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As will be seen a few times throughout, there have been many different views as to who or what the antichrist is or will be. However, we are only interested in the biblical view. For the sake of being aware, we will look at a few other views here in this introduction. The early Apostolic and Church Fathers can come across as rather difficult to understand. However, read slowly, ponder, and know that the author Edward D. Andrews is quite easy to understand.
The Early Church View
For everyone “who does not confess that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is antichrist”; and whoever does not acknowledge the testimony of the cross “is of the devil”; and whoever twists the sayings of the Lord to suit his own sinful desires and claims that there is neither resurrection nor judgment—well, that person is the first-born of Satan. (2) Therefore let us leave behind the worthless speculation of the crowd and their false teachings, and let us return to the word delivered to us from the beginning; let us be self-controlled with respect to prayer and persevere in fasting, earnestly asking the all-seeing God “to lead us not into temptation,” because, as the Lord said, “the spirit is indeed willing, but the flesh is weak.” (Holmes 2007, 217)
Justin, the Martyr (c. 100-165 C.E.) wrote,
Trypho said, “These and such like Scriptures, sir, compel us to wait for Him who, as Son of man, receives from the Ancient of days the everlasting kingdom. But this so-called Christ of yours was dishonourable and inglorious, so much so that the last curse contained in the law of God fell on him, for he was crucified.”
Then I replied to him, “If, sirs, it were not said by the Scriptures which I have already quoted, that His form was inglorious, and His generation not declared, and that for His death the rich would suffer death, and with His stripes, we should be healed, and that He would be led away like a sheep; and if I had not explained that there would be two advents of His,—one in which He was pierced by you; a second, when you shall know Him whom you have pierced, and your tribes shall mourn, each tribe by itself, the women apart, and the men apart,—then I must have been speaking dubious and obscure things. But now, by means of the contents of those Scriptures esteemed holy and prophetic amongst you, I attempt to prove all [that I have adduced], in the hope that someone of you may be found to be of that remnant which has been left by the grace of the Lord of Sabaoth for the eternal salvation. In order, therefore, that the matter inquired into may be plainer to you, I will mention to you other words also spoken by the blessed David, from which you will perceive that the Lord is called the Christ by the Holy Spirit of prophecy; and that the Lord, the Father of all, has brought Him again from the earth, setting Him at His own right hand, until He makes His enemies His footstool; which indeed happens from the time that our Lord Jesus Christ ascended to heaven, after He rose again from the dead, the times now running on to their consummation; and he whom Daniel foretells would have dominion for a time, and times, and a half, is even already at the door, about to speak blasphemous and daring things against the Most High. But you, being ignorant of how long he will have dominion, hold another opinion. For you interpret the ‘time’ as being a hundred years. But if this is so, the man of sin must, at the shortest, reign three hundred and fifty years, in order that we may compute that which is said by the holy Daniel—‘and times’—to be two times only. All this I have said to you in digression, in order that you at length may be persuaded of what has been declared against you by God, that you are foolish sons; and of this, ‘Therefore, behold, I will proceed to take away this people, and shall take them away; and I will strip the wise of their wisdom, and will hide the understanding of their prudent men;’ and may cease to deceive yourselves and those who hear you, and may learn of us, who have been taught wisdom by the grace of Christ. The words, then, which were spoken by David, are these: ‘The Lord said unto My Lord, Sit Thou at My right hand, until I make Thine enemies Thy footstool. The Lord shall send the rod of Thy strength out of Sion: rule Thou also in the midst of Thine enemies. With Thee shall be, in the day, the chief of Thy power, in the beauties of Thy saints. From the womb, before the morning star, have I begotten Thee. The Lord hath sworn, and will not repent: Thou art a priest for ever after the order of Melchizedek. The Lord is at Thy right hand: He has crushed kings in the day of His wrath: He shall judge among the heathen, He shall fill [with] the dead bodies. He shall drink of the brook in the way; therefore, shall He lift up the head.’ (Roberts, Donaldson and Coxe 1885, Dialogue with Trypho 32)
Justin also wrote,
He [Jesus] 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. (Roberts, Donaldson and Coxe 1885, Dialogue with Trypho 110)
Irenaeus (between 120 C.E. and 140 C.E. – c. 202 C.E.) wrote,
In a still clearer light has John, in the Apocalypse, indicated to the Lord’s disciples what shall happen in the last times, and concerning the ten kings who shall then arise, among whom the empire which now rules [the earth] shall be partitioned. He teaches us what the ten horns shall be which were seen by Daniel, telling us that thus it had been said to him: “And the ten horns which thou sawest are ten kings, who have received no kingdom as yet, but shall receive power as if kings one hour with the beast. These 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.”11 It is manifest, therefore, that of these [potentates], he who is to come shall slay three, and subject the remainder to his power, and that he shall be himself 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 flight. After that, they shall be destroyed by the coming of our Lord. (Roberts, Donaldson and Coxe 1885, Against Heresies 5.26)
Tertullian (c.160 – c.220 C.E.) wrote,
By, “For that day will not come unless the rebellion comes first,” he [Paul] means indeed this present empire, “and the man of lawlessness is revealed”—that is to say, the Antichrist, “the son of destruction, who opposes and exalts himself above every so-called god or religion, so that he takes his seat in the temple of God, declaring himself to be God. Do you not remember that I told you these things when I was still with you? And you know what is now restraining him, so that he may be revealed when his time comes. For the mystery of lawlessness is already at work, but only until the one who now restrains it is removed.” What obstacles are there but the Roman state, the rebellion of which, by being scattered into the ten kingdoms, will introduce the Antichrist upon its own ruins? “And then the lawless one will be revealed, whom the Lord will destroy with the breath of his mouth, annihilating him by the manifestation of his coming. The coming of the lawless one is apparent in the working of Satan, who uses all power, signs, lying wonders, and every kind of wicked deception for those who are perishing.”
Hippolytus of Rome (170-235 C.E.)
He interpreted Revelation chapter 12 as the church being persecuted by the antichrist. He wrote,
Now, concerning the tribulation of the persecution which is to fall upon the Church from the adversary, John also speaks thus: “And I saw a great and wondrous sign in heaven; a woman clothed with the sun, and the moon under her feet, and upon her head a crown of twelve stars. And she, being with child, cries, travailing in birth, and pained to be delivered. And the dragon stood before the woman which was ready to be delivered, for to devour her child as soon as it was born. And she brought forth a man-child, who is to rule all the nations: and the child was caught up unto God and to His throne. And the woman fled into the wilderness, where she hath the place prepared of God, that they should feed her there a thousand two hundred and threescore days. And then when the dragon saw it, he 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. And the serpent cast (out of his mouth water as a flood after the woman, that he might cause her to be carried away of the flood. And the earth helped the woman, and opened her mouth, and swallowed up the flood which the dragon cast) out of his mouth. And the dragon was wroth with the woman, and went to make war with the saints of her seed, which keep the commandments of God, and have the testimony of Jesus.”
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.
Origen (185–254 C.E.) wrote (citing, Daniel, Paul, and the Gospels),
Where is the absurdity, then, in holding that there exist among men, so to speak, two extremes—the one of virtue, and the other of its opposite; so that the perfection of virtue dwells in the man who realizes the ideal given in Jesus, from whom there flowed to the human race so great a conversion, and healing, and amelioration, while the opposite extreme is in the man who embodies the notion of him that is named Antichrist?… one of these extremes, and the best of the two, should be styled the Son of God, on account of His pre-eminence; and the other, who is diametrically opposite, be termed the son of the wicked demon, and of Satan, and of the devil. And, in the next place, since evil is specially characterized by its diffusion, and attains its greatest height when it simulates the appearance of the good, for that reason are signs, and marvels, and lying miracles found to accompany evil, through the cooperation of its father the devil.
Cyril of Jerusalem (313-386 C.E.)
He spoke of the second coming of Christ, in which he spoke of the Antichrist, who he says will rule the world for three and a half years, with Jesus killing him thereafter, which is followed by the second coming.
Athanasius of Alexandria (c. 298-373 C.E.)
He claimed that Arius was to be associated with the Antichrist, saying, “And ever since [the Council of Nicaea] has Arius’s error been reckoned for a heresy more than ordinary, being known as Christ’s foe, and harbinger of Antichrist.”
John Chrysostom (c. 347-407 C.E.)
He did not encourage speculating about who the Antichrist is, saying, “Let us not therefore enquire into these things.” He said that if we could understand what Paul said about the Antichrist in 2 Thessalonians 2:3 (Actually, “man of lawlessness”), Christian would not be deceived.
Jerome (c. 347-420 C.E.)
He said of those who were preaching false interpretations were of the “synagogue of the Antichrist.” Jerome said of Pope Damasus I “He that is not of Christ is of Antichrist.” He believed that 2 Thess. 2:7 and “the mystery of lawlessness [was] already at work,” when “everyone chatters about his views.” Jerome believed that the Roman Empire was restraining this lawlessness. Of 2 Thessalonians 2:7. In his Commentary on Daniel, Jerome stated, “Let us not follow the opinion of some commentators and suppose him to be either the Devil or some demon, but rather, one of the human race, in whom Satan will wholly take up his residence in bodily form.”
Augustine of Hippo (354-430 C.E.) wrote:
“it is uncertain in what temple [the Antichrist] shall sit, whether in that ruin of the temple which was built by Solomon or in the Church.”
Pope Gregory VII (c. 1015 or 29-1085 C.E.), fought against “a robber of temples, a perjurer against the Holy Roman Church, notorious throughout the whole Roman world for the basest of crimes, namely, Wilbert, plunderer of the holy church of Ravenna, Antichrist, and arch-heretic.”
The Waldenses have a treatise (given in Leger, Hist. des Eglises Vaudoises) concerning Antichrist of the 12th century (Gieseler, Maitland, and others, dispute the date, but the best authorities now agree to it). It treats of Antichrist as the whole anti-Christian principle concealing itself under the guise of Christianity, and calls it a “system of falsehood adorning itself with a show of beauty and piety, yet (as by the names and offices of the Scriptures, and the sacraments, and various other things may appear) very unsuitable to the Church of Christ. The system of iniquity thus completed, with its ministers, great and small, supported by those who are induced to follow it with an evil heart, and blindfold — this is the congregation which, taken together, comprises what is called Antichrist or Babylon, the fourth beast, the whore, the man of sin, the son of perdition.” It originated, indeed, “in the times of the apostles, but, by gaining power and worldly influence, it had reached its climax in the corruption of the Papal Church.
“Christ never had an enemy like this; so able to pervert the way of truth into falsehood, insomuch that the true church, with her children, is trodden under foot. The worship that belongs alone to God he transfers to Antichrist himself — to the creature, male and female, deceased — to images, carcasses, and relics. The sacrament of the Eucharist is converted into an object of adoration, and the worshipping of God alone is prohibited. He robs the Savior of his merits, and the sufficiency of his grace in justification, regeneration, remission of sins, sanctification, establishment in the faith, and spiritual nourishment; ascribing all these things to his own authority, to a form of words, to his own works, to the intercession of saints, and to the fire of purgatory. He seduces the people from Christ, drawing off their minds from seeking those blessings in him, by a lively faith in God, in Jesus Christ, and in the Holy Spirit, and teaching his followers to expect them by the will, and pleasure, and works of Antichrist.
“He teaches to baptize children into the faith, and attributes to this the work of regeneration; thus confounding the work of the Holy Spirit in regeneration with the external rite of baptism, and on this foundation bestows orders, and, indeed, grounds all his Christianity. He places all religion and holiness in going to mass, and has mingled together all descriptions of ceremonies, Jewish, heathen, and Christian — and by means thereof, the people are deprived of spiritual food, seduced from the true religion and the commandments of God, and established in vain and presumptuous hopes. All his works are done to be seen of men, that he may glut himself with insatiable avarice, and hence everything is set to sale. He allows of open sins without ecclesiastical censure, and even the impenitent are not excommunicated” (Neander, Church History, 4, 605 sq.).
John Hus (1369-1415)
The Hussites followed the Waldenses in this theory of Antichrist, applying it to the papal system. So did John Wycliffe (1330-84) and his followers: Wickliffe, Trialogus (cited by Schrockh, 34, 509); Janow, Liber de Almtichristo (Hist. et Monum. J. Huss, vol. 1). Lord Cobham (Sir John Oldcastle), executed as a Wycliffe follower, 1417, declared to King Henry V that, “as sure as God’s word is true, the pope is the great Antichrist foretold in Holy Writ” (New Genesis Dict. s.v. Oldcastle).
Most Protestant reformers, including Martin Luther, John Calvin, Thomas Cranmer, John Thomas, John Knox, and Cotton Mather, identified the Roman Papacy as the Antichrist.
William Tyndale (c. 1494-1536 C.E.)
He held the position that the Roman Catholic Church of his day was the empire of the Antichrist. However, he went even further by stating that any religious organization that distorted the Word of God was the work of the Antichrist. He did not look to some future time when the Antichrist was to come but considered it to be a spiritual force that would be in the world until the second coming of Christ, false religious disguises from time to time.
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 The apostle John apparently was one of Polycarp’s teachers. In fact, Irenaeus relates that Polycarp “was not only instructed by apostles, and had intercourse with many who had seen Christ, but was also appointed for Asia by apostles, in the church that is in Smyrna an overseer.”
 B.C.E. means “before the Common Era,” which is more accurate than B.C. (“before Christ”). C.E. denotes “Common Era,” often called A.D., for anno Domini, meaning “in the year of our Lord.”
 Cf. 1 John 4:2–3.
 Cf. 1 John 3:8.
 Cf. 1 Pet. 4:7.
 Matt. 26:41
 Justin was an early Christian apologist, who was martyred alongside some of his students.
 Isa. 29:14.
 Ps. 110.
 πληρώσει πτώματα; Lat. version, implebit ruinas. Thirlby suggested that an omission has taken place in the mss. by the transcriber’s fault.
 2 Thess. 2:3
 Ps. 128:3.
 Irenaeus wrote Against Heresies (among other books) to refute the teachings of the Gnostics. He was Bishop of Lugdunum in Gaul, then a part of the Roman Empire (now Lyon, France). He was an early Church Father and apologist. He also happened to be a student of Polycarp, who, in turn, had been a student of the apostle John.
 Tertullian was a prolific early Christian author from Carthage in the Roman province of Africa. He also was a notable early Christian apologist and a polemicist against heresy.
 (Roberts, Donaldson and Coxe, THE ANTE-NICENE FATHER 3: Fathers of the Third Century: Tertullian, Part Fourth; Minucius… 1885, Chapter XXIV)
 Hippolytus of Rome was the most important 3rd-century theologian in the Christian Church in Rome. He was said to be a disciple of Irenaeus, who was said to be a disciple of Polycarp, who was a disciple of the apostle John.
 (Roberts, Donaldson and Coxe, THE ANTI-NICENE FATHERS 5: Fathers of the Third Century: Hippolytus, Cyprian, Novatian,… 1886)
 Origen was an early Bible scholar who was born in Alexandria, where he spent the first half of his career, thereafter, Caesarea. He was a prolific writer in multiple branches of biblical studies, including textual criticism, biblical exegesis and hermeneutics, philosophical theology, preaching, and spirituality.
 (Roberts, Donaldson and Coxe, THE ANTE-NICENE FATHERS 4: Fathers of the Third Century: Hippolytus, Cyprian, Novatian, et al 1886, Against Celsus)
 Athanasius’ “Four Discourses”
 Chrysostom Homily 1 on the 2nd Epistle of St. Paul the Apostle to the Thessalonians
 Jerome (1893b) [347-420]. “The Dialogue against the Luciferians”. In Schaff, Philip. A Select Library of Nicene and Post-Nicene Fathers of the Christian Church. 2nd series VI. Henry Wace. New York: The Christian Literature Company. p. 334.
 Jerome 1893, p. 19
 Jerome (1893c) [347-420]. “Against the Pelagians, Book I”. In Schaff, Philip. A Select Library of Nicene and Post-Nicene Fathers of the Christian Church. 2nd series VI. Henry Wace. New York: The Christian Literature Company. p. 449.
 Jerome (1958) [347-420]. Archer, Gleason L., ed. Jerome’s Commentary of Daniel (Translation). Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Book House.
 City of God, Book 20 chapter 19, cited in Brug’s A Scriptural and Historical Survey of the Doctrine of the Antichrist
 See The Correspondence of Pope Gregory VII trans. Emerton, Ephraim. New York: Columbia University Press, 1990., p. 162.
 The Cyclopedia of Biblical, Theological, and Ecclesiastical Literature. James Strong and John McClintock; Haper and Brothers; NY; 1880.
 The Cyclopedia of Biblical, Theological, and Ecclesiastical Literature. James Strong and John McClintock; Haper and Brothers; NY; 1880.
 Tyndale, William, Parable of the Wicked Mammon, c. 1526, (facsimile copy of later printing, no ISBN number, Benediction Classics, 2008)at pages 4-5