The coming and reign of the Antichrist

The Antichrist and God the Father

“It will be a great struggle at that time, especially for the faithful, when the serpent himself with great authority will perform signs and miracles . . . show himself like unto God in fearful apparitions, shall fly in the air, and all the demons, like angels, will ascend before the tormentor. For he will cry out with power, changing his appearance and extremely frightening people . . . One will quickly see unutterable grief descending on every soul for there will be no comfort or rest from any source at all . . . one will see that the whole world is in confusion, that everyone is hurrying to hide in the hills, that some are dying from hunger, others melt like wax from thirst, and there will be no one to show mercy . . . Every person sheds tears and asks with longing: ‘Is the Word of God left anywhere on earth?’ and hear the answer, ‘nowhere.’ Many who worship him will call out, “‘Are you our savior? The sea is restless, the earth is drying up, the heavens give no rain, plants wither, and all who live in the east run in great fright toward the west, and those in the west fearfully run to the east.’ The shameless one, having then taken control, will send his demons to all corners of the earth to boldly proclaim: ‘The great king has appeared in glory, go and see him…'”

“How very cruel to the human race this unclean serpent will prove to be, having even more anger toward the saints who can overcome his illusory miracles . . . There will be found many people who had pleased God and who may be able to be saved in the hills and desert places by many prayers . . . Holy God, seeing their indescribable weeping and true faith, will show them mercy, like a tender Father, and will watch over them wherever they will hide; meanwhile the most evil serpent will continue the search for the saints on earth and at sea, reasoning that since he has already ascended to power all must be subservient to him…”

The heresy of Pe’or repeated, the mark of the beast and the Sign of the Cross

The very same method (as Pe’or) will be used by the tormentor, in order that all would wear on themselves the imprint of the beast . . . He will come to entice all with signs, so that only in this manner they might buy food and necessities for themselves; and for the fulfillment of this decree he will install leaders . . . [He] will have his mark imprinted . . . on the right hand. He will also place the ungodly imprint on the forehead, so that it would not be possible for a person to use the right hand for making the sign of Christ our Savior on himself . . . for the Antichrist knows that having the imprint of the Lord’s Cross on anyone, will destroy all of his power . . . whoever will not be sealed with his imprint (the Antichrist), will not be a prisoner of his delusions…”

The Antichrist

“The enemy will not appear on earth in clouds of light because he is an apostate . . . [But] he will pretend reverence, humility, meekness, and speak of hating falsehood, turning away from idols, preferring piety, and helping the poor. He will be proper to the greatest degree, very constant, affectionate to all . . . He will use cunning to please all, so that ordinary people would quickly love him. He will not accept gifts, speak angrily, or show a gloomy expression, but will always be pleasant. In all of this he will begin to seduce the world by his sedate exterior until he ascends the throne . . . When many nations and classes of people will see such good deeds, perfection, and power, all will suddenly conceive the same idea and with the greatest joy will enthrone him, saying to one another: ‘How can another such man be found who is so good and truthful?’ . . . Then this serpent will become immeasurably exalted in heart and will spew forth his bitterness . . . He will dismay the universe, shake it to its ends, oppress it, and defile many souls . . . [He will then act] at every opportunity grim, cruel, prone to anger, irritable, impetuous, disorderly, dreadful, hideous, hateful, vile, crafty, fierce, destructive, shameless; by his violence he will attempt to drive all mortals to the chasm of ungodliness…”

“In the presence of a huge crowd composed of many nations and classes praising him for his illusory miracles, he will produce a large sound which will shake the place where the crowds gathered before him stand, and he will proclaim audaciously: ‘All you nations can now perceive the great power of my rule. Now, before all of you, I command this great mountain standing opposite us that it should move over to us.’ And the evil one will say: ‘I command you, immediately to move over to us from across the sea.’ The mountain will move in the eyes of the onlookers, though not really moving at all from its foundations . . . He will captivate the world with his magical illusions . . . he will step out into the deep and walk on it as if on land, presenting this as an illusion, and many will believe and praise him as a powerful god. Whosoever has God within him will have illumined eyes of the heart, and with true faith will see and know him rightly.”

“Then will every soul cry out and groan . . . they will not be able to find food anywhere to appease their hunger. For cruel overseers will be placed everywhere, and only he who has on his forehead or right hand the imprint of the tormentor will be permitted to buy a little food, if any can be found. Then babies will die in their mother’s laps, and mothers will die over their children, and a father, with his wife and children, will die in the marketplace, and there will be no one to bury them . . . The stench will hang over both sea and land; hunger, earthquakes, confusion, and calamities will abound. The large amounts of gold and silver and silk clothing will not benefit anybody at this time, but all will regard as blessed those dead who were buried before such grief came to the earth . . . All who have desires, believed the fierce beast and received his seal, the evil imprint of the profane, will come to him suddenly and say: ‘Give us food and drink, for we all waste away suffering from hunger, and keep the poisonous beasts away from us’ . . . [He] will answer cruelly saying, ‘People, how can I give you food and drink? The sky does not want to give water to the earth, and the earth will also not give its harvest or fruits…'”

The refuges and Daniel’s abomination of desolation

“Many of the saints who may then be found at the coming of the foul one shall shed tears to God in rivers, and in order to be saved from the serpent, will hurriedly flee to the deserts, will hide in the hills and caves in fear . . . praying with great humility day and night. This will be granted them by the Holy God. His grace will lead them to specified places, and they will be saved, hidden in chasms and caves, not seeing the frights and signs of the Antichrist; for, to those who have knowledge, the coming of the Antichrist will be effortlessly made known. But, for whoever has his mind on worldly matters and loves the things of the earth, this will not be clear . . . but the saints will be strengthened, for they have cast aside every care for this life.”

“Then will all the earth and sea cry out, the air, and together with them the wild beasts and the birds of heaven; the hills and crags, and trees on the plains will weep; the heavenly bodies will also weep for mankind . . . for suddenly the chanting of psalms and prayers has ceased from the mouth of mankind; all the churches of Christ will weep greatly, for there will be no church services or divine offerings. When three and a half years of the rule and deeds of the foul one will have been fulfilled, and all the temptations of the earth will have been completed, then, as foretold, the Lord will finally appear, like lightning flashing in the sky, the holy, most-pure, terrifying, and glorious God of all, with incomparable glory” (St Ephraim the Syrian).