Question #1: Dear Bob, I know you have written that you believe clues from the Bible, give us an estimated date for the Tribulation as 2026. I'm wondering, if you believe it could occur sooner than that? I know you will think me silly, but I feel we are indeed on the cusp of that time, especially considering current political events. Yours in Christ,
Response #1: From one point of view, the Tribulation has always been "imminent" (cf. Rev.1:3). Imminency has always been an important concept for Christians to keep in mind, both because the possibility of the Tribulation has always been "right at hand", and also because that perspective helps us prepare for and to be ready for personal tribulations that inevitably come into every Christian's life. This does not contradict the schema of millennial days since God as the Master and Creator of time is certainly free to change things whenever He wishes. Also, the [semi]-precise dating developed in the Coming Tribulation series is not something that is obvious from scripture at first casual read. This leads us to be watchful and sensitive to any possible antichrist even if we are convinced as I am of the correctness of the millennial day interpretation and its application as developed in the CT series. Besides that, our Lord has told us that "many will come in my name, claiming, 'I am the Christ'" (Matt.24:5), and John states that "even now many antichrists have come" (1Jn.2:18) – that is how we know that we of the Church Age now live in the "last hour", and so it has been since John's day. So it is surely possible that we are viewing the final act, but equally possible that it is merely a similar situation and not the last act and the true beginning of the end. There have been many instances in the past where circumstances looked "tribulational". During the period of circa 1030 A.D., roughly a thousand years since the resurrection (when Christ's return was anticipated by many in the Church), during the black death several centuries later, or even during WWII, things looked very much as if it might be the end (hard to pick better antichrist candidates than Hitler, Mussolini, Tojo, and Stalin). Personally, I have no faith whatsoever in politics or the political process. It is just such "hope" in human solutions that will make Christians vulnerable to antichrist's ploys when he does arise. We all need to be watchful, but it is also important to keep a wide emotional distance from all things political – at least that has been my spiritual application, and one that has always served me well when I have stood by it (and has burned me when I have not). Here are some other pertinent links:
When will the Tribulation Begin?
Is the world about to come to an end?
The Tribulational Overlap and the Date of the Tribulation's Commencement (in SR 5)
End Times Interpretation
Interpretation of the Book of Revelation: Bible Questions.
The Trinity, the Date of the Tribulation and Calvinism
History's Seven Millennial Days: The Seven Thousand Years of Human History
Eschatology Issues III: Over-focusing on Revelation, the Seven Churches
In our Lord Jesus who is soon to come,
Question #2: Dr. Luginbill, I discovered your ICHTHYS website this week and have really enjoyed reading your writings. Your beliefs about God's seven DAY plan are the same as mine. This is not a common belief today; especially since the year 2000 came and went without a resurrection. As you know, most make the mistake of using our Lord's birth date as a starting point for a 2,000 Church Age. I was so surprised and happy to see you understand when the Church Age started ( in 33a.d , not zero). How foolish they were to set 2,000 as the date! Even with their error of taking Christ's birth as the starting point, they ignored the fact that our dating system is an approximation today. So we don't actually know what year we are in. Our calendar is off by estimates of 2-7 years. God knew ahead of time mankind would mess up the calendar. Is it any wonder He said no man would know the day or hour ? Even if Jesus had said in 33 a.d. "exactly 2000 years from now the Church Age will come to an end " - we would not know when that will be! We could only guess within a range of years. There is a subset (if I may call it that) of days within God's seven day plan.
I've not read all your writings yet, but so far I've not seen you mention it. It fits perfectly within God's 7 Day plan. It is a set of 3 days with special emphasis on the THIRD DAY. You quoted Hosea in your writings and that is a key part of the 3rd Day doctrine. I am so convinced it is true I consider it a doctrine rather than a theory. ( yes, I realize some may say I'm dogmatic about it). Hosea spoke of 2 days followed by a resurrection on the THIRD DAY. The 2 days are the Church Age - 2,000 years (made up of 2 1,000 year 'days' ). The Third day is a.k.a the Lord's Day, Kingdom Age, Millennium. There are many examples, types, prophecies (whatever one may choose to call them) of the third day in our Bibles. I am absolutely convinced that the reason God planned to raise Christ on the third day (before creation began) was to show us an example of how the Church (the body of Christ) will rise on the 3rd millennial day. God could have planned to raised Christ the 2nd day or 4th day or any other day - He could even have planned to raise Him while on the cross (He would have had the O.T. prophecy say some other day than the 3rd day in that case). But He specifically planned ahead of time for it to be the THIRD DAY.
Since He does not do things by chance or on a whim there was a definite purpose for it being the 3rd day rather than some other day. The wedding at Cana - as you know, is an example of Christ and His wedding to come. The wedding at Cana was ON THE THIRD DAY. - not by chance I'm sure. God uses this story to tell us the wedding of His Son will be on the 3rd Millennial Day.
There are many flashing neon signs in the Old Testament -saying, LOOK! - THIRD DAY!!!
When Abraham offered up Isaac it was ON THE THIRD DAY that Isaac 'rose up' off the alter - This was God's way of telling us that the body of Christ - the Church would rise up the 3rd millennial day. There are many other 3rd day stories in the O.T. that serve the same purpose.
It is not the 3rd day by chance or inserted in the stories for no reason. Perhaps you understand this and I've just not read it in your writings yet. However, if you do, then you will be 'unusual'.
I've not encountered ministers, teachers, theologians or lay Bible students who understand this! It is very common for preachers to mention the resurrection of Christ and it seems most of them also include the phrase 'on the 3rd day' when they do so. To me, it seems the words are in their mouth but they don't understand the significance of what they are saying! I've tried to explain the Third Day to preachers and teachers and they 'just don't get it'. Brother, if you understand the true meaning of the 3rd Day then I rejoice to have found you! If not, I hope you will consider what I've shared so far and allow me to provide more 'proof' from the scriptures!
Thank you for what you have posted on your website.
Response #2: From what you have written, it does seem that our understanding of the way God is working out His plan (the seven millennial days with two of them being the Church age) is nearly identical (see below), and I am very heartened by your acceptance of the millennial age-day chronology of the end times. The Lord has never let Himself be without witnesses to the truth, regardless of what is going on in the "main stream". It doesn't surprise me that you have not had much success in convincing "pastors" et al., since it is a characteristic of this Laodicean era of ours, the final era of the Church (see the link: Laodicea), for Christians in general to be lukewarm, and this attitude starts in the pulpit (which does much to explain why this ministry is on-line and not behind brick and mortar).
I always find it encouraging when I bump into other teachers who have uncovered God's truth (as we are meant to do, after all) and have independently come to the same or to very similar conclusions. That is a confirmation that is always refreshing. I do have two small points to make. First, as to "what year" we are in, I would say that it depends how one looks at it. My researches in my capacity as an ancient historian (day job) lead me to believe that we can in fact have confidence about the year, at least in so far as dating well-known events year by year sequentially is concerned, back to the 5th century B.C. (beyond that, things do begin to get a bit dicey). The ancients, of course, used the A.U.C. system for chronology, and this was only replaced ca. 525 A.D. when the Roman church switched to a system based on their best guess at the time as to the year of Christ's birth. You certainly do have a point that that date is open to question – although by taking mostly biblical information, it is my view that it can be reconstructed with some accuracy: my conclusion is that 2 B.C. instead of 1 A.D. (as the calendar assumes – two years off) is the correct date for the nativity. The reasons for this are given at the following link: The Birth of Christ. So you are certainly correct that even if a person comes to accept the seven millennial days as scriptural and figures out also that the present age is to reckoned from the crucifixion and resurrection, not from our Lord's birth, they would even so miscalculate the date of the second advent et al. if they did nothing more than rely on the present calendar. What I would say is that our calendar is not calibrated to its supposed start point, the birth of Christ, and find the discrepancy to be, as I said, one of two years. Naturally, there is also the problem of the date of the crucifixion and resurrection, but you and I seem to have come to the same conclusion there, A.D. 33 (see the link for my own work on this: Date of the Crucifixion).
The second point deals with Hosea 6:2, and I am likewise thrilled to find someone else who has independently come to understand that this passage is a prophecy of the Church Age. I do agree that there are many places in the Old Testament where, with the help of knowledge now revealed, we can find out much about the divine chronology. One very fruitful place is the Jewish Ceremonial Calendar (see the link and diagram), which, when properly considered, not only lays out the entire plan for human history, but also provides a key for the proportion of believers in each age. Thank you for calling attention to these other passages. I think you have a point that since we belong to Jesus as His Bride to be, the three days mentioned in these contexts certainly is meant to call attention to the time period of the Church's formation. I do think that the prophecy of Christ our Husband and Head is at the forefront in these verses, but this important teaching about the Church is surely the "flip side" of that coin, for we shall be one with Him forever.
Thanks for your e-mail, and may your ministry in the service of our Lord be blessed.
I'm very happy to have found someone who understands God's 7 Day plan. I don't feel so isolated now! God revealed this to me in 1975. Afterwards, He showed me the meaning of ' The Third Day .' Since then I've not found one Church Pastor or teacher who understands it. When I tried to explain it to them I made no progress. The pastor of the church I attend now is of the opinion that prophecy is not meant to be understood now - but only 'after the fact.' - I'm speechless about that! In the many books I used to read on prophecy, it was not presented. I've not heard it taught by any T.V. personalities - even the so called prophecy experts. I sent letters and emails to some of the prophecy teachers but never heard back from them. I went to several prophecy forums on the internet but was rejected. One even threatened to ban me! Back in the 70s when I first began my study of prophecy, God revealed His 7 Day plan to me. Afterwards I discovered a reference to it in ' Halley's Bible Handbook ' (1965 edition page 33). I think this was God's way of confirming it to me. There is one paragraph with the heading ' The Millennium-Sabbath Theory' - It mentions a reference in the 'Epistle of Barnabas' to this. I've not read it. Perhaps you have information on that.
I also discovered that some of the ancient Hebrews taught it. It seemed to have pretty much 'fallen by the wayside' over the years. If you have any references to those ancient teachings I would love to see them! When I read your writings on the time gap after Genesis 1:1, the history of Satan and his activities, the fallen angels mixing with humans, and some other topics that I too believe are true, I was amazed to find someone besides myself who believes in God's 7 Day plan AND
shares these other beliefs also. There is so much I would like to discuss with you. Do you teach any seminars, a Bible study class or have some other teaching ministry ? I'll stop for now. I'm sure you are very busy. I do hope we may continue to share in some way! - even if only a little at a time in emails.
It is a sad "Laodicean" state of affairs we are in. I stand with astonished admiration at your continuing with a church where there is apparently no particular love for the Word of God. That is the major trend of the age we are presently in, and things look to get worse before our Lord returns. I left the USMC to pursue this quest back in 1975, to speak of years, and after a second B.A. was off to seminary (an independent, non-denominational one) where I seriously considered going the traditional pastorate route. However, conscience (and the Lord working with it) stopped me: how could I sign on with a group whose teachings I couldn't entirely endorse, or restrict myself from pursuing and teaching the whole truth? Over time, it has become clear to me that this would have been a case of "new wine in old skins", and this ministry could never have progressed in the form it has taken had I gone down the same old road. Of course that has meant "tent-making", but the Lord has blessed me with a profession wherein most of what I do has at least some positive and helpful spin-off, and enough spare time to do what I need to do.
On the Epistle of Barnabas, yes, it does mention the seven days, and very explicitly so:
Of the Sabbath He speaketh in the beginning of the creation; And God made the works of His hands in six days, and He ended on the seventh day, and rested on it, and He hallowed it.
Give heed, children, what this meaneth; He ended in six days. He meaneth this, that in six thousand years the Lord shall bring all things to an end; for the day with Him signifyeth a thousand years; and this He himself beareth me witness, saying; Behold, the day of the Lord shall be as a thousand years. Therefore, children, in six days, that is in six thousand years, everything shall come to an end.
And He rested on the seventh day. this He meaneth; when His Son shall come, and shall abolish the time of the Lawless One, and shall judge the ungodly, and shall change the sun and the moon and the stars, then shall he truly rest on the seventh day.
However, I would be reluctant to put rely on the Epistle of Barnabas to any degree whatsoever. First and foremost, it is not scripture. For another thing, it is almost certainly not by Barnabas (the title seems to be a later guess). Internal evidence places it after the fall of Jerusalem. Scholarly opinion with which in this case I would agree makes it the work of an otherwise unknown Bible teacher of the late first / early second century. The epistle has some troubling features; rather too much reliance on numerology, and the basing of the interpretations of numbers upon an apparent assumption that there is some value in the Septuagint; e.g., in chapter nine quoting Abraham's 318 circumcised he divides it into 10, 8 and 300, getting as a result the Greek letters Iota, Eta, and Tau (according the Greek pre-Arabic numbering system), takes IH to be Jesus (these are the first two letters of His name in Greek) and the Tau to be the cross (from the shape of the letter). All this seems oblivious to the fact that Genesis was written in Hebrew, not Greek, and the LXX is a much later and non-inspired translation. This is akin to something I read lately on the Psalms, noting how the middle chapter in the Bible was Psalm 118 and it was flanked by the longest and the shortest chapters, then drawing spiritual conclusions about the middle verse of the middle chapter. All very nice – except that the chapter and verse divisions date to relatively modern times (13th cent. for chapters; NT verses not until 16th cent.), so there is nothing inspired about them. The epistle has some nice points, but it is clearly not a canonical work. Barnabas also quotes non-canonical works (Esdras) as if they were scripture (and that's more than a bit troubling). As I point out in SR 5 (see the link: "The Testimony of Irenaeus"), the church father Irenaeus also held to the seven day interpretation (Adversus Omnes Haereses 5.28.3).
As to "ancient Hebrews", well, about the only ancient Hebrew in existence is the Old Testament (apart from a smattering of secular inscriptions found in situ in Palestine). The Dead Sea scrolls are the only major exception – I am not aware of this teaching in any of these, but then I am no expert in the scrolls – these would only be "ancient" relative to us today; the non-biblical works all post-date the Old Testament. If there is any truth to what you've read, I'll bet that is where to look. Between the close of the Old Testament canon in ca. 5th cent. B.C. and the New Testament, there are also numerous works, most in Greek (though some were apparently originally written in Hebrew), which are known as Apocrypha and Pseudepigrapha (the former of which are part of the R.C. Bible). None of these works is, in my opinion, worth the paper it is written on (in theological terms); I am not aware of any of them which deal with the seven day interpretation (though it is possible). After the first advent, any of these "teachings" would by definition be hostile to the Truth (and there is very little as far as I know which doesn't fall into the earlier categories mentioned until the Mishnah, ca., 3-4th centuries -- that is a commentary on the Law); after this, we have Talmud (where the teaching does seem to be referenced; cf. p.97 b tractate Sanhedrin; but this is 6th cent. at the earliest, some say as late as the ninth) and related rabbinical works. But I would be pleased for any references!
Ichthys started out as a face-to-face teaching group, but went postal then digital after I moved to Louisville many years ago. I am pretty much tied up now with my secular job and this ministry, and, in any case, the demand for these materials is not so immense as to lend itself to seminars (not that I have the time any way). But I have hopes of that sort of thing some day. In the meantime, I would be very pleased to continue this correspondence!
Your friend in the truth of Jesus Christ,
Thank you for the reference to Barnabas regarding God's 7 day plan. It has been so many years that I don't recall where I encountered a brief statement that the 'Millennial Day' theory was taught by some ancient Hebrews. I'll do some searching and see if I can find it for you. God revealed His 7 day plan to me as I prayed and studied at home in 1974 - 1975. I questioned the revelation because I had never heard it before and I was a 'novice' student of the Bible. If this was true how could it be that there was no mention of it that I was aware of ? For a while I even wondered if I was the only person in the world who believed it! God soon did three things to confirm to me that what He had revealed the truth to me:
1. A church close to where I lived advertised a week long revival. I had never been there before. I went just one night. In the sermon the preacher mentioned God's 7 day plan.
2. I was reading through 'Haley's Bible Handbook' and it had one short paragraph about the 'Millennial Day theory.'
3. Somewhere ( I don't recall details) was a statement that some of the ancient Hebrews believed in a 7 day plan patterned after the model in Genesis.
I accepted these events as confirmation from My Lord Jesus that He had shown to me His 7 day plan for mankind. This became the foundation for my Bible study in general and prophecy in particular. Since that time I've not encountered one scripture that would in any way refute this teaching. I knew that as I studied, the teachings had to be unified. I must not take things out of context, ignore scripture that did not 'fit', twist any meanings to force compliance etc. That has been my guide for 35 years and still is. God is Truth and cannot lie. He has a plan and has revealed it to us in the scriptures. There can be only one true interpretation and that is the truth of God's plan. It is God revealing His plan to us - not our coming up with a theory and determining to make the scriptures fit our model. Over the years, I've tried to be open minded to other ideas. I've studied each of the major prophecy groups to see what they had to say. I was willing to 'listen' and then ask God to show me His Truth. I believe He has done that. Each of the groups seem to have 'some' of the picture but not all. They can each find holes in the theories of the others....and they are more than happy to point those errors out! The biggest problem I see with these 'groups' is that none of them I've encountered use God's 7 Day plan as a foundation to build upon. I am convinced that understanding God's 7 day plan AND the 'Third Day' teachings in the Bible is the key to understanding prophecy and that they make clear the sequence of major end time events. There are details I'm not clear about. It is becoming clearer as we approach the end of the Church Age. For the past 35 years as I've learned more about prophecy, whatever new thing I learned fit perfectly within the structure of God's 7 day plan and provided more detail. I'm learning some details from your writings. Your understanding of the relationship between the U.S. and the E.U. and the rise of the false Christ are VERY interesting to me. I look forward to future discussions about that. Next time I would like to share with you HOW God showed me His 7 day plan. I would also enjoy your sharing with me how you came to understand it.
Also I just found something on the internet that deals with the history of the millenial day 'theory.'
Several ancient documents are quoted. To be honest, I don't recall what document came to my attention back in 1975. I feel certain it was one or more of these.
Here is a portion of what I found today -
The Millennial-Day Theory: Early theologians believed that Christ would return at the end of 6,000 years. What a thought! What a possibility! Even if we considered this proposed time schedule to be only approximate, we can still see prophetic scriptures being fulfilled around us today. I want to take you back in history to see several ancient accounts of those who believed that Christ would return at the close of 6,000 years. To begin with, let's see what Irenaeus wrote in the late second century Irenaeus, born in A.D. 140, worked intensely against powerful Gnostic heresies and wrote a treatise on the virtues of the Christian faith. Among his writings was found this statement: "For in so many days as this world was made, in so many thousand years shall it be concluded ... and God brought to a conclusion upon the sixth day the works He made ... This is an account of the things formerly created, as also it is a prophecy of what is to come ... in six days created things were completed: it is evident, therefore, that they will come to an end after six thousand years." According to Irenaeus (one among many who held this view) the history of the human race from creation to the consummation will span a 7,000 year period of time. The seventh millennium is to be the reign of Christ. Irenaeus was not alone in his belief. There are several other ancient writings that concur. Among them are The Secrets of Enoch, the Epistle of Barnabas, the Testament of Adam and other writings of early Jewish theologians. The Secrets of Enoch, dating from before the first century A.D. (also called II Enoch), is translated from Slavonic. In it, God is said to have shown Enoch the age of the world and its existence of 7,000 years: "And I appointed the eighth day also, that the eighth day should be the first-created after my work, and that the first seven revolve in the form of the seventh thousand, and that at the beginning of the eighth thousand there should be a time of not-counting — endless..." The Epistle of Barnabas was found among a collection of New Testament books, bound in a single volume called the Sinaiticus, discovered in 1844 at the monastery of Saint Catherine located at the foot of Mount Sinai. It dates back to at least the fourth century A.D. and reflects the theology of some early Christian theologians: "And God made in six days the works of his hands; and he finished them on the seventh day, and he rested the seventh day, and sanctified it. Consider, my children, what that signifies, he finished them in six days. The meaning of it is this; that in six thousand years the Lord God will bring all things to an end. For with him one day is a thousand years; as himself testifieth, saying, Behold this day shall be as a thousand years. Therefore, children, in six days, that is, in six thousand years, shall all things be accomplished. And what is that he saith, And he rested the seventh day: he meaneth this; that when his Son shall come, and abolish the season of the Wicked One, and judge the ungodly; and shall change the sun and the moon, and the stars; then shall gloriously rest in that seventh day." In the Testament of Adam (dating back to the middle or late third century) the career of the world is said to last for 6,000 years after the Flood, or, presumably, for 7,000 years in all. Seth, the supposed author, writes about the deathbed account of his father Adam: "You have heard, my son Seth, that a Flood is coming and will wash the whole earth because of the daughters of Cain, your brother, who killed your brother Abel out of passion for your sister Lebuda, since sins had been created through your mother, Eve. And after the Flood there will be six thousand years (left) to the form of the world, and then its end will come." In an article entitled "Chronomessianism" published in 1976 in the Hebrew Union College annual yearbook, Rabbi Ben Zion Wacholder quoted a statement from the ancient Talmud. "Just as the seventh offers a release to the Jew, so the world will be released during the seventh millennium." In the Talmud, written in the second century A.D., the following is recorded: "The world is to stand 6,000 years, viz., 2,000 confusion and void, 2,000 with the law, and 2,000 the time of the Messiah." The seventh millennium was predicted to be the "exhaltation of Messiah." When this prediction was recorded, rabbis noted that the third 2,000-year period had arrived and the Messiah had not come. The question, Where is the Messiah? was answered in the same Talmudic passage: "He did come, but because of our sins, he went away." Rashi, an eleventh century rabbi said, Because after the second 2,000 years, the Messiah must have come and the wicked kingdom should have been destroyed." About the time of this writing, Bar Kochba led the Jews in a revolt against the Romans (132-135 A.D.), having been declared to be the Messiah by the beloved "father of the Mishnah," Rabbi Akiva, but was killed by the Romans. The revolt was crushed and the Jews were scattered from their land and sold on the slave markets of the world. According to these early theologians, seven millennia of world history are somehow related to the seven days of Creation. Those seven days were thought to prophetically represent seven one thousand year periods of human history.
Note - I found this information in a BLOG on yahoo and know nothing about the author or the author's beliefs. I did not read the other parts of the blog.
What is your opinion of these references ?
Thanks for the info and the two e-mails. I am not at all surprised that you have hit upon the truth. I think that the truth is there in the Bible and that it is there for a reason and that the Spirit reveals it . . . . . to those who are wanting the truth. The last part is, for me, the great dividing point. Few are really "wanting the truth". Most Christians are in reality very little interested in serious Bible study; most of what passes for "Bible study" in most churches is a "check the box", "nod to God" stop-gap, taken in some realization that 1) sermons don't teach a thing, and 2) the members are not really interested in learning nor the clergy in teaching seriously, whether in a corporate or individual setting. But for those who really want the truth, God never holds it back. It is of course the case that we have to "mine the gold", and occasionally it can take some time before we get to the mother lode; also, there will always be "more" for us to learn, and deeper levels for us to understand (we'll never get bored because of lack of material). So I would say that your eagerness for the Word is to be commended, and that it has been rewarded in the coin you most desire, namely, understanding of the blessed truth of the Word of God.
God re-made the earth in seven days; He also promises a thousand year long millennial Sabbath. These two facts alone, well known to anyone with even the most remote familiarity with the Bible, invite the postulating of six prior millennia which precede the final one (just like the first six days precede the seventh); add to that Moses (Ps.90:4) and Peter (2Pet.3:8) who directly connect "day" with "1000 years", and it would seem to me that anyone who does not think this interpretation is legitimate would be put in a position to have to refute it (rather than the teaching being generally ignored). Of course in all this we see God's plans coming to fruition. This last era of the Church, the era of Laodicea (see the link), is destined to continue right up to the Tribulation when apathy will blossom into apostasy with fully one third of lukewarm Christians joining antichrist's pseudo-Christian religion (not to mention the hordes of pretend Christians and unbelievers; see the link: "The Great Apostasy"). If the truth were widespread and generally accepted, none of this could take place (or at least would be less likely to do so).
As to the references contained in your second e-mail, we've mentioned Irenaeus (the one author here with any bona fides, in my view) as well as having discussed the epistle of "Barnabas", and the Talmud. That leaves "Secrets of Enoch" and "Testament of Adam". Both of these works fall into the category of "Pseudepigrapha", or the second tier of non-canonical works dating from the close of the OT canon into ca. the 4th or 5th century A.D. (there is wide range of thought on the dating of both of these works, though both probably are later than the NT). Clearly, Enoch did not write the one nor Adam the other, so we use these works as we would other secular literature, except that these start with a strike against them because the authorial stance is fictitious. I think it is fair to say that 1) the fact that the millennial-day interpretation is present in the Church Fathers (Irenaeus), and 2) the fact that although not specifically taught it is clearly observable from the scripture (just like the Genesis Gap and the Trinity), means that we should not be surprised if secular, non-Christian writers found this "interesting" when they came across it and included their own twist on it in their works. It is certainly true that philosophy and theosophy and all cult doctrinal works always include at least some truth, even if the underlying purpose is to subvert the whole truth. The one important thing I thing we can get out of these references (and I assume this to be your point) is that there was a time when this interpretation was much more widespread than it is today – and (cf. Irenaeus) was also considered to be orthodox and legitimate.