Philadelphia

Philadelphia Church of God Leads Laodicean Era (Conclusion)
By David Ben-Ariel

continued…
What’s BEWILDERING to me is the different responses I’ve received from several of God’s ministers who have read Beyond Babylon – towards it and me – before and after Dennis Leap’s PARTIAL review! (Malachi 2:9).

When I faithfully sent a computer disk with my book on it to minister Wayne Turgeon, he graciously read all of it and responded:

“Of, how I admire those with both the ability to write as well as the courage to put down their ideas on paper! I felt that you have a very gripping style of writing that uses twists and slants of words or phrases to make your point. I looked up every scripture you referenced and it became clear that you have really spent a lot of time in your Bible. Being Jewish, I think, gives you an added perspective that I could never have… Much of what you have written is not ‘new revelation’ as I’m sure that you’d readily agree… It’s certainly not my place to determine if what you believe God has shown you is true or not, but would you mind presenting Mr. Flurry with an abbreviated version of what you feel is inspired… as I highly doubt that he would have time to read your whole book.”

What does he mean it’s not his place to determine if what I wrote is true or not? God holds every INDIVIDUAL responsible to prayerfully determine whether something is of God or not! How did we prove Malachi’s Message was biblical? Did we rely solely on our minister’s evaluation? Worldwide all over again?

Mind you, unlike Mr. Armstrong’s lengthy manuscript of close to 300 typed pages, Beyond Babylon is only 1/2 that size, literally! I suggested Gerald Flurry read the first and last chapters. Mr. Turgeon told me Flurry returned it to him, saying something like, “He’s always sending us stuff.”

I have written short letters to the point, like correcting him about Mount Hermon and Mount Carmel after he continued to confuse the two in several articles. I’m familiar with them because I’ve been blessed to have lived next to both of them. Mr. Turgeon also wrote that I was a little “too radical” for Mr. Flurry and wondered what I’d said or done that had given him that impression. I explained it’s because I took exception to his careless condemnation of those religious Jews who want the Temple built as “extremists.” I wrote that it’s extremist for secular, humanist Jews to oppose converting the Promised Land into a Holy Land!

Flurry was surprised and had also written against the STRONG EMOTIONS some feel over Jerusalem and Israel. How could God use someone so distant over there?! Some of us have a GOD-GIVEN LOVE for Jerusalem and a genuine passion for Judah that’s most personal; we’re not a stranger in OUR Homeland! (Psalm 102:14; Psalm 137; Isaiah 62). That’s not “radical,” it’s BIBLICAL!

Minister Carl Craven also read Beyond Babylon and acknowledged it as biblical. He said he hadn’t looked up every Scripture, but was sure if he had they’d also be used correctly. I commented that I know it’s biblical, but that I was just waiting for headquarters to prove that to themselves as well. He expressed an understanding of how it’s difficult to be patient meanwhile. When Dennis Leap did call, it was to instruct me to STAY HOME FROM SABBATH SERVICES while he looked at the book! I didn’t recall such an unusual request being made of Mr. Armstrong, and recognized it went against “innocent until proven guilty,” but obliged with the hope of returning soon (John 7:51).

“Prophesy Not!”

After some time, I called Mr. Leap. He said he’d read PARTS of the book, and that it wasn’t important whether Mr. Flurry had read it or not (even though I’d been led to believe he’d pass it on to him). He stated, “You use some pretty strong language in there,” to which I replied, “But it’s biblical, isn’t it?” “Well, yes, but…”. He also noted, like Mr. Turgeon, that most of it is what we already teach. I agreed and said that that should serve as a GOOD SIGN, but that the NEW REVELATION about the Two Witnesses and Europe is firmly built upon that foundation.

Dennis Leap found it difficult to accept that a LAY MEMBER would write such a book. He admitted Flurry had received bits of revelation from lay members, but NEVER a whole book! I didn’t want to be judged by precedent, but by whether or not what I’d written is biblical. If I was in error, then it was his duty to clearly show me where FROM THE BIBLE, like Aquilla and Priscilla helped improve Apollos’ understanding (Acts 18:26).

I was informed if I wanted to return to services, I would have to forget Beyond Babylon, act like a “regular lay member,” and basically deny that it was from God! Like Mr. Armstrong, I had PROVEN what I’d written to be TRUE. Actually, Leap didn’t say that it wasn’t or attempt to refute it!

I told Mr. Leap I didn’t want to play politics. By his insistence that I must be a MINISTER to write such a book, he was still looking to MEN OF STATURE! And since I’m not one, he was demanding that I “PROPHESY NOT!” (Amos 2:12).

He got very angry when I mentioned this and said he was severing all ties between the PCG and myself, and that I wasn’t to claim any association with the PCG. He said I was now free to go and do whatever I felt God would have me to do with BB and not worry whether or not he or Mr. Flurry had read it! When I expressed the hope of reconciliation, he retorted we could when I repented. Of what? OBEYING GOD RATHER THAN MAN? Is that “rebellion?”

Mr. Armstrong WASN’T an ordained minister either when he wrote what he felt GOD would have him to share! The Identity Doctrine also wasn’t so much new truth, as a new way of presenting it. I’m sure glad he didn’t let those two points stop him! Aren’t you? So I was UNJUSTLY DISFELLOWSHIPPED for believing God used me to write a book, and MARKED for exposing the facts about Mr. Leap’s folly!

Will Dennis Leap stop being jealous of what God would have me to offer (1 Sam. 2:29)? Will Gerald Flurry HONOR GOD more than a man, and recognize Beyond Babylon belongs to God and HIS Church? (II Sam. 19:5-7; Ga. 2:9). Will Flurry again uphold God’s Word or try and prop up Leap and fall with him? (Isa. 22:19). Did God remove Mr. Amos so Dennis Leap could be used to try us all?(Nahum 1:11). WHY’S THE BIBLE OUT OF THE PICTURE? (In The Philadelphia Trumpet’s photo of Mr. Flurry). Does Mr. Flurry feel he’s now got it made? (1 Cor. 10:12). A picture’s worth a thousand words!

No Cowards in the Kingdom!

May God give COURAGE to His people! If they’re AFRAID to question Dennis Leap’s serious actions, how can God expect them to stand up to the world (Jer. 12:5; Rev. 21:8)? God’s sick of sycophants and tired of the timid! We’re to be bold as lions (Dan. 11:32)! We’re supposed to be ready to die for one another, not betray and desert each other! Yet too often the household of faith has lost its warm and loving environment for an intimidating atmosphere of fear and oppression (Jer. 12:6). It’s pretty bad when you can’t trust your own family (Jer. 9:4). Brethren turning in brethren to the “authorities” for wrong reasons and maliciously reporting on others (1 Cor. 5:8). How COLD-HEARTED (Matt. 10:32-40).

God pronounces WOE to those who support wrong judgments (Isa. 5:32) and CONDEMNS IT as an ABOMINATION (Prov. 17:15). He speaks against selling out someone to gain an advantage (Ex. 23:8). Those who’ve become accomplices to CHARACTER ASSASSINATION haven’t just abandoned a Church member, they’re guilty of BETRAYING CHRIST! (Ex. 20:16; Matt. 10:33). It’s actually God’s law they’ve thrown out and His Word they’ve despised (Isa. 5:24). You can’t treat someone so hatefully and fool God that you love Him (1 John 4:20). You might turn your back on a brother, but you’re going to FACE GOD (Mark 9:42)!

Whether you’ve sold out to curry favor with a minister, or to stay put in an organization or position – that “blood money” will COST YOU YOUR LIFE! God will JUDGE SUCH PEOPLE (if they don’t repent) and throw them down from their high and mighty imaginations and lofty positions (Isa. 22:15-19; Deut. 32:36). For those bent on JUST FOLLOWING ORDERS blindly, acting like GOOD NAZIS, God’s going to give them over to Europe! If that’s what you want, that’s what you’ll get!

FATHER Knows Best!

Too many are still looking to men to save them! Is it up to Gerald Flurry to decide who’ll enter God’s Kingdom? Of course not, and he’d readily agree, but brethren it’s just as BLASPHEMOUS to believe it’s up to him or any other MAN to decide who can go to Petra! Which minister was crucified for you? (1 Cor. 1:12- 13; 3:3-9). Into what surname were you baptized? If GOD put you into HIS Church, can any man put you out? If God gave you His Holy Spirit, can any minister take it away? If God finds you worthy to escape, can any man prevent it? (Luke 21:36). WHOSE APPROVAL ARE YOU LOOKING FOR? (John 9:22; 13:42-43).

Aren’t you willing to be like Jesus, who was forsaken by all? Aren’t you willing to follow Jesus outside the camp, bearing His reproach and suffering His shame? (Heb. 13:12-13; 2 Tim. 1:8). Those who put an IDOLATROUS TRUST in ministers or politicians are going to discover they can’t deliver! (Deut. 32:36-39; Hosea 13:10). Mortals can’t save you or protect you. Besides, if you’re only trying to save your skin, you’ll lose your hide! Only Jesus Christ can offer salvation, and only those whom the FATHER finds worthy will escape. It’s not up to any pastor general or minister. Many of them will get slaughtered with THEIR sheep! (1 Cor. 9:27; Isa. 46:2).

If God could provide the “travel arrangements” for Enoch, Elijah and Philip – INDIVIDUALS – can’t He take care of you? (Acts 8:39; Rev. 12:6; Jer. 3:14). God won’t forget you or leave you behind (Heb. 6:10; Isa. 49:15). He knows the scattered condition of His saints and the reasons why, and promises us: “I will seek that which is lost, and bring that which was driven away, and will bind up that which was broken, and will strengthen that which was sick…” (Ezek. 34:16). The Good Shepherd doesn’t forsake His flock!

God’s Two Witnesses are SOON to take the stand! They’ll testify before a WORLD COURT, and to many it will sound familiar – having read about it in Beyond Babylon! It’s only biblical that just as surely as Europe’s on the rise, so too are God’s star witnesses (Isa. 60:1). But when have proud and stubborn RELIGIOUS LEADERS ever accepted God’s change of guard or venue (Rev. 11:8)? Sardis didn’t. Joseph Tkach didn’t. Will Gerald Flurry graciously PASS THE BATON to the Two Witnesses? Or will history repeat itself? We’ll see!

David Ben-Ariel is a Christian-Zionist writer in Ohio and author of Beyond Babylon: Europe’s Rise and Fall. With a focus on the Middle East and Jerusalem, his analytical articles help others improve their understanding of that troubled region. Check out the Beyond Babylon blog.
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