PCG is using extreme measures to try and increase their numbers. Their latest Trumpet Brief sent out as a newsletter is filled with fear-inducing recruitment methods directed at former WCG members. It was written by PCG’s “SS henchman” Joel Hilliker.1 These tactics are the same ones used by Herbert Armstrong.

ESN words in blue text inside brackets; bolding by ESN; italics are Hilliker’s.

JH=Joel Hilliker


Today I want to talk to you abut literal life and death. And if you have ever been part of God’s true Church[buzzword] I deeply hope you’ll read every word of this short message.

If you’re paying attention, coronavirus is causing you to think seriously about things you would otherwise ignore. You are seeing massive unemployment, food supply disruption, loss of freedoms. You are seeing how fragile our world actually is. Many people view these as signs of the end of the world. [fear statement]

When the sports leagues are bustling, jobs are plentiful and money is flowing, we don’t think of the world as we know it ending. [fear statement]

Let this crisis wake you up! [HWA’s words] You ARE living in the end time! [Read: Philadelphia Church of God and the Place of Safety to see how many times we have been in the “end-time.”

In Matthew 24:21 … “GREAT TRIBULATION” … It’s going to get far worse than coronavirus. [extreme fear statement]

God is mercifully [this doesn’t sound like mercy] trying to encourage us to repent now, before the suffering gets indescribably worse. [extreme fear statement]

Today we published the new print issue of the Philadelphia Trumpet.

Inside is a tough but important discussion about what Jesus prophesied. “The Beautiful Effects of Great Tribulation”  explains several prophecies of the unprecedented suffering that is coming. [For proof that the church, will not suffer the coming Great Tribulation, see Q&A: Do you have anything that substantiates the Pre-Tribulation Rapture?] It places you in the tattered clothes of one particular prisoner who experienced horrifying conditions [extreme fear statement] similar to what billions are about to suffer. [The church will not suffer God’s wrath (I Thessalonians 5:9)] It shows you how captivity can actually purge you of vanity and bring you clarity and repentance. It will help you see how the Great Tribulation is actually a tool in God’s hands.

I believe this subject will help you understand your world. It will help you come to know the true God. … [If you want to know what God’s love is really like be sure and read: Because God Loves Me]

This message is particularly important for those who have been part of the Church of God [buzzword] and left. God warns that unless they repent prior to the Tribulation, they will not be protected from it! [And if they repent, where will they be going in order to escape the Great Tribulation? The rocks of Adullam?] Tens of thousands of God’s people [buzzword] will be plunged into this terrible time. But “The Beautiful Effects of Great Tribulation” shows that even though they will suffer and die in this calamity, [extreme fear statement] God will then offer them the opportunity to return to Him and actually accomplish spectacular things for Him.

Also, Stephen Flurry’s “Is God’s Church Divided?” examines the common belief that true Christians are scattered through various churches. [SF’s article will make the case that PCG is where they ought to be. Read: Who are the sheep that were scattered? (Q&A)]

This issue includes “Coronavirus and the Holy Roman Empire,” by editor in chief Gerald Flurry. … Mr. flurry is locked in on fulfilled prophecy of the rising power that will wreak terrible destruction [fear statement] in the coming Tribulation! …[Goes on to mention several other articles]

Foreshocks are already occurring. the cataclysmic Great Tribulation is on its way. Take action now, especially if you have been in God’s true church [buzzword] but are now attending elsewhere–or no where. …. God your Father is warning you to turn to Him while there is still time.

Final Thoughts:

According to Hilliker, if you go through the Great Tribulation and you don’t receive the Mark of the Beast and worship the Antichrist, you will be martyred. But never fear! If you die, you will be able to “return to God” and accomplish “spectacular things” for Him. Does this sound like the “beautiful effects” of the Great Tribulation?

This terrifying Trumpet Brief is PCG’s last ditch effort to pull back into their cult those who have left. It is filled with nothing but absolute fear, dread and disturbing scenarios with no real hope whatsoever–especially of a close, loving relationship with Christ.

GF’s and JH’s methods are harsh, stern and unrelenting. Their goal is to recruit and keep members by fear, not by revealing the love, kindness and mercy of God.

“The LORD hath appeared of old unto me, saying, Yea, I have loved thee with an everlasting love: therefore with lovingkindness have I drawn thee.” (Jeremiah 31:3)

“And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand.” (John 10:28)

Exit & Support Network™
May 14, 2020

Read Letter about Joel Hilliker: Outrageous and Hypocritical Article by Joel Hilliker

Related Material:

Because God Loves Me

Who are the sheep that were scattered? (Q&A)

How Do I Receive Eternal Life?


Footnote by ESN:

1 As of January 2021, Joel Hilliker (Senior Editor of the Trumpet) became the new principal of Imperial Academy, taking over for Wayne Turgeon who moved to Edstone, England in March 2021. In September 2023 he was raised in rank to evangelist. Read 9-12-23 letter.


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