Some years ago while in Europe I heard that one of my cousins had left for America. I then said to myself, "Poor cousin, I will never leave home and go to live anywhere as far away as America for any reason." But about that time, I, along with others, was falsely accused of conspiracy. It was in the season when the nights were long, and as we put on the lights in our store one morning before daylight, a mob gathered with guns and stones, and stormed the windows. So it was that just a few months after I took pity on my poor cousin's estrangement from his homeland I found myself in America in the same house with him. It was a great disappointment at first, no not lesser than Joseph's of old, but what a favor at last! God bless the mob!
I came to America, not because I wanted to, but because God wanted me to. And since I knew not my future work, and as God could then no more make me understand than He could at first make Joseph understand his trip to Egypt, I was therefore driven out of the country at the point of a gun as was Moses driven out of Egypt, although I had done nothing to bring trouble upon myself. At that time I knew not what my going away from home to such a distant land was about, but now I know as well as Joseph knew that his brethren's hope to defeat God's plan for him was but God's plan to get him down into Egypt. And so rather than to thwart the plan, they really caused the plan to be carried out!
While running a small hotel in the Middle West back in 1919, I became intensely interested in religion, and providentially joined the Seventh-day Adventists.
After all these and other experiences, then came the message which we are now endeavoring to take to the Laodiceans. The enemies of the message then left nothing unturned in their search for something against me, rather than to make sure that they were not turning down Truth. They tried every hook and crook to pin something on me and to stop my activities, but found nothing and as a rule about 30 members of the church stayed in my special meetings each Sabbath afternoon. Then came the time that the elders of the church refused to let us use the church for our meetings, and they made us all get out. But one of the sisters who was living in a big house right across from the church offered her place for the meetings, and there was a great uproar among the people around the church premises. Some were for us and some were against us. So it was that the house across from the church was filled that afternoon and many listened from the outside through the windows. The enemies failed to break up our meetings, and the victory was ours.
Next they forbade us to attend their church services, and they began to disfellowship those who still wanted to attend our meetings. They tried to deport me, too, but failed. Then they endeavored to get a court order against any of us going to the church on Sabbath, but lost out. Once they called the police to have me arrested on false charges that I was disturbing the meetings, but after the officer in the police station heard my story and the deacon's charges against me, he commanded the two policemen who brought us to the station to put us in their car again, and to take us right back to the church where they picked me up!
After this the elders endeavored to put me in an insane asylum. The "city manager" of Glendale himself (a Seventh-day Adventist) had come to this church that Sabbath morning to lay down the charges and to see me carried away and locked in the asylum. After talking with me for a few minutes, though, the officer did nothing but to tell me that he would not bother me again! Then the 200 lb. city manager felt smaller than my 135 lb. weight.”
“They did all these unbecoming things and many others; besides, they talked and preached against me. And though I had no one but the Lord to defend me at any time, yet in all these the victory was mine!
When we moved our office from California to Texas, where we had neither friend nor believer in the message, the church elders were glad, and thought our work would then die out for sure. It nevertheless grew more than before, although this took place in the midst of the depression, in 1935, while hundreds and thousands of businesses were going bankrupt, and while well-to-do men were becoming poor. Yet we, who started out with nothing, grew and prospered. We, moreover, never took collections in any of our meetings anywhere and never made any calls for money. This holds good still. Then, too, our free literature that goes out week by week amounts to hundreds and thousands of dollars week after week, and year after year, besides the cost of building the Institution.
In 1931, after The Shepherd's Rod, Vol. 1, came off the press, we published a two-page article in which we said that what God has led us into is either all truth or no truth. Since that time we have published another book and over twenty tracts besides the series of the Timely Greetings, all containing doctrinal matter. These publications have been scattered far and wide throughout the Denomination, but to this day the Denomination has not once officially attempted to refute any subject in its entirety. They ever try to take away what we have on these scriptures, but never give us something better. All we have heard or seen is garbling, or some such procedure as followed by first-day keepers while debating with Sabbath keepers.
I know that it is not a Bulgarian from the Rhodope Mountains who has made scholarly Americans scratch their heads. It is not possible that such a one could have shaken the Denomination from center to circumference. If you do not know Who it actually is, then you had better find out without delay.
Victor T. Houteff