In the September-October 2014 issue of The Philadelphian (a newsletter published by the Philadelphia Church of God on a bi-monthly period), we can read an eye catching advertisement on the last page:
(Click image to download)
Now, it obviously appears that the 25 leading PCG ministers has already successfully bought the real estate in England for good – the transactions of which, they have hidden from the membership. These ministers did not have any inkling, that what they have just done has already been prophesied long ago:
“Woe to the crown of pride, to the drunkards of Ephraim, whose glorious beauty is a fading flower, which are on the head of the fat valleys of them that are overcome with wine!” (Isaiah 28:1)
Let’s consider several commentaries on what they have to say about this verse in Isaiah:
Albert Barnes Commentary
To the crown of pride – This is a Hebrew mode of expression, denoting the proud or haughty crown. There can be no doubt that it refers to the capital of the kingdom of Ephraim; that is to Samaria.
E. W. Bullinger Commentary
Crown of pride – pride’s crown, or proud crown (i.e. Samaria)
Samaria, with its ramparts and white terraced streets crowning the summit low hill, which rises in the middle of a fertile valley (1 Kings 16:24), is compared to the chaplet of flowers that wreathes the flushed temples of a reveller (cf. Song of Songs 2:7-8)
Adam Clarke Commentary
Woe to the crown of pride – By the crown of pride, etc., Samaria is primarily understood.
crown of pride – Hebrew for “proud crown of the drunkards,” eyc. [Horsley], namely Samaria, the capital of Ephraim, or Israel.
If the CROWN OF PRIDE does refer to SAMARIA, then what has this got to do with the recently acquired HWA Campus in ENGLAND and the British descent PCG MINISTERS? Before we can answer that, let us consider first what the end-time Elijah, Mr. Herbert Armstrong wrote. He was emphatic when he wrote in his book, The United States and Britain in Prophecy about the master key in unlocking Bible prophecies:
One might ask, were not biblical prophecies closed and sealed? Indeed they were—until now! And even now they can be understood only by those who possess the master key to unlock them. …And the one central master key to prophecy as a whole is the identity of the United States and the British nations in these prophecies for today! (pp. 9, 13)
That central master key is the identity of physical Israel – the United States and the British nations, even including the modern Jewish nation. But could there be a spiritual counterpart to that master key, i.e., the identity of spiritual Israel and spiritual Judah? To answer that, let us read what Mr. Flurry wrote in the Royal Vision about the identity of spiritual Judah:
The Key of the House of David
Isaiah 22:20-25 contain an end-time prophecy that God has revealed a great deal about to us – about Eliakim. Verse 21 says the man who fulfills this role “shall be a father to the inhabitants of Jerusalem, and to the house of Judah.” There is a spiritual and physical application to these scriptures, but we look mainly at the spiritual today.
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! And this man is a father to Judah.” (July-August 2012 issue, p.6)
MR. FLURRY EMPHASIZED THAT THE “HOUSE OF JUDAH” IN SPIRITUAL APPLICATION TO SCRIPTURES IS INDEED REFERRING TO THE PHILADELPHIA CHURCH OF GOD! Well, how about Ephraim (or its spiritual counterpart)? Who could they be?
Who, then, according to your Bible, is the real Israel (racially and nationally) of today? Ephraim and Manasseh! Ephraim and Manasseh together received the right to the name Israel. It was to become the national name of their descendants. And their descendants were never Jews! Fix this fact firmly in your mind!…
After several generations, the tribe of Joseph, divided into the two tribes of Ephraim and Manasseh, came to call themselves British. They retained a few Hebrew earmarks. Berith or b’rith in Hebrew means “covenant,” and ish means “man.” Thus, in Hebrew, British means “covenant man,” which, truly, they are…
Remember—in passing on the birthright to the two sons of Joseph, Ephraim and Manasseh (Genesis 48:16), Jacob said, “Let my name be named on them”—on Ephraim and Manasseh— who today are Britain and America. This tells on whom this most terrible of national calamities is to fall—on Britain and America. (The United States and Britain in Prophecy, pp. 47, 147, 174)
If we will deduce what Mr. Gerald Flurry wrote that the PCG is the spiritual Jews and spiritual Jerusalem would be the PCG Headquarters in Edmond, Oklahoma; could we then safely say that spiritual Ephraim refer to those British descent ministers inside the Philadelphia Church of God? If that would be the case, then spiritual Samaria would be England or Britain – the capital of the kingdom of Ephraim!
Therefore, the CROWN OF PRIDE being referred to by the prophet Isaiah in chapter 28 would be the recently established office and campus in England, which is the capital of spiritual Ephraim and that in turn, would appropriately be the spiritual Samaria. We must remember that it was King Jeroboam, of the tribe of Ephraim who caused Israel to sin (1 Kings 15:30). Would another Ephraimite leader cause the people in the Philadelphia Church of God to sin and rebel against God? Do you think it is a far fetched idea? Then consider a recent Church history recorded by Mr. Gerald Flurry in his book:
The mystery “doth already work.” It was at work before Mr. Armstrong died—but not openly. For example, the Work of God in Australia never got “back on track” after the 1970s rebellion, as most other areas did. That is because the real problems were concealed from Mr. Armstrong. The Philadelphia Church has received numerous letters from Australians detailing this deception that took place before Mr. Armstrong died. This is an example of what God means when He says the mystery “doth already work.” (p. 83, Malachi’s Message)(Click image to download)
We must remember that the 1974 ministerial rebellion emanated from the crown of pride of Ephraim – Bricket Wood in England. Take note that the Australians are also from the tribe of Ephraim. Moreover, the current PCG Regional Director of UK and Europe Brad Macdonald is himself an Australian, and he was the one who assisted Mr. Gerald Flurry in visiting estates for sale in England. The question is: Do the Ephraimites have a tendency to conceal and hide? Read it with your own eyes the irrefutable answer concerning the drunkards of Ephraim in verse 1:
“(F)or we have made lies our refuge, and under falsehood have we hid ourselves: (Isaiah 28:15)
With how the PCG ministers have handled in secret the purchase of the Bricket Wood then, and now with the final announcement of a deal that was made for the real estate in England, it obviously suggest that they have already turned things upside down which is being esteemed as the potter’s clay:
“Woe unto them that seek deep to hide their counsel from the Lord, and their works are in the dark, and they say, Who seeth us? and who knoweth us? Surely your turning of things upside down shall be esteemed as the potter’s clay: for shall the work say of him that made it, He made me not? or shall the thing framed say of him that framed it, He had no understanding?” (Isaiah 29:15-16)
It seems that the cunningness of the secret counsel will not be easily detected unless God reveals it. They will just say to this effect:
“Well, anyway, it was Mr. Gerald Flurry who decided to establish campus in England, it was not us (‘he made me not’)! We are just following directions according to God’s government.”
But in reality, Mr. Flurry has no understanding of what was taking place – he has not perceived that he is being forged as a clay in their hands – the secret counsel being the potter. (Most likely, Mr. Flurry under the influence of these drunkards of Ephraim, would be speaking of the acquisition of the estate in England this coming Feast of Tabernacles 2014 – maybe even during his Opening Night Message, thus making it the theme for the whole feast.)
As far as God is concerned, the decision to re-open the Bricket Wood campus then, which eventually has been diverted to a campus somewhere in England is esteemed as the potter’s clay – the “graven image” of Habakkuk 2:18!
There is yet another irrefutable proof which fulfills the “turning of things upside down” prophecy of Isaiah, i.e., the TURNABOUT. Well, let us first consider its definition:
1. The act of turning about and facing or moving in the opposite direction.
2. A change or reversal of direction, trend, policy, role, or character
Now, consider the ROLE REVERSAL during the TURNABOUT singles’ activity in the Philadelphia Church of God’s website:
(Click image to go to the PCOG website)
The prophet Isaiah described the condition of spiritual Ephraim:
“Woe to the crown of pride, to the drunkards of Ephraim, whose glorious beauty is a fading flower, which are on the head of the fat valleys of them that are overcome with wine! Behold, the Lord hath a mighty and strong one, which as a tempest of hail and a destroying storm, as a flood of mighty waters overflowing, shall cast down to the earth with the hand.” (Isaiah 28:1-2)
The drunkards of Ephraim is overcome with wine and in a spirit of deep sleep – which makes their vision blurred and they have stumbled in their judgment in choosing to establish a campus and office facilities in England.
“But they also have erred through wine, and through strong drink are out of the way; the priest and the prophet have erred through strong drink, they are swallowed up of wine, they are out of the way through strong drink; they err in vision, they stumble in judgment.” (v. 7)
This is how God will speak to these drunkards of Ephraim in His Church:
“For with stammering lips and another tongue will he speak to this people.” (v. 11)
But will they hear God’s speech? In verse 12, it is quite clear that they won’t listen, instead they will FALL BACKWARD – they are choosing ENGLAND (and IRELAND) instead of JERUSALEM.
“But the word of the Lord was unto them precept upon precept, precept upon precept; line upon line, line upon line; here a little, and there a little; that they might go, and fall backward, and be broken, and snared, and taken.” (v. 13)
How can we be so sure that this prophecy is indeed for the ministers in the Philadelphia Church of God in Edmond, Oklahoma (spiritual Jerusalem)?
“Wherefore hear the word of the Lord, ye scornful men, that rule this people which is in Jerusalem.” (v. 14)
Let’s pause for a moment and think about this: Is it possible that there could indeed be Druids inside the Philadelphia Church of God even in its Headquarters in Edmond, Oklahoma? The prophecy written in verse 15 is a very strong indication that a Simon Magus group has already infiltrated God’s Church. Consider this: The crown of pride of the drunkards of Ephraim is Samaria – the same is true for Simon Magus (or Simon the Druid) who was also from Samaria. While as for spiritual Samaria, which is England, it is the crown of pride of the Druids who practice sorcery, witchcraft, and pagan worship. Even Mr. Armstrong wrote about this in his book:
Yes, the British Isles heard Christ’s gospel! But they accepted, instead, the idolatry of the Druids, pagan worship, and the counterfeit “Christianity” of the Roman Babylonian mystery religion, and even spawned the devil’s religion of the evolutionary concept. (p. 131, The United States and Britain in Prophecy)
For a brief background, there’s an article written in the Trumpet.com website, entitled Who Were the Druids?, wherein it discusses the history of the split between the kingdom of Judah and the kingdom of Israel (which is situated in the region of Samaria) whose leader was Jeroboam:
The rebellion was led by Jeroboam, a prominent leader from the northern tribe of Ephraim (verse 20; 2 Chronicles 10:3). Following the revolt, Jeroboam was made king “over all Israel.”
This was the moment Israel split into two kingdoms. The northern kingdom, situated in the region of Samaria, the Bible continued to call “Israel.” This kingdom consisted of 10 tribes and was led by King Jeroboam…
Further on it has been discussed in that article that Druidism was actually the religion that was set up by King Jeroboam:
Druidism was in fact the defining religion of the Celts, the people who lived in the British Isles, including Ireland, before the arrival of the Romans in the first century A.D.
1 Kings 12:28-33 records that King Jeroboam established centers of religious worship in Ephraim (in the border city of Bethel) and in Dan. Here, among the tribes of Ephraim and Dan in particular, Jeroboam placed his pagan priests on “the high places which he had made.” Isn’t it interesting that a few hundred years later, both Britain (Ephraim) and Ireland (Dan) were the centers of Druidism? This pagan religion was practiced in parts of Western Europe, but, just as it did during the time of Jeroboam, it thrived in, and emanated from, Ireland and Britain!
Druidism arrived in the British Isles in waves; (ibid.)
If this Druidism was in fact the religion that was set up by King Jeroboam from Samaria which was eventually brought to the British Isles, then it follows that it was the same religion Simon Magus practiced – so he could indeed be appropriately called, Simon the Druid! Here is what Mr. Gerald Flurry wrote about this man (emphasis mine in bold):
One of the most defining aspects of the first-century Church was its encounter with Simon Magus. This is extremely important history for us to understand. Mr. Armstrong set the stage in The Incredible Human Potential: “In Samaria, north of Jerusalem, lived a Gentile people whom the Jews of Christ’s day spurned, calling them ‘dogs.’ They had been moved there from areas of the Babylonian Empire about 700 B.C. by various kings, including Shalmaneser of Assyria (2 Kings 17:18, 21-24, etc.).” Now notice this statement: “They had brought with them into the land of Samaria their own Babylonian mystery religion. In the eighth chapter of Acts you’ll read of their religious leader in the time of Christ, Simon Magus the Sorcerer.”
Acts 8 says this man “used sorcery, and bewitched the people of Samaria, giving out that himself was some great one: To whom they all gave heed, from the least to the greatest, saying, This man is the great power of God” (verses 9-10). This is the way of religions in this world: Leaders want people to look to them. That is pitiful! We have the living God to look to! Still, this false priest was an impressive man. All those in Samaria, from the least to the greatest, said he was the great power of God! He was not an ordinary man…
Simon was completely bound up in lawlessness! The word carries this sense: “that in which all the virtues are so bound together that perfection is the result, and not one of them is lacking to that perfection” (Thayer’s). Simon had perfect lawlessness. This is what Satan is all about! He is bitter, hateful against God, and perfectly lawless. His false religion preaches that doctrine of lawlessness—though he does a remarkable job of masking it as righteousness…
The epistle of Jude speaks of these followers of Simon Magus: “For there are certain men crept in unawares, who were before of old ordained to this condemnation, ungodly men, turning the grace of our God into lasciviousness, and denying the only Lord God, and our Lord Jesus Christ” (Jude 4). Mr. Armstrong explained that these “certain men … ungodly men” were Simon’s disciples, infiltrating the Church. Their doctrine was to turn God’s grace into lawlessness!…
A Momentous Prophecy
Simon Magus craved power. He wanted to be a leader with a large following—but he wanted even more. He wanted to have his own organization, and he wanted political power to implement his message and force it on people—even to kill them if they didn’t submit! Simon Magus went to Rome in the time of Claudius. There are many other accounts of Simon’s traveling to Rome and becoming one of the great gods to the city and to the people of Rome. There are records which show that Simon “prophesies that Rome will be the scene of his crowning glory, when he will be adored as a god,” citing Dictionary of Religion and Ethics, Volume 2. How pitiful! Men want a following of other deceived men to delude themselves into thinking they’re something great.
God is trying to get us to see that He is recreating Himself in mankind! That is mind-staggering human potential! He’s creating Gods! And yet the most these men can think about is to gain a following! When a person descends into that attitude, there is no end to it. He just wants more power, and more, and more. We shouldn’t even be thinking that way! We should simply be trying to serve God any way we can, or we can get ourselves in serious trouble.
Simon did not accomplish his goal during his lifetime. But later, the church he founded, being headquartered in Rome, did gain control over the Roman Empire. When you look at the history of that church, you see what happened. It has been a MURDEROUS AFFAIR! (Royal Vision September-October, pp. 3, 5-6)
“Simon Magus craved power.” “He just wants more power, and more, and more.” – He wanted to gain a large following and wanted more power for himself. He has the same lust for power as Diotrephes. Here is a quote from The Last End – A Book of Remembrance:
As Mr. Gerald Flurry told the ministry during the 2011 Ministerial Conference (Lecture #5) that “we are going to have Diotrephes in our midst – it’s prophesied!” That this end-time Diotrephes “wants to put himself on the spotlight; he loves preeminence and wants to have authority over the others; and that he wants to run the show”, Mr. Flurry added. Further on, quoting from The Last Hour booklet, he said:
“I wrote unto the church: but Diotrephes, who loveth to have the preeminence among them, receiveth us not” (3 John 9). Here is an example diametrically opposite that of Gaius. Diotrephes was a minister, a regional director. The Greek here shows that “he loves to be first.” Gaius loved to do anything he could to help the men who were serving John. Gaius put God’s servants and work first. Diotrephes just loved to put HIMSELF first! When everything was falling apart in God’s Church, he loved to be first! That attitude consumed him. And he probably lost his eternal life. He was eaten alive by vanity and that vulgar desire to be number one.…
“Interestingly, the name Diotrephes means ‘nourished by Zeus.’ Does that give you a clue about what was happening to this man? He was just like a man in God’s end-time Church. And MOST PEOPLE TODAY THINK THIS MAN OF SIN HAS SO MUCH LOVE! THEY THINK HE SETS A MARVELOUS EXAMPLE OF LOVE BECAUSE HE TALKS ABOUT IT ALL THE TIME! – AS HE BUTCHERS GOD’S LAW OF LOVE. Diotrephes was a type of the end-time antichrist. His big problem wasn’t in rejecting doctrine. He lusted for power. His big problem was that he wanted the top office! That is exactly what Satan’s problem was! This evil man operates in the spirit of Satan. He may have been possessed by the devil.” (pp. 110-111)
(Click image to download)
In reality it was Satan who was behind Simon Magus and Diotrephes:
Simon was practically Satan incarnate, it would seem. Again, who is really in the bond of lawlessness? Isaiah 14 and Ezekiel 28 show that this is Satan’s lifestyle; it is the way he lives! He hates the law! He turned away from God, turned a third of the angels away from God, turned this world away from God—and in this end time, even turned most of God’s own people away from God. He is in the bond of lawlessness! And he has a frightening power to deceive! (p. 5, op. cit)
That is what Satan, Diotrephes, Simon Magus, and the drunkards of Ephraim have in common – a lust or craving for power. In the dictionary it is called MEGALOMANIA:
1. A psychopathological condition characterized by delusional fantasies of wealth, power, or omnipotence.2. An obsession with grandiose or extravagant things or actions.3. A highly exaggerated or delusional concept of one’s own importance.
This same megalomaniac Simon Magus group has been behind the MURDEROUS AFFAIR of killing people if they didn’t submit – which brings us to the specific prophecy in verse 15 concerning the drunkards of Ephraim who wanted God’s people to look to them:
“Because ye have said, We have made a covenant with death, and with hell are we at agreement; when the overflowing scourge shall pass through, it shall not come unto us:”
Well you might say that it is a bit odd and strange for God to actually allow the group of Simon Magus to infiltrate even the ministry of the Philadelphia Church of God:
“For the Lord shall rise up as in mount Perazim, he shall be wroth as in the valley of Gibeon, that he may do his work, his strange work; and bring to pass his act, his strange act.” (v. 21)
Why would God do such a STRANGE WORK – such a STRANGE ACT, even using STAMMERING LIPS and ANOTHER TONGUE to speak to these drunkards of Ephraim? And how does He see His sanctuary in this last end?
“For all tables are full of vomit and filthiness, so that there is no place clean.” (v. 8)
This is the same prophecy proclaimed in Ezekiel chapter 24:
“Then I answered them, The word of the Lord came unto me, saying, Speak unto the house of Israel, Thus saith the Lord God; Behold, I will profane my sanctuary, the excellency of your strength, the desire of your eyes, and that which your soul pitieth; and your sons and your daughters whom ye have left shall fall by the sword.” (vv. 20-21)
Which brings us to the prophesied outcome of what shall happen to the drunkards of Ephraim and their crown of pride – the new campus and office facility in England:
“The crown of pride, the drunkards of Ephraim, shall be trodden under feet:”…And your covenant with death shall be disannulled, and your agreement with hell shall not stand; when the overflowing scourge shall pass through, then ye shall be trodden down by it.” (vv. 3, 18)
Yet there is a warning to those who will not believe this very prophecy when it is spoken by God through ANOTHER TONGUE:
“Now therefore be ye not mockers, lest your bands be made strong: for I have heard from the Lord God of hosts a consumption, even determined upon the whole earth. Give ye ear, and hear my voice; hearken, and hear my speech.” (vv. 22-23)
Who then will be able to understand this prophecy in the last end when God speaks? Those who are “weaned from the milk, and drawn from the breasts”
“Whom shall he teach knowledge? and whom shall he make to understand doctrine? them that are weaned from the milk, and drawn from the breasts. For precept must be upon precept, precept upon precept; line upon line, line upon line; here a little, and there a little:” (vv. 9-10)
And just like what the apostle Paul explained:
“For when for the time ye ought to be teachers, ye have need that one teach you again which be the first principles of the oracles of God; and are become such as have need of milk, and not of strong meat. For every one that useth milk is unskilful in the word of righteousness: for he is a babe. But strong meat belongeth to them that are of full age, even those who by reason of use have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil.” (Hebrews 5:12-14)
Eventually, in the end, the secret counsel of men – the drunkards of Ephraim will be exposed by God:
“Therefore thus saith the Lord God, Behold, I lay in Zion for a foundation a stone, a tried stone, a precious corner stone, a sure foundation: he that believeth shall not make haste. Judgment also will I lay to the line, and righteousness to the plummet: and the hail shall sweep away the refuge of lies, and the waters shall overflow the hiding place… This also cometh forth from the Lord of hosts, which is wonderful in counsel, and excellent in working.” (vv. 16-17, 29)
We must remember that the 1974 ministerial rebellion in the WCG and the great consternation among the members in Britain, was in the context of the whole Church being deceived. And the Bricket Wood campus and office in England – the crown of pride of Ephraim, was very much a part of that recent history of God’s Church that we should not take lightly.
“Then he said unto me, Hast thou seen this, O son of man? Is it a light thing to the house of Judah that they commit the abominations which they commit here? for they have filled the land with violence, and have returned to provoke me to anger: and, lo, they put the branch to their nose.” (Ezekiel 8:17)