Bulletin of Prophetic Historicism
21 November 2015 Editor and Proprietor
Edwin de Kock
Bulletin # 24
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.
Great News: A Christmas Bonanza for Students of Prophecy
As a spinoff of his writing and more or less parallel with it, Edwin has, at different times, been invited to lecture in Mexico, Cuba, and the United States. Several of his presentations were recorded. Of these we possess either audio or video versions. Rather than just a printed book, we know that many would also like to look at a DVD or, while driving, listen to an audio CD.
We have often pondered how we could make this material available to our readers. A major impediment has been the fact that to copy CDs and especially DVDs on a computer can be slow and tiring. But two weeks ago Ria discovered the existence of standalone copiers that can greatly speed up the process. Up to then, we had not known about them. So Edwin, after consulting a number of people and an Internet investigation, bought us a Produplicator copier. It can simultaneously replicate three CDs or DVDs within a few minutes. Together with a high-speed USB 2.0 connection, it cost $245.00, but we think it is a good investment. This expense can hopefully be defrayed from the resultant sales.
Now we can offer the following electronic items at the prices indicated. In each case, shipping and handling within the United States is included. Nos. 1, 2, and 6 (audio CDs) are already available. If you live in another country, please inform us; postage beyond these borders is unfortunately more expensive. Please note that the DVDs of nos. 4 and 5 (marked with an asterisk) are not yet ready but should be available in about a week’s time.
1. Two audio CDs of Edwin’s 2006 lectures about history and prophetic interpretation. These were presented during the Bible Prophecy Symposium at Camp au Sable under the auspices of the Michigan Conference. At that stage, Christ and Antichrist in Prophecy and History (2001) was as yet his only book. These talks refer back to it but also gave details which a year later appeared in his The Use and Abuse of Prophecy: History, Methodology, and Myth (2007). $20.00.
2. A set of five audio CDs. This series was presented at the Kentucky-Tennessee Camp Meeting on 26-30 May 2008. By then, The Use and Abuse of Prophecy had also been published, while he and his helpers were doing the research that would three years later result in The Truth About 666 and the Story of the Great Apostasy (2010). A companion chart of time periods significant in prophecy, referred to in one of these lectures, appears on our website. $30.00.
3. A DVD lecture The Identity of 666 in Revelation. Edwin addressed the Adventist Theological Society at Southern Adventist University, Chattanooga, Tennessee, on 14 January 2012, vindicating the classic SDA identification of that number with vicarius Filii Dei, a papal title. This was about a month after the publication of The Truth About 666 and the Story of the Great Apostasy. $13.00.
4.* Three lecture-sermons on DVD, presented as part of the Forward to Zion hometown camp meeting in Delaware, Ohio on 4-6 June, 2015. These are: (a) “The Lord is coming. Are you ready?” (b) “Three Angels Flying in the Midst of Heaven,” and (c) “To Ripen the Grain for the Harvest.” In the first of these, he stresses the need for being personally ready when Jesus comes as well as our Historicist view of how it will happen. In the second, he analyzes each of the three angels’ messages, emphasizing the fact that Seventh-day Adventists should not deviate from boldly proclaiming them. In the third, he speaks about the Holy Spirit, in both his early and latter rain manifestations. This lecture also gives greater clarity about righteousness by faith and its relation to our being God’s workmanship created unto good works in Christ Jesus. $25.00.
5.* A DVD made at the Mission Hope church, Mission, Texas, during March 2015 for Edwin’s 85th birthday. In this recording, he describes his career as a writer, especially the past fifteen years. He speaks and holds aloft his five published Historicist books, as well as his collected original poetry in Esperanto, the International language. $13.00.
6. One audio CD, entitled “Keeping a Promise to God.” This is a recording of an interview by Juanita Kretschmar on 3 September 2015 for her Power to Cope, a broadcast for radio in the Florida Keys and on the Internet. In it, Edwin tells of his 1986 promise to the Lord to write a book about prophecy if Ria survived a serious lung operation and the sequel. This entailed emigration to the United States, a year in South Korea, and completing not one but five books on prophecy, together with other material. This provides insightful background to his work as a Historicist writer on prophecy. $13.00.
If numbers 5 and 6 are ordered together, their combined price will be only $20.00. Those who order all of these six recordings can claim a further rebate. For them, the total price will be only $100.00, with free shipping and handling in the United States. Because nowadays only air mail can be used between America and other countries, different prices must for them unfortunately apply.
La Palabra Profética Más Segura—Progress!
A little more than a month ago, we wrote about our plans to have this book, the Spanish translation of A More Sure Word of Prophecy, printed in Cuba. Details about it appear on the front page of Prophetic Bulletin no. 23.
What has happened since we wrote those words? A donated sum of $1,000.00 has been sent to the publishing house at our Seminary in Havana, as well as the text of La Palabra Profética on disk. We are planning to have 2,000 copies printed. Half of them are to remain in Cuba, where we have more than 30,000 church members. On 1 January that island had an estimated population of almost 11,236,000, most of whom have never heard the three angels’ messages.
The other half of the books will be brought to the United States, where Latinos make up a sizable percentage of Seventh-day Adventists. They are, in fact, our fastest growing group of believers.
The publishing house hopes to print our book by February, but a special problem is a shortage of good quality paper in Cuba. Please pray about this.
Surplus funds donated to this project, if any, are earmarked for completing the Spanish version of Edwin’s Christ and Antichrist in Prophecy and History. Part of the translation, which will run to almost 400 pages, has already been done.
During one of his recent evangelistic campaigns, Jim Reinking—with Edwin’s additional input—used The Truth About 666 and the Story of the Great Apostasy as his major source for “The Attempt to Stamp Out Sabbathkeeping: An Historical Perspective.” This is now on our website: propheticum.com. Also in the United States, a very eminent scholar, who is completing his magnum opus, has with great approval cited this work. For reasons that we cannot enter into here, his identity can for the time being not be divulged. In South Korea, another important scholar is likewise using Edwin’s books as source material. At our Montemorelos University in Mexico, Andrzej [Andrew] Gradzikiewicz utilizes The Truth About 666 for teaching seminary students.
Unfortunately, in Europe, somebody else who highly prizes Edwin’s books is being oppressed by his Conference President, for teaching that the remnant of the woman’s seed of Rev. 12:17 is our denomination. That man, a liberal, so-called “progressive” Seventh-day Adventist, has banned our brother from speaking in any of our churches. Please pray for his deliverance from this kingly power. And that President would do well to remember what Jesus said in the concluding verses of the Olivet Discourse. He warned about an evil servant who “shall say in his heart, My lord delayeth his coming; and shall begin to smite his fellowservants.” But “the lord of that servant shall come in a day when he looketh not for him, and in an hour that he is not aware of, And shall cut him asunder, and appoint him his portion with the hypocrites: there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth.” (Matt. 24:48-51)
In a country south of us, Edwin’s books, as well as encouraging e-mails, have convinced an expatriate American to return to the SDA fold. Two precious people in Canada, who for various reasons have also become disaffected, are also reading them with pleasure.
We thank the Lord for precious helpers in different parts of the United States or the world who are selling Edwin’s books. If you happen to live in Canada or South Africa and would like to purchase them, please note that our books are already there. We can provide you with the details of how to obtain them.
The huge wound inflicted by the horse bite on Ria’s arm is gradually healing up, though more slowly than expected. The new skin has to grow from its sides. It is now about the size of the old silver dollar.
Edwin, who at 85 has a worsening leak in a heart valve, struggles on. Apart from writing about prophecy and other topics that affect our Church, he hopes to finish his Esperanto epic, La Konflikto de la Epokoj (The Conflict of the Ages) before his earthly life is over. As the title suggests, it is an imaginative version of the great controversy between Christ and Satan over the centuries. This poetic work is like a space-age version of John Milton’s Paradise Lost combined with Paradise Regained. Edwin is already one of the most famous poets in the language. His collected original poems have filled up a book of almost 700 pages, which was published this year. When finished, La Konflikto may prove to be a great work of world literature. But it is a race against time. When his cardiologist reviewed the results of a cardio echogram, Edwin asked him pointblank: “Doctor, how long do I have to live?” He answered: “About two to three years.” Another cardiologist, looking at the same report, was inclined to be more optimistic and said: “You are in the hands of your Maker.” Edwin has in the meantime been anointed. Please pray that the Lord will extend his years until he has finished his work.
Some readers may have wondered about the credit-card debt referred to in one of our previous Prophetic Bulletins. This was not recklessly incurred. It is just part of a scheme to pay off the debt on our mobile home at a lower interest rate, hopefully within two or three years. That is, while Edwin is hopefully still around.
We thank our gracious Lord for the unsolicited donations that some of his dear children have sent to us. Ria regularly prays that he will give wings to Edwin’s books, the sales of which could provide ample funds. We encourage you to buy these new CDs and DVDs, in addition to Edwin’s books, for the forthcoming holiday season. They would also be splendid gifts for friends, your loved ones—and yourselves.
A Valley of Darkness
We owe this expression to an old friend, who has long since left these parts. He was referring to the lower Rio Grande Valley in southernmost Texas, where we live. It is actually a flat alluvial plain. But from the vantage point of the Mexican side, beyond the river, it is the Valley, which is what we call it.
Here we have the highest percentage of Latinos in the United States. Many older people speak only Spanish, though their children all know English. The dominant faith is Roman Catholicism, in which syncretism plays a large role. It is, in reality, a semi-pagan religion. At the end of October and during the early days of November, people hereabouts celebrate several festivals that owe their origin to heathenism.
We first look at Halloween. Originally it was Samhain, a pagan Celtic holiday, celebrated from sundown on 31 October until sunset on 1 November. It was supposedly a time when the boundary between this world and the Otherworld could easily be crossed. The souls of the dead allegedly revisited their homes and sought hospitality. At feasts, their next of kin were summoned to attend, and places were set for them at the table. In the ninth century, the Roman Church shifted the date for All Saints’ Day to 1 November, while 2 November became All Souls’ Day. Eventually these two observances blended with Halloween, with fancy costumes: skeletons all over the place.
Here in the Valley, as a spillover from Mexico, we also have the similar Day of the Dead, when the deceased are celebrated. This derives from when the Aztecs paid tribute to Catrina, the Goddess of Death, portrayed as a skeleton. People welcome back the spirits of family members. Cemeteries are visited, the favorite music of the dead is played, and they are plied with the food and drink that they loved. This, too, has amalgamated with Catholicism. Halloween, All Saints’ Day, All Souls’ Day, and the Day of the Dead have in local minds all blurred together. Spiritually this is indeed the Valley of Darkness—and so are many other places on our planet.
On 31 October 2017, it will have been five hundred years since Luther lifted his hammer and at Halloween attached his document to the door of the castle church. And we in this Valley of Darkness wonder how emphatically Seventh-day Adventists will celebrate that special anniversary in two years’ time. Are we firmly retaining the rich heritage that resulted from Luther’s boldness in Wittenberg? Also: what is each of us doing to strengthen, defend, and enlarge on it?
The Lord Is in His Holy Temple
On October 22, 1844, in the Yom Kippur of this world, the Lord Jesus—our high priest—went into the heavenly sanctuary. There he has now been standing for 171 years, to intercede for us, but also to wind up the affairs of this planet in the Investigative Judgment, before he comes again. In the meantime, here on earth, his remnant Church must loudly proclaim the three angels’ messages to every nation, kindred, tongue, and people. From all of them, he longs to gather out a people.
Is this what we are doing, as our chief concern? Just note what the Lord’s Messenger had to say about this. “While the attention of worldlings is turned to various enterprises, ours should be to the heavens; our faith should reach further and further into the glorious mysteries of the heavenly treasure, drawing the precious, divine rays of light from the heavenly sanctuary to shine in our hearts, as they shine upon the face of Jesus” (1 Testimonies 194-195).
While Christ is at work beyond the sky, his representative here is the Third Person of the Godhead, the Holy Spirit. The ministry of this divine Being is always in accordance with God’s Word. He upholds and illuminates what Jesus taught, as it has been recorded in that holy book. He stirs up our conscience to repent and enables us to gain victory over sin. At times, he impresses people about the way that they should go and even prophetically reveals the future—but this is never contrary to the Bible, which he originally inspired.
The Holy Spirit is the only Vicar of Christ, the Vicar of the Son of God.
The Papal Visit to the United States
At the Vatican, in Italy, however, there is an entity for which these and similar titles have also been claimed for many, many centuries. Pope Francis is supposedly the mouthpiece of the Lord, appointed under the supervision of and inspired by the Holy Spirit, whenever he speaks about faith and morals in his official capacity. In other words, he is infallible when he condemns not only abortion but contraception or generally speaks up about religion. But, despite his many winning ways, Seventh-day Adventists reject such a view about the papacy. As Historicist interpreters of prophecy, they find it depicted in Bible passages such as Daniel 7, 2 Thessalonians 2, and Revelation 13. Whatever his personal virtues, the 264th Roman pontiff is (alas!) a further personification of the Antichrist. How can that be? He talks so nicely and gently as a man of God! According to the Greek language in which the New Testament was written, prefix anti- does not necessarily mean against but instead of. Therefore, the word Antichrist is synonymous with Vicar of Christ, God’s holy Son.
On 22-27 September, with much fanfare Francis flew into our country and at its capital as well as New York City and Philadelphia, with terrific publicity, did all the things that we described in a previous Prophetic Bulletin. The media, the crowds, and many of our 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 conversing with the two-horned Land Beast. That was a series of ominous and potentially very dangerous conversations. Why we say so will soon become evident.
Let us, however, first see how much the pope achieved of what he had set out to do. In Bulletin # 22, which is on our website, we detailed his planned activities, as well as several negatives reactions that he was likely to face. As we scrutinize what actually happened, we see that most of this did come to pass. An important factor was his insufficient knowledge of the English language. Whenever he spoke it, he was tied to a translation from Latin, Italian, or Spanish, which he had obviously worked hard to master. His message before entering the White House and to Congress was very similar. It also harmonized well with what he said to the Assembly of the United Nations in Spanish. One thing that should be said for him: he manifests great consistency.
Not surprisingly, President Obama and the Democratic legislators reacted more favorably than the Republicans. The reason is not far to find. Pope Francis is—to put it bluntly—a Socialist, believes in climate change, and favors the poor at the expense of the rich. These ideas are anathema to most Republicans.
And then an unscripted event, which must have very been unsettling to the Catholic hierarchy, jarred and disrupted their carefully choreographed scenario, robbing them of some publicity that they had hoped to get. On 25 September, a day after the pontiff had addressed the houses of Congress, John Boehner announced his upcoming resignation as the Republican House Speaker. Suddenly the eyes of America swiveled away from Francis, to concentrate on politics, its premier national sport. It is ironic that Boehner, a good Roman Catholic, who had worked so hard to invite the pope to speak in the Capitol, should steal his thunder.
A Missed Opportunity
What did the Seventh-day Adventist Church do while the papal visit was in progress? Officially, almost nothing. Individuals as well as self-supporting ministries raised an alarm, and a million Glowtracts as well as numerous copies of The Great Controversy were distributed in Philadelphia. Truth-filled DVDs also made their appearance. We find these 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 contrasted sharply with the incense arising round Francis and 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, alerted 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 highlight the pontiff’s ultimate agenda. After all, 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 Third Angel failed to fly.
In too many cases, our congregations were busying themselves with things that are completely unrelated to our mission for the time in which we live. Even worse, much worse, are the efforts—by some scholars and ministers—to undermine or tear down important parts of our distinctive message, like those who deny that the number 666 in Rev. 13:17-18 refers to vicarius Filii Dei and, therefore, the papacy.
A probable reason for silence is the denominational disarray which has followed the vote on women’s ordination at the General Conference session in San Antonio. To discuss this matter is painful, but attempts to sweep it under the carpet can end in disaster. Fortunately, the attendant problems can be solved. Edwin is working on a separate analysis that is due to reach you when it is ready.
What About Ben Carson?
This question is being asked by numerous Seventh-day Adventists all over the planet. The other day, a South African scholar working in South Korea put it to Edwin. This was the gist of his cautious answer. He thought it unlikely that our brother would be elected President of the United States. On the other hand, he welcomed the publicity for our Church. According to the Washington Post, almost half of the people in America have never heard about Seventh-day Adventists. Of those who have, ninety percent only know that we go to church on Saturdays. But some of Dr. Caron’s ideas are not representative of our Church and, in some cases, peculiar. For instance, no other Seventh-day Adventist that we know of has claimed that the great pyramids in Egypt were granaries from Joseph’s time. We hope that a reputable archaeologist of our Church will speak up to deny this claim; otherwise the world will think that we all share this view and say: “These Adventists have such funny ideas!”
Please remember that more details about our activities, as well as previous Prophetic Bulletins, appear on our website: www.propheticum.com. We can be contacted by e-mail at email@example.com, or snail-mailed as follows: Edwin de Kock, 12916 Los Terrazos Boulevard, Texas 78541, USA.