SECRET TRIBUNALS OF THE SEVENTH-DAY ADVENTIST CHURCH

(THE KANGAROO COURT TRIAL OF 1934)

 

BY

B.E. AMMI

  

Address all communications to:

 

Universal Publishing Association

P.O. Box 17654

Plantation, Fl. 33318

 

 

Table of Contents

 

 

The Purpose of this Document…………………………………………… I

 

The F.C. Gilbert Letter…………………………………………………… II

 

The 1934 Trial of "The Shepherd's Rod"……………………………….. III

 

Condemned Before Being Heard: Count #1.…………………………….. IV

 

A Biased Jury: Count #2.………………………………………………… V

 

Violation of the Terms of the Agreement: Count #3……………………... VI

 

Allegations of Tilting the Balance of Power……………………………….VII

 

Charges of Financial Mismanagement……………………………………..VIII

 

Further Organization During World War II……………………………......IX

 

The Appointment of Sis. Florence Houteff to the Vice-Presidency………..X

 

The False Prediction and Fiasco of Spring 1959…………………………..XI

 

Revelation 11: 3-13………………………………………………………..XII

 

Not the Branch Davidians……………………………………………….....XIII

 

Immediate Action………………………………………………………….XIIII

 

 

 

 

THE PURPOSE OF THIS DOCUMENT.

 

 

"Prove all things, hold fast that which is good." (I Thess. 5:21).

 

"Doth our law judge any man before it heareth him and know what he doeth?" (John 7:51).

 

The purpose of this document is to make a thorough examination of "The History and Teachings of the Shepherd's Rod" issued by the General Conference (herein referred to as "History" or "Document").  The pamphlet in question constitutes the church's official stand on the Rod message and movement as well as the doctrines discussed.  Many of the objections and statements are thoroughly dealt with in various parts of the Rod literature.  However, the above mentioned pamphlet was issued after the death of the author of The Shepherd's Rod message and he was unable to address some of the new charges levied against himself and the movement.  In addition, there have been new developments that have been incorrectly linked to the Davidian movement that must be clarified. For these reasons, and others which will be mentioned later, this document is being issued "at such a time as this" to every fellow believer in the Three Angel's Messages who wishes to honestly know and investigate both sides before taking a stand.

 

We must state as staunch believers in the Three Angel's Messages, that after a painstakingly complete investigation of the Conference-issued pamphlet for over one year's duration, we can come to no other conclusion than that it is riddled with errors and contradictions.  Most of these, ironically, are self-inflicted.  Many sections, especially the one concerning the 1934 trial of The Shepherd's Rod, appear to unconsciously reveal a deliberate attempt to cheat God's remnant church of a precious blessing; the promised "addition to the third message" spoken of by God through Ellen G. White (see E.W. p. 277; T.M. p. 300). We will begin our analysis with

 

The F. C. Gilbert Letter.

 

The opposition to the Rod message prior to the 1934 hearing did not arise from a thorough, personal investigation of the message itself.  Much of the foundation of this opposition lay at the feet of Elder F.C. Gilbert, then a field secretary of the General Conference.  His personal letter to Bro. Houteff perhaps constituted the very backbone of the Denomination's unofficial rejection of the Rod prior to 1934.  This is readily admitted, perhaps unwittingly, by the document. "Nevertheless, F.C. Gilbert, a veteran field secretary of the General Conference examined the treatise and found that it contained error.  On June 26, shortly after a copy of The Shepherd's Rod had been given to him, Elder Gilbert wrote a letter to the author and pointed out to him that his teachings were erroneous and should be given up.  At the same time Elder Gilbert wrote to the leaders of the Seventh-day Adventist Denomination in the Los Angeles area a similar report." (History p. 5).

 

"A special business meeting was held on this evening [November 20, 1930] in reference to Bro. Houteff's teachings.  Present were Elder Fulton, Elder Brodersen, Dr. Wirth, and Prof. Avery.  Elder Schacht was the presiding officer…a letter from Elder Gilbert, commenting on Bro. Houteff's teachings, was read by Elder Schacht, and this was followed by an earnest appeal by Elder Fulton, saying Bro. Houteff's teachings were not in harmony with the Bible nor the Spirit of Prophecy, and he could see no light in them." (History p. 6).

 

The most critical issue is the question, did Elder Gilbert actually refute the teachings of the Rod in his letter to Bro. Houteff?  To determine this we will now perform a complete analysis of Elder Gilbert's entire letter.  This will be done in sections and what is quoted will be from his letter verbatim with no omissions.  (Hereafter this letter will be referred to as "Gilbert").

 

"Dear Brother:  While at the last General Conference convened in San Francisco you stopped me one day in the hall near the entrance to the auditorium and handed me rather a voluminous document which you said you wished to place in my hand, and asked me to read it, and write to you my comment on the same.

 

"The document being of so voluminous a type that it would make it well nigh impossible for an ordinary man to dispose of in some months.  I realize that time is very precious, and of course I presume you are desirous of some sort of reply.

 

"So I took a little time, and perused certain sections of the document, and I thought I would render to you my findings." (Gilbert p. 1 1st-3rd paragraphs).

 

Here is a startling confession that no sincere truth seeker can ignore.  Elder Gilbert states clearly that he has not discharged his duty faithfully and thoroughly studied the entire document as a man of God looking for light, but that he "took a little time and perused certain sections" of the book.  This being the case, any honest individual cannot expect Elder Gilbert's conclusions to be reliable, fair or safe.  This is especially true as we consider the following inspired references:  "When asked to hear the reasons of a doctrine that you do not understand, do not condemn the message until you give it a thorough investigation, and know from the Word of God that it is not tenable."  (Counsels on Sabbath School Work pp. 31, 32).

 

"How many men in this age of the world fail to go deep enough.  They only skim the surface.  They will not think closely enough to see difficulties and grapple with them, and will not examine every important subject which comes before them with thoughtful, prayerful study, and with sufficient caution and interest to see the real point at issue.  They talk of matters which have not they have not fully and carefully weighed."  (Testimonies Vol. 4, p. 361).

 

Thus we see that Elder Gilbert should have been honest and remained silent on this matter.  Instead, he passed judgment on the entire book based on his admittedly limited knowledge of it!  What is especially dangerous is that the findings of his half-hearted investigation were disseminated far and wide in the field and taken as gospel!

 

Continuing with our analysis, Elder Gilbert further states "I especially wish to note your Section #3.  Your section #3 covers five pages.  In scanning those pages of that section I notice that you dwell in those pages on Esau and Jacob.  You compare these two men to symbols.  They represent various symbols.  In those five pages you make many strong statements of the application of those two individuals to our present day, but give no Scriptural proof.  You understand, dear brother, when a man says a thing or a person means so and so, he must have divine proof for his assertion.  If not, why should a person accept as authority his statement any more than a person should accept as authority anyone else's statement.  In dealing with the Word of God, we must be guarded that we do not insert into scripture what does not contain there.  If the Spirit of God should make a comment on a text, then the application is inspired.  But when a man makes an assertion in regard to a scripture and he has no divine authority for the support of his assertion, he is liable to handle the Word of God deceitfully.  I am sure you do not intend to do anything like that, but there is a possibility nevertheless." (Gilbert p.1 paragraph 4).

 

Had Elder Gilbert thoroughly studied "section # 3…Esau and Jacob" instead of "scanning those pages," he would have easily seen the "Scriptural proof" he claims was lacking.  In fact, he would have noted that The Shepherd's Rod gives eleven times more "Scriptural proof" than does Ellen White concerning "the application of those two individuals to our present day."  (For a complete study of "Esau and Jacob" please request our free literature on the subject.).

 

He continues, "Let me illustrate to you what I mean.  In your section # 4 page four you say:  'The beginning of famine.  The dividing line between the seven years of plenty and the seven years of famine is the cross.  Where the seven years of plenty end the seven years of famine begin.  The first year of famine is the beginning of the church of Christ at the time of the apostles.'

 

"Now dear brother, where do you get any authority from the Word of God or from the Spirit of Prophecy for such an assertion?  Where do you find in Inspiration any ground for such a comment?  You simply make the statement on your own authority, but you have no scriptural basis for making such a statement.

 

"It would seem that if there ever was a time when the Word of God was in abundance it was at the time when the apostles went forth preaching the Word of God.  The Holy Spirit gave those men of God such divine enlightenment on the Old Testament Scriptures that they had an understanding of the Word in a most clear and forceful manner.  The Bible really became a new book to the people in the days of those apostles.  As you read Acts chapters two, three and four, you receive a most beautiful insight into the meaning of some of the Psalms and the writings of the prophets. It was the application of the Old Testament Scriptures by those apostles of Christ which led hundreds, yes thousands to accept the Saviour.  Surely that was no time of famine." (Gilbert  p.1 paragraphs 5-7).

 

Elder Gilbert's intention is to overthrow the lesson the manuscript puts forth concerning the "seven years of plenty and famine" by misapplying its application. This again reveals surface reading rather than a broad, deep study of the subject in question.  The manuscript, however, goes on to prove conclusively that the Old Testament is the storehouse of God's Word (spiritual food) for his people during the New Testament era, just as the granaries of Egypt were the storehouse of corn (literal food) during the seven years of famine. It further explains that there was to be no lack of food, as the elder attempts to make it appear, only a change in the food source. In the New Testament era, truth would be revealed through the Word as contained in the Bible, particularly the Old Testament, rather than coming directly from Heaven (please see C.O.L. pp.126-128).  Obviously, his attempt to refute the application ended in complete failure.  In fact, his own words actually serve to confirm the lesson he was attempting to discredit.  Note his words again:  "As you read Acts chapters two, three and four, you receive a most beautiful insight into the meaning of some of the Psalms and the writings of the prophets.  It was the application of the Old Testament Scriptures by those apostles of Christ which led hundreds, yes thousands to accept the Saviour."  (For further study of the "seven years of plenty and famine" please request our free literature on the subject).

 

He concludes, "It seems to me, dear brother, that God has given to us a richness in His Word, in the writings of the Spirit of Prophecy, and in the many blessed books written by men of God among us.  It seems to me that if as a man you wish light on the Scriptures you should take time and read such writings, and then you will receive great spiritual food for your own soul.  If you should go along and read and study the way you have outlined in that voluminous document, after a time you would be greatly confused yourself.  It would bring confusion wherever you might suggest things.  Believe me, sincerely your brother:  (signed) F. C. Gilbert"  (Gilbert p. 1 paragraph 8).

 

The student of truth has now seen that the "Gilbert Letter" has utterly failed to refute the Rod. Is this what the brethren call "proving The Shepherd's Rod wrong?" Dear reader, do not allow yourself to accept the findings of another individual any longer without shouldering your God-given responsibility to look into the matter as an individual.  This action alone should inspire you to stop accepting the conclusions of others with regard to The Shepherd's Rod.  Please look into it for yourself. 

 

The concept of accepting the conclusions of another without personal investigation is condemned by Inspiration in the following words:  "Cease ye from man, whose breath is in his nostrils." (Isa. 2:22).  "When a message comes in the name of the Lord to His people, no one may excuse themselves from an investigation of its claims." (C.S.S.W. p. 28).  "It is not enough to have good intentions; it is not enough to do what a man thinks is right, or what the minister tells him is right.  His soul's salvation is at stake, and he should search the scriptures for himself.  However strong may be his convictions, however confident he may be that the minister knows what is truth, this is not his foundation.  He has a chart pointing out every waymark on the heavenward journey and he ought not guess at anything." (G.C. p. 598).  "The mind that depends upon the judgment of others is certain, sooner or later, to be misled."  (Ed. p. 231).

 

Since we now have all of the facts at our disposal, we can safely conclude that the General Conference has been practicing deliberate dishonesty and outright deception for the last seventy years in circulating that "the Gilbert letter" has proven the Rod false.

 

 

The 1934 Trial of the Shepherd's Rod.

 

The author of The Shepherd's Rod was not given an official hearing until 1934.  In view of this fact, we would like to know why he was disfellowshipped on Nov. 20, 1930 for teaching error?  Why, in the three plus years between disfellowshipping Bro. Houteff and his hearing, was he and those who accepted his conclusions subjected to verbal and physical abuse while simply attempting to peacefully enter church?  On many occasions, these abuses were violent.  Such actions not only violate gospel order, but the laws of common decency as well.  Not even rank gentiles would engage in such shameful behavior.

 

On January 18, 1934, the members of the Fullerton Tabernacle S.D.A. Church and Victor Houteff sent a joint appeal request for the Pacific Union Conference to appoint a committee to hear Bro. Houteff's views.  This request was granted, and on February 19, 1934, the hearing took place in Los Angeles, California.  The facts as presented in the Conference document unwittingly reveal that this hearing was cunningly orchestrated to reject the Rod regardless of truth or principle.

 

This trial was so blatantly unfair that it would have been thrown out of a common civil court almost instantaneously!  After a thorough examination of the facts, we can safely conclude that this case would have been thrown out on three major counts, the primary of which was that Victor Houteff was

 

Condemned Before Being Heard :  Count #1.

 

"Doth our law judge any man before it heareth him and know what he doeth?" (John 7:51).

 

            A fair law shouldn't do so, but this is exactly what was done with the case of Victor Houteff and his teachings.  Anchor proof of this statement follows:

 

            "In the meantime the denominational leaders in Washington, D.C. had received inquiries about Mr. Houteff's teachings.  They had received copies of his writings, some of which had been mailed to them by him, and those who examined them were convinced that they contained error.  The matter was presented to the General Conference Committee on February 19, 1934, the same day on which Mr. Houteff was given the hearing on the West Coast.  After discussing the matter, the General Conference Committee took this action: 'Voted that W.A. Spicer, F.M. Wilcox and W.H. Branson be a committee to prepare material for a leaflet counteracting the false teaching of the Shepherd's Rod.'"-(History p.14)

 

            It is hardly believable, but in the Conference's own words, they state that long before the committee of twelve rendered their decision, in fact before Bro. Houteff made his presentation on the West Coast, they condemned and sentenced the brother and his teachings.  It is impossible to publish a more damaging, self-incriminating confession than this!  If this cannot awaken the reader to the fact that the church had absolutely no intentions to deal with the Rod fairly, then may God have mercy on your soul!

 

 The General Conference Committee meeting was in Washington D.C., on the East Coast, and the trial of the Rod was in Los Angeles, California, on the West Coast, a three-hour time difference.  "At 10:30 a.m. [Pacific time], Mr. Houteff began his presentation of his subject of 'The Harvest' and concluded at 12:30 p.m. [Pacific time]" (History p. 12).  This means that Bro. Houteff's presentation took place from 1:30-3:30 p.m. Eastern time.  It is extremely unlikely that the General Conference Committee would have waited until 3:30 p.m. to have such an important meeting.  In fact, knowing human nature, it was in all probability the first and foremost item on the agenda, revealing in truth that the brother was condemned before being heard (ask the church to make public a copy of the minutes of the General Conference Committee, Feb. 19, 1934 pp. 1206-1209).

 

            In truth, dear reader, this trial was a kangaroo court case from beginning to end.  The hearing on the West Coast was given simply as a cover-up to give an impression of being fair and honest.  It was not real, it was only a pacifier, thus reducing it to a mere farce.  Only the trial of Jesus and Stephen can perhaps rival the shameful baseness with which the motives and procedures of this trial were conducted.  No longer can the church leaders and enemies of the Rod say that they gave the author a fair hearing.  Their deceptive scheme has been unmasked and their motives exposed.  The Lord is warning us that we must now "be zealous, therefore and repent."  "Go and sin no more" against God's message "lest a worse thing come on thee!"

 

What is appalling is that the General Conference is not attempting in the least to conceal that the West Coast hearing did not matter.  How could they leave such incriminating information exposed?  "They are drunken, but not with wine; they stagger, but not with strong drink… they err in vision, they stumble in judgment." (Isa. 29:9; 28:7).  In addition to this, they have full confidence in their complete control over the minds of God's people.  They are perfectly aware of the truth that, even with these facts make public, virtually no one will even notice.  They also know that those who may notice would either be totally unconcerned or dare not lift their voice to challenge their authority.  If the reader doubts the above statement, let him ponder the fact that these facts have been published since 1955 and no one, minister or layman, Adventist or Davidian has exposed them…until now!  Truly "his watchmen are blind, they are all ignorant" (Isa. 56:10).  While they have this brazen arrogance in their control over God's people, they are not totally foolish.  They did not release the details of their "kangaroo court trial" (the Los Angeles hearing) or their "secret tribunal" (the Washington D.C. meeting) until after the death of the party most involved; not until eight months after the death of Victor Houteff (October 1955).

 

We ask again,  "doth our law judge any man before it heareth him and know what he doeth?”(John 7:51).  Apparently the law of this modern-day  Sanhedrin does.

           

Even if the General Conference Committee would not have condemned Bro. Houteff when they did, it would have still been impossible for him to receive a fair trial, for the Pacific Union Conference seated

 

A Biased Jury: Count #2.

 

As if condemning Bro. Houteff before his presentation was not enough, the leadership on the West Coast made doubly certain that his teachings would be rejected by seating a majority of men who were among the bitterest opponents of the Rod on the jury to hear him!  How much more unfair can a religious organization be?

 

"The twelve ministers appointed to hear Mr. Houteff on February 19 were the following: A.G. Daniells, a field secretary of the General Conference; Glenn A. Calkins, president of the Pacific Union Conference; G.A. Roberts, president of the Southern California Conference; C.S. Prout, president of the Southeastern California-Arizona Conference; W.G. Wirth, Bible teacher at the College of Medical Evangelists; H.M.S. Richards, evangelist; C.M. Sorenson, Bible teacher at Southern California Junior College;  J.A. Burden, manager of Paradise Valley Sanitarium;  J.C.Stevens, pastor of the SDA church in Glendale;  W.M. Adams, religious liberty secretary of the Pacific Union Conference;  J.E. Fulton, president of the Northern California Conference; and F.C. Gilbert, a field secretary of the General Conference."  (History p.11)

 

To have a fair hearing, even by worldly standards, the above mentioned panel must meet the criteria laid down in the following definition:

 

"Fair and impartial jury.  Jury chosen to hear evidence and render verdict without any fixed opinion concerning the guilt, innocence or liability of defendant. Means that every member of the jury must be a fair and impartial juror."  Black's Law Dictionary, sixth edition p.396.

 

This is the very backbone of receiving a fair trial. The issue of selecting the proper jury is such a critical issue in the worldly courts that there is often a great deal of posturing and legal manuvering to ensure that the "right type" of jurors be selected.  No such manipulation should be seen with a religious organization in an investigation of purported Bible truth.  We are sad to report that, according to the following facts, just such a manipulation took place (see our tract no. 7 pp. 14-21 for full details).

 

As stated earlier, the Pacific Union Conference was sent a joint request for an official hearing on January 18, 1934.  Confirmation of the receipt and acceptance of this request was sent on January 23, 1934.

           

Fullerton, Calif.,

                                                                                    Jan. 23, 1934.   

 

Victor T. Houteff,     

10466 S. Hoover St.        

Los Angeles, Calif.

 

Dear Brother Houteff:

 

   In a telephone communication this evening from Elder Prout he tells me that the Union Conference Committee have agreed to provide the committee that was requested in our arrangement the other day, and that the Union would try to get the men together within a couple of weeks for the hearing.

 

   He did not know the personnel of the committee, or at least did not report to me their names so I do not know who they are to be.  It is supposed that the place and time of the meeting will be arranged for in the near future.  Just how this will be done was not stated, whether they will get in touch with you direct, or will send us the information here I do not know.  At least we will know more about the matter in the near future.

 

   Trusting the whole arrangement will be for the exaltation of the truth of God and will help us all in our study of the Bible and the Spirit of Prophecy, I remain,

 

                                                            Sincerely yours,

 

                                                            (Signed) J.W. RICH

 

Nothing regarding the details of the hearing was heard by Bro. Houteff until Thursday, February 15, 1934.  Then, in a verbal communication in the morning, he was informed for the first time of the proposed committee members and the date chosen: the following Monday, February 19, 1934. As he reviewed the list of suggested committee members, he noted that almost all of them were already biased.  He was given no consideration whatsoever in the jury selection to at least assist with ensuring that they were unbiased.  Even in a common court, both sides are allowed to screen potential jurors.  He immediately sent a letter of protest to the conference president. The morning verbal communication was followed by a written communication sent Thursday afternoon by the conference president, the same time the letter of protest was being sent.

 

 

 

 

Glendale, California,

                                                                        Feb. 15, 1934.

 

Victor T. Houteff,

10466 S. Hoover St.,

Los Angeles, California.

 

Dear Mr. Houteff:

 

   In harmony with your written request of January 18 for a hearing before a body of leading brethren, the Union Conference Committee has set aside Monday, February 19, for this purpose.

 

   This is to notify you that the meeting will be held at 10 A.M. on that date, at 4800 South Hoover Street, Los Angeles.

 

   This will confirm the verbal notice given you this morning by Elders C.S. Prout and J.W. Rich.

 

                                                Yours very sincerely,

 

                                    (Signed) GLENN CALKINS.

 

The following is the letter to the conference:

 

10466 S. Hoover St.,

                                                                        Los Angeles, Calif.,

                                                                        Feb. 15, 1934.

 

Elder Glenn Calkins,

Glendale, Calif.

 

Dear Elder Calkins:

 

   I am very glad for the opportunity that prompts me to write you this letter. Elder Prout has informed me that you have kindly agreed to respond to our request for a hearing.

 

   I am exceedingly happy to know of this agreement and shall be greatly delighted to present to such a committee the added light to the Third Angel's Message (E.W. 277).  But I think, Elder Calkins, no effort should be spared to make our time together a success, for the purpose of our meeting is either of very great importance for all concerned, or else it is of no value at all.  Therefore, may I suggest that it be properly arranged and orderly conducted, taking no chance of violating any good that might be derived from such a procedure.

 

   When our appeal to the Union Conference was made by the members of the Tabernacle Church of Fullerton, California, and myself, it was verbally agreed that those who have been at war with The Shepherd's Rod should be excluded from the committee, but Elder Prout's list of the proposed committee shows that nearly every one composing the personnel already is bitterly opposed.

 

   Realizing that we are dealing with a matter which involves our eternal interest, and of the destiny of our church members, the selection seems not only pernicious but also inadvisable for you to trust, and foolish for me to accept.  For inasmuch as neither the General nor the Union Conference committees have acted upon the message of The Shepherd's Rod, these men prove themselves unfit for the occasion, for they have heretofore acted independent of the conference -- the highest authority -- by speaking against the message from the pulpit and have even caused some of us to be carried bodily out of the church buildings for no other reason than our presence -- shameful for the church of God!  They, therefore, have already made the denomination liable for suit and heavy damages.  Shall you let these men go further in their poor and despotic judgment?  Moreover, they have published far and wide that I have been given a hearing by representatives of the denomination while they well knew that no such thing has taken place at any time!

 

   Regardless of how insignificant the case may be, no civil court would ever select a jury of this kind.  Why should we?  Is not our salvation far more important than earthly gain?

 

   Let me suggest, Elder Calkins, that you select men who are dependable. Men who do not condemn a brother without a hearing.  Men who can stand true to principle though the heavens fall, (not flesh eaters), and only those who truthfully believe the Third Angel's Message according to the Spirit of Prophecy.  Then let us meet like brethren for prayer and study in a Christlike spirit where we can have the fullest assurance of the Lord's presence to open our understanding of the Word.  Otherwise, we shall remain exceedingly ignorant of what truth is, and thus though the dead may arise we shall not awake.

 

   I was further informed that I should appear alone before the committee.  In this I see no wisdom at all.  If the committee is to meet with me with the sole purpose to condemn and send one over the road, so to speak, regardless of justice or truth, and to rob God's church from a possible blessing in a message, then I say, it is wisely arranged.  But I do not think this is your intention, Elder Calkins. I think you are honest to yourself and true to God.  At least this is the impression I had when you met with the Exposition Park Church Committee, some years ago, of which I was a member.  It was the time when you came to iron out the trouble against Elder Paap.  As you have selected your men, is it not fair and just to let me bring some of the brethren who are well acquainted with The Shepherd's Rod?  What injury can they bring against justice?

 

   It will be impossible for me to meet you brethren on the day stated by Elder Prout. I request that arrangement be made for a week from next Monday -- Feb. 26.  Let me hear from you at once, so I can plan accordingly.

 

   May the good Lord lead you at this time and help you faithfully perform your duty as a president of the conferences, and with this momentous problem of the hour. I am

 

 

            Yours for brotherly love,           

            Christlike Spirit,

            and for the good of His people,  

            (Signed) V. T. HOUTEFF        

 

This letter of earnest appeal and solemn protest availed nothing.

 

Of the twelve ministers chosen to decide whether the Rod was truth or error, five of those men have been identified as bitter opponents of the Rod for several years prior to the official trial.  Incredibly, the document identifies these by name more than once. Still worse, the Conference document is not even careful to hide this fact. The following quotes, taken from the Conference document, will irrefutably prove that the vast majority of the "committee of twelve" already had a "fixed opinion concerning the guilt, innocence, or liability" of Bro. Houteff and his message.

 

 

1.  G. A. Roberts and J. C. Stevens

 

            "In the meantime, other brethren of experience had examined the man's [Bro. Houteff's] teachings and found them unsound.  This is shown by the date of a letter that Elder G.A. Roberts [Juror #3] wrote to G.W. Chambers in Colorado, on Nov. 16, 1932 saying that 'Elder J.C. Stevens [Juror #9] pastor of the Glendale Church also prepared a review of the book by Mr. Houteff.  He added:  'I am sending herewith copy of the matter gotten out by Elder (R.S.) Fries, who was then president of the Central California Conference, concerning the error taught by Mr. Houteff."- (History pp. 7, 8).

 

            Here committee members #3 and #9 are frankly admitted to be biased and prejudiced against Victor Houteff and the Rod long before the 1934 trial.  A startling admission indeed!  If the church was interested in a fair trial, why are these men on the jury?

 

2.  Dr. W.G. Wirth and J.E. Fulton

 

            "In response to this request [Nov. 14 1929 request to ask the conference to examine Bro. Houteff's teachings] J.E. Fulton [Juror #11], then president of the Pacific Union Conference;  B.M. Emerson, then Pacific Union secretary-treasurer, and one or two others, including W.G. Wirth [Juror #5], a Bible teacher at the College of Medical Evangelists, were delegated by the conference committee to meet Houteff at the Olympic Exposition Park Church with Elder Schacht.  Mr. Houteff presented his views, and they were so fanciful that they did not take them seriously, says Dr. Wirth" (Document p. 4).

 

"On October 16, 1930, J.E. Fulton [Juror #11], the Pacific Union Conference president;  P.E. Broderson president of the Southern California Conference; W.H. Schacht, pastor of the Olympic Exposition Park church and W.G. Wirth [Juror #5] met with the author of the Shepherd's Rod in the Pacific Union Conference office, and pointed out to him that the teaching of the Shepherd's Rod was wrong.  Action was taken as follows: The Shepherd's Rod is neither true to simple facts, nor true to the Word of God, and it is condemned by the very "Testimonies" it quotes from.  We warn our dear brethren against the false conclusions this poor man has come to.'" (Document pp. 5,6).

 

"A special business meeting was held on this evening [Nov. 20, 1930] in reference to Bro. Houteff's teachings.  Present were Elder (J.E.) Fulton [Juror #11], Elder (P.E.) Broderson, Dr. (W.G.) Wirth [Juror #5] and Prof. (L.W.) Avery.  Elder (W.H.)Schacht was the presiding officer… Timely remarks were also made by Dr. Wirth and Prof. Avery.

 

            "A motion was then made by Bro. Rhodes and supported, that for the protection of the church we withdraw membership of Bro. Houteff and our fellowship with him until such a time as he will conform to the church and withdraw his teachings.  This motion was carried." (Document p. 6).

 

            Here is another incredible admission of the church's motive.  Not only had Dr. Wirth and Elder Fulton opposed Bro. Houteff's teachings from the very beginning, but they were the leaders responsible for his excommunication.  In spite of this well-known and obvious prejudice, they were chosen as "fair and impartial jurors" by the leadership.  How much more biased can a juror be?  Would they not have been instantly dismissed from the jury pool by a fair judge?  We well know the answer.

 

 

3.  Prof. O.J. Graf (Alternate Juror #11):

 

            "Moreover, O.J. Graf, who gave Mr. Houteff a hearing of eight hours' duration on Nov. 11, 1932, issued a document entitled "the Shepherd's Rod' (An Answer) prior to March 14, 1933, in which he showed that he had carefully examined Mr. Houteff's teachings and found them in error." (Document p. 8).

 

            Prof. Graf was selected to replace Elder J.E. Fulton on the jury.  The above demonstrates that one biased juror was simply replaced by one equally as biased!  Could this replacement be honestly be seen as fair?

 

4.  F. C. Gilbert

 

F.C. Gilbert (Juror #12) is listed as committee member #12. An entire section is devoted to Elder Gilbert's opposition to Bro. Houteff's teachings from the beginning.  Please review that section carefully.  Again we state that in spite of the widespread knowledge of his bias against Bro. Houteff's teachings, he was chosen by the church to sit in judgment on them and expected to issue an impartial opinion!  Ridiculous to say the least!

 

            A close examination of the remainder of the committee reveals that most of them were not "fair and impartial" at the time of the trial but were unquestionably biased.  However, the church does a much better job of concealing it.

 

            For example, C.S. Prout (Committee Member #4), C.M. Sorenson (Committee Member #6) and J.A. Burden (Committee Member #7), were all workers holding responsible positions in the Southern California/ Los Angeles area.  Where is the proof that they had information to form an opinion beforehand:  "At the same time Elder Gilbert wrote to the leaders of the Seventh-Day Adventist Denomination in the Los Angeles area a similar report." (History p. 5).

 

            The center of opposition to Bro. Houteff's teachings was the Southern California Region, particularly Los Angeles.  As the Gilbert letter in opposition the Rod was distributed to "the leaders of the Seventh-Day Adventist Denomination in that area, then it is safe to conclude that they received a copy and were biased against Bro. Houteff's teachings prior to the hearing.

 

            Two of the remaining four committee members are guilty by association in the light of all revealed evidence.  Glenn Calkins (Committee Member #2) and W.A. Adams (Committee Member #10) were president and religious liberty secretary of the Pacific Union Conference.  These two men were the successors to one of Bro. Houteff's bitterest enemies, J.E. Fulton, previous Pacific Union Conference president.  To state that information was not shared about Bro. Houteff''s teachings between these men and opinions were not formed beforehand is naive to say the least.  It would be like saying that former President Clinton did not share any information on National Security issues with then president-elect Bush.  These men would never have been included on this panel were this a civil court case.  Their associations are too questionable to give an appearance of fairness and their interests are too high.

 

            The only two committee members which appear to be unbiased are A.G. Daniells and H.M.S. Richards.  Now, just how can one expect a fair trial when only two of the jurors appear to be unbiased?  This would be equivalent to seating ten Fred Goldman's as jurors at the O. J. Simpson trial and expecting him to receive a fair trial.  Do not these actions doubly confirm the fact that this trial was fixed as a kangaroo court case to "send one over the road" from the very beginning?

 

            It was this environment that Bro. Victor Houteff walked into on February 19, 1934 to give "The Harvest" study, so as not to miss his one chance for an official hearing from the Denomination. But notwithstanding all of these forces combined against the truth, his presentation was so powerful and clear-cut that to secure his condemnation the committee was forced to commit a

 

 

Violation of the Terms of the Agreement - Count #3.

               

The agreement by which the hearing was to be conducted is quoted verbatim below.  It is known as the Fullerton Agreement.

 

            "We, as members of the Tabernacle Church of S.D.A. of Fullerton, California after counseling with Victor T. Houteff concerning the teachings of the 'Shepherd's Rod' respectfully request that you appoint a committee of ten to twelve 'brethren of experience' to meet with Brother Houteff while he placed before them the evidence for his belief in the fundamentals of his message.  The subjects to be considered are- 'The Harvest,' 'Ezekiel 9,' 'The Leopard Beast of Revelation 13,' 'Hosea, chapters 1-2' and 'Matthew 20.'  In these studies Brother Houteff is to use only the writings of the Bible and the Spirit of Prophecy.  The time used is not to exceed one week.

           

"After each study the committee selected may retire for counsel, and may then submit its evidence for mistakes in Brother Houteff's teaching, such evidence to be drawn from the Bible and the Spirit of Prophecy only.

           

"If after the first study mistakes may be substantiated from authority mentioned above, further studies are not to be given.  The same conditions are to prevail after each succeeding study.

           

"In case the committee find error in the teaching of 'The Shepherd's Rod,' and are able to refute same by the teachings of the Bible and the Spirit of Prophecy, Brother Houteff agrees to renounce the advocacy of the 'Shepherd's Rod,' and to make public renunciation of same.

           

"Brother Houteff also agrees to discontinue the propagation of the 'Shepherd's Rod,' so far as he can control same, in the Pacific Union Conference, during the time this investigation is being made.

           

"The conditions hereby entered into are in compliance with the instruction given in Testimonies, vol. 5 page 293; Testimonies on Sabbath School Work, pages 65-66.

 

"Respectfully Submitted                                                                                        

 


"Representatives for Tabernacle Church                                                                 For 'The Shepherd's Rod'

                                                                                                                                  "(Signed) V.T. Houteff  "(Signed) J.W. Rich

"(Signed) L. R. Sommerville"

 

 


Here are seen several conditions.  First, that the study on 'The Harvest' was to be presented initially.  After that study was completed "the committee may retire for counsel and may then submit its evidence for mistakes in Bro. Houteff's teaching."  That demonstrates that the committee is to respond to the study given based only on the presentation.

 

            "If after the first study, mistakes may be substantiated from [The Bible and Spirit of Prophecy], further studies are not to be given" (Agreement paragraph 3).  However, if no mistakes are found, then the other four studies would be presented while "the same conditions are to prevail with each succeeding study" (Ibid.).  The five total presentations with their replies from the committee are "not to exceed one week."  Since one week is the time limit for the five presentations, it is clear that the committee must respond to each individual presentation within 24 hours to be in harmony with the terms of the agreement.  But the next quotes will demonstrate that not only did the committee violate the agreement, but that they even tempted Bro. Houteff to also!

 

            " 'When he (Mr. Houteff) got through about one o'clock Elder Daniells suggested (that) we go and get something to eat and come back and take up where he (Mr. Houteff) left off.  He said, no, he would not  go any further, it was useless for him to go further, (and) that our decision upon this one subject, The Harvest, would be our decision upon the whole of his doctrinal program, as that was the key to it.  Elder Daniells urged him to go forward.  He said "We have brought these men from far away.  They are ready to stay two days, three days, a week or two weeks, however long it is necessary for us to get the full picture in our minds.  To us it is a serious thing.  If you are right, we want to know it.  If you are wrong, you ought to know it.  We have spent a good deal of money to come here in a serious, honest attempt by the denomination to give you a hearing.  Therefore let us go ahead.

 

            " 'Again Mr. Houteff refused.  This happened a number of times.  Any statement that he did not have all the time he wanted is absolutely false.  He was urged to take more time, urged to take days, even weeks, but no, he refused to go any further at all.  He wanted us to go immediately into some room and make our decision and come out and tell him.  Elder Daniells said, 'No, if you won't go any further and you wish us to make a decision on what you have given us today, we must have time to study it, study the Bible and the Testimonies, and then after much study and prayer we will come to a decision.' "  (History p. 13).

 

This is seemingly a sincere request, but that it is nothing more than a trap as seen by the following:  "The meeting opened promptly at ten o'clock in the morning…after an earnest prayer by Elder Calkins, the Secretary  (Elder W.G. Wirth) read the letter of request that had brought the group together.  The Chairman, Elder Daniells expressed the hope that the hearing would be conducted in strict harmony with the terms of the agreement set forth in the written request, and suggested that Mr. Houteff be allowed to state his views without interruption by members of the committee or anyone else present."  (History p. 12).

 

            Did Elder Daniells suddenly forget the terms he so strongly emphasized just three hours beforehand?  Hardly.  While it is difficult to believe, the plain truth is that his "plea" was made for the purpose of enticing Bro. Houteff to violate the agreement.  It obviously failed.

 

            As is well-known, the committee did not respond within twenty-four hours to "The Harvest" study.  They did not render a response until nearly a month later, March 18, and even then it was not to "The Harvest."  It was responding to points Bro. Houteff never even presented.  This flagrant violation of the agreement again shows that this hearing was not fair and it never intended to be so.

 

            In closing this section, we would like to comment on the evidence used by the committee to give its response.  According to the agreement, the verbal presentation was what the decision was to be based upon.  This is also confirmed by the committee itself, "It was decided that the decision was to be made upon a written record of his (Mr. Houteff's) talk supplied by the two secretaries.'"  Document p. 13.  Note that this was decided while Bro. Houteff was present at the end of his study.  Now note carefully what the committee did while Bro. Houteff was unsuspectingly awaiting their decision and outside of their presence.  "Several meetings were held by the committee alone thereafter, and every point in Mr. Houteff's presentation was carefully considered, together with what he had set forth in his writings."

 

            His writings were not the criteria to make a decision, according to the agreement.  We ask why were they even considered?  My brethren, the answer is obvious.

 

            The reader should now see clearly that the 1934 trial of the Shepherd's Rod was a hoax with its outcome determined from the beginning.  The General Conference was indeed successful of cheating God's remnant church of the promised addition to the Third Angel's message just as the Sanhedrin cheated the Jews of their promised Messiah.  However, God's church will no longer be cheated. This Rod message will go to every S.D.A. in the world, regardless of opposition and they will see its truth either now for their salvation or later for their destruction.  It is now time for every reader of this pamphlet who sees the injustice done to make a thorough, unbiased investigation of the Rod.  Your soul, dear reader, is at stake.  

 

 

Allegations of Tilting the Balance of Power

 

            The movement was officially organized in 1934 because of the necessity of the message reaching the people, and the church's utter failure to respond to it.  It was then re-organized and expanded in 1937 as more people accepted the message and the needs of God's people grew.  Officers were named in 1937 and because Bro. Houteff and two of his family members were named as executive officers, the Conference document alleges that he was attempting to seize and maintain the balance of power in his own family!  We quote, "Note that Mr. Houteff did not deal with the really disconcerting aspect of the re-organization of 1937- that of concentrating the power of administration chiefly in the hands of his own family."  (History p. 20).

 

            It is true that Bro. Houteff was President, Sis. Florence Houteff, his wife, was Secretary and Sis. Sophia Hermanson, his mother-in-law, was treasurer on the Executive Council of the movement.  But these were not the only executive offices.  A fact the Conference document conveniently omitted is that the offices of Vice-President and Auditor were also executive offices with "power of administration." It also neglected to mention that family members of Bro. Houteff did not fill these offices. In fact, Elder E.T. Wilson held the office of Vice-President and had something happened to Bro. Houteff (the President) and he became incapacitated or unable to fulfill the duties of his office, Elder Wilson would have become the chief administrator and leader of the movement, not a member of Bro. Houteff's family!

 

Just who was E.T. Wilson?  Elder E.T. Wilson was an ordained minister, evangelist and teacher in the Seventh-Day Adventist church during the 1910's and 1920's.  At the time he read, studied and accepted the Shepherd's Rod message, he was serving as the Carolina Conference President (1930-1934).  Consequently, when the Carolina Conference officially rejected the Rod message and disfellowshiped those who adhered to it, he was discharged from his position.  His beautiful testimony and his "choosing rather to suffer affliction with the people of God, than to enjoy the pleasures of sin for a season" is recorded in our tract No. 7 pp. 9, 10.

 

Why were these facts omitted, even though they were on the very next page of the source referred to in the Conference document (The Symbolic Code Vol. 3 No. 2 p. 4)?  Because the brethren want to justify their course at all costs, and inspire you with the same maliciousness and hatred against the author of the Rod and the Rod itself that they have.  There can be no other explanation.  Do not allow them to do so.

 

 

Charges of Financial Mismanagement

 

The document further attempts to assassinate Bro. Houteff's character by essentially accusing him of forming the movement to get rich at the expense of his followers.  It then, on page 21, quotes a statement made by Bro. Houteff as proof of this: " ' …and today after going through a nightmare of supposing I might live a life of poverty, as I explained before, my credit is unlimited, and the checks I write amount to  thousands of dollars week after week, and year after year, although I am not bonded, own no property and have no personal bank account!  Furthermore, I pay my secretaries as much as I pay myself and some of my workmen I pay twice as much.  Yes, there are as great miracles today as there ever were!'  Such was his personal direct control over the funds of his organization." (original source is Timely Greetings Vol. 2 No. 35 p. 24--- found in History p. 21).

 

Rather than proving the brethren's allegation correct, the above actually proves it false.  Just stop, think and ask yourself the question, does someone who is "only in it for the money" pay his secretaries as much as he pays himself?  Would he pay his workmen (or anyone for that matter) twice as much as he himself makes?  This proves that Bro. Houteff ran an honest organization, divided evenly with all who labored as he did, and robbed no one of their rightful portion.  He did not live in a large, extravagant house while everyone else lived in a shack.  He and his wife shared a room on the second floor of the administration building. This building also housed several other departments.  Also on this second floor was a meeting area for Bible study and prayer.  Rather than become rich at the expense of others, he sacrificed his life and dreams for the cause he believed in.  Would you be willing to do that?

 

                                                                      Further Organization During World War II

 

On pages 22-24 of the Conference document, it makes a large issue out of the fact that the organization changed its name to Davidian Seventh-Day Adventist, issued formal membership certificates and ministerial credentials during World War II.  It also attempts to state that this act signified its complete separation from the S.D.A. church and becoming a church of its own.  As with the other charges, these are baseless and false.

 

Notice that the organization's name is "The General Association of Davidian Seventh-Day Adventists", not "The General Denomination of Davidian Seventh-Day Adventists" or "The Davidian Seventh-Day Adventist Denomination."  This clearly shows that it is not a separate church.  This still holds true today.  Not a single person in the world can say that they have ever been in a "Shepherd's Rod" or "Davidian" church on Sabbath mornings because there is no such thing.  All Davidians who believe in Bro. Houteff's message are found in some S.D.A. church on Sabbath if physically allowed to enter!  Just read the Rod on this matter and see for yourself.

 

Enough of the gossip, hearsay, and speculation!  Let us allow the organization itself to tell us its purpose, and whether it is a separate church or not:  "Provisional in set-up as well as in name, the Davidian Seventh-Day Adventist Association exists solely to accomplish a divinely appointed work within the Seventh-Day Adventist denomination, wherein it therefore strictly confines its activities."  Leviticus of D.S.D.A. preface. (see also pp. 12-14).

 

"Do not, though, let anyone fool you into believing that the Recruiter is calling you out of the Seventh-Day Adventist Denomination and into something else. Such allegations and insinuations come only from those who are enemies of God's eleventh- or Judgment hour Truth…The plain truth about the Recruiter is that it's mission is to make sure that you stay in the Denomination, and to keep you from being cast out, not by men, but by the Lord when He proceeds to inspect the guests therein and to cast out those who have failed to put on the "wedding garment" which the Recruiter brings." (The White House Recruiter p. 53 written in 1951).

 

"Stay in it [the S.D.A. church] and work for God.  It is not Babylon, and do not let them intimidate you to leave it.  They may take your name off of their church records which are now devised for no other purpose but upon which to base their goals and other money raising campaigns, but this is all they can do."  (Jezreel Letter No. 5 written in 1954).

 

While the document cites the reason for the above steps being taken as being "placed… in an embarrassing position" during World War II (Document p. 22), a reason that is just as valid is expressed in the following quotation:  "Warning:  The message invests no one with authority to solicit financial help to carry on either their work or that of the Shepherd's Rod.  And all field workers recognized by this Association are furnished with 1943 credentials." (The Symbolic Code Vol. 8 Nos.1-12 p. 23).

 

 

The Appointment of Sis. Florence Houteff to the Vice-Presidency

 

            The appointment of Sis. Florence Houteff to the Vice-Presidency of the Davidian movement led  to some of the most damaging events in its history.  It is alleged, that her elevation to the leadership of the movement was "in harmony with recommendations made by Bro. [Victor] Houteff before his death."  This issue is critical to address because if true it appears to sanction her subsequent actions as being authorized by the Rod message.  We will now prove beyond question that Victor Houteff never approved her appointment to that office prior to his death.

 

            The author of the Shepherd's Rod always operated by a simple principle:  Teach and believe only what is written.  We quote:  "I am not urging you to believe every word that is spoken by me in every day's passing conversation, but I am trying to make you realize that, for the sake of Christ, as well as your soul, you should believe all that is written."  (The Symbolic Code Vol. 3 Nos. 5, 6 p. 5).

 

            "Be absolutely certain that you are teaching according to that which is written and not according to that which you may think should be or will some day be written.  Failure to comply with this requirement will disqualify anyone as a worker in this cause."  (Ibid. p. 14).

 

            This principle is not new or an attempt to hide something, but is consistent with God's ways in all ages, the Spirit of Prophecy, and even Christ Himself.

 

            "And now to all who have a desire for truth I would say, do not give credence to unauthenticated reports as to what Sis. White has done or said or written.  If you desire to know what the Lord has revealed through her, read her published works.  Are there any points of interest concerning which she has not written, do not eagerly catch up and report rumors as to what she has said."  (Testimonies Vol. 5 p. 696).

 

            "He said unto him, [the rich young ruler] what is written in the law?  How readest thou? " (Luke 10: 26).

 

            Could Florence Houteff produce such written proof to substantiate her claim?  A quotation from the minutes of an executive council meeting held on February 7, 1955 (two days after Victor Houteff's unexpected death) will answer this question:  "Bro. Wolfe: 'How can you prove that the President [Victor Houteff] appointed you to be Vice-President?'

 

"Ans. 'I cannot prove it.  I have nothing in writing.  But since Brother Houteff did not appoint anyone else you are going to have to believe me when I tell you that he appointed me!' "

 

            This, in addition to the unfortunate chain of events initiated by her shortly thereafter that draw conclusions completely contrary to the whole tenor of the Rod message conclusively prove that Bro. Houteff never approved her elevation to the office of Vice-President as the General Conference charges.

 

 

The False Prediction and Fiasco of Spring 1959

 

            In the spring of 1959 one of the most unfortunate events in Davidian history occurred:  the passing of April 22, 1959, a date set by the Executive Council of the movement 3 1/2 years earlier.  On that date and shortly thereafter, it was predicted that the world's religions would unite against communism, the purification of the church as described in Eze. 9 would occur and God's Kingdom would be set up in the Middle East.  Spearheaded by Sis. Florence Houteff, this prediction was based on a false interpretation of Revelation 11: 3-6.  The major difficulty stems from the fact the council based the truthfulness of the Rod message on the fulfillment of their false prediction.  The fact that the council comprised the international leadership of the Davidian movement appeared to give authenticity to the relationship between the Rod message and their false prediction.  Therefore, the burden of this section is to bring forth irrefutable evidence that the Shepherd's Rod message did not originate or support their theory.

 

              Can anyone produce a reference from Victor Houteff's writings stating that the forty-two months of Rev. 11 would terminate in 1959?  Ask this question of the church leadership.  In the spirit of Christian courtesy ask this question and demand, if need be, an answer.  Tell them if they are fair and honest, then produce this reference from His published writings.  You will then see that they can't, because such a reference does not exist.  Victor T. Houteff is the only author of the Shepherd's Rod, and no one is qualified to judge his writings based on interpretations that others may place on them, even if one of those "others" be his own wife.

 

            Concerning the setting of prophetic dates, the Rod Message states:  "The message sets no date, either exact or approximate, for the closing of the judgment of the dead or for the beginning of the judgment of the living.  The time of the cessation of the one event and the beginning of the other is not to be known until the one is past and the other is begun."  (The Answerer No.1 pp. 94, 95 - written in 1944).

 

            "Were the Rod guilty of this offense [setting prophetic dates], it of course could not be in harmony with the Testimonies.  But it has never set the date of any future event.  It has merely established the dates of certain prophetic events which have already taken place.  Thus the dates which are treated of in the Shepherd's Rod message are of events after they have been fulfilled - never before they have been fulfilled." (The Symbolic Code Vol. 8 No. 1-12 p. 20 - written in 1941).

 

"I wish that I could tell you all you want to know, but I cannot say how soon the separation, the purification of the church, (Vol. 5 p. 80), will take place.  God alone knows the time." (Timely Greetings Vol. 2 No. 41 p. 3 - written in 1948).

 

            Thus, Sis. Florence Houteff's date setting had nothing to do with The Shepherd's Rod, she did it upon her own responsibility.  To cover her reputation, she charged her evil deed to the Rod Message, which numbered truth with the transgressors. The opposition, of course having rejected the Rod Message, took full advantage of the situation and conveniently neglected to reveal this though they have the facts at their disposal.  What we are not told is that her actions violated the very principle of the Davidian movement:

 

            "The Bible and the books of the Spirit of Prophecy being the sole source of the Shepherd's Rod message, therefore when the Rod is taught, the Bible and the Spirit of Prophecy are taught. And since none but the Spirit of Truth, who transmitted the mysteries of Inspiration, can interpret them, then those who attempt to teach them without this inspired interpretational Authority, inevitably fall into the forbidden practice of private interpretation (2 Pet. 1:20) -- the great evil which has brought Christendom into its present almost-boundless state of schism and consequent confusion, strife, and impotency.

 

"As we dare not follow in such a path, we must therefore, as teachers of The Shepherd's Rod (the official publications of the Davidian S.D.A. Association), teach only in the light of the Rod those passages which in one way or another need to be interpreted. Thus only will all Present Truth believers ever become of the same mind, seeing eye to eye and speaking the same things (1 Cor. 1:10; 1 Pet. 3:8; Isa. 52:8).

 

            "And such as do choose to engage in private interpretation are respectfully asked to desist from teaching in the name of the Rod and at its expense. Let them, like honest men, teach in their own names and at their own expense. ( Fundamental Beliefs of the Davidian Seventh-day Adventists pp. 35, 36).

 

            In attempting to discredit the Rod message by Sis. Florence Houteff's false prediction, the General Conference better be extremely careful, lest the pit that they open for another becomes their own habitation.  Indeed, if they continue they will suffer the fate of Haman who built gallows for Mordecai to hang from.  When the situation was resolved, he himself was swinging from them.  The church leaders would do well to review their own roots and history.  Let them be reminded that our own Seventh-Day Adventist church was born after a date was set, a prediction was made and it did not come to pass.  Let them remember that virtually all of the founders of the Seventh-Day Adventist Church heralded far and wide that Jesus' second coming would take place on October 22, 1844 and, of course, it didn't happen.  Also, let them be reminded of the fact that this was taught based on a fundamental misinterpretation of Dan. 8:14.  Perhaps these brutal facts will make the leadership think twice before pointing the finger at a movement because of a "false prediction."  How true is the saying, "he who lives in a glass house should not throw stones."

 

We shall now endeavor to prove that this prediction did not reflect the beliefs of the Davidian Association in general, but only those of the leadership (the Executive Council):

 

            "Time was not given to C. W. Helman [Executive Council Member] to express his views on the present situation.  It was his conviction that:  1.) It was a mistake to place the Shepherd's Rod on the altar; the message stands on its own feet.  2.) This was the stand of the Council only and not that of the members of the Association…12)  The Council predicted those events would take place.  This was not the position of the General Association - only the council."  (Business Meeting Minutes, June 21, 1959)

 

            After Bro. Helman expressed his views in opposition to the date-setting, he was promptly removed from his position on the Council.

 

            "Various members of the Executive Council, not in session, but as individuals, accept full responsibility for the prevailing opinion that the warfare and death of the two witnesses, together with related Biblically - predicted events could likewise be expected this Spring" (Letter from Executive Council to World Field, Summer/Fall 1959).

 

            As further proof, there are Davidians alive today that will testify to the fact that they and many others opposed the moves of the Executive Council.  When the members of that council resigned and dissolved the movement in 1962, these faithful believers helped to re-organize it in California. It is through them and those whom they reached with the message that the movement lives on today.

 

            This attempt to destroy the work of God through the Rod was, of course, seen by God in advance.  Just as He warned the people of Jerusalem of impending destruction through His messenger in Jeremiah's day, and in the days of the apostles, likewise God warned the Davidians of the enemy's attempt to destroy their work just four years prior to Victor Houteff's death.  "Everything that can be done against God's message of today will be done with even greater vengeance than was manifest against Heaven's message in the days of Christ's first advent, for the Devil knows that if he loses now, he loses forever---that he is to have no other chance.  Unparalleled, therefore, is the urgency that every eleventh-hour church member now quickly and solidly brace himself against the Enemy's effort to deliver a knockout blow.  We must be alert, too, to realize that the blow is to come from surprisingly unsuspected foes---from professed friends of the gospel, who are no less pious than were the priests in Christ's day.  It is, moreover, but to be expected that the Adversary will employ every agency possible to prevent the Lord from disclosing to view His now obscure 144,000 first-fruit servants, who are to go gather in the second fruits (Rev. 7:9).  The Enemy will try everything conceivable to confuse, becloud and cover up the Truth, especially on the subject of the 144,000." ( The White-House Recruiter p. 33- written in 1951).

 

            How much more of an "unsuspecting foe" can one have than the messenger's own wife and closest co-laborers?

 

"Who hath wrought and done it, calling the generations from the beginning?  I am the Lord, the first, and with the last; I am He."  (Isa. 41:4).

 

The interpretation of the "two witnesses" and subsequent verses, being the latest rallying cry of the opposition to justify rejecting the Rod, makes necessary our dealing with

 

 

Revelation 11:3-13

 

"Now we may ask who is the beast of the bottomless pit?  If the Star that came from Heaven and opened the pit is Christ, and if the locusts that came out of the pit are the Christians, then there is no way of escaping the conclusion that the beast which came out of the bottomless pit is symbolical of Christendom.  Thus it is that the Lord was crucified there." (Timely Greetings Vol. 2 No. 15 pp. 11, 12).

 

"It had been Rome's policy, under a profession of reverence for the Bible, to keep it locked up in an unknown tongue and hidden away from the people. Under her rule the witnesses prophesied "clothed in sackcloth." But another power --the beast from the bottomless pit--was to arise to make open, avowed war upon the word of God. 

    

" 'The great city' in whose streets the witnesses are slain, and where their dead bodies lie, is 'spiritually' Egypt. Of all nations presented in Bible history, Egypt most boldly denied the existence of the living God and resisted His commands. No monarch ever ventured upon more open and highhanded rebellion against the authority of Heaven than did the king of Egypt. When the message was brought him by Moses, in the name of the Lord, Pharaoh proudly answered: "Who is Jehovah, that I should hearken unto His voice to let Israel go? I know not Jehovah, and moreover I will not let Israel go." Exodus 5:2, A.R.V. This is atheism, and the nation represented by Egypt would give voice to a similar denial of the claims of the living God and would manifest a like spirit of unbelief and defiance. "The great city" is also compared, "spiritually," to Sodom. The corruption of Sodom in breaking the law of God was especially manifested in licentiousness. And this sin was also to be a pre-eminent characteristic of the nation that should fulfill the specifications of this scripture. 

    

"According to the words of the prophet, then, a little before the year 1798 some power of satanic origin and character would rise to make war upon the Bible. And in the land where the testimony of God's two witnesses should thus be silenced, there would be manifest the atheism of the Pharaoh and the licentiousness of Sodom."  (The Great Controversy pp. 268, 269).

 

The opposition takes these two passages and attempts to make the Shepherd's Rod appear contradictory to the Spirit of Prophecy regarding the Rod's interpretation of "the beast of the bottomless pit."  These two passages appear contradictory only to the surface reader.  To the deep student of truth,  these two references have a beautiful harmony that demonstrate that both authors are messengers of God inspired by the same Spirit. 

 

"The Great Controversy", in its interpretation of  "the beast from the bottomless pit," is placing emphasis on the concept (atheism) which made war against "the two witnesses", whereas the Rod is placing its interpretive focus on the land (Christendom) which waged war against the Bible.  This is the same principle that guided Daniel in seeing the rise of the papacy in Daniel 7, and John the Revelator seeing the fall of the papacy in Revelation 13.

 

As France is a part of Christendom, the Rod is altogether correct in stating that the "beast that ascendeth out of the bottomless pit" is Christendom (France in particular).  Furthermore, atheism is an abstract concept that has no power except through people who adopt its idea. 

 

Thus it is that atheistic France "by the decree of her Legislative Assembly" pronounced that there was no God, and " 'the beast that ascendeth out of the bottomless pit shall make war against them, and shall overcome them, and kill them.' The atheistical power that ruled in France during the Revolution and the Reign of Terror, did wage such a war against God and His holy word as the world had never witnessed. The worship of the Deity was abolished by the National Assembly. Bibles were collected and publicly burned with every possible manifestation of scorn. The law of God was trampled underfoot. The institutions of the Bible were abolished. The weekly rest day was set aside, and in its stead every tenth day was devoted to reveling and blasphemy. Baptism and the Communion were prohibited. And announcements posted conspicuously over the burial places declared death to be an eternal sleep." (The Great Controversy pp. 270, 273, 274).

 

Now it is clearly seen that rather than being in conflict with each other, the Spirit of Prophecy and the Shepherd's Rod exalt each other and go hand in hand.        

 

 

 Not the Branch Davidians

 

                The general opinion, as expressed through the media and in the church, is that the Branch Davidians are a continuation of the movement founded by Bro. Victor Houteff.  It is also believed that they are believers in the Shepherd's Rod message.  Therefore, we submit the following explanation.

 

            The authentic, original Davidian movement was founded by Victor Houteff in 1930, was officially organized in 1934 and re-located to Texas in 1935.  The movement remained in Texas until 1962 where it was re-organized after Florence Houteff's false prediction and returned to California.  As a rule, in various parts of the country, true Davidians have agreed that Victor Houteff's published writings constitute the official publications of the Davidian Seventh-Day Adventists and this remains true today.

 

            In contrast, the Branch Davidian movement began in 1955 by Benjamin Roden.  This gentleman was a believer in the teachings of Bro. Houteff, but renounced belief in his teachings almost immediately after Bro. Houteff's death.  Declaring that he would lead God's people into the Kingdom and never die, he launched the Branch Davidian movement.  Instead of living forever, he died in 1977 and his wife assumed leadership of their movement.

 

            Very early in the history of their movement, unorthodox and unbiblical concepts were introduced and accepted, such as the requirement of keeping the ceremonial feasts.  When Ben Roden's wife Lois became the group's leader they endorsed the teaching that the Holy Spirit was a female person.  They also stopped attending the Seventh-Day Adventist Church.  Lois Roden also died in time, and her son George took over.  George Roden and Vernon Howell became involved in a dispute over leadership of the group resulting in a gunfight which led to Roden being arrested.  Vernon Howell assumed undisputed control, changed his name to David Koresh, and the rest is well-known history.

           

True Davidians reject such unorthodox concepts and always have, and just for the benefit of all, we wish to clarify the fact that the title "Davidian" has nothing to do with being followers of David Koresh.  Long before David Koresh was born, and perhaps while his mother was a little girl, God gave those Seventh-Day Adventists that had enough courage to accept the Kingdom Truth the title "Davidian".

 

            "To keep alive the hope that the brethren as a whole would sooner or later embrace the sealing message, the Divine Author of this "closing work for the church" (Testimonies, Vol. 3 p. 266) has hitherto given His messengers no title.  Hence the name of their publication, The Shepherd's Rod, has naturally been attached to them.

 

            "Having now, though, at the closing of its twelfth year, progressed to the publication of the "Leviticus", the Association receives from this governmental organ, the name, Davidian Seventh-Day Adventists.  No longer, therefore, does it borrow its name from its publications. (The Symbolic Code Vol. 8 No. 1-12 p. 24 - published in 1942).

 

"The name, Davidian, deriving from the name of the king of Ancient Israel, accrues to this Association by reason of its following aspects: First, it is dedicated to the work of announcing and bringing forth the restoration (as predicted in Hosea 1:11; 3:5) of David's kingdom in antitype, upon the throne of which Christ, "the son of David," is to sit.  Second, it purports itself to be the first of the first fruits of the living, the vanguard from among the present-day descendants of those Jews who composed the Early Christian Church.  With the emergence of this vanguard and its army, the first fruits, from which are elected the 12,000 out of each of the twelve tribes of Jacob, "the 144,000" (Rev. 14:1; 7:2-8) who stand on Mount Zion with the Lamb (Rev. 14:1; 7:2-8), the reign of antitypical David begins." (The Leviticus of Davidian Seventh-Day Adventists p. 3 - published in 1943).

 

             Our burden is to take the Rod message to the S.D.A. church.  Indeed, we shall not rest until every church member has heard It and decided for or against It in fulfillment of the Lord's command "Hear ye the Rod" ( Micah 6:9).  The burden of this pamphlet, though, is to announce throughout the rank and file of the Seventh-Day Adventist church that the time has come for

 

 

Immediate Action.

 

            The General Conference has completely failed to prove the message of the Shepherd's Rod false.  It has also completely failed to give its author a fair hearing.  Not only is all of Heaven sad, but God is warning the church that He will no longer allow this injustice to take place without divine retribution.

 

It is with inexpressible sorrow that we reveal this great wickedness and neglect on the part of the "guardians of the spiritual interests of the people" who have "betrayed their trust" (Testimonies Vol. 5 p. 211).  We know the inevitable results of revealing these things to the brethren and even the public will be the heaping of "shame and everlasting contempt" (Dan. 12: 2) upon those who are now being idolized by the laity as great men of God.    This will take place because the laity, and even the world will discover at long last that they have been exercising a dark form of mind control over the people to secure their position, prestige and lifestyle.  This form of mind control is not overt, like Jim Jones, but covert and very subtle, like the form of mind control that the Jewish leaders used to convince the nation to reject and murder the Lord Jesus Christ.

 

Since the situation is reaching a crisis, and divine retribution is imminent, the Lord is using this printed agency to list the following demands:

 

1.)  An explicit confession in the Adventist Review and broadcast on Three Angel's Broadcast Network/KSBN/Safe TV regarding the church's true motive in rejecting the Davidian message.

 

2.)  Immediate re-fellowshipping of all Davidians "cast out" for accepting the Davidian message.

 

3.)  Immediate discharge of all ministers who continue to persecute and disfellowship Davidians.

 

4.)  An immediate re-trial for the Shepherd's Rod message with a committee verified by this movement to be unbiased at a time and location specified by this movement.

 

            These are the Lord's demands.  There can be no partial compliance.  All of them must be met if the church is to have any hope of avoiding the danger forecast in Ezekiel chapter nine.

 

            In closing we address the leadership that has dealt so deceitfully with us.  You and those who idolize you may laugh with scorn at these demands, as Pharaoh laughed at Moses.  But as God lives, if you take the attitude of Pharaoh, then you will suffer the fate of Pharaoh and worse.  If you do not meet these demands voluntarily now, then you will definitely do so involuntarily later.  It will almost certainly be at the urging of those who once idolized you that you will be forced to answer to the message that you have been so diligent to run from all these years.

 

            This will amount to the anti-typical showdown between antitypical Elijah (The Shepherd's Rod message represented by its true adherents) and the antitypical prophets of Baal (you brethren who reject this warning).

 

May God grant the honest ministers and laymen, the wisdom to accept this warning and the Davidian message and grant them the "spirit and power of Elijah" to check the injustice of this matter.