(Note- due to the large amount of information concerning our subject matter, we’ve had to make this into a 3 part post)
Before we go into his next phase (Mt. Carmel years) we want briefly explain what transpired about 4 years after the first Shepherd’s Rod publication had been published and sent to some SDA members in the United States. As we’ve mentioned there was quite a controversy building once the writings were circulated. Many converts to the message were spreading the publications and as such the high level Conference leaders were forced to do something about it. The catalyst was when a South Carolina Conference leader by the name of E. T. Wilson embraced the teachings propounded by Victor Houteff.
So now a statement had to be made, no longer could the uproar be ignored. If the leaders remained quiet it seemed a far- reaching revival and reformation would be the certain result. A situation that would cause a change in structure and acceptance of some new prophetic beliefs. So they held as a unit that the SDA church had Ellen White as it’s last prophet and could not seriously consider that another prophet could come to the church. She was the one and only messenger of God sent to the church. And the claim that Victor Houteff was the Elijah prophet prophesied in Malachi 4:5 and Testimonies to Ministers p.476-476 could not be studied, perceived or allowed.
So soon a plan was hatched that a committee of 12 SDA leaders and Mr. Houteff would have to meet so that something could appear to have taken place to address the laity concerns, and that they could say either, “Yes we believe in Victor Houteff’s teachings” or “No we don’t believe in them”. The leaders and Victor Houteff in early in 1934 agreed to a formal 7 day meeting. Mr. Houteff’s teachings and prophecy explanations were finally, after 4 years, to be heard.
While we can’t go into all that transpired up to, during, and after the historical meeting in this post, we can simply say that the meeting became a fiasco. The prepared agreed terms were changed by the committee during the actual meeting and Victor Houteff was cut off on the first day of the 7 day meeting. At this exact same time there was another SDA leadership meeting across country in Washington D.C. unbeknownst to Victor. The whole fiasco is written about in brother Erik Bell’s “Secret Tribunals of the Seventh Day Adventist Church.” (see here for report http://mtccamp.org/)
He explains what was concurrently happening , “In the meantime the denominational leaders in Washington, D.C. had received inquiries about Mr. Houteff’s teachings. They had received copies of his writings, some of which had been mailed to them by him, and those who examined them were convinced that they contained error. The matter was presented to the General Conference Committee on February 19, 1934, the same day on which Mr. Houteff was given the hearing on the West Coast. After discussing the matter, the General Conference Committee took this action: ‘Voted that W.A. Spicer, F.M. Wilcox and W.H. Branson be a committee to prepare material for a leaflet counteracting the false teaching of the Shepherd’s Rod.'”-(History p.14)
It is hardly believable, but in the Conference’s own words, they state that long before the committee of twelve rendered their decision, in fact before Bro. Houteff made his presentation on the West Coast, they condemned and sentenced the brother and his teachings. It is impossible to publish a more damaging, self-incriminating confession than this! If this cannot awaken the reader to the fact that the church had absolutely no intentions to deal with the Rod fairly, then may God have mercy on your soul!” (See full discussion on the meeting at http://mtccamp.org/ )
In commenting soon after the hearing, E. T. Wilson said, “Present truth has enraged the conference men and they are unable to cope with the situation in a fair fight, so they are threatening to close the West Union Church. But because the conference men are not thought well of there, they have chosen the local elder and a lay preacher to handle the situation on the coming Sabbath, and this promises a good interesting time.” — July 3, 1934.
The Outcome Of The West Union Church Meeting
“We had a good day Sabbath at West Union where the Busch family lives, and there was a signal victory for the truth at the eleven o’clock hour for the business to be attended was left in the hands of the lay preacher and the local church elder. The conference had submitted the following proposition to the church: They would send the church a tent to be used for evangelist work in the community, provided the church would vote to bar E.T. Wilson and Dr. Stokes from the pulpit.
It was a beautiful sight to see the elder in tears, and in broken words say that he could not put such a movement or proposition to the church stating that he had never investigated `The Shepherd’s Rod,’ and that Elder Wilson and the doctor were his friends, and men of God so far as he knew, and that he had never heard them teach anything but the truth.
“All this time the preacher’s little wife was weeping, but not with broken heart, but for joy, and the entire church was in tears as well as the visitors of whom there were about thirteen, who are ardent believers in the reformatory message of “The Shepherd’s Rod.” One of the ladies said that it was an insult to their intelligence to submit such a proposition as that submitted by the conference. It certainly was.” — July 10, 1934. (Symbolic Code, Vol. 1, no.1, p.1)
(Signed) E.T. Wilson.
We wanted to lay the above foundation to set the stage as to how the SDA leaders were dealing with this situation. So it was reasonable for Victor and the brethren to get into a peaceful setting where they could “go to work” publishing the work Victor felt God had inspired him to do. As he and many of the believers were dis-fellowhipped, they needed a gound base from which to establish headquarters. That was to be a property Victor called, “Mt. Carmel” located in Waco, Texas. A large country property with 189 acres that would be build up over 20 years and from where thousands upon thousands of books , tracts, charts and other literature was published and sent around the world.
MT. Carmel years – The years in this rural area were to be the productive years of his work. Victor explains the reason for moving.
“… He has given us one of His beautiful lakeside hills adjacent to Waco, Texas, a city of about 60,000, yet far enough from it to be away from the world and its evil environment — about 5 miles from the center of the city, and about 2 1/2 miles from the city limits. There lies 189 acres of land for our “camp…The many letters of encouragement received during the past several weeks, most of which indicated that you were praying earnestly that the Lord would guide His servants in wisdom and counsel while seeking a central location for headquarters from which to operate the work of proclaiming the message to the church, have been greatly appreciated by all and especially by those who have been spying but the land, as it were, and we are happy indeed to bring to you a good report and a few grapes from this trip and, in the language of the faithful ones of old, we can say, “We are well able?” to take the city, but we know this can be done only as we do as those two warriors of old did, namely “follow the Lord fully.”
“It has been evident for some time that it would soon be necessary to seek a more central location for the office in order to serve the whole field efficiently, so those at headquarters have been praying very earnestly over this matter for many months, and as they kept on praying for light, the Lord finally indicated definitely that beautiful Southern California was no longer to remain the center of His work for the “lost sheep of the house of Israel,” but an eastward course was to be seen in the stream from that “fountain” which is to swell Into the great river of Ezekiel’s prophecy, and plans were soon formulated whereby a thorough search could be made In the territory indicated by the Lord where the future headquarters were to be found.”(Symbolic Code, Vol. 1, no. 10, p.2-3)
From this rural “camp” Victor and his brethren soon built many buildings and farmland. Below is the first building built in 1935, known as the “kitchen”.
As the years went by the property was improved and as can be seen from the top picture, the work culminated in the well designed Administration main building. Below is the inspiring “11th hour” ground floor clock built in the foyer of the office within the administration building.
As they completed their camp, the writings continued to go forward. Victor continued to do work on his voluminous publications. He compiled works such as Shepherd’s Rod, vol. 1 and 2, Symbolic Code news publications (which contained many updates, letters, reports, and teachings), 2 volumes of Timely Greeting sermon addresses totaling 98 sermons, small booklets known as “Tracts”, 1 to 15, with an additional 8 miscellaneous Tracts, 9 Jezreel Letters in small booklet form addressed to the church leaders, the Answerer, which compiled 5 volumes of Q and A from the SDA brethren (over many years), and 25 prophetic symbolic “Charts”.
But perhaps most fascinating is the Charts. The details and the prophetic symbols are exact in design and often have Biblical references clarifying the symbols. Below are some of the charts. The below charts cover Daniel 8, Noah flood type and anti-type, Hosea prophecy chapter 1 and 2, the Temples type and anti-type, the Ceremonial Harvest.
Take a look at the 25 charts. To view them closer click here (click to enlarge) http://www.shepherds-rod-message.org/charts/
We certainly know that the world is rapidly winding down, the nations are getting restless, the middle east is a fireball ready to explode. We also know that before the end the Lord promised us one last prophet- “Elijah” before the great and dreadful day. Concerning this we can look at 3 choices. Let us briefly analyze them.
1) We can claim as some in the SDA do, that Ellen White fulfilled the role of Elijah.
This postilion comes with a controversy that must be prayerfully considered. In Test. to Ministers , p.475 and 1 Selected messages, p.412, Ellen White describes the Elijah to come as a “he”. One must assume that she was calling herself a he in order to believe she was predicting herself as Elijah. Further we must cancel the Lord’s historical precedent, in that He never called a male prophet by a female name. We’d have to conclude that “Elijah” is meant as “Ellen”.
2) We can claim there is no real latter-day fulfillment of this prophecy. The Lord was talking about John the baptist as fulfilling the prophecy.
Our founding fathers said this concerning that, “But was the prophecy wholly fulfilled in John the Baptist? We answer, No; for it is more intimately connected with the great day of the Lord than was the mission of John, His work had exclusive references to the first advent; but the prophecy must relate more especially to the second advent, which is the crowning event of the ushering in of the great and dreadful day of the Lord.”-“Review and Herald,” February 23, 1864
3) We can claim the only man within our SDA church history to claim the fulfillment of the Malachi 4:5 prophecy and then produce the writings to back it up — Victor T. Houteff .
In regard to this last option we quote two EGW quotes.
“Men, women, and youth, God requires you to possess moral courage, steadiness of purpose, fortitude and perseverance, minds that cannot take the assertions of another, but which will investigate for themselves before receiving or rejecting, that will study and weigh evidence, and take it to the Lord in prayer. “If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him.” (Test. vol. 2, p.130)
“It is the first and highest duty of every rational being to learn from the Scriptures what is truth, and then to walk in the light and encourage others to follow his example. We should day by day study the Bible diligently, weighing every thought and comparing scripture with scripture. With divine help we are to form our opinions for ourselves as we are to answer for ourselves before God.” (GC p.598)
Next week we’ll finish with the different stories ,signs, and wonders that occurred at the camp. We’ll conclude with Victor Houteff’s core message and the writings that caused a “shaking” among His remnant church (and still so today).
(Many thanks to sister Dara for providing the Mt. Carmel pictures) For more original Mt Carmel pictures click here http://www.shepherds-rod.org/photo/page1.htm )