(The late Grant Jeffrey still states on his website that "the argument that no one ever saw this [pretrib] 'truth' throughout eighteen hundred years of Church history has been very effective, causing many Christians to abandon their belief in the pretribulation Rapture"! Since Thomas Ice has been claiming on Todd Strandberg's Rapture Ready site that I'm the one who's been "fabricating a false history of the pre-trib rapture" in order to promote the same 1800-year argument, let's see what pretrib leaders are still claiming about their own view's history, plus my responses to them.)
CLAIM: Many pretrib rapture promoters (and indolent copycats) are still giving credit for the pretrib rapture to early Plymouth Brethren leader John Darby (whom John Walvoord truthfully viewed as one of the "early" pretribs!) and also claim that Darby "understood" pretrib as early as late 1826 or early 1827.
MY RESPONSE: Darby's earliest paper (1827) emphasized only the "heavenly church" and he expected to be on earth until the start of a future millennium, and his 1828 paper focused on only the church's "unity." His 1829 paper looked for only the Rev. 19:11 coming while his 1830 paper expected only the Matt. 25:31 coming. As late as 1837 his church/Israel "dichotomy" that he supposedly discovered 10 years earlier was still nonexistent when he described the church as "going in with Him to the marriage, to wit, with Jerusalem and the Jews"!
Not until 1839 ("Notes on the Revelation") did Darby have clear pretrib teaching! Basing it on Rev. 12:5's "man child," he wrote: "If we apply it to the saints, who overcome here...then we find that...they are caught up out of his [the dragon's] way....; and the trial and persecution fall on those who are left here----upon the woman." (Amazingly, eminent "doctors" either haven't known, or have covered up, the fact that the "man child" symbol----and not Rev. 4:1 with its seven-year "gap"----was Darby's beginning pretrib basis for three decades while he held to only a 1260-day tribulation! And he wasn't originial on any of dispensationalism's crucial aspects!)
CLAIM: In 1973 R. A. Huebner, a Darby-idolizing member of the Plymouth Brethren, self-published a booklet dedicated to distorting my uncovered information about Darby and some of his contemporaries and claimed that the "Irvingites (1828-1834) never held the pretribulation rapture or any 'any-moment' views."
MY RESPONSE: In Sep. 1830 Irvingites (followers of London preacher Edward Irving) discussed Revelation's seven churches in their journal "The Morning Watch" and actually stated that "Philadelphia" will be "caught up" before a future "period of great tribulation" while the "Laodicean church" will be left behind "on earth" to face that period----the first clear public teaching of pretrib that I've found. Knowing that he could keep crediting Darby with pretrib if he kept covering up or distorting Irvingite doctrine, Huebner's 1991 book claimed that the phrase "period of great tribulation" meant nothing more than "the pouring out of the seventh vial"----evidence, he said, that only a posttrib coming was being projected.
But this was just another of Huebner's many cover-ups; he omitted telling readers that three pages later the Irvingite writer declared twice that "the great tribulation" would follow the rapture----proof indeed that his rapture was a pretrib one! (The article you're now reading includes R. A. Huebner, a retired electrical engineer who never attended any college or Bible school, simply because his dishonest material was hurriedly appropriated by Walvoord and Ryrie whose books in turn have had incredible influence on many including Lindsey, LaHaye, and Ice! Huebner's writings, by the way, have hundreds of copying errors that I've counted when he quotes others, but he compensates for his unscholarliness by burying or twisting historical data!)
My book The Rapture Plot has seven pages of short quotes from the same Irvingite mouthpiece (1831-1833) which indisputably disclose a pretrib rapture as well as pretrib-type imminence----all this appearing in print years before Darby expressed such concepts!
CLAIM: If I were to put into one sentence the gist of what some of my critics have claimed about Margaret Macdonald, it would look something like this: "Since Margaret was a partial rapturist, she couldn't have been a pretrib, especially since she wrote that 'The trial of the Church is from Antichrist'----clearly a posttrib statement!"
MY RESPONSE: In his 1979 book The Rapture Question - Revised (p. 97) Walvoord correctly states that partial rapturists are "pretribulationists"----pretribs who see only part of the church participating in a pretrib rapture. By deliberately isolating Margaret's Antichrist statement (above), my critics demonstrate either their laziness or deviousness. Every leading 19th century partial rapturist (my Plot quotes several) looked for a pretrib rapture of only "worthy" Christians and referred to the ones left behind as the "church"----the term Margaret used for those not worthy enough to be raptured. Even Darby, when analyzing partial rapturism, wrote that the ones left behind in that scheme are called the "church"!
(See my articles "Humbug Huebner" and "Margaret Macdonald's Rapture Chart" which can be found on Joe Ortiz's informative and widely read blogs including "Why Christians Will Suffer Great Tribulation" and "The End Times Passover"
THE END IS HERE: As you can tell, I would rather be an honest B.A. (Better Author) than a lazy or lying Ph.D. (Pretrib History Distorter)! You have just read perhaps 1 percent of my No. 1 book The Rapture Plot. You can obtain the other 99 percent by calling 800.643.4645. (All of my book royalties, BTW, have always gone to a nonprofit organization which has never paid salary to anyone.)
Right now I'm going to do something out of character. I'm going to predict that one of these days some unthinkably horrendous event (or events) will cause many Laodicean-type Christians to not only abandon pretrib in droves but even become physically violent toward their pretrib teachers!
Years ago my wife and I visited an elderly fellow believer in his home in Alberta, Canada who told us, from firsthand knowledge, that soon after the Bolsheviks seized power in Russia in 1917, a man in that country went to his pastor, angrily threw down his Bible, and shouted: "You lied to us! You said we would be raptured away first!"
The Dutch heroine Corrie ten Boom declared in a 1974 article (see "The Coming Tribulation" online) that when communism took over in China "millions of Christians were tortured to death" who had previously been assured: "Don't worry, before the tribulation comes you will be translated----raptured."
And violence among Christians took place later in Korea after a predicted rapture failed to happen!
As long as America continues to turn away from God and turn suicidally to anti-Christian, anti-decency, pro-violence, and pro-perversion degenerates, the Holy One will be forced to give us more and more "breaking news" of events that are even more horrendous which will cause disillusioned pretrib rapture believers to mistrust pretrib merchandisers (and history revisers) even more!