Online Bible and Study Tools
Translate || Vine / Schaff || Alts/Vars/Criticism/Aramaic


End Times Chart

Introduction and Key


Church-State Relations and the Book of Revelation
An Introduction to The Parousia: A Careful Look at the New Testament Doctrine of the Lord's Second Coming
by James Stuart Russell (1878) // Written by
Todd Dennis, Curator

Doomsday Dementia

Study Archive

Click For Site Updates Page

Free Online Books Page

Historical Preterism Main

Modern Preterism Main

Hyper Preterism Main

Preterist Idealism Main

Critical Article Archive Main

Church History's Preteristic Presupposition

Study Archive Main

Dispensationalist dEmEnTiA  Main

Josephus' Wars of the Jews Main

Online Study Bible Main




Revisers of Pre-Trib Rapture Theory

By Dave MacPherson, B.A.

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

Dear Same-Minded Friends: Since the following article is the first time I've put together the chief points of early pretrib development as found in my book The Rapture Plot, and since it may well be the last article I will offer to you because of other research duties, I hope and pray you will be led of the Lord to air it on your site. As you know, I've majored on history and not theology - history which hopefully has been of benefit to all who oppose the pretrib rapture view! I will continue to support all of you who continue to oppose and expose it! Lord reward you all! Dave

(BREAKING NEWS: Grant Jeffrey is admitting on his website that the "argument that no one ever saw this [pretrib] 'truth' throughout eighteen hundred years of Church history has been very effective, causing many Christians to abandon their belief in the pretribulation Rapture"! Since Thomas Ice has been claiming on Todd Strandberg's site that I'm the one who's been "fabricating a false history of the pre-trib rapture" for "thirty-plus years" in order to promote the same 1800-year argument, it's time to see what pretrib leaders have actually been claiming----and are still claiming----about their own view's history, plus my responses to them. By hearing both sides, you can determine who the real fabricators are!)

CLAIM: Since the early 1900's many pretrib rapture promoters (and indolent copycats) have given credit for the pretrib rapture to early Plymouth Brethren leader John Darby (whom John Walvoord truthfully viewed as one of the "early" pretribs!), have also claimed that Darby "understood" pretrib as early as late 1826 or early 1827, and that Darby based his earliest development primarily on the "distinction" between the "church" and "Israel" which, he said, would necessitate a separation between both groups that only a pretrib rapture could attain.

MY RESPONSE: Darby's earliest paper (1827) emphasized only the "heavenly church" and he expected to be on earth until the start of a future millennium, and his 1828 paper focused on only the church's "unity." His 1829 paper looked for only the Rev. 19:11 coming while his 1830 paper expected only the Matt. 25:31 coming. As late as 1837 his church/Israel "dichotomy" that he supposedly discovered 10 years earlier was still nonexistent when he described the church as "going in with Him to the marriage, to wit, with Jerusalem and the Jews"!

Not until 1839 ("Notes on the Revelation") did Darby have clear pretrib teaching! Basing it on Rev. 12:5's "man child," he wrote: "If we apply it to the saints, who overcome here...then we find that...they are caught up out of his [the dragon's] way....; and the trial and persecution fall on those who are left here----upon the woman." (Amazingly, eminent "doctors" either haven't known, or have covered up, the fact that the "man child" symbol----and not Rev. 4:1 with its seven-year "gap"----was Darby's beginning pretrib basis for three decades while he held to only a 1260-day tribulation! And he wasn't originial on any of dispensationalism's crucial aspects!)

CLAIM: In the early 1970's I shared some of my research evidence with pretrib promoter R. A. Huebner, a Darby-obsessed member of the Plymouth Brethren----evidence that London preacher Edward Irving and some of his friends taught pretrib long before Darby did. Huebner was aware that a few in Irving's orbit quickly accepted the new pretrib view while others either delayed accepting it or rejected it. In 1973 Huebner self-published a booklet dedicated to distorting my uncovered information about Darby and some of his contemporaries. In order to back up his outrageous claim that the "Irvingites (1828-1834) never held the pretribulation rapture or any 'any-moment' views," he quoted only Irvingites who hadn't accepted pretrib including historicist John Hooper who in late 1831 wrote in the Irvingite journal The Morning Watch that "the seventh seal has been opened, the seventh trumpet sounded, the seventh vial commenced." Walvoord's 1976, echo

MY RESPONSE: In the Sep., 1830 issue of the same Irvingite journal, a writer discussing Revelation's seven churches taught that "Philadelphia" will be "caught up" before a future "period of great tribulation" while the "Laodicean church" will be left behind "on earth" to face that period----the first clear public teaching of pretrib that I've found. Knowing that he could keep crediting Darby with pretrib if he kept covering up or distorting Irvingite doctrine, Huebner's 1991 book claimed that the phrase "period of great tribulation" meant nothing more than "the pouring out of the seventh vial"----evidence, he said, that only a posttrib coming was being projected. But this was just another of Huebner's many cover-ups; he omitted telling readers that three pages later the Irvingite writer declared twice that "the great tribulation" would follow the rapture----proof indeed that his rapture was a pretrib one! (The paper you're now reading In the June, 1831 issue of the same Irvingite journal, Irving himself wrote, while discussing the "man child" of Rev. 12: "...though the child is spoken of as one (ver. 5), it is also described as many (ver. 11), who overcame the accuser; and when that number is accomplished, there are still a remnant of her seed, whom the dragon doth persecute and seek to destroy (ver. 17). This two-fold company----the one gathered before, and the other after the travailing woman is cast out into the wilderness...." (So Darby's initial Biblical basis for pretrib in 1839----the "man child" symbol, as we noted a short time ago----was actually Irving's which had been published eight years earlier! Darby, moreover, admitted in his writings that he had been an avid reader of that Irvingite publication!)

My book The Rapture Plot has seven pages of short quotes from the same Irvingite mouthpiece (1831-1833) which indisputably disclose a pretrib rapture as well as pretrib-type imminence----all this appearing in print years before Darby expressed such concepts! The same book of mine also lists 21 short quotes that pretrib dispensationalists agree were Darby's earliest prophetic thoughts----"truths" they claim he alone derived from Scripture, "truths" that supposedly led him to come up with the pretrib idea before anyone else. After I quoted them I revealed that all of them were actually Irving's words in his preface to Manuel Lacunza's 1827 work and added that Irving revealed that he had held to those "truths" since 1825! (Absolutely no one, whether pre or post, has ever claimed that Darby believed in either pretrib or any supporting "truths" as early as 1825!!!)

My Plot volume also fully analyzes Margaret Macdonald, a young woman in Scotland that the Irvingites admitted was their pretrib inspiration. A number of them (and even Darby himself!) visited her in her home in mid-1830 several months after she claimed to find a pretrib rapture in the Bible.

CLAIM: If I were to put into one sentence the gist of what some of my critics have claimed about Margaret Macdonald, it would look something like this: "Since Margaret was a partial rapturist, she couldn't have been a pretrib, especially since she wrote that 'The trial of the Church is from Antichrist'----clearly a posttrib statement!"

MY RESPONSE: In his 1979 book The Rapture Question - Revised (p. 97) Walvoord correctly states that partial rapturists are "pretribulationists"----pretribs who see only part of the church participating in a pretrib rapture. By deliberately isolating Margaret's Antichrist statement (above), my critics demonstrate either their laziness or deviousness. Every leading 19th century partial rapturist (my Plot quotes several) looked for a pretrib rapture of only "worthy" Christians and referred to the ones left behind as the "church"----the term Margaret used for those not worthy enough to be raptured. Even Darby, when analyzing partial rapturism, wrote that the ones left behind in that scheme are called the "church"! (See my internet articles "X-raying Margaret" and "Humbug Huebner" for light on the last two claims here. Or type in my name on search engines to see all of my internet items.)

Only after my published evidence (on Margaret as the pretrib originator, on Irving and his disciples as further innovators, and on Darby and his editor, William Kelly, the latter being the culprit who, between 1890 and 1903, quietly changed early Irvingite and Brethren documents to wrongfully give credit to Darby for pretrib----the never-before-told discovery in my Plot book) did a few dispensationalist diehards begin frantically fishing for pre-1830 "hints" of pretrib! If you were to find a "hint" they don't know about, no one would be more rapturous than Tommy Ice and Tim LaHaye! But if you were to find 100 such "hints," it wouldn't change the fact that 99 percent of all Christians before the year 1830 never heard of, or even smelled, a pretrib rapture! (See my internet piece "Deceiving and Being Deceived" which exposes some "hints" that some claim to have found.)

THE END IS HERE: As you can tell, I would rather be an honest B.A. (Better Author) than a lazy or lying Ph.D. (Pretrib History Distorter)! You have just read perhaps 1 percent of my No. 1 book The Rapture Plot. You can obtain the other 99 percent by calling 800-967-7345 or by contacting Armageddon Books. (All of my book royalties have always gone to a nonprofit organization which has never paid salary to anyone.)

Right now I'm going to do something out of character. I'm going to predict that one of these days some unthinkably horrendous event (or events) will cause many Laodicean-type Christians to not only abandon pretrib in droves but even become physically violent toward their pretrib teachers! Some of those "Laodiceans" may fall so far they will even kill some of those teachers!

Years ago my wife and I visited an elderly fellow believer in his home in Alberta, Canada who told us, from firsthand knowledge, that soon after the Bolsheviks seized power in Russia in 1917, a man in that country went to his pastor, angrily threw down his Bible, and shouted: "You lied to us! You said we would be raptured away first!"

The Dutch heroine Corrie ten Boom declared in a 1974 article that when communism took over in China "millions of Christians were tortured to death" who had previously been assured: "Don't worry, before the tribulation comes you will be translated----raptured."

And violence among Christians took place in Korea a few years ago after a predicted rapture failed to happen!

As long as America continues to turn away from the God who exalted her and turn suicidally to anti-Christian, anti-decency, pro-violence, and pro-perversion degenerates, the Holy One will be forced to give us more and more "breaking news" of events that are even more horrendous which will cause disillusioned pretrib rapture believers to mistrust pretrib merchandisers (and history revisers) even more!

What do YOU think ?

Submit Your Comments For Posting Here
Comment Box Disabled For Security


17 Aug 2003




Duh! So what? What contribution does this whining make to an understanding of the "end times?"


01 Nov 2003




Thanks for this. My understanding of what he taught was a partial rapture only of the victorious believers  just before the rapture. Similar to what Watchman Nee teaches.  Ed


05 Jan 2004




Dear Mr. MacPherson My concern is that many otherwise sound Bible Scholars and Christian make the tribulational view and test of fellowship. I find this unfortunate because I do not Believe that it is a fundamental (essential) of the Faith. Personally, I take a practical view of the matter. If the "rapture" is Pre-Tribulational good. Even if I didn't believe the "Pre-Tribulational" Viewpoint, I would be "raptured" with all those who do believe it to be correct. Being "Raptured" has no conditions other than being a "born again" believer in the Lord Jesus Christ. However, If a person that holds the "Pre-tribulational" viewpoint is incorrect, he may be greatly unprepared for the suffering that may come. As I see Holy Scripture we are to be prepared to suffer with and for Christ no matter what circumstance comes. My concern is that I live a godly life so that no matter what comes, I will be honoring to God and will receive His "Well Done, Faithful servant" Someone ask the famous Greek Scholar, A.T. Robertson, what his view was on the Millennian. Dr. Robertson said, "I am a Pro-Millennialist". If there is one, I am for it. Likewise, If the "rapture" is "Pre-Tribulational" I am Pro-Pre-Tribulational. What I believe does not change the fact of what it will be. Jesus said, "Occupy until I come" Thus His command is to be obedient to His business of Winning the Lord and strengthing the Saints. Rev. Thomas L.Clark


12 Jan 2005




This article uncovers more of the problem. Unfortunatly, very few seem to be aware of the serious consequences. It does matter what we believe in this area. The Church is losing it's relevance in a great part because of it's futuristic bent. Add to that it's apparent ineffectiveness relative to the immorality in it's congregations and especially among its leaders.


07 Feb 2005




I have already seen the real statement by Margaret MacDonald. I do not think that she was talking about some kind of event as advocated by Darby and his followers. She seemed to be talking about "Life in the Holy Spirit" I will be doing further study on your site


24 Feb 2005




I wish god had made a book that said the truth without such confusion. What does he really want? I am just gonna back into a corner and believe in him till death when ever it comes. Praying the whole time for forgiveness of my sins and for not understanding the confusion in this world.


17 Mar 2005




As a rapture/pretrib believer, the first thing I am wondering here is why anyone is predicting a rapture ( as in your Korea example ), when the Lord said no one knows the day or the hour, and Paul said he didn't need to talk to his church about times and dates. The next thing I wonder about is Corrie Ten Boom's article where she apparently said Chinese Christians were tortured to death after they had been assured they would be fine because they would be raptured first. There is no rapture to save Christians from 2000 years of wrath from Chinese or any other anti-Christs. Anymore than it saved them from Nero long ago, which it didn't. The rapture is to save those who as Paul says "are not meant for wrath"- from the Wrath of God and the Wrath of the Lamb- ( Rev 6:16)and the hour of trial which is going to come upon the entire earth to test those who live on the earth. ( Rev 3:10 ) Christ says that the hatred of the world ( of those who belong to Christ ) must always be expected, and that Christians will have many trials on the earth. Tribulation here is to be expected, and anyone teaching otherwise obviously does not undertstand what the Bible says about the Rapture. The Rapture will occur at the appointed time when God ( not Satan or evil men ) is about to pour out GOD's Wrath on the earth.

Date: 26 Jul 2005
Time: 10:09:27


The following scriptures is adquate proof of no pre-trib rapture. 2Thess 1:5 But God will use this persecution to show his justice. For he will make you worthy of his Kingdom, for which you are suffering, 6 and in his justice he will punish those who persecute you. 7 And God will provide rest for you who are being persecuted and also for us when the Lord Jesus appears from heaven. He will come with his mighty angels, 8in flaming fire, bringing judgment on those who don't know God and on those who refuse to obey the Good News of our Lord Jesus. 9They will be punished with everlasting destruction, forever separated from the Lord and from his glorious power 10when he comes to receive glory and praise from his holy people. And you will be among those praising him on that day, for you believed what we testified about him. Earl Matthews

Date: 20 Nov 2005
Time: 16:36:19


I doubt if you would remember me--Muriel Welch (I lived in MI)when we talked be telephone. I sent you materials when you were bitzing collage campuses before moving to Alaska.lOST TRACk OF you then . I've since moved to TX and am a missionary to Romania just completing 14 years. I have some up-dated materals to send to you including DISPUTATION of the thory known as RAPTURE. I N IT I OFFER A $5000.00 NOTE to anyone who can give me but ONE scripture saying therre is a 'rapture' before a 'great tribulation'.><

Date: 31 Jan 2006
Time: 22:52:37


I have heard this before and am studying up on it. I know also those of you who believe this, also believe that ALL prophecy has been fullfilled in 70AD. Here's what I have found, in order for this to be valid, you have to change the writer of Revelation. John wrote it in about 95AD. In order for it to line up with that belief, it would be written by Paul prior to 60AD. Even though in 5 places it says John is the one writing.

Secondly, if this is the "new earth" then what about the verses saying it will be without sin and death?

Date: 22 Feb 2006
Time: 14:21:05


According to Mathews Gospel the infant Church (Ad30) would personally witness the start of the Great Tribulation. They were not Raptured before it but were told to flee when they saw the Abomination of Desolation (Lukes Gospel The Armies advancing on Jerusalem). Had they not done so we would not even have a Gospel. The Judgement of Jerusalem occured as per Christ's warnings, the disciples(Ad30-AD66) recognised that it was at the very doors as the Infant Church (Fig tree-the New Covenant Israel of Jew and Gentile) was beginning to blossom. All was fulfilled in that generation (ad30-70) alive in the first century BC. So when will this figment of the imagination of Pre-tribbers finally be laid to rest. Will it take another century of non fulfillment making a grand total of 2030 years after the event.

I was once an ardent pre-trib supporter, I recanted in favour of Christ being of greater authority than Clarence Larkin, who claims that the new covenant has not even been ratified.

Do those who use his Charts realise that he is robbing you of your salvation through the New Covenant which the Lord Jesus Christ ratified with his own Blood in Ad 30.

Take off the sunglasess, switch on the lights and read Mathew 24 , observing who Christ was giving the warnings to. None other than those leaders of the Future Church in AD30.


Date: 13 Jun 2006
Time: 19:58:56


A pastor in India just got his brains bashed in for being a Christian, just one of an ongoing onslaught of stalking and attacks on Christians in that country. They don't care if people are Catholic or Protestant, just Christians. They are living in the tribulation, while we sit on our fat butts and watch TV and gloat in "pre-trib rapture," the fat-American Christian's favorite doctrine.

It's just part of a whole enigma, the Jesus People generation that I came out of, people who grew up into Middle-Class America and forgot where they got saved from and came down heavy on their kids, so ran a lot of Generation X away from Christianity, so now we have to figure out a way to convince them JESUS is different, and being a Christian is not half as bad as their Bible-Thumper parents convinced them.

It's a long story. It has a whole lot to do with Calvary Chapel starting the Jesus Movement, and what they preach. My life and faith were destroyed by it for 20 years, when the Jesus Freaks created the "New Agers" who were 90% Jesus Freaks running away from crazyness, church abuses, etc. Pretty sure that's over, as it's what I just came back to JESUS from because of a series of visions straight out of heaven, because the Lord told me the Christians have failed to witness for Him, He's doing it Himself. That's why He appears in asparagus plants to the heathen, because the so-called Christians have bombed out so bad.

Everybody, and I mean everybody needs to STOP pointing the finger at other Christians for their "heresies" for at least six months and just LOOK IN THE MIRROR and figure out what sins and problems the person they are looking at has. My church is Sede-vacantist. The Pope is the Anti-Christ, Rome and the Vatican pumping out daily doses of horrible heresies. Well, they are, but so what? Are we a whole lot BETTER, with the danged GOSSIP in my church and arrogant self-righteous little nun that I want to smack, who controls the place and abuses the kids? Am I better than her?

See what I mean? She's a pain in the butt, but maybe I'm worse than her. Than, instead of using the Bible to our own end, we look into it as a mirror, comparing OURSELVES to GOD'S WAYS! Yukkh! Horse of a different color now!!! The Bible says all our own ways are "right in our own eyes" but God "weighs the spirits."

What ever happened to SEEKING THE LORD? Times of fasting and repentance? We used to do that stuff but not any more, not for a long time. Meanwhile how many sins have we been whitewashing, and how big of Pharisees have we all turned into? God never says repent for anybody else! I can't straighten out Pope Ratz, or the One-World religion he is working on overtime to create, can I?

No, we're not getting yanked off the earth. I just haven't figured out the subdermal chip thing yet that the Carlyle Group is promoting (George Bush Sr, et al). I always heard we would get beheaded if we refuse it, but that's dumb. All they have to do is hold our arms and inject one in our butts. A lot less messy to clean up then decapitated people and providing guillotines.

Then I realize all the BUNK we have been taught, and you really wonder what is actually TRUE. I don't want a subdermal chip, for sure. But they certainly don't have to decapitate everybody. It just takes two guys who can outmuscle you, or wait til you're asleep and stick a chip in you. And what is Hal Lindsey but a divorced and remarried overstuffed haole who gets a lot of money off his books?

I'm not picking on Hal Lindsey. I'm picking on the entire Jesus movement that almost sent my soul to hell twice.

Date: 26 Sep 2006
Time: 05:41:31


The Conditional Rapture
The adherents to this system are Pre-Tribulationist meaning they believe the Rapture will take place before what is referred to as the Great Tribulation Period. However, the name itself suggests them to believe there are conditions that must be met by each individual in order to participate in the event. They maintain that from the Pre-Tribulational perspective, every “rapture passage” that can be interpreted from scripture contains an inclusion or exclusion phrase (one could call a clause) that strictly and effectively governs who is going to experience The Rapture. Therefore inside each passage, when taken literally and in their entirety, the conditions can not be separated from the event itself. They also site several teachings from scripture besides the “rapture passages” themselves, in that culturally the return of Christ is to be accepted as a husband returning to take possession of his bride. But by Hebrew culture, coupled with Jewish tradition, she must be found faithful to h
t texts
as follows. (quote) The Shepherd of Hermes is one such document. Although much of what is recorded in this text does not agree with the teachings of the scripture, and is of no doctrinal value, it none the less makes mention of a vision the “shepherd” had of a giant raging bull, that he was able to escape harm from by relying on God for protection. The next vision encountered was that of a beautiful maiden, identified by the shepherd as the church. She identifies the bull as the great tribulation to come, and tells him he escaped it by putting his trust in God. She then charges him to go tell all other believers they can do the same of the coming tribulation but only if they also put full faith in the Lord. This is a very brief look and oversimplification of the content of those documents. But since they have been accepted to have been written in the second century, it is proof that the “concept” of the Rapture in general (as referring to an escape from a future time of great tribula
Bro. Chip White

Date: 16 Oct 2006
Time: 03:58:34


I think God blessed some Christians with walnut brains.

The Rapture. Give me a break.


Date: 27 Jan 2007
Time: 10:49:21


Every thing about the bible is a contradiction and a hoax. You constantly create your own religion. If there was a god, this god would be very clear, and would write the bible him/herself. There is no god, the bible was written by dirty old men, who had slaves, performed incest, and praised god for massive serial murders caused by your god's flood. You and your silly, ridiculous bible hoax are why we are all turning into atheists...I was a believing christian for 30 years until one day I just woke up and saw the tremendous mounting evidence, that you and the bible is a massive hoax created to control and manipulate people. Your god is a thug and a bully and a creation in your own mind.

Diana Wilson PhD

Date: 06 Jan 2008
Time: 08:44:13


Christ returns for each of us the moment we die. It might be a heart attack while your reading this commment. If a thousand years pass between your death and Christs return it will be to you as the next second. It appears to me that the end time will be the greatest time of christian persucution in the history of the church. Just the opposite of what rapture proponents are expecting. e-mail

Click For Index Page

Free Online Books Historical Preterism Modern Preterism Study Archive Critical Articles Dispensationalist dEmEnTiA  Main Josephus Church History Hyper Preterism Main

Email's Sole Developer and Curator, Todd Dennis  (todd @ Opened in 1996