All of us at The End Times Passover Blog are always excited when renowned author Dave MacPherson calls upon us to help him share insights concerning the Pre-Tribulation Rapture. As many of you know, Dave has spent over forty years researching this matter. He has provided much data that explains how the Pre-Tribulation Rapture to Heaven doctrine exploded on the scene in the mid-1800's, and who was really responsible for creating the biggest myth that has divided the church more than any other polemic in its history. Following is the 2nd edition of a series of material that Dave has chosen to reveal to the public through this blog. We feel privileged and honored to be his official pulpit.
Have you heard that I'm a criminal? It's true. I'm a criminal in the eyes of pre-tribulation rapture promoters for daring to reveal the year when 19th century British theologian John Nelson Darby first understood the concept of a pre-trib rapture and, more importantly, the year when he first began to actually teach it. Here are some real pretrib quotes followed by real facts:
"John Darby arrived at a pretrib rapture belief as early as 1827."
FACTS: My previous installment (No. 1) mentioned this claim which was proven to be groundless. 1827 is the date of Darby's first paper (on any subject). Even the great Darby defender of our time, R. A. Huebner, couldn't find anything more significant in it than these themes: "our conversation is in heaven" and "the church is a heavenly people." And Huebner avoided admitting that Darby, in that same paper, was then waiting for only "the restitution of all things" and "the times of refreshing" (Acts 3: 19, 21) - both in a posttrib setting!
Incidentally, after Huebner admitted later on that his initial claim for 1827 really was groundless, pretrib defender Thomas Ice (while admitting that he knew that Huebner had in effect canceled out that claim) kept stating that Huebner "has positive evidence" that Darby was pretrib in 1827 - and a scan of the internet demonstrates that Texas "hired gun" Ice has been repeating this falsehood since 1991 and that many pretrib scholar wannabes have unwittingly been echoing the same Texas repeater!
"John Darby's later reminiscences prove he was pretrib in 1827."
FACTS: Even John Bray, who calls himself a posttrib, has provided ammunition for the dying pretrib cause by claiming that Darby, in his later years, said he was pretrib as early as 1827. A "memory" Darby had (in his 1835-1838 time period which recalled his earliest prophetic development) focused on Isaiah 32 which brought Darby his "first blessed truths" including "a complete change in the dispensation" in the future, but Darby said nothing in this recollection of his of any sort of rapture belief. While analyzing that chapter, Huebner found only a future millennial scenario and also a church/Israel distinction (even though "church" isn't mentioned!) - but no prior rapture!
But Darby's second "memory" (dated 1850) of his earliest prophetic progress did reveal the year he first came to "understand" (his term) a prior rapture disconnected from the final advent to earth - and he stated that he first understood this new concept in 1830 (and not 1827)! He came to understand it in 1830 because that new belief was first publicly aired in Rev. Edward Irving's quarterly journal in September of 1830 and Darby admitted that he was an avid reader of it. Darby also admitted that he visited Irving's church and heard him preach. Darby, by the way, never claimed to have originated pretrib rapturism. (Darby's writings are still being reprinted by Bible Truth Publishers of Addison, Illinois.)
So why do today's paid "lobbyists" for the pretrib view (like Thomas Ice, Tim LaHaye, Grant Jeffrey, Hal Lindsey, Jack Van Impe etc.) keep trying to portray a pretrib Darby in 1827? Because the documentation in my book "The Rapture
Plot" proves that the Irvingites as well as their inspiration, Margaret Macdonald, taught pretrib BEFORE Darby did and that Darby didn't clearly adopt it before 1839! By repeatedly emphasizing "1827" for Darby, they falsely have him preceding 1830 (the year associated with Margaret and the first public teaching by the Irvingites) - and with their falsehood they think they can disassociate their idol Darby from the less-than-orthodox Irvingites who even had some occultic notions and associations!
"Darby was dispensationalism's great systematizer."
As my "Rapture Plot" book brings out, a "system" was something that Darby
looked on with evident disfavor.
In some undated writing (possibly produced in the 1840s), Darby said: "A system takes the place of godly subjection to the word."
In 1866 he wrote: "I should deplore as ruinous, slipping into the place of followers of a system of doctrine."
In 1880 he remarked: "Truths are sometime simpler, when we take them simpler and do not make a system."
John Darby, as mentioned, never claimed to have originated the pretrib rapture view. And it's apparent that we shouldn't view him as a systematizer. But he certainly was a world-class promoter of the new pretribism; when referring to it in his correspondence he admitted that "the thoughts are new," called it the "new wine," etc. And we can safely regard him as a revisionist (of
some of his early thoughts) and even as a plagiarist (see my "Rapture Plot" book for sources for all of the evidence presented in this installment)!
Those who continue to label Darby as the "father of dispensationalism" (even though Darby wasn't original with any crucial aspect of that doctrine!) will in truth be telling the world that they are merely copyists and not researchers!
Finally, my thanks go to my California friend and theologian, Joe Ortiz, for providing this platform here for my many decades of historical discoveries.
If you haven't read Joe's two books, which are exceptional in debunking many of the 'pop prophecy' books in the Christian literary marketplace, you have to do so before we are caught up to have that meeting in the air with Jesus. Of course Jesus never takes us back to Heaven, but immediately brings us back to earth with Him, as Joe aptly proves in his well researched book, The End Times Passover."
For more information about Joe Ortiz and his books, please click on The End Times Passover and Why Christians Will Suffer Great Tribulation To access his web sites and blogs, please click on Joe Ortiz.