The best source of early church teaching on whether or not
the church will be on earth to face the wrath of the Antichrist
would begin with Jesus, then John, Paul, Barnabas,
Justin Martyr, Irenaeus, etc.
Below is a list of one paragraph quotes from these great leaders:
Paul (05-97 AD) knew John and traveled with him, wrote: "Let
no man deceive you by any means: for that day [return of Christ]
shall not come, except there come a falling away [from the truth]
first, and that man of sin [Antichrist] be revealed..."
Bible, (II Thes.2:3 KJV).
Click on book and chapter to view excerpts from these books:
Barnabas (40-102 AD) traveled with Paul and John, wrote:
"The final stumbling block approaches...for the whole past time
of your faith will profit you nothing, unless now in this wicked
time we also withstand coming sources of danger....then the evil
one Antichrist may find no means of entrance...."
(Epistle of Barnabas, chp.4)
Justin Martyr (98-167) a contemporary of Barnabas, wrote:
"The man of apostasy, Antichrist, who speaks strange things
against the Most High, shall venture to do unlawful deeds on
the earth against us the Christians.."
(Dialogue with Trypho, chp.110)
Irenaeus (138-202) a contemporary of Justin Myrtyr, wrote:
"And they [the ten kings who will arise] shall lay Babylon waste,
and burn her with fire, and shall give their kingdom to the
beast antichrist and put the church to flight"
(Against Heresies, V, chp.26)
Tertullian (150-220) a contemporary of Irenaeus, wrote:
"The souls of the martyrs are taught to wait [Rev.6:9-10]
that the beast Antichrist with his false prophet may wage
war on the Church of God..."
(On the Resurrection of the Flesh, chp.25)
Cyprian (200-258) a contemporary of Tertullian, wrote:
"The day of affliction has begun to hang over our heads, and the
end of the world and the time of the Antichrist to draw near, so
that we must all stand prepared for the battle..."
(Epistle, 55, 1)
Cyril of Jerusalem (315-386), wrote:
"The church declares to you the things concerning Antichrist
before they arrive...it is well that, knowing these things, thou
shouldest make thyself ready beforehand."
(Catechetical Lectures, 15,9)
Augustine (354-430) a contemporary of Cyril, wrote:
"But he who reads this passage [Daniel 12:1-13], even half asleep
can not fail to see that the kingdom of Antichrist shall fiercely, for
a short time, assail the church..."
(The City of God, XX, 23)
Bernard of Clairvaux (1090-1153) wrote: "There remains only
one thing--that the demon of noonday Antichrist should appear,
to seduce those who still remain in Christ..."
(Sermons on the song of songs, 33,16)
Roger Bacon (1214-1274) wrote: "...because of future perils [for
the Church] in the times of Antichrist..."
(Opus Majus, II, p. 634).
Martin Luther (1483-1546) wrote: "The book of Revelation is
intended as a revelation of things that are to happen in the future,
and especially of tribulations and disasters for the Church..."
(Works of Martin Luther, VI, p. 481).
Menno Simons (1496-1561) a contemporary of Martin Luther,
wrote: "...He Jesus will appear as a triumphant Prince and a
victorious King to bring judgment. Then will those who persecute
us look upon Him..." (Complete Writings...p. 622).
John Calvin (1509-1564) a contemporary of Menno Simons,
wrote: "We ought not to follow in our inquiries after Antichrist,
especially where such pride proceeds to a public desolation of
the Church." (Institutes, Vol. 2, p. 411).
John Knox (1515-1572) a contemporary of John Calvin), wrote:
"...the great love of God towards His Church, whom He pleased to
forewarn of dangers to come, so many years before they come to
pass...to wit, the man of sin, the Antichrist the whore of Babylon."
(The History of the Reformation..., I, p. 76).
John Fox (1516-1587) a contemporary of John Knox, wrote:
"...that second beast prophesied to come in the later time of the
Church...to disturb the whole Church of Christ..."
(Acts and Monuments, I).
Daniel Whitby (1638-1726) wrote: "...after the fall of Antichrist,
there shall be such a glorious state of the Church...so shall this be
the Church of Martyrs, and of those who had not received the
Mark of the Beast..." (A Paraphrase and Commentary, p. 696).
Matthew Henry (1662-1714) a contemporary of Daniel Whitby,
wrote: "Those who keep the gospel in a time of peace shall be
kept by Christ in an hour of temptation, Revelation 3:10.
(Commentary, VI, p. 1134).
Jonathan Edwards (1703-1758) a contemporary of Matthew
Henry, wrote: "...continuance of Antichrist's reign [when the
Church is persecuted] did not commence before the year of
Christ 479..." (A history of the Work of Redemption, p. 217).
John Newton (1725-1807) a contemporary of Jonathan Edwards,
wrote: "Fear not temptation's fiery day, for I will be thy strength
and stay. Thou hast my promise, hold it fast, the trying hour of
Revelation 3:10, will soon be past."
(The Works of the Rev. John Newton, Vol. II, p. 152).
George Muller (1805-1898) wrote:"The scripture declares plainly
that the Lord Jesus will not come until the Apostate shall have
taken place, and the man of sin shall have been revealed..."
("Mrs. Mueller's Missionary Tours and Labours, p. 148).
R. Trench (1807-1886) a contemporary of George Muller, wrote:
"....the Philadelphian church... to be kept in temptation, not to be
exempted from temptation..." (Seven Churches of Asia, p. 183).
Carl F. Keil (1807-1888) a contemporary of R.Trench, wrote:
"...the persecution of the last enemy Antichrist against the church
of the Lord..." (Biblical Commentary, Vol. XXXIV, p. 503).
S. P. Tregelles (1813-1875) a contemporary of Carl F. Keil,
wrote: "The Scripture teaches the Church to wait for the
manifestation of Christ. The secret [pre-trib] theory bids us
to expect a coming before any such manifestation."
(The Hope of Christ's Second Coming, p. 71).
Nathaniel West (1826-1906) a contemporary of S.P. Tregelles,
wrote: "The Pre-Trib Rapture is built on a postulate (assume
to be true), vicious in logic... repudiated by the early Church..."
(The Apostle Paul and the "any moment" Theory, p. 30).
Alexander Maclaren (1826-1910) a contemporary of Nathaniel
West, wrote: "He will keep us in the mist of, and also from, the
hour of temptation, Revelation 3:10."
(The Episles of John, Jude and the Book of Revelation, p. 266).
M. Vincent (1834-1922) a contemporary of Alexander Maclaren,
wrote: "The preposition 'from' implies, not a keeping from
temptation, but a keeping in temptation, Revelation 3:10."
(Word Studies..., p. 466).
Grattan Guinness (1835-1910) a contemporary of M.Vincent,
wrote: "The Church is on earth during the action of the
Apocalypse..." (The Approaching End of the Age, p. 136).
Theodor Zahn (1838-1933) a contemporary of Grattan Guiness,
wrote: "He will preserve.....at the time of the great temptation
Revelation 3:10." (Zahn-Kommentar, I, p. 305).
I.T. Beckwith (1843-1936) a contemporary of Theodor Zahn,
wrote: "The Philadelphians...are promised that they shall be
carried in safety through the great trial [Rev.3:10], they shall
not fall." (The Apocalypse of John, p. 484).
Robert Cameron (1845-1922) a contemporary of I.Beckwith,
wrote: "The Coming for, and the Coming with, the saints, still
persists, although it involves a manifest contradiction, two
Second comings which is an absurdity."
(Scriptural Truth About the Lord's Return, p. 639).
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