Original Davidians are not Branch Davidians

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Recently personal events have transpired within my church that has made it very obvious there is much ignorance and misconception about the afore-mentioned groups. Certainly this is not a local problem, but seemingly a global problem. It seems the master deceiver has done a magnificent job in blurring the lines between the two, hence the great confusion. Let us clearly set the record straight and remove the error and misconception.

We all remember the horrible events that took place in Waco, Texas, in 1993. The people who were involved were known as “Branch” Davidians, led by their leader, a man called David Koresh.But this story goes back much further, and has it’s roots from the mid 1950’s. We’ll now go back in time to get some foundation.

In about the years 1928-1929, a man named Victor T. Houteff, was a member of a Los Angeles SDA church. He began teaching the Sabbath school lessons. He was well received until he began to teach some things that weren’t widely known (at that time). He began to speak of interpretations , which  were very clear to him. Most concerned end time prophecies and the soon “surprise” invisible coming of our Lord.

To make the long story short, there were quite a few who embraced his new teaching, as they humbly searched it out and found no error. Soon word spread of his new found interpretations throughout the country. An uproar of sorts began. But the leaders were a whole different story. They chose to reject him and his teaching (just as prophesied by EGW, Test. to Ministers, p.475, Vol.1 Selected message, p.412) He soon was disfellowshipped, along with some others.

It is very important to note right here and now, that not once in any of his voluminous writings** did he ever advocate any violence , despite being even occasionally forcibly removed from  church services (he was beaten and struck several times as well). He never promoted  “fighting” but  proclaimed  his message  in peace and that is what he did. Not a single report of violence was recorded against him.

So in 1935, he moved to Waco, Texas. He built and started a church(Began the Davidian Seventh Day Adventists) and school and other important community projects (such as a contemporary printing shop) on their large property. He began publishing his writings and sent them worldwide ( but within the SDA church)  as his saw his mission was to “prepare” the people for this next coming of the Lord. This post won’t go into all the reasons for his work now, rather we need to lay this foundation so that we can see the birth of the “Branch” Davidian group.

In the early 1950’s a man by the name “Ben Roden” and his wife “Lois” were students of brother Houteff. Many would come to the church services and bible studies on the large grounds in Waco. Being Jewish they were quite interested in VTH’s teachings about the premillennial kingdom, old testament prophecies and such. So for several years they actively studied under brother Houteff. It seemed the more the church leaders fought the message, the more curiosity arose. Many began to ask –“Why did the church leaders disfellowship this man, when his message was one of revival and reformation?”  Some began to “investigate” for themselves, such was the case of the Rodens.

However, the first glimpse we find of the Rodens having a different spirit is the church door episode. This story is told in Don Adair’s book called “A Davidian Testimony”(page 17-18). Quite a good read for the historical facts behind the Waco disaster. The story goes as follows.

The GC leaders in the early 50’s had rejected the message of brother Houteff (They had rejected it as far back as the early 30’s), and as such let the leaders of the country’s individual churches know that Davidians (especially active and vocal ones) were not welcomed to promote their message of revival and reformation. How dare they awake the people from their Laodicean slumber! And the Rodens were active in their new found beliefs. Soon they were not allowed to attend services at their local church one weekend. Soon, they were barred from entry at a service, so they had to stand outside to hear the sermon that day.

Later on after this, on another Sabbath, Lois Roden pushed her way into the church early one Sabbath and refused to leave and remained there steadfast. So upset was Lois, that instead of going home that Sabbath, she remained in the church for a whole week! Her family had to bring her food and drink that week into the church. The next Sabbath she let her whole family in and they attended services.

Then after that service, after everyone had gone home, Ben Roden decided to remove the two front church doors off the hinges and had his son call the local newsmen to report it, with him standing in the doorway holding one of the doors. It was to be a protest of sorts.  And an article followed after in the newspaper.

Later bro. Houteff heard about this episode, very concerned, he  called Ben Roden into his office and let him know in no uncertain terms, that what he did was wrong and not the way to witness to those in the SDA church. As Davidians they were to be light bearers, not trouble makers. So here was the first sign of something amiss from the Rodens. It was to get only worse from there.

Once the devils get a small crack in one’s walk it can snow ball from there, such was this case. “Be sober, be vigilant; because the devil walks around like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour. Resist him, knowing that the sufferings (such as in this case-disfellowship) are experienced by your brotherhood in the world.” (1 Peter 5:8-9). “Do not repay evil for evil, or insult for insult, but with blessings, because to this you were called so that you will inherit a blessing.” ( 1 Peter 3:9)

Instead of humbly taking bro. Houteff’s advice ( and Scriptures!)  and changing course as to how to respect others and to present this most important message, apparently they heeded not  the wise councel. Ben Roden began to think of himself in an exalted light. He searched studiously and began to believe he had found truths that bro. Houteff did not have or teach. In other words, seeds of a self- styled prophet started to grow within him.

In 1955, bro. Houteff unexpectedly died, and there was a struggle of the leadership position. As we are well aware and have mentioned many times the devils, led by Satan, are hovering around any who boldly profess the Elijah message and it certainly was the case with the man himself, who started the Elijah message,  and his followers.  Almost immediately after bro. Houteff’s death things started to transpire that caused division and strife among some of the members.

His own wife, who ultimately became a disruption to the cause, and as far as we last knew, went apostate and denied both her late husband’s and even Ellen White’s teachings. We all know that just because someone is in the “inner circle”  of  prophets or even our Lord Himself , like Judas was, doesn’t mean they are guaranteed to be saved and converted. The devil can attack anyone at anytime and whatever position they may be in. This is why we are told to be “sober and vigilant”.

Anyway she became the new “leader” of the ministry. Some objected, particularly those who supported the man who many thought should have taken over, a man named  E.T. Wilson, former conference leader and close confidant who  converted to bro. Houteff’s Elijah message. This was quite a story as many of the conference leaders capitulated to the others who followed like blind sheep on what the GC leaders said. Not so with brother Wilson.

So it was that a problem arose within the Davidian Seventh Day Adventists. As reported by the afore-mentioned book by Adair “a scattering” occurred led by sister Houteff and Ben Roden(p.179). What is amazing is that bro. Houteff himself knew that usurpers would try to take over in the future. ( See Timely Greetings, Vol. 1, No. 14, p.20-22).

Ben Roden then appeared to promote himself as the successor and had the audacity to proclaim that as the Elijah successor (another Elijah), he would never die (unlike bro. Houteff). So after the death of bro. Houteff the Rodens became vocal among the Davidians that they were the new divine leaders. Shortly after Ben Roden attracted quite a few members of the original Davidians to his cause. Many of the original Davidians scattered around the country after the early 1960’s, most going to California, New York and North Carolina. But later in the early 1990’s,  many coming back to Waco again (but not connected to the Branch SDA).

Let us step back for a moment for a refresher note. We read in ( Mal. 4:5) “Behold I will send you Elijah the prophet before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the LORD.”  Now notice that it meant one person , right?  Did the Lord say “I will send you prophets and Elijahs ?” Ofcourse not. S0 we see that right there someone is lying. There is only one who was to come, and he is the last prophet to come to God’s people. Ben Roden is exposed yet he was blind and deceived to the fact.

Ben Roden then began to break away for the original Davidians and started what he called the “Branch Davidians”( in 1955).  He began to interpret Scripture his own way. He and his wife taught (contrary to bro. Houteff) that the feast days and the Lord’s supper were to be exactly observed. The Lord, according to him, had not done away with the feast days and the ceremonial laws. His blood didn’t cover that. There were other differences as well.

Let us fast  forward to 1978. Ben Roden died (his prediction was false) and his wife took over. She began to teach that the Holy Spirit was a feminine entity! I don’t  need to go much further with that. Then a man named David Koresh,  began to help her with auto mechanic work. He soon after studied with her and then he began to start his own  movement yet held on to the Branch Davidian name. So we see at this point that the Branch Davidians were a completely different group, from bro. Houteff’s original Davidian Seventh Day Adventists.

Let us step back for a moment and ask — “Can we not see the Satan movements in all this?” First we see  a self-styled “prophet” who comes up with his own teachings, which did not even come close to the inspired teachings of his mentor bro. Houteff, then secondly, we see his wife take over and bring further false teachings into the Branch Davidian movement! No wonder it lead to the Satanic result of the Waco massacre.

But let us look at this in truth. The workings of Satan have accomplished his desire. He has blurred and confused  the true original Davidians teachings. He has  made the broad label of Branch Davidians(ie. Waco massacre)  apply to our Lord’s real last day message of the original Davidians, led by the prophet himself, brother Houteff. Do we not know that he is the master deceiver?

In closing we would do well to remember that when we follow our Lord’s prophet’s words “Study yourselves to be approved” (1 Tim. 2:15) we will know the truth and the truth shall set us free.

Be sober and vigilant. The teachings of the “Branch” Davidians are not the teachings of the original Davidians.

**  15 Tracts (booklets), 8 Misc. Tracts, 5  Answerer Volumes, 2 Timely Greetings Volumes, 9  Jezreel Letters, 2  Shepherd’s Rod books (Vol.1 and 2), 10 Symbolic News code letters (originally published by bro. Houteff). 28 Symbolic Charts (mostly in color)

For a video presentation of this post, see this link http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SUWIvBdV7bE

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4 Responses to “Original Davidians are not Branch Davidians”

  1. b. Albert Graham Says:

    Right on, brother. A very good expose’. The real students of Truth will check into it all & see the Light.

  2. godsloveandlaw Says:

    Thanks exactly it bro, we must study ourselves to be approved.

  3. Michael Allen Says:

    I suggest you check the history of the BRANCH from another BRANCH so you can get the true history of the movement, for no where has the BRANCH ever suggested violence. Also you need to check and see WHO gave David Koresh the name “Branch Davidians” for the KORESH NEVER CALLED HIMSELF THIS..please check his writings and their official beliefs. The SDA church gave this name to the media and it has ever stuck. Can you not see, how killing TWO birds with one stone. BRANCH—DAVIDIANS…BOTH movements marred by ONE stone….I guess all needs to figure out is WHY BOTH and not just the Rod? Why would the devil cast down his own house if the BRANCH was one of his house? One other posting you mentions “speaking lies” please remember, anything we post without finding out ALL the truth on the matter is a LIE. Blessings my brothers and sisters.

  4. godsloveandlaw Says:

    Hello brother Michael, first, thanks for taking the time to read our blog.

    Now, concerning your comments, it’s important for us to not jump to conclusions too hastily. You say “I suggest you check the history of the BRANCH from another BRANCH so you can get the true history of the movement..”

    I have talked extensively to two living people who were close to both brother Houteff and Ben Roden. Their names are Don Adair and Bonnie Smith. So I have received first hand knowledge of what went on back then.

    True, Koresh was not actively practicing BDSDA and yes he did not go by that official name, however, he studied closely for a few years with Ben Roden’s wife. Some say even had an affair. But we needed to clear David Koresh from Victor Houteff and as this common understanding of the Branch exists will needed to clear it.

    The other thing that is very important to remember is that Ben Roden’s movement was an “addition and subtraction” in terms of doctrine from the Lord’s Shepherd’s Rod. This we cannot deny.

    One last piece of information you may not be aware of is the Bible says–“You shall know them by their fruits.” Do you really know who Ben Roden and his wife were? Sister Bonnie Smith did, and I should say–first hand. Contact me through our email palmguy@dc.rr.com to find out more.

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