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THE EARLY CHURCH FATHERS ON ANTICHRIST
The following study will show plainly how the Early Church [100-400AD] interpretted the prophecies of Daniel and Revelation. All quotes are from this time period.


ACCORDING TO THE CHURCH FATHERS:

BABYLON REPRESENTS ROME

“So, again, Babylon, in our own John, is a figure of the city Rome, as being equally great and proud of her sway, and triumphant over the saints.” – Tertulian Answer to the Jews Chapter 9

“Abraham was born, which was about the 1200th year before Rome was founded, as it were another Babylon in the west.” – Augustine The City of GOD Book 16, Chapter 17

“Rome herself is like a second Babylon..... To be brief, the city of Rome was rounded, like another Babylon, and as it were the daughter of the former Babylon, ” – Augustine The City Of GOD Book 18, Chapter 2, 22

“And Peter makes mention of Mark in his first epistle which they say that he wrote in Rome itself, as is indicated by him, when he calls the city, by a figure, Babylon” – Church History Eusebius Book 2 Chapter 15.


THE HARLOT OF REVELATION 17 IDENTIFIED AS ROME.


“The seven heads are the seven hills, on which the woman sitteth. That is, the city of Rome”. – Victorinus [lived around 250AD] -Commentary on the Apocalypse

“Tell me, blessed John, apostle and disciple of the Lord, what didst thou see and hear concerning Babylon? Arise, and speak; for it sent thee also into banishment [Rome Banished John]. “And there came one of the seven angels which had the seven vials, and talked with me, saying unto me, Come hither; I will show unto thee the judgment of the great whore that sitteth upon many waters; with whom the kings of the earth have committed fornication, and the inhabitants of the earth have been made drunk with the wine of her fornication.”  – Hippolytus [170-236]Treatise on Christ and AntiChrist.

“Read the apocalypse of John, and consider what is sung therein of the woman arrayed in purple, and of the blasphemy written upon her brow, of the seven mountains, of the many waters, and of the end of Babylon. “Come out of her, my people,” so the Lord says, “that ye be not partakers of her sins, and that ye receive not of her plagues.” It is true that Rome has a holy church... the faith has been preached there by an apostle, heathenism has been trodden down, the name of Christian is daily exalted higher and higher. But the display, power, and size of the city, the seeing and the being seen, the paying and the receiving of visits, the alternate flattery and detraction, talking and listening, as well as the necessity of facing so great a throng even when one is least in the mood to do so — all these things are alike foreign to the principles and fatal to the repose of the monastic life.” – Letters of St. Jerome, letter 46.

“[Rome] That powerful state which presides over the seven mountains and very many waters, has merited from the Lord the appellation of a prostitute.” – Tertulian Book 2 Chapter 12

THE WOMAN OF REVELATION 12 IS THE CHURCH.


“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 by the “moon under her feet” he referred to her being adorned, like the moon, with heavenly glory. And the words, “upon her head a crown of twelve stars,” refer to the twelve apostles by whom the Church was founded.” – Hippolytus Treatise on Christ and AntiChrist.

HISTORIC EXPLANATION OF DANIEL 2 AND 7.

“Behold a great image.” How, then, should we not mark the things prophesied of old in Babylon by Daniel, and now yet in the course of fulfillment in the world? For the image shown at that time to Nebuchadnezzar furnished a type of the whole world. In these times the Babylonians were sovereign over all, and these were the golden head of the image. And then, after them, the Persians held the supremacy for 245 years, and they were represented by the silver. Then the Greeks had the supremacy, beginning with Alexander of Macedon, for 300 years, so that they were the brass. After them came the Romans, who were the iron legs of the image, for they were strong as iron. Then (we have) the toes of clay and iron, to signify the democracies that were subsequently to rise, partitioned among the ten toes of the image, in which shall be iron mixed with clay.”  – Hippolytus Exegetical On Daniel 2


“As these things, then, are in the future, and as the ten toes of the image are equivalent to (so many) democracies, and the ten horns of the fourth beast are distributed over ten kingdoms, let us look at the subject a little more closely, and consider these matters as in the clear light of a personal survey.  The golden head of the image and the lioness denoted the Babylonians; the shoulders and arms of silver, and the bear, represented the Persians and Medes; the belly and thighs of brass, and the leopard, meant the Greeks, who held the sovereignty from Alexander’s time; the legs of iron, and the beast dreadful and terrible, expressed the Romans, who hold the sovereignty at present; the toes of the feet which were part clay and part iron, and the ten horns, were emblems of the kingdoms that are yet to rise; the other little horn that grows up among them meant the Antichrist in their midst; the stone that smites the earth and brings judgment upon the world was Christ.” – Hippolytus Treatise on Christ and AntiChrist.

“And it [the fourth beast ]had ten horns.” For as the prophet said already of the leopard, that the beast had four heads, and that was fulfilled, and Alexander’s kingdom was divided into four principalities, so also now we ought to look for the ten horns which are to spring from [the Roman Empire], when the time of the beast shall be fulfilled, and the little horn, which is Antichrist, shall appear suddenly in their midst” – Hippolytus Exegetical On Daniel 7


FIRST BEAST OF REVELATION 13 IS THE ROMAN EMPIRE


“And the words, “he exercised all the power of the first beast before him, and caused the earth and them which dwell therein to worship the first beast, whose deadly wound was healed,” signify that, after the manner of the law of Augustus, by whom the empire of Rome was established, he too will rule and govern, sanctioning everything by it, and taking greater glory to himself. For this is the fourth beast [of Daniel 7], whose head was wounded and healed again” – Hippolytus Treatise on Christ and AntiChrist

THE FALL AND DIVISION OF THE ROMAN EMPIRE PREDICTED.


“ of necessity the fourth beast [the Roman Empire], as being strong and mightier than all that were before it, will reign 500 years. When the times are fulfilled, and the ten horns spring from the beast in the last (times), then Antichrist will appear among them.” – Hippolytus Exegetical On Daniel 2

*NOTE: Rome became the prominent Empire over Greece (which was divided into four dynasties at the time) around 180 B.C. and then Rome captured Palestine in 63 B.C., ending Greece's (Syrian) rule in Palestine. If you begin counting the reign of Rome at 63 BC and add 500 years you come to the latter half of the fifth century. Which is quite remarkable seeing that the Roman Empire was divided into Ten nations in 476 AD.

ANTI-CHRIST WAS RESTRAINED BY THE ROMAN EMPIRE. COMES TO POWER AT THE FALL OF IT.

Tertullian (155–222)  “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)? “ – Tertullian On the Resurrection of the Flesh chapter 24

NOTE: This is an interesting quote, and was fulfilled perfectly by the Papacy, as seen in the following historic quote:
“AD 538, the year when the Ostrogoths collapsed. It was out of the smoking ruins of the western Roman Empire and after the overthrow of the three Arian kingdoms that the pope of Rome emerged as the most important single individual in the West, the head of a closely organized church with a carefully defined creed and with vast potential for political influence. Dozens of writers have pointed out that the real survivor of the ancient Roman Empire was the Church of Rome”. -E.G. McKenzie, "Catholic Church" p. 14.



Cyril of Jerusalem (315–386): "There shall arise, at the same time, ten kingdoms of the Romans at different places, indeed, the reigning all of them at the same time. After them, the eleventh will be antichrist, who, through magical wickedness, will seize the power of the Romans."

*Note:  The Papacy not only took Rome as the seat of its authority, but even took the title of Pontifex Maximus from pagan Rome for its supreme bishop, the pope.


Jerome (347–420): "Says the apostle [Paul in the second epistle to the Thessalonians], ‘Unless the Roman Empire should first be desolated, and antichrist proceed, Christ will not come.’"
Augustine, bishop of Hippo (540–604): "I say confidently therefore, that whosoever calls himself Universal Bishop, or even desires in his pride to be called such, is the forerunner of antichrist."

S. Cyril: But this aforesaid Antichrist is to come when the times of the Roman empire shall have been fulfilled, and the end of the world is now drawing near. There shall rise up together ten kings of the Romans, reigning in different parts perhaps, but all about the same time; and after these an eleventh, the Antichrist, who by his magical craft shall seize upon the Roman power; and of the kings who reigned before him, three he shall humble, and the remaining seven he shall keep in subjection to himself.  S.Cyril – First Catechetical Lecture part 15.

THE SECOND BEAST OF REVELATION 13 IS THE ANTI-CHRIST

“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. And in speaking of “the horns being like a lamb,” he means that he will make himself like the Son of God, and set himself forward as king. And the terms, “he spake like a dragon,” mean that he is a deceiver, and not truthful. And the words, “he exercised all the power of the first beast before him, and caused the earth and them which dwell therein to worship the first beast, whose deadly wound was healed,” signify that, after the manner of the law of Augustus, by whom the empire of Rome was established, he too will rule and govern”– Hippolytus Treatise on Christ and AntiChrist

THE IMAGE OF THE BEAST.

“For this is what is meant by the prophet when he says, “He will give life unto the image, and the image of the beast will speak.” 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.” – Hippolytus Treatise on Christ and AntiChrist


THE NUMBER OF HIS NAME.

“If, then, we take the name as the name of a single man, it becomes Latinus [The Latin Man]”. – Hippolytus Treatise on Christ and AntiChrist


THE PRE-MILLENIAL COMING OF CHRIST AND THE 1000 YEAR REIGN.


“And 6,000 years must needs be accomplished, in order 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 saints, when they “shall 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, then, in six days God made all things, it follows that 6,000 years must be fulfilled.” – Hippolytus Exegetical On Daniel 2



   
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