*Dear Church Member:
You doubtless know that in the last few years our churches have been invaded,
as it were, by a group known as Davidian Seventh-
Soon after our work began, we found that the greater number of Rodists were underground readers and believers. And though those who came out openly for the Rod and were consequently cast out of the churches, yet they, too, are still in the churches, walking side
by side with the members! These lines, therefore, are addressed to you because we feel sure that you are mindful of God's voice and are anxious to do the right thing at the right time in coming up to the help of the Lord.
As we observed the trouble our people were in, we thought it wise to make a more
thorough investigation of the Rod's fast-
RESEARCH COMMITTEE OF
*The above letter was inserted into this tract.
FIRST REPORT OF UN-
This is the complete summary of our findings while probing The Shepherd's Rod infiltration and activities in our churches, also the opinions of men who study and think for themselves, be they wrong or be they right.
Soon after our committee's work began all of us became convinced that there are more Rodists in our churches than it actually appears and that many others could in one way or another be considered at least sympathizers. This will be seen from the rebuke which we faced everywhere we went. We were confronted with talk backed by references such as the following:
Many of our deep thinking men said, "The successful Rod infiltration is due to our manner of dealing with Its adherers." They said, "It is because we have injudiciously made our teachings appear inconsistent and our dealings unfair so as to create doubts of our sincerity. Having always protested against those who
thought it wise to cast out from among their midst those whom they thought were in error, and now ourselves doing the same as they did is not helping our people. The laity," they said, "are therefore losing confidence in the leading men."
Others said, "The Rod's success is due to our neglecting strictly to abide by the Lord's command, to let the wheat and the tares grow together until the harvest; that our saying the harvest is not yet come makes us liars as long as we continue casting out the Rod tares." Still others thought that our casting out the Rods is nothing short of usurping the angel's place, that this is no small sin and we are paying for it. A number of them read to us, and others quoted the following:
"...The Lord forbids us to proceed in any violent way against those whom we think
erring, and we are not to deal out excommunications and denunciations to those who
are faulty.'' -
"...The work of separation is given to the angels of God, and not committed into
the hands of any man." -
I was told time and again that our unmindfulness
of the Lord is our greatest mistake. Then they read this:
"...We are not to think, as did the Jews, that our own ideas and opinions are
infallible; not with the papists, that certain individuals are the sole guardians
of truth and knowledge, that men have no right to search the Scriptures for themselves,
but must accept the explanations given by the Fathers of the church...." -
"You can see from these passages," they told us, "that unless we heed the warnings from God we are liable to fall into the same mistakes as did all who thought themselves rich and in need of nothing more, and who as a result rejected God's messengers, and warned their flocks against His messages.
"We have paid dearly already," they continued, "but if we do not now at this very moment, and at this late hour change our minds from feeling in need of nothing, and if we do not acknowledge that we are indeed 'wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked, in need of everything, as the Lord says we are, then as sure as God lives, our end shall be a thousand times worse than the end of any evildoers who have gone before
us. The Shepherd's Rod is winning," they said, "because of our 'lukewarm' (contented)
"'Precious light is to shine forth from the word of God, and let no one presume
to dictate what shall or what shall not be brought before the people in the messages
of enlightenment that He shall send, and so quench the Spirit of God. Whatever may
be his position of authority, no one has a right to shut away the light from the
people. When a message comes in the name of the Lord to His people, no one may excuse
himself from an investigation of its claims. No one can afford to stand back in
an attitude of indifference and self-
for I know that it cannot be truth." It was from pursuing this very course that
the popular churches were left in partial darkness, and that is why the messages
of heaven have not reached them.' -
"'...This message [the Loud Cry] seemed to be an addition to the third message,
joining it as the midnight cry joined the second angels' message in 1844....' -
"If the Loud Cry message is an addition to the Third message," they declared,
"then why are we not expecting it and praying for it? Why are we not searching for
it? And how shall we find it if we do not even so much as look into another man's
work, especially when it springs up right from the midst of us, and in the name of
the Lord? The 'addition,' we ought to know, will not come down to us in a parachute,
no, no more than the first part of the first angel's message came down in a parachute.
It is to come through some individual for sure. Such an have-
God's messages ever reaching us. Pray, pray, but think and study too."
A great number of such loud-
"'The rebuke of the Lord will rest upon those who would bar the way, that clearer
light shall not come to the people. A great work is to be done, and God sees that
our leading men have need of more light, that they may unite with the messengers
whom He sends to accomplish the work that He designs shall be done...' -
Thus they insisted that God wants our leading men to unite with the messengers whom He sends, not the messengers to unite with the leading men.
By another group we were told: "The cry that we have all the Truth to carry us to the Kingdom, and our stubborn
position that we have need of nothing more, notwithstanding the grim fact that we are unable to meet the pestering Rod, and that we run away from It even though we are the ones who carry a big stick on our shoulders, is the best admission that we are badly in need of something which we do not now possess; that if we do not get hold of that something, the Rod will soon have us all bowing down to it while we hoodoo and boodoo at it day and night. In such an event if the Rod is from the Devil, then the Devil will have us all in hell; and if the Rod is from God, and if It takes us while we war against It, then It will condemn us and send us all to hell! From this irrefutable logic, it is positive that we are fighting a losing battle, be the Rod right or be it wrong. "
Nearly all insisted that our running away from the Rod and warning others to keep away from It, is stupid. "Why not face It?" they asked, then went on saying: "Has not God told us to try the spirits (1 John 4:1)? And to hold fast to that which is good (1 Thess. 5:21)? Why are we not mindful of Him? Is it possible that we should know better than He! Try the spirit of the Rod. If It be of God, take It; and if It be not of Him, prove it.
Since closing our eyes against the Rod has not caused It to disappear, or to cease
haunting us, we ought to know by now that our closed-
These paragraphs were read to us by many:
"No one should claim that he has all the light there is for God's people. The Lord will not tolerate this. He has said, 'I have set before thee an open door, and no man can shut it.' Even if all our leading men should refuse light and truth, that door will still remain open. The Lord will raise up men who will give the people the message for this time.
"Truth is eternal, and conflict with error will only make manifest its strength. We should never refuse to examine the Scriptures with those who, we have reason to believe, desire to know what is truth. Suppose a brother
hold a view that differed from yours, and he should come to you, proposing that you
sit down with him and make an investigation of that point in the Scriptures; should
you rise up, filled with prejudice, and condemn his ideas, while refusing to give
him a candid hearing? The only right way would be to sit down as Christians, and
investigate the position presented, in the light of God's word, which will reveal
truth and unmask error. To ridicule his ideas would not weaken his position in the
least if it were false, or strengthen your position if it were true. If the pillars
of our faith will not stand the test of investigation, it is time that we knew it.
There must be no spirit of Pharisaism cherished among us" -
Nearly all who spoke of these paragraphs closed with the following comments: "It
was this very principle," they said, "that we stood for when we became Adventists.
Had it not been for our doing so, we would have still been what we were before the
light came to us. And who persuaded us to follow this Divine principle? -
was by personal examination, independent of priest or prelate, that we found the
truth of the Judgment of the dead (the first angel's message, Rev. 14:7 in its indirect
application), it must also be by independent personal examination that we shall find
the truth of the Judgment of the living (the first angel's message in its direct
application). The acceptance of Truth has never been a collective work and duty,
and it never will be. Do not fool yourself in this, and do not let others fool you,
either. Mind what the Word says, not what man says or things. If we fail in this,
then as surely as Heaven stands, we are to lose out. How could it be otherwise as
long as we pay no attention to Inspiration's warning? Why not look back and take
to heart the sad story of those who have gone before us?" These concluded by saying,
"Be it therefore understood that our Roman-
Even a greater number than the group just referred to, and with still more emphatic talk, commented: "Disregarding Inspiration's warnings the church is without even a thought vehemently driving out those who would dare to read
The Shepherd's Rod literature." We were also told that the church is "acting worse toward the Rodists than did the Jews toward the apostles; that by driving them out from among us for their teaching the purification of the church exactly as the Spirit of Prophecy teaches it, we make ourselves inconsistent unless we throw out the Spirit of Prophecy also. "Do you not see, we were asked, "how inconsistent we are, and how devilish our spirit is in this respect? Do you then expect a just God to bless our unjust deeds? Testimonies, Vol. 5, p. 80, says that the purification is 'hastening on apace.' Are we looking for the Lord to come soon? Then we must look for the purification of the church to come sooner."
Some came to us with the following quotations and comments:
"...The call to this great and solemn work was presented to men of learning the
position; had these been little in their own eyes, and trusted fully in the Lord,
he would have honored them with bearing his standard in triumph to the victory....
They did not keep pace with the light..." -
"If they have not kept pace with the light, then how are they to give the light?
they asked. "Then, too, those who tell us to listen to none but them, are doing
the very thing that Christ condemned when He said: 'Woe unto you, lawyers! for ye
have taken away the key of knowledge: ye entered not in yourselves, and them that
were entering in ye hindered. -
Another group insisted that we stay and listen to the following:
"...Some of our leading brethren have frequently taken their position on the wrong
side; and if God would send a message and wait for these older brethren to open the
way for its advancement, it would never reach the people...." -
"The Lord often works where we least expect Him; He surprises us by revealing
His power through instruments of His own choice, while He passes by the men to whom
we have looked as those through whom light should come. God desires us to receive
the truth upon its own merits, -
"...Let me tell you that the Lord will work in this last work in a manner very
much out of the common order of things, and in a way that will be contrary to any
human planning. There will be those among us who will always want to control the
work of God, to dictate even what movements shall be made when the work goes forward
under the direction of the angel who joins the third angel in the message to be given
to the world. God will use ways and means by which it will be seen that He is taking
the reins in His own hands...." -
"In every age there is a new development of truth, a message of God to the people
of that generation. The old truths are all essential; new truth is not independent
of the old, but an unfolding of it. It is only as the old truths are understood that
we can comprehend the new. "-
"Can we honestly assume," they asked, "that the Lord can possibly finish His work
on earth with us Laodiceans as long as we stay blind? And who shall open our eyes
if not the Lord by fresh 'eyesalve' (Rev. 3:18)? Has the Lord no fresh Truth -
to meet the needs of His people at this particular time? Has He forsaken the earth? And how will He judge the living without a message declaring that their cases are now to appear before God? Since we have a message for the Judgment of the dead, is it not logical and even more essential that we should have a message for the Judgment of the living? Is not the latter more important than the former? And how will we know when it comes if we keep our eyes and ears closed? If we do not change our present stale of mind, how shall we believe even if we should accidentally hear that the message is come? "
Still another group asked these questions: "If God leaves His church ignorant of the greatest event of all time (the Judgment of the living), what truth shall she proclaim during that hour of need? The Judgment of the dead, you certainly know," they said, "could not then be present Truth any more than Noah's announcement of the flood could be present Truth now. Would the Judge of Heaven condemn one without trial? And how shall He judge him without summons?"
A large number of men expressed themselves thus: "If the Judgment of
the dead is a work that separates in the books the good from the bad, -
"The third angel's message is to lighten the earth with its glory; but only those who have withstood temptation in the strength of the Mighty One will be permitted to act a part in proclaiming it [the third angel's message] when it shall have swelled into the loud cry."
Then they followed with these comments: "Since we cannot conscientiously deny any of his, why, then, are we driving out the Rod believers for calling our attention to these things? Are we not defeating our own purpose and refuting our own message? And are we not making impossible our ever teaching the Judgment of the living? May God have mercy on us for our having allowed the spirit of the Devil to rule in our hearts and lives.
"Brother," they continued, "now is our opportunity to think deeper than ever before. We need to think, we need to get down to business. We need to awake lest we sleep forever. We should no longer deceive ourselves by holding to our lukewarm attitude that we 'have need of nothing.' The Lord is not lying nor is He mistaken in His warning that we have need of everything, and that if we do not get up right now and begin to search for something other than what we now possess, we will starve for Truth after the Judgment of the dead is over. And since He will have no dead horses in His 'barn' He will certainly 'spue' (throw) us out. And where will we then be!" This group concluded with, "O, what a sad commentary
and what spiritual bankruptcy that would be!"
In still other places we were told: "Though we shout to the top of our voices,
and though the whole world hear us demanding that the tares stay in the churches
until the close of probation, yet when we awake from our day-
Now that we have candidly and honestly though briefly, related to you what we
as committee gathered from multitudes of Seventh-
shall proceed to give you the committee's latest and personal opinion of the Denomination's plight and her remedy. We, the committee, are not the only ones who are thus convinced, either. Thousands know that we as a people are deeply asleep, and badly deceived; that it is doubtful that even a bomb could awaken us. Do you say no? Let us see:
We hold that the Denomination now numbers nearly a million members, and we have
set our goal to double the membership. We brag about our achievements with emphasis
that God is blessing us. It all sounds good and makes us feel happy. Too, the whole
Denomination admits that the greatest part of the work is yet to be done -
Then, too, we teach that when Jesus comes, there will be only 144,000 living
saints, and no more! Will you then in the Spirit of Christ and for your own soul's sake, take paper and pencil and figure the percentage of saints and the percentage of devils, or tares, that now constitute the membership of our churches? Well, since the membership now numbers no less than 800,000, and if there be only 144,000 saints in it, then according to this ratio a congregation of 100 members would consist of about 18 saints and 82 devils! And since the officers who run the churches are elected by the majority vote, do you see, who elected them, who is in office, and who is in control of the churches? Do you wonder then why things are running as they are?
If it be true that there are to be only 144,000 living saints when Jesus comes, and if we double the membership by the end of 1953 or 1954 as the aim seems to be, then at that rate in 1955 there will be 9 saints and 91 devils out of every one hundred members. And if we double the membership several times before Jesus comes to receive His church, then there will a not be even one saint in a hundred members! Accordingly, whose church is the church? the Devil's? or the
Lord's? and where shall He look for it when He comes? If, in spite of these sad facts, Brethren, you continue to say that we are not asleep, that our interpretation of the Word is unquestionable, that we have need of nothing more, that we have all the truth to take us through the Pearly Gales, then there is no hope; you are too far gone.
We, the committee, now personally know and have seen with our own eyes, though,
that there are many who are not so badly fooled, who have not bowed the knee to Baal,
who have not permitted themselves to be locked in corrals as it were like sheep and
cattle, by impostors who are controlling and feeding the flock of God with the lowest
grade of husks they can possibly fetch. We hope these husk-
Why are we bringing more people into our churches if we positively know that only 144,000 out of a vast multitude of church members are to be worthy of translation? Why are we bringing them into the church, and why are we giving
them hope of being in the Kingdom while we positively believe that they cannot be saved? Is not such an ingathering the lowest form of outright deception and the greatest endeavor to infiltrate the church with tares ever heard of?
To cover up the deep slumber that is reflected by the aforesaid figures, a minister explained that when the work closes there would be in the church more than 144,000 living saints, but rather than being translated, the greater number of them will have to die from the plagues or from epidemics before Jesus comes because they could not be good enough for translation although perfect enough for resurrection!
"Is this doctrine approved by the Denomination, or is it some one's private opinion?" we asked. Then after long silence one with authority said: 'None of these are denominational; these spurious doctrines are the opinions of a man here and of a man there. One saying one thing and another saying another thing. Hardly two give the same answer to questions on any of these heretofore unrevealed doctrines, yet they are all sure that what they say is the pure truth! These men of diverse
and divided opinions are not only freely allowed to teach their hell-
What is really surprising, though, is that there are many, especially of the laity, who, without a question and with their eyes closed, like birds in a nest, swallow whatever is handed to them. They are too lazy to think, and too drowsy to open their eyes to study for themselves. They expect the minister to carry them in his arms right into Heaven."
Their taking in outright unauthoritative doctrines and private (uninspired) interpretations
of the Scriptures, such as these blind teachers teach concerning the 144,000, is
incredible indeed. They should know that all such perpetrators are certainly agents
time in Babylon, the world, and thus subject to the plagues, are called out, and as they all come out of her, they all escape the plagues (Rev. 18:4); none have to die for any reason. They all know that if they are good enough to come up in the first resurrection, they are good enough for translation.
Ridiculous it is to say that the standard of salvation is lower for the resurrected ones than it is for the translated! And what damnation for anyone adding such a strange thing to the Word of God!
These heresy teachers should be helped by compelling them to prove their teachings by the Bible; for such strange, inconsistent and erroneous theology is heresy of the lowest type. Notwithstanding that it is downright blasphemy, yet it is permitted to be taught while fighting Truth to keep the people ignorant of It!
We as a committee at last know that what the Rod teaches, It proves. And that is the very reason that these heresy teachers, who have infiltrated the church today with tares in no lesser degree than did the heresy teachers in Christ's time, are warning all not to read the Rod, but to burn It, and to refuse to take It. If
there is any wisdom in them they should know that their wool-
Thanks be to God that the 144,000 are not all the living saints, that they are
but the "first fruits" (Rev. 14:4) of the great harvest. Moreover, they are not
from all nations, but only from the twelve tribes of the children of Israel (from
the church at the commencement of the harvest -
Thanks be to God that He will have a church filled with saints, not with devils. That none have to die to be saved but all will live to be delivered by Michael's standing up (Dan. 12:1).
"Thy people also shall be all righteous:
cond fruits, just as does the term "first resurrection" (Rev. 20:5) definitely imply that there
they shall inherit the land for ever, the branch of my planting, the work of my hands, that I may be glorified. A little one shall become a , and a small one a strong nation: I the Lord will hasten it in his time." Isa. 60:21, 22.
It is our duty brother, sister, to tell those hthousanderesy teachers that the term "first fruits" definitely implies that there are to be se is to be a second resurrection. Tell them that they had better not meddle with the Word of God. Tell them that since Inspiration does not say that the great multitude are the resurrected ones, they have no right to say that they are the resurrected. Tell them that their adding the word "resurrected," and their taking away the words "second fruits" which are implied by the term "first fruits," is nothing short of deliberately adding to, and taking from, the Word of God.
"For," says the Lord, "I testify unto every man that heareth the words of the prophecy of this book, If any man shall add unto these things, God shall add unto him the plagues that are written in
this book: and if any man shall take away from the words of the book of this prophecy,
God shall take away his part out of the book of life, and out of the holy city, and
from the things which are written in this book. He which testifieth these things
saith, Surely I come quickly. Amen. Even so, come, Lord Jesus." Rev. 22:18-
Moreover, every tirade waged against the Rod that we personally witnessed was
a boost for the Rod and a knock-
White's writings is not doing harm to the Rod but, in effect, is wresting and extirpating
the Scriptures by the use of Sister White's writings just as the Jews wrested Moses'
writings in an endeavor to contradict Christ's teachings. These are even worse than
All of us felt positive that if the laity allow these blind and hostile but pious
men to go on with their foolishness and blasphemies they will prove no less detrimental
to the church at this time than did the pious priests in Christ's time by their foolishness
prove detrimental to the Old Testament church. Yes, as surely as God lives, the
foolishness and self-
Brethren, this alone is enough to convince any open-
"without chart or compass." But thanks be to God that the Rod has found both the "chart and the compass," and that we can have them back if we want them.
Since the church as a body has never since the beginning of the world accepted a new message, the decision, as always, must be altogether an individual matter. But remember that your decision is not to be that of joining something else, but of joining Christ and His Judgment message for the salvation and prosperity of the Denomination. Stay in it and work for its return to God.
What we have presented in these pages are the faithful findings and the unanimous
and final, prayerful decision of the entire committee, whose decision by extensive
study and much prayer was based on world-
brought out in this work of investigation, and if you pray for forgiveness and for
guidance, then happy shall you be, and your hope shall not be in vain. But if this
report fails to open your eyes, then what hope is there for you but forever to abide
in your self-
The committee's recommendation for the Laodicean malady is, therefore, this:
"Pray without ceasing. In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God
in Christ Jesus concerning you. Quench not the Spirit. Despise not prophesyings.
Prove all things; hold fast that which is good." 1 Thess. 5:17-
Do as the noble Bereans who "received the Word with all readiness of mind, and searched the Scriptures daily, whether those things were so." Acts 17:11.
"Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation." 2 Peter 1:20.
Cease from all Un-
working through everyone who engages in private interpretations of the Scriptures,
heresy, falsehood, and character defamation -
"Cease ye from man, whose breath is in his nostrils: for wherein is he to be accounted of?" Isa. 2:22.
In seeking out the truth of this or any other disputed question, the words of Elder Froom stand forth as a guidepost of wisdom:
"The stifling of discussion is contrary to the very genius of both civil and religious liberty, for truth is a living, expanding principle. Repression of discussion is ever characteristic of autocracy, with its centralized power of the fear of disturbing the status quo. History marks it as notoriously the tool of tyranny and the instrument of error. Controversy occupied a large part of the formation of the New Testament canon. Debate sifts fallacy from fact and error from truth; but stagnating conservatism with its accompanying frown upon discussion, tends toward ultimate uncertainty and disaster; and
repression of investigation often ends in upheaval." -