Bulletin of Prophetic Historicism
19 May 2017 Editor and Proprietor
Edwin de Kock
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.
Pope Francis Is at It Again
Bulletin 29 reported how the Pontiff celebrated Reformation Day, October 31, at the Lutheran cathedral of Lund in Sweden and presided over a joint ecumenical prayer service. Why did he fly to this city? This is where the Lutheran World Federation was founded during 1947, in an effort for church union after World War II.
Previously the pontiff, a clever Jesuit, had some good things to say about Martin Luther, who had been safely dead for centuries and therefore could not respond. Also last year, “in a joint statement, the Roman Catholic Church and the Lutheran World Federation said that both partners are ʻno longer strangers’ and that their joint goal was to bring members of the two churches together at the Eucharistic table.”
As a follow-up, on 1 April 2017, the Pope officiated at a conference on Martin Luther at the Vatican. Patsy McGarry, reporting this event in The Irish Times on that same day, suggested that this might seem like an April Fool’s joke. But no and alas it was not. It was a full-blown conference entitled “Luther: 500 Years Later.” It had been organized by the Vatican’s Committee for Historical Sciences, at the Clementine Hall near St Peter’s Basilica.
Pope Francis was very happy. Among other things, he said: “Catholics and Lutherans together, discussing Luther, at a meeting organized by an Office of the Holy See: truly we are experiencing the results of the working of the Holy Spirit.”
Also present and specially saluted by the pope was Fr. Bernard Ardura, president of the Pontifical Committee of Historical Science. One of this man’s functions is to edit and rewrite what happened in the past. So, on this occasion, Francis said:
“All of us are well aware that the past cannot be changed. Yet today, after 50 years of ecumenical dialogue between Catholics and Protestants, it is possible to engage in a purification of memory . . .
“This is not to undertake an impracticable correction of all that happened 500 years ago, but rather ‘to tell that history differently’ free of any lingering trace of the resentment over past injuries that has distorted our view of one another.
“Today, as Christians, all of us are called to put behind us all prejudice towards the faith that others profess with a different emphasis or language, to offer one another forgiveness for the sin committed by those who have gone before us, and together to implore from God the gift of reconciliation and unity.”
What he called serious research “into the figure of Luther and his critique of the church of his time and the papacy certainly contributes to overcoming the atmosphere of mutual distrust and rivalry that for all too long marked relations between Catholics and Protestants.”
Those who serve the Roman Church have often rewritten history to suit its purposes. On several occasions they have perpetrated downright forgeries. In The Truth About 666, Edwin has shown how the Donation of Constantine, a fraudulent document, introduced the title vicarius Filii Dei (Vicar of the Son of God) to bolster the pontiff’s spiritual pretensions and validate his secular claims to the Papal States for more than a thousand years.
Edwin also referred to the False Decretals, (also known as the Decretals of Pseudo-Isidore), which go back as far as 853. This was a collection of laws for the Roman Church pretending to be “the decrees of councils and decretals of popes (written replies on questions of ecclesiastical discipline) of the first seven centuries.” Very cunningly, those documents blended genuine material with blatant falsehoods. One of the ingredients was the Donation of Constantine. The False Decretals were an extremely corrupt compilation. According to Anthony Grafton, who made a special study of forgeries in late antiquity and the Middle Ages, it “contains some five hundred forged legal texts.” The augmentation of falsehood by incorporating false documents with further frauds became a standard medieval practice.
Rewriting the history to skew it in favor of the Roman Church is nothing new. But let us look more honestly at the facts that concern the Protestant Reformation of the sixteenth century.
What Really Happened 500 Years Ago?
It suddenly burst upon the world when the Italian Renaissance was at its height. Artists of almost unrivalled greatness, like Michelangelo, Leonardo da Vinci, and Rafael, fascinated the popes, who hired such men to rebuild and embellish at the Vatican, including St. Peter’s cathedral. Over a period of more than 70 years, one pontiff after the other was besotted with these projects: Nicholas V (1397-1455), Pius II (1458-1464), Julius II (1443-1513), and Leo X (1475-1521). The last mentioned, who reigned for seven years (from 1513 to 1521) was the second son of Lorenzo de’ Medici, the magnificent. Musical, talented, and a patron of the arts, he allegedly said: “Since God has given us the papacy, let us enjoy it.” Whether he really uttered these words or not, they are not a mischaracterization, for he was not a very spiritual person.
To find money for paying the hefty fees demanded by the great artists at work on St. Peter’s, Leo authorized the sale of indulgences by Johann Tetzel, a super salesman. But this fellow fell afoul of Dr. Martin Luther (1473-1547), an Augustinian monk, who had been ordained to the priesthood and was professor at the University of Wittenberg. Having in the meantime discovered and been preaching righteousness by faith from the Bible, he was outraged when members of his congregation during confession presented these indulgences instead of repenting.
He would have none of it. Therefore, on 31 October 1517, he nailed his 95 theses against indulgences to door of the castle church. Without planning it, he kindled the Reformation of the sixteenth century. At first he hoped that the Church of Rome would accept his Protestant message of righteousness by faith and turn away from all its false doctrines and corruptions. But it did not.
Quite soon, he realized that Catholicism, headed by the man at the Vatican, was not going to change in any meaningful way.
When Luther received the papal bull of excommunication that kicked him out of his ancestral Church, he declared: “‘I despise and attack it, as impious, false. . . . It is Christ Himself who is condemned therein. . . . I rejoice in having to bear such ills for the best of causes. Already I feel greater liberty in my heart; for at last I know that the pope is antichrist, and that his throne is that of Satan himself.’—D’Aubigné, b. 6. Ch. 9.” (The Great Controversy, 126)
Immediately after his magnificent stand for the truth and his refusal to recant at Worms, before the emperor, the princes, and other dignitaries of the Holy Roman Empire, a stake awaited him. On his way home, however, his supporters kidnapped and spirited him away to the Wartburg castle, where he translated much of the Bible into German. Heaven protected him there, but other Protestants were not so fortunate. Many of them were burned or slaughtered.
With a shock he recognized the Church in which he had grown up as the Babylon of the Apocalypse. Soon he trumpeted forth the message of Rev. 18:4: “Come out of her, my people, lest you share in her sins, and lest you receive of her plagues.”
Within a few years, Protestantism spread like a wildfire through northwestern Europe. Other Reformers spread a message similar to that of Luther, especially from Geneva, Switzerland. Country after country, adopted the Reformed religion.
To the papacy it eventually became plain that murdering individuals could not extinguish Protestantism. Therefore, a century after 1517, when Luther lifted the hammer to nail his document to that door, the Catholics marshaled entire armies to destroy it in what became the Thirty Years’ War (1618-1648), the most destructive conflict that ever ravaged Europe and Germany in particular. For loss of life and sheer devastation, it was even worse than World War II.
No amount of whitewashing and muted apologies by Pope Francis and his henchmen can change these facts. Nor can apostasy on the part of Lutheran World Federation.
The Donald Also Lends a Hand
On 4 May 2017, President Donald Trump took an ominous step toward abolishing the separation between church and state in America. He signed an executive order instructing the IRS not to enforce the Johnson Amendment, named after Lyndon B. Johnson, a Texas senator who later became president of America. The latter proposed it in 2 July 1954 and saw it adopted without discussion or debate. What is this about?
Paragraph (3) of subsection (c) of section 501 of the Internal Revenue Code describes organizations that may be exempt from American Federal income tax. These include religious denominations. Their tax-exempt status is, however, conditional on refraining from politics. Does this mean that it is illegal for churches to use their pulpits to promote political activities? No, it is not. They are free to do so, but then they will have to pay taxes.
As time went on, Evangelicals and no doubt many Roman Catholics as well objected to this restriction, maintaining that it curtails their religious liberty. They would like to be tax exempt and preach politics, to eat their cake and to have it. And this is where, in 2016, Donald Trump came in.
During his bid for the presidency, they solidly stood behind him. One might find this puzzling on the part of presumably pious people. He is twice divorced, knows little about religion, and has a dubious relationship with the Lord. Surely this is the last man whose election they would support! But no, they voted for him. Why? Because he promised that in exchange for their support at the ballot box, he would abolish the Johnson Amendment.
This year he kept his promise. After all, in 2020 he wants them to vote for him again. But can an executive order by the president of the United States abolish the Johnson Amendment? No, as Federal law it can only be changed by Congress. Therefore, at this stage, he is instructing the IRS not to enforce it, i.e., disobey the law.
Several organizations have spoken out against the president’s action.
According to the Huffington Post of 5 May 2017, the very next day after Trump had affixed his lengthy signature to his document, the Freedom From Religion Foundation, an atheist body, headquartered in Wisconsin, filed a lawsuit at a U.S. District Court of that city. It alleges, among other things, that the president’s order “requires the IRS to selectively and preferentially discontinue enforcement of the electioneering restrictions of the tax code against churches and religious organizations, while applying a more vigorous enforcement standard to secular nonprofits.”
Stephen Butler Murray, Ph.D., an ordained minister of the American Baptist Church, is President and Professor of Systematic Theology and Preaching at Ecumenical Theological Seminary in Detroit, as well as a formidable scholar. Though ecumenically minded, he strongly disapproves of the president’s action. On 6 May 2017, the Chicago Tribune published a letter from him, under the heading How Trump’s Executive Order Hurts Religious Freedom. He stated that “This order fundamentally misunderstands the principles of religious freedom: that the government cannot sponsor or favor one faith tradition over the other. Decrees that are designed specifically to protect Christian fundamentalists at the expense of all other faith traditions are the exact opposite of this legal and moral principle.” He went on to recount how early American Baptists “called on the framers of the American Constitution to instantiate the separation of church and state as a hallmark of the new nation. Thursday’s executive order violates religious liberty, transforming houses of worship into PAC’s [political action committees] and voting blocks, ingratiating churches toward syco-phantic and toadying relationships to the state.”
The Seventh-day Adventist Response
A month earlier, according to the 6 April 2017 issue of Adventist News Network, our own leaders had also, even before President Trump’s executive order, shown an awareness of impending trouble: “Recent events by both the legislative and executive branches of the U.S. Government have brought the Johnson Amendment and participation in elections by nonprofits (including churches) to the forefront.” They went on to say: “The Seventh-day Adventist Church in North America, because of its biblical beliefs and practices, does not desire to intervene in elections. Additionally, the church has opposed certain previous proposals for a full repeal of the Johnson Amendment. Therefore, while recognizing the law’s potential First Amendment concerns, the church reaffirms its opposition to legislative efforts to eliminate or weaken rules that prohibit nonprofits, including houses of worship, from endorsing or opposing candidates.”
So far, however, our denominational leaders do not seem to have connected the dots between this development and what the pope and his ecumenical fellow travelers are up to. They are largely preoccupied with other issues and, on the whole, asleep about this one. In our congregations there is nary a sermon about it, with all business as usual.
Fortunately some self-supporting ministries are wide awake. For instance, we have heard that Stephen Bohr and John Bradshaw here in the United States, as well as Reinhardt Stander and Walter Veith in South Africa (he is now the Director of Amazing Discoveries) are diligently proclaiming the Three Angels’ Messages and warning against the papal Antichrist. We thank the Lord for the faithfulness of these ministries and pray that others will also stand for a continued and greater Reformation—not with the ecumenical crowd.
Seven Prophetic Bulletins ago (# 24 of 4 November 2015), we expressed disappointment about the failure of our official functionaries to react when Pope Francis visited the United States.
On 22-27 September, he flew into our country and at its capital as well as New York City and Philadelphia, with terrific publicity. The media, the crowds, and many of our political dignitaries just loved it! But when he visited President Obama and addressed the combined houses of Congress, as well as the Supreme Court justices, it was really the seven-headed Sea Beast of Revelation 13 hobnobbinb with the two-horned Land Beast. That was a series of ominous and potentially very dangerous conversations.
What did offical Seventh-day Adventist Church do while that papal visit was in progress? Officially, almost nothing. Individuals as well as self-supporting ministries raised an alarm, and many copies of The Great Controversy were distributed in Philadelphia. Truth-filled DVDs also made their appearance. We found those things praiseworthy. Nevertheless, a great opportunity was missed. What would have happened if a leading functionary of the General Conference or its North American Division had boldly protested against the papal presence in Washington, D.C.?
It would, of course, have raised a huge stink that would have been smelled all over the United States as well as the rest of the planet. But the third angel of Revelation 14 would have cried out with a loud voice against the Beast and his mark. Lincoln Steed, Director of our Religious Liberty Department, did alert our leaders at their headquarters, but they did not seem to think the pope’s activities in our country were such a big deal. Steed released a video address to show the pontiff’s ultimate agenda. When Pope Francis spoke to Congress and the United Nations General Assembly, he alluded to his Laudato Si’ Encyclical. This promotes Sundaykeeping. But, alas, the angel failed to fly.
. . . Except again for some self-supporting ministers. One of these was Pastor Stephen P. Bohr. He has continued to raise the alarm. In the second quarter of 2016, his Secrets Unsealed contained “Reflections on Pope Francis, the U.N., and the 2030 Agenda.” The article takes a close look at the Encyclical Letter Laudato Si’ of the Holy Father Francis on Care for Our Common Home, which the pontiff issued on 24 May 2015, just four months before his September visit to America.
In too many cases, our congregations busy themselves with things that are completely unrelated to our mission for the time in which we live, listening to evangelical rather than distinctively Seventh-day Adventist sermons. Even worse, much worse, are the efforts—by some scholars and ministers—to undermine or tear down important parts of the platform erected by our pioneers.
Edwin has also wrote about these problems in August 2016, for instance in Part II of “How Close Are We to the End?” in August last year. The whole of his article, together with Part I, can be read on www.propheticum.com, our website. Among other things, he referred to the fact that the pontiff had pitched an ecological message and blended it with a call to Sunday observance—and how our official leadership failed to react. Here is an excerpt:
“68. . . . Rest on the seventh day is meant not only for human beings, but also so ‘that your ox and your donkey may rest’ (Ex. 23:12).”
“71. On the seventh day, God rested from all his work. He commanded Israel to set aside each seventh day as a day of rest, a Sabbath, (cf. Gen 2:2-3; Ex 16 23; 20:10). Similarly, every seven years, a sabbatical year was set aside for Israel, a complete rest for the land (cf. Lev 25:1-4) . . . Finally, after seven weeks of years, which is to say forty-nine years, the Jubilee was celebrated as a year of general forgiveness and ‘liberty throughout the land for all its inhabitants’ (cf. Lev 25:10). This law came about as an attempt to ensure balance and fairness in their relationships with others and with the land on which they lived and worked. . . . .”
“237. On Sunday, our participation in the Eucharist has special importance. Sunday, like the Jewish Sabbath, is meant to be a day which heals our relationships with God, with ourselves, with others and with the world. Sunday is the day of the Resurrection, the ‘first day’ of the new creation, whose first fruits are the Lord’s risen humanity, the pledge of the final transfiguration of all created reality. . . . The law of weekly rest forbade work on the seventh day, ‘so that your ox and your donkey may have rest, and the son of your maidservant, and the stranger, may be refreshed’ (Ex 23:12).”
No high functionaries in our Organization protested, apparently unconcerned by what the pope was trying to implement. He obviously wanted to persuade America as well as the United Nations to adopt an ecological program including mandatory Sunday observance.
About this and the other issues mentioned above, the Organization is in total disarray. Such things are also serious distractions from preaching the everlasting Gospel to every nation, kindred, tongue, and people. Together with the Organization’s so-called scholars these leaders have, in the words of the ancient prophet, become dumb dogs that do not bark (Isa. 56:10, 11). Why do we keep watchdogs? To bark, of course, and warn against intruders, drive them away, and, if necessary, bite them.
And our responsibility is not limited to what is going on within the ranks of Seventh-day Adventists. It includes the entire world, which we need to win for our coming King. Specifically we also have to warn other Protestant churches that are now yielding to the enticements of Roman Catholicism.
Ria is fascinated by this phrase as a description of what Catholicism teaches. Norman Gulley uses it several times in his Systematic Theology, Vol. IV, which deals with eschatology and is subtitled The Church and the Last Things. Incidentally, it quotes approvingly from three of Edwin’s books.
As Dr. Gulley points out, “In this volume, we give examples of ʻreplacement theology,’ which are human ideas in tradition that replace divine revelation in Scripture (see chapters 8–11).” According to the Roman Church, our Lord has handed over the church to Peter. The priest, through the ʻEucharistic Sacrifice’ continually sacrifices Christ up to God. The Pope is supposedly the visible Head of the whole Church, the faithful must submit to their bishop, and Mary is of immense importance. Gulley maintains: “The Roman Church is church-centered, and not Christ-centered.” (p. 68)
Elsewhere he details eleven examples of replacement theology:
– No salvation outside of the church instead of no salvation outside of Christ.
– Mechanical salvation through sacraments instead of faith and relationship with Christ.
– Being fed by Christ in His Eucharistic presence instead of through feeding on His Word.
– Confessing to priests instead of to Christ.
– Praying to saints to intercede in heaven instead of to Christ, the only mediator.
– Praying to Mary, who has a mother’s heart, instead of to the compassionate and only Savior.
– Salvation by human works instead of salvation through the life and death of Christ.
– No assurance of salvation instead of a living relationship with the Savior Christ.
– Need to pray for loved ones to get out of purgatory instead of accepting Christ’s free gift.
– Focus on priests in the Catholic system instead of on the risen Priest in heaven.
– All of the above based on human traditions instead of on the written Word of God.
Gulley goes on to say that such Romanist ideas “replace Christ; these are another gospel. To replace Christ is one meaning of antichrist.” (p. 244)
On another page he shows that blatant replacement theology is likewise at work in papal tampering with the fourth Commandment of the Decalogue, for instance where Pope John Paul II declared: “It is the duty of Christians therefore to remember, that although the practices of the Jewish Sabbath are gone, surpassed as they are by the ʻfulfillment’ which Sunday brings, the underlying reasons for keeping ʻthe Lord’s Day’ holy—inscribed solemnly in the Ten Commandments—remain valid, though they need to be reinterpreted in the light of the theology and spirituality of Sunday.” (p. 371)
Gulley’s remark that “to replace Christ is one meaning of antichrist” ties in well with what Edwin wrote in his Christ and Antichrist in Prophecy and History, 2001, 2013: “Some may question the appropriateness of applying the word ʻantichrist’ to the papacy, since it is surely not against our Lord. Such an objection is partly based on a misunderstanding of the prefix anti-. In English it usually has the sense of ʻagainst,’ but in Greek—the New Testament language—it also means ʻinstead, in the place of.’ And both these senses may apply simultaneously; the Redeemer’s great adversary could be ʻone who, assuming the guise of Christ, opposes Christ’” (p. 218).
The apostle Paul foretold the rise of this Antichrist before the Second Advent: “For that day will not come, unless the rebellion [the •B@FJ"F4" (apostasia)] comes first, and the man of lawlessness is revealed, the son of destruction, who opposes and exalts himself against every so-called god or object of worship, so that he takes his seat in the temple of God, proclaiming himself to be God” (2 Thess. 2:3-4, English Standard Version). Paul said that during his lifetime it was already beginning to stir into life. It would, however, endure until the coming of the Lord: “For the mystery of lawlessness is already at work. Only he who now restrains it will do so until he is out of the way. And then the lawless one will be revealed, whom the Lord Jesus will kill with the breath of his mouth and bring to nothing by the appearance of his coming. The coming of the lawless one is by the activity of Satan with all power and false signs and wonders, and with all wicked deception for those who are perishing, because they refused to love the truth and to be saved.” (vv. 7-10)
Catholicism headed by the papacy is surely the climax of replacement theology. The great apostle predicted its rise. Elsewhere he also wrote: “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,” (Galatians 1:8, NKJV).
The Pope as the Most Important Person in the World
John L. Allen, Jr., who edits Cruz, a Roman Catholic paper, is the most authoritative English-speaking writer about papal affairs. In All the Pope’s Men: The Inside Story of How the Vatican Really Thinks (2004), pp. 19-21, he depicts the pope as the indispensable kingpin of our planet. He is, says Allen, the Bishop of Rome, the supreme governor and legislator of the Catholic Church. He is also presumed to be the most important leader of the Christian world, for ecumenism and also vis-à-vis the Jews, Islam, Buddhism, and pagan religions. Beyond that, he represents spirituality as opposed to secularism. The pontiff is deemed to be “a moral teacher, a voice of conscience for humanity on social and political questions. As such, there is almost nothing under the sun about which a Pope is not expected to pronounce, whether it’s global warming or land mines or whether the United States should send in peacekeeping troops to restore order in Liberia.”
Well, we do not want him to be our representative, any more than Satan himself. We also note what the Bible says about the papal Antichrist just before the Second Coming: “And the dragon gave him his power, and his seat, and great authority. And I saw one of its heads as it were wounded to death; and his deadly wound was healed: and all the world wondered after the beast.” (Rev. 13:2-3)
A Great Reversal Ahead
Despite its present-day maneuvers, the papacy will be unable to extinguish the work of Martin Luther and other great Protestants who in years gone by spoke out against it. The last embers of the Reformation will not be smothered but, blown on by the Holy Spirit, blaze up anew. The Lord has faithful children both in and outside the Seventh-day Adventist remnant. According to his servant, Ellen G. White, he will bring about a dramatic change:
“Notwithstanding the widespread declension of faith and piety, there are true followers of Christ in these churches. Before the final visitation of God’s judgments upon the earth there will be among the people of the Lord such a revival of primitive godliness as has not been witnessed since apostolic times. The Spirit and power of God will be poured out upon His children. At that time many will separate themselves from those churches in which the love of this world has supplanted love for God and His word. Many, both of ministers and people, will gladly accept those great truths which God has caused to be proclaimed at this time to prepare a people for the Lord’s second coming.” (The Great Controversy, p. 464)
It is true that “The enemy of souls desires to hinder this work; and before the time for such a movement shall come, he will endeavor to prevent it by introducing a counterfeit. In those churches which he can bring under his deceptive power he will make it appear that God’s special blessing is poured out; there will be manifest what is thought to be great religious interest. Multitudes will exult that God is working marvelously for them, when the work is that of another spirit. Under a religious guise, Satan will seek to extend his influence over the Christian world.” (Ibid.)
But the evil one cannot prevail. In the passage quoted above, please note the effect that this outpouring of Holy Spirit will have not only on Seventh-day Adventists who gladly receive him, but also on genuine Christians in other churches. Yes, there, too, the Lord Jesus has those whom the devil is unable to deceive. The voice of the Third Angel will swell mightily to warn the world against the mark of the Beast, while attention is drawn to “those who keep the commandments of God and the faith of Jesus” (Rev. 14:9-12, NKJV) And to this will be added another manifestation: a fourth angel will come down from heaven itself and light up the earth with his glory. He will graphically depict the degeneracy and vileness of a latter-day, Protestant Babylon, Rome’s ecumenical offspring. Then, too, the Lord’s own voice from heaven joins in: “Come out of her, my people, lest you share in her sins, and lest you receive of her plagues” (Rev. 18:1-4, NKJV).
The pontiff is opening his arms to the religious world and invites everyone into his embrace with a seductive Jesuit voice: “Come back to papa!” But soon a mightier voice from heaven will address his faithful ones in Protestantism and even the Church of Rome to do exactly the opposite. And they will obey, “Many, both of ministers and people.”
In the meantime, the Lord has a great, exciting work for us to do in faithfully proclaiming the Three Angels’ messages. Let us therefore not “grow weary while doing good, for in due season we shall reap if we do not lose heart” (Gal. 6:9, NKJV).
A Warning from the Servant of the Lord
“It is Satan’s plan to weaken the faith of God’s people in the Testimonies. Next follows skepticism in regard to the vital points of our faith, the pillars of our position, then doubt as to the Holy Scriptures, and then the downward march to perdition. When the Testimonies, which were once believed, are doubted and given up, Satan knows the deceived ones will not stop at this; and he redoubles his efforts till he launches them into open rebellion, which becomes incurable and ends in destruction.” (Testimonies for the Church, Vol. 4, p. 211)
Setback on the Helwig Project
Edwin is disappointed and sad because it seems that nobody is able to produce a suitable version in English of Andreas Helwig’s amazing Antichristus Romanus (the Roman Antichrist) that we wanted to publish in 2017. A good friend had even donated the funds to pay the translator. Edwin tried very hard.
At one stage, he found a lady in America who could have done this and was at first willing to undertake the task. But she insisted on not only being paid but also keeping control of the copyright with limited rights for us to publish. She was also a Roman Catholic who finally baulked at translating Antichristus Romanus, which strongly attacks the pope.
Then, through an intermediary, Edwin found two scholars in Hungary, who a few years ago had produced a version in their own language. Unfortunately, though they were willing to turn it in English, there were two bad roadblocks. They demanded an exorbitant fee, which we could have dealt with. But a sample translation that they provided was woody and unpalatable, which would have repelled a potential reader. Worse, however, it lacked precision. This was mostly the result of English not being their mother tongue. How could Edwin tell? He knows some Latin and, with the use of dictionaries, was able to figure it out.
After this, he remembered an acquaintance in the Netherlands, who has an excellent knowledge of Latin as well as Greek, and even of Hebrew. He has translated many masterpieces in the former two languages into Esperanto. But he was totally unwilling. First, he said he found English a difficult language. Edwin could have settled for a good translation into Dutch, which he would himself have rendered into English. Our mother tongue is Afrikaans, which is descended from seventeenth-century Dutch, so he would have had no difficulty with this. Besides, he has an M.A. in Afrikaans-Nederlands, both language and literature. He understands both spoken and written Dutch without difficulty. But the man in Holland also took offense at Helwig’s very strong anti-papal sentiments.
And so we are back to square one.
Dear reader, if you know of a competent, non-ecumenical Protestant with an excellent knowledge of Latin as well as some Greek and Hebrew, please let us know. But for the time being, we are stuck. Unless we find such a person, no English translation of Antichristus Romanus will, alas, be published in 2017.
Edwin, however, is a very determined or, as some people say, an obstinate man. He has come up with another plan: he will restudy Latin, greatly improving his knowledge of it, and make his own translation of Helwig! Despite his 87 years, his mind and memory still seem to function well, and the Lord has endowed him with unusual language-learning ability. Greek gave him no trouble when he studied it many years ago; he always had A’s in it at the University of South Africa. It is more irregular and tricky than Latin.
It is so regrettable what happened in his childhood, more than 70 years ago. As he was about to enter high school, his mother warned him against choosing Latin as a subject, saying it was too difficult. She did not realize that the Lord had created her son with the ability to master it easily, even with an insatiable grammar lust. He already spoke English, Afrikaans, and Xhosa with equal facility. But now the Helwig project is suffering.
Unfortunately, however, Edwin cannot yet devote his energy to this task; he first has something else to do, and it is very dear to his heart: completing his poetic masterpiece in Esperanto, La Konflikto de la Epokoj (The Conflict of the Ages). As the title suggests, it is on the Great Controversy theme. He has been working on it intermittently for almost sixty years, since 1959, but interrupted it to write his books on prophetic interpretation. Last year he started on La Konflikto again. During 2017, he made great progress, and only three chapters remain: to depict the Second Advent, the millennium, and what will happen after the thousand years.
The Internet is a good source of information about Esperanto, the International language, and its literature, which is remarkably rich in original poetry. Edwin is widely regarded as one of its greatest poets. His epic is destined to be a book of about 350 pages, which he hopes to finish this year. It may yet rank with Milton’s Paradise Lose and Paradise Regained or Dante’s Divine Comedy, two great works of world literature.
After completing his magnum opus, Edwin can—God willing—tackle Latin again and translate Antichristus Romanus. Please uphold us in your prayers about this mortality thing, so that it will be delayed and he can produce an English version of Helwig’s great book.
To the few outlets that sell Edwin’s prophetic writings, the Lord has now added the Christian Book Center in McAllen, Texas. This impressive Seventh-day Adventist establishment is situated within easy driving distance from our home and carries a great variety of products: books, magazines, CDs, vegetarian foods, and what have you. Though it specializes in Spanish works—of which it carries a great variety—it also sells English books. What it does not have in stock it can easily obtain for its customers. It operates all over the United States. Please spare a few moments to browse on its website: Publicaciones Cristianas. It may just have an item that you want at an attractive price.
Its proprietor, Lizette Scardigno, is an enterprising friend of Edwin’s ministry and is now selling his books on Amazon.com as well as in the Book Center itself. Thank the Lord!
Orders and Bounties
A little more than a month ago, Amazing Discoveries ordered and obtained from us and one of our dear helpers a large quantity of The Truth About 666 and the Story of the Great Apostasy as well as Christ and Antichrist in Prophecy and History. We are very grateful to Amazing Discoveries. Selling our books is the main source of income for our ministry, though we also greatly appreciate the gifts that friends are prompted to send us.
Very recently, two wonderful retired Australians, who are by no means wealthy but admire Edwin’s books, in appreciation sent him $1,000.00 (U.S.) for our ministry. What will we be using it for? For the answer to this question, please read the next section.
Edwin’s Books in Spanish
We rejoice to inform you of this venture: translating these works into Spanish. For its number of speakers, this language occupies the first place in the Western World, ahead of English—though in the Far East, it is outranked by Chinese and Hindi. It also has the largest number of Seventh-day Adventists in our hemisphere. Books in Spanish are also read by Brazilians, whose mother tongue, Portuguese, is not very different.
In previous Prophetic Bulletins, we frequently referred to Edwin’s most recent work, La Palabra Profética Más Segura, the translation of A More Sure Word of Prophecy both the fruitage of 2015. This book resulted from our visit to Cuba and was based on his lectures during the previous year at Havana in the La Vibora Seventh-day Adventist Church.
We had the English original printed in the United States, but its translation was almost entirely Cuban. It was put into Spanish by Néstor Rivero, Edwin’s interpreter when he lectured at La Vibora, with a little editing by others, especially Dr. Byron Villacorta, a research scientist from El Salvador—whom Walter Veith of Amazing Discoveries brought into our Church through his lectures and Henry Stubbs, together with his wife Arleen, through their warmth and Christian love. Byron now lives and works in Australia.
The book is dedicated to Henry and Arleen Stubbs, who originally—under the aegis of the Youth World Group—had Ria and Edwin accompany them to Cuba. It was also printed there at our Seminary. Due to the embargo, these two missionaries have virtually had to “smuggle” it off the island in batches. The last three boxes of La Palabra are now safely here with us in Texas.
Two thousand copies were printed, of which 1,000 have remained in Cuba as a donation to the Church’s work. Seminary students received their copies a few weeks ago. Others will be distributed to all pastors of that Union Conference, as well as students at the Light School for training medical missionaries led by Henry and Arleen. They, like us, are keen for the pure Historicst prophetic interpretation to be upheld and spread in the great work done over there.
This little book of 68 pages has six illustrations in full color, including the cover, which in a unique way shows the image of Nebuchadnezzar’s dream. In the United States, the translation sells for only $8.00, plus postage and handling. Perhaps you, dear friend, would like to purchase some copies, at a special discount for bulk orders, for acquaintances who could benefit by them. Ministers of Spanish-speaking congregations in this country are entitled, free of charge, to a copy that they may like to examine. Please let them know to get in touch with us.
Néstor Rivero has also translated Christ and Antichrist in Prophecy and History as Cristo y Anticristo en la Profecía y la Historía. The text was transmitted to us from Cuba as e-mail attachments but had to be reformatted. Edwin did this himself, because he reads Spanish without difficulty—though he does not speak it well. Afterwards it went to Byron, who is editing it piecemeal. Please pray that this work will also be ready soon.
And now we can answer the question that we asked above: For what have we earmarked the $1,000 from Australia? Together with a magnificent contribution of $3,000 from a dear non-Seventh-day Adventist donor friend, who has often funded the printing of Edwin’s books, this will pay for a Spanish translation of The Truth About 666 and the Story of the Great Apostasy!
What we do not yet have is money to print either it or Cristo y Anticristo en la Profecía y la Historía. Ideally it would be wonderful to have these works as well as most of the marketing undertaken by a denominational publishing house. About this, also, please pray.
Thank you very much for your expressions of concern about our health. It helped no end to know so many cared! Growing old is not fun, although the alternative—to die young—is not to be recommended either. Don’t say you have not been warned. But let’s agree, there are some terrible ways of suffering without terminating life. Then people blame God, instead of the evil one who brought suffering and death. It is so good to know that the Lord holds us in his loving arms, rocks us and sings softly for us, all the while suffering with us. By his stripes we are healed with life everlasting, dearest friend. Romans 8:28 to the end of the chapter are some of Ria’s favorite verses, especially that “nothing can separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord!”
Edwin, like Ria, is too white for south Texas with its terrible sun and prone to skin cancer. Recently he had two squamous cell carcinomas sliced out. Fortunately neither operation has been disfiguring. Far more serious is the constant, often excruciating pain that Ria suffers in her lower back. Her neurosurgeon, who operated on her seven years ago to remove an arthritic spur which had been pressing on her sciatic nerve, has determined that another spur is doing the same thing on a joint. He will not at this time operate again but try to ease her pain with an injection.
On a joyful note, we can report that on 24 May we are due to fly to California to attend the graduation of our grandson, Edwin, Jr., from Loma Linda Medical School. Immediately afterwards, he will also be getting married. His bride to be is Dalila Ruíz, who has a Master’s degree in dietetics.
Web Site Linkage
Many more details about Edwin’s publications, our activities, and previous Prophetic Bulletins appear on our Web site: www.propheticum.com. Ria hopes to put some biographical pieces on it soon. During the years she has written some such pieces that friends found interesting. She is the one who checks the number of viewers and finds pleasure in these, hoping some will translate into orders, of course. We can be contacted by e-mail at email@example.com, or snail-mailed to Edwin de Kock, 12916 Los Terrazos Boulevard, Edinburg, Texas 78541, U.S.A. Please, as a huge favor, help us promote these doctrinally and prophetically sound books through your recommendations, personally or by e-mail. If you have a Web site, kindly mention us there and supply a link to our Web site.