This is the fourth lesson in a series that is being hosted at St. Genevieve Catholic Church in Las Cruces. Lesson 3 can be found here. In this fourth in the series on the End Times we will research even further on what has been described about Purgatory and then a description of the rise (and fall) of the Antichrist.
In lesson 2 we discussed Fr. Alar’s view of those 5 stages in End Times. Those 5 stages are:
- Time of great sin
- Minor Chastisement
- Era of Peace – Triumph of the Immaculate Heart – Restoration of Christianity – Great Leader – Holy Pope
- Great Chastisement
- General Judgement
In lesson 3 we discussed those 4 last things that happen upon everyone’s death:
Lesson 3 included a detailed explanation of the purging process before entry into Heaven and the biblical basis for that. A short 7 minute summary of that can also be found on Ascension Presents.
In this fourth in the series on the End Times we will research even further on what has been described about Purgatory and then a description of the rise (and fall) of the Antichrist.
To those Catholics who think that purgatory is a relic of the Church’s pre-Vatican II past consider these 3 thoughts 1:
- God is perfect; he is all holy. Nothing unclean can enter his presence (see Revelation 21:27). Therefore, we must be perfectly holy before we can enter heaven (see Hebrews 12:14).1
- Though we may strive to cooperate with God’s saving grace, most of us will die with imperfections and attachments to sin.1
- Therefore, there must be an intermediate state between bodily death and heaven that will cleanse us from our imperfections and prepare us to enter into the all-holy presence of God. The Church has defined this state as “purgatory.”1
Dr. Taylor Marshall talks in this video on the levels of Hell described by Saint Thomas Aquinas.
The Rise and Fall of the Antichrist
The rise of the Antichrist is depicted in several books of the Bible. In Daniel chapter 7 Daniel has a vision which is interpreted by the Angels. The vision includes 4 beasts and Daniel was very curious about the fourth beast. The description of the fourth beast is given in verses 7 and 8:
After this I saw in the night visions, and behold, a fourth beast, terrible and dreadful and exceedingly strong; and it had great iron teeth; it devoured and broke in pieces, and stamped the residue with its feet. It was different from all the beasts that were before it; and it had ten horns. I considered the horns, and behold, there came up among them another horn, a little one, before which three of the first horns were plucked up by the roots; and behold, in this horn were eyes like the eyes of a man, and a mouth speaking great things.Daniel 7:7-8
And so Daniel is intrigued as we read:
“Then I desired to know the truth concerning the fourth beast, which was different from all the rest, exceedingly terrible, with its teeth of iron and claws of bronze; and which devoured and broke in pieces, and stamped the residue with its feet; and concerning the ten horns that were on its head, and the other horn which came up and before which three of them fell, the horn which had eyes and a mouth that spoke great things, and which seemed greater than its fellows. As I looked, this horn made war with the saints, and prevailed over them, until the Ancient of Days came, and judgment was given for the saints of the Most High, and the time came when the saints received the kingdom.Daniel 7:19-22
On verse 24 of this chapter we find that the horns refer to kings. Reading in verse 22, this last horn wars with the saints and prevails until the Ancient of Days come. The Ancient of Days is a reference to God or more specifically Jesus. How do I know this? Verses 9-10 of this chapter in Daniel refer to the Ancient of Days passing eternal judgement. And there is also the book of Micah which states:
But you, O Bethlehem Eph′rathah,Micah 5:2
who are little to be among the clans of Judah,
from you shall come forth for me
one who is to be ruler in Israel,
whose origin is from of old,
from ancient days.
So the reference to Ancient of Days refers to the ruler of Israel born in Bethlehem. And so if the last horn in verse 22 wars with the saints and prevails until the Ancient of Days come then it maps with the book of Revelation chapter 19 which states:
And the ten horns that you saw are ten kings who have not yet received royal power, but they are to receive authority as kings for one hour, together with the beast. These are of one mind and give over their power and authority to the beast; they will make war on the Lamb, and the Lamb will conquer them, for he is Lord of lords and King of kings, and those with him are called and chosen and faithful.”Rev 17:12-14
In both references there are ten horns and clearly called out in scripture as ten kings. The one with the ten kings in the Book of Revelation is the beast. The one with the ten kings in the Book of Daniel is the little horn who wars with the saints. In the Book of Revelation the ten kings and the beast make war with the Lamb but the Lamb, the Ancient of Days, will conquer them.
In 2 Thessalonians 2 is another description of the rise of the lawless one, the Antichrist.
Let no one deceive you in any way; for that day will not come, unless the rebellion comes first, and the man of lawlessness is revealed, the son of perdition, who opposes and exalts himself against every so-called god or object of worship, so that he takes his seat in the temple of God, proclaiming himself to be God. Do you not remember that when I was still with you I told you this? And you know what is restraining him now so that he may be revealed in his time. For the mystery of lawlessness is already at work; only he who now restrains it will do so until he is out of the way. And then the lawless one will be revealed, and the Lord Jesus will slay him with the breath of his mouth and destroy him by his appearing and his coming. The coming of the lawless one by the activity of Satan will be with all power and with pretended signs and wonders, and with all wicked deception for those who are to perish, because they refused to love the truth and so be saved. Therefore God sends upon them a strong delusion, to make them believe what is false, so that all may be condemned who did not believe the truth but had pleasure in unrighteousness.2 Thessalonians 2:3-12
Prophecies from Saints concerning the Antichrist
Early Patristic Writers4
Didache (90-100): In the last days false prophets and corrupters shall be multiplied and the sheep shall be turned into wolves and love into hate. When their iniquity shall have increased they shall hate each other and persecute and betray; and then shall appear the deceiver of the world as the Son of God.4
Saint Hippolytus (died 235): “For this is what the prophets Henoch and Elias will preach: Believe not the enemy who is to come and be seen; for he is an adversary and corrupter and son of perdition, and deceives you . . .”4
Saint Zenobius (died 285): a. “Antichrist, the son of perdition, will be born in Corozain, will be brought up in Bethsaida, and shall begin to reign in Capharnaum, according to what Our Lord Jesus Christ said in the Gospel, ‘Woe to thee Corozain . . . Woe to thee Bethsaida . . . and thou Capharnaum, that are exalted up to heaven, thou shalt be thrust down to hell.’ (cf. Luke 10:13-15)… Swollen with pride, Antichrist shall enter in triumph the city of Jerusalem, and will sit on a throne in the temple to be adored as if he were the Son of God. His heart being intoxicated with arrogance, he will forget his being mere man, and the son of a woman of the tribe of Dan.4
Saint Ephrem (died 375): Antichrist will use worldly goods as bait. He will entice many Christians with money and goods to apostatize. He will give them free land, riches, honor and power. The devil will help him find all the hidden treasures of the world, even those at the bottom of the oceans. With those treasures he will attain greater success for the reign of Satan than at any time in past centuries. 4
Saint Cyril of Jerusalem (died 386): He shall through his great power, deceit and malice, succeed in decoying or forcing to his worship two thirds of mankind; the remaining third part of men will most steadfastly continue true to the faith and worship of Jesus Christ. 4
Saint John Chrysostom (died 407): “Antichrist will be the illegitimate son of a Jewish woman from the East.” 4
Insights from the Saints and Blesseds
St. John Damascene (died 770): “His mother will proclaim she gave birth to him while remaining a virgin… Antichrist shall be an illegitimate child under the complete power of Satan; and God, knowing his incredible future perversity, will allow the devil to take a full and perpetual possession of him from his very sinful conception.” 4
Saint Methodius (died 885): “In the last period Christians will not appreciate the great grace of God who provided a Great Monarch, a long duration of peace, a splendid fertility of the earth.” 4
Bl. Anne-Catherine Emmerich: “When the time of the reign of Antichrist is near, a false religion will appear which will be opposed to the unity of God and His Church. This will cause the greatest schism the world has ever known. The nearer the time of the end, the more the darkness of Satan will spread on earth, the greater will be the number of the children of corruption, and the number of the just will correspondingly diminish…” 5
Bl. Anna Maria Taigi (19th Century): “Whole nations will join the Church shortly before the reign of the Antichrist. These conversions will be amazing. Those who survive shall have to conduct themselves well. There shall be innumerable conversions of heretics, who will return to the bosom of the Church; all will note the edifying conduct of their lives, as well as that of other Catholics. Russia, England and China will come into the Church…”5
References and further research:
- First in-text painting, Souls in Purgatory (1850), by Louis Boulanger sourced from Wikimedia Commons
- Seven Teachings on Hell From St. Thomas Aquinas, JUNE 17, 2020 BY MSGR. CHARLES POPE, https://blog.adw.org/2020/06/seven-teachings-on-hell-from-st-thomas-aquinas/
- Connor, Edward. Prophecy For Today . TAN Books. Kindle Edition.
- 14 Saints Reveal Details About the Antichrist
- The City of God (Book XX), https://www.newadvent.org/fathers/120120.htm