I'd like your answers to this only - I'll not be replying or debating

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If you read @Roads and @Abdicates posts - the early father's do not say that Paul told them who the restrainer was. Nor do the ECF claim he did. And some did think it was the HS. Who is the one holding onto new found but cherished beliefs? I do not understand what Jesuit Futurism is supposed to mean. Eventually, I saw the rapture event in scripture. Starting with Abraham "negotiating" with God about the judgement on Sodom & Gommorah.
 
  • Should a mere assumption on our part - that the Thessalonians and the ECF were incapable of passing down to succeeding generations exactly what Paul says he made so completely clear to the early church concerning the identity of the Restrainer - be grounds for relegating their testimony to the realm of speculation?
  • Should we attribute the remarkable unanimity of the ECF testimony to anything other than what is so painfully obvious: that Paul so clearly revealed the Restrainer's identity to the early church that no occasion for confusion could arise (that is until post-Reformation era Protestants stopped protesting and began to embrace the "Organized Believers in the Non-Biblical Rapture" of Jesuit Futurism)?
  • Should we ignore the fact that not a single - I repeat with utmost emphasis - not a single ECF claimed that Paul identified the Restrainer as the Holy Spirit, which we should expect to fill the pages of ECF testimony far and wide if Paul had done so?
  • Should we ignore the fact that Paul had every reason to be forthcoming in identifying the Holy Spirit as the Restrainer of the Antichrist, if such thing were true, so as to encourage the faithful of the omnipotent power of God in such times of persecution and hopelessness?
  • Should we ignore the fact that Paul had every reason to be secretive in his identification of the Restrainer as Pagan Rome which he said was to be "taken out of the way", in a time when speaking above one's breath of the fall of an empire was grounds for execution?
  • Should we ignore the fact that the early church was so convinced that Pagan Rome was in fact restraining the rise of Antichrist that they prayed for the continuation of it, despite its cruelty and hatred toward Christians?

Well, here are a few points for thought:

Should a mere assumption on our part - that the Thessalonians and the ECF were incapable of passing down to succeeding generations exactly what Paul says he made so completely clear to the early church concerning the identity of the Restrainer - be grounds for relegating their testimony to the realm of speculation?

I don't see anyone assuming that the Thessalonians were "incapable" of doing this. It occurs to me that people are simply not entertaining the assumption that they did, since there is no evidence, or even any claim, to support that assumption. As for their testimony, Chrysostrom's "testimony" is that there was debate in the early church over this matter. Augustine's "testimony" is that he admits he doesn't know for certain to whom Paul refers.

Should we attribute the remarkable unanimity of the ECF testimony to anything other than what is so painfully obvious: that Paul so clearly revealed the Restrainer's identity to the early church that no occasion for confusion could arise...

Let's discuss this "remarkable unanimity." First of all, very few among the group being referred to as "the early church fathers" seem to address this issue at all. We simply do not know how much "unanimity" there was, except that one of the writers who believes as you suggest admits that he doesn't know for certain, and another refers to a debate among early Christians over this issue. Instead of addressing this debate by simply stating, "but Paul told us who it was," each of these writers offers their own unique interpretation of the passage.

As for the following three points, it doesn't seem to me that these are "facts" being "ignored," but that they are rather considerations with multiple possible explanations, all with, at the least, equal claims to validity.

Should we ignore the fact that the early church was so convinced that Pagan Rome was in fact restraining the rise of Antichrist that they prayed for the continuation of it, despite its cruelty and hatred toward Christians?


A much more common belief among them was that the end of the whole world was a synonymous event with the fall of Rome. It seems much more likely to me that it is living through those events that they ultimately feared, over the "rise of the Antichrist." Consider Tertullian: "in fact, the very end of all things threatening dreadful woes---is only retarded by the continued existence of the Roman empire. We have no desire, then, to be overtaken by these dire events; and in praying that their coming may be delayed, we are lending our aid to Rome's duration." Since the "early church fathers" were wrong about that, in spite of their "remarkable unanimity," and their belief about the "restrainer" seemed to arrive out of that particular misinterpretation of prophecy, perhaps it's reasonable to believe that they were wrong about the restrainer as well.
 
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1) According to 2 Thessalonians 2:5,6, Paul told the Early Church the identity of the Restrainer which was preventing the rise of Antichrist.

2) The Early Church Fathers claim that Paul told them that the Restrainer was the Pagan Roman Empire (see point #5 of link).
http://nicklasarthur.wordpress.com/...-fathers-were-historicist-h-grattan-guinness/

3) "Left Behind" Christians today teach that the Restrainer is the Holy Spirit and the the ECF were confused about what Paul told them.

Question: Is it reasonable to conclude that the great, learned, spirit-filled ECF confused the THIRD PERSON OF THE GODHEAD with an earthly PAGAN empire?
To be brutally honest, if you were a layer in a court, I can just hear you asking the accused "Did you, or did you not beat your wife"
In other words your question leads to 'damned if you do and damned if you don't'. That could be,.... just maybe, why nobody has answered your question.
BTW, the Roman influence still reigns today. So, if the Roman empire was doing the restraining, duck for cover if and when you see the caliphate take power for then you will see (an) antiChrist.
 
I believe this thread has gone far enough. Nothing further is to be gained.

And if any thread even hinting at the rapture is started it will be closed and warning points issued.
 
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