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Thread: Is OBAMA the ANTICHRIST? - 12 of 19 characteristics are met!

  1. #11
    mojo Guest
    This man is not."the anti-Christ". He is a tool. We can all accept that satan is working tirelessly to garner everything he can before his demise. He knows he has lost the end-game just as true beleivers do. obanana is a tool, being used in an attempt to bring the last true Christian nation on the face of the earth to her knees...................

  2.   
  3. #12
    I believe Christians will see the Antichrist. I don't believe Christians will suffer the wrath of God but I do believe many of them may suffer under because of the evil of the anti Christ. This type of suffering is nothing new. Christians have suffered ever sense the times of the early church and will consider to suffer. We have been blessed in this country but our time of blessing may be coming to an end. Many Christians think they will not have to suffer persecution because they are Americans. We have become to complacent. We all have our views on the sequence of end time events. I am afraid that the teaching of a pre trib rapture in the modern day church has lulled many into a false sense of security. If the rapture does not happen first and Christians in this country have to suffer at the hand of the Antichrist I am afraid many will have their faith shaken because they have put all of their faith in an even instead of in our redeemer. IMHO.
    By faith Noah,being warned of God of things not seen as yet, moved with fear,prepared an ark to the saving of his house;by the which he condemned the world,and became heir of the righteousness which is by faith Heb.11:7

  4. #13
    Quote Originally Posted by HK4U View Post
    I believe Christians will see the Antichrist. I don't believe Christians will suffer the wrath of God but I do believe many of them may suffer under because of the evil of the anti Christ. This type of suffering is nothing new. Christians have suffered ever sense the times of the early church and will consider to suffer. We have been blessed in this country but our time of blessing may be coming to an end. Many Christians think they will not have to suffer persecution because they are Americans. We have become to complacent. We all have our views on the sequence of end time events. I am afraid that the teaching of a pre trib rapture in the modern day church has lulled many into a false sense of security. If the rapture does not happen first and Christians in this country have to suffer at the hand of the Antichrist I am afraid many will have their faith shaken because they have put all of their faith in an even instead of in our redeemer. IMHO.
    +1, HK. Prepare for the worse (even the possibility of dying -- being martyred -- for our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ) and hope for the best! I've said it before: to me, it matters NOT in what order the End Time events unfold. Just knowing that God is in control, that He has a perfect plan and that He holds every Believer in the palm of His hand is ALL that I need to know. In other words, I'm a Pan-Trib: it will all pan out in the end.
    Conservative Wife & Mom -- I'm a Conservative Christian-American with dual citizenship...the Kingdom of God is my 1st home and the U.S.A. is my 2nd.

  5. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Conservative Wife & Mom View Post
    +1, HK. Prepare for the worse (even the possibility of dying -- being martyred -- for our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ) ...
    So what's the christian term for Jihad? may as well go for it, long as you're into the martyr thing anyway....

  6. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by bigrebnc1861 View Post
    True but isn't it our charge to warn people both are coming?
    Absolutely.
    But even if we or an angel from heaven should preach to you a gospel that is different from the one we preached to you, may he be condemned to HELL!
    (Galatians 1:8)

  7. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by HK4U View Post
    I believe Christians will see the Antichrist. I don't believe Christians will suffer the wrath of God but I do believe many of them may suffer under because of the evil of the anti Christ. This type of suffering is nothing new. Christians have suffered ever sense the times of the early church and will consider to suffer. We have been blessed in this country but our time of blessing may be Antichrist. e coming to an end. Many Christians think they will not have to suffer persecution because they are Americans. We have become to complacent. We all have our views on the sequence of end time events. I am afraid that the teaching of a pre trib rapture in the modern day church has lulled many into a false sense of security. If the rapture does not happen first and Christians in this country have to suffer at the hand of the Antichrist I am afraid many will have their faith shaken because they have put all of their faith in an even instead of in our redeemer. IMHO.
    The Restrainer is the Holy Spirit indwelling every true believer. When "He is taken out of the way" (HE/Restrainer), the true church,which includes every true believer,will go with Him. Paul said, "don't let anyone deceive you in any way, for that day (Day of the Lord) will not come, and the man of lawlessness revealed, until He who retrains is taken out of the way." Not only is the Restrainer being removed a reference to the Rapture, but also the Day of the Lord is reference to the Rapture. Paul says, "For you yourselves know perfectly that the Day of the Lord so comes as a thief in the night". Paul calls the coming of the Lord, which is the Rapture, "the Day of the Lord", and begins the time period (short time period after the Rapture preceding the 7 yr. Tribulation) known as the day of the Lord. Because the Restrainer is the true believing Spirit filled Church, and the anti-Christ cannot be REVEALED until the Restrainer is removed (taken out of the way), it is crystal clear that Christians will not see the anti-Christ. To say otherwise is to call God a liar, is it not?
    But even if we or an angel from heaven should preach to you a gospel that is different from the one we preached to you, may he be condemned to HELL!
    (Galatians 1:8)

  8. #17
    The Holy Spirit is one interpretation of what is meant by he will let until he be taken out of the way however it does not specifically say Holy Spirit. I will agree with you that it is clear that Christians will be taken out before the trib is "one view" however I do not agree that it is clear that it is the correct one.

    Pre-Trib Rapture Deception?

    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 Kampen5 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-tribulationism 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.

    Written by Thomas Ice


    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.


    Some more reading. Quite long so I am posting the URL

    http://www.reformedonline.com/view/r...ne/rapture.htm
    By faith Noah,being warned of God of things not seen as yet, moved with fear,prepared an ark to the saving of his house;by the which he condemned the world,and became heir of the righteousness which is by faith Heb.11:7

  9. #18
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    It's easy to see how this lunacy becomes so deeply ingrained.

  10. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by HK4U View Post
    I believe Christians will see the Antichrist. I don't believe Christians will suffer the wrath of God but I do believe many of them may suffer under because of the evil of the anti Christ. This type of suffering is nothing new. Christians have suffered ever sense the times of the early church and will consider to suffer. We have been blessed in this country but our time of blessing may be coming to an end. Many Christians think they will not have to suffer persecution because they are Americans. We have become to complacent. We all have our views on the sequence of end time events. I am afraid that the teaching of a pre trib rapture in the modern day church has lulled many into a false sense of security. If the rapture does not happen first and Christians in this country have to suffer at the hand of the Antichrist I am afraid many will have their faith shaken because they have put all of their faith in an even instead of in our redeemer. IMHO.
    Agreed 100%

  11. Quote Originally Posted by HK4U View Post
    The Holy Spirit is one interpretation of what is meant by he will let until he be taken out of the way however it does not specifically say Holy Spirit. I will agree with you that it is clear that Christians will be taken out before the trib is "one view" however I do not agree that it is clear that it is the correct one.

    Pre-Trib Rapture Deception?

    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 Kampen5 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-tribulationism 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.

    Written by Thomas Ice


    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.


    Some more reading. Quite long so I am posting the URL

    Is the Pretribulation Rapture Theory Biblical?
    Dear HK, When I first was saved, the theory that I was most comfortable with was the Rosenthal Pre-wrath rapture theory. I no longer subscribe to this not because of what any man has written, but what the Bible itself says about these issues. Rosenthal basis his interpretation mainly on the verses found in Math 24:

    According to the Prewrath perspective, the great tribulation begins 3.5 years after the Antichrist "makes a covenant with the many" (Daniel 9:27), in the middle of "Daniel's 70th week." The 70th week is a reference to Daniel 9:24, where each day of the week corresponds to a year (for a total of seven years). After the first 3.5 years, the Antichrist will make himself known with the abomination that causes desolation, and he will reign for 3.5 years (42 months or 1260 days). The latter half of the 3.5 years is characterized by the Antichrist deceiving the world and persecuting the church.
    Although the exact timing of the rapture is not known, one of the key points to the Prewrath view is that the rapture comes after the sixth seal is opened (Revelation 6:12), when the moon is turned into blood. The tribulation of God's people will then be cut short (according to Jesus in Matthew 24, Mark 13) with the second coming of Christ and the rapture, and those who are left behind on Earth will face the trumpets and bowls of God's wrath (Rev 16:1); hence the term "Prewrath." [1][2]


    Prewrath - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

    The difficulty with his view is multifold. First of all, the tribulation is not for Christians, it is for disobedient Israel to bring them back into God's fold. Please remember that God is NOT done with Israel. The covenant He made with Moses and the Israelites on Mount Sainai will be fulfilled completely during the Millenial reign of Christ. The Tribulation is the motivating factor that will bring Israel to repentance. Rosenthal makes an artificial distinction between the Wrath of God and man's wrath in the first half of the Tribulation.

    Matthew 24: 29 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:

    30 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.

    31 And he shall send his angels with a great sound of a trumpet, and they shall gather together his elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other.


    Rosenthal among others believes that these verses speak of the rapture, but we need to understand that this event with the sun darkened is found in the OT as well.

    Amos 2:30 And I will shew wonders in the heavens and in the earth, blood, and fire, and pillars of smoke.

    31 The sun shall be turned into darkness, and the moon into blood, before the great and the terrible day of the LORD come.

    32 And it shall come to pass, [that] whosoever shall call on the name of the LORD shall be delivered: for in mount Zion and in Jerusalem shall be deliverance, as the LORD hath said, and in the remnant whom the LORD shall call.


    Please note that it is those in mount Zion and Jerusalem that are delivered. An obvious reference of Matt 24:31 above.

    The gathering by the four winds likewise is found to be a reference to those of Israel as well in Rev 7:

    Revelation 7:1 And after these things I saw four angels standing on the four corners of the earth, holding the four winds of the earth, that the wind should not blow on the earth, nor on the sea, nor on any tree.

    2 And I saw another angel ascending from the east, having the seal of the living God: and he cried with a loud voice to the four angels, to whom it was given to hurt the earth and the sea,

    3 Saying, Hurt not the earth, neither the sea, nor the trees, till we have sealed the servants of our God in their foreheads.

    4 And I heard the number of them which were sealed: [and there were] sealed an hundred [and] forty [and] four thousand of all the tribes of the children of Israel.


    I could continue with several other references, but the simple truth is that the book of Revelation is written in chronological order with the Rapture described in Rev 4:1-2. The judgement of the Saints is in Chapter 5 and the Tribulation starts in Rev 6:1 with the ushering in of the Antichrist on the white horse. Correlating the seven feast days with all of the above references proves this point as well.

    If folks wish to believe the pre-trib rapture is the deception of the devil, not much I can do to change their minds, but you can indeed find the pre-trib rapture throughout the entire Bible contrary to the many claims that it is not there. The Tribulation is for the Jews. As far as suffering, there will be plenty to go around in the "Beginning of Sorrows" which is God's final warning before the Rapture.

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