Tuesday, July 16, 2019

Early Christian Quotes on the End Times

Early Christian Quotes on the End Times



(1st Century)



Watch over your life: do not let your lamps go out, and do not keep your loins ungirded; but be ready, for you do not know the hour when our Lord is coming.


Meet together frequently in your search for what is good for your souls since a lifetime of faith will be of no advantage to you unless you are perfect at the very last. For in the final days, many false prophets and seducers will appear. Sheep will turn into wolves, and love into hatred. For with the increase of immorality, men will hate, persecute, and betray each other.


And then the world deceiver will appear in the guise of God's Son. He will work signs and wonders, and the earth will fall into his hands, and he will commit outrages such as have never occurred before. Then mankind will come to the fiery trial, and many will fall away and perish, but those who persevere in their faith will be saved by the Curse Himself.


Then there will appear the signs of the Truth: first, the sign of stretched-out hands in heaven, then the sign of a trumpet's blast, and thirdly the resurrection of the dead, though not of all the dead, but as it has been said: "The Lord will come and all His holy with Him. Then the world will see the Lord coming on the clouds of the sky."



Barnabas’ Epistle

(1st Century)

Chapter 15:


My children, pay attention to the meaning of this expression: “He finished in six days.” This implies that the Lord will finish all things in six thousand years, for a day is with Him a thousand years.



The Shepherd of Hermas

(1st or 2nd Century)

Vision 4, Chapter 2:


The angel said, “This beast I prevented from attacking you is a type of the great tribulation that is coming. So, if you prepare yourselves and repent with all your heart and turn to the Lord, it will be possible for you to escape it. Your heart must be pure and spotless, and you must spend the rest of the days of your life serving the Lord blamelessly.”



Testaments of the Twelve Patriarchs

(1st or 2nd Century)

Testament 3, Paragraph 4:


Know that the Lord will execute judgment upon the sons of men. When the rocks are split, and the sun quenched, and the waters dried up, and the fire trembling, and all creation troubled, and the invisible spirits melting away, and the grave emptied through the suffering of the Most High, still men will not believe and will continue in their immorality. So, they will be judged deserving of punishment.



Testaments of the Twelve Patriarchs

(1st or 2nd Century)

Testament 4, Paragraph 25:


Abraham and Isaac and Jacob will rise to life, and I and my brothers, the sons of Jacob, will be chiefs…and there will be one people of the Lord, and one language; and there won’t be a spirit of the deceit of Beliar, for he will be cast into the fire forever.


And they who have died in grief will arise in joy, and they who have lived in poverty for the Lord's sake will be made rich, and they who have been hungry will be filled, and they who have been weak will be made strong, and they who have been put to death for the Lord's sake will awake in life.



Testaments of the Twelve Patriarchs

(1st or 2nd Century)

Testament 7, Paragraph 5:


The holy ones will rest in Eden, and the righteous will rejoice in the new Jerusalem, which will be to the glory of God forever and ever. And Jerusalem will no longer endure desolation, nor Israel be led captive; for the Lord will be in the midst of her, dwelling among men, even the Holy One of Israel reigning over them in humility and in poverty, and whoever believes in Him will reign in truth in the heavens.



The Christian Sibylline Oracles

(2nd Century)

Book 3: 76-111:


Beliar will come from the Sebastenes

After this, and the height of hills will he

Establish, and shall make the sea stand still

And the great fiery sun and the bright moon,

And he will raise the dead, and many signs

Work before men: but nothing will be brought

By him to completion but deceit,

And many mortals will be led astray

Hebrews both true and choice, and lawless men

Besides who never gave ear to God's word.

But when the threatenings of the mighty God

Draw near, and a flaming power shall come

By billow to the earth, it shall consume

Both Beliar and all the haughty men

Who put their trust in him. And thereupon

The whole world will be governed by the hands

Of a woman and be obedient everywhere.

Then when a widow will over all the world

Gain the rule, and cast in the mighty sea

Both gold and silver, also brass and iron

Of short-lived men into the deep will cast,

Then all the elements will be bereft

Of order, when the God who dwells on high

Rolls the heaven, even as a scroll is rolled;

And to the mighty earth and sea will fall

The entire multiform sky; and there will flow

A tireless cataract of raging fire,

And it will burn the land, and burn the sea,

And heavenly sky, and night, and day, and melt

Creation itself together and pick out

What is pure. No more laughing spheres of light,

Nor night, nor dawn, nor many days of care,

Nor spring, nor winter, nor the summer-time,

Nor autumn. And then of the mighty God

The judgment midway in a mighty age

Will come, when all these things shall come to pass.



The Apocalypse of Peter

(Early 2nd Century):


When Israel understands the wickedness of their actions, they will turn away from the Antichrist to the first Christ whom they crucified and so sinned a great sin. They will see this deceiver is not the Christ.


And when they reject him, he will kill them with the sword, and there will be many martyrs. Then the twigs of the fig-tree, that is, the house of Israel, will shoot forth. Many will become martyrs at his hand. Enoch and Elijah will be sent to teach them that this is the deceiver who must come into the world and do signs and wonders to deceive. And so those who die by his hand will be martyrs and will be counted among the good and righteous martyrs who have pleased God in their life…


And on the day of judgment, this will come on those who have fallen away from faith in God and have committed sin: Floods of fire will be let loose, and darkness and obscurity will come up and clothe and veil the whole world, and the waters will be changed and turned into coals of fire, and all that is in them will burn, and the sea will become fire.


Under the heaven will be a sharp fire that cannot be quenched and flows to fulfill the judgment of wrath. And the stars will fly in pieces by flames of fire as if they had not been created, and the powers of the heaven will pass away for lack of water and will be as though they had not been. There will be lightning in the heavens and will scare the whole world. Also, the spirits of the dead bodies will be like lightning and will become fire at the commandment of God.


And as the whole creation dissolves, the men that are in the east will flee to the west; they who are in the south will flee to the north. And in all places, the wrath of a fearful fire will overtake them, and an unquenchable flame driving them on will bring them to the judgment of wrath, to the stream of unquenchable fire that flows, flaming with fire, and when the burning waves of it part themselves one from another, there will be great gnashing of teeth among the children of men.


“Then they will all see Me coming on an eternal cloud of brightness with the angels of God that are with Me. I will sit on the throne of My glory at the right hand of My Heavenly Father, and He will set a crown on My head. And when the nations behold it, they will weep, every nation apart.


“Then He will command them to enter into the river of fire while the works of every one of them will stand before them for Him to reward every man according to his deeds. As for the chosen who have done good, they will come to Me and not see death by the devouring fire. But the unrighteous, the sinners, and the hypocrites will stand in the depths of darkness that will not pass away. Their punishment is the fire, and angels will bring forward their sins and prepare a place for them where they will be punished forever.”


Uriel, the angel of God, will bring out the souls of those sinners who died in the flood, and of all who lived in idols, in every molten image, in every object of love and in pictures and of those who lived on all hills and in stones and by the wayside, whom men called gods. They will burn them with them in everlasting fire.



Irenaeus speaking about Papias

(Mid-2nd Century)



Papias says there will be 1,000 years after the resurrection from the dead, when the personal reign of Christ will be established on this earth.



The Epistle of the Apostles

(Mid-2nd Century)

Chapter 16-17:


Jesus said, “I will come like the sun when it has risen, and My brightness will be seven times brighter! The wings of the clouds will bear Me in brightness, and the sign of the cross will go before Me, and I will come upon earth to judge the living and the dead.”


We said to Him, “Lord, after how many years will this come to pass?”


He said to us, “When the hundredth part and the twentieth part is fulfilled, the coming of My Father will be between the Pentecost and the Feast of Unleavened Bread.”



The Epistle of the Apostles

(Mid-2nd Century)

Chapters 34-38:


And we said to Jesus, “Lord…, You told us there will be wonders and strange appearances in heaven and on earth before the end of the world comes. Tell us now, how will we perceive it?”


And He answered us, “I will teach it to you; and not what will happen to you only but also those you will teach and who will believe, and even those who hear them after you and believe on Me. It will happen in those years and days…


“Those who believe and those who don’t believe will hear a trumpet in the heaven and see great stars in the day, wonderful sights in heaven reaching down to the earth; stars that fall to the earth like fire, and a great and mighty hail of fire. They’ll see the sun and the moon fighting each other, and there will be continual thunder and lightning, thunder and earthquakes, with cities falling and men perishing in their overthrow. There will be a continual lack of rain, a terrible pestilence, and great mortality, mighty and untimely, so that those who die won’t be buried, and brothers and sisters and relatives will die and be burned on one bier.


“Relatives will show no favor to each other, nor any man to his neighbor. And those who were overthrown will rise up and behold them that overthrew them, that they lack burial, for the pestilence will be full of hatred and pain and envy, and men will take from one and give to another. And after that, it will grow even worse than before.


“Then My Father will be angry at the wickedness of men, for they have committed many sins, and the abomination of their uncleanness weighs heavy upon them in the corruption of their life…


“In those years and days, war will be kindled upon war. The four ends of the earth will be in commotion and fight against each other. Then there will be clouds of locusts, darkness, and famine, and persecutions on those who believe in Me, against the chosen. Many will doubt and fight against one another. And there will be many who believe in My Name and yet follow after evil and spread false doctrine. And men will follow after them and their riches and be subject to their pride and lust for drink and bribery, and they will show respect to certain persons over others.


“But those who desire to behold the face of God and do not show respect toward the rich sinners and are not afraid to rebuke those who would lead them astray – they will be crowned by the Father.”



Justin Martyr’s Dialog with Trypho

(Mid-2nd Century)

Chapter 80:


If you have fallen in with some who are called Christians…but who say there is no resurrection of the dead and that when they die, their souls are taken to heaven, do not imagine that they are Christians…But I and others, who are right-minded Christians on all points, are assured that there will be a resurrection of the dead and a thousand years in Jerusalem, which will then be built, adorned, and enlarged, as the prophets Ezekiel and Isaiah and others declare.



Irenaeus’ Against Heresies, Book 5

(Late 2nd Century)

Chapter 28, Paragraphs 2-3:


In as many days as this world was made, in so many thousand years will it be concluded. And for this reason, the Scripture says, "So the heaven and the earth were finished, and all their adornment. And on the sixth day, God finished all the works He had made, and God rested on the seventh day from all His works." This is an account of the things formerly created, and it is also a prophecy of what is to come. For the day of the Lord is as a thousand years, and in six days, the created things were completed. It is evident, therefore, that they will come to an end at the six thousandth year.



Irenaeus’ Against Heresies, Book 5

(Late 2nd Century)

Chapter 36, Paragraphs 1-2:


Neither the substance nor the essence of the creation will be annihilated (for He who has established it is faithful and true), but "the form of the world will pass away;" that is, those things among which sin has occurred, since man has grown old in them…But when this present form of things passes away, and man has been renewed and flourishes in an incorruptible form in which he won’t be able to grow old, then there will be the new heaven and the new earth, in which the new man will remain continually, always holding fresh conversation with God…As the elders say, those who are deemed worthy of an abode in heaven will go there, while others will enjoy the delights of paradise, and others will possess the splendor of the city; for the Savior will be seen everywhere according to the worthiness of those who see Him.


They also say that there will be a distinction between the home of those who produce a hundred-fold and those who produce sixty-fold and those who produce thirty-fold. The first will be taken up into the heavens, the second will dwell in paradise, and the last will inhabit the city; as the Lord declared, "In My Father's house are many mansions." For all things belong to God, who supplies everyone with a suitable dwelling-place; His Word says the Father allots to each person his share according to how worthy they are.



Hippolytus’ Treatise on Christ and Antichrist

(Early 3rd Century)

Paragraphs 8, 14:


The prophet Jacob, in calling Judah “a lion's whelp,” means Him who sprang from Judah and David according to the flesh, who was not actually of the seed of David but was conceived by the Holy Ghost and came forth from the holy shoot of earth.


And in like manner, we find it also written regarding Antichrist. For Moses said, "Dan is a lion's whelp, and he will leap from Bashan." But that no one may err by supposing that this is said of the Savior, let him attend carefully to the matter. "Dan," he says, "is a lion's whelp," and in naming the tribe of Dan, he declared clearly the tribe from which Antichrist is destined to spring. For as Christ springs from the tribe of Judah, so Antichrist is to spring from the tribe of Dan. We also see this is the case from the words of Jacob: "Let Dan be a serpent, lying upon the ground, biting the horse's heel." What, then, is meant by the serpent but Antichrist, that deceiver who is mentioned in Genesis, who deceived Eve and bruised Adam's heel?



Hippolytus’ Commentary On Daniel

(Early 3rd Century)

Chapter 2, Paragraph 4:


As the times are noted from the foundation of the world and reckoned from Adam, they set clearly before us the topic we’re dealing with. For the first appearance of our Lord in the flesh took place in Bethlehem, under Augustus, in the year 5500; and He suffered in the thirty-third year. And 6,000 years must be accomplished so that the Sabbath may come, the rest, the holy day "on which God rested from all His works." For the Sabbath is the type and emblem of the future kingdom of the holy ones, when they "will reign with Christ," when He comes from heaven, as John says in his Apocalypse, for "a day with the Lord is as a thousand years." Since God made all things in six days, it follows that 6,000 years must be fulfilled. And they are not yet fulfilled, as John says: "five are fallen; one is;" that is, the sixth; "the other is not yet come."



Commodianus’ Instructions

(Mid-3rd Century)

Chapter 35:


We will be immortal when six thousand years are accomplished.



Commodianus’ Instructions

(Mid-3rd Century)

Chapter 41:


Isaiah said, “This is the man who moves the world and so many kings, and under whom the land will become desert…” Doubtless, the world will be finished when he will appear. He himself will divide the globe into three ruling powers, when Nero will be raised up from hell, but Elijah will first come to seal the beloved ones. At this, the region of Africa and the northern nation, the whole earth on all sides, will tremble for seven years.


But Elijah will occupy half of the time, and Nero will occupy half. Then the whore Babylon, being reduced to ashes, its embers will advance to Jerusalem, and the Latin conqueror will then say, “I am Christ, whom you always pray to.” And, indeed, the original ones who were deceived will combine to praise him. He does many wonders, since his is the false prophet. His image will speak to make them believe him. The Almighty has given it the power to appear such. The Jews, examining the Scriptures about him, will exclaim at the same time to the Highest that they have been deceived.



Commodianus’ Instructions

(Mid-3rd Century)

Chapter 80:


This has pleased Christ, that the dead should rise again; yes, with their bodies, including those bodies that have been burned up, when six thousand years are completed and the world has come to an end.



Apocalypse of Elijah

(Mid-3rd Century)

Chapters 3:12-18; 4:1-7; 5:1-11, 20-29, 32, 36-39:


He will do the works Christ did, except for raising the dead. That’s how you’ll know he is the son of lawlessness, because he can’t give life. See, I will tell you his signs so that you can know him.


He is a skinny-legged young lad, having a tuft of gray hair at the front of his bald head. His eyebrows will reach his ears. There is a leprous bare spot on the front of his hands. He will transform himself in the presence of those who see him. He will become a young child. He will become old. He will transform himself in every sign. But the signs of his head will not be able to change. That’s how you will he is the son of lawlessness.


The virgin, whose name is Tabitha, will hear that the shameless one has revealed himself in the holy places. And she will put on her garment of fine linen. And she will pursue him up to Judea, scolding him up to Jerusalem, saying, "O shameless one, O son of lawlessness, O you who have been hostile to all the holy ones.”


Then the shameless one will be angry at the virgin. He will pursue her up to the regions of the sunset. He will suck her blood in the evening. And he will cast her upon the temple, and she will become a healing for the people. She will rise up at dawn. And she will live and scold him, saying, "O shameless one, you have no power against my soul or my body, because I live in the Lord always. And also, my blood which you have cast upon the temple has become a healing for the people."


Then when Elijah and Enoch hear that the shameless one has revealed himself in the holy place, they will come down and fight with him…


And on that day, the heart of many will harden, and they will flee from him, saying, "This is not the Christ. The Christ does not kill the righteous. The Antichrist does not pursue men so that he might seek them, but he persuades them with signs and wonders." On that day, the Christ will pity those who are His own. And He will send from heaven His sixty-four thousand angels, each of whom has six wings. The sound will move heaven and earth when they give praise and glorify Him.


Now those upon whose forehead the name of Christ is written and upon whose hand is the seal, both the small and the great, will be taken up upon their wings and lifted up before His wrath. Then Gabriel and Uriel will become a pillar of light, leading them into the holy land. It will be granted to them to eat from the tree of life. They will wear white garments, and angels will watch over them. They will not thirst, nor will the son of lawlessness be able to prevail over them.


And on that day, the earth will be disturbed, and the sun will darken, and peace will be removed from the earth. The birds will fall on the earth, dead. The earth will be dry. The waters of the sea will dry up. The sinners will groan upon the earth, saying, "What have you done to us, O son of lawlessness, saying ‘I am the Christ,’ when you are the devil? You are unable to save yourself so that you might save us. You produced signs in our presence until you alienated us from the Christ who created us. Woe to us because we listened to you.”


Then he will take his fiery wings and fly out after the holy ones. He will fight with them again. The angels will hear and come down. They will fight with him a battle of many swords. It will come to pass on that day that the Lord will hear and command the heaven and the earth with great wrath. And they will send for fire. And the fire will prevail over the earth seventy-two cubits. It will consume the sinners and the devils like stubble. A true judgment will occur.


On that day, the mountains and the earth will utter speech. The byways will speak with one another, saying, "Have you heard today the voice of a man who walks and has not come to the judgment of the Son of YHWH?" The sins of each one will stand against him in the place where they were committed, whether those of the day or of the night. Those who belong to the righteous will see the sinners and those who persecuted them and those who handed them over to death in their torments. Then the sinners in torment will see the place of the righteous. And so, grace will occur. In those days, what the righteous will ask for many times will be given to them.


After these things, Elijah and Enoch will come down. They will lay down the flesh of the world and will receive their spiritual flesh. They will pursue the son of lawlessness and kill him since he is not able to speak…On that day, the Christ, the King, and all His holy ones will come forth from heaven. He will burn the earth. He will spend a thousand years upon it. Because the sinners prevailed over it, He will create a new heaven and a new earth. No deadly devil will exist in them. He will rule with His holy ones, ascending and descending, while they are always with the angels, and they will be with the Christ for a thousand years.



Lactantius’ The Divine Institutes Book 7

(Early 4th Century)

Chapter 14, Paragraph 3:


Since all the works of God were completed in six days, the world must continue in its present state through six ages; that is, six thousand years. For the great day of God is limited by a circle of a thousand years, as the prophet shows, who says, “In Thy sight, O Lord, a thousand years are as one day.” And as God labored during those six days in creating such great works, so His religion and truth must labor during these six thousand years, while wickedness prevails and rules.


And again, since God, having finished His works, rested the seventh day and blessed it, at the end of the six thousandth year, all wickedness must be abolished from the earth and righteousness reign for a thousand years; and there must be peace and rest from the labors the world has long endured.


- - -

Find more of what the early Christians thought on my Christian History page!

No comments:

Post a Comment