Early Church Fathers Quotes on the Anti-Christ
He [Christ] shall come from heaven with glory, when 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, who, having learned the true worship of God from the law, and the word which went forth from Jerusalem by means of the apostles of Jesus, have fled for safety to the God of Jacob and God of Israel; and we who were filled with war, and mutual slaughter, and every wickedness, have each through the whole earth changed our warlike weapons,—our swords into ploughshares, and our spears into implements of tillage,—and we cultivate piety, righteousness, philanthropy, faith, and hope, which we have from the Father Himself through Him who was crucified; and sitting each under his vine, i.e., each man possessing his own married wife. For you are aware that the prophetic word says, ‘And his wife shall be like a fruitful vine.’ Now it is evident that no one can terrify or subdue us who have believed in Jesus over all the world. For it is plain that, though beheaded, and crucified, and thrown to wild beasts, and chains, and fire, and all other kinds of torture, we do not give up our confession; but the more such things happen, the more do others and in larger numbers become faithful, and worshippers of God through the name of Jesus. – Dialogue with Trypho
And not only by the particulars already mentioned, but also by means of the events which shall occur in the time of Antichrist is it shown that he, being an apostate and a robber, is anxious to be adored as God; and that, although a mere slave, he wishes himself to be proclaimed as a king. For he (Antichrist) being endued with all the power of the devil, shall come, not as a righteous king, nor as a legitimate king, [i.e., one] in subjection to God, but an impious, unjust, and lawless one; as an apostate, iniquitous and murderous; as a robber, concentrating in himself [all] satanic apostasy, and setting aside idols to persuade [men] that he himself is God, raising up himself as the only idol, having in himself the multifarious errors of the other idols. This he does, in order that they who do [now] worship the devil by means of many abominations, may serve himself by this one idol, of whom the apostle thus speaks in the second Epistle to the Thessalonians: “Unless there shall come a failing away first, and the man of sin shall be revealed, the son of perdition, who opposeth and exalteth himself above all that is called God, or that is worshipped; so that he sitteth in the temple of God, showing himself as if he were God.” . – Against Heresies, Book V
Moreover, another danger, by no means trifling, shall overtake those who falsely presume that they know the name of Antichrist. For if these men assume one [number], when this [Antichrist] shall come having another, they will be easily led away by him, as supposing him not to be the expected one, who must be guarded against.- Against Heresies, Book V
We will not, however, incur the risk of pronouncing positively as to the name of Antichrist; for if it were necessary that his name should be distinctly revealed in this present time, it would have been announced by him who beheld the apocalyptic vision. – Against Heresies, Book V
For that day shall not come, unless indeed there first come a falling away,” he means indeed of this present empire, “and that man of sin be revealed,” that is to say, Antichrist, “the son of perdition, who opposeth and exalteth himself above all that is called God or religion; so that he sitteth in the temple of God, affirming that he is God. Remember ye not, that when I was with you, I used to tell you these things? And now ye know what detaineth, that he might be revealed in his time. – On the Resurrection of the Flesh
For the mystery of iniquity doth already work; only he who now hinders must hinder, until he be taken out of the way.” What obstacle is there but the Roman state, the falling away of which, by being scattered into ten kingdoms, shall introduce Antichrist upon (its own ruins)? “And then shall be revealed the wicked one, whom the Lord shall consume with the spirit of His mouth, and shall destroy with the brightness of His coming: even him whose coming is after the working of Satan, with all power, and signs, and lying wonders, and with all deceivableness of unrighteousness in them that perish.” – On the Resurrection of the Flesh
Isaiah said: This is the man who moves the world anti so many kings, and under whom the land shall become desert. Hear you how the prophet foretold concerning him. I have said nothing elaborately, but negligently. Then, doubtless, the world shall be finished when he shall appear. He himself shall divide the globe into three ruling powers, when, moreover, Nero shall be raised up from hell, Elias shall first come to seal the beloved ones; at which things the region of Africa and the northern nation, the whole earth on all sides, for seven years shall tremble. But Elias shall occupy the half of the time, Nero shall occupy half. Then the whore Babylon, being reduced to ashes, its embers shall thence advance to Jerusalem; and the Latin conqueror shall then say, I am Christ, whom you always pray to; and, indeed, the original ones who were deceived combine to praise him. He does many wonders, since his is the false prophet. Especially that they may believe him, his image shall speak. The Almighty has given it power to appear such. The Jews, recapitulating Scriptures from him, exclaim at the same time to the Highest that they have been deceived.
“After threescore and two weeks the times will be fulfilled, and one week will make a covenant with many; and in the midst (half) of the week sacrifice and oblation will be removed, and in the temple will be the abomination of desolations.” For when the threescore and two weeks are fulfilled, and Christ is come, and the Gospel is preached in every place, the times being then accomplished, there will remain only one week, the last, in which Elias will appear, and Enoch, and in the midst of it the abomination of desolation will be manifested, viz., Antichrist, announcing desolation to the world. And when he comes, the sacrifice and oblation will be removed, which now are offered to God in every place by the nations.
Thus, then, does the prophet set forth these things concerning the Antichrist, who shall be shameless, a war-maker, and despot, who, exalting himself above all kings and above every god, shall build the city of Jerusalem, and restore the sanctuary. Him the impious will worship as God, and will bend to him the knee, thinking him to be the Christ.
For the deceiver seeks to liken himself in all things to the Son of God. Christ is a lion, so Antichrist is also a lion; Christ is a king, so Antichrist is also a king. The Savior was manifested as a lamb; so he too, in like manner, will appear as a lamb, though within he is a wolf. The Savior came into the World in the circumcision, and he will come in the same manner. The Lord sent apostles among all the nations, and he in like manner will send false apostles. The Savior gathered together the sheep that were scattered abroad, and he in like manner will bring together a people that is scattered abroad. The Lord gave a seal to those who believed on Him, and he will give one like manner. The Savior appeared in the form of man, and he too will come in the form of a man. The Savior rose up and showed His holy flesh like a temple, and he will raise a temple of stone in Jerusalem.
Thus did the Scriptures preach before-time of this lion and lion’s whelp. And in like manner also we find it written regarding Antichrist. For Moses speaks thus: “Dan is a lion’s whelp, and he shall 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.
By the beast, then, coming up out of the earth, he means the kingdom of Antichrist; and by the two horns he means him and the false prophet after him…For he will act with vigor again, and prove strong by reason of the laws established by him; and he will cause all those who will not worship the image of the beast to be put to death…For, being full of guile, and exalting himself against the servants of God, with the wish to afflict them and persecute them out of the world, because they give not glory to him, he will order incense-pans to be set up by all everywhere, that no man among the saints may be able to buy or sell without first sacrificing; for this is what is meant by the mark received upon the right hand. And the word–“in their forehead”–indicates that all are crowned, and put on a crown of fire, and not of life, but of death.
For he will call together all the people to himself, out of every country of the dispersion, making them his own, as though they were his own children, and promising to restore their country, and establish again their kingdom and nation, in order that he may be worshipped by them as God.
Watch for your life’s sake. Let not your lamps be quenched, nor your loins unloosed; but be ready, for you know not the hour in which our Lord will come. But come together often, seeking the things which are befitting to your souls: for the whole time of your faith will not profit you, if you are not made perfect in the last time. For in the last days false prophets and corrupters shall be multiplied, and the sheep shall be turned into wolves, and love shall be turned into hate; for when lawlessness increases, they shall hate and persecute and betray one another, and then shall appear the world-deceiver as Son of God, and shall do signs and wonders, and the earth shall be delivered into his hands, and he shall do iniquitous things which have never yet come to pass since the beginning. Then shall the creation of men come into the fire of trial, and many shall be made to stumble and shall perish; but those who endure in their faith shall be saved from under the curse itself. And then shall appear the signs of the truth: first, the sign of an outspreading in heaven, then the sign of the sound of the trumpet. And third, the resurrection of the dead — yet not of all, but as it is said: “The Lord shall come and all His saints with Him.” Then shall the world see the Lord coming upon the clouds of heaven.
By the woman then clothed with the sun, he meant most manifestly the Church, endued with the Father’s word, whose brightness is above the sun. … “And the dragon,” he says, “saw and persecuted the woman which brought forth the man-child. And to the woman were given two wings of the great eagle, that she might fly into the wilderness, where she is nourished for a time, and times, and half a time, from the face of the serpent.” That refers to the one thousand two hundred and threescore days (the half of the week) during which the tyrant is to reign and persecute the Church, which flees from city to city, and seeks conceal-meat in the wilderness among the mountains, possessed of no other defence than the two wings of the great eagle, that is to say, the faith of Jesus Christ, who, in stretching forth His holy hands on the holy tree, unfolded two wings, the right and the left, and called to Him all who believed upon Him, and covered them as a hen her chickens. -Hippolyus
The Jews must return and live in the Holy Land so that they can prepare the way for the Antichrist,for he and he alone will re-build the old Temple of David and this will be his seat and not Rome. – Hippolyus
“And after these shall arise antichrist and having by the signs and lying wonders of his magical deceit, beguiled the Jews as though he were the expected Christ, he shall afterwards characterize himself by all kinds of excesses of cruelty and lawlessness…and he shall perpetrate such things for 3 years and 6 months……. -Cyril of Jerusalem 315 – 386 AD
Antichrist will exceed in malice, perversity, lust, wickedness, impiety, and ruthlessness and barbarity all men that have ever disgraced human nature. Hence St. Paul emphatically calls him `the man of sin the son of perdition, the wicked one, whose birth and coming is through the operation of Satan, in all manner of seduction and iniquity.’ (2Thess., 2). Through his great power, deceit and malice he shall succeed in decoying or forcing to his worship two thirds of mankind; the remaining third part of men will continue true to the faith and worship of Jesus Christ most steadfastly. But in his satanic rage and fury, Antichrist will persecute these brave and devout Christians during three years and a half, and torture them with such an extremity of barbarity, with all the old and newly invented instruments of pain, as to exceed all past persecutors of the Church combined. He will oblige all his followers to bear impressed upon their foreheads or right hands the mark of the Beast and will starve to death all those who refuse to receive it.” -Cyril of Jerusalem 315 – 386 AD
This one shall seize the power of the Roman Empire and shall falsely style himself Christ. By the name Christ he shall deceive the Jews who are expecting the anointed and he shall seduce the Gentiles by his magical illusions. -Cyril of Jerusalem 315 – 386 AD
“He shall sit in the Temple of God as if he were Christ, and leading astray those who worship him For when he 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 his dupes may adore him as the Christ…” “By means of the events which shall occur in the time of Antichrist it is shown that he, being an apostate and a robber, is anxious to be adored as God; and that although a mere slave. he wishes to be proclaimed as a king. For he being endued with all the power of the devil, shall come, not as a righteous king, not as a legitimate king obedient to God but as an impious, unjust, and lawless one; as an iniquitous and murderous apostate; as a robber, concentrating in himself a satanic apostasy, and setting aside idols to persuade men that he himself is God – Irenaeus
The disciples of the apostles say (from oral tradition) that they (Elias and Henoch) whose living bodies were taken up from this world have been placed in an earthly paradise where they will remain until the end of the world.– Irenaeus
At the time of his reign antichrist will command that Jerusalem be rebuilt in its splendour and will make it a great and populous city, second to none in the world and will order his palace to be built there – Irenaeus
Antichrist will attempt to prove from scripture that he is the Christ -Ambrose 340 – 397
The little season signifies three years and six months, in which with all his power the devil will avenge himself trader Anti-christ against the Church. Finally, he says, after that the devil shall be loosed, and will seduce the nations in the whole world, and will entice war against the Church, the number of whose foes shall be as the sand of the sea – Commentary on the Apocalypse of John
“Antichrist will be possessed by Satan and be the illegitimate son of a Jewish woman from the East. This world will be faithless and degenerate after the birth of Anti-Christ” – John Chrysostom 347 – 407
“Then the Lord from His Glorius heaven shall set up his peace. And the kingdom of the Romans shall rise in place of this latter people and establish its dominion upon the earth, even unto its ends, and there shall be no-one who will resist it. After iniquity shall have subsequently multiplied and all creatures have become defiled then divine justice shall appear and shall wholly destroy the people and coming fourth from perdition the man of iniquity shall be revealed upon the earth, the seducer of men and disturber of the whole earth – Ephraem 300 – 373
“Let us learn, my friends, in what form shall come on earth the shameless serpent, since the Redeemer, wishing to save all mankind, was born of a Virgin and in human form crushed the enemy with the holy power of his godhead. This then the enemy, having learnt that again shall the Lord come from heaven in the glory of His divinity, thus bethought him to assume the form of His coming and beguile all men. So in very truth shall he be born of a defiled woman, his instrument. In the form of Him shall come the all-polluted, as a wily thief to beguile all beings.Humble and gentle, hating the speech of the unjust, overturning all idols, honouring piety, a good lover of the poor, exceedingly fair, altogether well disposed, pleasant towards all. To conciliate all, he plots craftily, that he may be loved soon by the peoples; neither gifts shall he accept, nor speak in anger. He shows himself not sullen, but ever cheerful. And in all these well-planned schemes he beguileth the world so long as he shall rule. For when the many peoples and nations shall behold such great virtues, fair deeds and powers, all of one mind shall become and with great joy shall crown him, saying one to another, surely there is not found such another man so good and just… For the shameless one, grasping authority, sends his demons unto all the ends of the earth to announce unto all that a great king hath appeared in glory; come thither and behold… The peoples shall be gathered, and they shall come that they may see God, and the crowds of the peoples shall cleave to him, and all shall deny their own God and invite their fellows to praise the son of perdition, and one on another they shall fall and with swords each other destroy… Magnifying his miracles, performing his portents, Deceiver and not in truth manifesting these things, in such fashion the tyrant removeth the mountains, and simulates falsely and not truly while the multitude stands by, many nations and peoples applauding him for his illusions… Again this same dragon stretches out his hands and gathers the multitudes of reptiles and birds; and likewise he moves over the surface of the deep, andas on dry ground he walks thereon. But he simulates these things… The lightnings shall be his ministers and signify his advent; the demons shall constitute his forces, and the princes of the demons shall be his disciples; to far-distant lands he shall send captains of his bands, who shall impart virtue and healing… A great conflict, Brethren, in those times amongst all men, but especially amongst the faithful, when there shall be signs and wonders wrought by the Dragon in great abundance, when he shall again manifest himself as God in fearful phantasms flying in the air, and show all the demons in the forms of angels flying in terror before the tyrant, for he crieth out loudly, changing his forms also to strike infinite dread into all men… – Ephraem 300 – 373
“Then the skies no longer rain, the earth no longer beareth fruit, the springs run out, the rivers dry up, herbs no longer sprout, grass no longer grows, trees wither from their roots and no longer put forth fruits, the fishes of the sea and the monsters therein die out, and thus they say a fetid stench emits with a fearful roar, that men shall fail and perish through terror. And then in dread shall moan and groan all life alike when all shall see the pitiless distress that compasseth them by night and eke by day, and nowhere find the food wherewith to fill themselves… For stern governors of the people shall be appointed each in his place, and whoso bears with him the seal of the tyrant may buy a little food. – Ephraem 300 – 373
“But before these things be, the Lord sendeth Elias the Thesbite and Enoch the compassionate, that they may proclaim reverence to the race of men, and openly announce unto all the knowledge of God, that they believe not nor obey the false one through fear, crying out and saying, “A deceiver, O men, is he; let no one believe in him.” But few are those who shall then obey and believe in the words of these two prophets. – Ephraem 300 – 373
“Many therefore of the saints as many are then found, as soon as they shall hear of the coming of the man of corruption, shall most speedily flee to the deserts and lie hid in the deserts and mountains and caves through fear, and strew earth and ashes on their heads, destitute and weeping both day and night with great humility. And this shall to them be granted by God the Holy One: And grace shall lead them unto the appointed places. – Ephraem 300 – 373
“But all those dwelling in the east of the earth shall fly to the west, through their great fear, and again those dwelling under the setting sun unto its rising shall fly in trembling… – Ephraem 300 – 373
“In the end like lightning flashing from heaven shall come God, our King and the deathless Bridegroom, in the clouds with glory unimaginable. And behold his Glory shall run the serried hosts of angels and archangels, all breathing flames, and a river full of fire, with a frightful crash… – Ephraem 300 – 373
“How may we then endure, my beloved brethren, when we shall see the fiery river coming out in fury like the wild seething ocean, and the hills and the valleys consuming, and all the world and the works therein; then, beloved, with that fire the rivers shall fail, the springs shall vanish, the sea dry up, the air be agitated, the stars shall fall out from the sky; the sun shall be consumed, the moon pass away, the heavens rolled up like a scroll…” – Ephraem 300 – 373
And when the son of perdition has drawn to his purpose the whole world Enoch and Elias shall be sent that they may confute the evil one- – Ephraem 300 – 373
The man of evil will prepare and coming he will enter Jerusalem; he will build up and establish Sion and will make himself God and entering he will sit in the temple as the apostle has written as if he were God – Ephraem 300 – 373
“And when he was taken up, He [Jesus] ascended to the East and thus the apostles worshipped Him and thus He shall come in the same way as they had seen Him going into heaven, as the Lord himself said “ As lightening cometh out of the east and appeareth even into the west: so shall also the coming of the Son of man be”. And so while we are awaiting Him we worship toward the East. This is moreover the unwritten tradition of the apostles, for they have handed many things down to us unwritten-John Damascene 676 – 787
“One should know that the antichrist must come . Antichrist to be sure is everyone who does not confess that the Son of God came in the flesh is perfect God and became perfect man while at the same time He was God. In a peculiar and special sense however he who is to come at the consummation of the world is Antichrist. So it is first necessary for the Gospel to have been preached to all the gentiles as the Lord said, and then he shall come unto conviction of the impious Jews. For the Lord said to them: I am come in the name of the father and you receive me not: If another shall come in his own name, him you will receive. And the apostle: “because they receive not the love of the truth that they might be saved. Therefore God shall send them the operation of error, to believe lying: that all may be judged who have not believed the truth but have consented to iniquity. Hence the Jews did not receive the Lord Jesus Christ and God, although He was the Son of God, but the deceiver who says he is God they will receive. For that he will call himself God, the angel who taught Daniel thus declares: “he will make no account of the gods of his Fathers”. And the Apostle: “Let no man deceive you by any means; for unless there comes a revolt first and the son of perdition, who opposeth and is lifted up above all that is called God or that is worshipped, so that he sitteth in the temple of God” He says —not however in ours but in the former one that of the Jews, for he will not come to us but to the Jews (initially)—not for the sake of Christ and Christ’s for which reason alone, he is also called Antichrist-John Damascene 676 – 787
“The gospel, then, must first be preached in all nations “ and then that wicked one shall be revealed: whose coming is according to the working of Satan, in all power and signs and lying wonders, in all seduction of inquity to them that perish: who the Lord shall kill with the words of His mouth and the coming of His brightness” Thus the devil does not himself become man after the incarnation of the Lord –God forbid! –! But a man is born of fornication and receives into himself the whole operation of Satan, for God permits the devil to inhabit him for He (God) foresees the future perversity of his will.-John Damascene 676 – 787
“So he is born of fornication as we said and is brought up unnoticed: but all of a sudden he rises up, revolts and rules. During the first part of his reign – of his tyranny rather – he plays more the part of sanctity; but when he gains complete control, he persecutes the Church of God and reveals all his wickedness. “And he shall come in signs and lying wonders” – sham ones and not real – and he shall seduce those whose intention rests on a rotten and unstable foundation and make them abandon the living God., “in as much as to scandalize (if possible) even the elect”.-John Damascene 676 – 787
“And Enock and Elias the Thesbite will be sent and they shall “turn the heart of the fathers to the children” that is to say, turn the synagogue to our Lord Jesus Christ and the preaching of the apostles. And they will be destroyed by him. Then the Lord will come from heaven in the same way that the holy apostles saw Him going into Heaven, perfect God and perfect man, with glory and power; and he shall destroy the man of iniquity, the son of perdition, with the spirit of His mouth. So let no one expect the Lord to come from the earth but from Heaven, as He Himself has positively assured us.-John Damascene 676 – 787
“And so with our souls again united to our bodies, which will have become incorrupt and put off incorruption, we shall rise again and stand before the terrible judgment seat of Christ. And the devil and his demons, and his man which is to say the Antichrist and the impious sinners will be given over to everlasting fire, which will not be a material fire such as we are accustomed to but a fire such as God might know.” -John Damascene 676 – 787