Ephraem The Syrian (AD c. 303-373)
Ephraem is venerated as a “saint” by the Catholic and Orthodox churches, but they would not allow him to teach his doctrine of prophecy today.
Ephraem is called “the Syrian” because he lived in that region.
He was a voluminous writer. Many of his sermons and psalms are included in the 16-volume Post-Nicene Library. (The Council of Nicea was held in AD 325, and historians divide the “fathers” into Ante-Nicene, before 325, and Post-Nicene, after 325).
Some of Ephraem’s sermons and hymns are used in the liturgy of Orthodox churches.
In the 1990s some of Ephraem’s writings were translated into English for the first time, one of these being On the Last Times, the Antichrist, and the End of the World, A.D. 373.
The translation was done by Professor Cameron Rhoades of Tyndale Theological Seminary at the bequest of Grant R. Jeffrey. It was subsequently published in Jeffrey’s 1995 book Final Warning.
It is obvious that Ephraem believed in a literal fulfillment of prophecy, including a Rapture of New Testament saints prior to the Tribulation.
“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” (Ephraem the Syrian, On the Last Times).
Observe that Ephraem taught that the saints will be taken to the Lord so they will not see the confusion that is to overwhelm the world, which is exactly what 1 Thessalonians 5:3-9 says.
Ephraem taught a literal antichrist who will sit in a literal rebuilt temple in Jerusalem, a literal 3.5 year Tribulation, a literal Two Witnesses or prophets who will preach in Jerusalem, a literal battle of Gog and Magog.
“And when the three and a half years have been completed, the time of the Antichrist, through which he will have seduced the world, after the resurrection of the two prophets, in the hour which the world does not know, and on the day which the enemy or son of perdition does not know, will come the sign of the Son of Man, and coming forward the Lord shall appear with great power and much majesty, with the sign of the word of salvation going before him, and also even with all the powers of the heavens with the whole chorus of the saints. … Then Christ shall come and the enemy shall be thrown into confusion, and the Lord shall destroy him by the Spirit of his mouth. And he shall be bound and shall be plunged into the abyss of everlasting fire alive with his father Satan; and all people, who do his wishes, shall perish with him forever; but the righteous ones shall inherit everlasting life with the Lord for ever and ever” (Ephraem the Syrian, On the Last Times, the Antichrist, and the End of the World, A.D. 373).
Ephraem believed in the immanency of the return of Christ and urged his fellow Christians to live godly lives in expectation of His return.
The above writing (2014) is from a Pre-Tribulation stance ministry and writer David Cloud, Way of Life Literature, P.O. Box 610368, Port Huron, MI 48061 866-295-4143, firstname.lastname@example.org and this is his position and belief on this matter.