It’s been far too long since I last wrote a post on eschatology. For today’s post, I thought I might provide the reader with excerpts from early Christian writers. All the excerpts are taken from http://biblehub.com/. Webpages will be given underneath so that the reader can look at the passage in context and so that the reader may identify the translator and volume the given work is taken from.

The Didache (aka The Teaching of the Twelve Apostles)

‘For in the final days multitudes of false prophets and seducers will appear. Sheep will turn into wolves, and love into hatred. For with the increase of iniquity men will hate, persecute, and betray each other. And then the world deceiver will appear in the guise of God’s Son. He will work “signs and wonders” and the earth will fall into his hands and he will commit outrages such as have never occurred before. Then mankind will come to the fiery trial “and many will fall away” and perish, “but those who persevere” in their faith “will be saved” by the Curse himself. Then “there will appear the signs” of the Truth: first the sign of stretched-out [hands] in heaven, then the sign of “a trumpet’s blast,” and thirdly the resurrection of the dead, though not of all the dead, but as it has been said: “The Lord will come and all his saints with him. Then the world will see the Lord coming on the clouds of the sky.”‘

http://biblehub.com/library/richardson/early_christian_fathers/the_teaching_of_the_twelve.htm

St. Hippolytus’ Interpretation of the Visions of Daniel and Nebuchadnezzar

‘Then he says, “The fourth beast (was) dreadful and terrible: it had iron teeth, and claws of brass.” Who, then, are meant by this but the Romans, whose kingdom, the kingdom that still stands, is expressed by the iron? “for,” says he, “its legs are of iron.”

‘After this, then, what remains, beloved, but the toes of the feet of the image, in which “part shall be of iron and part of clay mixed together?” By the toes of the feet he meant, mystically, the ten kings that rise out of that kingdom. As Daniel says, “I considered the beast; and, lo, (there were) ten horns behind, among which shall come up another little horn springing from them;” by which none other is meant than the antichrist that is to rise; and he shall set up the kingdom of Judah. And in saying that “three horns” were “plucked up by the roots” by this one, he indicates the three kings of Egypt, Libya, and Ethiopia, whom this one will slay in the array of war. And when he has conquered all, he will prove himself a terrible and savage tyrant, and will cause tribulation and persecution to the saints, exalting himself against them. And after him, it remains that “the stone” shall come from heaven which “smote the image” and shivered it, and subverted all the kingdoms, and gave the kingdom to the saints of the Most High. This “became a great mountain, and filled the whole earth.”…

‘When the times are fulfilled, and the ten horns spring from the beast in the last (times), then Antichrist will appear among them. When he makes war against the saints, and persecutes them, then may we expect the manifestation of the Lord from heaven…

‘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. These things being thus recounted, the prophet again describes another vision to us. For he had no other care save to be accurately instructed in all things that are to be, and to prove himself an instructor in such.’

http://biblehub.com/library/hippolytus/the_extant_works_and_fragments_of_hippolytus/on_daniel_ii_the_interpretation.htm

St. Hippolytus’ Treatise on Christ and Antichrist

‘But as time now presses for the consideration of the question immediately in hand, and as what has been already said in the introduction with regard to the glory of God, may suffice, it is proper that we take the Holy Scriptures themselves in hand, and find out from them what, and of what manner, the coming of Antichrist is; on what occasion and at what time that impious one shall be revealed; and whence and from what tribe (he shall come); and what his name is, which is indicated by the number in the Scripture; and how he shall work error among the people, gathering them from the ends of the earth; and (how) he shall stir up tribulation and persecution against the saints; and how he shall glorify himself as God; and what his end shall be; and how the sudden appearing of the Lord shall be revealed from heaven; and what the conflagration of the whole world shall be; and what the glorious and heavenly kingdom of the saints is to be, when they reign together with Christ; and what the punishment of the wicked by fire…

‘The Lord gave a seal to those who believed on Him, and he will give one in like manner. The Saviour appeared in the form of man, and he too will come in the form of a man. The Saviour raised up and showed His holy flesh like a temple,  and he will raise a temple of stone in Jerusalem. And his seductive arts we shall exhibit in what follows. But for the present let us turn to the question in hand.’

http://biblehub.com/library/hippolytus/the_extant_works_and_fragments_of_hippolytus/treatise_on_christ_and_antichrist.htm

Cyprian’s Epistle 55

‘Nor let any one of you, beloved brethren, be so terrified by the fear of future persecution, or the coming of the threatening Antichrist, as not to be found armed for all things by the evangelical exhortations and precepts, and by the heavenly warnings. Antichrist is coming, but above him comes Christ also. The enemy goeth about and rageth, but immediately the Lord follows to avenge our sufferings and our wounds. The adversary is enraged and threatens, but there is One who can deliver us from his hands. He is to be feared whose anger no one can escape, as He Himself forewarns, and says: “Fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul; but rather fear Him which is able to destroy both body and soul in hell.” And again: “He that loveth his life, shall lose it; and he that hateth his life in this world, shall keep it unto life eternal.” And in the Apocalypse He instructs and forewarns, saying, “If any man worship the beast and his image, and receive his mark in his forehead or in his hand, the same also shall drink of the wine of the wrath of God, mixed in the cup of His indignation, and he shall be tormented with fire and brimstone in the presence of the holy angels, and in the presence of the Lamb; and the smoke of their torments shall ascend up for ever and ever; and they shall have no rest day nor night, who worship the beast and his image.”‘

http://biblehub.com/library/cyprian/the_epistles_of_cyprian/epistle_lv_to_the_people.htm