In this post I shall read Gerald Flurry's booklet, Isaiah's End-Time Vision. It was first printed in 1994. Then since it has been revised in 1999, 2004, 2008, 2010 and 2013. It is one of Gerald Flurry's larger booklets, hence the length of this post. We shall go through the current 2013 version here. This booklet may be read at their website.
First Flurry glorifies the beginning of Isaiah, even calling it a little Bible, saying that the essence of the Bible is compressed entirely in it. He then uses this to mock a statement a WCG minister stating that Isaiah 6 is the introduction to insist that even then WCG was turning "Laodicean".
Isaiah was sent to do God’s Work (Isaiah 6). One of the Worldwide Church of God ministers wrote: “This is where the introduction of the book [of Isaiah] begins.” That was written about a year before Mr. Armstrong died. However, Mr. Armstrong was not aware of such a statement or he would have rejected it. The Laodiceans were already getting control of God’s Church. Herbert W. Armstrong was 92 years of age. They were even then losing Isaiah’s vision. That minister made a dangerous statement. It shows that the church Mr. Armstrong founded was becoming Laodicean by losing the God Family vision of Isaiah chapter 1—where the inspiring instruction begins. (pp. 5-6.)
Or maybe this WCG minister was just saying that Isaiah's account of how he became a prophet just happens to be in Isaiah 6.
It seems awfully easy to be a Laodicean for Flurry. Actually there is just one simple way to be a Laodicean, be an Armstrongite who is not a member of PCG and does not pay tithes to Flurry and Co. That is a Laodicean in Flurry's eyes.
I wonder if someone had problems in his or her marriage and that person had the opportunity to ask That Prophet Gerald Flurry for advice on this marriage I wonder what he would say to such a person?
Perhaps the best way to illustrate this point is through the example of marriage. When there are marital problems, generally both parties are to blame. The biggest problem the wives have is submitting to their husbands.
I have been in the ministry nearly 40 years. In many marriage counseling sessions, I have noticed that the wives are zealous and excel in numerous marital responsibilities. But many wives cause some serious problems in their marriages. The root cause with the women is usually their not submitting to their husbands as God commands. Their problem is with God’s marital government and the law on which it is based. (p. 7.)
So he says women need to submit to their husbands. Well, that would be very good for the husband's masculine ego. Not so sure the wife would buy that explanation though.
Flurry says all of the Laodiceans reject HWA as the end time Elijah.
The control is in your hands. If you submit to God’s government, you will hear what God’s end-time Elijah taught about God’s government and you will accept Mr. Armstrong as fulfilling the Elijah role. You will also hear what God reveals to the PCG . It depends on your own submission! (p. 11.)
Many other COG groups, who are labelled Laodiceans by Flurry, also believe that HWA is the end time Elijah. Why does Flurry say untrue things?
In this chapter Flurry main talks about Isaiah 66.
Here Flurry speculates that there will be seven prominent Laodicean splinter groups.
Today, God’s own Laodicean people think they can choose the Laodicean church of their choice. There probably will be seven different Laodicean churches (Isaiah 4:1). At this point, you can only see three significant ones. Request our booklet on Hosea for a full explanation. (p. 14.)
When Laodiceans repent and come into the Philadelphia Church today, they always say they were starving spiritually. (p. 16.)
Flurry says the same thing in other writings of his.
Flurry is embarrassed that no high ranking minister from WCG joined PCG so he accuses people who note this and choose not to follow PCG because of this of depending on men and not trusting on God. (How convenient for you, Flurry.)
The PCG has the distinct honor to speak for God! We are warning the Laodiceans, but they refuse to hear (Jeremiah 6:16-17). For that reason, they must go into the Great Tribulation—unless they repent. (p. 18.)
Flurry also condemns WCG's leaders as racist for denying British Israelism.
Flurry also talks about how a nation will be born at once, he means the glorification of the saints to become the firstfruits of the God Family.
In this chapter he fear mongers that Christ's return is about to come any moment now. (Implying the only way to save yourself from this problem is to join PCG.)
The term “last days” always refers to the time period leading up to and including the return of Christ. (p. 23.)
All the time? Really?
In the World Tomorrow PCG members will be the rulers of a glorious and reborn world.
What else will we teach in the Millennium other than God’s law? Much will revolve around the truth Herbert W. Armstrong restored to God’s Church (Matthew 17:10-11). We must deeply learn what God taught us through him. We are God’s spiritual college today, and we shall establish God’s colleges all over this Earth very soon. Today, God’s true Church is a college to train teachers for the World Tomorrow. We have a message of hope for the world! That is easy-to-prove truth! (p. 24.)
On pages 28-9 he obliquely condemns makeup. But it is said in such a way that, unless you knew PCG banned makeup, you might easily miss this. He does not directly say this but to those who know the facts it is he is condemning makeup.
Here is Flurry speculating that there will be seven main rival splinter groups.
If we look at this spiritually, we know God teaches that a man should have one wife (1 Timothy 3:1-2). A woman is used to represent a church in the Bible. Since the context of Isaiah 3 and 4 is about Zion, or God’s Church, I don’t see how these seven women could refer to anybody but seven rebellious Laodicean churches in this end time. These ladies want to be called by this man’s name. Christ is represented by the man. God has removed His lamp from the Laodicean Church. It no longer does God’s Work or has His name. This must be talking about Christ and the rebellious Laodiceans today. (p. 30.)
He also accuses the Laodiceans of failing to follow Christ. If they did there would only be one work he says. Of course he is really just crudely ordering people to join PCG. He wants more tithes.
Here Flurry dwells on the God Family doctrine and insists that after the Millenium and Great White Throne Judgment that the God Family shall expand upon the entire Universe, beautifying it.
But will there be a God Family? Actually the idea of the God Family has no scriptural support whatsoever.
Isaiah 42:8: "I am the Lord: that is my name: and my glory will I not give to another, neither my praise to graven images."
Isaiah 43:10: "Ye are my witnesses, saith the Lord, and my servant whom I have chosen: that ye may know and believe me, and understand that I am he: before me there was no God formed, neither shall there be after me."
Isaiah 44:6: "Thus saith the Lord the King of Israel, and his redeemer the Lord of hosts: I am the first, and I am the last; and beside me there is no God..."
Isaiah 44:8: "Fear ye not, neither be afraid: have not I told thee from that time, and have declared it? ye are even my witnesses. Is there a God beside me? yea, there is no God; I know not any." (From Mike of Mike's Enlightenment Page.)
Then on page 36 Flurry swiftly changes tack and says, The Germans are coming.
Conditions will get so bad that people will eat their own arms—or their own families! One third of Israel will die because of internal problems before the Germans strike with nuclear bombs (see Ezekiel 5). It didn’t get this bad anciently. This is mainly for today. (p. 37.)
On pages 38-9 Flurry fear mongers that Germany is already a great power. As evidence he cites the Yugoslav Wars and accuses Germany of starting those wars by recognizing Slovenia and Croatia as independent states in 1991. He ignores the agency of the peoples of the former Yugoslavia in pursuing their own interests and pretends only Germany caused it. In fact Gerald Flurry merely exploits the Yugoslav War in order to demonize Germany.
Flurry also insists that the Global Financial Crisis of 2008 was predicted by HWA.
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! (p. 39.)
Flurry conveniently forgets that HWA taught that Christ would return by 2005 in his book, Mystery of the Ages, the book that Flurry so often praise to the heavens.
And, secondly, to reveal--preserved in writing for us TODAY--what is to happen "in the latter days"--actually within the next two decades-- THIS LAST HALF OF THE TWENTIETH CENTURY! (HWA, Mystery of the Ages, 1985, Chapter 7, p. 298. Under the heading, "Daniel Knew!")
"within the next two decades" from 1985, when Mystery of the Ages was first printed, brings us to 2005. So here HWA predicted that Christ would return by 2005. Flurry does not mention this part of Mystery of the Ages.
Do not bother looking for this statement in any PCG copy of Mystery of the Ages. PCG, as the current copyright holder, deleted this embarrassing passage.
In this chapter Flurry discusses Satan being cast out of Heaven onto Earth. He teaches that this occurred upon HWA's death.
We publish booklets on all the major prophets. Two of the booklets—Isaiah and Ezekiel—discuss Satan being cast down (see Ezekiel 28). We discuss Satan in detail. Only the Philadelphia Church of God understands Satan today. Only we reveal Satan to the Laodiceans and the world. (p. 41.)
Actually many churches, not just the Armstrongites, focus a lot on Satan. So these words of Flurry's are quite deceptive and untrue. Many other Armstrongites and Christians share the same idea.
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. (p. 41.)
Nobody's persecuted PCG. Have PCG members been arrested? Subjected to physical violence because of their religion? I have heard of no such thing. Calling PCG a cult is not persecution.
Considering how so many Christians, labelled as false Christians by Flurry and Co., in the rest of the world suffer it is sad to see Flurry pretending that PCG is being persecuted when no such thing is going on.
This Earth has never experienced the full wrath of Satan until this end time! He has already conquered the Laodicean Church. It happened in only months after Mr. Armstrong died! How can you explain that without Satan being cast down and confined to this Earth? ...
This world has changed dramatically since Herbert W. Armstrong died. Everything indicates that Satan was cast down around that time. And now this world is on a downhill plunge to destruction! (p. 42.)
I remember when I started reading PCG's writings and watching their TV show. I was struck by their insistence that Satan had already been cast down to the Earth. LCG said this was an as yet future event.
But all this assumes that HWA actually was called by God. If HWA was called by God why was he wrong when he taught from 1953 onwards that Jesus Christ would return in 1975? Also what about HWA's personal conduct? Is it likely God would use a man like that, and after he converted? His own niece and his own grandson have recently stated in public interviews that this happened.
He fear mongers that many "Laodiceans" (Armstrongites who did not join PCG) will be cast into the lake of fire. He even says many are already destined to go to the lake of fire. (p. 45.)
Here Flurry tries to make PCG members anguished that not everyone joined PCG as they "should," according to Flurry. What is his answer to this problem? What does he tell his readers to do?
When Isaiah saw this vision, he was plunged into a state of deep sorrow and shame. He couldn’t even be comforted because he saw the unparalleled suffering and eternal death to come upon God’s Church. ...
Do we go to God in deep concern and tears because of what is going to happen to God’s Family—our Family? We must also have God’s love for the nations of Israel—and the whole world. Nobody with God’s love could want to see the Tribulation come upon our people, unless they saw the happy ending.
Isaiah’s example here should severely correct every single one of us. This loving emotion that Isaiah had has rarely been experienced by any one of us, if at all! How deeply do we love God’s lukewarm people, the nations of Israel and the world?
There is only one way to really measure our love for them: Our dedication to God’s Work shows how much we love them!
How much are you and I willing to sacrifice in getting God’s Work finished? (pp. 46-7.)
Send me your money, now! If you can't throw your money away to me as though it was nothing then you are a terrible monster.
From page 48 onwards he begins to introduce his new understanding of Isaiah 22.
Revelation 11:1-2 discuss an inner court and an outer court. That prophecy was fulfilled quickly after John Amos and I were fired from the wcg. The inner court is where God dwells. God established His Church. And where He dwells, you will find one-man government, an exciting work and dedicated people. These people will have new revelation from Isaiah and all the other major and minor prophets. It will be given through Eliakim. (p. 52.)
Often when various COG leaders talk about "God's government", "government doctrine", or claim that some other rival among the COGs have deviated from "God's government", etc., they do not really say what form of government they are actually talking about. Here Gerald Flurry finally talks plainly and admits what "God's government" really means, "one-man government".
I feel it is very confusing to refer to one-man government as God's government as some other such euphemism. Hence I often refer to "God's government" as what it really is, one man rule.
Note that Flurry boasts that PCG has one-man government. Well, as a matter of fact, Meredith's LCG also has "one-man government". But you will not see Flurry admit that. And if you do he will just find some other pretext to claim he is not legitimate and that one must follow Flurry or suffer severely.
This is a lot of misleading double talk in these words.
Understanding Eliakim [Gerald Flurry] does not mean following a man. It means following what “God establishes”! We dare not follow a man. But you know that if I really let God rule me and make the decisions Christ wants me to make, there will be a few decisions that you don’t agree with. Even I probably won’t like all of them, initially. But if we ever fail at this test, like Shebna [Here Flurry means Tkach Jr.] we will only be carving out for ourselves an eternal tomb!
This is also a strong message for me. When God says He has given His government, that means I had better use it! God forbid that I should ever abuse His Family. But things will only work if we use this government. Can we prove which man on Earth is truly using God’s government—the government that will one day rule the world and the universe? (p. 54.)
I believe we will not lose the court case.
[Footnote.] This was written before we won the court case. Request our free booklet on Habakkuk for a full explanation. (p. 54.)
Not true. In fact PCG lost the court case. But luckily for them WCG decided to cut their losses by selling the copyrights to PCG for $3 million.
Isaiah 22:22 says that when Eliakim [Gerald Flurry] opens a door, none can shut it. We must have faith in that.
He just said, Isaiah 22:22 says that when I open a door, none can shut it. We must have faith in that, he says. He appeals to his own understanding and explanation.
Think about it: How much do you love your children, just as a physical parent or grandparent? I feel I love children more and more as I grow older. How could a father not love his children? They bring such joy into your life. (p. 56.)
Why do you impose the no contact rule on these supposedly evil Laodiceans then for not paying you three tithes?
[Footnote 2] We won the copyrights to all those works in the court case. (p. 58.)
Not true. In fact PCG lost the court case. But luckily for them WCG decided to cut their losses by selling the copyrights to PCG for $3 million.
This quote shows how Flurry readily interprets things to claim that any given scripture is talking about the Tkach changes and PCG rising up to oppose them.
What are the “vessels of small quantity, from the vessels of cups, even to all the vessels of flagons”? Anciently, these were items used in the temple service. What do we use today in the temple service? These must refer to all of our books and booklets. All the glory hangs on Eliakim—all the revelation from Mr. Armstrong, plus all the new revelation God has given to me. That is quite a lot of glory! We have it all! (p. 58.)
Odd. I thought it was the Laodiceans who say, we have need of nothing.
How could God’s people talk about the evils of one-man rule? That is out of the mind of the devil! (p. 58.)
So if anyone complains about conditions in PCG and points out Flurry had a role in it, Flurry can just say that thought "is out of the mind of the devil".
Here Flurry speculates that Tkach Jr. will later try to somehow silence PCG.
I firmly believe that in the future we will face an even more significant battle with this end-time Shebna [Tkach Jr.]. Amos 7:10-11 show a priest of God going to a leader of the land and trying to get God’s Work shut down. In verses 12-13, he speaks directly to God’s prophet telling him to prophesy not. (p. 60.)
Here Flurry once again focuses upon the supposed dire future that awaits the world before Christ's return and speculates upon what supposedly will happen, particularly the rise of Germany and the Roman Catholic Church.
The good news is this is all leading these nations to their final war! Why final? Because it is against Almighty God!
And guess who wins. In the Valley of Jehosophat, blood is up to the horses’ bridles for 200 miles!
What a bloody ending! (p. 63.)
Flurry insinuates that in the future Germany will steal the possession of nuclear weapons stationed on their land from the United States for themselves.
the Germans have many U.S. nuclear bombs stored in their country, which the Germans could (and Mr. Armstrong believed they will) take and use as their own. (p. 63.)
Here Japan is identified with Tarshish. (He disregards the fact that Tarshish is the old name of what is now known as Spain.)
The “daughter of Tarshish” (verse 10) is Japan today. The word daughter shows how these prophecies are dual.
Or maybe Isaiah just personified that nation as a woman, as Biblical writers and often did.
I will also note that, outside of PCG, I have not read any Armstrongite claiming the expression "daughter of such and such" symbolized that it is an end time prophecy.
Flurry also speculates that Latin America will be reduced to vassal states under Europe's domination and the European Empire will use Latin America to besiege America before her fall.
On page 66 there is an error. Flurry uses "concordant" when he should have said "concordat".
Here Flurry insists that Chittim which is also Kittim is to be identified with China. (It is actually an ancient name for what is now called Cyprus.) Flurry cites Herman Hoeh's ridiculous Compendium of World History and he cites also research by Ernest Martin. The non-COG reader would have no idea that Ernest Martin played an instrumental role in persuading HWA to abolish HWA's draconian divorce and remarriage rules and to adopt a Sunday Pentecost insist of Monday which was observed before 1974. But soon afterwards he was cast out of WCG during the mass defection of 1974, not least because he argued that tithing is not a New Testament requirement for Christians and therefore Christians are under no obligation to pay tithes.
Here Flurry talks about people getting the right education, meaning one must be indoctrinated into obeying PCG in order to be truly educated.
To be right with God you must follow one man (he means himself, Gerald Flurry). Although there are so many ministers it is necessary to follow that one man.
God inspires all of His ministers. But He reveals new truth for the Church to only one man—the man He sent to do His Work. The whole Church must get behind that one man and do God’s Work.
God does not reveal new truth to a woman, or to the Church in general. He gives new revelation for the Church to one man. Then God holds that one man accountable.
This is exactly how it is done in the Philadelphia Church of God today. (p. 73.)
So if you start getting ideas contrary to what is taught, be quiet. You are not not properly indoctrinated.
When God reveals a lot of new truth to a man, He must also give that man His government to proclaim that truth. The Laodiceans’ rebellion revolves around government—they refuse to submit to God’s one-man rule! (p. 75.)
So we see that when Flurry talks of "God's government" he really means "one-man rule".
But what if someone ends up not sufficiently submitting to this supposedly enlightened one man rule?
The Laodiceans talk about the “evils of one-man rule,” and there are such evils. But they never talk about the righteous blessings of one-man rule, which we received under Mr. Armstrong.
“The evils of one-man rule” is usually a negative statement inspired by the devil. He rules this world (2 Corinthians 4:4). His downfall revolved around rejecting God’s government. That is why this world is so hostile to government—especially God’s government.
We must learn to love God’s government, or we have no future! (p. 75.)
So if one does not perfectly love and adore this enlightened one man rule then that person is "inspired by the devil" and has "no future" unless that person loves that one man rule called "God's government".
Here Flurry has threatened the eternal lives of his followers if they do not "love" "one-man rule".
So we see that a chapter that promised to address what is true education actually was a call for PCG members and converts to submit to "one-man rule" or else be vilified as being "inspired by the devil" and of being a Laodicean, who are shunned by PCG members.
This chapter states that natural disasters are the result of God's anger. But actually Flurry uses this chapter as an opportunity to claim that there is a special significance to January 16 as the anniversary of HWA's death in 1986. He then claims the start of the Gulf War in 1991 and the Northridge earthquake of 1994 are signs that God will strike on that date.
Why would HWA's God have any regard for our modern calendar? Did not HWA teach that the current Gregorian calendar we use was a vicious, pagan, papal, Satanic perversion of true time as measured by what HWA called God's sacred calendar? Look at these words of HWA's in his booklet, Pagan Holidays--or God's Holydays--Which?, Chapter 1.
This same power [the Roman Catholic Church] is mentioned again in the 17th chapter of Revelation, here pictured as ruling over the kings and kingdoms of the earth, persecuting the true saints.
In every possible manner, this power has changedTIME!
God begins the days at sunset, but "the little horn" [the Papacy] has changed it so the world now begins the day in the middle of the night by a man-made watch.
God begins the week with the ending of the true Sabbath, the seventh day of the week, but the world begins the working week in the middle of the night, the second day of the week.
God begins the months with the new moons, but this "little horn" has induced the world to begin the months according to a clumsy man-made calendar of heathen origin.
God begins the year in the early spring, when new life is budding in nature everywhere, but ancient heathen Rome caused the world to begin the year in the middle of dead winter.
God gave His children a true rest day, designed to keep them continually in the knowledge and true worship of the true God a memorial of God's Creation the seventh day of the week. But the "little horn" has fastened upon a deluded world the observance of the days on which the pagans worshipped the Sun, the first day of the week, called SUNday. (HWA, Pagan Holidays--or God's Holydays--Which?, Chapter 1.)
Why would the God HWA speaks of here use this abominable, Satanic, papal calendar to determine his actions? Surely he would use "God's sacred calendar" instead, should he not?
So the day HWA died was Shebat 6, according to "God's sacred calendar". In the period 1987-2010 it only falls on January 16 once in 2005. Did anything happen then? (Source.) I can also confirm that Shebat 6 has not fallen on January 16 since then as well. Not in 2011, 2012, 2013, or 2014. So why does Flurry take any notice of January 16?
Also Flurry disregards the fact that the Gulf War started one day later and that the Northridge earthquake occurred on January 17. He just waves his hands and claims it is only a generality. He even claimed that January 17 is the first day of the Laodicean era so something will happen then.
This January 16 doctrine is nonsense that discards "God's sacred calendar" that HWA taught WCG to use.
Also I made a previous post detailing how one novel in 1988 seemingly predicted the 1991 August coup in the Soviet Union that tried and failed to overthrow Gorbachёv.
Here Flurry claims to offer advice on how to recognize the one and only true church.
He uses Isaiah 29 to claim it is a prophecy predicting the Tkach changes.
When Mr. Armstrong died, God stopped revealing the Bible to the Worldwide Church of God. God also is not revealing His truth to any of those churches that left the WCG , except the Philadelphia Church of God. And that includes those churches that still teach quite a lot of what Mr. Armstrong taught. Look at any of the Laodicean churches and compare them with the PCG . You can absolutely prove what I am writing. (p. 84.)
It is true that Flurry has made a lot of changes to church doctrine. That does not prove he gets these many changes from God. More likely he is speaking out of his own mind. The only difference between Flurry and Tkach is that Flurry's numerous changes have retained an Armstrongite flavor.
Here Flurry once again insist that if one does not join PCG and pay his followers three tithes and extra offerings (a large portion of which will be used to pay for Armstrong Auditorium) then one is doomed to suffer the Great Tribulation.
The difference between any Laodicean church and the PCG is the difference between God’s Work and a man’s work!
And whoever is a part of a man’s work—regardless of what he teaches—is headed for the frightening and Great Tribulation! No man can prevent that. (p. 85.)
Flurry then cites the account of Urijah in Jeremiah 26 to say that one must follow God's man (Flurry) or else suffer God's curses. (Odd. I thought this booklet was about Isaiah.)
Again Flurry says, be a member of PCG and pay the three tithes or else you will suffer the Great Tribulation.
Flurry then continues to accuse the Laodiceans of losing access to God's revelation unless individuals within those groups repent by joining PCG and paying the three tithes.
If a church doesn’t understand God’s revelations and His prophecies, God is not with it! One former evangelist of the Worldwide Church of God stated: “In the past, we … have mistakenly assumed that Christ directly guides His Church ….”
Of course that is another put-down of Mr. Armstrong. We all must see clearly that God did “directly” guide His Church under Mr. Armstrong. And God “directly” guides the PCG today, as long as we submit to His government. (pp. 88-9.)
The evangelist cited is Roderick C. Meredith which is seen when comparing this passage with Flurry's other booklet, God's Family Government.
Here are more phobia inducing statements.
All of the Laodiceans are failing to do their Father’s business. The WCG has refused to do God’s Work. So have the other groups that left the WCG . Only the Philadelphia Church of God has a clear commission of what it is to do. That is because only the PCG is doing God’s Work. We spurn our sonship when we refuse to do our Father’s business! That is sin of the greatest magnitude!
Armstrongites not in PCG are committing "sin of the greatest magnitude!" according to Flurry who wants their tithes.
Why do PCG members shun Laodiceans even if they are close family members? It is partly because Flurry describe the Laodiceans like this.
There is a strong reason why the Laodiceans can’t see where God is working today. They love “deceits.” They refuse to face the difficult prophecies of the Bible and warn the world. They are blind because they choose to be blind. (p. 92.)
Therefore Flurry tells PCG members that this tragic situation is the Laodiceans' fault, even though it was the PCG leadership that ordered PCG members to shun members of other COG groups.
After all these fear inducing writings Flurry then briefly describes the glory to come during Christ's millennial reign.
In this chapter Flurry discusses Isaiah's relations with King Hezekiah and use it to say that one must join PCG or be sent into exile to modern Babylon, the future European Empire he teaches will later arise.
At first Hezekiah is portrayed as a good and faithful man. But then Flurry talks about when Hezekiah received visitors from Babylon and showed them all he possessed.
In his vanity, he showed the king’s messengers all of his treasures—a fatal mistake.
Isaiah was more suspicious and wise about the king of Babylon’s message. Isaiah came to Hezekiah and asked him some hard questions. But Hezekiah did not respond to all of Isaiah’s questions. “Then came Isaiah the prophet unto king Hezekiah, and said unto him, What said these men? and from whence came they unto thee? And Hezekiah said, They are come from a far country unto me, even from Babylon. Then said he, What have they seen in thine house? And Hezekiah answered, All that is in mine house have they seen: there is nothing among my treasures that I have not shewed them” (verses 3-4). Notice here that Hezekiah does not answer Isaiah’s first question (“What said these men?”)—he completely ignores it! He does answer Isaiah’s second question. Why did Hezekiah not answer the first question? Could it be that at this point he was beginning to turn away from God?
Remember, God did add 15 years to his life. This proved to be tragic for this great king. Hezekiah fell away from God during these additional years allotted to him. By the end of the story, it looks as though Hezekiah had lost it all spiritually. Could it be that Hezekiah did not answer the first question because he was cozying up to Babylon? The fruits of Hezekiah’s life prove this to be so! (pp. 95-6.)
Incidentally Flurry never mentions what these Babylonian messengers said.
Flurry then uses this account to claim that the Laodiceans (Armstrongites who had not joined PCG) are like Hezekiah. He is implying that unless they join PCG they shall also be like Hezekiah who, Flurry implies, "lost it all spiritually", partly because "he was cozying up to Babylon".
Sometimes God, through His ministers, has to ask us some very hard questions. Do we evade the questions or do we face them? What is the main problem with the Laodiceans today? They do not want to face the really hard questions like why all of these doctrinal changes? They don’t want to face the really hard question: Was Herbert W. Armstrong God’s end-time Elijah? Why not? Because they want to be a part of Babylon. They want to rely on their own treasure and Babylon. God’s Laodicean Church isn’t much different than the people of the United States and Great Britain. They are all trusting in Babylon. And they are all going to be enslaved by Babylon—modern Germany and the European Union. (p. 97.)
Actually quite a few of these "Laodiceans" in fact beleive that HWA was the end time Elijah. Why does Flurry say untrue things?
In this chapter at first Flurry glorifies the activities of HWA and claims that the Laodicenas (Armstrongite who have not joined PCG) are blind to what sort of man he really was.
All of the Laodiceans reject Mr. Armstrong as fulfilling this end-time Elijah role! (p. 102.)
All of them, Flurry? As mentioned numerous times many of these "Laodiceans" in fact believe HWA was the end time Elijah. Why does Flurry say untrue things?
John the Baptist was a type of Elijah and “they knew him not.” That is a prophecy that the end-time John or Elijah (both types of Mr. Armstrong’s work) would not be recognized except by Christ’s true disciples. (p. 103.)
This one reason why so many become Armstrongites or PCG members. They think joining PCG or believing what they say proves they are "Christ's true disciplines." When they see their family or friends not believing these things the Armstrongites are filled with a sense of being apart from the rest of society, which can be a form of elitism, that they are one of the chosen few.
Christ is the Head of His Church, but He also uses a man to be the physical head. He has done that throughout the ages. ... It is through the man that Christ implements His government. Satan, the god of this world, and rebels hate that government and always work to demonize that man. This is not about following a man—it’s about following God’s man. (p. 103.)
What nonsense. Following Flurry is following a man. How is calling Flurry "God's man" not idolatrous?
In the last two pages of this chapter Flurry somewhat changes topic. On pages 106-7 Flurry uses Isaiah 47 to fear monger that the Roman Catholic Church will go on a blood thirsty rampage very soon.
This is the same old Babylonian religious system, and it will direct the killing of God’s saints in the Tribulation! ... The 10-nation European combine is led by Germany (ancient Assyria), but guided by a great church (verse 7). ... This church has lost its Protestant, or protesting, children. However, it has a master plan to force them back into the fold! Most Protestants are about to be plunged into the worst “inquisition” ever! Thankfully, it only lasts for a short time. ... Suddenly, that great church will be destroyed forever! All of this will happen in the very near future. (pp. 106-7.)
Although he never names the Roman Catholic Church in this section it is clear that is what he means.
Armstrongism teaches that the Roman Catholic Church is a revival of the ancient religion of the Babylonians. This is an idea HWA took from Alexander Hyslop's book, The Two Babylons, which was first published in the 1850s. Unfortunately for Flurry Alexander Hislop's The Two Babylons is not reliable. Let me quote from xHWA's blog.
[Ralph] Woodrow quotes an article from ‘The Saturday Review’ printed September 17th, 1859. This article speaks about Hislop’s book. I found it so compelling, I would like to quote it here.
“In the first place, his whole superstructure is raised upon nothing. Our earliest authority for the history of Semiramis wrote about the commencement of the Christian era, and the historian from whom he drew his information lived from fifteen hundred to two thousand years after the date Which Mr. Hislop assigns to the great Assyrian Queen. The most lying legend which the Vatican has ever endorsed stands on better authority than the history which is now the ground of a charge against it.
”Secondly, the whole argument proceeds upon the assumption that all heathenism has a common origin. Accidental resemblances in mythological details are taken as evidence of this, and nothing is allowed for the natural working of the human mind.
“Thirdly, Mr. Hislop’s method of reasoning would make anything of anything. By the aid of obscure passages in third-rate historians [sic], groundless assumptions of identity, and etymological torturing of roots, all that we know, and all that we believe, may be converted…into something totally different.
“Fourthly, Mr. Hislop’s argument proves too much. He finds not only the corruptions of Popery, but the fundamental articles of the Christian Faith, in his hypothetical Babylonian system…
“We take leave of Mr. Hislop and his work with the remark that we never before quite knew the folly of which ignorant or half-learned bigotry is capable.” (Source.)
If Flurry really is God's man as he claims then why should God's man rely on proven nonsense?
It is the Laodiceans who have forgotten. If they remembered the God Family relationship, they would know that their loving Father and Christ could never, never forget or forsake them! But they have lost much of the God Family concept revealed to Mr. Armstrong. The Laodiceans are the ones guilty of forsaking and forgetting—not God! (p. 109.)
Actually many Laodiceans still teach the God Family doctrine exactly as HWA taught it.
Are you afraid of living? Of men? Of losing your job or family? Human fear shapes most men’s lives! But the love of God is that we keep His commandments, or His law (1 John 5:3)—and perfect love casts out fear (1 John 4:18).
This is the towering issue in God’s Church today. Many of God’s people are turning away from God because the law is not in their hearts!
Ultimately, this is how you must control your godly life. How we eat, dress, gain pleasure, date, marry, work and play all depends upon how deeply God’s law is etched in our hearts. How we conduct our lives reveals how much we love God! (p. 111.)
Or, in other words, PCG ministers can interfere in PCG members' lives in all these things.
The Philadelphia Church of God is not attacking the Laodiceans. We are warning them and trying to rekindle their “good tidings.” (pp. 112-3.)
How can Flurry say such things after ordering PCG members to shun the Laodiceans (Armstrongites who had not joined PCG)? To order people to shun one another in order to coerce the shunned into paying three tithes and extra offerings for Flurry's benefit is just astonishingly cruel and depraved.
On pages 114-5 Flurry discusses the sacrifice of Christ when talking about Isaiah 53. He also mentions passover in this passage.
Here Flurry teaches that PCG members children are being raised to rule the world.
These verses refer to our children and how they are being trained for tremendous opportunities in the World Tomorrow.
Parents have the critical responsibility of preparing those children. Then the Church assists through ministerial counseling, Imperial School (kindergarten through high school), Philadelphia youth camps, classes at Church services, and Herbert W. Armstrong College. (pp. 115-6.)
I wonder what these schools' attitude to corporal punishment is. (Not HWA College of course. I mean the others.)
Isaiah wept for this world, and so should we! When is the last time you or I cried for this world? (p. 121.)
Here is Flurry once again trying to make the reader feel guilty and make the reader more susceptible to suggestions from those higher up within PCG.
Flurry ends this booklet with these words.
But there is great news for this world. ... Soon a spiritual nation will be born, comprised of God’s firstfruits! They will be used by God to teach the whole world. ... What a glorious vision for those saints who understand the outcome of God’s master plan! (p. 123.)
So in this booklet Flurry uses Isaiah to mainly condemn Laodicenas for not paying three tithes and offerings to his PCG and to make PCG feel good about themselves by promising they will receive a most glorious future.
He uses HWA's God Family doctrine to claim that PCG members will have a most glorious future and then claim all those others who were in WCG but did not join PCG have lost God's blessing and will die in the Great Tribulation for not paying tithes to his PCG.
Flurry states, as I have several times stated elsewhere, that "God's government" actually means "one-man rule" under him, Gerald Flurry. Anyone who complains about this way of ruling has the mind of the devil, he says.
Flurry also speculates that Tkach Jr. will later attempt to somehow silence PCG.
Flurry also confuses Spain (Tarshish) for Japan, and Cyprus (Chittim, Kittim) for China.
And even though he has ordered PCG members to shun "Laodiceans" tearing apart quite likely thousands of families he wishes to inform us that he and PCG are not attacking Laodiceans, he's just trying to warn them. (Chapter 14, pp. 123-4.)
So the message here, as in most other PCG booklets, is join PCG and pay tithes or die in the Great Tribulation. Pay PCG or pay with your life.