Sunday, June 1, 2014

Reading PCG's Booklet, From the Beginning

Let us now look through Gerald Flurry's booklet, From the Beginning. This booklet was first published in 1996, one year after the founding of UCG. It was later revised in 2001. In this booklet Gerald Flurry uses the writings of the Apostle John to assert that PCG members need to learn a wondrous "from the beginning" vision this is taught in the writings of John. What is this from the beginning vision discussed here? You can read the current version of this booklet on their website. That is the same version read here.

Chapter 1
The Philadelphia Church of God (PCG) started by rejecting a government of men. We are commanded to only follow men who follow God (I Cor. 11:1).

The history of God’s Church was blotted out from A.D. 70 to 170. God’s Church entered A.D. 70 as a commandment keeping Church and surfaced in 170 as a very different church, according to historic records. A great false church destroyed the true records. The only place in the whole world where you will find an accurate record is in I, II and III John! That gives you some indication of how severe the persecution was. (p. 2.)
Actually it was not "historic records" that revealed this, it was HWA who taught this. In fact there was no dark century. It is now known that much of what HWA said in proclaiming that there was a dark century is now to be totally in error.

Intriguingly this statement contradicts HWA's teaching in Mystery of the Ages that this "dark century" began in A.D. 50 and ended about A.D. 150.
How men are confused about these prophecies. Most people think John revealed the book of Revelation. A tiny few think this revelation came from Christ. They are all wrong. The Father gave this revelation to Christ, who then gave it to John. (p. 3.)
This is a straw man argument. Often when people talk about the revelation of John they often talk as though it was from John but this is done with the unstated implication that it is from God. So this must be regarded as a straw man argument.

He says only by submitting to PCG can one receive revelation from God. Namely the new revelation Flurry preaches which claims various books in the Bible are all about the Tkach changes and the rise of PCG.
The Apostle John was the only Church leader who received revelation from God at that time. God always reveals through one man at a time. Revealing to three or four groups simultaneously would be utter confusion. That is not the way of God’s government. But many rejected God’s government taught by John. And MANY of God’s people are making the same mistake today by rejecting the government taught by Mr. Armstrong. When you reject God’s government, YOU ALSO CUT YOURSELF OFF FROM ALL OF GOD’S REVELATION! (p. 3-4.)
So you must send that money in right now which pays my income, he really means.

Furthermore he also asserts that unless one agrees with him with a childlike attitude that PCG is the only true church then such a one is blinded by the Devil.
God only reveals to babes, or those who have childlike attitudes (Matt. 11:25; 18:1-3). That means the people of God’s own Church, if they rebel, cannot even understand the specific Bible prophecies about themselves! They can’t grasp their own Church prophecy, even as it is being fulfilled. (p. 4.)
Agree with me. If you don't you will blind yourself to the truth, and not pay me money as you should. That is what he really means.

Flurry cannot stand talk of love outside of a law of love.
The Laodiceans today talk endlessly about love. But it is a phony love. As we get into John’s epistles, he expands on that love. He discusses a LAW of love—or a law that is God’s love (I John 5:3). God’s government is a government of love. But Diotrephes was getting into a false love which allowed him to kick John and his followers out of the Church. Spiritually, Diotrephes was removing himself from God’s true Church. IT WAS ALL DONE IN THE NAME OF LOVE! That is why John discusses this subject so much in his epistles. It is critical that we understand God’s true love. (p. 6.)
Even the Apostles did not have the full truth, unlike Flurry and his followers in PCG.
These parallels helped cause the apostles to think the end was coming in their time. That helped them to have a stronger message then and for us today. And perhaps that is a major reason why Christ didn’t reveal the whole truth to them. (p. 7.)
So PCG members are more enlightened then the pioneers of the Christian faith who wrote the New Testament.

Then Flurry talks about Paul and uses Acts 20 to claim, like HWA, that a great apostasy occurred soon after the time of the Apostles, as in common among the COGs (pp. 7-10.).
If the wonderful truth God has revealed to us remains in us, we “shall continue in the Son, and in the Father.” This is an ironclad way we can avoid deception. There is no excuse for being deceived after we have received God’s revealed truth! (p.11.)
Flurry then talks about the close intimacy between God the Father and God the Son. He then talks of the closeness between Jesus and John.
John refers to himself as the “disciple whom Jesus loved” (John 20:2). There was a special closeness between John and Christ. “Now there was leaning on Jesus’ bosom one of his disciples, whom Jesus loved” (John 13:23). This also refers to John and Christ. Jesus had a special love for John, partly because of John’s depth. But, more importantly, John was given special attention and preparation for the GREAT WORK HE WAS TO DO after all the other apostles were dead. (p. 12.)
"partly because of John’s depth." Shouldn't that by John's depth of understanding or John's depth of faith? John's depth? What does that mean?

Flurry then talks about how the interaction between God the Father and God the Son is a perfect and most intimate family relationship. There is no roon for selfishness within this sort of unity.

Also Flurry casually regards "the Laodiceans" as being just like Lucifer and Diotrephes mentioned in III John.
All men must get this message or they have no future. We must have the Spirit of Jesus Christ—not the spirit of Lucifer, Diotrephes, or the Laodiceans. (p. 15.)
Join PCG or you will have no future worth living, Flurry actually means here.
God has called us to be sons of God—sons of the Father—bride of Jesus Christ. This is the MOST EXALTED HONOR GOD CAN GIVE!

Less than one percent of all humans who have ever lived will be given this glorious opportunity of being at the bride level in the God family! (p. 15.)
It is a peculiarity of Armstrongism that it is asserted that church members will have a greater rank and more privilege then any human who becomes glorified after the second coming.

Flurry then talks about the phrase "from the beginning" as used in the writings of John to say that John was greatly focused upon the per-incarnate glory of God the Son before he was conceived in the womb of Mary. It is somewhat obscure what the point of this focus is in that most Christians have this same doctrine that Jesus was God for all eternity before He was conceived in the womb of Mary. They may believe in the Trinity unlike HWA but they tend to agree that Jesus existed before he was conceived.

He ends this chapter with these words.
John did his best to make this message plain. Still, many of God’s people lost their salvation. Many saints are making the same mistakes today. It is the GREATEST POSSIBLE TRAGEDY ON THIS EARTH TODAY! Not because of any punishment they receive, but because they are rejecting the HIGHEST CALLING AND REWARD THAT GOD GIVES TO ANY HUMAN BEINGS EVER! (p. 17.)
Chapter 2

In this chapter Flurry aims to persuade the reader that only PCG is the legitimate successor to HWA's WCG.

On pages 19-20 Flurry quotes the March 19, 1981 co-worker letter to say that HWA was the end time Zerubbabel. A peculiarity of Flurry's teachings is the particular emphasis he tends to place on identifying HWA as the end time Zerubbabel. He taught this in Malachi's Message. Also he says there was an end time Joshua who is identified with Tkach Jr., as far as I can tell.

Flurry condemns UCG's decision to not have one man rule as was done in HWA's WCG. He then uses this piece of information to claim all other COGs do not have God's government.
Let me give you an example of how badly they measure God’s law and government. One member of the board of directors in the United Church of God sent out a packet of their beliefs to many of their members. That church left the Worldwide Church of God early in 1995. Here is a quote from one of those letters: “We find it interesting that the only one of the ‘18 Truths’ restored by Mr. Armstrong which has not been changed by the apostates [referring to current WCG leadership] is the ‘truth’ about church government. Those men are so deceived they cannot see that is the only one which needed to be changed.”

God called Mr. Armstrong to “restore all things” (Matt. 17:10-11), not these leaders. Yet these men think they can reject the government God established through him.

Here is a quote from another one of their board members (March 17, 1995): “Learning to work, in a NEW FORM OF GOVERNMENT, will be the principal challenge” (emphasis mine). The problem is GOD HAS GIVEN THEM NO AUTHORITY TO MAKE SUCH A CHANGE! This is where the Laodiceans are measuring so badly today. (p. 22.)
In fact most COGs have one man rule. True, most are them are far smaller, many are just one congregation, but they practice the same type of government as that used within HWA's WCG.
Why does Flurry say untrue things?

Flurry then talks about the two trees from Genesis 2-3 and then claims that all other COG groups aside from PCG have somehow disqualified themselves from God's blessing and protection.
We must choose between HUMAN INTELLECT—man’s own reasoning—or the tree of life—REPRESENTING REVEALED KNOWLEDGE FROM GOD (see Amos 3:7-8). The PCG has kept all of the revealed knowledge God gave to Mr. Armstrong. All of the Laodicean groups have rejected at least part of that revelation. Therefore, GOD HAS GIVEN THEM NO NEW REVELATION SINCE MR. ARMSTRONG DIED! BUT THE PCG HAS BEEN FLOODED WITH NEW REVELATION. We are the only group that is eating from the tree of life! And you can prove it. Because the Laodiceans have rejected God’s revealed government, God will not use them to do His work. (p. 25.)
Did PCG preserve the knowledge that HWA taught that prophets under the New Testament dispensation have no administrative power over lay members? That is what HWA taught from 1953 until his death in 1986, even stating this traditionally understood dogma in his last book, Mystery of the Ages, which has now been deleted by PCG in their copies.

PCG is not flooded with new revelation. Flurry simply repeats what he says in Malachi's Message again and again. He sometimes adds little details or throw in a little speculation but essentially most of his writings simply build up what he wrote in Malachi's Message.

Also it must be stated that much of Gerald Flurry's new revelations in Malachi's Message are plagiarized from the writings of Jules Dervaes, specifically The Letter to Laodicea. In fact on September 26, 1990 Jules Dervaes sent a letter to Gerald Flurry in which he denounces Malachi's Message as "a direct and clear plagiarism" of his work.

Also Flurry implies that "the Laodiceans" have rejected "God's revealed government" but in fact many COG groups outside of PCG enthusiastically embrace the same type of government as embraced by HWA, namely one man rule. Why does Flurry inaccurately accuse so many "Laodiceans" of committing such a thing when they do no such thing?

Why does Flurry say untrue things?

After that Flurry talks about Satan and says his problem was that he refused to submit to "God's government".

Then Flurry quotes from a sermon by HWA. He loves to bring up this sermon. Flurry portrays this sermon as being a prescient warning from HWA that something might go wrong after his death. Flurry portrays this as the result of remarkable foresight. He had previously mentioned it in his booklet, The Little Book. Is that really the case? Here is his quote.
Mr. Armstrong’s made this very strong, condemning statement in his sermon on Pentecost, May 26, 1985—a few months before he died: “Why is this Church the firstfruits of God’s harvest for His Kingdom?... Brethren I want to say to you, I think that most of you don’t understand that at all. I think that most of you think it merely means that God chose us to get into the Kingdom first and then they’ll come in later. That is not the answer at all. And I perceive that even our ministers, when they preach, take it for granted that the whole goal is to get us into the Kingdom of God and that’s all we’re called for now and for no other purpose—but we’ll get in ahead of the others.... There is a reason why we’re the firstfruits! And I wish I could drive that home. But I fear that MOST OF YOU JUST DON’T GET IT. YOU DON’T UNDERSTAND IT AT ALL. WHY? WHY ARE WE THE FIRSTFRUITS? I’m going to try to make it plain this afternoon and STILL I THINK YOU WON’T GET IT.”  
How terribly prophetic those words have proven to be! Mr. Armstrong perceived that many ministers and members did not understand this precious truth. We can’t rule with Christ if we don’t even understand His family government. (pp. 26-27.)
Reading that quote it seems to me that HWA is not complaining that a great apostasy is about to be unleashed as Flurry seem to imply here and elsewhere. Rather HWA seems to be discussing a fine point of his doctrine concerning why WCG members are supposedly called to the truth earlier then the vast majority of humanity.

You can read or listen to HWA's sermon for yourself online. Is it really what Flurry portrayed here?

Also Flurry condemns the other COGs and claim they place too much emphasis upon the person of Christ instead of his message.
Please notice, it is His MESSAGE that we must DECLARE. God’s Laodicean churches have only a hazy view of this message. That is why they are deceived. They focus too much on the messenger and not enough on the message. That is why their ministers measure so badly! (p.28.)

Oh how quickly HWA's accusation against mainstream church are effortlessly twisted to demonize PCG's competitors and rivals among the other COGs. Just so he can get more tithes.

He continues this criticism with these words.
This is happening now in God’s own Church! This is how Satan deceives the Laodiceans. Christ says not to believe these men. Why? Their focus is too much on the personality of Christ—not His MESSAGE

The PCG always discusses the message of Christ. We encourage people to “prove all things,” then they can know where Christ’s message is. Every group says Christ is with them. But they are not willing to prove that they have the same message Christ revealed to Mr. Armstrong. That’s because they know they don’t have the full revealed truth! (p. 28.)
 After that he continues condemning "the Laodiceans" and claiming they wish to gain pre-eminence among church members and that they use a different form of government.

Chapter 3

Flurry then talks about how glorious HWA was. He also continues to falsely accuse all other COGs of not practicing God's government.
He restored ALL things—including the GOVERNMENT of God—by far the most important doctrine of all. Except for the PCG, all of those members Mr. Armstrong left behind have rejected that doctrine! That means they have also rejected Mr. Armstrong as the end-time Elijah. These Laodicean groups must somehow FEEL THEY ARE ELIJAH TYPES TO MAKE SUCH A RADICAL AND DANGEROUS GOVERNMENT CHANGE! (p. 32.)
This is nonsense. Many COG groups have one man rule just as HWA's WCG did. They may not be quite as popular as PCG but they do practice that doctrine. He is just trying to gain power over new converts to claim that only PCG has "God's government".

Flurry claims to be like the still, small voice that Elijah heard in I Kings 19 on Mount Sinai.
A strong wind broke the rocks on the mountain in pieces. Then there was a shattering earthquake. After that, a fierce fire. But God was not in the strong wind, earthquake, or fire. However, He was in the “still small voice.” What was God’s point? God does not often manifest Himself in mind-shattering physical events. Usually He comes in a still small voice. But it is still the same omnipotent God! You must learn to recognize God in that “still small voice”—LIKE IN WHAT YOU ARE READING  RIGHT NOW! (p. 34.)
So we see what Flurry says.
BOTH OF THESE MEN HAD THIS VISION FROM THE BEGINNING! And in both cases it comes down to finding A MAN who was doing the Elijah work—who was delivering God’s message “from the beginning”—even though it is prophesied that most people would not even recognize these Elijahs (Matt. 17:10-13). (p. 36.)
What Flurry really means is, you are to follow me, Gerald Flurry or else you cannot not get to the place of safety and there is a fifty per cent chance you will be cast to the lake of fire, and if not you will be executed by the European Beast Power.

After discussing Elijah's flight to Mount Sinai in I Kings 19 Flurry then finally reveals what he really means when he talks about "God's government."
Many of the end-time Laodiceans talk about “THE EVILS OF A ONE MAN GOVERNMENT.” That means THEY MUST REJECT GOD’S END-TIME ELIJAH! It is a message inspired by a rebel called Satan. One of the Laodicean leaders said it was wrong to apply scriptures to Mr. Armstrong. That too is satanic. If God applies scriptures to a man, we must do it too. (pp. 36-37.)
Turns out this from the beginning vision is largely about finding the one man doing God's work and staying with him andsubmitting to his one man rule. How convenient for Gerald Flurry.

In arguing that "the Laodiceans" have been blinded by the Devil Flurry claims that they are unaware of Satan the Devil.
Since Mr. Armstrong’s death, most people familiar with the Worldwide Church of God know that church has divided into many different groups. A newspaper previously called In Transition (since changed to the Journal) covers much of the news of many of these different groups and what each one believes. I have read several articles from two or three issues discussing the government controversy in several groups. Not once have I seen the word Satan in that newspaper! Satan has torn the Laodicean Church apart, and they are OBLIVIOUS TO THE MAIN ENEMY WHO HAS DEVASTATED THEM! (p. 38.)
Actually many of these "Laodiceans" very often talk about and think about Satan the Devil. They happen to believe that there is a Satan the Devil. Why does Flurry say untrue things?

Also Flurry says Satan has caused the great scattering of the COGs after the Tkach changes.
It is all “after the rudiments of the world”—that expression means “ruling spirits of the universe.” That refers to Satan and his demons, who have power and influence that reach beyond this Earth. It is this frightening power that has overwhelmed the Laodiceans. (p. 39.)
What a way to simplify matters like that. It must be nice to just blame the devil when bad things happen.
Most of the Laodiceans today even boast of how they have “a new government.” They know they do not have the government God taught them through Mr. Armstrong. (p. 39.)
Flurry is actually talking about UCG. Do most "Laodiceans" claim to have a new form of government? In fact many do not because most of them has one man rule among themselves.

Flurry threatens the reader that if they do not do the right thing and join PCG then "eternal failure" awaits.
This all happened before man was even created. If we understand Satan FROM THE BEGINNING, we realize this is THE SUPREME WARNING TO GOD’S OWN CHURCH—either administer God’s government or be an eternal failure! (p. 40.)
He also mentions the turmoil within WCG in the 1970s.
When you read of the serious WCG problem in the 1970s, Mr. Armstrong often spoke of Satan’s attacks on God’s Church. He knew who the real enemy was. Only the PCG thinks that way today. That is not a boast—it’s reality! (p. 41.)
In fact many in the other COG groups are very much inclined to view bad events as being caused by Satan the Devil. So we must say that Flurry actually is just boasting. This statement is certainly is not reality.

Flurry also reveals that "God's government" really means one man rule in the following paragraph.
John discussed the LAW again and again. He personally was God’s human government that Diotrephes rejected. He was the one-man rule at that time. (p. 41.)
Flurry also describes God's government as being one man rule in his booklet, Isaiah's End Time Vision.

Flurry also mentions in passing who he says Job is.
Tradition and history indicate that Job built the great pyramid. He was a splendid architect. However, he thought he was so great that he challenged God. Then God showed him how He built the whole universe—how it was FROM THE BEGINNING. A great architect indeed. (p. 42.)
This is complete nonsense. Actually this idea is derived from pyramidology which was discussed in a previous post.
Pyramidology originated from one John Taylor (1781-1864) who became convinced that the Great Pyramid could not have been made by the Egyptians but must have been made by Israelites. This idea then passed to Charles Piazzi Smith (1819-1900). As a vessel of divine revelation the Great Pyramid was interpreted as giving clues to what will happen in the future. He used the measurements of the Great Pyramid to claim that Christ would return in 1882, then at other points from 1892 to 1911.
This post also mentions how Charles Taze Russell, founder of the Watchtower Society (Jehovah's Witnesses), also embraced Pyramidology. Also HWA dabbled in Pyramidology. In fact it was while he was researching that topic that he stumbled upon and then embraced the false doctrine of British Israelism.

Chapter 4
The last warning to the Philadelphia era was to “let no man take your crown” (v. 11). That is precisely what the Laodiceans are allowing! They have lost God’s family government that was given to them by Herbert W. Armstrong. They have lost what they received from the beginning about crowns, thrones and their calling to rule the Earth as a part of God’s family government! They have lost almost everything that means anything! (p. 45.)
While this criticism may well be accurate regarding the Tkachite WCG it must be stated that the other COG groups who exist outside of PCG continue to believe these doctrines wholeheartedly. Why does Flurry say untrue things?

Also Flurry continues to criticize "Laodiceans" and say they are utterly foolish beyond imagining.
Like Diotrephes, the Laodiceans want the preeminence now. How pathetic. God wants to give them royal thrones over billions of people in the World Tomorrow and eventual rule over the whole universe. And they want preeminence over a few people or things today in this evil world! (p. 45.)
Flurry also claims that being a PCG member is very good in God's eyes.
That is why we are called God’s jewels—or, as a better translation renders it, His “most prized treasure” (Mal. 3:17). That should reveal to us how important God’s family is to Him. Nothing else even comes close to being as important! That means we must fit into God’s family government. In any stable family there is government. We are holding fast to the GOVERNMENT that is going to shape the lives of billions of people. It is the ONLY GOVERNMENT THAT HAS EVER WORKED! Now is the time we must submit and prepare for those prodigious responsibilities. (pp. 45-46.)
No wonder so many PCG members will not leave despite all the things that happen.
We must be clothed with the very righteousness of God. That means if we go to a movie, we take Christ with us. Christ is with us when we watch television. Whatever we do, it is done with God and His righteousness. (p. 46.)
After this Flurry talks about HWA's teaching that the Earth was originally created many years ago but was destroyed with the rebellion of Lucifer causing the Earth to be destroyed and necessitating its recreation in Genesis 1-2. Of course the entire reason he recites this is to accuse those other COG groups of being like Lucifer in his rebellion (pp. 47-49).
The Laodiceans have lost the vision because they trust in evil human reasoning. ... Satan’s nature PERMEATES HUMAN INTELLECT AND HUMAN REASONING. We cannot TRUST OUR OWN MINDS. (p. 50.)
So just listen to Flurry as he continues to live off of the money you send to him. Only he understands what is really going on since you cannot trust your own mind. Ignore that feeling of unease as you wonder why your family is in financial straits while you send so much money to some organization based in Edmond, Oklahoma. You can't trust your own mind. So he says.
They all agreed that the first-century Elijah was John the Baptist. Today all of the Laodicean churches of God reject Mr. Armstrong as the end-time Elijah. They all reject the government Christ taught through him. (p. 51.)
This is not true. Many "Laodiceans" believe that HWA was the end time Elijah. Why does Flurry say untrue things?

Then he insinuates that "Laodiceans" do not believe that HWA was an Apostle.
Mr. Armstrong was also an apostle—the only end-time apostle sent by God. And yet the Laodiceans say Mr. Armstrong didn’t even fulfill that role, as he taught us. There is deep division in God’s Church today on these crucial issues. (p. 52.)
In fact many of the COG groups outside PCG believe that HWA was an Apostle. Indeed I heard Meredith himself state that HWA was an Apostle in his 2000 sermon, The Elijah Question. Why does Flurry say untrue things?
There will be no STRANGERS ruling in the God family. We cannot disagree on MAJOR ISSUES like God’s family government today AND STILL EXPECT TO RULE WITH THAT GOVERNMENT IN GOD’S FUTURE WORLD!

We are fellowshiping with Mr. Armstrong today if we accept his crucial Elijah role and the government he taught. It is dangerous to take lightly any doctrine that such an exalted office taught. Very dangerous. (p. 52.)
How dangerous is it? Flurry changed HWA's doctrine that Prophets have no administrative power over lay members. Flurry even deleted words from Mystery of the Ages that related that teaching. Flurry seems to have no worries about changing doctrines from God's end time Elijah.
Today, we hear many people in the Laodicean churches talk about the “evils of one-man rule.” No wonder they reject Mr. Armstrong as being God’s end-time Elijah! You can’t follow the one man whom God sent or sends if you believe that satanic doctrine! Major Bible prophecies reveal that one man would be the critical leader in this end time (Zech. 4:9-10; Mal. 3:1-2; 4:5-6; Matt. 17:10-11; Rev. 3:7-8). Only rebels reject these prophecies! (pp. 52-53.)
Again many "Laodiceans" have one man rule as taught and practiced by both HWA and Flurry. Also many "Laodiceans" believe that HWA was the end time Elijah. Why does Flurry say untrue things?

What Flurry really hates about these other COG groups is that they are not paying three tithes to him.

Flurry keeps on condemning "Laodiceans" for doing away with one man rule.
That is the same government Mr. Armstrong used. He did—in terms of numbers of people—what was probably the greatest work ever on this Earth. Yet the Laodiceans he taught reject that government. By so doing, they imply that God’s work can be done without God’s government! The opposite is true. The Laodiceans rebel by eating from the tree of human reasoning. They reason around God’s government. Mr. Armstrong did such a great work only because he did administer God’s family government. The fruits prove that to be true. (p. 53.)
Again many "Laodiceans" have one man rule just like HWA's WCG and Flurry's PCG. Even the hated Meredith reverted to one man rule in 1998 after splitting from the Global Church of God. Why does Flurry say untrue things?

Anyone complaining about the problems of one man rule is listening to the Devil, so says Flurry.
Lucifer was given God’s government, but then refused to administer it. Now he is working feverishly to get God’s people to follow him—as one third of the angels did. He is the author of statements like “the evils of one-man rule.” And God’s Laodicean Church has bought his philosophy. (p. 54.)
Also many "Laodiceans" have one man rule just like HWA's WCG and Flurry's PCG. But they do not pay Flurry money. That is the real reason he hates them so much.
If YOU are spiritually discerning, you know THIS REFERS TO HERBERT ARMSTRONG AND WHAT HE BUILT! God is discussing a one-man rule and you must SEE what he built with God’s government. You can study in detail what he built. Then you will know God sent him. This is not A GUESSING GAME. WE MUST KNOW THROUGH WHOM GOD BUILT HIS END-TIMEWORK!

If God sends a man who lays the foundation and finishes a great work, we must know God was behind it. Our salvation depends on it. That is why God says you shall KNOW. In time, everyone is going to see what Mr. Armstrong did and accept it—or go into the lake of fire! That is because God sent that man. (p. 56.)
So accepting that HWA was a man sent by God is requirement to be saved, so says Flurry. Here Flurry threatens the reader's eternal salvation. No wonder so many PCG members are so motivated to believe whatever they are told.

Also note how Flurry here admits that "God's government" is really just a euphemism for one man rule, namely the rule of Gerald Flurry.
It is only through this one man that we were taught to build. That is why a small remnant knew how to measure for God when Mr. Armstrong died (Rev. 11:1). He taught us that from the beginning vision and we cannot be deceived—if we hold fast. It was a ONE-MAN RULE IN THE GREATEST WORK OF THIS END TIME. (p. 56.)
Again God's government is just a euphemism for one man rule.

Also note how Flurry says "a small remnant knew how to measure for God when Mr. Armstrong died". This is just an elaborate way of referring to the WCG members who joined PCG. "Measure the temple" is really a euphemism for joining PCG and working with them to gain more converts from WCG members and ex-WCG members.

Flurry ends this booklet with a call for PCG members to study HWA's writings.
Go back to the beginning of Mr. Armstrong’s life with God. Study his Autobiography (vol. 1). ...  He was used by God for over 50 years to build the Philadelphia era of God’s Church. See how he measured and built. THEN FOLLOW HIS EXAMPLE, AND YOU WILL FIND THE LIVING GOD! ...

Study what Mr. Armstrong built, stone by stone (v. 18). Carefully study Mystery of the Ages and his other major writings.

The harvest is not in yet. God can still bless your life if you have not yet heeded (v. 19). If you go back to Mr. Armstrong’s beginning, you’ll capture this vision “FROM THE BEGINNING.” (p. 58.)
It might help if PCG did not alter HWA's writings whenever they liked. Already Gerald Flurry's PCG 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. How can PCG members understand HWA if PCG just changes his writings whenever they please?


So we see that this booklet essentially covers the same topic as his 1993 booklet, God's Family Government which was discussed in a previous post. That booklet was written in response to the founding of the Global Church of God under Meredith. It is tempting to say From the Beginning was written in response to the founding of UCG as well, although I feel that I do not know enough about this topic to be sure about that. Nevertheless it is worth noting that the only "Laodiceans" he cites by name in this booklet is UCG or In Transition (later The Journal). If this booklet was written in response to UCG's founding it must be stated that this booklet completely failed to prevent UCG from becoming the largest COG splinter group by gathering up about 20,000 WCG members under its fold.

Instead of focusing directly on doom and gloom prophesies he says that the reason so many within WCG have since moved on from HWA's teachings is that they lost sight of this "from the beginning vision". Essentially this "from the beginning vision" appears to be simply to remember that Christ was God from all eternity along with God the Father, who is really in charge. The pre-incarnate glory of Christ. However it must be questioned what this really means. Most Christians happen to believe that Jesus Christ was God through all eternity before being conceived in the womb of Mary. Although they often believe that within a Trinitarian context this does not change the fact they have this "from the beginning vision" as well. The vast majority of Trinitarian Christians have this "from the beginning vision" already.

Also Flurry uses this opportunity to teach what the Apostle John really meant to indulge in a lot of condemning the other COG groups and claim they are illegitimate offspring of HWA's WCG, even at one point threatening readers with the lake of fire on page 56 if they do revere HWA in the way Flurry demands. Only PCG is the true successor he says.

So we see this booklet is just another attempt by Flurry to recruit more members for PCG in order to get three tithes and extra offerings and to persuade readers that it is necessary to do what they are told by those above them within PCG.

Also readers may be interested to read this previous post in which I also discussed From the Beginning back in 2009.

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