THE ORIGIN OF  THE PRE-TRIBULATION SECRET RAPTURE DOCTRINE   (The following information  has been compiled from various sources )



The "Secret"  Rapture  Throughout  Church History

   "...No hint  to such belief can be found in any Christian literature from Polycarp down.... Surely,( this  doctrine)  finds no exponent or advocate in the whole history and literature of Christendom, for eighteen hundred years after the founding of the Church - a doctrine that was never taught by a Father or Doctor of the Church in the past  ... until the middle of the Nineteenth century, " (Robert Cameron, Scriptural Truth About The Lord's Return, .


      The first person to whom the  doctrine  concerning a rapture prior to the second coming of Jesus Christ,  can be traced to was  a  Roman Jesuit named Ribera in 1591 AD.   Then   Emmanuel Lacunza

         Lacunza claimed to be a converted Jew named "Rabbi Ben Ezra."   Under that alias, he theorized that the Church would be "raptured"  before Jesus'  return to Earth.   Later in 1827 his book was translated into English by a Scottish radical named Edward Irving.  He published Lacunza's view in his paper, "The Morning Watch."
     In 1830,  a 15 year old charismatic girl named Margaret Macdonald, claimed that she had a vision of a "secret rapture."  A year later in, Robert Norton, a charismatic Irvingite evangelist, meets Margaret Macdonald and popularizes her "secret rapture" vision around England.

        Dr. Samuel Prideaux Tregelles (1813-1875), a prominent English theologian and biblical scholar, wrote a pamphlet in 1866 tracing the concept of the rapture through the works of John Darby back to Edward Irving    (www.wikipedia.org/ )
        
        In 1870, John N. Darby,  founder of the Plymouth Brethren, began to partake in many of the Irvingite meetings and at one point he wrote that he had "come to an understanding of a new truth." Later in his own letters, Darby admitted that he had been influenced by the writings of the Jesuit De Lacunza.  While in the States, Darby met C. I. Scofield.
          
      "The person most responsible for the rather widespread acceptance of Pretribulationalism and Dispensationalism among Evangelicals is Cyrus Ingerson Scofield (1843-1921). C. I. Scofield published his Scofield Reference Bible in 1909. This Bible, which espoused the doctrines of Darby in its notes, became very popular in Fundamentalist circles. In the minds of many a Bible teacher, fundamentalist pastor and multitudes of professing Christians, Scofield's notes were practically equated with the word of God itself".    (Brian Schwertley)
     

     So  Scofield included many and various things from  Lacunza-Macdonald-Darby and  he went on to include them in an annotated Bible.
Sound Bible scholars of the day such as A. J. Gordon, W. G. Moorhead, Charles R. Eerdman, and others tried to dissuade him. Three noted members of Scofield's own revision committee even resigned because of Scofield's unswerving support for the Lacunza-Macdonald-Darby view, but their voices were not heard. 

    " Dr. Harry Ironside of Moody Bible Institute, himself an ardent supporter of the Lacunza-Darby-Macdonald-Scofield eschatological scheme, admitted in his book Mysteries of God, p. 50 :...Until brought to the fore through the writings of...Mr. J. N, Darby, the doctrine taught by Dr. Scofield (the Seven-Year Tribulation) is scarcely to be found in a single book throughout a period of 1600 years. If any doubt this statement, let them search, as the writer has in measure done, the remarks of the so-called Fathers, both pre-and post-Nicene, the theological treatises of the scholastic divines...the literature of the reformation...the Puritans. He will find the 'mystery' conspicuous by its absence."Brian Schwertley
    
      I think we need to  be careful not to speak ill of the brethren who taught and have sincerely proliferated  the erronious  doctrine of the "secret rapture"  unwittingly. Yet  Christ and the Apostles warned us to "take heed that no one leads you astray ".    Perhaps the greatest danger of this doctrine is that it doesn't prepare God's people for the greatest time of testing to come, known as  the "great tribulation"
 
   "The great irony is that many teachers of eschatology may actually be inadvertently setting up the very conditions of deception...that they teach about "(A Warning to Those who Teach on " End times " Issues )
   May God help us to seach out and arrive at the  truth concerning this most important matter.

               

(1731-1801), a Jesuit priest, (under the pseudonym Juan Josafat Ben Ezra) wrote an apocalyptic work entitled (The Coming of the Messiah in Glory and Majesty). The book appeared first in 1811.   Ten years after his death in 1827, it was translated into English by the Scottish minister Edward Irving  "     (www.wikipedia.org/ )        

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