Wednesday, 30 April 2008

CHURCH FATHERS AND THE ANTICHRIST

DID THE EARLY CHURCH BELIEVE WE SHALL BE RAPTURED BEFORE THE ANTICHRIST APPEARS ON THE SCENE?

MANY MODERN SO CALLED TEACHERS WILL TRY TO CONVINCE YOU THE EARLY CHURCH BELIEVED IN A PRE-TRIBULATION RAPTURE. BUT WHERE IS THEIR PROOF? IT IS VERY SCANT INDEED.

SURELY WITH ALL THE WEALTH OF ANCIENT PARCHMENTS IN OUR POSESSION WE SHOULD FIND SOME HINT OF WHAT THE CHURCH FATHERS BELIEVED WOULD HAPPEN IN THE END TMES.

THE FACT IS MODERN TEACHERS DO NOT SHOW YOU WHAT THE EARLY CHURCH BELIEVED BECAUSE IT CUTS RIGHT ACROSS THE PRE-TRIB RAPTURE.

SO IN PLACE OF CLEAR ANCIENT TEACHING TODAY'S PRE-TRIB EXPERTS COME UP WITH A FEW AMBIGUOUS PHRASES HERE AND THERE. AN ASSUMPTION ON THIS VERSE AND A PICTURE REGARDING THE INTERPRETATION OF THIS PASSAGE.
AND THEY SAY THE EARLY CHURCH DIDN'T HAVE CLEAR BELIEFS CONCERNING THE LAST DAYS. REALLY?

WELL LET'S SEE WHAT THE CHURCH FOLLOWING THE APOSTLES ACTUALLY BELIEVED. AND REMEMBER SOME OF THESE WRITERS WERE THE DISCIPLES OF MEN SUCH AS JOHN THE APOSTLE.

I LEAVE IT TO YOU TO JUDGE IF THEY WERE PRE OR POST TRIBULATIONISTS.
OR IF THEY WERE "UNCLEAR ABOUT THE END TIMES."


Didache (AD 100) "then shall appear the world-deceiver as Son of God, and shall do signs and wonders, and the earth shall be delivered into his hands, ...but they that endure in their faith shall be saved from under the curse itself. And then shall appear the signs of the truth; first, the sign of an out-spreading in heaven; then the sign of the sound of the trumpet; and the third, the resurrection of the dead; yet not of all, but as it is said: The Lord shall come and all His saints with Him. Then shall the world see the Lord coming upon the clouds of heaven." (Didache - Chapter 16)1

Justin Martyr (AD 100-168) "Two advents of Christ have been announced: the one, in which He is set forth as suffering, inglorious, dishonored, and crucified; but the other, in which He shall come from heaven with glory, when the man of apostasy, who speaks strange things against the Most High, shall venture to do unlawful deeds on the earth against us the Christians, (First Apology of Justin, Chapter 110)2

Tertullian (AD 150-220) that the beast Antichrist, with his false prophet may wage war on the Church of God; (On the Resurrection of the Flesh, 25)3

Irenaeus (AD 140-202) and put the church to flight. After that they shall be destroyed by the coming of our Lord." (Against Heresies V, XXVI, 1)4

Cyprian (AD 200-258) “The time cometh, that whosoever killeth you will think that he doeth God service…” Nor let any one wonder that we are harassed with increasing afflictions, when the Lord before predicted that these things would happen in the last times, (Epistles of Cyprian, LV, 1,2) Nor let any one of you, beloved brethren, be so terrified by the fear of future persecution, or the coming of the threatening Antichrist, as not to be found armed for all things by the evangelical exhortations and precepts, and by the heavenly warnings. Antichrist is coming… but immediately the Lord follows to avenge our sufferings and our wounds. (Epistles of Cyprian, LIII, p.722)5

Victorinus (AD 269-271) "He shall cause also that a golden image of Antichrist shall be placed in the temple at Jerusalem, and that the apostate angel should enter, and thence utter voices and oracles... The Lord, admonishing His churches concerning the last times and their dangers, ... three years and six months, in which with all his power the devil will avenge himself under Antichrist against the Church." (Commentary on the Apocalypse, 20:1-3) 6

Hippolytus (AD 160-240) " ... the one thousand two hundred and three score days (the half of the week) during which the tyrant is to reign and persecute the Church …” (Treatise on Christ and Antichrist, 61)7

Augustine (AD 354-430) “... the kingdom of Antichrist shall fiercely, though for a short time, assail the Church... " (The City of God, XX, 23)

MAY I CHALLENGE THE PRE-TRIB LEADERS TO PRODUCE EQUALLY CLEAR STATEMENTS FROM THE EARLY CHURCH IN SUPORT OF A PRE-TRIBULATION RAPTURE.

4 comments:

Rick said...

Why would anyone find validity in these writings when everything I need to know is clearly and plainly written in the Bible which is the God breathed Word. I am always cautioned by writings of men and only take notice if it is the scriptures itself.

What you have begun to get yourself into is the endless tiresome debating that pre and post tribbers can do for days going back and forth. It is a debate with statements and rebuttals and counter rebuttals and each side sticking to their ground. Any well studied pre trib scholar can rebut everything you write about post and vice versa. I've been watching it for years. It accomplishes nothing and actually starts to turn people off. I have been watching your site for about 6 months and have been very impressed with your articles concerning prophecy and current events. I've been recently disappointed to see you taking a different direction though because if I wanted to see Rapture debates there are 100 other websites doing it and it is tiresome and circular.

If you continue to spend time on this I believe you are really missing your calling which is articles on end times and ministering to those without Christ rather than trying to convince pretribbers that they are wrong. Whether the rapture is pre or post I'm already saved through the blood of Jesus. Rapture debates are distracting you from your true gifts. I beleive you are gifted in analyzing the events and piecing them together with prophecy and being a great watcher. It's your website though but I thought you might want some reader feedback. Keep up the good work and God Bless.

See you at the rapture - whenever it may be! :)

Rick

Fr. Ashcraft said...

I found this article refreshing! If the Bible were THAT clear on the "rapture" there would be no arguement. Where the scriptures may not be clear on an issue, it is logical to turn to the writings of those who either knew the apostles or studied under those who knew the apostles, to discern the position of the early Church on an issue. Good job!

Ace said...

The testimony of the early church fathers, though is not as to be at par with the scriptures, it is still valid, because they lived in very close proximity with the disciples as you said. And as you pointed out, all of them are clearly post-tribs.
I myself was a pre-trib for 20 years for that was what I was taught from the begining in AG church. I never considered any other alternative because of the famous verses like 'not destined for wrath' and other such which people tell me even today. But once i understand that bible has no, none evidence for pre-trib rapture, i struggled, and after one year became convinced of post-trib position.

Anonymous said...

Thank you for blogging. That’s the most full entry I have found on this topic.