Ten Weaknesses of Seventh-day Adventist Historicism

…We could stop trying to predict our future by studying books which we have no hope of perceiving correctly given that they are, by now, 2,000+ years beyond any reasonable “sell by date” and, for Americans at least, are one ocean and one sea away from their contextual setting.

This for no reason other than the observation that prophecies have the habit of becoming self-fulfilling.

For example worrying about, and trying to find and fasten, one’s seatbelt can actually lead to a collision.



Yes, if only we could allow the message of Revelation to reveal the faithful God of revelation so we could trust him more. But we forget… we fear. We live in fear. Is it fear that makes us want to divine details of what will happen in the future? Perhaps because then we could control matters…?

Religious Jews are now in process of what is called Counting the Omer, that is, counting down the 7 weeks from Passover to the Feast of Weeks (the Spring harvest festival). Messianic Jews are meditating on the Fruits of the Spirit each week. This week it’s Faithfulness. Rabbi Ben Volman wrote a wonderful article, “Learning to Trust in God’s Faithfulness”, so this topic is top of mind.

It seems to me that, until we learn to trust God’s faithfulness, it will be difficult for us to trust the message of Revelation–that is, things are going to get a whole lot crazier as God allows evil to fully reveal itself, AND God will respond. He will not abandon us, although we might wonder where he is and why he is not stepping in to stop the madness. Until we more fully trust God’s faithfulness, I suspect it will be extremely difficult for us to not want to try and seize control (as if we could actually do such a thing) by divining details of the future.

Is that, perhaps, the purpose of this book? To help us see that?

To critically deconstruct is always far easier than to objectively construct, Professor Larson’s critique is by definition his subjective understanding at best since no strengths are explored, only weaknesses, and by the way, since Adventists are essentially the only denomination that still believes in Historiscm, I think it would be fair to just call it what it is, instead of insinuating that Adventism adds its’ own slant into a methodology that was well understood as early as the first century AD by Jewish Sages, lest you want to argue that others (Jewish) people began to understand it as early as Cyrus conquest of Babylon and Alexander the Great’s conquest of the then known world.

Seriously, how so? These two books not only frame the historical progression of world events since the writing of Daniel, but even more importantly, the relevance of these events in the context of the most central part of the Bible (the Gospel as the Plan of Salvation), starting with the birth and ministry of Jesus right here on planet Earth, to the rise and breakup of Rome into the European Continent/countries and the discovery and history of the “New World”, to the ultimate end of the world as we know it and return of Jesus.
Do any other methods (e.g. Preterism and Futurism, and please don’t mention Antiochus Epiphanes or the supposedly third-temple antichrist) even a chance at being systematically equivalent at covering the same span of time right down to the rise and advancement of the antichrist today?

The books of Daniel and Revelation are proof patent that the Bible is the inspired Word of God, only He knows the future.

This is probably the only point you make with which I can partially agree, but the shortcoming is only one-sided as a reflection of the GC’s orthodoxy on one end, and the fact that many GC scholars have all but switched to historical criticism and “interpretive” methodologies. Who can be blamed for that?
There are plenty of independent SDA ministries who have been preaching for decades about current counterfeit copies of God’s Law starting with Marxism and its’ countless variations, as directly against the 8th and 10th . Or how about the so-called UN human rights? This list is extensive, but the pastors preaching it have been marked as “conspiracy theorists” and “crackpots” as you just did, and blocked from preaching, the list of examples is long and only those paying close attention seem to understand. Other present counterfeits are self-evident, such as the fascist-led mass-media and the 9th Commandment.

Huh. Somebody actually mentioned Donald J. Trump as an antichrist. (In case any beloved readers believed they were the only ones who thought that.)

The emperor has no clothes.

Thus, no pocket to hold a godly compass.


Wow! Or better said: Woe, Woe - The Holy Spirit has already spoken, where did you miss this point? “The second woe has passed. Behold, the third woe is coming shortly” Are you waiting for the third Woe? - It may be too late. Is there nothing of what is quickly evolving in our daily world that provides even a clue?

If this were true, every SDA should be a billionaire given that he, armed with the precise interpretation of these books provided by EGW’s visions, would be able to invest his money knowing precisely when the stock market will go up and down due to world events.

For example, having the exact date of 9/11 one would simply “short” everything listed on the NYSE and make a killing.

But the fact is that the biblical predictions are so vague as to be useless when trying pry into the future and can only be used to see “future” events when one looks back at a certain event and says, “Yeah, I knew that was gonna happen because the Bible says things are gonna get worse.”

Further, if god knows everything, why didn’t his inspiration include specific references to a least one, and perhaps even a few, of the countless advances and improvements made possible by the Renaissance, the Reformation, modern science and human technology? As Larry King used to say, he would be much more impressed by god’s alleged omniscience if there was one exact description of jet airplanes in the Bible rather than the throwaway phrase “men run to and fro”.

An omniscient god would also know how to speak plainly to all people and at all levels rather than relying on secret messages in a couple of “holy” books that only special people with a magical decoder ring can decipher.

So no, the Bible does prove that god knows everything. In fact, the Bible tends to support the atheist’s argument no one should even want to believe in a god who is so utterly insouciant and downright monstrous in his dealings with his creation and creatures.

At the very least, one should hope and pray that the god, or gods, of the Bible do not exist if the Bible is god’s best attempt to establish, once and for all, that he is real, and to prove to everyone the audacity of his superpowers.


I suppose that’s because they really are conspiracy theorists and crackpots, not to mention whack-a-doodle nutcases. And that’s on the charitable assumption that they actually believe the nonsense they are spewing.

Ever since man first invented religion, people have used religion to gain and consolidate political power or to push a political agenda. I suspect some of these “crackpots” know full well that they’re promoting nonsense; but it keeps the donations flowing and convinces people to vote for their “side”, and as always is the case with religion, truth is the least of their concerns.


There’s an old saying that goes something like:

“It can be very hard to understand something, when misunderstanding it is essential to your paycheck.”

It seems the term “paycheck” is interchangeable with many others, e.g., “eschatology”, “religion”, “egotistical world view”, etc.



Some people did precisely that and others bought unprecedented and illogical amounts of extra insurance on the buildings…and won. For this they were not reading Scriptures but rather self-fulfilled prophetic events from those who planned them and executed them.

It is not my intent here to argue your specific prophetic perspectives other than to say that the essay in this post is not about whether Daniel and Revelation can be trusted as prophetic predictions of the future, and that on this topic you are clearly looking for proofs and answers that the Holy Spirit will not show you.

The Bible was not written as a set of secret codes that can be unlocked to make people rich but rather to provide the readers who are looking for spiritual truth an understanding about the nearness of Jesus’s eminent return.

Larry King was an atheist with no trust in the Bible looking for truth in all the wrong places. I suppose he would not understand Daniel 12: 4 even if you gave him a specific airplane type (or missile) that struck the NY towers, can anyone argue about the prediction of the unprecedented ability to travel in the 20th Century or the absolute explosion of knowledge?

Again, the Bible is not a magic wand to predict specific dates, but to answer your questions above, some students of Scriptures came very close to doing exactly that (1) just before the fall of the Ottoman Empire and also (2) the infliction of the seeming mortal wound to the beast – two major events with global significance and implications.

How about the mark of the beast and the required governmental and financial controls which just a short time ago seemed all but impossible? Are any of the world developments in the last three years telling you anything, anything at all?

“Those who are wise shall shine Like the brightness of the firmament, And those who turn many to righteousness Like the stars forever and ever.” Dan. 12:3

Clearly your position and perspective on these topics of discussion make it utterly impossible to have even a rational discussion, let alone spiritual discernment.

There has never been a time in my life when I thought the MOB was impossible.

I was raised SDA so a steady dose of EGW’s “prophetic” doom and gloom was de rigueur.

Good call.


Well, that is a good thing, but how has your understanding progressed from that “general” belief? Your arguments against prophecy don’t seem to align, just based on your posts, and that is why I said I didn’t want to guess on your perspective.

Are you referring to the multiple predicted mid-1800’s collapses of the Ottoman Empire? Are you referring to “mortal” wound on the papacy of 1798? If not can you specify the prediction and fulfillments.

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That’s because I deal in ration discourse, logic, evidence and facts, not make-believe nonsense.


My understanding has progressed precisely as I described.

I am now at the point where if the god of the Bible is a “worship and love him or die” proposition, I’ll gladly take the latter, please.

Fortunately, neither you nor any other person has provided any factual or spiritual evidence to convince me that the god, or gods, of the Bible actually exists so there’s no reason for me to believe I’ll ever be faced with such a simplistic, binary decision.

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Really sorry to hear that Bruce, but you should not blame anyone for not presenting you with the right evidence. We all grew up in SDA homes and have had better chances than most, then we make our decisions to accept or deny the Holy Spirit, it is 100% our choice.

Please don’t condescend.

I never asked for your sympathy, and if I believed the nonsense I was taught from birth even going into adulthood, I only blame myself.

I also didn’t say I reject the Holy Spirit.

I only said I’d have nothing to do with a god who says, “Love me or die.”

As a statement of fact, and while this seems to be an all too familiar motif with the god of the Bible, I’ve never received such an absurd and irrational ultimatum from Divine Consciousness.


Indeed I am, I don’t how much background you have in the prophecies of the 5th and 6th trumpets of Rev. 9, but it is precisely this “uncertainty” you seem to refer to here that makes this prophecy so unique and valuable to the SDA movement and to the Historicist methodology, because it not only points to a year, but to a month and even to a specific day. Having studied at SDA schools I had never heard about it myself as more than a passing reference.

Rev 9:15 And the four angels were loosed, which were prepared for an hour, and a day, and a month, and a year, for to slay the third part of men.

Josiah Litch in 1838 was the first to associate the 5th and 6th trumpets with the Ottoman empire from 1299 to August 1940. After additional study confirming the starting date as July 29 he adjusted his date (before the event occurred) and said: that “on August 11 19401840 we can expect the Ottoman Empire to be broken”. The details of how the final breakup occurred as extremely intricate and something no human could have predicted they would occurred that way, I seriously recommend you study that - Both starting and end dates have now been confirmed by essentially all major universities from Oxford to Columbia and all major historians.

This is the same as Millerites claiming that the fact Jesus didn’t return in 1843, or 1844 proved that their date setting was correct. A non-fulfillment only proves it wasn’t fulfilled.

I am not sure what history books you read (if any) but the Ottoman Empire collapsed formerly on the first of November, 1922. It was dealt a death blow as a result of being with the Axis powers in WW1, and their loss. In reality it was in decline from the mid 1700s.

Encyclopaedia Britannica has the end date as 1923 with the establishment of the state of Turkey.

Wikipedia, History Channel, Encyclopaedia Britannica, NZ History, US Holocaust Memorial Museum and National Geographic all place the end of the Ottoman Empire in the early 1920’s.