DID ANCIENT CHURCH FATHERS BELIEVE in THE RAPTURE?

DID ANCIENT CHURCH FATHERS BELIEVE in THE RAPTURE?
| PentecostalTheology.com

 

 

“Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord.” – 1 Thessalonians 4:17.

What did the first century church fathers believe about the Rapture? Were they pre-tribulation or post-tribulation? What did the disciples of the Apostles of Jesus Christ teach about the Rapture?

This article will present the writings of the early church fathers – from those who learned under the disciples of Jesus Christ, to the church leaders of the second and third centuries, on the Rapture – the supernatural removal of all Bible-believing Christians from Earth to enter Heaven. While the writings of the first, second and third century Christian church fathers are not Scripture and not on par with the Bible in any way, it is informative to see how the early church leaders interpreted Scripture in addition to what the learned directly from those closest to The Lord Jesus Christ. And definitively, the few writings still in existence on the end times, put the timing of the Rapture before the Great Tribulation. This article will also serve to dispel some of the common misconceptions about Rapture theology as being something invented in the 19th century by a man named John Darby.

“John Darby Invented The Pre-Tribulation Rapture”

Ancient writings on the Rapture | Pre-tribulation rapture defended
John Darby has been incorrectly credited with “inventing” the Rapture.

All over the internet there are many articles and videos that claim that the Rapture doctrine was “invented” in 1830 by a man named John Darby. The following is an excerpt that summarizes this theory:

“The Rapture doctrine, which was the invention of the Plymouth Brethren led by John Nelson Darby (1800-1882), has today been adopted by most Baptist, Pentecostals, Assemblies of God, and a variety of other fundamentalist sects. The idea that Jesus Christ will return for His true Church just before the beginning of the Great Tribulation in a secret gathering or “catching away” was an important part of Darby’s teaching. The movement in which this teaching began originated in small groups in England and Ireland about 1828 and by 1831 was part of the official teaching of the Plymouth Brethren. By 1860 the “rapture” had made its way to the United States.

Today, prophecy pundits and “end-time” revivalists preach the Rapture as if it were established dogma from the time of Christ until the present. The truth is that the first historical reference to the Rapture doctrine comes from the Plymouth Brethren. Not only is the Rapture not found in the teachings of the Church, but even “end-time” heretics throughout the centuries never dreamed of proposing such a novel idea. For example, the 4th century Montanists, who preached both pre-millennialism and that they knew when Christ would return, never ventured so far as to create another 2nd coming of the Lord in a secret rapture.

In all the writings of the Scriptures, the Early Fathers, and the Ecumenical Councils, there is no mention of two 2nd comings of Christ.” (source) [Emphasis added].

In short, the objection is that rather than being a real part of the Bible, the entire idea of a pre-Great Tribulational Rapture was just an invention by Darby and “not even heretics” ever used it. This is very strong language, but is it true? Were there no ancient Christian writings about the church being Raptured before Great Tribulation? An examination of early church writings shows that this charge is false and there were some church fathers who indeed wrote about the Rapture.

Irenaeus

Irenaeus (130 A.D. – 202 AD) was a bishop of the church in Lyons, France. He was an eyewitness to the Apostle John (who wrote the Book of Revelation) and a disciple of Polycarp, the first of the Apostle John’s disciples. Irenaeus is most-known for his five-volume treatise, Against Heresies in which he exposed the false religions and cults of his day along with advice for how to share the Gospel with those were a part of them.

In his writings on Bible prophecy, he acknowledged the phrase “a time, times and dividing of times” in Daniel 7 to signify the 3 ½ year reign of the Antichrist as ruler of the world before the Second Coming of Christ. He also believed in a literal Millennial reign of Christ on earth following the Second Coming and the resurrection of the just.

On the subject of the Rapture, in Against Heresies 5.29, he wrote:

“Those nations however, who did not of themselves raise up their eyes unto heaven, nor returned thanks to their Maker, nor wished to behold the light of truth, but who were like blind mice concealed in the depths of ignorance, the word justly reckons “as waste water from a sink, and as the turning-weight of a balance — in fact, as nothing;”(1) so far useful and serviceable to the just, as stubble conduces towards the growth of the wheat, and its straw, by means of combustion, serves for working gold. And therefore, when in the end the Church shall be suddenly caught up from this, it is said, “There shall be tribulation such as has not been since the beginning, neither shall be.”(2) For this is the last contest of the righteous, in which, when they overcome they are crowned with incorruption.”

Irenaeus in this passage describes the church leaving the sinful world just before unprecedented disasters. Note his use of the term “caught up” which is Rapture terminology as that is the meaning of harpazo, the term for “caught up” in the King James Bible describing the Rapture in 1 Thessalonians 4. He then quotes Matthew 24:21 where The Lord Jesus Christ says: “For then shall be great tribulation, such as was not since the beginning of the world to this time, no, nor ever shall be.” And it is during this time that those who convert to Christianity during the final years will receive the incorruptible crown mentioned by the Apostle Paul in 1 Corinthians 9:25. In Irenaeus’ belief, the Rapture took place prior to the end times Great Tribulation.

Cyprian
Cyprian (200 AD – 258 AD) – Cyprian was Bishop of the church in Carthage. During his short stint as leader of the church, he guided the flock through intense persecution at the hands of the Roman Empire. In 258 AD after spending seven months of confinement to his home by order of Roman authorities, he was beheaded for his faith. Several of his works still exist today.

In Treatises of Cyprian he wrote in describing the end times Great Tribulation:

“We who see that terrible things have begun, and know that still more terrible things are imminent, may regard it as the greatest advantage to depart from it as quickly as possible. Do you not give God thanks, do you not congratulate yourself, that by an early departure you are taken away, and delivered from the shipwrecks and disasters that are imminent? Let us greet the day which assigns each of us to his own home, which snatches us hence, and sets us free from the snares of the world and restores us to paradise and the kingdom.”

Again we see use of language commonly found in reference to the Rapture as Cyprian describes the judgments of the end times as “imminent.” And he makes his belief on the timing of the Rapture when he wrote that Christians will have an “early departure” and be “delivered” from the devastating global judgments that come during the Day of The Lord.
In line with the Apostle Paul who wrote that “God has not appointed us to wrath, but salvation..” Cyprian expressed joy and encourages the believing reader to rejoice that the Church will be “taken away” before the disastrous Great Tribulation. Just as The Lord Jesus Christ in Matthew 24 used the same language of one “taken away” and the other “left.” Additionally Cyprian references the mansions which The Lord Jesus Christ promises to come back and take His believers to in John 14.

“Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me. In my Father’s house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also.” – John 14:1-3.

As Beginning and End detailed in our article “The Red Moon Rapture – The Biblical Timing of The Rapture”, in both the Matthew 24 passages (“one taken, the other left”) and in John 14 (“..receive you unto myself..”) the Greek work paralambanō is used for taken and receive. The meaning of that word is “join to one’s self” indicating that Jesus is coming to fully unify with His church – which takes place at the Rapture. Clearly Cyprian believed and taught that the Rapture takes place before the Great Tribulation.

Ephraim The Syrian

Ephraim (306 AD – 373 AD) was made a deacon in the church in Syria in 338 and later became the bishop of Nisibis. Although he was made a “saint” in the Roman Catholic Church, he was not involved in Catholicism and did not even live in the Roman Empire until the final years of his life. The book Pseudo Ephraim was one of his still existing works. It was called “Pseudo” because of later dispute over authorship. However the book’s one reference to the rapture is very compelling:

In his work, On The Last Times 2, he wrote:

“We ought to understand thoroughly therefore, my brothers, what is imminent or overhanging. Already there have been hunger and plagues, violent movements of nations and signs, which have been predicted by the Lord, they have already been fulfilled (consummated), and there is not other which remains, except the advent of the wicked one in the completion of the Roman kingdom. Why therefore are we occupied with worldly business, and why is our mind held fixed on the lusts of the world or on the anxieties of the ages? Why therefore do we not reject every care of worldly business, and why is our mind held fixed on the lusts of the world or on the anxieties of the ages? Why therefore do we not reject every care of earthly actions and prepare ourselves for the meeting of the Lord Christ, so that he may draw us from the confusion, which overwhelms all the world? Believe you me, dearest brother, because the coming (advent) of the Lord is nigh, believe you me, because the end of the world is at hand, believe me, because it is the very last time.

Or do you not believe unless you see with your eyes? See to it that this sentence be not fulfilled among you of the prophet who declares: “Woe to those who desire to see the day of the Lord!” For all the saints and elect of God are gathered, prior to the tribulation that is to come, and are taken to the Lord lest they see the confusion that is to overwhelm the world because of our sins. And so, brothers most dear to me, it is the eleventh hour, and the end of the world comes to the harvest, and angels, armed and prepared, hold sickles in their hands, awaiting the empire of the Lord. And we think that the earth exists with blind infidelity, arriving at its downfall early. Commotions are brought forth, wars of diverse peoples and battles and incursions of the barbarians threaten, and our regions shall be desolated, and we neither become very much afraid of the report nor of the appearance, in order that we may at least do penance; because they hurl fear at us, and we do not wish to be changed, although we at least stand in need of penance for our actions!”

With a sense of urgency and strong warning, Ephraim writes that the end times are upon this world and could start at any moment. This text very clearly states the saints and elect of God, all born again believers in The Lord Jesus Christ, will be “taken to the Lord” before the Great Tribulation. Ephraim also identifies the Old Testament “Day of The Lord” and the end times Great tribulation as the same event (in line with the teachings of the Beginning and End Rapture Series). Ephraim quotes Amos 5:18 which says: “Woe unto you that desire the day of the LORD! to what end is it for you? the day of the LORD is darkness, and not light.”

The point he makes is that a Christian should know the Day of The Lord is coming. In the first part of the passage Ephraim notes that:
“We ought to understand thoroughly therefore, my brothers, what is imminent or overhanging. Already there have been hunger and plagues, violent movements of nations and signs, which have been predicted by the Lord, they have already been fulfilled (consummated)” And not only that but that true Christians will be taken away before it starts.
Here he is describing the first 3 of the first 4 seals of Revelation 6 – wars, famines and plagues. These are the same end times signs Jesus Christ describes in Matthew 24:

And as he sat upon the mount of Olives, the disciples came unto him privately, saying, Tell us, when shall these things be? and what shall be the sign of thy coming, and of the end of the world? And Jesus answered and said unto them, Take heed that no man deceive you. For many shall come in my name, saying, I am Christ; and shall deceive many. And ye shall hear of wars and rumours of wars: see that ye be not troubled: for all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet. For nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom: and there shall be famines, and pestilences, and earthquakes, in divers places. All these are the beginning of sorrows. – Matthew 24:3-8.

Jesus describes these events as “the beginning of sorrows.” He also says that when these things come to pass “the end is not yet.” Ephraim’s writing agrees with this interpretation as he says those same events have been “fulfilled (consummated)” in his day, but it was still not the actual Great Tribulation. This also falls in line with Beginning and End’s Rapture series as explained in our article Who Are The Four Horsemen Of The Apocalypse? (The first four seals of Revelation 6 were opened at the time Jesus Christ ascended to Heaven. And the rapture itself does not occur until the opening of the 6th Seal.)

Ephraim in very strong language warns the reader not to be consumed with the cares of the world because the world in its current form, is coming to an end. As the Second Advent or Coming of The Lord Jesus Christ grows near, believers are to look to Heaven and set their hearts on pleasing God. It is clear that Ephraim distinguishes the Second Coming of Christ from the rapture, placing the Rapture before the Great Tribulation to come.

The Early Church Believed In The Rapture

Who invented the Rapture idea? | What did Church fathers say about the Rapture? | John Darby did NOT invent the rapture
The ancient writings are clear – the belief in the Rapture has existed since the days of the Apostles.

Although there are not a great number of writings on the end times from the early centuries of the church, there is no question that there was a belief in the Rapture among the church fathers and they taught it with strong language and scriptural support. In terms of the timing of the Rapture, the early church fathers placed it before the end times Day of The Lord/Great Tribulation. The writings of early saints in the church are not Scripture and should not be treated on the same level of the Bible. These writings also do not “prove” that the pre-Great Tribulation Rapture or the Beginning and End Rapture series are correct. Only rightly divided Scripture from the Bible can determine if a specific belief is accurate or in error. But the writings of church fathers can serve as useful commentaries (just as we use Bible commentaries today in our studies) and certainly prove that the Rapture doctrine existed well before John Darby and has been a part of Christian belief since the earliest days of the Apostles.

140 Comments

  • Reply July 1, 2020

    Varnel Watson

    YES they did James C. Morris Neil Steven Lawrence

  • Mike Smith
    Reply July 1, 2020

    Mike Smith

    Troy Day The Church Fathers were great, but they were not infallible,

    • Reply July 1, 2020

      Varnel Watson

      they were the closest to the autographs

    • Vasiliki Ignatiadou
      Reply July 1, 2020

      Vasiliki Ignatiadou

      Mike Smith and the Plymouth Brethren led by John Nelson Darby (1800-1882) were not infallible???

    • Reply July 5, 2020

      Varnel Watson

      Vasiliki Ignatiadou . And therefore, when in the end the Church shall be suddenly caught up from this, it is said, There shall be tribulation such as has not been since the beginning, neither shall be. Matthew 24:21 For this is the last contest of the righteous, in which, when they overcome they are crowned with incorruption. https://www.newadvent.org/fathers/0103529.htm

  • Thys Marais
    Reply July 1, 2020

    Thys Marais

    Was it preached??? What did the common christians believed? Those people did not have any resources at that time, and few could read or write?

    • Reply July 1, 2020

      Varnel Watson

      sure it was – just read their sermons

    • Reply July 5, 2020

      Varnel Watson

      Thys Marais And therefore, when in the end the Church shall be suddenly caught up from this, it is said, There shall be tribulation such as has not been since the beginning, neither shall be. Matthew 24:21 For this is the last contest of the righteous, in which, when they overcome they are crowned with incorruption. https://www.newadvent.org/fathers/0103529.htm

    • Thys Marais
      Reply July 5, 2020

      Thys Marais

      Ag no man sir. If this current church is cought up in heaven before the last final battle, that people sitting under the throne, crying out for Gods revenge in this world, should be highly disappointed. Why were they scarified, and the rest of the church escape the final battle??? Are we more holy then them? Did not Jesus Himself said, we will be killed for confessing Him? Are we better then our Master, that paid the highest price??? Whow. We are so pure and righteous, we should not suffer for our Lord??? No sir.

  • Lito Nartéa
    Reply July 1, 2020

    Lito Nartéa

    They believed in the post-trib kind, not the secret one.

    • Reply July 1, 2020

      Varnel Watson

      pure speculation – not even in the BIBLE

    • Reply July 5, 2020

      Varnel Watson

      Lito Nartéa And therefore, when in the end the Church shall be suddenly caught up from this, it is said, There shall be tribulation such as has not been since the beginning, neither shall be. Matthew 24:21 For this is the last contest of the righteous, in which, when they overcome they are crowned with incorruption. https://www.newadvent.org/fathers/0103529.htm

    • Lito Nartéa
      Reply July 5, 2020

      Lito Nartéa

      Hi Troy, Ireneaus taught the Man of Lawlessness will precede the rapture.

  • Tony Foulks
    Reply July 1, 2020

    Tony Foulks

    No. I read much and never about the rapture. Do I believe? Absolutely

    • Reply July 5, 2020

      Varnel Watson

      Tony Foulks And therefore, when in the end the Church shall be suddenly caught up from this, it is said, There shall be tribulation such as has not been since the beginning, neither shall be. Matthew 24:21 For this is the last contest of the righteous, in which, when they overcome they are crowned with incorruption. https://www.newadvent.org/fathers/0103529.htm

  • Joseph Weissman
    Reply July 1, 2020

    Joseph Weissman

    Either way, if we followed the church fathers on everything, we’d end up very confused and disorderly, still doing the sign of the cross and such.

    • Reply July 1, 2020

      Varnel Watson

      poor excuse for ignorance at this time

    • Reply August 1, 2020

      Rev. Timothy Cremeens, PhD

      What’s wrong with still doing the sign of the cross?

  • Daren Lausterer
    Reply July 1, 2020

    Daren Lausterer

    Great question – currently browsing thru the Apostolic fathers seeking the answer

  • Alexander Orme
    Reply July 1, 2020

    Alexander Orme

    This video takes a look at one of the early church movements which practiced obedience to the teachings of Jesus. An early ascetic, St. Anthony of the Desert (also known as St. Anthony the Great) read, “Sell everything you have and give to the poor”. This changed his life, and by living these words out, in community with other believers, he helped propel a movement which greatly influenced the world at the time.

    Movements which believe you should sell everything you own need not be limited to the early church. They can come alive today, and we can change the world for Jesus, if only we would have the faith to practice the teachings of Jesus.
    http://bit.ly/32Q53cg

    • Reply July 1, 2020

      Varnel Watson

      Anthony was great – didnt he also live on a pillar? Shall we do the same to get closer to divinity

    • Alexander Orme
      Reply July 2, 2020

      Alexander Orme

      Troy Day
      The more we take the teachings of Jesus to heart and live by them, the closer our relationship to God will become and our faith will grow.

      Matthew 13:31-32 – Another parable put he forth unto them, saying, The kingdom of heaven is like to a grain of mustard seed, which a man took, and sowed in his field:Which indeed is the least of all seeds: but when it is grown, it is the greatest among herbs, and becometh a tree, so that the birds of the air come and lodge in the branches thereof.

    • Reply July 2, 2020

      Varnel Watson

      Alexander Orme it is my intent with introducing this topic too

  • John D Lighthouse
    Reply July 1, 2020

    John D Lighthouse

    If they were stricken with allegorical interpretation, I think, they did not. It was the plain and normal interpretation of Scripture that caused many to recover precious truths from Scripture.

    During the 1st and 2nd centuries, when churchmen interpreted the Bible plainly and normally, they were premillennial down to the last man. It was when they started interpreting the Bible allegorically that premillennialism took a back seat.

    • Reply July 1, 2020

      Varnel Watson

      allegorical interpretation what? Have you even read any of them? Most of them were literalists

    • John D Lighthouse
      Reply July 1, 2020

      John D Lighthouse

      Troy Day

      “Allegory is used by the Church Fathers to interpret many Old Testament texts, but never those in the New Testament.”

      Source

      https://conciliarpost.com/theology-spirituality/allegory-and-church-fathers/

    • Reply July 1, 2020

      Varnel Watson

      John D Lighthouse this URL cites gregory the great from 6 AD If you took time to read my OP you will see I speak of much early church fathers pre-4th century Thank you

    • John D Lighthouse
      Reply July 1, 2020

      John D Lighthouse

      Troy Day

      Troy Day, this is what I wrote above:

      “During the 1st and 2nd centuries, when churchmen interpreted the Bible plainly and normally, they were premillennial down to the last man. It was when they started interpreting the Bible allegorically that premillennialism took a back seat.”

  • Vernon Reuben
    Reply July 1, 2020

    Vernon Reuben

    Great question. I’m looking it up now.

    • Reply July 1, 2020

      Varnel Watson

      all you need to do is read OP

  • Stephen Joseph Gallina

    You mean the resurrection of the church? Yes!

    • Reply July 1, 2020

      Varnel Watson

      not what the church fathers wrote per se but many who have not read them tend to misinterpret them alike you Much liberal theology comes from California indeed

  • Alan Yusko
    Reply July 1, 2020

    Alan Yusko

    Paul did in the bible..

  • Sunday Okafor
    Reply July 1, 2020

    Sunday Okafor

    Are they older than the bible

    • Reply July 5, 2020

      Varnel Watson

      older than you which makes them old enough

  • Chris Debisschop
    Reply July 1, 2020

    Chris Debisschop

    The Bible teaches a coming general Resurrection not science fiction rapture.

  • Ed Wellington
    Reply July 1, 2020

    Ed Wellington

    “after those days of tribulation the trumpet” meaning the 7th and last will sound the glorious 2nd coming and resurrection. So somebody invented the secret rapture. Was it Darby. It appealed to the flesh of many who did not want to pay the price of self denial and suffering to build the “new man” to go through seven years of global suffering or die for their faith.

    • Reply July 1, 2020

      Varnel Watson

      so we should disregard the Church Fathers?

  • Kent Anderson
    Reply July 1, 2020

    Kent Anderson

    Iraneus and Cyprian supposedly did, but they were associated with Rome and the up and coming Catholics….Iraneus wrote many papers on heresy of his time but much of this “rapture” belief is speculation, the term “rapture” came about during translations into Latin and the officiial Vulgate came in 380AD or so by good ole boy Jerome….so put on your purple and Scarlet and wait to be whisked away

    • Reply July 1, 2020

      Varnel Watson

      you mention 4AD – the split did not come until 10-11 AD You sound like the person who was trying to prove to me the Catholic church invented Islam in the 6th century

  • Wal Ters
    Reply July 1, 2020

    Wal Ters

    they believed in the Rapture at the Parousia, at the very end of this age.

  • Vasiliki Ignatiadou
    Reply July 1, 2020

    Vasiliki Ignatiadou

    The Rapture doctrine, which was the invention of the Plymouth Brethren led by John Nelson Darby (1800-1882), has today been adopted by most Baptist. This says it all. Christians were around 33AD to 1800 AD , so they all had it wrong? Paleeze

  • Dave Holdway
    Reply July 1, 2020

    Dave Holdway

    I think Irenaeus has been summarised incorrectly.
    I’m sure that he would have said that the antichrist would reign for 3 1/2 times, but 3 1/2 years as this article states?
    Hardly likely!

    • Vasiliki Ignatiadou
      Reply July 2, 2020

      Vasiliki Ignatiadou

      Dave Holdway it is wrong to say Irenaeus was incorrect. This man heard John the Baptist and had see the teaching and preaching of Polycorp. These two were more close to Jesus than any Brethren like Darby 1800 years later.

    • Dave Holdway
      Reply July 2, 2020

      Dave Holdway

      Vasiliki Ignatiadou I am not disagreeing with Irenaeus.
      I’m saying that Irenaus knew that the antichrist would appear after Rome fell.
      I am not arguing with Irenaeus but the person who put the article together and who is suggesting Irenaeus was a pre trib futurist.

    • Dave Holdway
      Reply July 2, 2020

      Dave Holdway

      Vasiliki Ignatiadou I will attempt to get a copy of ‘Against Heresies’ to see exactly what Irenaeus stated.

  • Laurie Lombard
    Reply July 2, 2020

    Laurie Lombard

    Don’t get “caught up” with a false disappearance of the Church.

  • Dave Holdway
    Reply July 2, 2020

    Dave Holdway

    After reviewing Irenaeus’ ‘Against Heresies’ Book 5, I have removed my original comment and am replacing it with this:

    I am not concerned with the rapture doctrine (a given anyway) but with the contention that Irenaeus was a pre tribulation futurist.
    I still doubt this very much, however Book 5 does render the Antichrist to come as reigning for 3 1/2 ‘years’.
    So my argument then becomes: is this actually what Irenaeus meant, or is it only what the English translator believes was his intent? This given scripture only ever refers to the period as ‘three and a half times’ in the Aramaic and Hebrew.
    Irenaeus in the same chapter says it is believed that the Antichrist will reign for a long time.
    Again this to me doesn’t suggest a mere 3.5 literal years.

    In regard to the millennium, it does seem to me that Irenaeus expects a millennial reign after the return of Christ, something I disagree with on several grounds and have discussed elsewhere.

    Now it has also been asserted (correctly) that Irenaeus was a contemporary of Polycarp and John.
    While he would have been a child and possibly a young man when John was still alive, I have yet to see a reference that suggests he ever met either of them.

    • Vasiliki Ignatiadou
      Reply July 2, 2020

      Vasiliki Ignatiadou

      Dave Holdway and yet a Godly man 30 years apart is closer the the first teachings of the church than men 1800 years apart.

    • Dave Holdway
      Reply July 2, 2020

      Dave Holdway

      Vasiliki Ignatiadou not through the action of the Holy Spirit. Time becomes irrelevant.

    • Reply July 5, 2020

      Varnel Watson

      Dave Holdway SO what do you say now Irenaeus was PLS also see Against Heresies (Book V, Chapter 30) Although certain as to the number of the name of Antichrist, yet we should come to no rash conclusions as to the name itself, because this number is capable of being fitted to many names. Reasons for this point being reserved by the Holy Spirit. Antichrist’s reign and death. https://www.newadvent.org/fathers/0103530.htm

    • Dave Holdway
      Reply July 5, 2020

      Dave Holdway

      Troy Day he appears to have believed in a millennial age after the second coming. However as I stated above his position in regard to the antichrist suggests he was a historicist who expected the antichrist to reign a long while and the 3.5 weeks are therefore not literal years, but ‘times’ and therefore a prophetic 1,260 years.

    • Reply July 5, 2020

      Varnel Watson

      Dave Holdway ALL he says about the a-Christ is future Especially when he mentioned the current emperor

      We will not, however, incur the risk of pronouncing positively as to the name of Antichrist; for if it were necessary that his name should be distinctly revealed in this present time, it would have been announced by him who beheld the apocalyptic vision. For that was seen no very long time since, but almost in our day, towards the end of Domitian’s reign.

    • Dave Holdway
      Reply July 5, 2020

      Dave Holdway

      Troy Day of course it was still future to Irenaeus and the antichrist identity hidden.
      But the point is; that was said over 1800 years ago when the Roman Empire was still well and truly in charge.
      To say that the antichrist has not arrived even now, or that we don’t know his identity in the 21st century (as ALL futurists are still maintaining) is so preposterous as to be totally ignorant and blinded by false Darbyist and Lindsey teaching.
      Why Pentecostals are following these unanointed men totally baffles me.

  • Reply July 5, 2020

    Varnel Watson

    Dave Holdway that when this man [the Antichrist] comes we may avoid him, being aware who he is. (Against Heresies, V, 30, 3, 4)

    And therefore, when in the end the Church shall be suddenly caught up from this, it is said, There shall be tribulation such as has not been since the beginning, neither shall be. Matthew 24:21 For this is the last contest of the righteous, in which, when they overcome they are crowned with incorruption. https://www.newadvent.org/fathers/0103529.htm

  • Reply July 5, 2020

    Varnel Watson

    Dave Holdway Roman Empire was still well and truly in charge hardly When the Roman Empire became in charge of the Christian Church it got itself out for 500-600 years But by that time the true church was no more IMO Anyhow 99% early church fathers were preMil most of them were pre-Trib rapture too Until Augustine came defending the Empire as Kingdom of Heaven and the rest is history

  • Steve Conley
    Reply July 5, 2020

    Steve Conley

    Troy Day plays fast and loose with Irenaeus’ teachings

    Mr. Day, your conclusions show me that you have a bad case of pre-trib glasses or, putting it another way, tunnel vision. If your conclusion isn’t the onset of textual blindness then it must be outright dishonesty. Please consider again your primary text from which you conclude that Irenaeus was pre-trib.

    Here again is the first paragraph of Volume 5, chapter 29 Against Heresies

    —-“1. In the previous books I have set forth the causes for which God permitted these things to be made, and have pointed out that all such have been created for the benefit of that human nature which is saved, ripening for immortality that which is [possessed] of its own free will and its own power, and preparing and rendering it more adapted for eternal subjection to God. And therefore the creation is suited to [the wants of] man; for man was not made for its sake, but creation for the sake of man. Those nations however, who did not of themselves raise up their eyes unto heaven, nor returned thanks to their Maker, nor wished to behold the light of truth, but who were like blind mice concealed in the depths of ignorance, the word justly reckons “as waste water from a sink, and as the turning-weight of a balance-in fact, as nothing; ” so far useful and serviceable to the just, as stubble conduces towards the growth of the wheat, and its straw, by means of combustion, serves for working gold. And therefore, when in the end the Church shall be suddenly caught up from this, it is said, “There shall be tribulation such as has not been since the beginning, neither shall be.” For this is the last contest of the righteous, in which, when they overcome they are crowned with incorruption.”—-

    After reading over the paragraph a few times it is very clear that Irenaeus is referring to God’s use of the lost world (unbelieving nations) in a capacity for the good of the saved, the Church. It would appear, that he is quoting the first portion of Isa 40:15, which is: “Behold, the nations are as a drop of a bucket, and are counted as the small dust of the balance: …” However, the English translation of what he says is a bit different. If the translation is correct, he appears to be saying that the unbelieving nations are considered by the Word of God to be like the water from a sink, water that you have used to clean with, but now is to be discarded. Next, he refers to the turning-weight of a balance (I’m not certain of the dynamics that he is referring to here, so I will not attempt to elaborate on this). Following that, he considers the nations to be as stubble which helps in the growth of the wheat but will be winnowed away after the threshing. Last, he likens them to straw which is burnt to provide heat for the working or refining of gold. Irenaeus has declared the purpose of the unbelieving nations as he understands it, from the Word of God.

    Next comes the “therefore,” connecting the following to the previous. Having declared the purpose of the unbelieving nations, he introduces those for whom the unbelieving nations were made useful, the CHURCH. He says that the church shall be suddenly caught up from “this”, the usefulness of the unbelieving nations, in the end. (Notice that he says they are caught up in the end, not seven years before the end. It is the end of the age which coincides with Christ’s second coming.) Then he refers to the activity or usefulness of the nations that Jesus speaks of in Matt 24:21. He says that it will be unprecedented persecution (thlipsis). Irenaeus places the church square in the middle of the great tribulation by referencing Matt 24:21. He goes on to say that this is the last contest (trial) of the righteous. The great tribulation is the last trial for the CHURCH. After the great tribulation those who overcame are given immortal bodies (crowned with incorruption). We know that this takes place at the resurrection right before the rapture. The context never changes, the CHURCH is called “the righteous.” It is utter foolishness to postulate that Irenaeus is talking about another group of believers other than the CHURCH.

    Irenaeus’ teaching in this paragraph, may appear to be strange to many Western Evangelicals, but it is supported by the teaching of Christ and the Apostles in the Holy Scriptures. He is saying that the persecution that we experience from the lost world is preparing us for the immortality that awaits us. In this era of the Prosperity Gospel, much of the professing church has come to think of violent Christian persecution as unconscionable. “God forbid that we (Churches in the West) should ever experience any serious persecution” is a common mindset. Although some will affirm an expectation of suffering persecution in the future, it is believed they are exempted from any severe form of it. Irenaeus is teaching that the unprecedented persecution of the great tribulation is the use, for our good, of the unbelieving nations according to God’s purpose. He is saying that it is God’s will that we experience persecution.

    The last paragraph in chapter 28 which comes immediately before our text brings this point home.

    —-“4. And therefore throughout all time, man, having been moulded at the beginning by the hands of God, that is, of the Son and of the Spirit, is made after the image and likeness of God: the chaff, indeed, which is the apostasy, being cast away; but the wheat, that is, those who bring forth fruit to God in faith, being gathered into the barn. And for this cause tribulation is necessary for those who are saved, that having been after a manner broken up, and rendered fine, and sprinkled over by the patience of the Word of God, and set on fire [for purification], they may be fitted for the royal banquet. As a certain man of ours said, when he was condemned to the wild beasts because of his testimony with respect to God: “I am the wheat of Christ, and am ground by the teeth of the wild beasts, that I may be found the pure bread of God.””—-

    In these two paragraphs, Irenaeus is saying that tribulation, even that tribulation that shall come at the hand of the Beast, is necessary for the CHURCH.

    Troy Day, this is the exact opposite of your teaching on this text. You sir, are playing fast and loose with the teaching of Irenaeus.

    • Reply July 5, 2020

      Varnel Watson

      Steve Conley I aint no mister to you, but since you asked How man to respond to you? – you reject the BIBLE straight, reject the church fathers, have no theological education to engage in a theology proper, no video as of WHY you may teach such man made heresy as pre-wrath and what else? Oh yes 30yr ministry you claim that cannot be found no where SO how am I to approach your mindset and relate to you theological ideas that you are not capable to comprehend All you’ve done in the past few days is ad hominem attacks that produce nothing

      I gave you Greek you dont understand Gave you church fathers you have no clue who they are All you’ve done is copy pasting from some internet sources that are not even BIBLE college level but Sunday school and low levels too

      So IF I give you proof in Greek from the BIBLE will you believe it? No – one thing we can agree on is this

      The pre-wrath heresy you uphold so dearly is NOT only NOT Biblical but man-made for money too WHY you support and accept the pre-wrath as a man made heresy?

      The person who conceived the “Pre-Wrath” view of the Rapture was a man named Robert Van Kampen (1938-1999). Van Kampen became one of America’s richest men through his involvement in investment banking. During his lifetime he accumulated one of the largest private collections of rare and antique Bibles in North America. In the 1970’s Van Kampen began developing the “Pre- Wrath” concept of the timing of the Rapture. Once he had completed his work on the concept, he started trying to find a well known person in the field of Bible prophecy to endorse his new view. That person finally turned out to be Marvin Rosenthal

      I object to the 3/4 Trib Rapture because it violates the chronology of the book of Revelation. The sequence of events that is pictured in the book of Revelation clearly places both the Seal Judgments and the Trumpet Judgments in the first half of the 70th Week of Daniel. And the Bowl Judgments are clearly contained within Daniel’s 70th Week, near its end. The 3/4 Trib view scrambles all this. The Seal Judgments are continued over into the second half of the 7 year period, the Trumpet Judgments are moved from the first half to the end of the second ETC

      AS to your exquisite and newly found all knowingness on Irenaeus here is the Latin with the partial Greek fragments attached Go translate it yourself and report to me your findings upon your eventual return Thank you http://www.textexcavation.com/documents/images/ah5p049.jpg

    • Reply July 5, 2020

      Varnel Watson

      Steve Galt will you pls help our dear brother with the Greek of Irenaeus – not exactly 1Jn translation material May be a good start will be WHERE to actually find Irenaeusin Greek 🙂

    • Dave Holdway
      Reply July 5, 2020

      Dave Holdway

      Steve Conley your reply is comprehensive and illustrates the issues of translation and interpretation.
      From my perspective (historicism) I can see how easily futurists of every disposition so easily make wrong assumptions.
      And that is simply because they do not concede that much that was predicted by the prophets, has already taken place.
      In fact everything except for Daniel’s 1335th day – the final attack on Israel by Gog and Magog, the humungous earthquake sequence to come, rapture and judgement.

    • Reply July 5, 2020

      Varnel Watson

      Dave Holdway I find the repture SO hard to miss here for the sincere reader Mike Forfar Troy Day when are you people going to learn that the 70th week of Daneil was fulfilled in 27AD-34AD

    • Dave Holdway
      Reply July 5, 2020

      Dave Holdway

      Troy Day please explain what you are on about.
      The resurrection and rapture of AD 30 is the first one.
      The second is yet to come.

    • Reply July 5, 2020

      Varnel Watson

      Dave Holdway read what Irenaeus said in the quote I gave It is pretty clear and hard to miss

    • Steve Galt
      Reply July 5, 2020

      Steve Galt

      Troy Day I believe I have the Greek text on my bookshelf. However, I’m going to guess that the issue of whether or not Irenaeus was pre-trib (which he wasn’t) will not hinge upon an exegetical question of his Greek.

    • Dave Holdway
      Reply July 5, 2020

      Dave Holdway

      Troy Day your rant against Steve Conley is quite disgusting. What any of that has to do with discerning prophetic truth is beyond any reasonable person.
      It shows no sign of Holy Spirit anointing or even basic common courtesy.

    • Reply July 6, 2020

      Varnel Watson

      Steve Galt His wording is important as it was grossly misquoted to back someones agenda as it seems Pls make me a copy of V.29 and post it here Mine is in the office and I am pretty sure the Greek is just fragment Which edition do you have post a picture pls Dave Holdway I believe I’ve been pretty reasonable in my wording as even you changed your mind after reading what I posted was true The man claims 30 experience and knowledge and when called him out he run away from the original texts Oh well

    • Steve Galt
      Reply July 6, 2020

      Steve Galt

      Troy Day which line from Irenaeus are you interested in?

    • Reply July 6, 2020

      Varnel Watson

      Steve Galt book V is what were looking at in Against Heresies BUT I think it may be just a fragment in the Greek Lets see what you can find – it should be only 2 whole paragraphs

    • Steve Galt
      Reply July 6, 2020

      Steve Galt

      There are various Greek fragments in existence. The Latin edition Libros Quinque Adversus Haereses also includes Greek and Syriac where the Greek and Syriac exist. In my opinion, the best English translation would backwards engineer the Greek text based on a literal Latin translation. I’m not sure if this has been done. In any event, the Greek text is particularly germane to our conversation at this point.

    • Reply July 7, 2020

      Varnel Watson

      Steve Galt I already posted the Latin Any luck finding the book V.29 in Greek ? Pls post the picture I am not interested in English or backward translations at they vary

    • Steve Galt
      Reply July 7, 2020

      Steve Galt

      Troy Day

    • Steve Galt
      Reply July 7, 2020

      Steve Galt

    • Steve Galt
      Reply July 7, 2020

      Steve Galt

      It’s incomplete, but that’s it.

    • Reply July 7, 2020

      Varnel Watson

      Steve Galt YAP same as the link I posted Above The LATIN version is pretty explicit on the pre-Trib though http://www.textexcavation.com/documents/images/ah5p049.jpg?fbclid=IwAR0xoSDtCkSlFPjn9456pXqv8ZVQgBinGWQM2p5ZceW-8qfsnbtGN195v4I

  • Reply July 6, 2020

    Varnel Watson

    Steve Conley I believe you run away from the actual text you misquoted so badly but here it is again Would you pls come back with your translation of it to confirm any of what you said about Irenaeus
    http://www.textexcavation.com/documents/images/ah5p049.jpg?fbclid=IwAR2TWbPYQuxe5pkqG7vNeNFGLxCi4zilVWscGjnk81cwd8X0g1CXFqyY1bE

    • Thys Marais
      Reply July 8, 2020

      Thys Marais

      Troy Day you know! I read thousands of books, listen to 100ds of opinions, and eventually, started to read the bible! I still do not have all the answers! I can form my own opinion! But the 7th year of Daniel I could not find, in the times we live in! I only can find that we are in the times of the gentiles! How long this will last, is unknown! How many wars there will be, I can also not say! Al that I know, is that this time is grace time! Those that eccept it, will be safed! And visa versa! There will be no rapture, eccept that one that Jesus described in Mat 24! The church will go through tribulation, as it has done since 2000 years ago! Yes, saints will be prosecured, betraid, and murdered through this time! At the end, live in the flesh, with all its strive, will end for all of us! But we will live on! We will reighn with Jesus, if we believe! Nothing can seperate us from His love and grace! We should stop with our opinoins, and just live life for Him! Lets live Christ, and Him as our Redemer! All else, is of minor importance!

  • Lito Nartéa
    Reply July 6, 2020

    Lito Nartéa

    Wow, what a misrepresentation of what the early fathers believed. They did believed in the rapture alright but for them it was after the Great Tribulation.

    • Chris Debisschop
      Reply July 6, 2020

      Chris Debisschop

      Lito Nartéa None of the early fathers… none of the foundation of the Christian church believed in a rapture not one. Not Jesus not a single one of the Bible writers. But they all believed in resurrection!

    • Reply July 7, 2020

      Varnel Watson

      actually it is precise interpretation Lito Nartéa As in the case above Steve Galt checked and it matches exactly what I already posted If you can read the Greek or Latin you can see for yourself and refrain from making unsubstantiated assumptions If you dont read Greek may be you can get the book by James C. Morris read in English and learn better http://www.textexcavation.com/documents/images/ah5p049.jpg?fbclid=IwAR0xoSDtCkSlFPjn9456pXqv8ZVQgBinGWQM2p5ZceW-8qfsnbtGN195v4I

    • Reply July 7, 2020

      Varnel Watson

      Chris Debisschop WHY then Irenaeus wrote that the Church will escape the Tribulation – read it in his own words here 🙂

      http://www.textexcavation.com/documents/images/ah5p049.jpg?fbclid=IwAR0xoSDtCkSlFPjn9456pXqv8ZVQgBinGWQM2p5ZceW-8qfsnbtGN195v4I

    • Steve Conley
      Reply July 7, 2020

      Steve Conley

      Troy Day The church does escape this tribulation.

      2Th 1:6 Seeing it is a righteous thing with God to recompense TRIBULATION to them that trouble you;

      That is God’s, day of the Lord, tribulation of the unbelieving, Beast worshiping, earth-dwellers who will have been persecuting the church.

      The church, the elect, doesn’t escape this tribulation.

      Mat 24:21 For then shall be great TRIBULATION, such as was not since the beginning of the world to this time, no, nor ever shall be.
      Mat 24:22 And except those days should be shortened, there should no flesh be saved: but for the elect’s sake those days shall be shortened.

      This tribulation is that of Satan (Rev 12:12) through the Beast (Rev 13:7) upon the elect and ethnic Israel, in the form of unprecedented violent persecution.

      These tribulations are not the same.

      But that is not the issue with your misquote of Irenaeus. The issue is that your pretrib glasses are so thick that you see pretribulationism within teachings that are clearly saying the opposite. When you asked for confirmation of the English translation that I used, you appealed to Steve Galt, whoever he may be, as an authority in the matter. Yet you reject his authority when he told you, “…I’m going to guess that the issue of whether or not Irenaeus was pre-trib (which he wasn’t) will not hinge upon an exegetical question of his Greek.”

      May the Good Lord open your eyes to the truth that is hidden by those pretrib glasses you wear.

    • Reply July 7, 2020

      Varnel Watson

      Steve Conley I dont see your translation of Irenaeus though you asked for his words What is the guarantee that if I spend time to provide you with 2Th 1:6 translation you will not run away again? BTW after 30yrs of whatever ministry you’ve done you should know Mt 24 is for the Jews Christ spoke to Israel hence the name of this pericopae I feel every time I have to teach you the basics though you claim ministry over 3 decade span

    • Steve Conley
      Reply July 7, 2020

      Steve Conley

      I have run away from nothing. It is you who are afraid to enter into a discussion of Scripture texts.

      After teaching the pretribulationism for 30 years I rejected the lies that Matthew 24 is for the Jews.

      I once wore the same Coke bottle glasses that you wear, but the Good Lord had mercy upon me and opened my eyes. Glory be to Jesus Christ! Maybe He will do the same for you?

    • Reply July 7, 2020

      Varnel Watson

      Steve Conley dont get sidetracked with your straw man arguments This OP as clear is about Church Fathers I have provided you both the Greek and Latin sources since you chose to misquote them and so on childish stuff

      I will be more than happy to enter an intelligent theological discussion provided you show the needed qualifications All you’ve done so far in the group is trolling with your copy pastes and honestly I am surprised the admins have not banned you yet after all this trolling

    • Dave Holdway
      Reply July 7, 2020

      Dave Holdway

      Troy Day sorry, but I’m not convinced James C. Morris is a church or an eschatological father.
      Perhaps he is someone who has invested a lot of time and effort into eschatology, but one who has been unfortunately misled by the John Nelson Darbys and Hal Lindseys et al of this world.
      Once you are convinced of a futurist position (pre, post or whatever future 7 year tribulation) then it doesn’t matter how much you study Revelation, Ezekiel and Daniel, you are going to attempt to interpret their ‘times’, ‘days’, 42 months and 1,000 years literally – and not follow, or fully follow the Prophets’ timing guidelines correctly.

    • Reply July 7, 2020

      Varnel Watson

      bro Dave Holdway our bro James C. Morris has written an exceptional eschatological book which I just got He’s got remarkable overview of the Church Fathers in the aspect of their pre-mil eschatology worth our attention I believe it will do well to your developing view to have a look at it I did and I feel enriched

    • Dave Holdway
      Reply July 7, 2020

      Dave Holdway

      Troy Day I am glad you feel enriched. My discussions with James to date leave me appalled.

  • Steve Conley
    Reply July 7, 2020

    Steve Conley

    To Whom Does Christ’s Words in Matthew 24 Apply?

    There are five prominent indicators that show us to whom Christ’s answer in Matt 24 pertains.

    1) The word elect is used three times in Matt 24 (Vss 22, 24, 31), referring to believers, those who are in Christ.

    – Israel is distinguished from the elect

    Rom 11:7 What then? Israel hath not obtained that which he seeketh for; but the election hath obtained it, and the rest were blinded

    Only believing Israelites are elect.

    – The church, all those who are justified by faith, are the elect

    Rom 8:33 Who shall lay any thing to the charge of God’s elect? It is God that justifieth.

    – The elect is made up of believing Israelites and believing Gentiles

    Eph 2:19 Now therefore ye [believing Gentiles] are no more strangers and foreigners, but fellowcitizens with the saints [believing Israelites], and of the household of God;

    – Believing Gentiles have been graffed into the promises unto the fathers alongside of believing Israelites

    Rom 11:17 And if some of the branches be broken off, and thou [believing Gentiles], being a wild olive tree, wert graffed in among them [believing Israelites], and with them partakest of the root and fatness of the olive tree;

    The elect that Jesus referred to were those believers, both Jew and Gentile, the church, who would experience unprecedented persecution before His return for them.

    2) They are said to be hated for Jesus’ name’s sake

    Jesus was warning those who would be persecuted, hated, and killed for Christ’s name’s sake. It is our association with the risen Messiah that brings the persecution, even the persecution of the great tribulation.

    Mat 24:9 Then shall they deliver you up to be afflicted, and shall kill you: and ye shall be hated of all nations for my name’s sake.

    This megas thlipsis (great tribulation) is focused upon believers and ethnic Israel (Deut 4:30; 32:36; Jer 30:7; Dan 7:25; 12:1, 7; Rev 6:9-11; 12:6-17; 13:7), not the unbelieving Beast worshipers.

    Please note that the use of “then”, “after”, and “therefore” throughout the chapter indicates that verses 4-8 speak of the beginning of sorrows which fills the first half of the week and verses 9-29 cover the period of unprecedented persecution that Jesus called great tribulation which takes place starting in the middle of the week and prior to His coming and wrath.

    3) Jesus speaks to the 4 disciples in the second person

    Jesus spoke as if the four who had asked Him the question in verse 3 were going to be present during that period which precedes His coming. However, we know that they have died physically and that what Jesus spoke of is yet to come (with the exception of those words which dealt with the destruction of the Temple in 70 AD). This means that these 4 disciples were representative of the body of believers who would persevere through the great tribulation. What were these disciples a part of?

    – Paul tells us that the Apostles were part of the foundation of the Church

    Eph 2:20 And are built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner stone;

    They were founding members of the Holy Spirit indwelt Church.

    – These are the same as those who were promised (the very same week) that Christ would return for them and receive (paralambano) them unto Himself.

    Joh 14:3 And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also.

    – These disciples are the same who were promised that Christ would be with them in the making of disciples until the end of the age, which end takes place at Christ’s arrival in the clouds.

    Mat 28:19 Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost:
    Mat 28:20 Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world [age]. Amen.

    This is the great commission to the present-day church.

    – Jesus told them that the Gospel would be preached in all the world, then the end (of the age) would come

    Mat 24:14 And this gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in all the world for a witness unto all nations; and then shall the end come.

    When Jesus spoke in the Olivet Discourse about the future unprecedented persecution, Peter, James, John, and Andrew were representative of the Holy Spirit indwelt church that would soon be realized and in the last days experience that great tribulation.

    4) The divine Narrator, the Holy Spirit, applies it to the readers

    Mat 24:15 When ye therefore shall see the abomination of desolation, spoken of by Daniel the prophet, stand in the holy place, (whoso readeth, let him understand:)

    The Holy Spirit, the divine author of all Scripture, signified that the warnings Christ gave were for whoever reads them. These warnings are, in essence, the voice of the Shepherd. Jesus said, my sheep hear my voice.

    Joh 10:27 My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me:

    The church is the sheep and Christ is our Shepherd. They were written for our good and protection.

    5) Paul teaches the same eschatological truths to the Church

    In Paul’s epistles to the Thessalonians, there are more than two dozen parallels to Christ’s teaching in the Olivet Discourse.

    In conclusion, the Olivet Discourse is written for all who would read it, especially those in Christ, the church. For it is we, along with ethnic Israel, who will suffer unprecedented persecution in the days prior to Christ’s return for us.

  • Reply July 7, 2020

    Varnel Watson

    dont get sidetracked with your straw man arguments This OP as clear is about Church Fathers I have provided you both the Greek and Latin sources since you chose to misquote them and so on childish stuff

    I will be more than happy to enter an intelligent theological discussion provided you show the needed qualifications All you’ve done so far in the group is trolling with your copy pastes and honestly I am surprised the admins have not banned you yet after all this trolling Steve Conley I dont expect a man of your stature claiming 30 yrs of church ministry to behave as such troll on the internet Such unhealthy fascination like the one you are modeling needs immediate healing and deliverance

  • Steve Conley
    Reply July 7, 2020

    Steve Conley

    It was you who brought up Matt 24 by saying, “BTW after 30yrs of whatever ministry you’ve done you should know Mt 24 is for the Jews”

    Every time you open that mouth of yours, you give me another opportunity to teach some truth. When others see what you post, beside the truth that I post, I am confident that the potential of harm that they would receive from your teaching is greatly lessened. Not only that, but they become insulated against such foolishness in the future.

  • Reply July 7, 2020

    Varnel Watson

    Nope Steve Conley it was in your copy paste which I addressed because it is our of place in this OP and simply wrong Seems like you dont even know what you copy paste no more Such unhealthy fixation needs to be dealt with I provided a number of quotes from the Church Fathers to prove my case In return you misquoted some I provided you the Greek and Latin original which you are yet to comment on 🙂 What else do you feel needs to be done here? Re-posting quotes from the church fathers that you obviously do not understand ? I could do that of course if you feel you can do it but this being the essence of one of my degrees I quickly tire of internet trolls who got nothing to offer in return

  • Steve Conley
    Reply July 7, 2020

    Steve Conley

    Troy Day Ultimately we are discussing the Scriptures. Even when we are reconsidering ancient writings, it is about their understanding of Scripture texts. You continually run from the discussion of Scripture texts. Why is that? Is it because pretribulationism has no foundation in Scripture texts? I think so. No, I know so.

    There is no such teaching found in the Bible as a rapture of the church that takes place before the seventieth weeks begins. You can’t defend pretribulationism, so you attack me. You attack my testimony. You are wrong, and one day you will know it. You will know it because, if you live long enough, you will face the question of whether or not to save your skin by submitting to the Beast. Then, without a doubt, you will know that pretribulationism and all your strivings about it were fleshly vanities.

    Hearing the truth can hurt, but it is the truth that we all need, even you.

    • Reply July 8, 2020

      Varnel Watson

      I dont see a single scripture in your comment Steve Conley Just a personal attack toward what I said without any proof And that has been the case with you from the start Anytime you post some false interpretation and I call you out you run away showing no ability to actually discuss Scripture Just check your posts from the last week alone and you will Sorry truth is hurting you as you said but it will set you free

      NOW per OP Ephraem develops an elaborate biblical eschatology, including a distinction between the rapture and the sec ond coming of C hrist. It describes the imminent rapture, followed by 3½ years of great tribulation under the rule of Antichrist, followed by the coming of Christ, the defeat of Antichrist, and the eternal state. His view includes a parenthesis between the fulfillment of Da niel’s sixty-nine weeks and his seventieth week in Daniel 9:24-27.46 Ephraem describes the rapture that precedes the tribulation as “imminent or ov erhan ging.” http://www.pentecostaltheology.com/the-rapture-in-twenty-centuries-of-biblical-interpretation/

  • Reply July 7, 2020

    Varnel Watson

    Dave Holdway thats a great point on trolling this group which I also brought to James C. Morris Zachary Uram in regard of few people trolling this otherwise valuable discussion Did I use trash in regard of you when you were kind enough to change your mind given the sufficient evidence I presented? The answer is NO Was I respectful to Steve Galt who was kind enough to check his library and confirm my quote of the church fathers – yes. As to citing my degree it was only done because church history and historical theology is my expertise since the 70s and HDS will gladly confirm that for you However, that does not mean that when someone trolls a topic that all cited have taken the time to contribute to, we just gonna stay silent and take his bulling on the internet. I believe I’ve provided one of several scholarly discussions in the group to the best of my ability. Have I only trolled here and there with copy pastes like the person in question you speak of, pls DO call me out Otherwise, let’s resolve this theologically or however your expertise is. Just a side note – it is hard to keep a normal academic conversation with a person who is lacking any academic training. And such lacking quickly shows and cannot be replicated by some imaginary ministerial experience. Now then shall we talk Church Fathers and their consistent pre-mil views?

  • Dave Holdway
    Reply July 7, 2020

    Dave Holdway

    Troy Day ‘consistent pre-mil’ views?
    You are kidding me. That misconception I will leave to you.
    In any case I’d rather talk prophets of Judah, Apostles and their historical based prophetic understanding and interpretation.

  • Reply July 8, 2020

    Varnel Watson

    Dave Holdway Even you changed your view on this after reading some of the Fathers They were virtually all pre-mil until Augustine came defending Byzantium with his a-mil heresy What else there to be understood? Start the topic you rather discuss and I will be happy to pitch in BTW to your previous comment – there is a reason why ppl without should not fly airplanes without proper training The same reason they should not do theology without the same

    per OP Ephraem develops an elaborate biblical eschatology, including a distinction between the rapture and the sec ond coming of C hrist. It describes the imminent rapture, followed by 3½ years of great tribulation under the rule of Antichrist, followed by the coming of Christ, the defeat of Antichrist, and the eternal state. His view includes a parenthesis between the fulfillment of Da niel’s sixty-nine weeks and his seventieth week in Daniel 9:24-27.46 Ephraem describes the rapture that precedes the tribulation as “imminent or ov erhan ging.” http://www.pentecostaltheology.com/the-rapture-in-twenty-centuries-of-biblical-interpretation/

  • Reply July 8, 2020

    Varnel Watson

    Ephraem develops an elaborate biblical eschatology, including a distinction between the rapture and the sec ond coming of C hrist. It describes the imminent rapture, followed by 3½ years of great tribulation under the rule of Antichrist, followed by the coming of Christ, the defeat of Antichrist, and the eternal state. His view includes a parenthesis between the fulfillment of Da niel’s sixty-nine weeks and his seventieth week in Daniel 9:24-27.46 Ephraem describes the rapture that precedes the tribulation as “imminent or ov erhan ging.” http://www.pentecostaltheology.com/the-rapture-in-twenty-centuries-of-biblical-interpretation/

  • Dave Holdway
    Reply July 8, 2020

    Dave Holdway

    Troy Day all I see is an array of contrary opinion here.
    In many cases the latter day experts cannot even agree on what individual church fathers believed.
    For example, was Irenaeus pre trib or post trib?
    It then goes on in similar vein in regard to the millennium.

    So if the experts cannot agree, it then becomes evident that key verses e.g. Daniel 9:27 are completely misunderstood.
    Probably by some of the church fathers, but certainly by those analysts who take the view that Daniel 9:27 is describing a 7 year period and not the whole age of Jacob’s trouble.

    The issue here is that the day-year rule does not always apply in prophecy because ‘day’ in Hebrew prophecy is usually the word ‘iddan’ meaning defined period of time first and foremost.
    It is usually a year, but not always. It can be longer e.g. a ‘time’, or an astral age of some sort.
    Here it is describing a ‘time’ and therefore a week becomes the whole ‘seven times’.
    In Revelation 11 where the Greek uses the terms 1260 ‘days’ and 42 ‘months’ we find a hint of how 9:27 should be interpreted.

    Unfortunately once you have embraced a rigid 7 year view of the tribulation, you become completely lost, and when you incorrectly tie it into Daniel’s 70 ‘weeks’ as a period somehow tacked on to the end of the age, you end up with the futurism we have today.
    It then morphs into a personal choice of pre and post in relation to an imaginary future tribulation, and a meaningless millennium tacked on after that.

    Prophecy is hidden until it is time to be unveiled.
    That is why the ECFs struggled, the endtime story was not theirs to worry about.
    It therefore becomes apparent that it cannot be unveiled until inspiration is supplied, and that intellectual reasoning alone is insufficient.

    Today is different, we have reached the end of the road.

  • Reply July 8, 2020

    Varnel Watson

    Dave Holdway anything about the church fathers? I am clear on your take on 1260 days and I already commented why pre-wrath is not Biblical Anything on the church fathers thou?

  • Thys Marais
    Reply July 8, 2020

    Thys Marais

    You know! I read thousands of books, listen to 100ds of opinions, and eventually, started to read the bible! I still do not have all the answers! I can form my own opinion! But the 7th year of Daniel I could not find, in the times we live in! I only can find that we are in the times of the gentiles! How long this will last, is unknown! How many wars there will be, I can also not say! Al that I know, is that this time is grace time! Those that eccept it, will be safed! And visa versa! There will be no rapture, eccept that one that Jesus described in Mat 24! The church will go through tribulation, as it has done since 2000 years ago! Yes, saints will be prosecured, betraid, and murdered through this time! At the end, live in the flesh, with all its strive, will end for all of us! But we will live on! We will reighn with Jesus, if we believe! Nothing can seperate us from His love and grace! We should stop with our opinoins, and just live life for Him! Lets live Christ, and Him as our Redemer! All else, is of minor importance!

    • Dave Holdway
      Reply July 8, 2020

      Dave Holdway

      Thys Marais this book may be the one that illuminates those issues you are still struggling with.
      Much of the scripture including Daniel 9 is incorporated in the text, and all the rules of prophetic interp are laid out. Cheers..

    • Reply July 9, 2020

      Varnel Watson

      Dave Holdway oh DEAR now we go into the conspiracy theories astray from theology HOW does this book contribute to OP – pls give me more details about it

    • Dave Holdway
      Reply July 9, 2020

      Dave Holdway

      Troy Day the book is a suggestion for Thys Marais.
      Like the Rev 10 scroll, it might turn sour in the bellies of some futurists..

    • Reply July 9, 2020

      Varnel Watson

      Dave Holdway the book is OFF topic and I was wondering why are you posting it in regard to OP

  • Reply July 8, 2020

    Varnel Watson

    Thys Marais it will may help you to read bro James C. Morris book https://www.amazon.com/Ancient-Dispensational-Truth-Refuting-Dispensationalism/dp/1945774290

  • Dave Holdway
    Reply July 8, 2020

    Dave Holdway

    Troy Day I am not here to debate the church fathers in detail, but to present what I’ve been shown.
    And that means the Daniel timeline which ends later this decade.
    No future tribulation, no future millennium, just Daniel’s 1335th ‘day’ rapture and Gog and Magog carnage and destruction in the Middle East.

  • Reply July 9, 2020

    Varnel Watson

    Dave Holdway that be my dear auzie brother, I started this OP to discuss the writings of the Church Fathers and their consistent pre-mil view IF you start your own OP on Daniel I will be happy to pitch on it when I get a chance Daniels haldaic has been a long interest of mine tho many dont get it

  • Dave Holdway
    Reply July 9, 2020

    Dave Holdway

    Troy Day go for it.

  • Reply July 9, 2020

    Varnel Watson

    Dave Holdway naaah you need to find your own battles But FIRST think about the airplane analogy I gave you

  • Tim Anderson
    Reply July 29, 2020

    Tim Anderson

    My question and I’ve heard people criticize that doctrine as a reason to deny the rapture…is does it matter what they knew? Seriously – Revelation is progressive. Luther as well as he got the revelation about walking by faith, as an example was anti -semitic from what I read. Also Daniel was told by the Angel that as far as the vision he saw was for the people at the end times. Appreciate any feedback.

    • Troy Day
      Reply July 29, 2020

      Troy Day

      It matters that virtually ALL church fathers before Augustine are pre-mil and he is a-mil and just heretics are post-mil That should mater A lot

    • Tim Anderson
      Reply July 29, 2020

      Tim Anderson

      Troy Day thank you.

  • Henry Milligan
    Reply July 29, 2020

    Henry Milligan

    The anti-Nicene fathers are pre-mill. But not pre-trib.

  • Dave Rodriguez
    Reply July 29, 2020

    Dave Rodriguez

    Led astray. False teachers raptured the resurrection.

  • Caridad Rivera
    Reply July 29, 2020

    Caridad Rivera

    Can U do a pre, mid and post tribulation explanation and the scriptural basis for them. I’d really like to Understand it and honestly be able to defend it with Scripture to those who do not believe. TIA & GB!

    • Troy Day
      Reply July 30, 2020

      Troy Day

      read Pentecost’s book This is off the scope of this current post Also our website has plenty other discussions on your question

  • John Duncan
    Reply July 29, 2020

    John Duncan

    What does it matter? If you are ready you are going to be all right no matter when the rapture is. Right?

    • Troy Day
      Reply July 30, 2020

      Troy Day

      yes and no – there is a new fake news teaching that the Rapture was invented in the 1800s that puts ppl @ ease to live like the devil and wait for Trib This OP shows early church fathers believed in pre-trib rapture too and basically ALL of them were pre-mil until Augustine designed theology to fit the Byzantine Empire

  • Doyle Rogers
    Reply July 30, 2020

    Doyle Rogers

    I do not believe there is such a SCRIPTURAL group that exist as ” THE CHURCH FATHERS . Can any one here give a verse from the Bible that authenticates such a group ……….. JESUS SAID Matt 16:18 upon this rock I will build MY CHURCH ; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it. ………………… FATHER DEFINED IN GREEK πατήρ
    patēr
    pat-ayr’
    Apparently a primary word; a “father” (literally or figuratively, near or more remote): – father, parent…………………………………………………………………. The five fold ministry does not mention Church Fathers ………Eph_4:11 And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers; 1Co 8:5 For though there be that are called gods, whether in heaven or in earth, (as there be gods many, and lords many,) ………..(.NOTE)
    1Co 8:6 But to us there is but one God, the Father, of whom are all things, and we in him; and one Lord Jesus Christ, by whom are all things, and we by him.

  • Doyle Rogers
    Reply July 30, 2020

    Doyle Rogers

    Jesus birth the church in His travail on Calvary;s cross .THE CHURCH ( UNDER GRACE) was set in order in the First Chapter of THE ACTS OF THE APOSTLES. it was EMPOWERED and EXPOSED to JEWISH representatives of every existing nation in Acts chapter two..

  • Troy Day
    Reply July 30, 2020

    Troy Day

    Doyle Rogers ACTS 15 Just read the BIBLE and consult the post before you post something that is OFF topic

  • Rick Smith
    Reply July 31, 2020

    Rick Smith

    I believe Paul was looking for the rapture in his day. He made references to that fact.

    • Troy Day
      Reply July 31, 2020

      Troy Day

      show it to us pls Because the SOON reference he made has been sufficiently explained already But if you are saying Paul was wrong then we have another problem

    • Rick Smith
      Reply August 2, 2020

      Rick Smith

      Troy Day the actual word soon, is not mentioned. My interpretation is that Paul understood that the rapture was immenent and required no particular event to happen for us to be with Jesus. My scripture reference is in 1st Thes. Which I am sure you are quite familiar with.
      In regards to the 2nd part of your response, please feel free to browse my page.
      But I do not want you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning those who have fallen asleep, lest you sorrow as others who have no hope. For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so God will bring with Him those who sleep in Jesus. For this we say to you by the word of the Lord, that we who are alive and remain until the coming of the Lord will by no means precede those who are asleep. For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of an archangel, and with the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first. Then we who are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And thus we shall always be with the Lord. Therefore comfort one another with these words.
      I Thessalonians 4:13‭-‬18 NKJV
      https://bible.com/bible/114/1th.4.13-18.NKJV

    • Troy Day
      Reply August 2, 2020

      Troy Day

      Rick Smith the actual argument is about the word SOON that has no english translation What is your argument?

  • Ketina Chris Swatsworth

    Oh no Apostle Paul was right, I just think the understanding of the ones listening at the time was off, in some areas. It’s well explained by John Ankerburg, in this.
    https://jashow.org/articles/where-does-the-bible-teach-the-doctrine-of-the-rapture-program-2/

  • Martha Morrison
    Reply August 1, 2020

    Martha Morrison

    Yes

  • Troy Day
    Reply August 2, 2020

    Troy Day

    RAPTURE & SECOND COMING Andrew Gabriel

    THERE’S A GROWING NUMBER OF CHRISTIANS WHO BELIEVE THAT THE RAPTURE AND THE SECOND COMING OCCUR AT THE SAME TIME, AND ARE THE VERY SAME EVENT. THIS MAKES NO SENSE, NOR IS IT BIBLICAL.
    1) THE BIBLE DESCRIBES THE RAPTURE AND THE SECOND COMING AS TWO CLEARLY DIFFERENT EVENTS.
    RAPTURE — BELIEVERS MEET CHRIST IN THE AIR
    SECOND COMING — CHRIST RETURNS TO THE MOUNT OF OLIVES TO SET UP HIS KINGDOM ON EARTH.
    ===========================
    RAPTURE — MOUNT OF OLIVES IS UNCHANGED
    SECOND COMING — MOUNT OF OLIVES IS DIVIDED AND SPLIT IN TWO, FORMING A VALLEY EAST OF JERUSALEM
    ===========================
    RAPTURE — LIVING BELIEVERS OBTAIN GLORIFIED BODIES
    SECOND COMING — LIVING BELIEVERS REMAIN IN SAME BODIES
    ============================
    RAPTURE — BELIEVERS GO TO HEAVEN
    SECOND COMING — GLORIFIED BELIEVERS COME FROM HEAVEN, EARTHLY BELIEVERS STAY ON EARTH
    =============================
    RAPTURE — WORLD LEFT UNJUDGED AND LIVING IN SIN
    SECOND COMING — WORLD IS JUDGED AND RIGHTEOUSNESS IS ESTABLISHED FOR 1000 YEARS.
    =============================
    RAPTURE — DEPICTS DELIVERANCE OF THE CHURCH FROM WRATH
    SECOND COMING — DEPICTS DELIVERANCE OF BELIEVERS WHO ENDURED WRATH
    =============================
    RAPTURE — NO SIGNS PRECEDE IT
    SECOND COMING — MANY SIGNS PRECEDE IT
    ==============================
    RAPTURE — REVEALED ONLY IN NEW TESTAMENT
    SECOND COMING — REVEALED IN BOTH OLD AND NEW TESTAMENTS
    ==============================
    RAPTURE — DEALS WITH ONLY THE SAVED
    SECOND COMING — DEALS WITH BOTH THE SAVED AND UNSAVED
    ==============================
    RAPTURE — SATAN REMAINS FREE
    SECOND COMING — SATAN IS BOUND AND THROWN INTO THE ABYSS
    ==============================
    SINCE THE RAPTURE AND SECOND COMING CLEARLY ARE DIFFERENT EVENTS THAT DO NOT OCCUR AT THE SAME TIME, THIS WOULD RULE OUT A POST-TRIBULATION RAPTURE SCENARIO.

    LET US BE WATCHING AND READY FOR HIS IMMINENT RETURN. PRAISE HIS HOLY NAME FOREVER. ❤
    THE RAPTURE IS NOT SOMETHING WE SHOULD DIVIDE OVER, NOR SHOULD WE ATTACK THOSE WHO BELIEVE DIFFERENTLY.

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