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Revisers of Pre-Trib Rapture Theory
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
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 ?
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.
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