First, the title is misleading. The relationship between the House of Aaron and the MIA (now Alliance of Redeemed Israel) though mutually supportive is characterized by complete independence of each group.
They are two autonomous entities working together for a common goal. Neither has any control or governmental authority over the other. In fact, I (John Conrad) have made it clear that if the House of Aaron's presence limits or hinders ARI and its ability to realize its objectives, the House of Aaron would quietly withdraw from the ARI. We share many common beliefs and the House of Aaron endorses the tenets listed in "The Hope of Redeemed Israel" wholeheartedly.
It would be simple to find out what the House of Aaron teaches and what I have specifically taught. There are many tapes, CD's, and DVD's that have been made of my teaching at different conferences and also recordings made here at EskDale. I would welcome questions targeting specific problems in what I have said or what the House of Aaron supports. Our passion and mission is to assist in the gathering of Israel into a Holy Nation with Yeshua as King and the Torah (Word) as its constitution. Our focus is on Yeshua.
Later I will go into some detail concerning areas where our background might trouble other Believers. However, I want to confront some dirty laundry staining the history of both houses. Scripture is consistent that we are judged by our works (mentioned over 50 times in the Bible.) Doctrine is important but particularly as it influences conduct. The stoning of Steven, the murder of Catholics in Ireland by Cromwell's troops, the drowning of Anabaptists by those supporting infant baptism, the murder and torture of millions of Jews, the Inquisition, the tarring and feathering of Joseph Smith, the hanging by their thumbs of Pentecostals by evangelicals and many more thousands of examples reveal the worst doctrine. That is the idea that we must separate from those who have different ideas from us but we can overlook bad behavior and moral failure in those who think like us. This un-Biblical thinking seduces people into believing that God excuses and even loves the persecution and abuse of those with "bad" doctrine. The historical shame of the Crusades still injures Christian relationships with both Jews and Muslims. We didn't murder them because they were behaving badly-we murdered them because they didn't believe the right things. I have personally witnessed Christians spitting at Mormons because of the perceived doctrinal errors of Mormonism.
Today God's number one agenda is for Israel to gather. Gathering requires rubbing elbows with those with whom we have disagreement, those who have hurt us either specifically or historically, those we consider our enemies. We have been formally connected to the Messianic movement since 1999. In that short period of time the greatest sin of the movement is the inability to congregate, to cooperate, to coexist, to work together. We are prophetic voices calling the bones to come together, invoking Yahweh's Ruach to invade our bodies and raise us to life that we might be that people more numerous than the dust of the earth, the sand of the sea and the stars of the sky and yet we can't even sit in the same room.
For a movement based upon the Hebraic mindset there is nothing more Hellenistic than our insistence that people "think" right. There is no better way to know how someone truly thinks than to observe how he acts. Yeshua drives this point home in many of his parables. "The Good Samaritan" pits two men with perfect doctrine, an Aaronite priest and a Levite, against a hated Samaritan, a perfect example of someone with bad doctrine. The Samaritans had a different priesthood, a different temple and a different holy site from Jerusalem. The one who is justified is the one with merciful behavior not the ones with good doctrine.
Discipline in the Apostolic writings focuses on behavior. In Matthew 18 Yeshua recommends excommunication for those refusing judgment from the body. In 1 Corinthians 5 Paul angrily prods the assembly at Corinth to expel the man living in open immorality. He even says he will "deliver such a one to Satan." Paul also tells us the supreme importance of removing contentious people from the assembly. Titus 3:9-11 But avoid foolish controversies and genealogies and strife and disputes about the Law, for they are unprofitable and worthless.Reject a factious man after a first and second warning, knowing that such a man is perverted and is sinning, being self-condemned.
Every instance of Biblical condemnation is based upon behavior. In Matthew 25 Yeshua does not separate the sheep and goats based upon their acceptance or rejection of the Trinity, their correct rendering of Yeshua's name, their repudiation of the Book of Mormon. The separation is based upon behavior toward other people, those created in His image. 1st Corinthians is a rebuke to the divisive tendencies of the early assemblies. Paul confronts them in 1 Corinthians 3:3 For since there is jealousy and strife among you, are you not fleshly, and are you not walking like mere men? Mature spirituality displays itself by harmony amongst Believers. Division is a sign of immaturity and carnality.
Nevertheless, we all agree that doctrine is important and some doctrines critically important. A brief look at a couple of passages reveals God's assessment of doctrines with crucial significance.
Solomon in Proverbs 6:16-19 There are six things which Yahweh hates, Yes, seven which are an abomination to Him: Haughty eyes, a lying tongue, And hands that shed innocent blood, A heart that devises wicked plans, Feet that run rapidly to evil, A false witness who utters lies, And one who spreads strife among brothers.
Paul in 1 Corinthians 15:1-8 Now I make known to you, brethren, the gospel which I preached to you, which also you received, in which also you stand, by which also you are saved, if you hold fast the word which I preached to you, unless you believed in vain.
For I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received, that the Messiah died for our sins according to the Scriptures, and that He was buried, and that He was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures...
My problem with this paper is the author's insistence that the House of Aaron and ARI be shunned by God's people until they bring their thinking into line with his thinking. According to the paper continued fellowship between the House of Aaron and ARI requires faithful Israelites to "sever all ties with the House of Aaron and the Messianic Israel Alliance[now ARI]."
Doctrinally, both of our ministries have signed on to the three things Paul states are of "first importance" in 1 Corinthians 15:3. I am not aware of moral failures in the leaders of either our groups nor of persistent divisive behavior which Paul calls being "factious" or "contentious." We passionately try to avoid those things which God hates none of which is "bad doctrine." ARI's supposed sin is fellowshipping with the House of Aaron and the House of Aaron's supposed sin is in their bad doctrine. The question becomes - are these "sins" Biblically proscribed?
Sometimes it appears that we in the Messianic movement are more upset by bad doctrine than bad behavior. Yeshua tells us that the weighty matters of Torah are "justice, mercy and faithfulness." On this basis many Christians and Mormons are more Torah observant than some Messianics.
Please don't misunderstand me. I believe doctrine is important. We in the House of Aaron realize we still have much to learn. However, as faulty as our doctrine might possibly be, watching these rocky splits in the early years of the Messianic movement continue to remind me that in some areas our "doctrine" seems to be working better than some of the exalted "Torah Teachers."
The House of Aaron does have the book mentioned in the article. As stated it is titled the "Levitical Writings" (LW). These are a collection of angelic messages received by Maurice Glendenning over a 46 year period and also include some of his letters and recorded dreams and visions. A complete history of the LW is not possible here but a few comments are in order.
1- The speaker (an angel not Maurice) claims an Elijah mission - to assist in the restoration of all things and to call all people to faith in Yeshua and to repentance. The accusation that Maurice was a false prophet comes from ignorance of the LW which states plainly he is not a prophet but a mediator.
2- The LW maintains that the covenants with Israel are still intact and not done away.
3- The LW also affirms that the "commandments given unto My people by Christ Jesus and the prophets are sufficient and according to the laws of God; and I do say unto you that they shall not be changed at all." LW 150:1
4- A writing was given on February 10, 1954, wherein the people were told to "hold all those things which I have given unto you; and thou shalt not teach them unto any until I again command you..." LW 265:1. The basic gist of the writing is that the people don't know the scriptures and need to study the Bible alone for a season. This was observed for over 10 years. At the present the LW is mentioned and studied on occasion but by far the greatest amount of our study is the Bible. It is the undisputed basis of our doctrine and teaching.
5- The LW teaches flatly that Yeshua is the only path to the Father. LW 293:5 "for hath not our Lord Jesus Christ, our Great High Priest, spoken of Himself that no man cometh unto the Father except through Him and that in Him abideth all life and light that leadeth unto the kingdom of God?"
6- The LW is a consistent witness to the prophetic reality of the two houses coming together. In 1926 the LW recorded "And it [faith and truth becoming one] shall be taken unto Judah, the unbelieving, that they may be unto me one with Ephraim; and in that day they shall not be blind, for God shall be their light."
The LW was a major factor in the formation of the House of Aaron in 1942. Its primary impact was to move the adherents to a more Biblically based worship of Yeshua and a return to the covenants of Israel - clean and unclean foods, 7th day Sabbath, and eventually to celebration of the Feasts.
We understand that the vast majority of Christians and Messianics believe the canon was closed with the book of Revelation. However, the scripture quoted to justify this belief is a restatement of Deuteronomy 4:2 "You shall not add to the word which I am commanding you, nor take away from it, that you may keep the commandments of Yahweh your God which I command you." We know some might disagree with our position. However our understanding is that God continues to speak but his Word will never disagree with itself. We do not make this an issue with other Believers and do not bring up the LW to those who are offended by it. Furthermore, it is a step on our path to full restoration but not something everyone needs to embrace. Also, as it is an Elijah work, it may correspond to John the Baptist's proclamation about Yeshua - "He must increase and I must decrease."
I would never say that I understand all things written in the LW. But I can say that either it agrees with the Bible or it is wrong. This was also Maurice Glendenning's position. The "evidence" that Maurice Glendenning is a false prophet springs from a superficial understanding of the writings and complete ignorance of Maurice's life. We do not teach nor believe in reincarnation, we do not teach the progression of Godhood and we do not practice baptism for the dead. (However, we admit that baptism for the dead is mentioned in 1 Corinthians 15:29 and it is obvious from the text that at least some of the Corinthians were following the practice.)
Anyone that wants to know our position on eternal progression, baptism for the dead, reincarnation, etc. needs only to ask us or come and observe our teaching. Finding what seems to be affirmation of these teachings in the LW and then assuming we teach these doctrines is a faulty strategy. This would be similar to finding that Nazarene Judaism supports the Torah and thus concluding they teach the stoning of rebellious sons. Sound research requires a little more work and a genuine attempt to understand those being examined.
The article identifies the passage in LW 157:8 "for yet sixty years and the third day shall be, and then shall the temple be built for Judah and Ephraim." It then claims that since the Temple was not built in 1990 this is a false prophecy. The "third day" mentioned is a 1000 year period that is seen as concurrent with the 7th day or Millennium. We do believe that a physical temple will be built for all of Israel but that the main meaning of this text is that the two houses will unite and become one house. We also believe that the end of the 20th century and the beginning of the 21st century marks the beginning of the third day which is also the seventh. This teaching of a 7 day or 7000 year plan of God is not unique to us or the writings. The apocryphal gospel of Barnabas refers to this 7 day plan of God and with some variations this concept is taught in both Jewish and Messianic literature.
Our many-years-old former link with Mormonism is a fact of our history. And it is just that, "history." We simply are not Mormons today. Many of us, including me, have never been Mormons. Maurice Glendenning was a member for just over a year and the vast majority of early House of Aaron members were formerly LDS. However, while we bear no bitterness toward the LDS church it is not our work. We do believe that many of returning Ephraim are within the various groups who trace their origin back to Joseph Smith.
According to the paper the prescriptions for our rehabilitation are listed as follows: To become acceptable we must agree that:
1- Maurice Glendenning was a false prophet and was not visited by Elias/Elijah.
2- The doctrines taught in Maurice Glendenning's revelations are false.
3- Maurice Glendenning's revelations did not come from Elias/Elijah.
4- Maurice Glendenning's claims to the Aaronic Priesthood were and are spurious.
5- Joseph Smith Jr. and Brigham Young were false prophets.
6- The Book of Mormon is false.
7- And cease making claims to being a restored Aaronic Priesthood.
8- Until this happens I would call upon the Messianic Israel Alliance to sever all ties with the House of Aaron.
"Until one of these two things happens, I would call upon all two housers to sever all ties with the Messianic Israel Alliance and the House of Aaron."
The "two things" I assume are 1- for the House of Aaron to renounce its faulty doctrine or 2- for ARI to denounce the House of Aaron. If Yahweh were calling us to do these things we would obey instantly. I am perplexed why we in the House of Aaron need to certify Brigham Young and Joseph Smith as false prophets. Joseph Smith practiced polygamy (abhorrent and disgusting) and sent Orson Hyde to Israel in 1843 to consecrate the land for the return of the Jews (inspiring and prophetic). I would prefer to judge specific behavior rather than blanket condemnation or approval. David, a man after God's own heart, was a treacherous liar, a murderer, an adulterer and by his actions brought tremendous harm to his fellow Israelites. Condemning the Book of Mormon and then attempting to work with those who believe in it is like the Christians who reach out to Jews by raving about the dead traditions in the Talmud and how evil they are. Just as I have discovered I can learn a lot from the Jews I have learned much from those in the LDS and RLDS traditions. It is ironic that the author of the paper was given the LW by a someone who is angry with the House of Aaron because we don't teach or uphold the Book of Mormon.
Asking us to renounce our past would be tantamount to dishonoring our father and mother. In Acts 17:26 and He made from one man every nation of mankind to live on all the face of the earth, having determined their appointed times and the boundaries of their habitation. While we all have things in our past that need to be discarded I have observed a spiritual principle that those who hate and renounce their God-ordained path find that things "do not go well for them." The leadership of Maurice Glendenning and my father, Robert J. Conrad, the LW, the experience of many in the LDS church, are all part of our "appointed times and the boundaries of their habitation." To throw out our heritage would be very ungrateful. What God calls for us to give up we will willingly surrender. As we walk on our focus is on Yeshua and the restoration of his nation, Israel.
I realize that many would doubt our claim to be part of the restored priesthood of Aaron. I can only say that God says it will happen so if not to us then to someone else. Malachi 3:3 "He will sit as a smelter and purifier of silver, and He will purify the sons of Levi and refine them like gold and silver, so that they may present to Yahweh offerings in righteousness." This promise follows God's sending a curse upon the House of Levi/Aaron where even their blessings would be cursed. Pronouncing the blessing was a great part of Aaron's inheritance and just as Israel needs to be restored to her inheritance so do Levi and Aaron. Whether or not the House of Aaron will be part of this remains to be seen. We believe it with all our hearts, but observers are within their prerogative to demand to see the staff of Aaron in our hands bud, bloom and bear fruit. We agree that Believers should judge others based on the evidence of their fruits.
Also, I believe any serious student of scripture can easily see that there are many Aaronites and Levites among returning Ephraim. For example, in Acts 6:7 we read that "a great many of the priests were becoming obedient to the faith." Whatever your doctrinal position the descendants of these priests would be found among Ephraim or the Gentiles and not among Judah. HoWe do not deny or ignore God's eternal call upon the Levites and Aaronites among the Jews.
Also, there is an undeniable historical trail connecting the Glendennings to the House of Aaron. A blessing written in 1799 by Maurice's direct paternal ancestor John Glendenning identifies a connection between their family and Joseph, Ephraim and Aaron. Another blessing given in 1863 to Maurice's father, Milton, states that in his seed would come forth a restoration of the keys of the priesthood of Aaron. Both of these blessings were given on February 15 which later was Maurice's birth date in 1891. It is worth noting that the phrase "keys of the priesthood" is mentioned here a full 70 years before any Glendenning had connections to the LDS. The keys of the priesthood are well known to those who served in the temple. The keys were given to a special Levitical family and were used to open the doors of the temple each day. Thus the keys of the priesthood would be similar to the keys of the kingdom. They are spiritual principles that open the way for God's people to return to Him.
None of this proves us right. Only God truly knows and we in the House of Aaron are endeavoring to serve Him with everything we have. We have made many mistakes and will likely make many more. However, as Believers and Aaronites, we are committed to being builders, restorers, gatherers and edifiers. We rejoice as we see God regathering Israel and bringing people to a true sense of their identity in Him and as a part of His nation. Where we are in error, we ask our fellow Israelites to be patient and kind and to please continue to walk with us. For as Paul says, it is God's kindness that leads us to repentance. Anyone who would like more detail or other information we will be glad to try to answer your questions.
John M. Conrad