“Surely your turning of things upside down shall be esteemed as the potter’s clay…” (Isaiah 29:16). Mr. Armstrong was given by God the key of David to open or close a door –“he that openeth, and no man shutteth; and shutteth, and no man openeth” (Rev. 3:7). Actually, there was a specific forerunner of this prophecy of “turning things upside down.” Let’s start from Mr. Herbert W. Armstrong’s article about the makeup issue:
My son (Garner Ted) said this team (doctrinal research team) had found we had the wrong meaning on four such detailed specific Scriptures, and the use of make-up was OK. …I was handed a short statement regarding those four specific Scriptures. I had especially based much of the decision on Isaiah 3:16 and contextual verses, and on the Adam Clarke Commentary of it. I took the note with me. On the plane, I typed the brief statement that appeared on page 522 of the October 23, 1974 “BULLETIN.” I did not return to Pasadena for several weeks.
In my absence my brief statement appeared with my signature under it.WHAT I NEVER KNEW UNTIL NOW was that, after my signature, Mr. Wayne Cole, then director of Pastoral Administration, added a few pages giving the new liberal watered-down reasoning, changing the truth of God.
Satan master-minded this in such manner that it all APPEARED under my signature, as if I fully approved all that followed my signature–when in fact I never saw it until the day before yesterday . It was subtly handled and KEPT FROM ME. I did not and never would have approved of what Mr. Cole without my knowledge published under my signature. (November 2, 1981 Vol. 3, No. 41, Pastor General’s Report)
Notice the subtlety of Satan here – he was able to make even Mr. Armstrong to approve of the secret counsel – the doctrinal research team. These rebel ministers knew that they needed Mr. Armstrong’s approval in order to make the doctrinal changes, starting with the makeup issue. They thought they would be able to forge Mr. Armstrong with their hands as if they were the potter and Mr. Armstrong who represents God was the clay. This is indeed “turning things upside down” – a perversion at its best!
One classic example of what happened to one area, even to Australia, during the 1970’s rebellion because of too much secrecy – they NEVER got back on track because the real problems were concealed from Mr. Armstrong!
It is a “mystery of iniquity” (verse 7) because it was hidden. It dared not show itself because of “he” who restrained it. He was a man who was seen and whose authority was feared—Herbert W. Armstrong.
The Jamieson, Fausset and Brown Commentary translates verse 7 this way: “… the continuance of the mystery of iniquity working is only until he who now withholdeth be taken out of the way. Then it will work no longer in mystery, but in open manifestation.” When Mr. Armstrong was “taken out of the way”—then the mystery of iniquity began to work openly!
The mystery “doth already work.” It was at work before Mr. Armstrong died—but not openly. For example, the Work of God in Australia NEVER got “back on track” after the 1970s rebellion, as most other areas did. That is because the real problems were CONCEALED from Mr. Armstrong. The Philadelphia Church has received numerous letters from Australians detailing this deception that took place before Mr. Armstrong died. This is an example of what God means when He says the mystery “doth already work.” (Malachi’s Message, p. 83)
Now, here is what Lange’s Commentary noted regarding this secret counsel of men that acted as the potter:
He (the prophet Isaiah) further reproves those who imagine that they can carry out in the most profound secrecy the plans of their untheocratic policy (verse 15)…
Not merely is the plan secretly concocted, but the execution of it, too, takes place with all secrecy. …verse 16 is an exclamation: O your perverting! That is, how ye pervert things! They act, as if their wisdom were greater than the wisdom of God, as if they could therefore review, determine, and according to their pleasure influence and direct the thoughts of the LORD, while they are but clay in the hand of the potter.
We must remember that the context of Isaiah 29 is specifically for the last end. What happened during the 1970’s was just a precursor of a future event – i.e., the time we are living in right now! Since there is duality in prophecy, there is yet one final fulfillment of verse 15.
Who then is the potter and who is the clay? It seems that there is another secret counsel, this time consisting of 25 men (Ezekiel 8:16), and they are making another “untheocratic policy” in this last end. That policy is actually a perversion itself. They are making God through His apostle becomes the clay; and they, through their deceit become the potter, that is, they mold and shape That Prophet’s decision to align according to their pleasure and vanity. They are “turning things upside down” with their secret plan. Notice further what Lange’s Commentary wrote:
If the potter were clay, and the clay were potter, then the clay could determine and direct the potter, could for this purpose lead him astray, deceive him, etc. Either, then, the (Jews) are perverse, or the potter is not clay. If indeed the clay were potter, then the former could justly say: he, the potter made me not, or he understands and observes nothing. This is what (Judah) says in imagining that he is able to lead astray the “Prophet”, that is, the omniscient LORD Himself. While (they) …forge …plans, they think that they knead them, as potters do their vessels, according to their pleasure, and unobserved by the LORD, while they themselves are yet but clay.
Is it really true that Mr. Flurry was the one who decided to re-open the Bricket Wood campus since he, just like Mr. Armstrong, has the key of David which can open or close a door? Or was he just being led astray by a secret counsel of men through their “untheocratic policy” which has no solid Biblical proof? These men inside the PCG are trying to turn things upside down! Mr. Armstrong closed the Bricket Wood campus, yet they want to open it again through Mr. Flurry! In actual fact, it was not Mr. Flurry but God Himself whom they are turning into clay and they are the potter! What a perversion!
Certainly, what this secret counsel of men are actually molding and shaping is considered by God a “graven image.” Just like the “graven image” of Habakkuk chapter 2:
“What profiteth the graven image that the maker thereof hath graven it; the molten image, and a teacher of lies, that the maker of his work trusteth therein, to make dumb idols?” (v. 18)
Here is what Barne’s Commentary wrote regarding verse 18:
“That the maker of his work trusteth therein – …He uses the very words which express the relation of man to God, ‘the Framer’ and ‘the thing framed.’ Isa. 29:16, ‘O your perverseness! Shall the framer be accounted as clay, that the thing made should say of its Maker, He made me not, and the thing framed say of its Framer, He hath no hands?’ The idol-maker is ‘the creator of his creature,’ of his god whom he worships. Again the idol-maker makes ‘dumb idols’ (literally, ‘dumb nothings’) in themselves nothings, and having no power out of themselves; and what is uttered in their name, are but lies. And what else are man’s idols of wealth, honor, fame, which he makes to himself, the creatures of his own hands or mind, their greatness existing chiefly in his own imagination before which he bows down himself…?”
Again, the idol-makers who make dumb nothings are the same “molten image and the teacher of lies” being mentioned here, which also refer to the secret counsel of men in Isaiah 29 who became the potter;
While the “graven image” as Matthew Henry Commentary suggests: “is a DOCTRINE of vanities, it is falsehood and a WORK of errors.” So this must refer to a work in this last end that is not based on solid Biblical scriptures, nor was it based on Mr. Armstrong’s past teachings.
Paraphrasing what Barne’s Commentary wrote: Is the work in Bricket Wood and in Ireland being fashioned to make the PCG appear wealthy, of having the honor above all the Laodicean groups out there and the fame that goes with it, which they make to themselves, the creation of their own hands or mind, their greatness existing chiefly in their own imagination before which they shall bow down to it?
Does the work in Bricket Wood and in Ireland fit the description of a “graven image”? Does that work even add to God’s glory or to their glory?
For us to understand what is God’s standpoint, let’s read in verse 19: “Woe unto him that saith to the wood, Awake; to the dumb stone, Arise, it shall teach! Behold, it is laid over with gold and silver, and there is no breath at all in the midst of it.” Now, consider the following:
“Woe unto him that saith to the WOOD, Awake” – Could this expression be referring specifically to the RE-OPENING of the Bricket Wood campus with the CEDARS of Lebanon in it?
“To the DUMB STONE, Arise, it shall teach!” – Does this utterance refer to the planned archeological dig in Ireland?
Or could those WOOD and STONE also be referring to the Druidic worship of the OAK tree as their sacred groves and the worship of the SUN though the STONE circles (also known as megaliths)? (The Irish dance is an undeniable evidence of Druidic worship of the oak tree)
Remember again that the “graven image” is a DOCTRINE of vanities, falsehood and a WORK of errors.” While the “molten image and a teacher of lies” refer to PERSONS who have been ordained into God’s ministry who teaches lies, and they have forged this WORK OF ERRORS in the dark and hidden it secretly from That Prophet. And no matter how much these people manipulate this DOCTRINE of vanities, falsehood and a WORK of errors with extravagance, as far as God is concerned, “there is no breath at all in the midst of it.” – God did not give His Spirit into that WORK! He has no stamp of approval on it!
“Surely your turning of things upside down shall be esteemed as the potter’s clay: for shall the work say of him that made it, He made me not? or shall the thing framed say of him that framed it, He had no understanding?” (Isa. 29:16)
It seems that the cunningness of the secret counsel will not be easily detected unless God reveals it. They will just say to this effect:
“Well, anyway, it was Mr. Flurry who decided to re-open the Bricket Wood campus, it was not us (‘he made me not’)! We are just following directions according to God’s government.”
But in reality, Mr. Flurry has no understanding of what was taking place – he has not perceived that he is being forged as clay in their hands – the secret counsel being the potter. As far as God is concerned, the decision to re-open the Bricket Wood campus is esteemed as the potter’s clay – the “graven image” of Habakkuk 2:18!
There is yet another irrefutable proof which fulfills the “turning of things upside down” prophecy of Isaiah, i.e., the TURNABOUT. Well, let us first consider its definition:
1. The act of turning about and facing or moving in the opposite direction.
2. A change or reversal of direction, trend, policy, role, or character
Now, let us consider the article written about a ROLE REVERSAL during the TURNABOUT singles’ activity in the Philadelphia Church of God’s website:
Turnabout Is Coming!
October 25, 2013
Singles, get ready for November 1-3—it’s Turnabout Weekend! What is Turnabout? We’re glad you asked!
Turnabout is an opportunity for the women to stop doing the waiting and start doing the asking. A tradition dating back to Ambassador College, the weekend is designed to give ladies the opportunity to “take on the responsibility of planning for and asking men on dates,” as the Armstrong student handbook states. Not only is turnabout a chance for women to serve the men, but it also gives the men a chance to appreciate the detail, creativity and effort the ladies put into each date.
In this short weekend, girls are free to pack their time full of dates with whomever they want. The usual custom is to ask a different date for each of the three days, one for Friday night, one for Sabbath, and another for Sunday. Girls plan, ask and pay for the dates on the weekend.
The change of pace serves a wonderful purpose.
Assistant dean of students Eric Burns said Turnabout “gives girls an appreciation of what is required to have a date … They have to ask a person and plan a meaningful date,” which is the purpose behind Turnabout…
Ladies, feel free to organize your group dates or one-on-one dates for the weekend. Use the singles directory if you don’t have options nearby. And men, get ready for some dates!… (http://www.pcog.org/34119/turnabout-is-coming/)
Wow, this is another “graven image” being introduced to the Church – another one of those DOCTRINES of VANITIES! Surely the men could have really felt so much VANITY running through their veins during this Turnabout.
As stated: “The change of pace serves a wonderful purpose” – does it really? Oh yes it surely does – it is just another wonderful proof of the fulfillment of Isaiah’s prophecy: “Surely your turning of things upside down shall be esteemed as the potter’s clay.” As far as God is concerned, with such “untheocratic policy” introduced by the secret counsel in the PCG, this group of people really wanted to become the potter and they want God to become the clay (this is already a perversion in itself). And whatever justification they might have about this TURNABOUT, the way God sees it, it’s just another type of PERVERSION, period!
The same thing which the “doctrinal research team” during the 1970’s had done – they made Mr. Armstrong to approve a DOCTRINE of VANITIES which is the use of make-up and those liberals were the potter. How could these people have deceived Mr. Armstrong then and Mr. Flurry now? The answer is quite simple:
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