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

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

Let’s review part one of our interview post. We found that the General Conference was basically firmly against the message of the Shepherd’s Rod. The leading men were against it from it’s inception when brother Houteff began to lead the Sabbath School lessons in 1929.

But the message did not fade away, for it gained such traction that the GC leaders needed a man to meet with Houteff and expose his movement as not of God. They had tried once before in setting up a meeting with VTH to “go over” his doctrines in a formal meeting. This ended in a total failure as the S.D.A leaders were later found out to have double crossed Houteff. This so called “get to the bottom of his teachings” meeting was smoke screen to show the gullible people that the teachings had been looked into and found wanting.

S.D.A and D.S.D.A historical accounts show that while this Los Angeles meeting was going on, GC leaders were back east in Washington D.C discussing strategies to put down the Shepherd’s Rod movement.

The man who they selected to “beard the lion” was M.L. Andreasen, the top respected scholar of the day.

Before we go further let’s review God’s word about how to tell if a movement is from Him.

“And now I say unto you, Refrain from these men, and let them alone: for if this counsel or this work be of men, it will come to nought: But if it be of God, ye cannot overthrow it; lest haply ye be found even to fight against God.” (Acts 5:38-39)

The interview took place December 15th and 16th, 1942. Brother Andreasen arrived at the official headquarters of the Davidian movement, known predominantly at that time as the Shepherd’s Rod group or people. (Note: for those who may not be aware, the Davidian Seventh-day Adventists are NOT the Branch Davidians, those well known for the Waco disaster in 1993. See our post we made in 2012 for information on this often confusing subject)

https://godsloveandlaw.com/2012/11/17/original-davidians-are-not-branch-davidians/

The two men met and then soon went into the reception room and sat down for the discussion. Andreasen took careful notes and later sent a full report to headquarters giving his first hand account of the meeting. The full transcript can be viewed on the aforementioned book in part one. Brother Augustus has compiled a comprehensive historical account of this meeting along with much history between the S.D.A and the D.S.D.A (A link for the purchase of the book will be provided at end of this post)

After describing the place (Mt. Carmel headquarters) in his report he says “ The most satisfactory part of the interview concerned the matter for which the interview had been sought: that of confirmation on his part that the public statements published in the two volumes of the “Shepherd’s Rod” were still his belief and teaching.”

We can see that M.L was attempting to verify whether VTH had changed his mind about what he had written. To this Houteff responded, “We do not work that way. We do not claim the words are inspired , but the idea is. We do not change our teaching, and have not done so. What is published we still stand by and always will.”

Thus, M.L was firmly handed his response. But being sent by the GC and knowing his goal to accomplish, M.L wrote his report in a slant that was appealing to the higher-ups, and we don’t mean God. This will become clear as we review it.

As brother Augustus pointed out in his book, when one wants to make of no effect someone’s work or art, they usually first try to destroy their image, paint them in a bad light to lessen their impact as good people or their work as good works. In fact the message tells us this very same ploy —

“..since the Enemy cannot get around the Truth, he does all he can to blacken character and to pick flaws in personalities.” (General Conference Special, p.8)

So M.L begins early in his report to start this blacken character work. He points out that a certain disgruntled former follower “Hazel Hendricks”, had written a small book describing what she thought were error and falsehood in the SRod. But M.L. discussed the accusations of “whippings” and other terrible treatments of the young children on the grounds. But when M.L brought this up, VTH denied it and offered to bring the children right then and there to clear it. This was not pursued by M.L.

Quick note on Hazel. Sister Bonnie Smith, who is still proclaiming the message at 88, personally told this author aobut the last time she saw Hazel Hendricks. It was at a Sabbath lunch and the two discussed their past. Mrs. Hendricks confided in sister Bonnie, that looking back she made a mistake and regretted what she had done. To this sister Bonnie told her it was not too late to make amends, of which Hazel could never (as far as we know publicly) come clean and repent. So sad when pride hinders us!

After this unsettling blow, M.L decides to further deride Houteff. “The writings of Mr. Houteff, which I have examined for the last few months somewhat critically, bear the evidence of a confused mind. He gives some very fantastic interpretations of the Scriptures, sometimes quoting the writings of Mrs. White, and at other times giving no authority whatsoever, except his own inferred inspiration.

He then goes on to basically mock interpretations such as Ezek. 4:9-17, Isaiah 7:21-22. However, while noting them as “fantastic” M.L gives no other idea as to their meaning. Thus, M.L sits upon the throne of judgment and renders a judgment without reasoning! In other words, Houteff is wrong but he doesn’t know why. They are just “fantastic”.

Continuing on in his black report, he then says, “The truth is while the majority of persons deceived by the “Shepherd’s Rod” are people that this denomination is better off without, there are some we cannot afford to lose.”  Huh?? With a wave of his hand M.L. judges the thousands of people who accepted the Rod as unworthy! If this is not mounting the judgment throne, tell us what is? The plain God’s truth is that there should be MORE Davidians among us today! Those who walk the talk.

“Judge not, that ye be not judged. For with what judgment ye judge, ye shall be judged: and with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you again.” (Matt. 7:1-2)

However, at this point Andreasen has his first reflective moment. He may have been dwelling on the call for reformation that the Rod declares, he says, “Honest people are led astray by the call of the “Shepherd’s Rod” to reform, and by their pointing out practices that we do not countenance, and which yet exist within the denomination. The only safe way to meet this is that we examine thoroughly the things that need rectification and make a determined   and honest effort to eliminate all that will not stand the light of investigation.

To me it seems entirely inadequate to denounce the “Rod” people for their many errors if we do not profit by criticisms made.”

Next he goes into lamentation about what the S.D.A church is lacking. At this point , there can be no doubt that during the interview Houteff has struck a nerve. As we continue this will become more prevalent.

“The field is divided  on the subject of the Trinity. The vital doctrine of the 144,000 has ceased to be preached. Fantastic theories in regard to war.Hitler, and the future are being promulgated. The battle of Armageddon is a present source of discussion, and unauthorized books appear. The ever present question of the position which sister White should hold among us is a prolific cause of difficulty.

Our stand upon religious liberty, noncombatancy, health reform, recreation, amusements, Sabbath-keeping, the nearness of the Lord, are being discussed and questioned. while some of these questions may seem less important, others are vitally  significant. The fact remains that, in the matter of Bible study, — I mean official, authorized study– we are doing very little…

Mr, Houteff raised, decidedly, the question of our lack of unity and our spiritual impotency.”

At this point we clearly start to see that M.L. is reflecting on brother Houteff’s points and if the S.D.A church condemns the Rod’s position on reforms, then it cannot stand innocent if what is said is the truth.

Continuing on about what the Rod teaches, he says, “The “Shepherd’s Rod” makes much of the buying and selling going on in our churches on the Sabbath. I do not think we can defend this practice. Indeed, we do not defend it, but rather condemn it, as our resolutions show. But the practice continues… For years we have been advocating the need for revival and reformation… I conceive it to be a duty of the church in its official capacity to take action in this matter.”

What we have here is Andreasen basically echoing what the Rod proclaims. Yet, he cannot bring himself to concur with the movement, lest he forget what his mission is. At this point M.L. reverts back to his blacken mission course.

“In the first volume of the “Shepherd’s Rod” publication, there is what is called a partial list of sins of the Adventist church. Twelve sins are mentioned. This list is enlarged in later publications. Some of these so-called sins are trivial, some are not so trivial. They themselves are guilty of most of them, and of many more. In reality, their whole movement is unwholesome, illiterate, presumptive and, I am afraid, corrupt and devilish. This , however, does not help our case any.” 

Blacken is the correct word we read here. M.L. is planting his seeds of doubt strong and unmistakable,  “unwholesome, illiterate, presumptive and, I am afraid, corrupt and devilish.” 

Yet no where in this report does Andreasen establish the Scriptural reasons for the so-called false doctrines. Nor does he explain why the movement is so “devilish”. It’s an unambitious  black charge for the sake of tarnishment. The same unholy works the S.D.A leaders have promulgated since the Rod came on the scene. Except this time the church thought they could use the “master scholar” as their testimony to the ignorant and unaware in God’s church. It back fired!

After letting his best blacken charge stand, mysteriously he again reverts back to acknowledging the Rod’s points. It seems a real spiritual struggle is going on within Andreasen now. He has been awaken by the “lion” whom he said he would “beard”, meaning expose and conquer in the written report. Now the lion has made him reflect and he finishes his report with a rebuke of the then current S.D.A church condition!

“If we answer one charge on which we are sure and omit others, we give them weapons against us which we can ill afford to give them. Should they merely list the things we must, of necessity, omit in our answer, this list will expose our weakness. The question, “why have we not answered all the charges” will naturally arise in the mind of the reader. And we are not prepared to answer them until we have done some housecleaning… the opinion prevails that the General Conference is not interested in Bible study as such; that it is each man for himself, with the General Conference a mere onlooker. 

I have not written this , brethren,  without some trepidation and fear and a great deal of prayer. I might consider it none of my business;and I should  not have rushed in where angels might well fear to tread had I not been asked to do investigate the “Shepherd’s Rod.” Having been asked to do this work, I knew I would have to make some kind of report. I feared that I would find some charges that I could not refute and, wishing to do an honest piece of work, I could not ignore them.  So I am in a dilemma…

If I were to write an answer to the charges of the “shepherd’s Rod”, I would have  to omit  some of the most serious indictments they level against us– charges of conditions which we ourselves deplore, but do little about. But to do this would invite defeat… The truth is, brethren that this denomination is ripe for a revival and reformation such as we have never seen, and we are all looking to you for its inauguration… There are sins in Israel that can only be corrected by men in official positions…

I believe that I am beginning to understand when sister White says, “I seldom weep, but now I find my eyes blinded with tears; they are falling upon my paper as I write.” …

Sincerely your brother, 

M.L. Andreasen”

Wow, what we have witnessed in this report is truly eye-opening! The great S.D.A savior who was to go into the “lion’s den” and come out victorious, instead came out as a dog with his tail between his legs! He conscience was greatly affected by this interview and thus he ended up making the whole case for the Rod movement–reformation!

Sadly, M.L. Andreasen never did accept the Lord’s Rod message (Micah 6:9 and Mal. 4:5) as far as we know. He became involved in trying to correct some of the wrongs within the S.D.A church in the latter years of his life and was largely an outcast for it. Plainly then it appears this interview, whom many believe was with the last prophet to be sent to the S.D.A church, dramatically affected him from then on.

The whole lesson here is that God works for his people and yet the leaders are often the very ones who reject the message God’s gives. Now is our time to work brethren, let us learn from this very important lesson God sent us.

“These things happened to them as examples for us. They were written down to warn us who live at the end of the age.” (1 Cor. 10:11)

(For those interested in brother Augustus’ book  —  https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/what-every-seventh-day-adventist-should-know-about-the-shepherds-rod-garrick-d-augustus/1129276750?ean=9781491784006 )

 

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