One thing we need to be careful about remembering when we interpret the early church writers: they were supersessionistic (i.e. they believed in replacement theology). One relevant example is that the early church fathers often interpreted Daniel’s references to “the holy people” not as national Israel but as the church (or a mixture of the two).
As a result when posttribulation interpreters argue that the church will face the Antichrist, they repeat the same supsessionistic error of the early church fathers on Daniel’s “the holy people.” Since the early church fathers often read the church back into Daniel’s references to “the holy people” or “saints,” posttribs make the opposite error that pretribs make:
When pretribs interpret Daniel’s 3 1/2-year passages and the reference to Israel as the “the holy people,” they wrongly assume that the church must be absent from the earth. Posttribs make the opposite error reading the church back into the reference of Daniel’s “holy people,” which contextually is speaking of national Israel.
This is one of the main reasons why posttribs think the great tribulation against the church will last for 3 1/2 years.
Instead, Daniel’s “the holy temple,” “the holy city,” “the holy covenant,” and “the holy people” are references to Israel or belong to Israel. Thus, when we see references to the “holy ones” or “saints” (qaddiysh) in, for example, Dan 7:22–27, the context refers to national-ethnic Israel, the Jewish people as a whole.
The progressive revelation, however, in the New Testament shows that another entity, the church, will participate alongside national Israel, who will also experience persecution, albeit their persecution as Jesus teaches will be cut short before the day of the Lord’s wrath begins.
See also Travis Snow’s must-read article here: