Chapter 8

Church Division

From the book Malachi’s Message to God’s Church Today
By Gerald Flurry

Joshua was Zerubbabel’s chief assistant. Those two men are end-time types of two men who work together just before Christ’s return. The Joshua type of Zechariah 3 rebelled and “despised the day of small things.” He turned away from the way “Zerubbabel” (Mr. Armstrong) built. That is how Satan got to him (Zechariah 3:1).

The “man of sin” rules in God’s temple (or Church) and rejects the past instructions of “he” who was “taken out of the way” (2 Thessalonians 2). Both Joshua and the “man of sin” lead a Judas-like betrayal in our time today.

An end-time, unlawful Joshua and the “man of sin” reign in God’s Church just before Christ’s return (Zechariah 3:8; 2 Thessalonians 2:1-3). Both turn away from past instructions. Both have filthy garments. Failing to submit to Christ’s government is the major problem of both men.

True ministers of God are discussed in Malachi 2 as being “treacherous” to the wife, or Church, of our youth—the Church Christ built through “Elijah.” This subject is also one of betrayal. God’s ministers move away from “Elijah” and what he restored (Malachi 4:4-6; Matthew 17:10-11)—just like the story in Zechariah 3 and 4 and 2 Thessalonians 2. The time setting for this treacherous betrayal in each story is just before Christ’s return.

Revelation 3:7-22 discuss two eras—as Zechariah 4 does. The last era moves away from the Philadelphia standard—away from the Elijah who restored all things (Matthew 17:10-11) and the Elijah who built the Family of God (Malachi 4:5-6), just as Joshua’s end-time era moved away from the Zerubbabel standard.

All of these major prophecies tell the same story. God is now using them to test our faith. Mr. Armstrong talked repeatedly of sticking to the “trunk of the tree.” In all of these major end-time prophecies, we see a Laodicean Church moving away from the “trunk of the tree.”

What Is the ‘Curse’?

“Behold, I will send you Elijah the prophet before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the Lord: And he shall turn the heart of the fathers to the children, and the heart of the children to their fathers, lest I come and smite the earth with a curse” (Malachi 4:5-6).

Who is cursed? This is a curse which means “utter destruction.” In the past, this has been applied to the “utter destruction” of all the Earth’s inhabitants. That is not what it means! The message of Malachi was not sent to the nation of Israel or the world. Primarily, the subject is God’s ministry (Malachi 1:6; 2:1; 3:3). God praises some ministers (and people) in this book and says other ministers (and people) are cursed.

The word “earth” in Malachi 4:6 also means the “inhabitants of a region” (see Isaiah 11:4 and 26:18 where the same word “earth” is used). The context reveals that the inhabitants discussed here are in the Church. And they are scattered over all the Earth. Malachi is discussing the fate of true ministers (and their followers) who fail to repent of their falling away from God’s previously revealed truth. It’s these inhabitants who are cursed. The ultimate curse is to lose your eternal life—“utter destruction.” A loss of eternal life! Malachi 4:6 is discussing God’s people who turn to God and build a godly Family of converted people. And He says those who fail to do this—also converted people—are the inhabitants who will be cursed!

God is primarily talking about destroying the inhabitants of His Church who refuse to build a family around God’s “Elijah” and God’s instructions! Mr. Armstrong was directed in the Work by the great God for 57 years. Either we build our lives around the “Elijah” family or we lose everything.

Now we see Laodicean leaders moving away from God and heading toward the Great Tribulation. God will not accept their turning away from so much of what they were taught for years without chastening them for doing so. They can’t be treacherous to the “wife of your youth” and expect to escape God’s severe correction.

Two separate churches are discussed. The Philadelphians go to a place of safety. It appears 50 percent of the Laodiceans repent in the Tribulation (Matthew 25:1-10). The Laodiceans must repent beforethe great and dreadful day of the Lord,” or their salvation is lost!

God is going to force each of us to make weighty decisions about what we have learned! Our eternal lives hang in the balance!

This is the curse of “utter destruction” God is talking about. Thayer’s Lexicon says the curse is “the devoting of anything to utter destruction” (see Zechariah 14:11 and 1 Kings 20:42, where the same expression is used).

Even the context of Malachi 4 (verses 1-3) is about those who lose their salvation (“neither root nor branch” is left), and those who enter God’s Kingdom (verse 2). Malachi 4 is not about people who lose their physical lives! And it’s not about God killing every person on Earth because of problems in His Church.

Leaders in the Worldwide Church today are leading God’s people to their eternal death! God says if we are going to be in His Kingdom, we must repent—either now or in the Tribulation. There is no “Elijah” alive today to get the wcg “back on track” this time. He has come and gone. So God is sending His people—those who turn their backs on the Elijah work—this terrible warning of how perilously close they are to losing their eternal glory!

Those who are turning away from the “Elijah” example and his instructions will pay a mind-splitting cost! God’s people possess dangerous knowledge—even more so if they are in the ministry (James 3:1).

When God says “Remember” in Malachi 4:4, it is a warning—a frightful warning! This is exactly what 2 Thessalonians 2:10 is about: Some are being saved while others are LOSING THEIR ETERNAL LIVES!

The Jews always read verse 5 of Malachi 4 again after verse 6. Why? Because Malachi has perhaps the most horrendous ending in all the Bible. The Jews don’t like to end the minor prophets on such a harsh note.

If it seems harsh to the Jews, how much more so to the Church—the very people to whom this warning is directed? Only God’s people can understand the chilling terror of this ending! This is not a game. Our leader is Jesus Christ, and He still leads with great authority.

Remember, the book of Malachi first and foremost, is directed to the ministry (Malachi 2:1). When ministers begin compromising with God’s truth, their messages have less and less impact. They probably don’t even notice it. Yet it’s a very dangerous direction they are headed. The ministers are more apt to lose their salvation if they turn away from “Elijah’s” instruction and fail to repent. They should know better—especially after what happened in the 1970s.

Jesus Christ is giving His Church a frighteningly harsh warning. Probably the harshest warning in the Bible! What could be more serious? Let’s look at another coded message that tells the same story.

Family Division

“I have loved you, saith the Lord. Yet ye say, Wherein hast thou loved us? Was not Esau Jacob’s brother? saith the Lord: yet I loved Jacob, And I hated Esau, and laid his mountains and his heritage waste for the dragons of the wilderness” (Malachi 1:2-3). Why Jacob and Esau? They were brothers who had a long history of war. If we apply this to the Church today, we can see God is telling us that the main problem is Family division. This is the main problem Malachi is attacking. His message is not for the world. It’s for God’s divided Church today, which is rapidly becoming more divided.

If we look at another end-time minor prophet who talks about Esau, it reveals an attitude. Esau’s pride deceived him (Obadiah 3). It is also pride that causes ministers to arrogantly push aside Mr. Armstrong’s instructions. Their pride is deceiving them as well. So much so that they are rejecting much of God’s precious truth and His government.

It should frighten us to even think of making some of the decisions the wcg leaders have made. To discontinue all of Mr. Armstrong’s major books was not an act of humility! These leaders are deceived by their own pride.

“And thy mighty men, O Teman, shall be dismayed, to the end that every one of the mount of Esau may be cut off by slaughter. For thy violence against thy brother Jacob shame shall cover thee, and thou shalt be cut off for ever” (verses 9-10). Esau’s name is to be “cut off for ever.” This is given as a stern and harsh warning to God’s ministry and people. (It’s the same warning as Malachi 4:5-6.) Esau did violence against his brother Jacob. Today, as some wcg ministers move away from what Mr. Armstrong taught, they are doing violence to their spiritual brothers (Malachi 2:10).

Esau’s end (being cut off forever) is a potential end for the ministry. That is why this story is in the book of Malachi! We in the ministry must avoid these mistakes and repent if we commit them—or we will be cut off forever!

Could the Laodiceans have really surfaced if Mr. Armstrong were alive? I mean, so that everybody could see? In time, they will even be able to see themselves—by their works.

Remember, there are three books directly referring to the temple—Haggai and Zechariah came while the temple was being built, and Malachi came after it was built. The book of Malachi is about the modern counterpart period we are in right NOW!

That is why the message of Malachi must be delivered now! It’s all according to God’s great master plan. God is making His people choose!

Malachi recorded what was to occur after “Elijah” died—after that “house,” or era, was finished (Zechariah 4:9). What may be the harshest warning in all the Bible is aimed primarily at God’s ministers (and their followers). Those who fail to rally around Mr. Armstrong and his God Family instructions won’t be in God’s Kingdom! The fact that Mr. Armstrong is dead makes no difference! We are held accountable for every word God has given us (Matthew 4:4). Either we remember what Christ taught or our eternal lives will be blotted out!

The Laodiceans go into the Tribulation because they don’t “remember”! They reject so much of what “Elijah” taught that they become “lukewarm” (Revelation 3:15-16). The message of Malachi must be delivered. So much hangs in the balance.

‘The Master’

God is warning the Laodiceans that they are losing their heat and zeal! “The Lord will cut off the man that doeth this, the master and the scholar, out of the tabernacles of Jacob, and him that offereth an offering unto the Lord of hosts” (Malachi 2:12). The word “master” means “hot, ardent, to be alert, to waken.” The Hebrew word literally means “one who arouses.” They will be cut off because of their failure to arouse God’s people.

Read this comment from the wcg’s Pastor General’s Report (Nov. 21, 1989; emphasis mine throughout):

News Station Asks Church About Prophecy: Following the spectacular news about the opening of the Berlin Wall, we unexpectedly received a call from a news station in Seattle. The news director was well aware of the World Tomorrow program and the fact that for more than 40 years the Church had been predicting the reunification of Europe in some form. He asked for on-air comments about whether the Church believed the opening of the Wall was the commencement of end-time prophetic events.

We responded that it was premature to make statements like that, but that the Bible was very clear about a 10-nation consortium in Europe. We also pointed out that history shows that past episodes of European unification have not proven positive for the rest of the world and that the Church would continue to watch events very closely.

The news director was disappointed that we would not proclaim this to be the absolute beginning of end-time events, but it was interesting that he did say that what the Church has predicted from the Bible was remarkably close to what appears to be happening.

Shallow prophetic understanding like this will cause the wcg leaders to think events are “premature” right up to the time they are in the Tribulation, experiencing them! The wcg’s response to the newsman’s request was not a “watchman” talking. Those Church leaders didn’t learn that approach from Mr. Armstrong. Can you even imagine Mr. Armstrong talking like that? Because Mr. Armstrong wasn’t perfect in his prophetic understanding (just like Paul), these leaders go to an alarming extreme. As a result, they are not arousing people as the “master” is supposed to do.

I, like the news director, was “disappointed”—no, I was distressed—by that response! There are so many more major prophecies being fulfilled now than in the 15 years prior to Mr. Armstrong’s death—and the Worldwide Church of God is prophesying less and less!

Here are a few excerpts from a letter written by Mr. Armstrong on November 11, 1985, about two months before he died (emphasis his):

But first, let me give you a brief preview of the world you live in today, and what the next very few years are going to bring into your life and mine. We are living in a time of extreme danger! Television commentators broadcast it. All evidence seems to indicate it—pollution, unprecedented crime and violence, family life breaking down, morals in the cesspool, terrorism, local wars in Asia, the Middle East, Africa, South America. All signs point to the fact that we are living in the time of the end of this present civilization! …

We are living in the most tremendous days of world history—the very end time, the end of this present evil, unhappy, violent world—just prior to the Second Coming of Jesus Christ. …

Our time is now short, and growing daily shorter! World troubles will mount into troubles such as never were before, and never will be again. But then Jesus Christ will come in all His supernatural power to bring us peace, and a real hope, at last! …

We are now rapidly approaching the time of the world’s greatest crisis, when this whole man-made civilization will crumble and fall—and a new world of peace and eternal salvation will dawn at Christ’s soon coming in power and glory! God has decreed that the warning message must now go to the world (Matthew 24:14).

This is the message of the world’s only and sure hope! We are definitely now at the “time of the end,” when the Prophet Daniel says, “none of the wicked shall understand; but the wise shall understand” (Daniel 12:10).

Nobody is speaking like this in the wcg today. Why?

Jesus Christ spoke with authority. And Christ spoke with authority through Mr. Armstrong. Who speaks with authority in the wcg today? Where is the authority of Christ in its message? And why this dramatic change? wcg history of the 1970s should answer those questions.

We don’t hear a voice of “trembling” and “of fear” about Jacob’s trouble (Jeremiah 30:4-9). As this nation hurtles toward a nuclear holocaust, the message of the wcg gets weaker and weaker. God says that many “are at ease in Zion [the Church]” (Amos 6:1). This is a prophecy for the Laodicean Church today! Right now!

Never was there a more urgent need for a stirring message! The Worldwide Church of God is trying to win the world—not warn them! It’s all happening as Malachi prophesied it would. Nobody would ever accuse Mr. Armstrong of being a master who failed to arouse. Unfortunately, his example is not being followed today.

Mr. Tkach said in the Pastor General’s Report, June 27, 1989: “Is this the time of the end? We have every reason to believe it is.” He continued, “[I]t does seem to me that the end must be soon. World events do seem to be moving in that direction.” Today the wcg is not even sure the end will come soon—or that world events are even moving in that direction!

Mr. Tkach said in his Worldwide News “Personal” column, December 11, 1989, “Think about this: What would you do if there were another world war and Jesus still didn’t come? Would you give up the faith?”

Think about that. Mr. Tkach says a world war (it would surely be a nuclear war) could come, and it still may not signal the end of this age. He could be in the Great Tribulation—which will be a nuclear holocaust—and presumably still not be certain that Christ was about to come! Those are not the words of God’s watchman who is supposed to warn the world! Any watchman with views like this is “blind”! (Ezekiel 33:6-7; Revelation 3:17). And brethren, if you follow him, nuclear holocaust awaits you!

There is a vast difference between the way Mr. Armstrong and Mr. Tkach have taught prophecy—and many other subjects. We must understand why. Your future in this world and the world to come is at stake! Where is the urgency and authority in the wcg’s message today? It’s as if wcg leaders think time will go on and on, and they are no longer certain of anything. They are putting “far away the evil day” (Amos 6:3) and saying, indirectly by their own words and actions, that our “lord delayeth his coming” (Matthew 24:48; 2 Peter 3:4).

Twisting Scripture

In the June 24, 1991, Worldwide News, David Hunsberger wrote an article titled “What the Church Teaches About Malachi and His Message.” In the article, Mr. Hunsberger warned wcg members to be “careful to avoid false teachers who depart from the Church (1 Timothy 4:1-2).”

Does 1 Timothy 4:1-2 say that we should be “careful to avoid false teachers who depart from the Church”? No, it does not!

You need to read that again, because it’s a gross misquote of God’s Word. The Bible says “some shall depart from the faith”—not the Church! That is the kind of twisted reasoning that massively afflicts the wcg today.

This scripture was used in referring to 2 Thessalonians 2. The big mistake is not in leaving God’s Church, as they state. The subject is departing “from the faith” or the “truth”—never the Church! There is a definite reason why God didn’t inspire the word “Church.”

As I said before, there are seven Church eras mentioned in Revelation 2 and 3—and five of them went astray. The followers of John were kicked out of God’s Church (3 John 10).

The wcg would like you to believe that 1 Timothy 4:1 and 2 Thessalonians 2:3 and 10 are about departing from the Church—instead of the faith, or the truth. This way they can keep those members who are spiritually asleep and continue to receive their tithes and offerings.

Salvation is an individual matter between you and God—not you and the Church! Satan inspires these gross misquotes coming from the wcg (Zechariah 3:1; 2 Thessalonians 2:9). Members in the wcg must wake up and see that their salvation is “perishing”!

‘Will a Man Rob God?’

“Will a man rob God? Yet ye have robbed me. But ye say, Wherein have we robbed thee? In tithes and offerings. Ye are cursed with a curse: for ye have robbed me, even this whole nation. Bring ye all the tithes into the storehouse, that there may be meat in mine house, and prove me now herewith, saith the Lord of hosts, if I will not open you the windows of heaven, and pour you out a blessing, that there shall not be room enough to receive it” (Malachi 3:8-10). Obviously, God is addressing the whole nation of Israel. However, the Church is spiritual Israel. So the message is directed mainly to the Church. The context in this chapter is purifying the ministry (verse 3).

“Bring ye all the tithes into the storehouse” implies that some of the tithes are being misdirected (see almost any commentary) or that some of the tithes are not being spent wisely. It is discussing the ministers who “bring” the money into the storehouse—or have the authority to direct where it is spent or not spent. It refers today mainly to those Laodicean leaders in charge of tithes and offerings.

The word “rob” is a rare word, used only here and in Proverbs 22:22-23. The Companion Bible says “have robbed” means “are defrauding.” Defraud means to misrepresent—God, in this case. They are not doing what God commands. Why is this subject of fraudulent use of tithes so emphasized for us today?

The number one reason listed in the Pastor General’s Report for discontinuing Mystery of the Ages was cost! That’s right—cost! Now that is spiritual fraud! How can the wcg afford to donate $200,000 and more to various relief funds and yet be unable to afford to print God’s inspired words?

Fraud indicates misuse rather than not receiving money. And remember, the ministry gives polluted bread” (Malachi 1:7). How? God’s tithes and offerings are being misdirected and misspent.

Here is a quote by David Hulme, from the Worldwide News, August 14, 1989: “The Ambassador Foundation, through the presentation of a grant by Chairman Joseph W. Tkach, took a significant step forward in promoting international understanding here [London] July 18.

“Mr. Tkach established the foundation’s involvement in rebuilding the Globe Theater, where many of William Shakespeare’s plays were first presented.

“Far from being merely a performing arts facility, the new Globe Theater complex will include a cultural center and facilities for literary scholars to study Shakespeare’s works.”

wcg leaders say they can’t afford to print Mystery of the Ages, but they can afford to PAY for “literary scholars to study Shakespeare’s works”?! The decision to help fund the Globe Theater was made shortly after it was decided the wcg couldn’t afford to continue the major work of God’s “Elijah”! God holds them accountable for such twisted priorities!

God says, “Bring ye all the tithes into the storehouse, that there may be meat in mine house ….” God wants spiritual meat in His Church. The wcg spends thousands of dollars to help rebuild the Globe Theater and to advance Shakespeare’s works. At about the same time, it discontinued Mystery of the Ageswhich is very powerful spiritual meat! It has abolished all of Mr. Armstrong’s major books—which is some of the strongest spiritual meat produced in 2,000 years! That includes many smaller booklets as well.

Repeatedly, members coming from the wcg to the pcg have said that the wcg members are not being fed spiritually! God provides tithes so His people can be fed strong spiritual food. The powerful Word of God is no longer being preached from the wcg headquarters. God says that improper use of those tithes is a scandalous crime.

I believe we can begin to get a feel for why God spews the Laodiceans out of His mouth with extreme disgust! He has not one good thing to say about the Laodicean Church! And He says, “I know thy works ….” The Laodiceans do have Church era works. The problem is, they are not good works.

We must remember the context of the book of Malachi. Its message is about a ministry which despises God’s name (Malachi 1:6). It is about a ministry giving “polluted bread” spiritually (verse 7), and being treacherous to those loyal to God’s truth (Malachi 2:14-16).

And don’t forget, God says He will “purify the sons of Levi, and purge them as gold and silver” (Malachi 3:3). This is speaking of the ministry and those who follow them. It’s a very serious warning! Gold and silver are refined in a fiery furnace—a type of the Great Tribulation! We in the ministry face a very weighty responsibility. Malachi is a book about the ministry—those who fear God and those who don’t.

How could there possibly be such serious ministerial problems like these described in Malachi 1, 2 and 3, and there not also be problems with tithes and offerings being unwisely spent? God will spew their sacrifices out of His mouth.

True Gospel Ends With Mr. Armstrong

“The hands of Zerubbabel have laid the foundation of this house; his hands shall also finish it; and thou shalt know that the Lord of hosts hath sent me unto you” (Zechariah 4:9). Mr. Armstrong told all of the wcg members that he fulfilled this Zerubbabel office. When we look at his work—his “fruits”—we know that to be true.

God said he would “finish” building the house—or the Philadelphia era work. If Mr. Armstrong finished the building, then those who followed were prophesied to turn away from and even tear down what he built (Zechariah 3).

“And his disciples asked him, saying, Why then say the scribes that Elias [Elijah] must first come? And Jesus answered and said unto them, Elias [Elijah] truly shall first come, and restore all things” (Matthew 17:10-11). Mr. Armstrong and Mr. Tkach both admitted that Mr. Armstrong fulfilled this Elijah office. He “restored all things.” Then what happened?

“Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day [the return of Christ] shall not come, except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition” (2 Thessalonians 2:3). The chain of events is that Mr. Armstrong was taken out of the way (verses 4-11), the Church entered into a great falling away, and then the gospel was no longer preached. What is being preached around the world by the wcg is no longer God’s true gospel.

After that catastrophe, only the pcg “holds fast” to the traditions, or past teachings—and the true gospel (verses 14-15). Verse 14 indicates that the end-time falling away would be a rejecting of God’s true gospel. If we want to obtain the “glory,” we must “hold fastto the true gospel!

“And to the angel of the church in Philadelphia write; These things saith he that is holy, he that is true, he that hath the key of David, he that openeth, and no man shutteth; and shutteth, and no man openeth; I know thy works: behold, I have set before thee an open door, and no man can shut it: for thou hast a little strength, and hast kept my word, and hast not denied my name” (Revelation 3:7-8). This is referring to the Philadelphia era headed by Mr. Armstrong. There was an “open door,” and the gospel was preached around the world (Matthew 24:14).

Then comes the Laodicean era that turns away from much of what the Philadelphia era taught (Revelation 3:14-22). The Laodiceans have no “open door” from God. They are “rich, and increased with goods,” which means “outward possessions.” Where did they get this physical wealth? God certainly wouldn’t bless a Laodicean attitude—just the reverse.

In Malachi 1 and 2, we see the ministers are “cursed” because they offer “polluted bread”—a polluted gospel. They are also treacherous to the “wife [or Church] of thy youth,” which is the one Mr. Armstrong headed. This means they twist the true gospel.

Elijah had to come in the end time and build a great work (Malachi 4:4-6). How can the wcg ignore such powerful end-time prophecies that many people should be able to see? God says those who do so must pay a terrifying penalty.

Now the wcg teaches a “gospel” about Christ—the Messenger—instead of the message He preached (Matthew 24:5, 12). No literature sums up Christ’s message and the true gospel better than Mystery of the Ages, which the wcg has discredited and discontinued.

The whole world is deceived (Revelation 12:9). Only God’s Church proclaims the true gospel. The wcg has turned to a false gospel. Now only the pcg proclaims God’s true gospel—the same gospel taught by Mr. Armstrong.

The only reason for the Philadelphia Church of God’s existence is the failure of the Worldwide Church of God after Mr. Armstrong’s death.

Are you holding fast to God’s true gospel?

Stop the Message

“Will no one close the temple-doors, to keep you from kindling useless fires upon my altar? …” (Malachi 1:10; Moffatt). The New American Standard translation renders this verse: “Oh that there were one among you who would shut the gates …”!

God is pleading with His temple servants—the ministers—to take a stand! It’s a strong plea from God to stop what is happening! The message of the wcg is becoming so watered down, God calls it “polluted bread” (verse 7)—that means polluted spiritual food (John 6:48).

Fellow ministers, what will God think of us if we fail to act? Look what Christ did when the moneychangers were defiling the physical temple: “And Jesus went into the temple of God, and cast out all them that sold and bought in the temple, and overthrew the tables of the moneychangers, and the seats of them that sold doves, And said unto them, It is written, My house shall be called the house of prayer; but ye have made it a den of thieves” (Matthew 21:12-13). He drove out those who bought and sold in the temple! He overthrew the moneychangers’ tables!

If Christ took such strong action in the physical temple, what will He do today in the spiritual temple when the Laodicean ministers offer “polluted bread”?

Trying to develop “unity” by allowing people to pollute the temple, or Church, is satanic!

Loyal ministers must stand and fight against spiritual pollution—no matter what the consequences.

The big “falling away” could have occurred in the 1970s. But the gospel had not been adequately preached around the world (Matthew 24:14; Revelation 10:11). So God held back the “mystery of iniquity” by keeping Mr. Armstrong alive until the job was done.

The major work now is getting the message of Malachi to the Laodicean Church. The gospel has been preached. The Laodiceans must now be warned!

That is what the book of Malachi is all about. It is not a message for the world. The message of Malachi is sent to a corrupt church that is no longer serving God. Unless they repent, it is time to CLOSE the doors.

Preparing Jewels

Three commentaries call the Philadelphians (mentioned in Malachi 3:16-17) the “remnant that feared God,” the “few godly in the land” and the “faithful minority.” Even secular commentaries say those in the Church who fear God are a small minority.

The Companion Bible gives a better translation for “make up my jewels” in verse 17. It reads, “I am preparing my jewels.” This group retains their godly fear throughout this Church conflict. God uses the end-time Church crisis to prepare His jewels! God uses the Laodicean condition of the Church to qualify His jewels to escape the Great Tribulation (verse 17). These “jewels” are the Philadelphians who refuse to be led astray by the Laodiceans.

The process is going on right now! God is testing each one of us to see what we will do. This is all a carefully laid plan to reveal the quality of our character.

The only thing the world learns from history is that it never learns from history. When we refuse to learn from history, we are destined to repeat its mistakes. Sadly, this also applies to many Laodiceans. There is no excuse if we fail to learn from the 1970s.

These jewels of Malachi 3:17 become eternal “pillars” in God’s temple (Revelation 3:12). They are being prepared this very moment! No other modern group will reach this level of reward.

God’s jewels can discern between the righteous and the wicked (Malachi 3:18). They know the difference between a Philadelphian and a Laodicean attitude.

What does it mean for God to spare those who fear Him? (verse 17). The word “spare” means “to pity, have compassion on.” Why does God need to have “pity” and “compassion”? Because the Tribulation and the “dreadful day of the Lord” are coming! (Malachi 4:5-6).

One group receives God’s compassion and protection. The other group goes into the Great Tribulation. The Laodiceans are saved from the “great and dreadful day of the Lord” and the second death, if they repent!

The context shows that God will save those who fear Him from suffering and death (Revelation 12:14). The Philadelphians will be taken to a place of safety.

There are some “he will not spare [same Hebrew word] in the day of vengeance” (Proverbs 6:34). The same Hebrew word is also used in 1 Samuel 15:9: “But Saul and the people spared Agag ….” Spared Agag from what? From death. We desperately need to be spared. We all have the potential to fail horribly. Those who understand and support the message of Malachi will be “spared.” That is how they qualify to go to a place of safety.

“And they shall be mine, saith the Lord of hosts, in that day when I make up my jewels; and I will spare them, as a man spareth his own son that serveth him. Then shall ye return, and discern between the righteous and the wicked, between him that serveth God and him that serveth him not” (Malachi 3:17-18). How will you show God that you know who serves Him today? Faith without works is dead (James 2:17). We must have works to back our faith or it is a dead faith. We must act on our faith!

God will NOT take His people to a place of safety unless they support those who serve God! You must determine who they are and actively support them. You must come to see where God’s “open door” is now (Revelation 3:8). God is going to force you to choose (Deuteronomy 30:19-20). That is how He makes up His “jewels.”

God says He will spare them from the Tribulation “as a man spareth his own son.” But they must be able to discern between those who serve God and those who serve Him not (Malachi 3:18). If they are able to discern the difference, can you imagine God rewarding them for sitting on the fence? If they can’t discern, then they are deceived and are going to be sent into the Tribulation.

There is one big difference between today and the 1970s: Mr. Armstrong was alive to get the Church “back on track.” Today, Christ must solve this problem another way. God’s people must discern how Christ is doing it today. Your depth of conversion is being tested very severely! If you understand the Bible, you should already know that God will test each of us in this way.

These are serious prophecies. Study them thoroughly and prayerfully. Your future is determined by what you do NOW!

Continue Reading: Chapter 9: Malachi’s Message