My last Sabbath with the Philadelphia Church of God was 6/24/06. (Marvin Campbell called to disfellowship me on 8/19/06.)
After weeks and weeks of sermons, Key of David telecasts, and magazine and booklet articles incessantly pounding my senses with the “Plan A” and ” Plan B” doctrines,” as the PCG refers to them, I could no longer contain myself. I had to voice my disagreement.
I had made up my mind to talk to our minister Jim Cocomise* after services. Once free of his post-service duties, he and I retreated to his van for a private discussion.
I voiced my concern to him, in a very humble manner, and said that the PCG was giving preeminence to the angels over Christ by proclaiming that God had first chosen the angels, and not mankind, as His purpose for creating His family–and that I knew it was completely unbiblical. Our discussion lasted for more than an hour. I was reminded repeatedly by Cocomise that Herbert Armstrong was God’s Apostle and to just have faith in what he taught.1 (Actually at this point I didn’t think Herbert Armstrong had taught this concept. I had convinced myself that others had altered his writings. Subsequent study proved that HWA had indeed taught this concept.2)
After spending many weeks previously in intense study on the subject, I knew this angelic “doctrine” was a satanic counterfeit lie! As stated above, it all began, for me, with the increasing preoccupation of the PCG with the Plans “A” and “B” references during sermons, on the telecasts, and in all the magazines, books and booklets. These references became more and more outlandish in their speculations, to the point where God’s word was being greatly compromised.
The angelic reference, in it’s beginnings was relatively innocuous and insidious enough to not garner much attention. But the PCG is refining it to a whole new level.
In the May 2006 Philadelphia Trumpet, page 31, is the statement, “God scrubbed the plan for angels and began it again with man.”
Such pathetic speculation presents a weak and ineffectual God. It renders an all-powerful, purposeful God, seemingly impotent to complete His purpose!
In the March 2006 Trumpet, beginning on page 30, in the article, “Rightly Dividing the Word of Truth,” is the statement: “Jesus Christ stated clearly that the cause of spiritual misunderstanding is the lack of scriptural knowledge and belief in an all-powerful God.” [emp. mine] (To what extent, then, are we allowed to water down “all-powerful” to fit our speculations?)
I began a deep study on the subject, starting with HWA’s Mystery of The Ages. The more deeply I read this book, the more angry I became. I began filling the margins with my personal comments. How can one read this book– I mean read —with undivided attention— and not come away with the frustrations of having to unravel maddeningly conflictive biblical concepts?3
GOD IS ALL-POWERFUL! –But things got out of control at the beginning before He could arrest the rebellion!
GOD’S AWESOME PURPOSE AND POTENTIAL FOR MANKIND! –Yes, but only because the angels failed!
ANGELS….ARE THEY NOT ALL MINISTERING SPIRITS, SENT FORTH TO MINISTER FOR THEM WHO SHALL BE HEIRS OF SALVATION? –Yes, but only now, because, “Beyond question” [and regardless of what Heb. 1:14 and scores of other scriptures declare] “it is that which, now, because of angelic rebellion has become the transcendent potential of humans!” (The Incredible Human Potential, 1978, p. 39; Mystery of The Ages, p. 70.) [Note: ESN’s reviews of Mystery of the Ages is available as PDF download]
This angelic claim is made in spite of everything God says on the subject of angels concerning their function and purpose, either by pronouncement, or by the myriad examples evidenced throughout the Bible, beginning with Genesis 3:24 through Revelation. 22:16.
GOD’S PURPOSE WILL STAND! –But if it doesn’t work out, well, there’s always Plan B!
GOD DECLARES THE END FROM THE BEGINNING! –Well, hopefully it’ll work out this time!
Utter stupidity and nonsense. This is satanic reasoning. God’s Word doesn’t produce such ambiguity and doubt. I finally realized that it could not be God’s Word that was the problem — it was the denying of the power and the truth of God’s Word that was the problem. Of not believing God!
Once I had made the decision to believe God–not the speculations of some man–a sense of peace came over me, replacing the doubts and anger produced by these warped and convoluted reasonings. Now I was free to embark on an intense pursuit of the truth in God’s word–no longer shackled by the restraints these ministers would impose.
Are Gerald Flurry and “his fellows” liars? You be the judge.
The PCG put forth this challenge on page 31 of the May 2006 Trumpet: “Someone proving the preaching or teachings will not offend a true minister. God will back you up personally for doing it.” [emp. mine]
As I was summarily disfellowshipped for trying to prove the Plans “A” and “B” doctrines, as minister Jim Cocomise referred to them, the PCG stands convicted by their own words as being liars. And being truly offended by my quest to prove these things (as God commands), the PCG likewise convicts themselves as not being true ministers, and of fighting against God, who, in their own words, was personally backing me up.
Or, maybe they intended that this challenge only apply to other groups and not themselves. But, no, this could not be, because only those in the PCG are God’s “true ministers.”
No amount of PCG reasoning can alter the fact that they are liars, beginning with the master liar, Gerald R. Flurry. (This is a man in whom I actually believed at one time.)
Again, are these ministers deceived, or, are they just plain liars? God’s word makes a case for both: [emp. mine throughout]
Rev.12:9:”Satan, which deceiveth the whole world.”
Rev. 2:2: “I know thy works, and thy labour, and thy patience, and how thou canst not bear them which are evil: and thou hast tried them which say they are apostles, and are not, and hast found them liars.”
Rev.3:9: “…the synagogue of Satan, which say they are Jews, and are not, but do lie;”
As does Satan, they are able to pull off the deceit by the clever use of lies and truth.
As evidence for all to see? Rutted paths littered with spiritual casualties and shattered psyches from following these “false prophets.”
Christ warns, “Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves. You shall know them by their fruits.” (Matthew 7: 15-16.)
If we really believe God, though, should these events surprise us? After all, His word warns us that it would happen!
Satan has been, and is continuing, in his attack to gain entry into the minds of all His elect.4
Don’t fall into Satan’s trap! Remain steadfast. Don’t give up. Don’t allow yourself to be influenced by those who just throw their hands up and quit.
Some are blaming God. Some have now become agnostics. Others have become atheists.5
Every single one was following a man and not Christ! Believe God.
By Alan – Disfellowshipped for believing God. Thank you God and Jesus Christ.
January 17, 2007
*Jim Cocomise is one of the ministers that Dan De Gennaro held responsible for the death of his daughter Janet. To see this read: An Open Letter to Gerald Flurry and the PCG Ministers.
Update: As of 2017 Jim Cocomise was a Preaching Elder in Texas and New Mexico. He was later over the Dayton/Cincinnati area, then was suspended from PCG in January 2021. By February 2021 he had not been attending since January. In March 2021 Eric Burns replaced him in the Northeast Region.
Footnotes by ESN:
1 Read: Why Herbert Armstrong Couldn’t Have Been God’s True Apostle.
2 See “Mystery of the Ages (a critical review)” (chap. 2) by Kelly Marshall (PDF)
3 See “Mystery of the Ages (a critical review)” by Kelly Marshall (PDF)
4 Satan will attempt to place unbelief and doubt in our minds; but God is able to give us the victory. “For whatsoever is born of God overcometh the world: and this is the victory that overcometh the world, even our faith” (I Jn. 5:4). “Now unto him that is able to keep you from falling, and to present you faultless before the presence of his glory with exceeding joy,” (Jude 1:24).
5 Read: Why Do So Many Exiters Turn to Atheism?