Saturday, September 26, 2015

Gerald Flurry and PCG: The False Prophets

But the prophet, which shall presume to speak a word in my name, which I have not commanded him to speak, or that shall speak in the name of other gods, even that prophet shall die. And if thou say in thine heart, How shall we know the word which the LORD hath not spoken? When a prophet speaketh in the name of the LORD, if the thing follow not, nor come to pass, that is the thing which the LORD hath not spoken, but the prophet hath spoken it presumptuously: thou shalt not be afraid of him. (Deuteronomy 18:20-22.)
Gerald Flurry and his Philadelphia Church of God claim to be able to know what will happen in the future because (they say) God only reveals the true meaning of the Bible to PCG alone. In 1999 Gerald Flurry even proclaimed himself to be "That Prophet."

But the Bible reveals that if a man presuming to speak for God should make a prediction and it does not happen then such a man has spoken presumptuously and the God of the Bible commands people not to be afraid of such a man. To make false predictions disqualifies one from being a prophet of God.

Have Gerald Flurry and those with him in PCG made false predictions that did not come to pass?

1. Tkach's WCG may greatly expand in membership because of the changes. (Gerald Flurry, Malachi's Message.)
The Laodicean Church [Tkach's WCG] may be growing in membership until Christ returns, but does that always mean it is doing God’s will? No! We can’t use that criterion to judge. Other churches have millions of members and are not God’s churches. Actually, the Work of God could be declining in numbers and still do a wonderful job for God. So we have to look deeper than a growing membership. (Gerald Flurry, Malachi's Message, 1990, 1995, 1999, 2004, 2008, Chapter 3, p. 36.)
2. Tkach is the Man of Sin of II Thessalonians 2. (Gerald Flurry, Malachi's Message.)

Herbert W. Armstrong taught that the man of sin mentioned in II Thessalonians 2 was the final Pope. HWA taught that the final Pope would be granted by Satan the power to perform miracles such as calling fire from the sky. But Gerald Flurry changed this doctrine to say that II Thessalonians 2 was talking about the Tkach changes and that the man of sin was Tkach. Of course this doctrine is nonsense.

3. Tkach's WCG will conspire with American authorities to suppress 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! (Gerald Flurry, The Lion Has Roared, 1991, 1992, 2006, 2011, Chapter 4, p. 38.)
4. Ambassador Auditorium might be destroyed by an earthquake as a sign of (PCG's) God's anger at the Tkach changes.
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.
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! (Gerald Flurry, The Lion Has Roared, 1991, 1992, 2006, 2011, Chapter 4, p. 31.)
5. PCG's warning to America will "be a very short work." (1992).
HWA thought the end of Israel would occur in his lifetime. He was EXACTLY right about the prophecies, but his timing was off a few years. (Gerald Flurry, The Ezekiel Watchman, 1992, Chapter 1, p. 2.)

This warning to all Israel by the Philadelphians is probably going to be a very short work. Israel is collapsing very fast and their enemies are rising equally fast. (Gerald Flurry, The Ezekiel Watchman, 1992, Chapter 1, p. 3.)
6. PCG's Gerald Flurry mocking WCG ministers for saying the second coming could be within 30-40 years as "tragically wrong!"
They [WCG members] are being told it will be 30-40 years [2023-2033] before these prophecies will be fulfilled. And they are tragically wrong! The book of Ezekiel will illustrate that truth as we go along. (Gerald Flurry, The Ezekiel Watchman, 1992, p. 23.)
It is now twenty-seven years since these words were published. This is also a false prophecy in itself.

7. PCG saying that "[t]here is very little time left" in 1993.
There is very little time left. We are getting close to the time of the two witnesses (v. 3). (Gerald Flurry, Lamentations and the End-Time Laodiceans, 1993, p. 6.)
8. Reading and believing Malachi's Message will save you from the Great Tribulation.
Jesus Christ inspired the writing of Malachi’s Message to God’s Church Today! ... Anyone who reads Malachi’s Message and heeds its warnings will be spared from the events of the Great Tribulation. If YOU reject it now—you will have to accept it in the Tribulation or lose YOUR SALVATION! IT IS THAT SERIOUS! All of God’s people will have to recognize that Malachi’s Message came from God (Mal. 2:4). There is still time to repent before the Tribulation. (Gerald Flurry, Lamentations and the End-Time Laodiceans, 1993, p. 35.)
Malachi's Message is a false book. It cannot save anyone. Gerald Flurry cannot save anyone. Gerald Flurry cannot see into the future.

It is widely known that many of the ideas within his booklet Malachi's Message, which is so often cited by PCG to justify following Gerald Flurry instead of the many other COG splinter groups, 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. On September 26, 1990 Jules Dervaes even sent a letter to Gerald Flurry in which he denounces Malachi's Message as "a direct and clear plagiarism" of his work.  

9. There is "little or nothing ... in the northern heavens" because of Lucifer's pre-Adamite rebellion.
God intended Lucifer to go to other planets after His work was established on Earth. But Lucifer would not wait. The only place astronomers can find little or nothing is in the northern heavens. That is in the direction of God’s throne, and almost everything in that direction was destroyed WHEN SATAN FOUGHT WITH GOD OVER GOVERNMENT! There was a violent, destructive war. And SATAN IS STILL FIGHTING AGAINST GOD’S GOVERNMENT TODAY! (Gerald Flurry, God's Family Government, 1993, p. 26.)
How can anyone just listen to such nonsense and just accept it and refuse to point out that there is nonsense?

10. PCG is "intensely" persecuted by Satan.
Some in the world try to label the PCG a cult. Actually, we are the only church doing God’s Work on this Earth! That can easily be proven from the Bible. ...  Only we understand what Satan is planning and doing. That is why Satan hates us most of all and persecutes us so intensely. (Gerald Flurry, Isaiah's End-Time Vision, 2013 version, p. 41.)
11. PCG saying the US economy is about to collapse in 1993.
Bank consultant Ed Furash said, "Everything is going to be up in the air until after the inauguration [of President Clinton]." Then he said, "We're going to have a lot of dead banks that need to be taken over!" The U.S. ECONOMY is in serious trouble and that means trouble for for the whole western world! (Gerald Flurry, Jeremiah: Prophet of Doom--or Hope?, 1993, p. 3.)
12. PCG saying Germany and Japan will soon get nuclear weapons in 1993.
Tactical nuclear weapons have been stolen form the Soviet arsenal and sold to nations in the Middle East. Soon Germany and Japan will also have nuclear weapons. (Gerald Flurry, Jeremiah: Prophet of Doom--or Hope?, 1993, p. 31.) 
13. PCG saying Algeria would soon fall to Islamists in 1994.
In the December 1994 Trumpet, Mr. Flurry explained the significance of verse 42 thus: “Egypt is conquered by the king of the north probably because of an alliance with the king of the south.” The king of the south, Mr. Flurry believed, would be radical Islam, headed by Iran. This Iranian-led Islamic movement, he wrote, was already “very strong in Egypt and Algeria.” He went on to state: “This religion will probably take control of both countries very soon.”  (Prophecy Comes Alive in Egypt!, The Philadelphia Trumpet, April 2011.)
Actually the military led government of Algeria was able to eventually render the rebels powerless and re-establish control over Algeria. Gerald Flurry was wrong. 

14. PCG saying Turkey will soon be annihilated forever.
Teman was the grandson of Esau (Gen. 36:1-11). Obadiah refers to him as “O Teman.” This is how the Turks got the name Ottoman. The Ottoman Turks ruled the Middle East for about 400 years. That rule ended just before World War II.
It is very likely that the name of Esau, or Turkey, is going to be cut off forever because of their treachery to the nations of Jacob. (Gerald Flurry, Obadiah, p. 10. Page 11 in the current version.)
Turkey is not Edom. The Turkish language is a Turkic language totally unrelated to Hebrew or Arabic. Other related Turkic languages include Azerbaijani, Uzbek, Kazakh, Uyghur, Turkmen, Tatar and Kyrgyz. Are those related peoples all Edomites? If the Turks are really related to Israel as common descendants of Isaac why do they speak a completely unrelated language?

Also the word Ottoman is not derived from "O Teman." It refers to Osman, the founder of the Ottoman Empire. And that name itself is derived from the Arabic name Uthman.

15. PCG's prophesied of doom and gloom in 1995.
Natural disasters have intensified mightily since Mr. Armstrong died. There have been earthquakes, floods, droughts and fires. There have also been an alarming increase in family break-down, race problems and out-of-control crime. One journalist said 1993 was the "SCARIEST YEAR IN AMERICAN HISTORY" (because of the floods, fire, etc.) That is also true of the British people. Already South Africa has lost control of its country. That catastrophe and a lot more going to happen to America and Britain, if we don't heed God's Word. (Gerald Flurry, The Little Book, 1995 edition, p. 6.)
Why does God mention the times of the Gentiles and not the Tribulation? It’s probably because it helps us to see the shortness of time better. The Gentiles are rising inside and outside the nations of Israel—very fast! That is easy for us to see. Israel is collapsing from within and is about to be attacked from without. (Gerald Flurry, The Little Book, 1995 edition, p. 10.)
16. PCG saying now is "the gun lap today."
When God gives us the full revelation from Joel, it is near “at hand.” We are being plunged into the preliminaries of the book of Joel now! We are in the gun lap today. World conditions are going to get vastly worse—quickly! (Gerald Flurry, The Prophet Joel, 1995, 2003, 2004, 2006, p. 8.)
17. PCG saying "there is only going to be a single, brief space of time" between HWA's death (1986) and Christ's return.
What is God telling us here? He is showing that after Mr. Armstrong passes from the scene and just before Jesus Christ returns, THERE IS ONLY GOING TO BE A SINGLE, BRIEF SPACE OF TIME. Then God is going to shake the heavens, the Earth, the sea and the dry land. In other words, the PCG only has a very brief space of time to complete its work. There is only a brief span of time for God to determine who is Philadelphian and who is Laodicean. There is only a little time to determine who will be in Ezekiel’s temple in the World Tomorrow. Then God says He is going to fill “this house” with glory. (Gerald Flurry, Haggai, 1995, 2004, pp. 29-30.)
So when we saw the gospel being preached around the world, we should have known it was the end time. But when that work ceased, we were in the very end of the end time!  (Gerald Flurry, The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse, 1995, 2001, 2005, p. 6.)
When the gospel stops going around the world, we can begin to watch for specific signs—like God’s Church being attacked by armies of demons, the rapid collapse of Israel, the rise of the abomination of desolation, nuclear power out of control and other serious signs we’ll mention later. (Gerald Flurry, The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse, 1995, 2001, 2005, Chapter 1, p. 7.)

We have to deeply understand the urgency of the times we live in! There has never been a time like this! Events are moving along with lightning speed. It seems as though major prophecies are fulfilled virtually every week. God says that time is quickly running out. World crisis is dangerously close and speeding very quickly! Are we heeding this warning? (Gerald Flurry, Zephaniah's Day of the Lord, p. 13.)

For God’s faithful people, this prophecy should help us realize what a critical time this is for God’s Work. God’s people must take advantage of this little window of opportunity. We have to perform great works now, before it’s too late. When I study the book of Zephaniah deeply, I realize that I’m not as urgent as the spirit of this message! I believe that none of God’s people are! We must realize and keep in our minds where we are in prophecy and how urgent these times are. We must make sure to do all we can before, before, before, before the Day of the Lord or the time of tribulation begins for Israel. (Gerald Flurry, Zephaniah's Day of the Lord, 1995, 2000, p. 16.)
18. PCG saying the peace process between the State of Israel and the Palestinians is the deadly wound which will cause the State of Israel to be conquered by the future European Empire.
Is the 1993 peace pact with the Arabs the Israeli wound that God refers to in Hosea 5:13? There would have been no peace pact if Judah would have trusted God instead of men. (Gerald Flurry, Hosea and God's Adulterous Church, 1996, p. 26.)
19. PCG saying Britain is to endure the Great Tribulation for trusting in industrial expertise.
Ephraim’s great fault is its idolatry. The word “workman” means artisan or craftsman. It is well known that England excels in technical ability. One of their greatest achievements has been the development of nuclear energy for domestic and military purposes. Could this be Britain’s calf? Could Britain think their nuclear power will get them through another war? ...
England relies on its “craftsmen” for protection rather than God. They worship their technical ability—they “kiss the calves.” ...
Britain will soon become ashamed of its “craftsman” or experts. Do you really want to rely upon the experts? No human being or idol can ever deliver what a human being wants. Do we have some idol that sits between us and God? If we do, God wants us to get rid of it now. (Gerald Flurry, Hosea and God's Adulterous Church, 1996, pp. 39-40.)
20. PCG saying Algeria will soon transform into a radical Islamic state like Iran.
Today I believe that much of the king of the south’s land area will be south of Jerusalem, but not all. For example, Sudan is already in the radical Islamic camp. Algeria may be there very soon. But all of the king of the south’s land area is south of the end-time king of the north. (Gerald Flurry, The King of the South, 1996, 2001, 2003, p. 3.)
21. PCG insinuating that Khomeini was behind Anwar Sadat's assassination.
In 1981, Mike Wallace of the television program 60 Minutes interviewed Ayatollah Khomeini (who had come to power only two years before). He told the ayatollah that Sadat had called him a “lunatic.”
Almost immediately afterward, within just days, President Sadat was assassinated!
That is the kind of power the leader of radical Islam has! (The King of the South, 1996, 2001, 2003, p. 7.)
22. PCG saying war is about to explode in the Middle East.
Middle East peace treaties dominate the news—as all kinds of peace treaties did just before World War II began! It is just another major sign that WAR IS ABOUT TO EXPLODE IN THE MIDDLE EAST! And it will lead to World War III. (Gerald Flurry, The King of the South, 1996, 2001, 2003, p. 14.)
23. PCG saying Christ to return by 2018 at the latest.
Here we see a small group of people with a God-sized message. The whole world should heed today. But most people won’t become converted until Christ returns—which is probably within 10 to 15 years or less. (The King of the South, 1996, 2001, 2003, p. 43.)
24. PCG saying Christ is almost certain to return by 2023.
This statement shows that this is an end-time prophecy. Satan was cast down just a “short time” before Jesus Christ returns to this Earth and kicks Satan off his throne! ... That is the spectacular, joyfully good news. Christ is about to return to this Earth and stop all of the hatred, racism, violence and war that is caused by Satan’s influence. Everything is set for a new government to be in place on Earth very shortly—almost certainly in less than a decade. (Gerald Flurry, America Under Attack, 2013, p. 6.)
25. Gerald Flurry saying "America is bankrupt" in 1997.
“What will it take to awaken our people? America is bankrupt. Our people just don’t know it yet.”—Co-Worker Letter, July 22, 1997 (As quoted in the May 30, 2009 issue of The Trumpet Weekly, p. 5.)
(Flurry was wrong then and is wrong now. See #34 below.)

26. There will be a peace treaty between Germany and Russia which will allow Germany to conquer America and Britain without fear of Russian interference.
“The presence of a deal between [Germany and Russia] is not a sign of peace. Like the Molotov-Ribbentrop pact … it is a sign of exactly the opposite. Both of these nations are looking to secure their shared border—so they can pursue their imperialistic aims elsewhere! It is a precursor to war! That is the way they operate! And the U.S. has no clue.”
—Gerald Flurry, Trumpet, October 1998 (Quoted in Trumpet Weekly, October 9, 2010, p. 6.)
“The way it’s looking, don’t be surprised if America arrives in Lisbon to learn that Germany, France and Russia have hatched a plan to redefine NATO into a distinctly European, pro-Russian organization!”
—, October 21 (Quoted in The Trumpet Weekly, October 30, 2010, p 6.)
Instead Putin waded into a war in eastern Ukraine in 2014 that has led to Europe imposing sanctions on Russia just when the price of oil went down.

27. Post-apartheid South Africa will impose an economic blockade on the West as severe as OPEC's oil embargo of 1973-4.
A well-orchestrated campaign of disinformation, propaganda and scurrilous slander has been waged against the South African nation by the combined forces of government officials (both within and without South Africa), the liberal press, leftist church authorities and the United Nations. The catch phrase of all has been apartheid—the policy of separate development pursued by the South African government since 1948. What escapes most commentators’ attention is the reality that the whole world has been hoodwinked by this disinformation campaign. Most have expressed a great, global, emotive, self-righteous outcry against the imputed unfairness of the apartheid system. Many people are gullibly being led by the nose to endorse a power transfer that PORTENDS A FUTURE MINERAL AND METALS BLACKMAIL AGAINST THE COMBINED WESTERN ECONOMIES at least equivalent to that imposed by the OPEC oil cartel in a previous decade! (Ron Fraser, South Africa in Prophecy, 1997, p. 4.) 
Eighteen years later nothing of the sort has occurred.

28. PCG predicting that Shimon Peres will return to power in Israel to create an self defeating agreement with the Palestinians that will lead to the State of Israel's conquest by Europe.

Peres is also slurred as being a traitor and a "foxy old socialist" who "is set to worm his way back into" a position of prominence to make such an agreement with the Palestinians (which PCG insists will somehow lead to the State of Israel to be conquered by Europe).
Sources within both the U.S. and Israeli administrations claim that America is intent on seeing Netanyahu removed from office so that he might be the scapegoat for the failed peace process. Meanwhile, the man whom Arafat has called his friend, Shimon Peres, waits in the wings, biding his time. (Israeli Pullback Continues, May 1998.)  
But most significantly, it was Shimon Peres who in 1993 brokered the deal with Pope John Paul II to hand over sovereignty of Jerusalem’s Old City to the Vatican. Although we have observed enough snippets of intelligence here and there to build the picture, author Barry Chamish’s research has done much to expose this traitorous act. ...
Ariel Sharon may be the elected leader of Israel, but watch for one foxy old socialist to slide into the picture as the power behind the throne in a unity government between Likud and Labor. Once again Shimon Peres is set to worm his way back into prime focus as the mediator between Israel, the PLO, the EU and the Vatican. (Ron Fraser, Muscling into the Mideast, March-April 2001.)
It would appear that the PCG leadership loathes Peres. Ron Fraser even dehumanizes him by comparing him to a worm. But nevertheless in all this time Peres has not returned to power as prime minister in the State of Israel. 

29. Sexual behavior disapproved by PCG is responsible for "giving birth" to HIV/AIDS.
The current generation of foreign policy formulators and administrators in the West, particularly in the present British and American administrations, is the product of a left-wing, socialist-engineered education system that had its genesis in the 1960s (though its true origins may be traced to the Marxist-Leninist thought engendered by the fathers of socialism in the early 1900s). Socialist philosophy has always had particular appeal to the intelligentsia. Often described as the “baby-boom generation,” the post-World War II generation, which had their minds bent by German rationalist thought, tends to predicate all analyses, judgments and conclusions on godless evolutionary theory, based on the overall assumption that there are no absolutes.
In general terms, to this generation all of the values, mores, honorable traditions—even documented history of past events—are held up to question. This approach to subjective analysis is fundamentally sourced at a basic and false assumption—that the theory of relativity applies not just in the arena of physical sciences. By extension it is assumed that it generally may be applied to human behavior—religion, moral standards, ethics and human values. Thus we have the concept of “moral relativity,” which spawned the “new morality” of the 1960s, giving birth to a new and uncontrollable communicable disease—AIDS. (Ron Fraser, What's Behind the Crisis in Foreign Relations?, The Philadelphia Trumpet, May 1999, p. 3.)
Of course this is nonsense. No human gave birth to HIV/AIDS. It is an offshoot of another virus, SIV, which infects one species of ape, namely the Central Chimpanzee (Pan troglodytes troglodytes). The first cross species infection appears to have been with a cut hunter somewhere in rural central Africa, possibly in the Congo, around 1921 (1908-1933).

Bizarrely enough the mass murdering terrorist Osama bin Laden also tried to falsely blame other human beings for producing HIV/AIDS. In his case he decided to blame Americans.
And because of all this, you [Americans] have been described in history as a nation that spreads diseases that were unknown to man in the past. Go ahead and boast to the nations of man, that you brought them AIDS as a Satanic American Invention. (Osama bin Laden, To the Americans, October 7, 2002, as quoted in Messages to the World: The Statements of Osama bin Laden, 2005, p. 168.)
Imagine that. PCG saying something Osama bin Laden would say.

30. PCG saying the United States is becoming isolationist. (They said this just before 9/11.)
We can’t afford the pacifist attitude we had before World War-II [sic] and survive nationally. Yet our pacifist attitude today is far worse than it was then. (Gerald Flurry, Winston S. Churchill: The Watchman, 1999, 2002, p. 2.)
Our people in Britain and America lack the will to even sacrifice a few soldiers’ lives to fight a ground war. Our generals know that we lack the will to win any hard-fought battle—even if it directly relates to our own freedom. For example, we had to be bombed into World War II. Even one of the most diabolical leaders in history, Adolf Hitler, could not rouse us to fight until we were bombed by Japan. And we are much more isolationist today. We are not prepared to die to defend our security, as we were in our past. This is the supreme sign that our will has been broken—and that our republic cannot stand.We must make very radical changes to save our country. (Gerald Flurry, No Freedom Without Law, 2001, p. 24.)
A few voices within the United States have been raised in concern over this apparent new American isolationism. (Ron Fraser, Is America Becoming Isolationist?, The Philadelphia Trumpet, September-October 2001.)
31. PCG predicting Serbia will be fast tracked into EU membership.
Watch for Yugoslavia to be pushed now, by events controlled from Brussels, into the fast lane to EU membership. (Ron Fraser, Yugoslavia Comes in From the Cold, The Philadelphia Trumpet, December 2000.) 
In 2000 Yugoslavia referred to what are now Serbia and Montenegro. Today Serbia is still not in the European Union.

32. PCG predicting Macedonia would be partitioned by the EU (2001).
Cleverly, the EU has let NATO do all the grunt work in Macedonia, with the result that if things go wrong, the egg will be, once again, as in Kosovo, all over NATO’s face, and a classic opening will ensue, at the right moment, for the new EU rapid reaction force to deploy and to “enforce” the “peace” in that ethnically and politically divided country. ...
By dividing Macedonia into separate Albanian and Macedonian enclaves, as U.S. think tank Stratfor points out, NATO will have been the unwitting accomplice in achieving the Albanian rebels’ goal. (Ron Fraser, The Final Piece Fall Into Place, Philadelphia Trumpet, August 2001.)
Macedonia has not been partitioned. Once again PCG is wrong.

33. Gerald Flurry saying America and Britain have reached the point of no return in 2008.
If you study the biblical prophets, there came a point when their warnings no longer spoke about repentance. They were simply bold statements of fact—spoken as a witness against those peoples who had rejected God. I strongly believe our nations today—particularly the United States and Britain, modern descendants of the biblical nation of Israel—have passed the point of no return. The hope of their turning to God during this age has been eclipsed by the magnitude of their rebellion!
This indicates that time is indeed very short before the Second Coming of Jesus Christ. The increase in catastrophic events shows God strengthening His correction. Thus, I believe God simultaneously wants to strengthen and intensify the prophetic warning—in the hopes of reaching those individuals who exhibit a teachable attitude and a willingness to accept His guidance. (Gerald Flurry, How This Magazine is About to Change, The Philadelphia Trumpet, September 2008.)
34. PCG saying the US "dollar is doomed" in 2008 and afterwards.
People are so afraid of the current Wall Street meltdown that they are willing to purchase federal bonds that pay interest rates far less than the rate of inflation. In other words, these people know that they will technically lose money by purchasing treasuries, but are willing to take the loss in order to avoid the possibility of an even greater loss in other investments like U.S. businesses, stocks, and the real-estate market.
Unfortunately, this time the bond market will not prove to be a safe haven. The structural problems in the U.S. economy and America’s massive debt load mean that the dollar is doomed too. (Robert Morley, Trumpet Weekly, December 6, 2008 issue, p. 10.)
But it won’t end there. The whole nation—head to toe—is sickened with debt. Federal, state, municipal, corporate, personal debt; America is maxed out. Trillions upon trillions. That debt is coming due! (Robert Morley, "How America Killed Itself", Trumpet Weekly, December 20, 2008 issue, p. 10.)
The government is broke. It was running massive deficits before the crisis ever struck. And now it is planning the biggest borrowing binge ever to bail out the irresponsible, inefficient and incompetent. The nation’s finances have been pushed beyond the point of recovery. (Robert Morley, Trumpet Weekly, March 7, 2009 issue, p. 10.)

The United States is beyond broke. It is borrowing and printing hundreds of billions of dollars in a mad scramble to escape economic quicksand.
Why, then, is it offering $300 million to reconstruct the Gaza Strip? And another $600 million to help the Palestinian Authority pay its bills? That’s $900 million of other people’s money—for a cause that is profoundly flawed. (Joel Hilliker, Trumpet Weekly, March 14, 2009 issue, p. 1.)
 "Will Social Security go bankrupt by 2010?" (Trumpet Weekly, April 18, 2009 issue, pp. 7-8.)
Never mind what some “experts” say. Bankruptcy is inevitable. The handwriting is all over the wall. (Stephen Flurry, "The Recession is Over?" Trumpet Weekly, August 8, 2009 issue, p. 3.)
The problem is that America has passed the financial point of no return. This country has reached debt-saturation. Borrowing and spending more money to fix a problem caused by too much borrowing and spending won’t fix anything. If you keep doing what you are doing, you will keep getting what you are getting.
The end of the recession is almost here. Next comes the depression. (Robert Morley, Trumpet Weekly, June 19, 2010 issue, p. 10.)
The world is heading toward another Lehman moment. Epoch-changing events are in motion—especially in Europe. (Second Collapse Coming Soon, Trumpet Weekly, July 23, 2011 issue, p. 9.)
After several wild stock market swings and S&P’s downgrading of America’s credit rating, anxiety about America’s financial future is understandable. Some analysts correctly recognize the S & P downgrade as another mile marker on the road to economic Armageddon.  (Joel Hilliker, We'll Always Be a Triple-A Country, Trumpet Weekly, August 13, 2011 issue, p. 10.)
The Dow Jones set a new record on Tuesday. Market commentators say this new record high is a big sign the economy is on the mend. But is it possible that it signals something much more ominous? (Robert Morley, Dow Jones Sets New Record: Now What?, Trumpet Weekly, March 9, 2013 issue, p. 10.)
In Americans’ view, we have done our part. We are weary of intervention. We’re broke. We’re weary of fighting. We’re sick of not seeing the benefits from all the effort and expenditure. (Joel Hilliker, The Age of American Intervention is Over, Trumpet Weekly, October 25, 2013 issue, p. 12.)
The United States is not going to go bankrupt. Per capita the United States was in fact more indebted back in the 1940s because of World War II but this fact is often overlooked partly because of inflation.

Also it is not possible for the United States to go bankrupt because its debt is denominated in its own currency. Other countries have gone bankrupt in recent years but that is because they did not control their own currencies. The United States does not face that particular problem.

This matter is a red herring. The United States is in no danger of going bankrupt. PCG was wrong on this matter in 1997 (see #25 above), in 2008, and today.

(This topic was discussed before here.)

35. PCG saying the U.S. economy is already destroyed.
Mr. Armstrong thought that crisis would be the collapse of the Western world’s monetary system! America’s banking system collapsed in September 2008. The American economy is already destroyed, we just don’t know it yet! (Gerald Flurry, Isaiah's End-Time Vision, 2013 version, p. 39.)
36. PCG saying American economy may collapse in 2013.
"America's Crash of 2013?" (Robert Morley, Trumpet Weekly, June 30, 2012 issue, p. 8.)
37. PCG insinuating that America might be destroyed by 2017.
Are you concerned about where the current administration is leading this country? Whether the nation can survive the next four years? It's worst then you think, and there is only one solution to this gigantic problem. (Trumpet Weekly, April 20, 2013 issue, p 11.)
38. PCG saying high oil prices will not come down.
Since coming to office, Mr. Obama has been confronted with an uncomfortable truth.
It is the fact that, going forward, it is going to become dramatically more difficult for America to obtain and secure the energy it needs—and sooner than most people realize. It is a truth that policy makers and politicians are afraid to publicly admit because the implications of an oil-constrained world affect everything from stock markets and food production to the dollar’s status as the world’s reserve currency. ...
So where is the oil going to come from? Not America. ...
Over the past week crude oil surged to a new 17-month highs—$86 per barrel. Better get used to it, sky-high oil prices may soon be here to stay. (Robert Morley, Trumpet Weekly, April 10, 2010 issue, pp. 8-9.)
You are paying 20 cents a gallon more for gas today than you were a week ago. And $1.70 per gallon more than you were just 26 months ago.
Better get used to it. Of the 89.1 million barrels of oil the world uses every day, about 35 percent come from North Africa and the Middle East. Instability there has put oil supplies in serious jeopardy. As a result, the first two months of this year saw the price of oil leap about $20 a barrel. That translates into 50 cents more per gallon. (Joel Hilliker, Oil Shock Is Coming, Trumpet Weekly, March 5, 2011 issue, p. 4.)

What if America discovered it had a Saudi Arabia worth of oil under its own soil? Guess what? We found that oil—rather, the Canadians did. It just needs a way to get to market. But strangely, America doesn’t know if it wants it or not. (Robert Morley, Plugging Our Own Economy, Trumpet Weekly, November 26, 2011 issue, p. 8.)
[Here Hilliker discusses President Obama's re-election:] America re-elected the president after ... four years of rising inflation, gas prices, grocery bills and so on. (Joel Hilliker, Thoughts On Four More Years, Trumpet Weekly, November 10, 2012 issue, p. 7.)
Little did PCG know that the price of oil would later indeed go down.

39. Watching Karl-Theodor zu Guttenburg.
Consider German Defense Minister Karl-Theodor zu Guttenberg. Guttenberg, as Time observed this week, “is virtually the only German minister to emerge from the revelations untainted” (emphasis mine throughout). That’s telling. (Brad MacDonald, "Look Who Survived WikiLeaks," Trumpet Weekly, December 4, 2010 issue, p. 5.)
40. Watching the "three Bavarians of the moment".
So there it is. Yet once again we draw attention to three Bavarians of the moment—Joseph Ratzinger, Baron Guttenberg and Edmund Stoiber. (Ron Fraser, Germany--Watch This Space, Trumpet Weekly, June 5, 2010 issue, p. 4.)
What is it about these three Bavarians—Ratzinger, Stoiber and Guttenberg? ...
There is a reason why we watch these three Bavarians—Ratzinger, Stoiber and Guttenberg. They all share a common vision. It is the vision propounded by Stoiber’s mentor, Franz Josef Strauss, which matched that of the recently deceased Otto von Habsburg. It’s a Holy Roman imperial vision—a vision that has Rome as the spiritual glue that will hold together a revival, a literal resurrection, of the Holy Roman Empire of the German Nation. (Ron Fraser, Three Men to Watch, Trumpet Weekly, October 8, 2011 issue, p. 5.)
Little did PCG know that Karl-Theodor zu Guttenburg would soon be forced to resign as defense minister. This is also a false prophecy.

41. The release of postage stamps in Germany honoring their own army cited as a sign that Germany will soon conquer America and Britain.
Following hard on the consolidation of Berlin as the national capital of Germany came the bringing out of storage and restoration for display of many of the statues of German military heroes dating back to its earliest imperial days. Then, recently, out of the blue, the German government released a postage stamp honoring the Bundeswehr’s expanding role in international missions. Perhaps this would be looked upon favorably by the world had not Germany possessed such a consistent history of abusing its military power over such a long period of time. (Ron Fraser, Germany--Return of National Pride, Trumpet Weekly, June 29, 2013 issue, p. 4.)
 42. Not foreseeing the Arab Spring.
Note that: The developed world—not some backwoods sub-Saharan dictatorship—is on the verge of exploding. (Brad MacDonald, A Chilling 'Age of Rage', Trumpet Weekly, June 12, 2010 issue, p. 4.)
This was written just before the Arab Spring began in Tunisia in December 2010 and spread throughout the Arab world.

43. Iran, the Taliban and a radicalized Pakistan could get nuclear weapons (2009).
 “Mankind is on a toboggan-slide toward nuclear oblivion! It looks like Mahmoud Ahmadinejad could have nuclear weapons in a matter of months. It also looks like the Taliban can conquer Pakistan in a very short amount of time. WE COULD HAVE THREE MADMEN IN THIS WORLD WITH NUCLEAR BOMBS!”
—Gerald Flurry, Co-Worker Letter, July 3, 2009 (As quoted in Trumpet Weekly, August 14, 2010 issue, p. 3.)
Six years later Iran has no nuclear weapons. The Taliban has not conquered Pakistan. Pakistan has not become radicalized. Once again PCG is wrong.

44. After retreating from Iraq America will never fight another war.
 “After World War II , Mr. Armstrong said the U.S. would never win another war. I believe that after we retreat from Iraq, America will never FIGHT another war!”
—Gerald Flurry, Trumpet, January 2007 (Quoted in The Trumpet Weekly, September 4, 2010 issue, p. 9.)
This was written just before the intervention in Libya which aided the Libyan people to overthrow the Gaddafi regime.

45. PCG's prophecies are to be fulfilled in the very near future most dramatically (2009).
Read and study our booklet.... If ever there was a book written for our time today, it is this book. You need to at least be acquainted with its message, even if you do not agree with it at this moment. For the chances are, you will recall and agree with its message when the prophecies that it contains are fulfilled, most dramatically, in the very near future!  (Ron Fraser, America The Corrupt, Trumpet Weekly, August 29, 2009 issue, p. 10.)
46. PCG speculating that the Berlin Club will become a streamlined EU composed of ten members which will soon conquer America and Britain.
The Trumpet has continued Mr. Armstrong’s forecast and explained repeatedly that a closely integrated group of 10 nations, or groups of nations, would emerge out of the 27-member EU behemoth that exists today. We don’t know for certain if the Berlin Club constitutes this group, but it’s possible. (Brad MacDonald, Germany Hasn't Given Up On a United States of Europe, Trumpet Weekly, March 24, 2012 issue, p. 5.)
47. PCG speculating that the State of Israel may fall by 2013.
Netanyahu sees that right now vast tracts of the Middle East, territorially, politically and strategically, belong to Iran and radical Islam. Soon now, this Iran-led radical Islamic mob will descend on Israel with overwhelming numbers and force. Like its embassy in Cairo last week, the Jewish state has a defensive wall, a top-notch military, crack intelligence and state-of-the-art anti-missile defense systems. That wall might hold for a while longer. But with each passing month, its ability to protect and defend will diminish, one missile, one terrorist attack at a time.
Soon, perhaps in a few months or maybe next year [2012] or the year after [2013], the weight of the Islamic mob will cause the wall to crumble and collapse. What will happen then?  (Brad MacDonald, Israel Enters Nightmare Scenario, The Trumpet Weekly, September 17, 2011, p. 10.)
For radical Islam, and especially the Palestinians, the speech was confirmation that they are on course for victory over Israel, and that all they need to do is hold fast to their current strategy. That strategy is simple: It involves bringing about the genocide of Israel by waging SIMULTANEOUS campaigns of aggression and of feigned peace, designed to force concessions and buy time. (Brad MacDonald, Hitler, the Palestinians and the West, Trumpet Weekly, May 21, 2011 issue, p. 1.)
48. PCG predicting that the Assad regime would fall to be replaced by a pro-EU government.
Syrian and Iranian interests and loyalties have been wed together for decades. But all of that is about to change—particularly now that we are witnessing the last days of Bashar al-Assad’s dictatorship. As early as 1994, Trumpet editor in chief Gerald Flurry expounded on a prophecy in Psalm 83 that reveals that Syria would ally itself with Germany. This is why we have long known about the forthcoming divorce between Syria and Iran. It’s not a matter of if— only when. (Iran To Let Go Of Syria, Trumpet Weekly, July 28, 2012 issue, p. 3.)
The latest U.S. policy shift to send direct aid to Syria is yet another game changer that will ultimately help topple Assad’s government and most likely trigger the switch in Syria’s allegiance from Iran to another alliance comprised of “moderate” Arab states and Germany. (Syria: the inevitability of collapse, Trumpet Weekly, March 9, 2013 issue, p. 3.)
49. PCG predicting that Ethiopia would fall to "radical Islam."
This verse states that Libya and Ethiopia are also going to be closely allied with Iran ! ... So you need to watch Libya and Ethiopia . They are about to fall under the heavy influence or control of Iran, the king of the south . That is why they are subdued in the king of the north victory. (Libya and Ethiopia in Prophecy, 2012, p. 6.)

Whoever heavily influences or controls Ethiopia will undoubtedly also control the small areas of Eritrea and Djibouti on the Red Sea coastline. These areas only recently became independent of Ethiopia. Also, I believe the Bible view is that these small areas are included as a part of Ethiopia. (Libya and Ethiopia in Prophecy, 2012, p. 6.)

As al-Shabaab terrorists clash with Ethiopian troops in Somalia and as Muslims across western Ethiopia burn churches, what is now basically a Somali civil war could soon escalate into an inter-state war between an Islamist-controlled Somalia and its western enemy. (Libya and Ethiopia in Prophecy, 2012, p. 9.)

Ethiopia’s decision last week to attack Eritrea’s terrorist training posts shows that, despite UN sanctions, the radical Islamist problem in Eritrea is growing. Expect the pressure on Ethiopia to intensify until the nation falls under the influence or control of radical Islam.(Libya and Ethiopia in Prophecy, 2012, p. 10.)

In Ethiopia, religious tension is growing too, and has surprised many. Ethiopia is predominantly Christian. Christians outnumber Muslims two to one. Yet even here, they were under attack earlier this year. Rioting Muslims burned 69 churches in addition to Christian homes and other buildings in a week-long uprising in March. Now in a backlash, the government is cracking down on Islamists. More than 570 Islamists have been rounded up and sentenced to jail terms of up to 18 years. An additional 107 are charged with terrorism for their roles in attacking Christians. Ethiopia is sending a message that radical Islam will not be tolerated. However, as happened in Egypt, and more recently in Syria, the government crack - down may actually empower those being targeted. (Libya and Ethiopia in Prophecy, 2012, p. 13.)

Egypt is not going to escape the king of the north because it is allied with Iran. The same applies to Libya and Ethiopia (which will probably be the next Middle East explosion, which Iran is going to exploit). (Libya and Ethiopia in Prophecy, 2012, p. 16.)

Earlier this year, Mr. Flurry outlined how Daniel 11 also foretells that Libya and Ethiopia will realign to join an Iranian-led, radical Islamist camp. Watch for these far-reaching changes. Egypt and Libya are already in the midst of their transition and Ethiopia is set to be next. (Libya and Ethiopia in Prophecy, 2012, p. 17.)

At the time, many readers rejected this warning as absurd. This is a “most bizarre article,” retorted one Trumpet reader from Ethiopia. My country is “one of the oldest and [most] devout Orthodox Christian nations on the planet (since third century) and a staunch ally of the United States. On behalf of U. S., Ethiopia invaded Somalia in late 2006 and kicked out ruling Islamic Courts Union .... [that] doesn’t sound like a nation doing Iran’s bidding.” He’s right too, at least in his facts. (Libya and Ethiopia in Prophecy, 2012, p. 22.)
 Clearly PCG should have listened to this Ethiopian reader.
Continue watching Ethiopia. Recent events appear to be setting the stage for an Islamic takeover. (Libya and Ethiopia in Prophecy, 2012, p. 25.)
Three years later Ethiopia has not turned Islamist and is unlikely to ever do so.

50. PCG predicting that the Muslim Brotherhood would radicalize Egypt just like Iran and join forces with Iran. 
What a dramatic and shocking transformation we have witnessed! A radical Islamist now presides over the biggest and most powerful state in the Arab world. Of course, Mohammed Morsi’s election represents a tremendous victory for democracy—so say the fantasists. But these fantasies will soon be exposed by a brutal reality. ... In other words, Egypt is now lost. Whether these radical steps are taken quickly and overtly or slowly and subtly, the outcome is inevitable.(Stephen Flurry, Egypt Is Lost, Trumpet Weekly, June 30, 2012 issue, p. 2.)
America pushed Mubarak out of office. Now an Islamist leader is setting himself up as a dictator in Mubarak’s place, and the U.S. is doing nothing. (Egypt's President Grants Himself Extraordinary Power, Trumpet Weekly, November 24, 2012 issue, p. 2.)
Little did PCG know that just one year later the Muslim Brotherhood would be ousted from power in a military coup and suppressed with much violence and bloodshed. At least 638 people were killed in this coup. PCG was wrong.

51. PCG insinuating that President Obama's re-election in 2012 would work in the interests of America's rivals.
Vladimir Putin took a “very positive view” of Mr. Obama’s victory. I should think so, considering President Obama’s pledge that he would have “more flexibility” to work with Russia after this election. Other happy leaders: Ahmadinejad, Chavez, the Muslim Brotherhood. Not so happy: Netanyahu. (Joel Hilliker, Thoughts On Four More Years, Trumpet Weekly, November 10, 2012 issue, p. 7.)
Putin ended up wading into a nasty war in eastern Ukraine that led to his nation getting sanctioned by many countries just when the price of oil went down. Ahmadinejad has since been replaced by Rouhani. Ahmadinejad's preferred candidate failed to gain power. Chavez died and his successor had to deal with long running protests and a toilet paper shortage. The Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt was overthrown and suppressed with much violence and bloodshed and driven underground. Meanwhile Netanyahu gets about 20% of his nation's military budget funded by the United States.

52. African Americans will soon launch a wave of riots against the white majority all over the United States. PCG has taught this vicious and racist idea continuously since 1992, if not earlier.


And after all these miserable failures to predict the future PCG leaders still wonder why PCG just is not as popular as the PCG leadership seem to think they should be.
We’ve been trumpeting these prophecies for over two decades, following in the footsteps of Herbert W. Armstrong, who prophesied before us for more than 50 years. And now that many of these very prophecies are being fulfilled, one would think our mail bins would be buried under piles of requests; that our phone lines would light up like Las Vegas; that our Web traffic would crash the servers. 
Instead, it’s more like a steady trickle of interest—one from a city, two from a family, as the Prophet Jeremiah said. God’s work is still getting done. His warning message of LOVE is still going out to this world.
But the support for that worldwide work is coming from such a tiny group of dedicated families.
Most do not make time for Christ or His good news message of the soon-coming Kingdom of God. They are too busy attending to the cares of this world. As the Apostle Paul said about the perilous times of these “last days,” men would love themselves and pleasure-seeking MORE THAN GOD (2 Timothy 3:1-4). This doesn’t apply to every single individual, of course—but it certainly describes our society in general. ...
Can’t we put some time-consuming, energetic devotion into our love and service to God and His great work? (Stephen Flurry, It's High Time to Wake Up!, Trumpet Weekly, April 2, 2011 issue, p. 10.)
A major reason why PCG is not taken seriously is because of these many false predictions the PCG leadership have made over the years.

The evidence is clear. Gerald Flurry and those with him in the Philadelphia Church of God are false prophets. There is no need for anyone to fear that their dire words will come to pass. The Bible commands us not to be afraid of their words. They are false prophets.

Friday, September 25, 2015

PCG Moaning About John Hagee's Celebration of the Feast

Since it is nearly time for the Feast of Tabernacles PCG has highlighted the following 2011 article by Joel Hilliker in which he "corrects" some Sunday keeping Christians saying they are celebrating the Feast of Tabernacles on the wrong days.
Scrolling through the AM radio dial a few days ago, I stopped short at a mention of the words “Feast of Tabernacles.”

Aha! I keep this festival—have my whole life. It is the highlight of every year. Very rare to hear it mentioned on the radio though.

“The 2011 Feast of Tabernacles features must-hear speakers at Cornerstone Church, October 28th through the 30th,” the radio ad began. (Joel Hilliker, Why I Keep the Feast of Tabernacles, October 12, 2011.)
Hilliker then notes that this particular Feast of Tabernacles is celebrated on the wrong days and lasts for only three days instead of eight days as Armstrongism demands.
... it struck me as odd that that church decided it will celebrate “Tabernacles” more than two weeks late, and for only three days. Scripture commands seven days starting on Tishri 15, followed by another festival on Tishri 22. These folks go three days from Tishri 30 through Cheshvan 2 and say close enough. 
Maybe this is because they are not trying to observe the Old Covenant the way PCG and the other Armstrongite COGs try to do according to their own diverse interpretations.

Hilliker then fumes that they are observing it on the wrong days. It never seems to occur to him that perhaps they are doing it for completely different reasons.

There has long been present within Armstrongism this idea that observing the various rest days and holy days of Armstrongism somehow allows one to understand COG dogmas better and then gain them God's favor.
Proper reverence and respect for God leads to wisdom. Obedience to God’s commandments precedes understanding. The corollary is this: People who refuse to obey biblical instructions they don’t understand to their satisfaction are guaranteeing they’ll never understand them.
Armstrongites have this idea that if one observes the days in the wrong way it will somehow blind that person to understanding what the COGs teach. The possibility that the COGs might be wrong is thus denied. Instead it is foisted upon people that if one does not believe the COGs it is because he or she is blinded by Satan and failing to observe the COG holy days. But what if it is the COGs that are wrong?
This church that keeps a three-day conference of their choosing says that keeping the feast “has become an annual tradition.” “As Christians, it is important that we understand our Jewish roots, the feasts and how they apply to the Believer,” the website says. “It is a celebration to be enjoyed by both Christians and Jews alike.”

Their feast seems to be largely a demonstration of solidarity with Jews. It includes what has become another tradition for them, “A Night to Honor Israel.” But their statement that this celebration is for “Christians and Jews alike” is far more literally true than they seem to realize! First, the Jews, biblical Judah, constituted only one tribe among the 12-tribed nation of Israel; the other modern Israelite nations include America!
The church Hilliker is describing which is linked to in his article is headed by John Hagee. Since the Osirak raid of 1981 Hagee has been a staunch supporter of the State of Israel. In 2006 he set up Christians United For Israel which is currently the largest pro-Israel organization among evangelical Christians in the United States. Hagee's three day feast is connected with all that.

British Israelism is nonsense. has shown how British Israelism is built on a foundation of sand. In fact DNA evidence refutes British Israelism.

But because PCG thinks that white Americans are Israelites just like the Jews PCG has projected their own whiteness upon the Jews. PCG thinks the Jews are white like themselves. Consequently PCG supports the State of Israel for the same reason they banned interracial marriage: to advance white supremacy. PCG supports the State of Israel to prop up PCG's version of white supremacy. This view is bad for Israeli Jews as well.
Today, feast-goers from many countries assemble at a handful of pre-selected and organized feast sites around the world. Uprooted from our normal lives, we meet, worship and fellowship together with people of all different ages, different races, different backgrounds and personalities—yet as one spiritual family, all joined by one spirit.
But there is a problem with PCG's observance of the Feast of Tabernacles.

Notice Leviticus 23:40-43.
And ye shall keep it a feast unto the Lord seven days in the year. It shall be a statute for ever in your generations: ye shall celebrate it in the seventh month. Ye shall dwell in booths seven days; all that are Israelites born shall dwell in booths: That your generations may know that I made the children of Israel to dwell in booths, when I brought them out of the land of Egypt: I am the Lord your God.
And that is exactly what the Jews do today.

Look at how the Jews observe this day. They do it by building booths, called sukkah (sukkot plural) in the Hebrew language, within their houses or somewhere on their property.

Take a look at how the Jews observe the Feast of Tabernacles and the booths they observe it in.

They do not go around gathering themselves up together to assemble to listen for eight days to their Rabbis teaching the religion to them, instead they have fun and socialize with each other while staying at their own places or visiting their friends' places.

Does Leviticus say, Assemble yourselves together in a large warehouse far away from the world and go on vacation for eight days while you listen to my priests explaining the mysteries of the universe to you that you have already been hearing all year?

HWA has willfully misunderstood what this Feast is about. Instead of getting his followers to rejoice and celebrate with each other by meeting together in booths (sukkot) as seen above, in their own places, he exploited the peoples' misunderstanding and ignorance of this feast to get the COG members to assemble themselves together in a hotel, warehouse, campus, or some other such place in order to indoctrinate them into his syncretic religion.

Carla Powers in her book, Matches in the Gas Tank, well described how the Feast was a terrible burden as her family had to drop everything from their regular lives and take a compulsory eight day vacation by order of HWA.

The Feast is designed to isolate COG members from society. It makes keeping a job that much harder for the COG members as they try to take eight days off. Kids are forced to take several days off from their education at school. Going to the Feast likely forces COG members to sacrifice by not using their hard earned money to go somewhere else. Instead they must go where the minister orders them to go.

They have no idea that they are not following God, but instead are following a man made tradition invented by one Herbert W. Armstrong.

Instead of observing the Feast as it is actually described in Leviticus and how the Jews observe it, HWA devised his own man made tradition in order to indoctrinate his followers.

The truth is HWA invented this man made custom of assembling together to hold a great feast in which every member is ordered to attend. The COGs think they are following God's law. In fact they are following a tradition invented by HWA.

One would never know these facts reading what the COGs, including PCG, say about why they observe the Feast of Tabernacles. They boast that the whole world will soon observe the Feast of Tabernacles but they themselves do not even observe it properly.
As I said, I have been keeping the Feast of Tabernacles all my life, and it truly does get better every year. Obeying the commandment as God gave it brings unanticipated blessings and rewards, not the least of which is an enhanced understanding of the tremendous prophetic vision wrapped up in this magnificent holy day.
Then why don't the COGs build booths in their own property and celebrate it there? That is what Leviticus 23 says. Regardless of how many times a COG member may observe the Feast of Tabernacles it does not change the fact that Armstrongism has altered the Feast and made it a man made tradition.

Also historically Christianity has never observed the Feast of Tabernacles. The Feast is mentioned in the New Testament as a background to events described therein but it is never said to Christians in the New Testament that they needed to observe the Feast of Tabernacles in order to be a Christian.

The COGs do not follow the Bible on this matter. They are following HWA. This is true for PCG as well.

There is no need for a Christian to observe the Feast of Tabernacles. Rather Armstrongism has perverted this beautiful feast into a "test" to prove that Armstrongism alone are the only true Christians on the face of the Earth.

(Parts of this post is based on the previous post: Herbert W. Armstrong's Error Regarding the Feast.)

How Does PCG View Pope Francis?

Recently Pope Francis said he was not a leftist as some have portrayed him.

And how do PCG view Pope Francis?

They present the idea that he is a Marxist.
Such calls, especially the ones condemning Reagan-style “trickle-down” economics, have many free-market advocates up in arms. ... Such criticism does not seem to upset Pope Francis. ... So, Pope Francis is adamantly opposed to free-market capitalism, and he denies being a Marxist. What does this make him? (Andrew Müller, Pope Francis: Marxist or Catholic Corporatist?, December 25, 2013.)  
PCG seems to think Pope Francis is trying to engineer the return of feudalism.
Really, this Catholic corporatist system is just feudalism for the industrial age. Unlike free-market capitalism, this system does not allow private individuals to establish businesses outside of society’s established hierarchy. Pope Leo’s exhortation purports to defend the poor, but errs in denying the realities of human nature.
Just like Marxist socialism, Catholic corporatism presumes the reliability of a “benevolent” and “compassionate” elite. However, 1,200 years of medieval history prove that Catholic bishops are no less vulnerable to the corrupting temptations of power than were Lenin’s central planning engineers.
PCG seems to think Pope Francis is totalitarian.
History teaches us that all forms of human totalitarianism fail—whether communist, socialist, fascist or Catholic corporatist. Both Pope Leo and Pope Francis have been astonishingly overconfident in their assertion that the Catholic Church possesses a power to bring men to act selflessly in the service of others.
Note how Müller talks "human totalitarianism". This is PCG jargon. Does this mean totalitarianism is good if it is imposed by persons claiming to be acting on God's orders?

The article also contains this statement.
It is a Christian principle to care about the poor. However, when a humanly run state steps in to force people to do their Christian duty, things end badly.
So PCG seems to think it is wrong for a government to force people to do things they do not want so then why does PCG so often do the same thing. Such as ordering members to shun family members and friends?

Also note the loaded term "humanly run state". This is PCG jargon designed to vilify all human society outside of PCG as being cut off from PCG's God. It implies that all of humanity is cut off from PCG's God and it is not possible to make contact with PCG's God in any way except through PCG.

There is a difference between the "God" PCG promotes and the God spoken of by all Christians and even among the other Armstrongites. PCG's God is a God that provides favor and blessings to PCG members alone. PCG's God is different from what Christians speak of when talking of God. But because PCG uses the same word, namely God, it may seem they are talking about the same deity when PCG are not.

It is strange that PCG feels the need to throw every negative label they can against Pope Francis. Can't they just say "he's Catholic and we're not" and leave it at that?

Considering PCG even says that President Obama is "another Antiochus" and hence an Antichrist like figure it is no wonder that they are willing to say such extreme things.

Banned by HWA Critiques Joel Hilliker Article

Banned by HWA has released two posts discussing an article by PCG's Joel Hilliker.

Gerald Flurry and the Philadelphia Church of God Struggle To Keep Members Under Control.

Lil'Joel Hilliker Says No To Immigrants, Body Graffiti and Bad Hair.

As always these posts are well worth the read.

Is It Good for Israeli Arabs to be Exempted from Military Conscription?

Many years ago I had learned that Israeli Arabs are exempted from serving in the military in the State of Israel. When I first read of this the situation was presented to me as a generous exemption to them to prevent them from having to fight against other Arabs.

But what happens when a society imposes military conscription but allows an ethnic minority to not be conscripted? The exempted minority become second class citizens. And this exposes such people to all kinds of problems that they are forced to endure.

This point is made by one Palestinian writer who is a citizen of Israel commenting on a recent statement by Israeli MK and former finance minister Yair Lapid mentioning some of the problems this exempted minority face.
What have you ever done for us, Palestinian citizens of Israel? As finance minister you tried to lower housing prices in a populist move by slashing VAT to zero — but only for military veterans. And what about those who did not serve in the army — i.e., Arabs? In their case, you wanted the law to apply only when purchasing an apartment under NIS 600,000 ($150,000). That means you wanted to encourage Arabs to continue living in poverty stricken neighborhoods. As far as you are concerned, if there is no loyalty, there should be no reasonably priced housing for Arabs.

What plans have you or your party promoted for the well being of those [Palestinian] residents behind whom you are now trying to hide? You mention in your article the products produced by Arab citizens, as if we were a real factor in the Israeli economy. Meanwhile, the Ashkenazi elite to which you belong does all it can to prevent Arab communities from establishing and developing industrial zones, thus preventing them from achieving economic autonomy and keeping them poor and dependent on favors from the likes of you. (Rami Younis, Using Palestinians as a human shield against BDS, +972 Magazine, September 20, 2015.)
Never thought of that when I first read of this exemption from military conscription.

Sunday, September 20, 2015

Reading Dave Hunt's Denunciation of Catholicism

In 2000 I saw LCG's telecast, Tomorrow's World, and began to believe in the many doctrines of Armstrongism as taught by Roderick C. Meredith's Living Church of God.

While I progressively fell into believing Armstrongism's dogmas courtesy of Roderick C. Meredith's Living Church of God I was particularly taken aback with Roderick C. Meredith's article, "Who is the Harlot of Revelation 17?" in the January-February 2001 issue of their magazine, Tomorrow's World.

I was stunned to be told that the Roman Catholic Church was this mysterious figure mentioned in Revelation 17. It was a thought I had never encountered before. I found it quite exciting to be let in to this secret about them. By this time I had months earlier gotten into the habit of just trusting whatever LCG's writers told me so I accepted this dogma as well.

It was in this article that I first heard about Dave Hunt. While demonizing the Roman Catholic Church in order to make his claim that it is the harlot of Revelation 17 Meredith cited a book by one Dave Hunt.
In his well-documented book, A Woman Rides the Beast (pp. 243-244), author Dave Hunt describes what the "woman" did for hundreds of years during the Middle Ages: 
Thus Roman Catholicism became "the most persecuting faith the world has ever seen… [commanding] the throne to impose the Christian [Catholic] religion on all its subjects. Innocent III murdered far more Christians in one afternoon… than any Roman emperor did in his entire reign." Will Durant writes candidly: "Compared with the persecution of heresy in Europe from 1227 to 1492, the persecution of Christians by Romans in the first three centuries after Christ was a mild and humane procedure. 
Making every allowance required by an historian and permitted to a Christian, we must rank the Inquisition, along with the wars and persecutions of our time, as among the darkest blots on the record of mankind, revealing a ferocity unknown in any beast. (Meredith, Who is the Harlot of Revelation 17?, Tomorrow's World, January-February 2001, p. 5.)
(The last paragraph in the quote above is mistakenly presented in the 2001 article as though they were Meredith's words. In actual fact they are a continuation of the quote from Will Durant as is plainly seen when looking on page 244 of Hunt's book. This error is corrected when these words are used again in Meredith's booklet, Who or What is the Antichrist?)

The footnotes for the quotes above are "Ibid. [Peter de Rosa, Vicars of Christ: The Dark Side of the Papacy (Crown Publishers, 1988)], p. 35, and jacket." He is referring to the sacking of Béziers in 1209 during the infamous Albigensian Crusade. The second footnote is "Will Durant, The Story of Civilization (Simon and Schuster, 1950), vol. IV, p. 784."

Such strong words seemed astonishing. Meredith mentioned Hunt again in the article.
Dave Hunt describes the blasphemous pretentions of the papacy:
The total submission that Rome requires has been expressed by many popes, but none said it more clearly than Nicholas I (858-67): 
It is evident that the popes can neither be bound nor unbound by any earthly power, nor even by that of the apostle [Peter], if he should return upon the earth; since Constantine the Great has recognized that the pontiffs held the place of God upon earth, the divinity not being able to be judged by any living man. We are, then, infallible, and whatever may be our acts, we are not accountable for them but to ourselves. (A Woman Rides the Beast, pp. 153-154). (Meredith, Who is the Harlot of Revelation 17?, Tomorrow's World, January-February 2001, p. 6-7.)
(The footnote for the quote above from page 558 of Hunt's book (Chapter 11, number 5). Strangely enough the footnote in Hunt's book appears to be in error. Here is the footnote with corrected page numbers. "Cormenin, History of the Popes, p. 243 [p. 248], as cited in R.W Thompson, The Papacy and the Civil Power (New York, 1876), p. 248 [p. 368]." The quote is attributed to one Gratian.)

What powerful words. How stirring they seemed to me at the time.

I had never heard of this idea that the Roman Catholic Church was mentioned in Revelation 17. I had never heard of this Dave Hunt before so I got it and read Dave Hunt's book. This book, A Woman Rides the Beast, was first published in 1994.

Later I listened to some of LCG's sermons. In one of them Meredith quoted the opening chapter of that book. It is entitled "Overturning the Reformation" and it is a condemnation of a 1994 document Hunt regarded as giving too much legitimacy to the Roman Catholic Church. Meredith quoted this to accuses these Protestants of renouncing the Reformation by making peace with the Roman Catholic Church.

I did not understand this at the time but Armstrongism has a long history of fear mongering any ecumenical development between Christian churches because they teach that in the future the Roman Catholic Church will somehow seize control of the Protestant churches. Thus any sign of friendship between the Protestant and Catholic churches is hysterically condemned by the COGs as a sign that the Roman Catholic Church will soon seize control of the Protestant churches.  

It is astounding what one's mind can do once one accepts something as true. Meredith cited Dave Hunt even though Hunt taught many things contrary to what LCG taught. How I read shows just how indoctrinated into Armstrongism I was at the time.

Whenever Hunt said something that was in accord with what LCG taught I believed and accepted Hunt's words.

Whenever Hunt said something contrary to what LCG taught I reminded myself that Hunt was wrong and ignored the contrary information.

Om page 32 Hunt states that Jesus Christ went into Jerusalem on April 6, AD 32. But Meredith told me in one of his booklets that Jesus had actually been crucified in AD 31 in order to justify his claim that Jesus was resurrected on Saturday and not on Sunday. So I disregarded what Hunt said in favor of Meredith.

Meredith and LCG's writers taught me that there would be two sinister personages who would arise in Europe to launch the Great Tribulation, a European dictator who would command the soon coming European Beast Power and the final Pope, sometimes referred to as the false prophet, who would be able to miraculously make fire fall from heaven and would tell people to follow the European dictator. Meredith and Co. said this false prophet is the Antichrist.

On the other hand Hunt taught that the European dictator is the Antichrist. Not the last Pope. I just told myself that Meredith was right and Hunt was right on this matter.

In chapter 11 Hunt makes the following statement while condemning Papal infallibility.
In the next chapter Peter errs seriously again, with another heretical pronouncement. He puts Christ on the same level with Moses and Elias: "Let us make here three tabernacles; one for thee, and one for Moses, and one for Elias" (Matthew 17:4). This time it is God Himself from heaven who rebukes the "new pope": "This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased, hear ye him" (verse 5). (Dave Hunt, A Woman Rides the Beast, 1994, p. 154.)
How different these words are compared to HWA's God Family heresy which asserts that one becomes as fully God as God is God after being resurrected, though of a lower rank.  

Hunt talked about the Tower of Babel and on page 64 mentions how it was used in posters promoting the European Union.

Hunt talked about the various scandals that have involved past Popes, some of which are quite ghastly.

While reading Hunt I first learned of the Decretals. I had heard of the Donation of Constantine before but not of these Decretals.

One thing that is praiseworthy of this book is that Hunt discussed the rampant sexual abuse committed by Catholic priests and how they were covered up by those higher up within the hierarchy. Hunt condemned this in 1994 before knowledge of those terrible things reached mainstream discussion. (Chapter 12, pp. 170-6.)

Chapters 18-21 (pp. 265-326) are largely concerned with the rise of Nazism and the Papacy's relations with the Nazi regime. Chapter 20 discusses the infamous genocide by the Ustaše in Croatia against ethnic Serbs during World War II. Chapter 21 discusses the ratlines in which various Nazis were able to clandestinely flee to Latin America with help from sympathizers. (PCG would like those last two chapters.)

Chapter 22-24 are focused on the theological differences between Catholicism and Protestantism.

This leads to Chapter 25 which argues that maintaining positive relations with the Roman Catholic Church is a betrayal of those Protestants who died due to Catholic persecution.

Chapter 26 then condemns ecumenical relations with the Roman Catholic Church as apostasy and forbidden for Christians.

Chapter 27 talks about various visions of Mary among Catholics. I had heard about some of these visions of Mary before but I had never read someone condemning them until I read this book.

Chapter 28 then warns that the visions of Mary might be used as part of the rise of some kind of sinister one world religion to arise just before Christ's return.

There are appendixes. The last three appendixes were added into the book in 2000.

Appendix F contains these words concerning Catholicism's views on abortion.
From the fifth century onward, Aristotle's view that the embryo goes through stages from vegetable to animal to spiritual was accepted. Only in the final stages was it human. Thus Gregory VI (1045-6) said, "He is not a murderer who brings about abortion before the soul is in the body." Gregory XIII (1572-85) said it was not homicide to kill an embryo of less than 40 days since it wasn't yet human. His successor, Sixtus V, who rewrote the Bible, disagreed. His Bull of 1588 made all abortions for any reason homicide and cause for excommunication. His successor, Gregory XIV, reversed that decree. In 1621 the Vatican issued another pastoral directive permitting abortion up to 40 days. As late as the eighteenth century the Church's greatest moral theologian, St. Alphonsus de Liguori, still denied that the soul was infused at conception and allowed for flexibility, especially when the mother's life was in danger. Finally, in 1869, Pius IX declared that any destruction of any embryo was an abortion and merited excommunication--a view that remains to this day. (Dave Hunt, A Woman Rides the Beast, pp. 519-520.)
Appendix H concerns Pope John Paul II's visit to the Holy Land in 2000. In that appendix Hunt makes the following bizarre and dreadfully inaccurate statement.
The Pope repeatedly referred to Jerusalem as holy to Muslims in spite of the fact that it is not mentioned even once in the Koran and never was considered a holy site to Muslims until very recently as a ploy to expel the Jews. (p. 531.)
That statement is wrong. The site of the Temple Mount has been sacred to Muslims for over 1300 years. That is long before the Holy Land saw the current Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Hunt is grievously wrong on this matter. Those who read this book are ill served with these words.

And so this reminiscence of Dave Hunt's book comes to an end.

How strange it is that Meredith, so often condemning all Christians outside of Armstrongism as false, would then use a book by one of these "false Christians," to "prove" his doctrine that the Roman Catholic Church will be part of the future European Empire that Armstrongites have been constantly insisting will soon conquer the United States since the 1930s. And yet Dave Hunt would be most vehemently opposed to Armstrongism.

The Nazis Falsely Accused the Jews of Plotting to Exterminate Germans

The Nazis committed genocide against the Jewish people. The Nazis' ceaseless persecution of the Jews gradually escalated culminating in a campaign of mass extermination against the Jews killing about six million Jews in Nazi occupied Europe during World War II.

And the Nazis did not just kill them but subjected the Jews to countless horrors, robbed them, insulted them and humiliated them. The Nazis even falsely accused the Jews of plotting to exterminate the (false so-called) "Aryan master race." Clearly the Nazis were projecting their own murderous hatred onto the victims.

The following book reveals this frightful aspect of Nazi ideology: The Jewish Enemy: Nazi Propaganda during World War II and the Holocaust by Jeffrey Herf.

Here is part of its preview:
The sheer magnitude of the Holocaust has commanded our attention for the past sixty years. The extent of atrocities, however, has overshadowed the calculus Nazis used to justify their deeds.
According to German wartime media, it was German citizens who were targeted for extinction by a vast international conspiracy. Leading the assault was an insidious, belligerent Jewish clique, so crafty and powerful that it managed to manipulate the actions of Roosevelt, Churchill, and Stalin. Hitler portrayed the Holocaust as a defensive act, a necessary move to destroy the Jews before they destroyed Germany.
The cruel and terrible crimes of the Nazis must never be forgotten.

Saturday, September 19, 2015

Reading The World Ahead

From 1992 till 1998 one of the major outposts of Armstrongism was the Global Church of God headed by Roderick C. Meredith. They published a recruitment magazine entitled The World Ahead. Here is some of what was written in this recruitment magazine made to persuade people into think the leaders of the Global Church of God could see the future.

The December 1995 issue exploits the assassination of Yitzhak Rabin to fear monger that the Great Tribulation will soon occur. Roderick Meredith discusses it in an article.

Jeffrey Patton has an article discussing attempts to made Quebec independent from Canada.

On page 32 of the January 1996 issue is a picture of an earlier edition of Roderick C. Meredith's booklet, Your Ultimate Destiny. What an ugly, random cover. No wonder they it changed later on.

The February 1996 issue has an interview with the late Dr. Samuele Bacchiochi.

The March 1996 issue has an article by Roderick Meredith entitled "How God Intervenes in Human Affairs." I recall he made a very similar article in the 2002 issue of Tomorrow's World.

On page 30 of the April 1996 issue there is advertising for the late Raymond McNair's booklet promoting British-Israelism.

The May 1996 issue contains an article by Douglas Winnail fear mongering about Mad Cow disease. And the late John Ogwyn has an article which contains parts of his booklet, The Beast of Revelation.

The June 1996 issue contains an article by Roderick Meredith fear mongering that now is the last generation before the Great Tribulation. And Douglas Winnail fear mongers about droughts. And on page 20 is a picture that was later used for the May-June 2000 issue of Tomorrow's World.

The July 1996 issue contains an article by Raymond McNair discussing the Palestinians. And an article by Jeffrey Patton about the United States being a multicutural society. It even contains a picture of two little girls of different races together. The COGs have a long and shameful history of banning interracial marriage. And John Ogwyn also has an article promoting COG dogmas regarding the Beast of Revelation. There is also an article by one Judy Swanson about raising children.

Is British Israelism Racist?

The issue contains the following words by Raymond McNair.
The fabulous blessings promised Jacob’s descendants would later include the rich lands of North America, Australia and New Zealand, plus much of Northwest Europe—lands inherited by Israel’s modern descendants. (p. 12.)
What nonsensical propaganda. Those lands were not inherited. So often the COGs insist that British Israelism is not racist. And yet look at what British Israelism led McNair to say: that the British and the Americans "inherited" those "rich lands of North America, Australia and New Zealand" simply because of who they are descended from.

Guess what? That is racism. 

North America, Australia and New Zealand were inhabited by other peoples before Europeans arrived. To say that the British and the Americans simply "inherited" those lands were pretending that the original peoples of those lands do not have a link to those lands is racist. McNair is using British Israelism as a license for British and Americans to rule over those peoples and control the resources of those lands. Hence McNair's reference to "the rich lands".

McNair says that the British and Americans have the right to rule those lands simply simply because they are descended from Joseph the son of Israel.  

Guess what? That is racism. It is white supremacy.

Who are the Palestinians?

Intriguingly McNair appears to have changed HWA's teaching that Turkey is Edom. Instead McNair says that most of the Palestinians are Edomites. McNair even seems to confuse the Amalekites and Edomites as though they were the same people.
In fact, there are many different accounts in the Old Testament of Israel warring against the Amalekites—Edomites! (p. 12.)
Of course this is all nonsense because the Palestinians are not Edomites, Amalekites or Philistines. They are Palestinians.

We now continue.

Nineteen years later still no famine in America.

The September 1996 issue contains an article by John Ogwyn vilifying gays. Douglas Winnail fear mongers about famines. And Roderick Meredith asks "Where Will You Be in the 21st Century?"

The November 1996 issue contains an article by Raymond McNair about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. It contains a map portraying Israel surrounded by Arab nations. It is part of a series of articles. And Roderick Meredith tells his readers not to vote.

The July 1997 issue contains an article by Roderick Meredith which condemns all Christians outside of the COGs as being deceived by the spirit of Antichrist. All Christians who happen to not share Armstrongism's dogmas concerning the Sabbath and Holy Days are condemned as not just wrong, but demonized as being deceived by the Devil. These frightful words are used to get people to join Meredith's followers and agree to pay three tithes to his group for the rest of one's life.

The September 1997 issue contains an article by Douglas Winnial talking of an alleged "twilight of democracy."

Meredith orders his followers not to vote.

The November 1997 issue contains an article by Gary Foster discussing the death of Princess Diana. And Raymond McNair then talks about COG dogmas concerning the British monarchy which are taken by HWA from British Israelism. And Thomas Robinson has an article condemning the celebration of Christmas. And Roderick Meredith has an article advising married couples how to keep their love alive. Just forget about the many marriages Meredith destroyed in order to enforce HWA's divorce and remarriage policy up to 1974.

Scared of a future Antichrist? Pay three tithes. For life.

The January 1998 issue contains an article by John Ogwyn discussing the Asian financial crisis of 1997.

The March 1998 issue contains an article by John Ogwyn talking about alcoholism. And Roderick Meredith accuses Christians outside of Armstrongism of being false Christians in order to get more recruits for his group. On page 25 is advertising for a booklet of theirs promoting tithing.

The May 1998 issue contains an article by Roderick Meredith insinuating that Catholicism will revive and ultimately lead Europe to conquer America. Rex Sexton has an article insisting that Armstrongism properly understands prophecy. Douglas Winnail has an article fear mongering about Europe. It is entitled "Europe's Gathering Storm."

The July 1998 issue contains a response to a letter insisting that British Israelism is not racist (p. 14). Which is complete nonsense. British Israelism is inherently racist. It was created to justify the existence of the British Empire.

On page 29 of the September 1998 issue there is advertising for Roderick Meredith's booklet, Christianity's Greatest Deception. In that booklet Meredith insists that all forms of Christianity outside of the COGs are not only false but the work of the Devil.

The November 1998 issue contains an article by Douglas Winnail fear mongering about the future. "Within the next decade or two, China will become the second-most-powerful military power on earth, with economic power to match," he fearfully writes.

After that issue was published Roderick Meredith decided to break away from Global Church of God and created another COG splinter group named the Living Church of God. Meredith was able to bring most GCG members to join his new splinter group as well as many ministers.

By establishing LCG it was able to be no longer liable for debts held by Global COG while the greatly reduced Global COG still had to pay the debts incurred previously. Consequently Global COG was soon dissolved in the United States. However some branches of it out side the United States continued to operate.

It was not a sign that God favored LCG over Global COG. Instead Meredith's skill in persuading most Global COG members and ministers to side with him insured that Global COG had all the liabilities and far less assets. This caused Global COG's prompt dissolution in the United States.

Sixteen years later and Europe still can't conquer America.

The May 1999 issue has an article by Raymond McNair bewailing the Clinton-Lewinsky affair. And Norbert Link has an article fear mongering about Europe. It even shows a cover of Newsweek magazine to make it appear that Armstrongism can see into the future.

How sad it is that the 1% of Armstrongism have continuously spread the same fear inducing false prophecies and are still able to maintain the loyalty of their followers. The same false prophesies are continuously updated to keep them thinning that the complex tapestry of events leading up to Christ's return will occur any moment now.

But the many false prophecies Armstrongism have made prove that God is not with the Armstrongites. God is not with the Armstrongites.