Upshoots, not Offshoots
The Only Peace of Mind
Inasmuch as we are often asked what the “D” in the Timely Greetings means in connection with the name “Seventh-day Adventists,” we shall endeavor to explain. The “D” stands for Davidian. The publishers, rather than printing the name in full, often use the abbreviated form “D” when space is limited.
Fundamentally we are Seventh-day Adventists. Ever since the leading brethren of the Seventh-day Adventist denomination rejected the addition to the Third Angel’s Message (Early Writings, pg. 277) in the same fashion as the Jews turned down the gospel of Christ, and as the popular churches turned down the messages that followed thereafter, we have fundamentally remained Seventh-day Adventists. We are separated from the mother church because the “lukewarm” brethren by majority vote disfellowshiped us, and put a guard at the church doors to make sure that we could not enter the churches on the Sabbath day. Evidently they did these things in order to force us to renounce the Lord’s revealed Truth, and also to frighten those who were embracing Present Truth and those who might investigate for themselves and accept the message of the hour. There could be no reason for dismissing us.
As we could not turn our backs upon the God-sent “meat in due season” we were, of course compelled to add Davidian to the name Seventh-day Adventists, lest we be accused of misrepresentation. We have never, however, separated ourselves from the denomination. As a people we still attend the denominational churches whenever we are not barred from entering.
Our work is strictly within our denomination as was John’s and Christ’s within their denomination. Our fundamental beliefs are therefore the same as those of the denomination, with the exception of the additional doctrinal truths which the additional message brings us. Circumstances, therefore, have placed us in a situation similar to that of the apostles: Their fundamental beliefs, too, were the fundamental beliefs of the Jews, and in addition to these, they had the Gospel of Christ.
In order to cast reproach and to prejudice the people against the Heaven-sent message, the opposition ironically calls us “off shoots.” Their very expression against us, however, proves us right and them wrong. Were it not for “off shoots,” the Christian church would have never come into being, – no, not even the Protestant churches, nor the Seventh-day Adventist either.
So thank God that we have had the fortitude to not make flesh our arm (not to take the word of the priests and rabbis, as it were, but to look into it ourselves, personally to know what Truth is) and to withstand reproach as did those who have gone before us.
Here is where fittingly and timely the prophet Isaiah’s statement applies: “Yea, truth faileth; and he that departeth from evil maketh himself a prey: and the Lord saw it, and it displeased Him that there was no judgment.” Isa. 59:15.
The truth of the matter, however, is that the so-called offshoots are but upshoots. And let us ever remember that as a tree dies when it fails to make an upshoot each season, so does a church when she fails to keep up with Heaven’s advancing Truth. Even the world knows that the upshoots have ever kept the church alive and free, and that upshoots ever will. We therefore feel greatly honored to be upshoots rather than dormant buds.
Yes, it is a great honor to be persecuted, scoffed at, and abused for Christ’s sake and His Truth. So Jesus declares: “Blessed are ye, when men shall hate you, and when they shall separate you from their company, and shall reproach you, and cast out your name as evil, for the Son of man’s sake. Rejoice ye in that day, and leap for joy: for, behold, your reward is great in heaven: for in the like manner did their fathers unto the prophets.” Luke 6:22, 23.
“Hear the Word of the Lord, ye that tremble at His Word; Your brethren that hated you, that cast you out for My name’s sake, said, Let the Lord be glorified: but He shall appear to your joy, and they shall be ashamed.” Isaiah 66:5.
“And kings shall be thy nursing fathers, and their queens thy nursing mothers: they shall bow down to thee with their face toward the earth, and lick up the dust of thy feet; and thou shalt know that I am the Lord: for they shall not be ashamed that wait for Me.
“Shall the prey be taken from the mighty, or the lawful captive delivered? But thus saith the Lord, Even the captives of the mighty shall be taken away, and the prey of the terrible shall be delivered: for I will contend with him that contendeth with thee, and I will save thy children.” Isaiah 49:23-25.
It is plain to see that those who cast out truth-believing brethren from their midst, are doing it by the command of the Evil One, for those who are mindful of the Lord’s command, do not cast out even the “tares.” They know that the church’s cleansing work belongs to the angels only.
“I then saw the third angel. Said my accompanying angel, ‘Fearful is his work. Awful is his mission. He is the angel that is to select the wheat from the tares, and seal, or bind, the wheat for the heavenly garner. These things should engross the whole mind, the whole attention.’“ – Early Writings, pg. 118.
“Again, the kingdom of heaven is like unto a net, that was cast into the sea, and gathered of every kind: which, when it was full, they drew to shore, and sat down, and gathered the good into vessels, but cast the bad away. So shall it be at the end of the world: the angels shall come forth, and sever the wicked from among the just, and shall cast them into the furnace of fire: there shall be wailing and gnashing of teeth.” Matt. 13:47-50.
So be we right or be we wrong, we know that the works of the brethren are not in harmony with the Lord.
The pioneers of the Christian faith gave their lives for the Truth’s sake, why should not we?
Now to judge whether we are Seventh-day Adventists or not, let me set before you our fundamental beliefs from the booklet, “Fundamental Beliefs and Directory.” Here you will notice that the entire list of fundamental beliefs is quoted from the year book of the S.D.A. denomination. And why? – simply because their beliefs are our beliefs, too. Then you will notice the additional doctrinal truths that follow.
FUNDAMENTAL BELIEFS OF DAVIDIAN SEVENTH-DAY ADVENTISTS
Emerging in 1930 from within the Seventh-day Adventist denomination (“the church of the Laodiceans”), the Davidian Seventh-day Adventist Association has ever been committed to the prophetic work (predicted in Isaiah 52:1) of preparing the Laodicean church, the last with the “tares among the wheat,” for the final proclamation of the gospel “in all the world.” Matt. 14:14.
This Association, in common with the Seventh-day Adventist denomination, holds “certain fundamental beliefs, the principal features of which, together with a portion of the Scriptural references upon which they are based,” are originally summarized as follows:
“1. That the Holy Scriptures of the Old and New Testaments were given by inspiration of God, contain an all-sufficient revelation of His will to men, and are the only unerring rule of faith and practice. 2 Tim. 3:15-17.
“2. That the Godhead, or Trinity, consists of the Eternal Father, a personal, spiritual Being, omnipotent, omnipresent, omniscient, infinite in wisdom and love; the Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of the Eternal Father, through whom all things were created and through whom the salvation of the redeemed hosts will be accomplished; the Holy Spirit, the third person of the Godhead, the great regenerating power in the work of redemption. Matt. 28:19.
“3. That Jesus Christ is very god, being of the same nature and essence as the Eternal Father. While retaining His divine nature He took upon Himself the nature of the human family, lived on the earth as a man, exemplified in His life as our Example the principles of righteousness, attested His relationship to God by many mighty miracles, died for our sins on the cross, was raised from the dead, and ascended to the Father, where He ever lives to make intercession for us. John 1:1, 14; Heb. 2:9-18; 8:1, 2; 4:14-16, 7:25.
“4. That every person in order to obtain salvation must experience the new birth; that this comprises an entire transformation of life and character by the recreative power of God through faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. John 3:16; Matt. 18:3; Acts 2:37-39.
“5. That baptism is an ordinance of the Christian church and should follow repentance and forgiveness of sins. By its observance faith is shown in the death, burial, and resurrection of Christ. That the proper form of baptism is by immersion. Rom. 6:1-6; Acts 16:30-33.
“6. That the will of God as it relates to moral conduct is comprehended in His law of ten commandments; that these are great moral, unchangeable precepts, binding upon all men, in every age. Ex. 20:1-17.
“7. That the fourth commandment of this unchangeable law requires the observance of the seventh day Sabbath. This holy institution is at the same time a memorial of creation and a sign of sanctification, a sign of the believer’s rest from his own works of sin, and his entrance into the rest of soul which Jesus promises to those who come to Him. Gen. 2:1-3; Ex. 20:8-11; 31:12-17; Heb. 4:1-10.
“8. That the law of ten commandments points out sin, the penalty of which is death. The law cannot save the transgressor from his sin, nor impart power to keep him from sinning. In infinite love and mercy, God provides a way whereby this may be done. He furnishes a substitute, even Christ the Righteous One, to die in man’s stead, making ‘Him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in Him.’ 2 Cor. 5:21. That one is justified, not by obedience to the law, but by the grace that is in Christ Jesus. By accepting Christ, man is reconciled to God, justified by His blood for the sins of the past, and saved from the power of sin by his indwelling life. Thus the gospel becomes ‘the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth.’ Rom. 1:16. This experience is wrought by the divine agency of the Holy Spirit, who convinces of sin and leads to the Sin-Bearer, inducting the believer into the new covenant relationship, where the law of God is written on his heart, ad through the enabling power of the indwelling Christ, his life is brought into conformity to the divine precepts. The honor and merit of this wonderful transformation belong wholly to Christ. 1 John 2:1, 2; 3:4; Rom. 3:20; 5:8-10; 7:7; Eph. 2:8-10; 3:17; Gal. 2:20; Heb. 8:8-12.
“9. That God ‘only hath immortality.’ 1 Tim. 6:16. Mortal man possesses a nature inherently sinful and dying. Eternal life is the gift of God through faith in Christ. Rom. 6:23. ‘He that hath the Son hath life.’ 1 John 5:12. Immortality is bestowed upon the righteous at the second coming of Christ, when the righteous dead are raised from the grave and the living righteous are translated to meet the Lord. Then it is that those accounted faithful ‘put on immortality.’ 1 Cor. 15:51-55.
“10. That the condition of man in death is one of unconsciousness. That all men, good and evil alike, remain in the grave from death to the resurrection. Eccl. 9:5, 6; Ps. 146:3, 4; John 5:28, 29.
“11. That there shall be a resurrection both of the just and of the unjust. The resurrection of the just will take place at the second coming of Christ; the resurrection of the unjust will take place a thousand years later, at the close of the millennium. John 5:28, 29; 1 Thess. 4:13-18; Rev. 20:5-10.
“12. That the finally impenitent, including Satan, the author of sin, will, by the fires of the last day, be reduced to a state of non-existence, becoming as though they had not been, thus purging God’s universe of sin and sinners. Rom. 6:23; Mal. 4:1-3; Rev. 20:9, 10; Obadiah 16.
“13. That no prophetic period [meaning prophetic time-setting of the exact date of Christ’s coming] is given in the Bible to reach to the second advent, but that the longest one, the 2300 days of Dan. 8:14, terminated in 1844, and brought us to an event called the cleansing of the sanctuary.
“14. That the true sanctuary, of which the tabernacle on earth was a type, is the temple of God in Heaven, of which Paul speaks in Hebrews 8 and onward, and of which the Lord Jesus, as our great high priest, is minister; and that the priestly work of our Lord is the antitype of the work of the Jewish priest of the former dispensation; that this heavenly sanctuary is the one to be cleansed at the end of the 2300 days of Dan. 8:14; its cleansing being, as in the type, a work of judgment, beginning with the entrance of Christ as the high priest upon the judgment phase of His ministry in the heavenly sanctuary forshadowed in the earthly service of cleansing the sanctuary on the day of atonement. This work of judgment in the heavenly sanctuary began in 1844. Its completion will close human probation.
“15. That God, in the time of the judgment and in accordance with His uniform dealing with the human family in warning them of coming events vitally affecting their destiny (Amos 3:6, 7), sends forth a proclamation of the approach of the second advent of Christ; that this work is symbolized by the three angels of Revelation 14; and that their three-fold message brings to view a work of reform to prepare a people to meet Him at His coming.
“16. That the time of the cleansing of the sanctuary, synchronizing with the period of the proclamation of the message of Revelation 14, is a time of investigative judgment, first with reference to the dead, and secondly, with reference to the living. This investigative judgment determines who of the myriads sleeping in the dust of the earth are worthy of a part in the first resurrection, and who of its living multitudes are worthy of translation. 1 Peter 4:17, 18; Dan. 7:9, 10; Rev. 14:6, 7; Luke 20:35.
“17. That the followers of Christ should be a godly people, not adopting the unholy maxims nor conforming to the unrighteous ways of the world, not loving its sinful pleasures nor countenancing its follies. That the believer should recognize his body as the temple of the Holy Spirit, and that therefore he should clothe that body in neat, modest, dignified apparel. Further, that in eating and drinking and in his entire course of conduct he should shape his life as becomes a follower of the meek and lowly Master. Thus the believer will be led to abstain from all intoxicating drinks, tobacco, and other narcotics, and the avoidance of every body and soul defiling habit and practice. 1 Cor. 3:16, 17; 9:25; 10:31; 1 Tim. 2:9, 10; 1 John 2:6.
“18. That the divine principle of tithes and offerings for the support of the gospel is an acknowledgment of God’s ownership in our lives, and that we are stewards who must render account to Him of all that He has committed to our possession. Lev. 27:30; Mal. 3:8-12; Matt. 23:23; 1 Cor. 9:9-14; 2 Cor. 9:6-15.
“19. That God has placed in His church the gifts of the Holy Spirit, as enumerated in 1 Corinthians 12 and Ephesians 4. That these gifts operate in harmony with the divine principles of the Bible, and are given for the perfecting of the saints, the work of the ministry, the edifying of the body of Christ. Rev. 12:17; 19:10; 1 Cor. 1:5-7.
“20. That the second coming of Christ is the great hope of the church, the grand climax of the gospel and plan of salvation. His coming will be literal, personal, and visible. Many important events will be associated with His return, such as the resurrection of the dead, the destruction of the wicked, the purification of the earth, the reward of the righteous, the establishment of His everlasting kingdom. The almost complete fulfillment of various lines of prophecy, particularly those found in the books of Daniel and the Revelation, with existing conditions in the physical, social, industrial, political, and religious worlds, indicates that Christ’s coming ‘is near, even at the doors.’ Matt. 24:33. The exact time of that event has not been foretold. Believers are exhorted to be ready, for ‘in such an hour as ye think not the Son of man’ (Matt. 24:44) will be revealed. Luke 21:25-27; 17:26-30; John 14:1-3; Acts 1:9-11; Rev. 1:7; Heb. 9:28; James 5:1-8; Joel 3:9-16; 2 Tim. 3:1-5; Dan. 7:27; Matt. 24:36, 4.
“21. That the millennial reign of Christ covers the period between the first and the second resurrections, during which time the saints of all ages will live with their blessed Redeemer in Heaven. At the end of the millennium, the Holy City with all the saints will descend to the earth. The wicked, raised in the second resurrection, will go up on the breadth of the earth with Satan at their head to compass the camp of the saints, when fire will come down from God out of Heaven and devour them. In the conflagration which destroys Satan and his host, the earth itself will be regenerated and cleansed from the effects of the curse. Thus the universe of God will be purified from the foul blot of sin. Rev. 20; Zech. 14:1-4; 2 Peter 3:7-10.
“22. That God will make all things new. The earth, restored to its pristine beauty, will become forever the abode of the saints of the Lord. The promise to Abraham, that through Christ he and his seed should possess the earth throughout the endless ages of eternity, will be fulfilled. ‘The kingdom and dominion, and the greatness of the kingdom under the whole heaven, shall be given to the people of the saints of the Most High, whose kingdom is an everlasting kingdom, and all dominions shall serve and obey Him.’ Dan. 7:27. Christ, the Lord, will reign supreme and every creature which is in heaven and on the earth and under the earth, and such as are in the sea will ascribe ‘blessing, and honor, and glory, and power,’ unto ‘Him that sitteth upon the throne and unto the Lamb forever and ever.’ Gen. 13:14-17; Rom. 4:13; Heb. 11:6-16; Matt. 5:5; Isaiah 35; Rev. 21:1-7; 5:13; Dan. 7:27.” – Year Book of the Seventh-day Adventist Denomination, 1947 Edition, pp. 4-6.
IN ADDITION to these fundamental tenets of faith held in common with the Seventh-day Adventists, the Davidian Association holds:
1. That the prophetic gift in the Seventh-day Adventist church (through the medium of which the church was brought forth in 1844 and nurtured and preserved for seven decades) ceased its manifestation in 1915 and was not remanifested until 1930; and that this cessation and this remanifestation are paralleled by the cessation of the prophetic gift in the Old Testament and the remanifestation of it in the New.
2. That the present manifestation was timed to the 430-year prophecy of Ezekiel 4, and that it is the “addition” anticipated in Early Writings, pg. 277.
3. That it was manifested anew in the closing work for the church to effect the sealing of the 144,000 servants of God (Testimonies, Vol. 3, pg. 266), and to give power and force (Early Writings, pg. 277) to the Third Angel’s Message (Rev. 14:6-11) so that the 144,000 might be empowered to accomplish the closing work for the world, and to gather all their brethren out of all nations (Isa. 66:19, 20; Rev. 18:4).
4. That the destruction of the tares from among the first fruits of the living (Matt. 13:30, 48, 49; Ezek. 9:6, 7) results in the purification of the church.
5. That immediately thereafter, the angels let loose the four winds (Rev. 7:1-3), whereupon ensues the time of trouble and Michael’s standing up to deliver from it, all whose names are written in the Lamb’s Book of Life (Dan. 12:1).
6. That the angels’ letting loose the four winds to blow over the four corners of the earth (Rev. 7:1), does not anticipate a world war but rather a world-wide decree enforced throughout Babylon by the image-beast, and that then no one may buy or sell save he who worships "the image." Rev. 13:15-17.
7. That subsequently, the time of Jacob’s trouble (Jer. 30:7) for the 144,000, the sons of Jacob, logically develops on their way home (Gen. 32:1, 24) to the land of their fathers (Ezek. 36:28; 37:21, 25).
8. That the foregoing epochal event shall cause the 144,000 to have their names changed as did their father, Jacob (Gen. 32:28), and as a body receive a new name which the mouth of the Lord shall name (Isa. 62:2).
9. That these events shall ultimate in the setting up of the Kingdom (Dan. 2:44; Isa. 2:1-4; Mic. 4: Ezek. 37), wherein the 144,000, those who follow the Lamb “whithersoever He goeth” (Rev. 14:4), shall stand with Him on Mt. Zion (Rev. 14:1), and there “receive the forces of the Gentiles.” Isa. 60:5, 11.
10. That with this sequence of events will ensue the Loud Cry of the angel that lightens the earth with his glory (Rev. 18:1), as that other Voice cries, “Come out of her, My people, that ye be not partakers of her sins, and that ye receive not of her plagues.” Rev. 18:4.
11. That in response to this call, many nations will say: “Come, and let us go up to the mountain of the Lord, and to the house of the God of Jacob; and He will teach us of His ways, and we will walk in His paths: for the law shall go forth of Zion, and the word of the Lord from Jerusalem.” Mic. 4:2.
12. That the Voice will cease to cry when all the saints shall have been gathered out of all nations. Then shall “the days come, saith the Lord God, that I will send a famine in the land, not a famine of bread, nor a thirst for water, but of hearing the words of the Lord: and they shall wander from sea to sea, and from the north even to the east, they shall run to and fro to seek the word of the Lord, and shall not find it.” Amos 8:11, 12.
13. That then will follow the dissolution of the world-wide organization of the image of the beast (Rev. 19:1-3), the close of the investigative judgment of the living (Rev. 15:5-8), the end of probationary time (Rev. 22:11), and the pouring out of the seven last plagues upon the wicked. (Rev. 16).
14. That under the seventh plague, the hosts arrayed for the battle of Armageddon will fight with, and will be decimated by, the armies of Heaven (Testimonies, Vol. 6, pg. 406), and that Christ shall appear in all His glory, destroy the remaining wicked, resurrect the righteous dead (1 Thess. 4:15-16), and usher in the millennium (Rev. 20:5).
15. That for a little season (Rev. 20:3), a hundred years (Isa. 65:20), after the millennium, the wicked shall live again and then finally be destroyed by fire (Rev. 20:9), whereupon all things shall be renewed, and God’s original plan shall proceed to perfect fulfillment in an uninterrupted eternity of heavenly joy (Rev. 21:4).