World War III and the False Peace: Commodianus - quoting oral sayings that are the root of the hadiths later in Islamic tradition for the Mahdi.
The false Mahdi is very much a part of the plans of the New World Order, which is the arising of the Antichrist, to bring about the false peace pact between North and South (see the Book of Daniel Chapter Eleven for the type of it - the final fulfillment is in the future).
Commodianus - quoted oral sayings that were after the Book of the Revelation - those oral sayings are part of the root of the Hadiths which came centuries later in Islamic tradition for the Mahdi.
If so, then it appears that Elijah should be accepted as the true Mahdi when he, Elijah, returns with Enoch as the two witnesses against Antichrist.
Ante-Nicene Fathers, Vol. IV
Introductory Note to the Instructions of Commodianus.
[a.d.; 240.] Our author seems to have been a North-African bishop, of whom little is known save what we learn from his own writings. He has been supposed to incline to some ideas of Praxeas, and also to the Millenarians, but perhaps on insufficient grounds. His Millenarianism reflects the views of a very primitive age, and that without the corrupt Chiliasm of a later period, which brought about a practical repudiation of the whole system. Of his writings, two poems only remain, and of these the second, a very recent discovery, has no place in the Edinburgh series. I greatly regret that it cannot be included in ours. As a poetical work the following prose version probably does it no injustice. His versification is pronounced very crabbed, and his diction is the wretched patois of North Africa [the Latin he wrote in is referred to here]. But the piety and earnestness of a practical Christian seem everywhere conspicuous in this fragment of antiquity.
The Instructions of Commodianus in Favour of Christian Discipline. Against the Gods of the Heathens. (Expressed in Acrostics.)
- XLI.--Of the Time of Antichrist.
I Know nothing of the second poem of our author, and am indebted for the following particulars to Dr. Schaff.
It is an apologetic poem against Jews and Gentiles, written in uncouth hexameters, and discusses in forty-seven sections the doctrine concerning God and the Redeemer and mankind. It treats of the names of Son and Father; and here, probably, he lays himself open to the charge of Patripassian heresy. He passes to the obstacles encountered by the Gospel, warns the Jews and the Gentiles to forsake their unprofitable devotions, and enlarges on the eschatology, as he conceives of it. Let me now quote textually, as follows:-
"The most interesting part of the second poem is the conclusion. It contains a fuller description of Antichrist than the first poem. The author expects that the end of the world will come with the seventh persecution. The Goths will conquer Rome and redeem the Christians; but then Nero will appear as the heathen Antichrist, reconquer Rome, and rage against the Christians three years and a half. He will be conquered in turn by the Jewish and real Antichrist from the East, who, after the defeat of Nero and the burning of Rome, will return to Judea, perform false miracles, and be worshipped by the Jews. At last Christ appears, that is, God himself (from the Monarchian stand-point of the author) with the lost Twelve Tribes [?] as his army, which had lived beyond Persia in happy simplicity and virtue. Under astounding phenomena of nature he will conquer Antichrist and his host, convert all nations, and take possession of the holy city of Jerusalem."
This idea of a double Antichrist re-appears in Lactantius, Inst. Div, vii. 16 seqq.
This second poem was discovered by Cardinal Pitra in 1852. The two poems were edited by E. Ludwig, Leipzig, 1877 and 1878.
2. The second work which was only brought to light in 1852, is an "Apologetic Poem against Jews and Gentiles," and was written about 249. It exhorts them (like the first part of the "Instructions" to repent without delay in view of the approaching end of the world. It is likewise written in uncouth hexameters and discusses in 47 sections the doctrine of God, of man, and of the Redeemer (vers. 89–275); the meaning of the names of Son and Father in the economy of salvation (276–573); the obstacles to the progress of Christianity(574–611); it warns Jews and Gentiles to forsake their religion (612–783), and gives a description of the last things (784–1053).
The most interesting part of this second poem is the conclusion. It contains a fuller description of Antichrist than the first poem. The author expects that the end of the world will soon come with the seventh persecution; the Goths will conquer Rome and redeem the Christians; but then Nero will appear as the heathen Antichrist, reconquer Rome, and rage against the Christians three years and a-half; he will be conquered in turn by the Jewish and real Antichrist from the east, who after the defeat of Nero and the burning of Rome will return to Judaea, perform false miracles, and be worshipped by the Jews. At last Christ appears, that is God himself (from the Monarchian standpoint of the author), with the lost Twelve Tribes as his army, which had lived beyond Persia in happy simplicity and virtue; under astounding phenomena of nature he will conquer Antichrist and his host, convert all nations and take possession of the holy city of Jerusalem. The concluding description of the judgment is preserved only in broken fragments. The idea of a double Antichrist is derived from the two beasts of the Apocalypse, and combines the Jewish conception of the Antimessiah, and the heathen Nero-legend. But the remarkable feature is that the second Antichrist is represented as a Jew and as defeating the heathen Nero, as he will be defeated by Christ. The same idea of a double antichrist appears in Lactantius.1571572