STATEMENT FROM JOHN M. CONRAD
House of Aaron
June 18, 2013
Regarding the Article, “The Plain Truth about MIA’s House of Aaron” posted on Facebook June 9, 2013

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.
(http://www.redeemedisrael.com/the-hope-of-redeemed-israel/)

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.

Sincerely,
John M. Conrad

johnjoiecn@aol.com

by Frank Houtz

Many of you may wonder why in my first article I did not address any doctrinal issues raised by one who believes that separation from John Conrad is the only reasonable response to his attitude toward a certain book. First, I desired to establish character. John is a man of character and an elder – and that alone requires a degree of caution. [Footnote 1: NKJ, 1 Timothy 5:17 “Let the elders who rule well be counted worthy of double honor, especially those who labor in the word and doctrine.” John has earned a double honor status by the good character he exhibits and the good teachings he has produced. I think it very important to be cautious when correcting him. We need to follow strict procedure and make sure we do not publicly rebuke him before we have adequately presented our case to him. Furthermore, there needs to be a collection of elders who would caution him if he gave a bad teaching.]

What does Scripture teach us to judge? We are to judge men’s actions. [Footnote 2: 1 Corinthians 6:2-11, NKJ: “Do you not know that the saints will judge the world? And if the world will be judged by you, are you unworthy to judge the smallest matters? Do you not know that we shall judge angels? How much more, things that pertain to this life? If then you have judgments concerning things pertaining to this life, do you appoint those who are least esteemed by the church to judge? I say this to your shame. Is it so, that there is not a wise man among you, not even one, who will be able to judge between his brethren? But brother goes to law against brother, and that before unbelievers! Now therefore, it is already an utter failure for you that you go to law against one another. Why do you not rather accept wrong? Why do you not rather let yourselves be cheated? No, you yourselves do wrong and cheat, and you do these things to your brethren! Do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived. Neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor homosexuals, nor sodomites, nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners will inherit the kingdom of God. And such were some of you. But you were washed, but you were sanctified, but you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus and by the Spirit of our God.” We have a list of actions, not false beliefs that we are to judge.]

What sin has John committed? [Footnote 3: 1 Corinthians 5:11-13, NKJ: “But now I have written to you not to keep company with anyone named a brother, who is sexually immoral, or covetous, or an idolater, or a reviler, or a drunkard, or an extortioner – not even to eat with such a person. For what have I to do with judging those also who are outside? Do you not judge those who are inside? But those who are outside God judges. Therefore “put away from yourselves the evil person.” Notice it is a list of bad actions, not bad beliefs that establishes who is evil. Which one of these sins is John committing?]

We are to discern between the righteous and the wicked. [Footnote 4: Malachi 3:18, NKJ: “Then you shall again discern Between the righteous and the wicked, Between one who serves God And one who does not serve Him.” The righteous and the wicked are determined by proper serving, I suppose substantiated by who keeps the commandments.

You could argue that the Levitical Writings are a total fraud. So can we find the law forbidding one from being duped? John doesn’t even teach from the Levitical Writings, so we cannot accuse him of teaching from a false book, and it would be difficult to find a Scripture to support such a judgment if he did. So I have intentionally discussed the thing Scripture encourages us to judge – his actions. I discern that John is righteous in his ways and if you had spent time with him, and heard his teachings, I think you would also.

I want to make it clear that I am not here to claim that the Levitical Writings should be included in Scripture or that they are inspired or that they should be read for the purpose of guidance. I don’t even believe I need to make a decision about them. They aren’t written to me, and do not pertain to anything that I do. The only reason I would read them is to check out the validity of the claims against Glendenning which have been transferred to the House of Aaron and John Conrad as its leader. For starters we need to keep in mind the following facts:

  1. The House of Aaron does not teach this book to anyone outside the House of Aaron.
  2.  They do not use this book for doctrine, but solely depend upon Scripture for their instruction.
  3. They teach that Glendenning himself told people that they could not understand this book and that it is for a future generation who will understand it then.
  4. Glendenning did not claim to understand the writings and did not consider himself a prophet. [Footnote 5: (LW 156:2-4) “2. ‘Think not that you [Glendenning] are a prophet, for you have not been given the power to understand and then to speak according to that understanding. 3. Neither have you been given the power to see and then speak according to that which you have seen. Therefore you are not a seer, for they do understand before they speak, and you neither understand nor see before my words which shall be spoken unto you. 4. But it is given unto you only to write that thing which is given unto you by me.'” This is all spoken to Glendenning and is only addressing him.]
  5. John Conrad does not claim to understand all the writings, but does believe some of the writings have been clarified in his generation.
  6. The House of Aaron does not claim that Glendenning is a prophet. [Footnote 6: Ibid.]

 

I believe the one inquiring in this debate has good motives. I certainly do not want to incriminate an innocent man in any way in my attempt to address this debate. I do detect that a few procedural errors have exacerbated the situation. For one example, I will refer to a statement made by John, which was followed by a quote of John’s statement on his blog. The exchange is below.

John’s statement: We do have in our possession the Levitical Writings and have never made a secret of them. We consider them inspired but not on a level with the Bible and consider the Bible to be the final standard of doctrine, practice and teaching. I would be the first to say there are things in the LW that I don’t understand.

Quote later made by one questioning John’s beliefs: Since I wrote this article John Conrad publicly stated “We do have in our possession the Levitical Writings and have never made a secret of them. We consider them inspired…”

John’s statement is clearly edited at a point that will cause more misunderstanding. John did not use the term inspired to mean, “inerrant word of God.” Often the term inspired is used for music or words from a dynamic and spirit filled singer or preacher. John’s use does not indicate that this book should be considered holy by the masses or even read. He believes it to be a book specific to that congregation and calling and knows it has little value to the greater Messianic community. I am not assigning bad intent on the part of the one who quoted John, only bad procedure for when we are trying to determine truth.

Many years ago, Batya and Angus Wootten (founders of the Alliance of Redeemed Israel), brought forward some new ideas to Christianity. In reality they are not new at all and have been debated for the past 2600 years. Jews have debated the question about prophecies concerning the lost tribes. Others from Christianity have discussed this over the centuries but Batya and Angus have brought it up in our generation and have some clearer understanding than those preceding. Those of us who grew up in evangelical Christianity needed a few questions asked to stir our curiosity. Those from Messianic Judaism may have needed
some talmudic sources to bring them to a new understanding. If we believe that Ephraim has been scattered into all the nations, then it is certainly possible that we will find Ephraim in every race and maybe even being called out from every religion. Remember, Ephraim was sent out because of idolatry and may have been influenced by any religion. Maybe Chinese Ephraim will have studied Confucius. Indian Ephraim my have studied the Upanishads. Where we are and where we are headed determines the path we take. That which will bring an evangelical Christian back to God’s ways will be ineffective
with a Sikh.

Glendenning was a man who believed in following the voice of God. He, like many of us may not have been 100% accurate. But in following that leading he could not remain with the LDS. He left them around 1931 after only a little over 1 year of membership. When he left, many Mormons followed him. The Mormons excommunicated him and those who went with him, causing a great deal of hurt in the process. This sounds a whole lot like many of us. How many of us have felt the sting of rejection by our previously believed to be closest friends? Glendenning led the group into forgiveness. He wrote down some of the things he had been told by the voice that was leading him which has been identified as an angel or Elijah. The things that he wrote down have later been formed into a book entitled Levitical Writings. These writings are the point of contention between some in the Messianic/Hebrew Roots Movement and the House of Aaron.

The first thing we must understand is that if you are going to St. Louis, Missouri from Lexington, Kentucky, you will use a different route than if you travel there from Seattle, Washington. Speed limits may vary according to road conditions and every sign along the way will be different. In like manner, one coming from Evangelical Christianity will have a vastly different path to understanding the reunification of Judah and Ephraim than will a Mormon. It is quite possible that Ephraim would be in both Evangelical Christianity and Mormonism. We certainly recognize that the Judah we are to be joining, can be found in both Messianic Judaism and Orthodox Judaism as well as other branches. If we think that the Orthodox must reject the Jewish Talmud in order for us to walk with them, we will be drastically disappointed. Even the one concerned about Glendenning’s writings has been known to defend a proper interpretation of the Talmud.

John teaches those in the House of Aaron to respect and honor their heritage. The source of this teaching came from an Elijah House Ministries seminar that many in the group attended back in the 90s.7 [Footnote 7: Elijah House Ministries, John and Paula Stanford, Coeur d’Alene, Idaho www.elijahhouse.org ] This seminar taught three spiritual laws and one of them was to honor your father and mother. John claims that God has ordered our path and to denounce your heritage will be denouncing God, from whom you received your heritage. He even shared with me that many of those who have denounced the House of Aaron and joined Charismatic Christianity have become less and less zealous for God and have even ceased to seek after Him. I see the same thing happening in the Hebrew Roots Movement where many of us are hyper-critical of the church we left. Some have taken the next step to leave Christianity. Unfortunately, I find that it doesn’t stop there and most who reject Messiah ultimately reject everything spiritual. I think John has discovered something that we all need to know. Bashing our heritage will lead to our destruction. Some are attempting to force the House of Aaron to denounce their heritage in order to be accepted by us. They know better and we ignorantly try to force the issue which could ultimately cause us to reject them. How awful it would be for us to reject a work of God.

We may not understand all the nuances it would take for God to lead people from Mormonism to understand the Hebraic roots. He certainly would speak to them in words they would understand. As Rico Cortez points out, the command to make Moses stand on the mountain with his arms raised up is an imitation of the Egyptian war god. In all the carvings of this god, he is portrayed with his hands raised up in battle. YHWH is not asking Moses to do a pagan act, He is communicating to the people in a manner that they will understand. Remember, language is for the purpose of communication.

Words from God turn us from our evil ways and direct us back to Him. What is effective with you, may not be with me. So God directs us in ways we can understand. Let’s not criticize that which brought a wonderful group of people to join us for a common cause. Who knows, the work may not be finished. Literally thousands of people who believe in the Book of Mormon are looking at what we are saying and seeking to understand this truth. They may need to see the Levitical Writings in order to understand the direction they need to go. This is a work in progress and we would do better not to shoot ourselves in the foot by destroying proven methods.

I find myself in an awkward position. Levitical Writings is not my book and in some ways I seem to be defending it. I am not truly defending the book only defending a person’s right to believe in it or parts of it. Some are claiming Glendenning to be a false prophet, but the House of Aaron does not consider him a prophet. Even if he were, I do not see this to be much different from the rest of us who have accepted a prophecy uttered in a church service. I have had several people prophesy over me, some I have believed, some I have rejected and others have been just plain false. We are to test each utterance and I have felt free to reject some without rejecting the speaker. I have often rejected prophecies given in congregations while the congregation accepts them. I do not find it necessary to reject the congregation based on this difference in discernment. I feel no different with the House of Aaron. We all know in part and prophesy in part. I see no reason to reject the people because of a book that they have which I believe may have some errors. Considering the number of people who have asked me if the Book of Jasher or the Book of Enoch are inspired, I think many of you may have your favorite additional book added to Scripture.

In my discussion of some of the paragraphs of the Levitical Writings with John Conrad, I found he believes a few to be very difficult to accept. I mentioned the passages speaking of Moroni. Since Glendenning did not recommend the Book of Mormon, why the obvious connection to Moroni, the credited author of the Book of Mormon. John gave some interesting facts. He stated that Glendenning also found that passage very hard to accept and actually claimed that this must be a different Moroni than is spoken about in the Book of Mormon. John isn’t so quick to agree with Glendenning and thought that it may be speaking of the Mormon Moroni but had no idea why it is used in that paragraph. While John does not use the Book of Mormon, he also does not believe in running it down. This attitude certainly will better enable him to present his ideas to that audience. If someone has considered a book sacred, it is counter productive if not crazy to ridicule or defame their book. This has been proven over and over again by people who wish to desecrate the Koran. When that happens, acts of violence erupt and we are portrayed as vile people. It polarizes and hinders our message. Yet, the one who desecrates the supposed holy thing thinks he is standing for truth. You cannot reach anyone with a message if you profane them or what they consider sacred, prior to teaching them. When the righteous come in contact with a holy thing, a ministering spirit can be released, but when the profane comes in contact with the holy there is a demonic reaction. This seems to include when someone profanes something that others consider holy even if God has not deemed it as such.

Today the House of Aaron is walking with the Messianic/Hebrew Roots Movement. I can easily show how the Levitical Writings facilitated that, but I find no reason to deal with that at this time. So let’s summarize my points:

  1. According to Scripture we are to judge actions, removing people for bad character. A condemnation of a person for having additional writings as a basis for disassociation would be difficult to justify from Scripture.
  2. The condemnation of the House of Aaron because of the methods and resources God used to draw them from where they were to where they are, is invalid and hurtful to the movement at large.
  3. Glendenning was not perfect and is not being assigned perfection by the House of Aaron. Glendenning did not consider himself a prophet. Neither does the House of Aaron consider him a prophet.
  4.  The House of Aaron does not put the Levitical Writings on the level with Scripture.
  5. The origin of the group is from a completely different paradigm than most of us and therefore their path will be different requiring unusual methods from the rest of us.
  6. It is harmful to deny your heritage and may cause a spiritual bitterness which will inhibit your future growth.
  7. Profaning others’ “holy things” could cause a bitter, demonic reaction so It is better to allow the Lord to make corrections such as where and when people need to reject things they once considered holy.
  8. The House of Aaron is walking with us now, holding common goals while exhibiting exemplary character so they should be embraced and allowed to grow as other brethren have.
  9. Given time, if God desires that they drop their book, I am confident that we can allow God the leeway to make that known to them. Who knows, God may have other people who would be drawn to Him and to a much more correct path through those writings.8 [Footnote 8: 1 Corinthians 4:5, NKJ: “Therefore judge nothing before the time, until the Lord comes, who will both bring to light the hidden things of darkness and reveal the counsels of the hearts. Then each one’s praise will come from God.”

 

Maybe we need to wait for time to substantiate or disprove the Levitical Writings. It was literally centuries before most books were canonized in the Bible. I am not suggesting canonization but some are demanding them to be rejected now.]

We do not have to agree on every point in order to walk together, we are all growing. The House of Aaron teaches the foundational beliefs of our faith including the work of Yehoshua as Lord and Savior and certainly does not preach another gospel.9 [Footnote 9: Galatians 1:6-8, NKJ: “I marvel that you are turning away so soon from Him who called you in the grace of Christ, to a different gospel, which is not another; but there are some who trouble you and want to pervert the gospel of Christ. But even if we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel to you than what we have preached to you, let him be accursed.” John Conrad does not teach another Gospel, however we vary in specifics when speaking on other subjects.]

If we find it difficult to disagree with them on a few minor parts while we agree on so much, how will we ever join with Judah who has the Talmud and does not believe that Yehoshua is Messiah? Are we really that naive? Because of good fruit exhibited in excellent character, it is evident that God is working in their lives and is bringing us to a common path. How can we reject these people when the Holy Spirit is strongly evident in their lives? [Footnote 10: Acts 15:8, NKJ: “So God, who knows the heart, acknowledged them by giving them the Holy Spirit, just as He did to us.” The people in the House of Aaron show the fruit of having the Holy Spirit so how can we question their validity?]

When someone comes to this movement from a group not well understood by the masses, we need to be extremely cautious that we do not reinterpret everything they are saying into the long held prejudices we have of their historical view. It is easy to do and damaging when we do it. We must be cautious not to harm those who have come from a path less traveled.
Frank Houtz
© 2013 Dry Bones Restoration Company

drybonesrestorationcompany.com
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by Frank Houtz

There are many teachers I have met and known in the Messianic/Hebrew Roots Movement. Most are honorable gifted men of God, but unfortunately, a few spend their time inflaming their audiences against the church and other brothers. Such actions are clearly against the teachings of Yehoshua and do nothing but stir controversy and strife. God hates one who sows discord among his brothers. I want to share about one of my brothers who I believe has acted righteously before us and give some information about his community of believers.

I have known John Conrad, of the House of Aaron in Eskdale, Utah since the year 2000. I have found him to be one of the finest men I have ever met. John teaches with an intellectual approach giving sound reasons for what he believes and uses good methodology. He does not jump to conclusions, weighs a matter well before speaking and usually comes up with challenging ideas. He is stable, balanced, loving and gracious making him welcome in our congregation anytime he is close. Let’s not stop there, his wife Joie is a dear. From my families experience with her, she is an exemplary woman of God. My daughter has worked with her often on dance praise teams. My wife has been with her at conferences and in her home. I have spoken with her often and find her joyful disposition to be a constant testimony for the Lord. She is active in Christian groups such as Women’s Aglow and other such non-denominational fellowships. Her wisdom gives her the ability to transverse diverse groups with no problems and can share with all Christians her testimony. We need more women like her in this movement.

John and Joie are not sectarian and never are demeaning toward those who might be different. I suppose they have developed this from years of being misunderstood and even falsely accused by others who do not take the time to know them. There are several false accusations that have been levied against the Conrads and the character of this family stands firmly above their accusers. My family has eaten at the Conrad’s table and I am pleased to be associated with them, having taught at some of the same conferences and at the House of Aaron. They are truly a blessing.

John and Joie Conrad are not the only people I know from the House of Aaron. David and Pam Sturlin are dear friends and wonderful people. David and Pam have visited our congregation and have stayed in our home. Their character shines wherever it is seen. David is a gentle man who is always willing to help on anything of his expertise and that covers quite a bit. He has been the soundman and conference director at several conferences where I have spoken. Anytime I have been blessed to speak where he held the reigns, it was a pleasure. He also is second in command behind John Conrad at the House of Aaron. John certainly recognizes good qualities when picking leaders. Pam takes care of the office at Eskdale and keeps it running smoothly and efficiently. They are both gifted in their jobs, but I am most impressed with their spirits. They are truly a blessing.

Lois Faber is a musician par excellence, who loves the Lord and glows with it. She also is a dear friend of my wife. Anyone who writes, performs and sings the beautiful praise music to YHWH that I hear from the House of Aaron, must have a wonderful relationship with Him. Lois is an fantastic violinist and teaches music at their high school. She also conducts the House of Aaron choir and is used in other such ensembles when the congregation needs her.

The House of Aaron has been asked to open up their private school to the children of the area by the state of Utah. They graciously have done so and their godly teaching and example is available for the whole community to observe. Lois has taken their small chorus to many State Competitions and this small school has won several State Championships while challenging the bigger better-financed schools. Lois has been named music teacher of the year over all the Utah high schools. I attended a play once performed at the school and it was excellent. Lois was the director and several of the students were from the House of Aaron. Many students from this school have continued into college and have excelled there.

Kiah Conrad is one of the finest cellists I know of and surprisingly enough he is an excellent tenor also. He has been the featured tenor in many of the House of Aaron recordings. While his accomplishments are great, I have found him very humble and eager to serve others. Tara Faber is the soprano counterpart to Kiah often singing duets with him. She excels in her performance as well. They exhibit extraordinary talent; I suspect this is drawn out by extraordinary teaching.

One other family I must mention; John and Mary Weight. John runs the garage for the farm keeping all the machinery running. He has done the same for my vehicle when we have been there. Considering the miles we put on a van, we usually have something we need by the time we get to Eskdale. We were invited to spend a week in their house a little over a year ago while I presented my Theological Swimming 101 course. They were wonderful hosts. Many of you might think it would be easy, but you may not realize I travel with my family. Remember, both fish and guest stink after 3 days. Seven people converged on their house. Now that’s a lot of benevolence. They knew what they were getting into and volunteered for the job in spite of the difficulty. When they built their house, they designed it in such a way as to host guests. Planning to be hospitable is far beyond most of our considerations when building. That’s the kind of people they are and the kind of community the House of Aaron has produced. They were such a pleasure to be around and such a blessing on that section of our trip.

I could name dozens of others from the House of Aaron who have each excelled in their work and show exemplary character in how they treat others. I have hardly scratched the surface in discussing the dear people that I know from Eskdale. I believe the House of Aaron, the teachers and their teachings have contributed to such fruit. We are encouraged to be fruit inspectors and I have seen this fruit and it is good.

I personally have spent at least 3 complete weeks at Eskdale. I do not have a bad word to say about anyone there. If they are faking good character they have practiced it so long, it is real. I have visited their homes watched their children, heard them discuss disagreements and watched them resolve their problems. Please, don’t think that I am saying they are perfect, but the work of Messiah is well evident in their lives. May all our congregations develop to the maturity I see in this community of believers. I just love these brothers and sisters. I don’t believe most of us are ready to lay down enough of our selfish ambitions in order to develop such fine character. Too many are striving to rise to the top and do not care who they tear down in the process. I have wanted to take the elders of our congregation out to Eskdale to witness a thriving community that has developed enough maturity to work together for a common good of the people and further the Lord’s Kingdom. To their credit, this experiment has lasted over 50 years, which has been ample time to prove their methods. It is so rare to see and experience such an encouraging environment.

John has come under attack in the last few years due to what seems to be strange teachings of the community prior to his leadership. John and his father, Robert, have made many changes over the years as they have grown in their understanding of the Lord’s plan for this earth. One should never judge a teacher by writings or actions of their predecessors, but it seems some would like to attack John because of the path taken by the founder of the community. I have been associated with a group that was equally thought to be strange in its early years. It seems pioneering groups are often considered weird, but later a trend is set which takes over the nation. The congregation of my youth had the first family to homeschool in the state of Kentucky. We also had a Passover Seder every year and we were not afraid to work with other congregations in the area. We were strange, and the result was that our hometown became the largest homeschool community in the state while being way down on the list when comparing population. Today, the churches work together on many projects and there is an excellent spirit between diverse denominations. I think that the work of the congregation of my youth was somewhat responsible for the changes in the community. They were strange because they were leaders.

While Paul Harvey has been dead for a few years, I want to give you the rest of the story. My flowery description concerning the House of Aaron has not always been my thoughts. When I first heard of the House of Aaron, I was dramatically turned off. To hear that there were people who thought they were a modern day Christian Levitical priesthood was disturbing. I was inclined to hold them at arms length at best. I could think of numerous biblical reasons to discount their claim and to be honest, I was a bit tired of seeing people walking around in the sacred High Priest clothing just to attend a conference. It seemed way too theatrical for me. I suspected, that the House of Aaron must have been like this since they claimed to be literal Cohanim. I had not met anyone from the House of Aaron, at least to my knowledge, so I had no idea what they were really like.

After attending and speaking at MIA conferences for a few years, I discovered that John Conrad was from the House of Aaron. I had gotten to know and appreciate John by then, but had not realized he was from “that group.” He seemed —- normal. I must say that this revelation did not relieve all my fears concerning the House of Aaron, but it did give me the desire to give them a chance. Surely if this seemingly sane individual was associated with them, they at least deserved a chance. I began to stealthily check them out. I continued to be friendly to John, but asked questions and found out who else was involved. The more checking I did, the more comfortable I became. I started comparing my own doctrines against theirs. I was claiming that we were possibly from the Northern Kingdom, Ephraim, and they were just being more specific. I discovered that their founder had a 500 plus year tradition that he was of Levitical descent going all the way back to ancestors in Scotland.

Others from the group show similar heritage. David Sturlin had his DNA examined by the National Geographic Society. It showed exactly as they suspected according to the tradition passed down. His DNA traced back to Scotland and then to the Middle East. But, even if it did not, consider what the prophet Ezekiel said concerning being identified with a specific tribe if you had no tribe. It seems this verse would indicate that if they dwelt together, they might share in the name and the calling. This sounds somewhat like Samuel being an Ephramite and ministering in the house of God. The House of Aaron claims a Levitical calling, and maybe you do not accept the way they derive that. I have heard others claim a specific tribe and attempt to prove it from Scripture. Even if I disagree with their exegetical methods, that doesn’t mean they are evil. The worse one should conclude is that they could be wrong and we will let Messiah correct us when the time comes. I knew of no connection to Israel in my family tradition when I started teaching that some people in the church might have Israelite heritage. What made their claim more fanciful than mine? They actually had some evidence supporting their claim, I had none.

John asked me to do a conference one Shavuot in Salt Lake City with House of Aaron and I got to meet others from the group. The Salt Lake City conference was a high point in my travels. The music was wonderful including nearly a 30-piece orchestra and a 60-voice choir. The opening call of the shofar was done with 4 perfectly tuned shofars each to a different note in a chord. It was incredible. I was privileged to eat with the rest of the Eskdale community for the meals and I got to know them pretty well in that weekend. Later, on one of my western tours, they sponsored a Biblical Research Techniques seminar in Eskdale. I gave the seminar one week and stayed another week for Passover. After spending two weeks with these dear brothers and sisters all reservations had disappeared. I spent some time looking over their history. I looked at documents they had. I discovered the community had changed considerably over time. I met some of the older members who had been there from way back and found them to be wonderful people. They were so hospitable and just a pleasure to be around. They had done several things that I know people in the church of my youth had considered. I found that they had succeeded and it certainly had wonderful results. My suspicions were totally alleviated and I’m sure if you went through the same process, yours would be too.

John and I will both be speaking at the upcoming ARI Gathering in Orlando. I invite you to come hear the heretic and find out for yourself. Our topic of discussion is worship. Let’s come together and praise YHWH for what He is doing on this earth. I do not know John’s specific topic concerning worship, but I’m certain it will be a blessing.

In my next article I would like to discuss the founder of the House of Aaron, Maurice Glendenning. Let’s examine the path he took which brought the community to where it is today. Some of that path we may question, but the most of it, I think will be very familiar to us and will mimic how we have come to where we are today.

Frank Houtz

Dry Bones Restoration Company
www.drybonesrestorationcompany.com
drybonesresco@yahoo.com