Micah 7:14

“Feed thy people with thy rod, the flock of thine heritage, which dwell solitarily in the wood, in the midst of Carmel: let them feed in Bashan and Gilead, as in the days of old.” Micah 7:14.

“The term, “let”, means to allow it to be so;….” Vol. 2 Symbolic Code No. 9 p. 2.

”’Feed thy people with thy rod.’ The verb ‘feed’ is to be understood as [signifying] spiritual food [“meat in due season”], and that food (truth) is found in the ‘Rod.’…. Carmel, Bashan, and Gilead are used as symbols of good spiritual pasture. These PLACES are where Israel had their victories.”- 1SR 243:2. (Brackets added; parentheses belong to quotation.)

“Search for truth as for hidden treasures. The KEY of knowledge needs to be held in every hand that it may open the storehouse of God’s treasury, which contains stores of precious gems of truth. When a man is craving for truth from God’s Word, angels of God are by his side to lead his mind into green pastures.” 1888 Materials page 72.2 by EGW.

“Prophecy must be fulfilled. The Lord says: “Behold, I will send you Elijah the prophet before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the Lord.” Somebody is to come in the spirit and power of Elijah, and when he appears, men may say: “You are too earnest, you do not interpret the Scriptures in the proper way. Let me tell you how to teach your message.” Testimonies to Ministers page 475 by EGW.(This was written in the year 1890)

“Somebody is to come” Future tense
when he appears” is Singular (Male)

“As a people we lack faith. In these days few would follow the directions given through God’s chosen servant as obediently as did the armies of Israel at the taking of Jericho. The Captain of the Lord’s host did not reveal Himself to all the congregation. He communicated only with Joshua, who related the story of this interview to the Hebrews. It rested with them to believe or to doubt the words of Joshua, to follow the commands given by him in the name of the Captain of the Lord’s host, or to rebel against his directions and deny his authority.” Testimonies for the Church volume 4 page 162.4.

(From singular form to collective form)

“Now all these things happened unto them for ensamples: and they are written for our admonition, upon whom the ends of the world are come.” 1 Corinthians 10:11.

“Jesus Christ the same yesterday, and to day, and for ever.” Hebrews 13:8.

“The faithful witnesses for Christ and the truth will reprove sin. Their words will be like a hammer to break the flinty heart, like a fire to consume the dross. There is constant need of earnest, decided messages of warning. God will have men who are true to duty. At the right time he sends his faithful messengers to do a work similar to that of Elijah.” Testimonies for the church Volume 5, page 254.

(From singular form to plural form)

A prophet—One person- is to be sent “before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the Lord,” to make ready a group of people to be brought in connection with the Elijah’s message, so…“in the hour of greatest peril, the God of Elijah will raise up human instrumentalities to bear a message that will not be silenced.” Prophets and Kings p.186.3 by EGW.

“As never before, we should pray not only that laborers may be sent forth into the great harvest-field, but that we may have a clear conception of truth, so that when the messengers of truth shall come, we may accept the message and respect the messenger.” Testimonies for the Church,” Vol. 6, page 420.

As it is written, “Elias truly shall first come, and restore all things” (Matt. 17:11), and “in the time of the end, every divine institution is to be restored.” — “Prophets and Kings,” p. 678.

“Those who have been timid and self-distrustful, will declare themselves openly for Christ and His truth. The most weak and hesitating in the church, will be as David–willing to do and dare.”–Testimonies, Vol. 5, p. 81.

“The Davids among the sheepfolds are being trained to-day to meet the Goliaths on the battle-fields of to-morrow.” Review and Herald, March 3, 1903.

“In that day shall the Lord defend the inhabitants of Jerusalem: and he that is feeble among them at that day shall be as David; and the house of David shall be as God, as the angel of the Lord before them.” Zech. 12:8.

An Appeal for Unity On the The Basis Of Truth and Brotherly Love With A Short History Of the Davidian Movement From The Death Of Brother Houteff To Our Time

“Unity is Strength; Disunion Is Weakness And Defeaf.”–6T 292:3

Available on Audio mp3, Just Click.

Copyright © 2015
All Rights Reserved


Davidians today are separated from one another by a number of small, non-cooperating associations in contrast to our former unity under the now disbanded “General Association of Davidian Seventh-day Adventists” in Brother Houteff’s day when we all worked together in harmony and love for the church. The Lord greatly blessed this way of working with ever increasing success. With the death of the shepherd of Mt. Carmel, God’s Davidian sheep scattered in a hundred directions, just as He foretold us we would (1TG 18:18). None of us, though, would argue that it is God’s purpose that the work for the church be fragmented and weakened as it is today by a multitude of Davidian associations, each working in their own way, sometimes at cross purposes and sometimes not, but always with less efficiency and more confusion than the way Brother Houteff conducted the work from old Carmel.

It is Satan’s purpose to weaken and delay the work for the church in these last days in any way possible. Division and disharmony in Davidia perfectly fulfill Satan’s goals to delay the warning of the church, and he has worked diligently and successfully toward this end.

If we allow the adversary to continue to keep us this way, we, like ancient Israel on their long, long journey to the Promised Land, can only expect to spend more wasted years wandering in the wilderness of sin. On the other hand, if all of us who believe the Shepherd’s Rod message were to unite today on the basis of the truth we hold in common in the message, with unfeigned love and respect for one another, we would be in a far better position to take this message to the church. We would also find that we are much closer to reaching our Kingdom home than we may now believe.

The Lord has given us special light in the Spirit of Prophecy emphasizing the importance of unity. “In union,” the Spirit of Truth declares, “there is strength,” while “in division there is weakness and defeat” (TM, p. 252). “Unity of action is necessary to success. An army in battle would become confused and be defeated if the individual soldiers should move according  to their own impulses instead of acting in harmony under the direction of a competent general. The soldiers of Christ also must act in harmony. A few converted souls, uniting for one grand purpose under one head, will achieve victories in every encounter” (6T, p. 139).

Taking the message of the rapidly approaching day of judgment to the church with the power and force necessary to finish the work quickly is just the type of “grand purpose” Sister White is speaking about, but few of us truly understand how critical Sister White’s counsel is to us today. Instead, Satan has succeeded in keeping many of God’s people today ignorant of one another and the true extent to which most of us share both a common history as well as a common understanding, to a very great degree, of the Rod, thus making it possible for him to keep us apart from one another. The father of lies also takes pleasure in magnifying peripheral matters of no significance to our salvation into issues that seem large in our own minds by taking advantage of the natural human tendency to resist changing closely-held personal views, even when we may be intellectually  convinced of the need to do so. In making small matters seem large, Satan succeeds in diverting our minds from the many important parts of the message on which there is widespread agreement.

“The Reformation was greatly retarded by making prominent differences on some points of faith and each party holding tenaciously to those things where they differed. We shall see eye to eye erelong, but to become firm and consider it your duty to present your views in decided opposition to the faith or truth as it has been taught by us as a people, is a mistake, and will result in harm, and only harm, as in the days of Martin Luther” (CWE, p. 76).

We are the spiritual, if not literal, children of the generation now passed or almost passed, who were in so great a degree responsible for our current divided state. In many cases we have unthinkingly adopted our spiritual mentors’ harsh and unloving manner of dealing with any who disagreed with them on even the minutest doctrinal point, contrary to the counsel of the Spirit of Prophecy on this subject. Their manner of contention and criticism only leads to failure and grief. If we emulate these same practices today in the way we deal with our  sincere fellow brethren who may differ with us on non-critical points, we will condemn ourselves to the same ending in the wilderness of defeat and disappointment to which our fathers sentenced themselves.

There are many vital truths which we can never compromise on, but there are also many non-essential points on which we may with fidelity to the message permit a difference of opinion. Regarding truths in the first category, such as keeping the typical feasts today (clearly a part of the ceremonial law), for example, we are specifically told that “this law, of course, we today must not observe, except in antitype, for it foreshadowed things to come, particularly Christ’s first advent” (2TG 37:14). Brother Houteff goes on to explain that by observing the ceremonial law (of which the feasts are an integral part), we would by our actions be demonstrating “unbelief in Christ” and His atonement on the cross, whether or not it was our intention to do so. Compromising on such a point would be tantamount to crucifying our Saviour afresh, something no true follower of Christ would ever agree to knowingly do.

But there are many issues of lesser import to our salvation that we may in good faith agree to differ on. Is it critical for our salvation if “the others” with the 144,000 are all dead, or part dead and part living? So long as we are one of or one with the 144,000, we will be saved. That is the important thing. The truth is that none of us know if we personally will be “one with” or “one of” the 144,000, so why should we fight about this point as it applies to our fellow brethren?

Many brethren have an altogether too narrow view of what is the essential truth for this time, and even who exactly is a fellow Davidian. “The enemy of our work is pleased when a subject of minor importance can be used to divert the minds of our brethren from the great questions that should be the burden of our message” (1SM, p. 164). “If there is disunion among those who claim to believe the truth, the world [for us, replace “world” with “church”] will conclude that this people cannot be of God, because they are working against one another” (6T, p. 139).

If Sister White is correct, union among us, who “claim to believe the truth,” will prevent the people in the church from pointing to our disunion as a pretext for rejecting our message and saying “this [disunited] people cannot be of God.” It is vital for our success to change the way the honest in the church look at the Shepherd’s Rod message and Davidians, and unity among us will go far toward helping to achieve this.

Brother Houteff also had some inspired advice on unity that applies to all of us Davidians collectively, as well as individually: “To defeat the enemy and maintain unity and harmony, let every believer cease finding fault with his brethren; watch his own steps and not theirs; realize that they have the same opportunity as does he to know the difference between right and wrong; bear his own and not their responsibility; esteem them better than himself; and do and say nothing he would not like them to do or say to him. Let each realize, as did Paul, that charitableness– forbearance through love–is the most indispensable, urgent, and lofty of all attainments….” (4Ans., p. 66).

When we have the fruits of true reformation and revival in our own lives, we will cease to be followers of Paul or Apollos, and be instead followers of Christ, and as we all know, “Christ is not divided.” Those who truly have Christ in their heart and in their life, Sister White tells us, will “blend together in the bonds of Christ-like unity” and our “labors will not be in vain….” {1SM 168.1}.

Since the Lord has said we must all come together in unity to achieve success, unity at some point is therefore as certain as is our eventual success in taking this great warning message of mercy to every single Laodicean. Unity, however, will only come when we as individuals are willing to work for it in a spirit of love and open-mindedness. Furthermore, God does not remove the need for us as individuals to be open to reviewing our existing ideas and assumptions in an attitude of trusting faith. “The Lord does not give light in such a way as to leave the one addressed no chance to walk by faith.… There is not a straight line marked out for any one of us. We need to pray and believe and watch unto prayer, ever praying and trusting. My brother, you must seek the Lord in order to know your duty….” (UL, p. 108). The Lord will never remove every cause for doubt or disagreement in our work for unity, but if we have a sincere desire to walk in the truth and a faith that will persevere, He will make the way we should go apparent to us.

The “Line of Truth”

Even though there is not a straight line marked out for us as individuals, speaking of the message as a whole, Sister White tells us that “a line of truth extending from that time [“after the passing of the time in 1844…”] to the time when we shall enter the city of God was made plain to me…” (1SM, p. 206). The line that Sister White saw in vision stretching all the way to the Kingdom was not said to be a line of truth mixed with error but, rather, was described as a “line of truth” (just truth) extending all the way to “the city of God.”

Though the formal organization of the Seventh-day Adventist church did not occur until some years later, Sister White’s vision (illustrated here) put the starting point after the 1844 disappointment because, in a very real sense, the light on the subjects of the sanctuary and a number of other important doctrines were received from that time. If we were to visualize the line of truth Sister White describes, it might look something like this:

Moving forward in time, we know that the line of truth did not jump from the Adventist church back to any of the first-day Millerite Adventist groups that existed at that time. Neither did the line of truth detour later through the Reformed Adventists or any other split-off Adventist group. Almost all Davidians will agree that the next movement or group on the line of truth is the Shepherd’s Rod message that went forth from Mount Carmel.

Brother Houteff tells us that “when God reveals truth, He is able to lead His servants into all truth, and does not allow such instruments to mix His truth with error. Though they may not understand all, yet the message they bear is the truth and nothing but the truth” (2SR, p. 13). In other words, teachers and “prophets” who incorporate additional erroneous “truth” into their message are not on this straight line of truth, and they can never be part of this straight line of truth as long as they are teaching part error and part truth.

Knowing that the line of truth continues on to the Kingdom of God, it is clear to Davidians that the line must pass through Mount Carmel. But we also know that after Brother Houteff 

died, Sister Houteff introduced a great deal of error into the movement. Clearly, it is impossible for the pure line of truth to pass through Sister Houteff’s teachings or through new Mount Carmel. Where, then, did the line of truth go after Brother Houteff’s death and the eventual sale of the “whole” of old Carmel? (10SC, p. 1:3).

After the shepherd was smitten in 1955 and the sheep were scattered (1TG 18:18), Davidian history records that the “Timely-Truth Educator,” published by Brother and Sister Bingham, was the only effective Davidian voice opposing Sister Houteff’s erroneous teachings. The Binghams were also directly responsible, through the Educator, for calling and arranging the crucial 1961 re-organizational Session responsible for saving the Davidian movement that Florence Houteff and New Carmel were right then hard at work destroying.

Without the 1961 Session, the only organized Davidian groups most of the world would have known would have been branch Davidians. Assuming for a moment that we accept this proposition (a historically true proposition, as we will see shortly), and if we also accept the proposition that God still has a people and an Association somewhere in Davidia today, then this unknown true Association must be on the line of truth following both Mount Carmel and the 1961 Session.

The question that we may all reasonably ask at this point is, “Who is this unknown association that is on this line of truth?” Whichever Association it is, Sister White’s vision of the line of truth tells us that this Association must (1) teach truth without added error, and (2) it must come from a previous parent that was on the line of truth, and teaching truth without additional error.

The way we Davidians have tried in the past to answer the question, “which is the true Association today?” has always been primarily through doctrinal discussion. This is not a bad way, in theory, but one which has only produced endless debate and stalemate, in practice. In fact, though, there is a better and less contentious way of reliably answering this question. Brother Houteff tells us that “time and chance [history] are still the most trustworthy witnesses, as well as the best disclosers of mysteries” (14Tr., p. 51). If we were to apply Brother Houteff’s inspired advice to the question of which Association is on the line of truth today, we will find, perhaps surprisingly, that the record of “time and chance” of the Davidian movement since 1955 does, indeed, provide us with a “trustworthy” answer. Since past years of doctrinal argumentation and discussion have often served only to push us farther apart, rather than draw us closer together, perhaps it is worth seeing what “time  and chance,” “the best disclosers of mysteries,” have to say on the subject.

Davidian Seventh-day Adventist Association “Time and Chance” From Brother Houteff’s Time to Ours

This particular narrative of Davidian history begins in the early 1950s. Brother Houteff, aged beyond his years, was sick and physically worn out. He had previously been hospitalized for a severe case of bleeding ulcers in the last half of the 1940s, but now he experienced several cardiovascular incidents, either heart attacks or strokes, or perhaps both, and he was suffering from congestive heart failure, the underlying medical condition that would be the cause of his death. With 20/20 hindsight, we can easily see that it was never God’s plan for Brother Houteff and Mount Carmel to finish the work at that time, for we now know in retrospect that the number of saints at that time was nowhere near the number that must be “made up” and sealed prior to the judgment for the church (1TG1:10).

Brother Houteff believed, though, and history has shown correctly so, that the time in which to finish that portion of the work given to Carmel was very short. In revealing this to Brother Houteff, God mercifully did not reveal to him any particular details of the immediate future, including the disheartening role his own wife would play in almost destroying his life’s work.

The fact that God did not choose to inform Brother Houteff of any future events concerning Mount Carmel is no reflection on Brother Houteff, but only demonstrates God’s mercy and the truth of the Spirit of Prophecy statement that “…no man, however honored of Heaven, has ever attained to a full understanding of the great plan of redemption, or even to a perfect appreciation of the divine purpose in the work for his own time” (GC, p. 343). God’s way of withholding this knowledge from Brother Houteff exactly parallels the way William Miller and Ellen G. White were also not given unnecessary (and discouraging) information about their own movements and the messages that would in turn succeed theirs.

In the fall of 1954, Brother Houteff decided to reactivate the long dormant Symbolic Codes and published this prophetic statement: “… Mount Carmel Center makes the following announcement to all faithful Davidians who will realize that this good news is perhaps nothing short of a sign. Mount Carmel Center, by commencing to first sell its excess property, then the whole, is symbolically leading the way to the program that is outlined by the Bible and Spirit of Prophecy….” (10SC1:3).

It is important to understand that, because of the magnitude of the decision, Brother Houteff could not possibly have made such a decision on his own. Clearly, the command to sell first the “excess property” and then “the whole” had to be God’s. By publishing this declaration in the Symbolic Code, the official “mouthpiece” of the Association, Brother Houteff officially went on record prophesying that Mount Carmel was to be wholly sold to outsiders, a development that necessarily would lead to the end of the old Carmel as a place of good spiritual (religious) instruction. The light that Carmel was to be sold off to outsiders supersedes Brother Houteff’s personal, pre-Kingdom understanding, published much earlier in old Symbolic Code 1, no. 14, p. 6, that Davidians would be living at Mt. Carmel until the final close of probation for the world. (Davidians will be in the Kingdom long before the close of probation for the world.) In this pre-Kingdom light statement, he envisions the Davidians of old Mt. Carmel fleeing to the mountains and other “desolate” places after the close of probation for the world, not as new light from the Rod, but in accordance with the standard view of the Adventist church at that time. By 1954, the light on the Kingdom was well established, and Brother Houteff knew perfectly well that we would not be still in Carmel at the end of the world, but would instead be in the Kingdom at that time. Still, God had not granted Brother Houteff a seamless understanding of the immediate future of Mt. Carmel. Without any special light on the subject of the troubling times directly ahead for Davidia (which God through Brother Houteff had warned us of in a general way many times prior to this), Brother Houteff assumed that the judgment of the church would take place in a few years and we would all soon go from Mount Carmel directly to the Kingdom. As all Davidians today well know from our vantage point in the future, this is not in fact what God ordained for Davidia’s

New Carmel is located about 20 miles (by road) from “old” Mount Carmel. It has an Extell, Texas, post office address today, though in former years new Carmel was listed under an Elk, Texas, address. We use the older address in this booklet. future since God’s prophetic timetable did not call for the establishment of the Kingdom at that time.

Yet, at the time, almost all Davidians devoutly believed that from Carmel, they would all shortly (the exact meaning of “shortly” varied from person to person by 5 to 10 years) go directly to Palestine. Instead, in 1957, Florence Houteff surprised many Davidians with the purchase of a large, 940-acre cattle ranch near Elk, Texas, and proceeded to begin construction of a brand new headquarters that was, according to her, to be the new “Mt. Carmel Center.” She was the originator of the concept that Carmel could be any place, and she wrote in a letter to Davidians that this new place would be just as much Mt. Carmel as the original because it “would go by the name of Mt. Carmel” and because “it will still have the same mailing address–Mt. Carmel Center, Waco, Texas” (Florence Houteff Field Letter, November 24, 1957).

By November 1957, all but 11 acres of the land of old Mt. Carmel had been sold, and it became necessary for most of the remaining folk to move elsewhere. Even the retired brethren living at Mount Carmel were forced to move, in many cases against their wish. Half were sent to Salem, South Carolina, and half to Yoder, Wyoming. In her zeal to maximize profits by selling every square foot of Carmel, Sister Houteff even had the Mt. Carmel cemetery dug up and the bodies transferred to a local Waco Gentile cemetery so that homes could be built on the formerly consecrated ground.

We now know that Florence Houteff was walking in darkness and error right from the beginning. Just one day after Brother Houteff’s passing, she persuaded the inexperienced and acquiescent Mt. Carmel Council to elect her to the vice presidency and to add her brother (Tom Oliver Hermanson) to the Council. She also almost immediately began to privately propagate her erroneous 42-month teaching (G.W. Saether, “Oral Memoirs,” pp. 355-356). By November 1955, she had published publicly in the Symbolic Code what she had been privately teaching all along: In 3-1/2 years, the Assyrian war would end (it hadn’t, of course, even yet started), Ezekiel 9 would take place, followed by the special resurrection, and shortly thereafter the Kingdom would be set up.

After one or two revisions of the exact starting and ending points of her 42-Month teaching, Sister Houteff settled on April 1959 as the end date for her time setting. In April 1959, 600 to 700 Davidians, along with 200 to 300 non- and semi-Davidians (relatives, for the most part) gathered at the Elk, Texas, ranch still known today as “New Carmel,” for the “Solemn Assembly.” Florence Houteff taught that during the 42 months there would be a “cessation of the Latter Rain” until the special resurrection brought Brother Houteff back to life, at which time the latter rain would resume.

Sister Houteff added to these erroneously dated elements of her 42-month doctrine a broad helping of disguised but real intolerance of any who questioned her doctrine. You either agreed completely with her and her doctrinal interpretations or you were not a true Shepherd’s Rod Davidian and thus not worthy of a Fellowship Certificate with “her” Association. Early in 1959, she published the following summary of her teachings: “Mt. Carmel further believes that the 42 months will end sometime this spring; that following their end war will be declared on the Two Witnesses by Christendom; that it will result in the death of the Two Witnesses; that they shall be dead for 3-1/2 days after which they shall be raised and exalted; that in this same hour the earthquake and slaying by the Lord will take place; and that the land will be ready, and the Kingdom be ushered in. There are of course those who oppose this position in one way or another. All must now decide which position he will take” (14SC6:27).

In referring to “those who oppose this position,” Sister Houteff was speaking primarily of Brother M. J. Bingham and the “Timely-Truth Educator.” Brother Roden and Brother Samuel Licayan also opposed Sister Houteff from their respective positions as teachers of the Branch and Root messages, but the Educator was the only real Rod publication opposed to Sister Houteff at that time.

Even though all Florence Houteff’s predictions (The “Rod’s predictions,” she blandly wrote sometime later) were uniformly wrong, she was not able, then or later, to take responsibility for her mistakes, either in her time-setting failures or in her management failures. Most of Florence Houteff’s actions in her first 3-1/2 years in office were predicated upon her erroneous 42-month doctrine. Even her main organizational legacy to Davidia, her “vice presidency” system of governance, was a necessary by-product of her 42-month doctrine. (There was no need for a new president if the previous president was to be resurrected in 3-1/2 years.)

In addition to her doctrinal aberrations, Florence Houteff’s administration resulted in the systematic removal of all cash and near cash assets (second tithe account, for example) from the Association, either by her expensive failures (Cleveland General Conference extravaganza; National Radio Program) or through large “wage adjustments” to herself, family, and close associates at Carmel (Brother Saether and other sources).

Because of these and other actions on the part of Florence Houteff, Brother Bingham began to compare her behavior to typical Laban’s sharp dealings toward typical Jacob. Taking his cue from Brother Houteff’s statement that “that which happened to Jacob is sure to happen to us…” (1TG 47:15), Brother Bingham wrote that as a modern-day counterpart or anti-type to Laban of old, Sister Houteff’s actions would surely bring trouble to “Jacob” then and also in the future. Brother Bingham made a distinction between an inspired interpretation through an interpretative prophet, antitypical Elijah (Brother Houteff), for example, who was able to put new truth into the golden bowl, and his own actions as a teacher in merely applying existing truth in the bowl (“that which happened to Jacob”) for the spiritual edification or instruction of believers today. This type of “homiletic application” of Bible types and prophecies is as old as Christianity, though it is true that Brother Bingham’s Laban typology application contained an unusual, real world prediction for Davidian Jacob: trouble from Laban would continue to pursue Jacob even after Florence Houteff herself was gone.

The Timely-Truth Educator acted as a Rod-only counterweight to the doctrinal errors Sister Houteff promoted more and more from 1957 until 1962, when she forced the old Association into a trusteeship and literally walked away from all the problems she had created. The Educator had already by this time become the rallying point for all the confused but sincere Davidian sheep who otherwise had nowhere to go. And as the audience for the Educator continued to grow, it became necessary in 1959 for the Binghams to expand the Educator workforce by hiring Brother Wesley H. Green and his wife, Sister Fleda Green. Brother Green helped in the office and in the field occasionally, while Sister Green helped in the office and in watching the Bingham’s little boys. In 1959, the Timely-Truth Educator started a campaign to organize a general session of all interested Davidians and it continued to tirelessly advocate the session until it became a reality.

At first, Brother and Sister Bingham and the small Educator staff were supported almost entirely by individual lay Davidians. All of the important Davidian workers and ministers who would later become well known as the founders of the other Davidian Associations, such as H. G. Warden, Cecil Helman, Don Adair, and the future Wanda Blum, were at New Carmel with Florence Houteff for the “Solemn Assembly” in 1959 and only left sometime after her predictions proved incorrect.

As the General Association continued its rapid decline after the 1959 disappointment, Florence Houteff directed all those Davidians still loyal to her to work from then on primarily for the Protestant churches. Her rejection of our special work for the Seventh-day Adventist church compelled all true believers to lift up their voices against her apostasy and in favor of a re-organized Association that would continue the work she was abandoning.

From 1957 to 1960, the only duly authorized shepherds to come to this conclusion were Brother Bingham (ordained and reauthorized as a minister by Brother Houteff) and Sister Bingham (Licensed Missionary Credentials from Brother Houteff). It is important to understand that Brother Bingham’s early plans for a new Association at this time were not the result of ambition for office on his part, or from seeing certain doctrinal points of secondary or tertiary importance differently from Mt. Carmel, but came directly from the overriding need to quickly resume our work for the church, to metaphorically continue to “cry aloud, spare not.” The Binghams did not feel they could simply declare a new Association and appoint themselves as the leaders, in the way that has become all too customary today, even though they already possessed the full trappings of a successful association in all but name with their “Educator” movement.

Brother Bingham’s experience as both an attendee of the very first Shepherd’s Rod organizational Session in 1934 in Los Angeles, California, and as Brother Houteff’s chief editorial assistant for The Leviticus (Marie Smith to MJB, 03/03/1960) put him, coincidentally or not, in a literally unique position to understand the constitutional and historical requirements needed to reform the Association that Satan was then so assiduously demolishing.

Shortly after Florence Houteff’s April predictions failed to materialize, Brother Bingham made a prediction of his own in the Timely-Truth Educator: “Constitutional Association is coming. Make certain of that. Davidian delegates world-wide will at the signaled time, in God’s providence, bring corporate Association into being for the finishing of the work. The tragedy is that case-hardened, die-hard retainers of the vested interests of the new Carmel hierarchy will wither and languish on the dying vine to which they have chosen to cling” (4TTE2:10; June–Sept. 1960). (Time has also proven his statement concerning the outcome of the new Carmel “retainers” all too sadly true.)

Two things were needed, according to The Leviticus, for a constitutional session. First, an Executive Council was required in order to call the session, and second, two consecutive issues of the Symbolic Code were required to announce the Council’s decision. Brother Bingham, through the Educator, began to call for just such a session. The Educator office was further responsible for the process that led to a pro tem council being elected from the field, but the responsibility was exercised in as judicious and fair a manner as possible, if for no other reason than to involve the very largest number of Davidian brethren possible in the session. Ballots were sent to all interested Davidians with the invitation to nominate individuals whom they thought would be the best candidates for the “pro tem” (temporary) Executive Council. The end result of this process was the selection, by Davidians, of a council of seven full members and three alternatives.

The pro tem council was a child of the Educator office, but it was an independent child from the beginning. The Educator office also printed the two preliminary Symbolic Codes announcing the session. These were sent to everyone on the mailing list. In the year following the disappointment, several Davidian leaders, such as Brother and Sister H. G. Warden, along with a few future leaders, such as Brother Don Adair, Sister Wanda Adair (later, Blum), and Brother Erwin Reichmann, switched their support to the Educator and its work.The pro tem council was a child of the Educator office, but it was an independent child from the beginning. The Educator office also printed the two preliminary Symbolic Codes announcing the session. These were sent to everyone on the mailing list. In the year following the disappointment, several Davidian leaders, such as Brother and Sister H. G. Warden, along with a few future leaders, such as Brother Don Adair, Sister Wanda Adair (later, Blum), and Brother Erwin Reichmann, switched their support to the Educator and its work.

In July 1961, a world-wide convention of delegates took place and, as a result, a reorganized Association returned to the fray. The delegates chose the name “The Davidian Seventhday Adventist Association” because of The Leviticus’ simple declaration that “This Association shall be known provisionally as The Davidian Seventh-day Adventists…” (The Leviticus, p. 3).

As the one individual who had done more, by far, than anyone else to make the Session a reality, it was widely expected that Brother Bingham would seek and accept the leadership of the new Association. However, Brother Bingham surprised many by explicitly refusing any office or Executive Council position in the new Association. Brother Bingham’s probable reason for taking this position was his desire to see as many Davidians as possible join the reorganized Association. Brother Bingham was then, as he still is years after his death, a polarizing figure in Davidia, with many people either loving him or hating him.

The “hating” was in part due to Brother Bingham’s sometimes pointed way of speaking (and writing) and his lingering reputation from the early days of Carmel as Brother Houteff’s right-hand helper and “enforcer.” However, the intense dislike or hatred of Brother Bingham by many, even today, who have no first-hand knowledge or experience of these aspects of his character themselves on which they might reasonably (by the standards of the world) base such strong feelings, in large part originate from documented efforts on the part of Florence Houteff and her close associates to systematically spread stories calculated to smear Brother Bingham’s character and destroy his standing with those who supported him. Sister Houteff accomplished this by dredging up past (and long repented of) serious personal sins which she and her helpers spread to anyone who would listen to them. This she did in spite of personally knowing that Brother Bingham had made a full public confession, had given every sincere indication of repentance, and had undergone a most harrowing Divine punishment double that meted out to David of old (2 Sam. 12:19). Sister Houteff also personally knew that Brother Bingham had been fully received back into the ministry by Brother Houteff in 1949. Incidentally, as we all know from relentless media hype, rehabilitating clergy who have succumbed to serious sin is an exceedingly risky thing to do if one is not a prophet of God under active Inspiration. Unsurprisingly to those of us who believe in the living Spirit of Prophecy that was manifested in Brother Houteff while he lived, it proved no risk at all, and Brother Houteff never had cause to regret it.

Florence Houteff’s purpose for the ongoing campaign of character assassination apparently was at first based on her desire to reduce Brother Bingham’s extremely high popularity with many Davidians in the aftermath of Brother Houteff’s death. Later on, her primary purpose was clearly to counter the relentless attacks (doctrinal, mostly) from Brother Bingham via his “Educator” publications on her new additions to the Rod.

In respect to the vice presidency, Brother Bingham was convinced, rightly or wrongly, that if he was the new vice president, some who had become strongly prejudiced against him would hesitate or refuse to join the new Association. To avoid this prospect, Brother Bingham chose, as mentioned earlier, to unambiguously remove himself from consideration for the office of vice president or any other executive position.

With Brother Bingham’s name firmly off the table, Brother Harry G. Warden was elected as the new vice president, Sister Ruby V. Haylock, the executive secretary, and Sister Jemmy E. Bingham the treasurer of the Association. Brother Wesley Green became a member of the Council, as well as assistant editor, along with Brother Charles H. Haylock, the chairman of the former pro tem council. Brother Allen A. Allen (the Session chairman) and Brother Willie J. Matthews were also elected to the Council. Brother Bingham agreed to accept the position of editor if the Session agreed to give him final authority on what was published. The Session voted to accept this unusual stipulation and Brother Bingham was elected as the new editor.

To answer the perplexing question of “where should our headquarters be at this time,” Brother Bingham gave a study from Micah 7:14 in which he showed, to the satisfaction of the Session delegates, that Carmel’s physical demise was a reflection of its spiritual demise following the completion of its work. Carmel was the place where Elijah produced the message that would eventuate in the destruction of the prophets of Baal, but with Elijah’s further personal work very obviously completed until the special resurrection, Carmel was no longer a place of green pasture, and, in fact, as a result of the continuous apostasy of Florence Houteff, it was not even a place of reliable preserved truth. Clearly, Carmel no longer served any Divine purpose. By 1961, old Carmel was completely withered as far as being a base for the teaching of the Shepherd’s Rod, and the days of new Carmel in Elk, Texas, were just as clearly numbered. (Within a year of the Session (1962), all Davidian activity at new Carmel would be stopped and the place deserted– until the branch took physical possession of the place).

Consequently, Brother Bingham said it would be counter to God’s plan for us to seek to return to the place that God had commanded be sold off, first in part and “then in whole.” He might have added that, furthermore, there were no typological grounds in Micah 7:14 or any other Rod interpreted passage hinting that God would set up several new Carmels on small pieces of land once owned by the original Carmel a generation or two later in order to later continue the (already completed work of Elijah.

Since antitypical Carmel was unquestionably the first place based on Micah 7:14 to feed God’s sheep, Brother Bingham brought out, and as Gilead was just as clearly the third and final good spiritual pasture, then Bashan, being in the middle of the sequence starting with typical Carmel and ending with Gilead, must point to an antitypical Bashan that comes between antitypical Carmel past and antitypical Gilead in the future.

The Session delegates appeared to have understood and agreed with Brother Bingham’s study and they voted to accept it. They also voted to create a search committee to find a location suitable for the Association’s (Bashan) headquarters.

Delegates proposed early in the Session that a Standing Committee of all delegates (in later years better known as the “judicial committee”) be created with authority to overrule or even remove the Executive Council or vice president in situations in which the Standing Committee felt the Council or the vice president had exceeded their constitutional authority or had otherwise made a serious mistake. This proposal was adopted near the end of the Session and Sister Charles LovePhoto Copy of the Bottom of Page 2 and the Top of Page 3 of the 1961 Session Minutes was elected as the Chairman of the Standing Committee. With the end of the Session, the new Association officially started business. Brother and Sister Bingham left soon afterward for a six-month working vacation, a combination of rest, writing, and teaching the message in the Caribbean and in Guyana, South America. Their trip was paid for by funds voted at the Session for this purpose.

Almost immediately, tensions and disagreements began to develop between the editor and the Council. Some of the Council members, such as Brother Wesley Green, strongly disagreed with the terms of Brother Bingham’s Sessionapproved conditions as editor and felt that the Council should have the final say on what was published. This position was based on their understanding of the procedure followed at Mt. Carmel during Florence Houteff’s tenure and seemed only reasonable to them. Another point of mutual irritation was the Session’s vote that Brother Allan A. Allen, a newspaper journalist, be brought over from Jamaica as assistant editor as soon as possible to help Brother Bingham, something that the Council did not see as either necessary or possible.

While the Council knew personally that the Session had given special authority to Brother Bingham as the editor, they still could not help feeling that it was their prerogative to make the kind of editorial decisions the editor was instead authorized to make. The Council never fully accepted the Session’s restriction on its sphere of action in regard to the Association’s publications, and it also apparently never accepted the Session’s authority to make, “amend, or repeal by-laws” (The Leviticus, p. 8) of the Constitution, including, of course, the by-law detailed in Article 1 of the by-laws that establishes the Executive Council.

The relationship between the editor and the Council completely disintegrated by early 1962. A few months after returning from South America, the Council voted to remove the Binghams from their positions with the Association. Brother Bingham immediately activated the appeal process to the Standing Committee and, as a further measure, took his case directly to the people.

“Davidian Brethren everywhere, in the name of our Saviour, His ROD and of His Association, we herewith earnestly appeal to you to spring into united action against another apostate Sanhedrin group, the Arlington Quorum, solidly support your Standing Committee representatives in removing the unfaithful four, and thus rebuke and defeat the devil in our midst decisively, then tightly close ranks to return the message to the Church; heed the Lord’s injunction to shun those who cause divisions and with all you have support the Association’s side. Do this, Brethren, and the dividers and spoilers will wither and die as a blighted vine, just as surely as did Sister Houteff and her apostate Sanhedrin and supporters.”

(Field letter addressed to the “Standing Committee and World Fellowship of Davidian Seventh-day Adventist Association,” dated September 23, 1962).

The Standing Committee took Brother Bingham’s appeal under consideration and in the second half of 1962 they voted to reinstate Brother Bingham as editor and Sister Bingham as treasurer. Later, the Standing Committee also voted 17 to 1 to remove H. G. Warden from the vice presidency, Ruby Haylock as executive secretary, and Charles Haylock and Wesley Green from the Council.

Since all of the Council members had attended the Session, they all understood the Session’s intentions in creating and empowering the Standing Committee. Ironically, we know that the removed officers and Council members supported and voted for the Standing Committee by-law because the Session minutes reported that it was passed unanimously.

Sadly, those who were removed by the Standing Committee determined that they would ignore its verdict and continue to act as if they were still officers and Council members of the Association. As we will see shortly, the proposition that “all non-DSDA (non-Bashan) Davidian groups in existence today in the United States can directly trace their Association ancestry to this decision” (the refusal of the four removed Council members to accept the Standing Committee’s decision), is a true and correct statement of the facts of our history. (Note: The small Davidian Association in Salem, South Carolina, consisting of the Smith family and a few others, is the single known exception to the preceding assertion.)

Under the aegis of the Standing Committee, new Council members were voted in to replace those who were removed, and a new vice president, M. J. Bingham, was elected, and a new executive secretary, Brother Don Adair, was also elected at this time to replace the previous executive secretary. No change was made in regard to the treasurer and Sister Jemmy Bingham continued in that office. With the refusal of the former officers and Council members to relinquish both their Association titles and their rented office space, the Association split into two parts with one side supporting the Standing Committee’s actions, and the other side supporting the former Council members and officers. Most U.S. Davidians sided at first with the Standing Committee, though within a short while many of them switched their support to the Association formed by the removed Council quorum members. Most foreign-based Davidians continued to support the Standing Committee’s actions.

From the beginning of the split, the Association was determined to hold on to the name designated by The Leviticus, “The Davidian Seventh-day Adventist Association.” On the other hand, the former Council members and officers at times appeared indifferent as to whether or not to keep the name specified by The Leviticus. As early as December 7, 1962, for example, the removed brethren made the following proposal to Brother Don Adair in his capacity as the Association’s executive secretary:

“… We are willing to agree to refrain from using the name with the understanding that you will release to us the equipment and supplies which you and Brother Bingham removed from the office and equally divide the bank and savings accounts…” “and that you will agree to refrain from contesting our right to use the name ‘The General Association of Davidian Seventh-day Adventists’ ” (The Apostasy, Disqualification, and Removal of the Arlington Quorum, p. 27).

In practice, the removed Arlington brethren continued to use the name “Davidian Seventh-day Adventist Association” for another 9 or 10 years, meanwhile creating a confused situation with two distinct southern California-based Davidian associations calling themselves “The Davidian Seventh-day Adventist Association.” The need to differentiate the two Davidian Seventh-day Adventist Associations may have been part of the reason Brother Bingham extended his previous Laban/Florence Houteff application to include Jacob’s second wife, Rachel, as a type of the Arlington/Vista Davidian Seventh day Adventist Association. In Brother Bingham’s application, typical Rachel’s theft of her father’s idols was seen as analogous to the “Vista” Association’s taking Florence Houteff’s or Laban’s constitutionally unsanctioned vice-presidential/council form of government, as well as her “rule or ruin” division-inspiring way of governance. The type of Jacob’s legal wife, Leah, in several ways seemed to fit the first and “only legal” (1SR, p. 61) wife of Davidian Jacob, the Davidian Seventh-day Adventist Association or “Bashan.” The typological fit went even further in that Rachel, the younger wife, proved more popular in the short term with Davidian Jacob in the U.S. than her older sister, Leah.

While the Rachel application in many ways perfectly fit the Arlington group, the removed Council members and their Davidian supporters were understandably less enthusiastic about Brother Bingham’s latest venture into homiletic application. Misunderstanding or ignoring Brother Bingham’sclear distinction between an inspired interpretation by Brother Houteff and an instructional (homiletic) application by himself, his critics charged him with setting himself up as a new prophet. In fact, Bashan has always taught from the beginning that Brother Houteff, in fulfilling (filling full; ending) the role of antitypical multiple prophets, must then obviously also be the last prophet with a message before the Kingdom. This was not merely a semantic word game, but rather it was based on Brother Bingham’s sincere (and hard-won) understanding that only an inspired, interpretative prophet, such as Brother Houteff, could interpret Bible prophecy and by so doing add new oil (truth) to the golden bowl.

Brother Bingham’s Rachel application, like his first Laban application, went beyond the usual homiletic application in that his Rachel typology made three specific predictions whose validity are open to objective (“time and chance”) examination. The first prediction was that trouble from Laban would continue to bedevil Jacob both directly and through Laban’s daughter, Rachel, because of her theft of her father’s idols.

With Florence Houteff’s departure in 1962, it would seem sensible to assume that trouble from that direction would also depart. But, in considering the type, it is almost impossible to avoid concluding that only evil could have come from Rachel’s continued secret cherishing of her father’s idols. While the Bible faithfully reports Rachel’s sin in stealing and keeping Laban’s idols, there is no record of her ever repenting of her transgression. In retrospect, it would seem clear that nothing but trouble could come from her stolen idols, both for herself and for her family. And in reality there are a number of ways in which Sister Houteff’s false theories
and practices (“idols,” in the application) are still troubling Davidians today, either directly from her or by way of the Rachel Association. Florence Houteff’s unauthorized editing and reprinting of shorthand notes of a number of studies given by Brother Houteff (edited and published by herself after Brother Houteff’s death to further her own purposes) have helped materially to create confusion and conflict in Davidia. Another source of trouble to Davidian Jacob today comes from Sister Houteff’s discredited doctrines and predictions, which are to this day held up as Middle eastern household gods or teraphim from around the age of the Patriarchs. Rachel’s teraphim would probably have looked something like these. evidence by Adventist ministers of the false teachings of the Shepherd’s Rod message.

A third source of trouble and weakness comes down to us today from the Rachel Association by our unthinking emulation of Florence Houteff’s unconstitutional form of government, mandated in her mind by her 42-month doctrine. In modern times, this misappropriation of Florence Houteff’s own theories and practices has been directly responsible for innumerable shortcomings and setbacks to the work.

Lastly, the “my way or the highway” attitude and the unforgiving spirit of personal animosity which Rachel took from Florence Houteff (as opposed to the forgiving spirit of Brother Houteff), has helped to create, not heal, further division in our midst. These points, in large part, help explain what Brother Bingham meant by saying “trouble from Laban,” by way of Rachel’s “stolen idols,” would pursue us on our homeward journey.

The second Rachel prediction based on the type was that the Rachel Association would not continue all the way home, or even to Ezekiel 9. When Brother Bingham first made this point there was no earthly reason for an impartial observer to choose one association over another as more likely to succeed or die. Indeed, the Rachel Association was blessed with a number of talented people and from a purely human point of view, it seemed poised for great things. It was, in addition, a magnet and a safe haven for all in Davidia who disliked or frankly hated Brother Bingham. In hindsight, this may not have been the best basis on which to build a successful Christlike Association, but at the time this was not necessarily obvious. In a turn of events that would no doubt be quite surprising to the removed Council members who split away from the young Davidian Association in 1962 by refusing to accept their dismissal by the Standing Committee, the old Rachel Davidian Seventh-day Adventist Association has indeed passed away and by whatever definition of “dead” one wishes to use, she… the unforgiving spirit of personal animosity which Rachel took from Florence Houteff … has helped to create, not heal, further division in our midst. completely fulfills it.

The third prediction Brother Bingham based on the type was that just as all of typical Rachel’s young children (her own two children and her handmaid’s two children) went home with Leah after Rachel’s death, all modern Rachel’s faithful children would likewise go home to the Kingdom with Leah, Jacob’s “only legal wife.” Unquestionably, this is the most interesting, encouraging, and ultimately the most important prediction of the three.

As seen in the “line of truth” illustrations, the Davidian Seventh-day Adventist Association is the only Association directly created by the 1961 Session. While Jacob had other (non-legal) wives (the handmaids), Brother Houteff makes it clear that only one, Leah, was his “legal” or true wife. If it is really true that “that which happened to Jacob is sure to happen to us” today, we must expect all of modern Jacob’s true children today to enter the Promised Land with Leah, as they did anciently.
Even though estranged, while the “Davidian Seventh-day Adventist Association” still lived, both sister Associations had a shared connection between them in that both could honestly trace their beginnings to the 1961 Session, and they are the only two Davidian Associations who can directly do so. Later, both sister Associations coincidentally moved eastward from California in the same year, 1970. (If they were indeed typologically connected as Jacob’s wives, perhaps it was not a complete coincidence.) However, from this point, the Leah Association steadily moved ahead, while the Rachel Association literally turned back after a few years to California and its eventual dissolution as an Association.

Only the Davidian Seventh-day Adventist Association has continued in a straight line from 1957 (when the first Educator was published) to this present day, in contrast to the convoluted family history of Rachel’s descendants. In 1966, Brother Bingham wrote about the still future (to him) history of Rachel and her daughter groups with prescient accuracy:

“Without the resident gift of the Spirit of Prophecy to instruct and guide them in their decisions, how can any of the several offshoot Davidian groups, if they do survive long enough to think about establishing headquarters, know which way to go, where to stop, and what to do? Certain it is, as certain as that the devil is a house divided, that each of them will go a different way, stop at a different place, and proceed to build and to do differently. The only thing they will have in common will be their end–the same tragic end in the Valley of Jezreel (4Tr. 56:2).”–10TTE 2:26 [emphases added].

In the brief history of the Associations that follow, you will see just how accurate Brother Bingham’s predictions were. But in spite of the sad state of divided Davidia today, we should never lose sight of the inspiring third prediction of Brother Bingham’s Rachel application: Every true Jacobite child of God will eventually, in accordance with God’s plain commands, unite in love and harmony to finish this great work we have been given. Later History of the Davidian Seventh-day Adventist Association (Leah Association) Both Associations were significantly weakened by the 1962 split and their work for the church reduced accordingly. The history of the Leah Davidian Seventh-day Adventist Association from that time to this proceeds in a straightforward manner. The Association today is still the same Association that it was in 1961 at its birth, insofar as its teachings are concerned, and insofar as its organizational history goes. The heavy hand of time has taken all the older members of the Association from that earlier period, though one or two of the youngest from that time remain with the Association. The Association sees itself as a 100% Rod-only Davidian Association because it teaches only that truth (oil) that was in the golden bowl prior to the death of Elijah. Just as importantly, the Association also believes that it must teach all of the truth that is in the golden bowl–even the truth that Florence Houteff and those today who are still influenced by her actions choose not to teach.
The Association’s headquarters was in Riverside, California, from 1961 to 1970. In 1966, Brother Don Adair (the executive secretary) chose to leave the Association for personal reasons. Brother Adair went on to develop doctrinal issues with the Association that would eventuate a few years later in his Salem Association.
In 1968 and 1969, the Davidian Seventh-day Adventist Association bought several adjacent tracts of land in southwestern Missouri for the long planned “Bashan Hill” headquarters. With the spiritual and physical dissolution of Carmel (due to Sister Houteff’s activities), the complete “withering” of the “top of Carmel” was self evident to all Davidians at that time (from 1960 to 1980), making the need for a new pasture clear to all. The Association continued to teach that since Brother Houteff identified Carmel, Bashan, and Gilead of old as symbols (types) of places of good spiritual (doctrinal) pasture, then Bashan in Micah 7:14, just as was Carmel, must also be an actual place of good religious instruction. Carmel, Bashan, and Gilead “are where Israel had their victories.” Just as Carmel in Brother Houteff’s day was a place or pasture green with antitypical food (religious truth), fidelity to the type requires Bashan to be a place or pasture of good religious instruction as well.

Finally, since Brother Houteff directly identifies Mount Carmel as the “antitypical hill of green pasture” (2SC5&6:3), he thus conclusively shows that Carmel of his day was the … since Brother Houteff identifies Carmel, Bashan, and Gilead of old as symbols (types) of places of good spiritual (doctrinal) pasture, then Bashan in Micah 7:14, … must also be an actual place of good religious instruction. antitypical fulfillment of Carmel typed in Micah 7:14. The Lord made it easy for His people in Carmel’s day to know that Mt. Carmel was the true pasture because He prevented the formation of any competing Carmels at that time. Working today just as He worked in the past, God again makes it easy for us to find the current true pasture by preventing Satan today from creating any confusing counterfeits.

So, in answer to the often asked question, “But does the Rod really teach that Bashan is to follow Carmel as our headquarters?,” the Davidian Seventh-day Adventist Association has from the start maintained that, yes, the teaching is in the Rod. But just as Brother Houteff himself was not aware of the truth in the message on “Carmel” until the time came for him to name it (“for we did not know beforehand that it was in prophecy until after our attention was called to Mic. 7:14 and Amos 1:2” –(1SC 14:5), we can see that there would be no reason for God to bring the truth on Bashan to Brother Houteff’s mind before it was needed. Brother Houteff, as antitypical Elijah on antitypical Carmel, never needed to know about the next pasture. But just as clearly, the Association in 1961 did need to know something about the next headquarters location. God has never failed to provide present truth to His people when they most need it, and, as we have seen, He did indeed see fit to reveal to all the Session delegates the truth on the next pasture after Carmel. The Lord had previously stored this interpreted truth in the Shepherd’s Rod for the time when it would be needed by His people as “present truth.”

Ancient “Carmel, Bashan, and Gilead,” Brother Houteff says, are “symbols of good spiritual pasture.” A symbol or type must by definition have a referent, or “anti-type” as we Davidians usually call it. According to Brother Houteff,… just as Brother Houteff himself was not aware of the truth in the message on “Carmel” until the time came for him to name it … we can see that there would be no reason for God to bring the truth on Bashan to Brother Houteff’s mind before it was needed. “these places” are where Israel of old “had their victories.” Anti-typical (modern) Carmel, Bashan, and Gilead are, therefore, necessarily places of good religious instruction (spiritual pasture) for the Lord’s sheep. These are places (the original Carmel in Waco, Texas, for example) where modern Israel will have as great victories today as typical Israel had (Deut. 3:1) before crossing over to the other side of the Jordan into the Promised Land. (The great victory of old Carmel was the publication of the Shepherd’s Rod message, which enables anti-typical Elijah to speak directly to God’s people even after he has departed.)

The Davidian Seventh-day Adventist Association moved east to Exeter, Missouri, in 1970 and proceeded to establish Bashan on the 160 acres purchased earlier. The resulting “Bashan Hill” is the name of the headquarters of the Davidian Seventh-day Adventist Association, while “Bashan” or “Bashan Association” is a shorthand way of acknowledging that the Davidian Seventh-day Adventist Association and the message is now in the Bashan period or pasture. Bashan is not actually the name of the Association, though, any more than “Carmel” was the legal name of the old “General Association of Davidian Seventh-day Adventists.”

Bashan has worked steadily over the last 40+ years to bring the message to all in the church who might listen, as well as working to improve the physical infrastructure needed to support this work for the church, including building a modern print shop and warehouse, lodging and meeting facilities, and a large cafeteria. Its location, near the exact demographic center of the United States, Texas County, Missouri, in 2010, and slowly moving toward southwestern Missouri (US Census data) means that Bashan is located almost exactly in the middle of the population of the United States, with equal numbers of people west or east of us as well as north or south of us. This helps even out and reduce the cost of reaching every single Adventist in the United States, Carmel’s primary goal and still a major goal of Bashan.

The Association has also gradually increased the land area of Bashan from the original 160 acres to approximately 1200 acres of surrounding farm and forest land, thus making it the only Association potentially capable of hosting a real Solemn Assembly “from which not one [of the 144,000] is to be excluded” (2TG 8:22).

When we love the Lord with all our heart and with all our mind, we will, we believe, consequently learn to love our fellow man as ourself. This is what Bashan believes is the secret that will take our work for the church to a higher level of power and effectiveness. Just as importantly, when we come to the end of our allotted portion of time and chance, we know that it will personally avail us nothing to “have all knowledge” of the message, or modern print shops, or meeting facilities, or anything else, and lack the true love for God and man in our hearts and, even more importantly, in our lives. This, in the final analysis, is what we believe will make Bashan (or any other place) the dwelling place of God’s peculiar people.

Later History of the Davidian Seventh-Day Adventist Association

(Rachel Association)

While the “Leah” Davidian Seventh-day Adventist Association has quietly gone about its organizational business in a harmonious and peaceful fashion, Rachel’s history is more tempestuous and complex. It includes a near fatal escape from the branch, as well as several divisions, re-unifications and re-divisions.

After the 1962 civil war, this Association, like the “Leah” Association, slowly recovered membership and organizational health. The Rachel Association filed for incorporation in California in December 1963 under the name “The Davidian Seventh-Day Adventist Association,” inadvertently, perhaps, introducing a slight change in name from “The Davidian Seventh-day Adventist Association,” taken from The Leviticus. … we believe that Bashan’s most important achievement, by far, is our long preoccupation with building true Christian character based on the two great commandments of Jesus.

The next quadrennial session was due in 1965, but the Rachel Executive Council chose to call a special session in 1964 from June 26 to July 5. A number of council members, as well as regular Association members, had developed an interest in the branch and, as a result, their vice president, Brother Warden, became increasingly uncomfortable with his own Association. The 1964 session elected Sister Charles Love as the new vice president, and after the session was over she and three other council members joined the branch. Sister Love and the council members loyal to the branch voted to make Brother Ben Roden the “President” of the Association. They also turned over all the assets of the Association that they controlled to Brother Roden.

Anticipating such an outcome, Brother Warden had earlier agreed with Brother Bingham to divide the bank account which had been frozen by the Association’s bank since the 1962 division. (Previously, neither side would budge on the bank account matter, but both believed it would be wrong to take their brother to court over the issue.) In the end, neither Brother Warden nor Brother Bingham desired to see the Association’s funds transferred to the branch, so they agreed to share the funds between themselves rather than risk it all being given to the branch. Brother Bingham’s half of the bank account returned to the Davidian Seventh-day Adventist Association, while Brother Warden’s half of the bank account was probably used to help start his new Association, headquartered in Vista, California, and called “The Shepherd’s Rod Publishing Association of Davidian Seventh-day Adventists.”

With both the new vice president and the majority of the council accepting the branch, the Rachel Association faced its first near-death experience. The Association at this time lost still another council member in a tragic domestic killing. This left only two regular council members. Through the dedicated efforts of Cecil Helman, Nancy Zeller, and Allan A. Allen, the legal structure of the Association was salvaged, and a somewhat shrunken Rachel reopened for business with Cecil Helman as vice president. One of the new council’s first acts was to repudiate the decisions made by Sister Love and the former Executive Council making Brother Roden president and turning over the Association’s physical assets (mostly office equipment) to the branch.

In 1966, Brother Helman proposed a joint session, to be held July 2 and 3, between The Davidian Seventh-Day Adventist Association and Brother Warden’s Shepherd’s Rod Publishing Association of Davidian Seventh-day Adventists. The two Associations merged back together as a result of this session, and Brother Warden was again elected vice president of the Association.

Brother Don Adair joined Brother Warden and The Davidian Seventh-Day Adventist Association in 1966, after leaving the Davidian Seventh-day Adventist Association (Leah) earlier in the year. Brother Adair would go on to have a very large impact on the old “Rachel” Association, and the Davidian movement in general.

Since the Wardens continued to live at Vista, California, the reconstituted Rachel Association became known as “The Vista Association.” Over the course of the next four years, the Association developed the new doctrine that the true location for God’s headquarters was actually the Salem, South Carolina, Rest Home once owned by Mt. Carmel. In 1970, the Davidian Seventh-Day Adventist Association moved to the Salem Rest Home then owned by the Sumpter Smith family. The Smiths had offered the building to the Rachel Davidian Seventh-Day Adventist Association on the condition that the Association merge with their small Association, and change its name from “The Davidian Seventh-Day Adventist Association” to the “General Association of Davidian Seventh-day Adventists,” which the Rachel Davidian Seventh-Day Adventist Association proceeded to do.

Unfortunately, the Rachel Association did not at that time understand that the small Salem Association was one of the last (quite likely the last) remaining pockets of support for Florence Houteff and her teaching on working only for the world. Brother Smith apparently did not believe in working for the Adventist church and wanted instead to work only for the Protestant world. [Note: Our only source for this information comes from material published or originated by Brother Don Adair. We have been told by members of the Smith family that this is incorrect. If the Salem-based Davidian Association with which the Smiths are associated does teach that we have a positive responsibility to specially warn the SDA Church (Ezek. 33:2-9), I earnestly apologize for misrepresenting their beliefs. VTB]

The Rachel Association published a number of articles in their Symbolic Codes showing why the move to Salem was divinely ordained. Great importance was placed on a conversation Brother Houteff was said to have had with Elder Leonard Nations, the Mt. Carmel era leader of the Salem group, in which Brother Houteff was supposed to have told Elder Nations that the Salem Rest Home would in the future become the new Mount Carmel center. The Association also taught that since the river of Ezekiel 47 flows east, the new headquarters should then be east of Carmel. Later, another new doctrine was published showing that the forty-year period, starting in 1930 (based on the forty-year period in the Exodus) was to prophetically terminate in 1970 with the establishment of the new headquarters in Salem.

Near the end of 1972, Brother Don Adair moved to the Association’s Salem headquarters to join the work there fulltime. Brother Adair says he soon realized that the Association’s vice president, Sumpter Smith, had little interest in working for the Adventist church, and instead wanted to continue to concentrate on improving the condition of the old rest home. Friction rapidly developed between Brother Adair and Brother Smith over this and other matters, and by June 1973

an emergency meeting of the full council was called with Brother Adair’s encouragement to remove Brother Smith as vice president. Several council members and senior brethren from California, including Brother Warden, made a special trip to Salem, South Carolina, and Brother Warden was elected vice president one more time by the council in place of Brother Smith. A few days after the California brethren left, Brother Adair says he was asked to leave the rest home property. After a quick investigation at the local courthouse, the California brethren learned that the two Associations had not merged. This meant the California Davidians did not have any ownership in the Salem Rest Home. Brother Adair and the other California Davidians moved to the Association’s mostly undeveloped School of the Prophets property outside of Tamassee, South Carolina. The exiled brethren proceeded to develop this property as their new headquarters. This Tamassee, South Carolina, property has been the headquarters of the “Salem” Association ever since.

The General Association of Davidian Seventh-day Adventists de-emphasized their teaching that the Salem Rest Home was chosen by Brother Houteff to be the next headquarters location, but they continued to informally use the name “Salem” to refer to their Association. Though the 1972 session had named Brother Don Adair as a Bible teacher for the Association, it appears that he first worked in the printing department at Salem. His role in the Association soon expanded beyond the print shop to include giving most of the studies at Salem and the editorial development of new doctrinal material for the Salem Association’s publications.

In one of these new doctrines, Brother Adair explains that old “Mt. Carmel” in Waco, Texas, was not exactly the same as antitypical “Carmel.” Antitypical “Carmel,” Brother Adair teaches, actually consists of three parts. The first part of antitypical Carmel was from 1930 to 1935, located in the city of Los Angeles, California. The second part was at old Mt. Carmel. The third and last part of Carmel was the Salem Rest Home section started in 1970, exactly 40 years after the start of the Los Angeles phase. This 40 years prophetically fulfilled in antitype, Brother Adair teaches, the last 40-year period of typical Israel’s time in the wilderness. This third part of Carmel will be the part that God uses to finish the work for the Church.

Brother Adair bases his three-part division of Carmel on the word “midst” in Micah 7:14. He believes that the word “midst” in this context means “middle” and middle implies “second.” He both reverses and extends Brother Houteff’s logic concerning “first fruits,” where Brother Houteff shows that having “first fruits” clearly requires “second fruits” as well (5Tr. 105). Brother Adair reasons that if you have a middle, “second part Carmel,” you must also have a Carmel part one and a Carmel part three.

Assuming for a moment Brother Adair’s reasoning is correct and that midst = middle = second, the difficulty we, as Rod-only Davidians, have with interpreting the word “midst” in such an unusual way is that he needs, in our humble opinion, to show a clear Rod source for this interpretation. If Brother Houteff was indeed the last inspired interpreter (before the Kingdom) of the Bible, then it seems necessary that the  interpretation of “midst,” as taught by Brother Adair, be found somewhere in the message (golden bowl) already.

Brother Houteff uses the word “midst” over 400 times, though nowhere does he use it to mean “second.” In the vast majority of cases, he uses “midst” to mean “within,” “surrounding,” or “center of.” While center means much the same as middle, it is harder to mistakenly take something in the center of the sky, for example, as being the second part of a 3-part sequence.

While the Rod nowhere defines “midst” as “second,” it does specifically interpret the phrase “in the midst of Carmel” to mean “…on the top (midst) of Mt. Carmel…” (1TG14:5), conclusively closing the question for 100% Rod-only believers. Brother Houteff also uses the phrase “top of Carmel” a number of times in the message, though never in a way that hints at a 3-part meaning for the word “top.”

Since Brother Adair’s interpretation of “midst” did not come from the Rod, it must be his own additional or new light. We strongly support Brother Adair’s first amendment right to say and teach anything he would like to, as long as he clearly labels these things as his own additions. “Let them,” Brother Houteff says, “. . . teach in their own names . . . .” (5Ans., p. 56).

Old Mt. Carmel taught that the real point of the third and fourth phrases of Micah 7:14 is that it is God’s people who dwell solitarily in the midst of Carmel. The passage is not trying to suggest that Carmel itself dwells in three different places. The prophecy that they “dwell solitarily in the wood” of Carmel was perfectly fulfilled by old Carmel’s beautiful, sylvan condition when the brethren first moved there. But it cannot honestly be applied to either the old Hoover Street Association office in the middle of the city of Los Angeles in the early days of the message or the withered Carmel surrounded by the city of Waco that was sold to outsiders and is now completely incorporated into Waco. Brother Adair was also responsible for the heightened doctrinal significance the Salem Association attaches to UFOs and the already-mentioned interpretation of the forty-year type of the Exodus to the time period from 1930-1970. The establishment of the Salem Association precisely at the end of this forty years, he taught, is proof that God is leading the Salem Association.

As Brother Adair’s influence over the Salem General Association grew, many California-based Association members became increasingly disenchanted with aspects of Brother Adair’s teachings. Many of the brethren were uncomfortable with Brother Adair’s declaration that “…the council has the prerogative to publish ‘new light’(clearer light); they determine what is truth; and they have the say as to what is to be published” (16 Salem Code 1:17). Brother Adair’s position that the Executive Council had “the say” on publishing new light exactly mirrored Sister Houteff’s views and is an excellent example of how Rachel continued to cherish Laban’s idols regarding the correct role of the Executive Council and vice president. It is also yet one more example of the way trouble from Laban continues to pursue Jacob.

Brother Warden, as always, resisted any new additions to the message, and he was removed by the Salem council as vice president in the fall of 1973. His replacement was Sister C.T. Smith (no relation to the Sumpter Smith family), making her the third vice president of the Association that year. Early in January 1974, the California Davidians sent an ultimatum to the Salem council asking that the new doctrines published in the most recent issues of the Salem Symbolic Codes be retracted by the council and that, additionally, the next session be held in California. (A California-based session would have given the California-based brethren a numerical voting advantage over the less numerous Salem brethren.) Without a written agreement on these and other concerns, they warned, they would proceed to sever their relationship with the Salem Association. Brother Adair was not amenable to retracting the new (or clearer) light he had just published, and he definitely did not want to have a session in California, so the California Davidians proceeded to carry out their threat by separating from the General Association in Tamassee, South Carolina.

The California Davidians took the legal steps necessary to

Brother Warden, only a couple of years younger than Brother Houteff, was in poor health. (Brother H.G. Warden would pass away in December 1974.)

reactivate the dormant California corporation charter for the Davidian Seventh-Day Adventist Association (the first “Rachel” Association). Brother Erwin Reichmann became the vice president of the restored Association in 1974 since Brother Warden, only a couple of years younger than Brother Houteff, was in poor health. (Brother H.G. Warden would pass away in December 1974.)

The Association’s official headquarters stayed in Vista, California, until 1975, when the treasury address was changed to Yucaipa, California. The Association eventually moved the rest of their headquarters office to Yucaipa. It is important to note that in terms of the doctrinal beliefs of the Association, as well as from a legal and membership position, the “Yucaipa Association” was the “Vista Association,” which in turn was the same “Rachel” branch of the Association that separated from the main body of the Davidian Seventh-day Adventist Association organized at the 1961 Los Angeles Session. The  change in the Association’s popular name from the “Vista Association” to the “Yucaipa Association” was a reflection of the location of the Association’s headquarters.

In 1976 the Yucaipa Association bought 38 acres in Cadd Gap, Arkansas, to start their school of the prophets organization. However, the Association never fully recovered from its moves to and from South Carolina. The Association’s plans for their new Arkansas property would never materialize to any significant degree, and it became increasingly clear that the tide of history was irrevocably flowing away from the Yucaipa Association.

Wanda Blum (née Walters) left the Association along with a number of other members in 1983 (E. Edstrom, Remodeling the Shepherds Rod Video 28:13) to start a new Association called the “International General Association of Davidian Seventh-day Adventists,” which at first was located at Calimesa, California, and is currently headquartered in Red Bluff, California.

As a result of the Association’s continued changes in location and doctrine, the Rachel Davidian Seventh- Day Adventist Association’s membership dwindled, while at the same time the Association incurred significant financial liabilities, though apparently the value of the Association’s properties more than offset its debts. In 1986 (Location of Headquarters, Revised Edition by Peter Nosworthy), surviving members of the Association agreed to turn over all of the Association’s remaining assets to the Mountain Dale Association, and with this final “merger” the Yucaipa Association ceased to exist. Cecil Helman once more attempted to save the Association’s corporate shell by paying its yearly registration fees, but within a few years the California Davidian Seventh-Day Adventist Association was suspended as a legal entity and this time there was no one left to try to save even the corporate shell. Rachel, already spiritually and organizationally dead, was also now legally dead.

Short Summary of the History of the Salem, Mountain Dale, Red Bluff, and Waco Associations

The Salem Association

After the California brethren separated from the South Carolina General Association in 1974, Brother Don Adair’s Tamassee-based General Association did well on their own for a few years, particularly in Jamaica and some other Caribbean islands. However, in 1982, a major division occurred between Brother Adair and a large group of what Brother Adair described later as the “Jamaican Davidians” who lived in and around New York city.

The division appears to have been based partly on personal factors and partly on Brother’s Adair’s confidential oral teaching that Davidians of African ancestry could not be part of the bay horse leadership or, in other words, that black people were not going to be part of the 144,000, but were instead to be carried in the chariot as “others with” the 144,000. While Brother Adair apparently did teach this doctrine, it is quite possible he did not originate it himself. There is some limited and speculative evidence that would fit with Brother Adair’s learning this interpretation of Zechariah 6 during the time he spent at Mount Carmel in 1959, waiting for the “Solemn Assembly.”
One unfortunate consequence of Brother Adair’s teaching on black Davidians’ being passive passengers in the chariot while white Davidians pull (steer) is that most of the “Jamaican Davidians” in the Salem Association countered by adopting the new view that there are no “living others” with the 144,000. Accepting this understanding, of course, makes Brother Adair’s teaching on Davidians of African ancestry riding in the chariot as “others with” the 144,000 impossible, which is the key historical reason for this new viewpoint being widely accepted by Mountain Dale and Waco teachers of the message. Brother Houteff does makes it clear that the 144,000 are lineal descendants of Jacob with Jewish or Israelite ancestry at some point in their genealogy. Mt. Carmel era Davidians taught that Israelite ancestry was much more widespread than the world thought at that time, but they also did not believe that everyone had Jewish blood. If the righteous just before Ezekiel 9 were a mixed multitude in the genetic sense, and if only the impenitent sinners fall in Ezekiel 9, then those who have no

Jewish blood (potentially from any race) were understood to be “others with” the 144,000, disqualified from full membership, not because of death, like Sister White, but because of their pure Gentile blood. Since God is just and without partiality, this was seen as mostly a technical difference, since all, those “with” and those who are “part” of the 144,000 would have the privilege of being “saviors” in the closing work for the world.

Brother Bingham’s correspondence with Brother Houteff shows that he was teaching in the field from 1950 or earlier (with Brother Houteff’s knowledge) that God will not kill or euthanize those faithful Davidians alive just before Ezekiel 9 for lacking in even a trace of Jewish blood. Instead, Brother Bingham taught these faithful souls will be counted among those “living others” with the 144,000. It is understood, needless to say, that it is impossible for any human being to know with complete certainty who has Jewish ancestry and who does not, and it is likewise impossible to say that one race or another has or does not have Jewish blood, except in the case of actual Jews, of course.

A second very regrettable consequence was to introduce still another division into Davidia. Under the initial leadership of Brother Anthony A. Hibbert, the New York brethren left the Salem Association and created a new Association. As a result of the loss of many of its brightest and most zealous members, Salem slipped into a slow decline, punctuated in 2010 by a catastrophic fire that destroyed their combination headquarters building and home. Thankfully, no one was hurt and Salem resumed its quiet journey into history.

The Mountain Dale Association

The “Jamaican Davidians” eventually incorporated their new Association in Pennsylvania with the new, non-Leviticus name of the “General Association of Davidian Seventh-day Adventists–Mt. Carmel.” Their headquarters, however, is in

Mountain Dale, New York. The new Pennsylvania/Mountain Dale Association made excellent progress for the first few years of its life, though the habit of division was by now becoming more and more entrenched in the minds and hearts of Rachel’s children.

A new teaching, that the Association should move its headquarters west to the city of Waco, Texas, soon gained popularity with many Mountain Dale members. While the Mountain Dale Association headquarters in Mountain Dale, New York, is inside the city limits of the little town of Mountain Dale, it is also on the very edge of the town and borders a National Forest. The leadership of the Mountain Dale Association argued that it was not God’s will for His people to move west to the city of Waco. The Association leadership succeeded in blocking the demands of the “back to Waco movement” at the 1990 session in the face of strong popular support from many Mountain Dale lay members. In spite of this rejection by the session or, perhaps, because of it, the “back to Waco movement,” consisting of almost half of the Mountain Dale membership, left the Association and, by 1991, under the general guidance of Norman A. Archer, started what they thought would be a new Association in Waco, Texas.
This sudden reduction in membership plunged the Mountain Dale Association into a major financial crisis. Mountain Dale’s dedicated headquarters staff responded by agreeing to deep cuts in their salaries to help pay city taxes and other bills that were in arrears as a direct result of the departure of the “back to Waco” brethren. Mountain Dale’s finances were also helped substantially at this time by the sale of the Yucaipa property bequeathed to them by the dying Rachel Association.

Mountain Dale’s “back to Waco” problems significantly impacted the Association’s strength and ability to advance the message, but by 1995 or 1996 the Association had recovered to a large degree. In 1996, a relatively new believer, Brother Ismael Rodríguez, was elected by the Mountain Dale session as a council member and as the new Ministerial Director of the Mountain Dale Association, a position of responsibility usually considered second only to the vice president.

Like their mother Association (Salem), the Mountain Dale brethren have long disclaimed any special guiding Inspiration for themselves or their Association, and the case of Brother Ismael’s unwarranted elevation to high office would tend to support their position on this. Shortly after being elected as the Ministerial Director and a member of the council, Brother Ismael became profoundly disillusioned with both Mountain Dale and the Shepherd’s Rod message he was supposed to be teaching as the Ministerial Director. This resulted in the unusual situation, until he was removed, of a paid Davidian teacher attacking the Rod and the Association for which he worked.

As a result of Brother Ismael’s unwise promotion by the Mountain Dale session, he is today able to pose as an “important former  Shepherd’s Rod official” in his current role as the Adventist Church’s foremost Shepherd’s Rod debunker. Brother Ismael is willing to travel to any church or conference who will pay his way to deliver a carefully crafted attack on a movement he once loved but now appears to despise.

Brother Ismael uses a custom mix of second-hand hearsay, mudslinging, and character crucifixion in his relentless attacks on Brother Houteff and the Message. Satan has found in our confused brother a tool to deliver a message well calculated to resonate deep in the minds of Adventists unaware of the truth.

Brother Ismael attributes his change of heart concerning the Rod Message to a long list of personal and religious differences with his former Mountain Dale brethren. However, the Mountain Dale brethren’s patient and detailed reply to Brother Ismael’s charges are written in an inspiring spirit of love and concern for Brother Ismael that is bound to make a favorable impression on any true Christian.

On the other hand, Brother Ismael’s poorly researched and often just incorrect non-stop doctrinal and character attacks are bound to leave any honest person with a much less favorable impression of Brother Ismael. After listening to a talk or video by Brother Ismael, a Christ-centered Davidian can do nothing better than follow our Saviour’s lead and simply say, “Father, forgive him, for he knows not what he does.”
Mountain Dale has continued to reach out periodically to its Waco daughter Association on the issue of unity, but so far the Lord has not seen fit to bless these efforts with success. Mountain Dale remains, however, a viable Association and one of the three largest Davidian Associations today.

The Red Bluff Association

Sister Wanda Blum (née Walters) O’Berry helped found the “Calimesa” “International General Association of Davidian Seventh-day Adventists” in 1983. The Association in Calimesa later relocated to its current home in Red Bluff, California. The Red Bluff Association is perhaps best known as the first Association to artistically re-recreate Mt. Carmel’s tract covers and charts in a dramatic and eye-catching way. The Association has also raised eyebrows in Davidia by republishing Brother Houteff’s writings in a way that sometimes makes it difficult or impossible to know who the real author is. While we do not condone this ourselves, it is important to understand that the Red Bluff brethren’s motives were innocent and concerned only with trying to overcome Adventist prejudice connected with the names “Houteff” and “Rod.”

Though occupying only a small portion of the battlefield today, the Red Bluff brethren have been faithful to the truth as they received and understood it and they, like all the other Associations in this paper, are our brothers and sisters in the message.

The Waco Association

The “back to Waco” group was able to purchase from the First Presbyterian Church of Waco their former church, along with a building that once served as old Mt. Carmel’s “new” print shop during Florence Houteff’s tenure, and also a few acres of land surrounding these buildings that had once been part of old Mt. Carmel. This property, in the midst of the city of Waco, would become the new Association’s headquarters. Through a curious set of decisions, the Waco brethren assumed the corporate papers of the nearly defunct Davidian Association started in 1965 by Brother O. A. Atwood under the name “General Association of Davidian Seventh-day Adventists, Inc.”

While Waco is clearly a Rachel daughter Association in terms of the members’ original Association descent and doctrinal affiliation, legally speaking, their Association is the same one that sued Sister Houteff and Tom Street in 1965, before fading from view, though not completely from existence. One interesting aspect of the lawsuit was the Texas Court’s finding, first, that the Atwood Association was a successor organization to the Old General Association and, second, the Bashan Davidian Seventh-day Adventist Association was also a successor organization to Carmel.

Unfortunately, in building the Waco Association on the legal foundation of O. A. Atwood’s old Association, the Waco brethren also took for their heritage those teachings of Brother Atwood that were contrary to the Rod.

Of all the Associations that can trace their ancestry back to the Rachel Davidian Seventh-day Adventist Association, the Waco Association for many years proved to be the most active  and vigorous daughter group. Regrettably, the Association also inherited a double portion of Rachel’s idol of division. Waco has probably given birth to more new daughter Associations and movements than any other two Associations combined. These new Associations include Brother Eric Bell’s now dormant Plantation, Florida-based “International General Association of Davidian Seventh-day Adventists,” Brother Peter Gibbs’ “Hear Ye the Rod” movement, and Brother Lennox Sam’s “Wave Sheaf” movement and “Davidian Seventh-day Adventist Association,” of which he is president.

There are also one or two other Associations that were partly founded by Waco alumni. One such is the “Heralds of the King Ministries” (HKM), started by Brother Roland Roberts (Bashan, Waco) and Brother Garrick Augustus (Mountain Dale). The group’s headquarters is officially located in Brixey, Missouri, about 90 miles from Bashan.

In addition to the larger Associations and groups previously listed, there has always been a handful of very small groups that come and go without affecting the larger work for the church in any significant way. Saddest of all are those independent Davidians who have in many cases become wearied and discouraged by the constant infighting between God’s people. Of course, their story (and ours) would be much different if the individuals in these tiny Davidian groups all combined their efforts in concert to further our mutual work for the church.

Whence Divided Davidia?

As is abundantly clear from even this brief overview of recent Davidian history, that the great majority of Davidians (not a part of the original (Bashan) Association) in the Caribbean and North America can directly trace their organizational ancestry back to the 1961 Davidian Seventh-day Adventist Association by way of the Rachel branching of that Association. The Rachel side of the Davidian Seventh-day Adventist Association has today completely ceased to exist, and if Rachel were an actual person, one would unquestionably be correct in saying “Rachel is dead.” On the other hand, the “Leah” Davidian Seventh-day Adventist Association continues to grow and advance its work for the church. The Leah and Rachel application of the Jacob typology continues to helpfully describe the situation years after Brother Bingham first applied it to the two sister Associations in 1963.

We have seen that one of the lessons of history is that the Lord works today just as He has in previous times, leading His people in a straight line, from truth to truth to truth. Furthermore, the Lord has never led his people from truth to error to truth and back to error. The people of William Miller’s time were not led back into Babylon from Millerism, but rather on to the Seventh-day Adventist church. Rachel’s doctrinal wanderings to Salem and back to California, all the while teaching different doctrines that would later be repudiated by her daughter Davidian groups, clearly show that she kept her idols of error to the end and that she could not have been part of God’s “straight line of truth.”

From the viewpoint of Rachel’s children, who all disagree with at least some of the things their parent Association(s) taught over the years, we have seen that we are, in effect, being asked by our brethren in the Rachel descended sister groups to believe that the line of pure truth advanced from Brother Houteff’s time to “impure truth” at the 1961 Session (“Bashan is the next pasture”), onward to the break-away Rachel Association (“truth”), followed by the Rachel Association’s Salem move (“error”), and finally Salem’s move back to California (“truth”). Or, from another daughter Association’s viewpoint, that Rachel’s move to Salem was correct, but her move back to California was wrong, and so on and on.

Few knowledgeable Davidians would really want to maintain from the Rod the proposition that the Lord sometimes leads his true Association backwards into error, as well as leading them at other times forward into truth. Rather, we Davidians have always understood that the message teaches that the Shepherd’s Rod is “either all truth or there is no truth in it, save the quotations of the prophets” (2SR 14), and that it is leading us straight to the Kingdom. Thus we have the more sure word of prophecy from both Sister White’s vision and the inspired counsel from Brother Houteff assuring us that the

Lord is leading us straight to “the city of our God” via a “line of truth.”

“There is but one way of knowing that we are being led, by Christ our Lord, in the straight path to the pearly gates, and that is, by neither adding to nor taking from the Word of Truth, but by carefully following in the way of light, going not a step ahead of it, lingering not a step behind it, nor walking along its side-edges, but by following right in the middle of the road.”– 3SC 4:13.

From its beginning in 1957, through the work of the The Timely-Truth Educator, Bashan has claimed to be the 100% Rod-only Association because we believe we must teach only what is published, or what is in the golden bowl. At the same time, we just as strongly believe that we must not teach less than is in the golden bowl. It is easy for our brethren in the sister Associations, who have originally learned a subset of the Shepherd’s Rod from their first teachers of the message, to believe that Bashan teaches more than or beyond the truth in the golden bowl, but we sincerely believe that we do not. More concretely, we believe we can show that every teaching of the “Bashan” Association is from the golden bowl, and we are willing to sit down in love and respect with any Davidian brother or sister, not only to produce our own strong evidence, but to also honestly consider their thoughts and points.

One of the most troubling problems pursuing Davidian  Jacob today is Sister Houteff’s decision to teach less than the message taught concerning certain parts of the message. Her decision to do this was based on her (mis)understanding that Brother Houteff would soon be resurrected to take up his duties as before. It was never God’s plan or His leading for His people to be without the benefit of a porter/president (not the same as Elijah, the last prophet) for over 60 years, but it well served the plans and the purposes of the father of lies and defeat who guided and directed Florence Houteff’s path into darkness.

The idea that there can only be a vice president since Brother Houteff’s passing continues to weaken Davidia to this very day. The legal and administrative duties of the office of president (a secular title, incidentally, that is defined by the state in its laws concerning corporations, unlike “porter,” which is a religious office defined by the Rod) and the role of Elijah the prophet were only combined in the person of Victor T. Houteff, the first person to hold the office. The legal and official duties and work of a modern Davidian vice president and Brother Houteff’s duties as president are almost completely alike in principle. However, in reality, today’s Davidian vice presidents are in an inherently weaker position and less able, by virtue of their inferior office, to guide and direct the affairs

of their Associations than they would be if they had the title and authority of an actual president.

On a spiritual level, none of the other Association’s vice presidents acknowledge being called in accordance with the procedure outlined in The Leviticus for the calling of the Association’s chief executive, while the Bashan Association does so acknowledge the calling of its president/ porter (not interpretative prophet). Logically, at least one Association must be telling the truth if the Rod is God’s message for today. And, perhaps unexpectedly to some, God has ordained that each of His Davidian Associations detailed above is indeed telling the truth on this subject.

Like the vice president/president issue, the question of the proper role of the Executive Council has come down to us today largely because of Sister Houteff’s pretense of governing through the Council, unlike Brother Houteff, incidentally, who never made any pretense at all of so doing. Whose example should be followed today? In answering this question, keep in mind that Sister Houteff’s motives were wrong from the beginning, her doctrine was wrong from the beginning, and her management of the affairs of Mount Carmel were wrong from beginning to end. (Brother Houteff did not pretend to let the Council run things because he knew what he had been inspired to write in The Leviticus. The “Constitution and its Bylaws … will become fully operative” (The Leviticus, p. 1) after the “servants of our God” are sealed and after our name is changed. Thus, he is saying, in effect, that the Constitution and Bylaws will be in full effect after Ezekiel 9).

The worst thing about the trouble that has followed Jacob is that it has kept the Lord’s true sheep separated from one another. Our work for the church could have been much farther ahead if we were all united. Instead, the total percentage of the  church that we are reaching today in our separated state is actually lower than the percentage reached under Brother Houteff at Mount Carmel. By this measure, at least, we are farther from our goal today than we were when Brother Houteff was alive.

At Kaddesh-Barnea, Israel was only a week or two from the Promised Land, but because of disobedience and rebellion on the part of some, they turned away and consequently spent many more years in the wilderness. The test of faith today is still unity and obedience to God’s will. The ancient tragedy enacted at Kaddesh-Barnea need not again be repeated if we are faithful to the message the Lord has given us. Rod-only Davidians of goodwill will find that a fair minded investigation of the issues reveals there are little or no questions of importance that need truly divide us from our other sincere Davidian brethren.

We are closer to the Promised Land today than we may realize, but we will only see it ourselves if we are willing to unite in love and harmony. As we succeed in individually drawing closer to one another in Christlike love, the Lord will draw closer to us as a people, blessing our work for our Laodicean brothers and sisters with unprecedented success. And we will also find that our journey to the Kingdom will be far more rapid and certain than we have heretofore ever imagined it could be.