EARLY CHURCH FATHERS
EARLY CHURCH FATHERS
The best source of early church teaching on what they
believed and taught on the Second Coming of Christ, and the Antichrist, comes from this line of early church fathers, for the obvious reason that this line of disciples received their teaching directly from John who received the Revelation from Jesus.
Below is a list of quotes from the early church fathers (and Jesus),
most of these authors lifespan overlaped each other.
Jesus Christ (O-33) said: "Immediately after the tribulation of those days shall the sun be darkened, and the moon shall not give her light, and the stars shall fall from heaven....and they shall see
the Son of man coming in the clouds of heaven with power and
great glory." (Matthew 24:29-30).
John (6-101) a disciple of Jesus Christ, wrote: "And I saw as it were a sea of glass...and them that had gotten the victory over the beast (antichrist) and over his image, and over his mark, and over
the number of his name, stand on the sea of glass..." (Rev.15:2).
Barnabas (40-100) knew John and all 12 of Jesus disciples, and traveled with Saint Paul to evangelize among the gentiles, wrote:"The final stumbling block approaches...for the whole [past] time of your faith will profit you nothing, unless now in this wicked
time we also withstand coming sources of danger....then the evil one [Antichrist] may find no means of entrance...."
(Epistle of Barnabas, 4).
Polycarp (70-168) Johns apostle and knew Barnabas, wrote:"He comes as the judge of the living and the dead."
(Epistle to the Philippians, II).
Justin Myrtyr (100-167) a contemporary of Polycarp, wrote:"The man of apostasy [Antichrist], who speaks strange things against the Most High, shall venture to do unlawful deeds on the
earth against us the Christians..." (Dialogue with Trypho, 110).
Irenaeus (138-202) Polycarps apostle and knew Justin Myrtyr,wrote: "And they [the ten kings who will arise] shall lay Babylon waste, and burn her with fire, and shall give their kingdom to the beast, and put the church to flight" (Against Heresies, V,26).
Tertullian (150-220) a contemporary of Irenaeus, wrote:"The souls of the martyrs are taught to wait [Rev.6:9,10,11]...that the beast Antichrist with his false prophet may wage war on the Church of God..."
(On the Resurrection of the flesh, 25).
Hyppolytus (158-240) a contemporary of Tertullian, wrote:"The one thousand two hundred and three score days (the last half of the week) during which the tyrant is to reign and persecute the church..." (Treatise on Christ and Antichrist, 61).
Cyprian (200-258) a contemporary of Hyppolytus, wrote:"The day of affliction has begun to hang over our heads, and the end of the world and the time of the Antichrist to draw near, so that we must all stand prepared for the battle..." (Epistle, 55, 1).
Victorinus (240-303) a contemporary of Cyprian, wrote:"...the times of Antichrist, when all shall be injured."(Commentary on the Appocalypse of the Blessed John, VI, 5).
Lactantius (242-330) a contemporary of Victorinus, wrote:"And power will be given him [Antichrist] to desolate the whole earth for forty two months..." (Divine Institutes, VII, 17).
Athanasius (293-373) a contemporary of Lactantius, wrote:"...they have not spared Thy servants, but are preparing the way for Antichrist." (History of the Arians, VIII, 79).
Ephrain the Syrian (306-373) a contemporary of Athanasius,wrote: "Nothing remains then, except that the coming of our enemy, Antichrist, appear..." (Sermo Asceticus, I).
Cyril of Jerusalem (315-386) a contemporary of Ephrain, wrote:"The church declares to you the things concerning Antichrist before they arrive...it is well that, knowing these things, thou
shouldest make thyself ready beforehand."
(Catechetical Lectures, 15, 9).
Jerome (340-422) a contemporary of Cyril of Jerusalem, wrote:"I told you that Christ would not come unless Antichrist had come before." (Epistle 21).
Chrysostom (345-407) a contemporary of Jerome, wrote:"...the time of Antichrist...will be a sign of the coming of Christ..."(Homilies on II Thessalonians 2:2-3)
Augustine (354-430) a contemporary of Chrysostom, wrote:"But he who reads this passage [Daniel 12:1-13], even half asleep can not fail to see that the kingdom of Antichrist shall fiercely, for
a short time, assail the church..." (The City of God, XX, 23).
Venerable Bede (673-735) wrote:
"[The Church's triumph will] follow the reign of Antichrist."(The Explanation of the Apocalypse, II, 8).
Bernard of Clairvaux (1090-1153) wrote: "There remains only one thing--that the demon of noonday [Antichrist] should appear,to seduce those who still remain in Christ..."(Sermons on the Song of Songs, 33, 16).
Roger Bacon (1214-1274) wrote: "...because of future perils [for the Church] in the times of Antichrist..." (Opus Majus, II, p. 634).
John Wycliffe (1320-1384) wrote:
"Wherefore let us pray to God that He keep us in the hour of temptation, which is coming on all the world, Revelation 3:10."(Writings of the Reverend and Learned John Wycliffe, D.D. p.155)
Martin Luther (1483-1546) wrote:"[The book of Revelation] is intended as a revelation of things that are to happen in the future,and especially of tribulations and disasters for the Church..."
(Works of Martin Luther, VI, p. 481).
Menno Simons (1496-1561) a contemporary of Martin Luther,wrote: "...He [Jesus] will appear as a triumphant Prince and a victorious King to bring judgment. Then will those who persecute
us look upon Him..." (Complete Writings...p. 622).
John Calvin (1509-1564) a contemporary of Menno Simons, wrote: "We ought not to follow in our inquiries after Antichrist,especially where such pride proceeds to a public desolation of the Church." (Institutes, Vol. 2, p. 411).
John Knox (1515-1572) a contemporary of John Calvin), wrote:"...the great love of God towards His Church, whom He pleased to forewarn of dangers to come, so many years before they come to
pass...to wit, the man of sin, the Antichrist the ***** of Babylon."(The History of the Reformation..., I, p. 76).
John Fox (1516-1587) a contemporary of John Knox, wrote:"...that second beast prophesied to come in the later time of the Church...to disturb the whole Church of Christ..."(Acts and Monuments, I).
Daniel Whitby (1638-1726) wrote: "...after the fall of Antichrist, there shall be such a glorious state of the Church...so shall this be the Church of Martyrs, and of those who had not received the Mark of the Beast..." (A Paraphrase and Commentary, p. 696).
Matthew Henry (1662-1714) a contemporary of Daniel Whitby,wrote: "Those who keep the gospel in a time of peace shall be kept by Christ in an hour of temptation [Revelation 3:10] ."
(Commentary, VI, p. 1134).
Jonathan Edwards (1703-1758) a contemporary of Matthew Henry, wrote: "...continuance of Antichrist's reign [when the Church is persecuted] did not commence before the year of Christ 479..." (A history of the Work of Redemption, p. 217).
John Newton (1725-1807) a contemporary of Jonathan Edwards,wrote: "Fear not temptation's fiery day, for I will be thy strength and stay. Thou hast my promise, hold it fast, the trying hour [of]
Rev 3:10, will soon be past." (The Works of the Rev. John Newton, Vol. II, p. 152).
George Muller (1805-1898) wrote:"The scripture declares plainly that the Lord Jesus will not come until the Apostacy shall have taken place, and the man of sin shall have been revealed..."
("Mrs. Mueller's Missionary Tours and Labours, p. 148).
R. Trench (1807-1886) a contemporary of George Muller, wrote:"...the Philadelphian church...to be kept in temptation, not to beexempted from temptation..." (Seven Churches of Asia, p. 183).
Carl F. Keil (1807-1888) a contemporary of R.Trench, wrote:"...the persecution of the last enemy Antichrist against the church of the Lord..." (Biblical Commentary, Vol. XXXIV, p. 503).
S. P. Tregelles (1813-1875) a contemporary of Carl F. Keil, wrote:"The Scripture teaches the Church to wait for the manifestation of Christ. The secret [pre-trib] theory bids us to expect a coming before any such manifestation."(The Hope of Christ's Second Coming, p. 71).
Nathaniel West (1826-1906) a contemporary of S. P. Tregelles,wrote: "[The Pre-Trib Rapture] is built on a postulate (assume to be true), vicious in logic... repudiated by the early Church..."
(The Apostle Paul and the "any moment" Theory, p. 30).
Alexander Maclaren (1826-1910) a contemporary of Nathaniel West, wrote: "He will keep us in the mist of, and also from, the hour of temptation [Revelation 3:10]."(The Episles of John, Jude and the Book of Revelation, p. 266).
M. Vincent (1834-1922) a contemporary of Alexander Maclaren, wrote: "The preposition 'from' implies, not a keeping from temptation, but a keeping in temptation [Revelation 3:10].."
(Word Studies..., p. 466).
Grattan Guinness (1835-1910) a contemporary of M.Vincent,wrote: "...the Church is on earth during the action of the Apocalypse..." (The Approaching End of the Age, p. 136).
Theodor Zahn (1838-1933) a contemporary of Grattan Guinness,wrote:"He will preserve...at the time of the great temptation [Rev.3:10]." (Zahn-Kommentar, I, p. 305).
I.T. Beckwith (1843-1936) a contemporary of Theodor Zahn, wrote:"The Philadelphians...are promised that they shall be carried in safety through the great trial [Rev. 3:10], they shall
not fall." (The Apocalypse of John, p. 484).
Robert Cameron (1845-1922) a contemporary of I.T. Beckwith,wrote:"The Coming for, and the Coming with, the saints, still persists, although it involves a manifest contradiction, two Second comings which is an absurdity." (emphasis mine)
(Scriptural Truth About the Lord's Return, p. 639).