Sabbath School Citations from Lesson One and Van Wyk Notes


Contra-Reformation Catholic Hectoris Pinti on Daniel’s principle

“Keeping in mind the largely symbolic character of Revelation will safeguard us against distorting the prophetic message. In trying to determine the meaning of the symbols used in the book, we must be careful not to impose on the text a meaning that comes out of human imagination or the current meanings of those symbols in our culture. Instead, we must go to the Bible and to the symbols found in its pages in order to understand the symbols in the book of Revelation. In fact, in trying to unlock the meaning of the symbols in Revelation, we must remember that most of them were drawn from the Old Testament.”


Van Wyk Comment:

The reason Pinti want people to do this, is that the papacy will then escape inclusion in the interpretation of prophecy because people will get lost in the corners of the Old Testament “similar phraseology”. It is a concordance interpretation.

In Oecomenius’ Revelation of the middle sixth century he explained it similarly to what Stefanovich wants to have here: it is past present and future. Andrew of Caesarea in his 623 AD Revelation commentary differ from Oecomenius because he saw it as present until future. If it is present, it cannot be the Old Testament. Long excurses on the Old Testament symbols is not going to get you anywhere. Relevant Old Testament references in brief may suffice but long explanations trying to explain it in John’s time is not what is the purpose of the Book of Revelation.

Is it symbol explanation? The answer is yes but it is only one aspect. It is also continuous history recognition and prophecy understanding that is involved here. Like Daniel came to the end of the 70 years and then understood Jeremiah’s 70 years prophecy for the Exile length. The same would be for the 1260 years or the 2300 years etc.

The third aspect is that one does not need to study the ANE iconography as Adelle Collins did in order to explain Revelation symbols. The Ugaritic myths of dragon fights and Babylonian legends have nothing to do with Revelation except that they are degenerative pagan plagiarism of the reality of the Rebellion in Heaven history as is prevalent in the Old Testament passages in Genesis 3:15ff; Isaiah 14:12-14; Ezechiel 28, Zechariah 3; Job 1; etc. In Job for example the last three chapters are not dealing with Babylonian or Ugaritic monster fights but with natural dinosaurs that existed before the Flood of Noah or whales even after the flood or a hippopotamus as symbol of Satan or of Christ, with Christ as the Victor.


“But when we read Revelation—unless the text points to a literal meaning—we need to interpret it symbolically”. This is correct.


Gross Preterism from Reformed Theology

“By portraying the future in the language of the past, God wanted to impress upon our minds that His acts of salvation in the future will be very much like His acts of salvation in the past. What He did for His people in the past, He will do for them again in the future.”


Van Wyk Comments:

When I was studying in highschool Bible our textbook was written by Calvinistic Reformed seminary professors and the Book of Revelation was the topic. This is exactly what they were saying in those days. It is flourishing preterism at its best. I can see it with closed eyes.

The Ford issue and the Papers of the Discussions at Glazier View in 1980 brought out the difference between historicism and the apostelesmatic principle.


Historicism: prophecy is a historical process of one time fulfillment

Apostelesmatic Principle: prophecy is a continuous process of repreated fulfillment

The first principle is that of “former Adventists” and the last principle is that of “current Adventists”. This is how Spectrum 2019 classiffies the role of Stefanovich and Paulien as opposed to the role of previous writers on Revelation.


Father, Jesus or Trinity? “who is and who was and who is to come”

“As we can see from these texts, the Givers of grace and peace are the three Persons of the Godhead. God the Father is identified as the One “who is and who was and who is to come” (see Rev. 1:8, Rev. 4:8, NKJV). This designation refers to the divine name Yahweh, “I AM WHO I AM” (Exod. 3:14, NKJV), referring to God’s eternal existence.”


Van Wyk Comments:

Oikoumenios in his Revelation commentary of 560 AD claimed that it is the Trinity here. “was” is Jesus incarnate. There are the words of Jesus to Pilate: John 19:37. "Pilate said to him, 'So you are a king?' Jesus answered, 'You say that I am a king. For this I was born, and for this I have come into the world, to bear witness to the truth. Everyone who is of the truth hears my voice.'" Andrew of Caesarea finally claimed in 623 AD in his Revelation commentary that these words refer to all of the Trinity functionally (Chp. 1, Text 13, Comm. 14).