The prophet Jeremiah elaborates the iniquity of Judah: “The sin of Judah is written with a pen of iron, and with the point of a diamond: it is graven upon the table of their heart, and upon the horns of your altars” (Jeremiah 17:1).
What has happened to Judah’s heart that it would need an iron pen with a diamond point just to be able to write unto it? Because it has been hardened like an adamant stone aptly described in Zechariah chapter 7:
“And the word of the LORD came unto Zechariah, saying, Thus speaketh the LORD of hosts, saying, Execute true judgment, and shew mercy and compassions every man to his brother: And oppress not the widow, nor the fatherless, the stranger, nor the poor; and let none of you imagine evil against his brother in your heart. But they refused to hearken, and pulled away the shoulder, and stopped their ears, that they should not hear. Yea, they made their hearts as an adamant stone, lest they should hear the law, and the words which the LORD of hosts hath sent in his spirit by the former prophets: therefore came a great wrath from the LORD of hosts.” (vv. 8-12)
Is this not a prophecy in this end time specifically aimed at spiritual Judah (Philadelphia Church of God)? As Mr. Gerald Flurry often said that most of the prophecy in the former prophets is for our time right now!
“The former prophets were written by prophets because they are mainly prophetic. And most of that prophecy is for this end time!” (The Former Prophets – God’s Royal Family)
The context of Judah’s heart being hardened as an adamant stone revolves around “hearing the law and the words that God sent through His Spirit by the former prophets.” But what is that law? It is about HISTORY BECOMING PROPHECY. Let’s further consider what Mr. Flurry wrote:
How often have we heard that “history repeats itself”? It does—time and time again.
The Bible contains many prophetic books, including what are classified as the “major” and “minor” prophets. There also are “former prophets” in the Bible—comprised of Joshua, Judges, I and II Kings and I and II Samuel. These books are mostly about the history of Israel, but they are called former prophets for a reason. They were written by prophets and are filled with end-time prophecy. If we live the same lifestyles our forefathers did, we will attain virtually the same results—good or bad. History becomes prophecy. Not all prophecy is history. But a lot of history becomes prophecy. History prophesies the fate of nations, whether they will thrive or collapse!
This is “a law of history.” It’s not about luck or happenstance. It is a law of history. If we break that law, the law breaks us! (ibid., p. 3)
The prophet Zechariah said that we should hear the law of history through the former prophets, or else, our hearts will be hardened like an adamant stone, and that very law according to Mr. Flurry will eventually break us if we refuse to acknowledge! The prophet Zechariah is reminding us that the law of history through the former prophets APPLIES TO US in the PCG – HISTORY NOW BECOMES PROPHECY! Why is it so?
“(T)hey refused to hearken, and pulled away the shoulder, and stopped their ears, that they should not hear.” (v. 11)
What did the PCG refuse to hear?
“Thus speaketh the LORD of hosts, saying, Execute true judgment, and shew mercy and compassions every man to his brother: And oppress not the widow, nor the fatherless, the stranger, nor the poor; and let none of you imagine evil against his brother in your heart.” (vv. 9-10)
This is the same story-line in Ezekiel 4:17 when the people grow numb or emotionally unresponsive towards their own brethren in God’s Church. During the Ezekiel 4 siege, the leaders in spiritual Judah (the PCG), does not execute true judgment, does not show mercy and has no compassion on their less fortunate brethren. The ministry even led the people through the “no contact policy” to oppress the widow, the fatherless, the stranger, and the poor and has imagined evil against their brethren – betrayal has become the number one key to survive. Well, some might say, “This is God’s Church! It won’t happen to us! Surely God will not allow another falling away this time. Anyway, we have in our midst God’s last end apostle.” Do we fool ourselves into believing that since this is the true Church of God, we won’t be susceptible to repeat what the Worldwide Church of God has done in recent Church history?
“And I said after she had done all these things, Turn thou unto me. But she returned not. And her treacherous sister Judah saw it. And I saw, when for all the causes whereby backsliding Israel committed adultery I had put her away, and given her a bill of divorce; yet her treacherous sister Judah feared not, but went and played the harlot also… And the LORD said unto me, The backsliding Israel hath justified herself more than treacherous Judah.” (vv. 7, 8, 11)
Why was Israel (Laodiceans) more justified than treacherous Judah (PCG)? Because “both the prophet and the priest go about into “a land that they know not” (Jeremiah 14:18). They both followed “a voice” of a man from Dan (Jeremiah 4:15) and they are leading God’s people into it.
Yet God is emphatic in reminding us about hearing His words written by the former prophets even during a seeming prosperity in our midst:
“Should ye not hear the words which the LORD hath cried by the former prophets, when Jerusalem was inhabited and in prosperity, and the cities thereof round about her, when men inhabited the south and the plain?” (v. 7)
In which Mr. Flurry wrote:
“This is ‘a law of history.’ It’s not about luck or happenstance. It is a law of history. If we break that law, the law breaks us!” (op. cit.)
HISTORY, AS IT SEEMS, IS ALREADY REPEATING ITSELF!
To prove this, let us consider what Mr. Flurry wrote in his co-worker letter dated May 6, 2014:
Dear members and co-workers with Christ,
How deep is your faith? How clear is your spiritual vision? How well do you see God behind this Work?
The answers to these questions are extremely important to your spiritual health – and to God.
In August of 1977, Herbert W. Armstrong died at his home in Tucson… “Shortly after they’d told me what had happened,” Mr. Armstrong later wrote, “I felt that if my work in God’s hands were finished and God didn’t have any further use for me in His Work, that I would rather have remained dead. Because if they hadn’t intervened I would have been buried in two or three days” (Autobiography of Herbert W. Armstrong, Volume 2)…
Mr. Armstrong kept mentioning that incident because the Church did not get the lesson. Just like Christ, Mr. Armstrong was probably weeping for the Laodiceans, and trying to get their minds off the man and onto THE BEING WHO DOES THE RESURRECTING!
I want to relate that history to something that happened to me recently. On January 4, I fainted on stage while giving a sermon. A few weeks before that incident, I told a regional director I believed some of our members looked to me and even the other ministers too much. I wanted to make sure the ministers were helping the people be aware of that. However,before I had a chance to do anything about it, this incident occurred. I think that was God’s way of saying that He agreed with me. I didn’t necessarily like the way He demonstrated that, but it shows me that He motivated what I was thinking.
We need to remember that a minister is just a puny little man. Of course, God works through men, but we are just men. (pp. 1-2)
Mr Flurry was emphatic of this very subject – of people in God’s Church looking too much on him and the other ministers. He said that God agreed with him and even demonstrated their alignment of thinking through his fainting spell last January 4, 2014 while giving a sermon about Ezekiel 4. This co-worker letter has just proven the veracity of the fulfillment of the Ezekiel 4 siege inside the Philadelphia Church of God. This spiritual siege was indeed designed by God to know who among His people will look to Him or to those puny little men. And He has been learning quite a lot about each one us.
But how important is history? Here is what Mr. Flurry wrote about its great importance and why Satan wants to destroy it:
Satan is very hostile to history and works extremely hard to destroy it. He wants Israel to forget its history. He wants the Church to forget its history. Most of all, he is working to destroy his own history. He has been quite successful in these endeavors. When you forget your history, you lose your perspective, and you don’t know what is happening. If you are lost in the present, you can never cope with Satan’s deceptions!
Either we learn history, or we will repeat it—and that includes the history of this fallen cherub. Without context, you’re just like Eve—making your decisions based on whatever looks good.
I would suggest that you think deeply about that paragraph.
Let us not underestimate the power of this great fallen cherub. Satan knows how God works with His people. Satan works to destroy their history with God. He knows that if God can’t get His people to learn from their history, they are easy targets for deception. (Ezekiel: The End-Time Prophet, pp. 43-44)
God is speaking to us through His Spirit. Even the Apostle John admonished every Church eras:
“He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches” (Rev. 2:7, 11, 17, 29; 3:6, 13, 22).
He wrote it seven times to remind the people to hear what God’s Spirit says and not what any man says. We should “try the spirits whether they are of God.” (1 John 4:1-3). The prophet Jeremiah clearly pointed out the root cause of the problem:
“Thus saith the LORD; Cursed be the man that trusteth in man, and maketh flesh his arm, and whose heart departeth from the LORD.”(Jer. 17:5).
“Arm” in Strong’s could also be mean, “strength” so the phrase “makes flesh his arm” could also be rendered this way “makes flesh his strength.” Here is what Gill’s Commentary wrote regarding this verse:
and maketh flesh his arm; or his confidence, as the Targum, to lean upon, and be protected by; man is but flesh, feeble, weak and inactive; frail and mortal; sinful and corrupt; and so very unfit to make an arm of, or to depend upon: God, and an arm of flesh, are opposed to each other; as are also rejoicing in Christ Jesus, and having confidence in the flesh, 2 Chr. 32:8.
In the New International Version verse 5 is even rendered this way:
“This is what the Lord says: Cursed is the one who trusts in man, who draws strength from mere flesh and whose heart turns away from the Lord.”
Even Mr. Flurry said earnestly not to trust in man:
I beseech you brethren—seek God as you never have before! “Cursed be the man that trusteth in man” (Jeremiah 17:5)—any man, AND THAT CERTAINLY INCLUDES ME. In the near future you are going to see events that will shake this world as never before. TIME IS RUNNING OUT! The signs all point to the catastrophic end—which will come very soon! THE SAME GOD WHO IS SENDING YOU THIS MESSAGE IS ALREADY MOVING DRAMATICALLY TO BRING THIS WORLD TO ITS KNEES! (Malachi’s Message, p. 99)
Now, it does mean that the very core of Judah’s sin points us to one glaring conclusion – their trust and confidence is in mere mortals rather than giving their trust in God:
“Blessed is the man that trusteth in the LORD, and whose hope the LORD is.” (v. 7)
To further illustrate, we go back to verse 1and consider the phrase “upon the horns of your altars”. The word “horn” here is the same Hebrew word used in 1 Samuel 2:10 and in Strong’s Concordance it also mean “power”. And the word “altar” “pertains to the ministry and worship within the Church” (Malachi’s Message, p. 15). So the phrase, “upon the horns of your altars” could actually imply a trust and confidence in the POWER of their MINISTRY who are just puny little mortals! Notice that it is not referring to the “power of GOD’S ministry”, but “the power of YOUR ministry”. This is what Judah’s sin is all about – written with a diamond point iron pen in the hard tables of their heart!
They have deceived themselves into believing that they are relying on God’s power, but in actual fact, in God’s own eyes, it is the just the ministry’s power – only the power of mortal men.
“The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it? I the LORD search the heart, I try the reins, even to give every man according to his ways, and according to the fruit of his doings.” (vv. 9-10).
And what shall God give according to their ways and according to the fruit of their doings?
“And thou, even thyself, shalt discontinue from thine heritage that I gave thee; and I will cause thee to serve thine enemies in the land which thou knowest not: for ye have kindled a fire in mine anger, which shall burn for ever” (v. 4).
Now this is what Lange’s Commentary wrote about verse 4:
“And thou shalt withhold thy hand from the inheritance which I have given thee; And I cause thee to serve thy enemies in a land that thou knowest not: For ye have kindled a fire in my nostrils that shall burn forever.”
This is the same as what is prophesied in Ezekiel 8:17 about the 25 men that turned their backs on God who “are taking a branch and sticking it up into God’s nostrils”! (Ezekiel booklet, p. 57).
“Yea, they made their hearts as an adamant stone, lest they should hear the law, and the words which the LORD of hosts hath sent in his spirit by the former prophets: therefore came a great wrath from the LORD of hosts.” (Zech. 7:12)
In this last end, Judah’s iniquity has made God so fuming mad! This is what Daniel 8:23 is talking about “when the transgressors are come to the full”! As what Mr. Flurry said in the Opening Night Message for the 2013 Feast of Tabernacles, “We are living in a time when the transgressors are come to the full.” But what’s this got to do with the Philadelphia Church of God? Remember, that it is referring to none other than Judah, which directly points to the PCG and as Mr. Flurry himself emphasized that the PCG is actually the “house of Judah”
The “house of Judah” here is the faithful Church of God. You could say it is “the house of the Jews” WE ARE JEWS – SPIRITUAL JEWS!” (Royal Vision, July-August 2012, p.6)
So we ought to wake up and repent towards God! And let us not justify ourselves but rather we should justify God! We must let God clothe us with His righteousness and stop clothing ourselves with our own filthy self-righteousness! God then reproves Judah and Jerusalem in Jeremiah chapter 4:
“For thus saith the LORD to the men of Judah and Jerusalem, Break up your fallow ground, and sow not among the thorns.” (v. 3)
Here is what JFB Commentary wrote regarding the verse:
Break …fallow ground – that is, Repent of your idolatry, and so be prepared to serve the Lord in truth (Hos. 10:12; Matt. 13:7). The unhumbled heart is like ground which may be improved, being let out to us for that purpose, but which is as yet fallow, overgrown with weeds, its natural product.
God exhorts us to really dig in and sow His righteousness in us that we might obtain His mercy. Let’s read it in Hosea chapter 10:
“Sow to yourselves in righteousness, reap in mercy, break up your fallow ground: for it is time to seek the LORD, till he come and rain righteousness upon you” (v. 12)
It is high time to seek God and become true spiritual Jews!
“Circumcise yourselves to the LORD, and take away the foreskins of your heart, ye men of Judah and inhabitants of Jerusalem: lest my fury come forth like a fire, and burn that none can quench it, because of the evil of your doings” (v. 4).
In God’s eyes who is a spiritual Jew? Here is what the Apostle Paul wrote:
“But he is a Jew, which is one inwardly, and circumcision is that of the heart, in the spirit and not in the letter, whose praise is not of men, but of God” (Rom. 2:29)
Are you a true spiritual Jew? Am I? We must make sure that we are, “for salvation is of the Jews.” (John 4:22). Do we seek the praise of God or do we have the tendency to seek the praise of mortal men? We must then REMEMBER what Mr. Flurry said in his May 6, 2014 co-worker letter:
“A human being can never be anything more than a weak little man. But the LORD GOD ALMIGHTY, the Head of this Church, isn’t weak! We must know that deeply. We must know without any doubt exactly who the Head of this Church is, or we will have serious problems.” (op.cit., p. 4)
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