HISTORY OF PRE-TRIB DECEPTION
ONLINE ARTICLES ON RAPTURE—THE HISTORY OF THE DECEPTION
Some of the historical record (i.e., many of the great Christian men of the past who NEVER mentioned a Pre-Trib Rapture) has already been covered in several paragraphs earlier in this newsletter. It seems that the Pre-Trib Rapture view did not really seem to catch on anywhere until the 1830s. It seems to have originated in England, and then made its way over to the USA. Until that time, the prevailing view among Christians in the USA was the Post-Trib Rapture view. Dave MacPherson, in his book, The Incredible Cover-Up, traces the origins of the Pre-Trib Rapture doctrine back to the British Isles, where we find such characters as a Scottish lassie named Margaret MacDonald, Edward Irving, and John Darby. ((Dave MacPherson does a great job of showing the origins of the Pre-Trib Rapture doctrine. His above-mentioned book may still be available through Christian Media. To order materials from Christian Media, see earlier information in this newsletter.))
This British “invention” of the Pre-Trib Rapture doctrine was later popularized in the USA by the Scofield Study Bible. It is not within the scope (i.e., limited space) of this newsletter to really get into the historical side of the Rapture debate. If the reader wishes to do more investigation into the history of the Pre-Trib doctrine, contact Christian Media for information on the three Dave MacPherson books that they have carried in the past. Also, there seems to have been some Jesuit involvement in at least some of these doctrines that we find within “Dispensationalism” – please read End Time DELUSIONS: The Rapture, the Antichrist, Israel, and the End of the World by Steve Wohlberg to trace the trail of this “theological virus”. ((You can call toll-free 866-862-6334 to order this book via credit card; or, you can visit their Internet web site at http://www.endtimeinsights.com . Editor of ETI most highly recommends this outstanding 220-page paperback book!))
The “witness under trial” issue was of major concern to evangelist Corrie Ten Boom, whose family suffered in Nazi prison camps during World War II for the crime of protecting Jews. Corrie Ten Boom preached that the pre-tribulation rapture would leave the Christian church ill-prepared for witness under persecution, just as it had in China when Mao Zedong rose to power, and warned that pre-tribulationism was the sort of false doctrine that Jesus warned about.
Origin of the Pre-tribulation Rapture Belief
There is no mention of a Pre-tribulation – or a Mid-tribulation – Rapture in any Church teaching, writing or commentary until the early 1800s when the Pre-tribulation Rapture belief began.
In 1812, a Jesuit priest from Chile, South America named Manuel de Lacunza, writing under the pen-name of Rabbi J.J. Ben-Ezra, wrote a book called “The Coming of the Messiah in Glory and Majesty.”
In his book, he set forth the idea that the Rapture and the Second Coming of Jesus will be separated by a period of time. And, he claimed that all of the other Church teachers and leaders up to 1812 had been wrong in teaching a Post-tribulation Rapture. He basically said that he was right; and they had all been “convicted of error” in their teaching.
Edward Irving,, a Scottish preacher, translated de Lacunza’s book from Spanish into English and had it published in London in 1827. Around that time, Irving began to preach that there would be a Pre-tribulation Rapture of the Church.
Somewhere in the 1820s or 1830s, John Darby, an English preacher connected with a religious movement called The Plymouth Brethren also began to preach and teach a two-stage coming of the Lord: first a Rapture of the Church, followed later by the Lord’s return.
But, the icing on the cake came when, in April of 1831, a 15 year-old Scottish girl named Margaret MacDonald claimed to have received a “new revelation” from several hours of prophecy and vision: a revelation of a split-coming of the Lord – a Pre-tribulation Rapture of the Church.
Both Edward Irving and John Darby visited with Miss MacDonald in those days; and it’s impossible to think they were not mutually influenced in some way about the timing of the Rapture.
A Pre-tribulation Rapture – the hope of an escape from Tribulation – became popular throughout England, Scotland, and Ireland; and spread to the United States as well.
In about 200 years or less – from 1812 until now – most professing Christians and Christian Churches have accepted the “new revelation” of Miss MacDonald, and the teaching of Irving and Darby as the truth.
They have wrongly placed their hope in the Rapture of the Church to save them; and have turned away from some 1800 years of knowledge as if it was in error.