The ministers of the Philadelphia Church of God seem to be secretly hiding information about the prospect of the planned acquisition of a real estate property in Britain which the ministers in some areas are saying, is just north of Bricket Wood and is priced lower than the Hanstead property. And they have been hoping that the deal should have been closed last August 2014, but they are now looking for a September 2014 deal closure. Anyway, once the property has been acquired, it would be used as a college campus and an office for the UK/Europe region (this is a substitution for the Bricket Wood campus that did not materialize previously).
But why do they have to hide it? Why didn’t they ask for a prayer request among the membership worldwide as they have done in the past with the acquisition of the Edmond property in Oklahoma? They are giving just a small amount of information about this transaction – WHY? Could there really be a secret counsel of men inside the PCG? One thing is certain, they have turned to A NEW LIGHT!
While Mr. Gerald Flurry said in one of his previous sermons, that the Philadelphia Church of God is comparable to the cedars of Lebanon, in which he even quoted Song of Songs chapter 4:
“Come with me from Lebanon, my spouse, with me from Lebanon: look from the top of Amana, from the top of Shenir and Hermon, from the lions’ dens, from the mountains of the leopards.” (v. 8)
But when we read from Zechariah chapter 11 we see a different story:
“Open thy doors, O Lebanon, that the fire may devour thy cedars. Howl, fir tree; for the cedar is fallen; because the mighty are spoiled: howl, O ye oaks of Bashan; for the forest of the vintage is come down.” (vv. 1-2)
Notice that the context of this prophecy is about the “idol shepherd” who is holding the instrument of a foolish shepherd (vv. 15-17). According to the prophet Zechariah, these shepherds are comparable to the cedars of Lebanon and the oaks of Bashan. And who could they be in this last end?
“The word that Isaiah the son of Amoz saw concerning Judah and Jerusalem. …For the day of the Lord of hosts shall be upon every one that is proud and lofty, and upon every one that is lifted up; and he shall be brought low: And upon all the cedars of Lebanon, that are high and lifted up, and upon all the oaks of Bashan, And upon all the high mountains, and upon all the hills that are lifted up, And upon every high tower, and upon every fenced wall” (Isa. 2:1, 12-15)
Notice that even the prophet Isaiah who addressed the above prophecy to Judah and Jerusalem used the cedars of Lebanon and the oaks of Bashan to picture its pride and loftiness. But what has this OAK have to do with spiritual Judah and Jerusalem? Let us consider what this tree really mean:
OAK (Heb. אַלּוֹן), the main trees of Israel’s natural groves and forests. The three species which grow there have in common their strong and hard wood and all attain a great height and reach a very old age. The Hebrew name, allon, means strong (Amos 2:9). Extensive oak forests still exist in Bashan, and these, together with the cedars of Lebanon, symbolized pride and loftiness (Isa. 2:13; Zech. 11:2). The people of Tyre made the oars for their ships from the oaks of Bashan (Ezek. 27:6). Some oaks served as sites for idol worship (Hos. 4:13), and burial took place under them (Gen. 35:8). The oak is long-lived and when it grows old or is cut down it has the ability to renew itself, putting out new shoots from the stump or roots that in time develop into a strong tree…
*Jerome notes that Titus sold 10,000 Judean captives under this tree. Since the third century many Jewish and Christian pilgrims have mentioned that this tree is considered sacred. It is an evergreen of the species Quercus calliprinos, which constitutes most of the groves in the hills of Judea and Galilee…
One may ask; how can the Philadelphia Church of God be connected to this prophecy regarding the oaks of Bashan? Remember that the early practitioners of Irish dancing were the ancient Druids who used that dance as a religious ritual to worship the oak tree and the sun. Add to that, the derivation of the name Bricket Wood came from the original tiny settlement of “Smug oak.” Does it mean then that, as far as God is concerned, the acquisition of the Bricket Wood campus or any campus in Britain with the cedars of Lebanon in it and the work in Ireland are irrefutable symbolism of their pride and loftiness? There is even an article written and published in the Trumpet magazine that seems to justify the Druids.
Now let’s look again at Zechariah’s prophecy:
“Open thy doors, O Lebanon, that the fire may devour thy cedars. Howl, fir tree; for the cedar is fallen; because the mighty are spoiled: howl, O ye oaks of Bashan; for the forest of the vintage is come down. There is a voice of the howling of the shepherds; for their glory is spoiled: a voice of the roaring of young lions; for the pride of Jordan is spoiled.” (Zechariah 11:1-3)
It looks like the end result of that work by those idol shepherds are going to be devoured by fire – their glory shall be spoiled, even their most treasured pride, Jordan, which is their much anticipated place of safety, will also be spoiled.
This group of people cannot escape the Great Tribulation because God remembers everything that they had done – these idol shepherds abused His people and His government.