The Promise of His coming.
His commands to prepare and be worthy.
Statement of what is happening in the world in connection with the Second Coming of Our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.

Nuzul i Isa, Qiyamah, the Parousia of Jesus Christ Our Lord.


Behold I come quickly. Blessed is he that keepeth the words of the prophecy of this book.

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Eucharist in house churches Commanded by God


GO HERE:Traditional Catholic Prayers: Eucharist in house churches Commanded by God. To rise above the concerns of the world to the service of God.

The Justice of God: New Testament Prayer, Psalms Hymns and Canticles, and first century Communion in full

Traditional Catholic Prayers: Office of the Hours for the Week

Sayyidah Parousia

Watch and Pray Always

Watch and Pray Always as Our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ commanded

Morning Prayer and through the day.

In the Name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit. Amen.

Our Father Who are in heaven,
hallowed be your name,

O Lord Jesus Christ our only Lord and Saviour, living and reigning and ruling with God Our Father in the unity and power and bond of love of the Holy Spirit our Paraclete from heaven

your kingdom come,
your will be done
on earth as it is in heaven.

with and by the prayer and company and presence of the same all your elect angels and saints for and with us unceasingly,

especially Saint Michael and Saint Gabriel truly present with us, Saint Enoch in the flesh and Saint Elijah in the flesh your holy prophets yet to return their holy angels truly present with us,

the Holy Family especially blessed St. Joseph and the most Blessed Virgin Mary your mother Christ Jesus our only Lord and Saviour your half brothers and sisters in the flesh Christ Jesus our only Lord and Saviour the only mediator between God and man in the flesh most holy angel of almighty counsel, captain of the hosts of the Lord, going before us with all of your elect doxas, especially St. Michael and St. Gabriel truly present with us, unto all salvation and victory totally protecting and delivering us in all things at all times immediately unceasingly and now and always and unto the endless ages of ages to come;

with all thanksgiving, we love you for you first loved us, with all thanksgiving, thank you for You, for all your gifts and mercies to us, unceasingly: especially your all holy, almighty, gifts of our creation, your redemption of us, your gifts of your creation to us, Christ Jesus our only Lord and Saviour,

your life and teaching, your Incarnation, Conception, Birth in the flesh, your Epiphany, your Transfiguration, your most Holy Cross, Holy Blood, Holy Spirit, of you the Immortal son of the Father, Christ Jesus our only Lord and Saviour, your Resurrection, the only first born from the dead in the flesh, your Ascension, Assumption, in the same flesh, back to the Father’s bosom in the third heaven at his right hand in the unity and power and bond of love of the Holy Spirit our Paraclete, the gift of your Holy Spirit our Paraclete at Pentecost, and throughout all time and creation, indwelling us, bringing with him, you God Our Father and the Son Jesus Christ our only Lord and Saviour, unceasingly and now and always and unto the endless ages of ages to come,

your most holy Eucharist, which you alone God Our Father and the Son Jesus Christ our only Lord and Saviour and the Holy Spirit our Paraclete give to us,

Jesus Christ our only Lord and Saviour, infinitely pure and undefiled, truly made manifest again in the bread the wine and the water whom we receive in faith with all thanksgiving,

your Parousia, in the same flesh in which you came in your Incarnation and suffered for us and rose again in, in the future, at the end of this age, at the time known to you alone O Holy, Holy, Holy Lord God almighty, Blessed Trinity, Holy Unity, with all your elect angels, our resurrection in the flesh at the first resurrection of the just, our same spirits, souls and bodies reunited, we with all your elect angels and saints worshipping you, Jesus Christ our only Lord and Saviour, in the glory of God Our Father, in the unity and power and bond of love of the Holy Spirit our Paraclete, face to face unceasingly unto the endless ages of ages to come, for your spiritual gifts of food and drink,

for your simple gifts of food and drink, for all your gifts and mercies and this new day with all thanksgiving, we love you for you first loved us with all thanksgiving, blessed are You in all Your elect angels and saints, unceasingly and now and always and unto the endless ages of ages to come.

Your Holy Spirit come upon us and cleanse us,
Give us today our Supersubstantial bread,
and forgive us our debt,
as, in You Holy Spirit, we also forgive, those in Your body Jesus Christ Our Only Lord and Saviour, our debtors,


Against you, you alone, Jesus Christ our Only Lord and Saviour, have we sinned and done what is evil in your sight, forgive us our sins, purge us with hyssop and we shall be cleansed, wash us and we shall be made whiter than snow, make the bones you have numbered to rejoice. Come Holy Spirit cleanse us from all stain of spirit, soul, flesh, make us only one in You, as you are one in God Our Father, in You, You in us, Most Holy Lord God Pantocrator, Christ Jesus our Only Lord and Saviour, Who alone bought us in the flesh by Your most Holy Cross, Holy Blood, Holy Spirit, of You the Immortal Son of the Father, Christ Jesus Our only Lord and Saviour, infinitely pure and undefiled covering the whole world and cleansing the whole universe, Jesus Christ our Only Lord and Saviour the only first born from the dead in the flesh the only one Resurrected Ascended Assumed Bodily in the flesh and sitteth on the right hand of God Our Father in the third heaven in the unity and power and bond of love of the Holy Spirit our Paraclete Holy Holy Holy Lord God Pantocrator, with and by the prayer and company of the same all Your elect angels and saints for and with us unceasingly:

By Your most Holy Blood and Holy Spirit and this Your Most Holy Shield of You Christ Jesus Our Only Lord and Saviour invincible and inpenetrable, only-begotten Son of the Immortal Father covering the whole world cleansing the whole universe, in the Holy Spirit the Unity and Power and Bond of Love of the Father and the Son Jesus Christ, our only Lord and Saviour, covering, shielding, delivering, us unceasingly, save us, and now and always and unto the endless ages of ages to come: cleanse, shield, heal, guide, guard, keep, deliver and bless our households, your faithful departed blessed in Your bosom unceasingly with especially all of our faithful departed kinsmen after the flesh, and all of Your faithful throughout the earth; especially by Your Most Holy Eucharist, infinitely pure and undefiled, whom You alone Christ Jesus Our Only Lord and Saviour, God Our Father, Holy Spirit Our Paraclete give to us, Whom we alone receive in faith with all thanksgiving, indwelling us: our households, all of Your faithful upon earth and upon salvific confession in You God Our Father and the Son Jesus Christ Our Lord and Saviour and the Holy Spirit Our Paraclete all of Your lost sheep – unto all salvation eternal and temporal, Your presence God Our Father and the Son Jesus Christ Our Only Lord and Saviour and the Holy Spirit our Paraclete; Holy Blood of Christ Jesus, Holy Energy Holy Spirit Holy Wisdom of God Our Father and the Son Jesus Christ Our Only Lord and Saviour and the Holy Spirit Our Paraclete, indwelling us in our spirits souls bodies truly present with us and for us everywhere with and by the prayer and company and presence, especially St. Michael and St. Gabriel and St. Enoch and St. Elijah in the flesh – their holy angels, truly present with us and all of Your faithful, of all your elect angels and saints for and with us in all places, utterly perfectly forevermore in everything, everywhere in every detail, blessed here on earth in long life and good health, totally protected and delivered in all things at all times and totally cleansed, sanctified, strengthened, purified, vindicated in spirit soul body, our households totally delivered in all things at all times, all Your faithful and upon salvific confession in You God Our Father and the Son Jesus Christ Our Lord and Saviour and the Holy Spirit Our Paraclete all of Your lost sheep, totally delivered in all things at all times, Holy Blood of Christ Jesus – Jesus Christ Our Lord and Saviour, Most Holy Lord God Pantocrator in the flesh, Most Holy Angel of Almighty Counsel, Captain of the Hosts of the Lord, the Divine Almighty Warrior – St. Michael – St. Gabriel – with all your elect angels surrounding us, shielding us, going forth before us, no one interfering with us in anyway, absolutely nothing at all, all times past present future, totally delivered from all evil immediately forever.

and do not lead us into temptation,
but deliver us from the evil one and all it’s minions visible and invisible;
for yours is the power and the glory unto the endless ages of ages to come.

Leading us forth O Lord,

Drive far away our preternatural foe,

And Your abiding peace bestow;

If You be our preventing Guide,

No evil can our steps betide.

Bless our meetings, O Lord.
Utterly uproot all idolatry from the world.
Crush under our feet Satan.
Humble now, as at all times, the enemies of Your Church, You and us.

Lay bare their pride.
Speedily show them their weakness.
Bring to naught the wicked plots they contrive against us.
Arise, O Lord, and let Your enemies be scattered, and let all who hate Your holy name be put to flight.

with and by the prayer and company and presence of the same all your elect angels and saints for and with us unceasingly and now and always and unto the endless ages of ages to come cover, cleanse, shield, heal, guide, guard, keep, deliver and bless Your sheep, faithful and in salvific confession of You Christ Jesus Our Only Lord and Saviour, Your lost sheep, unto all salvation eternal and temporal, absolutely immediately utterly forevermore unceasingly and now and always and unto the endless ages of ages to come, save us.

Your good Spirit shall lead me in the land of uprightness; for Your Name's sake, O Lord, shall You quicken me.

In Your righteousness shall You bring my soul out of affliction, and in Your mercy shall You utterly destroy mine enemies. And You shall cut off all them that afflict my soul, for I am Your servant. For as You have been sanctified in us in their sight, so you shall be magnified among them in our presence, make them fall back as those did before You by Your presence unceasingly and never come near us everything and everybody in every way that means us any harm at all times and now and always and unto the endless ages of ages to come forevermore.

Come Holy Spirit Wisdom Energy Sanctifier Our Paraclete throughout the entire earth for the salvation of all of Your lost sheep and the deliverance of all of Your innocent and faithful, especially those in the worst of distress. Most Holy Lord God Almighty Abba Our Father, through You, beloved and Only Son of God, Our Only Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, send forth Your Most Holy Spirit Our Paraclete, enkindle in our hearts the fire of Your love and we shall be created and You shall renew the face of the earth. Through Our Only Lord God Saviour King most Holy Pantocrator in the flesh Jesus Christ, the Divine warrior, Glory be to God Our Father and to the Son Jesus Christ Our Only Lord and Saviour and to the Holy Spirit Our Paraclete as it was before all time and creation, Creator and ruler over all, at the beginning of all time and creation, past present future and now and always unceasingly unto the endless ages of ages to come.

Prevented preventing from before all time and creation utterly invisible passing through the midst of all evil and all of our enemies thereof unharmed and untouched all of it bound and gone from us unceasingly for you LORD are not in any of that, neither are we, forevermore from before all time and creation: God Our Father and the Son Jesus Christ Our Only Lord and Saviour and the Holy Spirit Our Paraclete

Holy Blood of Jesus Christ, Holy Holy Holy Lord God Pantocrator, forevermore unceasingly, Olam Olam, Creator and Ruler over all, with and by the prayer and company and presence of all Your elect angels and saints for and with us unceasingly, at the beginning of all time and creation past present future and now and always and unto the endless ages of ages to come.

In the Name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit. Amen.

The final Prayer before Communion

Especially for all of those in the vineyard of the Lord devastated by Ecumenism and Latin and Byzantine and Protestant Freemasonic irruptions of church and all the false gnostic nonsense permeating the Evangelical community and all other opposition to the True Gospel, all are welcome here on this site and to pray with us: Parousia of Jesus Christ Our Lord: Eternal faith and beliefs: Jesus Christ is the Truth

Holy, holy, holy Lord God Almighty, Who is and Who was and Who is to come

Let us praise and glorify Him forever.

Lord our God, You are worthy to receive praise and glory and honor and blessing

Let us praise and glorify Him forever.

The Lamb Who was slain is worthy to receive power and divinity and wisdom and strength, and honor and glory and blessing

Let us praise and glorify Him forever.

Let us bless the Father and the Son with the Holy Spirit:

Let us praise and glorify Him forever.

Bless the Lord, all you works of the Lord

Let us praise and glorify Him forever.

Sing praise to our God, all you His servants and you who fear God, the small and the great.

Let us praise and glorify Him forever.

Let heaven and earth praise Him Who is glorious

Let us praise and glorify Him forever.

And every creature that is in heaven and on earth and under earth and in the sea and those which are in them.

Let us praise and glorify Him forever.

Glory to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit:

Let us praise and glorify Him forever.

As it was in the beginning, is now, and will be forever. Amen.

Let us praise and glorify Him forever.

Let us pray:

All-powerful, most holy, most high, and supreme God:

all good,

supreme good,

totally good,

You Who alone are good; may we give You all praise, all glory, all thanks, all honor:

all blessing,

and all good things.

So be it.

So be it.


O OUR most holy FATHER,

Our Creator, Redeemer, Consoler, and Savior


In the angels and in the saints,

Enlightening them to love, because You, Lord, are light

Inflaming them to love, because You, Lord, are love

Indwelling and filling them with happiness, because You, Lord, are the Supreme Good,

the Eternal Good

from Whom comes all good

without Whom there is no good.


May our knowledge of You become ever clearer that we may know the breadth of Your blessings

the length of Your promises

the height of Your majesty

the depth of Your judgments.


So that You may rule in us through Your grace

and enable us to come to Your kingdom

where there is an unclouded vision of You

a perfect love of You

a blessed companionship with You

an eternal enjoyment of You.



That we may love You with our whole heart by always thinking

of You

with our whole soul by always desiring You

with our whole mind by directing all our

intentions to You and by seeking Your

glory in everything

and with our whole strength by spending all our energies and affections

of soul and body

in the service of Your love

and of nothing else

and may we love our neighbors as ourselves

by drawing them all with our whole strength to Your love

by rejoicing in the good fortunes of others as well as our


and by sympathizing with the misfortunes of others

and by giving offense to no one.


in memory and understanding and reverence

of the love which You in our Lord Jesus Christ had for us

and of those things which He said and did and suffered for us.


Your own Beloved Son, our Lord Jesus Christ.


Through Your ineffable mercy

through the power of the Passion of Your Beloved Son together with the merits and intercession of the Blessed Virgin Mary and all Your chosen ones.



And whatever we do not forgive perfectly, do you, Lord, enable us to forgive to the full

so that we may truly love our enemies and fervently intercede for them before You

returning no one evil for evil

and striving to help everyone in You.


Hidden or obvious

Sudden or persistent.


Past, present and to come.

Glory to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit

As it was in the beginning, is now, and will be forever. Amen.

Christmas the Birth of the Son of God Jesus Christ in the Flesh

Christmas the Birth of the Son of God Jesus Christ in the Flesh
Seek the Immortal Son of God the Messiah Jesus Christ - click on picture

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

The Antichrist

The Antichrist
(first published in English in the 1880's)

Chapter 1- The Preparation
1. God's Design
God frequently punishes sinful man by delivering him up to a reprobate sense (Rom. 1:28) and to the tyranny of the passions of his heart (Rom. 1:24) as the reward of his contempt of divine love. When the whole world shall renounce Christ and reject the authority of His Church, when men shall say like the Jews of old, we will not have this man to reign over us, (Luke 19:14), We have no king but Caesar, Jn. 19:15), the vengeance of God shall be swift and terrible. His treatment of the world. shall be like to that of individuals. He shall respond to its criminal desires, which stifles the love of those saving truths, by the light of which the ship of state can alone be safely piloted through the siren dangers to which it is constantly exposed. He shall deliver it up to the man of sin who shall consign it to the darkness of vice and error since it rejected the light of truth and virtue. (2 Thes. 2). Satan shall have universal sway for awhile over all nations.
The Holy Catholic Church, which has fought the battles of Christ for eighteen hundred years, is therefore destined to pass through a persecution compared to which those that she has suffered up to the present time are insignificant. St. Augustine classifies them under three general headings. The first he calls violent, on account of the cruelty with which the early Christians were treated by the Roman Emperors, while at a later period the Church suffered from the deception of false brethren, a trial much more insidious than the former, as it was more dangerous. But the persecution of Antichrist will combine both forms and will consequently prove more redoubtable than when one form only had to be contended with.
2. Who is Antichrist
The word "Antichrist" is composed of two Greek words, anti, against, and XPISTOS, Christ, which signifies against Christ. He shall be supremely inimical to Jesus Christ. This name, or rather surname, is given him by Holy Scripture, which calls him also "the Man of Sin," "the Son of Perdition," (2 Thes. 2:3), "the Beast that ascended out of the abyss," (Apoc. 11:7), "the abomination of desolation." (Dan. 9:27).
The Fathers and theologians regard him as the most impious of men. As for his family name, that is not known; still it is known that the number obtained from the addition of the Greek letters with which it is written will be 666 [this has always been foretold by the Holy Spirit and held by all the Church to be future at the end of the age just before the Second Coming of Our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ]. "Behold wherein wisdom cometh," says St. John in the Apocalypse [and see here: The Apocalypse of St. John the Apostle and Evangelist given him by Our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ with full Concordance and Commentary - and Eucharist]"let him that understands count the number of the beast, for it is the number of the man." It is the number 666. Many other names are composed of this number. St. John calls this number "the number of the man" because the number 6, which designates the day on which man was created, enters into its composition in three different ways, namely, in its concrete form, 6, and as a multiple of 10, 60, [and as a] multiple of 100, [600] equals in all, 666. This triple ratio of 6 points out the threefold prevarication and malediction of Satan, Antichrist's cruel master and tyrant. Satan prevaricated and was cursed in heaven; he prevaricated and was cursed in the serpent in paradise. Finally, he will prevaricate a third time, and will be cursed in Antichrist, whom he shall employ to allure the world and drag it into the abyss. (Cornel. - a Lapide). [The third prevarication was when Satan lied to Jesus Christ and said that the kingdoms of the world were his to give. They are not - all belongs to God. That same lie, with the first two lies together - all three, will be the final lie upon which the Antichrist and his deception of the apostate rebels who reject God will be founded.]
The contemporaries of Antichrist who are enlightened by the Sacred Scriptures will alone be able to discover the solution to this problem. Such was the case with those who were contemporary with Jesus Christ, of whom Antichrist will be the counterpart. The Jews knew full well that Christ would come, but they ignored the name that He would bear.
The Mark, the Name, the Number of the beast and the Tower of Babel = Ecumenism: The Name and Number of the beast.
The Name and Number of the beast.

Greek is in Isopsephia, Hebrew in Gematria, Italian and English names (JOHAANNES PAOLO II and BENEDICT) are with the Greek below them.

Pundarika is from Sanskrit and is transliterated exactly to the Greek with the exact English equivalent to the Sanskrit and Greek.

Pundarika is given in the Greek under the English. Hammelek el Israel (king of Israel), the name or title, that in all probability, the Antichrist will claim for himself, is given in Hebrew under the English.

The Cosmic Christ – Cosmocrator (the Gnostic name for the False-Christ the Gnostics worshipped and which was actually Satan as immanent god of the universe) and the fruits of that bad tree.

80+ 400+ 50+ 4+ 1+ 100+ 10+ 20+ 1=666

Note: pundarika in Sanskrit (the above English and Greek are direct transliterations letter for letter from the Sanskrit) is literally “the great white dragon in the abyss” which is the core and basis of the whole esoteric tradition, priesthood, and the dainichi nyorai (the head of the diabolic trinity of the dragon in Buddhism). The dainichi nyorai is also the exact very basis for their magic/sorcery with it’s six elements they manipulate. Elements here are exactly the stoichea in Col. 2:8.

English transliteration (of how the crowds in Italian used to chant antipope John Paul II’s name) to Greek (with the II added).

10+ 70+ 8+ 1+ 1+ 50+ 50+ 5+ 200 = 395

80+ 1+ 70+ 30+ 70+ 10+10 = 271
--- 395+271 = 666

English to Greek
2+ 5+ 50+ 5+ 4+ 10+ 20+ 300+ 70+ 200=666

Below: Father Sloet of Holland’s solution to the final name of the Antichrist (who will be a Jew) with medial kaph so the reign of this false “ ‘king’ of Israel” will be temporary, i.e. short.

(Note in the below that the Hebrew characters read in reverse order than the English letters) Numbers are under the English equivalents.

Hammelek l Yisrael
ה מ ל כ ל י ש ר א ל
5+ 40+ 30+ 20+ 30+ 10+ 300+ 200+ 1+ 30 = 666

3. Will There be an Antichrist
Some have thought that the word Antichrist is only a generic term by which all the enemies of Christ are designated, a word comprising in its signification all heretics, schismatics, apostates, infidels - in a word, all the impious or antichristian empire. St. John seems to hold this opinion when he says, "Even now there are become many Antchrists. He who denieth that Jesus is the Christ, this is Antichrist." (1 In. 2:18-22). But that this supposition is erroneous is proved by the context of the same epistle. "Little children, it is the last hour; and as you have heard that Antichrist cometh, even now there are many Antichrists."
Let it be remembered that in the Greek or original text, the article 'O is employed in connection with Antichrist in the first instance, and not in the second, and the Greek article serves to determine persons and things; whence, it follows that St. John did not mean that all the enemies of Jesus Christ were to be comprised in one generic term expressed by the word "Antichrist". On the contrary, he very succinctly, but clearly, distinguishes Antichrist personally from all the other adversaries of Christ.
Moreover, the Sacred Scriptures speak of Antichrist in various places as being a particular person or individual. "The Man of Sin," "Son of Perdition," terms such as these cannot mean a collective body since the individual is specifically pointed out, while it is easy to explain why St. John employs the same word to distinguish the enemies and adversaries of Christ. The similitude of tendencies and actions suffices to justify the identity of names. The priests, prophets, and kings of the old law were called "Christs". This, however, did not hinder the Jews from believing in the coming of Christ, the Anointed par excellence, source of all sacerdotal, prophetic, and royal unction. And is not the same thing true of Antichrist and the Antichrists, that is, of the enemies of Christ? But there shall come an Antichrist of whom all the others are only the precursors. And this Man of Sin will combine in himself all the malice collectively found in all the others. All the Fathers and theologians unanimously concur in this belief as to Antichrist's individuality. And consequently, his personal existence and future event must be considered as an object of divine faith, such as stated by Suarez and Bellarmine. [The object of divine faith here is not the Antichrist, but only that we have been forewarned that he will come and lead many astray and we are to have nothing to do with him or his movement.]
4. Antichrist Foretold and Prefigured
Before the coming of our Divine Saviour there were many prophecies and figures given of Him. It shall be the same for Antichrist. The prophet Daniel speaks of him in a literal and mystical sense in three different chapters, namely, 7, 9, and 11, while St. Matthew chapter 24, St. Mark chapter 13, St. John chapter 5, and St. Paul in his 2nd Epistle to the Thessalonians chapter 2, St. John in his 1st and 2nd Epistles, and especially in the Apocalypse chapter 13; etc. tell us of his future or coming event.
Since he will be the incarnate evil and according to the expression of St. Ireneus (c. 28, lib. 5), the maximum of malice, "recapitulatio universae iniquitatis," the Fathers are justified in applying to him all the passages in the Sacred Scriptures in which there is question of the actions of God and His Church.
We are therefore justified in asserting that Antichrist has been prefigured by the persecutions of the Church, by all the enemies of Jesus Christ, whatever may have been the form under which they have existed. Cruel persecutors such as the Caesars represent his future cruelty towards those who will remain faithful to God. Hypocritical persecutors such as Julian the Apostate are typical of his deception and consummate hypocrisy. Heresy and schism, but above all the incredulity and impiety of our time, are the prelude to the great Apostasy into which he will cause many to fall. Finally, those who give themselves up to their passions and who drink from the pool of iniquity form themselves to his image and likeness, which explains the words of St. Paul when he said. "For the mystery of iniquity already worketh." (2 Thes. 2:7).


As the mystery of evil is always in labor, it is useful to take a passing glance at the city of actual evil, in order that we may better understand how our contemporaries prepare the way for the coming of the "Man of Sin."
1. Political Preparation
A few centuries ago it was quite a difficult problem for theologians to explain how Antichrist would bring the world under his political and religious dominion. But in our time it is easy to conceive the possibility of such a feat.
Communication with all parts of the world is now rendered easy by means of steam and electricity. People of different nations intermingle. The remotest parts of Asia and Africa are no longer impenetrable; they are on the point of entering into the European movement. The difference of manners and customs tends to disappear; every obstacle to a universal fusion of ideas seems to vanish; small nationalities are absorbed by the greater ones, which in turn may one day become the prey of a more powerful one. And such a preponderance is now quite manifest as regards resources, of which the Jews are the rulers, while there are combined forces secretly working to pervert public opinion throughout civilized nations and destroy Catholic influence.
Evidently we are rapidly drifting towards the time when all nations will blend in one universal fusion of political unity. The great conqueror of modern times seemed to realize this when he said: "In fifty years hence, Europe will be either Cossack or a republic." Hence the possibility of the political empire of Antichrist is evidently quite feasible.
2. Religious Preparation, Both Intellectual and Moral
But how shall he deprive the world of Christianity and have himself adored as God? Alas, it is only too true that the minds and hearts of men are admirably disposed for revolution and consequently ready to accept and bear the cruel yoke of such a tyrant.
Revolution as the word itself implies means a subversion, but a subversion of all that is true, good, beautiful, and grand in the universe. It is the subversion of religion, representing its dogmas as myths and its moral teachings as tyranical. It is the subversion of authority. Licentiousness under the name of liberty becomes the order of the day; each one is invested with the right to govern himself.
It is the subversion of reason: and do we not find leading minds in some of the most enlightened nations denying the principle of contradiction and maintaining the absolute identity of all beings?
Revolution is therefore essentially destructive, and it becomes cosmopolitan by the action of secret societies scattered throughout the world. Is it not true to say that the "mystery of iniquity" is prepared in secret revolutionary dens?
But it does not suffice to destroy; it is absolutely necessary to build up again. The world 'cannot subsist long in a vacuum. It must have a religion; it must have a philosophy; it must have an authority. Revolution will furnish all these.
Instead of the reasonable and supernatural religion of Jesus Christ, Revolution will preach Pantheism. The God-humanity will impart the theurgic spirit and thus lead men to adore the demon as the author of universal emancipation. "Haste to my aid," exclaims one of the most rational of revolutionists. "The faith of my fathers made thee the enemy of God and His Church, but as for me I shall promulgate thy doctrine and ask thee for nothing." .
"Haste, Satan, haste, thou who art calumniated by priests and rulers; haste that I may press thee to my heart; we have known each other long. Thy works, a cherished one of my heart are not always good and pleasing, but they give tone to, the universe and save it from being absurd. What would justice be without thee? An instinct. What would reason be? A routine. What would man be? A beast. Thou alone dost impart prosperity to all; by thee riches are enobled. Thou art an excuse for authority and the seal of virtue. Hope on proscribed one! The only arm that I can wield in thy service is my pen, but that is worth millions of bulletins! (Proudhon quoted by Bishop Dechamps in the Christ and Antichrist) .
What frightful immorality must follow in the train of this shameless prostitution of religion! Never has the threefold concupiscence made greater ravage among mankind. And this is the religion sought and hoped for as the cherished boon of the aspirations of our modern free thinkers.
To our Christian philosophy, the honor of humanity's revolution will substitute a babel of extravagant and absurd ideas. Instead of a mild and efficient authority consecrated alike by Church and state, despotism and anarchy will rise up and contend for the shreds of religious liberty and human policy.
Alas, it must be confessed that the advocates of error are on the increase; the number of depraved characters become more and more numerous. And if the state of perversion continue for a while longer, Antichrist may come, for he will find the world prepared to receive and serve him.
a homines ad servitutem promptos -- O man, how prompt to enslavement Tacitus


The Antichrist: Rev. Paschal Huchede's view of the Antichrist

The present blindness may be only a transistory evil to which shall succeed a more perfect development and ready acceptance of the Catholic doctrine among the nations of the earth. [This exegesis which was the approved doctrine of the Catholic Church at that time and summed up nearly two thousand years of teaching beginning with Our Lord Jesus Christ Himself, was written in French first and translated into English in 1884 which is reproduced here. The curing for a while of the blindness occurred beginning with Pius X and is over -  the 1958 Conclave and Vatican II are the final great apostasy and that will last until the Second Coming of Our Lord Jesus Christ in the flesh from heaven with all of His elect angels.]

Continue here:  The Antichrist: Rev. Paschal Huchede's view of the Antichrist

Chapter 2- The Action
1. Antichrist Begins to Manifest Himself to the Jews

Antichrist, being a Jew, will be circumcised; he will observe the Mosaic Law, and finally he will give himself for the Messiah whom Israel still expects, and he will be received by those whose names are not written in the Book of Life, in the Book of the Lamb. (Apoc. 13:8). Hence Our Lord thus reproaches the Jews, "I am come in the name of my Father, and you receive me not; if another shall come in his own name, him you will receive." Jn. 5:43). St. Irenaeus, St. Hilary, St. Am­brose, St. Augustine, St. Jerome, and St. Damascus are of opinion that Our Lord makes allusion in this passage to Antichrist.

2. He Achieves the Conquest of the World and Makes Jerusalem its Capital

Antichrist will naturally meet with obstacles in carrying out his de­signs. The ten kings, who, according to the prophet Daniel and St. John, will have divided the Roman empire among them, shall endeavor to con­serve the independence of their realms and consequently will resist him with fire and sword. "I considered," says the prophet, "the horns, and behold another little horn sprung out of the midst of them, and three of the first horns were plucked up at the sight thereof. . . And these ten horns shall be ten kings, and another shall rise up after them, and he shall be mightier than the former, and he shall bring down three kings." (Dan. 7:8 & 24). "He shall take possession of the land; Egypt will not escape his power. . . he shall pass into Libya and Ethiopia." (Dan. 11 :42-43). St. Jerome has left us the interpretation of the Fathers, which is corroborated by all ecclesiastical writers who have since treated the question. At the end of the world. after the destruction of the empire, ten kings will divide among them the fragments of the Roman empire; then an eleventh king will enter the scene and conquer three of their number: the king of Egypt, the king of Africa, and the king of Ethiopia. After their death, the remaining seven laid their scepters at the con­queror's feet. (Dan. 7 [esp. 24-25]).
It seems that he will probably be defeated by certain people of the Western nations, who will give him a naval battle, people whom Daniel calls "Romans." (11:30). But he will soon recover from this defeat. St. Irenaeus and St. Hippolytus of Antioch concur with St. Jerome in the same opinion, which gives this interpretation of the prophet a theologi­cal certitude. When Antichrist shall have conquered all his enemies, power shall be given him over all tribes, peoples, languages, and na­tions; he will be the first Jew to reign over the whole world. When he shall find himself master of the world, he will choose for his capital the city in which Our Lord was crucified. (Apoc. 11 :8). If he did other­wise. he would fail to make the Jews receive him for the Messiah since their hearts will be fixed on terrestrial glory and Jerusalem, in their esteem, must be the sojourn of the Messiah.

1. He Declares Himself to be God and Desires to Establish His Religion Throughout the World

"And they adored the beast, saying, who is like to the beast? and who shall be able to fight with him?" (Apoc. 13 :4).
All vile parasites of fortune, astonished at the rapidity with which Antichrist achieves his conquests and also at the unlimited sway of his power, deceived by his prodigies, will prostrate themselves before him and adore him as their god. As soon as he believes himself master of the bodies and souls of all peoples, he will decree and proclaim his divinity and establish a new religion. According to the Apostle, he will lift him­self up above all that is called God or that is worshipped, so that he sitteth in the temple of God showing himself as if he were God. (2 Thes. 2:4). He will command all peoples to place his statue in the public places to be worshipped, the image of the beast whose wound was healed. (Apoc. 13 :13-15). "He will sit in the temple of God showing himself as if he were God." (2 Thes. 2:4). This temple is probably that of Jerusalem, which he will have rebuilt and in which he will have divine honors paid to him. (Damascus, Book 4, Ch. 37). It is then, according to the prophecy of Daniel and in full force of the term, that the abomina­tion of desolation shall be in the temple, seated in the holy place. (Dan. 9:27). Then he shall think himself able to change times and laws - re­ligious, political, and sacred - by which the world had been governed up to his advent. (Dan. 7:25). Although he will make himself the object of idolatrous worship, he himself will adore a god called Moazim, ig­nored by his ancestors, and he will load this idol with gold and precious stones. (Dan. 11:38-39).
Our Lord Jesus Christ as man adored His Father. Antichrist will adore his father, Satan, principal author of his power. As for the moral of his religion, we are permitted to believe that he will eliminate from it what­ever is painful to corrupt human nature, so that he may more easily gain men over to his party. (Suarez et Bellarm.)

2. His Apostles

In order to propagate his religion, he will send out missionaries to all parts of the world, as Our Saviour sent His Apostles to preach His doctrine. Among the false prophets, there will most probably be one more illustrious than the others, as St. Ambrose remarks. (in Apoc.). St. John describes him as follows: "And I saw another beast coming up out of the earth, and he had two horns, like a lamb, and he spoke as a dragon." (Apoc. 13:11). And in another passage he seems to point out three different persons: "And I saw from the mouth of the dragon, and from the mouth of the beast, and from the mouth of the false prophet, three unclean spirits like frogs." (Apoc. 16:13). The dragon, the beast, and the false prophet signify Satan, Antichrist, and the principal apostle of Antichrist. These three different beings command all the other de­mons. In the work of our redemption, the three divine persons of the adorable Trinity manifested themselves. The Son adores the Father; the Holy Ghost gives glory to the Son. And we see that in the mystery of iniquity Antichrist adores Satan and the false prophet glorifies Anti­christ. Hence we have every reason to show that this false prophet will be an individual person and not a collective term to designate the uni­versality of preachers engaged in the service of Antichrist. We can even assert that he will not be a king, nor a general of an army, but a clever apostate, fallen from the episcopal dignity. From being an apostle of the Gospel he will become the first preacher of the false messiah. These conjectures are not devoid of much plausibility. (Acosta, Book 2, Ch. 16). Antichrist will communicate his power of working miracles to others, who will go into different countries and cities to gain new prose­lytes by all the human and diabolical means in their power. (Acosta, 2, 16). It is thus that the words of Our Lord will be fulfilled. "For there shall rise up false Christs and false prophets, and they shall show signs and wonders, to seduce, if it were possible, event the elect. Take ye heed, therefore. Behold I have foretold you all things." (Mk. 13:22-23). "And then if any man shall say to you: Lo, here is Christ; 10, he is here, do not believe. . . he is in the desert, go ye not out." (Mat. 24:23-26). Benighted apostles who will indeed turn away from truth! (2 Tim. 4:4). They blaspheme the majesty of God and despise all true authority. "Raging waves of the sea, foaming out their confusion, wandering stars to whom the storm of darkness is reserved forever." (Jude 1:13). "Fountains without water and clouds tossed with whirlwinds, to whom the midst of darkness is reserved." (2 Pet. 2:17).
Antichrist will furthermore make all men, great and small, rich and poor, freemen and bondmen, bear a sign on their right arm or on their forehead. (Apoc. 13 :16). What this sign shall be time alone will reveal. Yet there are some commentators of Holy Writ, who, according to a special revelation, pretend to say that it shall be formed out of the Greek letters X and P, interlaced like a figure which resembles the number of Christ. (Cornelius a Lapide in Epis. 2 to Thes.]
No one can either buy or sell without this mark, as distinctly specified in the Apocalypse (13:17). And that no man might buy or sell but he that had the character or the name of the beast or the number of his name." None but adorers of this new god can enjoy the possession of riches or honors. This god shall increase their glory and shall give them power over many and shall divide the land for nothing. (Apoc. 13:7).

2. Religious Persecution of Antichrist
I. Gog and Magog

Those who will refuse to obey his impious orders shall be the object of a terrible and universal persecution. Gog and Magog shall be let loose; they shall come upon the "breath of the earth and encompass the camp of the saints and the beloved city." (Apoc. 20:8). What do these names mean? The Jews pretend that Gog will be Antichrist and Magog the northern people. "At the coming of the Messiah, they shall enter Palestine and lay waste the country to such an extent that the unfortu­nate citizens will be obliged to 'burn for fuel the handles of the lances and shields left on the battlefield. But these misfortunes once over, the golden age shall revive." This Thalmudic interpretation of Ezechiel (38) given by St. Jerome cannot be questioned. Some other ecclesiastical writers, notably Eusebius (Book 3, Hist., c. ult.) and Lactance (Book c. 44, 25), place the battle of Gog and Magog a thousand years after the death of Antichrist. During those thousand years, Jesus Christ will reign with the saints in this world in the midst of infidels, if not converted at least subjugated. At the lapse of that time Gog and Magog shall appear on the scene and wage a bloody war against the saints. This war shall be closely followed by the end of the world and the last judgment. This is, as may be easily seen, the error of the millennium which has long since been refuted by the Fathers St. Augustine, St. Jerome, and many others. It is probable that Gog and Magog mean Antichrist's combat against the Church. According to Bellarmine, Gog will be Antichrist himself and Magog will be his army. Because Ezechiel always desig­nates Gog as a leader and Magog as a region (Ezech. 38-39), Magog, it is true, is regarded as being the Sythian nation. In Genesis (10:2) the second son of Japeth is said to have borne this name, and the country in which he settled was naturally called after him, and this country, ac­cording to Josephus, is Scythia. In employing this term to designate the army of Antichrist, we are led to infer that the men composing it will be orientals, or what seems more plausible, that his soldiers will possess all the brutality of those barbarous people.

II. His Atrocity

No language can give an adequate idea of the atrocity and effects of this frightful persecution. "I beheld and 10 that horn made war against the saints, and prevailed over them." (Dan. 7:21). The beast shall make war against the saints, and shall overcome them and kill them. (Apoc. 11:7). And he "shall crush the saints of the Most High." (Dan. 7:25). And he will put to death all those who will not adore the image of the beast. (Apoc. 13:15). Then shall the truth be oppressed. The Church shall see her children apostatize in vast numbers, and in the agony of her heart­rending grief, she will cry out in the words of her divine spouse, "My God, My God, why hast thou forsaken me?" (Mk. 15:34).
Then by order of the tyrant the continual sacrifice shall be abolished. (Dan. 9:27). The holy sacrifice of the Mass shall no longer be offered up publicly on the altars. The Church shall be devastated; the sacred vessels desecrated; the priests shall be scattered and separated from their flocks and put to death. The beauty of the new Sion has vanished! Her priests sigh; her streets resound with wailings and lamentations because there is no one found to assist at the solemnities of the Lamb. The Church has taken up her abode in the catacombs. (Jerem. Thren.).
All the faithful shall be terror-stricken, for there is nothing to equal the ferocity with which the beast will persecute the Church. "The beast which I saw," says St. John, "was like to a leopard, and his feet were as the feet of a bear, and his mouth as the mouth of a lion." (Apoc. 13:2). Those who will refuse him obedience, says St. Gregory (32 Moral., c. 12), shall perish in the midst of the most excruciating torments. They shall be tortured by infernal engines of pain such as had never been thought of before. The persecutors will add to the terror of punishment the prestige of miracles, which makes St. Gregory exclaim in a state of bewilderment, "What a frightful temptation for the human heart! Behold a martyr who delivers over his body to torture, and his executioner per­forms miracles before his eyes" Where is the virtue that would not receive a profound shock in the presence of such a scene? "Woe, then, to land and sea because the devil is come down unto you having great wrath, knowing that he hath but a short time." (Apoc. 12:12). "And a time shall come such as never was from the time that nations began even until that time." (Mat. 24:21; Mk 13:19).

III. His Duration

"And for the sake of the elect those days shall be shortened." (Mat. 24:22). In order that the faithful may not be discouraged, God has de­termined the number of years, months, and days of this final persecu­tion.
It is not known how long it will take Antichrist to achieve the con­quest of the world, yet we may justly conjecture that the process shall be very rapid. The Prophet informs us that from the moment the per­petual sacrifice shall cease, which shall be the beginning of the general persecution, "they shall be delivered into his hands until atime and times and a half a time." (Dan. 7:25). This he repeats in the twelfth chapter, and St. John employs the same expression to signify the time during which the woman, figure of the Church, will tarry in the desert. "And there were given to the woman two wings of a great eagle, that she might fly into the desert unto her place, where she is nourished for a time and times and half a time from the face of the serpent." (Apoc. 12:14). St. Jerome remarks that the term "a time" is generally employed in Holy Scripture in the sense of a year; the second term "tempora" is translated by the plural form because the Hebrew and Greek texts em­ploy the dual. The words of the sacred text should therefore be inter­preted, "a year, two years and a half year." However, the determination of the number of months removes all equivocation on the subject, as specified in the Apocalypse. "And the holy city they shall tread under foot two and forty months," (11 :2), which is equivalent to three years and a half. Finally, to remove all possible doubt on the matter, God has even revealed the number of days that the persecution will last: "The abomination of desolation," after the cessation of the perpetual sacri­fice, must last, according to the Prophet, "1290 days." (Dan. 12:11). In other words, three years and a half with a few days over. Hence, it is certain that this terrible persecution will last during three years and a half.

3. The War that he will Wage against Religious Societies
I. His Combat with Religious Societies of Human Origin

Schismatics, heretics, and pagans will offer but a cowardly resistance to the formidable enemy of God. They will either become converts of the Catholic Church or proselytes of the archfiend.

II. Combat against the Catholic Church, the Only Religious Society of Divine Origin

The Catholic Church will be made desolate during those three years, but she will remain invincible and unconquered, for God, who is faith­ful to His word, has said that the gates of hell shall not prevail against her. (Mat. 16:19). What a sublime spectacle! Man, an intelligent being, the most feeble and despicable of creation, exposed to the attacks of Lucifer, the first among "pure" creatures, and in this fierce struggle, man, aided by God's grace, will be victorious. It is at this juncture that grace will appear in all its grandeur and efficacy. God will not leave His Church a disarmed prey to such a formidable enemy. He will assist Her by invisible and visible means.

III. Ordinary Help that God will Grant to the Holy Catholic Church; Heroic Resistance of the Spouse of Christ

God will impart greater light to the minds of His faithful servants; He will fortify their will[s] and give a patience which St. John eulogizes in the Apocalypse. "Here is the patience and the faith of the saints." (13 :10). The Holy Scriptures will form the impregnable rampart of the Church. They will be her first and best defense against all the artifices of the impostor, for in them will be found the predictions and explana­tions of all that will then take place in the world; whence. it is said that the true doctors will understand the mysteries of these latter times, while the impious will fail to understand them, being carried away by the torrent of their impiety. "Many shall be chosen and made white, and shall be tried as fire. and the wicked shall deal wickedly, and none of the wicked shall understand." (Dan. 12 :10). God, who neverfails to raise up men equal to the wants of the times - apostles burning with zeal, martyrs endowed with undaunted courage, doctors whose learning and erudition vindicated truth in all its beauty - will raise up at this critical juncture a vast number of extraordinary men, adorned with all the noble qualities and virtues of all the saints of preceeding ages. "Who are we," exclaims St. Augustine, "compared to the saints and faithful of those latter times, who shall be called on to resist the attacks of an enemy unchained, whom we can but feebly resist while he is yet in chains?" (20 De Civit c. 8). Oh happy those who will conquer such a tyrant, exclaimed St. Hippolytus. (De Consum. Mund.) They will cer­tainly be far and away more illustrious than their fathers in the Faith, for the first martyrs had to contend only against the satellites of the demon, while they will be victorious over the son of perdition. What praise, what crowns shall be awardedthem by Our Lord!
If the Church be compared to an army drawn out in battle array (Cant. 6:9), we have reason to believe that Jesus Christ, its captain, would reserve the best soldiers to withstand the most terrible shock. But the people who know and serve the true and living God shall be victorious. God shall send teachers to instruct his people; they shall rush into the midst of fire and sword; they will be made prisoners and their possessions will be confiscated; some of those teachers shall be cast into a fiery furnace, there to be purified. (Dan. 11 :32, etc.).
Not only the saints but also the angels will hasten to the standard of the cross and aid the Church in this her great tribulation; St. Michael the Archangel shall rise and engage in furious combat against the enemy of the people of God. (Dan. 12:1). St. John represents St. Michael fight­ing against the dragon unchained. (Apoc. 12:7). Finally, God shall pre­pare a safe retreat for his faithful children in the desert (Apoc. 12:14), which means that God will not allow the demons, all-powerful as they will be, to reveal to the emissaries of Antichrist the hiding places of a great number of Christians, who, though faithful to God, yet have not courage enough to confront the enemy or brave the dangers of so ter­rible a persecution. All this aid will certainly be greater and more abundant in this last struggle, though quite the same in all ages of the Church; God directs all things by His benign Providence, and He will send Elias and Enoch to aid and sustain His spouse in her last trying ordeal. (Lap. 8,1).

IV. Extraordinary Success. Elias and Enoch will Return

It is certain that neither Elias nor Enoch are dead. It is written, Enoch walked with God and disappeared. (Gen. 5:22-24). Enoch, according to the wise man, was pleasing to God, who placed him in paradise. (Ecclesiasticus 44:16). And St. Paul says that Enoch was removed, that he might not see death. (Heb. 11:5). The Scripture is still more explicit rela­tive to Elias. He is said to have been walking in company with Eliseus on the banks of the Jordan when he was carried off in a fiery chariot to heaven. (4 Kings 2:11). Eccelsiasticus (48:9) and Machabees (Book 1, 2:58) allude to the same fact. All the Fathers are in perfect accord on this point and teach it as an apostolic tradition; we shall quote here only St. Irenaeus (Lib. 4, c.30). The disciples of the Apostles say that those who were carried off from this world otherwise than by death were placed in a terrestrial paradise and that they will remain there till the end of the world in an incorruptible state.
Theologians assign many reasons for this signal favor. They maintain that God desired to show by the preservation of these two men during so many centuries the possibility of the indefinite permanence of man upon earth and to confirm our faith in the general resurrection of the body, for, as the sequel will show, these men shall die and rise again at the Last Judgment.

V. Conjectures on the Place of Their Sojourn and on the Kind of Life They Lead

Where are they? No one knows. Ecclesiasticus says that Enoch was translated to paradise (44:16), whence some of the holy Fathers have concluded that they dwell in the terrestrial paradise; but the term "para­dise" is amphibological and may signify any place of repose and de­light, for it appears to be certain that the terrestrial paradise no longer exists, at least since the Deluge. Some of the Fathers, with St. Jerome, believe that they have been translated to some heavenly body. (Hier, in Amos. 9). It is in this way that they account for the fact of Elias being carried off in the heavens. But the word heaven may also mean the at­mosphere with which the earth is surrounded. Hence it is more probable that they were conveyed to a part of the earth yet unexplored, a delightful paradise that will not be discovered before the end of the world. (Suarez de Myst. vit. Christi.).
But how do they live in this unknown place since it is certain that they are not yet in a glorified state? They know God only by the same means we do, namely, by faith and reason, or contemplation; they do not behold Him face to face, as do the elect. Their bodies are not yet endowed with the qualities of those that are glorified. However, it is certain that their life is different from ours. As St. Augustine remarks (de peccat. merit 3), their life is neither of earth nor of heaven. They are no longer pilgrims in this world, and it is very probable that they are unable to merit until they return to this life again. St. Thomas as­serts that they live on the fruit of the Tree of Life, which was Adam's food before he sinned. Or, to speak more correctly, with St. Jerome (Epist. ad Panmach.), their bodies are spiritualized, and consequently do not need food as we do to sustain life. If they use any, it must be a spiritual food which God knows how to furnish. This opinion of St. Jerome is very probable since this kind of food suits best those who live on the word of God and who take their delight in contemplating His per­fections. (Bernard, Serm. 6, de Ascens. Domini.). If it is certain that they are unable to offend God, that they are totally delivered from all the irregular movements of concupiscence, it is not unlikely that they are frequently visited by God and His angels and favored with many reve­lations. Can it be said that they ignore the accomplishment of the mys­teries of the Incarnation and work of our salvation? Did not Elias assist at the Transfiguration of Our Lord? (Mat. 17:3; Mk. -9:3; Lk. 9:30). It is also probable that they know and are interested in what takes place in this world. Many miracles wrought through the intercession of Elias prove that they are not complete strangers to human events.

VI. Will Elias and Enoch Return? and How Will They Oppose Anti­christ?

To deny that Elias and Enoch will return in person would be, accord­ing to Bellarmine and Suarez, if not heterodoxy, at least erroneous. Their coming is announced by the Sacred Scriptures in four different places. The prophet (Malachias 4:5) says: "I will send you Elias the prophet before the coming of the great day of the Lord, and he shall turn the heart of the fathers to the children and the heart of the children to their fathers." Again, in Ecclesiasticus 48:10, it is said that Elias was "predestined in the judgments of times to appease the wrath of the Lord, reconcile the heart ofthe father to the son, and to restore the tribes of Jacob." Finally, we read in the Gospel according to St. Mat­thew (17:11), "Elias indeed shall come and restore all things."
Relative to the return of Enoch, the Sacred Scriptures speak only once in a formal manner. Enoch pleased God and was translated into paradise, that he may come and give repentance to the nations. (Ecclesiasticus 44:16). And although they are not nominally specified in the Apocalypse, still it is plain to be seen that they are designated as the two prophets who will be the adversaries of Antichrist. (Apoc. 11: 3-12).
Elias and Enoch will come in person and not in spirit; such is the obvious meaning of the Sacred Scriptures and the holy Fathers. For why should God wrest them from the common lot of mankind and give them such a long life if it be not His design to confide to them an extra­ordinary mission at the end of the world? And moreover, would it not be most useful to men whose faith begins to waver to have a clear no­tion of the identity of the origin of the law of nature, of the written law, and of the law of grace, especially when that knowledge is ob­tained from men who bear witness to the time in which they lived, to the fidelity and veracity of our God.

VII. What to Think of the Return of Moses, Jeremias, and St. John the
Some of the Fathers, as also some theologians, have thought that
Moses, Jeremias, and St. John the Evangelist will also return on the earth before the end of the world. We shall cite some of the reasons upon which this opinion is founded.
St. Hilary (Can. 20, in Mat.), one of those who maintain that Moses will return, pretends that this prophet is not yet dead, and that since he witnessed the glory of the Saviour on Tabor in his first advent, he ought to bear witness to it also in His second coming. But these reasons are only little better than simple conjectures. Is it not said in Deuteronomy that Moses died and that the children of Israel bewailed his death for thirty days? (Deut. 34:5-8).
Some ecclesiastical authors believed that Jeremias was reserved to prophesy to the Gentiles (Jer. 25 :30), which he has not as yet done and because the Scripture does not speak of his death. But it may be said that he prophesied among the Gentiles in preaching to the children of Israel dispersed among the Babylonians and the people of Egypt. The fact of the Scripture saying nothing of his death does not prove that he is still living. Moreover, we are informed by tradition that he was stoned to death in Egypt and that his tomb was held in great veneration by the people of that country. (Epiphan. lib. de Prophet, vit.; Isidor. lib. de vita et morte Sane tor; Dorithen, in Synopsi.)
There are good reasons in favor of the opinion that St. John the Evangelist will return. They are as follows: Our Lord, in speaking to St. Peter, said of the beloved disciple: "Lo if I will have him to remain till I come, what is it to thee?" (In. 21 :22). While He says of the sons of Zebedee that they shall die martyrs. You shall drink of my chalice. (Mat. 20:23). It is certain that St. John was not martyred. The prophecy not being yet fulfilled, there is reason to believe that he has been reserved to fall at the hands of Antichrist; there appears to be no other motive for the delay of his martyrdom. In the Apocalypse (10:11), an angel says to St. John: "Thou must prophesy again to many nations and peoples and kings." This prediction is not yet realized and most probably will not till near the end of the world. To this may be added the fact that we have no relics of the holy Apostle and that singular things are said of his dis­appearance. He is said to have shut himself up in a tomb and then or­dered those present to retire; when his disciples returned on the follow­ing day, they could find no trace of him, and since that time he has never been heard from. These facts show that St. John rather disap­peared than died. This opinion is, moreover, sustained by concomitant reasons. Since in those latter times men will have the advantage of see­ing and hearing two men as witnesses of the natural and the written law, why not someone to bear witness to the law of grace also? And who could do this better than St. John? He lived in the most intimate familiarity with Our Divine Lord and consequently is well calculated to bear Him witness and disclose the artifices of Antichrist since he fore­told for centuries beforehand about the "man of sin." For these reasons St. Hippolytus (de Cons. Mundi.), St. Ambrose (in LUG. 7), Simeon Metaphraste (in Vita Joan), with others sustain this opinion.
However, it must be admitted that the contrary opinion is the more probable.

1. Origin of Antichrist
Relative to the origin of Antichrist, erroneous, probable, and truthful things have been said. We shall endeavor to sift the truth on the subject.
In the first place, it is not true that Antichrist will be the son of the devil, born of woman, as Jesus Christ was born of Mary by the operation of the Holy Ghost (St. August.); human generation, outside the laws of nature, is a work of the creative power and belongs to God alone. Nevertheless, theologians as Suarez and Bellarmine observe that the devil has power to produce illusions in this matter. Antichrist will not be the devil, born of a fantastic virgin, clothed in flesh and blood, as it was believed by St. Hipollytus of Antioch; nor will he be an incarnate demon, as Jesus was an incarnate God, according to Origen's opinion.
Some Christians of the primitive ages of the Church believed that Nero was Antichrist. (Sulpit lib. histor.). They were under the impression that this emperor did not die, or that if he did, he was to rise from the dead before the end of time to come and persecute the Church. St. Augustine regards this opinion as mere presumption. (Lib. 20, c. 19, City of God). St. John Damascus and some other Fathers are of opinion that Antichrist will be an illegitimate offspring. (Lib. iv, ch. 27, Orthodoxy of Faith). Holy Scripture says nothing of this, at least in an explicit manner, and tradition bearing on it is not unanimous enough to merit for it anything more than a probable certainty. It is also probable that he will be of the tribe of Dan. St. Irenaeus in book 5th on Heresies; St. Hippolytus of Antioch; St. Augustine in his book on the benediction of the Patriarchs (C. 7); St. Prosper, part iv of the Promises and Benedictions of the Fathers; Theodoret, question 109 in Genesis; St. Gregory, book 31 on Morals affirm it, founding the truth of this assertion on the three following passages of Holy Scripture: "Let Dan be a snake in the way, a serpent in the path, that biteth the horses heels that his rider may fall backwards." (Gen. 49:17). "The snorting of his horses was heard from Dan, all the land was moved at the sound of the neighing of his warriors; and they came and devoured the land and all that was in it; the city and its inhabitants." (Jer. 8:16).
Finally, we see in the 7 [th] chapter of the Apocalypse that all the tribes furnish their quota to the heavenly Jerusalem, except that of Dan, of whom there is nothing said on account of the hatred borne to AntiChrist. However, the Fathers cited above, in their explanations of these texts, seem to have paid no attention to tradition and only gave their personal opinion on the matter. And furthermore, these texts are susceptible of another interpretation. The words of Genesis may be understood of Sampson as well as of Antichrist. These of Jeremias, in their literal sense, refer to Nabuchodonosor. Finally, the tribe of Dan is not the only one that is omitted in the enumeration of the Apocalypse. That of Ephraim is also omitted, but some commentators say that it is not omitted, being substituted by that of Joseph. Hence this omission might have been made for a different motive than the one assigned by these Fathers. This opinion, being that of a great many holy Doctors, is not more certain, however, than the first and does not merit a higher degree of credence than a probable opinion. In any case, it would be very difficult to prove this origin since the Jewish genealogies have perished.
It is certain that Antichrist will be a man because the Scriptures call him in express terms the "man of sin," (2 Thes. 2) and leave us under this impression when they speak of him in direct terms. Finally, it is certain that he will be of the Jewish race. Tradition bears us out on this point. [Antichrist will be a Jew and see Antichrist will be a Jew]
Antichrist, according to St. Jerome and other Fathers, will be born in Babylon (Jerome in Dan. 11), which may be figuratively said of the society of the impious.
2. His Education
Like Our Lord, he will be brought up in obscurity; he will lead a hidden life until the time comes when he shall begin his public career. This assertion is founded on the words of Daniel (11:21), "And there shall stand up in his place one despised, and the kingly honor shall not be given him, and he shall come privately and shall obtain the kingdom by fraud."
According to tradition, he will be educated by magicians who will imbue his mind and heart from his very childhood with their doctrine and wicked principles; God neither depriving him of his liberty nor denying him sufficient grace, will suffer the devil to tempt him and take possession of him. St. Anthony does not hesitate to say (Part 4 and 13, c. 4. par. 3) that although he will not be deprived of his guardian angel, nevertheless, all the angel's efforts to do him good shall be paralysed by his obstinate persistency in evil.
By his own choice and under the tutorship of Satan's agents he will grow up in the knowledge and practice of evil until the time comes when he shall commence his public career. (Dan. 8:23).
3. His Character
St. Cyril of Jerusalem says that "his malice will surpass the combined wickedness of all the evil doers gone before him (Catechism 15) and that he will be like an ocean in which all human and diabolical wickedness shall meet." Some theologians, and among them Suarez in his Memorati, assert that he shall never do a good act, being the counterpart of Our Saviour, who never did an evil deed - that he shall be like the devil, buried in wickedness. (1 In. 5:18-19).
Among his predominant vices, his satanic pride shall be especially conspicuous. Like Lucifer, he shall even attack Almighty God, according to the prophet Daniel (11:36-37) and St. Paul (2 Thes. 2:4); he shall follow the lust of women. Finally, on account of his most cruel instincts, the Sacred Scriptures compare him to the most ferocious beasts (Apoc. 13 :2): "And the beast which I saw was like to a leopard, and his feet were as the feet of a bear, and his mouth as the mouth of a lion, and the dragon gave him his own strength and great power." At the same time he will adroitly conceal all his crimes and pass for the most virtuous of men, as stated by St. Cyril of Jerusalem (Cat. 15), St. John Damascus (c. 27), St. Hippolytus (book on the end of time).
Our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ was loaded with approbrium on the cross, though being the model par excellence of all virtues, as stated by Jean Jacques Rousseau. Antichrist on the contrary, worthy of all confusion and ingominy, will be loaded with honors. United with this consummate ability, he will possess a natural, vast, and powerful genius, an irresistable eloquence ("and there was given to him a mouth speaking great things." - Apoc. 13 :5), for according to St. Anselm in his Elucidations, his wisdom and eloquence will surpass all possible realization known or imagined; he will know by heart all the Sacred Scriptures and possess a perfect knowledge of all the arts. Still, all this gives but a very imperfect idea of the extraordinary resources he will possess to attain his end.
4. His Means of Action
To insure the success of his enterprise, he will employ means that naturally secure the service of men, such as imposture, recompence, violence and miracles.

I. Imposture

By his deceitful craft he will detach the minds and hearts of all peoples from the religion of Jesus Christ. By his incomparable eloquence he will represent Jesus as an imposter; he will attack His doctrine and institutions, according to the teachings of St. Cyril of Jerusalem (Cat. 15), Damascus (c. 27), Jerome (in his work on the prophet Daniel).
After having weakened the faith of Christ in the minds and hearts of many, he will proceed to show that the law of Moses still prevails; he will re-establish the Sabbath and all the legal observances; and he will invite all the Jews to re-establish their nationality, after which he will declare himself to be the true messiah; he will endeavor to prove the truth of his assertion from Scripture - he will declare his design of rebuilding Jerusalem and the temple and of bringing the whole world under his dominion. The carnal Jews, finding these projects in perfect harmony with their own prejudices, will easily acknowledge for the Messiah the one whom they desire. And after having at first despised and scorned him, they will subsequently receive and proclaim him king. (Dan. 11:21). According to St. Cyril of Jerusalem (Cat. 15), he will win the esteem and attachment of mankind by his urbane and unbounded kindness.

II. Rewards

The wily imposter will join to the illusions of hypocrisy the bait of temporal goods, as there will be no end to his riches. "For he shall have power over the treasures of gold and silver, and all the precious things of Egypt." (Dan. 11:43). St. Anselm says in his Elucidations that the devils will show him all the money which is hid and all the mines of the precious metals, out of which they will have money minted for him. These immense riches, which he will have distributed among his followers, will soon bring countless numbers to rallyroundhis standard, and they will faithfully carry out his designs in all things. For all things obey money. (Ecclesiastes 10:19). Cupidity is the root of evil, or as the Apostle says: "For the desire of money is the desire of all evils, which some coveting have erred from the faith." (1 Tim. 6:10). Bribes even blind the wise and pervert the words of the just. (Exod. 23 :8).

III. Violence

In order to infallibly attain his end, he will employ such violence as will overcome all human resistance; and to use the words of Damascus (book 3, c. 24), by means of the above mentioned factors of his power and strategem, he will bring all men under his tyrannical sway.

IV. His Miracles: Their Nature

It is on the unquestionable authority of miracles that the truth of the Christian religion is established and believed by all those who are sincere seekers of the truth.
This impostor will make use of the same means to create objections against the Church of God. According to St. Paul, his event will be signalized by numerous signs and prodigies due to the operation of Satan; he will work all kinds of miracles, signs, and deceitful prodigies, whose "coming is according to the working of Satan, in all power, in signs and lying wonders, and in all seduction of iniquity to them that perish." [2 Thes. 2:9-10). And we are told in the Apocalypse [13:13) that great will be the things which he will do to deceive mankind. "And he did great signs, so that he made also fire to come down from heaven unto the earth in the sight of men." The same is said of him by the evangelist when he speaks of false prophets and false Christs. [Mark 13:22). "For there will rise up false Christs and false prophets and they shall show signs and wonders to seduce, if it were possible, even the elect."
Holy Writ furnishes three examples of the miracles that will be wrought by Antichrist: "He shall cause fire to come down from heaven." (Apoc. 13:13). "He shall make the beast speak." (Apoc. 13:15). And finally, he will pass for being dead (Apoc. 13:3), and then he will, as it were, raise himself to life, thus securing the admiration and homage of all men. The holy Fathers are very explicit on this point and give many details on it. St. Clement, in his work entitled Third Book of Recognitions, a work on which we may rely as being authentic in spite of the rude attacksmade upon it, relates as coming from St. Peter himself that the accursed man will have power to perform miracles of beneficence like those of Our Saviour. St. Hippolytus, in his work on the consummation of time, does not hesitate to affirm wonderful things which he apparently held from apostolic tradition. He will heal lepers, make the lame to walk, cast out demons, raise the dead to life. He will know the most secret and hidden things. He will move mountains, walk on the waves of the sea, turn day into night, and vice versa. He will direct the course of the sun at will, and finally, appear as being the master of the elements.
He will therefore appear as having performed miracles similar to all those wrought by Jesus Christ, in order to eclipse His glory and purloin to his own advantage the honors due to the true Messiah. But St. Paul warns us that all those miracles, so numerous and striking, will be the work of deception. "Therefore God shall send them the apparition of error to believe lying." [2 Thes. 2:11). Those miracles will be deceptive in their origin, deceptive in their nature, deceptive in their form, deceptive in their object. Reason and faith assure us that God alone can perform genuine miracles. "Blessed be the Lord and God of Israel, who alone doth wonderful things." [Ps. 71:18). Hence we are sufficiently warned that those miracles which Antichrist would attribute to his own divinity are the work of Satan, the father of lies, who performs - and cannot perform any other than - false miracles.

(added note: like the illusion at Fatima - St. Hippolytus warned that the Antichrist will even turn the sun around see: Marian Apparitions are False and Marian Apparitions are False)
The greater part of those prodigies will be optical illusions and diabolical charms. Men shall be deceived by appearances, hence the reason why the Scriptures say that he will work miracles before the eyes of man and not in the sight of God. (Apoc. 13 :13).
Some of them, it is true, will surpass all human power and will be materially prodigious. This, however, is not to be wondered at. In the hierarchy of beings, man is naturally inferior to the angels, even to the fallen angel, who has preserved his natural qualities. The devils are able to do things which are impossible to man, yet their deeds are miracles relatively and not absolutely, since it does not belong to the province of any created being to perform a miracle properly so called; this requires the intervention of divine power, which belongs to God alone. Consequently, of this latter order of miracles Antichrist will perform none, although some of his prodigies, such as raising the dead to life, which he will seem to do, must have all the appearance of true miracles.
5. His Relations with Satan
Satan will utilize the immense advantage of this wicked man to attain his ends. Satan has been chained by Jesus Christ for one thousand years (Apoc. 20:2), which means that he must remaIn in the bottom of the abyss until the end of the world, for these thousand years signify the duration of the Church. Others, however, give a more literal interpretation to this chaining of Satan. They are of the opinion that the social dominion of the Church is fixed at a thousand years, commencing with Charlemagne and finishing with the revolutionary era. According to this hypothesis, Satan is already unchained, preparing the way for Antichrist, through whom he will rule the world. This opinion is most probable. According to the other opinion, the power of the demon and the wicked is limited. They cannot do all the evil that they wish to do. lt is written that the wicked move in a circuitous manner. The wicked walk round about. (Ps. 11:9 [12:8]). After having gone through their evolutions they return again to their point of departure and repeat the ordeal through which they have already passed. This is required by Divine Providence in favour of our weakness. When we are apprised beforehand of the wiles of our enemy, we are better ableto evade him. But God has warned us that at the end of the world the angel of darkness shall be let loose for awhile. (Apoc. 20). During this time he will have full liberty to attack the Church and use every artifice possible for its destruction, according to Damascus. (Book 4, c. 27). Antichrist will be his most docile agent, wonderfully adapted to seduce the people.
6. Justification of Divine Providence
By what visible signs can his deceptive or false miracles be discerned from those that are true and genuine? They shall be detected by one only sign, namely, the end for which they will be wrought; their object shall be to persuade the world to accept for truth a palpable lie. The motives of credibility of the Christian religion are so evident that Hughes of St. Victor might justly say: "Lord, if we are in error, You are the cause of it."
Either the Christian religion is true, or it is false; if it is not true, there is no God, as there can be no medium between truth and error. A God infinitely wise, just, and holy could not suffer the elite of the human race to be made the victims of an artifice so fabricated as to baffle all the powers of man to discover it. If we consult the pages of history, we will find them replete with miraculous facts which prove the divinity of Christianity, facts so evident that their denial would necessarily incur an absolute historical scepticism. If we appeal to science, it testifies in favor of revelation; metaphysics discloses an admirable fitness in the dogmas; logic shows a wonderful chain of connection in the mysteries; ethics shows the perfect harmony that exists between the noble aspirations of the human heart and the evangelical law; physical or natural science shows the constant existing agreement between the certain geological, physiological, ethnographic data and the facts of Scripture which relate to them. We must thence conclude with St. Paul, "But though we or an angel from heaven preach a gospel to you besides that we have preached to you, let him be anathema." (Gal. 1:8).
Let him be anathema who with great power will come and deceive even the elect and place himself up for Christ - to be adored!
Whatever may be the influence that he will exercise over the world, it will be always easy to evade his snares, at least for such as preserve in their heart any vestige of divine faith. Are we not already warned of his coming by Our Divine Lord? Hence it will be our own fault if we are deceived by him. Divine Providence is not in fault since it tells and warns us beforehand of the nature and mode of our final trial and exposes to us also Its designs of justice and mercy over humanity. Antichrist will come, says St. Paul, full of allurements for those who wish to perish because they received not the love of the truth that they might be saved. Therefore, God shall send them the operation of error, to believe lying, that all may be judged who have not believed the truth, but have consented to iniquity. (2 Thes. 2:10-11). The impious alone will fail to comprehend the divine action. (Dan 12:10) "Many shall be chosen and made white and shall be tried as by fire; and the wicked shall deal wickedly, and none of the wicked shall understand, but the learned shall understand."

Eusebius (Lib 3. Hist. C. 31), St. Jerome (Hieron, Lib. de Scriptura, Eccles. et contra Jovin.), Tertullian (Lib. de Anim. 20), St. Augustine (Serm. 549, de Tempore), St. Isidore (Lib. de Vita et Obitu Sanct.), St. Epiphanius (Haeres, 78), maintain that St. John is dead, as well as the other Apostles. In the Ecumenical Council of Ephesus (2 C. 14), Pope St. Celestine and St. John Chrysostom speak of the relics of his body, and the fact that these relics not existing now must be attributed to the evil days of the past. The text of the Gospel on which the return of St. John is based may be otherwise interpreted. Thus it is susceptible of the following signifi­cation: "I desire that he may remain as he is until I return and destroy Jerusalem." This is the interpretation given by Theophylacte.
Those words of Our Lord are also susceptible of a conditional signi­fication similar to this: "And even when I would desire that this disciple should remain in the world until I return to judge it, what is if to you?" This is the explanation given by St. Chrysostom and St. Cyril. Finally, it is not possible that Our Saviour meant by this that St. John should live on without dying until His second coming when He should visit him. Nevertheless, such is the opinion of St. Augustine, Venerable Bede, and St. Thomas. The prophecy relative to the martyrdom of the Apostle was fulfilled the day on which he was cast into the cauldron of boiling oil in Rome. He came out of it full of life and vigor, it is true, but that was due to a great miracle. He withstood a torture capable in itself to cause death, which in the eyes of the Church and before God suffices to merit the palm of martyrdom. Hence it is that the Church in her liturgy gives him this glorious title. As to the other prophecy, it has certainly been realized during the life of St. John. After having written his Apocalypse, he preached the Gospel again in Asia Minor. Finally, to refute the plausibility of the alleged reasons, we can say that the witnesses of the Law of Grace are so numerous and their testimony so certain and so striking, since they sealed it with their blood, that it does not appear necessary nor even useful to revoke any other proofs. And in any case, may we not cite Elias as an eye-witness of the Law of Grace since he saw the Transfiguration of the Saviour.
It is, then, more than probable, as we are led to suppose from the Apocalypse, that God has reserved only two men of the world to de­fend and console the Church during her last persecution.

VIII. Mission of Elias and Enoch

In the Church's infancy, St. Peter and St. Paul received, individually, a special mission, though not exclusively so; St. Peter was destined to evangelize the Jews, and St. Paul became the Apostle of the Gentiles. (Gal. 1 :16). In the latter times, two new Apostles will divide between them the work of evangelizing the world. Enoch will preach to the Gen­tiles, whose faith and charity he will stir up and revive (Ecclesiasticus 44:16), while Elias, Jew by birth, will be charged with the conversion of the Jews. (Ecclesiasticus 48:10).

IX. Conversion of the Jews

We here meet with the difficult task of reconciling two prophecies which are apparently in contradiction: Antichrist will be received by the Jews; Elias will convert the Jews.
Still it becomes an easy task by making use of a distinction furnished by the Sacred Scriptures. "And at that time shall thy people be saved, everyone that shall be found written in the book" of life. (Dan. 12:1). "And all that dwelled upon the earth adored him, whose names are not written in the Book of Life of the Lamb." (Apoc. 13 :8). According to these texts, a portion of the Jews will remain obstinate and will adhere to Antichrist, but the greater part [there is no indication of the number and certainly not those who received the mark of the beast] will hear the voice of Elias and will be converted. This final conversion of the Jews is spoken of in various places of the Bible. The prophet Osee speaks of it (3 :4-5): "For the chil­dren of Israel shall sit many days without king, and without prince, and without sacrifice, and without altar, and without ephod, and without theraphim; and after this the children of Israel will return and shall seek the Lord their God and David their king; and they shall fear the Lord and His goodness in the last days." Moses expresses the same prediction. "After all the things aforesaid shall find thee, in the latter thou shalt return to the Lord thy God and shalt hear his voice." (Deut. 4:30). St. Paul speaks in similar terms: "Hath God cast away his people?" (Rom. 11:1). And again he adds: "That blindness in part hath happened in Israel until the fullness of the Gentiles should come in, and so all Israel should be saved, as it is written." (Rom. 11 :25-26). In light of language so clear and formal of the sacred text, St. Augustine and St. Gregory do not hesitate to affirm that this conversion of the Jews is a truth of divine faith. (Aug. 20 de Civitate, C. 39; Greg. in prim. Lib. Reg. C 2 et 20, Moral. C. 23, Super. Cant. C 6).

X. Miracles and Combats of the Two Patriarchs

In order to discharge the duties of their mission with greater effi­ciency, the two patriarchs willbe invested with the power of the Most High God.
St. John, speaking of them in the Apocalypse (11 :3-6), says: "I will give my power unto my two witnesses; and they will prophesy. . . clothed in sack-cloth. These are the two olive trees and two candlesticks that stand before the Lord of the earth. And if any man will hurt them, fire will come out of their mouths and shall devour their enemies; and if any man will hurt them, in this manner must he be slain. These have the power to shut heaven, that it rain not in the days of their prophecy; and they have power over waters to turn them into blood, and to strike the earth with plagues as often as they will."
In virtue of this power they will be able to console the Church and diminish the evils with which she will be afflicted in those days of sor­row and desolation.
St. Peter and St. Paul were not deterred from announcing the Gospel to pagan Rome, the mistress of idolatry. In those latter times the two prophets will also come and attack with intrepidity the enemy of Christ. They will attack him at Jerusalem, the center of his empire. This as­sertion seems to be founded on the Apocalypse, (11:8), "And their bodies shall lie in the street." By this passage they are represented as dying in the city of Jerusalem.

XI. Duration of Their Preaching

The mission of Elias and Enoch will last for 1260 days; that is to say, three years, five months, and fifteen days; in other words, about three years and a half, which is about the length of Antichrist's reign. (Apoe. 11:3). Antichrist and these two patriarchs will very probably appear simultaneously. The Sacred Scripture, Tradition, and the Fathers all concur in corroborating this opinion.

XII. Their Martyrdom

Having fulfilled their mission, the beast will prevail over them. The career of these holy apostles will be similar to that of Our Divine Saviour, who during three years was inviolable: His enemies dispatched soldiers to take Him prisoner (In. 7:32); they endeavored to stone Him to death (In. 10:31); and they brought Him to the brow of the hill whereon their city was built that they might cast Him down headlong. (Lk. 4:29). But their courage failed them, and "He passing through their midst went His way." (Lk. 4:30). But there came a time when He suffered Himself to fall into their hands. "Your hour and that of the powers of darkness has arrived." (Lk. 22:53).
Elias and Enoch will be invulnerable during 1260 days. Then God will suffer them to fall into the hands of Antichrist that they may win the crown of martyrdom - their time for working miracles having ceased while the man of sin will still perform more striking wonders. And [when] they shall have given their testimony, "The beast that ascendeth out of the abyss shall make war against them, and shall overcome them and kill them." (Apoc. 11 :7). A pious legend has it that they will be crucified like Our Divine Saviour. Their holy bodies shall lie in the great city where their Master has been crucified. This city is called mystically Sodom and Gomorrah. A great number of people of every tribe and na­tion will see the bodies of these martyrs during three days and a half. At this sight the people will rejoice and makemerry and shall send each other presents because these two prophets are dead who tormented them that dwelt upon the earth. (Apoc. 11:8-10).

XIII. Apogee of Antichrist's Power

Antichrist will boast and glory in his victory. He will open his mouth in blasphemy against God, cursing His holy name, the tabernacle, and the saints of heaven. (Apoc. 13:6). No reverses shall impede his action. (Dan. 8:12). His glory will surpass that of all other divinities (2 Thes. 2:4), and his language shall be that of a boaster. (Dan. 11 :36). The uni­versal acclamations which he will receive on all sides will flatter his pride; all will exclaim, "Who is like unto the beast, who can withstand him?" (Apoc. 13:4). Finally, prosperity shall attend all his movements up to the time when the vengeance of God shall overtake him. (Dan. 11:36).

Chapter 3- The Consummation
1. Resurrection of Elias and Enoch
Three days after their death, the glorious martyrs will rise triumphant from the dead to the great wonder and consternation of their enemies. Those who rejoiced on seeing their mangled bodies lying in the street will be terror-stricken on beholding them walking again as other living beings. "And after three days and a half, the spirit of life from God entered into them. And they stood upon their feet, and great fear fell upon them that saw them. And they heard a great voice from heaven, saying to them come up hither. And they went up to heaven in a cloud; and their enemies saw them. And at that hour there was made a great earthquake, and the tenth part of the city fell; and there were slain in the earthquake names of men seven thousand; and the rest were cast into a fear, and gave glory to the God of heaven." (Apoc. 11:11-13).
What are we to think of those events recorded in the Sacred Scriptures? Is the narration an allegory, or is it historic? The most of the holy Fathers and Doctors, and notably St. Hippolytus of Antioch, Tertullian (lib. de Anima), St. Ambrose (in Ps. 45), St. Gregory (14 Moral., C. 11), Richard of St. Victor, and St. Thomas (in 11 Apoc.) are of opinion that St. John narrates here a[n] historical fact.
One of the principal rules by which we must interpret the Sacred Scriptures is to always take the obvious and literal sense of the words unless that there is a sufficient reason for doing otherwise. And in the text cited above there is no reason why we should deviate from the literal sense to accept an allegorical meaning. On the contrary, this an­ticipated glorification of Elias and Enoch is in perfect harmony with the justice and goodness of God. Nothing could conduce more to reanimate the courage of the faithful who were disheartened by the death of their leaders, while it was well calculated to induce Antichrist to attempt an extravagant enterprise that would result in his destruction.

2. End of Antichrist; Destruction of his Empire

According to the hypothesis (which seems to be certain) that the man of sin will appear simultaneously on the scene with Elias and Enoch, Antichrist will survive them only thirty days, which gives Tertullian occasion to say that the impious will perish by the blood of Elias and Enoch. (lib. de Anima).
In order to destroy the good effect which the ascension of the two martyrs produced in the hearts of men, Antichrist will proclaim to the world his design of ascending to heaven. With a view to the carrying out of this project, he will pitch his tent on Mount Apadno, situated between the Caspian and the Persian Seas, where, according to some writers, Antiochus Epiphanes, figure of Antichrist, perished and from which, according to others. Christ ascended into heaven, it being then called Mount Olivet. (Dan. 11 :45). St. Ambrose, St. Jerome, and St. Thomas say that he will ascend from the top of this mountain into the air, as did Simon Magus at Rome. But God shall overwhelm him by the splendor of His glory and shall precipitate him to the earth by a simple puff of his breath. (2 Thes. 2 :8).
And when he shall fall, the earth will open and swallow up the beast and false prophet amidst flames of fire and sulphurous smoke, while his emissaries shall perish by the sword of him seated on the white horse. (Apoc. 19:11-21).
Thus shall vanish like smoke the power and glory of Antichrist, to whom we may very appropriately apply these words of Holy Writ: "I have seen the wicked highly exalted, and lifted up like the cedars of Lebanon, and I passed by, and 10 he was not; and I sought him and his place was not found." (Ps. 36:35-36).

1. Interval between the Death of Antichrist and the End of the World

The end of the world will take place almost immediately after the death of Antichrist. An interval of forty [-five] days, however, will be granted, in order to give many a chance to do penance. This assertion is very probably founded on the following words of Daniel the prophet: "Happy those who wait on the Lord and full of hope in his promises thus await him 1335 days." (12:12). According to the Fathers there is question here of those who await the second coming of Our Saviour during the last persecution, which will last 1290 days, (Dan. 12:11). leaving a remainder of forty-five days before His arrival. (Hieron, in Dan., etc.).
{It is probably during this interval that the accomplishment of the prophecy of St. Paul shall be realized in the conversion of the Jews who were followers of Antichrist. ("All Israel shall be saved.") [This is not only mere conjecture but is simply and completely wrong and totally contrary to the whole consensus of the Church Fathers and against the whole and complete meaning of scripture - especially the one quoted here out of context.]} There are many commentators especially among those of recent date who hold an opinion diametrically opposed to ours. According to them, the Church should represent the different phases of the life of Our Blessed Lord. And in studying the history of the Church, they presume to have found the following analogy. They say that the first 300 years of the persecution of the Church is an image of the persecution of Jesus during His childhood. During the interval between the fourth and sixteenth centuries, she was comparatively at peace - figure of the Saviour's life at Nazareth. From that period the Church had to contend with many and serious obstacles on the part of various governments; still, she constantly preached the Gospel and evangelized the poor - figure of the public life of Our Lord. Finally, the hour of darkness is approaching; the passion of the Church will commence with the advent of Antichrist. But soon again the Church, spouse of Jesus Christ, shall rise from her chains more resplendent and glorious than ever - figure of the days passed by Our Saviour with His Apostles after His resurrection, before His ascension into heaven. During those days of universal regeneration, the Church, according to some, shall be governed by Pontiffs risen from the dead. The "Angelic Pastor" of the prophecy of Malachy, will commence the glorious series.
All this reasoning is very fine and quite plausible. But withal, we must confess that it is nothing more than a fine hypothesis which seems to be in contradiction with the words of Our Saviour representing the wicked as having been taken by surprise by the final destruction of all things, which shall be in punishment of the unheard of crimes committed during the time of Antichrist.
Hence, notwithstanding the opportunity given to do penance (Thorn. in Apoc. Acosta, lib. 3), the greater part will continue to lead disorderly lives, just like those who lived in the time of Noe. (Mat. 24: 38; Lk. 17:27). They shall continue to indulge in all kinds of excesses of intemperance and luxury until they will be surprised by the deluge of fire that will envelope and devour them. (2 Pet. 3:7-12; Apoc. 22:11). But the faithful friends of Jesus will patiently await His coming. They will say with the beloved Apostle, "Come, Lord Jesus." (Apoc. 22:20).
It is probable that our resurrection will take place on Easter Sunday; such is the opinion of Lactance (lib. 7, C.19) and of St. Anselm (Elucid.). If there will be an interval of forty-five days between the death of Antichrist and our resurrection, the death of Antichrist must take place during the days of debauchery which precede the holy time of Lent. [That is pushing the times and seasons of a later church calendar too far, but it is possible.]
2. Signs that Will Appear in Inanimate Things and Which are Forerunners of the End of the World
The events which we shall now briefly set forth disclose the tragic end of the great drama of humanity, the destruction of the city of wick­edness, whose principal representative on earth will be Antichrist [and] the definite and eternal triumph of the City of God, of which Jesus Christ is King.
As St. Augustine remarks (lib. 20, de Civit., C. 30), the events pertain­ing to the end of the world will happen in the manner they have been foretold, but as to their accidental circumstances, God alone knows the order in which they will take place. He has revealed nothing explicitly on this point, and consequently, our knowledge of them is confined to mere conjecture, possessing a greater or less degree of probability. Ex­perience alone will put us in possession of the desired information.
The general run of events will most probably occur in the following order: First, great signs and wonders in the heavens and upon earth shall precede the coming of Jesus Christ. Second, the resurrection of the dead. Third, the General Judgment. Fourth, the renewal of heaven and earth. Many signs that are forerunners of the end of the world have already appeared; others shall follow, such as the Gospel preached to all nations, the reign of Antichrist, the conversion of the Jews - partially accomplished by Elias and finally completed by the death of Antichrist. But other revelations are expected before the end comes.
The evil genius will, to all appearance, hold in check the power of Christ for a long time. But the hour of Divine justice and retribution shall come. An angel will appear in the heavens and swear by Him that liveth forever and ever that time shall be no more. (Apoc. 10:6). The Lord, like a warrior, "will put on justice as a breastplate" and "will take equity for an invincible shield." (Wis. 5 :19-20). He advances at the head of His army, "for His armies are exceeding great; His warriors are strong, and execute His word; for the day of the Lord is great, and very terrible, and who can stand it?" (Joel 2:11). "And he will arm the creature for the revenge of His enemies." (Wis. 5:18).
The beautiful order that now governs the whole universe shall give place to wild confusion. "The sun shall be darkened, and the moon shall not give her light, and the stars shall fall from heaven, and the powers of heaven shall be moved." (Mat. 24:29). On the day of the Lord, "the heavens shall pass with great violence, and the elements shall be melted with heat, and the earth and the works which are in it shall be burned up." (2 Pet. 3:10) "The heavens departed as a book folded up." (Apoc. 6:14). these passages, according to St. Augustine and all the other Fathers and theologians, must not be taken in their mystical sense, but in their literal meaning. (St. Augustine, 18 de Civit. D., C. 23)

It will purify the earth of all mankind. The earth is like a vast temple soiled by all sorts of iniquities. Moreover, there is in the present actual nature a law, in virtue of which, living beings are subject to the action of deleterious principles. This law of compatibility will, from all appear­ances, be destroyed on that day when all the material elements will be decomposed by this fire, which will, at the same time, remove from the earth all physical and moral evils and establish the difference that exists between the wicked, the imperfect, and the saints.
The wicked will be struck unawares by the vengeful flames. St. Paul, speaking of the event, says: "In a flame of fire yielding vengeance to them who know not God, and who obey not the Gospel of Our Lord Jesus Christ." (2 Thes. 1 :8). The imperfect will be punished, for St. Paul says on the day of the Lord the fire will show forth the quality of our works. Those whose works will burn shall suffer a partial injury, but shall be saved by fire, and will in this way go through their purgatory." (1 Cor. 3 :12-15).
Finally, the saints will remain intact in the midst of the devouring flames, like the three Hebrew children in the fiery furnace 'at Babylon. "If any man's work abide, which he hath built, therefore, he shall receive a reward." (1 Cor. 3:14). Hence, this fire shall possess the property of exhibiting the virtue of men.
Hence, like the plagues that scourged the Egyptians without injury tothe Hebrews, though in the same place, thus shall this fire prove terrible for some and harmless for others. It is on this occasion that these words of Our Saviour shall be verified in effect: "Of two men in the field, one shall be taken and the other shall be spared; of two women turning the mill-stone, one shall be taken and the other shall be left." (Mat. 24:40­41). Of two persons in the same bed, the fire will burn one and do no harm to the other.
From all this we are led to infer that the Sovereign Judge will find men yet alive at His arrival on earth. This is the opinion held by St. Jerome, S1. Augustine, St. Chrysostom, Theophilactae, and Theodoret, which is founded on the following passage from St. Paul: "For this we say unto you in the word of the Lord. . . that we who are alive shall be taken up together with them in the clouds to meet Christ, into the air, and so shall we be always with the Lord." (1 Thes. 4:15-18).
In presence of such testimony as this, the opinion of those who maintain that the earth must be consumed only after the General Judgment that takes place will evidently fall to the ground. Their reasons are first, that the earth can be conveniently renewed only after the resurrection; second, because it is difficult to understand how the saints risen from the dead will live in the midst of flames; third, because according to this hypothesis all men would be dead before the coming of Our Saviour, which is contrary to the words of the Apostle cited above.
But while we can find no proofs of any weight to sustain this last opinion, we find proofs from the authority of the Fathers and Holy Writ in favor of the other opinion; consequently, it must be the more probable.

1. Resurrection of the Dead
It does not belong to the scope of this little book to expose the theo­logical and philosophical reasons adduced in support of the truth of this dogma so full of consolation; hence, we must be satisfied with an historical exposition of the principal circumstances in order to remain within the limits of its plan.
The first incident that figures conspicuously among these circumstances is the sounding of the, last trumpet. For the last trumpet shall sound, says St. Paul. (1 Cor. 15:52). But as to whether this will be a material or allegorical sound there seems to be a difference of opinion; St. Gregory inclines to think that the sounding of the last trumpet should be taken in an allegorical sense to designate the all-powerful will of God. (17 Moral. C. 29).
That it will he a material sound appears certain toseveral of the Fathers and a great many theologians. (Anselm. Acost. Lib. 4, C. 17). Some of them. founding their opinion on the Scriptures, distinguish two kinds of sounds: one, of the voice of the Son of God, who will command the dead to rise - in the trumpet of God (1 Cor. 15 :52 and according to St. John the Evangelist, 5:25); (two), the sound of the Angelic voice, which is generally believed to be that of St. Michael, who will assemble all mankind before the judgment seat of God. Others again try to show that the two voices are but one and the same in as much as the angelic voice is only the continuation or promulgation of the order given by Jesus Christ. However this may be, this voice or those voices will resound like thunder peals. (Joel 2:1). This is why some authors compare them to a trumpet; yet, according to many theologians, the distinct sound of a trumpet will be heard, while others, in admitting this, maintain that we shall subsequently hear the voice of the Son of God and finally that of the Archangel. This last opinion seems to be more in har­mony with the Scriptures.
The voice of Jesus Christ, like the creative Word, will possess an all
powerful force, producing instantaneous effect. "In the beginning. . .
God said: "Let there be light' and there was light." (Gen. 1 :1&3). He shall say at the end, "Rise ye dead and come to judgment," (Hieron, Reg. Monach, C. 30), and immediately the resurrection will take place, or to use the words of St. Paul, "In an instant, in the twinkling of an eye." (1 Cor. 15 :52).
According to the scholastic opinion, the angels will prepare the ma­terial by gathering up the mouldered ashes of the dead; God will give form to those inanimated elements by commanding the souls to animate the newly arranged bodies. (Thomas, Supplem., Q. 76, A. 3). The just will have perfect bodies, renewed in youthful bloom (Ps. 102:3-5), endowed with the most exquisite qualities.
This corporal perfection will be like the mirrored reflection of the happiness and glory of the soul submerged in the supernatural fountain of eternal life. (Contra Gentil., Quest. Q. 96, A. 3). The just will shine like the sun in the kingdom of their Father and like stars for all eternity. (Wis. 3; Mat. 13 :43). The body is born into the world sombre and opaque; it shall rise radiant and transparent. (1 Cor. 15 :53). It is born subject to corruption; it shall rise incorruptible and impassible. (1 Cor. 15 :53). God shall wipe away the tears of those who shed them for His sake; the reign of death shall be at an end. Lamentations, wailings, and sufferings shall be unknown as if they had never been. The body now is dull and heavy; then it shall possess the subtility of a spirit, unim­peded by all kinds of obstacles in its actions and movements. Finally, our bodies now are weak and slow in their movements; then they shall be strong and agile, enabled to pass swift as thought through the im­mensurable distance of space. We shall possess the agility of angels, says St. Anselm,. (Lib. de Similitudinibus, C. 51).
The bodies of the just, while they resemble the angels (Mat. 22:30),will conserve all the functional aptitude of the senses, to taste forever the joys of heaven in all that is most pure and holy. (D. Thom.). Theirhearing will then be charmed by the most harmonious melodies; their sight ravished by ineffable beauties, namely, those of Jesus Christ and His Blessed Mother and all the celestial choir, also by the beauties of nature which they will be enabled to contemplate throughout the whole extent of creation.
It will not be the same for the wicked. They will be immortal, but their immortality will be for them a punishment; they will be black, passible, and hideous, horrible like the demons and hell which they are in future to inhabit.
It is asked, says St. Augustine, whether those whom Jesus Christ will find still alive upon earth (and whom the Apostle personifies in himself, as also those who lived during his time) are never to die, or while being borne with those risen from the dead through the air to meet Christ, if their death and resurrection will suddenly take place.
It is not impossible that this should take place, and by admitting that it will, we have no further difficulty to explain and to reconcile the words of the Apostle when he says that we shall all die and that we shall all rise to life. (De Civit.Lib. 20, C. 20).
2. The General Judgment
All mankind without exception must appear at the General Judgment. The Sacred Scriptures are quite explicit on the matter. "We shall (all) stand before the judgment seat of Christ." (Rom. 14:10). And again, it is said in the Apocalypse (20:12), "And I saw the dead, great and small, standing in the presence of the throne, and they were judged by those things which were written in the books, according to their works."
The place in which the General Judgment will take place is not de­fined by Faith. However, that place will be truly called "Jehosaphat", which means "the Lord Judge." But that it will be that valley Jehosaphat, situated near Jerusalem, is not certain, for in whatever place The Lord Judge will judge mankind, that place will be named from His actual presence "Jehosaphat". "Let the nations come up into the valley of Jehosaphat; for there I will sit to judge all nations round about." (Joel 3:12). Again, it is said in the Acts of the Apostles (1:11), "This Jesus who is taken away from you up into heaven shall so come as you have seen him going into heaven." Some commentators argue from those texts that the valley of Jehosaphat near Jerusalem is the one designated, moreover, that having been the scene of Our Saviour's passion, death resurrection, and ascension, it should naturally bear witness to the mystery of God's justice.
Others again seem to be preoccupied with the thought that this valley will be too small to accommodate the whole human race. But we see nothing that obliges us to believe that all people must stand within the limits of its actual prescribed boundaries; hence, without doing the sacred text the least violence, we may take the valley for thecenter and then let the required space be limited to such bounderies as necessity may require.
When all preparations are made, then the Sovereign Judge will des­cend in the "clouds of heaven with much power and majesty." (Mat. 24:30). He will come in the clouds of heaven that His glory may appear to greater advantage. It is remarkable that all the illustrious divine apparitions which we read of in the Sacred Scriptures took place in the clouds; hence, the royal prophet speaking of them relative to God, says, "Who (Thou) makest the clouds thy chariot.(Ps. 103.3).
He will come with great power. This power will be made manifest by the destruction of the universe and by the glowing splendor of His appearance in the heavens. He appears no longer under the abject form of the helpless babe at Bethlehem, but as master of the thunders. He will come surrounded by legions of angels who shall receive and administer His orders. His raiment will be white like the snow, and He will be seated on a throne like flames of fire. (Dan. 7:9; Apoc. 20:11). "His cross shall proceed Him as the standard of His royalty."
Vexilla regis prodeunt. Fulget cruces mysterium.
This interpretation is founded on the following passage according to St. Matthew (24:30), "And then shall appear the sign of the Son of Man in heaven; and then shall all the tribes of the earth mourn." The Fathers believe that this sign is the cross, andthe Church chants it in her sacred liturgy. "This sign will appear in the heavens when the Saviour will come to judge the world." ("Hoc signum erit in coelo, quum Dominus ad judicandum venerit.")
What will be the nature of this cross? St. John Chrysostom and St. Ephrem say that it will be the True Cross, miraculously formed out of all its particles, which are now scattered throughout the world.
But St. Augustine and St. Hippolytus say that this sign will be more brilliant than the sun, which has led St. Thomas and St. Antoninus to believe that it will be a luminous cross, miraculously formed in the air; this opinion seems to be the more probable one. According to Pope St. Clement, in the seven books of Constitutions, the Cross will be visible for many days before the Judgment, in order to convert the followers of Antichrist, while St. Anselm (in Elucidat.) inclines to the most probable opinion, which makes it appear on the day of Judgment. Some authors, as Vignier, maintain, without any proof however, that the other instruments of the passion will also be exhibited on the last day. The Cross will be a pledge of joy and consolation for the just, but a subject of horror and regret for the wicked.
The Sacred Scriptures, referring in various passages to the General Judgment, make frequent mention of thrones and assistants of Our Blessed Saviour seated upon these thrones. St. John in the Apocalypse (20:11) says, "And I saw a great white throne, and One sitting upon it," namely, Jesus Christ. And the prophet Daniel, speaking relative to the same subject, says, "I beheld till thrones were placed, and the Ancient of days sat." (7:9). But for whom were these thrones prepared if not for those whom Jesus Christ will call to sit around Him on the great day of God's justice?
St. Augustine (in Pro 86), St. Gregory (26 Moral., C. 24), Venerable Bede (in Serm. St. Benedicti) are of opinion that this honor will be conferred upon such as shall have practiced evangelical perfection. To them, and to them only, did Jesus promise a seat beside Him to judge the world with Him. "Amen I say to you that you who have followed me . . . you also shall sit on twelve seats judging the twelve tribes of Israel." (Mat. 19.28).

Others would extend this honor to all the saints, in proof of which they cite the following passage from the Psalmist (149 :6-9): "They shall bear in their hands two-edged swords; To execute vengeance upon the nations, chastisements among the peoples. To bind their kings with fetters, and their nobles with manacles of iron. To execute upon them the judgment that is written; this glory is to all the saints."
Properly speaking, the saints will not judge, for judgment is an act of personal jurisdiction which belongs to Jesus Christ only. They will only participate in the honor reflected from the exercise of this power by the divine Judge and by their ratification of the sentence that He will pronounce: "Thou art just, O Lord, and thy judgments are equity." (Ps. 118:137); and by their vindication of divine Providence: "For the just that are dead condemneth the wicked that are living" (Wis. 4:16) by their co-operation with divine grace during life. Probably those who have led a perfect life upon earth will be called on to reproach the wicked for their crimes before the Sovereign Judge will pronounce their sentence.
The wicked shall be judged, some rigorously, other favorably, according to the nature of their crimes. Those who will receive the most favorable judgment are children who died without baptism and infidels; the reason is obvious and is also mentioned by the Evangelist. (Mat. .12 [esp. v. 31)). The next in order are those Christians who have been the most favored and consequently the most culpable. Finally, all those who have wielded power and authority in this world; those of this last category shall be rigorously judged, as it is specifically mentioned in the book of Wisdom (6:6-7), "For a most severe judgment shall be for them that bear rule," whilethe humble and lowly shall receive a favorable judgment, "For to him that is little mercy is granted." "God hath stood in the con­gregation of gods; and being in the midst of them He judgeth gods." (Ps. 81 :1). By "gods" are meant those who are invested with authority. Of all those, none have abused this authority nor committed such horrible crimes as did Antichrist; consequently, his judgment shall be the most terrible of all. "For the mighty shall be mightily tormented." (Wis. 6:7).
We shall all be judged according to our works. Each one shall render a strict account of all the good and evil that he has done in this life. (2 Cor. 5:10). "The Lord. . . will bring to light the hidden things of darkness, and will make manifest the counsels of the breast." (1 Cor. 4:5). "There is nothing covered that shall not be revealed; nor hid, that shall not be known." (Mat. 10:26). The law of secrecy resorted to for the government of this world shall then be abolished. We shall see all the thoughts that have been entertained and meditated, everything that has been said and done in this world. "The books shall be opened," (Apoc. 20:12), which, according to the interpretation given by Venerable Bede, corroborated by the majority of theologians, designate the conscience of each one, which shall be unfolded to the gaze of all and in which may be read every thought, word, and deed, as from a book. St. Thomas and Richard of Saint Victor hold a different opinion, however, and pretend that the opened books mentioned in the Apocalypse are the deeds of men. As the sun by his brightness renders all objects visible, so will Jesus Christ, by His presence, disclose to the view of all men the conscience of every single person. "For God who commandeth the light to shine out of darkness hath shined in our hearts." (2 Cor. 4:6).
The Master of Sentences (in 4 Sent. dist. 43) maintains that the secret but pardoned sins of the just will not be revealed on the last day, on account of the shame and confusion that would cause them. This opinion, however, is erroneous. The passages quoted above from the Sacred Scriptures are explicit on the matter so far as to leave no room for any distinction whatever. Everything shall be revealed without exception. St. Augustine (De Civita. C. 14), St. Anself (Hieron, in C. 7 Dan.), and St. Thomas, with other theologians, unanimously admit that the conscience of the just as well as that of the reprobate shall be laid bare to the view of the whole world.
The reasons which the Master of Sentences adduces in vindication of his opinion are purile. The manifestation of the secret but pardoned sins of the just, so far from being a subject of confusion for them, will redound to the greater glory of God and their own happiness since that will make known their penitential labors also. St. Paul says that all things turn to the advantage of the just: "We know that to them that love God, all things work together unto good." (Rom. 8:28).
For eighteen hundred years the Church has never ceased to publish the sins of Mary Magdalen, Peter's denial of Our Saviour, the incredulity of Thomas, Saul's persecution of the Christians. St. Augustine publically defamed himself in his Confessions. Has it diminshed in the least their glory and happiness in heaven? Moreover, on that day we shall be able to judge things rightly, as we shall consider them from a just point of view. We will judge things like God Himself: We will praise whom He praises, (1 Cor. 4:5), and we will condemn whom He condemns. "Thou art just, a Lord, and Thy judgment is right." (Ps. 118:137). Then for the first time shall we comprehend the mystery of "predestination", which is the mystery of divine Providence. (Bede in Apoe. 20).
While all that we have ever done will be strictly discussed at the Last Judgment, nevertheless, Jesus Christ has given us to understand that a special mention will be made of all our works of mercy (Eccl. 12:4) because charity was His great commandment and the distinctive mark of His disciples. (Jn. 13:35). The examination being finished, Jesus will pronounce the eternal sentence in a voice that will re-echo throughout the vault of heaven. He will say to the wicked, "Depart from me ye cursed into -everlasting fire," and to the just, "Come ye blessed of my Father, possess the kingdom prepared for you." The wicked shall go into everlasting pains, and the just into everlasting life. (Mat. 25 :34, 41, 46).
3. Renewal of Heaven and Earth
The renewal of heaven and earth will take place immediately after the General Judgment.
It is of Faith that this world will be succeeded by a new heaven and a new earth; this belief is founded on the following passages of Holy Writ: "Behold I create new heavens and a new earth." (Is. 65:17); "I saw a new heaven and a new earth." (Apoe. 21:1).
Will there be simply a modification only of the heavens and the earth, or will there be a new creation? On this point there is a difference of opinion. Some believe that the actual world shall be annihilated and re­placed by a new one which God will create out of nothing. (Hilar. in Ps. 118; Chrysot., Horn. 14 in Rom.; Ambros., Cathar. Comm. in Hebr.). This opinion is founded on the following passages of Holy Writ, "Heaven and earth shall pass away." (Mat. 24:35). St. John uses the same expression as Our Saviour when he says, "For the first heaven and the first earth was gone, and the sea was now no more." (Apoc. 21: 1). Heaven and earth shall perish, says the Psalmist (101 :26-27); Ecclesiasticus exclaims: "What is brighter than the sun? Still it will be eclipsed." (17:30). Finally, the expression of Isaias, "Behold I create," seems to indicate a substantial renovation.
Others, as St. Jerome (in Is. 61), St. Augustine (in Ps. 101), St. Thomas (in 4 distinct, 47 et 48, etc.), are of opinion that the world will not be substantially destroyed, but that it will undergo an accidental modification. This opinion is certain and is in perfect harmony with the Sacred Scriptures and the analogy of faith. The Scriptures often employ the word "new" not to indicate a different object, but to indicate the same object with some accidental modifications, Thus it exhorts us to put on the "new man", which means that we should be united to Jesus Christ by grace, that we should supernaturalize our being, while it is certain that the transfiguration operated by grace makes no substantial change in man, being only a noble and glorious accident that adorns his nature.
Moreover, the Scriptures bear out philosophy in its assertion that God annihilates nothing of what He has created. "I know," says Ecclesiastes (3:14), "that all what God has created will last forever."
We can reasonably admit the absolute possibility of annihilating the world, but we fail to discover ,any motives for which the divine Wisdom would do it. St. Epiphanus says the Scriptures often employ the word "perish" to indicate a simple modification of a thing.
Hence, it follows that what will perish, what will pass away, what will disappear, is not the substance, but the figure, that is to say, the exterior phenomenon or the actual aspect of the world. The same elements will remain with the essential properties, but the positive and accidental laws of nature will be changed and adjusted to a state of humanity. For since all things were made for man (1 Cor. 3 :22), when his condition changes, the world must also, to correspond or agree with his condition. God will not only modify the laws of nature but He will also, by a positive act of His omnipotent power, associate new and better properties with the elements. Such is the import of the word "create" in the passage from Isaias (65 :17), "Behold I create new heavens and a new ,earth."
What will be the nature of this renovation of the world? The frequent and varying changes which take place in the universe not being con­sistent with the immutable condition of the blessed, theologians say that the world shall then be in an immutable state and that the present succession of forces in the transmutation of matter will no longer exist. In order to explain this phenomenon, the scholastics suppose that the movement of the heavens will cease because, according to their system, this movement is the first cause of all physical or material alterations. This explanation is founded upon a basis too problematic to be received or entertained. There is no doubt that a great change will be effected in the laws which at present govern the heavenly bodies, since the "stars shall fall from heaven;" the sun and moon shall present new phenomena. But does this mean that the movement of the heaveny bodies shall cease to exist? This is still a problem to be solved. It must, however, be admitted that the following passage from Isaias (60:20), "Thy sun shall go down no more, and thy moon shall not decrease," furnish the scholastics with a plausible proof for their opinion. Again, St. John says in the Apocalypse (10:6) "that time shall be no longer." And time being the succession of materialmovements, it is the movement of superior bodies that must regulate that of inferior bodies. Hence the heavenly bodies must cease to move. This conclusion could not be gain said if the premises were certain. But the words of the Apocalypse can be explained in another way, by which the scholastic theory would fall to the ground.
According to this opinion, the heavenly bodies will not alone be immovable, but also the earth, which will participate in the glorious immutability of the elect. The animals and plants subject to material changes will disappear, and the earth in its renewed state will henceforward be the abode of Jesus Christ, the angels, and the elect. (Contra Gentiles, Lib. 4, C. ult.)This opinion, though held by the majority of the scholastics, and on that account worthy of the greatest respect, seems, however, open to serious objections from a scriptural, traditional, and philosophical point of view. The Scriptures positively say that all the works of God shall last for ever. (Ecclesiastes 3 :14). St. Paul says that "every creature groaneth and travaileth in pain …" waiting for their redemption. (Rom. 8:22). Now we must remember that the plants and animals form a part of God's works, and they are creatures; and if they must cease to exist, how then shall the words of the sacred text be verified? To the above texts may be added also those of the royal Psalmist, "Sing joyfully to God all the earth. . . Let the sea be moved and the fullness thereof; the world and all that dwell therein. The rivers shall clap their hands, the mountains shall rejoice together at the presence of the Lord, because he cometh to judge the earth." (Ps. 97:4-9). Some of the Fathers and some theologians explicitly state that the vegetable kingdom will have a place in the new world. St. Anselm states in his Elucidations that the earth, which contained the body of Our Saviour, will resemble Paradise, and because it was sprinkled with the blood of martyrs, it shall perpetually produce fragrant flowers, with roses and violets that shall never wither. William of Paris (apud Carthus. in 4 d. 48) speaks in similar terms, stating that the Fathers, the most renowned for their profound erudition, hold that the earth shall be forever clothed with verdure and charming flowers which shall never fade. It is true there is no question in these texts of animals, but if we admit the existence of the vegetable kingdom, analogy would lead us to believe in the existence of the other.
Finally, the harmony of the visible world and the pleasure of the senses seems to require the existence of the animal kingdom as creatures to which God may impart the quality of incorruptibility, to correspond with the state of the children of God. This last explanation is well calculated to reconcile the two opinions.
Not only will the laws of nature be modified, but the very elements will be endowed with admirable properties to increase the felicity of the elect, delighting the senses in their noblest instincts. The touch and taste either will cease to ,be channels of delight, or they will be estranged to all sordid pleasure. The sweetest melodies shall charm the hearing, while objects of ravishing beauty shall delight the sight. The Scriptures often speak of celestial concerts, and there is no reason why these words may not be literally interpreted.
It often makes mention of the brilliant light that we will see in the mansions of eternal glory when all the filth of the world will be cast into hell. The fire will employ those properties that are painful to torment the wicked and its light for the happiness of the blessed. The interior of the earth, where will be probably the abode of the damned, will be the scene of devouring flames and impenetrable darkness. But exteriorly every material element will possess in itself the property of light, thus illuminating itself and shedding at the same time its beneficent rays on surrounding objects. The light of the moon will be equal to that of the sun, and the brightness of the sun will be seven times more brilliant. (Is. 30:26). There shall be no opaque bodies found on the earth's surface; the earth itself shall be transparent like glass. (Apoc. 21:21). Of all the visible objects the earth will, however, present the most ungainly appearance since all objects will receive an illumination equal to their own transparency. (D. Thomas, 4 Digt., 48, Q 2, A. 4). Hence, this new terrestrial Jerusalem, built up by the hand of God, will no longer need the sun to give it light. (Apoc. 21:23). The Lamb is its luminous torch, and the innumerable multitudes of the elect walk in His light.
Thus shall the mystery of God be consummated; order is established; the wicked are punished; the just are rewarded; Jesus Christ reigns over the visible world forever and ever.


1. When Shall Antichrist Come?

The Holy Scriptures do not specify the exact time when Antichrist shall come; all that they say is that he will not come before the Gospel has been preached throughout the whole world, that the Roman empire shall have passed away.

I. The Gospel Preached Throughout the World.

It is of Faith that the Gospel shall be preached to all nations before the end of the world, that it may bear testimony against the wicked. (Mat. 24:14; Mk 13:10). But will that take place before the coming of Antichrist? It is, if not impossible, at leastextremely difficult to see how it should be otherwise. According to St. John (in Apoc. 14), the reign of the man of sin will be the second last scourge of the world. He will abolish public worship, and the Church, instead of being consoled by the efforts of her children to achieve new conquests, will see with poignant grief many of them abandon her to follow her declared enemy and persecutor. The diffusion of the Gospel will therefore be universal before Antichrist will appear on the scene.
It is true that from the very birth of Christianity the Apostles preached the Gospel to all the nations then living upon earth. (Ps. 18:5). But when Our Lord spoke, He had in view not only the preaching of, but also the diffusion of the Gospel and its acceptation by all nations. The royal prophet (Ps. 21 :28) says, "All the people of the earth shall remember and shall be converted to the Lord; and all the kindreds of the gentiles shall adore in his sight." St. Prosper (de liber arbit, ad Rufinum) challenges anyone to point out a single nation in which the standard of the cross will not have been planted and received. He founds the truth of his assertion on the following passage of Holy Writ: Did not God the Father say to His Son: Ask Me and I will give Thee the nations of the earth for Thy inheritance, and Thy possessions shall be limited only by the extremities of the earth? St. John in the Apocalypse (7:9) says, "I saw a great multitude, which no man could count, of all nations and tribes and peoples and tongues standing before the throne and in sight of the Lamb, clothed with white robes and palms in their hands."
That the Gospel must be preached and received everywhere does not imply any more than what can be morally done, since the doctrine of the Church will be morally opposed till the end of time. But when will the Gospel be sufficiently diffused? When will it have borne sufficient fruits in the designsof God to require no further delay to the second coming of Christ? These are questions which cannot be answered at present. This knowledge is the secret of that divine wisdom which alone has built the tower of heaven, penetrated the depths of the abyss, walked on the waves of the sea, and traversed the extremities of the universe. (Ecclesiasticus 24:8).

II. The Roman Empire

The complete destruction of the Roman Empire is also an event that must happen prior to the coming of Antichrist, but it remains to be examined what is meant by the Roman Empire and what is the authority upon which the assertion of its destruction is founded. Commentators of the Bible contend that this empire is explicitly pointed out and described by the prophet Daniel under the form of a statue, the head of which is gold, and represents the Persian empire; the body and thighs are of brass and represent the Grecian empire; the legs being of iron, the feet partly iron and partly clay, represent the Roman empire. (Dan. 2 :32, etc.).
The feet of this statue had ten toes, which represent the ten kings who will divide the kingdom among them. The same prophet also saw four kingdoms under the form of four beasts (Dan. 7), the latter of which had ten horns, which were broken and divided among the despoilers.
According to some commentators, when Rome relapses into idolatry, it shall be destroyed and burned by those ten kings by order of Antichrist. (Cornelius a Lap. in Apoc.). St. John gives a description of a beast with seven heads and ten horns. On this beast is seated a woman, who represents the city seated on its seven hills, which in turn are represented by the seven beasts.(Apoc. 17:1,3,9). The ten horns are ten kings, enemies of Rome, who will pillage and destroy it. (Dan. 7:8, etc.; Apoc. 17:12 & 16). Such is the manner in which the Fathers have always interpreted the foregoing prophecies.
In his second epistle to the Thessalonians, St. Paul, wishing to disabuse them of a false notion they had relative to the immediate coming of Our Saviour, says to them (2 Thes. 2 :2-3 & 6-7): "Let no man deceive you by any means; for unless there corne a revoIt first, and the man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition, the day of the Lord is not yet at hand. . . And now you know what withholdeth, that he may be revealed in his time, for the mystery of iniquity already worketh; only that he who now holdeth, do hold, until he be taken out of the way, and then that wicked one shall be revealed." This text, obscure in itself, has been interpreted in the same manner by St. Ambrose (in 2 Ep. ad Galat.)by St. Jerome (quae st. 2 ad Algarium), by St. Chrysostom (ham. 4 in hanc epist.), by St. Hippolytus (de Anti-christo), by St. Irenaeus (lib. V haeres, C. 25 et 26). All the Fathers hold as apostolic tradition that St. Paul wished to designate the Roman empire in the above passage and which they explain as follows: Let the hands which hold at present the reins of the empire hold them until it is completely destroyed. The Apostle did not wish to express himself more clearly than he did, as he did not wish to wound the Roman pride. At Rome the city was believed to be eternal, and it was deemed blasphemous to deny it - a crime that merited the severest punishment. Hence it was that the surest means of securing the Christians' condemnation was to accuse them of being enemies of the Roman empire. The first apologists of Christianity labored assiduously to refute this calumny and remove the public prejudice which it created against the Christians. Tertullian (in Apologet, C. 32) says that the Christians pray for the preservation of the Empire, the ruin of which would entail so many frightful disasters.
It appears certain, then, that the Roman empire will be completely demolished by Antichrist and that he will substitute another in its place. The Scriptures affirm it; the Fathers almost unanimously assert it; St. Augustine (lib. 20 de Civit., C. 19) explicitly says that he cannot see how the text of St. Paul can be otherwise interpreted, nor how to give to Theodoret's opinion another meaning. Lactance says that the Roman empire, which today governs the world - terrible to say, but true for all - will be swept from the face of the earth. The empire shall return to Asia; the oriental countries shall reign once more and lord it over the Western nations. (Lib. 7, 15). But it is as difficult to understand what is meant here by the word "empire" and to determine its duration as to find the solution to Jacob's problem relative to the permanency of the scepter in Judea. (Gen. 49:10). Some are of opinion that the destruction of the Roman empire and its division among the ten kings will not be the immediate prelude to the apparition of Antichrist. Those ten kings may have successors whose reign may be indefinitely prolonged till the advent of the last conqueror. St. John seems to favor this opinion when he says that "those kings shall receive their power for an hour."
While others believe that the Sacred Scriptures and the Fathers explicitly teach that the coming of Antichrist will take place immediately after the destruction of the empire by the ten kings. According to this opinion, some theologians maintain that the temporal Roman empire has never ceased to exist. In the beginning of the Christian era its sway prevailed over the known world. And if in some parts it has been deposed, it has always existed and still exists, at least virtually, under some shape or form, and shall thus continue to exist till the end of time. To prove this assertion, they compare it to the legs of the statue mentioned in the prophecy of Daniel. When one of the legs of this statue fell, the other did not fall, and the one that fell represents the downfall of the Western Empire, while the standing leg represents the Eastern Empire, which still exists. But it shall fall, as stated in the prophecy. Through the intervention of the Popes, Providence has long since restored the Empire in the person of Charlemagne. It passed from France to Germany, and hence the temporal succession of the Roman Emperors has been perpetuated to our time. (Bellarm. de summa Pontit.). It is true that the title of Roman Emperor exists no longer; there is, however, as yet a temporal monarchy at Rome which is quite sufficient in the esteem of the supporters of this opinion to save the truth of the prophecy.
If this opinion be true, we might perhaps say that the end is near at hand. We say "perhaps", for Almighty God has not yet said the last word relative to this redoubtable Roman question on which hangs the destiny of the world.
But other theologians maintain. that the prophecy refers to the spiritual power of Rome. The Roman Empire is not destroyed says St. Thomas (in 2 Thes. 2); it is only transformed, that is, the temporal power has become spiritual as St. Leo remarks in the feast of the Holy Apostles. Hence, the disaffection of which the Apostle speaks is a revolt not only against the temporal empire, but also against the spiritual empire. that is, against the faith of the Roman Church. And further on he adds "that many must yet receive the faith, and many shall lose it to such an extent that the Church will be desolated and devastated by the great apostasy before the coming of Antichrist."
By spiritual empire, we do not mean the religious government of individuals alone, but also the introduction of religious principles into the social order. Europe, though divided into several kingdoms, has felt the religious action of Rome in its laws and public institutions. The great ancient pagan empire of Rome has become the Christian empire governed by the law of Christ and the law of the Church, which represents Jesus Christ upon earth. This "law" emanates from Rome, the new Sion. (de Sian exibit lex; Is. 2:3). At present the evil tendencies of men lead them to arrest as much as possible the action of the Roman Church on mankind. Were we to form our judgment from the signs of the times the conjured perversity of men who band together for the sole purpose of subverting the Catholic Church, or at least to destroy its influence throughout the world - we feel inclined to think that we see in them the commencement of the final apostasy foretold by St. Paul. (2 Thes. 2:3). However this may be, it is a known fact that God has made the nations curable. The present blindness may be only a transistory evil to which shall succeed a more perfect development and ready acceptance of the Catholic doctrine among the nations of the earth. [This exegesis which was the approved doctrine of the Catholic Church at that time and summed up nearly two thousand years of teaching beginning with Our Lord Jesus Christ Himself, was written in French first and translated into English in 1884 which is reproduced here. The curing for a while of the blindness occurred beginning with Pius X and is over -  the 1958 Conclave and Vatican II are the final great apostasy and that will last until the Second Coming of Our Lord Jesus Christ in the flesh from heaven with all of His elect angels.]

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