On December 29, 2016 the much-anticipated latest musical of Mr. Ryan Malone dubbed “The Widow’s Might” will premiere at Armstrong Auditorium in Edmond, Oklahoma.
Notice what the Philadelphia Church of God publicized through their local newspaper, Edmond Sun about their new musical. This was posted on Edmond Sun’s website last December 4, 2016.
‘The Widow’s Might’ to premiere Dec. 29 at OC
Herbert W. Armstrong College announces its fourth musical theater production, ‘The Widow’s Might —The Story of Naomi, Ruth and Boaz.’ The production will make its debut at Armstrong Auditorium in three performances; at 7:30 p.m. on Thursday, Dec. 29, at 7:30 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 31, and at 2 p.m. Sunday, Jan. 1.
In this new musical by Armstrong College music director Ryan Malone, one of the most renowned love stories of all time comes to life from the book of Ruth. Follow Naomi and Ruth — two impoverished widows — on their journey as they discover loyalty and love, rescue and redemption. With a lyrical and heart-rending new score, breathtaking step-dancing choreography and brilliantly colored costumes, a 100-strong cast brings this adventure to life in dramatic detail.
Great-grandparents to King David of the Bible, Boaz and Ruth remain the most distinguished royal family of the Old Testament. The hope-filled story comes to vivid life in this new musical – performed by staff and students of Herbert W. Armstrong College teaming up with its sister school Imperial Academy and its internationally acclaimed Irish dancers…”
The Philadelphia Church of God advertised the Book of Ruth as a love story in their musical. Moreover, they said that it is about two destitute widows who learned about loyalty, love, rescue, and redemption in the course of their life. This is basically how they see the Book of Ruth.
After a long drought, this latest musical will be another opportunity to showcase again to the world their talents in singing and dancing. They want to be known as great performers on stage with wonderful music, voices and world-ranking Irish dancers.
Now, let’s look at the preparation for this musical and consider the amount of time and effort invested on this. Let’s consider also how PCG’s musical director, Ryan Malone, view his hottest musical as reported in their pcog.org website last November 17, 2016.
Staff and Students Prepare For New Musical
PCG members dedicate hours to latest musical production.
By Calela Brooks
Nov. 17, 2016
EDMOND—More than 100 Philadelphia Church of God cast and crew members are preparing for the December 29 debut of music director Ryan Malone’s newest musical, The Widow’s Might, which will show at Armstrong Auditorium. Beginning with a rehearsal on November 1, the musical’s chorus groups are focusing on the blocking and staging elements of the show.
Based on the book of Ruth, the project began in February, with Mr. Malone and Pastor General Gerald Flurry exploring which biblical account to portray in the Church’s next musical production.
“He thought, since he was going to be getting into some deeper understanding on this book of the Bible, that it would be timely to make this the next musical,” Mr. Malone said.
Since August, 15 Irish dancers from the Maguire Academy have spent 21/2 hours every week rehearsing for the six dance numbers in the show. Choreographer and instructor Paris Turgeon says the group has dedicated an estimated 30 hours to the finale alone.
Also starting in August, the crew of about a dozen pcg members began creating sets, props, lighting-design and costumes, while the main choruses rehearse weekly and bi-weekly. The musical features three main choruses: townspeople, gleaners and Boaz’s servants. Outside of the two hours of rehearsal time every week, each chorus member is expected to practice on his or her own.
Before the Feast of Tabernacles in mid-October, the choruses focused on learning parts, diction and blending together, while recording engineer Ken Sarkey spent 23 hours recording the orchestra. After the orchestral accompaniment was complete, Sarkey spent another seven hours recording the three choruses, as well as small solo parts. Mr. Malone hopes to make the audio for the musical available on all major digital outlets.
After the Feast, the choruses have focused mostly on blocking, staging and choreography.
“It’s a great opportunity for a group effort, with all the choirs and such,” Mr. Malone said. “That makes what happens to the lead characters quite special and intimate, and it gives the audience a chance to connect to some universal emotions and circumstances in this account.”
The lead roles of Naomi, Ruth and Boaz are played by Herbert W. Armstrong College voice instructor Paula Malone, sophomore Jessica Brandon and instructor Mark Jenkins, respectively.
“It’s easy to look at this book of the Bible and say it’s about Ruth, because of how it’s been titled. But the story is just as much about Naomi, if not more,” Mr. Malone said. “Boaz himself was probably widowed as well, so he ties into the main theme of the story. And that theme, or that overall message, is that God takes care of His widows. He is the might and strength of the widow. He provides what they need—whether it’s in the field or in the home—whether it’s financial or spiritual.”
The musical debuts on December 29 at Armstrong Auditorium. It will live-stream at live.pcog.org. For more details and show times, visit ArmstrongAuditorium.org.
We see here that so much time, energy, and money were invested into this much-awaited stage performance. Mr. Malone wants the audience to be able to connect to the emotions and situations in the story.
The main theme according to Mr. Malone is that God looks after His widows. And he emphasized the importance of what Naomi had done more than what Ruth had accomplished.
Is the book of Ruth really all about these ideas in the mind of Ryan Malone?
Let’s understand what the book of Ruth is truly all about.
WHAT THE BOOK OF RUTH PICTURES
The PCG is unaware that what they are about to play out in their forthcoming musical is a prophecy concerning God’s last end work which He raised up through the Gentiles. Their performance will be an advertisement of what God has done in this end-time to revive His work through a unique group of people. God raised up a Gentile work in order to save the whole of Israel. (Romans 11: 25-26)
The book of Ruth encapsulates God’s end-time work through The Remembrancers.
WHY AN END-TIME PROPHECY
But what makes the book of Ruth a prophecy in the end-time?
According to the article written by Mr. Gerald Flurry, entitled, The Book of Ruth, which was recently posted in their website www.pcog.org that:
“Samuel wrote the book of Ruth during the times of the judges, when Israel was very evil and corrupt. It was a time much like our own.”
Samuel was a prophet of God. Therefore, what he wrote in the book of Ruth has an end-time fulfilment.
In the same article, Mr. Gerald Flurry indicated that the book of Ruth was a history and prophecy about God’s Church. This is what he wrote:
“Already we can begin to get some good insight into the history and prophecy of God’s Church.”
As the book of Ruth was history and prophecy of God’s church, we must therefore look for a dual fulfilment of the story of this book in our time.
So, let’s begin to look at how the narrative in this book applies in this present time.
THE CONDITION OF THE CHURCH
The story unfold describing the prevailing condition in God’s church in this end-time.
Now it came to pass in the days when the judges ruled, that there was a famine in the land. And a certain man of Bethlehemjudah went to sojourn in the country of Moab, he, and his wife, and his two sons.
And the name of the man was Elimelech, and the name of his wife Naomi, and the name of his two sons Mahlon and Chilion, Ephrathites of Bethlehemjudah. And they came into the country of Moab, and continued there. (Ruth 1:1-2)
It was a time when judges ruled instead of a king.
Notice its resemblance to our time now. Today, we are witnessing the PCG ministers, who perform the role of judges, are the ones ruling in God’s Church instead of a king or God’s messenger for this last era, Mr. Gerald flurry.
We have discussed this prevailing condition in God’s church in many of our previous articles.
Famine in the Land
During that time when judges were ruling, a famine ensued.
Notice that the food crisis was instigated by God as inferred in verse 6 of the same chapter.
God withheld giving of bread to the whole nation. And Judah was a part of it.
Today, we have exactly the same case. There is also a famine in the land of spiritual Judah, the PCG. God, who used to shower His people with bountiful rain, has stopped sending rain. God’s revelations were withdrawn from His people.
It is because the ministers are ruling in place of God’s chosen servant.
When ministers rule instead of God’s anointed or chosen servant, the effect will be a spiritual famine – a famine of the word of God. God will definitely stop pouring out his revelations. He will surely deprive His people of heavenly manna.
A Family from Bethlehemjudah
As widespread starvation persisted in the land, a family from Bethlehemjudah went to sojourn to the country of Moab.
The name Bethlehemjudah is a compound of the names Bethlehem and Judah. The name Bethlehem means house of bread. Here is what John Gill’s Exposition of the Entire Bible says about Bethlehemjudah.
“so called to distinguish it from another Bethlehem in the tribe of Zebulun, Jos_19:15 which had its name from the fruitfulness of the place, and the plenty of bread in it, and yet the famine was here; hence this man with his family removed from it:”
This family came from this fruitful place – a house of bread in Judah which during that time became a house of famine, so to speak – for there was famine in the land.
The head of the family was named Elimelech.
In this present time, who represents Elimelech? And which family came from the house of bread in Judah?
Today, Elimelech is a symbol of Mr. Gerald Flurry. And the family which came with him to Moab is God’s church, The Philadelphia Church of God (PCG).
In this end-time, Mr. Gerald Flurry and the PCG used to have an abundance of bread coming from God. Notice that he, together with his family came from the house of bread in Judah. In many prophecies, Judah is symbolic of the PCG as we have shown in our past articles.
That house of bread in Judah has now become a house of famine.
According to Abarim Publications’ online Biblical Hebrew Dictionary, “the name Elimelech consists of two elements. The first part is the word אל (El), which is applied to the God of Israel and also the common abbreviation of Elohim, the genus God:
The second element comes from the noun מלך (melek), meaning king:
But, there is a letter י (yod) that sits in between the two elements which may be a possessive yod, which would turns the el-part into my el or el of. But it may also belong to the second element and create a third person form of the verb מלך: he is (being) a king.
For a meaning of the name Elimelech, both NOBSE Study Bible Name List and BDB Theological Dictionary take the yod as part of the verb and translate our name as God Is King. Jones’ Dictionary of Old Testament Proper Names sees the yod as possessive and reads God Of The King.”
Either way, the meaning may apply to Mr. Gerald Flurry. Mr. Flurry’s God is king! God has total control of what’s going on despite of the negative situations that we see happening in His church in this present time. And the Almighty God is still Mr. Flurry’s God – My God is king.
SOJOURNED IN THE FIELDS OF MOAB
Now, Elimelech and his family left their land Bethlehemjudah and sojourned in the country of Moab.
According to Barnes Commentary, the country of Moab is:
“… literally, “the field” or “fields.” As the same word is elsewhere used of the territory of Moab, of the Amalekites, of Edom, and of the Philistines, it would seem to be a term pointedly used with reference to a foreign country, not the country of the speaker, or writer; and to have been specially applied to Moab.
Hence, the country of Moab is the “field,” “fields,” or “territory” of Moab.
But who is Moab in our day?
To which field, territory or dominion is Mr. Gerald Flurry and the PCG sojourning today? As God continue to withhold the “giving of bread” to Mr. Gerald Flurry and the PCG, who is giving the impression that “bread” is abundant in his field? Who acts as if God is giving him “daily bread” in his country? Moab is none other than Stephen Flurry. And the country or field of Moab refers to Edstone in Warwickshire, England.
Moab means “from a father” or “of his father.” (BDB). Moab represents a work “from a father.” Today, we see Stephen’s work in Edstone surviving because “of his father.” And people think of his work came “from a father,” Mr. Gerald Flurry.
This is what we are see happening in God’s church right now. This is the state or condition of Mr. Gerald Flurry and the PCG today. Mr. Gerald Flurry and the PCG are sojourning in the field of Stephen Flurry.
The word sojourned reveals a lot of what happened to God’s church in this end-time.
The word sojourn means:
1) to sojourn, abide, dwell in, dwell with, remain, inhabit, be a stranger, be continuing, surely
1a1) to sojourn, dwell for a time
1a2) to abide, stay, temporarily dwell
1b1) to seek hospitality with
1b2) to assemble oneself
2) to stir up trouble, strife, quarrel, gather together
2a1) to stir up strife
2a2) to quarrel
2b) (Hithpolel) to excite oneself
3) to dread, fear, stand in awe, be afraid
3a1) to fear, be afraid
3a2) to be in awe, stand in awe
Mr. Gerald Flurry and the PCG are dwelling for a time like a stranger in the fields of Stephen. As God refuse to give them food, they remain under the shadow of Stephen. Stephen, as we know, is running the show. He is trying to cover up the food crisis in God’s church by strenuously providing something which appears like bread in his Trumpet Daily Radio Show. He tries to make an impression that God is providing him food daily.
In Strong’s Concordance, the word sojourned means:
to turn aside from the road (for a lodging or any other purpose), that is, sojourn (as a guest);
also to shrink, fear (as in a strange place);
also to gather for hostility (as afraid): – abide, assemble, be afraid, dwell, fear, gather (together), inhabitant, remain, sojourn, stand in awe, (be) stranger, X surely.
The Church has turned aside from the road. She has gone off the track. She has lodged to a different place where God is nowhere to be found.
The image here is similar to God’s Church called Mystery Babylon the Great in the 17th chapter of the book of Revelation where she was seen by the Apostle John sitting upon a beast.
“… and I saw a woman sit upon a scarlet coloured beast, full of names of blasphemy, having seven heads and ten horns.” (Revelation 17:3)
The word sojourned here has the same meaning as the word sit in that verse. It means to remain, reside: – dwell. (fig.)
As the Church in Revelation 17 vision is dwelling on a beast which represents the government or rule of Satan, the Church in this prophecy in the book of Ruth is dwelling or abiding in the field of Moab which is also symbolic of Satan’s rule through Stephen Flurry.
WHO IS NAOMI
When Elimelech left Bethlehemjudah, he was with his wife Naomi and his two sons.
The name Naomi, in Strong’s Concordance, means pleasant. BDB defines it as “my delight.”
It came from the word, nô‛am which means agreeableness, that is, delight, suitableness, splendor or grace: – beauty, pleasant (-ness).
The root word is nâ‛êm which means to be agreeable (literally or figuratively): – pass in beauty, be delight, be pleasant, be sweet.
According to Abarim Publications’ online Biblical Hebrew Dictionary,
“The name Naomi is derived from the verb נעם (na’em) meaning to be pleasant, sweet, delightful, beautiful:
The letter י (yod) upon which our name [Naomi] ends, may either create an adjective (sweet), a possessive form (my sweetness), or may be a remnant of יה (Yah) = יהו (Yahu) = יו (Yu), which in turn are abbreviated forms of the Tetragrammaton יהוה, YHWH, or Yahweh.
For a meaning of the name Naomi, NOBSE Study Bible Name List goes with the possessive form and reads My Delight. Jones’ Dictionary of Old Testament Proper Name reads Pleasantness, but adds Of The Lord, assuming that the yod is not an adjective-maker but indicative of the name YHWH.”
These meanings are descriptions of the God’s Church. She is God’s delight, pleasantness, beauty, sweetness, and grace.
Naomi is a picture of the Church, as a mother. The role she played in the story is comparable to that of the Church in caring for God’s people – a mother to her children.
She was a woman going through various situations and experiences in life just like God’s Church passing through the different epoch of time and being subjected to various circumstances in life. But the Almighty God is the god of this woman who allowed her to go through these things in her life.
Naomi personifies the feelings, intentions, hopes, including the state or situation of the Church.
Moreover, Naomi is symbolic of God’s grace – His kindness, His favor that he has extended to his begotten children. This word grace, in Hebrew, has similar meanings as the name Naomi.
From H2603; graciousness, that is, subjectively (kindness, favor) or objectively (beauty): – favour, grace (-ious), pleasant, precious, [well-] favoured.
After they dwelled in the fields of Moab, before long, Elimelech died leaving Naomi and their sons.
And Elimelech Naomi’s husband died; and she was left, and her two sons. (Ruth 1:3)
If we leave God and remain with or lodged in a foreign land, we will soon perish. And that’s what happened to Elimelech.
The same is true today. Mr. Gerald Flurry has lodged in a strange place. He anchored God’s work to his son, Stephen Flurry. He allowed his son to be in charge of God’s work. Stephen and his men carry out their plans without restrictions from the Pastor General. They can freely introduce whatever paganism they have in mind to their projects just like in their latest musical, “The Widow’s Might,” which is again mingled with Irish dancing. Therefore, the Almighty God has put him to sleep temporarily as also shown in Psalms 127:1-2.
A Song of degrees for Solomon. Except the LORD build the house, they labour in vain that build it: except the LORD keep the city, the watchman waketh but in vain. It is vain for you to rise up early, to sit up late, to eat the bread of sorrows: for so he giveth his beloved sleep. (Psalms 127:1-2)
This is a figure of Mr. Gerald Flurry today. He is not aware of what really is happening in God’s church. Stephen and Brad with their associates are the ones trying to build the house. They worked very hard to make Edstone at par with Edmond. In the end, this will amount to nothing. Their labor will all be in vain. And it only brought the work of God off the track.
THE TWO SONS
In the story, Naomi had two sons named Mahlon and Chilion. The meanings of their names reveal the state of God’s Israelitish children in this end-time.
The name Mahlon is defined in Brown-Driver-Briggs’ Hebrew Definitions as sick. It is from the root word châlâh and defined in Strong’s Concordance as follows:
(figuratively) to be weak, sick, afflicted;
or (causatively) to grieve, make sick;
(be) diseased, (put to) grief, infirmity, put to pain,
woman in travail, be (become) weak, be wounded.
The Abarim Publications’ online Biblical Hebrew Dictionary has an identical meaning as shown below:
Etymology of the name Mahlon
The name Mahlon appears to be derived from the verb חלה (hala), meaning to be weak, sick or wounded:
Our name ends with the familiar waw-nun-extension, which creates a localized or personified manifestation of the verb. The name Mahlon literally means Man Of Weakness.
For a meaning of the name Mahlon, NOBSE Study Bible Name List reads Sickly. Alfred Jones (Dictionary of Old Testament Proper Names) takes the waw-nun-extension to be an “intensitive termination” and translates our name with Great Infirmity.”
Now, the other son’s name has a related meaning. The meaning of the name, Chilion, in Brown-Driver-Briggs’ Hebrew Definitions, is pining.
The following are some of the definitions for the word pining:
- Suffering a mental and physical decline
- yearning deeply; suffering with longing; longing painfully (often followed by for): to pine for one’s home and family
- Failing gradually in health and vitality
Synonyms for the word pine are as follows:
Languish, decline, weaken, waste away, wither, fade, droop
It is interesting to note also that Brown-Driver-Briggs’ Hebrew Definitions described Chilion as an Ephraimite.
The Hebrew word kilyôn is a form of the word killâyôn which means destruction, consumption, failing. And this word killâyôn comes from the root word kâlâh which has the following meaning in Strong’s Concordance:
A primitive root; to end, whether intransitively (to cease, be finished, perish) or transitively (to complete, prepare, consume): – accomplish, cease, consume (away), determine, destroy (utterly), be (when . . . were) done, (be an) end (of), expire, (cause to) fail, faint, finish, fulfil, X fully, X have, leave (off), long, bring to pass, wholly reap, make clean riddance, spend, quite take away, waste.
According to Abarim Publications’ online Biblical Hebrew Dictionary,
“The name Chilion is not very cheerful. It’s spelled the same way as and pronounced slightly different from the noun כליון (killayon), meaning failing or annihilation, derived from the verb כלה (kala), meaning to come to an end: [Abarim]
For a meaning of the name Chilion, NOBSE Study Bible Name List reads Wasting Away and Jones’ Dictionary of Old Testament Proper Names proposes Pining, Consuming. BDB Theological Dictionary does not interpret our name.”
THE WHOLE ISRAEL DIED
When their father Elimelech passed away, Mahlon and Chilion married Moabite women named Orpah and Ruth. But after ten years, Mahlon and Chilion died as well.
And they took them wives of the women of Moab; the name of the one was Orpah, and the name of the other Ruth: and they dwelled there about ten years. (Ruth 1:4)
Mahlon and Chilion were sons or children of Elimelech and Naomi who were from Judah in Israel. Today, they represent the people in the PCG who are of Israelitish lineage. The meanings of the names of Mahlon and Chilion provide us with a picture of the condition of these people in God’s church today.
They are sick and pining!
What a horrifying picture. They have great illness and dying. The Mahlons and the Chilions in God’s church in this last end are failing in spiritual health in the territory of Stephen.
Ultimately, they have come to an end as indicated in verse 5. The Mahlons and Chilions in God’s church have perished.
As they sojourned in the fields of Stephen, they have become sick and failing and eventually, they died.
We have shown in an earlier article entitled, “THY SERVANT” in the Book of Psalms – A Prophecy About Mr. Gerald Flurry” how the ministers have made a covenant with Mr. Death, Stephen Flurry and Mr. Hell, Brad Macdonald as shown in Isaiah 28:14-15.
As they made a covenant with Death and Hell, they became sick and pining. And eventually they died. The members who followed the lead of these two wicked men have perished as well.
They have turned aside from the road. They have gone off the track. They have lodged in a foreign place where God is nowhere to be found. And so, they all died.
But, as Mr. Gerald Flurry wrote in his article titled, The Book of Ruth, “This was all happening according to God’s plan.”
God prefigured that His work will be revived via a Gentile channel. Through one of the widows of the sons of Elimelech and Naomi, God’s help and restoration will be seen.
THE TWO WIDOWS
Mahlon’s and Chilion’s widows were Ruth and Orpah.
According to Abarim Publications’ online Biblical Hebrew Dictionary,
“The name Orpah is fabulously rich of meaning, perhaps because it’s a Moabite and not a Hebrew name…
For a meaning of the name Orpah, both NOBSE Study Bible Name List and Jones’ Dictionary of Old Testament Proper Names go with ערף, meaning neck. Jones reads Mane (BDB Theological Dictionary explains that the Arabic cognate means just that: mane). NOBSE simply reads Neck.
Strong’s Concordance defines the name, Orpah, as mane. Mane is a growth of long hair on the neck of a horse, lion, or other animal.
The name Orpah is a feminine form of ‛ôreph (H6203) which is the nape or back of the neck (as declining); hence the back generally (whether literally or figuratively): – back ([stiff-]) neck ([-ed]).
The root word ‛âraph (H6202) means to bend downward; but used only as a denominative from H6203, to break the neck; hence (figuratively) to destroy: – that is beheaded, break down, break (cut off, strike off) neck.
Abarim Publications remarked that “a secondary derivation is a denominative verb created from the noun: ערף (‘arap), literally meaning to neck, which in practice comes down to breaking the neck of an animal (Exodus 13:13, Isaiah 66:3).”
Now, here’s the meaning of the name of the other widow, Ruth.
Strong’s Concordance defines the name, Ruth, as friend. In Brown-Driver-Briggs’ Hebrew Definitions, Ruth is defined as friendship.
Here is what Abarim Publications’ online Biblical Hebrew Dictionary says about the name, Ruth in its closing explanations.
“Scholars who follow this root group see the name Ruth as a feminine derivation of the root רעה (ra’a II), meaning to associate with, or be a friend of. And thus, they say, the name Ruth means (Lady-) Friend or (Lady-) Companion. The learned body behind the NOBSE Study Bible Name List agrees and reads Female Companion for a meaning of the name Ruth.
The valiant Alfred Jones (Dictionary of Old Testament Proper Names) proposes a different etymology and goes after the root ראה (ra’a), meaning to see:”
Ruth was a Gentile who embraced Naomi’s God and people. She was very determined to stick it out with Naomi.
“But Ruth replied, ‘Don’t urge me to leave you or to turn back from you. Where you go I will go, and where you stay I will stay. Your people will be my people and your God my God. Where you die I will die, and there I will be buried. May the Lord deal with me, be it ever so severely, if anything but death separates you and me’ ” (Ruth 1:16-17, New International Version).
Ruth and Orpah were Moabite women. Ruth was specifically called “the Moabitess” five times in the book.
We have already proven in our recent article titled, “THY SERVANT” in the Book of Psalms – A Prophecy About Mr. Gerald Flurry,” that Ruth was not an Israelite nor a Moabitess based on her geographic location. They were truly Gentiles by blood.
Today, Ruth and Orpah are symbolic of the Gentile members in God’s church.
These Gentile women became Naomi’s daughters-in-law by virtue of their marriage to her sons Mahlon and Chilion who were Israelites by blood. And being married to Israelites made them Israelites as well. They became one with them. Just like a Gentile being grafted into the vine of Israel become a spiritual Israelite. And so they became part of God’s church or family.
As they are now representative of spiritual Israelites, because the Mahlons and Chilions in God’s church have died, Ruth and Orpah may be viewed also as two types of people in God’s church.
Let’s understand their uniqueness based on what happened in the story.
GOD REMOVED THE FAMINE
During the time that they were in the land of Moab, Naomi heard the news that the famine was over. God had visited again His people. He removed the famine in the land and started feeding His people. Bread was again being provided to them.
Then she arose with her daughters in law, that she might return from the country of Moab: for she had heard in the country of Moab how that the LORD had visited his people in giving them bread. (Ruth 1:6)
Similarly, in this last end, when God’s people sojourned in the country of Moab, God has again provided food to His people who remained in His land. These are the people who did not sojourned in the territory of Stephen.
For 3 years now since The Book of Remembrance was first sent, God’s people in the fields of Stephen has been hearing about how God has been feeding The Remembrancers with bountiful heavenly manna or revelations. He has been pouring out rain profusely.
Upon hearing this good news, Naomi with her two daughters-in-law set out on the road that would bring them back to the land of Judah.
Wherefore she went forth out of the place where she was, and her two daughters in law with her; and they went on the way to return unto the land of Judah. (Ruth 1:7)
Naomi explained to them about the difficult decision they would had to make.
“And Naomi said unto her two daughters in law, Go, return each to her mother’s house: the LORD deal kindly with you, as ye have dealt with the dead, and with me. The LORD grant you that ye may find rest, each of you in the house of her husband. Then she kissed them; and they lifted up their voice, and wept. And they said unto her, Surely we will return with thee unto thy people” (Ruth 1:8-10)
The two daughters said, at this point, that they were definite about their decision to remain with Naomi.
But Naomi argued that she was already old and on her own. She had no more family. Without a husband and sons. And God’s hand was against her.
And Naomi said, Turn again, my daughters: why will ye go with me? are there yet any more sons in my womb, that they may be your husbands? Turn again, my daughters, go your way; for I am too old to have an husband. If I should say, I have hope, if I should have an husband also to night, and should also bear sons; Would ye tarry for them till they were grown? would ye stay for them from having husbands? nay, my daughters; for it grieveth me much for your sakes that the hand of the LORD is gone out against me. (Ruth 1:11-13)
Naomi was explaining to them that she’s like a dead church. Everyone in the family has died except her. She was left with no one. The messenger of the era was put to sleep and her Israelitish sons have perished.
She knew that God was angry at her. This is further verified in verses 20 and 21 of the same chapter.
And she said unto them, Call me not Naomi, call me Mara: for the Almighty hath dealt very bitterly with me. I went out full, and the LORD hath brought me home again empty: why then call ye me Naomi, seeing the LORD hath testified against me, and the Almighty hath afflicted me? (Ruth 1:20-21)
The word Mara means bitter or bitterness. She felt bitter for what she had gone through. She lost everything in her life.
We have shown in many of our articles that God is against her because of the wickedness of the ministers and the people who followed them. He dealt with her severely. God had afflicted her while she was in the fields of Stephen Flurry.
Naomi said in verse 12 that she’s too old to have another husband or messenger. In essence, Naomi or the church was saying, “It’s already the seventh era of God’s church. There will not be a next era. And there will not be a next messenger of a next era.”
When Orpah heard these words and understood the consequences of what she was about to do, she changed her mind and walked away from Naomi. But Ruth remained faithful.
And they lifted up their voice, and wept again: and Orpah kissed her mother in law; but Ruth clave unto her. (Ruth 1:14)
“The Ruths” are symbolic of those who are the real friends of God just like their patriarch Abraham. While “The Orphas” characterize those who turned their backs from God. They are the stiffnecked members who don’t look to what God is showing them. Their necks will be broken. They will be beheaded and destroyed.
“The Ruths” symbolize the lady friend and companion to Naomi. Now the church has a lady friend and companion who is cleaving to her.
And she said, Behold, thy sister in law is gone back unto her people, and unto her gods: return thou after thy sister in law. (Ruth 1:15)
“The Orpahs” represent those members who have become spiritual Moabites in this end time.
“The Orpahs” returned to her gods. Their gods represent the ministers who are in league with Stephen Flurry. They cleave to these ministers rather than to God.
Here is what Mr. Gerald Flurry wrote regarding this verse in his article, titled, The Book of Ruth.
“The indications are that Orpah was within earshot of what Naomi said next: “And she said, Behold, thy sister in law is gone back unto her people, and unto her gods: return thou after thy sister in law” (v. 15). The Soncino Commentary says she could hear Naomi saying, essentially, “Go ahead, go back to your paganism. You have that choice.” Orpah had been with the true God of Israel, and she turned back. Before she was gone, however, she received this warning from Naomi.”
In this last end, the PCG members have been receiving numerous warnings regarding their pagan practices. In spite of that, they still return to their paganism. What they will perform on stage in their upcoming musical, “The Widow’s Might,” will be again a display of their paganism to the whole world. They had been with the true God but they turned their backs on Him.
Orpah stayed in Moab and disappeared from the story. This is the last verse where she was mentioned in the narrative.
The same thing will happen to “the Orpahs” of today. If they will continue to stay with Stephen Flurry and his allies, they will also disappear from the story. They will not be remembered.
But Ruth stayed with Naomi. She became a female companion to her. The Almighty God has not left the church without a friend and companion.
Look at Ruth’s moving words to Naomi.
And Ruth said, Intreat me not to leave thee, or to return from following after thee: for whither thou goest, I will go; and where thou lodgest, I will lodge: thy people shall be my people, and thy God my God: (Ruth 1:16)
Ruth here showed her true loyalty to Naomi. She was willing to forsake everything just to be with her. She was ready to give up her home, her people, her identity just to follow Naomi.
Ruth could have continued with her people like her sister Orpah. She had what she needed but she decided to leave all. She left her parents and native land.
Likewise, the modern-day “Ruths” left their parents (PCG ministers), their identity and their native land, the PCG, because she became the country or fields of Stephen Flurry.
Leaving Moab means that you are not a friend of the world, but a friend of God. (James 4:4).
The modern-day “Ruths” is symbolic of God’s people who abandoned the spiritual Moab or the work of Stephen Flurry.
“The Ruths” represents The Remembrancers. Remember that Ruth was a Gentile. And so, The Remembrancers are comprise mainly of Gentiles.
“The Ruths” of today are those who are true friends of God – a lady friend and companion to God’s church. They will follow her back to her former state or condition when God was with her and feeding her in His land.
BUT DEATH PART YOU AND ME
Ruth was steadfastly minded to go where Naomi would go. (Ruth 1:18). She was ready to face anything.
Where thou diest, will I die, and there will I be buried: the LORD do so to me, and more also, if ought but death part thee and me. (Ruth 1:17)
Notice that whatever bad circumstances Naomi would have to go through, Ruth was willing to experience it. She’s even more willing to take the worse just to be with her – “the LORD do so to me, and more also.”
Ruth’s earnest desire was to never be separated from Naomi. But something is trying to stop her from cleaving to Naomi.
The words, “if ought” are in Italics. These words are not in the original text. They were just added by Bible translators.
The latter part of the verse should read, “but death part thee and me” and not “if ought but death part thee and me.”
Now, the word “but” in the passage tells us that somebody is trying to separate Ruth from Naomi.
Ruth said, “But death part you and me.”
She was saying that death is trying to part her and Naomi.
Is this about physical death? All commentators agree on this particular point that this refers to physical death.
Notice the following notes of commentaries:
To the repeated entreaty of Naomi that she would follow her sister-in-law and return to her people and her God, Ruth replied: “Entreat me not to leave thee, and to return away behind thee: for whither thou goest, I will go; and where thou stayest, I will stay; thy people is my people, and thy God my God! where thou diest, I will die, and there will I be buried. Jehovah do so to me, and more also (lit. and so may He add to do)! Death alone shall divide between me and thee.” (Keil & Delitzsch Commentary)
“May he inflict any of those punishments on me, and any worse punishment, if I part from thee till death. …” (Adam Clarke’s Commentary)
Observe that Ruth is not really talking about physical death. Take note that she already said in the beginning of the passage that she’s willing to die if that’s necessary.
“Where thou diest, will I die, and there will I be buried:”
Therefore, the word death in the latter part of the verse refers to something else. It is not about physical death.
As earlier discussed in this article, the story in the book of Ruth is a prophecy for God’s Church in this end-time. God has purposed to include this phrase in this passage to foretell a very critical scenario in God’s church in the last days.
Indeed, there is somebody who has been trying to part the modern-day Ruths from cleaving to the Church. This is talking about a person in the PCG ministry who is symbolically called Death in many prophecies in the Bible. And he is being supported by his follower who is symbolically called Hell.
We have already proven in our recent article, entitled, “THY SERVANT” in the Book of Psalms – A Prophecy About Mr. Gerald Flurry” that Death refers to Stephen Flurry and Hell refers to Brad Macdonald.
In this last days, Death has tried to part the Ruths from Naomi.
Today, Stephen Flurry is still holding on to God’s people trying to separate them from cleaving to the Church [TO GO WHERE THE CHURCH IS NOW IN BETHLEHEM]. He wants them to cleave to him instead – to stay in the fields of Moab just like the Orpahs. But the Ruths have abandoned him and cleaved to Naomi.
Now, Naomi has already returned to her native land where there was bountiful food. God brought her back to His land and the Ruths are with her.
BACK TO BETHLEHEM
When Naomi returned to Bethlehem with her daughter-in-law, Ruth, the whole city was surprised. The people were moved by their homecoming. It was an earth-shaking experience for the whole city.
So they two went until they came to Bethlehem. And it came to pass, when they were come to Bethlehem, that all the city was moved about them, and they said, Is this Naomi? (Ruth 1:19)
Seeing Naomi’s return her hometown is like the Church coming back on track. She is back in the house of bread. Her return became the talk of the town.
The next verses (20 & 21) show what she had gone through while abiding in the fields of Moab.
And she said unto them, Call me not Naomi, call me Mara: for the Almighty hath dealt very bitterly with me. I went out full, and the LORD hath brought me home again empty: why then call ye me Naomi, seeing the LORD hath testified against me, and the Almighty hath afflicted me? (Ruth 1:20-21)
The word “full” in the phrase, “I went out full” means filling, fullness, she that was with child, multitude.
Naomi had gone out in full. She had children. There was a multitude people in her. But she returned with nothing. God brought her home empty.
The phrase, “seeing the LORD hath testified against me” is part of God’s judgment towards her. This was carried out through God’s servants bearing witness against her. They have given ample evidences that the men and women comprising the multitude of people in her had committed transgression against God. God afflicted her in the process.
But the good news is, she is now being brought home by God, as mentioned in verse 21. She has gotten off the track but is now being brought back on the track. And she had someone to help her, her lady friend and companion, Ruth.
Notice the timing of Naomi’s homecoming to Bethlehem with her daughter-in-law Ruth. It was the beginning of barley harvest.
So Naomi returned, and Ruth the Moabitess, her daughter in law, with her, which returned out of the country of Moab: and they came to Bethlehem in the beginning of barley harvest. (Ruth 1:22)
This was the start of the spring harvest. There were two harvests in Israel during the spring season.
Notice what Mr. Dick Paige wrote in The Good News of May 1981 in his article titled, “Why Boaz Took Ruth to Wife,” regarding Israel’s two harvests in spring.
The two harvests
Israel’s spring harvest season lasted seven weeks. The cutting of the wave sheaf on the day after the Sabbath, in the Days of Unleavened Bread, signaled the beginning of the barley harvest. This was followed by the harvest of wheat (which ripened later), which was concluded by Pentecost at the end of the seven-week period.
Ruth and Naomi returned to Bethlehem at the beginning of the barley harvest (Ruth 1:22) and Ruth gleaned in the fields of Boaz all through the barley harvest and also through the wheat harvest (Ruth 2:23).
Ruth gleaned in the field of Boaz the whole spring harvest season. We will see later in this article how this is connected to the much greater harvest that is coming.
A KINSMAN NAMED BOAZ
In chapter 2 of the book of Ruth, we are introduced to a relative of Naomi’s husband, Elimelech. His name was Boaz.
And Naomi had a kinsman of her husband’s, a mighty man of wealth, of the family of Elimelech; and his name was Boaz. (Ruth 2:1)
In Brown-Driver-Briggs’ Hebrew Definitions, the name Boaz means fleetness.
The word fleetness is defined in the dictionary as:
- Swift; rapid
- To move swiftly; fly
- To cause (time) to pass lightly or swiftly
Here is what Abarim Publications’ online Biblical Hebrew Dictionary says about the etymology of the name Boaz.
Etymology of the name Boaz
The single word בעז does not exist in Hebrew and the name Boaz can only be explained as a compound. Most Bible scholars feel confident that our name starts with the common Hebrew preposition ב (be), in, at or by:
The second part of our name is then thought to come from the Hebrew verb עזז (‘azaz), to be strong:
The Hebrew verb עזז (‘azaz), generally means to be strong or powerful. This verb is often applied to denote one of God’s inherent qualities (Psalm 89:13) compared to man’s weakness, and when it’s applied to man, it usually denotes either a prevalence in battle (Judges 3:10) or arrogance (Proverbs 21:29). Ecclesiastes notes that wisdom is strong for the wise (7:19).
The name Boaz literally means By Strength,
NOBSE Study Bible Name List simply reads Strength. Jones’ Dictionary of Old Testament Proper Names does not ignore the letter beth and reads In Him (i.e. the Lord) Is Strength, but this connection to the Lord is somewhat forged.”
The meanings of the name Boaz ranges from being swift to being strong. Now, let’s consider the association of this name to the temple of God.
The name Boaz has something to do with God’s temple. It is interesting to note that this name was used in one of the two pillars in Solomon’s temple. One pillar on the right was named, Jachin. The other pillar on the left was named, Boaz.
And he set up the pillars in the porch of the temple: and he set up the right pillar, and called the name thereof Jachin: and he set up the left pillar, and called the name thereof Boaz. (I Kings 7:21)
Why would the name Boaz be connected with God’s temple? Why would this name be used as one of the pillars in the temple? It is because, Boaz’s role in the story in the book of Ruth was to foreshadow a work of standing as a pillar in the temple of God.
Who, therefore, is Boaz representing in this end-time?
Boaz is a figure of God’s Two Witnesses with Jesus Christ coming in their flesh. His role in the story pictures the work of the Two Witnesses in this last end as we shall see later.
The work of God’s Two Witnesses was prophesied to be swift. They will cause time to pass quickly. The timing is compared to the vapors as described in Jeremiah 10:13 which quickly ascended. And vapors, as we know, quickly vanish away.
When he uttereth his voice, there is a multitude of waters in the heavens, and he causeth the vapours to ascend from the ends of the earth; he maketh lightnings with rain, and bringeth forth the wind out of his treasures. (Jeremiah 10:13)
Let’s now take into account the relation of Boaz to Elimelech.
And she went, and came, and gleaned in the field after the reapers: and her hap was to light on a part of the field belonging unto Boaz, who was of the kindred of Elimelech. (Ruth 2:3)
Boaz was of the kindred of Elimelech. The word kindred, in Strong’s Concordance, means:
a family, that is, circle of relatives;
figuratively, a class (of persons),
a species (of animals) or sort (of things);
by extension a tribe or people
Similarly, the modern-day Boaz is of the same family or class of persons as the modern-day Elimelech, Mr. Gerald Flurry. The modern-day Boaz is a servant of God just like the modern-day Elimelech.
In addition, the Anchor Bible calls Boaz a covenant brother as cited by Mr. Gerald Flurry in his article, The Book of Ruth. Likewise, the modern-day Boaz is a covenant brother to Mr. Gerald Flurry.
And Boaz, who was of the kindred of Elimelech, the Anchor Bible translates it as covenant circle. Hence, the modern-day Boaz and Mr. Gerald Flurry are in the same covenant circle.
THE FIELD OF BOAZ
Now, on Naomi’s return to Bethlehem with her daughter-in-law Ruth, their first concern was to procure support. As Ruth went to the field to glean ears of corn, she came by chance to the field of Boaz.
If Boaz represents God’s Two Witnesses, what then symbolize the field of Boaz?
Today, the field of Boaz represents the A.R.K. of God Foundation. This is the body or group where yields or produce are available. In this field, God has been providing food abundantly. People can glean grain in this field. The field has an online website where future Ruths may glean ears of corn at first, prior to gathering among the sheaves.
The Ruths have often started by gleaning ears of corn in the modern-day field of Boaz. They are from time to time looking at the posts in social media. Until they reach the point wherein they request to glean among the sheaves. This is the point wherein they request The Book of Remembrance and other booklets in printed form.
And she said, I pray you, let me glean and gather after the reapers among the sheaves: so she came, and hath continued even from the morning until now, that she tarried a little in the house. (Ruth 2:7)
Gleaning ears of corn is just a start. The Ruths can gather much when they gather among the sheaves.
And note the frame of mind of Boaz towards this request of Ruth to glean among the sheaves.
Then said Boaz unto Ruth, Hearest thou not, my daughter? Go not to glean in another field, neither go from hence, but abide here fast by my maidens: (Ruth 2:8)
Boaz advised Ruth not to glean in another field. The word another can mean strange. He didn’t want Ruth to glean in strange fields. His field is also God’s field. All the rest are strange fields.
The words, “in another” comes from a root word which means to loiter (that is, be behind); by implication to procrastinate: – continue, defer, delay, hinder, be late (slack), stay (there), tarry (longer).
Boaz was instructing Ruth not to loiter nor delay nor procrastinate by gleaning in other fields because this is where God’s work is. This is where God’s yield is available.
He then granted Ruth’s request to not only to glean ears in his field but even among the sheaves. Also, to satisfy her hunger and thirst she was told to freely take from the food and drink of his reapers. (Ruth 2:14)
Let thine eyes be on the field that they do reap, and go thou after them: have I not charged the young men that they shall not touch thee? and when thou art athirst, go unto the vessels, and drink of that which the young men have drawn.
And when she was risen up to glean, Boaz commanded his young men, saying, Let her glean even among the sheaves, and reproach her not: (Ruth 2:9, 15)
Boaz was kind to Ruth. He made sure that her needs and Naomi’s needs were well provided for.
He learned about Ruth’s sacrifice in the past. He heard all what Ruth had gone through and what she did to her mother-in-law and her decision to follow her.
And with that critical decision she made, Ruth came to a totally different group of people which she had never known before.
And Boaz answered and said unto her, It hath fully been shewed me, all that thou hast done unto thy mother in law since the death of thine husband: and how thou hast left thy father and thy mother, and the land of thy nativity, and art come unto a people which thou knewest not heretofore. (Ruth 2:11)
The same is true today, the modern-day Ruths, who have left the fields of Moab, have come to a group which they knew nothing about before.
A FULL REWARD
And notice the great reward that comes with it.
The LORD recompense thy work, and a full reward be given thee of the LORD God of Israel, under whose wings thou art come to trust. (Ruth 2:12)
Here is God’s servant, Boaz pronouncing a blessing to the Ruths of today that they will receive a full reward from God. The Remembrancers will receive a full reward from the LORD God of Israel. It’s like receiving a complete wage for the work they have done. And with these words, Ruth was comforted and so are the Remembrancers today.
Then she said, Let me find favour in thy sight, my lord; for that thou hast comforted me, and for that thou hast spoken friendly unto thine handmaid, though I be not like unto one of thine handmaidens. (Ruth 2:13)
A REQUEST FOR MARRIAGE
As a mother, Naomi was concerned about the future and welfare of her daughter. And so she seek to make provisions for her future.
Then Naomi her mother in law said unto her, My daughter, shall I not seek rest for thee, that it may be well with thee? (Ruth 3:1)
In the New International Version of the Bible, this verse is rendered as follows:
One day Ruth’s mother-in-law Naomi said to her, “My daughter, I must find a home for you, where you will be well provided for.”
And so, after the harvest, Naomi advised Ruth to visit Boaz in the threshing floor.
Naomi knew that the landowners spend the night in the threshing floor during the threshing season. She gave instructions to Ruth to prepare herself as a bride and go down to the threshing floor. But not to let him know that she was there until he has finished eating and drinking. And when he lies down, Ruth has to note the place where he was lying. Then she has to uncover his feet and lie down. After doing all these, she has to wait what Boaz will tell her to do.
These actions were a request for marriage.
And now is not Boaz of our kindred, with whose maidens thou wast? Behold, he winnoweth barley to night in the threshingfloor.
Wash thyself therefore, and anoint thee, and put thy raiment upon thee, and get thee down to the floor: but make not thyself known unto the man, until he shall have done eating and drinking. And it shall be, when he lieth down, that thou shalt mark the place where he shall lie, and thou shalt go in, and uncover his feet, and lay thee down; and he will tell thee what thou shalt do. (Ruth 3:2-4)
Ruth followed Naomi’s advice and went down to the threshing floor and did everything her mother told her to do.
Boaz was a little drunk when he rested. At midnight, he was awakened and found out that a woman was lying at his feet. (Ruth 3:8)
In verse 9, we are introduced to the concept of kinsman-redeemer as practiced by the Israelites in the Old Testament.
And he said, Who art thou? And she answered, I am Ruth thine handmaid: spread therefore thy skirt over thine handmaid; for thou art a near kinsman. (Ruth 3:9)
In other translations of the Bible like in the New International Version, the words, near kinsman is rendered as guardian-redeemer.
“Who are you?” he asked. “I am your servant Ruth,” she said. “Spread the corner of your garment over me, since you are a guardian-redeemer of our family.”
A guardian-redeemer, as noted in the footnote, is:
“a legal term for one who has the obligation to redeem a relative in serious difficulty (see Lev. 25:25-55); also in verses 12 and 13.”
In www.gotquestions.org, a guardian redeemer or kinsman redeemer is described as follow:
“The kinsman-redeemer is a male relative who, according to various laws of the Pentateuch, had the privilege or responsibility to act on behalf of a relative who was in trouble, danger, or need. The Hebrew term (go el) for kinsman-redeemer designates one who delivers or rescues (Genesis 48:16; Exodus 6:6) or redeems property or person (Leviticus 27:9–25, 25:47–55). The kinsman who redeems or vindicates a relative is illustrated most clearly in the book of Ruth, where the kinsman-redeemer is Boaz.”
Ruth was saying to Boaz here that he is a guardian-redeemer of her family.
Now, there are two traditional customs that are involved here. The theocratical rights (the right of redemption) involving the land and the custom of levirate marriage.
THE RIGHT OF REDEMPTION
Here is what Keil & Delitzsch says about the Right of Redemption.
“To understand the advice which Naomi gave to Ruth, and which Ruth carried out, and in fact to form a correct idea of the further course of the history generally, we must bear in mind the legal relations which came into consideration here. According to the theocratical rights, Jehovah was the actual owner of the land which He had given to His people for an inheritance; and the Israelites themselves had merely the usufruct of the land which they received by lot for their inheritance, so that the existing possessor could not part with the family portion or sell it at his will, but it was to remain for ever in his family.
When any one therefore was obliged to sell his inheritance on account of poverty, and actually did sell it, it was the duty of the nearest relation to redeem it as gol. But if it should not be redeemed, it came back, in the next year of jubilee, to its original owner or his heirs without compensation.
Consequently no actual sale took place in our sense of the word, but simply a sale of the yearly produce till the year of jubilee (see Leviticus 25:10, Leviticus 25:13-16, Leviticus 25:24-28).”
The term levirate comes from the Latin word levir, which means brother-in-law. The law is recorded in Deuteronomy 25:5-10.
Now, here is what Keil & Delitzsch says about the custom of Levirate Marriage.
“There was also an old customary right, which had received the sanction of God, with certain limitations, through the Mosaic law-namely, the custom of Levirate marriage, or the marriage of a brother-in-law, which we meet with as early as Genesis 38, viz., that if an Israelite who had been married died without children, it was the duty of his brother to marry the widow, that is to say, his sister-in-law, that he might establish his brother’s name in Israel, by begetting a son through his sister-in-law, who should take the name of the deceased brother, that his name might not become extinct in Israel. This son was then the legal heir of the landed property of the deceased uncle (cf. Deuteronomy 25:5.).
These two institutions are not connected together in the Mosaic law; nevertheless it was a very natural thing to place the Levirate duty in connection with the right of redemption.
And this had become the traditional custom. Whereas the law merely imposed the obligation of marrying the childless widow upon the brother, and even allowed him to renounce the obligation if he would take upon himself the disgrace connected with such a refusal (see Deuteronomy 25:7-10); according to Ruth 4:5 of this book it had become a traditional custom to require the Levirate marriage of the redeemer of the portion of the deceased relative, not only that the landed possession might be permanently retained in the family, but also that the family itself might not be suffered to die out.”
SPREAD YOUR SKIRT
When Ruth said, “spread therefore thy skirt over thine handmaid; for thou art a near kinsman,” she was indirectly asking Boaz to fulfil these two legal rights.
The word skirt in Hebrew is kânâph. In Strong’s Concordance, it means a wing of a bird or army.
This word skirt is the same word kânâph used in Ruth 2:12 which is rendered as wings when Boaz declared to Ruth about a full reward that the God of Israel will give to her for her work.
The LORD recompense thy work, and a full reward be given thee of the LORD God of Israel, under whose wings thou art come to trust. (Ruth 2:12)
This tells us that Boaz was asked to serve as the God’s protective wings over Ruth. The words, “spread therefore thy skirt over thine handmaid” is a request for marriage. It’s like Ruth was saying to Boaz, “Be a protector and a provider for me. Marry me and be my redeemer.” Or, “Redeem my inheritance.”
This request involves protection, provision and restoration of inheritance.
Similarly today, the role of modern-day Boaz is like the role of Jesus Christ. He is husband to the modern-day Ruths. He is to protect and provide for them like a husband. He is to spread his skirt over his handmaids or helpmeets.
This request of Ruth is like the request of modern-day Ruths to be a part of the A.R.K. of God Foundation and be able to attend weekly Sabbath services and be fed and protected by modern-day Boaz.
Notice Boaz’s reaction to this request of Ruth.
And he said, Blessed be thou of the LORD, my daughter: for thou hast shewed more kindness in the latter end than at the beginning, inasmuch as thou followedst not young men, whether poor or rich. (Ruth 3:10)
Boaz blessed Ruth for requesting him to marry her. She has shown more kindness to God in this last end. How? By choosing Boaz rather than those weak or wealthy bachelors.
These young men who are described here as weak or rich are symbolic of PCG ministers and other COGs ministers who are out there trying to deceive God’s people.
The Ruths of today will choose the modern-day Boaz and will not pursue other young men.
A VIRTUOUS WOMAN
Look at how Ruth was regarded all over the city.
And now, my daughter, fear not; I will do to thee all that thou requirest: for all the city of my people doth know that thou art a virtuous woman. (Ruth 3:11)
This is the same virtuous woman of Proverbs 31. These are exactly the same Hebrew words (H2428 and H802) found in verse 10.
“Who can find a virtuous woman? for her price is far above rubies.” (Proverbs 31:10)
This virtuous woman of Proverbs 31 refers to the Ruths of today who are called, The Remembrancers.
And here is Boaz telling Ruth that she is a virtuous woman. And all the city knows about it. What a high praise for the Remembrancers.
Now, Boaz vowed to fulfil all the responsibilities attached to a Guardian-Redeemer as expressed in this passage. He will do all what Ruth had asked of him.
Apparently, there was a near kinsman to Naomi than Boaz and the law gave him the right of redemption first. And Boaz was not going to sidestep the law but he promised to fulfil Ruth’s request, provided the nearer redeemer who was still alive would not perform his duty.
And now it is true that I am thy near kinsman: howbeit there is a kinsman nearer than I. Tarry this night, and it shall be in the morning, that if he will perform unto thee the part of a kinsman, well; let him do the kinsman’s part: but if he will not do the part of a kinsman to thee, then will I do the part of a kinsman to thee, as the LORD liveth: lie down until the morning. (Ruth 3:12-13)
To fulfil his promise to Ruth, Boaz went to the gate of the city the next morning.
Then went Boaz up to the gate, and sat him down there: and, behold, the kinsman of whom Boaz spake came by; unto whom he said, Ho, such a one! turn aside, sit down here. And he turned aside, and sat down. (Ruth 4:1)
According to Keil & Delitzsch Commentary,
“The gate, i.e., the open space before the city gate, was the forum of the city, the place where the public affairs of the city were discussed. The expression “went up” is … explained as referring to the place of justice as an ideal eminence to which a man went up (vid., Deu_17:8).”
And when Boaz saw the nearer kinsman passed by, he asked him to sit down. Then he called ten of the elders of the city as witnesses to the business and asked them to join him and the nearer kinsman. And before the elders, Boaz asked the nearer kinsman to redeem the piece of land which belonged to their relative, Elimelech which was sold by his wife, Naomi.
And he took ten men of the elders of the city, and said, Sit ye down here. And they sat down. And he said unto the kinsman, Naomi, that is come again out of the country of Moab, selleth a parcel of land, which was our brother Elimelech’s: (Ruth 4:2-3)
Let’s consider a very important point here.
As the field had been sold to another, getting it back could only be done by means of the right of redemption.
The nearer kinsman has this privilege. But Boaz, likewise, has this right of redemption.
This tells us that the modern-day Boaz has the right to redeem the inheritance (symbolized by a field or parcel of land) which belonged to the modern-day Elimelech, Mr. Gerald Flurry. This inheritance was given to him by God. Remember that God is the actual owner of the land which He had given to His people for an inheritance.
Another very important point to consider is that, the redeeming of this piece of land owned by Elimelech by Boaz is a prophecy about the modern-day Boaz redeeming a piece of land called Children’s Playground in Liberty Bell Park in Jerusalem belonging to the modern-day Elimelech.
And God has provided a way for the A.R.K. of God Foundation to purchase that piece of land.
As Boaz asked the nearer kinsman to redeem the piece of land which belonged to Elimelech, the nearer kinsman initially said that he will redeem it.
And I thought to advertise thee, saying, Buy it before the inhabitants, and before the elders of my people. If thou wilt redeem it, redeem it: but if thou wilt not redeem it, then tell me, that I may know: for there is none to redeem it beside thee; and I am after thee. And he said, I will redeem it. (Ruth 4:4)
But when Boaz mentioned the condition attached to redeeming the piece of land which is at the same time marry Ruth and establish the name of the deceased upon his inheritance, he changed his mind.
Then said Boaz, What day thou buyest the field of the hand of Naomi, thou must buy it also of Ruth the Moabitess, the wife of the dead, to raise up the name of the dead upon his inheritance. And the kinsman said, I cannot redeem it for myself, lest I mar mine own inheritance: redeem thou my right to thyself; for I cannot redeem it. (Ruth 4:5-6)
The nearer kinsman was afraid that it would mar his own inheritance.
The word mar, in Strong’s Concordance means
to decay, that is, (causatively) ruin (literally or figuratively): – batter, cast off, corrupt (-er, thing), destroy (-er, -uction), lose, mar, perish, spill, spoil[er], X utterly, waste (-r).
We may ask, why would that ruin or spoil his own inheritance? It is because of the condition which was attached to redeeming that piece of land – i.e., marrying Ruth and establishing the name of the deceased upon his inheritance.
In this end-time, who do we see in the PCG today acting like he inherited a piece of land? Who do we see today showing how important that piece of land to him that marrying the Ruths of today will mar or spoil his piece of land or inheritance?
Who represents this nearer redeemer?
We can apply this nearer redeemer to Stephen Flurry. And that piece of land that he owns refers to Edstone.
Stephen thinks that buying back or redeeming the piece of land of Elimelech in Liberty Bell Park and marrying the modern-day Ruths will destroy his piece of land in Warwickshire, England.
If he marries the Ruths of today, Stephen knows that he will become a part of her. They will become as one. He must acknowledge her. In addition, he must establish the name of the deceased upon his inheritance.
He will never agree to this arrangement. And so he’s saying, “I cannot redeem it.” Even though, in reality, it is his father’s piece of land or inheritance.
And Boaz said unto the elders, and unto all the people, Ye are witnesses this day, that I have bought all that was Elimelech’s, and all that was Chilion’s and Mahlon’s, of the hand of Naomi. (Ruth 4:9)
And so today, we see that Elimelech’s property or inheritance is redeemed by the modern-day Boaz. And so the world is witnessing that all that was Elimelech’s are being redeemed by the modern-day Boaz.
Moreover Ruth the Moabitess, the wife of Mahlon, have I purchased to be my wife, to raise up the name of the dead upon his inheritance, that the name of the dead be not cut off from among his brethren, and from the gate of his place: ye are witnesses this day. (Ruth 4:10)
Today, the modern-day Boaz is raising up the name of the dead (HWA & GRF) in the A.R.K. of God Foundation. Even the name of the group, has Mr. Herbert Armstrong’s name in it and The Book of Remembrance has Mr. Herbert Armstrong and Mr. Gerald Flurry’s pictures on the cover.
The work of the living God being done through the A.R.K. of God Foundation is connected to the end-time Elijah and God’s messenger for the Laodicean church.
Mr. Gerald Flurry’s name is not cut off from among his brethren in the A.R.K. of God Foundation. He is still regarded in the A.R.K. of God Foundation as God’s servant or messenger. The members in this group, in a sense, are also his children in the Lord.
BUILDING THE HOUSE OF ISRAEL
And all the people that were in the gate, and the elders, said, We are witnesses. The LORD make the woman that is come into thine house like Rachel and like Leah, which two did build the house of Israel: and do thou worthily in Ephratah, and be famous in Bethlehem: (Ruth 4:11)
The legality of the purchase of the estate by Boaz and his marriage to Ruth was attested by the elders and the people through their words. There was no written document.
The statement, “The LORD make the woman that is come into thine house like Rachel and like Leah, which two did build the house of Israel,” is a prophecy for the modern-day Ruths – The Remembrancers.
Rachel and Leah were the two wives of the patriarch Jacob. They are mentioned here as builders of the house of Israel. The house of Israel increased, as the tribes of Israel came into being through them.
The blessing pronounced by the elders was for Boaz’s family to increase through Ruth and build the house of Israel.
Today, we see this happening. The Ruths of today, the Remembrancers, who comprise mainly of members from the Gentiles region of the world, have come into the house of Boaz (the A.R.K. of God Foundation). They are now backing up the modern-day Boaz, or the Two witnesses in building the house of Israel. This is all connected with the prophecy in the 11th chapter of the book of Romans.
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. And so all Israel shall be saved: as it is written, There shall come out of Sion the Deliverer, and shall turn away ungodliness from Jacob: (Romans 11:25-26)
Once the fullness or completion of the Gentiles has happened, then comes the redemption of Israel. This is just the spring harvest which was considered small. There is coming a much greater harvest in the fall season as mentioned in Lesson 35 of the Ambassador College Bible Correspondence Course.
“Almighty God knows man is best reminded by what he repeats YEAR AFTER YEAR! God established His Holy Days — memorials of the PLAN of God — in conjunction with the two ANNUAL HARVESTS. God uses the physical harvest seasons as a pattern of the two SPIRITUAL HARVESTS.
In Palestine there are two annual harvest seasons. The first one is a small spring harvest following the winter rains. It begins on the day of the Wave-Sheaf offering, and ends at the Day of Pentecost. In the late summer and early autumn the second harvest season occurred. It followed the late spring or latter rains in Palestine. It ended with the Feast of INGATHERING, which is called in your Bible THE FEAST OF TABERNACLES. This fall harvest is the much greater harvest.”
The fall harvest is for all Israel. This is what the modern-day Ruths are doing now. They are building the house of Israel. God’s work through the A.R.K. of God Foundation is building spiritual Israel.
It’s not only the Gentiles. Israel is to be saved as well. God is building a family comprise of Gentiles and Israelites.
Notice the two names of places in the phrase, “and do thou worthily in Ephratah, and be famous in Bethlehem: “
Ephratah and Bethlehem are names of one and the same place as indicated in Genesis 35:19 where Rachel was buried.
And Rachel died, and was buried in the way to Ephrath, which is Bethlehem. (Genesis 35:19)
The word Ephratah means fruitfulness. It comes from the root word pârâh which means
to bear fruit (literally or figuratively): – bear, bring forth (fruit), (be, cause to be, make) fruitful, grow, increase.
The modern-day Ruths are doing worthily in The A.R.K. of God Foundation. They are bearing much fruits. The blessing pronounced by the elders for Boaz’s family (The A.R.K. of God Foundation) is happening right now. They are growing and increasing through the support of the Ruths of today.
FAMOUS IN BETHLEHEM
The blessing mentioned in Ruth 4:11 includes being famous in Bethlehem.
Here is what Barnes Commentary says about the phrase, “and be famous in Bethlehem.”
“May she be a pattern of virtue in Ephratah, and have a name famous in Bethlehem.” The meaning of “be famous” seems to be, Get thyself a name which shall be celebrated in Bethlehem, as the head of a powerful and illustrious house: literally it is, “proclaim a name,” i. e. cause others to proclaim thy name, as in Rth_4:14.”
The Ruths of this present day have acquired themselves a name. The name is A.R.K. of God Foundation. And this name is now being proclaimed in the house of bread. As prophesied, this name will be famous.
Another meaning for the phrase, “and do thou worthily in Ephratah, and be famous in Bethlehem:” is “Be you a strength and publish or declare God’s word in the house of bread.”
Therefore, we are declaring this prophecy to the Philadelphia Church of God as we have been publishing many articles about God’s word and prophecies to them.
And let thy house be like the house of Pharez, whom Tamar bare unto Judah, of the seed which the LORD shall give thee of this young woman. (Ruth 4:12)
Notice the remarks of commentaries on this verse.
“And let thy house be like the house of Pharez, whom Tamar bare unto Judah,…. Of whose tribe the Bethlehemites were, and were also of the house or family of Pharez, as appears from Rth_4:18, &c. who was born to Judah of Tamar, one of another nation, as Ruth was, and from whom sprung a very numerous family, one of the five families of Judah; and they wish that the family of Boaz, by Ruth, might be as numerous;” (John Gill’s Exposition of the Entire Bible)
“May thy house become like the house of Perez, whom Tamar bore to Judah” (Gen 38). It was from Perez that the ancestors of Boaz, enumerated in Rth_4:18. and 1Ch_2:5., were descended. As from Perez, so also from the seed which Jehovah would give to Boaz through Ruth, there should grow up a numerous posterity. (Keil & Delitzsch Commentary)
As this prophecy happened physically to the house of Israel, this will also happen to the house of Israel spiritually. There will be a numerous posterity from which God will give to the modern-day Boaz and Ruth.
The marriage of Boaz and Ruth was blessed with a son whom they called Obed which means serving. Boaz and Ruth, the parents of Obed, became the grandparents of Jesse and great grandparents of King David, and the ancestor of Jesus Christ.
So Boaz took Ruth, and she was his wife: and when he went in unto her, the LORD gave her conception, and she bare a son. And the women said unto Naomi, Blessed be the LORD, which hath not left thee this day without a kinsman, that his name may be famous in Israel. And he shall be unto thee a restorer of thy life, and a nourisher of thine old age: for thy daughter in law, which loveth thee, which is better to thee than seven sons, hath born him. And Naomi took the child, and laid it in her bosom, and became nurse unto it. And the women her neighbours gave it a name, saying, There is a son born to Naomi; and they called his name Obed: he is the father of Jesse, the father of David. (Ruth 4:13-17)
We have seen the Philadelphia Church of God’s much anticipation and excitement over their upcoming musical production. That thrill and excitement will be multiplied a million times more if only they will understand God’s wonderful message for them hidden in the book of Ruth. God raised up a work through the Gentiles in order to revive them and that their eyes may be able to see again. May their eyes be open to the truth and prophecies of God.