OF THE RAPTURE THEORY
Just where did this modern day Rapture Theory come from?
The answer may surprise you. At the beginning of the
great British Advent Awakening back in the late 1820's a
certain gentleman by the name of, Edward Irving started a
church of his own and called it the Catholic Apostolic
Church. This new church fervently believed in the
exercise of the speaking of the unknown tongues. In one
of these sessions speaking, an utterance considered as
proceeding from the Holy Spirit was received, in which
"The Rapture" was revealed. At the powerscourt
castle prophetic conferences, which began in Ireland in
1830's, Edward Irving introduced his secret rapture
teaching. This provided the foundation for a whole new
system of beliefs, tying together dispensationalism, the
rapture, the tribulation, the antichrist``, and the
millennial reign of Christ on earth.
Samuel P. Treguells, a great new testament scholar who
attended some of the powerscourt meetings, later wrote: I
AM NOT AWARE THAT THERE WAS ANY DEFINITE TEACHING THAT
THERE WOULD BE A SECRET RAPTURE OF THE CHURCH AT A SECRET
COMING UNTIL THIS WAS GIVEN FORTH AS AN 'UTTERANCE' IN
MR. IRVING'S CHURCH, FROM WHAT WAS THEN RECEIVED AS BEING
THE VOICE OF THE SPIRIT. BUT WHETHER ANYONE EVER ASSERTED
SUCH A THING OR NOT, IT WAS FROM THAT SUPPOSED REVELATION
THAT THE MODERN DOCTRINE AND THE MODERN PHRASEOLOGY
RESPECTING IT AROSE"
So there you have it, was the rapture teaching discovered
after hours of prayerful, careful searching of the word
of God? No, it arrived instead as an utterance during a
session of speaking of tongues!
But there is a most interesting background to this
so-called 'UTTERANCE' in Edward Irving's church. Dave
Macpherson in his book, The Late Great Pre-Trib Rapture,
quotes from a recently found book, The Restoration of
Apostles and Prophets in the Catholic Apostolic
Church." The Author, who wrote it in 1861, was an
Medical Doctor by the name of Robert Norton who had been
an eye-ear witness of the events described in the book.
On an evening in 1830, between February 1st and April
14th the young girl, Margaret McDonald, had a personal
revelation about the end of the world, that the claimed
was really based upon scripture. While events were still
fresh in her mind, she preserved a handwritten account of
everything. At the time of this experience, Margaret was
living in Port Glasgow, a ship building town on the south
bank of the Clyde River in Western Scotland." Page
News of Margaret's revelation traveled fast and far.
Edward Irving obtained a copy of Margaret's revelation
and referred to it in June 1830.
A few weeks later John Darby, founder of the Plymouth
Brethren Church, journeyed to Scotland to visit Miss
McDonald." He borrowed some of her prophetic ideas
without giving her credit, modified them and passed them
off as his own. Darby's visit to the McDonald home in
mid-1830 is related in his little known book, The
Irrationalism of infidelity (1853) Pages 283-285."
Darby was clearly a believer in the return of Christ
after the tribulation, until the time of Margaret's
· C. I. Scofield, the Author of the Scofield reference
bible, popularized what we may call a new view of the
events preceding and following the coming of Christ. But
no one has done more in the past few years to promote the
pre-tribulation rapture theory than Hal Lindsey in his
books: THE LATE GREAT PLANET EARTH, AND THERE'S A NEW
· The Pre-tribulation Rapture Theory follows futuristic
system of interpretation, it will probably come as a
great shock to many that the system of futuristic
interpretation used by the teachers of the
pre-tribulation rapture theory can be traced back to a
Spanish Jesuit priest by the name of, Francisco Rivera.
In 1590 Rivera published a commentary on the revelation
as a counter interpretation to the prevailing view among
Protestants which identified the papacy with the
antichrist. Like most of the pre-tribulation rapture
exponents, Ribera applied all of revelation, but the
first three chapters, to the end time.
· Revelation 4:1 has been used to point out a rapture of
the church. But a careful study of the context does not
support this false teaching. John the beloved apostle has
encountered Jesus while in the spirit in a first place in
heaven. Now in Revelation 4:1 John still in the spirit,
sees a door open to a second part in heaven, and hears
the voice of the trumpet again saying to HIM- NOT THE
CHURCH- come up and HE will see what will soon transpire
in the far future following his day. This pre-tribulation
rapture theory, that everything written in the book of
Revelation after chapter four, verse one, takes place
after the rapture of the church, is a false teaching, for
Jesus clearly said: "I beheld Satan as lightning
fall from heaven," Luke 10:18 here is an event that
Jesus said took place in the past, long before he walked
the dusty roads of Palestine. And the description of this
fall is listed in Revelation 12:7-9.
· Brethren we need to believe Jesus, therefore we should
not put any faith in bible footnotes or teachings that
would have us believe that everything past Revelation 4:1
will take place after a rapture of the church.