The Symbolic Code Vol. 10 No. 5
V. T. Houteff’s death in relation to the message
This statement is being issued to make known the official Davidian stand regarding the death of Brother Houteff in relation to the Message.
We can profitably compare our experience with that of the disciples at the death of Christ.
“With the death of Christ the hopes of His disciples perished… Until the last they had not believed that He would die; they could hardly believe that He was really dead. Over-whelmed with sorrow, they did not recall His words foretelling this very scene. Nothing that He had said, now gave them comfort. They saw only the cross and its bleeding victim. The future seemed dark with despair. Their faith in Jesus had perished; but never had they loved their Lord as now. Never before had they so felt His worth, and their need of His presence.” – Desire of Ages, p. 772.
“And on shall say unto Him, What are these wounds in Thine hands? Then He shall answer, Those with which I was wounded in the house of My friends. Awake, O sword, against My shepherd, and against the man that is My fellow, saith the Lord of hosts: smite the shepherd, and the sheep shall be scattered: and I will turn Mine hand upon the little one.” Zech. 13 : 6,7.
“I have no special comments to make on verses 6 and 7, other than what is commonly understood among Christians. It is plain to see, though, that after the Lord’s shepherd is smitten, then it is that the Lord will separate His people.” – timely Greetings, (1947 edition), Vol. 1, No. 18, p. 17.
All we stand on is a “thus saith the Lord,” and if the death of Brother Houteff fulfils this prophecy, then certainly he was the Lord’s shepherd, and there can be no doubt that the next event, as prophesied in this chapter, is that the sheep will be scattered, and the Lord Himself will turn His “hand upon the little ones.” In this case which will you be: a scattered sheep or a little one?
Following this comes the separation. Are we now more concerned with the shepherd’s being smitten than how we, shall fare in the event far more important to us – the separation ?
“While the world has wondered after the beast, God has 144,000 who ‘have not bowed a knee to Baal.’ Though they seem to be lost without a shepherd, the arm of Omnipotence is watching over them ….
“Though such great apostasy and blasphemy has gripped the world, God’s church, 144.000 is number, scattered throughout the length and breadth of the earth without a shepherd, have not bowed a knee to Baal. While Laodiceans are shaken out (spued) by destruction, God takes charge of the flock Himself. Thus, the church and the message will triumph to the victory. See Testimonies, Vol. 6, page 427; Testimonies to Ministers, page 300.” – The Shepherd’s Rod, Vol. 1, pp. 218, 222 (Fireside Edition).
In regard to Zerubbabel starting and finishing the work we quote from one of the Timely Greetings:
“’Moreover the Word of the Lord came unto me, saying, The hands of Zerubbabel have laid the foundation of this house; his hands shall also finish it; and thou shalt know that the Lord of hosts hath sent me unto you.’ Zech. 4 : 8, 9.
“These scriptures positively imply that there are doubts in the minds of some as to whether antitypical Zerubbabel, or some other shall finish the work which Zerubbabel has started. Whom does Zerubbabel represent ? –
“The Word of God explains that ancient Zerubbabel is a signet, type, at the time God overthrows the thrones of the kingdoms, at the time their armies are destroyed by one ‘brother’ Christian’s sword cutting down another brother Christian. (Haggai 2 : 22, 23). Zerubbabel, therefore, represents God’s servant at a time the crowned kings, ‘throne of kingdoms,’ are overthrown, and in which time one Christian nations at war with another Christian nation. Since the crowned kingdoms are fast passing away, and other forms of governments are taking their places, this all proves that antitypical Zerubbabel’s appearance is now due. And, the Lord’s own answer is, ‘the hands of Zerubbabel have laid the foundation of this house; this hands shall also finish it.’
“For who hath despised the day of small things: for they shall rejoice, and shall see the plummet in the hand of Zerubbabel with those seven; they are the eyes of the Lord, which run to and fro through the whole earth.’ Zech. 4 : 10. “The day this scripture is fulfilled, is the day in which the Lord of hosts starts a reformatory work in an apparently very small and insignificant way, and those who despise small and insignificant beginnings will at last rejoice and shall see that antitypical Zerubbabel is the one to direct the work along with all (seven) his helpers. They are the eyes of the Lord. What a momentous day! What a great people! Evidently they constitute the ‘stone’ of Zechariah 3 which we studied several weeks ago, and learned that it has seven eyes, complete spiritual vision. Obviously this is the stone that smites the great image of Daniel 2 : 45.
“’Then answered I, and said unto Him, What are these two olive trees upon the right side of the candlestick and upon the left side thereof ? And I answered again, and said unto Him, What be these two olive branches which through the two golden pipes empty the golden oil out of themselves? ‘ Zech. 4 : 11, 12.
“All these taking place at this particular time, and the prophecies now unfolded, prove that antitypical Zerubbabel must now be here, and that as he has started the work, he also must finish it. The fact that Inspiration takes the pains to tell who is to finish the work in itself is proof that there must be active usurpers of his office as there were of Moses office.” – Timely Greetings, (1953 edition), Vol. 1, No. 14, pp. 20, 21, 22.
The next point of consideration is the question, Has Jezreel yet come?
The recent series of nine letters addressed to the elders and the laity are all signed V. H. Jezreel, H. B. Jezreel must have been here, otherwise where did these signatures come from ?
These nine letters signed by V. H. Jezreel, are addressed to the elders but, in perfect compliance with the instructions given in Hosea 2 : 1, are left to the Ammi’s and Ruhammah’s (the laymen) to deliver to “Mother” (the ministry).
On page 1, of Letter 6, we read:
“Now, elders, is your final chance to obtain the badly needed oil for your lamps, and the badly needed salve for your eyes (Rev. 3 : 18). If you fail now, you fail forever.
“Elders, do not longer presume that the Lord had ‘forsaken the earth,’ His people, or His church. He died to save them and He has not given them up. Nor will He let you run away with them. Forsake your wicked works, Elders, for why should you perish for filthy lucre? The Spirit of Prophecy long ago condemned your unholy practice but you continue on and on. Since you have now reached your limits, and since God’s patience is exhausted, this is the Spirit’s last call for you to give heed to His Voice.”
The above is over the signature of V. H. Jezreel, H. B. If these letters bear the Spirit’s last call and this is their final chance, what need is there for another Jezreel?
The following quotation from the 1950 General Conference Special, relative to Elijah and the Elijah message are self-explanatory:
“’Has Elijah the prophet already come?’ ‘Is the ancient prophet to appear in person himself?’ ‘Is a group of people to do a work similar to that of the ancient Elijah?’ Or what?” – 1950 General Conference Special, p. 4.
“… since Elijah is to herald the great day, he can therefore be the only one who will rightly interpret the prophecies of the day, which are still mysteries to Christendom, and even to our own Denomination! Indeed, to reiterate, it is for this very reason that the prophet is sent. He is to unroll the scroll, to explain what the day of the Lord is like, what the Lord will do then, and how we may survive His judgments. To re-emphasize the fact, let it be said again that being the last of the prophets Elijah is, therefore, the only one who can open to our understanding all the prophecies of the Scriptures pertaining to the great and dreadful day of the Lord – prophecies which heretofore have been only mysteries to all. Thus he is, as the Scriptures say, to blow the trumpet in Zion, and to sound an alarm in God’s holy mountain, in the church.
“In doing all this, he sets in motion the Power that is to restore all things. Hence, Christ’s positive declaration: ‘Elias truly shall first come, and restore all things.’ Matt. 17 : 11.
Inevitably, then, without his message we would die in our ignorance and in our sins-never live to see the restoration completed.” – 1950 General Conference Special, pp. 21, 22; 1954 edition, pp. 19, 20.
“Since the Scriptures clearly picture Elijah and his work, and also what the day is to be like, none who will humbly inquire about him and his work need to guess or to be in the dark concerning either his identity or his mission, for it is his God-given duty to publish the timely truths as revealed to him out of the prophecies. And so all who are willing and obedient, will have no trouble recognizing him and his message (John 7 : 17). They will know that anyone who comes with a message other than the message found in the prophecies concerning the great and dreadful day of the Lord, is not the promised Elijah.” – Id., pp. 24, 25; 1954 edition, up. 22, 23.
“Since the promised Elijah is to be the last prophet to the church today, as John the Baptist was the last prophet to the church in his day, and since the last work on earth is the Judgment for the Living, the truth stands forth like the light of day that Elijah’s message is the message of the Judgment for the Living, the last, which in the very nature of the gospel is of far more importance and consequence than any other message ever borne to a people.” – Id., pp. 25, 26; 1954 edition, pp. 23, 24.
“Since God is not experimenting, and since He means just what He says, there should be no doubt in your minds that the Scriptures concerning antitypical Elijah (he who is to awaken the church and to warn the Laodiceans of ‘the great and dreadful day of the Lord’) make sure that he is one person. Of a surety, he is to have faithful helpers, but according to the prophet Nahum he will greatly make use of the printing press and will scatter his message by the postage stamp everywhere as the leaves of autumn. He will not care what is done with his publications, but will make sure that they find their way into all hands, laps, pockets yards or waste baskets throughout Laodicea…..
“What is the Lord’s counsel concerning the Voice of Elijah’s publications? And what is the title of them ?
“The answer comes through Micah the prophet:
“The Lord’s Voice crieth unto the city, and the man of wisdom shall see thy name: hear ye the Rod, and Who hath appointed It.’ Mic. 6 : 9.
“Here is a Rod which speaks; and Its voice, the scripture points out, is the voice of God to His people. And since The Shepherd’s Rod, the publications which contain the message of ‘the great and dreadful day of the Lord,’ is the only Rod that has ever spoken, then it is the Rod publications which the Lord demands all to hear …. In truth, since the Rod is a symbol of authority, correction, and deliverance, then what other title could more fittingly signify that It is to deliver the penitent and do away with the impenitent? It was the Shepherd’s Rod that freed ancient Israel, and the Lord has chosen The Shepherd’s Rod to deliver modern Israel. It was a Rod that led the first Exodus, and it is now seen that a Rod is making ready to lead the second Exodus (Isa. 11 : 11; Mic. 7 : 14, 15; Ezek. 20 : 36, 37).” – Id., pp. 36, 37, 38; 1954 edition, pp. 34, 35, 36.
“…. The prophet, or the message is called, Elijah, ‘with the spirit and power of Elijah.’” – The Shepherd’s Rod, Vol. 1, p. 47 (Fireside edition).
Brother Houteff’s passing does not change the truth of the message. As to Malachi 4 : 5; Testimonies to Ministers, p. 475; Hosea 1 : 11; Hosea 2 : 22, and kindred passages, if you teach only that which is published concerning them, you will be on the safe side, for the literature is very clear as to their application.
And anyway, why should the passing of Brother Houteff have anything to do with the references just listed? The important factor is not whether Elijah lives or dies, but that Elijah’s work and message are plainly predicted. No, it is not whether Elijah lives or dies that makes Elijah the Elijah. Brother Houteff’s death may be a shock and a surprise, but it is the next event to come that should be of deepest personal concern to God’s people at this time.
The Elijah referred to in The Shepherd’s Rod Vol. 1, pp. 23, 24 (pocket edition) cannot be the Elijah spoken of in Malachi 4 : 5. You will note that the Moses, Abel, Enoch, Elijah and the Adams from the other worlds mentioned in this parade in which the redeemed of all the ages take part, are the types themselves, not their antitypes.
In commenting on Ezekiel 34 : 2 – 4, 22 – 24, Jezreel Letter No. 6, p. 2 has to say:
“…. It directly condemns the deeds of the shepherds of the Israel of today. This fact you find in verses 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 ….”
In the light of all this clear testimony that has been left us in this period when God’s flock is without a visible shepherd, let us therefore be cautious lest we be found seeking a Noah, a Daniel, or a Job and find instead a Korah, and Abiram. Let us let Heaven guide.
“…. Let me tell you that the Lord will work in this last work in a manner very much out of the common order of things, and in a way that will be contrary to any human planning. There will be those among us who will always want to control the work of God, to dictate even what movements shall be made when the work goes forward under the direction of the angel who joins the third angel in the message to be given to the world. God will use ways and means by which it will be seen that He is taking the reins in His own hands. The workers will be surprised by the simple means that He will use to bring about and perfect His work of righteousness. Those who are accounted good workers will need to draw nigh to God, they will need the divine touch. They will need to drink more deeply and continuously at the fountain of living water, in order that they may discern God’s work at every point.” – Testimonies to Ministers, p. 300 (Emphasis ours).
In the light of this striking statement, let us wisely recognize that there are more surprises and unexpected moves in store for us. May we always remain flexible enough to permit the Lord to work for us in His own good way. Man may propose but it is own who disposes, therefore let us heed Inspiration’s admonition to us to draw close to the Lord and drink more deeply than ever before from the great fundamental truths of this wonderful Davidian message. Only as we do this, and remain resigned to God’s will for us, will we be ready for the future out-of-the-ordinary events that are surely coming our way.
Let us have implicit faith that the Lord has the reins fully in His own hands. He knows exactly how to save and deliver, if we will but let Him do it in His own way.