Nothing is more certain than that Victor T. Houteff did not intend for his church to keep the Feast days
and New Moons during his lifetime. He says, ““We therefore need to search out and do the things
contained in the moral law of Moses—“The commandments and the statutes, and the judgments.” Deut. 5:
31. And the surest way to select these moral essentials from among those things that pertain to the
sacrificial and the legal systems, is to go to the book of Deuteronomy. This book is the summary of all the
laws and statutes which Moses spoke to ancient Israel, his last words.”” (V. T. Houteff, "Timely
Greetings," Volume 2, 1948, No. 37, p. 15,16).
(In this article, V. T. Houteff, founder and prophet of the Davidian SDA and Ellen G. White, founder and
prophet of the Seventh Day Adventists, are quoted. The reasons that I accept Houteff and White as
authorities on Bible prophecy can be found in No. 16, "A Warning To The Little Sheep," on this website.)
In discussing the laws and statutes of Deuteronomy, Houteff pointedly skipped Deut. 16:16. Houteff knew
this scripture; he partially quoted it elsewhere. “…they shall not appear before the Lord empty.” (Ibid,
No. 30, p. 20). The whole scripture follows:
“Three times in a year shall all thy males appear before the Lord thy God in the place which he shall
choose: in the feast of unleavened bread, and in the feast of weeks, and in the feast of tabernacles, and
they shall not appear before the Lord empty.” (Deut. 16:16).
Houteff did support the feasts; I’ll show you what he said shortly. First, I’m going to tell you why he didn’t
put this requirement on his Davidians. In his day, his flock came to hear him every Sabbath and they
always brought tithes and offerings. And because they were in their pews on Passover High Sabbath and
Pentecost and Tabernacles High Sabbath, Houteff was not worried about them. Also, the message of the
Feasts and New Moons was not timely.
Houteff accepted E. G. White as a prophet; I’ll quote her first. “When the Savior yielded up His life on
Calvary, the significance of the Passover ceased, and the ordinance of the Lord’s Supper was instituted
as a memorial of the same event of which the Passover had been a type.” ("Patriarchs and Prophets," p.
“In the place of the national festival which the Jewish people had observed, He (Christ) instituted a
memorial service, the ordinance of feet washing and the sacramental supper, to be observed through all
time by His followers in every country. These should ever repeat Christ’s acts, that all may see that true
service calls for unselfish ministry.” ("Signs of the Times," May 16, 1900, Quoted in Evangelism, p.
Here’s what Houteff said about keeping the feasts. ““The prophet Nahum, too, is a witness of this call for
reformation. He writes: Nah. 1:15 - Behold upon the mountains the feet of him that bringeth good tidings,
that publisheth peace! Oh, Judah, keep thy solemn feasts, perform thy vows: for the wicked shall no
more pass through thee; he is utterly cut off.”
""Here you see that the announcement of this long expected event is made by someone’s publications.
Moreover, he publishes peace and thus announces the restoration of the Kingdom. This is the only
peace that the world can have. There is no other. Those who keep God’s solemn “feasts” and perform
their vows shall have this peace. None others shall.”” (V. T. Houteff, "Timely Greetings," Vol. 2, 1948, No.
2, p. 40,41).
Houteff also said this: "“That the Sabbath and consequently all the other commandments are perpetual,
to be kept even hereafter, anyone can easily see from the following scriptures: “And it shall come to
pass, that from one new moon to another, and from one Sabbath to another, all flesh shall come to
worship before Me, saith the Lord." Is. 66:23.”” (Ibid, "The Answerer," 1945, No. 3, p. 88).
The question before the Davidian Church is therefore not whether they shall keep the Feasts and New
Moons, but when. Here is a hint from Ellen White: “God designs that His people shall be a unit, that they
shall see eye to eye and be of the same mind and of the same judgment. This cannot be accomplished
without a clear, pointed, LIVING TESTIMONY in the church.” ("Testimonies for the Church," Vol. 3, p. 361).
She also said: “… God had a message for the church that was sacred and important. If received, it would
make a thorough reformation in the church, REVIVE THE LIVING TESTIMONY that could purge out
hypocrites and sinners, and bring the church again into favor with God.” ("Early Writings," p. 288).
Here is a hint from Houteff: “When the judgment opened in 1844, as previously explained, the
investigation began with the dead, and when that part of the work is finished, then commences the
judgment of the living. While the investigation for the congregation of the dead is in progress, there can
be no separation of the congregation of the living. But when our High Priest shall begin the atonement
for the living, there must be a message of present truth - sounding the trumpet – urging everyone to lay
hold on the Lamb of God (Christ) by which only, can he in figure, come to the sanctuary, confess his sin
and secure his life. Unless the close of the judgment for the dead and commencement for the living be
made known to us, we would have no present truth while the judgment of the living is in session.
Neither would such judgment be legal or just.” (V. T. Houteff, "The Shepherd Rod," Vol. 2, 1932, p. 164).
He also said: “If God so faithfully revealed to the living the commencement of the judgment for the dead,
it cannot be possible that He would keep secret the time for the judgment of the living. If he did, we
would have no present truth in the time of the last seal; neither could there be justice in such secrecy,
nor could such judgment be legal.” (Ibid, p. 220).
Of Rev. 4:5, Houteff said, “The lamps of fire, seven in number, present before the throne, represent
completeness of the truth of God – present truth revealed to every generation since the world began –
by which we are judged.” (Ibid, p. 198).
Setting aside the implication that the Davidians have probably despised and rejected several prophets
in the generations since Houteff died; it is clear from both these quotes that Davidians should expect to
have a living prophet to the church during the judgment of the living. Those of you who know your
Bibles know that this is exactly what Christ told you. “I am with you alway, even unto the end of the
world.” (Matt. 28:20). On the day of Pentecost, Christ sent the Holy Ghost to His disciples to represent
Him. (See Acts 2.) But the work of the Holy Ghost was not finished then, and will not be finished until we
have ALL TRUTH.
“But when the Comforter is come, whom I will send unto you from My Father, even the Spirit of truth,
which proceedeth from the Father, he shall testify of me…” (John 15:26). Nevertheless, I tell you the
truth; It is expedient for you that I go away: for if I go not away, the Comforter will not come unto you; but
if I depart, I will send him unto you. Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into
ALL TRUTH: for he shall not speak of himself, but whatsoever he shall hear (from Christ and His Father),
that shall he speak; and he will show you things to come.” (John 16:7,13).
Through the Holy Ghost, the Spirit of truth, Houteff gave us crystal clear understanding of 90 full
chapters of the prophetic scriptures. However, there are about 270 chapters of prophetic scriptures in
the Bible. Living prophetic testimony coming from the Holy Ghost is needed to explain the rest. Because
the Holy Ghost is a spiritual being, ALL TRUTH must refer to spiritual truth. We can not expect to have
ALL TRUTH until we understand all the prophetic scriptures in the Bible.
During his lifetime, Houteff directed his attention to the Seventh Day Adventists. From what I have seen,
they are a hard-hearted unappreciative lot. In fact, I believe that their General Conference was taken
over by the Papacy before they mocked Jones and Waggoner in 1898. I also believe that Houteff’s
message is so powerful that God kept His Kingdom from being delivered before its time by
concentrating Houteff’s efforts on this hard-hearted unappreciative church. Further, only a living
prophetic testimony to the church (explaining the scriptures) can lift this restriction, when it is time.
Houteff laid the groundwork for the redirection of his church’s efforts in his tract, "The Great Paradox of
the Ages." Houteff identified the first and second chariots thusly; “… the red color of the horses denotes
the martyred leaders of the church before 538 A.D.” And “the chariot with the black horses represents
the church and its leadership during this long period of Ecclesiastical Roman bondage.” (V. T. Houteff,
"The Great Paradox of the Ages," 1933, p. 27).
Then Houteff came to what is relevant to this article. ““To William Miller and his co-laborers it was given
to preach the warning in America. This country became the center of the great Advent Movement… The
writings of Miller and his associates were carried to distant lands. Wherever missionaries had
penetrated in all the world, were sent the glad tidings of Christ’s speedy return.” – The Great
Controversy, p. 368.”" (Ibid, p. 29)
““But though “the white horses” went to the “north country,” the Millerites, or “First Advent Movement,”
was not in response to the call “come out of her my people.” This is made clear by Miller’s own words,
“In all my labors… I never had the desire or thought to establish any separate interest from that of the
existing denominations, or to benefit one at the expense of another. I thought to benefit all. – The Great
Controversy, p. 375.”” (Ibid)
““The foregoing chain of facts surrounding the first three symbolical “chariots,” shows that the series of
gospel events which they comprehend terminated with the Millerite movement, in 1844 A. D. And the
additional fact that the “white” color of the “horses” also denotes purity, shows that the third “chariot” is
symbolical of the church which of all the seven churches is the only one that is white, without
condemnation – the Philadelphia church. (Rev. 3:7).”” (Ibid, p. 30).
All Davidians know that the fourth chariot is the SDA. (Ibid, p. 35). As Houteff explains the two teams of
horses attached to the fourth chariot represent double leadership. ““And in the “fourth chariot” were
“grisled and bay horses.” …Most arresting about the whole symbolism is the paradoxical fact that the
grisled went ”toward the south country,” and the bay went forth and… walked to and fro through the
earth. Zech. 6:6,7.”” (Ibid, p. 36,37).
Some Davidians have said (possibly based on Houteff’s statements in the paragraph that follows), that
the bay horses attached to the fourth chariot are the 144,000. Houteff did not say that at all. He did said,
“… the red color of the horses denotes the martyred leaders of the church before 538 A.D.” (Ibid, p. 27).
And “the chariot with the black horses represents the church and its leadership during this long period
of Ecclesiastical Roman bondage.” (Ibid). And “The dissimilar teams hitched to the fourth chariot, each
pulling in a different direction from the other, show not only that there is a double leadership in the
Laodicean church, but also that the one is opposed to the other.” (Ibid, p. 37). In every instance Houteff
identifies the chariots as the church membership and the teams of horses as the church leadership.
Citing Christ's condemnation on the leadership of the SDA, (the grisled horses), a condemnation found in
Rev. 3:14-17, Houteff says, ““God cannot finish His work on earth with a “wretched, and miserable, and
poor, and blind, and naked” leadership.”” (Ibid, p. 38). ““In view of this sad fact, God must have a second
leadership to finish his greatest work since the world began. Of this second set of servants, we read,
“And I saw another angel ascending from the east, having the seal of the living God: and he cried with a
loud voice to the four angels… saying, Hurt not the earth, neither the sea, nor the trees, till we have
sealed the servants of our God in their foreheads. And in their mouth was found no guile, for they are
without fault before the throne of God.” Rev. 7:2,3; 14:5.”" (Ibid, p. 39).
All Davidians acknowledge that Houteff was the sealing angel of Rev. 7:2,3. Houteff and his executive
council were the initial “bay horses” on the fourth chariot. They were the initial leadership of the
Davidian SDA and their goal was to seal the 144,000. (See page 3 of The Leviticus of the Davidian SDA.) In
the preceding paragraph, Houteff described the use of his message in sealing the 144,000. But what is
the seal and where is it found in the Bible?
Ellen White saw it in vision. “The 144,000 were all sealed and perfectly united. On their foreheads was
written, God, New Jerusalem, and a glorious star containing Jesus new name.” ("Early Writings", p. 15).
The Bible places this seal in Rev. 3:12. “Him that overcometh will I make a pillar in the temple of My God,
and he shall go no more out: and I will write upon him the name of My God, and the name of the city of My
God, which is New Jerusalem, which cometh down out of heaven from My God: and I will write upon him
My new name.” (Rev. 3:12).
Mark this carefully: the seal of the living God is not meant for the blind, naked leaders of the SDA that
Christ addressed in Rev. 3:14-21. It is meant for the church in Philadelphia that Christ addressed in Rev.
3:7-12. Christ says to Philadelphia, “I know thy works: behold, I have set before thee an open door, and
no man can shut it (the gates of hell shall not prevail against it, see Matt. 16:18): for thou hast little
strength, and hast kept My word, and hast not denied My name. Behold, I will make them of the
synagogue of Satan, which say they are Jews, and are not, but do lie; behold, I will make them to come
and worship before thy feet, and to know that I have loved thee. Because thou hast kept the word of My
patience, I also will keep thee from the hour of temptation, which shall come upon all the world, to try
them that dwell upon the earth. Behold, I come quickly: hold fast that which thou hast, that no man take
thy crown.” (Rev. 3:8-11). Then in Rev. 3:12 (quoted above), Christ promises them the seal.
But Houteff, who showed this church in Philadelphia to be the Millerite Movement, comments, “Ever true
to God, it closed its brief but spotless career in 1844, its appointed destination.” (Ibid, pg. 33,34). How
can a church that finished its work in 1844, seal the living today?
This quandary can only be resolved by assuming that all of the instructions, to all of the churches, apply
to the end time gathering. Let’s look at how Christ instructed each of the churches. To Ephesus (the
early church), He said: “Repent and do the first works…” (Rev. 2:5). To Smyrna (the martyred church that
followed), He said: “Be thou faithful unto death, and I will give thee a crown of life.” (Rev. 2:10). To
Pergamos (the church Satan began to infiltrate and trouble), he said: “Thou hast there them that hold the
doctrine of Baalam…also them that hold the doctrine of Nicolaitanes, which thing I hate. Repent; or I will
come unto thee quickly and will fight against them with the sword of My mouth.” (Rev. 2:14-16). To
Thyatira (the church overpowered by Satan, in control of the papacy), He said: “Thou sufferest that
woman Jezebel (a type of the Great Whore), which calleth herself a prophetess, to teach…But unto you I
say, and unto the rest of Thyatira… which have not known the depths of Satan… I will put upon you none
other burden. But that which you have already hold fast till I come.” (Rev. 2:20,24,25). To Sardis (the
Protestant churches), he said: “Be watchful, and strengthen the things which remain, that are ready to
die (the old saints)… Thou hast a few names even in Sardis which have not defiled their garments; and
they shall walk with Me in white, for they are worthy.” (Rev. 3:2,4).
What Christ told the church in Philadelphia (the Millerites) was quoted several paragraphs ago. Here’s
Christ message to the Laodiceans (SDA). “Behold, I stand at the door and knock: if any man hear My
voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with Me.” (Rev. 3:20).
Through V. T. Houteff, Christ made this offer to the SDA for 25 years.
As the end-time gathering goes to the world, all of these messages apply. Do the work quickly, be
prepared for martyrdom, do not suffer devils in your ministry, care for the old saints, keep your garments
unspotted by the world, and listen for Christ knocking at the door to your heart. I omitted Christ’s
instructions to Thyatira, because they require explanation. Extremely repressive governments, for
example China and some Arab countries, will rule some of the Christians you gather. Your converts may
be able do no more than pray and wait for Christ. Do not put the burden of martyrdom on them. There will
be martyrs enough among the saints.
As we saw above, Houteff taught that his Shepherd Rod movement was the true leadership of the SDA,
the bay horses. But the bay horses do not meekly follow the chariot down into the south country (Egypt).
As Houteff points out, “the bay, the leadership behind the grisled, seek to go to and fro through the
earth.” (Ibid, p. 42)
Here is what Houteff concealed from you as untimely. The actual scripture reads: “And the bay went
forth, and sought to go that they might go to and fro through the earth: and he (the angel explaining the
vision –see Zech. 6:5) said, Get you hence, walk to and fro through the earth. So they walked to and fro
through the earth.” (Zech. 6:7).
Now let me explain that to you from the history of your church. “The bay went forth (Houteff and his
executive council began the work), and sought to go that they might go to and fro through the earth (but
Houteff, acting on God’s orders, restrained them).” (Zech 6:7, first part). In the preface of The Leviticus
of the Davidian SDA, Houteff wrote: “Provisional in setup as well as name, the Davidian Seventh-day
Adventist Association exists solely to accomplish a divinely appointed work within the Seventh-day
Adventist denomination, wherein it strictly confines its activities. As its work therefore draws to a close,
and the “servants of our God” (Rev. 7:3) are sealed, its name will be changed (Is. 56:5; 62:2; 65:15) and its
purpose and its work will become all-embracing to the gospel.” (Ibid, "The Leviticus of the Davidian
SDA," 1943, p. 2).
Of the new name, Is. 62:2 says: “Thou shalt be called by a new name, which the mouth of the Lord shall
name." Since Houteff did not give you the new name, that new name must come from living prophetic
testimony after Houteff. The change of the Davidian church’s focus away from the SDA and toward the
whole Christian Church must also come from living prophetic testimony.
Returning to Zech. 6:7, the angel explaining the vision to Zechariah continues, “and he said, Get ye
hence, walk to and fro through the earth. (Here are the Davidian church's marching orders, take the
message to all Christianity.) So they walked to and fro through the earth. (The best of the Davidians can
hear angels, and they go.)” (Zech. 6:7, last part). That the command to carry the message to the whole
earth is found in the mouth of an angel in the scripture is further proof that it is brought to the Davidian
Church by living prophetic testimony.
Ellen White sent her SDA church to the entire world. The scripture clearly reveals that the SDA are going
south to Egypt instead. Just as clearly, the scripture reveals that the true leaders of the SDA (the bay
horses) are told by the angel who explains the vision, “Get ye hence, walk to and fro through the earth.”
That means that if the Davidians are the true leadership of the SDA, they need to act like it. They must
stop going to Egypt to dispute with the papacy over the SDA. They cannot lead when all they do is follow.
The world is perishing for the words of V. T. Houteff. They should go to and fro through the earth as God
intends. If they lead, the righteous of the SDA will follow.
Now I wish to advise them about the Feast days. In the 53 years since Houteff died, Christianity has
changed. Many who have no prophetic revelation still keep the Feasts. Their need is very great. “Where
there is no vision, the people perish, but he that keepeth the law, happy is he.” (Prov. 29:18). Christians
may not be willing to listen to the light the Davidians have if the Davidians are not walking in the true
light other Christians have. “Let no man therefore judge you in meat, or in drink, or in respect of a
holyday (feast), or of the new moon, or of the Sabbath day.” (Col. 2:16). As Houteff was a shining example,
so should the Davidians be.
Let me add one final comment. V. T. Houteff's message, the sealing message of the 144,000 does
not belong to the Davidian SDA or indeed any SDA church. It belongs to the church in
Philadelphia, the church that does the end time gathering. Therefore, it belongs to any minister
who uses it to seal his flock anywhere on the earth.
Amo Paul Bishop Roden