Can we imagine the absurdity of Jesus sitting down with the Pharisees for a discussion? Yet, unbelievably some of us who profess the Lord’s present truth for our day, are doing just that, if not in person, then in communications. We should remember the life of our Instructor, how He dealt with the Pharisees. His way with them was direct and often forceful, the word “hypocrite” was His frequent word for them. He used it along with other words such as ” Whited sepulcher”, beautiful on the outside, yet full of dead bones and unclean within (Matt.23:27). In short, we find that our Lord had no use of proud, self satisfied men who set their stakes so deep with their erroneous forms of teaching, religion and doctrines.
For example the Pharisees were satisfied in their knowledge of Scripture, they were secure that the Messiah would come as a conquering King, as they read Scripture and mis-applied the prophecies. But our Lord came in a way they were not looking for. Hence they set deep their stakes against Christ as an impostor and that situation stopped Him from reaching out. Let us look at how we can learn by understanding our dealings with Pharisees in our midst.
In explaining the mindset of the Jews ( taught of the Pharisees) brother Houteff explains, ”The Jews, according to their own way of reasoning, were honest, though blind, in concluding that they had no need of prophets, because as they saw it, Moses’ writings were complete, there was nothing lacking in them: They contained both the civil and religious laws. They, therefore, saw no need for greater light and no need of another prophet. Through their unbelief in the prophets, they failed to see that their kingdom was only a type of a greater one to come, they failed to see that God’s Truth is progressive and ever unfolding, that each generation has to have added Truth especially adapted to meet their particular needs. Their blindness to this was their basic sin that led them on to ruin” (Timely Greetings sermon, Vol.1, no.14, p.4).
As those of us who are actively working in His “vineyard” know, we come in contact with many brethren on a regular basis. As such it is only expected that we will deal with those who have exalted themselves in their own eyes, unable to listen with an open heart and mind.
Brother Houteff explains, “..when the disciples asked Jesus: “Knowest thou that the Pharisees were offended, after they heard this saying?” So-called Christians, like the Pharisees, become offended when told of their errors, and rebuked for their sins. “But He answered and said, Every plant, which my heavenly Father hath not planted, shall be rooted up. Let them alone: they be blind leaders of the blind. And if the blind lead the blind, both shall fall into the ditch.” (Matt. 15:12-14.) (Shepherd’s Rod, vol.1, p.123)
Notice the telling instruction from the Lord–“Let them alone”. Obviously no time was to be expended on such people. This reminds us of the proverb, “Do not answer a fool according to his folly lest you be like him (Proverbs 26:4). Their real trap is to get you off your straight and clear path, into a side path, a path that has so many twists and turns that if you follow it, it will be sure to make shipwreck of your faith. Once they have you sidetracked, your time is thus wasted, your objectives undone.
The Elijah message tells us who really is behind this time wasting, “…Satan’s supreme effort at this hour must be to cause the time to be wasted and the work to go undone.” (Answerer book, Vol. 1, question no.4) So we see that the real objective from Satan and his devils is to get us to waste our time.
Recently I have seen an obvious trap, yet because it’s exists among some so-called Elijah messengers, it appears not all understand this trap and are actively falling into it. It makes sense since , as we’ve shown in our prior studies, Satanic warfare is right in the middle of those who step up to the plate to proclaim the Elijah message. But even in this arena are those implants from Satan, those who are attempting to lead the flock away from Truth and into error. The spiritual war for the all time is over this last message from the Lord.
Ellen White describes this time of church warnings in which Satan exposes his objectives.
“I will have upon the ground, as my agents, men holding false doctrines mingled with just enough truth to deceive souls. I will also have unbelieving ones present who will express doubts in regard to the Lord’s messages of warning to His church. Should the people read and believe these admonitions, we could have little hope of overcoming them. But if we can divert their attention from these warnings, they will remain ignorant of our power and cunning, and we shall secure them in our ranks at last. God will not permit His words to be slighted with impunity. If we can keep souls deceived for a time, God’s mercy will be withdrawn, and He will give them up to our full control.
“We must cause distraction and division. We must destroy their anxiety for their own souls, and lead them to criticize, to judge, and to accuse and condemn one another, and to cherish selfishness and enmity. For these sins, God banished us from His presence; and all who follow our example will meet a similar fate.” (Test. to Ministers, P.475)
This last paragraph is particularly apparent today. His “agents” are within the SDA, including “Davidians”. As we know the only ones within our church declaring the Elijah message today are the Davidian Seventh Day Adventists, so obviously his agents are represented there as well. As this message prepares God “servants” to go out to the world in full power and spirit of the Lord, Satan and his angels are the most active in this arena, to thwart and delay the process. Obviously they will lose but that doesn’t stop them from using agents such as Pharisees to disrupt any progress made.
The reason for this post is that we want to expose some cunning deceptions occurring within our ranks, particularly among the DSDA. And once we are aware of them we can steer clear just like our Lord did. He never sat down with them and engaged their arguments. Time wasting, as brother Houteff mentioned is Satan’s goal right now and we should steer clear of this path.
One of the biggest snares existing among those who profess the Elijah message is the adding to or subtracting from the original message of Elijah (Victor T. Houteff). As I continue to develop a broader understanding of this message and all that it bears, I see these traps, allow me to explain some examples.
The first example we can look back to the illustrated story of Moses and the men of Korah. In the book of Numbers, chapter 16, we read of the story of insubordination. Korah and his followers had just witnessed the act of execution of the man who broke the Sabbath, a decree issued by Moses, through directions from the Lord. But this act apparently had triggered fear among them and led them to murmur against God’s chosen leader–his prophet. We read in (16:3) “..and they rose up before Moses and Aaron, and said to them, “You take too much upon yourselves, for all the congregation is holy, every one of them, and the Lord is among them. Why then do you exalt yourselves above the assembly of the Lord?” So when Moses heard it, he fell on his face.”
We know the end result was that Moses was exonerated and the pretenders were destroyed. But what lessons can we draw from it? There are several. Korah and his leading men in effect were saying to God’s chosen prophet, “We are also His leaders, for we speak to the Lord just like you, we can bypass you and be led of God and not necessarily by you.” Wow! No wonder Moses threw himself down on the ground in an act of distraught unbelief! In that instance Moses had calculated just what their words were really saying, and he knew God would have to do something about it. God did and it wasn’t pretty as we well know.
We can learn from this how God deals with any who deny the chosen of God, the one by whom God desires to speak. They are in effect denying the Lord! Much as a King would send his messenger to one of the underlings and they would disparage and deny what the message said to do, effectively denying their King.
Speaking of the coming Elijah, brother Houteff said, “The promise, itself, moreover, is for only one , not for more, and with but one exception, we know not of any other time when God employed even two prophets (let alone many) at one time, to convey one message to one people. He invariably called one, and that one himself, under direction of the Spirit, employed others to help him take the message to the people. Thus only were any others ever identified with a called one.” (General Conference Special, p.32)
So how does this all pertain to today? Because there are some within the DSDA who deny that brother Houteff was the last prophet to come, they say the Elijah prophet wasn’t the final one. This is to some of us who know the message and what it says, making us just like Moses and wanting to throw ourselves down and cry out to the Lord. So just like Korah and the men of “renown”, these upstarts who effectively deny the Lord and what He has said through His end time prophet, take into their own hands, potential disaster just as Korah and his followers met.
But even more sad is the fact that some are believing these false leaders and following them in their doctrines of “other prophets” coming to our SDA church. There are several groups around the world that have a current “prophet” as their leader. Yet, strangely all of them agree that Victor T. Houteff was a prophet of God (?). As we said, Satan will use all kinds of tricks to mislead God’s remnant people.
We’d like to show two examples, one of the DSDA and one of the SDA, of how deception comes into the work of God.
Concerning the DSDA, the idea of others to come after brother Houteff started way back in 1955, with a upstart named Ben Roden(Founder of the Branch Davidians). He had learned under brother Houteff and after VTH’s death he soon announced that “he” had a prophetic message to the remnant. His well-known “Seven Letters to Florence Houteff” sent in 1955, contains amazing statements, such as– ”Now it is plain to see that Ellen G. White and Victor T. Houteff were indeed prophets of God and were, truly, writing under the influence of the Spirit of Prophecy.” Yet despite this admission he would go on to point out mistakes, errors and omissions he found in their writings. He was setting them up to believe that “he” could uncover error and show the correct understandings and provide more light needed for the people. In other words–he was the succeeding prophet.
He clearly implied that he was the prophet to succeed VTH in his writings, as well as existing living witnesses. He even went so far as to imply that as a prophet, unlike VTH, he would never die. He died in 1977. This was the first real distraction and division to hit the Davidians after brother Houteff’s death. Today, his movement is known as “Branch Davidian Seventh Day Adventists.” They have many different beliefs apart from brother Houteff’s original teachings. Such as the necessity to keep all the feast days. To have rigid daily set hours to pray to the Lord. That the Holy Spirit is a feminine entity among others. Satan was hovering and when the brother Houteff died, he went right to work!
According to one of the last surviving members of the original MT. Carmel camp, sister Bonnie Smith said that brother Houteff was leery of Ben Roden. She said that he would appear at their gatherings to try to plant seeds of his own ideas in regards to the message. Obviously he was working his future agenda.
( A quick historical note– David Karesh’s group (infamous Waco siege) wasn’t an actual Branch Davidian orgainization. His was an off shoot of the BDSDA and apparently stole the name for his group according to leading members of the BDSDA.)
But how must we deal with these types of DSDA who promote their interpretations, doctrines and agendas? Just as our Lord did in dealing with the Pharisees–don’t interact with them. Let them alone. One underlying common denominator among them is that they spend almost all of their time trying to convince ‘Davidians” about how they are prophets of God and to follow their teachings. Instead of what the Elijah message teaches– go to work within the SDA telling them of the Lord’s imminent surprise coming to the church(beginning phase of the judgment for the living). To prepare and help them to reform and revive in the Lord, to be among the 144,000.
Brother Houteff’s explains that the last message is about proclaiming the message of the ”judgment for the living”, not promoting new messages and prophets. ”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.”( General Conference Special, p.23)
Our second example is just as disturbing, possibly more so as the deception is not as apparent. About 4 or 5 months ago, while doing some research online I found a very interesting report called , “The Straight Testimony Opposed by False Shepherds”. As I read it I was very impressed, it was that good. All of EG White’s straight testimony and warnings to the church, it seemed was in this report. Many of them I wasn’t aware of. After I read it I felt the Holy Spirit lead me to try to contact this author.
Being an Elijah messenger, I wanted to see if she had accepted the Lord’s last message of Elijah. After all the report had many of the quotes used by Elijah to teach and warn the people. It took a few days but I finally found who it was. Susan ( an alias) with her husband had an online ministry. I was able to find out their phone number and gave them a call. When I contacted them, they both happened to be there and after some chit-chat with her husband, he called his wife to the phone and we had a three-way conversation.
I began to discuss their report and thanked them for it, as it was a real blessing. They inquired about who I was and what I did and so I explained that I too, had an online ministry. We discussed many topics of “present truth”. I purposely left out bringing up the Elijah prophet in fear that they had fallen for the prevalent smear job the SDA church has run against him for decades. So we had a good conversation and we exchanged emails.
She said she would like me to review an upcoming report on “The Bride Cometh”. So I reviewed it and liked it. However, knowing the true prophetic timelines as given by the prophet, I saw some erroneous teachings. After several emails I felt it was time to fill her in on the Elijah. I wanted her to straighten out some of her errors and thereby be fully in line with what the Lord said through His prophet. So I began to ask her if she was aware that Scripture and EGW had prophesied that another prophet was to come after her. I used the clear quote of Test. to Ministers, p.475, and other helpful Scripture to show her the predictions of this prophet.
She responded that she had seen the small * (asterisk) by that quote and then read the further explanations supplied by the SDA church. She apparently wasn’t aware or didn’t care that after she died and the writings of Victor Houteff had been wide-spread throughout the SDA churches, the SDA leaders added their own interpretations of what she meant in that quote. She then concluded that the SDA church was right and that when EGW made that line ”..when he appears..” she was speaking of herself as the Elijah to come. In other words the “he” was meant to be a “she”. I was amazed! Here was a woman, whom I thought was truly working in the God’s vineyard spreading His truths and warnings to the church yet she denied the straight testimony of a “male” prophet to come in the spirit and power of Elijah — was truth.
I was very concerned about this and prayed that the Lord could show me how this was possible. How could one be so close yet so far? We continued to correspond and she made further explanations that showed me the answer from the Lord. She said, ” One of the reasons I don’t believe that this Elijah would come after EGW is that Ellen White would have spoken more about him, instead of such a small statement.” Wow! There it was. She was basically saying that “she” knew how God should operate and how He should make His revelations known. He didn’t do enough explaining of this coming prophet therefore she didn’t believe it.
Ellen Whites explains these types of deceptions, “I saw that the greater the light which the people reject, the greater will be the power of deception and darkness which will come upon them. The rejection of truth leaves men captives, the subjects of Satan’s deception.” (Test. for the Church, Vol.1, p.232).
So here we see that instead of humbly accepting the plain clear word as shown by the prophets, she rose up against it just as the Pharisees did. Her stakes were deep and she quit responding to me because she had “need of nothing” more, she had all the truth she needed and was rich and increased with goods (Rev. 3:17). This is why I mentioned that this type of situation is much more deceptive. She has much truth she is teaching, yet denied the Lord by rejecting His final prophet. Just as Korah rejected Moses. Can we see the similarities? Some may said she still is spreading truth regardless, but I would say she has seen the clear word of God that a prophet is sent and to be heard and she has said–no. I believe I was sent in her path to reveal the Elijah message to her but it was rejected. There are important messages in the Elijah message (contrary to her teachings) that she is ignoring and therefore not teaching. “My brethren, let not many of you become teachers, knowing that we shall receive a stricter judgment.” (James 3:1)
To many of us it’s our human nature to try to debate and convince others who we may believe are wrong in their understanding of the word of the Lord. But if they are an active teacher or promoter of their idea of another prophet(s) to come after the last one that Scripture clearly declares (Elijah), or that no prophet is to come after EGW, then you can be assured they have their stakes very deep just as the Pharisees had.
In closing, we’d like to advise all present truth seekers that are striving to learn the Lord’s last message to His people, the Elijah message, that should you encounter someone or a group who teach the above ideas, then you should take the Lord’s counsel and deal with them just as He dealt with the Pharisees and that is — leave them alone.