The Codes – What’s The Facts?

13 Jan

As many of us are aware among Davidians, the Symbolic news codes are important writings from the Elijah prophet-Victor Houteff. However, there is a controversy among us as to the  “new codes” and the “old codes”. What we’d like to do in this post is state our observations of what stands out as clear facts in this issue. Then hopefully you’ll be in a better position to judge the issue, upon prayer submission to the Lord.

The term “old codes” usually describes those symbolic news code publications published by the brother Houteff  himself while he was alive (he died on Feb.5, 1955) . They include the following –Vol.1  No.1 July 15, 1934 through Vol.10  No.2  Dec. 1954. There were a total of 46 issues published. The “new” or “unpublished” codes were –Vol.10  No.7, May 1955  through Vol. 13  No.11, Sept-Oct. 1958.  There was a total of 21 issues published.

After brother Houteff died, the story goes that Mrs. Houteff had found some of VTH’s news codes that were in files and had never been published by the prophet while he lived. So in the months following his death, she led out the unpublished codes with this statement to Davidians (followers of bro. Houteff’s Elijah message)



The following excerpts from a letter written in 1932 by Brother V.T. Houteff to a Seventh-day Adventist Elder is being published at this time not only because of some early historic facts it contains, but also because of its other statements of interest.  (By way of explanation, we point out that the letter was written after The Shepherd’s Rod, Vol. 1 was printed but before Vol. 2 came.)

So this was the start of “her” publishing career.The first and most obvious question is–why didn’t bro. Houteff publish these code articles while he was alive? It is a well documented fact that he was a very meticulous man, watching over minute details of the “camp” at the Waco grounds. So we are truly perplexed why they remained in the files. Could it had been that he, being “inspired” was told not to publish them for some reason? Being closely in tune with the Lord, could he have realized somehow that something was amiss in the unpublished codes? Whatever the reason,  the Lord saw fit that VTH wasn’t suppose to publish them and therefore he didn’t.

Another interesting fact is this. On Feb. 17, 1959,  a close associate of brother Houteff sent a letter to Florence Houteff warning her of her wrong paths. In this letter he specifically called out her “private programs” of the “new code” and new “Carmel”. So some of the original members of the camp at Mt. carmel knew clearly that these new codes were part of “their” private programs. In other words they mixed in their agenda in promoting them. For the letter, click here

In studying the original code articles published by brother Houteff, we as Davidians,  marvel at the great light that the Lord gave him to write and bless us with. Such as —

Vol. 7 No. 7 – 12
July – December, 1941
Lake Waco Texas
Lightening The Earth


 Dear brethren in Laodicea, do you know that prophecy positively declares that the people of God in the Laodicean church are in a critically dangerous condition and know it not?  Well, brethren, whether or not you realize it, whether or not you believe it, that precisely is the case.  And if you hope to enter into eternal life, you must believe it, and that without delay.  Whatever else you may believe or disbelieve, this one thing you must, “for it is the True Witness who speaks, and His testimony must be correct.”–Testimonies, Vol. 3, p. 253.

And remember that above all people, the Laodiceans should not only be the last but the least inclined to criticize, for they themselves, says the True Witness, are “wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked,” without so much as suspecting it, but are indeed even imagining that they are “rich, and increased with goods, and” in “need of nothing” (Rev. 3:17).  How, then, can they be in a position truly to know anything about others!

Think, brethren, and rouse to life!  This cannot possibly be the voice of an enemy.

And remember that the Lord “surprises us by revealing His power through instruments of His own choice, while He passes by the men to whom we have looked as those through whom light should come.  God desires us to receive the truth upon its own merits,–because it is truth.”–Testimonies to Ministers, p. 106

It is very important to note that we (us Davidians) have studied the original codes thoroughly and have found it is in complete harmony through out the publications! We say this to bring to your attention the distinction between the published original and the unpublished posthumous codes.

Before we get to the problem areas of the latter codes, let’s look at some important points that we should discuss. After brother Houteff died there was a power struggle for leadership. Many believed that brother E.T. Wilson was the man VTH had chosen for the job of leader (Vice president). However, Mrs. Houteff, the very next day after VTH’s death called a executive council meeting! The body wasn’t even cold yet! What’s worse is she tried to discuss her future compensation! **

The above is quite disturbing on several counts. Who among us, that really loves our significant other, calls a meeting the very next day to discuss something such as money and other business?? This leads to the next question. What spiritual condition was she in and what motivated her to “lead”  in spiritual matters? Obviously we Davidians are supposed to be the greatest light bearers to the people (most truth known and to spread) and as such the leader of this movement is to be a person beyond reproach.

Additionally, Mr. Wilson was completely shut out of the decision-making on choosing the new leader.** Sadly the Mt. Carmel camp got off on the wrong foot after brother Houteff’s death  and went downhill from there. (** Source “A Davidian Testimony” by D. Adair) (Later in 1962, Mrs. Houteff went apostate and denied the Davidian message and even Ellen White!)

So knowing all this, we can see that “her” leadership and decision to take upon herself the act of publishing written articles of brother Houteff most likely wasn’t inspired, contrasting with fact that the “inspired” man saw to it not to publish them. And further he never issued an order or direction to have them published later or at any time!

Ok, let’s look at the heart of the matter–the contradictions of the writings in the unpublished codes.

Contradictions —         1)  Jonah typology 2) Jacob’s time of trouble  3) Which trumpet is sounding today? 4) Where did Jesus spend 3 days and nights?  5) Assyrian  confederacy

1) The original writings say that Jonah is a type of Christ

Ref– Elisha was a symbol of Christ.  Prophets and Kings, page 240: “Like the Saviour of mankind, of whom he was a type, Elisha in his ministry among men combined the work of healing with that of teaching.”  These are the reasons why Isaac, Jonah, and Elisha are types of Christ, representing the different phases and imports of the work of Christ. (reference Shep. Rod, Vol. 1, p.16-17)

The UN codes says Jonah is a type of message

The whole story of Jonah’s experience, you see, is more than a record of what happened to him.  It is a picture of the experience of God’s everliving church. ( ref. Sym.code, vol.11, no.8, p. 10-11)

This Jonah issue isn’t as strong a contradiction as the others,  nevertheless it is one.

2)The orignal writings say Jacob’s time of trouble is after Ezek. 9.

(The following is brother Houteff’s timeline of events that happen after Ezek.9 and was written in the period of the original codes. For clarification we omitted the other events and started with Ezek.9)

Ref–  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).(ref. Timely Greetings, Vol.2, no.10 p.29) 

The UN codes say before Ezek.9

On September 21, 1936 Brother Houteff made the remarks concerning the possibility of trouble coming to the church after the sealing of the saints and before the slaughter of Ezekiel 9, and if so what the results would be and why.  Since Revelation 11 has more recently been unfolded before us we should be able to see that it is not just a possibility, but rather both a fact and approaching reality that trouble is coming to the church before the slaughter of Ezekiel 9.  None therefore need be ignorant concerning what we must now be doing about it.)(ref. Sym. code, vol.11, no.7, p.3)

This issue is a biggie, as some in Davidia have taught expanded scenarios that comes from this. Notice clearly how bro. Houteff makes the no. 7(Jacob’s trouble) in his timeline happen after Ezek.9 in unfolding events. Then see in the Un (unpublished by VTH) codes that  Mrs. Houteff (or someone else) announces the “approaching reality” of trouble (meaning Jacob’s trouble) coming to the church “before the slaughter of Ezek.9”. Keep in mind these “facts and approaching reality” words were not said by the prophet!

3) The Orig. writings say the  6th trumpet began right before 1844.

Ref– ” The altar’s being in the holy apartment of the sanctuary at the sounding of the sixth trumpet, proves that the trumpet sounded before the Most Holy apartment was opened for use.  For had it been in use, the “voice” would necessarily have come from therein, where the throne is.  Hence, the sounding of this trumpet had to take place before the door of the Most Holy was opened and the throne occupied.”(Tract 5 p.31)

The Un codes say the 6th trumpet is yet to sound.

Ref– In view of the fact that we are not living in the sixth trumpet, let us ascertain whether we may be in the sounding of the fifth trumpet, or whether it, too, is yet future.( Un Sym.code, Vol.12, no.2, p.4

Ref– The fifth trumpet, therefore, sounded when Christ came nearly 2,000 years ago.  We find ourselves therefore living in the period of the sounding of the fifth trumpet — the Christian period — before the sounding of the sixth trumpet.(Same Un code, p.8)

Wow, now if that is not a total contradiction, we don’t know what is! First the orig. codes says the 6th trumpet sounded right before Christ entered the most holy apartment in 1844, thus we are now living between the 6th and 7th trumpet. Then the Un codes says we’re not sure if the 5th trumpet sounded yet,  or it has and we’re living in it, and still before the 6th trumpet. Can we say total confusion? Both inspired writings? Certainly it cannot be.

4) Where did Jesus spend 3 days and nights? The orig. writings say the following–

Ref–Now mark, that from the time the Jews laid hands on Christ (Thursday the 12th hour) to His resurrection (Sunday the 12th hour), there were exactly seventy-two hours or three days and three nights.  Thus fulfilling the words of Jesus: “For as Jonas was three days and three nights in the whale’s belly; so shall the Son of man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth.” (Matt. 12:40.)  The idea that in the “heart of the earth” means in the grave, is man’s supposition without Bible foundation.

If the Saviour had in mind His experience in the grave, He would have said so.  If His grave was in the center of the earth — about 4,000 miles beneath its surface (the heart of the earth) then one may suppose He meant the heart of the earth.  Jesus used the expression to indicate that He was to be three days and three nights in the hands of sinners, and in the grave.  Why are sinners called “The heart of the earth”?  Because man was made of it according to Gen. 3:19, “For dust thou art, and unto dust shalt thou return.”( Shep. Rod, Vol.2, p.25)

The Un code says–

Ref– In our study of the three days and three nights what light did we receive to help us? — That the heart of the earth was not the tomb, but rather Jesus was in reality in the power or in the hands of the church for three days and three nights even though part of that time He was dead and in the tomb.(Un code, vol.11, no.8 p.6)

This one is another minor contradiction, in that the differences appear to be that the orig. code says He was in the hands of the Jews and in the tomb. Other says He was in the hands of the “church”.

5) The original writings say the following about what we are to do with the upcoming “Assyrian Confederacy” —

In addressing what we should do about the Assyrian confederacy, bro. Houteff says–

Ref– The fear which the people fear is not to be our fear; neither are their plans to be our plans.  Our duty is to–Isa. 8:13 — “Sanctify the Lord of hosts Himself; and let Him be your fear, and let Him be your dread.”

   To sanctify the Lord is to be all for Him, to have no one else in His stead, to put your entire trust in Him, not making flesh your arm, for He alone is able to see you through.  And though you should be the only one in all the world to take such a stand, He will not fail you.  If such be your case, you will then become Heaven’s greatest hero.(Timely greetings, vol. 2, no.20)

The Un code says —

Ref– God’s people are not only commanded not to participate in the confederacy, but they are to oppose it “to all them to whom this people shall say, A confederacy.”(Un code, vol.13, no.8, 4:8)

The  upcoming Assyrian conspiracy is addressed in the original writings with the direction to rely on the Lord when it comes. The un codes tell us to “oppose it, implying we should take actions among ourselves to go against it.

So we see that there are some real distinct contradictions in the unpublished codes compared to the original writings of brother Houteff. Knowing this, we can better understand God’s divine plan to not have them published. It is only, and we repeat–only the decision of a woman whom, as we have seen, took it upon herself to publish the writings.

However, all the above being said we would like to make a final point about the unpublished writings. We have read through some of them and have to be honest. We feel that some and we emphasis “some”, are most likely brother Houteff’s writings. For instance, let’s take a look at one of the file codes that Florence Houteff published , volume 13, no. 5 & 6.

In this code article we see the following question asked–

THE SABBATH WHAT IS IT?  WHEN IS IT?FOR WHOM IS IT?   A Truth-seeker writes: “I am sending you literature on the seemingly Scriptural doctrine that the Bible Sabbath falls on Friday not on Saturday nor on Sunday.  It looks to me unanswerable.  Please give me a


Now if we continue to read the answer given, we are astounded at the depth and degree of knowledge that makes up the answer. Please read it if you can. So what are we to make of this? We truly believe that the answer given could have come from no other than brother Houteff.

So are the unpublished codes truth or not? The simple answer is yes and no. But that being said, we believe they have been tampered with, such as the example of the contradictions. Could Mrs. Houteff  or others in her office added to the writings? Yes, quite possibly. Let’s also keep in mind no transcripts or notes have ever appeared of these postmortem codes. We only have Florence Houteff’s word for it. But again, even if they were to appear, the simple fact that apparently brother Houteff did not want them published speaks volumes as to whether God intended us to use them as inspired writings.

As proof of her and her council’s lack of trustworthiness, they later conspired at Mt. Carmel to falsely interpret the 42 month prophecy and make the announcement for all the world to see that Ezek. 9 was going to happen at a certain date (early 1959).Even going so far as to publish their own code predicting it would happen! Here’s the wording they used,   “If the message and work of the Shepherd’s Rod is God’s truth as we believe it to be, the 1260 days of Revelation as the Symbloic Codes have explained, will end sometime this Spring. Then will follow the war that will kill the Two Witnesses.”(Sym. Code,  vol. 14, no.6, p.8).   The fiasco was/is  known as the “knockout blow” predicted by brother Houteff.

The unpublished codes can be useful for our “own” reading. Sort of like historical reading. They should not be quoted publicly as a reference due to the fact that tampering  has clearly been made. The alternative,  God forbid, is that we would have no choice but  to believe that bro. Houteff  made clear contradictions(errors) and as such wasn’t inspired. Additionally we often found phrasing/use of words in the unpublished codes that didn’t compare to brother Houteff’s original codes and writings.

Additionally, some may want to read the thorough report by bro. Lennox Sam and Michael Graham that give powerful evidence that the “new codes” contain irregularities  and in some cases — out right errors. As an example, they write, “Just another note of observation we failed to mention. Brother Houteff has published 98 sermons in the Timely Greetings Volumes One and Two, and not once have we found prayer thoughts to be over a paragraph or so long. In these purported sermons delivered by Brother Houteff, there are prayer thoughts four pages long. This does not resemble Brother Houteff’s sermons.”

Their report also reveals a striking fact. Much missing pages are not included in the current “new codes”. They explain–

“Brethren, we would like to draw your attention to some more startling facts. The symbolic codes in the 5 volumes now being distributed are not complete Codes there are many missing pages, which are shown in Exhibit “I”. Was this an oversight or were these pages lost, as some brethren were told? The answer is a big loud No! Why are we distributing portions of these New Codes? Is it because there are some errors found in them? Or did we simply had no access to them, if so, we now do, the complete Symbolic Codes can be found at the Carroll Library at Baylor University, Waco Texas.

The New Symbolic Codes are either all truth or no truth, all right or all wrong, and if they are all right, then distribute them in their entirety. If portions of them are wrong then discard them all and stick to that which was published by Brother V. T. Houteff and we will be standing on the sure foundation. Why are we holding on to publications with a shaky foundation?

3. Please note that 11 SC. No. 2 actually contains in excess of twenty-six pages. Why are we only distributing the first fourteen pages? In addition, we are not even distributing page fourteen in its entirety. Why! Why! Why see Exhibit “I” No. 3. We are splitting Symbolic Codes and even splitting pages so as to avoid the errors found therein. Isn’t there enough literature published by the Prophet to prepare us to receive the seal, go through Jacob’s time of trouble and finally board the chariot bound for the Kingdom?”

We should also remember that the original published codes and writings  have all the light we need and comprise the total clear Elijah message, to bring us into God’s soon to come earthly kingdom. Do we need to add such confusion and disruption to the Elijah message, and make it foder for the enemies of truth to use as a weapon against the Lord’s message? The Lord’s Elijah message, as we all know, stands on solid ground in it’s original writings. Not so with the Florence Houteff codes.

Let us remember that we should always seek the Lord in prayer on any study of His word, including His last message, as brought by brother Houteff. We should claim the Lord’s promise “When He, the Spirit of Truth, has come,  He shall guide you into all truth..” (John 16:13)


5 Responses to “The Codes – What’s The Facts?”

  1. Carmen Wright February 18, 2017 at 10:34 am #

    Wow, information, information.
    What an eye opening.

    Thank you my brother.
    God bless you.

  2. Bro. Rob February 18, 2017 at 3:38 pm #

    We’re glad you got some information here dear sister, praise the Lord.

    “..those who desire to know the truth must carefully mark every word, otherwise they will never comprehend the truth and, as a consequence, they will be driven by the winds as the waves of the sea until the winds cease blowing (probation closes), and they be left to sink down in their sins as do the waves in the sea.” (SC, vol. 2, no. 7-8.p.10)

  3. Chanda reagan July 28, 2018 at 3:34 pm #

    ok understood but this is when am studying this.

  4. lynne bernasky June 8, 2019 at 5:56 pm #

    Clarification: “the story goes that Mrs. Houteff had found some of VTH’s news codes that were in files and had never been published by the prophet while he lived” That is incorrect, Florence records the facts, and they were not files of completed codes, but only “Notes” which she had taken from live sermons. Here’s her own words: “From time to time, as the Lord directs, it will be the privilege of The Symbolic Code to publish certain sermons delivered by the late Brother V.T. Houteff.. from the most complete collection of existing notes…” 11SC2:3.

    • godsloveandlaw June 8, 2019 at 7:57 pm #

      As this is a “by what we heard” statement, we don’t know where the “notes” were taken from. All sermon addresses originated in her “notes” or handwriting of them to then later be approved by VTH.Some have said it was from the card files.

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