The Real Story behind the Waco Tragedy (Part 2 of 3)

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NOTE: Due to more information needed to be written we’ve expanded this post series to three parts

Before we begin, let’s recap what we learned from our last report. Victor Houteff established a large 380  plus acres property known as Mt. Carmel in Waco Texas in the mid 1930’s. His group was well organized and from all accounts –true Christian values and teachings were lived, written and preached from there. From there, many believe the Lord’s Rod message (Micah 6:9 and 7:14) was published and distributed as the “leaves of autumn”.

Benjamin Roden became interested in Houteff’s movement, yet soon he was discovered to have lacked normal basic Christian values, such as honesty and integrity. Witnesses came forward to warn of him, especially after Victor died. This was a time when Roden sprang into action, proclaiming himself the “true” Elijah prophet that would not die as Houteff did. In fact, he was so sure the Lord was leading him he left for Israel to set up the long-awaited pre-millennial kingdom but found failure.

After Roden had died, some knowledgeable and experienced people such as Davidian SDA leader  A. Anthony Hibbert wrote in his excellent book “Before the Flames” about Roden —

“Even some secular writers referred to Roden as a scholar. He possessed leadership qualities. He had the ability to influence minds, especially in biblical matters. But, while Houteff was alive, no would-be-prophet or leader dared promote his agenda. To the majority, it sooner or later became obvious that persons like Roden were looking for a following. No matter their scholarship , they could not challenge Houteff’s sagacity and theological prowess.

After all, he had secured their knowledge of the original, profound biblical themes. Doctrines that had appeared irrefutable and had caused scholars to muse. Themes that had stirred the Adventist denomination world-wide. Houteff had accomplished the impossible without a formal training in theology or attending any college or university.

Roden would be the first to launch a successful new movement. Within weeks of Houteff’s passing in February, 1955, Roden claimed the prophetic gift…. Unlike Houteff, Roden proclaimed  he would never die. He would finish the work and lead the 144,000 into Palestine. Roden drastically altered “The Shepherd’s Rod” message, adding and subtracting where he felt that it outdated or contradicted his own thinking. He began keeping the Old Testament ceremonial feasts, a practice which many Christians, including Houteff, had condemned.

His most outstanding claim however , was that he was “The Branch.” The “Branch” is an Old Testament, biblical expression for the Messiah.” … Ben Roden has been quoted saying, “get off the old Rod, and come on to the living Branch.” It simply meant that you needed a God-inspired interpreter to help you understand what the Bible or the forerunners wrote. That person was Roden.”(page 12-13, 21)

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(A. Anthony Hibbert)

Despite Roden’s grandiose ideas, he died in 1978. But his movement still proceeded forward despite his unexpected death. Unlike Houteff , who never said he would not die*, Roden was an opportunist at Houteff’s death, seizing the opportunity to win the confidence in those Davidians who were shaken by his untimely death. He saw himself an inspired prophet who thought nothing of thievery/incantation/self exaltation in order to advance his agenda.

Guess who would conveniently fulfill the next “prophet” role? None other than his wife–Lois. The above pink booklet is one of the Branch Davidian “inspired” writings of Lois Roden. (* “A Davidian Testimony”, p.172)

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Lois took the mantle from Ben and she wasted no time in concocting some doozies of her own, let us read for example some of her theology and reasoning for the Holy Spirit being Mother God and a female being. Her basic idea was just as the original human family existed in Eden, so too there is a heavenly family , God the Father, Holy Spirit the mother and Jesus the Son.

“Mrs. White revealed that there are THREE LIVING PERSONS OF THE GODHEAD, but she was not given light on the GENDER of the THIRD PERSON of the Heavenly Trio. The gender of the Father and Son are clearly taught in symbols throughout the Bible, but the nature of the Holy Spirit has been obscure and the GENDER not pronounced–not definite, “he” and “it” being used alternately as pronouns; wind, fire, water, breath, etc., are used as impersonal terms.

Persons have gender (male and female); therefore, the Bible gives the key to the gender of the Holy Spirit in Romans 1:20. “For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse.”

This Scripture says: “the invisible …Godhead” is “clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made” “from the Creation”….. So, the Creation Story tells us that a man and woman were made in the image of two members of the Godhead (Gen. 1:26,27) (“Let US make”); and that we are without excuse if we do not know there is male and female represented in the Godhead (The Trinity).

It is the Person of the Holy Spirit, (Whose IMAGE was Eve,) Whose “…glory of the uncorruptible God (the Holy Spirit)” was corrupted and CHANGED “into an IMAGE made LIKE TO CORRUPTIBLE MAN” (Rom. 1:23). “And even as they did not LIKE to RETAIN GOD in their knowledge, God gave them over to a REPROBATE MIND (saying that all three members of the Godhead are masculine) to do those things which are not convenient.” Rom. 1:28.

Therefore, God’s admonition to all who are guilty of this corrupt practice of changing the Image of the Holy Spirit to that of corruptible man is: “REPENT YE THEREFORE, and be converted, that yours sins may be blotted out, when the times of refreshing shall come from the presence of the Lord.” Acts 3:19. “And grieve not the holy Spirit of God, whereby ye are sealed unto the day of redemption.” Eph. 4:30.

In HER name Who is The Branch (Jer. 33:15,16), Lois I. Roden”   (Branch Field Letter, March 27, 1980)

So the movement continued to sail on. New members were brought in. Let’s briefly go back to part one where we talked of Roden being in the Texas court of Bill Logue. Don Adair sheds more light on another revelation of the Roden character.

“During the years from 1962 onward, … the battle for ownership of new Mt. Carmel Center continued in the Texas courts. Of thoses who wanted this property the most was Ben L. Roden. He told the Texas court that he should be the rightful owner of the new Mt. Carmel Center, because  he was Elijah the prophet who would never die! He even testified that he heard a voice from the Lord who said to him, “Brother Ben, you go to Waco and lead my people.”

And he sent a letter to all Davidians that he could (lead them),  telling them to ask the Texas court to apply their tithes  to the purchase of this property… He also wrote, “The Lord has seen fit to overrule and place the option to purchase New Mt. Carmel in our hands.” In the mean time, the Branch Davidians moved onto the property while the battle in the Texas courts continued.

On June 19, 1968 the sheriff was ordered to evict Ben Roden’s group, but they refused to leave. Somehow he gained control of New Mt. Carmel Center; where he setup his Branch headquarters for his office and printing literature. (A Davidian Testimony, p.244, parenthesis ours)

Once again the fruit of Roden’s character was exposed as rotten. A duly sworn and certified court in Texas had heard the case of ownership of the Mt. Carmel property, which Roden coveted, and had rejected the case for Roden as the rightful owner. True to form of his questionable past actions, he ignored the rule of law and took it by hook and crook. Just as with his habitual thievery, the ends justified the means.

Lois Roden was complicit in all these shenanigans, in fact some witnesses* think she was the real driving force behind Ben. That may be true due to the fact that she did not miss a beat in taking over the leadership mantle of the movement. (*Bro. Saether and Bro. Adair).

But to add even more troubling matters to the picture, Ben and Lois’ son George (below), became a real thorn in Lois’ side after Ben’s death and stayed that way to Lois’ death (1986).

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Adair explains —

“..the death of Ben Roden did not end his Branch movement, because his wife, Lois Roden, was already teaching her false doctrine in 1977  that the Holy Spirit was feminine, and that women should be ordained as ministers… it was known that his son George Roden expected to take control of new Mt. Carmel as its new prophet, because he faithfully followed his father over the years as his right hand man…But his mother, Lois Roden had other ideas, which I learned from other Davidians. She went to court in Waco to gain control of new Mt. Carmel Center; and because her son George caused a lot of trouble, she filed a court order to keep him off the property.

In spite of the trouble George caused her, she still had control of the Branch Davidians. She told them her husband said she was to take his place as prophetess of her movement….Mrs. Roden said shortly before her husband’s death, she had a vision that the Holy Spirit had a feminine personality.” (Ibid, p.294-295)

The nature of the Holy Spirit is a mystery. Men cannot explain it, because the Lord has not revealed it to them. Men having fanciful views may bring together passages of Scripture and put a human construction on them, but the acceptance of these views will not strengthen the church. Regarding such mysteries, which are too deep for human understanding, silence is golden. {AA 52.1}

Ok, so it is clear that once Ben Roden died , his wife carried on their work. Remember that Satan is too sneaky to be played with and those who do not walk with the Lord in trying to obey His holy Commandments, can hear an impostor’s voice. He found this zealous bright articulate couple with fertile imaginations, both of whom could care less about the basic Christian values of honesty, integrity, and Commandment keeping, to do his handiwork and to bring to fruition his ultimate goal.

The adversary’s next move would indeed prove instrumental in his purposes.

Lois Roden meets Vernon Howell (aka David Koresh).

Anthony Hibbert describes Howell and their relationship–

“By 1977, eighteen year old, Vernon, learned to play the guitar and became heavily involved in rock music. He also worked at mechanic shops and garages and did some landscaping and handyman work…the pivotal point of meeting 61 year-old Lois Roden set his sights and changed his life and the lives of others forever…He soon embraced the Branch dogmas and traveled with Roden to various  locations recruiting and shoring up parishioners. By 1983 he was her personal chauffeur and regular bed companion. Rumors testified that they were married… We had a good relationship” said Roden, “until he asked me put his name on the bank account.” (Before the Flames, p.23-24)

He goes on to describe the well-known areas of Howell/Koresh’s life– Rock music, multiple wives, young girl marriages, love of firearms, a series of adulteries, habitual smoking and beer, etc. but when Lois Roden died in 1986, this left Howell on his own to formulate and countermand the Branch theology (although not without a huge struggle with Lois’ son George) and remake it into his own ideas, just as Roden did with Victor Houteff’s original Davidian message. But just like Roden , Koresh was not successful in calling away mainstream Davidian Seventh-day Adventists to their Branch ideas.

Thus we see Satan’s baton passing from one usurper to succeeding ones. Ben, Lois and now Howell would complete his unholy work for all the world to see and achieve his main objective which we are closing in on.

At this point let us review what we have learned. Satan has known since the beginning God’s Word inside and out. Thus he knew very well that the Scriptures pointed to an end time prophet “Elijah” to come to God’s people with a final message.  He knows how to watch for clues, and watch he did! As he watched God’s remnant church — the SDA Church, it was when Victor Houteff ( a simple Sabbath School teacher) began to deliver interpretations never before known  nor understood of deep prophecies such as found in Ezekiel, Micah, Isaiah, Jeremiah, and especially Revelation concerning the “great and dreadful day of the Lord”, Satan pounced upon Houteff’s work! He knew he had the man and the movement and went to work.

Ben Roden was spoken to while Houteff was in his most productive years (the 40’s and early 50’s). He was under a car working on it, he said under oath testimony according to judge Logue, when he “heard” the Lord’s voice tell him he must go and lead God’s people. He then began to get involved in Houteff’s movement at the adversary’s leading. But as we have learned rotten fruit is always a poor indicator and clear sign that one is NOT working in concert with the Lord. And most especially not given the Spirit of Truth to write a special message from the Lord.

“Whoever conceals their sins does not prosper, but the one who confesses and renounces them finds mercy.” (Proverbs 28:13)

But Ben was fooled due to his own self-exaltation ideas of himself, similar to that of Saul. Satan had found his man and through him would prove successful to a large degree in obtaining his purpose. Once Roden died, the wife stepped right up and carried on this work. Once the wife died, Satan’s most useful and close associate–Koresh, would put the nail into the coffin so to speak.

To close out this part two we shall briefly address an issue that may be aroused in some Seventh-day Adventists who do not necessarily believe in the Lord’s Rod message as the Davidian SDA do.

If the Roden’s are looked at as infiltrators and heresy teachers by the Davidian SDA, then by the same token why do the DSDA charge crime against the SDA leaders for labeling the  DSDA as infiltrators and heresy teachers?  After all the DSDA add and subtract to the SDA doctrines just as the Branch added and subtracted to the DSDA message?  Ok, fair point.

First, on the point about Christian character, no one has ever denied nor proven that Victor Houteff was anything but an upright Christian walking in all the light God gave him–dress reform, diet reform, worship reform, strict Sabbath adherence, Commandment keeping and preaching, etc. This goes for all the residents on Mt. Carmel during Houteff’s tenure as leader. Witness after witness supported these sediments, as well as the city folk in Waco who did business with the Mt. Carmel residents as attested in bro. Saether’s memoirs, interview 8 and 9.

On the contrary, as we’ve shown the complete opposite existed for the Rodens. Despite their dogma’s their fruit was often exposed as rotten, thus canceling any “inspiration” from the Lord in any writings or such. The only conclusive evidence is the adversary put them up to it, to snag and snare. Houteff’s message was indeed countermanded and some indeed were snared, even to this day!

On doctrine, Roden is proven to be outside even mainstream Christian theological understanding, i.e. feast keeping, let alone apart from the Rod message. On this one salvational issue alone the Rod adherents are in the right to disqualify the Branch movement. Along with Apostle Paul’s numerous counsels, the Rod message clearly states we show “unbelief in Christ” should we keep the feasts as obligatory to honor the Lord today (TG, vol. 2, no. 37, p.12-15).

http://davidiantoday.org/en/document/book/show/2tg37

As far as the Davidian SDA teachings being against the SDA teachings, the Rod clearly shows that it believes in ALL fundamental beliefs as promoted by the SDA (when the Rod fundamental beliefs were written back in 1943). So contrary to the false narrative promoted by some deceiving SDA leaders, the DSDA agree with the FB’s of the SDA church. The difference comes that the DSDA have “supplemental beliefs” based on the understandings of prophecies, which often the SDA are either quiet about , ignore, or give an unbalanced viewpoint on and not supported by weight of evidence (Scripture and SOP).

The Rod message welcomes any and all to investigate those supplemental beliefs and  a) prove them wrong b) provide something better from Scripture  c) or else jump aboard the blazing light of Truth!

So the comparison is not accurate in many respects. The SDA church has no Scriptural basis to accuse the Davidian Seventh-day Adventists of countermanding the SDA  teachings/doctrine. On the contrary they add very substantial revelations of truth , which our Lord called ” extra oil” in His parable of the 10 virgins.

After all it was not Victor Houteff who said “Hear ye the Rod”  it was the Lord who “crieth unto the city” (Micah 6:9 ) .

Those FB’s and supplementals can be found here–

http://davidiantoday.org/en/blog/show/fundamental-beliefs-of-davidian-seventh-day-adventists

Next week we’ll close out with part 3  and show the purpose of this whole fiasco and how it ties into the Seventh-day Adventist church, even to this very day.

“The present attitude of the church is not pleasing to God.  There has come in a self-confidence that has led them to feel no necessity for more truth and greater light.  We are living at a time when Satan is at work on the right hand and on the left, before and behind us; and yet as a people we are asleep.  God wills that a voice shall be heard arousing His people to action.” — Testimonies, Vol. 5, p. 709. (See also Gospel Workers, p. 300.)

4 Responses to “The Real Story behind the Waco Tragedy (Part 2 of 3)”

  1. Wilfred Says:

    A very candid expose of the whole story!it is now open for all to see!

  2. godsloveandlaw Says:

    Amen bro, and thank you for your continued faithful readership. The world needs to know, and especially the brethren in our SDA church–the whole truth.

  3. vegaraw Says:

    Please note for correction:

    1. From there, many believe the Lord’s Rod message (Micah 6:9 and 7:14) was published and distributed as the “leaves of autumn”. -> This sentence seems so say that people believe the Lord’s message was published, instead of they believe in the Lord’s message full stop. Which one did you mean?
    2. 144’00
    3. of her own ,let -> remove the space
    4. heavenly family , -> same
    5. of thoses who
    6. until he asked me (to?) put his name
    7. serial adulterer -> From the sentence structure “series of adulteries” would sound better
    8. God’s remnant church (-) the SDA Church
    9. Once Roden died(,) the wife
    10. briefly address a(n) issue
    11. ie feast keeping -> i.e.

  4. godsloveandlaw Says:

    Ok, will get er done as they say 🙂
    Note: no. 1 was written as intended.

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