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Nicene and Ante-Nicene Fathers, Ser. II, Vol. III:
Life and Works of Rufinus with Jerome's Apology Against Rufinus.: Section 34

Early Church Fathers  Index     

34. Now let us shew briefly, if you will, that these things were foretold by the Prophets. You will yourself, since you are so minded, gather together more from the ample range of the Scriptures. The Prophet Malachi says, “Behold the Lord Almighty shall come, and who shall abide the day of His coming, or who shall abide the sight of Him? For He doth come as the fire of a furnace and as fuller’s soap: and He shall sit, refining and purifying as it were gold and silver.” 3390 But that thou mayest know more certainly Who this Lord is of Whom these things are said, hear what the Prophet Daniel also foretells: “I saw,” saith he, “in the vision of the night, and, behold, One like the Son of Man coming with the clouds of heaven, and He came nigh to the Ancient of days, and was brought near before Him; and there was given to Him dominion, and honour, and a kingdom. And all peoples, tribes, and languages shall serve Him. And His dominion is an eternal dominion which shall not pass away, and His kingdom shall not be destroyed.” 3391 By these words we are taught not only of His coming and judgment, but of His dominion and kingdom, that His dominion is eternal, and His kingdom indestructible, without end; as it is said in the Creed, 3392 “and of His kingdom there shall be no end.” So that one who says that Christ’s kingdom shall one day have an end is very far from the faith. Yet it behoves us to know that the enemy is wont to counterfeit this salutary advent of Christ with cunning fraud in order to deceive the faithful, and in the place of the Son of Man, Who is looked for as coming in the majesty of His Father, to prepare the Son of Perdition with prodigies and lying signs, that instead of Christ he may introduce Antichrist into the world; of whom the Lord Himself warned the Jews beforehand in the Gospels, “Because I am come in My Father’s Name, and ye received Me not, another will come in his own name, and him ye will receive.” 3393 And again, “When ye shall see the abomination of desolation, spoken of by Daniel the Prophet, standing in the holy place, let him that readeth understand.” 3394 Daniel, therefore, in his visions speaks very fully and amply of the coming of that delusion: but it is not worth while to cite instances, for we have enlarged enough already; we therefore refer any one who may wish to know more concerning these matters to the visions themselves. The Apostle also himself says, “Let no than deceive you by any means, for that day shall not come except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the Son of Perdition, who opposeth and exalteth himself above everything that is called God, or that is worshipped, so that he sitteth in the temple of God, shewing himself as though himself were God.” 3395 And soon afterwards, “Then shall that wicked one be revealed, whom the Lord Jesus shall slay with the breath of His mouth, and shall destroy with the brightness of His coming: whose coming is after the working of Satan with all power and signs and lying wonders.” 3396 And p. 557 again, shortly afterwards, “And therefore the Lord shall send unto them strong delusion, that they may believe a lie, that all may be judged who have not believed the truth.” 3397 For this reason, therefore, is this “delusion” foretold unto us by the words of Prophets, Evangelists, and Apostles, lest any one should mistake the coming of Antichrist for the coming of Christ. But as the Lord Himself says, “When they shall say unto you, lo, here is Christ, or lo, He is there, believe it not. For many false Christs and false prophets shall come and shall seduce many.” 3398 But let us see how He hath pointed out the judgment of the true Christ: “As the lightning shineth from the east unto the west, so shall the coming of the Son of Man be.” 3399 When, therefore, the true Lord Jesus Christ shall come, He will sit and set up his throne of judgment. As also He says in the Gospel, “He shall separate the sheep from the goats,” 3400 that is, the righteous from the unrighteous; as the Apostle writes, “We must all stand before the judgment-seat of Christ, that every man may receive the awards due to the body, according as he hath done, whether they be good or evil.” 3401 Moreover, the judgment will be not only for deeds, but for thoughts also, as the same Apostle saith, “Their thoughts mutually accusing or else excusing one another, in the day when God shall judge the secrets of men.” 3402 But on these points let this suffice. Next follows in the order of the faith,—


Footnotes

556:3390

Matt. iii. 1-3

556:3391

Dan. 7:13, 14

556:3392

“The Creed” is either the Constantinopolitan, or, more probably, that of Jerusalem, with which Rufinus, as a Presbyter of that church, must have been familiar. There is no reason to suppose that the clause was in the Creed of Aquileia.

556:3393

John v. 43

556:3394

Matt. xxiv. 15

556:3395

2 Thess. 2:3, 4

556:3396

2 Thess. 2:8, 9

557:3397

2 Thess. 2:11, 12

557:3398

Matt. 24:23, 24

557:3399

Matt. 24.27

557:3400

Matt. xxv. 32

557:3401

2 Cor. v. 10

557:3402

Rom. 2:15, 16


Next: Section 35. And in the Holy Ghost

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