(This study was written by Bro. Don Adair and copyrighted in 1998You can print a copy of this study for yourself and share it with others if you make no changes in it, if you take no credit for it, if you charge no money for it, if you include this notification in this parenthesis with it; and if you include his name, address, phone number, website, and e-mail, at the bottom.)



Surely every Davidian has heard of or sung that beautiful hymn entitled, "In the Sweet By and By," and was thrilled by the words. Why? Because to Davidians these words: "In the sweet by and by, shall we meet on that beautiful shore," calls to their minds the day when the Davidian saints shall be gathered into God's soon coming kingdom (Dan. 2:44) on earth in Jerusalem, where they "shall meet on that beautiful shore." What a blessed day to hope for! And how comforting the thought of going home to God's kingdom to enjoy the Lord's blessings and live in peace and happiness on earth before Jesus comes! Oh, how "sweet" it is to the Davidians to think about, study about, and pray for the kingdom!


Do you remember the first day when the light of the truth of the kingdom first entered your mind? Remember how "sweet" it was to contemplate the thought of living in a safe place while the plagues are falling on the wicked, and the perfect peace and tranquility that will prevail in the kingdom (Isa. 11:6-9)? Remember how happy you were, and how zealous you were to go and tell others about the "sweet" kingdom? Remember how you fully believed that "in the sweet by and by" the kingdom would be set up, and you would go home and forever be freed from sin? Don't you remember?

Sure, you remember, if you are still a true Davidian believer today. But don't overlook the fact that you have a deadly enemy who is determined to cause you, one way or another, to forget all about the kingdom in the "sweet by and by." He does not like for you to have that joyous melody in your heart, which you sing to yourself day by day: "In the sweet by and by the kingdom will come and I will be there."


Before you became a Davidian you may have been a "lukewarm" Laodicean who was dreaming that he was "rich and increased with goods, and have need of nothing" (Rev. 3:17). And while you were in this condition, the devil left you alone and caused you no troubles. And then one day you came in contact with the message of The Shepherd's Rod having the "eyesalve" (Rev. 3:18) to open your eyes to the soon-coming kingdom "in the sweet by and by," and he lost you from his ranks to the Lord's side, and thus he became very angry with you for being a traitor to him and his cause.

"A general slain in battle is lost to his army, but his death gives no additional strength to the enemy. But when a man of prominence joins the opposing force, not only are his services lost, but those to whom he joins himself gain a decided advantage."--Acts of the Apostles, pg. 124:2 (bold emphasis added).

And so it is with Seventh-day Adventists. Those who have joined the SRod message to become Davidians have become a "decided advantage" against the devil, because they are "those who were once zealous in the cause of Satan, but who, plucked as brands from the burning, have followed their Saviour with deep, intense devotion" (G.C. 665). Thus, they become the object of Satan's most fierce hatred and persecution. The Devil lost you to the Lord's side, and now he wants you back (lukewarm). But how can he get you back to his side? As long as you are encouraged spiritually with the thought: "In the sweet by and by the kingdom is coming," he has no chance to get you back. But if he can somehow discourage you and cause your sweet thoughts to sour, then he will get you back in his ranks once again as before. Yes, he is trying to get you to think: "In the sour by and by." He has many devices, deceptions, and traps to sour your "sweet by and by." Beware Brother, Sister, Davidian! Watch out! keep the kingdom truth "sweet," don't let the devil cause it to sour!


The Bible in Song of Solomon 2:15 tells about the foxes "that spoil the vines {eat the grapes}: for our vines have tender grapes." One of Aesop's famous fables (most likely taken from this verse) told of a fox who spied a lovely bunch of sweet grapes hanging from a vine, and he began to jump up in an effort to reach them to eat. But the grapes were too high, and he got tired of jumping, so he quit and walked away, saying to himself: "Oh well, I didn't want those old sour grapes anyway!"

If we were to apply the fable as a lesson to some Davidians, we could say the fox represents Davidians who spied (studied the message of The Shepherd's Rod) the sweet bunch of grapes (representing the fruits of the kingdom--peace, love, joy, happiness, security) and were attracted to it. They wanted to eat these grapes--enjoy the kingdom when it is finally set up. The sweet grapes growing on the vine are offered to them by Jesus, the vine (John 15:5), but it is just out of their reach (the kingdom has not yet been set up). In order for all the Davidian foxes to finally reach the kingdom (sweet grapes) and finally partake of it (eat the grapes), they must continually jump with a zealous desire to possess the sweet grapes; which means to "strive with all the power God has given us to be among the 144,000" (Review and Herald, 1905). But if they get tired of jumping (striving) they will finally give up being a Davidian, and end up saying as did the fox: "Oh well, I didn't want that old sour kingdom anyway!"


The Devil has many ways of causing the sweet grapes to become sour to you. His first trap is prejudice. The only way you became a Davidian was to first set aside your prejudice and listen to The Shepherd's Rod message. Then after hearing the studies about the soon-coming kingdom, you decided that you wanted to eat the sweet grapes, and as long as you continued to study the SRod message, you were continually hungering after the these grapes. The Devil's second trap for you is to discourage or stop altogether your studying about the kingdom (sweet grapes), thus lessoning your desire and hunger to reach it (eat the grapes). Next, his third trap would logically be to discourage or stop altogether your jumping (a daily striving to live the SRod message and teach it to others), so you would lose all desire to forward the soon-coming kingdom "in the sweet by and by." After he has caught you in his third trap, you would no longer see anything "sweet" about the kingdom, and would believe that it is useless and a waste of time to jump (strive) to reach the once sweet grapes, which now appear to be sour to you (showing a lack of faith). So, with all hope, faith and desire wrested from you by the devil's traps, you sorrowfully walk away (spiritually die) and say within yourself: "Oh well, I didn't want those old sour grapes anyway, because I have jumped too much, and besides they are too high for me to reach!"--To some Davidian the standards of the SRod message are too high for them. And so where do those who fall into these traps go? Right back into the devil's ranks, where they once were--into "lukewarm" Laodicean carelessness! Just where the devil wants them. And how he exults and laughs at the Davidian foxes whose sweet grapes have become sour! But wait, he has another trap for Davidians.


Some Davidians are not caught in either of the Devil's traps of prejudice or lack of study; but still he traps them in another way, so that they become "offended," and thus the sweet grapes are soured for them. But who offends them? We shall find the answer in the parable of the seed of truth being sown into the "stoney place."

"But he that received the seed into stony places, the same is he {a Davidian} that heareth the word {SRod}, and anon {means 'not halting'--3 Ans. 77} with joy receiveth it; yet hath he not root in himself, but dureth for a while: for when tribulation or persecution ariseth because of the word, by and by he is offended."--Matthew 13:20,21 (boldings, braces added).

"Many {Davidians} who make a profession of religion are stoney-ground hearers....This class may be easily convinced {of the truth}, and appear to be bright converts, but they have only a superficial religion."--Christ's Object Lessons, pg. 46:3 (bold emphasis, braces added).

Since the seed-sower is Christ, and since the "Word" (Matt. 13:21) is Jesus (John 1:14)--the Truth (John 14:6), then it is with Jesus that some Davidian foxes, who desired the sweet grapes, have become offended! Yes, "by and by" they are offended because of Jesus, the Word of Truth! They are not offended because of the devil, for why would they call the sweet grapes sour, and leave The Shepherd's Rod message to go back into his ranks again? Thus, the devil's trap for these Davidian foxes is to cause "tribulation and persecution" to arise "because of the Word" (Matt. 13:21), and "by and by" they become "offended" with Jesus and no longer think the sweet grapes of the kingdom is desirable. For these trapped Davidian foxes the kingdom appears to have become soured.

But not all Davidian foxes become offended at once or at the same time. The words: "by and by" means that some are offended now and some later. That is, at sometime in the passing of time, "by and by," they become "offended." Some Seventh-day Adventists become Davidians very quickly, but they also become offended by Jesus' truth just as quickly; while others may endure for years, and then "by and by" they become "offended." But in the end, they all thought the sweet grapes had turned sour, because they could not endure the "hot summer sun" of "tribulation and persecution" that comes by accepting the "Word" of Jesus--The Shepherd's Rod message.


"The hot summer sun, that strengthens and ripens the hardy grain, destroys that which has no depth or root. So he who 'hath not root in himself,' 'dureth for a while;' but 'when tribulation or persecution ariseth because of the word, by and by he is offended.' Many receive the gospel as a way of escape from suffering, rather than as a deliverance from sin. They rejoice for a season, for they think that religion will free them from difficulty and trial. While life moves smoothly with them, they may appear to be consistent {Davidian} Christians. But they faint beneath the fiery test of temptation. They cannot bear reproach for Christ's sake. When the word of God points out some cherished sin, or requires self-denial or sacrifice, they are offended."--Christ's Object Lessons, pg. 47:2 (bold emphasis, braces added).

God permits the devil to spread his trap of "tribulations" before the Davidians to see if they are deeply rooted and grounded in the SRod message. When he contests God's Word and trouble begins among the brethren, some Davidian foxes walk away from the sweet grapes. Even some Davidians of long-standing in The Shepherd's Rod message! Do not flatter yourself into thinking that because you have been a Davidian for many years that you can not become "offended" in the "by and by." You can back-slide as others have done.

In 1955 when Brother Houteff died, some new and older Davidian foxes became "offended" and left the SRod message, while claiming they did not want the old sour grapes anyway. And when the "knockout blow" came in 1959 some of the most staunch, long-standing, and faithful Davidian foxes ceased jumping (striving) for the sweet grapes (kingdom)--even Bro. Houteff's own wife--and left the ranks of the Davidians, which surprised us all. To this day, the sweet grapes of the kingdom are soured for them, because they became "offended" with Jesus' Word (which did not agree with their ideas of what was to happen in 1959). And when the "tribulations" of the "hot summer sun" beat upon them, they forsook the SRod message, denouncing it as error (sour grapes). In all these instances and many others, it involved a "religious crises" with "tribulation and adversity" between the brethren involving religious issues.

"I was pointed to the providence of God among His people and was shown that every trial made by the refining, purifying process upon professed Christians proves some to be dross. The fine gold does not always appear. In every religious crisis some fall under temptation. The shaking of God blows away multitudes like dry leaves. Prosperity multiplies a mass of professors. Adversity purges them out of the church. As a class, their spirits are not steadfast with God. They go out from us because they are not of us; because when tribulation or persecution arises because of the Word, many {Davidians} are offended."--4 Testimonies, pg. 89:2 (bold emphasis, braces added).


Remember when the Davidian members of the Salem Association endured (in January to October of 1978) a "religious crisis" involving troubles and adversity from California? Again some became "offended." This "religious crisis" was caused by the Word of Jesus over the same issue as before--God's Association being in the east at Salem, South Carolina. Sure, the faces were different, the accusations were not the same, nor was it the same year. But the trouble was caused by a Davidian Sister from California wanting to be the Vice-President and take control of God's Association and move His Headquarters from Salem back to California. This, of course, is contrary to the Word of Jesus, which plainly states that "beautiful southern California was no longer to remain the center of His work" (1 S.C. 10:3:1). This Davidian found sympathizers who were willing to help her try and destroy God's Association in the east.

"If persons are as deserving of being separated from the church as Satan was of being cast out of heaven, they will have sympathizers. There is always a class who are more influenced by individuals than they are by the Spirit of God and sound principles, and, in their unconsecrated state, these are ever ready to take sides with the wrong and give their pity and sympathy to the very ones who least deserve it. These sympathizers have a powerful influence with others; things are seen in a perverted light, great harm is done, and many souls are ruined. Satan in his rebellion took a third part of the angels."--3 Testimonies, pgs. 114,115 (boldings, braces added).

Some Davidians sympathized with this sister because she offered to split the Association's tithe-money with them, and others were offered a position on her Executive Council, while others sided with her because they were offended and had bitter feeling toward those at Salem Headquarters. But the Lord saved His Association in the east from the hand of its enemies who tried to destroy it; and they no longer walk with us, just as the Spirit of Prophecy said:

"In every religious crisis some fall under temptation. The shaking of God blows away multitudes like dry leaves. Prosperity multiplies a mass of professors. Adversity {offends them which} purges them out of the church."--1 Testimonies, pg. 89:2 (bold emphasis, braces added).

"And though the Lord give you the bread of adversity, and the water of affliction, yet shall not thy teachers be removed into a corner any more, but thine eyes shall see thy teachers."--Isaiah 30:20 (bold emphasis added).

"The trials to which Christians are subjected in sorrow, adversity, and reproach are the means appointed of God to separate the chaff {offended Davidians} from the wheat....Afflictions, crosses, temptations, adversity, and our varied trials are God's workmen to refine us, sanctify us, and fit us for the heavenly garner {kingdom}."--3 Testimonies, pg. 115:1 (bold emphasis, braces added).


There are other offended Davidians, however, who can't seem to make up their minds which side to be on in a "religious crisis," and they sit on a fence, waiting, watching, wondering what to do. And they do nothing to help the Lord's cause (Jud. 5:23); while they see others fighting the battles. Then, when the victory is won for God's cause, they want to join and share the spoils of truth (sweet grapes), which they did not fight for and do not deserve. And there are others who have been offended, and wonder where they should go. But go where? Will they go back into worldliness to have a good time eating the devil's substitute (sour grapes), while they forget all about the kingdom of sweet grapes? No, they could not do that, for they know there is no salvation in worldliness. Well, then, will they go back to the false security of the Seventh-day Adventist Church, where it is "lukewarm" and comfortable, where the ministers tell you all is "peace and safety" (5 Test. 211:2), and where there is no trouble to face and no religious crisis to be involved in? No, they can't do that either because they know about the slaughter of Ezekiel 9 for the SDA church, and they can find no salvation there apart from The Shepherd's Rod message.

And if they decide to stay with the SRod message, where will they go? Will they join one of the Davidian groups who are following the usurpers (G.C.S. 8:0), which will lead them away from the last Elijah (V.T. Houteff) with the last message? No, they cannot do that and lower themselves to the level of idol worshiper, and bow down to a porter, or false prophet, or president, or another Elijah, and be lead away from The Shepherd's Rod message, for there is no salvation in following man. If they cannot do that, will they join with the Davidian Association in California? No, they cannot do that, because they are fully aware of Elijah's inspired statement that "beautiful southern California was no longer to remain the center of His work" (1 S.C. 10:3:1); and it would be foolish to ignore or defy what the prophet said, for there is no salvation in disobedience. So where can they go? Let Peter the apostle answer this question for the offended Davidian fence-sitters, as he answered Jesus.

"When Jesus knew in himself that his disciples murmured at it, he said unto them, Doth this offend you?...From that time many of his disciples went back, and walked no more with him. Then said Jesus unto the twelve, Will ye also go away? Then Simon Peter answered him, Lord, to whom shall we go? thou hast the words of eternal life."--John 6:61, 66-68 (bold emphasis, braces added).

Jesus moved God's Headquarters eastward to Salem, South Carolina in 1970. His Word has declared it so in The Shepherd's Rod message (2 S.R. 297:0). "Doth this offend you?" The stream of Ezekiel's river has flowed eastward, never to go westward again, and many Davidians have become offended at this and no more walk with Jesus in the east. But a few Davidians, like Peter, hear Jesus' question; "Will ye also go away?" and they answer: "Lord, to whom shall we go?" Where else is there to go but eastward to God's Headquarters at Salem with Jesus and His Word in the message of the SRod? But some Davidians can't seem to make up their mind. They have become "offended" and sit on the fence in a supposedly neutral position.

"If God abhors one sin above another, of which His people {some Davidians} are guilty, it is doing nothing in case of an emergency. Indifference and neutrality in a religious crises is regarded of God as a grievous crime equal to the very worst type of hostility against God."--3 Testimonies, pg. 281:0 (bold emphasis, braces added).


While the offended Davidian fence-sitters sit in a neutral position, they cannot jump (strive) for the kingdom of sweet grapes. And unless they decide one way or the other, the grapes will soon become sour to them. Furthermore, if these Davidians can't decide what stand to take now, how can they stand when the "four winds" (Rev. 7:1) of trouble begin to blow? Even now preparations are being enacted to set up the New World Order; which will become a one world government, one world politics, one world economics, one world money system, and especially one world religion. It will bring "a time of trouble such as never was" (Dan. 12:1) upon God's people, and force the people in the entire world to choose between the devil's kingdom of this world (Jn. 18:36) and the kingdom of God (Dan. 2:28,44). And when a death decree is enacted against God's people, will these Davidians become offended? If they cannot stand for God now, how can they stand for Him then? Will they continue to call themselves Davidians? or will they join the New World Order--a church-state confederacy? If they fall, there will be other Davidians to take their places. And only those who have been faithful to the SRod message will be sealed as one "of" or one "with" the 144,000 saints. Then Jesus will set up His kingdom in the Holy Land, and these faithful saints will be there, because "nothing shall offend them."

"Great peace have they which love thy law; and nothing shall offend them."--Psalms 119:165 (bold emphasis, braces added).


Are you still jumping (striving) for the sweet grapes of the kingdom? Is your appetite keen and does the pangs of hunger cause you to long for the taste of the sweet grapes? Do you have peace and love in your heart so that "nothing shall offend you?"

Or are you "offended" because of the adversities and tribulations that you may have to suffer?

Or have you been "offended" because the standards of the SRod message is too high for you to reach, and too hard to obey?

Are you offended because Jesus predicted in the SRod message that God's Headquarters was to move from California on an "eastward" course (2 S.R. 297:0), which it did in 1970 to Salem, South Carolina? Are you offended because they print all of the original SRod literature and charts?

Has any other offense caused you to lose your appetite for the sweet grapes, while you sit on the fence trying to decide if the grapes are sweet or sour?

Do you still have faith that "in the sweet by and by" you will have a place in God's soon-coming kingdom? Do you have peace with God? Do you still have love in your heart for The Shepherd's Rod message? If so, then, according to Psalm 119:165, "Nothing shall offend" you!


Copyrighted    1998 by Don Adair
282 Davidian Way
Tamassee, SC  29686
Phone/Fax  (864) 944-1254