Thursday, October 02, 2014

Pseudo-Ephraem Taught Pretrib - Not! by Dave MacPherson

[Our wise and trusted friend, fellow author Dave MacPherson, again provides insights to the reality that the "Pre-Tribulation Rapture to Heaven" doctrine is a myth; yet theorists-pundits-wannabee Bible scholars continue promoting the biggest hoax ever perpetrated on main stream Christianity, even though it has been debunked over and over again. We feel privileged he has chosen our blog to post his findings].

       Evidence abounds that all of dispensationalism's crucial aspects (including the pretrib rapture) were taught by some of John Darby's (less than orthodox) contemporaries in the 1830s before Darby taught them. Since this explosive discovery there's been an unholy frenzy to find sources as early as possible in the Church Age which can be "shaded" enough to appear to be authentically pretrib in order to avoid the (well deserved) stigma that pretrib is a "recent theory."
       In the 1990s Canadian prophecy teacher Grant Jeffrey claimed to have found clear pretrib teaching in a 4th century Christian writer known as Pseudo-Ephraem (which I'll abbreviate as P-E). 
       If anyone wants to find out what P-E really taught, he or she can Google "Apocalypse of Pseudo-Ephraem (Wikipedia)" and click on "Rhoades Translation from a Latin text of Pseudo-Ephraem." This translation into English affected Grant Jeffrey, and his purposely muddied-up revisionism of P-E has captivated Thomas Ice and other pretrib merchandisers.
      In Section 2 P-E wrote: "We ought to understand thoroughly therefore, my brothers, what is imminent or overhanging." He revealed what was imminent in his next sentence which stated that "there is not other which remains, except the advent of the wicked one [Antichrist]."
      Nevertheless Jeffrey (constantly repeated by Ice) claimed that P-E taught "an imminent pretrib rapture"! (In the twinkling of an eye they fearlessly changed an imminent arrival of Antichrist into an imminent arrival of Christ!)
      Right after this, in Section 2, P-E wrote: "For all the saints and elect of God are gathered, prior to the tribulation that is to come, and are taken to the Lord..." This phrase ("taken to the Lord") is trumpeted by Ice etc. as a clear reference to a pretrib rapture.
      But Dr. Paul Alexander's book "The Byzantine Apocalyptic Tradition," which inspired Jeffrey to claim he had found evidence of pretrib before 1830, says that this phrase means "participate at least in some measure in beatitude." (Encyclopedias dealing with this aspect of Byzantine theology reveal that "beatitude" has to do with doing "acts of virtue" on earth - the opposite of being raptured off earth!)
      Ice etc. even falsely claim that Dr. Alexander concluded that P-E was pretrib. But Alexander's book (pp. 218-19) has two summaries of P-E's beliefs, each one showing that P-E looked for only one future coming of Christ which would FOLLOW the "tribulatio magna lasting three and a half years"!
      My book "The Rapture Plot" (1995) has an appendix analyzing P-E, and Dr. Robert Gundry's (1997) book "First the Antichrist" also demolishes Jeffrey's claim.
      The recent eyes-wide-open revisionism of pretrib history has even been asserting that "many" of the early Church Fathers taught pretrib - daring prevarications that the late Dr. Walvoord would have denounced since he was never able to find any "pretribulationist" before Darby! For some excellent details on the current revisionism mania, Google "Pseudo-Pseudo-Ephraem" and "Grant Jeffrey's Apocalypse Debacle" by Florida researcher Tim Warner.
      There's now more deception than what's found in my Google piece "Pretrib Rapture Dishonesty." In fact, the sort of deceitfulness outlined above is now causing the SS Pretrib Rapture to list heavily to port - the port of no return!
      (PS - Many of my other pretrib history articles are found on Joe Ortiz's outstanding blogs including "The End Times Passover.")

 Dave MacPherson. What People are saying

What They Are Saying About ... THE RAPTURE PLOT!

Gary DeMar (President American Vision): "A majority of prophecy writers and speakers teach that the church will be raptured before a future tribulational period. But did you know that prior to about 1830 no such doctrine existed. No one in all of church history ever taught pretribulational rapture. Dave MacPherson does the work of a journalistic private investigator to uncover the truth....The Rapture Plot is the never-before-told true story of the plot - how plagiarism and subtle document changes created the 'mother of all revisionisms.' A fascinating piece of detective work." Robert H. Gundry (Professor Westmont College): "As usual MacPherson out hustles his opponents in research on primary sources. C. S. Lovett (President Personal Christianity): You don't read very much of Dave MacPherson's work before you realize he is a dedicated researcher. Because his work has been so honest and open his latest work The Rapture Plot has produced many red faces among some of the most recognized rapture writers of our time. When their work is compared to his it is embarrassing for them to see how shallow their research is." R. J. Rushdoony (President Chalcedon): "Dave MacPherson has been responsible for major change in the eschatology of evangelical churches by his devastating studies of some of the central aspects thereof. In The Rapture Plot MacPherson tells us of the strange tale of 'rapture' writings, revisions, cover-ups, alterations and confusions. No one has equaled MacPherson in his research on the 'pretrib rapture.' Attempts to discredit his work have failed...."

About the Author: Born 1932 of Scotch/English descent Dave MacPherson is a natural for British historical research. His calling was journalism. Receiving a BA in English in 1955 he spent 26 years as a newsman reporting and filming many notable events, persons, presidents and dignitaries.

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