Rapture Cult

How’s THAT for name, eh?

It was coined by a rather intemperate fellow by the name of James Lloyd. And, he makes a cogent case for using the name, so I’ve decided to adopt it myself. It’s pithy, accurate and more than a bit snarky – which is why I like it.

(My apologies to my Jewish audience. But, I gotta do this.)

Now, I stumbled across Lloyd’s website because I was doing a bit of research into where the whole idea of the Pretribulation Rapture Theory arose. Sometimes, knowing where something comes from tells you a bit about what’s wrong with it.

Our tale starts with an occultic bible study group in the early 1800s that practiced levitation, in Glasgow, Scotland. A 15 year old girl apparently had trouble levitating, so decided to go one better by doing the whole trance/vision/prophecy thing.

Let me quote from HisFaith.org:

The doctrine can be traced back to 1830, the very year that two strange events happened in Scotland. First, a 15 year old girl in a TRANCE uttered what is believed to be the original idea of the pre-tribulation rapture of the Church. Nearly simultaneously, a nearby Scottish pastor named Edward Irving began teaching this brand new idea that the Church would be raptured prior to Tribulation. (Note: Some scholars believe Irving had been working on this “doctrine” at least three years earlier.)

No matter its origin, it is WIDELY DOCUMENTED that before the year 1830 NO Christian leader had ever even heard of the doctrine of a pre-tribulation rapture. Clearly, prior to 1830 the Church taught that Jesus would return at the END of the tribulation period, AFTER going through Tribulation, as the Bible obviously teaches.

By the way, this 15 year old girl I speak of is named Margaret McDonald. She was a Scottish teen-ager and met with an OCCULTIC group that studied the Bible. Among other occultic practices, they practiced levitation.

As I stated, about the same time, a Scottish pastor named Edward Irving began teaching the concept of a pre-trib rapture in his “charismatic” church. Many believe that he may have got the idea from Miss McDonald. Others say that she got the idea from him. It is a moot point, because this new pre-trib rapture doctrine was soon brought to America by another pastor named John Nelson Darby. Most scholars are in agreement that he probably “stole” (and even further expanded on) the idea that he heard from Irving.

Here’s a link to the page.

I did some digging, and it’s true. There is no record of anyone, anywhere mentioning anything remotely like the Pretribulation Rapture Theory before 1830.

It was picked up by a fellow by the name of John Darby, who handed it off to C.I. Scofield – who went on to create the Scofield Reference Bible. And, when you have a bible where you are told exactly how to think about a passage, as you read it… well, it’s going to have impact. In fact, people are going to tend to accept it as literal fact. (After all, it’s now in the bible, right?)

And yes, bending the bible to your own interpretation is just WRONG.

There’s another problem with the Rapture Cult.

Anyone who even so much as mentions that it might be okay to disagree with the theory of the Pretribulation Rapture, gets unceremoniously booted from whatever pulpit he’s speaking from.

A friend of mine, who will remain nameless for more reasons than you can know, was once summarily ejected from a bible conference for entertaining the thought that a disagreement on WHEN the rapture would occur… well, that it just wasn’t grounds for a break in fellowship. Organizers of the conference immediately met in an emergency session and booted him out – asking him to never return.

That’s cult thinking, plain and simple.

Let me go on to add one other point.

Everyone in the Rapture Cult says that the next ‘big thing’ is the rapture. Nothing, they say, will happen before then.

That is completely mystifying. How can you believe that everything will go along swimmingly until ‘boom’ we all disappear in a flash of pixie dust. And, only THEN do bad things happen?

Hello?

Does anybody read history, anymore?

Something like 25 million Christians were murdered by the Catholics in Europe alone. The Muslims wiped out the Christians in North Africa. Before all of that, we were crucified by the Romans.

Is there ANY time in history where Christians weren’t terribly persecuted?

And, you don’t think that it’s going to happen again?

Dontcha think that we’re due for a spot of trouble?

Especially since we seem to have corrupted ourselves so thoroughly?

And, don’t get me started on what you have to do to the bible to actually make the Pre-trib theory actually WORK. (More on THAT tomorrow)

Let me end with this one idea – from a bit of scripture at the END of the bible:

Revelation 22

18 For I testify unto every man that heareth the words of the prophecy of this book, If any man shall add unto these things, God shall add unto him the plagues that are written in this book:

19 And if any man shall take away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part out of the book of life, and out of the holy city, and from the things which are written in this book.

How can you make the above verses work, if the rapture happens BEFORE the tribulation?

I certainly can see how they work, if the rapture happens during or after the tribulation.

Think about that for a moment.

————————————–

Here are a few sources that I stumbled over in the few hours that I had to research the history of the Pretribulation Rapture Theory:

The Origin and Danger of the Pre-Trib “Rapture” Theory

The Origins of The Pre-Trib Rapture?

Is the Pretribulation Rapture Biblical?

Dangers of the American Rapture Doctrine – Americanized Pre-trib is partly responsible for American apathy

Pre-Trib Fib, Part 1

Pre-Trib Fib, Part 2

Pre-Trib Fib, Part 3

And then, there’s the aforementioned wild man, James Lloyd:

Strong Delusion

 

4 thoughts on “Rapture Cult

  1. [Wow, John, great and informative blog. I saw this item on the web.]

    PRETRIB RAPTURE SECRETS

    How can the “rapture” be “imminent”? Acts 3:21 says that Jesus “must” stay in heaven (He’s now there with the Father) “until the times of restitution of all things” which includes, says Scofield, “the restoration of the theocracy under David’s Son” which obviously can’t begin before or during Antichrist’s reign. (“The Rapture Question,” by the long time No. 1 pretrib authority John Walvoord, didn’t dare to even list, in its scripture index, the too-hot-to-handle Acts 3:21!) Since Jesus can’t even leave heaven before the tribulation ends (Acts 2:34,35 echo this), the rapture therefore can’t take place before the end of the trib! (The same Acts verses were also too hot for John Darby – the so-called “father of dispensationalism” – to list in the scripture index in his “Letters”!)
    Paul explains the “times and the seasons” (I Thess. 5:1) of the catching up (I Thess. 4:17) as the “day of the Lord” (5:2) which FOLLOWS the posttrib sun/moon darkening (Matt. 24:29; Acts 2:20) WHEN “sudden destruction” (5:3) of the wicked occurs! The “rest” for “all them that believe” is tied to such destruction in II Thess. 1:6-10! (If the wicked are destroyed before or during the trib, who’d be left alive to serve the Antichrist?) Paul also ties the change-into-immortality “rapture” (I Cor. 15:52) to the posttrib end of “death” (15:54). (Will death be ended before or during the trib? Of course not! And vs. 54 is also tied to Isa. 25:8 which is Israel’s posttrib resurrection!)
    Many are unaware that before 1830 all Christians had always viewed I Thess. 4’s “catching up” as an integral part of the final second coming to earth. In 1830 this “rapture” was stretched forward and turned into a separate coming of Christ. To further strengthen their novel view, which the mass of evangelical scholars rejected throughout the 1800s, pretrib teachers in the early 1900s began to stretch forward the “day of the Lord” (what Darby and Scofield never dared to do) and hook it up with their already-stretched-forward “rapture.” Many leading evangelical scholars still weren’t convinced of pretrib, so pretrib teachers then began teaching that the “falling away” of II Thess. 2:3 is really a pretrib rapture (the same as saying that the “rapture” in 2:3 must happen before the “rapture” [“gathering”] in 2:1 can happen – the height of desperation!).
    Other Google articles on the 182-year-old pretrib rapture view include “Pretrib Rapture Politics,” “Pretrib Rapture Scholar Wannabes,” “Famous Rapture Watchers,” “Pretrib Rapture Diehards,” “X-Raying Margaret,” “Edward Irving is Unnerving,” “Thomas Ice (Bloopers),” “Walvoord Melts Ice,” “Wily Jeffrey,” “The Rapture Index (Mad Theology),” “America’s Pretrib Rapture Traffickers,” “Roots of (Warlike) Christian Zionism,” “Scholars Weigh My Research,” “Pretrib Hypocrisy,” “Appendix F: Thou Shalt Not Steal,” “Thieves’ Marketing,” “Pretrib Rapture Secrecy,” “Deceiving and Being Deceived,” “Pretrib Rapture Dishonesty,” and “Christ’s return is NOT imminent!” – all by the author of the bestselling book “The Rapture Plot” (see Armageddon Books).

  2. Pretrib Rapture Pride

    by Bruce Rockwell

    Pretrib rapture promoters like Thomas Ice give the impression they know more than the early Church Fathers, the Reformers, the greatest Greek New Testament scholars including those who produced the KJV Bible, the founders of their favorite Bible schools, and even their own mentors!
    Ice’s mentor, Dallas Sem. president John Walvoord, couldn’t find anyone holding to pretrib before 1830 – and Walvoord called John Darby and his Brethren followers “the early pretribulationists” (RQ, pp. 160-62). Ice belittles Walvoord and claims that several pre-1830 persons, including “Pseudo-Ephraem” and a “Rev. Morgan Edwards,” taught a pretrib rapture. Even though the first one viewed Antichrist’s arrival as the only “imminent” event, Ice (and Grant Jeffrey) audaciously claim he expected an “imminent” pretrib rapture! And Ice (and John Bray) have covered up Edwards’ historicism which made a pretrib rapture impossible! Google historian Dave MacPherson’s “Deceiving and Being Deceived” for documentation on these and similar historical distortions.
    The same pretrib defenders, when combing ancient books, deviously read “pretrib” into phrases like “before Armageddon,” “before the final conflagration,” and “escape all these things”!
    BTW, the KJV translators’ other writings found in London’s famed British Library (where MacPherson has researched) don’t have even a hint of pretrib rapturism. Is it possible that Ice etc. have found pretrib “proof” in the KJV that its translators never found?
    Pretrib merchandisers like Ice claim that nothing is better pretrib proof than Rev. 3:10. They also cover up “Famous Rapture Watchers” (on Google) which shows how the greatest Greek NT scholars of all time interpreted it.
    Pretrib didn’t flourish in America much before the 1909 Scofield Bible which has pretribby “explanatory notes” in its margins. Not seen in the margins was jailed forger Scofield’s criminal record throughout his life that David Lutzweiler has documented in his recent book “The Praise of Folly” which is available online.
    Biola University’s doctrinal statement says Christ’s return is “premillennial” and “before the Tribulation.” Although universities stand for “academic freedom,” Biola has added these narrow, restrictive phrases – non-essentials the founders purposely didn’t include in their original doctrinal statement when Biola was just a small Bible institute! And other Christian schools have also belittled their founders.
    Ice, BTW, has a “Ph.D” issued by a tiny Texas school that wasn’t authorized to issue degrees! Ice now says that he’s working on another “Ph.D” via the University of Wales in Britain. For light on the degrees of Ice’s scholarliness, Google “Bogus degree scandal prompts calls to wind up University of Wales,” “Thomas Ice (Bloopers),” “be careful in polemics – Peripatetic Learning,” and “Walvoord Melts Ice.” Also Google “Thomas Ice (Hired Gun)” – featured by media luminary Joe Ortiz on his Jan. 30, 2013 “End Times Passover” blog.
    Other fascinating Google articles include “The Unoriginal John Darby,” “X-raying Margaret,” “Edward Irving in Unnerving,” “Pretrib Rapture Politics,” “Pretrib Rapture Secrets,” “Pretrib Rapture Dishonesty,” “Pretrib Hypocrisy,” “Pretrib Rapture Secrecy,” and “Roots of Warlike Christian Zionism” – most from the author of “The Rapture Plot,” the most accurate documentation on pretrib rapture history.
    Can anyone guess who the last proud pretrib rapture holdout will be?
    (Postscript: For another jolt or two Google “The Background Obama Can’t Cover Up.”)

    / Above article was observed on the never boring web. /

  3. Pretrib Rapture Pride

    Pretrib rapture promoters like Thomas Ice give the impression they know more than the early Church Fathers, the Reformers, the greatest Greek New Testament scholars including those who produced the KJV Bible, the founders of their favorite Bible schools, and even their own mentors!
    Ice’s mentor, Dallas Sem. president John Walvoord, couldn’t find anyone holding to pretrib before 1830 – and Walvoord called John Darby and his Brethren followers “the early pretribulationists” (RQ, pp. 160-62). Ice belittles Walvoord and claims that several pre-1830 persons, including “Pseudo-Ephraem” and a “Rev. Morgan Edwards,” taught a pretrib rapture. Even though the first one viewed Antichrist’s arrival as the only “imminent” event, Ice (and Grant Jeffrey) audaciously claim he expected an “imminent” pretrib rapture! And Ice (and John Bray) have covered up Edwards’ historicism which made a pretrib rapture impossible! Google “Morgan Edwards’ Rapture View” and journalist/historian Dave MacPherson’s “Deceiving and Being Deceived” for documentation on these and similar historical distortions.
    The same pretrib defenders, when combing ancient books, deviously read “pretrib” into phrases like “before Armageddon,” “before the final conflagration,” and “escape all these things”!
    BTW, the KJV translators’ other writings found in London’s famed British Library (where MacPherson has researched) don’t have even a hint of pretrib rapturism. Is it possible that Ice etc. have found pretrib “proof” in the KJV that its translators never found?
    Pretrib merchandisers like Ice claim that nothing is better pretrib proof than Rev. 3:10. They also cover up “Famous Rapture Watchers” (on Google) which shows how the greatest Greek NT scholars of all time interpreted it.
    Pretrib didn’t flourish in America much before the 1909 Scofield Bible which has pretribby “explanatory notes” in its margins. Not seen in the margins was jailed forger Scofield’s criminal record throughout his life that David Lutzweiler has documented in his recent book “The Praise of Folly” which is available online.
    Biola University’s doctrinal statement says Christ’s return is “premillennial” and “before the Tribulation.” Although universities stand for “academic freedom,” Biola has added these narrow, restrictive phrases – non-essentials the founders purposely didn’t include in their original doctrinal statement when Biola was just a small Bible institute! And other Christian schools have also belittled their founders.
    Ice, BTW, has a “Ph.D” issued by a tiny Texas school that wasn’t authorized to issue degrees! Ice now says that he’s working on another “Ph.D” via the University of Wales in Britain. For light on the degrees of Ice’s scholarliness, Google “Bogus degree scandal prompts calls to wind up University of Wales,” “Thomas Ice (Bloopers),” “be careful in polemics – Peripatetic Learning,” and “Walvoord Melts Ice.” Also Google “Thomas Ice (Hired Gun)” – featured by media luminary Joe Ortiz on his Jan. 30, 2013 “End Times Passover” blog.
    Other fascinating Google articles include “The Unoriginal John Darby,” “X-raying Margaret,” “Margaret Macdonald’s Rapture Chart,” “Pretrib Rapture’s Missing Lines,” “Edward Irving is Unnerving,” “Pretrib Rapture Politics,” “Pretrib Rapture Secrets,” “Pretrib Rapture Dishonesty,” “Pretrib Hypocrisy,” “Pretrib Rapture Secrecy,” and “Roots of Warlike Christian Zionism” – most from the author of “The Rapture Plot,” the most accurate documentation on pretrib rapture history.
    Can anyone guess who the last proud pretrib rapture holdout will be?
    (Postscript: For another jolt or two Google “The Background Obama Can’t Cover Up.”)

    / Hi IsraelOutlook. I spotted the preceding on the net. Enjoy. /

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