Tue, Dec 08, 2020
by William Watson
Numerous dispensational ideas have been found in Late Antiquity, that is, from the death of Augustine in A.D. 430 to the death of Charlemagne in 814. As the Roman Empire began to fall, apocalyptical gloom began to rise. Christians in the western half of the empire were now at the mercy of barbarian tribes. The eastern half of the empire had their problems as well, first with a protracted war against Persia in the east, followed by Slavic invasions from the north, with subsequent Arab invasions from the south. Christians began explaining these terrors by apocalyptic speculation, expecting the coming of Antichrist and wondering how they would escape his wrath. The consensus was forming that the Roman Empire was the restrainer of 2 Thessalonians 2:6–7, and that with its collapse Antichrist would be revealed. Others believed that there was an intermediate stage between the Empire and the Antichrist, that Rome would unravel into ten nations, based upon the ten toes of the statue in Nebuchadnezzar’s dream (Daniel 2:41–42) and the ten horns of the fourth beast (Daniel 7:7–8, 24). Accordingly, the fall of Rome was expected to begin the Last Days. ...