could any of them be looked upon as "the least"?  Meredith, in repeatedly saying society needs to repent and get back to observing the Ten Commandments, ignores completely  all the other laws, judgments, and statutes of God!  Scholars have elucidated and found 613 commandments in the Word of God, the "Old Testament"!  Meredith ignores blithely 603 of them.  How is that for getting "back to the faith"? 

 

         Meredith's true distaste for the things of God, and His Law, is revealed in the fact that on the Day of Atonement he blasted the Jews, and shouted that anyone who goes to a Jewish synagogue is committing idolatry just as bad as attending a Catholic Church!  Furthermore, his elders have let it be known that the words "Torah," "Mishnah," and "Talmud," and similar words, are not to be used  around the Global Church of God -- as "some members are offended."  Rather than rebuke those who use these words, shouldn't the elders rather rebuke those who take offence?

 

         It clearly appears that Rod Meredith is NOT interested in getting back to the "faith once delivered to the saints" of the first century (Jude 3-4).  Rather, he is only interested in getting back to the teachings of Herbert Armstrong, right or wrong, as they were circa 1950-60!  Unless he repents, "Hot Rod" Meredith will soon be remembered as "Shot Rod" Meredith!

 

                                                     Be Careful Whom You Follow

 

         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, Roderick C. Meredith, or anyone else.  However, I do not believe that to be the truth.  Those same people who condemn me would probably condemn John the Baptist who spoke out against King Herod for marrying his brother's wife, and for his vehement remarks made in public against the religious leaders of the Church of God of his day -- the Pharisees.  The Pharisees were the leaders of the "Church of God" of that day and era.  John said to them in scalding terms and wrathful anger --

 

                                 "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).

 

            There are 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 gener-

                                            ation of vipers, how can ye escape the damnation of hell?" (Matt.23:27, 33).

 

         I urge God's people, everywhere, to beware of those who would lead you into another religious "cult."  Beware of those who would become your "new" dictators, and rule over you, claiming the "authority of Jesus Christ."  Beware of those who would DEMAND that you submit to them and their "church government," who claim they are "God's ONLY true Church," and claim your tithes and offerings must go to THEM as God's "chosen representatives."

 

         BEWARE of those who seeks to maintain MIND CONTROL over the flock of God.  Beware of those who teach a FEAR RELIGION, who terrorize you with threats of hell fire and damnation, if you "question" their authority or presumed "power" over you.

 

         Beware of "spiritual policemen" who may talk a good fight, and speak lovingly of compassion and mercy, but who conduct a totalitarian regime based on power and fear, and who do not follow the example of Christ, our loving Shepherd, or the apostles, who refused to be "lords over God's heritage" (I Pet.5:1-3).

 

         Beware of spiritual NAZIS who thrust you out of the Church for merely bringing up questions -- sincere questions -- about Passover, Pentecost, and the correct times and dates that these holy days should be observed!

 

         BEWARE of all those who claim the MANTLE of "Herbert W. Armstrong," as if they are his spiritual "heirs," and true successors.  Beware of those who worship him and who call him "Elijah" when there is no basis at all for doing so!

 

         Beware of those who "manipulate" the flock, who secretly disfellowship people and who don't tell the congregation the TRUTH -- who HIDE their evil deeds under a cloak of self-righteousness and self-serving "authority" -- those who refuse to answer for their decisions, and sins, and make public apology and confession. 

 

         Beware of spiritual rascals, wily religious coyotes, devious snakes in the grass, fraudulent scoundrels and deceiving scalawags -- spiritual skunks, scumbags, and other screwed up ungodly monsters!

 

         BEWARE!   When I see such wolves in sheep's clothing, such ravening beasts of the field, such spiritual VULTURES circling in the skies, hovering over the remains and dying bodies of the members of the Worldwide Church of God, seeking to devour, and to feast on the flesh of God's people, I cannot remain silent.  I cannot keep these things to myself.  I cannot be still!

 

            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?