Open letter to Gerald Flurry from Don Roth
(Editor's note: This letter did not run in the print version of The Journal, but it is referred to and briefly quoted from in articles about the Philadelphia Church of God in the June 30 issue. For more information from Mr. Roth, the writer of this letter, see his Web site: www.tcog.org.)
April 8, 1998
Dear Mr. Flurry,
This is the second letter I am writing to you, though you did not respond to my first letter. Rather than calling me to discuss the issues brought out in the letter, you chose instead to have someone else call and tell me I was disfellowshipped.
You must remember that it was you who ordained me to the ministry. It would seem that just plain courtesy would have required that you make the call to me personally. In the past you have made a point of telling the brethren how other ministers have left without being courteous enough to call and speak with you. Yet you did not take the time to call me. My letter to you was not one of resignation; but a letter requesting that the character assassination that was being perpetrated on Mr. Okamura and myself be addressed.
On page 6 of Malachi's Message (1995 edition throughout this letter), you write, "One of Herbert Armstrong's main complaints in the 1970's WAS AGAINST MINISTERS WHO KNEW WHAT WAS GOING ON, BUT FAILED TO SPEAK OUT!" The last letter I wrote to you, and this one, are written with this statement in mind, and in a spirit of love and concern.
As you have told us in Malachi's Message, it is the love of the Truth that we must have, "Thy word is truth." It is God's word, and the love of that word that will lead His people, ultimately, to the victory of salvation.
Mr. Armstrong taught that one of the great failings of man was not knowing, or understanding history. If we are to understand the present circumstance of the Church, we need to understand its history, and it will provide the guide to Truth.
We know that the history of the Church was laid out for us by Christ in Rev. 2 & 3, in a time order sequence. Herman L. Hoeh in A TRUE HISTORY of the TRUE CHURCH writes:
"The true Christians, who alone comprised the true Church, WERE BEING PUT OUT OF THE VISIBLE ORGANIZED CONGREGATION. They were the SCATTERED ones of whom John said: "Therefore the world knoweth us not" (I John 3:1).
But that did not mean the scattered individuals were not part of the Church. They WERE the Church because they were joined to Christ through the Holy Spirit. Those who drove them out became the FALSE church -- the church of the god of THIS world -- "the synagogue of Satan."
In II Cor. 11, Paul warns of a counterfeit Christ with counterfeit ministers and church. Verse 4 says, "For if he who comes preaches another Jesus whom we have not preached, or if you receive a different spirit which you have not received, or a different gospel which you have not accepted, you may well put up with it." Then in verses 14 and 15 we read, "And no wonder! For Satan himself transforms himself into an angel of light. Therefore, it is no great thing if his ministers also transform themselves into ministers of righteousness, whose end will be according to their works."
In Acts 20, when Paul gives his farewell address to the elders of Ephesus, he warns them, "Therefore, take heed to yourselves and all the flock, among which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers, to shepherd the church of God which He purchased with His own blood. For I know this, that after my departure savage wolves will come in among you, not sparing the flock. Also, from among yourselves men will rise up, speaking perverse things, to draw away the disciples after themselves."
This warning became history as we see in III John, where Diotrephes casts out God's true believers. In Rev. 2:9 and Rev. 3:9 Christ gives a direct warning to both the Symrna and the Philadelphia churches about the synagogue of Satan.
What is this synagogue of Satan, and how does it operate? From the descriptions of Paul and John we understand that Satan worked from within the Church, through men. Satan's most effective delusions are combinations of truth and error. Satan created the synagogue of Satan as a counterfeit church from within the True Church. This is how many were led to eternal destruction.
Only those who could discern the true teachings of Jesus would be able to detect the errors. They were the ones cast out.
The synagogue of Satan was used to accomplish two goals. The first was to lead as many as possible astray through Satan's counterfeit teachings. The second, by historically hiding the True Church, Satan makes it difficult for future generations to know and understand their part in God's plan. The partial success of Satan's plan is shown in the dead church of Sardis.
Hence we find Christ's warning, through Paul and John to the Church of Symrna. "I know the blasphemy of those who say they are Jews and are not, but are a synagogue of Satan." Rev. 2:9. This synagogue of Satan was a group that crept in unawares according to Jude. There are only two churches that Christ warns about the synagogue of Satan--Smyrna and Philadelphia.
The Church of Smyrna was poor in worldly goods; but rich in spiritual understanding. He told them that they would suffer much persecution; but if they held fast they would receive a crown of life (Kingship). What we are to understand is that the synagogue of Satan is a very close counterfeit of God's True Church. They would be defined as someone, or group, who thinks that they are following Christ. Therefore, they are believers who have left the faith through deception, and are trying to get others to follow them, being oblivious to the fact that they are the ones who are no longer following Christ. The True Church of Smyrna never bought Satan's counterfeiting, and God commended them for it.
Understanding how, and why, God removes His lamp from one church and starts the next church era is very important to everyone who truly wants to follow Christ. The Great God does nothing without reason and forethought, and He reveals to His people, His very elect, that plan, so they can understand, and then cannot be led astray.
In Malachi's Message you plainly tell us the reason for removing the lamp, and how that removal was accomplished. On page 4 you tell how Dr. Hoeh describes the fall of God's Ephesus church into that of the Greek Orthodox church. This shows that God does not move the lamp until the church goes astray, and the people who follow Christ are cast out.
On page 36 of Malachi's Message you quote Dr. Hoeh's 1982 sermon on church eras again:
"The last stage of the church is Laodicea, and logically in history we should expect that an outgrowth and ultimately a separate candlestick, a separate government is the outcome of this." Continuing the quote, "If we look at the history of church eras, Dr. Hoeh says, we should expect a "separate government" for the Laodicean church."
By looking at the above statements we see three factors that exist when Christ removes His lamp. The first is the leader who controls the church organization and changes the true doctrines of God. Second, he casts out the faithful members. Third, these members start a new church in a new location, with a new leader; thus begins a new church era.
Mr. Flurry, you explained these conditions, then you went on to say something altogether different happens to the Philadelphia era. Continuing the quote from Malachi's Message:
"Yet if the Laodiceans are in control, it is the Philadelphians who must start a new organization, or pull away and continue the old organization by REESTABLISHING THE PHILADELPHIA STANDARD."
You make a big leap in logic when you say that it could only be the Laodiceans in control of the church at that time (WCG). You give no biblical support for such an important conclusion. This question needs to be answered from God's word. Was it the Laodiceans or another group that took control of the WCG?
Mr. Flurry, by saying it was the Laodiceans who gained control of the Philadelphia era you have failed to remember how history has shown us what happened to the Smyrna era; how the synagogue of Satan attempted to overcome them. When applying this history lesson to the Philadelphia era we can better understand what happened to them.
The only place to find Truth is in God's word. The love of the Truth should always lead us there. The whole history of the Philadelphia era is told in Rev. 3:7-13. By understanding these verses the True history will be revealed. Re-reading Rev. 3, starting in verse 7: "And to the angel of the church in Philadelphia write [to the human messenger, Mr. Armstrong]. These things says He who is holy, He who is true, He who has the Key of David, He who opens and no one shuts, and shuts and no one opens." Christ says He is going to give Mr. Armstrong the Truth, the Key of David, and open doors for him.
Rev. 3:8 "I know your works (He knew that facet of the man He chose, that he would be a worker) for you have little strength, [Though weak, God would hold open doors to go forward with God's strength] have kept my word; [in order to keep God's word you must understand it. Mr. Armstrong restored it and kept it] and have not denied my name" [He always looked to the Father and recognized His authority]. God here has given a synopsis of Mr. Armstrong and his work.
In Rev. 3:9 we find a startling change in direction and subject. Verse 8 told us all about Mr. Armstrong, a summation of his life's work, typical of the previous histories of the church eras, given in Revelation. We must remember that roughly a 2000 year period is covered in only two chapters. One verse is what you can expect to cover the fifty year period of Mr. Armstrong. This summation shows that this is the end of Mr. Armstrong's work.
Verse 9 reveals a new group that gains control of the Church. "Indeed I will make those of the synagogue of Satan, who say they are Jews and are not, but lie"--[As previously shown from the Smyrna era we now know that the synagogue of Satan is his counterfeit church. They are saying they are the true Christians; but Christ tells us they are lying. Who is doing the lying? It is the synagogue of Satan and its leader, who is now in control of the Church (WCG). It cannot be the Laodiceans because Christ is still talking about the Philadelphia era of the church. The prophecy for the Laodiceans does not start until verse 14.]Ö."indeed I will make them come and worship before your feet, and to know that I have loved you."
Christ is saying here that the synagogue of Satan has the power right now, but He will change that. Those of the synagogue of Satan will see that the Philadelphians had it right, and that is why Christ loves them. When you love someone you protect them. He will keep them from the hour of trial.
Do you see, Mr. Flurry, that this is the great battle that you and Mr. John Amos started with Malachi's Message? You showed that the ministry failed to stand up and fight this great deception; but you were not fighting against the Laodiceans, in fact you were fighting the synagogue of Satan. This is the battle I willingly joined along with you and many others.
Chapter 2 of II Thes. tells us what to expect just prior to Christ's return. Therefore, it is a companion scripture to Rev. 3:7-22, which covers this same period of time. The details not supplied in the one are given in the other. Rev.3:9 corresponds to II Thes.2:3-8.
II Thes. 2:1-8 is all about Satan gaining control through the man of sin, who leads the Philadelphia era astray. Satan builds a counterfeit church from within God's Church through this man. As you say in Malachi's Message, many of the brethren are led into oblivion. It becomes plain that they end up in the synagogue of Satan, not in the Laodicean church.
On page 79 of Malachi's Message you state that Paul would have said the synagogue of Satan if he had meant it. In response to this I would point out that Paul never uses the phrase "synagogue of Satan" in any of his writings. In fact, he never uses the word "synagogue," yet he makes very bold references to it in II Cor. 11 and Gal. 1. He shows how Satan and his agents put on godlike appearances to gain control of the church, and this is exactly what happened during the Philadelphia era. This is what God is telling us in Rev. 3:9.
II Thes. 2:3 says, "For that day will not come unless the falling away comes first and the man of sin is revealed, the Son of Perdition." The falling away is the result of what the man of sin does after the death of Mr. Armstrong. II Thes 2:3-8 is an expanded explanation of Rev. 3:9. This is the precise reason that God removes His lamp. The leadership leads the Church astray, and then Christ removes the lamp. When Mr. Tkach took the WCG off track Christ removed the lamp--NOT BEFORE!
In Malachi's Message, page 5, you summarize this process for us:
"So how did the people leave the Ephesus era organization and develop a whole new organization? Certain members were "cast out." This is probably how God's loyal people started a new church in the Ephesus era. It would seem many, if not all of those loyal to Christ and John were cast out. The point is, those close to God follow Jesus Christ--not the deceived leaders in God's church."
Again, quoting Malachi's Message on page 6:
"Did you know that historically most of God's churches, or church eras, have gone astray? (Read Rev. 2 & 3.) Why were they deceived? Because the people blindly followed human government--not the government of Jesus Christ."
On page 59 of Malachi's Message you say that the Philadelphia era was completed when Mr. Armstrong died, because Mr. Armstrong had restored all things. Here you disagree with your own previous statements in Malachi's Message, and you disagree with what God says in Rev. 3, as already stated.
There is only one reason that God removes the lamp, and that is because its leader leads the church astray. As long as that leader is following Christ the lampstand stays put. History has shown us that many members of the WCG believed God would lead Mr. Tkach to put the church back on track, and many waited in futility. They failed to understand the two most basic principles of God's plan that Mr. Armstrong taught, and these principles are not found in the 18 restored truths first listed by Joe Tkach in the Worldwide News of 1986. This very basic, trunk of the tree knowledge, taught by Mr. Armstrong, was: first, that man was a free moral agent; that we need to personally choose the way to go when called by God the Father. Second: God is creating righteous character in those whom He is calling. This creation of righteous character represents the epitomy of God's creating power. We need to remember that God's whole plan revolves around these two principles. He will never compromise them. God never forces anyone to change. That is why the lampstand had to be removed when the leader took the church astray. He will not change the mind of any leader.
On page 58 of Mystery of the Ages (soft bound copy), Mr. Armstrong makes the following statement about the above:
"But there was one super-important quality that even God's creative powers could not create instantly by fiat---the same perfect, holy, righteous CHARACTER inherent in both God and the Word!
This kind of character must be DEVELOPED, by the CHOICE and the INTENT of the one in whom it comes to exist.
So mark well this super-vital truism---that perfect, holy and righteous character is the supreme feat of accomplishment possible for Almighty God the Creator---it is also the means to His ultimate supreme PURPOSE! His final objective!"
In the 1970's Mr. Armstrong recognized that he was allowing the Church to go astray. He demonstrated his free moral agency by exercising his godly character in trying to correct the problem, thus preventing the lampstand from being removed.
Once we understand this trunk of the tree truth, free moral agency and the development of righteous character, it is easy to see that God will not, cannot force, any leader to go the right way. If the leader goes astray God chooses a new leader and removes the candlestick.
It is easily seen in Rev. 2 & 3 that the new era is started when the existing leader goes astray, and casts out the few who see the deception and remain faithful. God gives them new leadership and a new location. These three criteria are always met.
Now, if we take a second look at the Church's recent past history with these facts in mind, we will understand where the Laodicean church is today, and who they are. The lamp was not moved upon the death of Mr. Armstrong. The church did not go off-track at his death. God would not condemn a church leader, or remove His lamp from a church until they were actually led astray by that leader. God plainly shows in the parable of the fig tree He would first fertilize the tree to see if it could be saved before He would cut it down. God does His utmost to save the lost sheep, not willing to lose any.
There is nothing written about the Philadelphia era that tells us it would not go astray. To the contrary, we have already seen in Rev.3:9, that it would go astray under the synagogue of Satan. The Philadelphians receive a second warning in Rev. 3:11. The individual member is told to "hold fast that no man take your crown." This second warning applies to Rev. 3:14-22, the coming of the next church era, Laodicea, and its leader.
Mr. Tkach first took over the leadership of the WCG, and then led it astray. At the time of his ascension to power there was no change in location or doctrine, and no need for the faithful to leave because he had not started to lead them astray. None of the reasons for God to remove the lampstand were present at the death of Mr. Armstrong. Obviously the lampstand was not removed at that time. However, by December of 1989 all three requirements were met. The headquarters location was moved to Edmond, OK by a small group of faithful members who were cast out, and God chose a new leader, you, Mr. Flurry. God removed the lamp from the Philadelphia era and the Laodicean era began.
It must now be clear to you, Mr. Flurry, that the Philadelphians have had to face two threats. The first was from the synagogue of Satan and the man of sin. The second is from the Laodicean church and its leader.
As we look back we see that the first threat was blatant. The old Protestant doctrines were dressed up with a new face and fed as new enlightenment by Mr. Tkach, who, as you say in Malachi's Message was the prophetic fulfillment of Judas.
The second threat was far more clever. It was a "working of error", that had all of the trappings of righteousness, but in fact was "the lie" of II Thes. 2, verse 11.
Let us review that lukewarm church of Rev. 3 to better understand what we can expect to find in its fulfillment of this end time era. Rev. 3:14 says, "And to the angel [the man leading this church,] of the church of the Laodiceans write, These things says the Amen, the Faithful and True Witness, the Beginning of the Creation of God": [His being the Creator is the guarantee for, and of, His faithfulness as the Witness and Amen.] He is telling the Laodiceans that these are His credentials, and that means that they especially need to pay attention to the awful things that He has to say about them.
Rev. 3:15, "I know your works, that you are neither cold nor hot. I would that you were cold or hot. So because you are lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot I am about to vomit you out of my mouth."
There have been many explanations for this lukewarm attitude. For example: they were lackadaisical, not willing to work wholeheartedly, or, they start out hot for the work and wear down, to become lukewarm. None of which truly explain the depth of the meaning of lukewarm that Christ wants to impart. The ensuing verses do not indicate an unwillingness to work or a wearing down. They show instead a strong work ethic. "I am rich, I have become wealthy." Wealth, either physical or spiritual, is only attained through diligent work.
What is Christ trying to tell them? What is Christ's greatest concern for His people? Is it not the salvation of His people? Then it must be the attitude toward salvation that He is referring to.
Christ is saying here that they are lukewarm about their salvation. He is asking, 'Do you understand what you are giving up? You are giving up living forever in a society that is a joy because everyone in it will have the character of the Father. You are giving up being a King in my Kingdom. You are giving up being part of completing the creation of the universe.'
If you said that to any of the brethren, they would tell you that they do desperately care; that they do want to be part of all that. Then where does the problem lie? Is it that the leader of the Laodicean church will tell them a new way, a much simpler way, a guaranteed way for them to reach the place of safety and salvation?
On page 144 of Malachi's Message you write, "Backing and supporting this message is your ticket to a place of safety and a magnificent reward." You know that God's people equate going to a place of safety with salvation. If you make it there you are pretty sure of going into the first resurrection. Do you realize that you have put salvation up for sale? How many times have you made a point of letting the brethren know about the big donations of $50,000, $l00,000 and more dollars. You have personally told me not to offend certain persons because they are big donors. At the 1998 Ministerial Conference the ministers were told to strongly encourage our elderly, retired members to find some kind of job so they could contribute more money to the work. The emphasis is taken away from serving the brethren in any way they can, to a guilt trip about money for the work. Christ and the Father hate this attitude!
Being lukewarm means placing your salvation in the hands of another human being, or in an organization. You have put the wrong kind of fear into the hearts of God's people, implying that if in some way they offend, or do not show special honor to the ministry, (only God deserves honor,) especially the headquarters ministry, those in a position of power, they will be cast out. I have heard one headquarters minister complain that the people did not show him enough honor when he visited one of the local congregations, and he was serious about it!
Christ tells us in Eph. 4:11-13 what a true church leader should be doing. "And He Himself gave some to be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, and some pastors and teachers, (Why?) -- for the equipping of the saints, (that is, to provide the people with knowledge and understanding of what they must do to achieve that qualifying character) -- for the work of the ministry, (to provide the ministry with a supporting structure for the growth of the work,) for the edifying of the body of Christ, (the building up of the people as a temple,) till we all come to the unity of the faith, and the knowledge of the Son of God, to a perfect man, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ;" (Till our understanding is complete and we have developed that magnificent character of Christ.)
Is this not what Mr. Armstrong told Mr. Tkach to do? Is this not what we should see happening in God's Church today? Yet, what is preached to the brethren? You have said, "When a person makes one of those large donations to the PCG it shows that person has faith." By over emphasizing the financial aspect of the work, the corporate church appears as having more importance than the building of character in the body of Christ.
Continuing in Rev. 3:17, "Because you say, 'I am rich, and have become wealthy, and have need of nothing'-- and do not know that you are wretched, miserable, poor, blind, and naked."
In Adam Clark's commentary we find an apt description of this church:
"I am rich." You suppose yourself to be in a safe state, perfectly sure of your final salvation, because you have begun well and laid the right foundation; (The foundation from Mr. Armstrong.) It was this most deceitful conviction that cut the nerves of their spiritual diligence; they rested in what they had already received, and seemed to think that once in grace must be still in grace.
"Thou are most wretched." Instead of being children of God as they supposed, and infallible heirs of the kingdom, they were, in the sight of God, in the condition of the most abject slaves. Most deplorable, to be pitied by all men. Having no spiritual riches, no holiness of heart. The eyes of your understanding being darkened, so that you do not see your state. A more deplorable state in spiritual things can scarcely be imagined.
Several times in Malachi's Message you tell us that a church organization is Laodicean because they have changed the doctrines that Mr. Armstrong restored. You say their doctrines are off, and therefore they are Laodicean. When other church eras had doctrinal problems Christ told them of the problems, and condemned them for it. But, for Laodicea there is no mention or hint of a doctrinal problem, as we have plainly seen.
Christ does tell the Laodiceans that they are self-righteous and pharisaical, that money, power, and stature are more important to them than concern for the brethren. No wonder Christ is so upset with this Church era! He is forced to stand outside and knock!
Christ tells us in Rev. 3 that Philadelphians must first overcome the synagogue of Satan, and secondly not be taken in by the Laodiceans. This means they are facing two different types of threats from two different men. The first is from the man of sin, the son of perdition (II Thes. 2:3). We know this to be the end time fulfillment of Judas. A Judas type betrayal. Judas was taken over and controlled by Satan. II Thes. 2:8 closes this prophecy about the son of perdition with his demise.
The second man is the messenger to the Laodicean era. He is the one who is selling the place of safety. The lukewarm attitude is one of placing your salvation in the hands of another--the hands of the Laodicean leader. This is the only way a man could take the crown of another.
Just as John tells us in Rev. 3:11 to hold fast, showing that this second threat is coming from the leader of the next era, so Paul tells us the same thing in II Thes. 2:9-10:
"That one whose arrival is due to Satan's activity, with the full power, the miracles and portents of falsehood, and with full deceitfulness of evil for those who are doomed to perish, since they refuse to love the truth that would save them." (Moffatt)
This second man's arrival, (the Laodicean leader,) is the result of what Satan did through the man of sin, the son of perdition, (the leader of the synagogue of Satan,) the first man. The second man, the leader of the Laodicean church, exposes the treachery and betrayal of the first man by showing how he changed God's doctrines, and then goes on to lead the brethren into the Laodicean era. His deception is accomplished by perpetrating the lukewarm attitude, using the doctrines of the True Church as a cloak to disguise his lie. (The lie.) This is the strongest form of delusion--hiding a lie within the truth.
The Laodicean leader's victory over the man of sin has caused him to become self-confident, and allowed Satan to cloud his mind with a self-righteous attitude.
In II Thes. 2:11 from the Interlinear Bible:
"And because of thisÖ(Because they failed to cling to the Truth,) God will send to them a working of error, for them to believe the lie." ("The first noun, energeria, is translated, "working". It means operative power, thus working. In the New Testament, it is used only of super-human power: God, Satan, etc. J.A.Robinson writes, There is no reason therefore, for departing from the first meaning of the word error, which is wandering from the way; therefore, metaphorically, error as opposed to truth.")
WHAT IS THE LIE? The lie is that the leader of the PCG is telling his members that through their support of his church they will receive salvation. Malachi's Message, on page 144 epitomizes the lukewarm attitude by saying, "Backing and supporting this message is your ticket to a place of safety and a magnificent reward. This is how God makes up His jewels!" Here you are promising a place of safety to those who support the work of the PCG. It is the development of our character that God measures when He makes up His jewels, not the supporting of any work.
Matt.7:22, "Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Your name, cast out demons in Your name, and done many wonders in Your name? (TV programs and the printing of magazines,) and then I will declare to them, I never knew you; depart from me, you who practice lawlessness." (Lack of love)
One of the main reasons Christ came to this earth was to show His true character, His love of the people, that His real concern was for their well being. The many miracles and healings demonstrated this overwhelming love and concern. He gave His life to show us how desperately He desires to be our personal savior; that we may have a personal relationship with Him and His Father.
We see, at Christ's death, in Matt. 27: 50-51, "Jesus, when He cried out with a loud voice, yielded up His spirit, And behold, the veil of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom; and the earth quaked, and the rocks were split." This mighty event pointed back to Ex. 20 when the Eternal spoke directly to the people. The same physical events mark Christ's direct intervention with the people on both occasions. The veil was rent. No longer would any man or organization have God's authority to stand between Christ and His people! The death of Jesus not only gives us the present benefit of healing with the hope of salvation; but also the abiding gift of the Holy Spirit to directly connect us with God.
One of the great problems God's people have always had was their reluctance to deal with God one on one. Think how the people wanted Moses to deal with God in their stead. In Ex.19:20 "They said to Moses, "You speak with us and we will hear: but let not God speak with us lest we die." They continued their rejection of God in I Sam.8:7. "And the Eternal said to Samuel: Heed the voice of the people in all that they say to you: for they have not rejected you, but they have rejected me, that I should not reign over them."
God's people seem to be reluctant to deal directly with God. They appear to have a hidden fear of this one to one relationship with God. They feel very comfortable having a man, or an organization standing between them and God. The Laodicean leader capitalizes on this desire, and separates the people from Jesus, and as a result, Christ stands outside knocking. Are you going to let Him in?
What I have said in this letter about having a lukewarm attitude equaling the placing of one's salvation in the hands of another person, or group, applies to anyone, whether they are in the PCG, WCG, UCG, GCG, or any other church organization. Our salvation is totally dependent on overcoming Satan and developing that sterling character of Christ and the Father. It is our personal responsibility to understand what we are being taught, and that this teaching is consistent with the word of God.
Through your own writing in Malachi's Message, through history, and God's word it is shown how and why the lampstand is removed. Rev. 2 & 3 reveals to us that there are seven church eras, and each one of those eras has its own government and headquarters location. The Philadelphia era was located in Pasadena; the Laodicean era, the seventh and final era, is located in Edmond, OK.
Mr. Flurry, you are in a difficult position. When one battles Satan, he may find himself to be the very enemy he started out to defeat. Self-righteousness is the most difficult sin to see in oneself. Repentance and leading the PCG back to Christ would be a great victory over Satan. It is of the utmost importance that you once again become the servant of Christ and the brethren, helping God's people to achieve that all important goal of building the character of Christ in themselves, to become sons and daughters of God. THIS IS THE VERY HEART OF GOD'S PLAN!! It is you who must now face the same choice that Mr. Armstrong faced, whether to change the direction of this Laodicean church, or lead them into the Tribulation.
"The seven stars are the angels (messengers) of the seven churches, and the seven lampstands which you saw are the seven churches." Rev. 1:20.
"Remember therefore from where you have fallen; repent and do the first works, or else I will come to you quickly and remove your lampstand from its place--unless you repent." Rev. 2:5.
There are only seven lampstands and seven locations for them. The lamp is now in its final location. The next work to appear will be that of the two witnesses. WE AWAIT THEIR APPEARANCE!
In Christ's Service,
PO Box 406
Hustisford, WI 53034
© The Journal: News of the Churches of God