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That everyone who thirsteth for the truth may obtain it, these publications are, as a Christian service, provided without charge. They levy but one exaction: the soul's obligation to itself to prove all things and hold fast to that which is good. The only strings attached to this free proffer are the golden strands of Eden and the crimson cords of Calvary - the ties that bind.
 
Lois I. Roden

BRANCH FIELD LETTERS



Ensign




"And  there  shall  come  forth  a  rod  out  of  the  stem  of  Jesse,  and  a  Branch  shall  grow  out  of  his  roots."  Isa. 11:1





Table of Contents


—1982—

January 19, 1982

April 5, 1982

June 23, 1982

July 8, 1982

September 9, 1982

December 1, 1982


—Other Years—

Letters from 1976

Letters from 1977

Letters from 1978

Letters from 1979

Letters from 1980

Letters from 1981

Letters from 1983


[Publisher's note: The Branch letters were published and sent to the field between 1976 and 1983. Besides containing additional light on the Present Truth, they also provide a historical overview of some of the things which were transpiring during a most important period in the history of The Branch.]


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January 19, 1982


Dear Kingdom-bound Saint:


Response to the December 17 monthly letter has been overwhelming and very encouraging! Reports are coming in from those launching out in a personal ministry for others.


Indeed, the time has come for a personal ministry for every Branch believer! We are praying that yours has already started, and that you will be able to share your experiences with us, which, in turn, can be shared with others.


In our Mt. Carmel Family Worship we have been feeding upon some very basic selections from the writings of Sister White regarding "personal" ministry, which we wish to share with you.


"All are required to do service for Him (Her), and for the manner in which they have met this claim, all will be required to render an account at the great judgment day.


"But the claims of Christ (and the Holy Spirit) are not recognized by all. It is those who profess to have accepted Christ's service who in the parable are represented as His own servants.


"Christ's (and the Holy Spirit's) followers have been redeemed for SERVICE. Our Lord(s) teaches that the TRUE OBJECT OF LIFE IS MINISTRY. Christ Himself was a worker, and to all His followers He gives the LAW OF SERVICE--service to God and to their fellow men. Here Christ has presented to the world a higher conception of life than they have ever known. BY LIVING TO MINISTER FOR OTHERS, man is brought into CONNECTION WITH CHRIST (and the Holy Spirit). THE LAW OF SERVICE BECOMES THE CONNECTING LINK WHICH BINDS US TO GOD AND TO OUR FELLOW MEN.


"To His (Her) servants Christ (and the Holy Spirit) commits 'His (Her) goods--something to be put to use for Him (Her). He (She) gives 'to every man his work.' EACH HAS HIS PLACE IN THE ETERNAL PLAN OF HEAVEN. Each is to work in co-operation with Christ for the salvation of souls. Not more surely is the place prepared for us in the heavenly mansions than is the special place designated on earth where we are to work for God.


"The talents that Christ (the Holy Spirit) entrusts to His (Her) church represent especially the gifts and blessings imparted by the Holy Spirit. 'To one is given by the Spirit the WORD OF WISDOM; to another the WORD OF KNOWLEDGE by the same Spirit; to another FAITH by the same Spirit; to another the GIFTS OF HEALING by the same Spirit; to another the WORKING OF MIRACLES; to another PROPHECY; to another DISCERNING OF SPIRITS; to another DIVERS KINDS OF TONGUES; to another the INTERPRETATION OF TONGUES; but all these worketh that one and the selfsame Spirit, dividing to every man severally as He will.' 1 Cor.12:8-11. All men do not receive the same gifts, BUT TO EVERY SERVANT OF THE MASTER SOME GIFT OF THE SPIRIT IS PROMISED...


"The gifts are already ours in Christ, BUT THEIR ACTUAL POSSESSION DEPENDS UPON OUR RECEPTION OF THE SPIRIT OF GOD (as the Mother figure of the Trinity)...


"It is the absence of the Spirit that makes the gospel ministry so powerless. Learning, talents, eloquence, every natural or acquired endowment, may be possessed; but without the presence of the Spirit of God, no heart will be touched, no sinner won to Christ (and the Holy Spirit). On the other hand, if they are connected with Christ, if the gifts of the Spirit are theirs, the POOREST AND MOST IGNORANT OF HIS (HER) DISCIPLES WILL HAVE A POWER THAT WILL TELL UPON HEARTS. God makes them the channel for the outworking of the highest influence in the universe.


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"The special gifts of the Spirit --not the only talents represented in the parable. It includes all gifts and endowments, WHETHER ORIGINAL OR ACQUIRED, NATURAL OR SPIRITUAL ALL are to be employed in Christ's (the Holy Spirit's) service. In becoming His (Her) disciples, WE SURRENDER OURSELVES TO HIM (HER) WITH ALL THAT WE ARE AND HAVE. These gifts He (She) returns to us purified and ennobled, to be used for His glory in blessing our fellow men ....


"THE TALENTS, HOWEVER FEW, ARE TO BE PUT TO USE. The question that most concerns us is not, How much have I received, but WHAT AM I DOING WITH THAT WHICH I HAVE? The development of all our powers is the first duty we owe to God and to our fellow men. NO ONE WHO IS NOT GROWING DAILY IN CAPABILITY AND USEFULNESS IS FULFILLING THE PURPOSE OF LIFE. In making a profession of faith in Christ we pledge ourselves to become all that it is possible for us to be as workers for the Master, and we should cultivate every faculty to the highest degree of perfection, that we may do the greatest amount of good of which we are capable ....


"The Lord (and the Holy Spirit) chooses His (Her) own agents, AND EACH DAY UNDER DIFFERENT CIRCUMSTANCES HE GIVES THEM A TRIAL IN HIS PLAN OF OPERATION. In each true-hearted endeavor to work out His (Her) plan, He (She) chooses His (Her) agents not because they are perfect but because, through a connection with Him (Her), they may gain perfection ....


"True education is the preparation of the physical, mental, and moral powers for the performance of every duty .... To everyone engaged in this work Christ (and the Holy Spirit) says, I am at your right hand to help you."-Christ's Object Lessons, pp. 326, 327, 328, 329, 330, 332.


You may read the entire chapter entitled "Talents" in Christ's Object Lessons. Each of us have the talents of mental faculties, speech, influence, time, health, strength, money, and kindly impulses and affections.


Let us not, "Like the Jews, ...mistake the enjoyment of their (our) blessings for the USE they (we) SHOULD HAVE MADE OF THEM." Ibid., p. 365.


Each of us should very carefully ponder the crucially important thoughts brought out in this chapter, and pray that with the help of the Heavenly Family our talents may be developed in and for Their service.


Since December 6, the Ceremonial Pentecost, the time of the ushering in, of the Priesthood of Melchisedec, we are encouraged by the experience of the workers here who have gone out in personal ministry. As never before there seems to be a spirit of investigation developing rapidly within the Adventist church.


In December Brother Friesen, Perry and Daniel Jones, Brother Worrow, and Brothers James and Buren Lawter attended the Ford Congress in Atlanta, Georgia, to distribute "Answer to Ford" and "The Four Thrones." About three hundred were in attendance, and most of them took the literature. Some excellent contacts were made. From there Brethren Friesen and Jones went to Southern Missionary College, at Collegedale, Tennessee, where they spent several days giving studies and making fruitful contacts with friends, students, and teachers at the college. Everywhere the "door of the mind" was open! The college is in foment because of the Ford teaching, and, as a result, Adventists are realizing the necessity of investigation. A tentative appointment was made for Sister Roden to be interviewed on the college radio station. The last several weekends, some of the brethren have gone to Keene, the Adventist college town, and other Texas cities, to give studies and make contacts—all with excellent results, even full acceptance of the truth! This has opened up studies to be given every weekend from now on, it seems! The Waco church has recently held an evangelistic series, and several have been baptized. One of the families has been contacted, and they want studies! Praise our Heavenly Family!


From February 7-10 staff members of SHEKINAH plan to attend the National Religious Broadcasters annual convention in Washington, D.C. The nations foremost radio religious broadcasters (Billy Graham, et al) will be in attendance and we plan to interview them regarding the Holy Spirit Mother and the ordination of women. The February trip to Detroit has been changed to March. An intensive pre-publicity program is underway to prepare for Sister Roden's radio interview and seminar to be sponsored by one of Detroit's leading religious women. The "Queen," as she is called, plans television and newspaper interviews, as well. She is already planning for Sister Roden's visit later in the year, at which time she is going to engage a large hall and invite the public, with attendant publicity.


Let us be about our Father and Mother's business! Go forward in faith, with prayer, claiming Their promise to be with you as you use your talents--thereby developing them and ready to receive the full measure of the Spirit--to share the wonderful truths of the gospel in its fullness--the truth of the Heavenly Family!


Sincerely yours to go forward in faith and PRACTICE,




Lois I. Roden

LIR:pdj






April 5, 1982


Dear Kingdom-bound Saint:


As our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ, entered His personal ministry at the wedding at Cana, fifty days after His baptism--the ceremonial autumnal Pentecost--so your and my personal ministry, in a very special way in this antitypical seven year period, began at the Ceremonial Pentecost last December 6. At that time, the Priesthood of Melchisedec was ushered in, and we have been greatly encouraged by the reports of those who have gone forth in personal ministry. Praise the Gods of Israel!


In our January 19 letter, we told you about our proposed trip to the National Religious Broadcasters Convention in Washington, D.C. With praise and thanksgiving to our Heavenly Parents, we take great pleasure in telling you about the convention, which was a real experience and a real joy! Doors opened in a miraculous way, and are still opening.


Sister Roden, Sister Matteson, Sister Sharon Roden, Brother Worrow, Brother Ramsay, Brother Ormsby, Brother Daniel Jones, and Brother Perry Jones attended the convention as press representatives of the SHEKINAH magazine, with full credentials and rights of the press to attend all meetings and interview any of the convention attendees--many internationally known. The SHEKINAH also had a booth--one of 300 booths-by one of the two main entrances-and thousands of copies of SHEKINAH and other tracts about our Heavenly Mother were given free to those thronging the booth area. On the wall backing our booth were large blow-ups of various SHEKINAH covers and articles. A survey, which you received with the last issue of SHEKINAH, was published especially for the convention. Many surveys were returned to us at the convention, while many took the survey with them and are returning them by mail. An article regarding the results of the surveys will be published in a forthcoming issue of SHEKINAH. It is very interesting to read them, and even humorous, for example, when one survey from one branch of the Baptist world says the ordination of women is completely unscriptural, while another survey from another branch of the Baptist world says that the ordination of women is scriptural! You will enjoy the published report of these surveys! We were surprised at the number of surveys which stated knowledge of the Aramaic being the original language of the Bible, and knowledge of the Holy Spirit being feminine. Of course, we realize that the scholars who know the language are aware of this truth.


There were many interesting conversations at the SHEKINAH booth! Not only many religious broadcasters stopped at our booth, but also those who were manning the other booths. The number of booths at this elite convention was the most in their history. This year was the biggest year in all respects, we were told, and of course we know that it was because it was Heaven's time to begin gathering together the wave-sheaf from all churches and nations. The booths represented a wide variety of interests. There were the famous religious broadcasters who were personally at their booths meeting people, giving away records, books, literature--in a broad spectrum from the Adventist Heritage Singers, Faith for Today, and the Mormon Osmond Family Television Enterprises, to the 700 Club and the PTL Club with many lesser known ones between; there were booths representing the electronic industry showing the latest equipment in radio and television broadcasting; there were booths showing pianos, bibles, and books. As the Washington Post story stated, it would have taken a small trailer to haul away the pins, literature, books, tapes, and records that were free for the taking.


The famous PTL Club interviewed Sister Roden on television at our booth. A reporter from the Washington Post interviewed Sister Roden, and she was featured in a segment of the follow-up story which appeared in the Post the day after the convention ended. You may read this story in the new issue of SHEKINAH, which is being published this month. A local Virginia radio station also interviewed Sister Roden.


The SHEKINAH press corps shared manning the booth and making contacts with various convention attendees during the four-day affair. There were approximately 3,000 members of the National Religious Broadcasters Association in attendance, which represented religious television and radio broadcasting from around the United States and overseas. Many of the internationally known media preachers, as they are called by the press, were there. An unbelievable number of press reporters--over 600--were there from around the world. A packet consisting of SHEKINAHS, Eagle, and In Her Image was given to a large number of reporters. During the convention a reporter told one of the SHEKINAN staff that talk was going around the convention about the Holy Spirit-Mother booth.


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SHEKINAH press corps heard President Reagan speak during the convention, as well as other famous personalities--Jerry Falwell, Rex Humbard, and Pat Robertson.


SHEKINAH'S roving interviewer, Perry Jones, taped several interviews during the convention. Dominant questions of the interview dealt with the identity of the Holy Spirit and women's ordination. Brother Jones interviewed Jim Baker of the PTL Club--met his wife, Tammy, but did not have time for an interview with her-Jerry Falwell, James Robison, Maude Aimee Humbard--met Rex--Alan Osmond, brother of Marie Osmond, and several others not known to the public. In these interviews, seeds of truth were sown in the questions asked. The interviews will be published in the SHEKINAH.


Sister Roden met a Chinese woman evangelist from Manila, Philippines, who received the International Award at the convention, and who also spoke at one of the seminars. As a result of this acquaintance, Sister Roden has been invited to speak at the international Prayer Congress in Manila in July. The President and Mrs. Marcos of the Philippines will be at the Congress, along with other Filipino, Chinese, and American notables. There will be a complete story about this event in the next issue of SHEKINAH. Another woman evangelist, Geraldine Conway, who was with Pastor Urn, showed great interest in the Holy Spirit-Mother teaching, and expressed her desire to work with Sister Roden. Pastor Conway is well-known in the religious world. A story about her will be published soon in SHEKINAH.


The bottom line, so to speak, of the NRB convention is understood only by Present Truth believers. It was another step in setting up the church-state alliance of Revelation 13. The main speaker, a well-known thinker and philosopher, Frances Shaeffer, counseled the Convention to resort to civil disobedience against any government that would give the people free choice in various areas; he suggested that only a one-choice government would solve America's problems-in other words, a dictator religio-political government.


Later in February Brother Jones attended the "I Love Liberty" rally sponsored by Norman Lear, television producer, which was televised and shown nationally later in March. This rally was set up to offset the Falwell Moral Majority movement. Many thousands of packets of literature were distributed with the help of Brother Doug Mitchell of California. While in Los Angeles, Brother Jones contacted the producer of "Odessey"--religious television weekly program of NBC Channel 4. The producer, Beth Mackenzie, was thrilled with the report of the Washington convention, and said she believed it was just a matter of time until we would be reading about the Holy Spirit-Mother in the newspaper headlines. A motion picture producer located at the old Warner Brothers studio was contacted to interest him in making a film about our Heavenly Mother. A reporter at the Los Angeles Times was also contacted, and it was learned that he is writing a book about Mother from an historic standpoint.


Sister Roden, Sister Matteson, Sister Scott, Brother Vernon Howell, and Brother Daniel Jones joined Brother Perry Jones in California and they attended the International Bible Congress in San Diego. Many packets of SHEKINAHS were distributed, and many excellent contacts made. This Congress was also attended by this same philosopher, Frances Schaeffer, who again, as in Washington, D.C., set forth his ideas to topple a multiple-choice government. The Congress was another step toward Revelation 13, and was attended by many well-known Bible scholars whose purpose was to uphold the Greek translation of the Bible.


During one weekend in California, Sister Roden and Brother Jones spent two days with Pastor Sonia Lim in San Francisco, meeting her friends and making excellent contacts. Many hours were spent with Sister Sonia telling her about our Holy Spirit Mother, which will be Sister Roden's topic at the Prayer Congress in Manila in July. The Philippines is the only Christian country in the Orient, and it is the door to the evangelization of China--an event just upon us! The doors are opening to China, whose many centuries of Mother God worship in pagan form has laid a foundation for the knowledge of the true Mother God of Heaven. Sister Sonia knows all the leading evangelists in America, has appeared on the various well-known religious programs, and is a personal friend of the President and Mrs. Marcos of the Philippines, as well as many leading citizens of the Philippines and America. We can see our Heavenly Family working to bring in the wavesheaf--representatives of all nations! We stand amazed and in praise to Them!


As Passovertime approaches, our minds turn not only to Passover in 31 A.D. when our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ instituted the Christian Passover--spoken of by Paul in 1 Cor. 5:7,8-but to the fast trip the wave-sheaf took to Heaven and returned to evangelize Jerusalem and Judea; longingly we look to the future, so near at hand, when the wave-sheaf of our time will, as glorified beings, do a marvelous work of evangelization and turn the world upside down, so to speak! Are we preparing to be saviours? ("Jesus answered them, Is it not written in your law, I said, Ye are gods? John 11:34.") Are we taking inventory of our life style? Are we seeking the kingdom of God first? Are we discerning that the "body of Christ" includes each of us?


May the blessings of Passover and the Feast of Unleavened Bread be ours according to our faith!




Correspondence Secretary

pdj





June 23, 1982



Dear Brother Mitchell:


The events in the Middle East are welcome signs to us who understand the prophecies of Isaiah regarding the land of Israel and the Assyrian. We praise our Heavenly Ones for the soon-coming Kingdom of peace!


The International Christian Embassy Conference to be held in Jerusalem next Feast of Tabernacles, October 2-9, will be an important step in the experience of Branch believers.


If you still plan to make the trip, it is necessary for you to send $100 immediately. This amount is required by the tour agency to make a reservation for those going. This must be done this early because the traffic to Israel is heavy at the time of the Feast, and if we do not make reservations now there will be ocmplications.


Thank you for taking care of this matter at once. We are writing to you because we understand that you plan to go. If you do not, please let us know.


May our lives be laid on the altar for the progress of the Truth!


Sincerely yours in the Branches of Heaven,




Perry D. Jones

Correspondence Secretary


pdj


P.S. The price we have obtained from the tour agency is $750 roundtrip from New York to Tel Aviv.





July 8, 1982



Dear Kingdom-bound Saint:


Praise our Lords from Whom all blessings flow! The Holy Word says, "O Zion, that bringest good tidings, get thee up into the high, mountain; O Jerusalem, that bringest good tidings, lift up thy voice with strength; lift it up, be not afraid; say unto the cities of Judah, Behold your God!" Isa. 40:9; "The Lord gave the word: great was the company of those that published it." Ps. 68:11.


Whereas in English Isaiah 40:9 says it is "Jerusalem that bringest good tidings," in the literal Hebrew it says it is a "woman" "that bringest good tidings." Likewise, the literal Hebrew for Psalm 68:11 shows that it is a "company of women that published it."


This enlightening information was found in a book entitled "The Magna Charta of Women," which was written by a famous woman preacher about the turn of the century.


We have received permission to serialize the entire book in SHEKINAH, for which we praise the Lords. The book contains some magnificent explanations of Paul's so-called command to women to be quiet in church, etc. You will happy to read this!


Since our last newsletter, the Los Angeles Times featured a story in the April 10 Religion Section with full across-the-page-headlines saying "New' Concepts in Christianity Revive Ancient Ideas-Is Holy Spirit Best Seen as Female?" This story was sent out across the United States on the L.A. Times -- Washington Post News Service; we saw the story in the Houston Post. It was featured twice in the Ft. Worth Star-Telegram. We are enclosing a copy of the story.


The article says that "The only woman apparently pushing the idea of the feminine Spirit actively is Lois Roden of Waco, Texas, a fundamentalist-oriented sect leader who began her effort after a personal revelation."


A very interesting article from the Phoenix paper, The Arizona Republic, was sent to the Office. It is a lengthy interview with a well-known priest, Andrew Greeley. Says Greeley, "God as a woman--now that's a good idea. Our research shows that 25 percent of those under 30 have thought of God as a woman. This is an idea whose time has come ....This will show up in art and literature and will offend some and fascinate others."


In June several of the SHEKINAH staff members attended the Southern Baptist Convention in New Orleans, Louisiana, for a two-fold ministry: literature evangelism directed at the delegates of the convention, and media evangelism directed at the members of the media and those featured in the media.


Around 6,000 packets of literature-composed of our two new leaflets, "Church and State-Keep Them Separate," the Los Angeles Times story, and last year's "Awake"-were distributed in New Orleans.


Official press badges were obtained by the SHEKINAH staffers, which gave them free access to the press room provided for the over 300 reporters covering the convention.


Reporters were contacted from the Associated Press, Chicago Tribune, Newsweek, Christian Century, Christianity Today, Baptist Press, Houston Post, Ft. Worth Star-Telegram, American Catholic Bishops, Newsday, Dallas Morning News, Los Angeles Times, Religious News Service, etc.


The conversations with the press were very interesting and should prove to be very productive. The reporter from the Associated Press--who has been writing for A.P. for many years, and whose name we


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have been familiar with for a long time--stated he believed the evidence showed that truly the Holy Spirit is the Mother figure! Well, praise the Lords, this thrilled us to hear that. He plans to write a story. The Chicago Tribune reporter said that there was a good chance the Phil Donohue people would contact him after he writes a story about Sister Roden. The reporter from Newsweek also was very interested. He has written several stories about the Adventist church and Sister White.


Billy Graham was a featured speaker at the Convention, and SHEKINAH reporters were able to speak with him personally on two occasions. The first one was at a press conference. We asked him his opinion on the ordination of women, the Holy Spirit being the Mother figure, and the religious right's attempts to bring about constitutional amendments. Parts of our questions and his answers were reported in the press releases afterwards, but they were not as comprehensive as his answers to us. Dr. Graham said he had not read the Los Angeles Times article about the Holy Spirit being the Mother, but he said he had read an article in the Religious New Service; he declined comment on lack of knowledge on the subject. He said that Jesus did not have a woman disciple; but he balanced this off by stating that he had heard a very good sermon by a woman Presbyterian minister--even better than her husband, also a Presbyterian minister. Dr. Graham very graciously received a packet of SHEKINAHS.


The second occasion with Dr. Graham was at the annual Religious Newswriters Award Banquet, where he was guest. Jerry Falwell and Anthony Podesta, executive director of People for the American Way, were guest speakers. They were all given literature. Jerry Falwell said he would write us his opinion of SHEKINAH. Podesta thought the "Hornet" tract was great! (We are enclosing a copy for you)


The Southern Baptist women's organization, the Women's Missionary Union, met before the Convention proper, and a very interesting speech was made at this pre-Convention meeting. "Concluding that Jesus Christ would have been an Equal Opportunity Employer,' Professor Sarah Frances Anders Sunday night decried the meager achievements for women in areas of position, place and power in the Southern Baptist Convention….Looking to Southern Baptists, Anders reported that there have been few if any significant increases among the ordination and ministry opportunities for women in recent years. Other denominations continue to be more open to women in the pastorate than Southern Baptists are, she continued. American Baptists, Lutherans, and Presbyterians all have more than one-half of their ordained women serving in the congregations where Southern Baptists have less than one dozen .... Following Ander's speech the women voted to form a support network of women in the ministry..."


We are encouraged that even in the Southern Baptist Convention, where the ministry, of women has been (and still is) regarded as anti-Biblical, there is a strong movement toward ministerial equality.


A recent letter from the "Women's Ordination Conference" states they will have 17 regional conferences and that they, upon receiving copies of our SHEKINAH, "reviewed these publications, and thoroughly enjoyed them" and "we are happy to recommend your display to the coordinators of these regional conferences." The conferences will be held in Los Angeles, Houston, Kansas City, New York City, Atlanta, Cleveland, Nashville, etc.


We have a full program to supplement our trip to Israel, the Americans United annual conference in Washington, D.C., and our Capitol Hill Evangelistic Thrust with members of Congress.


We have just received word from the International Christian Embassy in Jerusalem that there will be a $100 registration fee for each person attending the conference. They have also granted us a booth!


Pray for these important endeavors that Heaven's will may be accomplished.


You have received the Special Bulletin regarding the proposed trip to the International Prayer Congress in Manila, July 16-17. If you are not planning to attend, but would like to help Sister Roden on the expenses of the trip, please send your offering to Box 4098, Waco 76705. Thank you kindly!


May our Heavenly Father and Mother help you in your daily walk of faith, hope, and love.


Sincerely yours to rejoice in Their promises,




Correspondence Secretary





September 9, 1982


Dear Kingdom-bound Saint:


Thursday morning at 5:30 a.m., July 22, 1982, the Philippine Air Lines giant 707 landed safely at the International Airport in Manila, Philippines, after a 13 hour flight from San Francisco.


As your SHEKINAH staff, Lois Roden, Kay Matteson, and Perry Jones, approached customs, a lovely group of Filipino ladies greeted us by placing sweet-smelling flower garlands around our necks, as a camera man video-taped our arrival, and pictures were taken. Our dear sister Sonia Lim, and her welcoming committee, greeted us warmly, and we were then taken to the special lounge for visiting dignitaries to rest and have refreshments while we awaited the arrival of another international Prayer Congress speaker, the internationally renowned David Du Plessis, known as "Mr. Pentecost" because he was the only Pentecostal invited to the Vatican II Council in Rome.


After Brother Du Plessis' arrival, our party left for the Manila Hotel-located on Manila Bay in downtown Manila--to prepare for our visit with he mayor of Manila and President Ferdinand Marcos of the Philippines. After a warm welcome in the mural covered walls of the reception room of the City Hall, and the presentation of the keys of Manila by the city's mayor to Sister Roden and Brother Du Plessis, we arrived at noon at the Presidential Palace, known as Malacanang Palace--built by the Spaniards during their occupation of the Philippines--a sprawling, impressive Old World Spanish edifice surrounded by lovely grounds filled with tropical trees, plants, and shrubs, and high security.


A lovely Filipino lady, Nita Conde, who serves both the President and First Lady as political advisor, joined our group at the sentry gate just inside the palace walls, and was our hostess throughout our visit to the Palace. (We were surprised to learn from Nita that her aunt and cousin live in Waco!)


As we entered the palace through what seemed to be the official entrance for visiting guests and dignitaries, we were surrounded by a mixture of security guards, palace stewards and officials. As we climbed wide, beautiful, highly polished wood staircase to the reception area, we began to experience our first visit to a real palace. While we waited to be ushered into the President's Audience Chamber, we had a picture-taking session in another large audience room used for large groups of people.


Our half-hour visit with President Marcos was very interesting, informal, and friendly. Each of the delegation shook hands with the President, whose appearance, speech, and manner reminded us of Brother V.T. Houteff. Pictures were taken of Sister Roden shaking hands with the President, and of Brother Jones having an interesting conversation with the President as he presented him with a packet of SHEKINAHS. A packet of SHEKINAHS was also left for the First Lady, Emelda Marcos, who was in the United States at the time.


After our visit with the President, we were invited to a very elegantly appointed luncheon in the Palace Banquet Hall.


Our drive to and from the airport and the palace on that first day of our arrival in Manila gave us a very interesting and educational view of the city and its inhabitants. The Philippines is a tropical country, with temperatures never below 70 or above 100; it abounds in beautiful tropical vegetation. The people are very warm, hospitable, and friendly.


At 9 a.m., Friday morning, the Fourth International Prayer Congress opened in the Philippine International Convention Center. Cardinal Sin, the head of the Philippine Catholic Church, opened the Congress with prayer and a homily on prayer. Just prior to this, the speakers, Cardinal Sin, David Du Plessis, Mar Dorr, Juanita Smith, Bishop (as they called her) Roden, and Sonia Lim, along with Sister Marteson and Brother Jones, had met together privately to meet one another and prepare for the opening of the Congress.


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Sister Roden spoke privately with Cardinal Sin about our Heavenly Mother, and his reaction was very receptive.


Sister Sonia had asked that we bring many copies of SHEKINAH. We took almost 1,000! Sister Sonia said that especially her Catholic friends were asking about Sister Roden's teaching. The February 1982 SHEKINAH featuring the Toronto Star interview of Sister Roden, was given out at the opening session of the Congress. Dozens of packets containing all the SHEKINAHS, The Eagle, and In Her Image, were also given to the leaders, speakers, entertainers, and other prominent persons at the Congress.


Brother David Du Plessis thrilled us when he spoke about telling the Egyptians that God is both Mother and Father and that a minister is only half a man when his wife is not with him. Privately, Sister Roden spoke with Brother Du Plessis about presenting the truth of the Holy Spirit Mother to the Pope, who is a personal acquaintance of his.


Mary Dorr, one of the main speakers, is from California, where she is executive director of Religion in the Media, which produces several television and radio shows, as well as an anual Angel Awards, which is a religious conterpart of the Academy Awards. She invited Sister Roden to become a member of Religion in the Media, to participate in the Angel Awards program, and to speak about the Holy Spirit Mother on her Sunday morning Los Angeles television program, Personal Dimensions. Mary's husband, Gordon Gordon, who emceed some of the Congress, is a prolific writer of 20 books, eight of which have become major motion pictures and one, about a cat, was a Walt Disney special and Academy Award nominee. After speaking with the Gordons from time to time about the Holy Spirit Mother, Mr. Gordon said that he was seriously thinking about writing a motion picture script about Mother. Praise the Lord!


Pastor Gerald Derstine, another major speaker, from Florida, has a weekly program on the PTL Satellite Television Network. He spoke about Israel in prophecy both at the Congress and on Sunday morning in the United Methodist Church, which we also attended. In fact, the opening Scripture on Sunday morning was Jeremiah 23:1-6–The Branch, the Lord our Righteousness! Pastor Derstine is also attending the Jerusalem Congress in October. He invited Sister Roden to set up a consulate in Waco for the International Christian Embassy in Jerusalem.


Sister Roden spoke on Sabbath afternoon. She presented the Holy Spirit Mother to the Congress, and we were pleased to hear some Amen's in the audience. Some young ministers, and others in attendance told Sister Roden that they could understand the Holy Spirit being Mother. Of course, Sister Sonia had believed this prior to the Congress, and has been sharing with her Catholic friends.


The International Prayer Congress closed with the presentation of the Dove of Peace Awards. David Du Plessis, Gerald Derstine, and Sister Roden received the Awards.


On Sunday monring, after the Congress closed, we attended the United Methodist Church, and in the afternoon we visited the American naval base of Manila at Subic Bay. We met and had pictures taken with the well-known mayor Olangapo, Richard Gordon. We have him a packet of SHEKINAHS.


A Chinese pastor from Taipei, Taiwan, who also attended the Congress, invited Sister Roden to attend the World Chinese Christian Conference in Taipei in October.


The Manila papers carried pictures of the Congress, and of our visit with President Marcos.


On Monday, an Adventist brother, Alfredo Montemayor, with whom Brother and Sister Roden have corresponded for many years, took us to visit the Seventh-day Adventist Sanitarium. There we met and visited with a former Bible instructor at the Philippine Union College. The brother began to smile as Sister Roden told him about the Holy Spirit Mother. We quickly learned the reason for his smile! He related how as a Bible teacher he had pondered the logic that since there was a Heavenly Father, and a Heavenly Son, could there be a Heavenly Mother! This was a refreshing experience.


Not only did your SHEKINAH staff share with those attending the Congress, but we also had some very nice experiences talking with members of the hotel staff where we stayed, sharing with them about Mother and giving them literature! And, of course, on the flight over and back we sowed many seeds of truth.


Sincerely yours in The Branch Family,




Correspondance Secretary

pdj


URGENT REQUEST–Please address ALL checks, money orders, bank drafts, and envelopes directly to Lois I. Roden, P.O. Box 4666, Waco, Texas 76705, to assure delivery to Headquarters of Present Truth.




December 1, 1982



Dear Kingdom-bound Saint:


Twenty-two Branch delegates from America, Canada, England, Australia, and Africa attended the Third International Christian Embassy Feast of Tabernacles Celebration in Jerusalem, October 2-9, 1982.


Those from America were Sisters Lois Roden, Mable Scott, Catherine Matteson, Candid Feliz, Bessie Jones, Irmine Sampson, Roma Smith, and Harriet Phelps, and Brethren John Ramsay, Russell Costa and William Worrow. Sister Novelette Sinclair represented Canada; Sisters Jean Smith and Rosalind Alloway represented Australia. Those from England were Brother and Sister Blair, Sisters Nixon, Mourant, Woodburn, and Robertson. Africa was represented by Brothers Udoh and Matthews from Nigeria.


"Thus saith the Lord God; I will also take of the highest branch (Ben L. Roden) of the high cedar (Branch Davidian Seventh-day Adventist Association) and will set it; I will crop off from the top of his young twigs a tender one, and will PLANT it upon an high mountain (Mount of Olives) and eminent; In the mountain of the height of Israel will I PLANT it." Eze. 17:22,23. Read all of verse 23 for future reference.


On Friday, October 1, at 12:00 Noon, a very important prophetic event took place on the famed Mount of Olives in Jerusalem. In the presence of eleven Rabbis and the Branch group, Brother Ben L. Roden was re-interred on the rocky slopes of the Mount of Olives in a most solemn, impressive, and moving ceremony.


After a brief ceremony first at the mortuary, Brother Roden's body, wrapped according to the traditional Jewish custom, was taken to the Mount of Olives where the Principal and ten Rabbis conducted a beautiful and significant service. His body was transferred to the newly opened grave and covered with soil and stone to await the special resurrection.


Brother Roden passed away in Temple, Texas, on the preparation day just before the last day of the Feast of Tabernacles, 1978. He was buried in Jerusalem on the Mount of Olives on preparation day just before the first day of the Feast of Tabernacles, 1982.


The Branch delegates enjoyed the Feast of Tabernacles Celebration, with a variety of international speakers, singing and dancing, and especially Prime Minister Begin's speech at the opening of the Feast.


A good supply of literature was taken to Israel and distributed during the feast celebrations. Distributing literature in Israel is different than in America because of the law against proselyting which makes everyone somewhat jittery especially those who receive it. However, since Branch believers have had so much experience in the literature ministry, we can say that our distribution campaign was probably the first of its kind in Jerusalem.


Praise the Lords that much seed was sown.


Sister Roden was informed in Jerusalem that a religious group of Jews living at the Qumran settlement would like to see her as they believe a woman would appear at the Feast of Tabernacles, 1982, and do something very important.


Carmen Roden, and all the children-Jonathan, Judy, Judah Ben, Joshua, and Sharon--are all now living in Israel, and the Branch delegates visited with them.


To conclude a very successful and historic trip to Jerusalem for the Feast of Tabernacles Celebration, the day before returning to Jerusalem, three Branches-Irmine Sampson, Caridad Feliz, and Russell Costa (wave-sheaf)---were baptized in the River Jordan. Present at the baptism were Sisters Jean Smith, Rosalind Allowav, Rorna Smith, and Novelette Sinclair.


Page 2


The candidates were immersed in the waters of the Jordan at the Feast of Tabernacles as was The Saviour (The Typical Wavesheaf) nearly two thousand years ago. Pictures were taken and a meal was shared among those present before returning to Jerusalem by way of Jericho.


Upon Sister Roden's return to New Mt. Carmel Center, she, Sister Matteson, and Perry Jones attended the regional Women's Ordination Conference in Houston, Texas.


The Women's Ordination Conference, or WOC, is an organization of Catholic priests, nuns, and lay persons who are championing the right of women to the priesthood, and a married priesthood in the Catholic church. They are a very active group throughout the nation who are not only asking for the ordination of women to the priesthood, but are speaking out against Catholic hierarchy abuses. They engage in marches, rallies, protest demonstrations, and literature distribution.


When we were in Washington, D.C., for the pope's visit in 1979, we saw a group of them in front of the Washington Catholic Cathedral, wearing blue arrnbands in protest of the pope's stand against female priests.


The two main speakers at WOC were Diane Neu and Mary Hunt, from Washington, D.C. Diane has been receiving SHEKINAH for quite some time, and Mary had read it in the library at the University of California at Berkeley where she received her Master of Divinity degree from the Jesuit College. Both Mary and Diane gave a hearty endorsement for SHEKINAH to the WOC attendees and we were invited to give each delegate a packet of the SHEKINAHS. Before we attended the conference, we had contacted the Houston coordinator and sent her SHEKINAHS, which she, in turn, had shared with the women of WOC in the Houston area, thus preparing them for the very excellent reception given us. Sister Roden and Catherine were assigned a room with gracious Dominican nuns, and Perry stayed with a young Catholic couple. The nuns at the meeting wore regular clothing, as is the custom now.


The executive director of WOC has received SHEKINAHS, and has given us a very warm letter of recommendation to all the WOC groups around the country. Through the WOC door we are entering a new area of sharing and experience.


On November 4, Sister Roden traveled to Detroit, Michigan, for an all-expenses paid speaking engagement at the mission and radio station of the well-known Detroit radio personality, The Queen, of station WQBH.


Our dear friend, Sonia Lim, of Manila, visited us for several days. We made arrangements for her to be interviewed on the local television station, and a nice newspaper story was carried in the Waco paper. We introduced her at the SDA church, and several Protestant churches, as well as Word Records. A radio interview was made.


The Waco paper has interviewed Sister Roden for a story about Brother Roden's re-internment on the Mount of Olives. A television interview is also planned.


As you can see, the SHEKINAH staff is busy. Two new SHEKINAHS are going to press soon. We continue to receive new interests and requests for SHEKINAH, as well as new articles. Please continue to pray for the work.


Here is something interesting for you: we contacted a local pastor to obtain a speaking engagement for Sonia Limn, and in talking with the pastor's wife—Presbyterian--learned that she is being ordained as a Presbyterian minister, and that she has written poems about Mother God! We never know from what quarter such things will come next!


May our Heavenly Father and Mother continue to bless and keep you as we prepare for that great day of the special resurrection and the manifestation of the wavesheaf. Let us all start thinking about Israel next year for the Feast of Tabernacles. Those who would Like to join Sister Roden at Passover in Jerusalem at the unveiling of Brother Roden's tomb, make plans early. Reservations can be made at the cheapest rate from New York to Tel Aviv round trip.


Sincerely yours in the promise of the special resurrection.




Correspondence Secretary

pdj:enc.


P.S. The next monthly letter will have a complete report of Sister Roden's trip to Detroit and Toronto. To assure that we receive your letters, please address all correspondence Lois I. Roden, P.O. Box 4098, Waco, Texas 76705. Please be careful to do this as there are other Living Waters, Branch groups, etc. For those sending money from foreign countries, please put your name on the check and have the bank send it in American dollars to expedite cashing the check.




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