Iran 6 month deal and the blood moon

Signs are God’s indicators of things to come.

(Genesis 1:14) And God said, Let there be lights in the firmament of the heaven to divide the day from the night; and let them be for signs, and for seasons, and for days, and years:

(Jeremiah 10:2) Thus saith the LORD, Learn not the way of the heathen, and be not dismayed at the signs of heaven; for the heathen are dismayed at them.

(Daniel 6:27) He delivereth and rescueth, and he worketh signs and wonders in heaven and in earth, who hath delivered Daniel from the power of the lions.

(Luke 21:11) And great earthquakes shall be in divers places, and famines, and pestilences; and fearful sights and great signs shall there be from heaven.

Acts 2:19-20 And I will shew wonders in heaven above, and signs in the earth beneath; blood, and fire, and vapour of smoke: (20) The sun shall be turned into darkness, and the moon into blood, before that great and notable day of the Lord come:

God has provided us signs to know the season of His coming. These signs clearly indicate the Lord is returning to set up His kingdom in Jerusalem very soon. That being so, the rapture of the church is upon us since it happens at least 7 years prior.

Do you know Christ? Are you ready for His return to take us home (John 14:2-3; 1 Thess 4:13-18)?

Early Church Teaching On Pre-Tribulation Rapture


by Grant Jeffrey


“A Noted Byzantine Scholar That Taught The Pre-Tribulation Rapture in A.D. 373” Quote by: Grant Jeffrey’

Over the last thirty years I have been fascinated with Bible prophecy because it authenticates the Scriptures as God’s inspired Word and it points to the imminent return of Jesus Christ to usher in the Messianic Kingdom. I am always delighted when God leads me to new information that confirms His Word. In my ongoing research into recent archeological discoveries and into writings of early Church leaders, I have made several exciting new discoveries that I want to share with my readers. In this chapter we will explore a number of interesting discoveries about the following subjects: the finding of a teaching about the Pre-Tribulation Rapture from the first centuries of the early church; the archeological discoveries of the tombs of Mary, Martha and Lazarus that prove the historical accuracy of the Gospels; and the proof that miraculous healings, raising of the dead, and the Charismatic gifts were common among believers during the first three centuries following the resurrection of Christ.

The Pre-Tribulation Rapture Was Taught by the Early Church

Obviously, the truth about the timing of the Rapture will ultimately be found only in Scripture. The Protestant Reformation was based essentially on this return to the authority of the Bible. The Latin phrase Sola Scriptura, meaning “Scripture Alone” became the rallying cry of the reformers who ignored centuries of tradition and church councils in their insistence that truth could only be discovered in the Word of God. While the ultimate resolution of this discussion must be based on our interpretation of Scripture, it is important to answer the errors of our opponents who disparage “the blessed hope” of the Rapture with misinformation about the modern rediscovery of the truth about the Pre-Tribulation Rapture.

Many post-tribulationist writers have attacked the Pre-Tribulation Rapture doctrine by claiming that it cannot be true because no church writer or reformer ever taught this doctrine until approximately 170 years ago. While the real question for sincere students of Scripture must be whether or not the Bible truly teaches this doctrine, the argument that no one ever saw this “truth” throughout eighteen hundred years of Church history has been very effective, causing many Christians to abandon their belief in the Pre-Tribulation Rapture. The only problem with their argument is that they are totally wrong.

Many contemporary writers claim that the Pre-Tribulation Rapture theory first originated around A.D. 1820. They ascribe the theory’s initial creation to either Emmanuel Lacunza (Ben Ezra, 1812), Edward Irving (1830), or Margaret Macdonald (1830), and finally to John Darby (1830). For example, Dave MacPherson in The Incredible Cover-Up (1975 stated); “Margaret Macdonald was the first person to teach a coming of Christ that would precede the days of Antichrist . . . . Before 1830, Christians had always believed in a single future coming, that the catching of I Thess. 4 will take place after the Great Tribulation of Matthew 24 at the glorious coming of the Son of Man when He shall send His angels to gather together all of His Elect.” Reverend John Bray, in The Origin of the Pre-Tribulation Rapture Teaching (1982) declared; “People who are teaching the Pre-Tribulation Rapture teaching today are teaching something that never was taught until 1812 . . . . Not one of those early church fathers taught a Pre-Tribulation Rapture . . . . I make the offer of five hundred dollars to anybody who will find a statement, a sermon, article in a commentary, or anything, prior to 1812 that taught a two-phase coming of Christ separated by a stated period of time, such as the Pre-Tribulation rapturists teach.” These writers, among others who despise the teaching of the Pre-Tribulation Rapture, dogmatically assert that it was taught for the first time in 1830 by John Darby and the Plymouth Brethren or one of the other individuals mentioned above.

A number of these authors will have to drastically revise the next edition of their books based on two remarkable textual discoveries that conclusively prove that a number of Christian teachers, centuries before John Darby rediscovered this biblical teaching, clearly taught that the Rapture would occur before the Tribulation period. During the summer of 1994, after more than a decade of searching, I discovered several fascinating manuscripts that contain clear evidence of the teaching of the Pre-Tribulation Rapture in the early church.

Ephraem’s Teaching on the Pre-Tribulation Rapture

“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” (On the Last Times, the Antichrist, and the End of the World, by Ephraem the Syrian, A.D. 373).

The early Christian writer and poet, Ephraem the Syrian, (who lived from A.D. 306 to 373) was a major theologian of the early Byzantine Eastern Church. He was born near Nisbis, in the Roman province of Syria, near present day Edessa, Turkey. Ephraem displayed a profound love of the Scriptures in his writings as illustrated by several of his written comments quoted in the Works of Nathaniel Lardner, Vol. 4, 1788. “I esteem no man more happy than him, who diligently reads the Scriptures delivered to us by the Spirit of God, and thinks how he may order his conversation by the precepts of them.” To this day, his hymns and homilies are used in the liturgy of the Greek Orthodox and Middle Eastern Nestorian Church. While the sixteen-volume Post-Nicene Library includes a number of homilies and psalms by Ephraem the Syrian, the editors noted that he also wrote a large number of commentaries that have never been translated into English.

Ephraem’s fascinating teaching on the Antichrist has never been published in English until now. This critically important prophecy manuscript from the fourth century of the Church era reveals a literal method of interpretation and a teaching of the Pre-Millennial return of Christ. More importantly, Ephraem’s text revealed a very clear statement about the Pre-Tribulational return of Christ to take His elect saints home to heaven to escape the coming Tribulation. In addition, Ephraem declares his belief in a personal, Jewish Antichrist, who will rule the Roman Empire during the last days, a rebuilt temple, the two witnesses and a literal Great Tribulation lasting 1,260 days. It is also fascinating to note that he taught that the War of God and Magog would precede the Tribulation period. I discovered another text by Ephraem, called The Book of the Cave of Treasure, that revealed he taught that Daniel’s Seventieth Week will be fulfilled in the final seven years at the end of this age that will conclude with Christ’s return at the Battle of Armageddon to establish His kingdom.

The following section includes key passages from Ephraem’s important text, written about A.D. 373, and translated by Professor Cameron Rhoades, of Tyndale Theological Seminary, at my request.

On the Last Times, the Antichrist, and the End of the World

“1. Most dearly beloved brothers, believe the Holy Spirit who speaks in us. Now we have spoken before, because the end of the world is very near, and the consummation remains. Has not the first faith withered away in men? …

“2. We ought to understand thoroughly therefore, my brothers what is imminent or overhanging. Already there have been hunger and plagues, violent movements of nations and signs, which have been predicted by the Lord, they have already been fulfilled, and there is not other which remains, except the advent of the wicked one in the completion of the Roman kingdom. Why therefore are we occupied with worldly business, and why is our mind held fixed on the lusts of the world or the anxieties of the ages? Why therefore do we not reject every care of earthly actions and prepare ourselves for the meeting of the Lord Christ, so that He may draw us from the confusion, which overwhelms the world? Believe you me, dearest brothers, because the coming of the Lord is nigh, believe you me, because it is the very last time . . . . Because all saints and Elect of the Lord are gathered together before the tribulation which is about to come and are taken to the Lord, in order that they may not see at any time the confusion which overwhelms the world because of our sins (Italics added). And so, brothers, most dear to me, it is the eleventh hour, and the end of this world comes to the harvest, and angels, armed and prepared, hold sickles in their hands, awaiting the empire of the Lord . . .

“3. When therefore the end of the world comes, there arise diverse wars, commotions on all sides, horrible earthquakes, perturbations of nations, tempests throughout the lands, plagues, famine, drought throughout the thoroughfares, great danger throughout the sea and dry land, constant persecutions, slaughters and massacres everywhere . . .

“6. When therefore the end of the world comes, that abominable, lying and murderous one is born from the tribe of Dan. He is conceived from the seed of a man and from a most vile virgin, mixed with an evil or worthless spirit . . .

“7. But when the time of the abomination of his desolation begins to approach, having been made legal, he takes the empire . . . . Therefore, when he receives the kingdom, he orders the temple of God to be rebuilt for himself, which is in Jerusalem; who, after coming into it, he shall sit as God and order that he be adored by all nations . . . . then all people from everywhere shall flock together to him at the city of Jerusalem, and the holy city shall be trampled on by the nations for forty-two months just as the holy apostle says in the Apocalypse, which becomes three and a half years, 1260 days.

“8. In these three years and a half the heaven shall suspend its dew; because there will be no rain upon the earth . . . . and there will be a Great Tribulation, as there has not been, since people began to be upon the earth . . . . and no one is able to sell or to buy of the grain of the fall harvest, unless he is one who has the serpentine sign on the forehead or the hand . . . .

“10. And when the three and a half years have been completed, the time of the Antichrist, through which he will have seduced the world, after the resurrection of the two prophets, in the hour which the world does not know, and on the day which the enemy or son of perdition does not know, will come the sign of the Son of Man, and coming forward the Lord shall appear with great power and much majesty, with the sign of the word of salvation going before him, and also even with all the powers of the heavens with the whole chorus of the saints . . . . Then Christ shall come and the enemy shall be thrown into confusion, and the Lord shall destroy him by the Spirit of his mouth. And he shall be bound and shall be plunged into the abyss of everlasting fire alive with his father Satan; and all people, who do his wishes, shall perish with him forever; but the righteous ones shall inherit everlasting life with the Lord for ever and ever.”

To summarize the key points in Ephraem’s text on the last days:

1. Ephraem’s manuscript lays out the events of the last days in chronological sequence. Significantly he began with the Rapture using the word “imminent,” then, he described the Great Tribulation of three and a half years duration under the Antichrist’s tyranny, followed by the second coming of Christ to earth with his saints to defeat the Antichrist.

2. Significantly, at the beginning of his treatise in Section 2, Ephraem used the word “imminent” to describe the Rapture occurring before the Tribulation the coming of the Antichrist. “We ought to understand thoroughly therefore, my brothers what is imminent or overhanging.”

3. He clearly described the Pre-Tribulation Rapture: “Because all saints and the Elect of the Lord are gathered together before the Tribulation which is about to come and are taken to the Lord, in order that they may not see at any time the confusion which overwhelms the world because of our sins.”

4. He then gives the purpose of God rapturing the church “before the tribulation” so that “they may not see at any time the confusion which overwhelms the world because of our sins.” Ephraem used the word “confusion” as a synonym for the Tribulation Period.

5. Ephraem described the duration of the “Great Tribulation” (the last half of the Seven Year Tribulation Period) in sections, 7, 8, and 10 as follows: “forty-two months” and “three and a half years” and “1260 days.”

6. He summarized: “There will be a Great Tribulation, as there has not been since people began to be upon the earth” and described the Mark of the Beast system.

7. He declared that Christ will come to the earth after the “three and a half years” Tribulation Period in Section 10: “And when the three and a half years have been completed, the time of the Antichrist, through which he will have seduced the world, after the resurrection of the two prophets . . . will come the sign of the Son of Man, and coming forward the Lord shall appear with great power and much majesty.

Dr. Paul Alexander, perhaps the most authoritative scholar on the writing of the early Byzantine Church, concluded that Ephraem’s text on The Antichrist taught that the Lord would supernaturally remove the saints of the Church from the earth “prior to the tribulations that is to come.” Ephraem wrote that the saints will be “taken to the Lord lest they see the confusion that is to overwhelm the world because of our sins.” Dr. Alexander believed this text was written by some unknown writer in the sixth century but he concluded that it was derived from an original Ephraem manuscript (A.D. 373). Other scholars, including the German editor Professor Caspari who wrote a German commentary on this Latin manuscript in 1890, believed that Ephraem’s manuscript was written by the genuine Ephraem in A.D. 373. Professor Cameron Rhodes, professor of Latin at Tyndale Theological Seminary, translated Ephraem’s Latin text into English at the request of my friend Dr. Thomas Ice and myself.

Ephraem and Daniel’s Seventieth Week – The Tribulation Period

A question naturally arises in the mind of Bible students about how long Ephraem believed the Tribulation would last. While Ephraem correctly describes the “Great Tribulation” as three and a half years his other writings revealed that he believed the whole Tribulation Period, “that sore affliction,” would last “one week” of seven years. Ephraem’s book, The Book of the Cave of Treasures, written about A. D. 373, taught about the genealogy of Christ. He wrote the sixty-ninth week of Daniel 9:24-27 ended with the rejection and crucifixion of Jesus the Messiah. He stated, “The Jews have no longer among them a king, or a priest, or a prophet, or a Passover, even as Daniel prophesied concerning them, saying, ‘After two and sixty weeks Christ shall be slain, and the city of holiness shall be laid waste until the completion of things decreed.’ (Daniel 9:26). That is to say, for ever and ever.” (italics added, page 235, The Cave of Treasures). In Daniel’s prophecy, he foretold that Jerusalem would be rebuilt “even in troublesome times” during the initial period of “seven weeks” of years (forty-nine years). Daniel’s prophecy declared that this initial period of “seven weeks” of years would be immediately followed by a further period of sixty-two “weeks” of years ending with the cutting off of the Messiah (483 years). The combined total of sixty-nine weeks of years (seven weeks plus sixty-two weeks) was to conclude with the rejection of Christ. As quoted above, Ephraem taught that Jesus Christ was slain at the end of the combined sixty-nine weeks of years.

However, in the section of his book dealing with the future of Gog and Magog, Ephraem wrote about the final (seventieth) week of Daniel as follows. “At the end of the world at the final consummation . . . suddenly the gates of the north shall be opened . . . . They will destroy the earth, and there will be none able to stand before them. After one week of that sore affliction (tribulation), they will all be destroyed in the plain of Joppa . . . . Then will the son of perdition appear, of the seed and of the tribe of Dan . . . . He will go into Jerusalem and will sit upon a throne in the Temple saying, ‘I am the Christ,’ and he will be borne aloft by legions of devils like a king and a lawgiver, naming himself God . . . . The time of the error of the Anti-Christ will last two years and a half, but others say three years and six months” (italics added). Although there are some curious elements in his description of prophetic events, it is clear that Ephraem believed that the seventieth final week of Daniel’s prophecy of the seventy weeks will finally be fulfilled during the final seven years of this age when the Antichrist will appear. This evidence of a belief in a “gap” or “parenthesis” between the sixty-ninth and seventieth week of Daniel 9:24-27 from the fourth century of the Christian era is significant. It is worthwhile to note that this teaching that there would be a “gap” or “parenthesis” between Daniel’s 69th week and the 70th week of years was also taught by others in the early church including the Epistle of Barnabas (A.D. 110) and the writings of Hippolytus (A.D. 220).

YUYUYUYUYUY

Please visit Grant Jeffrey’s web site: http://www.grantjeffrey.com/

 

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Mayim’s Endnote

Is the Pre-Trib Rapture a Satanic Deception?

Is the Pre-Trib Rapture a Satanic Deception?

by Thomas Ice

Recently, pre-wrath advocate Marvin Rosenthal wrote that the pre-trib rapture was of Satanic origin and unheard of before 1830. “To thwart the Lord’s warning to His children, in 1830,” proclaims Rosenthal, “Satan, the ‘father of lies,’ gave to a fifteen-year-old girl named Margaret McDonald a lengthy vision.”1 Rosenthal gives no documentation, he merely asserts that this is true. However, he is wrong. He is undoubtedly relying upon the questionable work of Dave MacPherson.

Another thing amazing about Rosenthal’s declaration is that a few paragraphs later in the article he characterizes his opposition as those who “did not deal with the issues, misrepresented the facts, or attempted character assassination.”2 This description is exactly what he has done in his characterization of pre-trib rapture origins. Why would Rosenthal make such outlandish and unsubstantiated charges about the pre-trib rapture?

THE BIG LIE

One of the things that facilitated the Nazi rise to power in Germany earlier this century was their propaganda approach called “The Big Lie.” If you told a big enough lie often enough then the people would come to believe it. This the Nazis did well. This is what anti-pretribulationists like John Bray3 and Dave MacPherson4 have done over the last 25 years. Apparently the big lie about the origins of the pre-trib rapture has penetrated the thinking of Robert Van Kampen 5 and Marvin Rosenthal to the extent that they have adopted such a falsehood as true. This is amazing in light of the fact that their own pre-wrath viewpoint is not much more than fifteen years old itself. Rosenthal must have changed his mind about pre-trib origins between the time he wrote his book The Pre-wrath Rapture of the Church (1990) and the recent article (Dec. 1994) since, in the former, he says that the pre-trib rapture “can be traced back to John Darby and the Plymouth Brethren in the year 1830.”6 Rosenthal goes on to say, “Some scholars, seeking to prove error by association, have attempted (perhaps unfairly) to trace its origin back two years earlier to a charismatic, visionary woman named Margaret MacDonald.”7 Even this statement is in error, since the Margaret Macdonald claim has always been related to 1830, not 1828. However, Rosenthal is correct in his original assessment that these charges are “unfair” and probably spring out of a motive to “prove error by association,” known as the ad hominem argument.

Pretribulationists have sought to defend against “The Big Lie” through direct interaction against the charges.8 In a rebuttal to these charges I made in 1990, I gave two major reasons why “The Big Lie” is not true. First, it is doubtful that Margaret Macdonald’s “prophecy” contains any elements related to the pre-trib rapture.9 Second, no one has ever demonstrated from actual facts of history that Darby was influenced by Macdonald’s “prophecy” even if it had (which it did not) contained pre-trib elements.10 John Walvoord has said,

The whole controversy as aroused by Dave MacPherson’s claims has so little supporting evidence, despite his careful research, that one wonders how he can write his book with a straight face. Pretribulationalists should be indebted to Dave MacPherson for exposing the facts, namely, that there is no proof that MacDonald or Irving originated the pretribulation rapture teaching.11

There is a third reason why MacPherson’s theory is wrong, Darby clearly held to an early form of the pre-trib rapture by January 1827. This is a full three years before MacPherson’s claim of 1830.

DARBY AND THE PRE-TRIB RAPTURE

Brethren writer, Roy A. Huebner claims and documents his belief that J.N. Darby first began to believe in the pre-trib rapture and develop his dispensational thinking while convalescing from a riding accident during December 1826 and January 1827.12 If this is true, then all of the origin-of-the-rapture-conspiracy-theories fall to the ground in a heap of speculative rubble. Darby would have at least a three-year jump on any who would have supposedly influenced his thought, making it impossible for all the “influence” theories to have any credibility.

Huebner provides clarification and evidence that Darby was not influenced by a fifteen-yea-old girl (Margaret Macdonald), Lacunza, Edward Irving, or the Irvingites. These are all said by the detractors of Darby and the pre-trib rapture to be bridges which led to Darby’s thought. Instead, he demonstrates that Darby’s understanding of the pre-trib rapture was the product of the development of his personal interactive thought with the text of Scripture as he, his friends, and dispensationalists have long contended.

Darby’s pre-trib and dispensational thoughts, says Huebner, were developed from the following factors: 1) “he saw from Isaiah 32 that there was a different dispensation coming . . . that Israel and the Church were distinct.”13 2) “During his convalescence JND learned that he ought daily to expect his Lord’s return.”14 3) “In 1827 JND understood the fall of the church. . . ‘the ruin of the Church.'”15 4) Darby also was beginning to see a gap of time between the rapture and the second coming by 1827.16 5) Darby, himself, said in 1857 that he first started understanding things relating to the pre-trib Rapture “thirty years ago.” “With that fixed point of reference, Jan. 31, 1827,” declares Huebner, we can see that Darby “had already understood those truths upon which the pre-tribulation rapture hinges.”17

German author Max S. Weremchuk has produced a major new biography on Darby entitled John Nelson Darby: A Biography.18 He agrees with Huebner’s conclusions concerning the matter. “Having read MacPherson’s book . . .” says Weremchuk, “I find it impossible to make a just comparison between what Miss MacDonald ‘prophesied’ and what Darby taught. It appears that the wish was the father of the idea.”19

When reading Darby’s earliest published essay on biblical prophecy (1829), it is clear that while it still has elements of historicism, it also reflects the fact that for Darby, the rapture was to be the church’s focus and hope.20 Even in this earliest of essays, Darby expounds upon the rapture as the church’s hope.21

SCHOLARS DO NOT ACCEPT THE BIG LIE

The various “rapture origin” theories espoused by opponents of pre-tribulationsm are not accepted as historically valid by scholars who have examined the evidence. The only ones who appear to have accepted these theories are those who already are opposed to the pre-trib rapture. A look at various scholars and historians reveals that they think, in varying degrees, that MacPherson has not proven his point. Most, if not all who are quoted below do not hold to the pre-trib rapture teaching. Ernest R. Sandeen declares,

This seems to be a groundless and pernicious charge. Neither Irving nor any member of the Albury group advocated any doctrine resembling the secret rapture. . . . Since the clear intention of this charge is to discredit the doctrine by attributing its origin to fanaticism rather than Scripture, there seems little ground for giving it any credence.22

Historian Timothy P. Weber’s evaluation is a follows:

The pretribulation rapture was a neat solution to a thorny problem and historians are still trying to determine how or where Darby got it. . . .

A newer though still not totally convincing view contends that the doctrine initially appeared in a prophetic vision of Margaret Macdonald, . . .

Possibly, we may have to settle for Darby’s own explanation. He claimed that the doctrine virtually jumped out of the pages of Scripture once he accepted and consistently maintained the distinction between Israel and the church.23

American historian Richard R. Reiter informs us that,

[Robert] Cameron probably traced this important but apparently erroneous view back to S. P. Tregelles, . . . Recently more detailed study on this view as the origin of pretribulationism appeared in works by Dave McPherson, . . . historian Ian S. Rennie . . . regarded McPherson’s case as interesting but not conclusive.24

Posttribulationist William E. Bell asserts that,

It seems only fair, however, in the absence of eyewitnesses to settle the argument conclusively, that the benefit of the doubt should be given to Darby, and that the charge made by Tregelles be regarded as a possibility but with insufficient support to merit its acceptance. . . . On the whole, however, it seems that Darby is perhaps the most likely choice–with help from Tweedy. This conclusion is greatly strengthened by Darby’s own claim to have arrived at the doctrine through his study of II Thessalonians 2:1-2.25

Pre-trib rapture opponent John Bray does not accept the MacPherson thesis either.

He [Darby] rejected those practices, and he already had his new view of the Lord coming FOR THE SAINTS (as contrasted to the later coming to the earth) which he had believed since 1827, . . . It was the coupling of this “70th week of Daniel” prophecy and its futuristic interpretation, with the teaching of the “secret rapture,” that gave to us the completed “Pre-tribulation Secret Rapture” teaching as it has now been taught for many years. . . . makes it impossible for me to believe that Darby got his Pre-Tribulation Rapture teaching from Margaret MacDonald’s vision in 1830. He was already a believer in it since 1827, as he plainly said.26

Huebner considers MacPherson’s charges as “using slander that J. N. Darby took the (truth of the) pretribulation rapture from those very opposing, demon-inspired utterances.”27 He goes on to conclude that MacPherson did not profit by reading the utterances allegedly by Miss M. M. Instead of apprehending the plain import of her statements, as given by R. Norton, which has some affinity to the post-tribulation scheme and no real resemblance to the pretribulation rapture and dispensational truth, he has read into it what he appears so anxious to find.28

CONCLUSION

F. F. Bruce, who was part of the Brethren movement his entire life, but one who did not agree with the pre-trib rapture said the following when commenting on the validity of MacPherson’s thesis:

Where did he [Darby] get it? The reviewer’s answer would be that it was in the air in the 1820s and 1830s among eager students of unfulfilled prophecy, . . . direct dependence by Darby on Margaret Macdonald is unlikely.29

John Walvoord’s assessment is likely close to the truth:

any careful student of Darby soon discovers that he did not get his eschatological views from men, but rather from his doctrine of the church as the body of Christ, a concept no one claims was revealed supernaturally to Irving or Macdonald. Darby’s views undoubtedly were gradually formed, but they were theologically and biblically based rather than derived from Irving’s pre-Pentecostal group.30

I challenge opponents of the pre-trib rapture to stick to a discussion of this matter based upon the Scriptures. While some have done this, many have not been so honest. To call the pre-trib position Satanic, as Rosenthal has done, does not help anyone in this discussion. Such rhetoric will only serve to cause greater polarization of the two views. However, when pre-trib opponents make false charges about the history of the pre-trib view we must respond. And respond we will in our next issue where we will present a clear pre-trib rapture statement from the fourth or fifth century. This pre-trib rapture statement ante-dates 1830 by almost 1,500 years and will certainly lead to at least a revision of those propagating The Big Lie. 

ENDNOTES

1 Marvin J. Rosenthal, “Is the Church in Matthew Chapter 24?” Zion’s Fire (Nov-Dec 1994), p. 10.

2 Ibid.

3 John L. Bray, The Origin of the Pre-Tribulation Rapture Teaching (Lakeland, FL.: John L. Bray Ministry, 1982).

4 Dave MacPherson, The Unbelievable Pre-Trib Origin (Kansas City: Heart of America Bible Society, 1973). The Late Great Pre-Trib Rapture (Kansas City: Heart of America Bible Society, 1974). The Great Rapture Hoax (Fletcher, N.C.: New Puritan Library, 1983). Rapture? (Fletcher, N.C.: New Puritan Library, 1987). The Rapture Plot (Monticello, Utah: P.O.S.T. Inc., 1994).

5 Robert Van Kampen, The Sign (Wheaton, IL.: Crossway Books, 1992), pp. 445-47.

6 Marvin Rosenthal, The Pre-Wrath Rapture of the Church (Nashville: Thomas Nelson Publishers, 1990), p. 53.

7 Ibid., pp. 53-54.

8 Some of the pre-trib responses include the following: R. A. Huebner, The Truth of the Pre-Tribulation Rapture Recovered (Millington, N.J.: Present Truth Publishers, 1976); Precious Truths Revived and Defended Through J. N. Darby, Vol. 1 (Morganville, N. J.: Present Truth Publishers, 1991). Gerald B. Stanton, Kept From The Hour, (Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1956). John F. Walvoord, The Blessed Hope and the Tribulation (Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1979). Robert L. Sumner, “Looking For The Blessed Horrible Holocaust!” A book review of The Late Great Pre-Trib Rapture in The Biblical Evangelist (Vol. 10, Num. 1; May, 1975); “Hope? Or Hoax?” The Biblical Evangelist (Vol. 18, Num. 3; Feb., 1984). Hal Lindsey, The Rapture: Truth Or Consequences (New York: Bantam Books, 1983). Charles Ryrie, What You Should Know About the Rapture (Chicago: Moody Press, 1981). Tim LaHaye, No Fear of the Storm: Why Christians will Escape All the Tribulation (Sisters, Ore.: Multnomah, 1992). Thomas D. Ice, “Why the Doctrine of the Pretribulational Rapture Did Not Begin with Margaret Macdonald,” Bibliotheca Sacra 147 (1990), pp. 155-68; “The Origin of the Pre-Trib Rapture,” Part I & II, Biblical Perspectives, vol. 2, no. 1, Jan./Feb. 1989 & vol. 2, no. 2, Mar./Apr. 1989; “Did J. N. Darby Believe in the Pretrib Rapture by 1827?” Dispensational Distinctives, vol. I, no. 6, Nov./Dec. 1991.

9 The following books are some of those which have the full text of Macdonald’s utterance: MacPherson’s Cover-Up, and Hoax. R. A. Huebner, The Truth of the Pre-Tribulation Rapture Recovered (Millington, N.J.: Present Truth Publishers, 1976), pp. 67-69. Hal Lindsey, The Rapture: Truth Or Consequences (New York: Bantam Books, 1983), pp. 169-172. William R. Kimball, The Rapture: A Question of Timing (Grand Rapids: Baker Book House, 1985), pp. 44-47.

10 Ice, “Why the Doctrine of the Pretribulational Rapture Did Not Begin with Margaret Macdonald,” pp. 158, 161.

11 Walvoord, The Blessed Hope and the Tribulation, p. 47.

12 R. A. Huebner, Precious Truths Revived and Defended Through J. N. Darby, Vol. 1 (Morganville, N. J.: Present Truth Publishers, 1991).

13 Ibid., p. 17.

14 Ibid., p. 19.

15 Ibid., p. 18.

16 Ibid., p. 23.

17 Ibid., p. 24.

18 Max S. Weremchuk, John Nelson Darby: A Biography (Neptune, N. J.: Loizeaux Brothers, 1992).

19 Ibid., p. 242.

20 J. N. Darby, “Reflections upon the Prophetic Inquiry and the Views Advanced in it” The Collected Writings of J. N. Darby, vol. 2 (Winschoten, Netherlands: H. L. Heijkoop, reprint 1971), pp. 1-31.

21 Ibid., pp. 16-18, 25, 30.

22 Ernest R. Sandeen, The Roots of Fundamentalism: British and American Millenarianism 1800-1930 (Grand Rapids: Baker Book House, 1970), p. 64.

23 Timothy P. Weber, Living In The Shadow Of The Second Coming: American Premillennialism 1875-1982 (Grand Rapids: Zondervan Publishing House, 1983), pp. 21-22.

24 Richard R. Reiter, The Rapture: Pre-, Mid-, or Post-Tribulational? (Grand Rapids: Zondervan Publication, 1984), p. 236.

25 William E. Bell, A Critical Evaluation of the Pretribulation Rapture Doctrine in Christian Eschatology (Ph.D. diss., New York University, 1967), pp. 60-61, 64-65.

26 Bray, Ibid., pp. 24-25, 28

27 Huebner, p. 13.

28 Ibid., p. 67.

29 F. F. Bruce, Review of The Unbelievable Pre-Trib Origin in The Evangelical Quarterly, (Vol. XLVII, No. 1; Jan-Mar, 1975), p. 58.

30 Walvoord, p. 47.

[PUBLISHER’S NOTE: You may want to order our booklet The Rapture and the Revelation detailing the various distinctions between these two monumental yet separate events. Dr. Mike 2 Tim. 2:2]

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