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The Antichrist

The Antichrist

            The Antichrist is not to be confused with persons called ‘antichrist’ because as John said, “many deceivers have gone out into the world, those who do not confess that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh; any such person is the deceiver and the antichrist (2 John 1:7)!”  However, there is one who shall come with the spirit of Satan and power who is called ‘the Antichrist.’  Many Muslims called this person as ‘the Twelfth Mahdi.’  It is said that Muhammad prophecied “the world will not come to an end until a man from my family and of my name shall be master of the world; when you see a green ensign coming from the direction of Khorasan, then join them, for the Iman of God will be with the standards (banners) who will be called al-Mahdi.”

Also certain Hundi mystics say their mythological Vishnu shall come as the ‘Kalki Avatar,’ the ‘tenth’ and ‘final avatar’ who shall be the destroyer.  Likewise, some Buddhist believe that Maitreya, ‘the fifth Buddha’ will be a type of last day ruler of the world.

Jesus Christ stated, as recorded by Matthew, ‘false messiahs and false prophets will appear and perform great signs and wonders to deceive… (Matt. 24:24).’  There will be false Christ’s and false prophecies of ‘the Antichrist,’ but in truth there is but One Holy Savior of the world – the Son of God – our Lord Jesus Christ; and there is only one Antichrist that will reign at the end of the world before the coming of the Lord and the final Judgment of mankind.

What does the Bible say about the Antichrist?

The Apostle Paul: 2 Thessalonians; chapter 2

The apostle Paul calls him the ‘man of sin’ or ‘man of lawlessness’ and ‘son of perdition.’    Paul writes in his second letter to the Thessalonians: “…Don’t let anyone deceive you in any way, for that day will not come until the rebellion occurs and the man of lawlessness is revealed, the man doomed to destruction.  He will oppose and will exalt himself over everything that is called God or is worshiped, so that he sets himself up in God’s temple, proclaiming himself to be God.  Don’t you remember that when I was with you I used to tell you these things?  And now you know what is holding him back, so that he may be revealed at the proper time.  For the secret power of lawlessness is already at work; but the one who now holds it back will continue to do so till he is taken out of the way.  And then the lawless one will be revealed whom the Lord Jesus will overthrow with the breath of his mouth and destroy by the splendor of his coming.  The coming of the lawless one will be in accordance with how Satan works. He will use all sorts of displays of power through signs and wonders that serve the lie,  and all the ways that wickedness deceives those who are perishing. They perish because they refused to love the truth and so be saved. For this reason God sends them a powerful delusion so that they will believe the lie  and so that all will be condemned who have not believed the truth but have delighted in wickedness.”

The Prophet Daniel

“And the ten horns out of this kingdom are ten kings that shall arise: and another shall rise after them; and he shall be diverse from the first, and he shall subdue three kings.   And he shall speak great words against the most High, and shall wear out the saints of the most High, and think to change times and laws: and they shall be given into his hand until a time and times and the dividing of time.  But the judgment shall sit, and they shall take away his dominion, to consume and to destroy it unto the end. And the kingdom and dominion, and the greatness of the kingdom under the whole heaven, shall be given to the people of the saints of the most High, whose kingdom is an everlasting kingdom, and all dominions shall serve and obey him.”   Daniel 7:24-27

‘The abomination of desolation’

Daniel 9:27 “And he shall make a firm covenant with many for one week: and in the midst of the week he shall cause the sacrifice and the oblation to cease; and upon the wing of abominations shall come one that maketh desolate; and even unto the full end, and that determined, shall wrath be poured out upon the desolate.”

Daniel 11:31 “And forces shall stand on his part, and they shall profane the sanctuary, even the fortress, and shall take away the continual burnt-offering, and they shall set up the abomination that maketh desolate.”

Daniel 12:11 “And from the time that the continual burnt-offering shall be taken away, and the abomination that maketh desolate set up, there shall be a thousand and two hundred and ninety days.”

Concerning these things Matthew, Mark and Luke record Jesus speaking of this, “when you see the abomination of desolation, spoken of by Daniel the prophet standing in the holy place, then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains…’  Matt. 24:15-16; Mark 13:14; and Luke 21:20-21

Apostle John: Revelation 13

“And I stood upon the sand of the sea, and saw a beast rise up out of the sea, having seven heads and ten horns, and upon his horns ten crowns, and upon his heads the name of blasphemy. And the beast which I saw was like unto a leopard, and his feet were as the feet of a bear, and his mouth as the mouth of a lion: and the dragon gave him his power, and his seat, and great authority.” Revelation 13:1-2 “And I saw one of his heads as it were wounded to death; and his deadly wound was healed: and all the world wondered after the beast.” “And they worshiped the dragon which gave power unto the beast: and they worshiped the beast, saying, Who is like unto the beast? who is able to make war with him?” “And there was given unto him a mouth speaking great things and blasphemies; and power was given unto him to continue forty and two months.” “And he opened his mouth in blasphemy against God, to blaspheme his name, and his tabernacle, and them that dwell in heaven.” “And it was given unto him to make war with the saints, and to overcome them: and power was given him over all kindreds, and tongues, and nations.” “And all that dwell upon the earth shall worship him, whose names are not written in the book of life of the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world.” Revelation 13:3-8 “And that no man might buy or sell, save he that had the mark, or the name of the beast, or the number of his name.” “Here is wisdom. Let him that hath understanding count the number of the beast: for it is the number of a man; and his number is Six hundred threescore and six.” Revelation 13:17-18
Timing of the Antichrist

 

Now some confuse the ‘abomination’ which Antiochus IV placed in the Holy Place as spoken of in 1 Maccabees 6:7; and others confuse and claim that Caligula who also defamed the Holy site was the Antichrist.  And still others say it was Nero or another however, come let us reason together – it could not have been any of those.

First, Christ speaks of the coming of the Antichrist and that time of persecution or the ‘Great Tribulation,’ saying, ‘ For then there will be great tribulation, such as has not been since the beginning of the world until this time, no, nor ever shall be.  And unless those days were shortened, no flesh would be saved; but for the elect’s sake those days will be shortened.  Then if anyone says to you, ‘Look, here is the Christ!’ or ‘There!’ do not believe it.  For false christs and false prophets will rise and show great signs and wonders to deceive, if possible, even the elect.  See, I have told you beforehand.

“Therefore if they say to you, ‘Look, He is in the desert!’ do not go out; or ‘Look, He is in the inner rooms!’ do not believe it.  For as the lightning comes from the east and flashes to the west, so also will the coming of the Son of Man be.  For wherever the carcass is, there the eagles will be gathered together.  Immediately after the tribulation of those days the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light; the stars will fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens will be shaken.  Then the sign of the Son of Man will appear in heaven, and then all the tribes of the earth will mourn, and they will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of heaven with power and great glory.  And He will send His angels with a great sound of a trumpet, and they will gather together His elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other.   (Matthew 24:21-31)

Now, first, such a time ‘of great tribulation’ that ‘never has been or will be again (worst than WWII and Hitler’s holocaust) has never been.  Second, as Paul told the Thessalonians the Lord will destroy the Antichrist at the Lord’s coming.  Third, the Antichrist has not persecuted the saints and the world for 42 months.  Fourth, the temple has not been rebuilt for the Antichrist to enter.

Irenaeus speaks of the Antichrist

             In ‘Irenaeus Against Heresies, Book IV,’ he wrote, “…The whole world must pass away… so that the fruit indeed may be gathered into the garner, but the chaff, left behind, may be consumed by fire?  ‘For the day of the Lord comes as a burning furnace, and all sinners shall be stubble – they who do evil things, the day shall burn them up (Mal. 4:1).’   In ‘Irenaeus Against Heresies, Book V,’ he wrote: “…As many as fear God and trust in His Son’s advent (return), and who through faith do establish the Spirit of God in their hearts… shall be called ‘pure,’ and ‘spiritual…’  For as the Lord testified, ‘the flesh is weak …the Spirit is willing (Matt. 26:41).’  …The martyrs bear their witness, and despise death, not after the infirmity of the flesh, but because of the readiness of the Spirit…’.

‘(Book V) …The Maker of all things, the Word of God …called Lazarus, saying ‘Come forth (John 11:43);’ and he that was dead came forth… that Christ’s words concerning the future resurrection may be believed …when the Lord utters His voice, by ‘the last trumpet (1 Cor. 15:52),’ and the dead shall be raised, as He Himself declares: ‘The hour shall come, in which all the dead which are in the tombs shall hear the voice of the Son of Man, and shall come forth; those that have gone good to the resurrection of life, and those that have done evil to the resurrection of judgment (John 5:28, 29).’

 

“…Heretics …are blind to truth, and deviate from the right way… they desert the preaching of the Church …As blind men are led by the blind, they shall deservedly fall into the ditch of ignorance lying in their path, ever seeking and never finding out the truth (2 Tim. 3:7).  Avoid their doctrines, and take careful heed lest we suffer any injury from them; but flee to the Church and …be nourished with the Lord’s Scriptures.  For the Church has been planted as a garden in this world; thus says the Spirit of God, ‘Thou may freely eat from every tree of the garden…’ but ye shall not eat …or touch any heretical discord…

 

The Hebrew word ‘Satan’ signifies an apostate …his power consists  in sin and apostasy, and with these he binds man; and so …it is necessary that …he shall be bound, in order that man be set free and return to His Lord… For ‘none can enter a strong man’s house and spoil his goods, unless he first bind the strong man (Matt.12:29; Mark 3:27).’  …The devil is a liar form the beginning and the truth is not in him (John 8:44) …he is the apostate angel, yet, can only go to this length… to deceive and lead astray the mind of man into disobeying the commandments of God, and gradually to darken the hearts of those who would endeavor to serve God, to the forgetting of God, and to the adoration of himself as God…  And not only by the particulars already mentioned, but also by means of the events which shall occur in the time of Antichrist, who being an apostate and a robber, is anxious to be adored as God; although a mere slave (to Satan – as Rom. 6:16; 1 John 3:8;), he wishes himself to be proclaimed as a king.  For he being endued with all the power of the devil, shall come, not as a righteous king… but …lawless …and murderous; as a robber, concentrating in himself all satanic apostasy, and setting aside idols to persuade men that he himself is God… having in himself the diverse errors of the other idols.   This he does, that they who do now worship the devil by means of abominations, may serve him by this one idol, of whom the apostle Paul thus speaks …to the Thessalonians, ‘(The Day of the Lord shall not come) …unless there shall come a falling away first, and the man of sin shall be revealed, the son of perdition, who opposes and exalts himself above all that is called God, or that is worshipped; so that he sits in the temple of God, showing himself as if he were God (2 Thes.2:3,4).’

‘(Book V) …The Antichrist will endeavor in a tyrannical manner to set himself forth as God.  Moreover, the apostle pointed out this which I have shown in many ways that the temple in Jerusalem was made by the direction of the true God.  …And for the purposes which I have already mentioned, in the temple, the enemy shall sit, endeavoring to show himself as Christ, as the Lord also declares: ‘But when ye shall see the abomination of desolation, which has been spoken of by Daniel the prophet, standing in the holy place, then let those who are in Judea flee into the mountains; and he who is upon the house-top, let him not come down to take anything out of his house: for there shall then be great tribulation, such as has not been from the beginning of the world until now, nor ever shall be (Matt. 24:15, 21).’

 

‘And Daniel too, looking forward to the end of the last kingdom, the ten last kings, amongst whom the kingdom of those men shall be partitioned, and upon whom the son of perdition shall come, declares that ten horns shall spring from the beast and that another little horn shall arise in the midst of them… Daniel says, ‘Behold, eyes were in this horn as the eyes of a man, and a mouth speaking great things, and his look was stouter than his fellows.  I was looking, and this horn made war against the saints, and prevailed against them, until the Ancient of days came and gave judgment to the saints of the most high God, and the time came, and the saints obtained the kingdom… The fourth beast shall be the fourth kingdom upon earth, which shall excel all other kingdoms, and devour the whole earth, and tread it down and cut it in pieces.  And its ten horns are ten kings which shall arise; and after them shall arise another, who shall surpass in evil deeds of all that were before him, and shall overthrow three kings; and he shall speak words against the most high God, and wear out the saints of the most high God and shall purpose to change times and laws; and they shall be given into his hand until a time and times and a half time… (Dan. 7:8-25);’ that is, for three years and six months, during which time he shall reign over the earth.  Of whom also the Apostle Paul again, speaking in the second Epistle to the Thessalonians… says: ‘And then shall the wicked one be revealed, whom the Lord Jesus shall slay with the spirit of His mouth, and destroy by the presence of His coming; whose coming (the wicked one’s) is after the working of Satan, in all power, and signs, and …lies, and with all deceivableness of wickedness for those who perish; because they did not receive the truth, but gave consent to iniquity (2Thes.2:8).’  The Lord …spoke, ‘I have come in My Father’s name, and ye have not received Me: when another shall come in his own name, him ye will receive (John 5:43);’ calling the Antichrist ‘the other,’ because he is alienated from the Lord.  This is also the unjust judge ‘…who feared not God, neither regarded man… (Luke 18:2) …he shall sit in the temple of God, leading astray those who worship him, as if he were Christ.’

‘(Book V) To this purpose Daniel says again: ‘And he shall desolate the holy place; and sin has been given for a sacrifice, and righteousness been cast away in the earth, and he has been active, and gone on prosperously (Dan. 8:12,13).’  The angel Gabriel explained his vision with regard to this person: ‘And towards the end of their kingdom a king of a most fierce countenance shall arise, one understanding dark questions, and exceedingly powerful, full of wonders, and he shall corrupt, direct, influence, and put strong men down, the holy people likewise; and his yoke shall be directed as a wreath; deceit shall be in his hand, and he shall be lifted up in his heart; he shall ruin many by deceit, and lead many to perdition(Dan. 8:23-25).’ Then Daniel points out the time that his tyranny shall last, during which the saints shall be put to flight… ‘in the midst of the week, the sacrifice …shall be taken away, and the abomination of desolation shall be brought into the temple: even unto the consummation of the time shall the desolation be complete (Dan. 9:27).’

 

‘Now three years and six months constitute the half-week.  …These passages reveal …the particulars of the apostasy, and the works him who concentrates in himself every satanic error…  Behold, what Daniel prophesied concerning the end has been confirmed by the Lord, when He said, ‘When ye shall see the abomination of desolation, which has been spoken of by Daniel the prophet (Matt. 24:15).’

 

‘…In a still clearer light has John, in the Apocalypse, indicated to the Lord’s disciples what shall happen in the last times…  He teaches us what the ten horns shall be which were seen by Daniel, telling us that … ‘And the ten horns which you saw are ten kings, who have received no kingdom as yet, but shall receive power as kings one hour with the beastThese have one mind, and give their strength and power to the beast.  These shall make war with the Lamb, and the Lamb shall overcome them, because He is the Lord of lords and the King of kings (Rev. 17:12-14).’  …Of these kings, (the Antichrist) …shall slay three and subject the remainder to his power, and he shall be the eighth among them.  And they shall lay Babylon waste, and burn her with fire, and shall give their kingdom to the beast, and put the Church to flightAfter that they shall be destroyed by the coming of our Lord.  For that …must …come to ruin, the Lord says: ‘Every kingdom divided against itself is brought to desolation, and every city or house divided against itself shall not stand (Matt. 12:25).’  Daniel says particularly… ‘ten toes …part iron …part clay… (Dan. 2:41).’  The ten toes …are these ten kings… some strong and active, others …sluggish and useless, and shall not agree… (see Dan. 2:42,43). And since an end shall take place, he says: ‘And in the days of these kings shall the God of heaven raise up a kingdom which shall never decay… It shall break in pieces and shatter all kingdoms, and shall itself be exalted forever.  As thou saw that the stone was cut without hands from the mountain and brake in pieces the …clay, the iron… (Dan. 2:44,45). {Note: the ‘stone’ is Christ: Matt. 21:42; Mark 12:10; Luke 20:17; 1 Peter 2:6-8; Psa. 118:22, 26.}’

‘(Book V) If therefore the great God showed future things by Daniel, and confirmed them by His Son; and if Christ is the stone which is cut out without hands, who shall destroy temporal kingdoms and introduce an eternal one, which is the resurrection of the just; as He declares, ‘The God of heaven shall raise up a kingdom which shall never be destroyed (as Luke 1:33; Isa.9:7) – let those confuted come to their senses, who reject the Creator, and  who do not agree that the prophets were sent before-hand from the same Father from whom also the Lord came… ministering to His Father’s will, and completing His dispensations with regard to the human race…’.

 

‘Truly has Justin (Martyr) remarked: ‘That before the Lord’s appearance Satan never dared to blaspheme God, inasmuch as he did not yet know his own sentence, because it was contained in parables and allegories; but after the Lord’s appearance, when he had clearly ascertained from the words of Christ and His apostles that eternal fire has been prepared for him as he apostatized from God of his own freewill, and likewise for all who unrepentantly continue in the apostasy (Matt. 25:41), he now blasphemes, by means of such men (who sin)…’.

 

‘…At the advent of Christ… ‘(He will) come to set a man against his father and the daughter against the mother… (Matt. 10:25);’ and when ‘two are in one bed; one will be taken and the other shall be left; and two women shall be grinding at the mill; and one shall be taken, and the other left… (Luke 17:34,35; Matt. 24:41).’  At the time of the end,   He will order the reapers (‘angels’) to collect first the tares together, and bind them in bundles, and burn them with unquenchable fire, but shall gather up the wheat (‘the elect’ – Mark 13:27) in the barn (Matt. 13:30; 24:31). …He will call the lambs into the kingdom prepared for them, but send the goats into everlasting fire… (Matt. 25:32-34).  …The advent of the Son comes indeed alike to allfor the purpose of judging and separating the believing from the unbelieving, since, as those who believe do His will by their own choice, and …by their own choice, the disobedient do not consent to His doctrine; it is manifest that He Father has made all in a like condition, each person having a choice of his own, and a free understanding… (see Rom. 1:20; Ezk. 18:20) ‘making His sun to rise upon the evil and on the good, and sending rain upon the just and unjust (Matt. 5:45; as Mal. 4:2).’  And to as many as continue in their love towards God, does He grant communion with Him.  Communion with God is life and light, and the enjoyment of all the benefits which He has in store.  But on as many as, according to their own choice, depart from God, He inflicts that separation from Himself which they have chosen of their own accord…’.

 

‘(Book V) …Therefore, the Lord declared, ‘He that believeth in Me is not condemned,’ that is, not separated from God, for he is united to God through faith.  On the other hand, He says, ‘He that believeth not is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God;’ that is, he separated himself from God of his own accord.  ‘For this is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light (because their deeds were evil).  For every one who does evil hates the light, and cometh not to the light, lest his deeds should be reproved.  But he that does truth cometh to the light, that his deeds may be made manifest… (John 3:18-21).’

 

‘…In this world some persons betake themselves to the light and by faith unite themselves with God, others shun the light and separate themselves from God…  And for this reason the apostle says: ‘Because they received not the love of God (‘the truth’), that they might be saved, God shall also send them the operation of error (‘strong delusion’), that they may believe a lie, that they all may be judged (‘damned’) who believed not the truth, but consented to unrighteousness… (2 Thes. 2:10).’  For when he (Antichrist) is come, and of his own accord concentrates in his own person the apostasy, and accomplishes whatever he shall do according to his own will and choice, sitting also in the temple of God, so that he dupes many to adore him as the Christ; wherefore, shall he deservedly ‘be cast into the lake of fire (Rev. 19:20).’

 

‘…John described this in the Apocalypse: ‘And the beast which I saw was like unto a leopard, and his feet …as a bear, and his mouth as …a lion; and the dragon gave him his power, and his throne, and great might (‘authority’).  And one of his heads was as it were slain unto death; and his deadly wound was healed, and all the world wondered after the beast.  And they worshipped the dragon because he gave power to the beast; and they worshipped the beast, saying, Who is like unto this beast, and who is able to make war with him?  And there was given to him during 42 months.  And he opened his mouth for blasphemy against God, to blaspheme His name and His tabernacle, and those who dwell in heaven.  And power was given him over every tribe, and people, and tongue, and nation.  And all who dwell upon the earth worshipped him, whose name was not written in the book of the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world.  If any one have ears, let him hear.  If any one shall lead (another) into captivity, he shall go into captivity: he that kills with the sword must be killed with the sword.  Here is the patience and the faith of the saints     (Rev. 13:2-10).’

 

‘…Another beast came up… he had two horns like a lamb, and spoke as a dragon.  He exercised all the power of the first beast… and caused the earth, and those that dwell therein, to adore the first beast…  And he perform great wonders …cause fire to descend from heaven… and led the inhabitants of the earth astray (Rev. 13:11-14).’

‘(Book V) Let no one imagine that he performs these wonders by divine power, but by the working of magic.  And we must not be surprised if, since the demons and apostate spirits are at his service, he through their means performs wonders and …leads astray.  John says further: ‘And he shall order an image of the beast to be made, and …give breath to the image, so that the image shall speak; and he shall cause those to be slain who will not adore it.  And he will cause a mark to be put in the forehead and in the right hand, that no one may be able to buy or sell, unless he has the mark of the name of the beast or the number of his name …666 (Rev. 13:14-18);’ that is, six times a hundred, six times ten, and six units …summing up the whole of that apostasy which has taken place during six thousand years; for in as many days as this whole was made, in so many thousand years shall it be concluded.  And for this reason the Scriptures says; ‘Thus the heaven and the earth were finished… upon the sixth day… and God rested upon the seventh… (Gen. 2:2).’  This is an account of the things formerly created, as also it is a prophecy of what is to come.  For the day of the Lord is as a thousand years (2 Pet. 3:8) and in six days created things were completed: it is evident, thus, that they will come to an end at the sixth thousand year.’

 

‘…The chaff …the apostasy (shall) be cast away, but the wheat, those who bring forth fruit to God in faith, shall be gathered into the barn.  And for this cause tribulation is necessary for those who are saved, that having been after a manner broken up, and rendered fire, and sprinkled over by the patience of the Word of God, and set on fire for purification, they may be fitted for the royal banquet.  As a certain man of our (Ignatius to the Romans) said, when he was condemned to the wild beasts because of his testimony with respect to God, ‘I am the wheat of Christ, and am ground by the teeth of wild beasts, that I may be found the pure bread of God.’

 

‘…When this Antichrist shall have devastated all things in this world, he will reign for three years and six months, and sit in the temple at Jerusalem; and then the Lord will come from heaven in the clouds, in the glory of the Father, sending this man and those who follow him into the lake of fire; but bringing in for the righteous the times of the kingdom, that is, the rest, the hallowed seventh day; and restoring to Abraham the promised inheritance, in which kingdom the Lord declared, that ‘many coming from the east and west should sit down with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob (Matt. 8:11).’  Thus the promise of God …to Abraham remains steadfast…: ‘Lift up thine eyes, and look …towards the north and south, and east and west.  For all the earth which thou see, I will give to thee and to thy seed, even for ever (Gen. 13:13,14).’  …Yet Abraham did not receive the inheritance… but was always a stranger and a pilgrim therein (Acts 7:5; Heb. 11:13).’

‘(Book V) …Thus he waited patiently the promise of God, and was unwilling to receive it from men, what God had promised …saying, ‘I will give this land to thy seed, from the river of Egypt even unto the great river Euphrates (Gen. 15:13).’  If, then, God promised him the inheritance of the land, yet he did not receive it during all the time he sojourn there, it must be, that together with his seed, that is, those who fear God and believe in Him, he shall receive it at the resurrection of the just.  For his seed is the Church, which receives the adoption to God through the Lord, as John the Baptist said, ‘For God is able from the stones to raise up children of Abraham (Luke 3:8).’ Thus the apostle says …to the Galatians: ‘Brethren, as Isaac was, are the children of the promise (Gal. 4:28).’ …And …to they who have believed in Christ do receive in Christ, the promise to Abraham, ‘The promises were spoken to Abraham, and to his seed; He does not say, ‘and of seeds,’ as if He spoke of many, but as of one …thy seed, which is Christ (Gal. 3:16).’  And confirming his former words, Paul says, ‘Even as Abraham believed God, and it was accounted to him for righteousness.  Know ye therefore, that they which are of the faith are the children of Abraham (Gal. 3:6-9).’  Thus, then, they who are of faith shall be blessed with faithful Abraham… the inheritancethey shall receive it at the resurrection of the just.  For God is true and faithful; and on this account He said, ‘Blessed are the meek for they shall inherit the earth (Matt. 5:5).’

 

‘For this reason, when about to undergo His sufferings, that He might declare to Abraham and those with him the glad tidings of the inheritance… Christ, after He had given thanks while holding the cup, and had drunk of it, and given it to the disciples, said, ‘Drink ye all of it: this is My blood of the new covenant, which shall be shed of many for the remission of sins.  But I say unto you, I will not drink henceforth of the fruit of this vine, until that day when I will drink it new with you in My Father’s kingdom (Matt.26:27).’  Thus, then, He will Himself renew the inheritance of the earth, and will re-organize …as David say, ‘He who hath renewed the face of the earth (Psa. 104:30).’

 

‘…And …of the kingdom… ‘let the nations serve Thee and kings bow down to Thee… (Gen. 27:28).’  …the days will come, in which vines shall grow, each having ten thousand branches… with clusters of grapes…  …Papias, …a companion of Polycarp, in his fourth book… says, ‘When the traitor Judas asked, ‘How can things about to bring forth so abundantly be wrought by the Lord?’ the Lord declared, ‘They who shall come to these times shall see.’  Thus, prophesying of these things, Isaiah says, ‘The wolf shall feed with the lamb… the, lamb and the lion shall eat together… the infant shall trust his hand into the adder’s brood (snake pit); and they shall do no harm, nor have power to hurt anything in My holy mountain; for the earth shall be full of the knowledge of the Lord…  (Isa. 11:6-9; 65:25).’

‘(Book V) …Isaiah has plainly declared that there shall be joy of this nature at the resurrection of the just, when he says, ‘The dead shall rise again …and those who are in the earth shall rejoice; for the dew from Thee is health to them (Isa. 26:19).’  And Ezekiel also says, ‘Behold, I will open your tombs, and will bring you forth out of your graves… And I will put breath in you, and you shall live; and I will place you on your own land, and ye shall know that I am the Lord (Ezek. 37:12).’  And he says: Thus says the Lord, ‘I will gather Israel from all nations… and I shall be sanctified in them in the sight of the sons of the nations, and they shall dwell in their own land… in peace, and they shall build houses and plant vineyards… when I shall cause judgment to fall among all who have dishonored them, among those who encircle them round about, and they shall know that I am the Lord their God, and the God of their fathers (Ezek. 28:25).’  Now I have shown …that the church is the seed of Abraham; and …(the Lord) …will gather …those that shall be saved from all the nations, as Jeremiah says, ‘Behold, the days come, …from every region whither they have been driven; He will restore them to their own land… (Jer. 23:6,7).’

 

‘…The Lord will heal ‘the pain of the stoke (Isa. 30:26),’ …when He raises us from the dead, and restores the inheritance of the fathers, as Isaiah says, ‘…He will cause thee to pass over the whole earth, and feed thee with the inheritance of Jacob thy father (Isa. 58:14).’  This is what the Lord declared: ‘Happy are those servants whom the Lord when He cometh shall find watching… He shall gird Himself, and make them to sit down to eat, and will come forth and serve them(Luke 12:37).’  And John says the same in the Apocalypse: ‘Blessed and holy is he who has part in the first resurrection (Rev. 20:6).’  Also Isaiah declared…’ ‘Lord, how long; until the cities be wasted without inhabitantand the earth be left a desert (Isa.6:11)? Thus Daniel says, ‘And the kingdom and dominion, and the greatness of those under the heaven, is given to the saints of the Most High God, whose kingdom is everlasting, and all dominions shall serve and obey Him.  …But go thou thy way till the end; for thou shall rest, and stand in thy lot at the end of the days (Dan.7:27; 12:13).’

 

‘The promises were not only to the prophets… but to the Churches …in the nations, whom the Spirit terms ‘the islands’ …in the midst of turbulence …a harbor of safety to those in peril…, Jeremiah thus declares, ‘…to the isles afar off; say, the Lord that scattered Israel, He will gather them as one feeding His flock of sheep.  …They shall come and rejoice in Mount Zion… a land of wheat, wine… animals and …they shall hunger no more… and I will satisfy the souls of the priests the sons of Levi; and My people shall be satisfied with My goodness… (Jer. 31:10-14).’  …All the disciples of the Lord are Levites and priests…’.

 

‘(Book V) Then …of Jerusalem, and Christ, Isaiah declares, ‘Happy is he who hath seed in Zion, and servants in Jerusalem.  Behold, a righteous king shall reign… (Isa.31:9; 32:1);’ ‘…Behold, I make Jerusalem a rejoicingweeping shall be no more in her… And they shall build houses, and inhabit them, and shall plant vineyards and eat the fruit (Isa. 65:18-22).’  If any shall seek to allegorize prophecies of this kind, they shall not be found consistent… and shall be in error…  And Isaiah says, the day of the Lord comethfull of fury and wrath, to lay waster the city of the earth, and to root sinners out of it… (Isa.13:9).’  And when these things are done, Isaiah says, ‘…And they shall build houses, and shall inhabit them and plant vineyards,’ for these and other words were unquestionably spoken in reference to the resurrection of the just, which takes place after the coming of Antichrist, and the destruction of all nations under his rule, in the times of which the resurrection of the righteous shall reign in the earth… and through Christ they shall …partake in the glory of God the Father and shall enjoy in the kingdom communion with the holy angels …and with those who …in the flesh, await Him… and who have suffered tribulation and escaped the hands of the Wicked one.’

 

…And as many believers as God has prepared for this purpose, to multiply those left upon earth, should be under the rule of the saints at Jerusalem… saying, ‘Lord around Jerusalem towards the east… Thy sons shall come from the east unto the west… O Jerusalem, put off thy robe of mourning and affliction, and put on that beauty of eternal splendor from God… place the crown of eternal glory on your head; for God will show thy glory to the whole earth… (Apocrypha; Baruch; from chapters 4 & 5).’

 

Now all these things …cannot be only to super-celestial matters; ‘for God,’ it is said, ‘will show (Jerusalem’s) glory to the whole earth…’.  …And in the Apocalypse, John saw this New Jerusalem descending upon the new earth (Rev. 21:2).  For after the times of the kingdom, he says, ‘I saw a great white throne, and Him who sat upon it, from whose face the whole earth fled away, and the heaven; and there was no more place for them (Rev. 20:11).’  And he sets forth, too, the things connected with the general resurrection and the judgment, mentioning ‘the dead, great and small (Rev. 20:12).’

 

The sea,’ he says, ‘gave up the dead which it had in it, and death and hell delivered up the dead that they contained; and the books were openedthe book of life was opened, and the dead were judged out of those things that were written in the books, according to their works; and death and hell were sent into the lake of fire, the second death (Rev. 20:12-14).’  This is what is called Gehenna, which the Lord styled eternal fire (Matt. 25:41).  Any one not found written in the book of life, he was sent into the lake of fire (Rev. 20:15).

‘After this, John says, ‘I saw a new heaven and a new earthAnd I saw the holy city, New Jerusalem, coming down from heaven, as a bride adorned for her husband.  And I heard a great voice… saying, ‘the tabernacle of the God is with men, and He will dwell with them; and they shall be His people, and God Himself …their God.  And He will wipe away every tear from their eyes; and death shall be no more, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither …pain, because the former things have passed away (Rev.21:1-4).’  Isaiah declares this: ‘There shall be a new heaven and a new earth… in it joy and exultation (Isa. 65:17, 18).’  This is what was said by the apostle: ‘for the fashion of this world passes away (1Cor.7:31).’ …The Lord also declare, ‘Heaven and earth shall pass away… (Matt. 24:35).’

 

‘…The fashion of the world passes away (1 Cor. 7:31).’ …This present fashion has been formed temporary… but when it passes away and man is renewed …in an incorruptible state, so …shall there be the new heaven and earth, in which the new man shall remain, always holding fresh converse with God.  And these things shall continue without end as Isaiah declares, ‘For as the new heavens and the new earth which I do make, continue in My sight, says the Lord, so shall your seed and your name remain (Isa.66:22).’  And as the presbyters (elders) say, then those who are deemed worthy of an abode in heaven shall go there, others shall possess the splendor of the city; for everywhere the Savior shall be seen according as they who see Him shall be worthy.  They say, this is the distinction between the habitation of those who produce a hundred-fold, …sixty-fold, and thirty-fold: the first will be taken up into the heavens, the second will dwell in paradise, the last will inhabit the city; and so Christ declared, ‘In My Father’s house are many mansions (John 14:2).’

 

‘…John, therefore, did foresee the ‘resurrection of the just (Luke 14:14),’ and the inheritance in the kingdom of the earth; and what the prophets have prophesied concerning it harmonized with his vision; for the Lord taught these things …and Paul, too, has confessed that the creation shall be free from the bondage of corruption, so as to pass into the liberty of the sons of God (Rom. 8:21).  …God the Father …(shall free) the creature from bondage at the resurrection of the just, and fulfill the promises for the kingdom of His Son… who accomplished His will… the First-begotten Word… who descended to the creature… (that) the creature (Mark 16:15) should contain the Word and ascend to Him, passing the angels and being made after the image and likeness of God…”

 

 

Irenaeus refuted philosophers and knew the works of Plato and others, but more so he knew within the Scriptures is salvation and truth, including the events to come.  He was a third generation disciple (John – Polycarp – Irenaeus).  Though he said some things questionable and ‘some things hard to understand (2 Peter 3:16),’ it is clear he taught as those before him that the church: ‘the saints,’ ‘the righteous’ would ‘suffer tribulation’ ‘under the rule of the’ ‘Antichrist’ before ‘day of the Lord’ and ‘the resurrection of the just.’

 

 

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