Nicene and Ante-Nicene Fathers, Ser. II, Vol. IX:Early Church Fathers Index Previous Next
John of Damascus: Exposition of the Orthodox Faith.: Concerning the Antichrist.
Chapter XXVI.—Concerning the Antichrist 2705 .
It should be known that the Antichrist is bound to come. Every one, therefore, who confesses not that the Son of God came in the flesh and is perfect God and became perfect man, after being God, is Antichrist 2706 . But in a peculiar and special sense he who comes at the consummation of the age is called Antichrist 2707 . First, then, it is requisite that the Gospel should be preached among all nations, as the Lord said 2708 , and then he will come to refute the impious Jews. For the Lord said to them: I am come in My Fathers name and ye receive Me not: if another shall come in his own name, him ye will receive 2709 . And the apostle says, Because they received not the love of the truth that they might be saved, for this cause God shall send them a strong delusion that they should believe a lie: that they all might be damned who believed not the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness 2710 . The Jews accordingly did not receive the Lord Jesus Christ who was the Son of God and God, but receive the impostor who calls himself God 2711 . For that he will assume the name of God, the angel teaches Daniel, saying these words, Neither shall he regard the God of his fathers 2712 . And the apostle says: Let no man 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 all that is called God or that is worshipped, so that he sitteth in the temple of God 2713 , shewing himself that he is God; in the temple of God he said; not our temple, but the old Jewish temple 2714 . For he will come not to us but to the Jews: not for Christ or the things of Christ: wherefore he is called Antichrist 2715 .
First, therefore, it is necessary that the Gospel should be preached among all nations 2716 : And then shall that wicked one be p. 99b revealed, even him whose coming is after the working of Satan with all power and signs and lying wonders 2717 , with all deceivableness of unrighteousness in them that perish, whom the Lord shall consume with the word of His mouth and shall destroy with the brightness of His coming 2718 . The devil himself 2719 , therefore does not become man in the way that the Lord was made man. God forbid! but he becomes man as the offspring of fornication and receiveth all the energy of Satan. For God, foreknowing the strangeness of the choice that he would make, allows the devil to take up his abode in him 2720 .
He is, therefore, as we said, the offspring of fornication and is nurtured in secret, and on a sudden he rises up and rebels and assumes rule. And in the beginning of his rule, or rather tyranny, he assumes the role of sanctity 2721 . But when he becomes master he persecutes the Church of God and displays all his wickedness. But he will come with signs and lying wonders 2722 , fictitious and not real, and he will deceive and lead away from the living God those whose mind rests on an unsound and unstable foundation, so that even the elect shall, if it be possible, be made to stumble 2723 .
But Enoch and Elias the Thesbite shall be sent and shall turn the hearts of the fathers to the children 2724 , that is, the synagogue to our Lord Jesus Christ and the preaching of the apostles: and they will be destroyed by him. And the Lord shall come out of heaven, just as the holy apostles beheld Him going into heaven, perfect God and perfect man, with glory and power, and will destroy the man of lawlessness, the son of destruction, with the breath of His mouth 2725 . Let no one, therefore, look for the Lord to come from earth, but out of Heaven, as He himself has made sure 2726 .
See the note in Migne.98b:2706
1 John 2.22.98b:2707
Iren., bk. v. ch. 25; Greg. Naz., Orat. 47.98b:2708
St. Matt. xxiv. 14.98b:2709
St. John v. 43.98b:2710
2 Thess. 2:10, 11, 12.98b:2711
Chrys., Hom. 4 in Epist. 2 Thess.98b:2712
Dan. xi. 37.98b:2713
2 Thess. 2:3, 4.98b:2714
Cyril of Jerusalem, Cat. 15.98b:2715
Iren., Cyril Hieros., Catech. 15; Greg. Naz. loc. cit.98b:2716
St. Matt. xxv. 14.99b:2717
Text has πέρασι ψεύδους, instead of the received text, τέρασι ψεύδους, cf. infr.99b:2718
2 Thess. 2:8, 9, 10.99b:2719
Jerome on Daniel, ch. vii.99b:2720
Chrys., Hom. 3 in 2 Thess.99b:2721
Text, ἁγιοσύνην . Variants, ἀγαθωσύνην, δικαιοσύνην . Old trans. “justitiam,” but Faber has “bonitatem.”99b:2722
2 Thess. ii. 9.99b:2723
St. Matt. xxiv. 24.99b:2724
Mal. 4:6, Rev. 11:3.99b:2725
Acts i. 11.99b:2726
2 Thess. ii. 8.
Next: Concerning the Resurrection.
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