Ante-Nicene Fathers/Volume V/Cyprian/The Treatises of Cyprian/Exhortation to Martyrdom/Part 4

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3. What is God’s threatening against those who sacrifice to idols?

In Exodus: “He that sacrificeth unto any gods but the Lord only, shall be rooted out.”[1] Also in Deuteronomy: “They sacrificed unto demons, and not to God.”[2] In Isaiah also: “They worshipped those which their fingers have made; and the mean man was bowed down, and the great man was humbled:  and I will not forgive them.”[3] And again: “To them hast thou poured out drink-offerings, and to them thou hast offered sacrifices. For these, therefore, shall I not be angry, saith the Lord?”[4] In Jeremiah also: “Walk ye not after other gods, to serve them; and worship them not, and provoke me not in the works of your hands, to destroy you.”[5] In the Apocalypse too:  “If any man worship the beast and his image, and receive his mark in his forehead or in his hand, he shall also drink of the wine of the wrath of God, which is mixed in the cup of His wrath, and shall be punished with fire and brimstone before the eyes of the holy angels, and before the eyes of the Lamb: and the smoke of their torments shall ascend for ever and ever: and they shall have no rest day or night, whosoever worship the beast and his image.”[6]


  1. Ex. xxii. 20.
  2. Deut. xxxii. 17.
  3. Isa. ii. 8, 9.
  4. Isa. lvii. 6.
  5. Jer. vii. 6.
  6. Rev. xiv. 9–11.