Thursday, May 8, 2014

Reading PCG's The Lion has Roared

After Gerald Flurry wrote Malachi's Message and set up the Philadelphia Church of God one of the first booklets he wrote afterwards was a booklet entitled The Lion has Roared, originally published in 1991. The booklet claims to explain the true meaning of the Book of Amos. The booklet has been revised in 1992, 2006 and 2011. Notably it now contains comments regarding PCG's court case with WCG. You can read the current version on their website.

(The subtitle is "Prophecy for Today from the Book of Amos".)

Let us begin.
Chapter 1
Sinners who deny God’s prophecies will be plunged into the Great Tribulation. People who heed God’s warnings shall be protected in a place of safety. Even physically, the stakes are enormous.

Amos tells us that even many of God’s own people will fail to heed His warning.
Translation: Join my PCG or else you go to the great tribulation.

This same chapter discusses a famine of God’s word during the Great Tribulation (verse 11). The WCG, under Mr. Armstrong, always applied this directly to God’s Church. The spiritual famine follows on the heels of a great falling away in God’s Church! When you see the massive rebellion, God thunders to us that “The end is come upon my people of Israel”! (Amos 8:2; see also Ezekiel 7:2-3).
While I can believe that HWA applied that scripture to WCG in the future I had always understood this to refer to when "God's Church" goes to a place of safety.

No one in HWA's WCG anticipated that a great defection from HWA's teachings needed to occur before the great tribulation. The Tkach changes were a completely unexpected event.

The lion is a type of God—and when God roars, people must hear and respond, or pay a terrifying price! The Lion has roared—His loyal people must prophesy!
Note the loaded language. Here "loyal people" actually means PCG members.

God is telling the U.S. and Britain specifically that there will be no place of refuge for them! (But Scripture shows that God does deliver a remnant of His people from the coming nuclear holocaust by taking them to a place of safety.) Those who remain will find no place to hide—no refuge from Satan’s wrath. There are no “horns of the altar” to grab! (Every indication is that this place of safety is outside the U.S. and Britain.)
This refers to the idea that Petra, Jordan is the place of safety loyal PCG members will flee to during the Great Tribulation.


Here's one rather blood curdling passage.
How bad are circumstances about to become? “Therefore thus saith the Lord God; An adversary there shall be even round about the land; and he shall bring down thy strength from thee, and thy palaces shall be spoiled. Thus saith the Lord; As the shepherd taketh out of the mouth of the lion two legs, or a piece of an ear; so shall the children of Israel be taken out that dwell in Samaria in the corner of a bed, and in Damascus in a couch” (Amos 3:11-12). The picture is of a lion’s attack on a sheep. All that is left are two legs or a piece of an ear.

But God is not talking about sheep! He is talking about America, and Britain and the Jewish nation called Israel! Amos is saying that only a few pieces of biblical Israel will be left!

This is the strongest prophetic message ever written in the Bible!

The Lion has already roared and is ready to pounce. The victims are going to be America, Britain and the Middle East Jews (Hosea 5:5).

Imagine only two legs or a piece of an ear left from this sheep! This is what the shepherd took out of the mouth of the lion.
How will you react? It appears that most people won’t respond until it’s too late physically. But how did Amos respond? He let the most extreme crisis ever motivate him to say, “[W]ho can but prophesy?”
But this all assumes that British Israelism and church eras are true. This assumes that God actually worked through HWA. Is that likely considering what his own niece and his own grandson have recently stated about his personal conduct?


Chapter 2

Here's some more Flurryite fear mongering.
The city is a target. Nuclear bombs are going to be dropped on cities! A 10 percent loss in a military campaign is disastrous. Here, 90 percent of the people in a city die immediately! Then, only 10 percent of the survivors remain alive. Only 10 out of 1,000 are left—or 10,000 out of a million. This is speaking of 99 percent destruction of the population of our major cities! Other biblical verses indicate 1/10 of the total population survives (Isaiah 6:9-13).


Only those in God’s Church know about “the evil day”—the end-time nuclear destruction. But they put it far into the future—when it’s actually very near! The closer the evil day is, the more at ease they become.

When 95 percent of God’s Church (Zion) is lukewarm and at ease, “the evil day” is imminent! This great “falling away” of God’s people (2 Thessalonians 2:3) is a sign that the nuclear destruction and Israel’s captivity are frighteningly close! Tragically, most of God’s people won’t see it until it is too late (Ezekiel 33:31-33).
Why is Gerald Flurry saying untrue things. While WCG has renounced HWA's teachings regarding prophecy many ex-WCG members continue to passionately believe that the Great Tribulation HWA talked about is just about to occur any moment. In fact I once read a so-called "Bible Study Course" from LCG that insinuated that Christ would return in 2017. It was John Ogwyn who wrote that nonsense. And of course we cannot forget the current imprisoned felon, Ronald Weinland, who repeatedly claimed that Great Tribulation would come very soon and set several dates for it.

The WCG leaders told the ministers not to prophesy as they did in the past! The ministry is saying “Prophesy not”—after the death of Mr. Armstrong!
This is an end-time prophecy for God’s Laodicean churches right now! (That includes other groups that have left the WCG—except the PCG, which continues to proclaim a strong message of prophecy.)
How wonderfully convenient for you.


The Tkach changes has caused WCG to now be ruled by "demon armies".
A trumpet is being blown in God’s Church today (Amos 3:6). The people should be “afraid”—not “at ease.” In ancient Israel, the trumpet was used to sound the alarm of invasion. Today we blow that trumpet spiritually to God’s Laodicean Church and modern-day Israel—they have been invaded by demon armies and are dying spiritually. It is a terrible alarm that should cause people to tremble!

Chapter 3
Also, remember this is primarily an end-time book. God brought Israel out of Egypt, but that is only a type of bringing spiritual Israel, or the Church, out of this world.
In order to make the Bible seem more meaningful Flurry often claims that its writings are actually forerunners of the situation within WCG, PCG and the other COG groups. Really?

The Philadelphia Church prophesies the truth. But the Laodiceans will ridicule prophecy—until the Great Tribulation arrives. Then God will hammer and batter them with reality.
Who ridicules prophecy? The Laodiceans? It is certainly true that Tkach's WCG no longer teach what HWA said about such things. But what about the other Laodiceans? The ex-WCG members who did not join PCG. In fact many of them devotedly discuss and speculate about prophecies as HWA did. They do not "ridicule prophecy" at all.

Why does Flurry say "the Laodiceans will ridicule prophecy" when the non-WCG Laodiceans do in fact continue to believe much of what HWA wrote and said about prophecy. How is this not a lie? He should say WCG ridicules prophecy, but to say the other COG groups are guilty of this is just the most bald faced and inaccurate slur.

Why does Gerald Flurry say untrue things?


Although this booklet was first published in 1991 it has been revised several times. In the current version he mentions PCG's court case with WCG. 
We certainly witnessed this prophecy fulfilled, in large part, in our court battle with the WCG over Mystery of the Ages. It was God who gave us the court victory. It was a miraculous, Red Sea kind of victory. 

Without God’s special intervention, His message could not have been delivered. Habakkuk speaks of it as being a double wonder (Habakkuk 1:5; meaning in Hebrew).

A Wall Street Journal reporter wrote an article about the split in the WCG. He interviewed people in our church. He also talked to people in the Laodicean churches and said “all of them were glued to the court case.”

I said several times to our Church members, before we won the court case, that a PCG victory would wound all of the Laodiceans in the head. I pointed out several times that this was the primary spiritual meaning behind this verse.
The Eternal is “standing by” (correct translation) the altar. “God is described as standing [same Hebrew word] in the congregation (Psalm 82:1-2) for administering justice” (Hebrew-Greek Key Word Study Bible). The PCG could not get justice from the WCG or the courts. So God intervened in a very personal way to give us true justice! He dealt with the altar, or the WCG ministry, in the court case. He demonstrated His authority to all the Laodiceans.
How confusing this Gerald Flurry is. One moment he says PCG gained "a court victory ... a miraculous, Red Sea kind of victory." Then he says "The PCG could not get justice from ... the courts."

PCG did not win the court case. In fact they lost to WCG, but in the out of court negotiations after the trial PCG persuaded WCG to sell HWA's copyrights for $3 million. PCG bought it. They did not win it.

Why is Gerald Flurry saying untrue things? Why does he claim the court ended in a "Red Sea kind of victory" when PCG lost the case?

The major part of this prophecy has been fulfilled. The remainder of Amos 9 will make that clear. We were called to “knock” on the Laodicean door (Revelation 3:20). But winning our court case went beyond knocking, to smiting! That is the only way we could get justice.

God’s Work could not have been done if the Philadelphia Church of God hadn’t received the rights to publish Mr. Armstrong’s writings! That is how important this court case was.

The altar was built only for worship in the tabernacle, or temple. Again, the altar is a type of the ministry today. Christ had to “smite” them. That means the ministry must have gone astray. In fact, they were destroying God’s Work. God’s Work is far more important than anything else being done on Earth. ...

But He wounded all of the Laodicean members in the head through our court victory.
God has made it abundantly clear who is continuing the work He did through Mr. Armstrong.
Within HWA's WCG Gerald Flurry was just another minister. There was nothing important or prominent about Gerald Flurry's role as a WCG minister. He knows this, so he is acutely embarrassed at his powerlessness before 1989. Both UCG and GCG/LCG have far more prominent leaders and more members with them. There are many other COG groups. All of them are a challenge to his claim to be the one and only legitimate successor to HWA.

That is one reason why PCG's leaders glorify HWA so much. It is to obscure the fact that no one important in WCG chose to go with Flurry.

That is one reason why PCG decided to reprint Mystery of the Ages in 1997. It was to shore up their legitimacy in the eyes of PCG members and potential converts among the COGs. It was to stake a claim to have greater legitimacy than UCG or GCG/LCG. This is why he boasts "God has made it abundantly clear who is continuing the work He did through Mr. Armstrong", he is claiming to be the true and legitimate successor to HWA.

The WCG took us to the courts for justice from men. I said in my sermon November 11, 2000, “God is going to give them some real justice.” We now see that God has given them true justice.
WCG got $3 million. Hey, I wonder if (PCG's) God could inflict some "true justice" on me and give me $3 million? 

Deep down the Laodiceans know that we are right. They once believed what we believe now. But they do all they can to hide from that reality. One way or another, God is going to make them face reality. When we won the court case, all of them were shaken. God gave them a strong dose of reality. He showed them, in a powerful way, who is continuing the work He did through Mr. Armstrong—who is the true successor to Mr. Armstrong.
"Deep down the Laodiceans know that we are right." They do not. Gerald Flurry is simply speaking to PCG members trying to make sure that they do not leave PCG's fold. Actually it seems some of Gerald Flurry's collaborators know there are serious problems with Malachi's Message..

"They once believed what we believe now." Gerald Flurry has changed several doctrines that HWA taught. Not least is HWA's teaching that New Testament Prophets had no administrative function over lay members. Yet Gerald Flurry proclaims himself to be That Prophet, contradicting HWA.

"He showed them, in a powerful way, ... who is the true successor to Mr. Armstrong." HWA's true successor was Tkach. Now you can say he had no right to change WCG's doctrines like that, you can call him evil even, but he was HWA's successor.

Also other COG groups in fact have greater claims to legitimacy than Flurry's PCG. He would strenuously deny this, but it is true.

The whole WCG building program was stopped so this house could be built to the honor of the great God! Mr. Armstrong believed the Church received a command from God to do so through the book of Haggai! This building was the most important building on the Earth to God—and to some of His people! God is deeply concerned about His Church’s attitude toward that house. It reflects their thinking toward God! Mr. Armstrong, inspired by God, repeatedly asked the WCG members to make prodigious sacrifices to build a house for God!
 What idolatry! It is sickening to revere a thing so much in the way Gerald Flurry chooses to do so here.

God was very concerned about what happened in His physical temple. We know that God has to be far more concerned about what is happening today in His spiritual temple!
Note how Gerald Flurry seems to be saying that PCG is more important and of more concern to God then the distinguished forerunners of the faith mentioned in the Bible. Is he not belittling the Biblical figures mentioned in the Old Testament?


Flurry speculates that Ambassador Auditorium will be demolished by the Tkach leadership of WCG. But he carefully avoids making a specific prediction. This is very often used within the COGs to speculate something will happen but carefully avoiding being too specific so they can escape responsibility for being wrong.
Am I saying that what used to be God’s physical house [Ambassador Auditorium] in Pasadena is going to be destroyed? No, I am not. God only knows. But can we rule out that possibility in view of Amos 9:1 and other verses? I don’t think so. A shaking of God’s former physical house could also shake the spiritual temple, or Laodicean Church.
Today, twenty three years later, Ambassador Auditorium has indeed been shut down by WCG but it has not been demolished.

Also no great earthquake occurred upon the purchase of Ambassador Auditorium as Flurry appears to suggest here.

The city of Laodicea in the first century was repeatedly struck by earthquakes. So God’s Laodicean saints had that problem to cope with then. And the first-century Laodicean Church was only a type of the end-time Laodiceans. Only God knows the details of what is to occur. But this much we do know: Total destruction is coming upon the Laodicean Church! God’s Philadelphia Church must warn the Laodiceans and pray that they will repent! 
Was Laodicea repeatedly struck by earthquakes in the first century? How does he know this? First of all everyone gets earthquakes. Earthquakes occur everywhere. It is nonsense to suggest there was something peculiarly special about that particular earthquake in Laodicea.

Is total destruction coming upon non-PCG COGs? What madness.

Prophecy shows that the Laodiceans must die in the Tribulation to prove themselves to God. Not one will escape alive. This doesn’t refer to physical Israel. Some of them will be saved (verse 8).
Gerald Waterhouse taught something quite similar to this saying that the Laodiceans had to die in the Tribulation.


Here Flurry insists that the Tkach changes and the establishment of PCG in response are signs that the Great Tribulation is just about to happen any moment now, which the COGs have been claiming since the 1930s.
Economically and politically, Germany is already united and leading the European Union. Germany is God’s tool to correct the U.S. and Britain (Isaiah 10:5-6). And events are moving so fast that even the people who are leading these events are shocked! Figuratively, it’s as if Amos already hears the marching of the jack-booted German soldiers.

The point is this—when you see the division in God’s own Church, the end is perilously close! The Lion has roared! Even if we are deaf to the roaring Lion, frightening and unparalleled tragedy is still about to strike! ...
We won the works of Mr. Armstrong on January 16, 2003. Only then did we fully understand the book of Amos. That victory specifically dated the book of Amos. We can see clearly where we are in Bible prophecy. How dangerously close we are to the nuclear Great Tribulation! ...
We now own the copyrights to Mr. Armstrong’s major writings. The living God gave us the victory. 
PCG did not win the copyrights. They lost the court case but then bought the copyrights from WCG for $3 million. How can a financial transaction be called a victory?

Also no one in HWA's WCG anticipated that the WCG leadership would renounce HWA's teachings before HWA died.

The goods, or writings, of Mr. Armstrong really belonged to us. But we still had to get them through the courts.
The courts did not give the copyrights to PCG. The courts actually ruled in WCG's favor but WCG decided to cut their loses by getting $3 million for the copyrights from PCG.


Apparently Gerald Flurry thinks the Laodiceans (any COG member who chooses not to pay three tithes to Flurry and Co.) are actually heathens.
After Mr. Armstrong died, they rebelled. Fifty percent sold their birthright as Esau (or Edom) did. And 50 percent became “heathen.” According to Bible scholars, this word has to be defined by the context. The word heathen means Gentile (see Strong’s Concordance). This group of God’s people have rebelled and become spiritual Gentiles.

Edom and the heathen destroyed the tabernacle of David when they rebelled against God.
Apparently these Laodiceans are also Edom according to Gerald Flurry.

So this is the name calling you get if you choose not to pay Flurry and Co. money.


Chapter 4
Only the Philadelphia Church holds fast to what Mr. Armstrong taught.
Why is Gerald Flurry saying untrue things? Many COG groups devoutly follow HWA's teachings. Many are in fact more honest about what HWA said then PCG's leadership is. At least they do not tend to alter HWA's writings for their convenience. In contrast Gerald Flurry has changed Mystery of the Ages, The Proof of the Bible and Who or What is the Prophetic Beast? There may very well be more.


Here Flurry speculates that the US and UK governments "could" use WCG in an attempt to (somehow) silence PCG.
Will there be another direct confrontation between the Laodicean and Philadelphian churches in the near future? Here is why that could easily happen. The leaders in the United States and Britain will know that the Philadelphia Church of God came out of the Worldwide Church of God. The leaders of the nations could enlist the WCG in an attempt to stop the PCG’s message. Amos says “the land is not able to bear all his words”! This is a prophecy about the impact our message will have on modern Israel and the Laodicean Church! Surely nobody could seriously believe the WCG will preach a message the land cannot bear! The message of Amos is going to be delivered in this end time by the Philadelphia Church of God! A great work lies yet ahead of us. However, it is apt to be of short duration. Amos says when you see God’s Church divided, the end is very near!
The leaders of the United States and Britain probably have no idea you exist. Also anyone reading about PCG on the internet could quite easily discern that PCG is an offshoot of WCG. Also how would these leaders use WCG to somehow silence PCG? How? Why? This just does not make sense.

Amos is directing his message to the “remnant” (or end-time portion) of Joseph (Amos 5:15; 6:6). The story of Joseph and his two sons—Ephraim and Manasseh, or modern-day Britain and America—is recorded in Genesis 48:3-5, 10-20; 49:22-26. Mr. Armstrong covered this very well in his book The United States and Britain in Prophecy.
How can Flurry be serious? HWA simply pinched a few ideas from John Allen's book and preached it as though he had discovered it himself.

Also British Israelism happens to be false.

Amos 7:10 indicates just how strong the message of the Philadelphia Church of God is going to become! We must trumpet Amos’s prophecies—blast them, roar them, hurl them out there to this world in as dramatic a fashion as we possibly can! The land will not be able to ignore what we are saying.

But we must realize: If the people cannot bear the message, what are they going to do to the messenger? 
Prophecy shows that they are going to cast out God’s people!
Actually the world just goes on its merry way, the vast majority having absolutely no idea PCG even exists. PCG is not doing a very good work getting its message out to the world.


Here is some more scare mongering he does. Also note how he casually dismisses the complaints regarding PCG ministers.
Prophecy shows that half of the Laodiceans will not repent, and they are going to lose their eternal lives. As Herbert W. Armstrong often said, this is dangerous knowledge! Once people understand it, they are under God’s judgment. “Dangerous knowledge” is almost an understatement.

I believe those people we battled in court, and those who vehemently supported them, are among those who have fallen—and will never rise again!

How dangerous it is to walk away from God.

If you have received God’s Spirit, you must make sure you are right with God. Many people have fallen away because they have gotten bitter against a minister or another member. Really they have allowed themselves to become bitter against God! We cannot afford to be wrong about this!
Now you know what Gerald Flurry thinks about those who "complain" within PCG.

Now he says those who tried to enforce WCG's copyright, and who won the court case, are doomed to be cast into the lake of fire. Or maybe Flurry's bitter he had to pay $3 million to them to get the copyrights.


Chapter 5
Instead, the courts were shamefully corrupt—just as many of them are today. We could not get justice from the courts when we fought to continue proclaiming Mr. Armstrong’s writings for free. And they were rightfully ours all along. The great God had to intervene to give us justice.
PCG actually lost the court case but luckily for them WCG decided to cut their losses and sold the copyrights for $3 million.

Amos wrote this book around 765-750 b.c. Hastings’ Bible Dictionary wrote that King Assurdanil and an Assyrian colossus were causing alarm. I believe that to be true, because a modern-day Assyria is going to conquer modern Israel.
First of all the Germans are not Assyrians. This is nonsense. Secondly, inaccurately assuming that Germany will soon conquer the United States is not evidence that the ancient Assyrians of Amos' time were a giant military power threatening Israel.


And there you have it. Gerald Flurry uses the Book of Amos
  • to incorrectly claim that it is really all about British Israelism, church eras and the Tkach changes.
  • uses the discredited doctrine of church eras to threaten and intimidate COG believers into joining PCG (and paying him three tithes) or else to face the wrath of the Great Tribulation.
  • uses PCG's possession of HWA's copyright to boast that he is the true successor to HWA.
  • inaccurately state PCG won when in fact they simply bought the copyrights for $3 million.
  • insinuates the Tkachite WCG will assist the US and UK governments in somehow silencing PCG.
  • insinuates the Tkachite WCG will destroy Ambassador Auditorium.
So we see once again that Gerald Flurry preaches nonsense in order to gain the allegiance of people and grow rich and powerful thanks to the dedicated financial devotion of deceived followers.

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