It took God only seven days to make the heavens and Earth, but only he knows how long it’s going to take his son — a ninth-grade dropout with a learning disability — to finish a book and turn himself over to the FBI.

The press corps is getting restless. Reporters want some action. Federal agents, who have the religious leader’s heavily armed compound surrounded, want some action. But the 33-year-old messiah appears in no hurry. He’s writing a book.

Besides, the messiah’s lawyer says his client worries about getting raped in prison. Between the messiah’s looking up words in the dictionary and worrying about becoming a prison punk, federal agents and reporters may be in for a long wait.

The federal siege of the Branch Davidian religious compound east of Waco has already been one of the longest in history. Mexico’s famous siege on the Alamo led by Gen. Santa Anna lasted only 13 days. The government’s siege on the cult’s Mount Carmel compound has continued since the failed Feb. 28 raid by Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms agents attempting to serve search and arrest warrants for illegal weapons.

Some Texans have suggested that FBI negotiators play the Moorish march called the Deguello and duplicate the Mexican assault on the Alamo. On that cold March 6 morning in 1836, Santa Anna ordered his troops to play the Deguello — signifying “no quarter” — before ordering the final assault on the Texas defenders of the Alamo.

The children’s safety

Although the 6,000-strong army of Mexicans succeeded in taking the Alamo and killing its 183 male defenders, they suffered appalling losses. Perhaps that is on the minds of the ATF and FBI agents. Mostly they appear concerned with the safety of the 17 children inside the Mount Carmel compound. If the children were not in the compound, my guess is the FBI would already have played the Deguello on their high-powered speaker system and overrun the heavily fortified compound.

Actually the federal siege on the Branch Davidian compound, also known as Ranch Apocalypse, has lasted longer than it took Texans to turn the tables on Santa Anna and win independence for the new Republic of Texas. Santa Anna’s troops were decisively defeated at San Jacinto only six weeks following the final assault on the Alamo. The siege at Mount Carmel has lasted longer than some wars, which is why so many people around Waco are getting restless.

Interpreting Seven Seals

The self-appointed messiah — also known as Vernon Howell, David Koresh, Lamb of God, Jesus Christ and Messiah — now has announced he can’t lead his 95 followers out of the compound until he finishes a manuscript revealing the apocalyptic prophecies of the Seven Seals mentioned in Revelation, the final book of the New Testament.

Apparently it was this sinful messiah’s interpretations of the Seven Seals that led to his arms buildup and the reports of his multiple wives, child abuse and statutory rape. If Koresh lives to face the music for all the criminal charges that will pour over his head, including the murder of four ATF agents, his trial ought to be a doozy.

This self-proclaimed messiah supposedly has $1 million taken from his followers. His lawyer just signed a $2.5 million book deal. And he probably can turn a nice profit off his Seven Seals manuscript and cut more fast-buck deals before he goes to trial. Rome’s Circus Maximus will pale by comparison.

All that money will do a find job exploiting the hot-button issues playing themselves out on the blacklands of Central Texas — shootouts, charisma, heroes, anti-heroes, Christ, Anti-Christ, sex, religion, drugs, guns, more sex, lies, videotapes, rock ’n’ roll, good government, constitutional protections, bad government. A great show. Plenty of action. And no one will be bored or restless.

Rowland Nethaway’s column appears Wednesdays and Fridays.

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.