The “Error” Of The Shepherd’s Rod Exposed!


My Fellow Israelite:

I, Garrick Augustus, have been a student of the writings of The Shepherd’s Rod, a much hated and maligned doctrinal view of Scripture from the pen of a defamed Bulgarian, Victor T. Houteff.  His teachings were announced in the Seventh-day Adventist Church in 1929, and since that day, the Church’s leadership has sought to silence the voice of his message, serving excommunication to as many as possible.

Today, one of the fundamental doctrines for which Houteff was disbanded from the Adventist Denomination will receive an impressive first-phase fulfillment.  Let’s now go to the news:

Jerusalem Dome of the Rock“WASHINGTON/JERUSALEM (Reuters) – President Donald Trump on Wednesday will recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital and set in motion the relocation of the U.S. Embassy to the ancient city, senior U.S. officials said, a decision that upends decades of U.S. policy and risks fueling violence in the Middle East.

“Facing an outcry of opposition from Arab capitals, Trump, in a landmark speech, will announce he has ordered the State Department to begin developing a plan to move the embassy from Tel Aviv in what is expected to be a process that takes three to four years, the officials said. He will not set a timetable for the move…

“Word of Trump’s impending announcement about Jerusalem, one of the most sensitive issues in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, has already raised the specter of violent protest…

Saudi King Salman told Trump that any U.S. announcement on the status of Jerusalem would “inflame Muslim feelings all over the world,” the Saudi Press Agency said.” Reuters News, December 5, 2017.

Clearly, Donald Trump is God’s instrument in this regard to move a milestone prophecy on the road to consummate fulfillment! Now, let’s contrast the age-old Adventist theological position on the Jerusalem question:

“Some few of this once-favored people will receive the Jesus whom their forefathers rejected and slew; but, as a people, they have long since ceased to have any significance. For the same reason, Palestine will never become the home of the Jews; there would be no purpose in it.”–Signs of The Times, November 7, 1939, p. 7, Col. 1, paragraph 3, italics added.

Only nine years prior to the establishment of Palestine as the International home for the Jews, the Adventist theologians were teaching that this would “never” become a reality, as there “would be no [Divine, or prophetic] purpose in it.”  Time would prove them so very wrong!  It is evident that the greatest security threat to world peace today is not North Korea, with all the saber rattling in recent months, but Israel along with the Jerusalem question!

Moving the US Embassy to Jerusalem is a key component in the prophecy of Daniel 11, in which a prophetic character code named “king of the north” (KON) is to, in the last days, place an extension of his Headquarters in the Glorious Holy Mountain—Jerusalem.  Let’s quickly visit that prophecy:

“40  And at the time of the end shall the king of the south push at him: and the king of the north shall come against him like a whirlwind, with chariots, and with horsemen, and with many ships; and he shall enter into the countries, and shall overflow and pass over…44  But tidings out of the east and out of the north shall trouble him [KON]: therefore he shall go forth with great fury to destroy, and utterly to make away many. 45  And he shall plant the tabernacles of his palace between the seas in the glorious holy mountain; yet he shall come to his end, and none shall help him.”  Dan. 11: 40,  44, 45. [Added]

Please follow closely the pronouns in the prophecy, and note that they identify the KON power, when read from verse 40, who is in conflict with the “king of the south” (KOS).  These two titans will engage into a bloody battle “at” the commencement of the period known as “the time of the end,” and the victor will be known as the KON in sharp contrast to the vanquished KOS.  This has been the great question in Adventist eschatology since the 1840’s and have caused them to make many serious ,and embarrassing prophetic blunders.  For example the Denomination officially taught then, and still teaches today that Turkey (Ottoman Empire) came to its end on August 11, 1840, based on a teaching by one Josiah Litch, which he has since repudiated.  Then to make matters worse, the same “Scholars” are in print teaching that Turkey—the sick man of Europe—would move its embassy from Constantinople to Jerusalem in a last stand, during WWI, which they believed would have opened up the great Battle of Armageddon.

When these verses of Dan. 11 are correctly understood, it will be seen that the only power to make Jerusalem its Palace Grounds–establish its embassy there, will be the prophetic KON.  Let’s now ask who are the other nations with that ambition.  Which other nation on earth has legislated that Jerusalem ought to one day house its Embassy, and be recognized as the international Capital of Israel?  The answer is easy, none, save for the United States of America!  I have dealt with this subject more completely in my article Exposing The King of the North.

When the war ended in 1918 and the Adventist theologians stared each other in the face as to why their predictions had so miserably failed, the embarrassment was too smiting for the General Conference President—A.G. Daniels.  He promptly called for a meeting of all the Bible Scholars, which would later be known as “the 1919 Bible Conference.”  That was the first such convocation of Bible students gathered in one place to discuss Adventist theology, and it was later called by some “the Diet of Doubts,” for in that meeting the prophetic ministry of Ellen  White was challenged, given her effusive support for Uriah Smith’s book, Thoughts on Daniel And The Revelation, the contents of which had brought the Denomination to this crisis hour in its prophetic interpretations.

I surmise, and strongly encourage that there be a called 2019 Bible Conference to deal with the present realities before us as a Denomination.  We cannot simply walk away from this glaring miscalculation of prophecy, and be on a business as usual routine, knowing fully well that we have be completely blinded to the truths of Daniel and the Revelation, to a large degree!  It is time for the “Scholars” to come together again, but this time, not as before, they need to include the qualified Teachers of The Shepherd’s Rod, in such a meeting, so balance can be given, and old errors exposed.  We have long tried our method as a church, of sidelining the Davidians in our ranks, it is a time to honestly hear what their message teaches.  Stop demonizing them and aligning them with the Branch Davidians, they are not the same people, nor do they hold the same doctrinal views.  The authentic teachings of the Shepherd’s Rod can be accessed Online here:

1919 was also the year that Houteff was baptized into the SDA Church, and as Providence would dictate, ten years later, in 1929, the year his message was announced, was also another prophetic moment in Church and World History.  In that year, 1929, the Lateran Treaty was signed, restoring temporal powers to the Pope, healing the wounds of the past, and since then the Papacy was once again on the ascendancy, thereby paving the way for its international sway over the peoples and nations of the earth again.  That year is prophetically seen as the political “healing of the deadly would.”  It would be another 88 years before the religioushealing” of the wound would be realized on October 31, 2017, when the Protestants of the world, joined with the Lutheran Church and the Roman Catholic, to essentially declare the Protest over and the Reformation dead!  It was a sort of funeral of the Protestant Reformation, after 500 years of protest.

Getting back to our main subject of the Jerusalem Question, Houteff taught that God would honor His promises and restore the seed of Jacob and Abraham, back to the Promised Land, from where the final thrust of “the everlasting Gospel” will be proclaimed.  The Adventist theologians would not have any of this doctrine, and under the leadership of A.G. Daniels, the Denomination dismissed Houteff from church membership and religious fellowship, demonized him and his followers, physically assaulted them over the years, and declared The Shepherd’s Rod a doctrine of devils.

I have read all that the Denomination has had to say, and I’ve also read all that V.T. Houteff wrote, and the test of time, in my mind, stands as the final determinant of truth or error.  I hold this position on the authority of the Holy Scriptures which declare,

“And he said, Hear now my words: If there be a prophet among you, I the LORD will make myself known unto him in a vision, and will speak unto him in a dream.” Num. 12: 6

“20  But the prophet, which shall presume to speak a word in my name, which I have not commanded him to speak, or that shall speak in the name of other gods, even that prophet shall die. 21  And if thou say in thine heart, How shall we know the word which the LORD hath not spoken? 22  When a prophet speaketh in the name of the LORD, if the thing follow not, nor come to pass, that is the thing which the LORD hath not spoken, but the prophet hath spoken it presumptuously: thou shalt not be afraid of him.” Deut. 18: 20-22.

This is a test provided by YHWH Himself, on how to evaluate a true vs. false prophet.  Using this method we can immediately dismiss the SDA theology on the restoration of Jerusalem as among a collection of “false prophecies.”  This does not make the Denomination unrighteous, no more than were the Jews for believing the teachings of the Scribes and the Pharisees.  This is why God has provided the Holy Spirit of Prophecy in His church as a guide to assist and clarify revelation as their time for fulfillment approach.

Some believe that if a Bible Teacher is incorrect in one area then s/she must be wrong in all other areas as well, but this is not a safe position.  The Bible provides a test on how to evaluate doctrines: “to the law and to the testimony.” (Isa. 8: 20).  Now most SDA’s see the “testimony” as the writings as Sister Ellen G. White, and as a result have completely dismissed the truth of the Scriptures, and even ignoring the fact that the people in Isaiah’s days did not have her writings!  Yet by the time of John, who wrote the Revelation, there were those who had “the testimony of Jesus” (Rev. 19: 10)—the Holy Spirit of Prophecy (SOP).  Building on the misunderstanding the Ellen White’s writings are the entirety of the products of the SOP, whatever she says goes without question, and is accepted without question.  But even the Apostle Paul was not above being critically examined, for of the Bereans we read, “These were more noble than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness of mind, and searched the scriptures daily, whether those things were so.” Acts 17:11.

Honoring this legacy of the Beareans, Paul, under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit of Prophecy, would later counsel, “19  Quench not the Spirit. 20  Despise not prophesyings. 21  Prove all things; hold fast that which is good.” 1 Thess. 5: 19-21.

Helping us to not be gullible, just because someone has been mightily used by God to deliver a heaven-sent message, Paul enjoined upon all believers to “prove” not some things, not even many things, but “all things,” and having proven, “hold fast to that” which is proven as “good” and edifying.  If this method is followed, we shall have no problem with the message or messengers of God, for to none of them has heaven bestowed “all the light” that is necessary for salvation.  Hence we are further admonished to search the Scriptures “here a little, and there a little,” “line upon line, and precept upon precept.”  Isa. 28: 10.

Let me demonstrate how to prove all things, buy applying this principle to Paul, himself:

“If ye continue in the faith grounded and settled, and be not moved away from the hope of the gospel, which ye have heard, and which was preached to every creature which is under heaven; whereof I Paul am made a minister.” Col. 1: 23.

Here many have mistakenly held that Paul preached the gospel to “every creature under heaven,” and a careless read of the passage could easily suggest this, but knowing that the gospel was preached even by Noah, before the flood, would then give balance to this seemingly erroneous statement.  For Paul was simply stating a fact that the gospel “was preached to every creature” in the days of Noah, and he (Paul) is also “made a minister” of this same gospel, the everlasting gospel—God’s plan of salvation to restore lost sinners back to Himself.

So a statement which on the surface seems to be saying one thing, upon closer examination with the totality of Scripture will  many times end up teaching a completely different lesson!  Mark this point with care.

Let me now cite the Adventist’s most compelling reason for dismissing the existence of Israel in Bible prophecy, it stands solely on the strength of a prophetic pronouncement given by Sister Ellen G. White, one which was mistaken by the leaders to mean that God will not use that place anymore.  Let’s take a read:

“Then I was pointed to some who are in the great error of believing that it is their duty to go to Old Jerusalem, [SEE APPENDIX.] and think they have a work to do there before the Lord comes. Such a view is calculated to take the mind and interest from the present work of the Lord, under the message of the third angel; for those who think that they are yet to go to Jerusalem will have their minds there, and their means will be withheld from the cause of present truth to get themselves and others there. I saw that such a mission would accomplish no real good, that it would take a long while to make a very few of the Jews believe even in the first advent of Christ, much more to believe in His second advent. I saw that Satan had greatly deceived some in this thing and that souls all around them in this land could be helped by them and led to keep the commandments of God, but they were leaving them to perish.

I also saw that Old Jerusalem never would be built up; and that Satan was doing his utmost to lead the minds of the children of the Lord into these things now, in the gathering time, to keep [page-76] them from throwing their whole interest into the present work of the Lord, and to cause them to neglect the necessary preparation for the day of the Lord.”—EG White, Early Writings, pp. 75-76, bold emphasis added.

Ellen White was not here interpreting any relevant prophecies, but related what the Lord showed her.  After using this statement for more than a hundred years to denounce the restoration of Jerusalem as a prophetic outpost for the finishing work of the Third Angel’s Message, the church leaders were again embarrassed, and ended up writing a seventeen-page apologetic, to set these two paragraphs in their proper historical setting. When understood, it clearly demonstrates that Ellen White was speaking to efforts currently underway with the Seventh-day Church of God, as well as the Zionist movement of those times.  If it were intended differently, she would have cited relevant Scripture to buttress this view.

This statement has been among the most blinding to the understanding of almost every SDA theologian concerning the prophecies from Isaiah through Malachi, which treat so very eloquently on this theme.  In 2013 the World Church embarked upon a study series entitled Major Lessons from Minor Prophets, in which they studied the 12 minor prophets in 13 weeks—a whirl-wind of an attempt, and left this on record, after citing Zechariah 14, concerning the  Jerusalem of this prophecy:

“The closing section of this prophetic book describes Jerusalem in its glory, exalted, filled with people, and secure. The saved from all nations will participate in the worship of the eternal King. The entire city of Jerusalem will be filled with the holiness of the temple.

“When these glorious promises are studied together with the overall teaching of the Bible, we come to the conclusion that the ultimate fulfillment of these predictions will take place in the New Jerusalem, where God’s people from everywhere will come together and worship Him forever. This all happens only after the second coming of Jesus.” Adult Sabbath School Quarterly, June 20, 2013.

Only a blind person could make such a conclusion, for the Jerusalem of Zech. 14 is thusly described:

“1 ¶  Behold, the day of the LORD cometh, and thy spoil shall be divided in the midst of thee. 2  For I will gather all nations against Jerusalem to battle; and the city shall be taken, and the houses rifled, and the women ravished; and half of the city shall go forth into captivity, and the residue of the people shall not be cut off from the city.” Zech. 14: 1, 2.

Any thinking person who knows anything of the New Jerusalem knows that it is an impregnable city what will NEVER be defeated, yet of the Jerusalem in this prophecy we see “all nations” of earth marshalled against in battle, and that it is summarily defeated, even the women are raped and ravished, the many of the citizens taken as prisoners of war—“go forth into captivity.”  This outcome will never be realized in the New Jerusalem!  Indeed, were this to be the case, that would be the most unsafe place to be in the entire universe, because God Himself would be defeated, based on the “scholars’” interpretation.

What they have failed to see is the very reality happening before our eyes today.  This prophecy is what has motivated this essay, and many other articles I have written on the Jerusalem topic over time, some of which I feature below:

  1. Why is The Middle East Burning?
  2. God Has Not Cast Away Israel:
  3. Who is the King of the North?:
  4. The Rise of ISIS and the Fall of Syria:
  5. The Rise of ISIS and The Seed of Abraham, Part I:
  6. The Rise of ISIS and The Seed of Abraham, Part II:
  7. “Rocket Man Kim Jung Un,” World War 3, and The Nations That Will Lose Out!”

Adding to the SDA blindness, however, is yet another statement from Sister White’s pen, declaring thusly:

“If Jerusalem had known what it was her privilege to know, and had heeded the light which Heaven had sent her, she might have stood forth in the pride of prosperity, the queen of kingdoms, free in the strength of her God-given power. There would have been no armed soldiers standing at her gates. . . . The glorious destiny that might have blessed Jerusalem had she accepted her Redeemer rose before the Son of God. He saw that she might through Him have been healed of her grievous malady, liberated from bondage, and established as the mighty metropolis of the earth. From her walls the dove of peace would have gone forth to all nations. She would have been the world’s diadem of glory.”—Ellen G. White, The Desire of Ages, p. 577.

Addressing the glories of Jerusalem and placing them in the past tense, has served to cement the hearts of those who are blind to the light of the Scriptures against all future hopes that God has in mind for this Holy City.  This is quite sad, that a people to whom have been given such great light on the commandments and the gospel, have fallen blind to the prophecies for these very times!  This is exacerbated by the fact that this truth was  made available to our church, and is still available to each seeker for light, yet she has turned a blind eye and a deaf ear.  To this attitude Houteff once remarked:

“Jer. 30:7 — “Alas!  for that day is great, so that none is like it: it is even the time of Jacob’s trouble, but he shall be saved out of it.”

“The people that have come to this antitypical time of trouble are returning to the homeland, are comforted.  Apparently it is bad enough to frighten all, but God’s encouraging counsel is, “Fear not.”

Plainly, the burden of this chapter is concerning the antitypical returning to the homeland.  Though terrible the trouble may seem, yet the outcome of it is to be the same as in the type.  Right now we may not appreciate this study as we ought to, but the time is soon coming in which we will dig as fast and as hard for it as we would to get out from under an avalanche.  Those who have but little faith in the Word of God though, the study will not do them much good.  Now is the time to start cultivating the faith we need to have then.” V.T. Houteff, 1947, Timely Greetings, Vol. 1, No. 47, p. 14.

My friends, the time for digging has arrived!  The avalanche of prophecy is coming to bear upon us, and we will need to deploy the divine excavator immediately, in order to harness the faith that is required in this preparation for the final conflict.  Our trusted leaders have warned you against the revelations of these prophecies, and the moment is here upon us.  There will be powerful developments yet to come to include the final world war—World War III, before the deliverance of the Saints. No, it is not Jesus bursting out of the sky to come and deliver us.  The end is not yet, bye and bye, the times of trouble must first ensue, and unless we are fortified by the power of the Holy Spirit and by the truth of the Scriptures, we shall not be able to stand against the powerful delusions that are about to burst upon the world and the Church to take us all captive!

I now appeal to all my ministering brethren in the SDA church especially, that the days of darkness are past, come and receive the light—the light of “Present Truth”, for that is what the flock needs most urgently.

I invite you to join our Bible Study Conference this coming Sabbath, December 9th to learn the truth of these things, and ask the questions you’ve longed to get answered from the Bible, but which our Adventist “Scholars” are unprepared to handle.  This is your invitation to light from our loving God and Saviour, Jesus Christ, Y’shuah the Messiah.

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For the benefit of all, a few years ago a fellow SDA believer engaged me in his vain attempt of denouncing The Shepherd’s Rod as error, and I have provided the content of that discussion in a Power Point style presentation, it is quite an eye opener, and I encourage you to make every effort to reading it.  This brother is a graduate from LaSierra University’s  H.M.S Richards Divinity School, in Southern California, and brags about the distinctions he has earned at this prestigious Adventist School. The discussion was about whether or not the Bible prophecies treating on the restoration of Jerusalem in the last days of this earth’s history will ever be realized.  Too, that America would place an extension of her Headquarters–an Embassy in Jerusalem, prior to the commencement of the Big War–World War III.  What this response shows is the severity of “blindness” on the part of our people in the face of the all plain facts of Scripture, history, and our current realities: Reply to Amery-1


“1 Arise, shine; for thy light is come, and the glory of the LORD is risen upon thee. 2 For, behold, the darkness shall cover the earth, and gross darkness the people: but the LORD shall arise upon thee, and his glory shall be seen upon thee.” Isa. 60: 1, 2

Shalom in Messiah,

Garrick Augustus; December 6, 2017



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