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Origins of the Secret Pre-trib Rapture

Discussion in 'Eschatology - Endtimes & Prophecy Forum' started by Chris81, Oct 24, 2011.

  1. Chris81

    Chris81 Servant to Christ

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    Let's study the origins of the pre-trib rapture.

    Margaret McDonald, a 15 year old Scottish girl, and member of Edward Irving's congregation, had visions in early 1830 that included a Secret Rapture of believers before the appearance of the Antichrist. She informed Irving of her visions by letter. Irving then attended the prophecy conferences that began in Dublin Ireland in 1830 at Powerscourt Castle, where he promoted both Futurism and a Secret Rapture.

    John Nelson Darby (1800–1882), a Church of Ireland clergyman, later with the Plymouth Brethren, attended a series of meetings on Bible Prophecy that began in 1830 at Powerscourt, Ireland, and at these conferences Darby apparently learned about the secret rapture as revealed by vision to Margaret McDonald, and promoted by Edward Irving, and he soon visited Margaret MacDonald at her home in Port Glasgow, Scotland. Darby later visited America several times between 1859 and 1874, where his Futurist theology was readily accepted.


    So the doctrine of a secret pre-trib came from the vision of a 15 year old Scottish Girl. John Darby then incorporated this belief of the secret rapture into his futurist theology and there in lies the origins of dispensational theology!
     
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  2. Charles Spurgeon

    Charles Spurgeon Defender of the faith from heretical teachers

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    Although I agree that a pretribulation rapture is a heresy... I do remember reading somewhere that someone taught it before her....
     
  3. Choose Wisely

    Choose Wisely Forgiven

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    Read Matthew, Mark, Luke and John. You might then read Pauls writings.
     
  4. Chris81

    Chris81 Servant to Christ

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    Well, I know that proponents of the Dispensationalism have pointed to some 4th and 5th century writings as potential evidence that the pre-trib rapture existed in the early church. However, while these writings are compelling they really don't represent the commonly accepted pre-mellianial views that existed at that time. I also understand that a Jesuit scholar from around the end of the 1700's also formulated what appears to be what may amount to a pre-trib rapture; however, I have not been able to locate these writings.

    While all of this is a bit interesting, I am more interested to know the origins of how Darby came up with the idea of the pre-trib rapture. That connection is found in the vision of Margaret MacDonald. Her vision is that of a partial pre-trib were some of the church are caught up in the clouds while the rest experience tribulation. None-the-less we see the early formation of a pre-trib rapture.
     
  5. Manasseh_

    Manasseh_ not the evil king Manasseh

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    Origins may help in understanding where and when certain false doctrines begin but then again a lot of time can be wasted in disagreement on the where and when they began.

    The only true and important understanding is the scripture itself..........not having to read any further than Christ's own Olivet prophecy and him telling his apostles that he will not return at anytime until all the things he foretold would be fulfilled ,ie (great tribulation first) doesn't leave much for argument or disagreement on the who what where when..............

    The servant isn't greater than the master..........ie, Paul,the servant is obviously not greater than his savior (master), so Paul didn't teach contrary to Christ's and the 12 apostles teachings..........simply, he taught the very same doctrine Christ taught.............pretrib has no place in either of their teachings...........




     
  6. Chris81

    Chris81 Servant to Christ

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    Wow, I see what you mean!

    “Immediately after the tribulation of those days shall the sun be darkened and the moon shall not give her light and the stars shall fall from heaven and the powers of the heavens shall be shaken. And then shall appear the sign of the son of man in heaven and then shall all the tribes of the earth mourn and they shall see the Son of Man coming in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory. And he shall send his angels with a great sound of a trumpet and they shall gather his elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other.” (Matt 24:29-31)

    And this is the will of him that sent me, that every one which seeth the Son, and believeth on him, may have everlasting life: and I will raise him up at the last day. (Joh 6:40)

    “In the world ye shall have tribulation, but be of good cheer I have overcome the world.” ( John 16:33b)

    Revelation 13 says of the Beast: Vs 7 - And it was given unto him to make war with the saints, and to overcome them: and power was given him over all kindreds, and tongues, and nations.
     
  7. Charles Spurgeon

    Charles Spurgeon Defender of the faith from heretical teachers

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    Yea man!!! That's how I became a Post-tribulationist!!! :thumbsup: :amen:
     
  8. Choose Wisely

    Choose Wisely Forgiven

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    Oh, I guess you missed the part about the coming being like the Days of Noah :idea:and skipped right over to the coming being like the Days of Lot.
     
  9. Chris81

    Chris81 Servant to Christ

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    I was unaware that Noah was raptured into heaven. I guess I missed that part of the story.^_^
     
  10. Charles Spurgeon

    Charles Spurgeon Defender of the faith from heretical teachers

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    But how does that = with the timing of the rapture? :confused:

    Read Matthew 24:29-31
     
  11. Biblewriter

    Biblewriter Senior Member

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    These writings are not "potential evidence" that the pre-trib rapture doctrine existed at that time. The following words from the document in question are conclusive proof that it was a full blown pre-trib teaching.

    “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 all the world? Believe you me, dearest brother, because the coming (advent) of the Lord is nigh, believe you me, because the end of the world is at hand, believe me, because it is the very last time. Or do you not believe unless you see with your eyes? See to it that this sentence be not fulfilled among you of the prophet who declares: ‘Woe to those who desire to see the day of the Lord!’ 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,” author unknown but called Pseudo-Ephraem, section 2.)

    Six ancient manuscripts of this document, in three different languages, have survived to the present day. This is conclusive proof that this ancient doctrine was widely circulated. The manuscripts do not all ascribe the article to the same author. But the unknown writer is called Pseudo-Ephraem because most of the manuscripts say it was written by Ephraem. The date this document was written is unknown, but from events it mentions as imminent, various scholars have estimated its date from as early as 373 to as late as 627. Regardless of when it was written, it is known to have been in church libraries before the year 800, that is, a thousand years before Darby was born.

    But this was not the earliest pre-trib teaching. Actually, the oldest document we have that makes any comment whatsoever about the timing of the rapture, comments on the evil of the nations generally and then says, "And therefore, when in the end the Church shall be suddenly caught up from this, it is said, 'There shall be tribulation such as has not been since the beginning, neither shall be.'For this is the last contest of the righteous, in which, when they overcome they are crowned with incorruption'" (Against Heresies, by Irenaeus, Book V, Chapter XXIX, section 2.)

    We need to notice the following in this short statement:

    First, the church will be "suddenly caught up."

    Second, after the church is "Suddenly caught up," "There shall be tribulation such as has not been since the beginning, neither shall be." Lest anyone claim that this is not specifically stated to be after “the church is "suddenly caught up," please note that the grammatical construction (when) -- (one event takes place) -- (another event takes place) has two possible meanings. It either means that the two events will take place at the same time or it means that the second event will take place after the first event. But in this case the first event is clearly instantaneous and the second event will obviously consume a significant period of time. So it is unreasonable to argue that the writer’s intention was anything other than to state that this “tribulation” would take place after the church is “suddenly caught up.”

    This is from Irenaeus' famous work, Against Heresies, which is believed to have been written between the years 186 and 188. It is the very oldest surviving non-Biblical Christian document that comments at any significant length on Bible prophecy.

    For more information on what the early church taught about end time prophecy, see the following post:

    http://www.christianforums.com/t7542790-14/

    This Jesuit's name was Manuel Lucanza. But he was not alone in teaching a pre-trib rapture in the 1700's. It was also taught in that century by a Baptist preacher named Morgan Edwards and in the early 1800's (but I believe before Darby) by two other expositors named James H Frere and William Cunningham.

    But all four of these were pre-dated by Joseph Mede, who discussed it and called it a "rapture" in the 1600's.

    I realize that you are only repeating things you have read, but the claim that Derby got this idea from Margaret MacDonald's alleged vision is completely false.

    This false accusation was first made in 1864 by a man named Samuel Prideaux Tergelles. Darby's associates never knew about the accusation until after both Darby and Tergelles had died. But Darby's associate of many years wrote a hotly worded rebuttal of the accusation on the 1880's. interest in this false accusation was heightened by widely circulated in a book titled "The Incredible Cover-up," by Dave MacPhearson. MacPhearson devoted an entire book to proving that Darby visited the Catholic Apostolic Church, which was what MacPherson's church was called, and falsely claims that he covered up that visit. But instead of covering up the visit, Darby openly wrote about it and condemned the group as Satanic!

    There is zero evidence that Darby ever even heard about the alleged vision, but there is extensive evidence that he would have discarded it as altogether spurious, even if he did hear about it.

    This post is getting too long, so instead of re-posting the evidence that Darby would not have given this vision any credence, even if he knew about it, I will simply give the following link to where I have already posted this information.

    http://www.christianforums.com/t7276651-20/
     
    Last edited: Oct 25, 2011
  12. zeke37

    zeke37 IMO...

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    also, in that scripture, the ones likened to Noah (the good guys) are left working for the Lord.
    its the other guys that are taken in the flood.

    it blows my mind when folks read pre trib into this.
     
  13. zeke37

    zeke37 IMO...

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    wow.
    in the very statement itself, this is written...
    'There shall be tribulation such as has not been since the beginning, neither shall be.'For this is the last contest of the righteous, in which, when they overcome they are crowned with incorruption'"
    now, that seems pretty post trib to me.

    remember that harpazo, wrongly translated as "caught up" means seized in our english.
    i do not see a pre trib connection with his statement.
     
  14. Super Kal

    Super Kal Senior Veteran

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    i quoted that very part of Irenaeus' writings in another thread... it seems James once again failed to see that part of the writing in Irenaeus
     
  15. zeke37

    zeke37 IMO...

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    did u get a response from him at all?
     
  16. Charles Spurgeon

    Charles Spurgeon Defender of the faith from heretical teachers

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    Just because they taught it then, doesn't mean it is true!!!

    We only have the bible to go on... And again, why do the pretribbers want to skip over Matthew 24:29-31?
     
  17. zeke37

    zeke37 IMO...

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    they did not teach it then.
     
  18. Super Kal

    Super Kal Senior Veteran

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    No he never did make a response, and I'm assuming you won't get one from him this time either
     
  19. Chris81

    Chris81 Servant to Christ

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    Very true and it should also be noted that God was able to protect Noah and his family without taking them off the planet. It is also within God's power to preserve his church during the time of tribulation until which time Christ returns, without having to rapture every Christian to heaven.
     
  20. Chris81

    Chris81 Servant to Christ

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    I am not convinced that this is an account of a pre-trib rapture. It certainly states that the saints shall be gathered and taken to the Lord but beyond that it lacks essential details to conclusively determine if said quote truly describes an account of a pre-trib rapture. It speaks nothing of the resurrection of the dead nor specify to where the saints are gathered. One could assume that given that they are to be taken to the Lord, one could conclude heaven. However, not conclusively because if you read the quoted section carefully it never claims to say that the saints will be saved from tribulation but merely from the confusion of the world. One could easily translate the quote to mean that Christ shall gather his saints to prepare them in the manner of righteousness and sound christian judgement such that they will not be deceived nor fall into confussion during the time of the great tribulation.

    It should also be noted that there is a bit of controversy over the translation of this manuscript from the late latin text which may support a pre-trib rapture, while the translation of the earlier Syriac text does not support a pre-trib rapture. Is the translation of the manuscript authentic, I don't know but we should have numerous writings from the time of the early church to make a claim that pre-trib rapture was provenly a doctrine espoused by the early church. That is not the case, if we look at historic pre-millenailism taught by the early church, it is evident by reading their writings within their full context that they believed in a post tribulation rapture.