We now begin.
For the most part this booklet is simply a recapitulation of what HWA taught in his booklet, The Middle East in Prophecy. Stephen Flurry even quotes from Rawlinson just as HWA did in his booklet. However Stephen Flurry does quote another historian, namely Myers, in his retelling of HWA's dogma. It is quite surreal seeing how similar this booklet is to HWA's.
But as similar as the two booklets are there are some distinctive changes in Stephen Flurry's retelling that is worth mentioning.
(There is also a spiritual dimension to this story because it revolved around the temple anciently. Today, in this end time, the Church is that temple; Ephesians 2:21.) (p. 10.)Being PCG Stephen Flurry has to say that the message of his father's booklet, Malachi's Message, can be found in Daniel 10-12. PCG does this a lot. During the turmoil of the Tkach changes PCG offered "new revelation" claiming that the Tkach changes had been prophesied of in the Bible and claiming that those faithful to what HWA taught must join PCG.
Much of this struggle between the Jews and the Syrian kingdom is recorded in the book of Maccabees (in the Hebrew Bible). (p. 11.)There are actually four books of the Maccabees (not "of Macabees" because Macabees is plural). The first two of these books both discuss the history of the Jews' war of independence against Antiochus' mighty empire. Why is Stephen Flurry so vague when talking about this? Does he not notice that there is a First Book and a Second Book?
In verse 29, God prophesied of a third campaign into Egypt. But this one did not fair well for Antiochus. Verse 30 says the “ships of Chittim” came against him. He was cut off by a Roman fleet from Cyprus. (p. 12.)It is good to see that Stephen Flurry knows that Chittim is what is now named Cyprus, and not China, as his father, Gerald Flurry, absurdly tried to do in his booklet, Isaiah's End Time Vision.
We now come to a critical transition in Daniel 11. ... 2 Thessalonians 2:4 shows that this verse [Daniel 11:36] directly relates to an end-time prophecy being fulfilled in God’s Church. (For more on this subject, request your free copy of Malachi’s Message.) (p. 13.)Now HWA would not have talked about that. As stated above PCG teaches that the Tkach changes and the rise of PCG in opposition to them are mentioned in the Bible. Gerald Flurry even teaches that certain personages in the Bible, including the Man of Sin of II Thessalonians, refers to the Tkach changes. However it needs to be stated that many of the ideas within Gerald Flurry's booklet, Malachi's Message, were plagiarized from The Letter to Laodicea by Jules Dervaes, written December 1986-January 1988. It was sent to 237 WCG ministers including Gerald Flurry and John Amos. In fact on September 26, 1990 Jules Dervaes sent a letter to Gerald Flurry in which he denounces Malachi's Message as "a direct and clear plagiarism" of his work.
On pages 14-17 Stephen Flurry talks about Daniel 11:40 onwards. Now this is quite different from HWA's booklet. HWA's booklet said that the end time King of the South was fulfilled with Ethiopia repulsing Italy's attempt to conquer Ethiopia in 1895. That was the push in Daniel 11:40 according to HWA. But Mussolini retaliated by conquering Ethiopia in 1935-6. Once Ethiopia was conquered by Italy it was no longer the King of the South in HWA's view, even though Ethiopian independence was soon restored. Originally HWA taught that Mussolini was the Beast, the modern Antiochus Epiphanes. HWA taught that the war in Ethiopia was a prelude to the final world struggle between Mussolini and Christ at the second coming.
(In Stephen Flurry's booklet there is no mention of Ethiopia being viewed as the King of the South by HWA's WCG in times past.)
However as time went on after World War II it became increasingly meaningless to teach that Daniel 11:40 was fulfilled with Italy's conquest of Ethiopia. So as early as the 1960s some such as Garner Ted Armstrong began to teach that there would be a future King of the South among the Muslims. In 1980 Keith Stump wrote a Plain Truth article claiming that there would be a future "Arab-Moslem" confederation that would be the future King of the South. But they were inclined to view Arabs as those who would create this future King of the South. They did not specifically claim that any one Islamic nation would fulfill this supposed prophecy.
In 1994 Gerald Flurry dogmatically proclaimed that Iran was the King of the South, despite the fact that Iran is east, not south, of the State of Israel. Biblical writers viewed geography as centered upon the Holy Land. "South" to them meant south of the Holy Land. Despite this problem PCG has followed Gerald Flurry's line ever since.
And who is this king of the south which pushes so violently? Anciently, it was south of Jerusalem in Egypt. In this end time, it will comprise a conglomerate of nations much larger and more powerful than ancient Egypt. Much of this force will be south of Jerusalem, but not all of it. Certainly, though, we know it will be south of the resurrected Roman Empire. (p. 14.)Iran is east, not south, of the State of Israel. It is nonsensical to claim Daniel 11:40 refers to Iran because it is east, not south, of the State of Israel. Stephen Flurry is wrong on this matter.
The nations around the Holy Land, for the most part, are Islamic. It is this great power, fast becoming a force to be reckoned with, which is the king of the south. Most notable among the rising tide of radical Islam is Iran, which, since the end of the Iran-Iraq War in 1988, has accumulated massive military might. It is considered the world’s number one sponsor of terrorism. And with the support of many other Islamic nations, like Iraq, Algeria, Egypt and Libya, Iran will be able to deliver a formidable “push” against the king of the north. (p. 14-15.)Intriguingly in the original 1998 article this listing of nations is slightly different.
And with the support of many other Islamic nations, like Iraq, Saudi Arabia, Syria, Lebanon, Algeria, Egypt and Libya, Iran will be able to deliver a formidable “push” against the king of the north. (Stephen Flurry, Philadelphia Trumpet, August 1998, p. 13.)Saudi Arabia, Syria and Lebanon have been deleted from this list in the current version of this booklet. This is because of Gerald Flurry's later doctrine regarding Psalm 83. Gerald Flurry teaches that Psalm 83 talks of another Islamic alliance separate and distinct from the King of the South mentioned in Daniel 11:40. Gerald Flurry has taught this since at least 2011. He teaches that Saudi Arabia, Syria and Lebanon will be part of this Psalm 83 alliance, not the King of the South, as was taught by PCG previously.
God says Egypt will not escape the whirlwind—neither will the rest of the king of the south. The Edomites, the Moabites and the children of Ammon—the modern-day region of Jordan—will be spared. ... This Great Tribulation leads to God protecting His people in a place of safety. (pp. 15-16.)This refers to PCG's teaching that PCG members will protected from the Great Tribulation by fleeing to a place of safety. It is often taught by PCG that this place of safety will be in Petra, Jordan. It is also taught that only PCG members will be taken to the place of safety.
That is one reason why many PCG members stay there despite the numerous problems within PCG, they are fearful that if they leave or are cast out that they will be cast into the Great Tribulation. This fear inducing doctrine is simply a tool used within PCG in order to keep PCG members obedient and to control them by making them believe that one must stay in PCG to be saved.
Verse 44: “But tidings out of the east and out of the north shall trouble him: therefore he shall go forth with great fury to destroy, and utterly to make away many.” Tidings to the east (the Orient) and the north (Russia) will worry the king of the north. Other scriptural passages discuss this communist army that challenges the king of the north for supremacy.
Verse 45 shows that the king of the north will establish its headquarters in Jerusalem—in the “glorious holy mountain.” But the communist hordes will descend upon that holy mountain, gathering 55 miles north of Jerusalem in the place called Armageddon (Revelation 16:16). The end of the “beast” and the “false prophet” will be near. (p. 16.)Stephen Flurry, Russia is not Communist anymore.
And what does Stephen Flurry means when he talks of "the Orient" and not China? Aside from China only Vietnam, Laos and North Korea are Communist. Japan is not Communist and PCG loves to insinuate that Japan shall be part of this eastern end time alliance. What is Stephen Flurry talking about?
After all this Stephen Flurry says that these events lead to the return of (PCG's) Christ and then PCG members will lead humanity in rebuilding the world. He ends this booklet with these words insisting that what he teaches will come to pass.
The question is not whether or not those events will occur. The question is, What are you doing to prepare for it? (p. 17.)That claim would be a lot less believable if Stephen Flurry talked about HWA's teaching that the King of the South was Ethiopia before being conquered by fascist Italy, or the fact that HWA used to teach that Mussolini was the Beast who would conquer America and Britain. Then HWA suddenly changed this to Hitler. Then even after Hitler's Third Reich was smashed and conquered by the Allies HWA insisted that Hitler had survived and escaped and was waiting in hiding to resurrect his empire again.
If the readers of this booklet knew about Herbert W. Armstrong's dreadful immorality, recently confirmed to have occurred by his own niece and his own grandson, they would not imagine that HWA or any of his imitators have some special insight about the Bible that no one has. They would be viewed simply as false prophets.
If the reader of Stephen Flurry's booklet knew of these facts Stephen Flurry would be far less believable.