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#9.06 WHAT DID THE CHURCH FATHERS SAY ABOUT THE TRIBULATION?

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Related Greek Word Studies
601 || ἀποκαλύπτω || apokalupto || to reveal.
602 || ἀποκάλυψις || apokalupsis || revelation.
2347 || θλῖψις || thlipsis || tribulation.
3952 || παρουσία || parousia || coming.

This bible study shows that the church fathers, closest to the apostles, believed that the church would go through the tribulation.

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)

Justin Martyr (AD 100-168) "O unreasoning men! understanding not what has been proved by all these passages, that two advents of Christ have been announced: the one, in which He is set forth as suffering, inglorious, dishonoured, 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, who, having learned the true worship of God from the law, and the word which went forth from Jerusalem by means of the apostles of Jesus, have fled for safety to the God of Jacob and God of Israel;" (First Apology of Justin, Chapter 110)

Irenaeus (AD 140-202) "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 V, XXVI, 1)

Tertullian (AD 150-220) "that the city of fornication may receive from the ten kings its deserved doom, Revelation xviii and that the beast Antichrist with his false prophet may wage war on the Church of God; (On the Resurrection of the Flesh, Chapter 25)

Hippolytus (AD 160-240) "That refers to the one thousand two hundred and threescore days (the half of the week) during which the tyrant is to reign and persecute the Church, which flees from city to city, and seeks concealment in the wilderness among the mountains," (Treatise on Christ and Antichrist, 61)

Cyprian (AD 200-258) "For you ought to know and to believe, and hold it for certain, that the day of affliction has begun to hang over our heads, and the end of the world and the time of Antichrist to draw near, so that we must all stand prepared for the battle ... "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)

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)

Note: What is the point of this non scriptural evidence from the church fathers? It is very simple. We have seen the evidence of what the church fathers said about the tribulation and the persecution under the antichrist. If these people, who were the ones who very closely followed after the apostles, all believed that that the church would go through the tribulation and persecution from the antichrist, then it must be obvious that the Apostles never taught a pre-tribulation rapture. God bless you.

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