Bulletin of Prophetic Historicism
28 August 2016 Editor and Proprietor
Edwin de Kock
Bulletin # 28
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.
A Trip to South Africa
Since leaving the land of our birth in 1994, we have lacked the funds to go and visit our numerous relatives there but are planning to do so from 7 to 29 September. Suddenly, after 22 years, our son Carl and his wife Shelley have kindly paid for Ria’s ticket to accompany Shelley on an unexpected trip. Edwin has borrowed money to go as well to help Ria, who has recently not been in the best of health.
A bonus for the Lord’s work is that Edwin has been asked to make two presentations on prophecy on September 24 near Cape Town. Unfortunately our former country has also been blighted with the deviant explanation that the number 666 in Revelation 13 does not refer to vicarius Filii Dei. On more than one occasion, the head of New Testament studies at the Seminary, Andrews University, who champions this idea, was flown to South Africa, where he lectured about prophecy. In this he has been only too successful, even to the highest levels in that Union Conference.
In view of our age and state of health, please keep us in your prayers that this will be a fruitful endeavor for our King.
When We Are Overseas
While we are out of the country, our son will collect our mail. The execution of book orders will, however, be delayed until we have returned.
“The torch of false prophecy . . .
kindled from the hellish torch of Satan.”
This fierce condemnation is from the inspired pen of Ellen G. White (Testimonies to Ministers and Gospel Workers, 410). It reflects how the Lord evaluates the undermining of our time-tested prophetic interpretation. It also harmonizes with what has been called the curse of the Apocalypse. In it, on the last page of the Bible, the aged apostle John wrote: “I testify unto every man that heareth the words of the prophecy of this book, If any man shall add unto these things, God shall add unto him the plagues that are written in this book: And if any man shall take away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part out of the book of life, and out of the holy city, and from the things which are written in this book.” (Rev. 22:18, 19)
The reader may wonder why this matter is so important. In his five published books on prophecy, Edwin has explored not only the validity of Historicism, the interpretation traditionally espoused by Seventh-day Adventists, but also taken a close look at its alternatives: Preterism, Futurism, and Idealism. Though they differ greatly, sometimes radically, among themselves, these schools all have one thing in common: they deflect the finger of accusation that the Bible points at the Papacy.
Daniel 7 represents it under the image of a Little Horn on the fourth, dreadful beast that rose out of the sea. It was destined to persecute the saints, the true servants of God, for three and a half prophetic years: 1,260 calendar years. It would also “think to change times and laws” (Dan. 7:25). This was especially fulfilled by the papal attempt to change the Sabbath from the seventh to the first day of the week and its insistence on Sunday keeping. Revelation 13 depicts the papacy as a Beast which also arises out of the sea. Verse 2 says: “The dragon gave him his power, and his seat, and great authority.” Which is this other entity? It is the great red dragon described in Revelation 12. It preeminently symbolizes Satan himself.
The apostle Paul, who died before the Apocalypse was written, also predicted a great ἀποστασια (apostasia), “rebellion,” a falling away from truth. He added the detail that it would arise within the Church itself, describing it as το μυστηριον της ἀνομιας (to mystērion tēs anomias) “the mystery of lawlessness.” It would center in a particular person, the ἀνομος (anomos), “the lawless one,” whom he also called ὁ ἀνθρωπος της ἀνομιας (ho anthrōpos tēs anomias), “the man of lawlessness.” As he looked into the future through the Spirit of Prophecy, Paul said of him that he “exalts himself above all that is called God or that is worshipped, so that he sits as God in the temple of God, showing himself that he is God” (2 Thess. 2:4, NKJV), like Satan. How this would contrast with the mystery of godliness! Such a different mind was in our Lord Jesus, “who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied himself, by taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross” (Phil. 2:6-8, English Standard Version).
According to Paul, the mystery of lawlessness was already at work in his time, although something was then still hindering its development. It would, however, persist and continue to the Second Coming, when the Lord would destroy the lawless one. (2 Thess. 2:2-8)
The Apocalypse, like the rest of the Scriptures, condemns this Antichrist. Historicism matches the prophecies in the Bible with the events of history, 100 percent. This vindicates the Word of God, focuses our attention, and highlights its warnings against the papacy. But Preterism, Futurism, and Idealism do exactly the opposite. The Most High, however, in the strongest possible terms, condemns every attempt to set aside or even just blur the prophetic picture presented in his Book. Therefore, he has left us the ancient curse of the Apocalypse. In these latter days, he has also unmasked the Evil One who inspires people to twist the end-time warnings in the Bible, so that more souls can be lost. The Lord says about apostate Babylon: “Come out of her, my people” (Rev. 18:4), but the devil shields and disguises his masterpiece, the papacy, seducing Protestants back into the arms of Rome. False prophecy is indeed “kindled from the hellish torch of Satan.”
Easier Plan for Reading
The Truth About 666 and the Story of the Great Apostasy
Edwin is not at all surprised that some people may find this book intimidating. Though many have praised its style, the fact remains that it is a rather scholarly work and so long: three volumes, with forty-five chapters, plus seven appendices, spread over more than 870 pages! He therefore suggests that readers could fruitfully begin near the end of the book, with Appendix 1, Vol. III: “About This Book,” pp. 266-280.
Against that background, you may fruitfully first read the following selected chapters:
Vol. I, Ch 8, “Clarifying the Criteria,” pp. 90-107.
Vol. II, Ch 31, “Many, Mostly Catholic Voices Just Before and in the 19th Century,”
Vol. III, Ch. 32, “Uriah Smith’s Unique Contribution,” pp. 8-21.
Ch. 39, “Numerology and Catch-All Idealism,” pp. 130-142.
Ch. 43, “Idealism More Boldly Invades the Seventh-day Adventist Church,”
Ch. 44, “The Bastion Restored,” pp. 212-216.
These chapters clearly demonstrate why Uriah Smith was correct in maintaining that the number 666 of Rev. 13:17, 18, refers to vicarius Filii Dei (vicar/representative of the Son of God), a papal title. They also show up the falsity of four interrelated ideas: 1. Six is an imperfect number; 2. There are 3 sixes in 666. No, there are actually 111, because 666 ÷ 6 = 111); 3.This number allegedly symbolizes human imperfection, of which we all partake, and so it does not refer to the pope any more than to anybody else; 4. There are 3 sixes in the original Greek text of these verses. No, it gives the words in full: hexakosioi hexēkonta hex), “six hundred, sixty, six,” which is pretty well like our Bible translations. Or, in some manuscripts (some of them ancient), it uses three different characters to indicate 6, 60, and 600, namely χ ξ ϛ (chi xi stigma). Please note that the last letter is not a typo for sigma. It really is stigma, a special character that was used only for numerals.
Afterwards you may want to read the rest. Dr. William H. Shea especially liked Volume II. It is, in any case, a good reference work. Edwin has sought to enliven it with much interesting background material. Numerous readers have praised it. Many have just loved it. One of them, a scholar in the Netherlands who is not of our denomination, in a letter to us declared that he had simply devoured it. Also that he sat glued to it for many hours day after day. Our former minister, Pastor Vance Torres, described Edwin as the Uriah Smith of the twenty-first century. Seventh-day Adventist evangelist Jim Reinking says there is no other book like it. You may agree with him.
How Close Are We to the End?
Part II of this analysis, which concentrates on the Seventh-day Adventist Church, has now also been completed and added to our website, www.propheticum.com. We hope you will find this material enlightening and helpful, even if some of it is controversial. Without becoming panicky at current events, let us daily take time to make our calling and election sure. Let us not allow the world to rush us off our spiritual feet.
In contemplating this topic, we highly recommend Last Day Events, a compilation from the writings of Ellen G. White. This handsome hardcover book of 330 pages, which has been a tremendous blessing to us, was printed by Pacific Press Publishing Association in 1992. We bought our copy earlier this year from John and Dorothy Davis when we visited their home in Cottonwood, California. For details, do visit their website: Orion Publishing.
Your Plans for 2017?
When the Pope visited America last year with his ecological agenda, which clearly includes the establishment of Sunday as the rest day for the families of the whole earth, did you hear loud protests from the Martin Luthers among our leaders? No. We were saddened by their silence. But we thank the Lord for those of the independent ministries that did speak up and are still doing so. Satan wants to rid the earth of the hated Sabbath keepers so that the whole planet will rest on the idol Sabbath and pay homage to him.
And what is he and what are the Christian churches planning for next year? It will be 500 years since Luther nailed his 95 theses against indulgences to the door of the castle church at Wittenberg. Earlier this month, the Evangelical Lutherans, the largest Lutheran church in America, shockingly declared that there were few remaining issues which still divided them from the Roman Church. It would seem that they are crawling back into the arms of the Pope, who is obviously well pleased. As Seventh-day Adventists, we are, like so many other Protestants, heavily indebted to Martin Luther for the doctrine of righteousness by faith and his insistence on the Bible and the Bible alone.
What are our religious plans for 2017? That year should mark the beginning of a second great reformation, and we should spearhead it, especially if no other Protestant denomination accepts such a privilege. But will we? Wait and see. If, however, you or your church group have any good plans, we would be delighted to hear from you and share them with our readers.
Update on La Palabra Profética Más Segura
Prophetic Bulletins # 26 and 27, which are on our website, describe the printing of 2,000 copies of this book and their subsequent situation in Cuba. This translation of A More Sure Word of Prophecy is being eagerly awaited in the United States and wherever Spanish is spoken. But our intermediaries have not yet been able to arrange convenient transport for the 700 copies in question. However, we recently heard about an American firm that carries cargo to Cuba by ship for 75 cents per pound. We need to find out if they also do return cargoes at that price. Please pray with us that this most valuable book will soon be widely available among the Lord’s precious people.
Moving The Truth About 666 to Other Countries
As explained in Prophetic Bulletin # 27, we cherish a fervent desire for Edwin’s books, especially The Truth About 666, to become readily available everywhere and not to be confined to this country. The three volumes of the abovementioned work comprise more than 870 pages. The whole set sells for only $35.00, plus shipping and handling. Here in the United States, we use media mail and pay a comfortable, modest sum. But for books to travel across our borders, even into Canada, they have to go by airmail, which is very expensive, Therefore, more than 1,000 extra sets are lying here idle. Aged 86 and 80 respectively, we wonder about what will happen to them when we are no longer around.
We thank the few readers who responded to our appeal in the previous Bulletin. This funded a limited number of sets to make their way overseas. Others ordered more books, for themselves and to make them available in their circle.
Meanwhile, recently Steve Wohlberg on his website published a very favorable recommendation about Christ and Antichrist in Prophecy and History. A number of people were stimulated to buy it. Edwin also informed them about his other books. A few believers at Eden Valley, Colorado, ordered full collections and one brother there bought them all to take home with him to Hungary.
A dear African-American sister in Texas bought a whole box of The Truth About 666. Because it is heavy, it tends to break up when sent by media mail. Therefore, we mail it as two half boxes. The postal worker who delivered the boxes to her wanted to know about the contents, and she told him they were religious books. He wanted a set, because he had become disillusioned with his church. So she promptly gave it to him. Can you imagine the joy our dear sister felt? Let’s pray for more happy incidents like these. God is leading people to search for truth.
There have also been queries from self-supporting ministries in New Zealand and the United Kingdom. We especially hope and pray that the one in the latter country will see light in acquiring 1,000 sets of The Truth About 666 and have them transported there by ship at their own expense. In that way, it would also become available at a reasonable price on the adjacent European continent, evading the cost of expensive airmail from the United States. For that self-supporting ministry and others like them, we have a special deal. These books would go to them on consignment at 60 percent discount. That is, they would not need to pay anything for them until they have actually been sold. And after both of us have passed away, what is left would simply become their property, with no obligation to our heirs.
Of course, there would be a need to pay for sending these many books by UPS to the point in the United States from which they would be forwarded overseas. We pray for someone to assist with meeting this expense.
Anyone of our faithful friends in the United States who feels enthusiastic about this book could become a literature evangelist. A box of 12 sets of The Truth About 666 could be sent to you on consignment. At first you would only pay for the shipping to you by media mail. For the book itself you would pay afterwards, when you have actually sold them. You would get a 50 percent discount on the price. If you are interested, please let us know.
Another project is to get Edwin’s books into Seventh-day Adventist libraries at our local churches or our colleges. We thank the Lord that recently we were able to place two complete sets of books at a university in our home state. If you happen to live near such an institution, perhaps you would like to check if it has Edwin’s books. If not, kindly get permission to place a set that you would be willing to donate to them. If you cannot afford a whole set, what about just The Truth About 666? We are convinced that the God needs these books at all our institutions.
Link to our Website
Many more details about Edwin’s publications, our activities, and previous Prophetic Bulletins appear on our website: www.propheticum.com. We can be contacted by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org, or snail-mailed to Edwin de Kock, 12916 Los Terrazos Boulevard, Edinburg, Texas 78541, USA.
We always love hearing from you. Having met many of you, we often pray for you by name. Please send us an update on your current situation. As a great favor, kindly place a link to this website on your own website and help us promote these doctrinally and prophetically sound books.