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PCG founder Gerald Flurry reveals basis of church

By Gerald Flurry

The writer is founder of the Philadelphia Church of God, Edmond, Okla., and editor in chief of The Philadelphia Trumpet magazine. A profile of the PCG appeared in In Transition Dec. 18, 1995. Mr. Flurry released the following article to In Transition.

EDMOND, Okla.--Many people still don't know the real reason why I was disfellowshipped. It was not because of doctrinal changes in the Worldwide Church of God (WCG). That statement may shock some people.

Both John Amos and I were disfellowshipped on Thursday, Dec. 7, 1989. I knew of nobody who would follow us. But we did have a Sabbath meeting on Dec. 16, with 12 people.

Now, only six years later, we have around 4,500 people who attend our services. That number is not astounding. But what that small group does is astounding!

The Philadelphia Church of God (PCG) is on 70 television stations. Most of those stations are of the highest quality, and we have very good times. Television gives us access to about 400 million people around the world! Many of those people can view our program two to three times a week. About 20 percent of our programs have been produced on location in Europe and the Middle East.

Our Philadelphia Trumpet magazine is received in over 60,000 homes and produced in seven languages.

I reached most of our Feast sites (and the world) with two or more sermons during the Feast of Tabernacles. That was done by satellite transmission.

Those are powerful doors that God has opened.

We have 52 ministers worldwide. There are 16 full-time employees and eight part-time employees in Edmond. We operate from three adjoining buildings, which we own.

This is just surface information. I give it to illustrate a point. We have reached this stage of the work in just six years--starting with 12 people.

How did we accomplish such an impact?

The WCG was changing several doctrines the first two years after Mr. Armstrong died. During those two years I was certain that God would solve any problems at headquarters. And anybody who spoke out against them had a bad attitude, or so I reasoned.

There were many similar problems in the 1970s, and God got the church "back on track" through Mr. Armstrong. So just because a church is changing doctrines is no reason--of itself--to leave. There has to be a deeper reason.

God 'moved His lamp'

After two years I began to see that my reasoning was wrong. Five of the seven eras in Revelation 2 and 3 rebelled against God (which is a very dangerous warning to all of God's people). And what did God do? He moved His lamp.

So the only safe method for us is to move when God moves the lamp.

God began to reveal Malachi's Message to me after I saw my error. Some people scoff at this. But it is still true and shall be true forever!

So during 1989 I was writing Malachi's Message, chapter by chapter. I knew it was from God, but I didn't know where it would lead. Initially, it appeared to me that God would use it to get the WCG back on track. Later I was to learn that God was moving His lamp.

There were three families that pressured me to talk to them about the doctrinal changes in the WCG in 1989. John Amos agreed with what I was doing. So we discussed essentially what became Malachi's Message with these three families.

I told them when it was finished it would be presented to Mr. [Joseph] Tkach [Sr.]. However, they decided to talk to Pasadena immediately about what I was doing.

This is what led to my being fired. It was because of Malachi's Message (please write for a free copy). Doctrinal changes were only a part of the process.

Here is where the Philadelphia Church of God differs with all other groups who left the WCG. We believe that Malachi's Message reveals when, where and how God moved His lamp. There is only one lamp. There is no room for division in God's true church (1 Corinthians 1:10).

We believe the other Churches of God have made a deadly mistake about God's end-time Elijah. They don't believe it was Mr. Armstrong. But we believe there is a deeper cause for this misunderstanding.

Government is all-important

This end-time Elijah was to restore all things (Matthew 17:10, 11). That is one of the clearest prophecies in the Bible to prove. If Mr. Armstrong did restore all things, he certainly had to restore God's Family government--upon which all the doctrines are based. As Mr. Armstrong said, "government is everything." Government revolves around the first and most important commandment.

So we believe the real reason God's people reject Mr. Armstrong as the end-time Elijah is because of a government problem.

Perhaps the greatest work ever done on this earth--in terms of numbers--was done by Mr. Armstrong. It would be impossible to do such a work without God's government. The fruits are abundantly clear.

Still, we see all of the other Churches of God adopting a new form of government. We know that can only lead to a dreadful disaster. God only commissioned one man in this end time to restore His government.

Unless we understand the truth about God's end-time Elijah, we'll never be able to find God's lamp today.

God warns all of us that only the "blind" fail to see the lamp. And please remember this: God's lamp will always be shining brightly. However, we must always focus on the message--never the messenger or men. The lamp produces the light of God's revealed Word. God's precious Word is revealed only to people who are babes and childlike--people who submit to God's government. That is the same government established by Herbert W. Armstrong.

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