End-time views


The end-time view of Hippolytus, writing before his martyrdom in 236 A.D. He was a presbyter of the Church of Rome and the first "anti-Pope" (but I think his claims are sound that the pope elected instead was unworthy and based on political motives.)

Hippolytus probably believed in a 1,000 yearmillennium after the Antichristbut thought it would begin in 500 A.D. (It didn't.) He based his ideas on the formula "day = 1,000 years" which is wrong.

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Hippolytus

The interpretation by Hippolytus, (bishop) of Rome, of the visions of Daniel and Nebuchadnezzar, taken in conjunction.

4. But that we may not leave our subject at this point undemonstrated, we are obliged to discuss the matter of the times, of which a man should not speak hastily, because they are a light to him. For as the times are noted from the foundation of the world, and reckoned from Adam, they set clearly before us the matter with which our inquiry deals.

For the first appearance of our Lord in the flesh took place in Bethlehem, under Augustus, in the year 5,500; and He suffered in the thirty-third year. And 6,000 yearsmust needs be accomplished, in order that the Sabbath may come, the rest, the holy day "on which God rested from all His works."

For the Sabbath is the type and emblem of the future kingdom of the saints, when they "shall reign with Christ," when He comes from heaven, as John says in his Apocalypse: for "a day with the Lord is as a thousand years." Since, then, in six days God made all things, it follows that 6,000 years must be fulfilled. And they are not yet fulfilled, as John says: "five are fallen; one is," that is, the sixth; "the other is not yet come."

5. In mentioning the "other," moreover, he specifies the seventh, in which there is rest. But some one may be ready to say, How will you prove to me that the Saviour was born in the year 5,500? Learn that easily, O man; for the things that took place of old in the wilderness, under Moses, in the case of the tabernacle, were constituted types and emblems of spiritual mysteries, in order that, when the truth came in Christ in these last days, you might be able to perceive that these things were fulfilled.

For He says to him, "And thou shalt make the ark of imperishable wood, and shalt overlay it with pure gold within and without; and thou shalt make the length of it two cubits and a half, and the breadth thereof one cubit and a half, and a cubit and a half the height;" which measures, when summed up together, make five cubits and a half, so that the 5,500 years might be signified thereby.

6. At that time, then, the Saviour appeared and showed His own body to the world, (born) of the Virgin, who was the "ark overlaid with pure gold," with the Word within and the Holy Spirit without; so that the truth is demonstrated, and the "ark" made manifest. From the birth of Christ, then, we must reckon the 500 years that remain to make up the 6,000, and thus the end shall be.

And that the Saviour appeared in the world, bearing the imperishable ark, His own body, at a time which was the fifth and half, John declares: "Now it was the sixth hour," he says, intimating by that, one-half of the day. But a day with the Lord is 1,000 years; and the half of that, therefore, is 500 years.

For it was not meet [suitable] that He should appear earlier, for the burden of the law still endured, nor yet when the sixth day was fulfilled (for the baptism is changed), but on the fifth and half, in order that in the remaining half time the gospel might be preached to the whole world, and that when the sixth day was completed He might end the present life.

7. Since, then, the Persians held the mastery for 330 years, and after them the Greeks, who were yet more glorious, held it for 300 years, of necessity the fourth beast, as being strong and mightier than all that were before it, will reign 500 years. When the times are fulfilled, and the ten horns spring from the beast in the last (times), then Antichrist will appear among them. When he makes war against the saints, and persecutes them, then may we expect the manifestation of the Lord from heaven.

40. "Blessed is he that waiteth, and cometh to the thousand three hundred and five and thirty days;" for when the abomination cometh and makes war upon the saints, whosoever shall survive his days, and reach the forty-five days, while the other period of fifty days advances, to him the kingdom of heaven comes. Antichrist, indeed, enters even into part of the fifty days, but the saints shall inherit the kingdom along with Christ.


The claims of Hippolytus...