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Should Christians obey the Old Testament law?  /doctrinalhtml/Does the New Covenant Abolish the OT Law.htm

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Will there be a third resurrection?  Click here:  /doctrinalhtml/Will There Be a Third Resurrection.htm




“Malachi’s Message” Reconsidered:  Its Claims to Inspired Authority Analyzed


by Eric V. Snow


          Gerald Flurry, the pastor general of the Philadelphia Church of God, maintains he is leading the true Church of God at this time.  Everyone else who is or was associated with the Worldwide Church of God is a Laodicean, including people now with Global, International, and United, are headed for the Great Tribulation and (quite possibly) the lake of fire.  His basic worldview is laid out in Malachi’s Message, where he lays out the Philadelphia Church of God’s basic claims, which include the view that he is God’s messenger to bear witness against the Laodicean WCG’s ways.  The most fundamental fallacy in this book is the misappropriation of various Old Testament Scriptures to apply in a VERY SPECIFIC way to the Worldwide Church of God under the leadership of Joseph W. Tkach.  However, below we shall examine what is Gerald Flurry’s Achilles” heel:  his prophetic claims to authority, and their implications.


          First, we must examine some of Mr. Flurry’s claims to prophetic authority.  For IF Malachi’s Message or other writings  by him are inspired by God in the sense Holy Scripture was, then if there are any false predictions or even false statements, he cannot be God’s messenger to the Laodicean WCG or its alleged Laodicean offshoots (i.e. CGI, GCG, UCG, TPM, etc.)  For 100% accuracy is a requirement for a true prophet of God (Deut. 13: 1-5; 18:20-22).  Mr. Flurry says that Malachi’s Message was inspired by God repeatedly:  “If Malachi’s Message is revealed knowledge--it must be from God.  If you see it as such--God also must have revealed that to you” (p. 104, all emphasis throughout is his).  “ALL OF GOD’s MINISTERS ARE GOING TO KNOW MALACHI’s MESSAGE CAME FROM GOD--WHETHER THEY REALIZE IT NOW OR IN THE GREAT TRIBULATION!” (p. 145).  Malachi’s Message was REVEALED by God.  EVERY HUMAN BEING ON THIS EARTH MUST EVENTUALLY COME TO SEE THAT!” (p. 152).  In addition to these weighty claims, he implies he is a prophet on p. 109:  “When the structured ministry fails to repent and do its job, then God says prophets shall arise! (Amos 2:11-12; 3:7-8).”  In addition, in more recent writings, it has been arbitrarily asserted that the “little book” of Rev. 10:9-10 is Malachi’s Message.


           Hence, one way to investigate Mr. Flurry’s spiritual authority would be to see if he made any dogmatic false predictions that were allegedly inspired by God.  If such a prediction exists--which is what I label a ‘smoking gun”--then it will become very easy to direct away from Mr. Flurry’s ministry brethren who has any spiritual discernment.  Hence, there is a need for researcher(s) to go over back issues of the Philadelphia Trumpet  or various booklets Mr. Flurry has written to see if stronger, clearer claims to prophetic inspiration are made, and whether clear false predictions have been made--which is what category his July 17, 1994 World Cup/Auditorium collapse prediction MAY fall into.  Here we should apply the techniques the anticultists tried to use against HWA--but they were never able to find claims of him receiving new direct revelations from God outside of the Bible by visions, etc.  For HWA maintained in Mystery of the Ages (p. xi, 23) that he had gained spiritual truth by a process that has been labeled “illumination” (i.e. God helped him to restore true doctrine through Bible while studying it, NOT separate from it like Joseph Smith, Mary Baker Eddy, etc.)  By contrast, Mr. Flurry appears to be making such prophetic claims clearly, and says HWA did also (see p. 108).


          One key equivocation that is engaged in by Mr. Flurry and his followers is to make the words “prophet” or “prophecy” mean “to give warning.”  While no doubt God’s prophets in both the Old and New Testament did give people warnings, this subtle redefinition allows him or them to explain away errors they may have made in predicting the future. One example of this definition of these terms is found on p. 126:  “There are so many more major prophecies being fulfilled now than in the 15 years prior to HWA’s death--and THE WORLDWIDE CHURCH OF GOD IS PROPHESYING LESS AND LESS!”  Similarly, on p. 108 we find:  “It [Amos 2:12] implies some minister won”t give prophetic warning as they should. . . . “PROPHESY NOT” IS ANOTHER WAY OF SAYING, “DON”T PROPHESY THE WAY HWA DID IN THE PAST!”  The “prophesy not” attitude means there was a time when the WCG had a strong prophecy program. . . . It’s almost the reverse of the way they used to prophesy when HWA was the leader.”  Note how talking and preaching about the subject of “prophecy” gets equated with “prophesying.”  It is simply wrong to equate talking about Bible prophecy and correlating current events and history with what the Old and New Testaments” predict, with receiving visions, dreams, etc. from God.  With this expansive definition of “prophecy,” it becomes harder in the minds of PCG members to use Deut. 13 or 18 in showing that true prophets are infallible when under inspiration in what they say.  Mistaken predictions can be easily swept under the carpet, since one could claim to make a mistaken warning is not a sin, forgetting that if someone says what they are writing is inspired by God directly, it would come under the condemnation of  these scriptures in Deuteronomy if they turn out to be wrong.


          As we can see, Gerald Flurry in Malachi’s Message evidently makes some very serious claims that this book is inspired by God and implies that he is a prophet.  We can counteract this message by finding places where inaccurate predictions are made by Mr. Flurry when they were dogmatically asserted to be inspired by God and telling about these to others interested in the PCG. Unfortunately, the success of the Philadelphia Church of God nowadays with ex-WCG members is largely a product of  the WCG’s overemphasis on discussing prophecy in the past under HWA.  The PCG  badly overemphasizes this subject in the Philadelphia Trumpet, where it can virtually take over entire issues!  Unfortunately, the WCG under Mr. Tkach now underemphasizes what composes about a fourth of the Bible (the old one-third figure was mistaken).  We in the UCG should aim for BALANCE on this subject, and talk and write about it some, while avoiding PCG-style excesses.



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Does Islam cause terrorism?  Click here: /Apologeticshtml/Moral Equivalency Applied Islamic History 0409.htm

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Why does God Allow Evil?  Click here: /Apologeticshtml/Why Does God Allow Evil 0908.htm

Is Christian teaching from ancient paganism? /Bookhtml/Paganism influence issue article Journal 013003.htm

Which is right?:  Judaism or Christianity? /Apologeticshtml/Is Christianity a Fraud vs Conder Round 1.htm

/Apologeticshtml/Is Christianity a Fraud vs Conder Round 2.htm

Should God’s existence be proven? /Apologeticshtml/Should the Bible and God Be Proven Fideism vs WCG.htm

Does the Bible teach blind faith?  Click here: /doctrinalhtml/Gospel of John Theory of Knowledge.htm


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