“And I will feed the flock of slaughter, even you, O poor of the flock. And I took unto me two staves; the one I called Beauty, and the other I called Bands; and I fed the flock.” (Zechariah 11:7)
According to Mr. Flurry, this “flock of slaughter” is referring to the Laodiceans, while the “poor of the flock” refers to the Philadelphians. (pp. 73, 76, Zechariah: The Sign of Christ’s Imminent Return)
The prophet Zechariah is showing us in verse 7, two staffs or two rods (see Strong’s Concordance). A rod according to Mr. Flurry symbolizes government, and that is, God’s government (Revelation 11:1). These two rods symbolizes the two prominent men in this end-time who were given God’s government – Mr. Herbert Armstrong and Mr. Gerald Flurry: “the one I called Beauty, and the other I called Bands.”
“And I took my staff, even Beauty, and cut it asunder, that I might break my covenant which I had made with all the people.” (verse 10). God BROKE THE COVENANT, because the people rebelled! …“And it [the covenant] was broken in that day: and so the poor of the flock that waited upon me knew that it was the word of the Lord” (Zechariah 11:11). This verse is talking about the faithful Philadelphian remnant—the poor, humble people who wait on God. (pp. 75-76, ibid.)
Why did God called Mr. Armstrong as the staff Beauty? Well, for several reasons: Mr. Armstrong as the end-time Elijah, restored all things (Matthew 17:11), he preached the gospel of the coming Kingdom of God as a witness unto all nations – to kings, emperors, presidents, prime ministers and other prominent leaders in the world (Matthew 24:14). He gave honor and glory to God by building Him a beautiful house (Haggai 2:9). He built and finished the Philadelphia era (Zechariah 4:9; Revelation 3:7-13). What a beautiful sight in God’s eyes was this staff Beauty! He fulfilled the Matthew 24:14 prophecy: “And this gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in all the world for a witness unto all nations; and then shall the end come.”
Then the staff Beauty was “cut asunder”: God’s government was broken – Mr. Armstrong was taken out of the way (2 Thessalonians 2:7)! The Philadelphians “knew that it was the word of the Lord” through the book Malachi’s Message.
But notice carefully the reason why the staff has been broken:
“And I cut off the three shepherds in one month; for my soul was weary of them, and their soul also loathed me” (v. 8).
Here is what Mr. Flurry said about these 3 shepherds:
Who are these shepherds? The commentaries don’t know.I believe this must be the same “three shepherds”—a mother church and two larger breakaway Laodicean churches—that I wrote about in the Hosea booklet (request your free copy). Hosea dealt with a whorish mother and two illegitimate children. (p. 74, ibid.)
Is it also possible that those 3 shepherds also refer to Cain, Balaam, and Korah? – For they had been a type of those people that destroys God’s Church since the first century. And it seems to indicate here that those three shepherds shall still be involved with the staff Beauty and Bands. The three shepherds epitomize the prevailing spirit during the Ephesian era, and Jude wrote about them for our time!
“Woe unto them! for they have gone in the way of Cain, and ran greedily after the error of Balaam for reward, and perished in the gainsaying of Core” (Jude 1:11)
“Then said I, I will not feed you: that that dieth, let it die; and that that is to be cut off, let it be cut off; and let the rest eat every one the flesh of another” (v. 9).
- that that dieth, let it die – referring to Cain when he killed his brother Abel
- that that is to be cut off, let it be cut off – referring to Balaam when he cut himself off from God by lusting for material things. He also allowed Israel to be cut off in exchange for a reward.
- and let the rest eat every one the flesh of another – referring to Korah by dividing and ripping apart Israel when he rebelled against Moses. (As JFB Commentary puts it referring to this verse: “Let them madly perish by MUTUAL DISCORDS”)
So God broke the staff Beauty; “cut it asunder, that I (God) might break my covenant which I (God) had made with all the people.” God BROKE THE COVENANT, because the people rebelled!
Mr. Armstrong was “taken out of the way” – the rod, God’s government was broken then. After the staff Beauty (Mr. Armstrong) was broken, this was what transpired:
In verse 12 we read;
“And I said unto them, If ye think good, give me my price; and if not, forbear. So they weighed for my price thirty pieces of silver.”
There was a Judas type betrayal which the staff Bands (Mr. Flurry) dealt with: At first, during the court case battle for Mr. Armstrong’s works, the PCG paid money to the WCG in exchange for selling the copyrights. From the Raising the Ruins book, it reads:
At a December 18 hearing, as a follow up to her tentative order, the judge said she was wasn’t inclined to change her tentative ruling. Two days after that hearing, the WCG seemed all more eager to settle, lowering its licensing offer to a $3 million bottom line…
After weighing our options for several days, we reached a final decision on Monday, January 13, 2003: $2.65 million for the WCG to ‘grant PCG a worldwide, nonexclusive, perpetual, irrevocable, fully paid up, non-royalty-bearing license’ to all 19 works. Under the agreement, the copyright notice would read ‘ c Herbert W. Armstrong’. The next day, to our amazement and shock, the WCG asked us to submit an alternative offer for buying the copyrights outright…
On Thursday morning, January 16 – 17 years to the day after Herbert W. Armstrong’s death – the WCG agreed to sell us all the copyrights for $3 million. …Later that day, Mark Helm and the WCG’s attorney conference-called Judge Snyder to tell her that both sides had agreed to terms of settlement. Thus for all intents and purposes, six years of litigation ended afternoon of January 16, 2003.” (p. 325-326)
Was it a mere coincidence that the SETTLEMENT DEAL to pay $3 MILLION for Mr. Armstrong’s works even fell on his death anniversary on January 16 – when the staff Beauty was broken? This is the very specific fulfillment of Zechariah 11:12! – “If ye think good, give me my price; and if not, forbear. So they weighed for my price thirty pieces of silver.” It’s like saying, “if you think it’s a good deal, then pay me up $3 million for the copyrights to Mr. Armstrong’s works and it will be over.”
THE POTTER IN GOD’S HOUSE
“And the LORD said unto me, Cast it unto the potter: a goodly price that I was prised at of them. And I took the thirty pieces of silver, and cast them to the potter in the house of the LORD.” (Zechariah 11:13)
This verse in Zechariah was fulfilled when Judas betrayed Christ for thirty pieces of silver:
“Then Judas, which had betrayed him, when he saw that he was condemned, repented himself, and brought again the thirty pieces of silver to the chief priests and elders, Saying, I have sinned in that I have betrayed the innocent blood. And they said, What is that to us? see thou to that. And he cast down the pieces of silver in the temple, and departed, and went and hanged himself. And the chief priests took the silver pieces, and said, It is not lawful for to put them into the treasury, because it is the price of blood.”And they took counsel, and bought with them the potter’s field, to bury strangers in. Wherefore that field was called, The field of blood, unto this day. Then was fulfilled that which was spoken by Jeremy the prophet, saying, And they took the thirty pieces of silver, the price of him that was valued, whom they of the children of Israel did value” (Matthew 27:3-9)
But why was Jeremiah mentioned here, while it was Zechariah who wrote about it? Well, there is indeed a coded connection. Let’s start in Jeremiah 18:
“The word which came to Jeremiah from the LORD, saying, Arise, and go down to the potter’s house, and there I will cause thee to hear my words. Then I went down to the potter’s house, and, behold, he wrought a work on the wheels. And the vessel that he made of clay was marred in the hand of the potter: so he made it again another vessel, as seemed good to the potter to make it. Then the word of the LORD came to me, saying, O house of Israel, cannot I do with you as this potter? saith the LORD. Behold, as the clay is in the potter’s hand, so are ye in mine hand, O house of Israel.” (vv. 1-6)
The potter here refers to God and we are the clay. And like the potter, God is implying that –
“when a lump of clay that he designed to form into one shape either proved too stiff, or had a stone in it, or some way or other came to be marred in his hand, he presently turned it into another shape; if it will not serve for a vessel of honour, it will serve for a vessel of dishonour, just as seems good to the potter.” (Matthew Henry Commentary)
To better understand this subject, let’s further consider the steps in pottery making:
Lessons from …THE MASTER POTTER
There are seven important steps in pottery making. First, let us briefly examine these seven steps. Then we shall draw the crucial spiritual analogy — how God actually develops spiritual character within the lives of the ‘clay models’ with whom He is directly dealing.
Seven Vital Steps
(1) The master potter must first SELECT the type of clay which he wants to use in making a specific piece of pottery. There are many types and colors of clays — each with its own particular advantages.
(2) The potter then lets this clay age, weather, or ferment — until it ‘STINKS’ and is therefore ready for use.
(3) Next, the potter WEDGES — kneads, beats, treads upon or pummels — the clay to remove lumps, air bubbles, etc., and to make it more pliable.
(4) The potter is then ready to begin actually shaping and forming the clay into whatever shape or design he has chosen. Throughout this process it is necessary to add WATER or OIL to keep the clay malleable.
(5) Once the potter has shaped the clay, he then puts it into a furnace (or kiln) where it is heated until it reaches its “maturing point.” This initial BAKING, or FIRING in the furnace, permanently sets or hardens the vessel in its desired form so that it can never be altered.
(6) After the first firing of the clay model, it is removed from the fire, let cool, DECORATED and finally glazed over. This newly-glazed pottery is then given a second firing to bake these decorations onto the clay model. (There are often several decorations and firings before the pottery vessel reaches its ultimate perfection of beauty. The FINAL DECORATIVE WORK may include fine gold, silver or other beautiful and precious metals arrayed in artistic patterns.)
(7) Finally the potter is ready to JUDGE his work. If the clay model hasn’t cracked, exploded or become marred in some way during these firings, it is at last ready to be used in whatever manner the designer and creator may decide.
(From The Good News, September-October 1970)
Now that we have mentioned the seven vital steps in pottery making, let’s consider what the prophet Zechariah discussed in verse 13 – the “potter in the house of the LORD”; and when we compare it to that of the account in Matthew 27, the thirty pieces of silver was thrown back “to the chief priests and elders” in the temple!
Were those priests and elders, the same people being referred to by Zechariah as the “potter in the house of the Lord”?
Well, as we shall see, they are without a doubt one and the same, since they were responsible for molding and shaping the minds of the people. The priests and the elders were supposed to be God’s hands in molding and shaping the spiritual image of the people to conform to that of the image of God Father.
But what have they done? They did just the opposite – they formed and shaped the minds of the people to conform unto THEIR image which is actually SATAN’S. Even Judas Iscariot became conformed to the image of Satan and he was even called the “son of perdition”! While Judas became a vessel of dishonor, Jesus Christ formed and shaped the minds of His disciples to conform unto the image of His Father in heaven and they became a vessel of honor and were eventually called the “sons of God.”
“Woe unto him that striveth with his Maker! Let the potsherd strive with the potsherds of the earth. Shall the clay say to him that fashioneth it, What makest thou? or thy work, He hath no hands?” (Isaiah 45:9)
“Hands” in this verse is the same Hebrew word that was used in Zechariah 4:9 and in the Strong’s Concordance it means this way:
“a hand – the open one indicating power, means, direction, etc., ministry, power”
The ministers are supposed to be God’s hands in doing His Work and of molding and shaping the minds of every member in God’s Church to conform unto the image of God the Father.
Now let’s see how a mere lump of clay could strive and contend with the Master Potter – in Luke 22 we read:
“And the chief priests and scribes sought how they might kill him (Jesus Christ); for they feared the people. Then entered Satan into Judas surnamed Iscariot, being of the number of the twelve. And he went his way, and communed with the chief priests and captains, how he might betray him unto them. And they were glad, and covenanted to give him money. And he promised, and sought opportunity to betray him unto them in the absence of the multitude.” (verses 2-6)
Would it also be true today if we say that the ministry is responsible for such actions, whether they form a vessel of honor conforming to the image of God or shape a vessel of dishonor conforming to the image of Satan? Is Christ coming in their flesh or is it Satan coming in their flesh? Depending on who is coming in their flesh, the resultant product will become a type of which vessel has been made – unto honor or unto dishonor – and God is allowing it as He sees fit in His plan. (2 Timothy 2:20-21)
In physical man, made of the dust of the ground, God created the material with which He may mold, shape, form and create the spiritual being. He pictures us as the clay, Himself as the Potter—forming us into the spiritual image of His designing. (Royal Vision, May-June 2003)
As the Apostle Paul wrote: “Hath not the potter power over the clay, of the same lump to make one vessel unto honour, and another unto dishonour? What if God, willing to show his wrath, and to make his power known, endured with much longsuffering the vessels of wrath fitted to destruction: And that he might make known the riches of his glory on the vessels of mercy, which he had afore prepared unto glory” (Romans 9:21-23)
“Hath not the potter power over the clay – The apostle continues his answer to the Jew. Hath not God shown, by the parable of the potter, Jer. 18:1, etc., that He may justly dispose of nations, and of the Jews in particular, according as He in his infinite wisdom may judge most right and fitting; even as the potter has a right, out of the same lump of clay, to make one vessel to a more honorable and another to a less honorable use, as his own judgment and skill may direct; for no potter will take pains to make a vessel merely that he may show that he has power to dash it to pieces?” (Clarke’s Commentary)
Is it possible then that the ministers in God’s Church could also form and shape an individual’s mind through the use of their own human nature which is actually Satan’s nature, and while in utter ignorance, they are actually molding that individual in conformance to the image of Satan? And if that would be so, then it is tantamount to being called a carved image of Satan, spiritually speaking! A very good example is Judas Iscariot, who is even called “the SON of perdition” – and who is his FATHER? Satan the devil!
Christ even told the Pharisees:
“Ye are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father ye will do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and abode not in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own: for he is a liar, and the father of it.” (John 8:44)
Again for emphasis, if a so called minister in God’s Church form and shape an individual’s mind through the use of their own human nature will eventually be conformed to the image of Satan, then that individual shall actually become a spiritual graven image of Satan the devil.
The same is true on the opposite side of it, when a minister in God’s Church form and shape an individual’s mind using God’s Holy Spirit, that individual shall be conformed to the image of God the Father. That’s why our REPENTANCE MUST BE TOWARDS GOD, so that we shall be converted and conformed unto the image of God.
As we can see from the verses in Zechariah and in Matthew, how important the role of the priests or the ministers is: Being a potter in God’s Church, they are accountable to God for whatever happens to the clay (lay member) once it has taken its final form. The Apostle Paul asks;
“Hath not the potter power over the clay, of the same lump to make one vessel unto honour, and another unto dishonour?” (Romans 9:21)
THE POTTER’S FIELD
“And I said unto them, If ye think good, give me my price; if not, forbear. So they weighed for my price thirty pieces of silver. And the LORD said unto me, Cast it unto the potter: a goodly price that I was prised at of them. And I took the thirty pieces of silver, and cast them to the potter in the house of the LORD.” (Zechariah 11:12- 13)
Again who is the “potter in the house of the Lord”? It’s the chief priests and the elders!
“Then Judas, which had betrayed him, when he saw that he was condemned, repented himself, and brought again the thirty pieces of silver to the chief priests and elders, Saying, I have sinned in that I have betrayed the innocent blood. And they said, What is that to us? see thou to that. And he cast down the pieces of silver in the temple, and departed, and went and hanged himself. And the chief priests took the silver pieces…” (Matthew 27:3-6).
But what has the chief priests done to those 30 silver pieces that was used as payment to betray Christ?
“And they took counsel, and bought with them the potter’s field, to bury strangers in. Wherefore that field was called, The field of blood, unto this day. Then was fulfilled that which was spoken by Jeremy the prophet, saying, And they took the thirty pieces of silver, the price of him that was valued, whom they of the children of Israel did value; And gave them for the potter’s field, as the Lord appointed me.” (vv. 7-10)
What could possibly be the specific prophecy that Matthew is mentioning here about the potter’s field that Jeremiah has prophesied? Well, it is found in Jeremiah chapter 32:
“And Jeremiah said, The word of the Lord came unto me, saying, Behold, Hanameel the son of Shallum thine uncle shall come unto thee saying, Buy thee my field that is in Anathoth: for the right of redemption is thine to buy it. So Hanameel mine uncle’s son came to me in the court of the prison according to the word of the Lord, and said unto me, Buy my field, I pray thee, that is in Anathoth, which is in the country of Benjamin: for the right of inheritance is thine, and the redemption is thine; buy it for thyself. Then I knew that this was the word of the Lord. And I bought the field of Hanameel my uncle’s son, that was in Anathoth, and weighed him the money, even seventeen shekels of silver.” (vv. 6-9)
Now as we put the pieces of the puzzle together, the prophet Jeremiah bought the field for “the right of inheritance and redemption”– and the equivalent of which was the shed BLOOD of Jesus Christ! (Heb. 9:14-15) “Wherefore that field was called, THE FIELD OF BLOOD, unto this day.” (Matt. 27:8). But notice that there was a price to pay before that “right of inheritance and redemption” has to happen – the 30 pieces of silver which is the price of BETRAYAL!
The chief priests and the elders during the final hours of Christ’s life on this earth had bought the same field that Jeremiah bought previously for himself with 30 pieces of silver. For Jeremiah, it was the right of inheritance and redemption, but for the chief priests and the elders, it was the price of BETRAYING their own Creator and eventually becoming the ANTICHRISTS!
Even during Jeremiah’s time, there were those who betrayed God – the evil priests who tried to kill His own prophet. The reason Jeremiah bought the field in Anathoth was to show to them that there is GREAT HOPE at the end of the BETRAYAL of God’s own priests – THE RIGHT OF INHERITANCE TO GOD’S KINGDOM AND REDEMPTION FROM THE PENALTY OF SIN THROUGH CHRIST’S SHED BLOOD!
Now here is what Mr. Flurry wrote in his Jeremiah booklet regarding Anathoth:
The evil priests who tried to kill Jeremiah and his message lived in Anathoth. This was where Jeremiah was born. Today it is a little community called Anata, just outside Jerusalem. I have done a television program from there.
Anathoth was a city of God’s own priests. It was assigned to the Levites, a type of God’s ministers today. Is there an Anathoth today? God’s end-time Work and college were raised up in Pasadena, California, by Herbert W. Armstrong. As far as I know, all of God’s ministers received some kind of training there. That is where I got my degree.
I still believe the same message I was taught there. Mystery of the Ages was produced from there. We fought in a fierce court battle over that book, against ministers from the same Church that Herbert Armstrong was used to raise up in that same city! God gives us ample warning of what would emanate from that city today!God warns His very elect that our worst enemies will come from within God’s own Church! It is prophesied to happen. Be vigilant. (p. 130, Jeremiah and the Greatest Vision in the Bible)
But NOTICE CAREFULLY that although Anathoth was a city of God’s own priests in Jeremiah’s time, but it was outside Jerusalem, so it was not the headquarters then for us to compare it with the Pasadena campus in California. So for a more logical analogy, this last end Anathoth could be one of the college campuses apart from that in Pasadena. It could either be one of the two – the Big Sandy Texas campus or the Bricket Wood campus.
Upon consideration of an announcement given to the PCG membership about the prospect of BUYING A FIELD in Hertfordshire, England, i.e., the Bricket Wood campus; it would therefore perfectly fit in as the fulfillment of the prophesied Anathoth of today. And just like Anathoth in Jeremiah’s time, this Bricket Wood campus was also home to God’s own ministers for 14 years (1960-1974). Yet it was closed by the end-time Elijah, Mr. Herbert W. Armstrong, because of its part in the BETRAYAL and REBELLION against God during the 1970’s.
Notice this very carefully: without a single doubt, the BRICKET WOOD campus is the last end ANATHOTH which the last end Jeremiah (Mr. Flurry) has to purchase sometime this year (2014). And together with him, the leading ministers and elders today of the Philadelphia Church of God will buy this same POTTER’S FIELD!
Was that a mysterious coincidence? Well, not at all!
It was carefully and meticulously planned by God Himself! Remember that it is in the context of the GREATEST BETRAYAL and REBELLION OF ALL TIME IN THE HISTORY OF GOD’S TRUE CHURCH! And nothing could be compared to it. (Daniel 8:23)
“God gives us ample warning of what would emanate from (Bricket Wood) today! God warns His very elect that our worst enemies will come from within God’s own Church! It is prophesied to happen. Be vigilant.” (op. cit.)
“The evil priests who tried to kill Jeremiah and his message lived in Anathoth.” – Could it also be possible that those evil ministers who would try to kill and remove Mr. Flurry would also be coming from where the last end Anathoth is, i.e., from Britain or they are British descent men?
“And the Lord said unto me, Cast it unto the potter: a goodly price that I was prised at of them. And I took the thirty pieces of silver, and cast them to the potter in the house of the Lord. Then I cut asunder mine other staff, even Bands, that I might break the brotherhood between Judah and Israel. (Zechariah 11:13-14)
It is the potter in the house of the Lord who shall betray the staff of God in this last end. Remember that the staff BEAUTY (Mr. Armstrong) has already been “cut asunder” (v. 10) in this end-time. While, it is God’s other staff BANDS (Mr. Flurry) who is to be “cut asunder” in this last end.
But there is GREAT HOPE at the end of this last end BETRAYAL – the ultimate and final fulfillment of OUR INHERITANCE FROM OUR HEAVENLY FATHER AND OUR MUCH AWAITED REDEMPTION!
“And then shall they see the Son of man coming in a cloud with power and great glory. And when these things begin to come to pass, then look up, and lift up your heads; for your redemption draweth nigh.” (Luke 21:27-28)
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