That question was asked recently by a person who wondered if God actually chose this man to head the last segment of the Philadelphia Church of God (pcg). Then there have been some who have read Malachi’s Message and have agreed with it totally, but hesitate to seek membership in the pcg. When asked why this hesitation, some respond, “I agree with Malachi’s Message, but who is this Gerald Flurry?” The meaning here is, “Why is he the leader?”, “Why is he the one in charge?”
Isn’t it amazing how some people come upon this marvelous truth and yet still manage to find fault, not with the message, but the messenger? Why is it that there are some who resent someone who has been placed in a position of authority? If a person is convinced that this is the Church God is working through, then why wouldn’t that person accept the one that God is using?
Sadly, mankind has been rejecting God’s leadership since creation. In Numbers 12 we read about Moses, Aaron and Miriam. It seems that Aaron and Miriam were upset because Moses married an Ethiopian woman. In verse 2, they spoke against Moses and said, “Hath the Lord indeed spoken only by Moses? Hath He not spoken also by us?” They were complaining about the one in charge and the last part of verse 2 reads, “And the Lord heard it.” God goes on to say that if He were going to speak to a prophet He would do it in a dream or in a vision. In verse 8, God says, “With him will I speak mouth to mouth.” He then asked, “wherefore then were ye not afraid to speak against my servant Moses?” We are then told that God was angry. In other words, God is displeased when people speak against the one He has chosen to be the leader.
Korah also wanted to question Moses’s position. He even got 250 princes of the assembly to join him in rebelling against Moses.
“And they gathered themselves against Moses and against Aaron, and said unto them, Ye take too much upon you, seeing all the congregation are holy, every one of them, and the Lord is among them: wherefore then lift ye up yourselves above the congregation of the Lord” (Numbers 16:3).
Moses knew the congregation was holy and that God was using Korah and the other men. But Moses also knew that his position came from God. These men were rebelling against God and that’s why he immediately fell on his face, because he knew that God does not tolerate rebellion. So what did Korah’s rebellion accomplish? God caused an earthquake and the earth opened and swallowed up these men. It doesn’t pay to speak against God’s leader—unless that leader stops following Christ (1 Corinthians 11:1). Any of God’s leaders are going to make some mistakes. But as long as he follows Christ, God tells us to support him.
Humanly, we tend to look on the outward appearance of an individual and judge a person on how they look. God never looks at a person that way! Remember the story in 1 Samuel, when Samuel went to anoint a new King to replace Saul. Samuel was told to choose a son of Jesse to be king. And when Samuel saw Jesse’s son Eliab, he was impressed. Eliab was probably a tall, good-looking young fellow and Samuel looked on that outward appearance. But what did God tell him?
“But the Lord said unto Samuel, Look not on his countenance, or on the height of his stature; because I have refused him: for the Lord seeth not as man seeth; for man looketh on the outward appearance, but the Lord looketh on the heart” (1 Samuel 16:7).
I imagine that when it became known that David was anointed to be king, there might have been those who said, “On whose authority is he king? Why, I would have never picked him.” Surely one of his older brothers was better qualified, and probably better-looking also. All of Jesse’s sons (except David) were paraded before Samuel, and after each one Samuel told Jesse, “Neither hath the Lord chosen this” (verses 8-10).
In verse 11, Samuel then asked, “Are here all thy children?” Jesse said there was one more, but he was the youngest and just tended to the sheep. Jesse probably was thinking, “If God rejected all my other sons there is no way He will accept David. There’s no way that David could qualify.” But they sent for David anyway. The Bible called David’s complexion “ruddy.” The margin brings out that David had red hair. He also had handsome eyes and he was attractive. And when David was brought before Samuel, God said in verse 12, “Arise, anoint him: for this is he.” So David was anointed king of Israel, and immediately the Spirit of God came upon him (verse 13).
God doesn’t look at an individual the way we do. Do you think the apostles would have selected Paul to be an apostle? Here was a man who persecuted the Church, caused much “havoc” as the Bible calls it, and was responsible for the Church being scattered. The apostles knew about his reputation. He would not have received many of their votes to be among them. After God struck down Saul and caused him to be blind, God then talked to Ananias in a vision and told him to go and lay hands on Saul so that he could regain his sight. Ananias reminded God in Acts 9:13-14 about the character of this individual. “I have heard by many of this man, how much evil he hath done to thy saints at Jerusalem: and here he hath authority from the chief priests to bind all that call on thy name.”
Notice what God said in verse 15: “But the Lord said unto him, Go thy way: for he is a chosen vessel unto me, to bear my name before the Gentiles, and kings, and the children of Israel.” So Ananias did what he was told and you know how the story ends. Paul wrote 14 books of the New Testament.
I wonder if some of the apostles might have wondered or even said, who is this Paul anyway? How can we really be certain that God is using him? Of course we know when a person is converted, it doesn’t take a brick wall to fall on them to see whom God is using. There are many more examples in the Bible about God using people who would not be used if man did the choosing. Rahab the harlot also comes to mind.
We are now very near the end of this age. We never suspected the split in the Church would occur as it has. We thought the Laodicean Church would come on the scene after God’s Church was taken to a place of safety. But you see, that would have been too easy. Not much faith would have been required. Holding fast would not have been required, etc.
Many of you reading this article never expected God to cause a separation that required stepping out of the Church we were called into in order to hold fast to God’s precious truth. I think it’s safe to say that most of us might have thought something was wrong in the Worldwide Church of God but never realized what God required until we read Malachi’s Message. Then it dawned on us. We had to leave the wcg in order to obey God.
Yes, God is separating His people. And some of you, as you read Malachi’s Message, might have wondered, “Just who is this Gerald Flurry?” Most of you probably never heard of this man before you heard about him being disfellowshipped. One person asked me, “Why didn’t God use one or more of the evangelists?” He went on to say that then more people would have followed them out of the wcg. But that is just the point—they would have been following a man. God doesn’t want that. God wants us to follow Him, not some evangelist. Even the Apostle Paul said to follow him only as he followed Christ. Mr. Armstrong used to always say, “Don’t believe me, believe your Bible.” That is exactly what Mr. Flurry tells us to do. He tells us to prove all things and then “hold fast” to that truth. Mr. Flurry just didn’t wake up one morning and say, “I think I’ll start a church and get a following.” Mr. Flurry already had two churches to pastor with many more members than when he was first fired. He had a good-paying job, an automobile and a very good pension plan. He would have been out of his mind to start up this Church on his own. He was willing to go out and get a job if he had to, because he knew he could not simply walk away from what God had revealed to him.
If anyone of you can read Malachi’s Message and truthfully believe that it is merely the work of Gerald Flurry, then I would have to say you should not follow him, for then you would be following a man. God began to reveal these things to Mr. Flurry and he began to jot down notes and research what God was revealing to him. Other men have read this book. Many high-ranking men have read this book. The reason most of them reject it is because it condemns the ministry. God is correcting the ministry. Those of higher rank than Mr. Flurry refuse to see this correction coming from God and attribute it to just a man who wants a following for himself.
If we also reject this book, we are no better than the ministry that is being corrected here. Many of these top men might just agree with what is written in Malachi’s Message but fail to respond because they feel God should have used them instead of Mr. Flurry. For “after all I’m a high-ranking minister and just who is this Mr. Flurry anyway?” Isn’t that the question we are addressing today?
Can we read Malachi’s Message and not see God’s hand in it? Can we read Malachi’s Message and not see that it has been inspired by God? Can we totally reject the human instrument that was used in writing this book? Would God have inspired this book to be written by Gerald Flurry and then decide that someone else should be the leader? Who else would God use to lead this last segment of His Work? Why, the one who gave up his livelihood, his job, his pension, and his position in the wcg! He was willing to put it all on the line because God revealed to him what must be done. And Mr. Flurry answered the challenge, regardless of the circumstances.
So then, who was Moses? Who was David? Who was Paul? Who was Mr. Armstrong? They are men whom God used in times past to get a particular job done.
Who is Gerald Flurry? He also is just a man. But he is a man that God, for some reason, decided to reveal certain things to. Mr. Flurry could have turned his back on these things and continued on the easy way, the easy path, the path that leads to destruction. But Mr. Flurry did not. He chose to yield to God and as he has told me in the past, if everyone left and he was there alone, he would still continue to do exactly what he is doing today.
No, we probably would not have chosen Mr. Flurry if we had our choice. We probably would have chosen a minister with impressive credentials (Ph.D., Dr., etc.); one gifted in the art of speaking. Also on the other hand we probably wouldn’t have chosen Moses, or David, or Paul. But just as God did choose Moses, David, Paul and many others, this same God has chosen Mr. Flurry to lead the pcg. Remember what God told Samuel: “Look not on his countenance, or on the height of his stature; because I have refused him: for the Lord seeth not as man seeth; for man looketh on the outward appearance, but the Lord looketh on the heart.” Man looks on the outward appearance but God looks at a man’s heart. And if we reject the one God has chosen then we are in essence doing the same thing the children of Israel did when they wanted a king. God told Samuel, “They haven’t rejected you, they have rejected me” (1 Samuel 8:7). I pray that none of us reject the man God has chosen to lead this end-time Work.