Bulletin of Prophetic Historicism
6 August 2012 Editor and Proprietor
Edwin de Kock
Bulletin # 2
The editor/proprietor assumes responsibility for his own contributions. He is not, however, responsible or liable for the ideas expressed in pieces by other writers, also sometimes mentioned or cited.
Update and Scope Expansion
he robotic spacecraft Curiosity has just landed safely on Mars, in a complicated and unprecedented maneuver. This inspires me to relaunch the Bulletin of Prophetic Historicism (BPH) in an updated version. The first Bulletin went to only a limited number of people, of whom only a few reacted. Some of what follows therefore is a little, though I hope not excessively, repetitive.
In the past few months, I wrote several letters about the marvelous way in which the Lord made it possible to fund the printing of my book, The Truth About 666 and the Story of the Great Apostasy (2011). I am sure that some of you would like to know what happened afterwards. This publication is the sequel. It intends to continue yet also to expand the scope of those letters, to reach a larger readership. As will become plain, a good deal more is involved than one book.
While this publication will continue to focus on The Truth About 666 and my other works, it could also become somewhat of a forum. It may in future issues publish readers’ reactions—typewritten short and pithy ones. When you submit such material, please provide your name and a statement that you permit inclusion in the BPH.
his being a new venture, my mailing list for it is tentative. If you are on it accidentally or do not want to receive it, please return the Bulletin after typing Remove on the subject line. On the other hand, you may know of people who would like to be on it. In that case, please forward the BPH to them.
When and How The Truth About 666
and Its Predecessors Came Into Existence
s the third of my books on prophecy, this work has an amazing prehistory of interconnected events.
Christ and Antichrist in Prophecy and History (2001) appeared while I was lying in the intensive care unit of a hospital at McAllen, Texas. I had been struck down with congestive heart failure. Satan wanted to prevent its publication. Nine years later, in 2010, a few days after my eightieth birthday, he did it again and almost succeeded. I had two thrombotic heart attacks and underwent emergency surgery with a quadruple bypass in the Heart Hospital of the same city. The Truth about 666 and the Story of the Great Apostasy was far from complete. But by the grace of God I survived and finished it during the next year.
Specifically when did I begin The Truth About 666 and what were the circumstances that brought it into existence?
After Christ and Antichrist in Prophecy and History and a successful book review of it, I submitted to Ministry Magazine “A Dispensationalist Calculation Error,” which it published in August 2002. Encouraged by this success, I submitted another article about the number 666 with our classic Seventh-day Adventist interpretation that it represented vicarius Filii Dei, a title of the papacy.
The editor rejected it. Why? He gave two reasons. First, it would supposedly not interest the readers of Ministry Magazine. Second—and this really stunned me—he said the Biblical Research Institute of the Seventh-day Adventist Church had now come to other conclusions about that number.
And indeed it had, as became abundantly clear in the first week of June 2002. This I have amply discussed in Chapter 42 as well as Appendix I, “About This Book,” of The Truth About 666. There I also tell of how Heaven raised up two excellent researchers, Jerry Stevens and Stephen D. Emse, to help me. To these, others were subsequently added.
As it took shape, the book was a magnet that drew first-rate helpers into its circle. After it was ready, I needed to have it published. One of my initial attempts to get The Truth About 666 into print was to submit it to the Review and Herald Publishing Association (RHPA). It kindled some interest, but almost immediately three barriers were reared to make their printing it impossible.
First, according to the business manager, the costs for producing the book would necessitate a retail price of $80.00. Second, not enough people would be interested in buying such a scholarly work. Third, it was too controversial.
In fact, a few individuals in the Michigan Conference, whom in charity I need not name, quite actively campaigned against my book. They asserted it was wrong to expose to public scrutiny the errors of Seventh-day Adventist scholars, for this would undermine their reputations. That is, our denominational dirty linen must not be washed in public. This was despite the fact that the writers in question had published their views and were undermining our classic SDA interpretation of Rev. 13:18.
One of my more persistent critics suggested that I submit the relevant material which I had planned for the book to the scholars concerned. I did so, hoping that some of them would see the error of their ways. Directly or through their gatekeepers they all responded. With one or two exceptions, they stuck to their guns. Unfortunately, this also resulted in the RHPA distancing itself from my manuscript.
I therefore reverted to an older plan: to have Adventists Affirm become my publishers. This, too, was unsuccessful, especially since they could not raise the necessary money to print it. Afterwards, I tried another self-supporting ministry here in southernmost Texas. This likewise proved unfeasible.
One of the questions raised by potential donors was whether or not their contributions to my printing the book were tax deductible. I told them that unfortunately they were not and with a heavy heart imagined I had come up against a blank wall.
Imagine my amazement when suddenly money began to pour in. One person after the other donated $500 or $1,000 each. During only about five weeks or so, $8,000 were added to the funds which my wife Ria and I had previously saved up. It was as though the Lord commanded: “Go for it!”
Before the end of December 2011, The Truth About 666 and the Story of the Great Apostasy was printed in Benton Harbor, MI, at an exceptionally good price. Supplies were transported to several strategic parts of America.
But How Would It Be Disseminated?
During 1794, Friedrich Schilller, a great German poet, quoted—in a truncated form—the now famous words of Terentianus Maurus, a late third-century Latin poet: Habent sua fata libelli, that is, “Books have their destinies.” And, indeed, they do. But as Schiller put it so well: “For the diffusion of a book throughout the world is almost as difficult and important a task as the making of it.”
Since my youth, when I first tried to be a colporteur, I have disliked the job of being a salesman; yet I knew that most marketing would probably be up to me. I dreaded calling ABC managers and others to solicit orders. I prayed, and Ria also petitioned the Lord before I did so.
And then the telephone began to ring. Some callers were old acquaintances, but more often than not they were strangers in distant places, ministers as well as active lay persons. From one or the other acquaintance, they had heard of the book. Others saw it mentioned on web sites of friends who kindly hosted promotional material which I had prepared.
For instance, an ophthalmologist in Rumania called his parents in the Chicago area. Having read about The Truth About 666 on a web page, he wanted to obtain a copy. His parents were doctors who had come to America, where they practice as nurses, which often happens to immigrant physicians. Several years ago, the mother on several occasions ordered and made available to others my Christ and Antichrist in Prophecy and History (2001). Now she wondered whether I had the same telephone number and was delighted to discover that I did. Over a period of weeks, she and her husband ordered remarkably large batches of The Truth About 666 as well as The Use and Abuse of Prophecy: History, Methodology, and Myth. For the first-mentioned, I gave them a 40 percent discount on a batch of 6 or more; for the latter, it was 50 percent if they took 20 copies or more. One of their checks exceeded $600.00. What did they do with these books? Some were presents for friends in their Rumanian congregation. Others were retailed for the full price.
I also got in touch with several self-supporting ministries, who have been retailing my books. Most notable among them have been Dr. Walter Veith’s Amazing Discoveries, Pastor Stephen Bohr’s Sealing Time Ministries, Jeff Reich’s Laymen Ministries International, and Adventists Affirm. Several of these are beautifully advertizing my works on their web pages. Recently Dr. Veith in one of his presentations praised The Truth About 666 and said it was “spot on.” Adventists Affirm has already sold 35 copies of it. Sealing Time Ministries has sold considerably more. A few days ago, my wife Ria mailed an additional 30 to them.
Some of you provided remarkable and greatly appreciated help. Ken Scribner, who lives in Berrien Springs, MI, near Andrews University, keeps a sizable quantity of The Truth About 666 at home. Apart from selling some copies in his own capacity, he has also on my behalf taken batches to important buyers near him. Apart from Adventists Affirm, he delivered six to the Andrews Book store for summer-school students at the Seminary. These were supplemented by additional copies sold at the Michigan ABC just off the campus. A hearty thank you to him and to all who promote the book.
Another Ken, Dr. Ken Matthews, has been acting as my intermediary in and near Chattanooga, TN. He conveyed books on my behalf to the ABC at Collegedale, and more to the ABC of the Kentucky-Tennessee Conference.
Several individuals have bought books as gifts for their friends. Michael Scheifler of St. Louis, MO, (formerly of Hawaii) has done so several times. This was in sufficient quantities for him to obtain the 40 percent discount that I give to anybody who buys six or more copies—yet he insisted on paying the full retail price.
I am deeply thankful for all such wonderfully helpful friends.
Being Printed Right Now: Another Book
In a previous letter, I mentioned that as far as possible I would use the profits from selling The Truth About 666 to finance the publication or republication of other works which I have written. I am on the point of doing so with Seven Heads and Ten Horns in Daniel and the Revelation. Though completed last year, most of it was written between late 2002 and the winter of 2007. I had, however, laid it aside while preparing two other books, The Use and Abuse of Prophecy and The Truth About 666.
Now I have been impressed that the time for printing Seven Heads and Ten Horns has come, for several reasons.
One of them concerns a prominent critic who has asserted that the 666 of Rev. 13:18 is not vicarius Filii Dei but human imperfection or depravity. His book contains an unacceptable view of the seven heads and ten horns in Revelation. According to a report which has reached me, he allegedly also asserted at a recent camp meeting that the woman named Babylon of Rev. 17 is the same person as the virtuous woman of Rev. 12, who prostituted herself! I hope he has not been misrepresented; nevertheless, I perceive that this topic must also be addressed.
Seven heads and ten horns as well as several interrelated beasts feature in Rev. 12, 13, and 17. They are of cardinal importance in the Apocalypse and also, as my book shows, in Daniel. Unfortunately former writers on prophecy have all failed to properly unlock the mystery of their identity. As shown in one of the chapters in the book, Seventh-day Adventists have likewise been unable to do so or reach a consensus. Symptomatic of the problem is that they have come up with no fewer than eight different interpretations. None of these, we regret to say, survives the test of Scripture, reason, or history. (Dr. William H. Shea has informed me that when he worked there the Biblical Research Institute had a thick folder of different views on the topic).
The back cover of Seven Heads and Ten Horns summarizes the situation: “Over the centuries, countless writers have tried to identify the seven heads and ten horns in Daniel and the Revelation. All of them have been unsuccessful, due to one or more of the following facts.” Four of these are then listed. This is followed by my claim that “This book presents a compelling new Historicist interpretation that harmonizes with each of the aforementioned facts.”
In more than one sense, the time for printing this book is propitious. Patterson Printing in Benton Harbor, MI, who produced The Truth About 666, has once more quoted an excellent price which I have accepted: a little more than $3,000 for 2,000 copies, to which $758 freight charges must be added.
That is for a book of 208 pages. To see that this is truly a bargain price, consider that here in Edinburg, Texas, during 2007 we had to pay $7.000 (more than twice as much) for 2,000 copies of The Use and Abuse of Prophecy, which has only 134 printed pages.
I have already prepaid Patterson Printing for the printing and proof alterations. In my book publication savings account, almost enough is left for freighting, although a little help with this would be greatly appreciated.
Attached are the front and back cover images of Seven Heads and Ten Horns in Daniel and the Revelation. I hope you will like them.
How You Could Help
Readers can be of great assistance in several ways. First, please pray for this project. Second, kindly circulate the Bulletin to such friends or acquaintances as are likely to be interested in my writing. Third, acquaint them with my books. One or more of them may buy an item from the list below. Fourth, some of you, dear readers, may not yet have purchased anything from me. This is perhaps a good time to do so.
Prophetic and Other Publications
by Edwin de Kock
The Truth About 666 and the Story of the Great Apostasy (2011). Book, including a CD,
$39.95. Data CD only, $19.95.
The Identity of 666 in Revelation (2012), Video DVD (Power Point presentation), $14.95.
Seven Heads and Ten Horns in Daniel and the Revelation (2011). Book $20.00; data CD,
Christ and Antichrist in Prophecy and History plus 13 other items (2007). Data CD, $19.95.
The Use and Abuse of Prophecy (2007). Book, $14.95.
U.S.A. prices as above, plus shipping and handling. U.S.A. checks and money orders only. Sorry, no credit cards.
For details concerning other countries, special offers, discounts on multiple copies, etc., please write to the author.
Edwin de Kock
12916 Los Terrazos Boulevard
Edinburg, TX 78541
May God richly bless and prosper you.