Ephraem The Syrian (On the Pre-Tribulation Rapture)

Lovin Jesus

Well-Known Member
Ephraem The Syrian
By Chuck Missler

In recent years, many opponents of the pre-tribulation rapture view have made dogmatic assertions that this view was never taught before 1820 A.D. There have been attempts to attribute the origin of this view to John N. Darby.

Grant Jeffrey has found an ancient citation from a sermon ascribed to Ephraem of Nisibis (306-373 a.d.), which clearly teaches that believers will be raptured and taken to Heaven before The Tribulation.

Ephraem of Nisibis was the most important and prolific of the Syrian church fathers and a witness to early Christianity on the fringes of the Roman Empire in the late fourth century.

He was well-known for his poetry, exegetical and theological writings, and many of the hymns of the early Byzantine church. So popular were his works that in the fifth and sixth centuries he was adopted by several Christian communities as a spiritual leader and role model.

This sermon is deemed to be one of the most interesting apocalyptic texts of the early Middle Ages. The translation of the sermon includes the following segment:

“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.”

This text was originally a sermon called On the Last Times, the Anti-christ, and the End of the World. There are four existing Latin manuscripts (the Parisinus, the Augiensis, the Barberini, and the St. Gallen) ascribed to St. Ephraem or to St. Isidore . Some scholars believe this text was written by some unknown writer in the sixth century and was derived from the original Ephraem.

The sermon describes the events of the last days, beginning with the rapture, the Great Tribulation of 3 1/2 years duration under the Antichrist’s rule, followed by the Second Coming of Christ. In Ephraem’s book The Book of the Cave of Treasures, written about 370 A.D., he expressed his belief that the 69th week of Daniel ended with the rejection and crucifixion of Jesus the Messiah.

This, of course, doesn’t prove that the pre-tribulation view is correct; only that it was held (by some) in the early centuries and was not unique to the revival of the 1830’s. It simply documents that this view was held by a remnant of the faithful from the beginning until today.

The validity of any view can only be measured by the Biblical text itself. For a more complete discussion of these issues, see our Audio Book, From Here to Eternity.

Original Article

https://www.raptureforums.com/rapture/ephraem-the-syrian/
 

Xenosjeff

Well-Known Member
The great majority of opponents to a pre trib rapture cannot get beyond the stock inventory of canned arguments. They will not concede the fact that in latter days (today) we know a great deal more about almost every aspect of the early examples of Christian thought. We have a treasury of accessible information about the Word of God, daily lives in the ancient world, teachings, archeological excavations that bear witness to biblical teachings and a whole Bible approach to understanding the truth. Many opponents are stuck in the mud of their own deformed theology and denominational dogmas. If they were to admit to the clearly demonstrated and consistent truth born out by the whole Bible approach throughout history, it would save them a lot of frustration and pain. That’s because you can never be sure to the core of your soul about man made traditions and dogmas.

If you trust in anything that can’t stand in solidarity with a whole Bible approach, you need to weed your garden.

Sola scriptura is God breathed protection. I’ll trust that.

Jeff
 

Lovin Jesus

Well-Known Member
The great majority of opponents to a pre trib rapture cannot get beyond the stock inventory of canned arguments. They will not concede the fact that in latter days (today) we know a great deal more about almost every aspect of the early examples of Christian thought. We have a treasury of accessible information about the Word of God, daily lives in the ancient world, teachings, archeological excavations that bear witness to biblical teachings and a whole Bible approach to understanding the truth. Many opponents are stuck in the mud of their own deformed theology and denominational dogmas. If they were to admit to the clearly demonstrated and consistent truth born out by the whole Bible approach throughout history, it would save them a lot of frustration and pain. That’s because you can never be sure to the core of your soul about man made traditions and dogmas.

If you trust in anything that can’t stand in solidarity with a whole Bible approach, you need to weed your garden.

Sola scriptura is God breathed protection. I’ll trust that.

Jeff
It's sad. I've been in debate with someone who believes with all his heart that Christians must suffer the way Jesus did so thus we must go through the tribulation. I must say they do fight tooth and nail for their right to be beheaded.
 

Xenosjeff

Well-Known Member
It's sad. I've been in debate with someone who believes with all his heart that Christians must suffer the way Jesus did so thus we must go through the tribulation. I must say they do fight tooth and nail for their right to be beheaded.
It’s pride. Sadly, anyone who has experienced real terror and pain knows where the line is. The line is not as far away as we would like to believe.
All I can do is be thankful that my Lord will keep me from the wrath.

Jeff
 

Bethlehem57

Well-Known Member
The great majority of opponents to a pre trib rapture cannot get beyond the stock inventory of canned arguments. They will not concede the fact that in latter days (today) we know a great deal more about almost every aspect of the early examples of Christian thought. We have a treasury of accessible information about the Word of God, daily lives in the ancient world, teachings, archeological excavations that bear witness to biblical teachings and a whole Bible approach to understanding the truth. Many opponents are stuck in the mud of their own deformed theology and denominational dogmas. If they were to admit to the clearly demonstrated and consistent truth born out by the whole Bible approach throughout history, it would save them a lot of frustration and pain. That’s because you can never be sure to the core of your soul about man made traditions and dogmas.

If you trust in anything that can’t stand in solidarity with a whole Bible approach, you need to weed your garden.

Sola scriptura is God breathed protection. I’ll trust that.

Jeff
I agree! I’m still surrounded by a SIL (son in law) that firmly believes that the Gospel will conquer the world, preparing the way for Christ’s Second Coming! Ugghhh….. We used to attend the same church, but the day that the pastor taught Mark 13, with all events already happened and now we are waiting on Christ’s Second Coming, no Rapture….

Depressing teaching that gives no hope! So, we found and started attending a Calvary Chapel that, thank the Lord, teaches openly about the Rapture, end times events and how the relate to today and how those unsaved are not going to Heaven. Every service ends with an altar call! Best teaching we have had, along with emphasis on what happens to the unsaved. That message was not addressed at previous church, probably because they might offend. Better offended and saved than attending and not hearing!
 

Everlasting Life

Through Faith in Jesus
Here's a thread with rich, abundant information on how the church fathers and subsequent disciples very much believed in the Rapture as laid out in scripture:


https://www.raptureforums.com/forums/threads/refuting-the-darby-macdonald-fallacy.161471/

There's also one biblical scholar after another listed, who lived before Darby, who also believed in the Rapture.

From the conversation in the upper room (John 14) to the Apostle Paul's comforting of the Thessalonians in 1 Thess 4 and other various passages, along with church fathers very close to the event of Christ also speaking of the Rapture (at a time where others were still alive who could knowledgeably refute but don't - there seems to be a real lack of this), the Rapture can be confidently believed in.

In fact, it's interesting to note, that even manuscripts proven to be undependable in various spiritual ways, utilize the concept of the Rapture to give attempted authenticity, says something about the prevailing belief at that time about the Rapture. It was considered a basic teaching of the bible. Of course, that's the most one can glean but it's a key insight of that day's thinking of the church.

The fact that manuscripts even mention the Rapture testifies, at the very least, that the Rapture was believed in at the time. So much so that some manuscripts mention it in passing.....and assuming the reader's full understanding and belief in the Rapture.

This says volumes! Today, great lengths and several paragraphs are dedicated to explaining the Rapture because the church has lost its education of it, which not that long ago, just a generation, was an assumed and accepted teaching of the bible (still is a teaching of the bible but one wouldn't know it based on church teachings of this generation).

With that being said, I think the bible holds it's own in terms of teaching about the Rapture, with dependable historical teachings of the Church Fathers, and even manuscripts that mention the Rapture, providing further support that the teaching of the Rapture was a bibilically accepted and well known concept in the church from the very beginning.
 

Lovin Jesus

Well-Known Member
Here's a thread with rich, abundant information on how the church fathers and subsequent disciples very much believed in the Rapture as laid out in scripture:


https://www.raptureforums.com/forums/threads/refuting-the-darby-macdonald-fallacy.161471/

There's also one biblical scholar after another listed, who lived before Darby, who also believed in the Rapture.

From the conversation in the upper room (John 14) to the Apostle Paul's comforting of the Thessalonians in 1 Thess 4 and other various passages, along with church fathers very close to the event of Christ also speaking of the Rapture (at a time where others were still alive who could knowledgeably refute but don't - there seems to be a real lack of this), the Rapture can be confidently believed in.

In fact, it's interesting to note, that even manuscripts proven to be undependable in various spiritual ways, utilize the concept of the Rapture to give attempted authenticity, says something about the prevailing belief at that time about the Rapture. It was considered a basic teaching of the bible. Of course, that's the most one can glean but it's a key insight of that day's thinking of the church.

The fact that manuscripts even mention the Rapture testifies, at the very least, that the Rapture was believed in at the time. So much so that some manuscripts mention it in passing.....and assuming the reader's full understanding and belief in the Rapture.

This says volumes! Today, great lengths and several paragraphs are dedicated to explaining the Rapture because the church has lost its education of it, which not that long ago, just a generation, was an assumed and accepted teaching of the bible (still is a teaching of the bible but one wouldn't know it based on church teachings of this generation).

With that being said, I think the bible holds it's own in terms of teaching about the Rapture, with dependable historical teachings of the Church Fathers, and even manuscripts that mention the Rapture, providing further support that the teaching of the Rapture was a bibilically accepted and well known concept in the church from the very beginning.
Alot of people, believers, say they never get any teaching on the rapture in their church. I never had it and when I inquired on why there aren't any sermons or bible studies on eschotology I was told he wasn't into bible prophecy.
 

Wings Like Eagles

Well-Known Member
Ephraem The Syrian
By Chuck Missler

In recent years, many opponents of the pre-tribulation rapture view have made dogmatic assertions that this view was never taught before 1820 A.D. There have been attempts to attribute the origin of this view to John N. Darby.

Grant Jeffrey has found an ancient citation from a sermon ascribed to Ephraem of Nisibis (306-373 a.d.), which clearly teaches that believers will be raptured and taken to Heaven before The Tribulation.

Ephraem of Nisibis was the most important and prolific of the Syrian church fathers and a witness to early Christianity on the fringes of the Roman Empire in the late fourth century.

He was well-known for his poetry, exegetical and theological writings, and many of the hymns of the early Byzantine church. So popular were his works that in the fifth and sixth centuries he was adopted by several Christian communities as a spiritual leader and role model.

This sermon is deemed to be one of the most interesting apocalyptic texts of the early Middle Ages. The translation of the sermon includes the following segment:

“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.”

This text was originally a sermon called On the Last Times, the Anti-christ, and the End of the World. There are four existing Latin manuscripts (the Parisinus, the Augiensis, the Barberini, and the St. Gallen) ascribed to St. Ephraem or to St. Isidore . Some scholars believe this text was written by some unknown writer in the sixth century and was derived from the original Ephraem.

The sermon describes the events of the last days, beginning with the rapture, the Great Tribulation of 3 1/2 years duration under the Antichrist’s rule, followed by the Second Coming of Christ. In Ephraem’s book The Book of the Cave of Treasures, written about 370 A.D., he expressed his belief that the 69th week of Daniel ended with the rejection and crucifixion of Jesus the Messiah.

This, of course, doesn’t prove that the pre-tribulation view is correct; only that it was held (by some) in the early centuries and was not unique to the revival of the 1830’s. It simply documents that this view was held by a remnant of the faithful from the beginning until today.

The validity of any view can only be measured by the Biblical text itself. For a more complete discussion of these issues, see our Audio Book, From Here to Eternity.

Original Article

https://www.raptureforums.com/rapture/ephraem-the-syrian/
There was also a Baptist preacher/theologian, by the name of Morgan Edwards, who was preaching about the Pre-Tribulation Rapture of the Church in the 18th century. He published a scholarly paper on it, in 1744 and he was thought to be one of the most prominent Baptist theologians of his day. Some of the Greek Fathers wrote about it as well, back in the very early days of the faith--Irenaeus being one of them. Irenaeus was a disciple of the martyred Polycarp who was, in turn, a disciple of the Apostle John. It has always been a common belief in the Church since the earliest days of the faith.
 

Wings Like Eagles

Well-Known Member
Alot of people, believers, say they never get any teaching on the rapture in their church. I never had it and when I inquired on why there aren't any sermons or bible studies on eschotology I was told he wasn't into bible prophecy.
The Book of Revelation is the only book of the Bible that enjoins the teaching of it and includes a blessing on those who do. Why would anyone want to miss out on that blessing?
 

paul289

Well-Known Member
A lot of pastors will not preach on the End Times because they have been taught in their seminaries that it is "divisive". Can't imagine why, but there it is.
It's divisive because Jesus came not to bring peace, but a sword, setting family against family. The truth is difficult, and those who accept it will be shunned by those who don't. But we cannot fear being shunned by the world. If we stick to the truth in love, then we will draw those who Jesus has called, and they will be saved. If we water down the truth, then we draw those who are like seeds planted in rocky soil or among weeds.
 

alisani

Well-Known Member
Alot of people, believers, say they never get any teaching on the rapture in their church. I never had it and when I inquired on why there aren't any sermons or bible studies on eschotology I was told he wasn't into bible prophecy.
Same here but the reasons given related to a desire to avoid teaching which could instill fear or discomfort in the listeners.

2 Timothy 4:3 For the time will come when men will not put up with sound doctrine. Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their pitching ears want to hear.

God called that one, didn't He?
 

Wings Like Eagles

Well-Known Member
It's divisive because Jesus came not to bring peace, but a sword, setting family against family. The truth is difficult, and those who accept it will be shunned by those who don't. But we cannot fear being shunned by the world. If we stick to the truth in love, then we will draw those who Jesus has called, and they will be saved. If we water down the truth, then we draw those who are like seeds planted in rocky soil or among weeds.
I'm reminded of a childhood incident where my mother caught me in a lie. In an effort to escape blame, I said, "I lied because I love you." My mother's stern admonition was, "Don't tell me a lie and then tell me how much you love me, please. If you love me, you won't lie to me." A very good lesson.

If we truly love someone, we will want to give that person Truth.
 
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