The Era of Peace after the Tribulation
As predicted by the Early Church Fathers
Early Church Fathers on the Era of Peace
St. Justin Martyr
“I and every other orthodox Christian feel certain that there will be a resurrection of the flesh followed by a thousand years in a rebuilt, embellished, and enlarged city of Jerusalem, as was announced by the Prophets Ezekiel, Isaias and others… A man among us named John, one of Christ’s Apostles, received and foretold that the followers of Christ would dwell in Jerusalem for a thousand years, and that afterwards the universal and, in short, everlasting resurrection and judgment would take place.” Dialogue with Trypho, Chapter 80...
These are the words of Isaiah concerning the millennium: ‘For there will be a new heaven and a new earth, and the former will not be remembered nor come into their heart, but they will be glad and rejoice in these things, which I create… There shall no more be an infant of days there, nor an old man that shall not fill up his days; for the child shall die a hundred years old… For as the days of the tree of life, so shall be the days of My people, and the works of their hands shall be multiplied. My elect shall not labor in vain, nor bring forth children for a curse; for they shall be a righteous seed blessed by the Lord, and their posterity with them.
Dialogue with Trypho, Ch. 81, The Fathers of the Church, Christian Heritage; cf. Is 54:1
“But we do confess that a kingdom is promised to us upon the earth, although before heaven, only in another state of existence; inasmuch as it will be after the resurrection for a thousand years in the divinely-built city of Jerusalem…”
St. Irenaeus of Lyons, Church Father (140—202 A.D.);
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 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.
Against Heresies, Book V, Chapter 33, Paragraph 3.
"Lactantius describes this Era as being one in which …
... beasts shall not be nourished by blood, nor birds by prey; but all things shall be peaceful and tranquil. Lions and calves shall stand together at the manger, the wolf shall not carry off the sheep…
Divine Institutes, Translated by William Fletcher. From Ante-Nicene Fathers, Vol. 7 (Buffalo, NY: Christian Literature Publishing Co, 1886) Book VII. Chapter 24.
"These are the things which are spoken of by the prophets as about to happen hereafter: but I have not considered it necessary to bring forward their testimonies and words, since it would be an endless task; nor would the limits of my book receive so great a multitude of subjects, since so many with one breath speak similar things; and at the same time, lest weariness should be occasioned to the readers if I should heap together things collected and transferred from all.
ibid, Book VII, Chapter 25
Therefore, the Son of the most high and mighty God… shall have destroyed unrighteousness, and executed His great judgment, and shall have recalled to life the righteous, who… will be engaged among men a thousand years, and will rule them with most just command… ibid p. 211.)
Letter of Barnabas (70-79 A.D.), written by a second century Apostolic Father
And God rested on the seventh day from all his works… Therefore, a sabbath rest still remains for the people of God.” (Heb 4:4, 9)…when His Son will come and destroy the time of the lawless one and judge the godless, and change the sun and the moon and the stars—then He shall indeed rest on the seventh day… after giving rest to all things, I will make the beginning of the eighth day, that is, the beginning of another world.
Tertullian (155—240 A.D.),
We say that this city [divinely rebuilt Jerusalem] has been provided by God for receiving the saints on their resurrection, and refreshing them with the abundance of all really spiritual blessings, as a recompense for those which we have either despised or lost…
Nicene Church Father; Adversus Marcion, Ante-Nicene Fathers, Henrickson Publishers, 1995, Vol. 3, pp. 342-343
—Caecilius Firmianus Lactantius, The Divine Institutes
The earth will open its fruitfulness and bring forth most abundant fruits of its own accord; the rocky mountains shall drip with honey; streams of wine shall run down, and rivers flow with milk; in short the world itself shall rejoice, and all nature exalt, being rescued and set free from the dominion of evil and impiety, and guilt and error.
Lists of quotes from Early Church Fathers, Popes, Old Testament assembled by Daniel O'Conner and Mark Mallett.