Pretrib quotes before the 1800s?

Discussion in '2000-02 Archive' started by BrianT, Jun 12, 2002.

  1. BrianT

    BrianT
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    Hi all,

    If this thread stays on topic, I expect it to be pretty short. ;) In several "rapture" threads over the last few months, several posters have claimed that there are quotes and references of a pretrib nature before the 1800s. I feel this deserves it's own thread.

    I have been looking for such quotes for a long time, and have never found any, and I encouraged people to post the ones they knew about. So far, nothing has been put forward. Even one of the more vocal moderators here said "A book written in 1677 outlines the pre trib position exactly as it is taught by most dispensationalists today. Quotes from the patristics support a pre trib rapture as early as the late 3rd century" and also made reference to the early church fathers "Papias, Irenaeus, Justin Martyr, Tertullian, Hippolytus, Methodius, Commodianus, Lactanitus, and others". Yet no details (quotes, references, etc.) have been supplied, despite repeated requests.

    Can anyone provide any evidence of pretrib support before the 1800s? I'm NOT looking to debate scripture in this thread, so please keep on topic: I'm only looking for any pretrib support in any Christian writings between the close of the NT and 1800 A.D.

    Preacher/author Grant Jeffrey put forth a writing by "Pseudo-Ephraem", but there are numerous problems in using that to support pretrib (see http://www.geocities.com/lasttrumpet_2000/timeline/ephraem.html ). If someone wants to talk about that one, we can do so here, but I'm hoping for discussion about other writings.

    Thanks,
    Brian Tegart
     
  2. LadyEagle

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    Brian, I can only speak for myself...I believe in pre-trib because of what the Bible says.

    I have never studied church fathers or religion founders or anything like that or those who formulated these pre-trib, post-trib, middle-trib doctrines. I am not an historian and I am not a scholar. And I don't care to be. :eek:

    The promises in the Bible are good enough for me. I do know some of Larkin's charts which have explained things satisfactorily to me. But I don't base my pre-tribulation/rapture belief on those, just the Bible and God's promises. [​IMG]
    So as far as any ancient theologians or somebody else's point of view, I can't help you...none of that seems important to me, just what the Bible says.
     
  3. BrianT

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    Hi EagleLives,

    I agree that it is the Bible that is authoritative, not the writings of others. I am not looking for such quotes for "proof" one way or the other about the rapture debate, and again I don't want to debate scripture in this thread. But I *do* think the lack of pretrib support is an important consideration.

    I also think that those who claim there are such quotes need to provide them. I really don't understand why it is so difficult to get the moderator (who made the statements in my first post) to respond, or to get others to provide some quotes themselves.

    Also, I thought the discussion would be just plain interesting. ;)

    God bless,
    Brian
     
  4. HankD

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    Dear Brian,

    Well, all Christians believe that we shall "meet the Lord in the air" because it is Scripture.
    The question then is, what does "in the air" mean. Down through the ages "church fathers" have taken that statement literally.
    The next question is the timing in terms of modern dispensationlism and the "tribulation".
    Last, is it a "secret" rapture? That is limited only to faithful belivers, and unknown to the world (they will be wondering where all the Christians have gone).

    Another factor is that the term "rapture" all though not found in our English Bibles actually is a biblical word, taken from the Latin translation of "snatched away" (I believe it to be the "two in the field" word). The word is "rapturo" and "rapto" and is used by the Latin fathers long before the 1800's. The theological significance is lessened because a "secret" snatching away was unknown (as far as I have seen) amongst the early church fathers.

    I assume you mean the Darby view of a secret rapture in which Christ will come and snatch away His Church out of the world causing planes to crash (Christian pilot) etc with the Great Tribulation following.

    Personally, I don't know of anyone or any writings except second hand testimonials concerning an obscure Jesuit document that speaks of this kind of a secret "rapture" before the 1800's.

    I don't believe that one's rejection of this kind a "rapture" is worthy to cause anyone to ridicule the brethren who do believe it (or vice versa).

    HankD

    [ June 13, 2002, 11:52 AM: Message edited by: HankD ]
     
  5. BrianT

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    Hi Hank,

    Basically, but variants are welcome. [​IMG] I am looking for any quotes/references that speak of the rapture of the church at a time different than the second coming, especially 7 years before the second coming. I am aware of the circa 1790 A.D. writings of Lacunza (which is perhaps closest to "prewrath") and Morgan Edwards (which is perhaps closest to "midtrib"). Other than those two, I am unaware of any pre-1800 writings that place the rapture at a different time than the second coming.

    I agree. I hope you don't think that is my purpose for this thread. ;)

    God bless,
    Brian
     
  6. Graceforever

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    Matthew 24:29 Immediately after (I think the operative words are, immediately after the tribulation) the tribulation of those days shall the sun be darkened, and the moon shall not give her light, and the stars shall fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens shall be shaken:

    It’s amazing what you’ll find in the word of God…. [​IMG]
     
  7. HankD

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    Hi Brian,

    When I get home and if I have the time I'll check my Libronix Early Church Fathers via different keys and phrases for "rapture" (Latin Rapto,Rapturo) statements.

    By this weekend anyway.

    RE: The comment about ridicule. I didn't mean you specifically (or even myself).
    I am interested in this subject but get disheartened when folks start dumping on each other and lose the desire to interact.

    HankD

    [ June 13, 2002, 04:26 PM: Message edited by: HankD ]
     
  8. Brutus

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    Brian; Liddell and Scotts Greek Lexicon gives "department" or departure as one of the definitions of the word apostasia.The Geneva Bible of 1537 gives this as a "departing".Also,William Tyndale,in his 1539 Bible speaks of it as "a departynge".Cranmer's Bible of 1537 also gives the same meaning of "departure".The first Bible to translate this"a falling away"is the KJV. Hope that this might help in your search. Brutus
     
  9. BrianT

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    Hi Brutus,

    The "departing" used in old Bibles was not used in the sense of a departing from the earth, but a departing from the faith.

    Thanks,
    Brian
     
  10. Brutus

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    Brian;not wanting to argue but in those Bibles it is used in reference to I Thess.4
     
  11. Brutus

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    Brian;there seems to me to be no doubt that Paul was telling the Thessalonians of the departure of the saints in the rapture and was not at that time making any reference to the apostasy.There are many words in our English language in which the prfix"apo"is used,and all of them utilize the meaning of the Greek "apo" in so doing.The prefix "apo" means literally"from,away from,off".The word apostle means"one sent away".The Greek word kalyptien means"to uncover or unveil or disclose to view". Of course this is our word for the writings of the Revelation.The Greek word stasia means"standing or the place where one is standing".Combined with the prefix apo,it would be apostasia or"departure from where one is standing".If Paul were actually refering to the apostasy here,he would have used the expression a-pisteuo.This would be the word pisteuo,which means"faith,trust and obedience".By using the first letter of the Greek alphabet as a prefix,he would have given pisteuo a negative sense,or"no faith,no trust,no obedience".This is apostasy or a falling away from faith.Dr.Allen A. MacRaesaid that the noun apostasia occurs only twice in the N.T.,but that it is derived from the verb aphisteemi,of which various forms are found in the N.T. record.Of the 15 times this verb occurs,11 are translated"depart";and the other 4 rendered"draw away,fall away,refrain from and withdraw oneself".Only 3 of the occurences have any reference to a departure from the faith.Dr.Dwight Pentecost and Dr.Kenneth Wuest agree with Dr.English that the text of II Thess.2:3 should be considered as referring to the departure of the saints described in I Thess.4:13-18 Brutus
     
  12. BrianT

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    Hi Brutus,

    The "departing" occurs in 2 Thess 2:3. To understand it as a departing from the earth, and then to tie it to 1 Thess 4 is an interpretation, and a relatively new one at that. Do you have any references older than 1800 A.D. that make that connection, supporting pretrib? It seems highly improbable to me that translators who were amill and postmill translators would use "departing" in a pretrib/premill sense. I have reprints of the Bibles you list, and the Geneva has a marginal note on "departing" that says "...from the faith".

    God bless,
    Brian
     
  13. KenH

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    Perhaps this amillennialist can help you out. The following is from www.aloha.net/~mikesch/antichrist.htm :

    Francisco Ribera (1537-1591) was a Jesuit doctor of theology, born in Spain, who began writing a lengthy (500 page) commentary in 1585 on the book of Revelation (Apocalypse) titled In Sacrum Beati Ioannis Apostoli, & Evangelistiae Apocalypsin Commentarij, and published it about the year 1590. He died in 1591 at the age of fifty-four, so he was not able to expand on his work or write any other commentaries. In order to remove the Catholic Church from consideration as the antichrist power, Ribera proposed that the first few chapters of the Apocalypse applied to ancient pagan Rome, and the rest he limited to a yet future period of 3 1/2 literal years, immediately prior to the second coming. During that time, the Roman Catholic Church would have fallen away from the pope into apostasy. Then, he proposed, the antichrist, a single individual, would:

    Persecute and blaspheme the saints of God.
    Rebuild the temple in Jerusalem.
    Abolish the Christian religion.
    Deny Jesus Christ.
    Be received by the Jews.
    Pretend to be God.
    Kill the two witnesses of God.
    Conquer the world.


    So, according to Ribera, the 1260 days and 42 months and 3 1/2 times of prophecy were not 1260 years, but a literal 3 1/2 years, and therefore none of the book of Revelation had any application to the middle ages or the papacy, but to the future, to a period immediately prior to the second coming, hence the name Futurism.
     
  14. KenH

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  15. Ransom

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    Well, after a week's silence on this topic, I guess there are no takers. Doesn't do the pre-trib position an awful lot of good if none of its proponents want to disabuse us of the notion that it is an 19th-century invention, with the apparent exception of a single Jesuit.

    [ June 20, 2002, 11:35 AM: Message edited by: Ransom ]
     
  16. tyndale1946

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    I will reply by adding according to the scripture quoted
    What makes everyone think this tribulation is in the future?... Could it have already happened?... Could these be smybolistic of something else?... What about the Fall of Jerusalem in 70AD?... Now thats a fact... Read Josephus!... Have I stirred the pot a little?... Brother Glen [​IMG]
     
  17. BrianT

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    Thanks for the bump, Ransom. [​IMG] It appears the topic comes up empty yet again. Its not surprising, but perhaps disappointing.

    Tyndale, interesting comments, but I'd rather keep this thread on topic. Start a new thread, it could be interesting. [​IMG]

    Pre-1800 pretrib quotes? Anyone?

    Brian
     
  18. Daniel David

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    BrianT, give me a day or so to find a book of mine. I will respond to the topic. No, it won't be some of Grant Jeffrey's sensationalism and it won't have a thing to do with LaHaye. (Those guys are so into selling books, it is okay to do a little Scripture-twisting. As long as they tithe it is okay to some though, I guess.)
     
  19. HankD

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    There is so much in the church fathers about the second coming it is difficult to sort it all out in terms of a "rapture". Also I had a school study project due so I had to curtail this project,

    Here is what I sorted out (two authors) which might be related to a Darby like "rapture".

    First the key passage:
    1 Thessalonians 4:15-18

    15 For this we say unto you by the word of the Lord, that we which are alive and remain unto the coming of the Lord shall not prevent them which are asleep.
    16 For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first:
    17 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.
    18 Wherefore comfort one another with these words.

    Tertullian:
    In The Resurrection of the Flesh, Chapter 24
    He links the passage to

    2 Thessalonians: 2: 1-10 and 1 Thessalonians 5:1-3 ("as a thief in the night")

    In the Resurrection of the Flesh, Chapter 41
    He says that this passage applies to those who are waiting for the return of Christ at "the time of the Antichrist". He does not elaborate on the "time of the antichrist".

    In The Five Books Against Marcion, Book 5 Chapter 15 Tertullian cross references Isaiah 60:8 to 1 Thessalonians 4:17

    KJV Isaiah 60:8 Who are these that fly as a cloud, and as the doves to their windows?

    Windows : 0699 hB'rua] 'arubbah {ar-oob-baw'}
    • 1) lattice, window, sluice 2) (CLBL) chimney (lattice opening where smoke escapes)

    Actually he uses the Septuagint:

    LXX Isaiah 60:8 Who are these that fly as clouds, and as doves with young ones to me?

    with another cross reference to Amos 9:6 (Septuagint)

    LXX Amos 9:6 It is he that builds his ascent up to the sky…

    Ambrose writing on the decease of His Brother Saytrus (Two books)
    Book 2 Commenting on 1 Thessalonians 4:17 says

    "And finally, he who has believed that the dead shall rise again “in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump (for the trumpet shall sound),”70 “shall be caught up amongst the first in the clouds to meet Christ in the air;”71 he who has not believed shall be left, and subject himself to the sentence by his own unbelief."

    HankD
     
  20. BrianT

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    Hi HankD,

    Thanks for the response - this is the type of response I was hoping this thread would generate. [​IMG]

    Tertullian's main focus in these writings was to combat false doctrines about the resurrection - he was arguing primarily against those who denied a physical resurrection of the body. As such, in most such passages, he was more intent in discussing the *event* of the resurrection, rather than the *timing* of it. For what Tertullian thinks about the timing, we must carefully check the surrounding chapters for more information. Here's a few I found that have elements of "timing" involved, either directly (ie. with words like "after", "then", etc.) or indirectly (ie. by placing the church under the Antichrist's persecution, etc.):

    Tertullian: On the Resurrection of the Flesh.

    Chap 22

    "He then goes on to proclaim, against this world and dispensation (even as Joel had done, and Daniel, and all the prophets with one consent ), that "there should be signs in the sun, and in the moon, and in the stars, distress of nations with perplexity, the sea and the waves roaring, men's hearts failing them for fear, and for looking after those things which are coming on the earth." "For," says He, "the powers of heaven shall be shaken; and then shall they see the Son of man coming in the clouds, with power and great glory. And when these things begin to come to pass, then look up, and lift up your heads, for your redemption draweth nigh." He spake of its "drawing nigh," not of its being present already; and of "those things beginning to come to pass," not of their having happened: because when they have come to pass, then our redemption shall be at hand, which is said to be approaching up to that time, raising and exciting our minds to what is then the proximate harvest of our hope."

    "Watch ye, therefore, and pray always, that ye may be accounted worthy to escape all those things, and to stand before the Son of man; " that is, no doubt, at the resurrection, after all these things have been previously transacted."

    Chap 25

    "In the Revelation of John, again, the order of these times is spread out to view, which "the souls of the martyrs" are taught to wait for beneath the altar, whilst they earnestly pray to be avenged and judged: (taught, I say, to wait), in order that the world may first drink to the dregs the plagues that await it out of the vials of the angels, and that the city of fornication may receive from the ten kings its deserved doom, and that the beast Antichrist with his false prophet may wage war on the Church of God"

    Chap 27

    "When, then, we read, "Go, my people, enter into your closets for a little season, until my anger pass away," we have in the closets graves, in which they will have to rest for a little while, who shall have at the end of the world departed this life in the last furious onset of the power of Antichrist. Why else did He use the expression closets, in preference to some other receptacle, if it were not that the flesh is kept in these closets or cellars salted and reserved for use, to be drawn out thence on a suitable occasion? It is on a like principle that embalmed corpses are set aside for burial in mausoleums and sepulchres, in order that they may be removed therefrom when the Master shall order it. Since, therefore, there is consistency in thus understanding the passage (for what refuge of little closets could possibly shelter us from the wrath of God? ), it appears that by the very phrase which he uses, "Until His anger pass away," which shall extinguish Antichrist, he in fact shows that after that indignation the flesh will come forth from the sepulchre, in which it had been deposited previous to the bursting out of the anger. Now out of the closets nothing else is brought than that which had been put into them, and after the extirpation of Antichrist shall be busily transacted the great process of the resurrection."

    THE PRESCRIPTION AGAINST HERETICS
    Chap 4
    "Heresies, at the present time, will no less rend the church by their perversion of doctrine, than will Antichrist persecute her at that day by the cruelty of his attacks, except that persecution makes even martyrs, (but) heresy only apostates."

    God bless,
    Brian
     

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