Edwin de Kock - The Truth About 666 and the Story of the Great Apostasy (Book)
Ranging over the entire Christian era, The Truth About 666 is a penetrating 900-page book in three volumes for both scholars and lay people concerned about past, present, and future events. This is the most comprehensive work on prophecy and history ever produced by a Seventh-day Adventist, with the assistance of excellent researchers and scholars. About the earliest Christian centuries, it agrees with and defends Ellen G. White’s Great Controversy as well as Uriah Smith’s Daniel and the Revelation, but it adds much that neither of them dealt with.
For instance, the Heruli, Vandals, and Ostrogoths were not really Arians but ancient Sabbathkeepers, who stood in the way of papal supremacy. Therefore, they had to be eliminated. The popes were supported by the kings and emperors of Europe in persecuting those who opposed the Roman Church, yet for centuries they also struggled to dominate them.
With amazing new discoveries in Latin as well as five other languages, this book vindicates Uriah Smith’s conclusion that the 666 in Rev. 13:18 really refers to vicarius Filii Dei (the vicar of the Son of God). This title first appeared during 753 in a document known as the Donation of Constantine, which was forged by the papacy to claim ecclesiastic supremacy as well as secular domination. The narrative of The Truth About 666 is enlivened by many fascinating episodes. For instance, it shows that the people of Brazil, the largest country in Latin America, speak Portuguese, while the others speak Spanish, due to a papal decision based on that fraudulent manuscript.
This book is a storehouse of brand-new discoveries. One of its treasures is an Appendix with material quoted from more than eighty non-Seventh-day Adventist writers, mostly Protestants who lived and labored before Uriah Smith. They testified to the fact that vicarius Filii Dei was indeed a papal title. Most of them also showed that it had a number value of 666.
Very many Catholic writers also bore witness to the fact that the popes have for more than a thousand years been called the vicars of the Son of God, in Latin as well as the other leading languages of Western Europe.
In its third volume, this book discusses the problem of some Seventh-day Adventist scholars who now say that 666 does not refer to the pope but only means human sinfulness or imperfection. Some of them also claim that the number, the name, and the mark of the Beast are one and the same thing. By implication, there will therefore be no Sunday laws, nor will America cooperate with the papacy in its pursuit of world domination. Such ideas undermine the third angel’s message, suggesting that Seventh-day Adventists are not really the Remnant Church of prophecy. As The Truth About 666 demonstrates, these Seventh-day Adventist scholars have most unfortunately been influenced by writers from outside their church: Sundaykeepers, Protestants and Catholics, as well as others, including Spiritualists.
With this trilogy on the enigmatic number 666 in the Book of Revelation, Edwin de Kock has presented us with the most exhaustive study on the subject currently available from the Historicist perspective.
William H. Shea, M.D., Ph.D.,
Retired professor of Old Testament, Andrews University,
Former Associate Director, Biblical Research Institute.
I praise God for your faithfulness and your outstanding contribution to preaching the three angels' messages. May our wonderful Lord continue to bless your pen.
Mark A. Finley, evangelist
I must say, it is the most definitive treatment of the subject I have ever read. I still hold to the historicist view of prophetic interpretation in my preaching and evangelism. I can recommend your work to any pastor wanting in-depth insight into the historical background of Vicarius Filii Dei and the number 666. Thank you for your work and your insights on this important topic.
Larry R. Moore, President,
Southwestern Union Conference
The Truth About 666 and the Story of the Great Apostasy (2011) is the result of years of careful research, which verifies the truth of the prophetic statements of Scripture, especially Revelation 13 regarding the Papacy, its growing power, and final actions in the end time. It is a publication that has been needed and is now made available at such an important time as this. Amongst other things, it demonstrates that vicarius Filii Dei (“the vicar of the Son of God”) has for centuries been a pontifical title. Together with its translations into English, German, French, Italian, and Spanish, it has appeared in numerous Catholic and Protestant publications. We are thankful for Edwin de Kock's work in documenting the events of history and with clarity substantiating the identity of the actors in the closing drama of this world's history.
Jack J. Blanco, Th.D.,
Professor Emeritus, Southern Adventist University,
Former Dean of the School of Religion, Southern Adventist University
Written for both scholars and lay people, this is a penetrating but pleasantly readable book, which ranges over the entire Christian era from Apostolic times until the Second Coming. It agrees with and defends Ellen G. White’s Great Controversy as well as Uriah Smith’s Daniel and the Revelation but also adds much material that neither of them knew about. It is the most extensive treatment of the Historicist prophetic interpretation of 666. With abundant new evidence, it shows that Vicarius Filii Dei is the best interpretation of Revelation 13:18. It also exposes the problems with Futurist, Preterist and Idealist interpretations. The book should be required reading for anyone studying the end-time prophecies of the Bible.
Pastor Stephen Bohr,
lecturer on prophecy as well as high standards for the Remnant Church
The Truth about 666 is the most extensive treatment of the Historicist prophetic interpretation of 666. It brings out abundant evidence for the view of Vicarius Filii Dei as the best interpretation of Revelation 13:18 and exposes the problems with the Preterist and Idealist interpretations. The book should be required reading for anyone studying the end-time prophecies of the Bible.
P. Gerard Damsteegt, Dr. Theol.
Associate Professor, Church History Department, Seminary, Andrews University
With The Truth About 666 and the Story of the Great Apostasy, Edwin de Kock has both recovered and magnificently delineated a precious mine of Historicist truth. He provides by far the most comprehensive treatment of the notorious apocalyptic number and its prophetic corollaries ever produced. As such, de Kock's magnum opus is destined to become the unparalleled standard on this subject.
Jerry A. Stevens, English major and two master's degrees in education
Author, Vicarius Filii Dei
Former editor, ADVENTISTS AFFIRM
In its capacity as a state, the Roman Catholic church-state of the Middle Ages will have needed a constitution. If it ever had one, it was the Donation of Constantine, where we first find the papal title Vicarius Filii Dei (Vicar of the Son of God). If this is not an official title of the papacy, no such title exists. De Kock has explored the history of Vicarius Filii Dei in perhaps more detail than anyone ever will, but if the day comes when someone extends his researches further, I predict they will only find more evidence for his positions.
Frank W. Hardy, Ph.D.
Doctorate in Linguistics and graduate degree in Old Testament studies
Former editor of Historicism
The Truth About 666 and the Story of the Great Apostasy is largely based on colossal amounts of recently discovered information. Much of it is history. A significant part of it is religious history. The reader will find that sure evidence points to the correct understanding of the Sea Beast in Revelation 13, its name and number. De Kock's presentation is a thorough, frank, factual, eye-opener history of one of Chistendom's greatest apostates, its character and career.
Harold Erickson, Ed.D.
Taught Church History and Daniel and Revelation classes at Spicer Memorial College for
eighteen years. Now conducts prophetic seminars (since 1987).
Like everything else in the book, your documentation and historical approach are impeccable.
Douglas E. LaPrade, Ph.D.
Author in English and Spanish. Two Fulbright scholarships
Tenured English professor, University of Texas–Pan American
Edwin de Kock (1930-) also wrote Christ and Antichrist in Prophecy and History (2001) as well as The Use and Abuse of Prophecy (2007). These have both been well accepted in the United States and elsewhere, used by evangelists, and prescribed a few times for Seminary classes. Scholars as well as ordinary readers have delighted in his pleasant style, blended with researh ranging over centuries. He displays a grasp of history, contem~orary world affairs, and polyglot culture that is unusual among writers on prophecy. He has also published in Afrikaans and Esperanto, the International Language. In the latter, he is one of its most famous original poets. A good deal of his poetry has been translated into other languages, including English.
De Kock's fascination with prophecy and history is virtually as old as his Adventism, beginning in his native South Africa more than seven decades ago. It culminated in almost twenty years of intensive research, which is still continuing. He has qualifications in theology, literature, education, and speech. In Israel, on Crete, and in Europe, he visited great museums, cathedrals, art galleries, and important sites connected with the contents of his books.
He has lectured internationally and been interviewed on radio and television in several countries, including the Esperanto service of Radio Vatican. The last mentioned was about his Adventism. Professionally he was an educator for more than thirty-five years, in South Africa, South Korea, and the United States, especially as a college teacher. He finished this career as a writing professor at the University of Texas, Pan American, in 2000. His wife Ria, whom he married in 1954, does the same kind of work. Their sons and their families also live in America.
Table of Contents:
From the Author to the Reader
Preface by William H. Shea
Enter the Beast
The Story of the Great Apostasy
PART 1: The Basics
1. An Early Expectation of the End
2. Biblical Parallels for 666
3. Magic Squares and the Sun God
4. Letters of the Alphabet as Numbers
5. Helwig’s Great Discovery
6. The Helwig Gap and Later Protestantism
7. Too Many Names and Other Confusions
8. Clarifying the Criteria
PART 2: The Ascent to Papal Power
9. The Mystery of Lawlessness
10. The Primacy of Peter?
11. Germanic Interlude
12. Clovis Converted
13. Justinian and the Reconquest
14. Visigothic Compromise
15. Celtic Christianity Liquidated
PART 3: The Pope Becomes a King
16. Prelude to the Donation
17. The Donation of Constantine
18. Forgery Upon Forgery
19. The Anatomy of Forgery and Fraud
20. Published Again and Again
PART 4: The Further Witness of History
21. The Donation Casts a Long Medieval Shadow
22. The Donation and a Papacy in Decline
23. The Donation Contradicted and Debunked
24. In Catholic Countries, the Donation and Its Title Endure
25. The Counter-Reformation, a Reactionary and Bloody Response
26. The Donation and the Voyages of Discovery
27. Vicegerent of the Son of God
28. Papal Onslaught and Fiasco in Africa and the Far East
29. France and Gallicanism
30. From the Grand Monarch to the Little Corporal—and Beyond
31. Many, Mostly Catholic Voices Just Before and in the Nineteenth Century
PART 5: The Seventh-day Adventist Connection
32. Uriah Smith’s Unique Contribution
33. Indignant Catholics Respond
34. Seventh-day Adventists Doubt and Adapt
35. Catholic Use of Vicarius Filii Dei in the Twentieth Century
36. Majoring in Minors
37. Three Are Said to Have Seen It
38. Tiaras Galore, but Nary a One with Vicarius Filii Dei
39. Numerology and Catch-All Idealism
40. More Non-Historicist Writers and Influences
41. Early Idealist Intrusions and Rebuttals
42. A Few Later Historicists Who Got It Wrong
43. Idealism More Boldly Invades the Seventh-day Adventist Church
44. The Bastion Restored
45. A Resurgent Papacy
Exit the Beast
Appendix I: About This Book
Appendix II: Catholic Documents
Appendix III: Mostly Protestant, Non-Seventh-day Adventist Publications
Appendix IV: Ingredients, Scope, and Structure of The Great Controversy by Ellen G. White
Appendix V: Dissenters of the Eighteenth and Nineteenth
Centuries Opposing the Historicist Equation Vicarius Filii Dei = 666
Appendix VI: Philosophy as Theology 856
Appendix VII: Translating the Word
Prophetic and Other Publications