|THE JEZREEL LETTERS, A MOTIVE FOR MURDER?
It is difficult to find the exact year that V. T. Houteff wrote the Jezreel Letters. Internet sources provide
recent reprints without the original date, although one source wrongly claims the year was 1932.
Statements in the letters themselves point to authorship in 1953. The article references the 1952 SDA
Yearbook, see below.
This places the letters as likely the last articles Houteff wrote. A sign seen in the heavens during the
Waco tornado of May 11, 1953 suggests to me that the attempts to poison V. T. Houteff (which resulted in
his death on Feb. 5, 1955) began in 1953.
I wrote about the sign in the heavens in article No. 21, "Heresy," while refuting the heresy "God is
asleep." Here is a quote from that article.
"In 1955, V. T. Houteff, founder and prophet of the Davidian SDA, died. Although he was a non-smoker, a
non-drinker and he ate an organic vegetarian diet, church sources say Houteff died with a greenish and
swollen liver. In 1953, a tornado hit downtown Waco, killing about 140 people. During the tornado, my
friend Barbara Sayles and others saw a sign in the heavens. She drew me a picture of it. It was a cross
with an arch over it.
"Of course I associated the cross with Houteff. I believed he was the Lamb of Rev. 14:10. I had long
believed that Houteff died by poison. I related the arch to the rainbow, which is a symbol of God's
covenant. "I do set my bow in the cloud, and it shall be for a token of a covenant between me and the
earth." (Gen. 9:13). Houteff preached the return to God's Law (as amended by Christ), God's New
Covenant. "But this shall be the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel; After those days, saith
the Lord, I will put My law in their inward parts, and write it in their hearts; and will be their God, and they
shall be My people." (Jer. 31:33).
"I believe that the sign that God set in the heavens marked the destruction of downtown Waco as a
punishment for the conspiracy to murder Houteff. "Vengeance belongeth unto Me, I will recompense,
saith the Lord." (Heb. 10:30)." (No. 21, "Heresy.")
Why was this series of nine letters so incendiary? First, it suggested that V. T. Houteff was Christ come as
a thief. Houteff referred to himself coming as a messenger to the SDA church. In doing so, he used
scriptures associated with Christ coming to the Temple in judgment during His earthly ministry to Judah.
(See also No. 24, "What If Christ Had Already Come As A Thief.")
For example, Houteff wrote:
""For sometime now you have had the eleventh-hour publications (tracts and "Timely Greetings" --
postmarked Waco -- including a copy of the "1950 General Conference Special," and the "White-House
Recruiter"), all bearing the light of God so direly needed at this climactic hour of time -- the long
expected message of the sealing of the 144,000 (the purification of the church -- the judgment of the
living in the "house of God": the message to the Laodiceans), the Loud Cry, and kindred events... the
all-consequential events so soon to take place in our midst, events which Inspiration now for the first
time brings into the noon-day light right before our eyes, and which the prophets forecast in the
""Behold, l will send My messenger, and he shall prepare the way before Me:...even the messenger of
the covenant, whom ye delight in... But who may abide the day of His coming? and who shall stand when
He appeareth? for He is like a refiner's fire, and like fullers' sope." Mal. 3:1, 2."" (V. T. Houteff, Jezreel
Letter, No. 1, 1953, p. 4,5). This scripture was originally fulfilled by Christ, who cast the moneychangers
out of the Temple. (See Matt. 21:12).
Houteff also referred to the "eyesalve" of Rev. 3:18.
""Because the hour is late, and because you Elders continue to spurn God's urgent plea that you fill your
empty vessels with the golden oil (Matt. 25:1-13) now flowing from the golden bowl (Zech. 4) so that your
path be lightened; and that you anoint your eyes with "eyesalve" so that you be no longer blind,
Inspiration has this concluding counsel for you:"
""Now is your final chance to obtain the badly needed oil for your lamps, and the badly needed salve for
your eyes, Elders, (Rev. 3:18)."" (Ibid, Jezreel Letter, No. 3, 1953, p. 1).
""If the Spirit of Truth cannot now so convince you, then He never will. Wisdom, though, cries out that you
had better now confess to the laity that you are guilty of passing out falsehood, and take to heart the
""I counsel thee to buy of Me gold tried in the fire [inspired Truth], that thou mayest be rich, and white
raiment, that thou mayest be clothed, and that the shame of thy nakedness do not appear, and anoint
thine eyes with eye-salve [such as this], that thou mayest see. As many as l love I rebuke and chasten: be
zealous therefore, and repent." Rev. 3:18, 19."" (Ibid, Jezreel Letter, No. 5, 1953, p. 6,7). Note that these
words are Christ's, spoken as He appeared to John the Revelator, instructing John to write a message for
the Laodicean church. (For the identification of the SDA with the Laodicean church, see Houteff's tract
No. 2, "The Great Paradox of the Ages.")
Houteff also accused the leadership of the SDA of using the funds entrusted to them without benefit to
""It is high time, Elders, for you to know that there is to be a stop to this robbery and that there is to be a
reckoning, too, that there is a just God that taketh vengeance upon the unjust. Let us now turn to the
more sure word of prophecy and see what it has to say on the subject:"
""Son of man, prophecy against the shepherds of Israel, prophecy, and say unto them, Thus saith the
Lord God unto the shepherds: Woe be to the shepherds of Israel that do feed themselves! should not the
shepherds feed the flocks? Ye eat the fat, and ye clothe you with the wool, ye kill them that are fed: but
ye feed not the flock. The diseased have ye not strengthened, neither have ye healed that which was
sick, neither have ye bound up that which was broken, neither have ye brought again that which was
driven away, neither have ye sought that which was lost; but with force and with cruelty have ye ruled
them. Therefore will I save My flock, and they shall no more be a prey, and I will judge between cattle and
cattle. And I will set up one shepherd over them, and he shall feed them, even My servant Davld; he shall
feed them, and he shall be their shepherd. And I the Lord will be their God, and My servant David a prince
among them: I the Lord have spoken it. Ezek. 34:2-4, 22-24."
""Here you note, Elders, that this scripture is not condemning your wicked deeds by way of example. It
directly condemns the deeds of the shepherds of the Israel of today. This fact you find in verse 22 to 24,
which declare that after the unfaithful and selfish shepherds are done away with, then it is that the one
shepherd, antitypical David, takes over and he alone thereafter very carefully prepares and distributes
the feed to the flock of God..."
""Moreover, since this scripture promises peace and security such as have never been since sin came
in, and since it predicts the reformation now taking place among the laity throughout Laodicea, these are
sure signs that this scriptures is now being fulfilled right before your eyes; that God has dismissed you
Elders as much as He dismissed king Saul of old for taking what he had plainly been told not to take; that
antitypical David and the perfect peace are at hand, that "those who have proved themselves unfaithful
will not then be entrusted with the flock"" (Ibid, Jezreel Letter, No. 3, 1953, p. 4,5). Clearly, Houteff is
likening himself to "the one shepherd, antitypical David," another scripture that was originally fulfilled by
(Judah was at peace for about thirty-five years after the crucifixion of Christ. The Christian world was at
peace (without invasions) for many years after Houteff's death, a peace now broken by acts of terrorism.
The next era of perfect peace will last a thousand years during the Millennium Kingdom, followed by
eternal perfect peace after the Last Judgment.)
Additionally, Houteff used the SDA's own figures to show how ineffective their ministry was:
""According to the Denomination's 1952 Year Book, the tithes and offerings for missionary work in the
twelve-year period, from 1938 to 1950, amounted to $313,732,091.49 and the gain in membership was
286,761. These figures show that the laity from 1938 to 1950 have paid to you Elders exactly $1,094.05 for
every member you have added to the church."
""The picture becomes still worse when we take into consideration that the children that are raised in
Seventh-day Adventist homes over the same period exceed the gain in church membership. It has been
estimated by actual figures that a church of a hundred members in twelve years (the age at which a child
may join the church) would raise at least 84 children to that age. According to this ratio 469,951 church
members -- the membership in 1938 -- would have by 1950 yielded 394,758 church members raised in
Seventh-day Adventist homes if all of them stayed in the church. Here you see that the children that were
raised in Seventh-day Adventist homes in the past 12 years out number the gain of church members by
107,957 souls over the same period of time."
""The actual facts stand out thus: If the entire increase in membership has come from the Gentiles, then
the laity have lost all their own children, 394,758 strong, and for $313,732,091.49 they have brought
394,758 Gentiles! And if they had saved all their own children, then the increase without even one Gentile
would have been 394,758 instead of 286,761, and the laity's $313,732,091.49 hard-earned money would
have been in their own pockets instead of yours, Elders. Is this anything to boast about? Prosperity?
""What has driven the S.D.A. children into the world instead of into the church? And what keeps the laity
from bringing their neighbors and friends to the church? Also what drives out through the church's back
door almost as many newly made converts as are brought in through the front door? -- The answer is
obvious: your constant goal raising and plate passing all through the services, and your starving them by
the absence of pure, wholesome spiritual food."" (Ibid, Jezreel Letter, No. 3, 1953, p. 8,9).
Further, Houteff challenged the leaders of the SDA with the same challenge that the prophet Elijah
uttered to the men of Israel on Mount Carmel.
""Elders, you now see that this is not a game, but it is Heaven's own demand laid down on your lap now to
make up your mind as to whom you will serve. If the Lord be God, then serve Him, but if Baalam, then
serve him."" (Ibid, Jezreel Letter, No. 7, 1953, p. 9). (The explanation of how both Christ and Houteff
fulfilled the Elijah Message is on this website, see No. 88, "The Elijah Message, Christ" and No. 89, *The
Elijah Message, V. T. Houteff.")
Finally, starting with his first letter, Houteff indicated that his believers would try to take this message to
every SDA church member.
""Dear Fellow Believer in the Third Angel's Message:"
""Since this is a very timely opportunity to pen a few friendly lines to you, and since there is no sweeter
message than that which comes from God, I have chosen to greet you with it:"
""Heaven's Voice to Laodicea, Inspiration declares, is of supreme consequence to every Laodicean (to all
of us Seventh-day Adventists), and the duty of every one of us to heed it is no less supreme if we are to
be spared from being spued out (Rev. 3:16)."
""With this weighty fact inescapably in view, what grave responsibility is upon the one whom God has
charged with taking Heaven's message to His people in Laodicea! Consequently what unforgiving sin
would be his should he neglect to seek out every possible avenue for carrying the message to every
home that would open its door. What carefulness, therefore, must he exercise to seek every possible
opportunity to give all possible assistance to every soul, in steering a straight and steady course clear to
"Canaan's Land." Hence this urgent effort in your behalf."" (Ibid, Jezreel Letter, No. 1, 1953, p. 1).
""Since you now see the importance of this message, and the solemnity of the hour, I beg of you to fill out
the inclosed appointment card so that we may further unveil the Message and It's importance to you. If
we do not hear from you, we, the hunters are going to call on you anyway. Our contact with you will be
strictly confidential unless you yourself wish to divulge that you are investigating the message for
today."" (Ibid, Jezreel Letter, No. 6, 1953, p. 7).
What do I conclude from the foregoing quotes? I believe that Houteff was killed by the same kind of
conspiracy that killed Christ, a conspiracy begun by the church to which he believed he belonged,
although his membership had been revoked. (As you see above, he refers to himself as one of the SDA,
"all of us Seventh-day Adventists.") This is the pattern or type formed during the seizure and crucifixion
of Christ, it was begun by the priests and elders of the Temple.
The priests made alliance with the civil authorities, represented by Pontius Pilate, the governor of Judah,
who ordered Christ's death. As Houteff often commented, where there is type, there is truth. I believe
that a conspiracy between some of the leaders of the SDA and some members of the American
government killed V. T. Houteff by poison.
If I had to guess which politician played the role of Pontius Pilate, I would eliminate the newly elected U. S.
President Dwight David Eisenhower, and take a long hard look at Robert Allan Shivers, governor of Texas
from 1949 to 1957. Ike was the president of the whole country, so he was more like the Roman Emperor.
Shivers was the governor of Texas, the location of the church, so he was in an office similar to that of
Pontius Pilate, the governor of Judah. Shivers may have been a Catholic. At University of Texas, he was a
member of the Friar Society, those presiding officer was titled the Abbot. Historically, the Catholic church
has not been noted for religious tolerance. As an outspoken opponent of the Brown v. Board of
Education decision of 1954 (which declared school segregation unconstitutional), Shivers would likely
have also been offended by Houteff's integrated church.
Over fifty years later, the exact history is fairly obscure. But the message of Houteff remains, the first
Amo Paul Bishop Roden