Members of the Davidian Seventh-Day Adventists Wednesday were told their founder, the late V.T. Houteff, was in truth the latter day prophet Elijah who is to “return just before the Day of the Lord.”

This apparently is part of the divine sign the Davidians are expecting to substantiate their beliefs.

There had been some predictions that the sign might come at the final meeting of the group Wednesday morning in their world headquarters at a new Mt. Carmel Center near Elk, about nine miles east of Waco. However, no visible signs had come at noon today.

The Davidians have made no definite statements as to the exact date they will receive the expected sign.

About 600 people, ranging from small infants to elderly people, gathered at 10:30 a.m. in the newly constructed 75 by 200 foot meeting hall at the Davidian center to hear Dudley Goff, Davidian minister and field worker.

The meeting was monotonously quiet except for a few murmured “amens” at appropriate places and the occasional cry of small children.

There were no demonstrations and no outbreaks during the meeting.

Apparently most of the Davidians gathered in Waco for the series of meetings which began last Saturday will remain here in preparation for their establishment of “God’s Kingdom in Jerusalem.”

George W. Saether, member of the Davidian council, said the group had made few special plans.

However a release from Davidian headquarters Tuesday night said the group had made arrangements to place their children in schools at the Elm community.

The Davidian council met in a separate session during the time the congregation was meeting Wednesday morning. The council meeting was still in session at noon and no indications were given as to what the council was discussing.

Goff’s talk dealt primarily with an explanation of the latter chapters in the Book of Revelation. Those chapters are the basis for the Davidians predictions of a series of coming events expected to start today or “shortly thereafter.”

Those predictions include in the following sequence:

1. The establishment of a “confederation of churches” which have united against Communism. The Davidians say they will have no part of that confederation since they, as God’s people, “must trust in the Lord alone.”

2. The “purification” of the Adventist church (they say they are a branch of the Seventh-day Adventist religion even though Seventh-day Adventists in Waco said the Davidians have been divorced from their church because of their radical beliefs) through “the coming of the Lord with fire and sword to separate the tares (the sinners) from the wheat (the righteous).

3. The outbreak of war in the Middle East.

4. The establishment of God’s Kingdom in Jerusalem by the 144,000 members of the Adventist regional (both Davidians and Seventh-day Adventists) who survive the judgment of the Lord.

5. The resurrection of the righteous dead.

6. The beginning of a period of peace, tranquility and freedom from want throughout the world (sort of Heaven on Earth).

7. The final judgment of the remainder of the world’s living people and the beginning of the Seven Last Plagues which will consume the living sinners.

8. The coming of the Millennium and the judgment of the dead who are not saved.

9. The restoration of the Earth.

Davidian officials have repeatedly emphasized that they do not expect the second coming of Christ and the end of the world “at this time.”

Read the Tribune-Herald's 7-part investigative series on the inner workings of the Branch Davidians. Hours after Part 2 appeared in print, the ATF raided the group's compound.

Read the Tribune-Herald’s account of the ATF raid on the Branch Davidian compound on Feb. 28, 1993. Four ATF agents and six in the compound were killed in the gunfight.

Read the daily news accounts of the 51-day siege at the Branch Davidian compound near Elk, which began Feb. 28 and lasted until April.

April 19 and beyond: FBI agents began inserting canisters of tear gas into the Branch Davidian compound in the early morning hours. By noon, it was on fire.

Federal officials left the compound site in late May 1993. As identifications of bodies continued, questions about the survivors, the compound and the cult itself began to emerge.

As the world began to take a critical look back at the events and legal proceedings continue, the ATF's bombshell report forces a shakeup at the top after the raid gone "tragically wrong."

In 1994, the surviving Davidians went on trial in San Antonio. Over six weeks, more than 140 witnesses testified, with the verdict coming just two days prior to the anniversary of the ATF raid.

The Rodenville shootout and the 1988 trial, the end of the world in 1959 and more stories from deep in the Trib archives.