Irenaeus (130 A.D. – 202 AD) was a Bishop of The Church in Lyons, France. He (Irenaeus) was an Eyewitness to The Apostle John (who wrote The Book of Revelation) and a Disciple of Polycarp (The First of The Apostle John’s Disciples). Irenaeus is Most-Known for His (Irenaeus’) Five-Volume Treatise, “Against Heresies” in which He (Irenaeus) EXPOSED The False Religions and Cults of His (Irenaeus’) Day along with Advice for How to Share The Gospel with Those (Unbelievers) were a part of Them (The False Religions and Cults). On The Subject of The Being Caught Up Together, in “Against Heresies” Book 5 Chapter 29, Irenaeus wrote:
1. In The Previous Books I (Irenaeus) have set forth The Causes for which GOD (GOD Almighty) permitted These Things to be made, and have pointed out that all such have been Created for The Benefit of that Human Nature which is SAVED, Ripening for Immortality that which is [possessed] of Its Own Free Will and Its Own Power, and Preparing and Rendering it more Adapted for Eternal Subjection to GOD (GOD Almighty). And therefore The Creation is suited to [the wants of] Man; for Man was NOT made for Its Sake, but Creation for The Sake of Man. Those Nations however, who did NOT of Themselves (Unbelievers) Raise Up Their (Unbelievers) Eyes UNTO Heaven, NOR Returned Thanks to Their (Unbelievers) Maker (GOD Almighty), NOR Wished to Behold The LIGHT of TRUTH, but who were like Blind Mice CONCEALED in The Depths of Ignorance, The WORD Justly Reckons "as waste water from a sink, and as the turning-weight of a balance--in fact, as nothing;" (1) so far useful and serviceable to the just, as stubble conduces towards the growth of the wheat, and its straw, by means of combustion, serves for working gold. And therefore, When IN The END The Church shall BE Suddenly CAUGHT UP From This, it is said, "There shall be Tribulation such as has NOT been since The Beginning, NEITHER shall be."
Irenaeus in This Passage Describes The Church LEAVING The Sinful World, BEFORE Unprecedented Disasters. Note His (Irenaeus) Use of the term “Caught Up” (harpazo), The SAME WORD used in The King James Bible describing The Being Caught Up Together in 1 Thessalonians 4. He (Irenaeus) then quotes Matthew 24:21 where The LORD Jesus Christ says: “For THEN shall be Great Tribulation, such as was NOT since The Beginning of The World to THIS TIME, NO, NOR Ever shall be.” In Irenaeus’ belief, The Being Caught Up Together Took Place PRIOR TO The End Times Great Tribulation.
1 Thessalonians 4:16-17
For The LORD (Jesus Christ) Himself Will DESCEND FROM Heaven WITH A SHOUT, WITH The VOICE of an Archangel (GOD Almighty’s Holy Archangels), and WITH The TRUMPET of GOD (GOD Almighty). And The Dead (Dead Believers) IN Christ (Jesus Christ) Will RISE first. Then We (Living Believers) who are ALIVE and REMAIN shall be CAUGHT UP TOGETHER with Them (The Dead Believers) IN The Clouds to MEET The LORD (Jesus Christ) IN The AIR. And Thus We (Living Believers) shall ALWAYS BE WITH The LORD (Jesus Christ).
For then there will be Great Tribulation, such as has NOT been since The Beginning of The World until This Time, NO, NOR Ever shall be.
More about Irenaeus:
Irenaeus pointed to SCRIPTURE as a PROOF of Orthodox Christianity AGAINST Heresies, Classifying as SCRIPTURE, NOT ONLY The Old Testament, but Most of The Books, now known as The New Testament. Scholars contend that Irenaeus quotes from 21 of The 27 New Testament Texts. Irenaeus CITED The New Testament approximately 1000 times. About One Third of His (Irenaeus’) Citations are made to Paul's Letters (Epistles). Irenaeus considered All Thirteen Letters belonging to The Pauline Corpus to have been written by Paul himself.
Before Irenaeus, Christians differed as to which Gospel They Preferred. The Christians of Asia Minor preferred The Gospel of John. The Gospel of Matthew was The Most Popular Overall. Irenaeus asserted that The Four Gospels, Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John, were Canonical Scripture. Thus Irenaeus provides The Earliest Witness to The Assertion of The Four Canonical Gospels.
Fellow Believers, Irenaeus was just One of The Early Church Leaders who BELIEVED in The Being Caught Up Together. So the next time someone tells YOU (Believers) that The Early Church did NOT BELIEVE in The Being Caught Up Together (aka The Rapture), YOU (Believers) KNOW The Truth.