Chap. XV. — The False and the True Sabbath.

To know the end, we must go back to the beginning. By looking at the days of Creation we can prophetically see how it was showing us how we must be sanctified to transition into the Seventh day or the Sabbath. The true Sabbath is the is the millennial Kingdom and the return of Christ. The rest is when we receive the promise, as Paul mentions in Hebrews 12, and all wickedness is done away with. It is also mentioned of the 8th day, the beginning of a new world.

FULL TEACHING

Further, also, it is written concerning the Sabbath in the Decalogue which [the Lord] spoke, face to face, to Moses on Mount Sinai, “And sanctify ye the Sabbath of the Lord with clean hands and a pure heart.” (Exo_20:8; Deu_5:12) And He says in another place, “If my sons keep the Sabbath, then will I cause my mercy to rest upon them.” (Jer_17:24, Jer_17:25) The Sabbath is mentioned at the beginning of the creation [thus]: “And God made in six days the works of His hands, and made an end on the seventh day, and rested on it, and sanctified it.” Attend, my children, to the meaning of this expression, “He finished in six days.” This implies that the Lord will finish all things in six thousand years, for a day is with Him a thousand years. And He Himself testifies, saying, “Behold, to-day will be as a thousand years.” (Psa_90:4; 2Pe_3:8) Therefore, my children, in six days, that is, in six thousand years, all things will be finished. “And He rested on the seventh day.” This meaneth: when His Son, coming [again], shall destroy the time of the wicked man, and judge the ungodly, and change the sun, and the moon, and the stars, then shall He truly rest on the seventh day. Moreover, He says, “Thou shalt sanctify it with pure hands and a pure heart.” If, therefore, anyone can now sanctify the day which God hath sanctified, except he is pure in heart in all things, we are deceived. Behold, therefore: certainly, then one properly resting sanctifies it, when we ourselves, having received the promise, wickedness no longer existing, and all things having been made new by the Lord, shall be able to work righteousness. Then we shall be able to sanctify it, having been first sanctified ourselves. Further, He says to them, “Your new moons and your Sabbath I cannot endure.” (Isa_1:13) Ye perceive how He speaks: Your present Sabbaths are not acceptable to Me, but that is which I have made, [namely this,] when, giving rest to all things, I shall make a beginning of the eighth day, that is, a beginning of another world. Wherefore, also, we keep the eighth day with joyfulness, the day also on which Jesus rose again from the dead. And when He had manifested Himself, He ascended into the heavens.

~Barnabas- Epistle Part 2 Vol. 1

XXXV. — He Contends That These Testimonies Already Alleged Cannot Be Understood Allegorically of Celestial Blessings, but That They Shall Have Their Fulfilment After the Coming of Antichrist, and the Resurrection, in the Terrestrial Jerusalem. To the Former Prophecies He Subjoins Others Drawn from Isaiah, Jeremiah, and the Apocalypse of John

Irenaeus points out that the prophecies previously cited by prophets such as Isaiah, Ezekiel and Jeremiah regarding resurrection of the just are not fulfilled until after the coming of the anti-Christ. The Apocalypse of John is cited when he describes the vision of Jerusalem descending on earth is the bride or the church that will come in the glory of God. The old Jerusalem will pass and the new one, the righteous in their glorified bodies are the new tabernacle that will dwell with men.

FULL TEACHING
  1. If, however, any shall endeavor to allegorize [prophecies] of this kind, they shall not be found consistent with themselves in all points, and shall be confuted by the teaching of the very expressions [in question]. For example: “When the cities” of the Gentiles “shall be desolate, so that they be not inhabited, and the houses so that there shall be no men in them and the land shall be left desolate.” (Isa_6:11) “For, behold,” says Isaiah, “the day of the Lord cometh past remedy, full of fury and wrath, to lay waste the city of the earth, and to root sinners out of it.” (Isa_13:9) And again he says, “Let him be taken away, that he beholds not the glory of God.” (Isa_26:10) And when these things are done, he says, “God will remove men far away, and those that are left shall multiply in the earth.” (Isa_6:12) “And they shall build houses, and shall inhabit them themselves: and plant vineyards, and eat of them themselves.” (Isa_65:21) For all these and other words were unquestionably spoken in reference to the resurrection of the just, which takes place after the coming of Antichrist, and the destruction of all nations under his rule; in [the times of] which [resurrection] the righteous shall reign in the earth, waxing stronger by the sight of the Lord: and through Him they shall become accustomed to partake in the glory of God the Father, and shall enjoy in the kingdom intercourse and communion with the holy angels, and union with spiritual beings; and [with respect to] those whom the Lord shall find in the flesh, awaiting Him from heaven, and who have suffered tribulation, as well as escaped the hands of the Wicked one. For it is in reference to them that the prophet says: “And those that are left shall multiply upon the earth,” And Jeremiah the prophet has pointed out, that as many believers as God has prepared for this purpose, to multiply those left upon earth, should both be under the rule of the saints to minister to this Jerusalem, and that [His] kingdom shall be in it, saying, “Look around Jerusalem towards the east, and behold the joy which comes to thee from God Himself. Behold, thy sons shall come whom thou hast sent forth: they shall come in a band from the east even unto the west, by the word of that Holy One, rejoicing in that splendor which is from thy God. O Jerusalem, put off thy robe of mourning and of affliction, and put on that beauty of eternal splendor from thy God. Gird thyself with the double garment of that righteousness proceeding from thy God; place the mitre of eternal glory upon thine head. For God will show thy glory to the whole earth under heaven. For thy name shall forever be called by God Himself; the peace of righteousness and glory to him that worships God. Arise, Jerusalem, stand on high, and look towards the east, and behold thy sons from the rising of the sun, even to the west, by the Word of that Holy One, rejoicing in the very remembrance of God. For the footmen have gone forth from thee, while they were drawn away by the enemy. God shall bring them in to thee, being borne with glory as the throne of a kingdom. For God has decreed that every high mountain shall be brought low, and the eternal hills, and that the valleys be filled, so that the surface of the earth be rendered smooth, that Israel, the glory of God, may walk in safety. The woods, too, shall make shady places, and every sweet-smelling tree shall be for Israel itself by the command of God. For God shall go before with joy in the light of His splendor; with the pity and righteousness which proceeds from Him.”

 

  1. Now all these things being such as they are, cannot be understood in reference to super-celestial matters; “for God,” it is said, “will show to the whole earth that is under heaven thy glory.” But in the times of the kingdom, the earth has been called again by Christ [to its pristine condition], and Jerusalem rebuilt after the pattern of the Jerusalem above, of which the prophet Isaiah says, “Behold, I have depicted thy walls upon my hands, and thou art always in my sight,” (Isa_49:16) And the apostle, too, writing to the Galatians, says in like manner, “But the Jerusalem which is above is free, which is the mother of us all.” (Gal_4:26) He does not say this with any thought of an erratic Aeon, or of any other power which departed from the Pleroma, or of Prunicus, but of the Jerusalem which has been delineated on [God’s] hands. And in the Apocalypse John saw this new [Jerusalem] descending upon the new earth. (Rev_21:2) For after the times of the kingdom, he says, “I saw a great white throne, and Him who sat upon it, from whose face the earth fled away, and the heavens; and there was no more place for them.” (Rev_20:11) And he sets forth, too, the things connected with the general resurrection and the judgment, mentioning “the dead, great and small.” “The sea,” he says, “gave up the dead, which it had in it, and death and hell delivered up the dead that they contained; and the books were opened. Moreover,” he says, “the book of life was opened, and the dead were judged out of those things that were written in the books, according to their works; and death and hell were sent into the lake of fire, the second death.” (Rev_20:12-14) Now this is what is called Gehenna, which the Lord styled eternal fire. (Mat_25:41) “And if anyone,” it is said, “was not found written in the book of life, he was sent into the lake of fire.” (Rev_20:15) And after this, he says, “I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and earth have passed away; also, there was no more sea. And I saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down from heaven, as a bride adorned for her husband.” “And I heard,” it is said, “a great voice from the throne, saying, Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and He will dwell with them; and they shall be His people, and God Himself shall be with them as their God. And He will wipe away every tear from their eyes; and death shall be no more, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain, because the former things have passed away.” (Rev_21:1-4) Isaiah also declares the very same: “For there shall be a new heaven and a new earth; and there shall be no remembrance of the former, neither shall the heart think about them, but they shall find in it joy and exultation.” (Isa_65:17, Isa_65:18) Now this is what has been said by the apostle: “For the fashion of this world passeth away.” (1Co_7:31) To the same purpose did the Lord also declare, “Heaven and earth shall pass away.” (Mat_26:35) When these things, therefore, pass away above the earth, John, the Lord’s disciple, says that the new Jerusalem above shall [then] descend, as a bride adorned for her husband; and that this is the tabernacle of God, in which God will dwell with men. Of this Jerusalem the former one is an image — that Jerusalem of the former earth in which the righteous are disciplined beforehand for incorruption and prepared for salvation. And of this tabernacle Moses received the pattern in the mount; (Exo_25:40) and nothing is capable of being allegorized, but all things are steadfast, and true, land substantial, having been made by God for righteous men’s enjoyment. For as it is God truly who raises up man, so also does man truly rise from the dead, and not allegorically, as I have shown repeatedly. And as he rises actually, so also shall he be actually disciplined beforehand for incorruption, and shall go forwards and flourish in the times of the kingdom, in order that he may be capable of receiving the glory of the Father. Then, when all things are made new, he shall truly dwell in the city of God. For it is said, “He that sitteth on the throne said, Behold, I make all things new. And the Lord says, Write all this; for these words are faithful and true. And He said to me, They are done.” (Rev_21:5, Rev_21:6) And this is the truth of the matter.

~Irenaeus- Against Heresies Book V Vol. 1

I. — Christ Alone Is Able to Teach Divine Things, and to Redeem Us: He, the Same, Took Flesh of the Virgin Mary, Not Merely in Appearance, but Actually, by the Operation of the Holy Spirit, in Order to Renovate Us. Strictures on the Conceits of Valentinus and Ebion.

The heretics do not believe that the Word, the Christ had to come as flesh to reveal to us the things of the Word, in the Father, so as to bring salvation to man and restore him to Himself, to inherit the eternal life with Him, receiving the true image of the Father within us, of Himself. Valentinus does not believe flesh and blood can be saved, when Christ came in the form of sinful flesh to redeem what Adam had lost so that at the end of the age we will return to that glory.

FULL TEACHING
  1. For in no other way could we have learned the things of God, unless our Master, existing as the Word, had become man. For no other being had the power of revealing to us the things of the Father, except His own proper Word. For what other person “knew the mind of the Lord,” or who else “has become His counselor?” (Rom_11:34) Again, we could have learned in no other way than by seeing our Teacher, and hearing His voice with our own ears, that, having become imitators of His works as well as doers of His words, we may have communion with Him, receiving increase from the perfect One, and from Him who is prior to all creation. We — who were but lately created by the only best and good Being, by Him also who has the gift of immortality, having been formed after His likeness (predestinated, according to the prescience of the Father, that we, who had as yet no existence, might come into being), and made the first-fruits of creation — have received, in the times known beforehand, [the blessings of salvation] according to the ministration of the Word, who is perfect in all things, as the mighty Word, and very man, who, redeeming us by His own blood in a manner consonant to reason, gave Himself as a redemption for those who had been led into captivity. And since the apostasy tyrannized over us unjustly, and, though we were by nature the property of the omnipotent God, alienated us contrary to nature, rendering us its own disciples, the Word of God, powerful in all things, and not defective with regard to His own justice, did righteously turn against that apostasy, and redeem from it His own property, not by violent means, as the [apostasy] had obtained dominion over us at the beginning, when it insatiably snatched away what was not its own, but by means of persuasion, as became a God of counsel, who does not use violent means to obtain what He desires; so that neither should justice be infringed upon, nor the ancient handiwork of God go to destruction. Since the Lord thus has redeemed us through His own blood, giving His soul for our souls, and His flesh for our flesh, and has also poured out the Spirit of the Father for the union and communion of God and man, imparting indeed God to men by means of the Spirit, and, on the other hand, attaching man to God by His own incarnation, and bestowing upon us at His coming immortality durably and truly, by means of communion with God, — all the doctrines of the heretics fall to ruin.

 

  1. Vain indeed are those who allege that He appeared in mere seeming. For these things were not done in appearance only, but in actual reality. But if He did appear as a man, when He was not a man, neither could the Holy Spirit have rested upon Him, an occurrence which did actually take place — as the Spirit is invisible; nor, [in that case], was there any degree of truth in Him, for He was not that which He seemed to be. But I have already remarked that Abraham and the other prophets beheld Him after a prophetical manner, foretelling in vision what should come to pass. If, then, such a being has now appeared in outward semblance different from what he was in reality, there has been a certain prophetical vision made to men; and another advent of His must be looked forward to, in which He shall be such as He has now been seen in a prophetic manner. And I have proved already, that it is the same thing to say that He appeared merely to outward seeming, and [to affirm] that He received nothing from Mary. For He would not have been one truly possessing flesh and blood, by which He redeemed us, unless He had summed up in Himself the ancient formation of Adam. Vain therefore are the disciples of Valentinus who put forth this opinion, in order that they may exclude the flesh from salvation and cast aside what God has fashioned.

 

  1. Vain also are the Ebonite’s, who do not receive by faith into their soul the union of God and man, but who remain in the old leaven of [the natural] birth, and who do not choose to understand that the Holy Ghost came upon Mary, and the power of the Most High did overshadow her: (Luk_1:35) wherefore also what was generated is a holy thing, and the Son of the Most High God the Father of all, who effected the incarnation of this being, and showed forth a new [kind of] generation; that as by the former generation we inherited death, so by this new generation we might inherit life. Therefore do these men reject the commixture of the heavenly wine, and wish it to be water of the world only, not receiving God so as to have union with Him, but they remain in that Adam who had been conquered and was expelled from Paradise: not considering that as, at the beginning of our formation in Adam, that breath of life which proceeded from God, having been united to what had been fashioned, animated the man, and manifested him as a being endowed with reason; so also, in [the times of] the end, the Word of the Father and the Spirit of God, having become united with the ancient substance of Adam’s formation, rendered man living and perfect, receptive of the perfect Father, in order that as in the natural [Adam] we all were dead, so in the spiritual we may all be made alive. (1Co_15:22) For never at any time did Adam escape the hands of God, to whom the Father speaking, said, “Let Us make man in our image, after our likeness.” And for this reason, in the last times (fine), not by the will of the flesh, nor by the will of man, but by the good pleasure of the Father, (Joh_1:13) His hands formed a living man, in order that Adam might be created [again] after the image and likeness of God.

~Irenaeus- Against Heresies Book V Vol. 1

XXXVI. — Men Shall Be Actually Raised: The World Shall Not Be Annihilated; but There Shall Be Various Mansions for the Saints, According to the Rank Allotted to Each Individual. All Things Shall Be Subject to God the Father, and so Shall He Be All in All

The world is not going to be destroyed at the end of the age, it will be renewed. The righteous are not escaping or leaving this world, they are being transformed in His image and will forget to die. Those who were taught by the disciples were taught by them this is what the Kingdom would be like. The steps that go from 30 fold, 60 fold, and 100 fold are a progression of knowing the Holy Spirit (30fold), The Son (60 fold), and the Father (100 fold)

FULL TEACHING
  1. For since there are real men, so must there also be a real establishment (plantationem), that they vanish not away among non-existent things, but progress among those which have an actual existence. For neither is the substance nor the essence of the creation annihilated (for faithful and true is He who has established it), but “the fashion of the world passeth away;” (1Co_7:31) that is, those things among which transgression has occurred, since man has grown old in them. And therefore this [present] fashion has been formed temporary, God foreknowing all things; as I have pointed out in the preceding book, and have also shown, as far as was possible, the cause of the creation of this world of temporal things. But when this [present] fashion [of things] passes away, and man has been renewed, and flourishes in an incorruptible state, so as to preclude the possibility of becoming old, [then] there shall be the new heaven and the new earth, in which the new man shall remain [continually], always holding fresh converse with God. And since (or, that) these things shall ever continue without end, Isaiah declares, “For as the new heavens and the new earth which I do make, continue in my sight, saith the Lord, so shall your seed and your name remain.” (Isa_66:22) And as the presbyters say, Then those who are deemed worthy of an abode in heaven shall go there, others shall enjoy the delights of paradise, and others shall possess the splendor of the city; for everywhere the Savior shall be seen according as they who see Him shall be worthy.

 

  1. [They say, moreover], that there is this distinction between the habitation of those who produce an hundred-fold, and that of those who produce sixty-fold, and that of those who produce thirty-fold: for the first will be taken up into the heavens, the second will dwell in paradise, the last will inhabit the city; and that was on this account the Lord declared, “In My Father’s house are many mansions.” (Joh_14:2) For all things belong to God, who supplies all with a suitable dwelling-place; even as His Word says, that a share is allotted to all by the Father, according as each person is or shall be worthy. And this is the couch on which the guests shall recline, having been invited to the wedding. (Mat_22:10) The presbyters, the disciples of the apostles, affirm that this is the gradation and arrangement of those who are saved, and that they advance through steps of this nature; also that they ascend through the Spirit to the Son, and through the Son to the Father, and that in due time the Son will yield up His work to the Father, even as it is said by the apostle, “For He must reign till He hath put all enemies under His feet. The last enemy that shall be destroyed is death.” (1Co_15:25-26) For in the times of the kingdom, the righteous man who is upon the earth shall then forget to die. “But when He saith, All things shall be subdued unto Him, it is manifest that He is excepted who did put all things under Him. And when all things shall be subdued unto Him, then shall the Son also Himself be subject unto Him who put all things under Him, that God may be all in all.” (1Co_15:27-28)

 

  1. John, therefore, did distinctly foresee the first “resurrection of the just,” (Luk_14:14) and the inheritance in the kingdom of the earth; and what the prophets have prophesied concerning it harmonize [with his vision]. For the Lord also taught these things, when He promised that He would have the mixed cup new with His disciples in the kingdom. The apostle, too, has confessed that the creation shall be free from the bondage of corruption, [so as to pass] into the liberty of the sons of God. (Rom_8:21) And in all these things, and by them all, the same God the Father is manifested, who fashioned man, and gave promise of the inheritance of the earth to the fathers, who brought it (the creature) forth [from bondage] at the resurrection of the just, and fulfills the promises for the kingdom of His Son; subsequently bestowing in a paternal manner those things which neither the eye has seen, nor the ear has heard, nor has [thought concerning them] arisen within the heart of man, (1Co_2:9; Isa_64:4) For there is the one Son, who accomplished His Father’s will; and one human race also in which the mysteries of God are wrought, “which the angels desire to look into;” (1Pe_1:12) and they are not able to search out the wisdom of God, by means of Which His handiwork, confirmed and incorporated with His Son, is brought to perfection; that His offspring, the First-begotten Word, should descend to the creature (facturam), that is, to what had been molded (plasma), and that it should be contained by Him; and, on the other hand, the creature should contain the Word, and ascend to Him, passing beyond the angels, and be made after the image and likeness of God.

~Irenaeus- Against Heresies Book V Vol. 1

XXXIII. — Further Proofs of the Same Proposition, Drawn from the Promises Made by Christ, When He Declared That He Would Drink of the Fruit of the Vine with His Disciples in His Father’s Kingdom, While at the Same Time He Promised to Reward Them an Hundred-Fold, and to Make Them Partake of Banquets. The Blessing Pronounced by Jacob Had Pointed Out This Already, as Papias and the Elders Have Interpreted It.

The fruit of the vine that Christ comes to drink with His disciples is at the end of the Age when they come into the resurrection. They will receive a new cup, or a new body.  This lines up with the prophecy from Isaac given to Jacob in Genesis 27. In Kingdom that will come, how in Isaiah 40 how the “wolf will feed with the lamb” and so on, is speaking of carnal men, when they come to believe will be in harmony with the righteous. It is also speaking of animals returning to eating of the plants of the Earth and not the flesh of other animals as it was originally was in the Garden.

FULL TEACHING
  1. For this reason, when about to undergo His sufferings, that He might declare to Abraham and those with him the glad tidings of the inheritance being thrown open, [Christ], after He had given thanks while holding the cup, and had drunk of it, and given it to the disciples, said to them: “Drink ye all of it: this is My blood of the new covenant, which shall be shed for many for the remission of sins. But I say unto you, I will not drink henceforth of the fruit of this vine, until that day when I will drink it new with you in my Father’s kingdom.” (Mat_26:27) Thus, then, He will Himself renew the inheritance of the earth, and will re-organize the mystery of the glory of [His] sons; as David says, “He who hath renewed the face of the earth.” (Psa_104:30) He promised to drink of the fruit of the vine with His disciples, thus indicating both these points: the inheritance of the earth in which the new fruit of the vine is drunk, and the resurrection of His disciples in the flesh. For the new flesh which rises again is the same which also received the new cup. And He cannot by any means be understood as drinking of the fruit of the vine when settled down with his [disciples] above in a super-celestial place; nor, again, are they who drink it devoid of flesh, for to drink of that which flows from the vine pertains to flesh, and not spirit.

 

  1. And for this reason the Lord declared, “When thou makest a dinner or a supper, do not call thy friends, nor thy neighbors, nor thy kinsfolk, lest they ask thee in return, and so repay thee. But call the lame, the blind, and the poor, and thou shall be blessed, since they cannot recompense thee, but a recompense shall be made thee at the resurrection of the just.” (Luk_14:12, Luk_14:13) And again He says, “Whosoever shall have left lands, or houses, or parents, or brethren, or children because of Me, he shall receive in this world an hundred-fold, and in that to come he shall inherit eternal life.” (Mat_19:29; Luk_18:29, Luk_18:30) For what are the hundred-fold [rewards] in this word, the entertainments given to the poor, and the suppers for which a return is made? These are [to take place] in the times of the kingdom, that is, upon the seventh day, which has been sanctified, in which God rested from all the works which He created, which is the true Sabbath of the righteous, which they shall not be engaged in any earthly occupation; but shall have a table at hand prepared for them by God, supplying them with all sorts of dishes.

 

  1. The blessing of Isaac with which he blessed his younger son Jacob has the same meaning, when he says, “Behold, the smell of my son is as the smell of a full field which the Lord has blessed.” (Gen_27:27, etc.) But “the field is the world.” (Mat_13:38) And therefore he added, “God give to thee of the dew of heaven, and of the fatness of the earth, plenty of corn and wine. And let the nations serve thee, and kings bow down to thee; and be thou lord over thy brother, and thy father’s sons shall bow down to thee: cursed shall be he who shall curse thee, and blessed shall be he who shall bless thee.” (Gen_27:28, Gen_27:29) If any one, then, does not accept these things as referring to the appointed kingdom, he must fall into much contradiction and contrariety, as is the case with the Jews, who are involved in absolute perplexity. For not only did not the nations in this life serve this Jacob; but even after he had received the blessing, he himself going forth [from his home], served his uncle Laban the Syrian for twenty years; (Gen_31:41) and not only was he not made lord of his brother, but he did himself bow down before his brother Esau, upon his return from Mesopotamia to his father, and offered many gifts to him. (Gen_33:3) Moreover, in what way did he inherit much corn and wine here, he who immigrated to Egypt because of the famine which possessed the land in which he was dwelling, and became Subject to Pharaoh, who was then ruling over Egypt? The predicted blessing, therefore, belongs unquestionably to the times of the kingdom, when the righteous shall bear rule upon their rising from the dead; when also the creation, having been renovated and set free, shall fructify with an abundance of all kinds of food, from the dew of heaven, and from the fertility of the earth: as the elders who saw John, the disciple of the Lord, related that they had heard from him how the Lord used to teach in regard to these times, and say: The days will come, in which vines shall grow, each having ten thousand branches, and in each branch ten thousand twigs, and in each true twig ten thousand shoots, and in each one of the shoots ten thousand dusters, and on every one of the clusters ten thousand grapes, and every grape when pressed will give five and twenty metretes of wine. And when any one of the saints shall lay hold of a cluster, another shall cry out, “I am a better cluster, take me; bless the Lord through me.” In like manner [the Lord declared] that a grain of wheat would produce ten thousand ears, and that every ear should have ten thousand grains, and every grain would yield ten pounds (quinque bilibres) of clear, pure, fine flour; and that all other fruit-bearing trees, and seeds and grass, would produce in similar proportions (secundum congruentiam iis consequentem); and that all animals feeding [only] on the productions of the earth, should [in those days] become peaceful and harmonious among each other, and be in perfect subjection to man.

 

  1. And these things are bore witness to in writing by Papias, the hearer of John, and a companion of Polycarp, in his fourth book; for there were five books compiled (συντεταγμένα) by him. And he says in addition, “Now these things are credible to believers.” And he says that, “when the traitor Judas did not give credit to them, and put the question, ‘How then can things about to bring forth so abundantly be wrought by the Lord?’ the Lord declared, ‘They who shall come to these [times] shall see.’” When prophesying of these times, therefore, Esaias says: “The wolf also shall feed with the lamb, and the leopard shall take his rest with the kid; the calf also, and the bull, and the lion shall eat together; and a little boy shall lead them. The ox and the bear shall feed together, and their young ones shall agree together; and the lion shall eat straw as well as the ox. And the infant boy shall thrust his hand into the asp’s den, into the nest also of the adder’s brood; and they shall do no harm, nor have power to hurt anything in my holy mountain.” And again, he says, in recapitulation, “Wolves and lambs shall then browse together, and the lion shall eat straw like the ox, and the serpent earth as if it were bread; and they shall neither hurt nor annoy anything in my holy mountain, saith the Lord.” (Isa_40:6, etc.) I am quite aware that some persons endeavor to refer these words to the case of savage men, both of different nations and various habits, who come to believe, and when they have believed, act in harmony with the righteous. But although this is [true] now with regard to some men coming from various nations to the harmony of the faith, nevertheless in the resurrection of the just [the words shall also apply] to those animals mentioned. For God is not in all things. And it is right that when the creation is restored, all the animals should obey and be in subjection to man, and revert to the food originally given by God (for they had been originally subjected in obedience to Adam), that is, the productions of the earth. But some other occasion, and not the present, is [to be sought] for showing that the lion shall [then] feed on straw. And this indicates the large size and rich quality of the fruits. For if that animal, the lion, feeds upon straw [at that period], of what a quality must the wheat itself be whose straw shall serve as suitable food for lions?

~Irenaeus- Against Heresies Book V Vol. 1

Vision Third. - Concerning the Building of the Triumphant Church, and the Various Classes of Reprobate Men. Chap. I.

Hermas had a vision, about an old woman with 6 young men that was building a tower with building block of rocks upon waters. The rocks are symbolic, and characteristic of people believe who in the church to see who will fit in the tower or not. How close are we to build the tower? How is our faith or do we fit to become part of the tower? Each stone or mindset shows us what type of stone we need to be to be acceptable to God in the end times and not one that is rejected.

FULL TEACHING
  1. Chap. I.

     

    The vision which I saw, my brethren, was of the following nature. Having fasted frequently, and having prayed to the Lord that He would show me the revelation which He promised to show me through that old woman, the same night that old woman appeared to me, and said to me, “Since you are so anxious and eager to know all things, go into the part of the country where you tarry; and about the fifth hour I shall appear unto you, and show you all that you ought to see.” I asked her, saying “Lady, into what part of the country am I to go?” And she said, “Into any part you wish.” Then I chose a spot which was suitable, and retired. Before, however, I began to speak and to mention the place, she said to me, “I will come where you wish.” Accordingly, I went to the country, and counted the hours, and reached the place where I had promised to meet her. And I see an ivory seat ready placed, and on it a linen cushion, and above the linen cushion was spread a covering of fine linen. Seeing these laid out, and yet no one in the place, I began to feel awe, and as it were a trembling seized hold of me, and my hair stood on end, and as it were a horror came upon me when I saw that I was all alone. But on coming back to myself and calling to mind the glory of God, I took courage, bent my knees, and again confessed my sins to God as I had done before. (Eze_1:28) Whereupon the old woman approached, accompanied by six young men whom I had also seen before; and she stood behind me, and listened to me, as I prayed and confessed my sins to the Lord. And touching me she said, “Hermas, cease praying continually for your sins; pray for righteousness, that you may have a portion of it immediately in your house.” On this, she took me up by the hand, and brought me to the seat, and said to the young men, “Go and build.” When the young men had gone and we were alone, she said to me, “Sit here.” I say to her, “Lady, permit my elders to be seated first.” “Do what I bid you,” said she; “sit down.” When I would have sat down on her right, she did not permit me, but with her hand beckoned to me to sit down on the left. While I was thinking about this, and feeling vexed that she did not let me sit on the right, she said, “Are you vexed, Hermas? The place to the right is for others who have already pleased God, and have suffered for His name’s sake; and you have yet much to accomplish before you can sit with them. But abide as you now do in your simplicity, and you will sit with them, and with all who do their deeds and bear what they have borne.”

     

    Chap. II.

     

    What have they borne?” said I. “Listen,” said she: “scourges, prisons, great tribulations, crosses, wild beasts, (Heb_11:36, Heb_11:37) for God’s name’s sake. On this account is assigned to them the division of sanctification on the right hand, and to everyone who shall suffer for God’s name: to the rest is assigned the division on the left. But both for those who sit on the right, and those who sit on the left, there are the same gifts and promises; only those sit on the right, and have some glory. You then are eager to sit on the right with them, but your shortcomings are many. But you will be cleansed from your shortcomings; and all who are not given to doubts shall be cleansed from all their iniquities up till this day.” Saying this, she wished to go away. But falling down at her feet, I begged her by the Lord that she would show me the vision which she had promised to show me. And then she again took hold of me by the hand, and raised me, and made me sit on the seat to the left; and lifting up a splendid rod, (Rev_11:1) she said to me, “Do you see something great?” And I say, “Lady, I see nothing.” She said to me, “Lo! do you not see opposite to you a great tower, built upon the waters, of splendid square stones?” For the tower was built square (Rev_21:16) by those six young men who had come with her. But myriads of men were carrying stones to it, some dragging them from the depths, others removing them from the land, and they handed them to these six young men. They were taking them and building; and those of the stones that were dragged out of the depths, they placed in the building just as they were: for they were polished and fitted exactly into the other stones, and became so united one with another that the lines of juncture could not be perceived. And in this way the building of the tower looked as if it were made out of one stone. Those stones, however, which were taken from the earth suffered a different fate; for the young men rejected some of them, some they fitted into the building, and some they cut down, and cast far away from the tower. Many other stones, however, lay around the tower, and the young men did not use them in building; for some of them were rough, others had cracks in them, others had been made too short, and others were white and round, but did not fit into the building of the tower. Moreover, I saw other stones thrown far away from the tower, and falling into the public road; yet they did not remain on the road, but were rolled into a pathless place. And I saw others falling into the fire and burning, others falling close to the water, and yet not capable of being rolled into the water, though they wished to be rolled down, and to enter the water.

     

    Chap. III.

     

    On showing me these visions, she wished to retire. I said to her, “What is the use of my having seen all this, while I do not know what it means?” She said to me, “You are a cunning fellow, wishing to know everything that relates to the tower.” “Even so, O Lady,” said I, “that I may tell it to my brethren, that, hearing this, they may know the Lord in much glory.” And she said, “Many indeed shall hear, and hearing, some shall be glad, and some shall weep. But even these, if they hear and repent, shall also rejoice. Hear, then, the parables of the tower; for I will reveal all to you, and give me no more trouble in regard to revelation: for these revelations have an end, for they have been completed. But you will not cease praying for revelations, for you are shameless. The tower which you see building is myself, the Church, who have appeared to you now and on the former occasion. Ask, then, whatever you like in regard to the tower, and I will reveal it to you, that you may rejoice with the saints.” I said unto her, “Lady, since you have vouchsafed to reveal all to me this once, reveal it.” She said to me, “Whatsoever ought to be revealed, will be revealed; only let your heart be with God, and doubt not whatsoever you shall see. I asked her, “Why was the tower built upon the waters, O Lady?” She answered, “I told you before, and you still inquire carefully: therefore inquiring you shall find the truth. Hear then why the tower is built upon the waters. It is because your life has been, and will be, saved through water. For the tower was founded on the word of the almighty and glorious Name, and it is kept together by the invisible power of the Lord.

     

    Chap. IV.

     

    In reply I said to her, “This is magnificent and marvelous. But who are the six young men who are engaged in building?” And she said, “These are the holy angels of God, who were first created, and to whom the Lord handed over His whole creation, that they might increase and build up and rule over the whole creation. By these will the building of the tower be finished.” “But who are the other persons who are engaged in carrying the stones?” These also are holy angels of the Lord, but the former six are more excellent than these. The building of the tower will be finished, and all will rejoice together around the tower, and they will glorify God, because the tower is finished.” I asked her, saying, “Lady, I should like to know what became of the stones, and what was meant by the various kinds of stones?” In reply she said to me, “Not because you are more deserving than all others that this revelation should be made to you – for there are others before you, and better than you, to whom these visions should have been revealed – but that the name of God may be glorified, has the revelation been made to you, and it will be made on account of the doubtful who ponder in their hearts whether these things will be or not. Tell them that all these things are true, and that none of them is beyond the truth. All of them are firm and sure, and established on a strong foundation.

     

    Chap. V.

     

    “Hear now with regard to the stones which are in the building. Those square white stones which fitted exactly into each other, are apostles, bishops, teachers, and deacons, who have lived in godly purity, and have acted as bishops and teachers and deacons chastely and reverently to the elect of God. Some of them have fallen asleep, and some still remain alive. (1Co_15:6, 1Co_15:18) And they have always agreed with each other, and been at peace among themselves, (Phi_2:2, Phi_3:16; 1Th_5:13) and listened to each other. On account of this, they join exactly into the building of the tower.” “But who are the stones that were dragged from the depths, and which were laid into the building and fitted in with the rest of the stones previously placed in the tower?” “They are those who suffered for the Lord’s sake.” “But I wish to know, O Lady, who are the other stones which were carried from the land.” “Those,” she said, “which go into the building without being polished, are those whom God has approved of, for they walked in the straight ways of the Lord and practiced His commandments.” “But who are those who are in the act of being brought and placed in the building?” “They are those who are young in faith and are faithful. But they are admonished by the angels to do good, for no iniquity has been found in them.” “Who then are those whom they rejected and cast away?” “These are they who have sinned, and wish to repent. On this account they have not been thrown far from the tower, because they will yet be useful in the building, if they repent. Those then who are to repent, if they do repent, will be strong in faith, if they now repent while the tower is building. For if the building be finished, there will not be more room for any one, but he will be rejected. (Heb_6:6-8; Heb_12:17) This privilege, however, will belong only to him who has now been placed near the tower.

     

    Chap. VI.

     

    “As to those who were cut down and thrown far away from the tower, do you wish to know who they are? They are the sons of iniquity, and they believed in hypocrisy, and wickedness did not depart from them. For this reason they are not saved, since they cannot be used in the building on account of their iniquities. Wherefore they have been cut off and cast far away on account of the anger of the Lord, for they have roused Him to anger. But I shall explain to you the other stones which you saw lying in great numbers, and not going into the building. Those which are rough are those who have known the truth and not remained in it, nor have they been joined to the saints. On this account are they unfit for use.” “Who are those that have rents?” “These are they who are at discord in their hearts one with another, and are not at peace amongst themselves: they indeed keep peace before each other, but when they separate one from the other, their wicked thoughts remain in their hearts. These, then, are the rents which are in the stones. But those which are shortened are those who have indeed believed, and have the larger share of righteousness; yet they have also a considerable share of iniquity, and therefore they are shortened and not whole.” “But who are these, Lady, that are white and round, and yet do not fit into the building of the tower?” She answered and said, “How long will you be foolish and stupid, and continue to put every kind of question and understand nothing? These are those who have faith indeed, but they have also the riches of this world. When, therefore, tribulation comes, on account of their riches and business they deny the Lord.” (Mat_13:21) I answered and said to her, “When, then, will they be useful for the building, Lady? “When the riches that now seduce them have been circumscribed, then will they be of use to God. For as a round stone cannot become square unless portions be cut off and cast away, so also those who are rich in this world cannot be useful to the Lord unless their riches be cut down. Learn this first from your own case. When you were rich, you were useless; but now you are useful and fit for life. Be ye useful to God; for you also will be used as one of these stones.

     

    Chap. VII.

     

    “Now the other stones which you saw cast far away from the tower, and falling upon the public road and rolling from it into pathless places, are those who have indeed believed, but through doubt have abandoned the true road. Thinking, then, that they could find a better, they wander and become wretched, and enter upon pathless places. But those which fell into the fire and were burned, (Heb_3:12, Heb_6:8) are those who have departed for ever from the living God; nor does the thought of repentance ever come into their hearts, on account of their devotion to their lusts and to the crimes which they committed. Do you wish to know who are the others which fell near the waters, but could not be rolled into them? These are they who have heard the word, and wish to be baptized in the name of the Lord; but when the chastity demanded by the truth comes into their recollection, they draw back, and again walk after their own wicked desires.” She finished her exposition of the tower. But I, shameless as I yet was, asked her, Is repentance possible for all those stones which have been cast away and did not fit into the building of the tower, and will they yet have a place in this tower?” “Repentance,” said she, “is yet possible, but in this tower they cannot find a suitable place. But in another and much inferior place they will be laid, and that, too, only when they have been tortured and completed the days of their sins. And on this account will they be transferred, because they have partaken of the righteous Word. And then only will they be removed from their punishments when the thought of repenting of the evil deeds which they have done has come into their hearts. But if it does not come into their hearts, they will not be saved, on account of the hardness of their heart.”

     

    Book First. (Cont.)

    Chap. IX.

     

    Give ear unto me, O Sons: I have brought you up in much simplicity, and guilelessness, and chastity, on account of the mercy of the Lord, who has dropped His righteousness down upon you, that ye may be made righteous and holy from all your iniquity and depravity; but you do not wish to rest from your iniquity. Now, therefore, listen to me, and be at peace one with another, and visit each other, and bear each other’s burdens, and do not partake of God’s creatures alone, but give abundantly of them to the needy. For some through the abundance of their food produce weakness in their flesh, and thus corrupt their flesh; while the flesh of others who have no food is corrupted, because they have not sufficient nourishment. And on this account their bodies waste away. This intemperance in eating is thus injurious to you who have abundance and do not distribute among those who are needy. Give heed to the judgment that is to come. Ye, therefore, who are high in position, seek out the hungry as long as the tower is not yet finished; for after the tower is finished, you will wish to do good, but will find no opportunity. Give heed, therefore, ye who glory in your wealth, lest those who are needy should groan, and their groans should ascend to the Lord, (Jam_5:1-4) and ye be shut out with all your goods beyond the gate of the tower. Wherefore I now say to you who preside over the Church and love the first seats, Be not like to drug-mixers. For the drug-mixers carry their drugs in boxes, but ye carry your drug and poison in your heart. Ye are hardened, and do not wish to cleanse your hearts, and to add unity of aim to purity of heart, that you may have mercy from the great King. Take heed, therefore, children, that these dissensions of yours do not deprive you of your life. How will you instruct the elect of the Lord, if you yourselves have not instruction? Instruct each other therefore, and be at peace among yourselves, that (Rom_2:21; 1Th_5:13) I also, standing joyful before your Father, may give an account of you all to your Lord.” (Heb_13:17)

     

    Chap. X.

     

    On her ceasing to speak to me, those six young men who were engaged in building came and conveyed her to the tower, and other four lifted up the seat and carried it also to the tower. The faces of these last I did not see, for they were turned away from me. And as she was going, I asked her to reveal to me the meaning of the three forms in which she appeared to me. In reply she said to me: “With regard to them, you must ask another to reveal their meaning to you.” For she had appeared to me, brethren, in the first vision the previous year under the form of an exceedingly old woman, sitting in a chair. In the second vision her face was youthful, but her skin and hair betokened age, and she stood while she spoke to me. She was also more joyful than on the first occasion. But in the third vision she was entirely youthful and exquisitely beautiful, except only that she had the hair of an old woman; but her face beamed with joy, and she sat on a seat. Now I was exceeding sad in regard to these appearances, for I longed much to know what the visions meant. Then I see the old woman in a vision of the night saying unto me: “Every prayer should be accompanied with humility: fast, therefore, and you will obtain from the Lord what you beg.” I fasted therefore for one day.

     

    That very night there appeared to me a young man, who said, “Why do you frequently ask revelations in prayer? Take heed lest by asking many things you injure your flesh: be content with these revelations. Will you be able to see greater revelations than those which you have seen?” I answered and said to him, “Sir, one thing only I ask, that in regard to these three forms the revelation may be rendered complete.” He answered me, “How long are ye senseless? But your doubts make you senseless, because you have not your hearts turned towards the Lord.” But I answered and said to him, “From you, sir, we shall learn these things more accurately.”

     

    Chap. XI.

     

    “Hear then,” said he, “with regard to the three forms, concerning which you are inquiring. Why in the first vision did she appear to you as an old woman seated on a chair? Because your spirit is now old and withered up, and has lost its power in consequence of your infirmities and doubts. For, like elderly men who have no hope of renewing their strength, and expect nothing but their last sleep, so you, weakened by worldly occupations, have given yourselves up to sloth, and have not cast your cares upon the Lord. (1Pe_5:7) Your spirit therefore is broken, and you have grown old in your sorrows.” “I should like then to know, sir, why she sat on a chair?” He answered, “Because every weak person sits on a chair on account of his weakness, that his weakness may be sustained. Lo! you have the form of the first vision.

     

    Chap. XII.

     

    “Now in the second vision you saw her standing with a youthful countenance, and more joyful than before; still she had the skin and hair of an aged woman. Hear,” said he, “this parable also. When one becomes somewhat old, he despairs of himself on account of his weakness and poverty, and looks forward to nothing but the last day of his life. Then suddenly an inheritance is left him: and hearing of this, he rises up, and becoming exceeding joyful, he puts on strength. And now he no longer reclines, but stands up; and his spirit, already destroyed by his previous actions, is renewed, and he no longer sits, but acts with vigor. So happened it with you on hearing the revelation which God gave you. For the Lord had compassion on you, and renewed your spirit, and ye laid aside your infirmities. Vigor arose within you, and ye grew strong in faith; and the Lord, seeing your strength, rejoiced. On this account He showed you the building of the tower; and He will show you other things, if you continue at peace with each other with all your heart.

     

    Chap. XIII.

     

    “Now, in the third vision, you saw her still younger, and she was noble and joyful, and her shape was beautiful. For, just as when some good news comes suddenly to one who is sad, immediately he forgets his former sorrows, and looks for nothing else than the good news which he has heard, and for the future is made strong for good, and his spirit is renewed on account of the joy which he has received; so ye also have received the renewal of your spirits by seeing these good things. As to your seeing her sitting on a seat, that means that her position is one of strength, for a seat has four feet and stands firmly. For the world also is kept together by means of four elements. Those, therefore, who repent completely and with the whole heart, will become young and firmly established. You now have the revelation completely given you. Make no further demands for revelations. If anything ought to be revealed, it will be revealed to you.”

    ~Hermas- The Pastor Book I Vol. 2