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Featured Historicism - The Reformers eschatology

Discussion in 'Eschatology - Endtimes & Prophecy Forum' started by RACarvalho, Aug 14, 2018.

  1. Al Masihi

    Al Masihi Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Mecca being a trading city most likely used a denarius, even during the early Islamic period, as the Arabs had no currency of their own until much later. The Arabic word for denarius is Dinar, the Muslim Ottomans also adopted the title of Caesar.
     
  2. Biblewriter

    Biblewriter Senior Member Supporter

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    There are two different questions being discussed. One is the timing of the raprture, in refence to other end time events. ALL opinions on this are the results of interpretation of scripture. And in many cases, the real question is the actual meaning of a Greek word used in the original text of scripture. I am personally convinced that the correct interpretation is that the rapture comes before, and perhaps significantly before, the beginning if Daniel's seventieth week, the time often called the tribulation. But I do not have a problem with people who interpret the scriptures differently.

    The other question is when the doctrine of the pre-tribulation rapture was first taught. This most certainly did not begin with Darby, or with either Irving or Margaret MacDinald, as is often alleged. It began to be widely taught soon after the Bible first became widely available at a price oridanary people could afford through the publication of the King James Version of the Bible in 1611. This doctrine first appeared in the English language in a publication by William Bridge in 1641. This was followed by Robert Maton and John Archer in 1642, by Ephraim Huit or Hewitt and Jeremiah Burrows in 1643, by Samuel Hutchson in 1646, by Elizabeth Avery in 1647, by Peter Sterry in 1648, by Natghaniel Holmes and John Aspenwall in 1653, By Captian John Browne in 1654, Bu the famous Bishop Ussher in 1655, by John Birchensha in 1660, by William Sherwin in 1665, And by Praisegood Barebone in 1675. Later than that, it was taught in the 1700s by John Floyd in 1721, by Sayer Rudd in 1734, and in by Grantham Killingworth in 1761. All this is thoroughly traced in "Dispensationalism Before Darby," by William C. Watson, which was published by Lampion Press in 2015.

    But all of these were latecomers. It was also taught by Irenaeus, who is thought to have written between 186 and 188 A.D., by Victorinus, who is thought to have written his book around 240 A.D., and by an unknown author known to scholars as pseudo-Ephraem, whose work had been variously estimated to have been written as early as 373 to as late as 627 A.D. Later than that, it was taught in the 1300s by a Monk called Brother Dolceno.

    It should be noted that some of these thought the tribulation would only be three and a half years, but all of them placed the rapture before the tribulation.
     
  3. Jennifer Rothnie

    Jennifer Rothnie Well-Known Member

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    Irenaeus did not teach a pre-trib rapture. There's a quote of his often used (out of context) to support that: "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."
    http://www.textexcavation.com/irenaeusah5.html

    But this quote ignores the rest of his writing, which in the closest reference to the church places the church as experiencing the events of the tribulation: "These shall make war with the Lamb, and the Lamb shall overcome them, because He is the Lord of lords and the King of kings." It is manifest, therefore, that of these [potentates], he who is to come shall slay three, and subject the remainder to his power, and that he shall be himself the eighth among them. And they shall lay Babylon waste, and burn her with fire, and shall give their kingdom to the beast, and put the Church to flight." (Against Heresies V, XXVI, 1)

    Look at his quote again: "When in the END the church shall suddenly be 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."

    This is a post-tribulation view, not a pre-tribulation teaching.
    He's not saying that the end comes, the church is caught up, and then the tribulation starts. He is saying that the tribulation starts the 'last contest of the righteous,' and then ends with the church being taken (different verb than in I thess 4:17, it's actually the latin 'assumo' - implying the resurrection is meant here.)

    Part of the difficulty is that we have an English translation which has been translated from Latin and in turn translated from Greek. We have no complete Greek version of Against Heresies. So we have to turn to context and his other writings to determine the extent of what is meant.
     
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  4. jgr

    jgr Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Victorinus:
    The little season signifies three years and six months, in which with all his power the devil will avenge himself under Antichrist against the Church.
    Commentary On Apocalypse [300-400]

    No pretribber, he.


    Pseudo-Ephraem:
    "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" .

    The above is a quote from the Latin version, which appeared after the original Syriac version.

    The original Syriac version read:

    "Pronouncing the good fortune of the deceased Who had avoided the calamity: 'Blessed are you for you were borne away (to the grave) And hence you escaped from the afflictions!"

    The escape was via death, not rapture.

    There is considerable controversy regarding the authorship and dating of these documents, of which there were multiple variants. Wikipedia has a good summary.

    For those who insist on citing Pseudo-Ephraem, the original Syriac version is obviously the most appropriate version to use.

    It is not pretrib.
     
  5. Biblewriter

    Biblewriter Senior Member Supporter

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    Yes, we have to take into account everything Irenaeus said on the subject. And that is exactly what I have done in the following article. I apologize for its length, but a thorough analysis of everything Irenaeus said on the subject requires such length.

    The very oldest Christian commentary on Bible prophecy of any significant length that has survived to our day is the last twelve chapters of “Against Heresies,” by Irenaeus. (There were older such commentaries, but all of them were either only short comments in articles about other subjects, or have been lost.) This is thought to have been published between the years 186 and 188 A.D., and says:

    “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.” (“Against Heresies,” by Irenaeus, Book V, chapter 29, paragraph 1.)

    Here we find a clear teaching of a pre-tribulation rapture. But Irenaeus also wrote:

    “For all these and other words were unquestionably spoken in reference to the resurrection of the just, which takes place after the coming of Antichrist, and the destruction of all nations under his rule;” (“Against Heresies,” by Irenaeus, Book V, chapter 35, paragraph 1.)

    Here we see this same ancient writer just as explicitly saying that “the resurrection of the just” “takes place after the coming of Antichrist.” On the surface, this would seem to flatly contradict his other statement. But this is not the case. First, we need to notice that Irenaeus did not say that “the resurrection of the just” takes place after the reign of Antichrist. He only said it “takes place after the coming of Antichrist, and the destruction of all nations under his rule.” To see the significance of this, we need to consider another statement from this same ancient document:

    “But when this Antichrist shall have devastated all things in this world, he will reign for three years and six months, and sit in the temple at Jerusalem; and then the Lord will come from heaven in the clouds, in the glory of the Father, sending this man and those who follow him into the lake of fire; but bringing in for the righteous the times of the kingdom.” (“Against Heresies,” by Irenaeus, Book V, chapter 30, paragraph 4.)

    Here we find first, a distinct statement that Antichrist would reign for three years and six months. But also a distinct statement that this three years and six months would be after “this Antichrist shall have devastated all things in this world.” Thus we see that Irenaeus placing “the resurrection of the just” “after the coming of Antichrist, and the destruction of all nations under his rule,” was not saying the rapture would be after the three and a half year reign of Antichrist. Rather, he placed the rapture at the beginning of that three and a half year reign. That is, he was saying that the time of “tribulation such as has not been since the beginning, neither shall be” was the three and a half year reign of Antichrist.

    Irenaeus very clearly put the church in at least the first part of the time of Antichrist, as we can see in the following:

    “‘And the ten horns which thou sawest are ten kings, who have received no kingdom as yet, but shall receive power as if kings one hour with the beast. These have one mind, and give their strength and power to the beast. These shall make war with the Lamb, and the Lamb shall overcome them, because He is the Lord of lords and the King of kings.’ It is manifest, therefore, that of these [potentates], he who is to come shall slay three, and subject the remainder to his power, and that he shall be himself the eighth among them. And they shall lay Babylon waste, and burn her with fire, and shall give their kingdom to the beast, and put the Church to flight. After that they shall be destroyed by the coming of our Lord.” (“Against Heresies,” by Irenaeus, Book V, chapter 26, paragraph 1.)

    This is the only place Irenaeus used the word “church” in regard to these events, other than the place where he explicitly said “the Church shall be suddenly caught up” before the “tribulation such as has not been since the beginning, neither shall be.” But he used the word “we,” which certainly seems to have the same meaning, here:

    “But he indicates the number of the name now, that when this man comes we may avoid him, being aware who he is: the name, however, is suppressed, because it is not worthy of being proclaimed by the Holy Spirit.” (“Against Heresies,” by Irenaeus, Book V, chapter 26, paragraph 1.)

    These last two statements make it very clear that Irenaeus placed the rapture at least after “the coming of Antichrist.” We have already noticed that in statements about events before the three and a half year reign of Antichrist, he used the words “the church” and “we.” But in his statements about persecutions during the three and a half year reign of Antichrist, he changed this terminology. We remember that in his statement about the church being “suddenly caught up,” he called the tribulation “the last contest of the righteous, in which, when they overcome they are crowned with incorruption.” He used the term “the righteous” again when he spoke of the faithful in that time in this statement:

    “For that image which was set up by Nebuchadnezzar had indeed a height of sixty cubits, while the breadth was six cubits; on account of which Ananias, Azarias, and Misaël, when they did not worship it, were cast into a furnace of fire, pointing out prophetically, by what happened to them, the wrath against the righteous which shall arise towards the [time of the] end. For that image, taken as a whole, was a prefiguring of this man’s coming, decreeing that he should undoubtedly himself alone be worshipped by all men.” (“Against Heresies,” by Irenaeus, Book V, chapter 29, paragraph 2.)

    We remember that Irenaeus used this same term in speaking of the beginning of the kingdom, saying, “bringing in for the righteous the times of the kingdom.” He also used a second term for these faithful ones during that time, calling them “saints” in the following statements:

    “Daniel too, looking forward to the end of the last kingdom, i.e., the ten last kings, amongst whom the kingdom of those men shall be partitioned, and upon whom the son of perdition shall come, declares that ten horns shall spring from the beast, and that another little horn shall arise in the midst of them, and that three of the former shall be rooted up before his face. He says: ‘And, behold, eyes were in this horn as the eyes of a man, and a mouth speaking great things, and his look was more stout than his fellows. I was looking, and this horn made war against the saints, and prevailed against them, until the Ancient of days came and gave judgment to the saints of the most high God, and the time came, and the saints obtained the kingdom.’ Then, further on, in the interpretation of the vision, there was said to him: ‘The fourth beast shall be the fourth kingdom upon earth, which shall excel all other kingdoms, and devour the whole earth, and tread it down, and cut it in pieces. And its ten horns are ten kings which shall arise; and after them shall arise another, who shall surpass in evil deeds all that were before him, and shall overthrow three kings; and he shall speak words against the most high God, and wear out the saints of the most high God, and shall purpose to change times and laws; and [everything] shall be given into his hand until a time of times and a half time,’ that is, for three years and six months, during which time, when he comes, he shall reign over the earth.” (“Against Heresies,” by Irenaeus, Book V, chapter 25, paragraph 3.)

    “And then he points out the time that his tyranny shall last, during which the saints shall be put to flight, they who offer a pure sacrifice unto God: ‘And in the midst of the week,’ he says, ‘the sacrifice and the libation shall be taken away, and the abomination of desolation [shall be brought] into the temple: even unto the consummation of the time shall the desolation be complete.’ Now three years and six months constitute the half-week.” (“Against Heresies,” by Irenaeus, Book V, chapter 25, paragraph 4.)

    We need to notice that both of these statements are about the three and a half year reign of Antichrist, and thus speak of a time after Irenaeus placed the “resurrection of the just.” And in these statements, he changed the words “the church,” or “we,” to “the saints.”

    Why are the exact words Irenaeus used significant? Because a doctrine of a pre-tribulation rapture requires words like “the church” or “we” in statements about the godly during events up to and at the moment when “the Church shall be suddenly caught up.” But when speaking of times after this, that is, after the rapture, the proper (and scriptural) terms for godly people are “the righteous” or “saints.” Again, the doctrine requires a different term for those who are resurrected at the time of the rapture, for that resurrection includes Old Testament believers who were thus not members of the church. And this is exactly what Irenaeus did, calling the resurrection by its scriptural name of “the resurrection of the just.”

    Now some will want to discount any claim that Irenaeus was intentionally using well selected terminology in these statements. But he used the same precision in his comments about recognizing the Antichrist when he appeared. For, as we have already noticed, when he was speaking of true believers he said “But he indicates the number of the name now, that when this man comes we may avoid him.” But when he was speaking of men who might be deceived by the Antichrist, he stuck strictly with the scriptural terminology by referring to them as “those,” “these,” “they,” and “them,” as we see in the following statements:

    “Moreover, another danger, by no means trifling, shall overtake those who falsely presume that they know the name of Antichrist. For if these men assume one [number], when this [Antichrist] shall come having another, they will be easily led away by him, as supposing him not to be the expected one, who must be guarded against.” (“Against Heresies,” by Irenaeus, Book V, chapter 30, end of paragraph 1)

    “These men, therefore, ought to learn [what really is the state of the case], and go back to the true number of the name, that they be not reckoned among false prophets. But, knowing the sure number declared by Scripture, that is, six hundred sixty and six, let them await, in the first place, the division of the kingdom into ten; then, in the next place, when these kings are reigning, and beginning to set their affairs in order, and advance their kingdom, [let them learn] to acknowledge that he who shall come claiming the kingdom for himself, and shall terrify those men of whom we have been speaking, having a name containing the aforesaid number, is truly the abomination of desolation.” (“Against Heresies,” by Irenaeus, Book V, chapter 30, beginning of paragraph 2.)

    Thus we see that Irenaeus used precise terminology that clearly distinguished between these two groups. He again used the scriptural words “those,” along with “ye” and “he,” rather than his own words, when speaking of the need for the inhabitants of the land of Judea to flee when they see the abomination of desolation.

    “But when ye shall see the abomination of desolation, which has been spoken of by Daniel the prophet, standing in the holy place (let him that readeth understand), then let those who are in Judea flee into the mountains; and he who is upon the house-top, let him not come down to take anything out of his house: for there shall then be great hardship, such as has not been from the beginning of the world until now, nor ever shall be.” (“Against Heresies,” by Irenaeus, Book V, chapter 25, paragraph 2.)

    Finally, Irenaeus made one more statement that touches this matter, saying:

    “Has the Word come for the ruin and for the resurrection of many? For the ruin, certainly, of those who do not believe Him, to whom also He has threatened a greater damnation in the judgment-day than that of Sodom and Gomorrah; but for the resurrection of believers, and those who do the will of His Father in heaven.” (Against Heresies,” by Irenaeus, Book V, chapter 27, paragraph 1.)

    In this passage Irenaeus implies a simultaneous judgment-day for unbelievers and resurrection of believers. Some will assume that this proves he was not saying that the rapture will be before the tribulation. But this is in full accord with the doctrine of the pre-tribulation rapture. For there will be people who turn to God during the time of the tribulation, and they will be persecuted and slain for their faith. These will be resurrected at approximately the same time as when Christ comes in power and glory to judge the world. (The scriptures do not say their resurrection happens when He comes. But Revelation 20:4 says “they lived and reigned with Christ for a thousand years.” So we know that their resurrection takes place at least at approximately the same time as He comes.

    So now we are faced with two choices. We can either assume that Irenaeus was exceedingly careless as to his wording, and simply did not mean what he said. Or we can assume that the precision of his wording was not a mere coincidence, but that he chose his exact words carefully and with intent. In that case, we are forced to conclude that Irenaeus meant exactly what he said when he wrote:

    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.’
     
    Last edited: Aug 17, 2018
  6. Biblewriter

    Biblewriter Senior Member Supporter

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    You are quoting from a version of the work of Victorinus that had been radically edited by Jerome, who said concerning his editing of this work:

    “Those crossing over the perilous seas find different dangers. If a storm of winds has become violent, it is a terror; if the moderate air has calmed the back of the elements, lying calm, they fear traps. Thus is seen in this book which you have sent to me, which is seen to contain the explanation of the Apocalypse by Victorinus. Also, it is dangerous, and opens to the barkings of detractors, to judge the short works of eminent men. For even earlier Papias, the bishop of Hierapolis, and Nepos, the bishop of parts of Egypt, perceived of the kingdom of the thousand years just as Victorinus. And because you are in your letters entreating me, I do not want to delay, but nor do I want to scorn praying. I immediately unwound the books of the greats, and what I found in their commentaries about the kingdom of the thousand years, I added to the little work of Victorinus, erasing from there those things which he perceived according to the letter.
    “From the beginning of the book to the sign of the cross, we have corrected things which are the corruptions of inexperience of scribes. Know that from there to the end of the book is added. Now it is yours to judge, and to confirm what pleases. If our life will be made longer and the Lord will give health, for you, our most capable genius will sweat over this book, dearest Anatolius.”

    This is found in Jerome's letter to Anatolius, which is in the prologue to his revision of the Commentary on the Apocalypse by Victorinus.

    Both versions of this commentary by Victorinus are presented online by Biblicalia at http://www. bombaxo. com/ blog/patristic-stuff/victorinus-in-apocalypsin/, and are also found online at http://www.preteristarchive.com/StudyArchive/v/victorinus- of-petau.html.

    Regardless of which of the various versions of the document By the unknown writer called pseudo-Ephraem is actually the original one, (remember that one of the versions names the author as Isadore of Seville) the version I quoted is unquestionably ancient. So the doctrine it teaches is unquestionably ancient, regardless of whether or not your objection is correct. And the Wikipedia article you cited, in flatly saying it dates from the seventh century, is misleading. Only later in the article does it tell the truth, that various scholars date it to various times. Its actual date, like its actual author, is unknown.
     
    Last edited: Aug 17, 2018
  7. BABerean2

    BABerean2 Newbie Supporter

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    Dr. John C. Reeves, of the University of North Carolina at Charlotte, is an expert on this text.

    https://pages.uncc.edu/john-reeves/...ear-eastern-apocalyptic/pseudo-ephrem-syriac/

    The following comes from the last few lines of the text.


    "The Watchers will blow trumpets

    And the dead will arise from the dust;

    Fiery entities will suddenly go forth

    And assemble all the descendants of Adam.

    They will gather the wheat in a storehouse

    And throw the straw into the fire;

    The good will go forth into the Kingdom,

    And the bad will remain in Gehenna;

    The righteous will fly up to the height,

    And the sinners will burn in fire.

    The martyrs will float to the couch;

    The wicked will go out into darkness.

    And Christ will reign forever,

    He will be sovereign over each generation.

    To Him be the glory, and His mercy is over us

    For all time, amen, amen!"

    .
     
    Last edited: Aug 17, 2018
  8. Biblewriter

    Biblewriter Senior Member Supporter

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    The text quoted in the link you gave is an entirely different text. It is not a different version of the same document, but an entirely different document. Remember that "pseudo-Ephraem" only means "false Ephraem." There were numerous ancient documents credited to people who did not write them, including even some claiming to have been written by the Apostle Paul. (see 2 Thessalonians 2:2) So no one should be surprised if more than one ancient writer attached the name of Ephraem to his work.

    I am too tired to write more now, as I am recovering from a blow to the head last Saturday which caused sub-dural bleeding of the brain.
     
  9. BABerean2

    BABerean2 Newbie Supporter

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    Did you fall ?

    I will be praying for your recovery.


    .
     
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  10. Biblewriter

    Biblewriter Senior Member Supporter

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    Yes, I fell backwards on a sidewalk. I was in the hospital for two days and had seven staples put in my scalp. Thank you for your PRAYERS.
     
  11. Jennifer Rothnie

    Jennifer Rothnie Well-Known Member

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    Why not finish the sentence?
    1. If, however, any shall endeavour to allegorize [prophecies] of this kind, they shall not be found consistent with themselves in all points, and shall be confuted by the teaching of the very expressions [in question]. For example: "When the cities" of the Gentiles "shall be desolate, so that they be not inhabited, and the houses so that there shall be no men in them and the land shall be left desolate." "For, behold," says Isaiah, "the day of the Lord cometh past remedy, full of fury and wrath, to lay waste the city of the earth, and to root sinners out of it." And again he says, "Let him be taken away, that he behold not the glory of God." And when these things are done, he says, "God will remove men far away, and those that are left shall multiply in the earth." "And they shall build houses, and shall inhabit them themselves: and plant vineyards, and eat of them themselves." For all these and other words were unquestionably spoken in reference to the resurrection of the just, which takes place [424-425] after the coming of Antichrist, and the destruction of all nations under his rule; in which the righteous shall reign in the earth, waxing stronger by the sight of the Lord: and through Him they shall become accustomed to partake in the glory of God the Father, and shall enjoy in the kingdom intercourse and communion with the holy angels, and union with spiritual beings; and [with respect to] those whom the Lord shall find in the flesh, awaiting Him from heaven, and who have suffered tribulation, as well as escaped the hands of the Wicked one. For it is in reference to them that the prophet says: "And those that are left shall multiply upon the earth," And Jeremiah the prophet has pointed out, that as many believers as God has prepared for this purpose, to multiply those left upon earth, should both be under the rule of the saints to minister to this Jerusalem, and that [His] kingdom shall be in it, saying, "Look around Jerusalem towards the east, and behold the joy which comes to thee from God Himself. Behold, thy sons shall come whom thou hast sent forth: they shall come in a band from the east even unto the west, by the word of that Holy One, rejoicing in that splendour which is from thy God. O Jerusalem, put off thy robe of mourning and of affliction, and put on that beauty of eternal splendour from thy God....

      This seems more of a mid-trib, post-trib, or pre-wrath view.

      He has the resurrection of the just coming 'after:'
      -the coming of Antichrist
      - and the destruction of all nations under his rule
      - those still alive who survived the tribulation awaiting Christ from heaven


      At some point either during or after this he places the Day of the Lord where God roots out sinners (God's wrath, not tribulation.) God "removes men" during this - but in Irenaeus' view these are the wicked. And at sometime during or after this he places the resurrection of the just (where according to chapter 32 section 1 he believes God revives dead Christian martyrs so they can reign on Earth before final judgement.) And note that it does not say the resurrection must happen *immediately* after the Antichrist conquers the Nations. This is a general sequence he is giving, not a specific one.

      But what, exactly, did Irenaeus view as the Resurrection of the just?

      Chapter 31 Section 1: ...So ought we also to await the time of our resurrection prescribed by God and foretold by the prophets, and so, rising, be taken up, as many as the Lord shall account worthy of this [privilege].

      Chapter 32.
      1. Inasmuch, therefore, as the opinions of certain [orthodox persons] are derived from heretical discourses, they are both ignorant of God's dispensations, and of the mystery of the resurrection of the just, and of the [earthly] kingdom which is the commencement of incorruption, by means of which kingdom those who shall be worthy are accustomed gradually to partake of the divine nature (capere Deum); and it is necessary to tell them respecting those things, that it behoves the righteous first to receive the promise of the inheritance which God [414-415] promised to the fathers, and to reign in it, when they rise again to behold God in this creation which is renovated, and that the judgment should take place afterwards. For it is just that in that very creation in which they toiled or were afflicted, being proved in every way by suffering, they should receive the reward of their suffering; and that in the creation in which they were slain because of their love to God, in that they should be revived again; and that in the creation in which they endured servitude, in that they should reign. For God is rich in all things, and all things are His. It is fitting, therefore, that the creation itself, being restored to its primeval condition, should without restraint be under the dominion of the righteous; and the apostle has made this plain in the Epistle to the Romans, when he thus speaks: "For the expectation of the creature waiteth for the manifestation of the sons of God
      http://www.textexcavation.com/irenaeusah5.html#chapter30

      For Ireneaus, this 'resurrection of the just' that takes place is in no way a secret rapture so that the church may escape tribulation. Rather, he believes it is when the worthy righteous who suffered on Earth are revived back to life as God renews the Earth so that they may then reign in it for a time before the final judgement. (Sounds a bit like #Rev 20:4, actually.)

      That certainly doesn't sound like a secret pre-trib rapture at all.
    Again, the full section:
    1. But he indicates the number of the name now, that when this man comes we may avoid him, being aware who he is: the name, however, is suppressed, because it is not worthy of being proclaimed by the Holy Spirit. For if it had been declared by Him, he (Antichrist) might perhaps continue for a long period. But now as "he was, and is not, and shall ascend out of the abyss, and goes into perdition," as one who has no existence; so neither has his name been declared, for the name of that which does not exist is not proclaimed. But when this Antichrist shall have devastated all things in this world, he will reign for three years and six months, and sit in the temple at Jerusalem; and then the Lord will come from heaven in the clouds, in the glory of the Father, sending this man and those who follow him into the lake of fire; but bringing in for the righteous the times of the kingdom, that is, the rest, the hallowed seventh day; and restoring to Abraham the promised inheritance, in which kingdom the Lord declared, that "many coming from the east and from the west should sit down with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob."

      That's a post-trib/Pre-wrath view. The Antichrist destroys nations then reigns for a time (a 3 and a half or 7 year trib,) and THEN God's judgement/wrath is poured out.

      Furthermore, Irenaeus makes the point of Revelation that "we" (living Christians) take warning so we can avoid the Antichrist - not the point that we should trust to be removed before he comes or starts persecuting us.

    He has the church being persecuted by the Antichrist and *then* the Lord returning and destroying them all. That's a Pre-Wrath view, not a pre-trib or even a mid-trib view.


    Using synonyms like righteous and saints doesn't mean they aren't the church. Irenaeus frequently uses the 'righteous' or 'saints' to refer to living Christians throughout his work. Church is one of the rarest synonyms he uses. Splitting hairs that he used different synonyms in different places doesn't support the view that if he 'doesn't say church it somehow means the church has been raptured. In fact it would be contrary to standard textual analysis to think that an author would need to use a word he rarely uses rather than a more common synonym he frequently uses if he 'really meant' that word. There is no need to assume he was 'careless' with wording. I rarely use the phrase 'called out assembly of the righteous' for example - I generally say church or believers. But if I was writing an essay and used 'called out assembly of the believers' in one paragraph it would not mean that every time I used believers or church it was *not* referring to the called out assembly of the righteous.'

    Plus, we are again going off primarily a Latin translation of Ireneaus' Greek and most of us are reading English translations of that Latin in turn. We don't know how the translators opted to choose specific synonyms over others when it was changed.

    ****

    Irenaeus believed in a 3.5 year tribulation under the Antichrist (possibly a longer one including the time it takes the Antichrist to conquer the nations) followed by the Day of the Lord (wrath,) renewal of the Earth, resurrection of the just, the righteous reigning, and then at some point the final resurrection/judgement of all. It's really hard to get a pre-trib or even a mid-trib secret rapture out of that.
     
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  12. Biblewriter

    Biblewriter Senior Member Supporter

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    The position of Irenaeus was unquestionably what would today be called mid trib. But from his view it was pre trib, because he saw only the last half of the seventieth week as the “great tribulation.”
     
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  13. Jennifer Rothnie

    Jennifer Rothnie Well-Known Member

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    Does Irenaeus ever even use the phrase 'great tribulation?' He talks about believers going through tribulation an awful lot, but never a single 'great tribulation' that the church is not a part of.

    For example, write after his section proclaiming that Christ will return after 6,000 years since creation:

    Book five, Chapt. 28, 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."
    http://www.textexcavation.com/irenaeusah5.html#chapter31

    Book 5, Chapt. 29, Sect 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."

    I already went through this section extensively so will not repeat all that, but Irenaeus is not giving a clear timeline here where the church is whisked away and then tribulation happens. It helps to diagram the sentence (which is again translated from latin and that from greek, and in the Greek word order matters even less) to see how ambiguous this is:

    'And therefore ^ it is said "There shall be tribulation such as has not been since the beginning, neither
    (When in the end the church shall be assumed from all this)
    shall be." For this is the last contest of the righteous ^.
    (in which, when they overcome they are crowned with incorruption)

    It isn't definitive in this section alone whether he means that somehow the church is assumed then all other? righteous people go through a tribulation, or whether the righteous church will go through the tribulation but with the hope they will be assumed in the end of it. Nor does this section state that he doesn't view what happens prior as tribulation, since the *very last section* he references the tribulation of the saved as a necessary thing.

    And Chapter 35 makes his timeline clear:
    1. If, however, any shall endeavour to allegorize [prophecies] of this kind, they shall not be found consistent with themselves in all points, and shall be confuted by the teaching of the very expressions [in question]. For example: "When the cities" of the Gentiles "shall be desolate, so that they be not inhabited, and the houses so that there shall be no men in them and the land shall be left desolate." "For, behold," says Isaiah, "the day of the Lord cometh past remedy, full of fury and wrath, to lay waste the city of the earth, and to root sinners out of it." And again he says, "Let him be taken away, that he behold not the glory of God." And when these things are done, he says, "God will remove men far away, and those that are left shall multiply in the earth." "And they shall build houses, and shall inhabit them themselves: and plant vineyards, and eat of them themselves." For all these and other words were unquestionably spoken in reference to the resurrection of the just, which takes place [424-425] after the coming of Antichrist, and the destruction of all nations under his rule; in [the times of] which [resurrection] the righteous shall reign in the earth, waxing stronger by the sight of the Lord: and through Him they shall become accustomed to partake in the glory of God the Father, and shall enjoy in the kingdom intercourse and communion with the holy angels, and union with spiritual beings; and [with respect to] those whom the Lord shall find in the flesh, awaiting Him from heaven, and who have suffered tribulation, as well as escaped the hands of the Wicked one. For it is in reference to them that the prophet says: "And those that are left shall multiply upon the earth," And Jeremiah the prophet has pointed out, that as many believers as God has prepared for this purpose, to multiply those left upon earth, should both be under the rule of the saints to minister to this Jerusalem, and that [His] kingdom shall be in it, saying, "Look around Jerusalem towards the east, and behold the joy which comes to thee from God Himself. Behold, thy sons shall come whom thou hast sent forth: they shall come in a band from the east even unto the west, by the word of that Holy One, rejoicing in that splendour which is from thy God. O Jerusalem, put off thy robe of mourning and of affliction, and put on that beauty of eternal splendour from thy God. Gird thyself with the double garment of that righteousness proceeding from thy God; place the mitre of eternal glory upon thine head. For God will show thy glory to the whole earth under heaven. For thy name shall for ever be called by God Himself, the peace of righteousness and glory to him that worships God. Arise, Jerusalem, stand on high, and look towards the east, and behold thy sons from the rising of the sun, even to the west, by the Word of that Holy One, rejoicing in the very remembrance of God. For the footmen have gone forth from thee, while they were drawn away by the enemy. God shall bring them in to thee, being borne with glory as the throne of a kingdom. For God has decreed that every high mountain shall be brought low, and the eternal hills, and that the valleys be filled, so that the surface of the earth be rendered smooth, that Israel, the glory of God, may walk in safety. The woods, too, shall make shady places, and every sweet-smelling tree shall be for Israel itself by the command of God. For God shall go before with joy in the light of His splendour, with the pity and righteousness which proceeds from Him."
    2. Now all these things being such as they are, cannot be understood in reference to super-celestial matters; "for God," it is said, "will show to the whole earth that is under heaven thy glory." But in the times of the kingdom, the earth has been called again by Christ [to its pristine condition], and Jerusalem rebuilt after the pattern of the Jerusalem above, of which the prophet Isaiah says, "Behold, I have depicted thy walls upon my hands, and thou art always in my sight," And the apostle, too, writing to the Galatians, says in like manner, "But the Jerusalem which is above is free, which is the mother of us all." He does not say this with any thought of an erratic Aeon, or of any other power which departed from the Pleroma, or of Prunicus, but of the Jerusalem which has been delineated on [God's] hands. And in the Apocalypse John saw this new [Jerusalem] descending upon the new earth. For after the times of the kingdom, he says, "I saw a great white throne, and Him who sat upon it, from whose face the earth fled away, and the heavens; and there was no more place for them." And he sets forth, too, the things connected with the general resurrection and the judgment, mentioning "the dead, great and small." "The sea," he says, "gave up the dead which it had in it, and death and hell delivered up the dead that they contained; and the books were opened. Moreover," he says, "the book of life was opened, and the dead were judged out of those things that were written in the books, according to their works; and death and hell were sent into the lake of fire, the second death." Now this is what is called Gehenna, which the Lord styled eternal fire. "And if any one," it is said, "was not found written in the book of life, he was sent into the lake of fire." And after this, he says, "I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and earth have passed away; also there was no more sea. And I saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down from heaven, as a bride adorned for her husband." "And I heard," it is said, "a great voice from the throne, saying, Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and He will dwell with them; and they shall be His people, and God Himself shall be with them as their God. And He will wipe away every tear from their eyes; and death shall be no more, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain, because the former things have passed away." Isaiah also declares the very same: "For there shall be a new heaven and a new earth; and there shall be no remembrance of the former, neither shall the heart think about them, but they shall find in it joy and exultation." Now this is what has been said by the apostle: "For the fashion of this world passeth away." To the same purpose did the Lord also declare, "Heaven and earth shall pass away." When these things, therefore, pass away above the earth, John, the Lord's disciple, says that the new [426-427] Jerusalem above shall [then] descend, as a bride adorned for her husband; and that this is the tabernacle of God, in which God will dwell with men. Of this Jerusalem the former one is an image-that Jerusalem of the former earth in which the righteous are disciplined beforehand for incorruption and prepared for salvation. And of this tabernacle Moses received the pattern in the mount; and nothing is capable of being allegorized, but all things are stedfast, and true, land substantial, having been made by God for righteous men's enjoyment. For as it is God truly who raises up man, so also does man truly rise from the dead, and not allegorically, as I have shown repeatedly. And as he rises actually, so also shall he be actually disciplined beforehand for incorruption, and shall go forwards and flourish in the times of the kingdom, in order that he may be capable of receiving the glory of the Father. Then, when all things are made new, he shall truly dwell in the city of God. For it is said, "He that sitteth on the throne said, Behold, I make all things new. And the Lord says, Write all this; for these words are faithful and true. And He said to me, They are done." And this is the truth of the matter.

      His sequence is clearly that the righteous on Earth (the church) suffer through the times of the Antichrist including his reigning over the nations (and any accompanying events such as a tribulation.) During this period some of the righteous die/are martyred and others escape and live. Following this, the 'resurrection of the just' happens where the righteous who died are raised back to life. They will have communion with holy angels and minister to the living believers still on Earth and multiplying. The 'Day of the Lord' occurs and God removes the wicked from the Earth. (This sounds a lot like Rev 20:4 - the righteous martyrs are brought back to life and reign with Christ over the people left on Earth.) Basically, he is describing the Millennial kingdom or something similar. Then 'after the times of the kingdom' the final judgement comes, the heavens and Earth are made new, and God descends to dwell with man.

      Pretty much, his work is fighting against amillennialism or the idea that when Revelation speaks of an intermittent kingdom in Rev 20:4 before the other dead rise, or of the Antichrist, it is mere 'allegory.' There is nothing in his view directly supporting pre-trib or even mid-trib once phrases are taken in their context and not over-extrapolated beyond what the text actually supports.
     
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  14. dms1972

    dms1972 Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Thankyou for your comment. In another thread a poster began to explain some teaching and seemed to be saying St. Paul's writings are the only ones to trust for a Gentile. I don't agree of course, but wasn't familiar enough with all the scripture needed to answer this form of teaching. I have come up against this teaching a few times in my life, however not always sure if its there until it becomes more evident in what is said. But I have heard evangelicals also say we must be careful not to confuse Israel and the Church, but as far as I could tell when one said this to me he wasn't coming at things from a dispensationalist (ie. the seven dispensations) position.

    I wish I understood all this better from a Reformed position.
     
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  15. Biblewriter

    Biblewriter Senior Member Supporter

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    In your analysis, you are simply assuming, without a shred of evidence, that by "the righteous," Irenaeus meant "the church." I have already demonstrated that his change of pronouns at the time when he placed the rapture, that is, after the Antichrist appeared but before he began his reign of terror, (which Irenaeus saw as lasting 3-1/2 years,) clearly proves that he was using this change in wording with studied intent. It is STANDARD pre-trib doctrine that some will turn to Christ after the rapture. But pre-tribbers ALWAYS call these people by another name, such as "they," "them," "saints" or "the righteous," and NEVER refer to them as either "we," "us," or "the church." And this is EXACTLY what Irenaeus did, even in the passages you quoted.
     
  16. dms1972

    dms1972 Well-Known Member Supporter

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    I have Henry Gratton Guinness's book you summarise somewhere but have not read it fully (its not my usual reading material), its a fairly dense work but interesting all the same, but obviously written nearly a century before Vatican II (1962-1965). Where, or how do you derive your 20th century dates, I didn't think Guinness brought things that up to date, as he died in 1910?
     
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  17. jgr

    jgr Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Irenaeus:

    "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." (Against Heresies, Book V, Chapter XXIX, Paragraph 1)

    If I understand correctly, your claim is that the Church is the Church; but the righteous are not the Church, but rather only tribulation believers.

    Yet Irenaeus earlier describes the righteous as all believers, i.e. the Church:

    "For whatsoever we acquired from unrighteousness when we were heathen, we are proved righteous, when we have become believers, by applying it to the Lord's advantage." (Against Heresies, Book IV Chapter XXX Paragraph 3)

    "The Father, therefore, who has prepared the kingdom for the righteous, into which the Son has received those worthy of it, is He who has also prepared the furnace of fire, into which these angels commissioned by the Son of man shall send those persons who deserve it, according to God's command." (Against Heresies, Book IV Chapter XL Paragraph 2)

    Furthermore, I could find no instance in the remainder of Book V, after the first quotation above, in which a reference to "righteous" is restricted to only tribulation believers.

    Explanation?
     
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  18. Biblewriter

    Biblewriter Senior Member Supporter

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    To ANY pre-tribber, the term "the righteous" applies to all believers of all times. But "the church" does not. So, altough a pre-tribber might call any saint from any period "righteous," he would never use the term "the church" for any tribulation believer, nor would he call one of them "we," or "us." And this is EXACTLY what Irenaeus did. He changed his terms for tribulation believers from "we" or "us" to "they, "them," or "those," and he changed the term "the church" to the generic terms of "the righteous" or "saints." I have analyzed every place where he spoke of people going through the tribulation, and he applied this rule in EVRY case. He did not make even one exception to his application of this rule.
     
  19. Jennifer Rothnie

    Jennifer Rothnie Well-Known Member

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    That's circular reasoning, not proof. Irene us only uses 'church' a couple times over his 30+ 'books.' It's a rare synonym. He uses the righteous and saints and believerso refer to the living believers of his day many times. There is no reason to assume he thinks the 'church' is a different group than the 'righteous' in the last contest he mentions. It's 'theoretically possible' he means two different groups but not demanded by the text nor the most intuitive given the context and his other writings. One has to read that interpretation into the text.

    It can't just be assumed he meant two different groups and that assumption used to then 'prove' he meant two different groups.
     
  20. Anto9us

    Anto9us Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Several years ago there was a phone-call from Grant Jeffreys to Thomas Ice about "the Pseudo-Ephraim find". These two pre-tribbers were ecstatic to have even this one "ancient" document that seemed to speak of a PreTrib Rapture. Now in this thread I hear of MULTIPLE "Pseudo-Ephraims" and TONS of "Dispensationalists before Darby".

    20 years ago I guess all the pre-Darbyite pre-tribbers were still in the woodwork, hadn't climbed out yet...

    Way back when I was pretrib myself, I knew that ancient writers were preMILLENNIAL; but not pre-trib.

    Manuel De Lacunza had a pre-Darby book that wasn't even close to modern-day pre-trib, he had a 45 day "trib". Edward Irving translated La Cunza's book into English -- Darby allegedly "got" his pretrib stuff from it; oh - no - wait - Darby "got" his stuff from Margaret Macdonald's VISION, that's the ticket! Thing is, Margaret Macdonald's vision is not PreTrib, it's post-trib. Sigh.

    I am no longer pretrib, but things are sure fishy about ORIGINS of the doctrine, and things have changed.

    We are at war with Eurasia -- we have always been at war with Eurasia.
     
    Last edited: Aug 19, 2018
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