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A question about the Shepperd's Rod and Reform Movement (and whatever movement I have not mentioned but may need to know about)

This is a request for information, not an attempt to start a pointless debate.

Is there a reasonably simple, "sanitized" source of information about the Shepherd’s Rod and Reform Movement message? I wish to understand what they teach, without being troubled by their negative campaign against the SDA church, and their usual efforts to try to confuse the issues.

As I make SDA friends online, I am finding that many of them are of those persuasions, so instead of simply avoiding them as I usually do (and was taught to do), I wish to understand them, as impartially as possible. I am disappointed by the efforts of some of them to not exactly admit what they are, when I ask them directly, but I am refreshed by those who have told me plainly what they are, with no apparent dishonesty.

I am familiar with the documents from the Biblical Research institute, but those seem mostly historical, I wish to understand the movements as they exist today.

One more thing, the offshoots I met in my home country and the USA are usually engaged in trying to convert adventists to adventism (their brand of course), and not at all interested in unbelievers. But online I have met some offshoots that appear genuinely interested in sharing the message with unbelievers and reaching to the community. This I had never seen before, it challenges some of my past perceptions of how to easily identify them. I think that behavior is more common with independents, who are not the same as the Rods and the Reforms, at least in my understanding.

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I know the SDA Reform Movement well since I work with a member of that organization, and I've visited their local church a number of times and read their literature. They basically believe the same doctrines that SDAs believe. Their differences are (1) they make the writings of Ellen White a test of fellowship; (2) they believe that anyone who bears arms in the military should be disfellowshipped; (3) they are stricter regarding Sabbath keeping, one's dress, and the wearing of jewelry; (4) and they have a different belief than most SDAs regarding the 144,000. (What exactly this belief of theirs is, I am not exactly sure.)

In my association with them, I have found them to be thoughtful and kind and good Christians to be around. I know that others might give you a different impression, but that has been my experience up to now. One of their few churches on the West coast is only about 5 miles from me.

Here are two links to their material and information:

The first is a wonderful book, mostly of Ellen White quotes about all the primary beliefs of the SDA church:

It was written by the one who gave an excellent series of presentations about the Spirit of Prophecy, which I attended a little over a year ago.
I'm SDA and not a member of either of those groups, but my experience and study of their beliefs and history convinces me that the Reform and the Rods shouldn't be looked at in the same way. They both believe the SDA church has serious problems, but beyond that, they don't really have much in common.
I have had my share of exposure with the Reform despite the age I have. And i have see the same things that Jim points out. I the Sabbath school we used is the one that the reform uses, strictly because all they use is Bible and E.G.W. I don't agree with some of they're beliefs and really You can't really go wrong when you just use the Bible and Ellen white in view of the true Advent doctrines, the pillars of our Faith.
They are after winning and recruiting more members and train them to preach against the SDA church being Babylon, so sad indeed, energy wasted instead we would have been together and unite.
But sometimes you don't blame them, the state of the church sometimes is alarming!!!
Sometimes GC does things which can make you feel hairless and the way our conferences, divisions function make you wonder, but instead of praying like it was in the days of the old, for them they decide to separate!

I asked some members of the Reform if they believe the SDA church is Babylon and they said they don't consider the church Babylon, but they do believe that some of the ministers and congregations are teaching false doctrines. I agree that you can find some false doctrines being taught in some of our churches and by some of our ministers. But that doesn't make me want to separate. We know these things are going to happen, and even more so as we draw closer to the end. God will purify His church, but in the meantime, we can know that the church has both sheep and goats in it, and it's often impossible for humans to know which is which.
The Wheat and the Tares are to grow together till the Harvest.

Yes, unfortunately there are tares. I see them in our churches. They try to disrupt and talk bad about the church. But the church will prevail.
Backing up what Jim said, I was invited to the Reform SDA's GC Session around 15 years ago and I had the opportunity to talk with their GC President, Secretary and Treasurer. They told me that they do not officially teach that the SDA church, the "Big" church as they call it, is Babylon but they were candid enough to admit that some of their members still believe it. It's also worth mentioning that the Reformed church is also subdivided into other reformed, reform churches so defining exctly what they believe is a bit like trying to define what Protestant churches believe.

In some parts of the world Reform SDA and SDA churches exist happily side-by-side, sometimes sharing speakers and being very hard to tell apart. I would not regard the Reformed church as in any way a "threat" to SDAism.

Shepherds Rod and Branch Davidians are a different matter. I have found them to be almost to a man deceitful and dishonest about who they are and their motives for "hanging around" SDAs - which is almost always to beguile members into accepting their peculiar doctrines. I really don't mean to be hurtful or uncharitable but the foregoing describes exactly how I have found them to be.

More worrying is the number of small groups that are now springing up who claim new light and often a new doctrine that "you must believe or you will be lost". All signs of the times and it keeps you spiritually on your toes.

"Study to show thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth. But shun profane [and] vain babblings: for they will increase unto more ungodliness." (2 Tim. 2:15/16)
The church does need reform. They need to stop expressing Babylonian sentiments and stop flirting with the Evangelicals and the Jesuits. But jumping ship is not the answer.

I noticed a group,, which had a lot of answers. I went to their meeting after I was banned from Then they kicked me out at the first meeting. So much for a shoulder to cry on!

I was not supposed to question their beliefs. They took this verse: "Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean [thing]; and I will receive you,", (2 Cor. 6:17), to mean come out of the SDA church, because it's too unclean there. They where suspicious of me as if because I'm an Adventist, I was under the control of the Devil, and would influence them in a Satanic way.

Among other strange things, they said that it was a serious sin to accept tax deductions. They said you shouldn't tithe for the purpose of making money. Wait a minute. You don't make money by tithing. You lose money. You just don't lose quite as much if you get a tax deal. You just don't pay taxes on that money that you have donated. The Bible does not teach that this is wrong. The Jews worshiped in a temple that Herod built. In Ezra, Darius made a decree that massive amounts of government resources be spent to help the Jews rebuild their temple, for only this request:

Ezra 6:10 That they may offer sacrifices of sweet savours unto the God of heaven, and pray for the life of the king, and of his sons.

But if you start saying stuff like that, the guy will kick you out and ban you forever. The whole thing is based on error.

Now about the "Rod". I appreciated the devotion of a Rod guy I met. He gave me some tracts, and I thought they made sense. The first was called "Time and Chance". It was a motivational sermon based on this verse:

Ecc. 9:11 I returned, and saw under the sun, that the race [is] not to the swift, nor the battle to the strong, neither yet bread to the wise, nor yet riches to men of understanding, nor yet favour to men of skill; but time and chance happeneth to them all.

It was really good. And others where good too. But then I found out they only preach to Adventists. That's not right.

Then I found out the Rod was a man. When it says:

Micah 6:8 He hath showed thee, O man, what [is] good; and what doth the LORD require of thee, but to do justly, and to love mercy, and to walk humbly with thy God?
6:9 The LORD'S voice crieth unto the city, and [the man of] wisdom shall see thy name: hear ye the rod, and who hath appointed it.

Victor Houtiff claimed to be that rod that we are supposed to listen to. It's no wonder David Koresh, who joined the Shepherd's Rod after being disfellowshipped, claimed to be the lamb of Revelation, that was able to open the seven seals. It's like God is sending us on a treasure hunt. First we have to find the Rod, then the Lamb, and then what next?

We are taught:

1 John 2:27 But the anointing which ye have received of him abideth in you, and ye need not that any man teach you: but as the same anointing teacheth you of all things, and is truth, and is no lie, and even as it hath taught you, ye shall abide in him.

The whole system is flawed. The mark of a cult, I think, is where a man is put in the place of God.

But still we need to fight to protect their civil rights, and not encourage our government to burn them alive.

Here's another offshoot:

It seems the SDA church has had it's fair share of offshoot cults. The Adventist message is a powerful message, and that power can be easily abused for personal gain:

Acts 20:30 Also of your own selves shall men arise, speaking perverse things, to draw away disciples after them.
Wayne Bent (aka Michael Travesser) is the former SDA pastor of the church in Colton, CA. He is obviously a false prophet. He called himself the Messiah and said he was the "embodiment of God."

On Monday, December 15th, 2008, jurors convicted Wayne Bent of one count of criminal sexual contact of a minor and two counts of contributing to the delinquency of a minor. Bent was allowed to return to Strong City, the sect's compound near Clayton, pending sentencing.On Dec 30th, Judge Gerald Baca imposed the maximum sentence of 18 years but suspended eight years. He will have to serve at least 8 1/2 years before becoming eligible for release.
I will stick with the Seventh day Adventist Church and it's doctrines which are the doctrines of the Remnant Church.
Hello Sis. Raquel, do you mean SDA Reform movement apart from SDA Church? Please correct me, because those are two separate entities so which one do you belong to?

Yes. I agree with this question Joseph. We need to be straight forward here. Those who come here are suppose to believe in the doctrines of the SDA church are we not? Maybe I am wrong. But at least one should come clean on who they support and not confuse matters. The SDA reform movement is openly opposed to the church and support only their own doctrines which are different and in opposition to the Seventh day Adventist Church.


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