How the Pre-Trib Rapture Became Popular in the Modern Church

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Aaron56

Active member
Jul 12, 2021
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#1
No one taught a pre-trib rapture until John Darby, and Anglican preacher, in the mid 1800s. So the teaching is relatively new. Now, being new does not necessarily mean a teaching is defunct: while God never changes, He reveals knowledge and understanding in a progressive manner. Things that we have not contemplated before, suddenly come alive to us in the scriptures. So, while the ideas are new to us, they were always established in the mind of God.

But the manner is which things are "revealed" should be examined. So let's look at the manner in which the doctrine of the pre-trib rapture came to be a Baptist staple.

Dwight Young, professor emeritus at Brandeis University of Near Eastern and Judaic Studies, personally corresponded with a friend of mine several years ago. My friend was a young lawyer ( as an aside, had George Bush Senior been elected for a second term, there is a good possibility that my friend would have been chosen as a state supreme court judge.) Dwight was a student at Dallas Theological Seminary at the same time Hal Lindsey studied there, so this is more than 50 years ago or so. They were graduate students.

Dwight said the professors were discussing Darbyism, and whether or not it was a valid theology. This graduate student, Hal Lindsey, wrote a master’s thesis on the subject of this form of dispensationalism and the rapture. He later turned that thesis into a book called The Late Great Planet Earth. Now some of you may not know about this book, but it was a runaway bestseller. It made a lot of money. According to Dwight, that is where the Baptists made the switch. They saw that there was a market for this doctrine, and they ran with it. Dwight later moved up to and was a professor of biblical studies, biblical languages at Brandeis University, from which he retired, and he was in a state of retirement when my friend met him. So, 50 years from the writing of a master's thesis, the teaching is so entrenched in the Baptist circles you would think it was the gospel.

Historically, nobody ever thought of this doctrine before Darby. But once he popularized it in the context of dispensationalism, meaning things wrap up within blocks of time, people began to embrace it because they did not have to trust the Holy Spirit. If you are going to have any measure of understanding of prophetic Scripture, the end from the beginning and where we are at this point in time, you are going to have to walk in the Spirit. He is the One who wrote the Book; He is the One who is perfectly capable of interpreting it. And the folly of logic and reason and man-made constructs, such as dispensationalism, will lead you to increasing folly, such as the rapture.

God knows the end from the beginning, and the greatest moment of the Body of Christ is in the midst of the darkness in Revelation. That darkness has no potential to blunt our display of the glory of God, the radiance of God’s glory, or to represent Him exactly. It has no ability to influence that at all. This is the time for the glory of what God has been doing, when He established the heavens and the earth for the purpose of establishing a corporate man in creation so that He might be seen in creation as who He is. He is on a path wherein not only will He show who He is in all of His glory through the corporate body, but He will bring the enemy to judgment as well.

Grace and Peace,

Aaron56
 

Aaron56

Active member
Jul 12, 2021
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#2
Will I receive an alert when this goes live?
 

Aaron56

Active member
Jul 12, 2021
413
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#3
Welp, I guess not. Here it is. :)
 

TheDivineWatermark

Well-known member
Aug 3, 2018
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#4
No one taught a pre-trib rapture until John Darby, and Anglican preacher, in the mid 1800s.
Though not expressed in the same exact way that we cover the subject today, there are at least a couple of sources I've posted about in past posts, who at least DISTINGUISHED the time of our Rapture to that of Christ's Second Coming to the earth:


John Gill (1748 Commentary) said:

"....here Christ will stop and will be visible to all, and as easily discerned by all, good and bad, as the body of the sun at noon-day; as yet He will not descend on earth, because it is not fit to receive Him; but when that and its works are burnt up, and it is purged and purified by fire, and become a new earth, He'll descend upon it, and dwell with his saints in it: and this suggests another reason why He'll stay in the air, and His saints shall meet Him there, and whom He'll take up with Him into the third heaven, till the general conflagration and burning of the world is over, and to preserve them from it...."



Morgan Edwards (in 1744... and then published it again in 1788):

"II. The distance between the first and second resurrection will be somewhat more than a thousand years.

"I say, somewhat more-, because the dead saints will be raised, and the living changed at Christ's "appearing in the air" (Thess. 4:17); and this will be about three years and a half before the millennium, as we shall see hereafter: but will he and they abide in the air all that time? No: they will ascend to paradise, or to some one of those many "mansions in the father's house" (John 14:2), and disappear during the fore said period of time. The design of this retreat and disappearing will be to judge the risen and changed saints; for "now the time is come that judgment must begin," and that will be "at the house of God" (IPet. iv. 17) . . . (p. 7; The spelling of all Edwards quotes have been modernized.)"





Thomas Ice further explains:

"Edwards clearly separates the rapture from the second coming by three and a half years. He uses modern pretrib rapture verses (1 Thess. 4:17 and John 14:2) to describe the rapture."




Darby being the first?? I don't believe the people purporting such a thing.
 

Amanuensis

New member
Jun 12, 2021
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#5
A pre millennial rapture was the clear teaching of the first century and the first few hundred years and it revived again after dark ages.

The timing of the rapture itself related to the tribulation might not have been written about but it is not so surprising that it would be explored more thoroughly after the reformation and insights gleaned since that entire subject material is clouded in mystery and no one knows for sure about all those finer details.

To suggest that the pre millennial view of the rapture is new is to not have read Church history documents. Once we concede that pre millennial rapture was understood by many early church writers then we are not so shocked that they did not have the timing of the tribulation well documented, nor did they teach much about it once other issues took center stage such as the deity of Christ.

They may have seen a pre trib rapture in the scriptures but just did not write about it or such writings did not survive. They did write about a pre millennial rapture and literal 1000 year reign before a final new earth and this should not be left out of the discussion as to what they understood the first 300 -500 years of the church.

We do not know what all the early bible teachers of the first several hundred years taught about everything. We only know what some, who's writings have survived taught. This is not exhaustive and people should remember this. I am sure that much more writings did not survive than did. MUCH MUCH MORE. Who knows what teachings about the book of Revelation were popular but were lost. Centuries of popular teachings could have risen and been lost and risen again and lost again. Generations died and their writings were lost and then the dark ages buried them in obscurity. The bible gets back in circulation and old truths get rediscovered.

It is no more incredible for Darby and others with him, (there were quite a few who contributed to the research) to have rediscovered a possible interpreation in scriptures that was once known by select groups of ancient Christians as it was for Luther, and other like him to rediscover other theology that was once known by ancient bible readers but had been buried in obscurity by the long reign of catholic ecclesiastics and their control over who was a scholar and who was not.

Saying that the pre tribulation interpretation was birthed out of a motivation to make money does not make any sense and is just another conspiracy theory that has no basis if fact. There is a market for prophetic books but the validity of an interpretation relies on hermeneutics not on book sales. The popularity of the pre tribulation interpretation can be traced to the superior hermeneutics of those who do a good job of presenting their case. As long as they continue to do so the interpretation will continue to have a high degree of acceptance among intellectually honest bible students.

Those who wish to present a different interpretation will need to present a superior hermeneutic and if they do that view will also have a high degree of acceptance. Thus the post trib pre millennial view is also a popular view. These two pre millennial views are the most accepted because they are the most sound hermeneutic. They are probably both imperfect and therefore will not be clarified until the Lord comes again and we no longer see in part.

To reveal any errors in the pretrib view one must exegete the verses involved not point out what year they became popular. Any post trib view that starts their hermeneutic presentation by discussing what century pre trib became popular is wasting his platform because that is not one of the rules of hermeneutics. You cannot interpret scripture text by applying a rule of when it became popular in the church. Luther rediscovered things in the scriptures that they wanted to kill him over. We don't discount possible interpretation of mysterious end time prophecy scriptures because they were not discussed much before in the past.

It is not surprising that the pentecostal movement swept the world in the early 20th century having not been discussed much by the reformers after the dark ages either. We humans take centuries to come out of our traditions of ignorance and we often read the scriptures with blinders of these traditions of bad interpretations.

We have a habit of burning at the stack those that discover truths in the scripture. What's next?
 

Icedaisey

Well-known member
Jul 19, 2021
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#6
Where is the scripture that expressly states the church will go through the Great Tribulation?
 

Nehemiah6

Senior Member
Jul 18, 2017
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#7
No one taught a pre-trib rapture until John Darby, and Anglican preacher, in the mid 1800s.
As a matter of fact the Lord Jesus Christ Himself taught it long before Darby or anyone else. And all the apostolic churches of the 1st century expected the Rapture in their time.

Darby has been made the scapegoat by those who refuse to believe what is actually revealed about the Resurrection/Rapture of the Church. It has absolutely no connection to any Tribulation period since it has always been imminent.

BTW Darby may have started out as an Anglican preacher, but he and many others repudiated Anglicanism and sought to establish their churches or assemblies according to the New Testament pattern. So he was in fact a leading member of the Plymouth Brethren.
 

Angela53510

Senior Member
Jan 24, 2011
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#8
Great idea, Amanuensis! Let's exegete 1 Thess. 4:17 for starters, in the Greek! I'll help!

"Then we who are alive, who are left,[a] will be suddenly caught up[b] together[c] with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And so we will always be with the Lord." 1 Thess. 4:17 NET

Footnotes
  1. 1 Thessalonians 4:17 tc The words οἱ περιλειπόμενοι (hoi perileipomenoi, “[the ones] who are left”) are lacking in F G 0226vid ar b as well as a few fathers, but the rest of the textual tradition has the words. Most likely, the Western mssomitted the words because of perceived redundancy with οἱ ζῶντες (hoi zōntes, “[the ones] who are alive”).
  2. 1 Thessalonians 4:17 tn Or “snatched up.” The Greek verb ἁρπάζω implies that the action is quick or forceful, so the translation supplied the adverb “suddenly” to make this implicit notion clear.
  3. 1 Thessalonians 4:17 tn Or “simultaneously,” but this meaning does not fit as well in the parallel in 5:10.
I've left in the footnotes, just for a cross reference. NET has 66K footnotes, I find them helpful & accurate.

Now, let us look at it in Greek!

"ἔπειτα ἡμεῖς οἱ ζῶντες οἱ περιλειπόμενοι ἅμα σὺν αὐτοῖς ἁρπαγησόμεθα ἐν νεφέλαις εἰς ἀπάντησιν τοῦ κυρίου εἰς ἀέρα· καὶ οὕτως πάντοτε σὺν κυρίῳ ἐσόμεθα." 1 Thess. 4:17 SBLGNT

There are some key words in the Greek. They are translated correctly into Greek, but the full connotation of the word in Greek, does not come through in English.

ἔπειτα - epeita then, following, The word denotes the speeding following of the event specified upon what has gone before.

ζῶντες - zovtes Present, active participle, from zao, to live alive.

περιλειπόμενοι - pereleipomenoi Pres. Pass. Part. To leave behind.

ἁρπαγησόμεθα -harpagesometha fut indicative, passive. To snatch up, to seize, to carry off by force. The word often denotes the emotion of a sudden swoop, and usually a force that cannot be resisted.

ἀπάντησιν apantesin meeting. The word had a technical meaning in the Hellenistic world related to the visits of dignitaries to cities where the visitor would be formally met by the citizens or a deputation of them, who went out from the city, and then would ceremonially escort him back to the city. The 2 other occurrences are Matt 25:6, where the virgins go out to meet their husband and accompany him back; and Acts 28:15 where the people go out from Rome to meet Paul and escort him back to Rome. Nothing about going away, forever. Rather, a meeting which returns back to home.

ἀέρα - aera acc. Singular, from aer - air.

πάντοτε - pantote - always

ἐσόμεθα - esometha - future, indicative mid. (Dep.) eimi - to be.

Starting near the end, we have the word "aera" or air in English. The air is the air around us. The air we breathe. It is the air around the earth. It is not heaven or heavens, which would be ouranos. So, nothing about going to heaven, just meeting the Lord in the clouds in the air around us. Do we jump up and down for joy, or are we literally grabbed up a bit into the atmosphere? It really doesn't matter. What matters, is that we are not going far, and in fact, going back!

The word for "left behind" found in the fictional Left Behind series, is not about unbelievers being left behind, while everyone else is raptured, as Dispensationalism supposes. In fact, the verse starts with this word, "Then we, the living ones who are left behind." Some kind of leaving behind has already occurred. Are they left behind after the ruin of Jerusalem? (Paul died much too early for this) Or is it more likely, in context with verse 16, which is the dead in Christ, rising first. In fact, the Christians living in this time, will have been left behind. So, living or alive believers are in fact the ones being left behind. Verse 15 also says, "we the living, who remain at the coming of the Lord.." ὅτι ἡμεῖς οἱ ζῶντες οἱ περιλειπόμενοι εἰς τὴν παρουσίαν τοῦ κυρίου.

Harpazo, in the passive, was used by Paul, might have been making a play of the words, Plutarch, his contemporary, used the word, or compound word for those who die an untimely death and thus are "disadvantaged" in that they are "snatched away" from the opportunity for education, marriage, citizenship and so on. In the passive, Paul emphasizes it is brought about by a force outside the individual.

The word for "meeting" apantesis is used in the LXX (Greek OT) for God's meetings with Abraham, (Gen. 14:17) with David, (2 Sam. 10:16) and with the Israelites at Sinai (Ex. 19:17). The implication of Paul's use of this word here, is that the resurrected dead and living, together will meet the Lord, descending "in the air" and accompany him in glory and honor the rest of his way to earth.

Paul's emphasis in these verses is not on the sequence, details or direction, but the outcome and then result. He assures the Thessalonians that's contrary to what some of them might have thought, both groups, the living and the dead, will end up together. The most important point in all this is the result. ALL believers in Jesus, whether alive or dead at the time of his Parousia (Second Coming) "will be with the Lord forever." Some Thessalonians thought that death (still influenced by pagan perspectives) would be an insurmountable barrier, preventing those followers of Jesus who died before the Parousia from experiencing the presence of Jesus, is in reality, no barrier at all. Here is the real antidote to the grief some Thessalonians were experiencing. The final destiny of Christians who died before the Parousia is not death, but rather resurrection to life with the Lord forever. And here on earth! This information should be used, according to verse 18, "to encourage one another."

So, in fact, this verse is speaking of the parousia, (coming) of Jesus, and it has close parallels to the Oliver Discourse in the Synoptic Gospels. There is no "rapture" to heaven at all in this verse, but rather believers meeting Jesus and returning to earth with him, at the Second Coming.


Here are some books I consulted:

Holmes, Michael W. The NIV Application Commentary: 1 & 2 Thessalonians.

Wanamaker, Charles A. The New International Greek Testament Commentary NIGTC: The Epistle to the Thessalonians.

Rogers, Cleon L. Jr & Cleon L. Rogers III. The New Linguistic & Exegetical Key to the Greek New Testament.

For a complete bibliography of each book, contact me.
 

Nehemiah6

Senior Member
Jul 18, 2017
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#9
There is no "rapture" to heaven at all in this verse, but rather believers meeting Jesus and returning to earth with him, at the Second Coming.
That is plainly nonsensical. "No rapture" in the key passage which reveals the Resurrection/Rapture! Amazing how people will try to twist the Scriptures to fit their man-made theologies.

There is a HUGE DIFFERENCE between the Resurrection/Rapture and the Second Coming of Christ. In the first appearance Christ comes FOR His saints. But at the Second Coming Christ comes to earth WITH His saints and angels. In between we have the Marriage of the Lamb, which means that one aspect of the Rapture is the Divine Bridegroom coming for His Bride (the Church). But since the Bride must be spotless, the saints are perfected and glorified at the Rapture (1 John 3:1-3 and other passages).

The truth is that most Christians do not really understand the purpose of the Resurrection/Rapture. Instead we find attacks on Darby, Scofield, Walvoord, Lindsey, etc. as though these men had no understanding of the Scriptures. But whenever a Bible doctrine is under attack, it behooves every person to carefully study the Scriptures for themselves, under the guidance of the Holy Spirit. The Bible shows us that the Resurrection/Rapture is the culmination of salvation, hence "the Blessed Hope" of the saints.
 

Angela53510

Senior Member
Jan 24, 2011
11,392
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#10
That is plainly nonsensical. "No rapture" in the key passage which reveals the Resurrection/Rapture! Amazing how people will try to twist the Scriptures to fit their man-made theologies.

There is a HUGE DIFFERENCE between the Resurrection/Rapture and the Second Coming of Christ. In the first appearance Christ comes FOR His saints. But at the Second Coming Christ comes to earth WITH His saints and angels. In between we have the Marriage of the Lamb, which means that one aspect of the Rapture is the Divine Bridegroom coming for His Bride (the Church). But since the Bride must be spotless, the saints are perfected and glorified at the Rapture (1 John 3:1-3 and other passages).

The truth is that most Christians do not really understand the purpose of the Resurrection/Rapture. Instead we find attacks on Darby, Scofield, Walvoord, Lindsey, etc. as though these men had no understanding of the Scriptures. But whenever a Bible doctrine is under attack, it behooves every person to carefully study the Scriptures for themselves, under the guidance of the Holy Spirit. The Bible shows us that the Resurrection/Rapture is the culmination of salvation, hence "the Blessed Hope" of the saints.

I guess you didn't read my clear exegetical analysis if the Greek in 1 Thess 4:17

No!
1. There are not 2 returns of Jesus- only 1 Second Coming. No rapture, no ascending. Waiting for Jesus, and greeting him and returning to earth with him for the final judgement.

2. No, 21st century North Americans are NOT going to escape what is coming. Christians die daily for their faith in China, Afghanistan. Russia, Muslim countries, Africa, like Nigeria. Thousands upon thousands of them. While ignorant westerners think they deserve a free trip away from what is to come. News flash! We are going to experience what all the martyrs have experienced since Nero started burning Christians at the stake in 60 AD.

3. No SECRET rapture. Find me the verse in English or Greek that has a "secret" rapture. Exegete the text properly, instead of relying on people like Darby & Scofield who didn't even know Greek. And if there was pre-millennials in the early centuries, they were historic, not dispensationalist. Seriously, dispensationalism really was made up by Darby & Schofield.

No rapture, just a meeting with Jesus at the parousia, or Second Coming when Jesus returns to reign and with his people!

Read what I wrote, try to understand the words I have translated and commented on. It's not hard, you're a smart person.
 
Aug 31, 2021
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#11
One of the arguments most opponents to the Rapture use is that it can't be right as it was a theory developed much later in comparison to other views. They all say that it began around 1830 through the ministry of Darby. Actually the pretrib rapture position does have historical precedent. Besides the apostle's teaching, a sermon was delivered in AD 373 by the Byzantine leader Pseudo-Ephraem entitled "On the Last Times, the Antichrist, and the End of the World" or "Sermon on the End fo the World". This includes a concept very similar to the pretrib rapture.

It is clear that the church isn't Israel, that Israel isn't the church. Of the promises of God to save Israel through the 70th week of Daniel (that the Lord Jesus Himself opens the first seal in Revelation 6 "the wrath of the Lamb" and the NT passages that state soooooo clearly that we (the church) are NOT appointed to God's wrath. Full stop. Period!

The early church fathers taught the Rapture.

Irenaeus (130 A.D. – 202 AD) was a bishop of the church in Lyons, France. - On the subject of the Rapture, in Against Heresies 5.29, he wrote:

“Those nations however, who did not of themselves raise up their eyes unto heaven, nor returned thanks to their Maker, nor wished to behold the light of truth, but who were like blind mice concealed in the depths of ignorance, the word justly reckons “as waste water from a sink, and as the turning-weight of a balance — in fact, as nothing;” so far useful and serviceable to the just, as stubble conduces towards the growth of the wheat, and its straw, by means of combustion, serves for working gold. 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.”

Cyprian
Cyprian (200 AD – 258 AD) – Cyprian was Bishop of the church in Carthage. During his short stint as leader of the church, he guided the flock through intense persecution at the hands of the Roman Empire. In 258 AD after spending seven months of confinement to his home by order of Roman authorities, he was beheaded for his faith. Several of his works still exist today.

In Treatises of Cyprian he wrote in describing the end times Great Tribulation:

“We who see that terrible things have begun, and know that still more terrible things are imminent, may regard it as the greatest advantage to depart from it as quickly as possible. Do you not give God thanks, do you not congratulate yourself, that by an early departure you are taken away, and delivered from the shipwrecks and disasters that are imminent? Let us greet the day which assigns each of us to his own home, which snatches us hence, and sets us free from the snares of the world and restores us to paradise and the kingdom.”

Two Pretribulational References in the Early Church

1. The Shepherd of Hermas (95-150)


The Shepherd of Hermas was written between 96-150 AD. This document provides a statement that resembles a teaching of a pre-trib rapture doctrine. Though it is not exactly as found in modern day scholarly pretribulational writings, it still shows that an idea existed in some degree that God's people could escape the future tribulation that was to come on the whole earth. The text reads:

"You have escaped from the great tribulation on account of your faith, and because you did not doubt in the presence of such a beast. Go, therefore, and tell the elect of the Lord His mighty deeds, and say to them that this beast is a type of the great tribulation that is coming. If then ye prepare yourselves, and repent with all your heart, and turn to the Lord, it will be possible for you to escape it, if your heart be pure and spotless, and ye spend the rest of the days of your life serving the Lord blamelessly."

This is not a systematic teaching, nor does it answer all of the questions that one may have. But it does give a reference to the possibility that God's people can escape the great tribulation.

There are many more.
 

TheDivineWatermark

Well-known member
Aug 3, 2018
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#12
It is clear that the church isn't Israel, that Israel isn't the church.
Agreed. (y)


____________

Another distinction is:

--"OUR episynagoges UNTO HIM" (2Th2:1 - when WE go to His "presence / parousia"...TO "the meeting of the Lord IN THE AIR," and NO ONE ELSE!)

[is distinct from]

--"the MANIFESTATION of His presence / parousia" (2Th2:8 - when "EVERY EYE shall SEE Him")




I find that many folks incorrectly EQUATE these two ^ just because of their close proximity in the text.






[They are actually 7 years apart... Paul is covering the entire "7 year" period in this chpt... and not even merely "3.5 yrs" as some suggest]



"parousia" is used in EACH time-slot... but the context determines "WHERE" and "IN WHOSE PRESENCE" He will be
 

JaumeJ

Senior Member
Jul 2, 2011
19,025
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#13
I guess you didn't read my clear exegetical analysis if the Greek in 1 Thess 4:17

No!
1. There are not 2 returns of Jesus- only 1 Second Coming. No rapture, no ascending. Waiting for Jesus, and greeting him and returning to earth with him for the final judgement.

2. No, 21st century North Americans are NOT going to escape what is coming. Christians die daily for their faith in China, Afghanistan. Russia, Muslim countries, Africa, like Nigeria. Thousands upon thousands of them. While ignorant westerners think they deserve a free trip away from what is to come. News flash! We are going to experience what all the martyrs have experienced since Nero started burning Christians at the stake in 60 AD.

3. No SECRET rapture. Find me the verse in English or Greek that has a "secret" rapture. Exegete the text properly, instead of relying on people like Darby & Scofield who didn't even know Greek. And if there was pre-millennials in the early centuries, they were historic, not dispensationalist. Seriously, dispensationalism really was made up by Darby & Schofield.

No rapture, just a meeting with Jesus at the parousia, or Second Coming when Jesus returns to reign and with his people!

Read what I wrote, try to understand the words I have translated and commented on. It's not hard, you're a smart person.
There are not enough reactions positive to describe just how right and righteouns your post is. Keep up the preaching, it is good for me.
 

TheDivineWatermark

Well-known member
Aug 3, 2018
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#14
We "pre-tribbers" believe there is only ONE "RETURN" (biblically-speaking) of Jesus, that is, "to the earth" (Rev19):


--Luke 12:36-37,38,40,42-44 (parallel Matt24:42-51) "when he will RETURN FROM the wedding..." ...THEN the meal [G347] (<--see same G347 word and time-slot in Matt8:11 and its parallel verse);

--Luke 19:12,15,17,19 "RETURN" (parallel Matt25:14-30) --when He will deal out responsibilities, having to do with "have thou authority over 10 CITIES," and "be thou likewise over 5 CITIES" (i.e. "cities" located on the earth)




[these are not contexts re: "our Rapture" IN THE AIR]
 
Jul 28, 2021
1,226
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#15
I guess you didn't read my clear exegetical analysis if the Greek in 1 Thess 4:17

No!
1. There are not 2 returns of Jesus- only 1 Second Coming. No rapture, no ascending. Waiting for Jesus, and greeting him and returning to earth with him for the final judgement.

2. No, 21st century North Americans are NOT going to escape what is coming. Christians die daily for their faith in China, Afghanistan. Russia, Muslim countries, Africa, like Nigeria. Thousands upon thousands of them. While ignorant westerners think they deserve a free trip away from what is to come. News flash! We are going to experience what all the martyrs have experienced since Nero started burning Christians at the stake in 60 AD.

3. No SECRET rapture. Find me the verse in English or Greek that has a "secret" rapture. Exegete the text properly, instead of relying on people like Darby & Scofield who didn't even know Greek. And if there was pre-millennials in the early centuries, they were historic, not dispensationalist. Seriously, dispensationalism really was made up by Darby & Schofield.

No rapture, just a meeting with Jesus at the parousia, or Second Coming when Jesus returns to reign and with his people!

Read what I wrote, try to understand the words I have translated and commented on. It's not hard, you're a smart person.
In China, all religions are under persecution. The only religion they allow is the Chinese Communist Party.

The Lord isn't just going to rapture North Americans. lol And believing in a rapture is not about escaping anything. It's about our wedding with our Lord. We look forward to it with joy and anticipation! We don't look for it to escape a wicked world.

The Bride is not going to suffer the wrath of God. The Lord, at this very moment, is preparing a place for His Bride and will return for us soon... as in fitting with Jewish tradition of marriage. He is not going to terrorize and torture His Bride before the wedding.

.
 

Aaron56

Active member
Jul 12, 2021
413
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#16
One of the arguments most opponents to the Rapture use is that it can't be right as it was a theory developed much later in comparison to other views. They all say that it began around 1830 through the ministry of Darby. Actually the pretrib rapture position does have historical precedent. Besides the apostle's teaching, a sermon was delivered in AD 373 by the Byzantine leader Pseudo-Ephraem entitled "On the Last Times, the Antichrist, and the End of the World" or "Sermon on the End fo the World". This includes a concept very similar to the pretrib rapture.

It is clear that the church isn't Israel, that Israel isn't the church. Of the promises of God to save Israel through the 70th week of Daniel (that the Lord Jesus Himself opens the first seal in Revelation 6 "the wrath of the Lamb" and the NT passages that state soooooo clearly that we (the church) are NOT appointed to God's wrath. Full stop. Period!

The early church fathers taught the Rapture.

Irenaeus (130 A.D. – 202 AD) was a bishop of the church in Lyons, France. - On the subject of the Rapture, in Against Heresies 5.29, he wrote:

“Those nations however, who did not of themselves raise up their eyes unto heaven, nor returned thanks to their Maker, nor wished to behold the light of truth, but who were like blind mice concealed in the depths of ignorance, the word justly reckons “as waste water from a sink, and as the turning-weight of a balance — in fact, as nothing;” so far useful and serviceable to the just, as stubble conduces towards the growth of the wheat, and its straw, by means of combustion, serves for working gold. 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.”



In Treatises of Cyprian he wrote in describing the end times Great Tribulation:

“We who see that terrible things have begun, and know that still more terrible things are imminent, may regard it as the greatest advantage to depart from it as quickly as possible. Do you not give God thanks, do you not congratulate yourself, that by an early departure you are taken away, and delivered from the shipwrecks and disasters that are imminent? Let us greet the day which assigns each of us to his own home, which snatches us hence, and sets us free from the snares of the world and restores us to paradise and the kingdom.”
The whole cut and paste of the Treatises of Cyprian, is a construct not found in the writing. It seems someone took a page and a half and tried to condense it into a small paragraph. To note: Cyprian was referencing the current age, and the worsening of the days as they grow more evil. There is no way one could see anything about the pre-trib rapture unless they were already set in their own understanding.

Likewise, in the reference of Irenaeus, he clearly is talking about the church overcoming the wickedness of the world: "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" for how does a contest of the righteous exist with only one side present. This is the only obscure reference in the whole of the writing (it would fill a book). I assume people are reading what they already want to believe. This is not surprising, many treat the scriptures in the same manner.

I'll assume the same about the other references.

The Baptists had to protect their investment. The pre-trib rapture doctrine was a promising cash cow. So, they sifted through early writings to find obscure references to support their conclusion. This was important to them: since, after denying that God still speaks to the spirits of men, they needed a doctrine they could package within dispensationalism and market to the consumers. Once you deny that the Spirit of God still speaks to men, you're left with English, Greek, and Hebrew etymology. And, with their head down in old books trying to justify themselves, the Lord arose elsewhere, and they perceived Him not.
 

phil36

Senior Member
Feb 12, 2009
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#17
No one taught a pre-trib rapture until John Darby, and Anglican preacher, in the mid 1800s. So the teaching is relatively new. Now, being new does not necessarily mean a teaching is defunct: while God never changes, He reveals knowledge and understanding in a progressive manner. Things that we have not contemplated before, suddenly come alive to us in the scriptures. So, while the ideas are new to us, they were always established in the mind of God.

But the manner is which things are "revealed" should be examined. So let's look at the manner in which the doctrine of the pre-trib rapture came to be a Baptist staple.

Dwight Young, professor emeritus at Brandeis University of Near Eastern and Judaic Studies, personally corresponded with a friend of mine several years ago. My friend was a young lawyer ( as an aside, had George Bush Senior been elected for a second term, there is a good possibility that my friend would have been chosen as a state supreme court judge.) Dwight was a student at Dallas Theological Seminary at the same time Hal Lindsey studied there, so this is more than 50 years ago or so. They were graduate students.

Dwight said the professors were discussing Darbyism, and whether or not it was a valid theology. This graduate student, Hal Lindsey, wrote a master’s thesis on the subject of this form of dispensationalism and the rapture. He later turned that thesis into a book called The Late Great Planet Earth. Now some of you may not know about this book, but it was a runaway bestseller. It made a lot of money. According to Dwight, that is where the Baptists made the switch. They saw that there was a market for this doctrine, and they ran with it. Dwight later moved up to and was a professor of biblical studies, biblical languages at Brandeis University, from which he retired, and he was in a state of retirement when my friend met him. So, 50 years from the writing of a master's thesis, the teaching is so entrenched in the Baptist circles you would think it was the gospel.

Historically, nobody ever thought of this doctrine before Darby. But once he popularized it in the context of dispensationalism, meaning things wrap up within blocks of time, people began to embrace it because they did not have to trust the Holy Spirit. If you are going to have any measure of understanding of prophetic Scripture, the end from the beginning and where we are at this point in time, you are going to have to walk in the Spirit. He is the One who wrote the Book; He is the One who is perfectly capable of interpreting it. And the folly of logic and reason and man-made constructs, such as dispensationalism, will lead you to increasing folly, such as the rapture.

God knows the end from the beginning, and the greatest moment of the Body of Christ is in the midst of the darkness in Revelation. That darkness has no potential to blunt our display of the glory of God, the radiance of God’s glory, or to represent Him exactly. It has no ability to influence that at all. This is the time for the glory of what God has been doing, when He established the heavens and the earth for the purpose of establishing a corporate man in creation so that He might be seen in creation as who He is. He is on a path wherein not only will He show who He is in all of His glory through the corporate body, but He will bring the enemy to judgment as well.

Grace and Peace,

Aaron56

I think it's not just that no one taught a pre trib rapture, but that no one had ever used this new framework for understanding and interpreting the bible. Dispensatinalism is not just an end time view but a hermeneutic, that is, a whole system in interpreting all of scripture. from begining to end. And is not the same as Historic premillenialism which the likes of Spurgeon, J.Eldon Ladd and John piper etc etc hold/held.

One historic premillenialist (Benjamin Wills Newton) who was a contemporary of Darby, was one of Darbys biggest critics:

Newton interpreted 1 Thessalonians 4:16 and 2 Thessalonians 2 v1-4[7][8] as proof of a post-tribulation, non-secret rapture. He viewed Darby's dispensational and pre-tribulation rapture teaching as "the height of speculative nonsense".[9]

Unlike Darby, he also believed that the church is made up of both Jews, including Old Testament saints, and Gentiles, who have been made one in Christ, and that Darby's scheme, followed logically, implied two distinct and separate ways to salvation. [10]
 

Aaron56

Active member
Jul 12, 2021
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#18
Dispensatinalism is not just an end time view but a hermeneutic, that is, a whole system in interpreting all of scripture. from begining to end.
Oh yes.

Dispensationalism seems useful for feeding small children small bites, but it really acts like horse blinders by limiting one's view of the scriptures. It's one of the reasons, I believe, that those who embrace dispensationalism tend to embrace the 10 Commandments as a guide for our lives: it's an easy to understand, black and white behavioral plan for Christians. They are legally harsh, religious people without any understanding of God's character.
 

Lucy-Pevensie

Senior Member
Dec 20, 2017
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#19
I remember The Late Great Planet Earth. I knew very little about Bible prophecy then so it was easy to believe.
They had a movie & a paperback book. I have witnessed over the years that left-behinder doctrine enjoys a position of entrenched institutional bias in the western mainstream church. They've cluttered up the study of eschatology by imposing their man-made theory over scripture and there is a good deal of anger for anyone who dares to disagree.


There is even a pretribulation rapture "research centre" and they are constantly piecing together apologetics for the doctrine. They even have an annual conference! Why should one non-essential doctrine require so many resources?

"The Pre-Trib Research Center (PTRC) is committed to the study, proclamation, teaching, and defense of the pre-tribulation rapture (pre-70th week of Daniel) and related end-time prophecy."

Pretrib is a business with revenue to protect but they must have known for some years that the pretrib idea isn't sustainable. Not only is it not scripturally sound, it has no historical background in the church. A part of the research centre's function in recent years has been to construct a false historical background story for the new doctrine.
 

rayzor

Well-known member
Aug 20, 2021
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#20
STRONGS NT 3622: οἰκονομία [Dispensation]
"the management of a household or of household affairs; specifically, the management, oversight, administration, of others' property; the office of a manager or overseer, stewardship": Luke 16:2-4; hence, the word is transferred by Paul in a theocratic sense to the office (duty) intrusted to him by God (the lord and master) of proclaiming to men the blessings of the gospel, 1 Corinthians 9:17; ἡ, οἰκονομία τοῦ Θεοῦ, the office of administrator (stewardship) intrusted by God, Colossians 1:25. universally, administration, dispensation, which in a theocratic sense is ascribed to God himself as providing for man's salvation.