M.L Andreasen meets Victor Houteff (Part 1 of 2)

Image result for M.L Andreasen         Image result for victor houteff

 

In the annals of our church history stands out one of the most prolific , yet not well-known, one on one interviews the church has ever had. The man inspired of our Lord to hand the mantle to another man, yet unfortunately it would end in bitterness and anguish by one man. In this post we will review this historic account of Pastor M.L. Andreasen and Minister Victor Houteff. There is a BIG lesson for us here. Let us carefully look at this lesson sent by God for our instruction.

“… you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” (John 8:32)

Amen. Anytime we get closer to the Truth, learn it, discover it, challenged by it,  get surprised by it  -we MUST embrace it! For the Lord also warned us in the counter verse —

“He will use every kind of evil deception to fool those on their way to destruction, because they refuse to love and accept the truth that would save them.” (2 Thes. 2:10)

By nearly all accounts Pastor and theologian Andreasen was a gifted man. Well versed in God’s word and given the ability to translate God’s word with motivating skill.

Briefly Wikipedia says —

“He was one of the Seventh-day Adventist church’s most prominent theologians during the 1930s and 1940s. Andreasen held to the belief that Christians can overcome sin, known popularly as Last Generation Theology, controversial for its views on atonement and salvation. Andreasen became well known for his protests against Seventh-day Adventist church leaders during the last years of his life.”

But what many do not know is that Andreasen’s change in dealing with the S.D.A church appears to be due, in a significant way,  to the aforesaid one on one interview.

Our story starts in 1928 when Andreasen authors one of the most profound books in our Advent history called “Isaiah the Gospel Prophet”.

Front Cover

Later in 1929 the subject of Isaiah’s chapters was the first quarter’s Sabbath School lesson. The lesson was largely based on Andreasen’s in-depth study of Isaiah.  In 1929  brother Houteff began to teach the Sabbath School lessons in Olympic Exposition Park S.D.A Church in 1929, Los Angeles. It is during that year that Victor began to see new understandings from this part of Scripture.

There is something different when you or I search the Scriptures, possibly being “inspired” by them or even led by them to know “all truth”. Yet when one is “chosen” of God it is on quite another level indeed!

“Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation. For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Spirit.”  (2 Peter 1:20-21)

As Houteff explained the lessons, word soon spread among the church members, that something special was going on. For as the year went on the crowd began to grow sizeably and they began to have two lessons even after church. Yet the leaders were not so humble to accept new revelations.

Victor explains —

“The enemies of the message then left nothing unturned in their search for something against me, rather than to make sure that they were not turning down Truth.  They tried every hook and crook to pin something on me and to stop my activities, but found nothing and as a rule about 30 members of the church stayed in my special meetings each Sabbath afternoon.  Then came the time that the elders of the church refused to let us use the church for our meetings, and they made us all get out.

  But one of the sisters who was living in a big house right across from the church offered her place for the meetings, and there was a great uproar among the people around the church premises.  Some were for us and some were against us.  So it was that the house across from the church was filled that afternoon and many listened from the outside through the windows.  The enemies failed to break up our meetings, and the victory was ours.

   Next they forbade us to attend their church services, and they began to disfellowship those who still wanted to attend our meetings.  They tried to deport me, too, but failed.  Then they endeavored to get a court order against any of us going to the church on Sabbath, but lost out.  Once they called the police to have me arrested on false charges that I was disturbing the meetings, but after the officers in the police station heard my story and the deacon’s charges against me, he commanded the two policemen who brought us to the station to put us in their car again, and to take us right back to the church where they picked me up!

   After this the elders endeavored to put me in an insane asylum.  The “city manager” of Glendale himself (a Seventh-day Adventist) had come to this church that Sabbath morning to lay down the charges and to see me carried away and locked in the asylum.  After talking with me for a few minutes, though, the officer did nothing but to tell me that he would not bother me again!  Then the 200 lb. city manager felt smaller than my 135 lb. weight.

   They did all these unbecoming things and many others; besides, they talked and preached against me.  And though I had no one but the Lord to defend me at any time, yet in all these the victory was mine!” (Timely Greetings, vol. 2, no.35, p.23)

So no doubt the beginning of the Lord’s final message of “Elijah”(Mal. 4:5) began with strong headwinds. No doubt the great enemy , Satan, knew full well he must start his counter attack. Thus, this was the way that M.L Andreasen and other top leaders reacted , generally, throughout the Seventh-day Adventist community. Not so much with the laity, which to a sizeable decree, began to accept or at least acknowledge some truth within the message known as the  “Shepherd’s Rod”.

Soon the message had gained  enough traction throughout the denomination that the leaders were forced to hold a formal meeting with Houteff to review his teachings. This was known as the famous sit down meeting to once and for all look at the Rod. It was held in Los Angeles in February 1934. But, as might be expected, this meeting ended in a fiasco, with an unbelievable S.D.A double-crossing of brother Houteff. This is documented.

For an in depth review of what took place see this Tract–

http://shepherds-rod.org/Tracts/trac007.html

The message was not to be deterred. For several years after this charade of an honest “get to the bottom of the Rod” meeting, the Rod only grew stronger. Andreasen no doubt was one of the concerned leaders watching from the sidelines as the S.D.A could not put down the Rod movement . In December of 1942 he decided to get involved and on behalf of the General Conference to go out — “bearding the lion in his den”. Let us read the GC’s  file letter to Andreasen,

“Dear brother Andreasen: Just a line to say that the brethren still want you to write the reply to the Shepherd’s Rod, and they believe you are the man who is best qualified to do this work. .. The committee has voted today to authorize you to make a trip to the headquarters of the Shepherd’s Rod movement in Texas at such time as you are able to arrange for an absence from the Seminary, and spend as much there as you think wise..

We believe your idea of going out and ‘bearding the lion in his den’ is a very excellent one, and we are just glad to cooperate with you  in this matter and in any other way that we can  in order to make your work an outstanding success.” (File letter from W.H. Branson, General Vice-President -GC to Andreasen , July 30, 1942 *)

So because the Lord’s Rod message was doing its intended work in His vineyard, the SDA leaders continued their impeding work, and finally found, they believed,  their man to quash the movement by exposing its error and deception. Andreasen would not only be able to hold his own against Houteff, but would prove his “false theories” as just that–false.The great savior had been found to “beard the lion”!

But stop and think about this brethren, here you have a movement that announces ” .. the chief object of this publication  is bring about a reformation among God’s people. (SRod, vol. 1 preface)

The Davidians goal was to “reform” God’s people, in dress, worship, health, study habits, etc. yet the S.D.A church was getting a “man who is best qualified to do this work” whom they thought would put the movement down! The cronyism and club, the S.D.A hierarchy,  was not about to be overturned, by any movement, even by one from God!

….To be continued

( * thanks to brother Garrick Augustus for providing information used in these two part posts. His new book —  “What every Seventh-day Adventist should know about the Shepherd’s Rod” an in-depth book on the historical relations between Adventists and the Shepherd’s Rod movement)

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