THE BRANCH MOVEMENT HISTORY
Representing the historical message and faith of the original 1955 Branch Association
founded by Benjamin L. Roden and Lois I. Roden.
The prime objective of The Branch Message is to uplift, magnify and vindicate the Only-Begotten Son, Yahshua Ha Mashiach (Jesus Christ), The Branch, in a unique and pre-imminent way, as "the fullness of the Godhead bodily" (Col. 2:9), Who, stepping out of eternity 2000 years ago, came to this earth, took on the physical form of humanity forever, laying down His life as the Messiah of Israel to pay the infinite price for original sin, and, in doing so, through the merits of His blood, opened the way into the Heavenly Sanctuary to become the Mediator of the New Covenant (Heb. 8,9,10). The composite Branch Message of today fulfills this objective in the knowledge of the Living Torah, "the fullness of Elohim bodily," "Messiah in you, the hope of Glory," teaching the complete restoration of the first century New Covenant faith, following in the footsteps of the Master, Mashiach Yahshua (1 John 2:6).
The original Branch Message [of the Branch-Davidian Seventh-Day Adventist Movement] was founded by Benjamin Lloyd Roden and Lois Irene Scott Roden in 1955, three months (Amos 4:7) after the unexpected passing of the Shepherd’s Rod [Davidian] Movement founder Victor T. Houteff on the 5th of February of 1955. To those interested in the investigation of this historical collection of the published Branch Writings, now available on this website, the purpose, the spirit and intent of The Branch Message and messenger(s) will become apparent.
Benjamin’s Roden’s purpose in the publication and proclamation of the Branch Letters and numerous tract studies was, and is, to prepare and gather a select company of Sabbath observant and Feast Day observant believers as the FIRST of the Firstfruits of the end time Gospel Harvest, of all the 12 Tribes of modern Israel, foretold in Revelation 7 and 14, beginning with the 144,000 (see Lev.23:15).
In the Hebrew agricultural economy the harvest commenced with the offering of the barley grain, the first of the Firstfruits, as the Wavesheaf offering, during the Feast of Passover, shortly after the spring equinox. Afterwards, fifty days later, the first of the wheat grain was harvested as the completion of the Firstfruit harvest and dedicated on the Day of Pentecost near the end of spring. Barley is the first ripened grain of the natural and spiritual harvest.
Representing the Fifth and Sixth Angels’ Messages of Revelation chapter 14, The Branch Movement became the prophetic third phase of the historic Advent Movement, heralding the Second Advent of Christ in the latter days. Culminating with the October 22nd 1844 Great Disappointment, out of this landmark movement came comfort and blessing through the knowledge of the ministration of our Great High Priest (Jesus) in the Heavenly Sanctuary, as revealed in the Leviticus 16 shadowy types (a picture). Two years after the 1844 culmination, the scriptural Seventh-Day Sabbath (saturday) was accepted in the fledgling movement becoming an integral part of the initial message, well known to all Seventh-Day Adventists today, foretold in the Book of Revelation 14:6-9, known as the “Three Angels’ Messages”.
The numerous prophecies delineated by the Isaiah 11:1 symbolic imagery - the Ensign, show the prophetic origin and spiritual foundation of the three antitypical movements near the end of time which would ultimately uplift and restore all truth and biblical lifestyle in a modern context of our historic Israelite heritage. Modern Israel today, comprising all twelve lineal tribes, under the Blood of the Covenant, are to be fully restored and manifested through the foundational truths of Torah (Law), the Statutes and Judgments (Mal. 4:4), comprising the Seven Feasts of Leviticus 23, beginning with the Seventh-Day Sabbath, and most of all, the progressive revelation of the Sanctuary work in Heaven, the work of our Great High Priest—Yahshua-Jesus, the Only Begotten Son.
The three-fold aspect of the Isaiah 11:1 “Ensign”, the Root (stem), the Rod and the Branch, representing the THREE SECTIONS of the Advent Movement today, in connection with chapter 3 verse 12 of the book of Revelation, shows forth a three-fold SEAL of Truth for our time. Understood in The Branch movement since 1960, this concept will be fully understood by the “first of the Firstfruits”, comprising the Wavesheaf company for the end time Kingdom harvest. The Firstfruits of the Kingdom of Elohim (God) will possess this three-fold SEAL of Truth, not just the (single) seal of the 7th Day Sabbath Truth, known to all Seventh-Day Adventists, but rather two more seals (or messages) for the Remnant people, represented by the description in Revelation 3:12 (Early Writings p. 15), “I will write upon him/her the Name of my God (YHVH) - Seal #1, …. the name of the city of my God (Jerusalem) - Seal #2, ... and I will write upon him/her my new name (The Branch) - Seal #3.
Prerequisite to our understanding today of the mediatorial finishing work of Messiah Yahshua in the Heavenly Sanctuary (the “closing-up of the Atonement”), is the revelation of the co-intercessory mediation of the Holy Ghost, the Glory of Yahshua, the "Other Comforter", Who is hidden somewhere in the earth (Rom. 8:26) in Her bridal chamber, awaiting the time of Her revelation (Rev. 18:1; 19:7-10) unto Israel, presently finishing Her mediatorial purification for the corporate House of Israel. In Isaiah 50:1 we find there is a clear Divine directive to the House of Israel that their “Mother” is to be put away for their sins. In the Book of Leviticus chapter 15, in connection to the very next chapter dealing with the service for the Day of Atonement, we find the Divine requirement for the cleansing of a woman (representing whether female, or corporate, male and female). She is the Tabernacle, representing Her spiritual adopted children, the body of Messiah.
This process reinstates a state of grace for corporate Israel from having been spiritually unclean. The whole chapters of Leviticus 15 and Number 19, is rich with meaning for our corporate uncleanness. The body of Messiah, comprising all of Israel, the adopted children of Messiah (Yahshua/Jesus Christ), are represented by His Bride. As is typical in the natural, the Holy Ghost is inseparable from Her children. She is about to be given Her change of garment, made ready for Her re-uniting with Her Beloved (Rev. 19:7,8), Yahshua Messiah.
The Apostle Paul clearly emphasized the purpose and work of the Heavenly Sanctuary and our High Priest throughout the Book of Hebrews in the New Testament. In 1844, this great truth of the final mediatorial work of the Sanctuary in Heaven became the initial catalyst to bring together a providential ‘core gathering’ of the lineal “gentilized” lost Tribes of Israel (represented by Joseph -- Ephraim). These tribes of the Northern Kingdom had been long scattered among the “nations” (Strong’s #1471 “goyim” - Gen. 12:2 ; 17:4 “melo ha goyim”) as Divine punishment for repeated violation of Torah, and rejecting of the words of the prophets of ancient Israel. The Ezekiel 37 prophecy of the "Two-Sticks" reveals some of the details of the re-gathering [the re-gathering and mutual re-recognition] of the House of Judah and House of Joseph/Ephraim, the complete House of David on earth (Acts 15:16, 17). “Ephraim” is still out there, gradually awakening to the beauty and power of Torah in the life of the New Covenant believer (the “perfect Law of Liberty” James 1:25), calling him/her to return to the Hebrew-Israelite lifestyle and Sabbath observance. The teaching of the re-gathering of the “Ten ‘lost’ Tribes” of Israel was very much a key topic during the ministry of Benjamin Roden and Lois Roden.
The now re-published original Branch publications will also evidence the true character and intent of the (original) Branch Message and movement, showing the great disparity of the unfortunate popularized misconception of Branch-Davidians from the original. This negative misperception was generated by the events of February 28, 1993, with the initial ATF raid on the Branch-Davidian complex at Mt. Carmel, Waco, Texas. It is to be noted that these terrible events which ended with the horrific fire of April 19, 1993, 51 days later, transpired long after the passing of Ben Roden and Lois Roden [October 22, 1978 and November 10, 1986 respectively].
Vernon W. Howell, also known as the cult leader David Koresh, in no way represented the original values, lifestyle, purpose or teachings of the Branch movement. Ben Roden and Lois Roden were well respected members in the Davidian Movement during the lifetime of Victor Houteff when, in 1953, Benjamin & Lois Roden with their six children lived at the Old Mt. Carmel headquarters near Lake Waco under Victor Houteff’s ministry. Subsequently, following Victor Houteff’s death, they established The Branch headquarters, first in Odessa, Texas, then in 1965 at the New Mount Carmel Center, east of Waco, Texas, abandoned by the Davidians in 1962.
Until these original publications became available for on-line the whole truth could not be told of the Branch message and movement or the purpose and destiny of the Shepherd’s Rod - message and movement, and their place in the greater Advent Movement, in its THREE PARTS.
In 1960, at Pesach (Passover), Ben Roden instituted the Feast Days in the Advent Movement, inaugurating the prophetic time period known as the “Investigative Judgment for the Living”. This concept in the Seventh-Day Adventist world was first introduced by Ellen G. White in the Book “The Great Controversy” (GC 425,490) in the late 1800s, and further expounded upon by Victor Houteff from 1930 to 1955 in the extensive publications of the Shepherd’s Rod Message. Emerging in 1955, The Branch message was like the hand that fit the glove foretold in the Shepherd’s Rod Message of “who” was to bring the “...revival and reformation, this great change...” (1 TG 8:24), that brought forth a “Joshua of today” (1T.G. 8:28) to lead the Advent Movement, quite literally, to the Promised Land. This statement from the Shepherd’s Rod writings was to be fulfilled after the unexpected great disappointment to the Davidian Movement, when Victor Houteff died, February 5, 1955, at the Baptist Hospital in Waco, taken ill with a minor respiratory infection.
The spiritually rich and diverse history of The Branch Movement far exceeds the 51 days of negative coverage that was broadcast to the world during the final days of the David Koresh chapter in 1993. The Branch Movement, under the direction of Benjamin Roden, was the first and only New Covenant – Messianic Israel organization to obtain a settlement status in the Eretz Yisrael [the Land of Israel] in 1958, only ten years after the re-birth of the Jewish State, the beautiful Land of Promise, providentially returned to its original Jewish owners and caretakers.
At that time, Ben Roden and Lois Roden were blessed to establish a newly formed settlement that they had a major part in raising up, a vegetarian organic agricultural village, named “Amerim” (the original geographical Hebrew name, meaning the “top of the tree”), in the mountains of northern Israel. This was only the first phase of The Branch work, and although the invitation that was given by Ben Roden to go to Israel to help the Jews build up the land was officially refused by Davidians and Seventh-Day Adventists, prophecy was nevertheless fulfilled in the Advent Movement with the few families and individuals who did respond to the invitation in the early 1960s. This event was given due notice in a major ministry magazine at the time, which is quoted in the Branch literature.
"For the first time in the history of Zionist colonization, an organized Christian group has been granted official status in Israel as recognized immigrants and land settlers, with all the rights of material and moral aid involved. A year and a half ago, five families of Seventh-day Adventists from the United States and Canada immigrated to Israel to till the land and build new homes. They joined the cooperative village of Amirim in Galilee, where they were welcomed by Jewish peasants. The newcomers have now been recognized by the Settlement Department of the Jewish Agency for Israel. One additional family arrived in the country around the end of May, and 30 more are expected in the future. Prayers conducted by the Adventists have been the first official Christian services to take place throughout the Zionist settlements. Like their Jewish neighbors, the Adventist settlers observe Saturday as their Sabbath" The Ministry, Sept. 1960.
The Branch Organic Agricultural Association was an outgrowth of that phase of the movement which continued on at New Mt. Carmel, Waco, Texas from 1965 onward.
Today, the message of The Branch continues to speak to us not only from the historical writings of the founders, in tracing our history in the Advent Movement since 1844, to prophecies yet to be fulfilled, but also in the continuing Branch message from 1990 to the present day, the Seventh Step from 1844.
To the Law and the Testimony…” Isaiah 8:20.
Unity and Peace through TORAH, and the Testimony,
even the Living Torah, Yahshua Ha Mashiach.
Shalom in Messiah – The Branch