Tuesday, January 29, 2013

3113 - Pre-Tribulation Rapture

I have believed my entire life that at some point, when the coming of Christ is near, that the righteous in Christ would be "raptured" to Heaven before the beginning of the Tribulation, and those "left behind" would have to endure the seven years of the Anti-Christ's rule on Earth. I read the "Left Behind" series by Tim LaHaye and Jerry Jenkins with fervor, multiple times. Then I asked God to guide me through the Bible to better understand these events. This is what He has shown me.

The Origin of Pre Tribulation Rapture
A Church of Scotland minister, named Edward Irving, was the first to preach the "rapture gospel."

Just how the "rapture" theory occurred to Irving is an intriguing facet of modern churchianity's history. Irving held some eccentric positions on the use of "spiritual" gifts, including speaking in tongues and prophesying. He contended that these gifts were for the present day "church", and had quite a few followers of his radical notions. However, when chaotic disturbances arose in Irving's services during the manifestations of these "gifts", the Church of Scotland took action, dismissing Irving from his position as minister in 1832.

The ultimate result of Irving's dismissal was the formation of the Catholic Apostolic Church, which still exists until this day. Irving's movement grew and became the basis of modern day Pentecostalism  The natural evolution of this movement has resulted in the recent emergence of the "Toronto Laughing Spirit" phenomenon which has seduced and mislead more than a few well-intentioned people.

However, in 1830 during one of Irving's sessions before his dismissal, a young Scottish girl, named Margaret MacDonald, fell into a "trance". After several hours of "vision" and "prophesying" she revealed that "Christ's" return would occur in two phases, not just one. "Christ" would first come visibly to only the righteous, then He would come a second time to execute wrath on the unrighteous in the nations.

This "secret rapture" was promoted by Irving claiming he, too, had heard a "voice" from heaven commanding him to teach it. (Some modern researchers submit that Irving's speculations of the "rapture were influenced by the Spanish Jesuit priest, Lacunza whose book Irving had translated in 1827 under the title, The coming of the Messiah in Glory and Majesty)

John Darby, an Englishman and pioneer of the "Plymouth Brethren" movement became caught up in the rapture philosophies of Irving. When Darby heard about Irving's activities, he traveled to Scotland to talk with Irving and his followers about the "secret rapture". It was Darby who became the master developer of "scriptural" arguments to support the theory/doctrine that evolved.

Darby's development of the "rapture" theory has since become widely popularized in Britain and finally in the U.S., largely as a result of Cyrus Scofield's notes in his Scofield Reference Bible.

I won’t dispute this young woman’s vision; I simply believe her timing is misinterpreted.
 Revelation 20:4-6 RSV - “They came to life, and reigned with Christ a thousand years. The rest of the dead did not come to life until the thousand years were ended. This is the first resurrection. Blessed and holy is he who shares in the first resurrection! Over such the second death has no power, but they shall be priests of God and of Christ, and they shall reign with him a thousand years."

Jesus teachings concerning the Rapture and its timing are present throughout the New Testament, all of them contradicting the pre tribulation rapture.

The Parable of the Weeds
Matthew  13:24-30 
24 "Jesus told them another parable: “The kingdom of heaven is like a man who sowed good seed in his field. 25 But while everyone was sleeping, his enemy came and sowed weeds among the wheat, and went away. 26 When the wheat sprouted and formed heads, then the weeds also appeared.
27 “The owner’s servants came to him and said, ‘Sir, didn’t you sow good seed in your field? Where then did the weeds come from?’
28 “‘An enemy did this,’ he replied.
“The servants asked him, ‘Do you want us to go and pull them up?’
29 “‘No,’ he answered, ‘because while you are pulling the weeds, you may uproot the wheat with them. 30 Let both grow together until the harvest. At that time I will tell the harvesters: First collect the weeds and tie them in bundles to be burned; then gather the wheat and bring it into my barn.’”

Matthew 13:41-42

41 "The Son of Man will send out his angels, and they will weed out of his kingdom everything that causes sin and all who do evil. 42 They will throw them into the blazing furnace, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth."

Matthew 24:37-41

37 "As it was in the days of Noah, so it will be at the coming of the Son of Man. 38 For in the days before the flood, people were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, up to the day Noah entered the ark; 39 and they knew nothing about what would happen until the flood came and took them all away. That is how it will be at the coming of the Son of Man. 40 Two men will be in the field; one will be taken and the other left. 41 Two women will be grinding with a hand mill; one will be taken and the other left. (Notice God left Noah on the ark and took the unrighteous.)"

Matthew 24:13-21

13 "but the one who stands firm to the end will be saved. 14 And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in the whole world as a testimony to all nations, and then the end will come."

Mark  13:11- 23
15 “So when you see standing in the holy place ‘the abomination that causes desolation,’[a] spoken of through the prophet Daniel—let the reader understand— 16 then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains. 17 Let no one on the housetop go down to take anything out of the house. 18 Let no one in the field go back to get their cloak. 19 How dreadful it will be in those days for pregnant women and nursing mothers! 20 Pray that your flight will not take place in winter or on the Sabbath. 21 For then there will be great distress, unequaled from the beginning of the world until now—and never to be equaled again." (Those righteous left will suffer "distress".)

John 17:15-16

15 "My prayer is not that you take them out of the world but that you protect them from the evil one. 16 They are not of the world, even as I am not of it."

Corinthians-1 15:51-53
 "Behold, I show you a mystery; We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the LAST trump: (This is when and only when there is anything at all like a rapture. It plainly says that it will be at the LAST trumpet angel which is at the end of tribulation on the Day of the Lord.) for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, (Seventh trumpet angel; *See Revelation 10:5-7 Cross Reference below)  and we shall be changed. For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal [must] put on immortality."

Revelation 10:5-7   
"And the angel which I saw stand upon the sea and upon the earth lifted up his hand to heaven, And sware by him that liveth for ever and ever, who created heaven, and the things that therein are, and the earth, and the things that therein are, and the sea, and the things which are therein, that there should be time no longer: But in the days of the voice of the seventh angel, (The voice of the 7th angel and the last trump are one and the same.) when he shall begin to sound, the mystery of God should be  finished, (The angel sounds at the finish, not the beginning.) as he hath declared to his servants the prophets."

Revelation 7:2-4

2 "Then I saw another angel coming up from the east, having the seal of the living God. He called out in a loud voice to the four angels who had been given power to harm the land and the sea: “Do not harm the land or the sea or the trees until we put a seal on the foreheads of the servants of our God.” Then I heard the number of those who were sealed: 144,000 from all the tribes of Israel."

 Zephaniah 2:3
"Seek ye the Lord, all ye meek of the earth, which have wrought his judgment; seek righteousness, seek meekness: it may be ye shall be hid in the day of the Lord's anger."  ( In order to be hidden in the day of the Lord's anger, the meek will have to be here.)       

We can see from Scripture that there will be only one rapture, that the righteous must endure to the end of Tribulation to see the glory of the second return of Christ. A pre tribulation rapture would actually require a third return of Christ of which He never speaks.

 Next I will begin to tie in the Book of Daniel to current events, and explain Daniel's 70 weeks.             


  1. Amen, BuckeyeMike. Great blog. The best and most accurate book I've found on pretrib rapture beginnings is historian Dave MacPherson's 300-page book The Rapture Plot which is available online at Armageddon Books etc. The same book backs up what you say. All most interesting. And I just read on Google a hot little related article with the title of "Pretrib Rapture Pride" that all should look over. Many seem to be giving up pretrib rapturism for something else. Lord bless.

  2. I'm John and failed to add my name to the above. Sorry about that.