How Did PCG Justify Deleting and Changing Words in Mystery of the Ages?
The following quotes from the October 21, 2004 Pastor General's Report show how PCG justified deleting and changing certain words in Herbert Armstrong's book, Mystery of the Ages. (Comments by ESN will be in blue text in brackets; all bolding is ESN's.]
The sentence we removed from our 2003 version is found on page 245 of the older one, where it said, "No prophets are mentioned as having either administrative, executive or preaching functions in the New Testament Church."
We removed that sentence from the 2003 version, not because we are doing away with Mr. Armstrong's teachings, but because of what God has added to the Church since Mr. Armstrong died—the revealed truth that there is, in fact, a prophet guiding the Church today ...
In like manner, there were no prophets in the Church during the Philadelphia era—throughout the entirety of Mr. Armstrong's ministry—[There wasn't? Then why did HWA give out hundreds of prophecies, even setting dates?] but God has since revealed that there is one leading His people during the Laodicean era.
Now we could have attempted to write another section to be included in Mystery of the Ages that would reflect this new revelation, but we felt it best to preserve the text as closely as possible to the original and simply strike that sentence and then let our other literature, like That Prophet, reflect the Church's new teaching on the subject.
In fact, the next time we print Mystery of the Ages, we will also cut a parenthetical phrase found on page 350—one that we overlooked last year. [Overlooked? Or uncovered? Read April 13, 2004 letter to ESN: Flurry Has Already Changed Mystery of the Ages and April 17, 2004 letter: Gerald Flurry's Changes in Mystery of the Ages] Again, in reference to the position of prophet, Mr. Armstrong wrote, "of which there are none in God's Church today since the Bible for our time is complete." Again, there is a prophet leading God's Church today.
... [tells of other changes they have made in their 2003 copy of MOA]
Now when we printed the book at the outset of the court case in 1996, we didn't make even the slightest changes to the text simply because the Worldwide Church of God still owned the copyright. [But if PCG was so mindful of copyright, then why were they ignoring copyright law in 1998 and reprinting and redistributing HWA's literature while WCG was in litigation with them?1] We were quite satisfied with just reprinting the book in its exact original form, as printed in 1985.
But since we now own the copyright, it's different. Whenever possible, we will strive to keep all our literature—including what we obtained in the court case2—constantly updated [according to any "new revelation" Gerald Flurry receives?] and doctrinally accurate when it comes time to reprint anything.
The new correspondence course, for instance, will have some major updates and improvements since we are working with text that, in some cases, was produced 40 years ago. [Updates? Or merely more changes and deletions?]
Obviously, though, with literature written by Mr. Armstrong or my father, we go to great lengths to preserve the text as near as possible to its original form—and, of course, any significant changes must receive final approval from THAT PROPHET.
...even he [HWA] would have updated the text to make sure it continually squared with the "present truth" God keeps revealing (2 Peter 1:12). [This is a clear case of twisting Scripture to justify changing things. The word "present" in this passage in II Peter 1:12 means nothing more than "near" or "in close proximity to." (See The New Strong's Exhaustive Concordance)]
The big difference with all these edits and updates, of course, is that the "present truth" always builds on top of the "old truth"—it doesn't undermine and destroy the sure foundation as the Laodiceans attempted to do after Mr. Armstrong died. [There is no such thing as "present truth" and "old truth"! God's truth (found in His Word) never changes, but deceitful leaders will change "truth" whenever it serves their purposes.]
PCG removed ("updated") several other words of HWA's in Mystery of the Ages, 2003, but justified doing so. ((Read this October 21, 2004 Pastor General's Report online under Church Administration, "Changes to Mystery of the Ages" for more about this, as told by Stephen Flurry.)
Isn't this what false prophets always do? Change or remove words in their literature (or their founder's literature) whenever they want, however they want, under the guise of "new revelation," "revealed truth from God" or just "updating," in order to make things favorable for their false teachings? (In this case, to promote the idea that Gerald Flurry is indeed "that prophet.")
Didn't Christ warn us about false prophets that would come in sheep's clothing? They proclaim to have "God's truth" and wax eloquently with many words and outward works, yet inwardly they are grievous wolves whose purpose is to deceive and exploit.
May our readers be discerning and always look to the Lord Jesus Christ.
By D. M. Williams
Exit & Support Network™
November 6, 2013
Flurry Has Already Changed Mystery of the Ages! (April 13, 2004 letter to ESN)
Gerald Flurry's Changes in Mystery of the Ages (April 14, 2004 letter to ESN)
1 Refer to: What in the World is Worldwide Church of God Doing Now? ("Allowing Herbert Armstrong's Literature to be Republished / Sold Copyrights to Philadelphia Church of God")
2 Read PCG Did NOT Win a Victory in the WCG vs. PCG Court Case (2-23-07 letter to ESN from Attorney at Law.)