Bulletin of Prophetic Historicism
10 October 2018 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.
A Dramatic Turn of Events
During September, several developments have drastically changed our situation. On 30 August, Ria fractured her right-hand femur, necessitating surgery and rehabilitation. Three weeks earlier, on 3 August, Edwin was almost killed or maimed in a terrible car accident. On the other hand, September brought surprising validation of his Historicist interpretation of prophecy. Here are some of the details.
She was working in our kitchen when she tripped over the corner of a mat and had a catastrophic fall, with a fracture in her right femur. She cried out in agony. Edwin ran to help her and called 911, as well as their son Carl and Shelley, our daughter-in-law. They turned up shortly before the ambulance rushed her to the Edinburg Regional Medical Center. On the next Sunday, 2 September, a surgeon operated, inserting a metal rod into the femur. A few days later, she was transferred to a Senior Care nursing facility for further recovery and rehabilitation, where she should have spent twenty days.
But then she got pneumonia, probably from lying flat for much of the time. Apparently as a consequence, she also developed congestive heart failure. Two different lots of antibiotics did not really help. A major problem was that she could not properly get rid of the phlegm in her lungs.
On Sabbath, October 6, Edwin brought her home. She is a little better, because here she can use a nebulizer together with a lung-vibrating vest, and he can help her with physical therapy. But she is not yet out of the woods and is in considerable pain. Please pray for us, also in dealing with our medical debt in excess of $6,000.
Ria has been plagued by poor health for many years. Ten months ago, she had back surgery when two of her vertebrae were fused. Apart from painful spasms from time to time, the operation seems to have been a success.
Nevertheless, she is full of courage in the Lord, and promoting the reading as well as the sale my books remains close to her heart.
In the morning of the same day when she fell and abruptly ended up in hospital, she was writing another Ria’s Corner. Parts of it appear below.
Ria’s Corner, 30 August 2018
Most precious family and friends, we know some of you who are fighting the battle for your life, or living with increasing disability, or that of your loved ones. Some have even been beaten and ill-treated by their fellow servants. God will set all things right, because He knows the motives and weaknesses of all. We thank Jesus that He and all creation are groaning with you in your pain and disappointment. Jesus does indeed answer every prayer, to which He adds the incense of His immeasurable love and sacrifice, but according to His perfect will in what is best for you. He has already prepared for you in heaven that specially designed house and garden because He knows exactly what will make you feel special. May you remain aware of the strong “Everlasting Arms” underneath you, which will carry you through whatever lies ahead.
On a recent Sabbath, we welcomed the return from the Philippines our “adopted” granddaughter, Casey Lao, at our Edinburg Senior Ministry Potluck. These seniors had been sponsoring her, so were eager to hear about her experiences and adventures. Then she mentioned that Dr. Conrad Vine, the President of Adventist Frontier Missions, had given her Edwin’s book, Use and Abuse of Prophecy, and that he loved and praised Edwin’s books. She told Dr. Vine that Edwin was her “oupa”. It made him feel happy that this recently acquired new friend of his books appreciated the wonderful inside of his ugly duckling book cover. Chapter 1 of this book deals with the gradual unfolding and development of the historicist prophetic interpretation over the centuries. LeRoy Edwin Froom needed four big volumes in The Prophetic Faith of Our Fathers, printed between 1950 and 1954.
When Ria graduated with her Master’s in the teaching of English as a Second Language in 2003 at the age of 68, she knew she would have to pay Edwin’s astronomical medical bills from his congestive heart failure and hospitalization during 2001, and provide social security and Medicare for us both. The miracle was that her own alma mater had appointed her as adjunct, and later as full-time one-year-at-a-time lecturer in the teaching of English writing, which was against its own policy. So to publish this little green book in 2007 was a huge miracle of frugal living, because Ria paid for it and lovingly calls it her Prophecy 101! Our old friend, Dr. William Shea, wrote the introduction and complimented Edwin on his powers of condensing the four volumes into only 49 pages comprising Chapter 1. Chapter 2 gives 7 very valuable keys for unlocking the mysteries of prophecy.
Thankfully Dr. Conrad Vine, president of Adventist Frontier Missions, loved the book too. He bought seventy copies for his missioners. He also thinks highly of Edwin’s other books.
One of Edwin’s most recent sermons, on July 14, was actually a grateful testimony of how the Lord responded to his prayer for my survival after the serious lung surgery in 1986. But God knew the promised book on prophecy would actually require five books. Of course, God seldom tells people what they would have to survive in order to fulfill their vows! Nor did He tell us we would have to print and sell the books ourselves. The sermon has been recorded and put on Youtube.com/c/mcallenallnations, in case you would like to listen to it.
Another happy bit of news is that a special local friend designed and printed a nice bookmark guiding readers through an exploration of The Truth About 666, especially for those who felt intimidated by its many pages. If you would like to have this bookmark, please get in touch with us to arrange getting it, by perhaps sending us a self-addressed envelope with the necessary postage on it. If you live in a country where this is too expensive or difficult, please ask for it to be sent to you as an e-mail attachment.
Wonderfully exciting and good news is that according to a recent article in the Adventist Review a decision was reached by 400 of our pastors and scholars gathered in Rome that Historicism does not belong on the ash heap after all, but is indeed the only valid prophetic method of interpretation. Pastor Edgar Nunes gave all of Edwin’s prophetic publications to Dr. Alberto Timm of the E.G. White Estate. The latter then recommended an overview of all five books to be published in a prestigious denominational publication. Its editor agreed, and another of our scholars has very kindly undertaken this gigantic venture once he has finished up his present obligations, hopefully by March next year. You, dear one, will know that Edwin will turn 89 at that time, if he is still with us then. But he meekly said he would patiently wait in line for his turn.
Recently we got a rather unexpected call from one of Edwin’s readers visiting the Valley, who brought his brother Danny and two young nephews with him to come and see us on a Sunday morning. Mannie Romero told us how much their father was enjoying Edwin’s book and what a wonderful man his dad was. They noticed how wild our yard was looking. We explained that was because another dear friend had bleeding on the brain and was still in rehab. We were kind of waiting for him and his partner to come and attend to it.
Well, later in the afternoon the Romero brothers called and said they would be over at six to cut the grass for us. Wow, that was truly wonderful! They wanted no money, not even for the two small boys who also helped, because their dad was trying to teach them to be helpful to others, especially the aged and sick. They worked like Trojans and were kept busy until quite dark. We were ever so grateful and loaded them down with guavas, even canned guavas from last year and a set of the 666 books each, so they would not have to wait for their daddy to finish reading his copy. Our prayers go with Mannie, who had also been a Frontier Missionary.
But matters with the Cristo y Anticristo, the Spanish translation of Christ and Antichrist, have not been going so well. In spite of trying to raise an interest among the Spanish churches and even our local Christian Bookstore, we had to keep on giving away books for free. We were a bit depressed to say the least. Was it a mistake to think Spanish people would take to Edwin’s books? So Edwin called Henry Stubbs of World Youth Group, their mission to Cuba, to whom we had sent 100 books for that island. Normally Henry and Co. would have to take a few books in their luggage, but this time they went in by container. After some sweating, our two wonderful sons managed to put bulletin # 35 onto our website. They still want to refine it, but we have had over 53 000 hits without any sales that we know of. What can be the matter? Your suggestions are eagerly awaited.
We love you and wish we could give you a big hug, one size fits most and is health promoting.
Affectionately yours in our Precious Savior’s vineyard, Ria (and Edwin) de Kock.
Edwin’s Personal Testimony
On the afternoon of August 3, 2018, I was almost involved in a terrible accident. That day I had gone to town from our home about six miles west of Edinburg in southernmost Texas. My wife Ria, not being too well, remained at home. I spent two hours attending to several chores, which tired out this old man. To rest, and also because it was my mealtime, I went to Jason's Deli and had a cheap meal of my favorite vegetable soup. I arrived there at 6:00 p.m. and left at 6:30, driving home along University Drive. Just before the intersection with 10th Street, I fell asleep.
And then I had one of the most extraordinary experiences in all my 88 years. Suddenly the car jerked to the right, which woke me up. I saw that I had just missed crashing into another car, one of a series which had stopped at the red light just ahead. But I also found that I was now in the bicycle lane on the right and heading for the kerb as well as an iron pole that stood there as if it were waiting for me. I quickly turned the steering to the left and narrowly missed it. But just ahead there was also a drum that had been placed there because of road work in progress, and I was going to hit it. I braked quickly and stopped the car. The whole episode had lasted about ten second. First I thanked our Heavenly Father for sparing me. The crash could have been fatal or landed me in hospital, and it was our only car, which would have been badly damaged. Then I wondered whether I had had a blowout on a right-hand tire. I got out and walked around the car to have a look. But no: both tires looked normal; there had been no blowout! I reversed, moved back into the traffic, and drove home, where I Ria was waiting for me.
She and every other believer whom I told what had happened, said that my guardian angel or the Lord himself had jerked the car to the right to wake me up. Skeptics just praised my fast reflexes but offered no explanation why it all happened at that place and in precisely those circumstances. I agree with the believers and praise the Lord.
The Tide is Turning
The Adventist Review of 22 June 2018 featured a news item entitled Adventist Theologians Approve Statement on Biblical Eschatology and cited a document by the Biblical Research Institute.
Seventh-day Adventist theologians and administrators from around the world meeting in Rome, Italy, for the Fourth International Bible Conference from June 11-21, 2018, voted a Consensus Statement at the closing of the event on June 20. The conference theme was biblical eschatology, or the study of last-day events according to the Bible. The document voted reaffirms the Adventist understanding of biblical prophecy, end-time events, and its missiological implications for the church. Below is the full text of the document approved.
From this, we quote a few paragraphs.
The Fourth International Bible Conference was held in Rome, June 11-21, 2018, with the theme of “Biblical Eschatology.” Almost four hundred Adventist scholars, pastors, educators, and church leaders, sharing a deep commitment to Scripture and a biblical worldview, gathered from around the world to explore biblical, theological, historical, ethical, missiological, and scientific perspectives on eschatology. The goal of the Conference was to affirm and explore biblical eschatology, foster fellowship and unity, and to bring about a renewed sense of the times in which we live so as to be better equipped to serve the Lord and His Church. We have been spiritually and intellectually enriched through Bible study and worship, seasons of prayer, lectures, discussions, and educational tours to significant biblical, historical, and archaeological sites.
As Seventh-day Adventists, we are impelled by the personal and profound conviction of the nearness of Christ’s coming as a literal, visible, personal, and worldwide event. We are keenly aware of the challenges being made to the historicist approach to biblical eschatology. These challenges include preterist, futurist, and idealist approaches to the books of Daniel and Revelation, scientific cosmologies that breed skepticism toward a divine supernatural resolution of the problem of sin and death, and speculation regarding things that have not been revealed.
Statement of Affirmation
Committed to the principles of sola and tota Scriptura, we hereby affirm that the Seventh-day Adventist Church, raised up in fulfillment of Bible prophecy near the end of earth’s history, has an eschatological perspective as an integral part of its theology, message, and mission….
We affirm that biblical eschatology represents God’s historical and complete resolution of the problems caused by the entrance of sin into the universe….
We affirm that the apocalyptic books of Daniel and Revelation are foundational for the understanding of biblical eschatology and that the historicist method is the proper approach to interpreting them.
We affirm the three angels’ messages of Revelation 14, with their interconnected truths of the everlasting gospel, Christ’s ministry in the heavenly sanctuary, the commandments of God, including the seventh-day Sabbath, and the testimony of Jesus, the pre-Advent judgment, the second coming of Christ to resurrect and redeem His people from the earth, followed by the millennium in heaven, the final judgment upon sin and sinners with their destruction in the lake of fire, which is the second death, and God’s re-creation of this earth as His people’s eternal home.
Especially observe how many leaders and scholars, like Edwin in all his books, have taken a stand against “preterist, futurist, and idealist approaches to the books of Daniel and Revelation.” This fills him with joy and makes him feel vindicated.
The Great Controversy Theme in Esperanto
In the meantime, Edwin is very excited about the publishing of his Esperanto epic La Konflikto de la Epokoj (The Conflict of the Ages). This work, which is longer than John Milton’s famous Paradise Lost and Paradise Regained, combined. It conveys a Seventh-day Adventist world view, including our basic doctrines and several prophecies, as well as their fulfillment. We hope that some of those who read La Konflikto will not only enjoy it as a marvelous story but also accept the Lord.
The publishers in Belgium are now ready to start with its production. Edwin says he will die happy if he can hold this book in his hands, since he worked on it on and off for fifty-eight years.
Since 1887, when Esperanto came into existence, more than a hundred poets have created original poetry in it, some of it superb, with translations into other languages. During the late 1970s, Tymen Trolsky, assisted by a team of thirteen, produced a 211-page book in the Netherlands featuring, as he put, “eighteen well-known and less known poets of world stature.” In each case, on opposite pages, we can read their poetry (English, French, German, etc.) with parallel translations into Dutch. These included famous figures like John Keats (1795-1821) in English, Friedrich Hölderlin (1770-1843) and Bertold Brecht (1898-1956) in German, and Paul Verlaine (1844-1896) in French, but also four Esperanto poets. One of these is Edwin de Kock.
La Konflikto de la Epokoj may yet be regarded as a masterpiece of world literature, but that only others and the future will be able to decide.
On October 17, both Ria and Edwin were to have flown up to Berrien Springs, Michigan, where he is due to take part in a conference on Daniel 11. Unfortunately she can no longer accompany him. He will have to go alone. Their son André is coming from California and will be with her. Carl, the other son, who lives in Edinburg, and his wife Shelley will also look in on her.
But she is deeply disappointed, having looked forward so much to that trip to Michigan! Edwin must now also struggle for a refund on her cancelled flight. We did take out insurance, but must produce complicated evidence, including a medical certificate signed by several doctors, to prove that she cannot fly.
Web Site Linkage
Many more details about Edwin’s publications, our activities, and previous Prophetic Bulletins appear on our Web site: www.propheticum.com. 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, we now need your help in promoting 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 ours.