Coming Soon: What Every Seventh–day Adventist Should Know About… The Shepherd’s Rod

Below is a preview of my soon to be released book, What Every Seventh–day Adventist Should Know About… The Shepherd’s Rod.  The subject of this book demands the attention of every Seventh-day Adventist, because it tells the epic story of one of the largest cover-ups in modern Christian history–the mock investigation of a divinely appointed message of truth, and because after the author’s death, his wife ran his ministry in the ground, so to speak, this has fueled the passions of those who wished it harm, and they exulted in this.  But it is no more to be laughed at than were the apostasy of both A.T. Jones, and E.J. Waggoner, after the rejection of their “most precious message” in 1888, entitled Righteousness by Faith, or even the forsaking of Christ by his most trusted friends–the early disciples!

The truth of The Shepherd’s Rod that has laid dormant for nearly 9 decades, is now unveiled in this very unique book on its history and teachings.  It has gone behind the scenes, interviewed Scholars from The Biblical Research Institute of Seventh-day Adventists, examined the forensic evidence of both sides in the controversy, and brings the verdict to the attention of the world church, as well as the onlookers from the rest of the world–both religious and irreligious.

In the wake of the David Koresh, Branch Davidian 51-day shoot-out and siege in Axtell (city near Waco), Texas, another blow has been dealt to the Shepherd’s Rod message, because the publishing arm of the SDA Church, as well as the gullible media outlets, have carelessly united the dark ministry and theology of David Koresh with that of  illuminating Victor Houteff, and has made Koresh’s Ranch Apocalypse (New Mount Carmel) into the Mount Carmel Center started by Victor Houteff, some 20 miles away, in Waco, Texas.

In this book the reader will finally see the unabridged evidence from both sides, and given the chance to pass an unbiased judgment for or against the Rod, based on its own merits, devoid of the assertions and insinuations, stigma and misapplied labels attributed to it.

As in the political, so in the spiritual, in warfare there is much deception, false information (fake news), and propaganda in circulation, one side seeking to undermine the interests of the other, all in the effort of gaining an advantage over the perceived enemy.  During the first Gulf War, for example, we read of “the Butcher of Baghdad,” and “Weapons of Mass Destruction,” which in the end were never found, because they never existed, except in the imaginations of the proponents of that war!  Similarly, in the Adventist Church, much misinformation has been circulated against the Shepherd’s Rod, all of which has been sopped up by the public media houses, and is now in circulation as the bonafide truth, but which in reality are the makings of “fake news.”  This book levels the playing field, and stops soothsayers in their tracks with the forensic data to vindicate the facts.

 Stay tuned, and I will update you when the final proofs are ready from the publishers.  This book will be available wherever books are sold, and a copy will be placed in each library around the world.  Please pray for its safe arrival, for it has been over twenty-years in the making, and has passed through many a conflict, and many a near loss, from computer failures, to other personal failures as well. But praise God, it is now in the hands of the publishers, and even if I should not live to see it’s delivery on the world stage, I can assure that the information is available, and some worthy soul will see through to the completion of this very complex and enigmatic journey in theology, history and literature.

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What Every Seventh–day Adventist Should Know About… The Shepherd’s Rod

Author: Garrick Augustus

shepherd-with-his-rodSome twenty years later, after going through many vicissitudes in life, Augustus finished this book.    He wrote it with the hope that the “strong foundations of the earth” may know that “YHWH has a controversy with His people, [His Church]” (Micah 6: 2), and is pleading for her spiritual revival and reformation—her most urgent need, so that in the end both the church and the world will benefit from the fullness of the everlasting gospel.

This book is divided into several sections:

  1. Preface: this summarizes the purpose behind the theological conflict in the Adventist church, and presents a general history of Victor Houteff’s The Shepherd’s Rod, and its four principal splinter groups since his death in 1955—Carmelite Davidians, The Branch-Davidians, Bashanite Davidians, and Gileadite Davidians. The reader will also learn that Florence Houteff took the helm of her late husband’s ministry by usurpation and force of arms, a move that placed the ministry of The Shepherd’s Rod on a collision course with the teachings of Victor Houteff.   It has resulted in the shattering of his legacy into many splinters, factions and schisms, many of which bear the name “Davidian” in their official names, but they are as different in their theology as Baptists are from Presbyterians.
  1. Authentic History of The Shepherd’s Rod Message: This section examines the early history of Houteff’s engagements with the Seventh-day Adventist Church and takes a forensic analysis of the denomination’s published writings against his message.  While today some of those writings are no longer relied upon as definitive by some church leaders, they laid the foundation of hate and mistrust in the minds of Adventists world over against the Rod message to this day. 
  1. The Shepherd’s Rod Message Re-Examined: This section covers the basic principles of Bible study employed by Adventist theologians against The Shepherd’s Rod. It also features a critical analysis of the book, The Story of The Shepherd’s Rod, illustrating that it is largely a Story, rather than the records of history. We will explore how to avoid the deceptive traps of the enemy by quickly identifying the characteristic signature features of any purported message of truth, which holds the Bible as the inspired Words of YHWH to mankind.  Many of the early objections raised against The Shepherd’s Rod will be unveiled and discussed here, as it prepares the reader to deal with the many unbiblical methods employed by the Adventist theologians in their denunciation of The Shepherd’s Rod message as erroneous.
  1. Examining the Case Against The Shepherd’s Rod, Based on the Evidences Provided: This section provides an in-depth comparative analysis of all the objections the SDA church has raised against The Shepherd’s Rod, and proves that in these hardline positions it has either:
    1. reversed itself on, or
    2. taught as truth contemporarily with Houteff while decrying him as false, or
    3. with the passage of time and the death of the old guards, the church has publicly denounced as erroneous, positions it once held as sacred, and has adopted new positions which today are antithetical to its earlier “platform of truth” on which it proudly stood against Mr. Houteff over eight decades ago.

This section also reviews in an expository manner, the ten cardinal propositions raised by the leaders of the Seventh-day Adventist Denomination as pillar points for rejecting The Shepherd’s Rod.  The evidence shows that the positions the church held were never broadly believed by the leadership or membership, but were the contrived notions of a few leading men such as Professors O.J. Graf and F. C. Gilbert.  Those positions have largely been repudiated by the denomination in succeeding years, and a position more in keeping with Mr. Houteff’s teachings have been proclaimed since.

This is especially true of their main subject—the beasts of Revelation 13 and 17 in which the denomination placed a very heavy emphasis on the Roman papacy, but has today completely reversed itself to recognize that there are other players in the theater, a position for which Victor Houteff was assailed and broadly denounced as a false prophet.  This was the single-most deciding factor as to the authenticity of his message, and since he was not as heavy handed on the papacy as the church leaders would have liked, he was not welcomed into their club—their league of confidantes. Hence, it is helpful to see their fruits, in as much as the current leaders are not proud of this historical past.Book, pp. 5-7

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 Locked in a leadership battle with Benjamin Roden over the legacy of Victor Houteff’s ministry, Florence Houteff sought to anchor her role as supreme leader of the Davidians and began to engage in a bit of “propheteering.” She made a challenge to the SDA Church leaders that was a veiled challenge to Roden’s incursions on her territory as the true heir to the prophetic mantle of the movement. By her challenge, she was attempting to fend off Roden’s “Branch Davidian” teachings that made him out as the true successor to Victor’s ministry, and thereby positioned herself as a sort of prophetess to silence the debate if her predictions came through! It was a challenge between two false prophets as to who would be the winner and hence become “king” of the proverbial “hill.” Much money was wasted on radio and newspaper announcements in the promotion of her epic, interpretative prediction, and much preparation was made at their new Mount Carmel Center for this delusive prophecy to be realized. But it was all spent in vain.

There were several members of the parent movement who stridently opposed the date-setting direction of Florence and her private interpretations advocated through the official publishing organ, The Symbolic Code. These 100 percent Rod-believing Davidians called their protest movement the Faithful Nathaniels in honor of the exiled prophet who was utterly focused on the restoration and rebuilding of old Jerusalem, opposition from the non-factitious Jews notwithstanding.

After Florence’s Executive Council had published their final prophetic declaration on the termination of the 42 month prophecy, otherwise passive Davidians sprang into action to clarify the Rod’s views on her erroneous doctrine.   In their A Protest letter, the international Fellowship of Davidians wrote to the General Conference of Seventh-day Adventists, distancing themselves from Florence’s nine-member Executive Council’s teachings, as published in her previous issues of The Symbolic Codes.  That letter is shared below.—Book, pp. 39, 40

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The Church Relents and Agrees to a Hearing

 Although the message of The Shepherd’s Rod began in Southern California in the domain of the Pacific Union Conference, that conference’s leadership had not investigated Houteff’s teachings but had viciously opposed him until the promptings of a local church in Fullerton, California, in 1934 urged them to investigate them. After the issue had risen to such widespread levels as to not be containable in a local church or region, and as church members from across the world field were receiving word of this movement and began asking challenging questions of their leadership, the denomination made a masterful move by accepting the invitation of this local church to engage Houteff in a one-week review of his teachings.

This was the church leaders’ means of declaring to the world that yes, it had given a full investigation of The Shepherd’s Rod and had found it to be in error on several counts. Preparing for that event, the denomination’s historians recount,

But to leave him and all concerned without further doubt on that point, the leaders of the Seventh-day Adventist church in Fullerton, near Los Angeles, gave consideration in December of 1933 to a suggestion that arrangements be made for Mr. Houteff to be given another hearing by brethren of experience. And on January 18, 1934, they and Mr. Houteff jointly sent a formal written request to the Pacific Union Conference Committee for such a hearing to be held.[1]

Please note the insertion of the word “another” in front of hearing, as it gives the false impression that the church had earlier given previous hearings to this matter. However, as we have already seen, that claim is baseless. It was to this 1934 hearing that the denomination later predicated all future discussions and findings on The Shepherd’s Rod, and from which it dealt with its doctrines in a broad sweep.—Book, pp. 137, 138

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Background on Elder W.A. Spicer

Given his position of influence in the Denomination, it is helpful to examine a little background of Spicer’s views regarding Mrs. White’s inspiration, with special focus on the veracity of the contents of her flagship book The Great Controversy.  Both Spicer and W.W. Prescott, men of General Conference vestments, had deep indignation against certain “factual errors” in her book, The Great Controversy, and through a series of pointed letters, managed to organize the historic 1919 Bible Conference on the Seven Trumpets.  Leading up to that historic “diet of doubts,” was this letter written by Spicer to Conradi:

There is one thing sure, Brother Conradi, it is firmly settled that phrases and historical statements in these books [E. G. White’s] have to be corrected just the same as in other books. Of course we are supposed to take full counsel with the author in making corrections. On the other hand, I believe the editors have been a little hard to deal with in accepting suggestions, though no doubt they have felt they have been very liberal.  A comparison of the new and old editions of “Great Controversy” will show many things changed, although some things should surely have been corrected further

About this time Professor Benson received documents showing conclusively that the ultimatum of the Powers was not delivered to the Pasha of Egypt on Aug. 11, 1840. Then we began to look the thing up a bit, and presented some of these features to the recent council. You may well understand that the brethren had to sit up and take notice. It is remarkable how loath people are to look at facts, or to correct anything.” [2]

The above citation from Spicer’s pen is clear that he was not sold out on the inspiration of Ellen G. White, and had grave concerns about the contents of The Great Controversy.  Yet, he would persuasively use her writings to cunningly overthrow confidence in the teachings of The Shepherd’s Rod, although he had serious misgivings about the authority of said writings!  The younger Spicer was apparently wiser, for in 1914 he lamented, as cited above, “It is remarkable how loath people are to look at facts, or to correct anything.”  What a shame that in 1934 he would become the leader of a scheme designed not “to look at facts, or to correct anything”!—Book, pp. 185, 186

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SDA’s Assert That the Rod Claims Infallibility

An unsettling allegation leveled against The Shepherd’s Rod is the charge that it made claims of infallibility. Writing an opinion about the author of The Shepherd’s Rod, the General Conference Committee filed this report.

In other matters this teacher has also been shown altogether inaccurate and mistaken in reference to historical facts. Yet the claim of infallibility is boldly made for the teachings of the Shepherd’s Rod. The author lays down his claims of inerrancy of teaching in this self-exalting claim:

“We must conclude that the ‘Rod’ contains all truth, or there is NO truth in it, save the quotations of truth. Therefore if we admit one truth revealed by the ‘Rod,’ then we must accept it all as truth … Therefore we take the position that the message of the ‘Rod’ is free from error in so far as the idea put forth is concerned.” (Circular, Aug. 31, 1931.)[3]

This allegation was afloat while Houteff was alive, and he clarified this statement beyond every reasonable doubt, even vigorously denying the charge. In our era of searchable files, one can quite easily perform a search of his published works using the key word infallible or infallibility. There is no such claim by him, and all such claimants are the angry Seventh-day Adventist leaders seeking to blacken the reputation of the Rod by making this audacious claim! Jesus Christ never told a lie, and most of all, he never lied on Satan; He simply showed the lies of the enemy. I would urge the leadership of the Adventist denomination to do likewise. Here is Houteff’s response to the above-cited charge.

Your other remark which is of the greatest importance, you say I “must not take the position that The Shepherd’s Rod is infallible.’” I have never used the word “infallible”; but I have stated that The Shepherd’s Rod contains either all Truth, or there is no Truth in it. This position I have taken on the strength of the Bible, and the Spirit of Prophecy, as they both agree that God alone is able to reveal the Truth in His Holy Word, regardless of its simplicity. This means Inspiration, which is especially true of timely Truth. The Word says, “I will guide you into ALL Truth.” Do you doubt this clear-cut statement, Elder ______? I hardly think you do.[4]

Well, let me tell you something: in 1931, after The Shepherd’s Rod, Vol. 1, came off the press, we published a two-page article in which we said that what God has led us into is either all truth or not truth.[5]

The aim of the statement then was to teach that  what “God has led us into is either all truth or not truth,” meaning that God cannot lead us into both truth and error, and he believed he was being led of Christ and as such was being led into all truth through His agent, the Holy Spirit. If for this position the church leaders see the claim of infallibility, we ask the reader to judge the Bible and Ellen White by the same standard. The Bible teaches the infallibility of the Scriptures, since it teaches about the “God that cannot lie” (Titus 1:2). It further declares, “All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness” (2 Timothy 3:16).

Here we have it: “All Scriptures are given by inspiration of God Who cannot lie.” Now look on this infallible book saying things that are, well, apparently errant. In 2 Samuel 10:18, the Bible teaches that “the Syrians fled before Israel; and David slew the men of seven hundred chariots of the Syrians, and forty thousand horsemen.”

Yet, recounting the same experience, 1 Chronicles 19:18 teaches that “the Syrians fled before Israel; and David slew of the Syrians seven thousand men which fought in chariots, and forty thousand footmen.” Well, seven thousand is an order of magnitude from seven hundred! Is this a scribal error or an outright lie? We can be foolish to charge this as a lie on God’s part rather than a scribal error carried over by the sheer limitations of the fallible human instrument.

The revelation of this clear scribal error does not change the fact that the Bible is infallible. It therefore depends on how we define infallibility, whether we see the thoughts or the words as infallible. All honest Bible students can see that the infallibility of the Bible is one of thoughts only, not of words. For this reason, there are many translations of the Holy Scriptures today, many using a different choice of words in specific places, but bearing the same inspired thoughts. To bring harmony to these two apparently contradictory statements is to recognize that 700 and 7,000 carry the difference of one zero and is a normal, human scribal error!

Let us take another set of apparent contradictions or what some may call “errors” in the Bible. Recounting the story of Judas’s death, Matthew reported,

Then Judas, which had betrayed him, when he saw that he was condemned, repented himself, and brought again the thirty pieces of silver to the chief priests and elders … And he cast down the pieces of silver in the temple, and departed, and went and hanged himself. And the chief priests took the silver pieces, and said, It is not lawful for to put them into the treasury, because it is the price of blood. And they took counsel, and bought with them the potter’s field, to bury strangers in. (Matthew 27:3, 5–8)

Luke, also an apostle of Christ, and providing “infallible proofs” (Acts 1:3) of the resurrection and the history of the early Christian Church, recounted this story differently.

Men and brethren, this scripture must needs have been fulfilled, which the Holy Ghost by the mouth of David spake before concerning Judas, which was guide to them that took Jesus. For he was numbered with us, and had obtained part of this ministry. Now this man purchased a field with the reward of iniquity; and falling headlong, he burst asunder in the midst, and all his bowels gushed out. (Acts 1:16–8; italics added.)

Observe carefully that Matthew stated, “The chief priests [not Judas] took the silver pieces, and … bought with them the potter’s field, to bury strangers in.” Luke, on the other hand, declared under “infallible” inspiration that “This man [Judas] purchased a field with the reward of iniquity.” So the questions are clear. Who exactly purchased the field? How exactly did Judas die? Were Matthew and Luke speaking of two different persons? Judging these Scriptures by the standards of the committee of twelve Adventist pastors who reviewed Houteff’s message, we must by parity of their reasoning condemn the Bible along with The Shepherd’s Rod as “not an infallible guide.” If, however, we can find an acceptable explanation that makes both apparently contradictory passages harmonize, then again, by parity of reasoning, we must also do the same to harmonize similarly apparently contradictory statements in the Rod. If we are unwilling to do this, dishonesty lies at our door and we are judging with unjust measures.

Let us now ask our church leaders and the reading public to critique Ellen White’s statements below, on the subject of infallibility in light of the harsh interpretation placed on Houteff’s writings.

God and Satan never work in co-partnership. The Testimonies either bear the signet of God or that of Satan. A good tree cannot bring forth corrupt fruit, neither can a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit. By their fruit ye shall know them. God has spoken. Who has trembled at his word?[6]

This position was again repeated in later years.

God is either teaching His church, reproving their wrongs and strengthening their faith, or He is not. The work is of God, or it is not. God does nothing in partnership with Satan. My work … bears the stamp of God or the stamp of the enemy. There is no halfway work in the matter. The Testimonies are of the Spirit of God, or of the devil.[7]

The most powerful of them all is this statement.

While I am able to do this work, the people must have things to revive past history, that they may see that there is one straight chain of truth, without one heretical sentence, in that which I have written. This, I am instructed, is to be a living letter to all in regard to my faith.[8]

Let me be the first to produce one apparently “heretical sentence” from Ellen White’s pen.

The Lord first established the system of sacrificial offerings with Adam after his fall, which he taught to his descendants. This system was corrupted before the flood by those who separated themselves from the faithful followers of God, and engaged in the building of the tower of Babel. They sacrificed to gods of their own [making] instead of the God of Heaven.”[9]

The plain reading of this passage, suggests that “before the flood” the “tower of Babel” was in building. Does this sit squarely with Genesis 11, which teaches that the postdiluvians, seeking to survive the destruction of another flood, decided on building a tower reaching to the heavens? The Bible clearly teaches that the tower of Babel was built after the flood! Was this a scribal error, or a willful “heretical sentence” on Ellen White’s part? You be the judge. Based on all her writings though, including portions from the same book, the honest reader will realize that this was a typographical error, and not a belief she held, for she has clearly taught differently in this same book as well as in other places of her printed works. In a chapter entitled “After The Flood,” Ellen White declared:

Some of the descendants of Noah soon began to apostatize… They built them a city, and then conceived the idea of building a large tower to reach unto the clouds, that they might dwell together in the city and tower, and be no more scattered … Those who did not believe in God, imagined if their tower could reach unto the clouds they would be able to discover reasons for the flood.[10]

Those who are looking for hooks on which to hang their doubts will find many, not just in Houteff’s and White’s writings but also in the Bible. Hence, this reexamination demands people who are honest, fair minded, even handed, and open minded.  It calls for individuals who are not out on a fishing trip for errors, but those who are imbued by the Holy Spirit and of a sound mind to investigate spiritual things, for they are spiritually discerned.

Here is another example in the Bible: Jeremiah prophesied that King Jehoiakim would suffer a horrible death, that no one would mourn for him and that his corpse would be dragged around and receive a donkey’s burial beyond the gates of Jerusalem, essentially being left unburied to decompose on the ground, and none of his posterity would ever sit on the throne of Judah. (Read Jeremiah. 22:18-19, and 36:30-21). As it turned out however, not only did King Jehoiakim receive a proper burial but his son, Jehoiachin, succeeded him as king on the throne of Judah, and reigned for 100 days! (See2 Kings. 24:6).  Our Adventist scholars should now be having a field day on the weeping prophet, condemning him as one of the biggest false teachers among “the Major Prophets.”

If I were bait-hunting as were the Adventist scholars, I would jump with glee that I had just toppled Ellen White’s and Jeremiah’s inspiration, having found one heretical sentence in Mrs. White’s writings, and a blatant historical blunder in Jeremiah’s. I could then say that “the Testimonies are not of the Spirit of God,” for the Holy Spirit is the Spirit of truth, and the notion that the tower of Babel was built before the flood is not true.  Or I could say that was an editorial error.  As well, I could say of Jeremiah, and by extension the Bible, that the presence of this historical inaccuracy in Jeremiah’s writings makes the Bible an untenable guide!   You be the judge.—Book, pp. 231-236

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Look at how perfectly these theologians speak out of both sides of their mouths yet still feel vindicated in their condemnation of Houteff’s message.

Seventh-day Adventists teach Whole church not perfect before the “Loud Cry” … Christ in the Parable of the wheat and tares, Matt. 13, shows tares in the church till the end of the World.—W.M.A.[11] It is necessary if the whole is to be perfect to have every part perfect also. No chain can be strong if one of its links is weak. No wall is perfect that contains crumbling stone or defective mortar. We can not, if imperfect, pass the approval of the great Inspector by being assembled with perfect ones.[12]

The reader should also realize that the statement in the left column above was written by the church’s theologians to oppose and expose the Rod as error, yet in the right column, the denomination, only nine years earlier, was unabashedly teaching the world church the very “error” it condemned The Shepherd’s Rod for. Being in the Adult Quarterly truly highlights the importance of this doctrine as a central teaching of the denomination’s, a view with which all its theologians agreed! How profoundly true are the words of Christ, “Woe unto you lawyers! For ye have taken away the key of knowledge: ye entered not in yourselves, and them that were entering in ye hindered!” (Luke 11:52). I ask the reader to closely note the fact that the charge the denomination leveled against the Rod has become one of its defense postures to bolster its position in biblical orthodoxy. Is this consistent? Sister White weighed in on the concept of perfection of characters in Christ, and arrived at a profoundly different conclusion than had those “scholars” who investigated and condemned the Rod, years later.

He [Jesus] did not consent to sin. Not even by a thought did He yield to temptation. So it may be with us. Christ’s humanity was united with divinity; He was fitted for the conflict by the indwelling of the Holy Spirit. And He came to make us partakers of the divine nature. So long as we are united to Him by faith, sin has no more dominion over us. God reaches for the hand of faith in us to direct it to lay fast hold upon the divinity of Christ, that we may attain to perfection of character.[13]

From the foregoing citations, there should be no wonder seeing the denomination embarking on such emasculated evangelistic outreaches as, “Harvest 1990,” “1000 days of reaping,” and “Harvest 2000” in the mistaken belief that by so doing it was proclaiming the loud cry of the third angel’s message! A twisted theology can lead only to twisted evangelistic strategies all the while pawning off as truth a confused and conflicting biblical eschatology.

Our church is in the midst of what it calls a global revival and reformation in its final thrust as a precondition for receiving the outpouring of the Holy Spirit and proclaiming the loud cry in the world to usher in the Second Advent of Christ. This revival and reformation it exalts even while adopting more and more of Rome’s practices, including Christmas, Valentine’s Day, and Easter commemorations—institutions of pagan origins—into its worship!  In addition to these pagan customs, the church is quickly adopting other practices, such as Spiritual Formation, Neuro Linguistic Programming[14] (NLP) and female ordination, homosexuals in the clergy and membership, all of which run counter to the plain text of the Holy Bible.—Book, pp. 310, 311

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By these statements, it should forever be settled in the minds of our church leaders that not only Houteff but also Ellen White recognized the General Conference was not being “the voice of God” as it once had been. Imagine the horrible fallacy of Sister White’s to ever surmise that the General Conference was not “the voice of God” as many imagined it to be! She was here saying far more than the Rod has taught, and yet she is held in high esteem while Houteff was and is still demonized, thrown under the proverbial bus of blame and shame. This is not fair, just, or righteous. I call your attention to this abuse of influence and ask that you judge with just balances and righteous judgment, and demand of yourself and your church not only an apology, but an honest re-examination of the hated Shepherd’s Rod, not simply by a few church leaders enclaved in a box, but by each church member in the privacy of their own conscience.  This book is written to launch that conversation, and to be the platform through which the General Conference will know that a corporate sin was committed more than eight decades ago by their predecessors, an act which needs to be righted by the modern administration, in the name of truth, holiness and liberty.  I invite you to join this conversation today, even while we read Sister White’s definition of who constitutes the true church of God.—Book, p. 352

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The great problem that the Adventist theologians display against the Rod demonstrates that that they do not understand the phenomenon of the following statement: “Had the church as a body, or at least the leaders of the Seventh-day Adventist denomination accepted the message of reform as presented to them in ‘The Shepherd’s Rod,’ Vol. 1, there would be no necessity for that class to fall by the figure of the five men with the slaughter weapons. It is the reception or the rejection of the message that will fix the destiny of the two classes as described in the following testimony: ‘I asked the meaning of the shaking I had seen, and was shown that it would be caused by the straight testimony called forth by the counsel of the true witness to the Laodiceans. This will have its effect upon the heart of the receiver, and will lead him to exalt the standard and pour forth the straight truth. Some will not bear this straight testimony. They will rise up against it, and this is what will cause a shaking among God’s people—Early Writings, p. 270.”[15]

The above statement from the Rod is in perfect harmony with the Bible. Let us demonstrate: When Noah, bearing a message from God, preached unto the antediluvians to come into the ark and they would be saved, was he not at the same time saying, “those who reject my message and do not come into the ark shall be slain in the flood”?

How about Abraham in the plains of Sodom? What was the fate of those who refused to come out of the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah? They all died because they refused to repent.

Next we turn to Jonah. Had the people of Nineveh refused to repent of their sins before God, would they not have been slain according to the prophet’s word? The reader can therefore convince himself with the thought that if The Shepherd’s Rod is a message from God to His people, it does stand to scriptural sense and reason that those who reject its warnings and entreaties will suffer the fate of the wicked.

The great problem in the Seventh-day Adventist Church is that it is looking for a message that will countenance its backsliding, a message that will cry “peace and safety,” a message that will say, “the Lord will not do good, and neither will He do evil; He is too merciful to visit His people in judgment.”[16] But such a message is just what the Devil would like them to hear, which is what they currently teach; but what a terrible wailing and gnashing of teeth there will be on that fateful day. Indeed, the Bible declares that the slaughter should begin “at the ancient men,” “the ministers,” “the false shepherds,” “the false watchmen,” those “who [stand] as guardians of the spiritual interests of the people.”[17]

God does not send messengers to flatter the sinner. He delivers no message of peace to lull the unsanctified into fatal security. He lays heavy burdens upon the conscience of the wrongdoer, and pierces the soul with arrows of conviction. The ministering angels present to him the fearful judgment s of God to deepen the sense of need, and prompt the cry, “What must I do to be saved?”[18]

Because the church cannot sustain its claims against The Shepherd’s Rod in a truthful and scriptural way, its theologians have resorted to the telling of malicious lies about the Rod’s teachings, as I have already repeatedly demonstrated. The concern of this writer is that, if the Rod is wrong, it behooves the denomination to prove it wrong on its own merits, not by casting aspersions on its teachings, as we shall presently see from one who hosts the largest anti-Shepherd’s Rod publishing ministry, worldwide.—Book, pp. 409, 410

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Since we have jointly explored the most poignant accusations that the Seventh-day Adventist Church has brought against The Shepherd’s Rod message, and found them to be greatly lacking of support from the Bible, or the writings of  The Spirit of Prophecy, I therefore ask the reader to consider the preceding chapters from the Denomination and ask yourself, “Am I convicted that error was uncovered from the trumped up proofs offered by the Adventist Church leaders against Victor Houteff ‘s writings and teachings?  Has the church proven The Shepherd’s Rod false by its manner of half sided comparisons?  Who among these two groups in this comparison, based on the integrity of the evidence, is trying to pervert the Word of God?”  While you are contemplating your resolve in this matter I shall close this section with the testimony of one who lived during those times, and experienced firsthand, the violence done to truth—former Carolina SDA Conference President, Pastor E.T. Wilson:–Book, p. 439.

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List of References

[1] Story of Shepherd’s Rod, 8; italics added.

[2] W. A. Spicer, Letter to L.C. Conradi, November 30, 1914; italics and [ ] added.

[3] Adventist Teaching versus The Rod., introductory page 2; italics added.

[4] V. T. Houteff File Letter, April 22, 1932; reprinted in 1955, Code 10, no. 7, 11; italics added.

[5] V. T. Houteff, 1947, Timely Greetings 1, no. 18, 20; italics added.

[6] E. G. White in 1882, Testimonies for the Church 5, 98; italics added.

[7] Ibid., 671; italics added.

[8] Ellen G. White, Letter 329A, 1905; italics added.

[9] E.G. White,1870, The Spirit of Prophecy 1, 266; italics added.

[10] E. G. White, 1864, Spiritual Gifts 3, 96-97.

[11] Adventist Teaching versus The Rod., 5; italics added.

[12] Adult Sabbath School Lesson, 1st Qtr. 1928, 36; italics added.

[13] E. G. White, Desire of Ages, 123; italics and [added.]

[14] NLP is a psychological communication tool steeped in the art of hypnosis.

[15] Rod 2, 218.

[16] Testimonies for the Church 5, 211.

[17] The Great Controversy, 655, 656; Testimonies for the Church 5, 211.

[18] The Desire of Ages, 104.

2 thoughts on “Coming Soon: What Every Seventh–day Adventist Should Know About… The Shepherd’s Rod

  1. Brother,the subject of the investigative judgement is an explosive one that needs be understood properly else a misunderstanding of it will totally deal a devastating blow to many.It should be understood that the cleansing of the sanctuary always spoken of by Seventh Day Adventists and which is being cleansed where sin had caused the necessity of Cleansing,is none other than souls of men.The idea that Christ is in the heavenly sanctuary doing cleansing, brings the obvious question “Is our high priest cleansing an apartment ?and if so how does it relate to the cleansing of our souls which the Bible tells us are God’s holy temple?should we make a conclusion that He is cleansing an apartment somewhere in heaven then certainly we do automatically leave room for earthly priests enjoying and claiming that they are the ones to cleanse our soul temples you know!Brother Rob peralta from states did send me alot of materials which i in turn faithfully read and re-read until i have come to find out that the investigative judgement of the dead is only a book transaction in heaven but the judgement of the living involves getting away sin from our lives in addition to reflecting this position in the books of heaven.!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Your thoughts reflect one of the hallmarks of The Shepherd’s Rod message, and provides the grounds on which it was rejected by the SDA Church leaders when it first appeared 88 years ago. My book explores this delicate divide and proves that:

      ” In the light of the clear cut facts before us, we see that the main object of the sealing or marking of the servants of God is to cleanse the church from sin and sinners, so that she may be able to stand strong against the image-beast in the time of trouble; and that when this purifying work is completed, “it shall come to pass that he that is left in Zion, and he that remaineth in Jerusalem, shall be called holy, even every one that is written among the living in Jerusalem: when the Lord shall have washed away the filth of the daughters of Zion, and shall have purged the blood of Jerusalem from the midst thereof by the spirit of judgment, and by the spirit of burning.” Isa. 4:3, 4.
      When this “special work of purification, of putting away of sin among God’s people,” is accomplished, then “the church is to enter upon her final conflict. ‘Fair as the moon, clear as the sun and terrible as an army with banners,’ she is to go forth into all the world, conquering and to conquer.” — The Great Controversy, p. 425; Prophets and Kings, p. 725.
      “And the Lord will create upon every dwelling place of Mount Zion, and upon her assemblies, a cloud and smoke by day, and the shining of a flaming fire by night: for upon all the glory shall be a defence. And there shall be a tabernacle for a shadow in the day time from the heat, and for a place of refuge, and for a covert from storm and from rain.” “And they shall call them The holy people, The redeemed of the Lord: and thou shalt be called, Sought out, A city not forsaken.” Isa. 4:5, 6; 62:12. –-V.T. Houteff, 1941, Mount Sion At The Eleventh Hour, Tract 8, pp. 25, 26

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