"A primary objective...is to...disentangle the true and time-tested teachings of the pure Shepherd’s Rod from the impure and false Rods of our day."

A reader who knows little about the Seventh-day Adventist (SDA) denomination will learn much from Augustus’ book, especially about the group’s weaknesses. To better understand the controversy surrounding Victor Houteff’s 1930 teachings on The Shepherd’s Rod, the author points out the church’s propensity for resisting new ideas. It has been known to: take legal action in civil courts enforcing member excommunication; reconsider acceptance of Ellen G. White’s early teachings in light of modern Israel/Jerusalem events; set time/dates for Biblical prophecy.

Augustus has been a long-time SDA member, although he is presently not in good standing due to information revealed in this exposé. The well-laid-out research is a credit to his determination to seek the truth. While this book is not about David Koresh or the Branch-Davidians, it touches on these topics by way of accurate reporting. Koresh’s teachings were not in agreement with those of the SDA denomination regarding prophetic views or The Shepherd’s Rod. Augustus mentions the possibility of information leaked to the government about Koresh leading a radical group.

Although this book documents research that will be construed as controversial, the author deserves high praise for clearly making the effort to keep the tone factual and informative. An extensive table of contents serves in place of an index, while footnotes and a nomenclature section are helpful tools. The ongoing history of this SDA controversy is the priority of Volume I. Summarizing Houteff’s actual teachings earlier in this 714-page book might assist those new to investigating biblical prophecy. The author expects the book’s target audience to be any “news caster or serious-minded reader” who has heard of the Branch-Davidian massacre. He predicts that the SDA Church will not want this book read.

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