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Margaret Macdonald's Original Pretribulation Vision

Excerpted from: The Incredible Cover-up, pp. 151-157
By Dave MacPherson

Dave MacPherson Study Archive | The Real Manuel Lacunza | Deceiving and Being Deceived | Thomas Ice - Hired Gun | Scholars Weigh My Research | Margaret MacDonald's Originial Pretribulational Vision | Pre-Trib Rapture Die-hards | Revisers of Pre-Trib Rapture History


[This is Margaret Macdonald's handwritten account of her 1830 Pre-Trib revelation, as included in Robert Norton's Memoirs of James & George Macdonald of Port-Glasgow (1840), pp. 171-176. The italicized portions represent her account as it appears in shorter form in Norton's The Restoration of Apostles and Prophets; In the Catholic Apostolic Church (1861), pp 15-18.]

"It was first the awful state of the land that was pressed upon me.(1) I saw the blindness and infatuation of the people to be very great. I felt the cry of Liberty just to be the hiss of the serpent, to drown them in perdition. It was just `no God.' I repeated the words, Now there is distress of nations, with perplexity, the seas and the waves roaring, men's hearts failing them for fear - now look out for the sign of the Son of man. Here I was made to stop and cry out, 0 it is not known what the sign of the Son of man is; the people of God think they are waiting, but they know not what it is. I felt this needed to be revealed, and that there was great darkness and error about it; but suddenly what it was burst upon me with a glorious light I saw it was just the Lord himself descending from Heaven with a shout, just the glorified man. even Jesus; but that all must, as Stephen was, be filled with the Holy Ghost, that they might look up, and see the brightness of the Father's glory. I saw the error to be, that men think that it will be something seen by the natural eye; but 'tis spiritual discernment that is needed, the eye of God in his people. Many passages were revealed, in a light in which I had not before seen them. I repeated, `Now is the kingdom of Heaven like unto ten virgins, who went forth to meet the Bridegroom, five wise and five foolish; they that were foolish took their lamps, but took no oil with them; but they that were wise took oil in their vessels with their lamps.' 'But be ye not unwise, but understanding what the will of the Lord is; and be not drunk with wine wherein is excess, but be filled with the Spirit.' This was the oil the wise virgins took in their vessels - this is the light to be kept burning - the light of God - that we may discern that which cometh not with observation to the natural eye. Only those who have the light of God within them will see the sign of his appearance. No need to follow them who say, see here, or see there, for his day shall be as the lightning to those in whom the living Christ is. 'Tis Christ in us that will lift us up - he is the light - 'tis only those that are alive in him that will be caught up to meet him in the air. I saw that we must be in the Spirit, that we might see spiritual things. John was in the Spirit, when he saw a throne set in Heaven. - But I saw that the glory of the ministration of the Spirit had not been known. I repeated frequently, but the spiritual temple must and shall be reared, and the fullness of Christ be poured into his body, and then shall we be caught up to meet him. Oh none will be counted worthy of this calling but his body, which is the church, and which must be a candlestick all of gold. I often said, Oh the glorious inbreaking of God which is now about to burst on this earth; Oh the glorious temple which is now about to be reared, the bride adorned for her husband; and Oh what a holy, holy bride she must be, to be prepared for such a glorious bridegroom. I said, Now shall the people of God have to do with realities - now shall the glorious mystery of God in our nature be known - now shall it be known what it is for man to be glorified. I felt that the revelation of Jesus Christ had yet to be opened up - it is not knowledge about God that it contains, but it is an entering into God - I saw that there was a glorious breaking in of God to be. I feIt as Elijah surrounded with chariots of fire. I saw as it were, the spiritual temple reared, and the Head Stone brought forth with shoutings of grace, grace, unto it. It was a glorious light above the brightness of the sun, that shone round about me. I felt that those who were filled with the spirit could see spiritual things, and feel walking in the midst of them, while those who had not the Spirit could see nothing - so that two shall be in one bed, the one taken and the other left, because the one has the light of God within while the other cannot see the Kingdom of Heaven. I saw the people of God in an awfully dangerous situation, surrounded by nets and entanglements, about to be tried, and many about to be deceived and fall. Now will THE WICKED be revealed, with all power and signs and lying wonders, so that if it were possible the very elect will be deceived. - This is the fiery trial which is to try us. - It will be for the purging and purifying of the real members of the body of Jesus; but Oh it will be a fiery trial. Every soul will be shaken to the very centre. The enemy will try to shake in every thing we have believed - But the trial of real faith will be found to honour and praise and glory. Nothing but what is of God will stand. The stony-ground hearers will be made manifest - the love of many will wax cold I frequently said that night, and often since, now shall the awful sight of a false Christ be seen on this earth. and nothing but the living Christ in us can detect this awful attempt of the enemy to deceive - or it is with all deceivableness of unrighteousness he will work - he will have a counterpart for every part of God's truth and an imitation for every work of the Spirit. The Spirit must and will be poured out on the church, that she may be purified and filled with God - and just in proportion as the Spirit of God works, so will he when our Lord anoints men with power, so will he. This is particularly the nature of the trial, through which those are to pass who will be counted worthy to stand before the Son of man. There will be outward trial too, but `tis principally temptation. It is brought on by the outpouring of the Spirit, and will just increase in proportion as the Spirit is poured out. The trial of the Church is from Antichrist. It is by being filled with the Spirit that we shall be kept. I frequently said, Oh be filled with the Spirit - have the light of God in you, that you may detect Satan - be full of eyes within - be clay in the hands of the potter - submit to be filled, filled with God This will build the temple. It is not by might nor by power, but by my Spirit saith the Lord. This will fit us to enter into the marriage supper of the lamb. I saw It to be the will of God that all should be filled. But what hindered the real life of God from being received by his people, was their turning from Jesus. who is the way to the Father. They were not entering in by the door. For he is faithful who hath said, by me if any man enter in he shall find pasture. They were passing the cross, through which every drop of the Spirit of God flows to us. All power that comes not through the blood of Christ is not of God. When I say, they are looking from the cross, I feel that there is much in it - they turn from the blood of the Lamb, by which we overcome, and in which our robes are washed and made white. There are low views of God's holiness, and ceasing to condemn sin in the flesh, and a looking from him who humbled himself, and made himself of no reputation. Oh! it is needed, much needed at present, a leading back to the cross, I saw that night, and often since, that there will be an outpouring of the Spirit on the body, such as has not been, a baptism of fire, that all the dross may be put away. Oh there must and will be such an indwelling of the living God as has not been - the servants of God sealed in their foreheads - great conformity to Jesus - his holy holy image seen in his people just the bride made comely, by his comeliness put upon her. This is what we are at present made to pray much for, that speedily we may all be made ready to meet our Lord in the air - and it will be. Jesus wants his bride. His desire is toward us. He that shall come, will come, and will not tarry. Amen and Amen. Even so come Lord Jesus."


1. At the end of this first sentence Norton adds a footnote which is explained at the bottom of p. 171: "I think I ought not to omit stating that in the course of the memorable evening of which the above paper is a very incomplete outline, one individual was expressly mentioned by name as the future desolator of this land, who at the time (nine years ago) was not at a11 pre-eminent as the leader of infidelity, but who has so notoriously and awfully become so - Mr. Owen." The Owen referred to was Robert Owen (1771-1858), described by Friedrich Engels in his Socialism: Utopian and Scientific (1880) as one of the leading socialists of the early nineteenth century. A lengthy article on the editorial page of the January 10, 1973, Kansas City`Star entitled "Tracing the History of Communes" says Owen established a number of communities that were Communistic in nature.  He set up communes in Ireland and Britain; his best-known commune, however, was his American community at New Harmony. Indiana. Margaret, on the same evening she had her pre-trib revelation, mentioned Owen as the future desolator, or Antichrist.


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16 Jun 2004




I don't know. This could be an extended prophecy or a hoax. But I noticed that in the Bible God adds a little more to Isiah's prophecy with John's. Actually a lot more. And since prophecy is a fruit of the spirit it is totally possible that the Lord was sending her something to share with believers.


05 Dec 2004




Hello again, this is Aj, thank you very much for your fast response to my question, it will be well valued in my search for sound doctrine. I would just like to say how much I injoy your website. I beleive the Lord is ready to expose these truths that has been long forgotten. Please feel free to e-mail me anytime Todd, and again thank you very much and God bless. "Aj"

Date: 29 Oct 2005
Time: 08:32:11


Amen and Praise the Lord!!

The Overcomers are his Bride. Are you one??

PLEASE,put me in touch with Dave MacPherson. I do not know him personally but have talked to him several times when he lived in MO before moving to Alaska.I sent him materials when he was blitzing collages. I have some materals I would like to send him TKANK YOU >< (210) 520-0743 San Antonio, TX. I used to live in MICHIGA

Date: 08 Jan 2006
Time: 18:43:59


April eighteenth day of ninteen seventy eight I for the first time in my life I realized that I could not do anything in my own power to please God.God opened my eyes to see what Jesus did for me and the whole world and if we will put our Faith in Jesus Christ finished work on calvary we will be Born- gain and placed into the body of Christ. According to the Bible Jesus took the punishment for all mankind and everybody that by Faith will recieve Jesus will be saved eternally.The people that reject his love will be blotted out of The Lambs Book of Life and spend eternity seperated from God in the Lake of Fire. Jesus left Glory and came to earth one time.Jesus suffered bled and died and was bodily resseructed  one time to suffer and pay our sin debt one time. Jesus will not suffer again he is King of Kings and rules from heaven now.Jesus is also our(the saved) only mediator between God  and man now.Jesus will not suffer anymore.If the body of christ(the now born-again)would have to go through The Great Trib- ulation would Jesus not be suffering again?  Another thing in these verses Paul stated that God is not through with Israel yet.Rom 11:1 I say then, Hath God cast away his people? God forbid. For I also am an Israelite, of the seed of Abraham, of the tribe of Benjamin. Rom 11:2 God hath not cast away his people which he foreknew. Wot ye not what the scripture  saith of Elias? how he maketh intercession to God against Israel, saying, Rom 11:3 Lord, they have killed thy prophets, and digged down thine altars; and I am left alone, and they seek my life. Rom 11:4 But what saith the answer of God unto him? I have reserved to myself seven thousand men,  who have not bowed the knee to the image of Baal. 

Rom 11:5 Even so then at this present time also there is a remnant according to the election of grace.
Rom 11:6 And if by grace, then is it no more of works: otherwise grace is no more grace. But if it be of works, then is it no more grace: otherwise work is no more work.
Rom 11:7 What then? Israel hath not obtained that which he seeketh for; but the election hath obtained it, and the rest were blinded
Rom 11:8 (According as it is written, God hath given them the spirit of slumber, eyes that they should not see, and ears that they should not hear;) unto this day.
Rom 11:13 For I speak to you Gentiles, inasmuch as I am the apostle of the Gentiles, I magnify mine office:
Rom 11:14 If by any means I may provoke to emulation them which are my flesh, and might save some of them.
Rom 11:15 For if the casting away of them be the reconciling of the world, what shall the receiving of them be, but life from the dead?
Rom 11:16 For if the firstfruit be holy, the lump is also holy: and if the root be holy, so are the branches.
Rom 11:17 And if some of the branches be broken off, and thou, being a wild olive tree, wert graffed in among them, and with them partakest of the root and fatness of the olive tree;
God is going to reedem Israel (during Great Tribulation I believe)and fulfill his promice in
these versesMat 6:9 After this manner therefore pray ye: Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name.
Mat 6:10 Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven.
There has to be a millinum for true peace to cover the earth and Jesus to rule here as in heaven.
This one thing I know for sure the Bible says that there will be a group that will not taste physical death but will be changed to be like Jesus.To God
be all the glory for the great things he has done.
In Christ in Love,

Dear Christian friend,

I just read your excellent exposition on the falsity of the Darby/MacDonald teachings about a secret rapture just for the church. Thank you for showing its unbiblical origin.

In Christ,

Dennis J. Fischer
Lincoln, Nebraska USA

Date: 22 Nov 2006
Time: 15:04:07


I was very glad to learn of the true origin of this ridiculous doctrine on the second coming. I had long doubted "rapture," but this book of Dave MacPherson's was a cincher. I am presently involved in writing a tract on the subject. More literature needs to be distributed that is post-tribulational. People need warned there just won't be any rapture to save them from the Antichrist. Pre-trib teachers know that church & state will be one, but they teach it will happen AFTER the rapture ! ! I hate to "burst their bubble," but their church will come under the Pope, and they will be here ! What Margaret MacDonald had was not a vision--it was a DELUSION. It was a trick of the devil to: one thing, divert attention from the true Antichrist, who is the Pope, and to keep the Church from preparing for the Great Tribulation. Considering events in the Holy Land, if there were to be a rapture, IT WOULD HAVE ALREADY HAPPENED !


Date: 16 Mar 2007
Time: 21:18:15


I read your book over 30 years ago and did the research then that has never changed. I still can't believe there are some left who believe that crazzy stuff. Your life long effort has born fruit and I wish you well and commend your steadfast journey. Timothy Sauder Canadian.

Date: 10 Jan 2008
Time: 20:34:41


Romans 5:9 Much more then, being now justified by his blood, we shall be saved from the wrath through him.. 1Thessalonians 1:10 And to wait for his Son from Heaven, whom he raised from the dead, even Jesus which Delivered us from the Wrath to Come.. Isaiah 13:9 Behold, the day of the Lord cometh, cruel both with Wrath and fierce anger, to lay the land desolate and he shall destory the Sinners therof out of it..
Nahum 1:2 God is jealous, and the Lord is Revengeth and Furious, the Lord will take vengeance on this adversaries, and he reserveth Wrath for his Enimies.

wrath 1.viloent anger
2.punishment of an offence or crime
3. God's way to punish SIN...

Date: 07 Apr 2009
Time: 10:01:30

Your Comments:

This was an eye opener for me Freddy Keener

Date: 03 May 2009
Time: 10:28:50

Your Comments:

ok i've been doing a lot of research on this vision and many of the things she says she saw point to a rapture DURING OR AFTER the tribulation- nothing before. I believe this vision has no relevance- the Bible clearly states that the rapture will happen BEFORE the tribulation.

Date: 01 Jul 2009
Time: 08:38:49

Your Comments:

It is interesting that so many people believe that Margaret MacDonald created the Rapture and Darby ran with it. In fact, the doctrine of the Rapture was published by others prior to Darby AND Margaret MacDonald.

In the year 1788 a Rev. Morgan Edwards, a Baptist pastor in Philadelphia put forth the idea in his "Millennium, Last Days Novelties" book. He stated that he first wrote about it in the year 1742.

A document referred to as the Pseudo-Ephrem document, dating back to the period A.D. 565 - 627 (or possibly even earlier) mentions the Rapture as a separate event:
"...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."

During the 15th - 16th centuries, Joseph Meade (1586-1638) wrote about the Rapture, 250 years before Darby.

The Rapture was promoted by by Bishop Victorinus of Petau (3rd Century), who saw the church departing before the plagues during the time of God's wrath.

It is clear that the Rapture dates back to at least the 3rd Century, and probably earlier. Why did it vanish from the church history landscape? Because the Roman Catholic Church, which had adopted Augustine's allegorical view of Eschatology squelched the doctrine. It stayed hidden until after the Reformation, when people once again had the opportunity to read the Bible for themselves.

Date: 21 Dec 2012
Time: 18:35:51

Your Comments:

Even though the rapture theory was gleaned from what Miss MacDonald said, it is because it was not understood what she was saying. Read prayerfully and thoughtfully you will see that she said nothing about being physically removed from the earth. And what she did say was what would happen to us spiritually when and if we become filled with the Holy Spirit, which is maturity in our walk with the Lord, with Jesus Christ as Lord and not simply as savior. To be able to see what Miss MacDonald saw we have to be where she was in her walk with the Lord. In other words, to see there one must be there. Sandy Stansell

Date: 17 Dec 2012
Time: 14:13:13

Your Comments:

I read Dave MacPherson's book, "The Incredible Cover-Up." History answers the question of the doctrine's derivation. The National Geographic TV channel aired a program on the origin of the "rapture" doctrine and told about John Darby and an actress portrayed MacDonald. Preachers appeared on the show warning people there won't be a "rapture."

Date: 08 Nov 2012
Time: 05:06:09

Your Comments:

IT becomes clear Mr Mc Pherson that you have made
it a life's ambition to bad mouth these pretrib
people. One must question one's motives when
one spends so much time on the negative and
in the past of others. Have they hurt you that
much that you have to go after them continuously
with a loaded gun.It seems evident that you are
doing only yourself great harm. Get onto a posit
-ive road . For your'' postrib theory'' is but nothing
more than that. So for goodness sake stop wasting
your life in this useless banter against others.
Get a life. And try eternal life, which commences
in earnest at the Coming of Our Lord Jesus.
Like in Noah'sDay and also Sodom the principle is
always .The ''faithful are removed to safety''
and then the Destruction and Judgement happens.

Date: 09 Oct 2012
Time: 21:29:07

Your Comments:

Those who question MacPherson's conclusion about Margaret MacDonald's "vision" should Google "X-Raying Margaret," "Edward Irving is Unnerving," and "The Unoriginal John Darby."
And those who claim that pretrib was taught before 1830 should Google MacPherson's article entitled "Deceiving and Being Deceived" and "The Real Manuel Lacunza." Also Google "Pretrib Rapture Dishonesty" to find out the rapture traffickers and merchandisers who have deviously and desperately been claiming they have found persons before 1830 who taught pretrib!
And ALL pretribbers should Google "Pretrib Rapture Secrets," "Famous Rapture Watchers," "Pretrib Rapture Secrecy," "Pretrib Hypocrisy," "Appendix F: Thou Shalt Not Steal," "Wily Jeffrey," Walvoord Melts Ice," "Thomas Ice (Bloopers)," and "Open Letter to Todd Strandberg."

Date: 12 Jul 2012
Time: 16:00:00

Your Comments:

I've really appreciated Dave's research on the Rapture over the years. One thing that strikes me, though, is that many of the finest believers I know are Pre-Trib. The Rapture itself is not the great deception. That should keep us humble, as sister Margaret said.


Date: 28 Sep 2011
Time: 23:03:00

Your Comments:

Dave MacPherson has a new article entitled "Pretrib Rapture Scholar Wannabes" that should be read by everyone. It can be seen if a person visits Joe Ortiz's "End Times Passover" blog of Sep. 4, 2011. Lord bless you all. Jon

Date: 08 Sep 2011
Time: 22:33:29

Your Comments:


Date: 05 Mar 2013
Time: 16:30:34

Your Comments:

[Thanks for your great blog. Here's a little item I found on the net - fascinating. Travis]

Margaret Macdonald's Rapture Chart !

"church" RAPTURE "church"
(present age) (tribulation)

In early 1830 Margaret was the very first one to see a pre-Antichrist (pretrib) rapture in the Bible - and John Walvoord and Hal Lindsey lend support for this claim!
Walvoord's "Rapture Question" (1979) says her view resembles the "partial-rapture view" and Lindsey's "The Rapture" (1983) admits that "she definitely teaches a partial rapture."
But there's more. Lindsey (p. 26) says that partial rapturists see only "spiritual" Christians in the rapture and "unspiritual" ones left behind to endure Antichrist's trial. And Walvoord (p. 97) calls partial rapturists "pretribulationists"!
Margaret's pretrib view was a partial rapture form of it since only those "filled with the Spirit" would be raptured before the revealing of the Antichrist. A few critics, who've been repeating more than researching, have noted "Church" in the tribulation section of her account. Since they haven't known that all partial rapturists see "Church" on earth after their pretrib rapture (see above chart), they've wrongly assumed that Margaret was a posttrib!
In Sep. 1830 Edward Irving's journal "The Morning Watch" (hereafter: TMW) was the first to publicly reflect her novel view when it saw spiritual "Philadelphia" raptured before "the great tribulation" and unspiritual "Laodicea" left on earth.
In Dec. 1830 John Darby (the so-called "father of dispensationalism" even though he wasn't first on any crucial aspect of it!) was still defending the historic posttrib rapture view in the "Christian Herald."
Pretrib didn't spring from a "church/Israel" dichotomy, as many have assumed, but sprang from a "church/church" one, as we've seen, and was based only on symbols!
But innate anti-Jewishness soon appeared. (As noted, TMW in Sep. 1830 saw only less worthy church members left behind.) In Sep. 1832 TMW said that less worthy church members and "Jews" would be left behind. But by Mar. 1833 TMW was sure that only "Jews" would face the Antichrist!
As late as 1837 the non-dichotomous Darby saw the church "going in with Him to the marriage, to wit, with Jerusalem and the Jews." And he didn't clearly teach pretrib until 1839. His basis then was the Rev. 12:5 "man child...caught up" symbol he'd "borrowed" (without giving credit) from Irving who had been the first to use it for the same purpose in 1831!
For related articles Google "X-Raying Margaret," "Edward Irving is Unnerving," "Pretrib Rapture's Missing Lines," "The Unoriginal John Darby," "Deceiving and Being Deceived" by D.M., "Pretrib Rapture Pride," "Pretrib Rapture Dishonesty" and "Scholars Weigh My Research." The most documented and accurate book on pretrib rapture history is "The Rapture Plot" (see Armageddon Books online) - a 300-pager that has hundreds of disarming facts (like the ones above) not found in any other source.

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