• Irenaus on the Millennium

    by Published on 09-19-2011 10:44 PM     Number of Views: 2365 
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    There is a false claim that dispensational doctrine was never taught in the early church.

    There are many concepts of dispensational doctrine in the most ancient non-scriptural documents of the church. Several of them are referred to in the following statements by Irenaeus, who wrote shortly before the year 200, and is the most ancient Christian who wrote any significant amount about end time prophecy and whose writings have been preserved.

    Irenaeus said:

    “The Lord also spoke as follows to those who did not believe in Him: ‘I have come in my Father’s name, and ye have not received Me: when another shall come in his own name, him ye will receive,’ calling Antichrist ‘the other,’ because he is alienated from the Lord. This is also the unjust judge, whom the Lord mentioned as one ‘who feared not God, neither regarded man,’ to whom the widow fled in her forgetfulness of God,—that is, the earthly Jerusalem,—to be avenged of her adversary. Which also he shall do in the time of his kingdom: he shall remove his kingdom into that [city], and shall sit in the temple of God, leading astray those who worship him, as if he were Christ.” (Against Heresies, by Irenaeus, book V, chapter XXV, section 4)

    “Moreover, he (the apostle) has also pointed out this which I have shown in many ways, that the temple in Jerusalem was made by the direction of the true God. For the apostle himself, speaking in his own person, distinctly called it the temple of God. Now I have shown in the third book, that no one is termed God by the apostles when speaking for themselves, except Him who truly is God, the Father of our Lord, by whose directions the temple which is at Jerusalem was constructed for those purposes which I have already mentioned; in which [temple] the enemy shall sit, endeavouring to show himself as Christ, as the Lord also declares: ‘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 XXV, section 2)

    “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 XXV, section 4)

    In this series of statements, we notice that in the first of them