\*\* Does the Shepherd’s Rod Advocate Another Denomination?\*\*It is often said that the message and its adherents have another denomination. The answer again is NO. As stated earlier, Rod believers established an independent or self-supporting ministry, not a separate denomination. There is nothing wrong with self-supporting ministries, Christ Himself had one! Our Lord’s little band of disciples formed the nucleus of his ministry. They even had a treasurer—Judas! (John 13:29). Mrs. White herself recognized self-supporting ministries as long as they maintained the integrity of the Scriptures. Her Son for example, ran a boat referred to as the “Morning Star” in a effort to reach blacks in the South when the General Conference was hesitant to do so. She helped to establish Madison College, an independently operated sanitarium. Since none of these cases meant that she was establishing a new denomination, neither is the Rod.
But you say? Christ and Sister White could do it because Jesus is God, and Sister White was a prophet. True. But is not Christ our example? Is not the principle the same? If the leaders will not publish a special truth for the time, or fulfill the special work God desires to be done, then the “Lord will raise up men who will give the people the message for this time.”
The entire purpose of the Rod’s message is to relate information particularly vital to every Seventh-day Adventist. It simply is a biblical, educational ministry. As a rule, Rod adherents do not worship separately. They instead worship with local congregations. Many of them helped to erect church buildings and served as pastors, elders, deacons, or Sabbath-school teachers of their local churches before embracing the Davidian message and when allowed, continue to do so. Neither did they choose to leave those positions. In most cases they were forced out of these positions only because they accepted the additional teachings of the Rod. But even after being pushed out, they still attend local congregations and support them. This fact is thoroughly documented.
“The primary purpose of The Shepherd’s Rod is to unlock the long-concealed mystery concerning the ever-challenging and much discussed subject of the 144,000 (Rev. 14:1), with the central object in view of bringing about among God’s people that ‘thorough reformation’ foretold by the Spirit of Prophecy (Testimonies, Vol. 8, p. 251).
“These truths, Divinely revealed, are of supreme importance to the church just now because of the trying, sifting circumstances through which God’s people are soon to pass. Being vital concerns to salvation, they call for decided action from ministry and laity alike to separate themselves from all worldliness and to anchor themselves on the Solid Rock by obedience to all the truth known to the church, if they would escape the forthcoming ruin that is to take every sinner.
“Provisional in set-up as well as in name, the Davidian Seventh-day Adventist Association exists solely to accomplish a divinely appointed work within the Seventh-day Adventist denomination, wherein it strictly confines its activities.”
“Stay in it [the SDA Denomination] and work for its return to God. It is not Babylon, and do not let them intimidate you to leave it.” Jezreel Letters, No. 5, p. 26.
“Our work is strictly within our denomination as was John’s and Christ’s within their denomination.”