During a Bible study sometime last December 08, 2012, Wik Heerma, a Philadelphia Church of God (PCG) Headquarters pastor asked a question about one verse referring to Jeremiah 4:15 which reads; “For a voice declareth from Dan, and publisheth affliction from mount Ephraim.” (From Mr. Gerald Flurry’s sermon titled “Revelation 12”). Dan here according to Mr. Flurry is referring to Southern Ireland.
Prior to that sermon, even during the Feast of Tabernacles in 2012, Mr. Flurry already discussed the possibility of having an archeological dig in Ireland and also of finding the Ark of the Covenant there. He also mentioned the “Annals of the Four Masters.”
Let us consider the word “affliction” in Strong’s Concordance which is from the original Hebrew word ‘aven:
From an unused root perhaps meaning properly topant (hence to exert oneself, usually in vain; to come to nought); strictly nothingness; also trouble, vanity, wickedness; specifically an idol: affliction, evil, false, idol, mischief, mourners (-ing), naught, sorrow, unjust, unrighteous, vain, vanity, wicked (-ness)
The word “pant” from the dictionary means – to long eagerly, yearn. While as for “mount Ephraim”, it was the historical name for the central mountainous district of Israel once occupied by the tribe of Ephraim (Joshua 17:15; 19:50; 20:7) – Wikipedia
Could it be that someone from the tribe of Ephraim or a British descent man will lead a work in Ireland (Dan), and while he yearns and eagerly long to proclaim his vanity there, he will exert himself as someone he is not, for he is an impostor. Thus, could it also be the voice of this Ephraimite leader which shall be heard in Dan and who will also publish nothingness? (This same Hebrew word, ‘aven is used in Zechariah 10:2; “For the idols have spoken vanity.”)
We must remember that even King Jeroboam who led the house of Israel to idolatry was himself an Ephraimite. Here is what Mr. Armstrong wrote regarding Ephraim:
Did you notice that it is now the 10-tribed kingdom (headed by the Ephraim-Manasseh tribes with an Ephraimite as their king)… Most people seem to think of the 10 tribes as merely certain tribes driven out from the nation Israel. But it is Israel which now sets up its kingdom under the Ephraimite Jeroboam, in the land of Samaria, north of Jerusalem… (T)he 10-tribed people called Israel, often prophetically spoken of as Ephraim, are not Jews and never were Jews! (United States and Britain in Prophecy, p. )
Now, if we will examine carefully; there is also an obvious difference here of whose voice it is coming from if we compare it with Isaiah 40:3, “THE VOICE of him that crieth in the wilderness, Prepare ye the way of the LORD, make straight in the desert a highway for our God.” “A voice” in Jeremiah 4:15 could be a voice of Satan coming in the flesh through his man, while “the voice” in Isaiah 40:3 is the voice of Christ coming in the flesh through His prophet.
How is it so? We can understand their difference when we look in the next verse:
“Make ye mention to the nations; behold, publish against Jerusalem, that watchers come from a far country, and give out their voice against the cities of Judah.” (v. 16)
Looking at the original Hebrew word for “Make ye mention” in Strong’s:
“2142. zakar; a prim. root; prop. to mark (so as to be recognized), i.e. to remember; by impl. to mention; …(make) mention (of), be mindful, recount, record (-er), remember, make to be remembered, call to remembrance”
Upon consideration, it could be more appropriate to substitute these words:
to mark so as to be recognized to remember, be mindful, call to remembrance.
Even Lange’s Commentary noted:
Verses 16 and 17. …verbally: cause to the nations, that is, cause that these reflecting upon it are deeply impressed by the significance of the fact. From the meaning, to penetrate, to bore in …is developed the meaning of to remember, which is the common one, to consider, to reflect (Lam. 1:9; Ps. 103:14; Job 7:7).
But why remember? Is it because that “a voice from Dan” has been followed instead of “the voice from Jerusalem”? Is another Jesus being preached? Is another spirit being received? Is another gospel being accepted? (2 Cor. 11:2-4) – That there would be a dire NEED for a call to remembrance?
GOD WILL PERSONALLY SEND STRONG DELUSION! But WHY? Why would God send strong delusion to His own people? Does He want us to fail? Of course not. This is God’s way of testing who “received not the love of the truth” (2 Thessalonians2:10). God wants to know how much you love Him and His Word. It’s not possible to deceive God’s very elect (Matthew 24:24). Paul is not talking about normal delusion being sent to God’s people—it is “strong delusion.” (Matthew 24:24). …We all think we love God. God requires that we have the depth of love necessary to withstand strong delusion. God sends “strong delusion” to His Church to determine who will be His very elect. God wants to know who loves the truth—and who just has it. With a wrong attitude, some are going to die for all eternity! (2 Thessalonians2:10). God is deadly serious about our calling. …God sends strong delusion to see if His people are Philadelphian or Laodicean. (p. 10-11, A Call to Remembrance, ibid.)
Furthermore, Mr. Gerald Flurry wrote in his Haggai booklet:
The book of Haggai is also about the Laodicean era and Zerubbabel as a signet. That means Mr. Armstrong is dead when Zechariah and Haggai are fulfilled, but the God who restored all things through him is very much alive. And He expects us to build on what Mr. Armstrong taught. (p. 4, Haggai: God Has Begun to Shake the Nations)
Mr. Armstrong being God’s signet has restored all things, yet, if he would be resurrected today, would he be able to recognize a work in Ireland? Do we have any prior instance of such where we can go back and look into the Work of God through the end-time Elijah being involved in an archeological dig in Ireland? Or will he see another Jesus being preached, another spirit being received, and another gospel being accepted? God expects us to build on what Mr. Armstrong taught. Let’s consider the original Hebrew word for “against” in Jeremiah 4:16, in Strong’s:
“5921. ‘al, al; the same as H5920 used as a prep.-above, according to, (as) against, among, because of, beside (the rest of), by reason of, concerning for, throughout, touching.”
“H5920. ‘al, al; the top; specifically the Highest (i.e. God); also to Jehovah:–above, high, most High.
Also take note of the word “nations” which could also mean “Gentiles.” Considering the meanings from the words above, we can clearly understand that there is a dire need to choose which work is to be done: a work in Dan (Ireland) and in Ephraim (Britain) or a work in Jerusalem and in Judah? It’s like Eve choosing which tree to eat from – the Tree of Life or the Tree of Death?
The Most High God through the prophet Jeremiah gives us His answer and He is saying something like this to the PCG HQ ministry (spiritual Jerusalem): “REMEMBER THE GENTILES in God’s Church all over the world because they also regard Jerusalem as their own heritage like Ruth (Ruth 1:16-17). BEHOLD, even though they are Gentiles, they SEE that that kingdom has to be in Jerusalem of all places in the world, and not in Ireland nor in Britain! Remember that these Gentiles are also spiritual Jews who REMEMBER to preach the true gospel OF Christ, and has not forgotten to proclaim the gospel ‘by reason of’ Jerusalem because ‘the Eternal has chosen Jerusalem.’ You really have to deeply CONSIDER these Gentiles from a far country for they are also WATCHERS who give out THEIR VOICE ‘concerning for’ what is happening in the cities of spiritual Judah regarding the Ezekiel 4 siege, and they are very much a PART OF THE SPIRITUAL JEWS who are also accountable as keepers of God’s field.”
The business of watchmen, keepers of a field, is usually to protect from robbery and violence (Lange’s Commentary)
Notice these keepers of a field are not there to destroy the field but to protect from robbery and violence. But why is God using these Gentile converts as His watchers? – To provoke Israel to jealousy.
“Again I ask, Did Israel not understand? [Did the Jews have no warning that the Gospel was to go forth to the Gentiles, to all the earth?] First, there is Moses who says, I will make you jealous of those who are not a nation; with a foolish nation I will make you angry. Then Isaiah is so bold as to say, I have been found by those who did not seek Me; I have shown (revealed) Myself to those who did not [consciously] ask for Me.” (Rom. 10:19-20, Amplified Bible)
It was actually quoted from Deuteronomy 32:21 and in Psalms chapter 98:
“The LORD hath made known his salvation: his righteousness hath he openly (revealed) in the sight of the (Gentiles).” (v. 2)
And this is the very mystery that the apostle Paul wrote:
“For I would not, brethren, that ye should be ignorant of this mystery, lest ye should be wise in your own conceits; that blindness in part is happened to Israel, until the fulness of the Gentiles be come in.” (Rom. 11:25)
These Gentile keepers of the field are WATCHERS from a far country and they are giving out their voice concerning for the cities of spiritual Judah – the PCG congregations around the world.
As Lange’s Commentary wrote, the keepers of a field are usually to protect from robbery and violence. Does it mean that we are once again seeing yet another rebellion even inside God’s own Church? In God’s eyes this is equivalent to treachery. It seems that there are people in God’s Church who has now become guilty themselves of the very prophecies they proclaim against their Laodicean brethren (Mal. 3:8-9). Just like what the prophet Malachi wrote:
“Judah hath dealt treacherously, and an abomination is committed in Israel and in Jerusalem; for Judah hath profaned the holiness of the LORD which he loved, and hath married the daughter of a strange god.” (Mal. 2:11)
Dan is known for having strange gods, and now as God views it, we in the PCG are already married to the daughter of a strange god. Even in recent sermons, the Garden of Eden is already being given as a description to Bricket Wood, more so, being a type of the Millennium, instead of Jerusalem as such. How foolish have we become?
God’s own Church is already listening to A VOICE that declares from Dan (Ireland) and letting an Ephraimite leader to proclaim vanity and wickedness from mount Ephraim (Britain). The ministers are supposedly not to teach false doctrines any longer nor to devote themselves to myths and endless genealogies, for these things only promote controversies and mere speculations rather than God’s work which is by faith (1 Tim. 1:3-4, NIV). This is indeed a very strong delusion! From the Ezekiel The End-Time Prophet, Mr. Flurry wrote:
The Laodiceans have frequently explained how they are building on the foundation laid by Mr. Armstrong. That is false, and God is going to expose them to the whole world! This principle applies to almost any time God’s Church turns away from God. The deceivers routinely say they are building on the foundation laid in the past, when they are actually DESTROYING THE FOUNDATION by building a new, but false, work. This is how they deceive God’s people. Throughout the Bible, GOD WARNS US OF THIS DANGER. (pp. 70-71)
“Then I said, ‘Ah, Lord GOD, how utterly you have deceived this people and Jerusalem, saying, ‘It shall be well with you,’ even while the sword is at the throat!’” (Jer. 4:10, RSV)
Notice that God has sent strong delusion to “this people” and He longer calls them “His people.” This could be referring to the false prophets inside His very own Church – the 25 men of Ezekiel 8. Remember also, that Jerusalem here refers to the PCG Headquarters – the capital of spiritual Judah.
“This people” followed another Jesus by giving heed to “fables and endless genealogies” – they have now turned to the messenger – even the life of the prophet Jeremiah – rather than the message. It looks like the decision to go and search for the Ark of the Covenant in Ireland is a trap that would cause the death of That Prophet.
“And it shall come to pass at that day, saith the LORD, that the heart of the king shall perish, and the heart of the princes; and the priests shall be astonished, and the prophets shall wonder”(Jer. 4:9). The leadership in PCG will be utterly shocked of the outcome of their decision to convince That Prophet of the archeological dig in Ireland.
And as the JFB Commentary puts it: “The wisdom of the most leading men will be utterly at a loss to devise means of relief”
“And if the prophet be deceived when he hath spoken a thing, I the LORD have deceived that prophet, and I will stretch out my hand upon him, and will destroy him from the midst of my people Israel” (Ezekiel 14:9).
God shall expose the treacherous act of these leading men through the strong delusion He has sent.
As a result God’s wrath is upon those Laodicean antichrists inside the PCG:
“For this gird you with sackcloth, lament and howl: for the fierce anger of the LORD is not turned back from us” (v. 8).
This could very well still be connected to God’s last end of indignation which is very much related to the greatest betrayal of the son of perdition! Reading from Clarke’s Commentary regarding Jeremiah 4:8;
Lament and howl – heililu. The aboriginal Irish had a funeral song called the Caoinian, still continued among their descendants, one part of which is termed the ulaloo: this is sung responsively or alternately, and is accompanied with a full chorus of sighs and groans. It has been thought that Ireland was originally peopled by the Phoenicians: if so, this will account for the similarity of many words and customs among both these people.
“For I have heard a voice as of a woman in travail, and the anguish as of her that bringeth forth her first child, the voice of the daughter of Zion, that bewaileth herself, that spreadeth her hands, saying, Woe is me now! for my soul is wearied because of murderers” (v. 31). God’s Church (daughter of Zion) shall be in a terrible agony when God exposes and reveals those leading men as murderers – the son of perdition and the many antichrists in the midst of them!
“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” (verse 11). Jude compares the Laodiceans to Cain, the first murderer. They are guilty of murder! …Only God’s own saints could be guilty of such massive physical murder. Jude wrote specifically to those in the first century and the last century, the only two centuries in which God’s gospel was preached around the world. Satan was able, in time, to destroy both of those works. …When God’s people became lukewarm, they became guilty of murder on an enormous scale. But those murderers are worse than Cain in another way. They are also guilty of aiding in the eternal destruction of 50 percent of their Laodicean brethren (Matthew 25:1-10). Also, they help to cause the other 50 percent to be plunged into the Great Tribulation. Cain’s murderous sin was trivial compared to the guilt of these murderers! These are weighty and dangerous words for the Philadelphia Church of God today! (p. 25-26, Jude booklet)
“Behold the voice of the cry of the daughter of my people because of them that dwell in a far country: Is not the LORD in Zion? is not her king in her? Why have they provoked me to anger with their graven images, and with strange vanities?” (Jeremiah 8:19)
When the nail in the sure place is forcibly removed, that antichrist son of perdition and his cohorts antichrists shall surface:
“For wheresoever the carcase is, there will the eagles be gathered together.” (Matt. 24:28)
This is then the specific fulfillment of a prophecy in Daniel 8:23;
“And in the latter time of their kingdom, when the transgressors are come to the full, a king of fierce countenance, and understanding dark sentences, shall stand up.” (KJV)
“In the latter part of their reign, when rebels have become completely wicked, a stern-faced king, a master of intrigue, will arise.” (Daniel 8:23 NIV)
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