This work reveals the teachings on the Coming of the Lord by the prophets, Jesus Christ, the early church fathers and those that followed until about 1832; then focuses on the Pretribulation Rapture Theory that came about that time.
3000 BC to Jesus’ Ministry: Before Jesus Christ came to earth, “conceived by the Holy Spirit, born of the Virgin Mary (Apostles Creed);” the Prophets taught of the Lord’s birth, death, resurrection, our end times, tribulation and return of the Lord. As Jude stated, “Enoch, the seventh generation from Adam, prophesied… ‘Behold, the Lord comes with ten thousands of His saints (same word for ‘holy ones’ – angels), to execute judgment on all… (Jude 14)’.” And Daniel tells us of four beasts (dynasties: lion – Babylon; bear – Persia-Mede; Leopard – Greece; and Rome with 10 horns, out of which will come the Antichrist. “He shall speak pompous words against the Most High, and persecute the saints of the Most High… for a time, and times and half a time (3 ½ years or 42 months; Dan. 7:23-25).” “At that time (of the Antichrist) …there shall be a time of trouble (great tribulation), such as never was since there was a nation… and many of those who sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake, some to everlasting life, some to shame and everlasting contempt… From the time that the daily sacrifice is taken away and the abomination of desolation is set up is 1,290 days (42 months; Dan. 12:1-2; 11).”
|About 29AD: Christ Jesus speaking to His apostles. “Jesus sat on the Mount of Olives, the disciples came to Him privately and asked, ‘Tell us… what will be the sign of Your coming, and the end of the age?’ And Jesus answered… ‘Take heed that no one deceives you, for many will come in My name, saying ‘I am the Christ,’ and will deceive many. And you will hear of war… these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet. For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. And there will be famines, pestilences, and earthquakes in various places. All these are the beginning of sorrows. Then they will deliver you up to tribulation and kill you… Many false prophets will rise up and deceive many… the love of many will grow cold. But he who endures to the end shall be saved. And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in all the world as a witness to all the nations, and then the end will come.
Therefore, when you see the ‘abomination of desolation,’ spoken of by Daniel the prophet, standing in the holy place… then there will be GREAT TRIBULATION, such as not been since the beginning of the world, nor ever shall be… If anyone says to you, ‘Look, here is the Christ!’ do not believe it… For as the lightning comes… so will the coming of the Son of Man be; for where the carcass is, there the eagles will gather. Immediately after the tribulation of those days the sun will be darkened… then the sign of the Son of Man will appear in heaven, and all the tribes of the earth will mourn, and they will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds with power and great glory. And He will send His angels with a great sound of a trumpet, and they will gather together the elect from one end of heaven to the other (Matthew 24).”
About 50 AD, the Apostle Paul: “Concerning the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ and our gathering together to Him… let no one deceive you… for THAT DAY shall not come unless the falling away comes first, and the man of sin (lawlessness) is reveal; the son of perdition (the antichrist), who opposes and exalts himself above all that is called God or that is worshiped, so that he sits as God in the temple… the will consume him with the brightness of His coming (2Thes.2:1-8).”
|About 70 AD, the Apostle John – Revelation: “I saw… and when He opened the fourth seal… a pale horse; and Death sat on it, and Hades followed with him. And power was to them over a fourth of the earth (25%), to kill with war, hunger and the beasts of the earth. When He opened the fifth seal, I saw under the altar the souls of those who had been slain for the word of God and for the testimony which they held… and it was said to them… rest until the number of your fellow servants and brethren killed is completed… (another 1/3 of the remaining die from famine, pestilence, disease; making the total about 50% = 25% + 33% of the remaining 75%) He opened the sixth seal… and the sun became black… for the Great Day of His wrath has come…
And I John asked concerning a great multitude which no one can number, of all nations, tribes, peoples and tongues, standing before the Lamb, clothed with white robes… One of the elders said to me, ‘these are the ones who come out of the great tribulation and washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb…” And John told many things that Daniel, Jesus and others spoke of, and he said of the last days, people shall ‘worship the beast… and he was given a mouth speaking great things and blasphemies, and was given authority to continue 42 months. Then he opened his mouth and blasphemy against God… it was granted to him to war with the saints and to overcome them… and all on earth will worship him, whose names have not been written in the Book of Life… (Rev. chapters 6, 7, 13).”
“Then, I saw another angel… having the gospel to preach to all who were on the earth – to every nation, tribe and people – saying… ‘Fear God and give glory to Him for the hour of His judgment has come… Then I looked, and behold, a white cloud, and on the cloud sat ONE like the Son of Man… (Rev. 14).”
And the Early Church Fathers taught this way; that the church and world will go through 42 months of Great Tribulation before the return of the Lord Jesus Christ.
80 AD: Clement of Rome: “Let us take the noble examples furnished in our own generation. …the greatest and most righteous pillars of the Church have been persecuted and put to death. Let us set before our eyes the illustrious apostles. Peter, through unrighteous envy, endured not one or two, but numerous labors, and when he had finally suffered martyrdom, departed to the place of glory due to him. …Paul obtained the reward of patient endurance, after being seven times thrown into captivity, compelled to flee, and stoned. After preaching both in the east and west, he gained the illustrious reputation due to his faith, having taught righteousness to the whole world, and come to the extreme limit of the west, and suffered martyrdom under the prefects. Thus was he removed from the world, and went into the holy place, having proved himself a striking example of patience.”
About 120-140 AD: Polycarp a disciple of the apostle John: “Jesus comes as the judge of the living and dead. His blood will God require of those who do not believe in Him…” The ‘Didache (Teachings):’ “…when lawlessness increases, they shall hate and persecute and betray one another, and then shall appear the world-deceiver (Antichrist)… with signs and wonders; and he shall do evil…” Shepherd of Hermas: “endure patiently the great tribulation that comes…”
|About 155 AD: Justin Martyr; “Two advents of Christ have been announced: the one, in which He set forth as suffering and crucified; but the other, in which He shall come from heaven with glory, when the man of apostasy (Antichrist) who speaks against the Most High, shall do unlawful deeds on the earth against us the Christians… who are beheaded, crucified, thrown to wild beasts…”|
About 200 AD, Irenaeus preached, “…Concerning the future resurrection… the last trumpet and the dead shall be raised… all the dead… shall hear the voice of the Son of Man and come forth… and those that have done good to the resurrection of life; and those that have done evil to the resurrection of judgment… Book V: ‘…the Antichrist will endeavor in a tyrannical manner to set himself forth as God… in the temple the enemy shall sit… the abomination of desolation… for there shall then be Great Tribulation… he shall wear out the saints of the most high God… for 3 years and 6 months…”
Irenaeus; Book V: “‘…The chaff …the apostasy (shall) be cast away, but the wheat, those who bring forth fruit to God in faith, shall be gathered into the barn. And for this cause tribulation is necessary for those who are saved, that having been after a manner broken up, and rendered fire, and sprinkled over by the patience of the Word of God, and set on fire for purification, they may be fitted for the royal banquet. As a certain man of our (Ignatius to the Romans) said, when he was condemned to the wild beasts because of his testimony with respect to God, ‘I am the wheat of Christ, and am ground by the teeth of wild beasts, that I may be found the pure bread of God.’
‘…When this Antichrist shall have devastated all things in this world, he will reign for three years and six months, and sit in the temple at Jerusalem; and then the Lord will come from heaven in the clouds, in the glory of the Father, sending this man and those who follow him into the lake of fire; butbringing in for the righteous the times of the kingdom, that is, the rest, the hallowed seventh day; and restoring to Abraham the promised inheritance, in which kingdom the Lord declared, that ‘many coming from the east and west should sit down with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob (Matt. 8:11).’
About 210: Tertullian, “The beast Antichrist with his false prophet will wage war on the Church of God…” About 215: a form of the Apostles’ Creed was written, “Jesus Christ… shall come to judge the quick (living) and the dead.”
About 220: Hippolytus, student of Irenaeus:
“The Persians …ruled 230 years, and …the Greeks …for 300 years, of necessity the fourth beast …mightier than all …will reign 500 years: When the times are fulfilled and the ten horns spring from the beast in the last times, then Antichrist will appear …and make war against the saints and persecute them, then may we expect the manifestation of the Lord from heaven.’ …And the Lord has said the same thing in the Gospel: ‘Then shall the righteous shine forth as the sun (Matt. 13:43).’ ‘For a time, times and a half (Dan. 12:7);’ by this he indicated the three and a half years of Anti-Christ. …These are the ‘1,290 days’of which Daniel prophesied (Dan. 12:12).“
- 235: Origin wrote Exhortation to Martyrdom; during the first 2 centuries of Christianity, followers of Christ suffered persecution and were taught how to die in the faith.
313: The Edict of Milan issued under Emperor Constantine the Great requiring toleration for or freedom of religious practices.
323: Eusebius of Caesarea produced Ecclesiastical History, which told of the history of early church fathers and persecution endured by many.
|325 drafted; 381 ratified: The Nicene Creed: “We believe in one God, the Father almighty, maker of heaven and earth… And in one Lord Jesus Christ, the only Son of God, begotten from the Father… God from God… of the same essence as the Father… for our salvation… He became incarnate by the Holy Spirit and the Virgin Mary… He was crucified… suffered and was buried. The third day He rose again, according to the Scriptures. He ascended to heaven… He will come again with glory to judge the living and the dead…” This was and is the orthodox and fundamental teaching of the church – one return or Second Advent and one judgment.|
- None of the Doctors of the East or West taught otherwise or said one word on a Pretribulation Rapture. Of the East; the first three of the following are called the ‘Three Holy Hierarch:’ Gregory of Nazianzen, Basil the Great, John Chrysostom, Cyril, and Athanasius. Some of these were key in confirming the Nicene Creed.
373: Basil: ‘Brothers, martyr’s crowns await you. The companies of the confessors are ready to reach out their hands to you and to welcome you into their own ranks. Remember how none of the saints of old won their crowns of patient endurance by living luxuriously and being courted; but all were tested by being put through the fire of great afflictions; ‘for some had trial of cruel mocking and scourging, and others were sawn in two and were slain with the sword (Heb. 11:36, 37).’ These are the glories of saints. Blessed is he who is deemed worthy to suffer for Christ; more blessed is he whose sufferings are greater, since ‘the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory that shall be revealed in us (Rom. 8:18).’
|ca. 382: Cyril, ‘Lecture XV: On the clause: ‘…and shall come in glory to judge the quick and the dead; of whose Kingdom there shall be no end (from the Nicene Creed; 2 Tim. 4:1 and Isa. 9:7; etc.). In this work, Cyril writes: “ ‘I beheld till thrones were placed, and one that was the Ancient of days did sit …and then, I saw in a vision of the night, and behold one like unto the Son of Man came with the clouds of heaven… (Dan. 7:9, 13).’ We preach not one advent only of Christ, but a second, far more glorious than the former. For the former gave a view of His patience; but the later brings with it the crown of a divine kingdom. …In His former advent, He was wrapped in swaddling clothes in the manger; in His second, He covers Himself with light as with a garment (Psa. 104:2; 2Thes.2:8). In His first coming, He endured the Cross, despising shame (Heb. 12:2); in His second, He comes attended by a host of angels, receiving glory. We rest not then upon His first advent only, but look also for His second.’|
400: John Chrysostom from his commentary; the ‘Gospel according to St. Matthew (which by hand was over 2,000 pages):’ “As He sat upon the Mount of Olives, the disciples came unto Him privately, saying, ‘Tell us when shall these things be? And what shall be the sign of Thy coming, and the end of the world (Matt. 24:3)? … they were in travail to know the day of His coming, because of their eager desire to behold that glory, which is the cause of countless blessings…”
Concerning the West; the Catholic Church list four major Doctors of the Church: the ‘Four Latin Doctors,’ or the ‘Fathers of the Western Church:’ Ambrose, Jerome, Augustine, and Gregory the Great. Jerome was the chief writer and editor of the Latin Vulgate Bible translation.
|ca. 400: Augustine: from his book, ‘The City of God;’ it is from ‘Book XX,’ which is titled, ‘Concerning the Last Judgment…:’ “…That which the whole Church of the true God holds and professes as its creed, that Christ shall come from heaven to judge the quick and dead, this we call the last day, or last time of the divine judgment… Christ in His coming is to strike those persecutors of the Church whom He shall then find alive upon earth, when He shall kill Antichrist with the breath of His mouth (2 Thes. 2:8), then even this is not the last judgment of the wicked; but the last judgment is that which they shall suffer when the bodily resurrection has taken place… This last persecution by Antichrist shall last for three years and six months, as we have already said, and as is affirmed both in the book of Revelation and by Daniel the prophet… Nevertheless, …there is not doubt Paul said, that Christ will not come to judge quick and dead unless Antichrist, His adversary, first come to seduce…”|
Council of Chalcedon: the Fourth Ecumenical Council (451) met to try and settle a divide between the bishops of the East and West; but nothing was said of a Pretribulation Rapture. For centuries the Catholic Church gained strength in the West and the Eastern Orthodox Church in their regions; both spreading – one in Europe and the other in Asia. By the 7th century a new and great treat to live and doctrines emerged – the followers of Muhammad and Islam. Difficult times continued until the end of the Black Death – Great Plague that killed 25 million people or over ¼ the population of Europe – some say one-third from 1348 to 1666.
The Hundred Years’ War occupied the minds of many from 1337 to 1453. Nevertheless, by 1380 John Wycliffe, a professor and English Bible translator, was becoming the ‘morning star of the Reformation.’ In his work, ‘On Christ and His Adversary Antichrist,’ he taught that the papacy or Roman Catholic Church would play a part with the coming Antichrist, but in his ‘Excuse to Pope Urban VI,’ he wrote, ‘…The pope should leave his worldly lordship to worldly lords, as Christ …taught His disciples… I suppose of our pope that he will not be Antichrist…’ Wycliffe died December 31, 1384. About 42 years later, the Catholic Church deemed him a ‘heretic,’ had his bones dug up and burned with many of his writings and then had the ashes cast into the River Swift. In 1415, the noble John Huss was burned at the stake as a heretic for preaching against certain practices of the Catholic Church – namely the sale of indulgences for absolution of guilt.
By 1455, the Gutenberg Bible from Jerome’s Latin Vulgate was produced from his new printing press. And not long after Columbus sailed to the Americas in 1492 and Magellan circumnavigated the world (1519-1521); Erasmus published a Greek New Testament (ca. 1516). The Roman Catholic Church opposed any translations – non Latin and not approved by them. In 1522, five years after the German professor, Martin Luther nailed the 95 Theses to the Church door in Wittenberg, he published the first German New Testament; both using Erasmus’ Greek version. About 1522, William Tyndale completed an English New Testament, from which he was killed. In 1523, Jacques Le Fevre of Paris published a French New Testament; and in 1529, Ulrich Zwingli, offered his Swiss-German Bible; and many others soon followed so that a great change occurred during the Reformation – children in schools and adults could read the Holy Scriptures in their own language and without biased interpretations.
|1500s: Yet, another significant occurrence manifested many or most of the Reformers of that time and for centuries that followed, began saying a pope would be the Antichrist. And these became the great reformers: The ‘Reformation Wall’ in Geneva shows Guillaume Farel (1489-1565), Jean Calvin (1509-1564), Théodore de Bèze (1513-1605), and John Knox (1513-1572). Although there were differences among them in certain doctrines; they all preached that the Antichrist would persecute the church during the Great Tribulation become the coming Judgment of the Lord Jesus Christ. They taught that the Roman popery was persecuting Christians and being used by the Antichrist – and many called the current popes – antichrist. Also, John Calvin and others saw both ‘the Pope and Mohammed’ involved in the last days ‘prophecies (of) the sufferings to be endured by the Church.|
Late 16th century, the English and Spanish were fighting and soon racing to America; the defeat of the Spanish Armada changed history for what would be the 13 Colonies of America. In 1620, the Mayflower sailed “for the glorie of God, and advancement of the Christian faith…” In 1625, Lutherans began to settle in New Amsterdam (New York). By 1636, what would become Harvard University was began by Christian ministers which its motto veritas – truth. In 1645, the Westminster Assembly replaced the Book of Common Prayer and in 1647, the Westimester Confession was ratified; and in 1654, James Ussher published Annals of the World (Day 1, 4004 BC / note: Jews say 3,760) – no mention of a Pretribulation Rapture by anyone to this point.
By about 1700, Sir Isaac Newton defended Ussher’s chronology and much of Joseph Mede’s views on last days; and Newton calculated that the Great Tribulation would not begin before 2060. By 1720s, John Wesley began what would become the Methodist Church. Wesley, Jonathan Edwards, George Whitfield and others would play a major part in ‘Revivals’ that spread across America and Europe. NONE of these great preachers ever spoke of a Pre-Tribulation Rapture of the Church.
|During the Reformation, following the lead of Martin Luther’s ‘Small Catechism (book of instructions; Luther popularized the term in 1520 with a shorter version)’ of 1525, many Protestant groups began producing a ‘Catechism’ to teach their beliefs to their children and converts. In 1536, John Calvin produced a Catechism in French, and in 1538, he published a Latin version; both of which were revised in longer form and published in many languages including Swiss and English; and which are now called the Geneva Catechism. These books of religious instruction usually included a creed, prayers, and instructions on beliefs and scriptures.
Many were produced, such as the Heidelberg Catechism of 1562 and the Westminster Catechism of 1647. Because of the Protestant catechisms, the Catholic Church responded from the Council of Trent in 1564 and produced a Roman Catechism in Italian. Italian had almost replaced all uses of the Latin. Yet, due to the pressures from certain traditional bishops, in 1566, a Latin version containing the Apostle’s Creed, the ‘Sacraments,’ the Decalogue (Ten Commandments), and prayers; especially the ‘Lord’s Prayer.’ Furthermore, the Council stated, ‘That the faithful may approach the Sacraments with greater reverence and devotion… the bishops shall have these instruments carefully translated into the vulgar (common) tongue and explained by all parish priests to their flocks…’. This Catechism was to counter the Protestants, for the Church would not even allow their priests to print the Bible in their local languages.
And a post-tribulation coming of the Lord continued to be taught, such as by John Owen (17th century) who was called ‘Prince of Divines’ by Charles Spurgeon. Owen wrote more than 80 publications, including Perilous Times.
Owens, Perilous Times: “This know, that ‘in the last days perilous times shall come (2 Tim. 3:1).’ The words contain a warning of imminent dangers. And there are four things in them… It is the great concern of all Christian professors and believers, of all churches, to have their hearts very much fixed upon present and approaching dangers. We have inquired so long about signs, tokens, and evidences of deliverance, and I know not what, that we have almost lost the benefit of all our trials, afflictions and persecutions. The duty of all believers is, to be intent upon present and imminent dangers. ‘O Lord,’ say the disciples, ‘what shall be the sign of Thy coming (Matt. 24:3).’ They were fixed upon His coming. Our Savior answers, ‘I will tell you: There shall be an abounding of errors and false teachers: many shall say, ‘Lo, here is Christ,’ and ‘Lo, there is Christ.’ There shall be an apostasy from holiness: ‘iniquity shall abound, and the love of many shall wax cold.’ There shall be great distress of nations: ‘Nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom.’ There shall be great persecutions: ‘And they shall persecute you, and bring you before rulers; and you shall be hated of all men for My name’s sake.’ There shall be great tokens of God’s wrath from heaven: ‘Signs in the heavens, the sun, moon and stars.’ Lord Christ would acquaint believers how they should look for His coming; He tells them of all the dangers. Be intent upon these things… …It is as glorious a thing to be a martyr for bearing testimony against the public sins of an age, as in bearing testimony unto any truth of the gospel…”
The Pre-Tribulation Rapture Theory
1740: Morgan Edwards wrote an essay on Bible prophecy at Bristol College in England.
1761: Morgan Edwards became pastor of a small Baptist Church in Philadelphia.
1742-1788: Morgan’s ‘Two Academical Exercises on Subjects Bearing the following Titles: Millennium, Last-Novelties (1742),’ was printed by Dobson and Lang Publishers in 1788. Morgan offered some form of Pre-Wrath or possibly Mid-Tribulaton Rapture but it was rebuked by his professor and contained certain errors.
|His title page verse is, ‘May we know what this new doctrine …is (Acts 17:19).’ Morgan begins his work quoting John, “And I saw thrones… and I saw the souls of them that were beheaded for the witness of Jesus, and which had not worshipped the beast… neither had received his mark… and they lived and reigned with Christ a thousand years. But the rest of the dead lived not again until the thousand years were finished: this is the first resurrection (Rev. 20:4, 5).’ Notice here that two things are established; first, Morgan’s primary topic is the ‘Millennium,’ and secondly, there shall be persecution and death under the reign of the ‘beast.’ Morgan continues, even telling of the Fifth Monarchy men and dangers of being associated with their teachings, saying, “There will be two resurrections… Paul advances the same doctrine in his first letter to the Thessalonians – ‘The dead in Christ shall rise first… (1 Thes. 4:16).’ …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; and this will be about three years and a half before the millennium… Such as ‘were beheaded for the witness of Jesus, and had not worshipped the beast nor his image, nor had received his mark in the forehead or hand.’ …they shall ‘reign with Christ On earth… Into the temple will Christ come after the destruction of Antichrist… Another event prior to the millennium will be the appearing of, the two Witnesses mentioned in Rev. xi and Zech. iv.”|
1791: In 1768, Catholic Jesuit, Manuel de Lacunza, born in Chile, was expelled from his country, and fled to Italy where he died in 1801. About 1791, Lacunza wrote ‘La venida del Mesias en Gloria y Majestad, Observaciones,’ which is ‘The Coming of the Messiah in Glory and Majesty.’ He used the Jewish name Juan Josafat Ben-Ezra for his work. Lacunza, knowing and likely building upon fellow Jesuit Ribera’ work, ‘Commentary on the Apocalypse,’ wrote of a Rapture that would occur as early as 45 days before Christ’ coming with His wrath. His book was published in Spain in 1811, and afterwards in Paris, London and Mexico, before it was banned by the Catholic Church in 1819. A translation found its way into Edward Irving’s hands; and at least afterwards, made its way to the Library of the Archbishop of Canterbury (London) through Samuel Maitland, librarian to the Archbishop (about 1826).
|1827: Irving’s translation of Lacunza’s ‘The Coming of the Messiah,’ preface: “To the Church of Christ of all denominations who worship God in the English tongue, and believe that Jesus Christ …shall come hereafter in glory. My soul is greatly afflicted because of the present unawakened and even dead condition of all churches, with respect to the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, which …is close at hand. Having …been brought to the knowledge of a book, written in the Spanish tongue, which …demonstrates from Holy Scripture, the erroneousness of the opinion, almost universal …that He is not to come till the end of the millennium, and what you call the ‘last day’ …period preceding the conflagration and annihilation of this earth; I have thought it my duty to translate the same into English tongue for your sake… your brother in the common faith, and servant in …the Gospel, a Presbyter of the Church of Scotland.”|
1828: Edward Irving: At age eighteen he graduated from the University of Edinburgh. In 1815 he was ordained in the Church of Scotland. In 1819, he was sent to Glasgow as a missionary. In 1822, he went to London and accepted a position as pastor at Caledonian Church. Irving stepped down as pastor and in 1827 he opened a new church in Regent Square. It was this same year, that Irving translated Lacunza’s ‘The Coming of the Messiah.’ In 1828, Irving began a series of lectures in England and Scotland in which he spoke of the coming of the Lord, the millennium and even made certain predictions; from these meetings would come the formation of the Holy Catholic Apostolic Church. Irving’s health failed him in 1834, at age 42. Irving never taught a Pre-Tribulation Rapture but of the persecution of the Church by the Antichrist; see Irving’s more than 500 page book, The Church and State Responsible to Christ and to One Another: A Series of Discourses of Daniel’s Vision of the Four Beast.
In small part Irving wrote: “‘…This vision of Daniel… the history of the long humiliation and final exaltation of the saints… this controversy against the saints is not introduced until the period of the fourth beast, and the rising up of the little horn… which makes war with the saints and prevails against them. …The four kingdoms (are) …Babylon, Persia, Greece, and Rome… …the Pope, and his antichristian abominations of virgin worship, wafer worship, idol worship and the like… the present apostasy of Christendom, and the abomination of the Whore of Babylon, or, as they call it, the holy Roman Empire. …We, the church in these islands (Great Britain), have been long blessed with emancipation from the power of the little horn: we have not been in bondage, like the saints of the other ten kingdoms: but let us now prepare for those fiery trials which are to draw on the time of the end, for it is to be a time of trial ‘such as never was since there was a nation until that time (Dan. 12:1).’ …Be prepared against the evil to come: for ‘through great tribulation we must enter the kingdom (Acts 14:22).’ ‘…Be faithful unto death, and ye shall receive a crown of life (Rev. 2:10).’ …Persecution is God’s ultimate method of preserving His church form perishing through the decay of vital godliness… (We stand against) …three great forms of Antichrist – the Papal, the Mohammedans, and the Infidel… the first arising out of the fourth or Roman kingdom; the second, spreading out over the third or Greek kingdom; and the last springing up and spreading itself over both…”
1835: Catholic Apostolic Church was formed by Irvingites.
|In the 1830’s, several significant events occurred: Albury meetings, Margaret MacDonald’s vision, the formation of the Catholic Apostolic Church, and that of the Plymouth Brethren. However, before addressing these events, remember the ‘Great Awaking’ had already spread through much of Britain, and most of the colonies of America, even a generation before the Declaration of Independence (1776). During this time period from America’s independence to the 1830s were many wars and struggles, revolutions and reformations throughout the ‘Christian’ nations and the world. The most notable wars were: The American Revolution, 1775 – 1783; The French Revolution, 1789 – 1802; Napoleon’s army conquered Austria, Egypt, and exiled Pope Pius VI, 1797 – 1799; from 1766 to 1818 Britain had many wars with India, including several Anglo-Mysore Wars; First Barbary Coast War, 1801 – 1805; Napoleonic Wars, 1803 – 1815; Anglo-Turkish War, 1807 – 1809; Anglo-Russian War, 1807 – 1812; the War of 1812; Anglo-Burmese War, 1823 – 1826; and in the 1830’s, two Canadian rebellions; an Anglo-Afghan War and the beginning of the ‘Opium Wars’ between Great Britain and China.|
1826 and 1830: Albury Conferences: C. G. Flegg, after extensive research, in his book Gathered Under Apostles, A Study of the Catholic Apostolic Church (1992), wrote, the ‘Albury conferences were called for the purpose of examining the Scriptures and especially the prophetic writings…” The Albury estate, of Surrey, England, was bought by Henry Drummond in 1819, who remodeled the mansion which when completed had 63 brick chimneys. The first conference at Albury had about 20 participants; during that conference they reviewed such works as Lacunza’s Coming of the Messiah.
In 1826, the first Albury Conference was attended by Edward Irving, and Lewis Way, one of the founders of the London Society for Promoting Christianity among the Jews. The London Jew’s Society, or The Jew’s Society, was founded in 1809, and by its centennial in 1909, it became the oldest, largest, and richest organization reaching out to Jews (contributors would include the Rothschild family). The second Albury Conference, in 1827, as recorded in Edward Miller’s, The History and Doctrines of Irvingism (1878), ‘was attended by a larger number than the first.’ He listed 43 men who attended at least once that year.
Evangelism was popular at this time: The following are Christian Societies with their founding date: Society for Promoting Christian Knowledge, 1698; the Society for Propagation of the Gospel, 1701; The Baptist Missionary Society, 1792; The Missionary Society, 1795 – became the London Missionary Society; Religious Tract Society, 1799; and Church Missionary Society, 1799; British and Foreign Bible Society, 1804; London Society for Promoting Christianity amongst the Jews, 1809; and the American Bible Society, which was founded in 1816.
|1829: After the fourth conference, in 1829, Henry Drummond summarized the conclusions agreed upon by the members of the Albury conferences, which he had published in their journal, Morning Watch, Quarterly Journal of Prophecy. Their consensus was that: The current ‘dispensation,’ church age, world end with the judgment and destruction of the church. They stated that the Jews would be restored to Israel during that time of judgment; and that when the judgment is complete, the millennial reign with Christ will begin. They claim the ‘1,260’ years (John said ‘days’) was from Justinian I (reigned 527 – 565) to the French Revolution (1789 – 1799). They did not mention a Pre-tribulation Rapture.|
According to Daniel Taylor’s book, The Reign of Christ on Earth... (1882): “In 1829, 1830, 1831, 1833, and 1834, no less than six prophetical journals were established in London, Dublin and Edinburgh… Between the year 1828 and 1834, some forty or fifty different volumes on prophecy were issued in Great Britain. Besides these, over thirty well-known and godly men put forth sixty works in defense of the pre-millennial advent. …Since the day of these Albury conferences, pre-millenarian views have spread very much…”
Lady Powerscourt: Lady Powerscourt became the widow of Richard Wingfield, 5th Viscount Powerscourt, who’s great great-grandfather was the Chief Governor of Ireland. Wingfield died in 1823, leaving the 49,000 acre estate to his wife and daughter. The estate, which was featured in the 2002 film The Count of Monte Cristo, has a mansion with about 70 rooms, and a 60’ long entrance hall. The original castle was visited by King George IV in 1821.
|1827: Drummond and Irving had invited Lady Powerscourt to their Albury conferences. Concerning this, William Neatby, in his 1901 book, A History of the Plymouth Brethren, wrote:
“Professor William Stokes, says, ‘…Prophecy meetings were established in 1827 at Albury Park… Lady Powerscourt attended these conferences, and was so delighted with them that she established a similar series of meetings at Powerscourt House near Bray, in the County Wicklow, which for several years were presided over by the rector of the parish, the late Bishop Robert Daly. These meetings lasted till 1833, when the bishop …retired on the account of extreme anti-Church views…’ However, …J. B. Stoney has left us with a graphic account of one of these conferences that he attended as late as September, 1838: ‘Mr. John Synge was in the chair. He called on each to speak in turn on a given subject. Mr. Darby spoke last, and often for hours, touching on all that had been previously said. Mr. Wigram sat next to him. Captain Hall, Mr. George Curzon, Sir. Alexander Campbell, Mr. Bellett, Mr. Thomas Mansell, Mr. Mahon, Mr. Edward Synge were there. There were clergymen present, and Irvingites’.”
1831: The Morning Watch Journal on Prophecy published Irving’s article, ‘Signs of the Times, and the Characteristics of the Church.’ He taught a pre-millennial pre-wrath rapture; not a pre-tribulation rapture. Also, many, including the Editor of the Journal spoke against the papacy and assumed its roll with the Antichrist.
1810s-30s: Where the reformers of the 1500’s had only a few printing presses, newly invented pencils, and horses and boats; the radicals of the new movements had newly invented steamed-powered printing presses (1814), rotary presses (1833) which allowed mass productions in the tens of thousands, as well as, newly opened commercial railways with stream locomotives (1812), the Orient Express (1833), and commercial trans-Atlantic steamboat lines (1818) and Clipper Sailing Ships (1833); and soon the electric telegraph (1838). Though several cults began to form and spread in the 1830’s; also, in that decade came Anti-Slavery Societies; the Sunday School Movement in America; and many missionaries were sent into the world. During the 1830’s: The Book of Mormon was published and Joseph Smith founded the Mormon ‘Church;’ the Millerites were organized, which became known as the Seventh Day Adventist; John N. Darby and his followers begin the Plymouth Brethren movement, from which he would promoted the Pre-tribulation Rapture doctrine; Henry Drummond, of the Albury Conferences, with J. B. Cardale, formed the Catholic Apostolic Church; the Oxford ‘Tractarianism’ Movement formed; Transcendental Clubs were being founded at American Universities; the first Roman Catholic Provincial Council in the United States was established; and several splits occurred in the Presbyterian Church, some due to slavery. Note: in 1825, the American Unitarian Association was formed; and in 1828, Webster’s Dictionary was published.
The BRETHREN: The Brethren movement began sometime between their informal meetings in Ireland in 1827, and in 1830, when they held their first meeting in Plymouth, England – from which they are also called The Plymouth Brethren. Darby soon took over much of the Brethren and caused division in them. He perhaps seduced Lady Powerscourt into funding his ‘ministry’ in Switzerland and England, and was once engaged to her – before it was broken off. Darby wrote in several journals in the early 1830s without speaking of a Pretribulation Rapture. One of the Brethren was Samuel Tregelles, considered second only to Friedrich Tischendorf in Bible Translation.
|John Nelson Darby: In 1825, about age 25, Darby was ordained as a deacon and then in 1826 as a priest. In 1827, he fell from a horse and was seriously injured; during his time of recovery he began to develop his dispensational theories. From 1827 to 1832, he attended Powerscourt conferences; met many future associates; and by 1832, separated from the Church of Ireland. He was a founder of the Brethren movement. In 1830, he visited Paris, Cambridge, and Oxford. Between 1838 and 1840, he worked primarily in Switzerland. During much of the 1830’s and 1840’s, though Darby was constantly writing, he was traveling, converting individuals and congregations to his teachings. In 1845, Darby accused Newton of heresy; and again in 1847 and 1848. By 1848, after much dispute, the Brethren split into the ‘Open Brethren’ and the ‘Exclusive Brethren,’ called ‘Darbyites.’ Between 1862 and 1877, Darby made at least five trips to the United States and or Canada. In addition to speaking in Toronto, Ontario; and New England (primarily in Massachusetts and New York); he also traveled to Montreal, Detroit, San Francisco, Hawaii, Barbados, Jamaica, Guyana, France, Switzerland, New Zealand, as well as throughout Britain, before his death in 1882. Darby’s great influence on many that met at the ‘Niagara Conference of Prophecy’ in the late 1880’s, ensured that his doctrines would continue to be taught. Before speaking on his dispensational theories, it should be note that in 1843, when William Miller’s (Seventh Day Adventist) false prophecy of Christ’ return pasted, not only did it become the ‘great disappointment’ for his ‘Adventist’ followers, but it damaged the reputations of many pre-millennial dispensationalist for many years. Nevertheless, Darby and his strongest supporters soon found fertile ground in North America.|
1832: As Samuel Tregelles wrote in 1864, concerning this teaching, ‘…The theory of a secret coming of Christ was first brought forth about 1832. …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…’.
|It is interesting that in 1832, when answering ‘Lectures on the Second Advent’ by Rev. William Burgh, Darby did not have his Pre-Tribulation Rapture teaching fully developed. Darby agreed that the Antichrist was a person who would after 42 months break a covenant upon which he would as Daniel prophesied ‘cause the sacrifice …to cease,’ and set up ‘the abomination that maketh desolate…’ then later enter the temple at Jerusalem. However, when Burgh stated the ‘woman persecuted’ by the ‘dragon (Rev. 12)’ is ‘the Jewish nation, against whom Antichrist, in this his short reign, will for reasons before stated, direct all his malignity…’ Darby answered as follows: “…Though all the malignity of Antichrist is here directed against the Jews, elsewhere we learn that he is to kill all the Gentile saints also, or at least, they are to be delivered to death.
About 1843, in The Coming of the Lord and the Translation of the Church, Darby answers George J. Walker’s pamphlet, ‘May the coming of the Lord be expected immediately? And will the translation of the church be secret?’ In this work, Darby speaks against Walker, and Newton, and writes of “the church and its rapture previous to the Lord’s appearing.”
In this brief rebuttal, Darby refers to a previous article titled, ‘What Saints will be in the Tribulation,’ in which he wrote: “The question, ‘will the saints be in the tribulation?’ suggests itself to everyone who is occupied with the hopes of the church of God and the prophetic declarations of Scripture as to the close of this earth’s painful and laborious history. …I cannot, in the space allowed me here, enter at large into the declarations of the Old Testament as to a remnant, nor of the New as to the church. But a short answer to the question itself will help to throw light on the points I allude to and on the rapture of the saints. I purpose adding a development of the true force of 2 Thessalonians 1, 2, so often introduced in the discussions which have arisen on these subjects. …He who would place the church in it will answer me, I am sure, that the Scriptures are clear on the point. There will be at the close a tribulation; a time such as there has never been, till the Lord’s coming brings deliverance. What, then, are the Scriptures which tell us that there will be such tribulation? I am not aware of any other direct ones than these: Jeremiah 30:7; Daniel 12:1; Matthew 24:21; Mark 13:19; Luke does not speak of it (wrong: see Luke 21:23-28) nor of the abomination of desolation; to which we may add the more general passages of Revelation 3:10; chapter 7:14. The first four passages do effectively prove that there will be a time of tribulation such as never was since there was a nation, or as it is expressed in Mark, ‘such as was not from the beginning of the creation which God created, neither shall be.’
‘…There will be then a tribulation. The other part of the question still remains: shall we, who compose the church, be in this tribulation? ‘The answer to this question must be sought in the passages which speak of the tribulation itself. The first of them, Jeremiah 30:7, is as clear as possible in announcing those to whom it applies: ‘It is the time of Jacob’s trouble, but he shall be delivered out of it.’ This time, then, of trouble …is the time of Jacob’s trouble. Nothing can be clearer or more distinct. The whole chapter may be read which sets it in the clearest light. It is not merely that Jacob may be found there, but when it is said, ‘Alas! For that day is great, there is none like it,’ the trouble spoken of is Jacob’s trouble. …Michael, also will then stand up for that people, and as Jeremiah had said, they ‘shall be delivered,’ that is, the elect remnant – those written in the book.”
1842/3: Darby wrote The Coming of the Lord and the Translation of the Church
1864: Samuel Tregelles published, The Hope of Christ’s Second Coming (republished in 2006; but very difficult to obtain), in which he stated concerning Darby’s ‘practice’ of applying Matthew 24, Mark 13, and Luke 21 to the Jews only: “…If things are so, to whom would the Scriptures apply which give warning of perilous times? To whom could signs be given? This consideration has led to the Jewish interpretation of Scripture. Whatever has been felt to be a difficulty has been set aside by saying that it is ‘Jewish;’ and that one word has been enough to show that it has nothing to do with the Church. Darby started this practice, and it continues to this very hour.”
|As to Darby’s ‘any moment’ ‘secret rapture,’ Tregelles wrote in The Hope of Christ’s Second Coming, “The theory of a secret coming of Christ was first brought forward about 1832 …The doctrine of a secret coming and a secret rapture stands in direct contradiction to the Scriptures…”.|
Darby continues: “Daniel’s testimony then is also quite clear. The tribulation is the tribulation of Daniel’s people. But this is rather important because it carries us at once to Matthew, the Lord Himself declaring that He speaks of this same time and same event, using the terms of Daniel, and referring to him by name as well as to the statement of the passage. Compare Matt. 24:15 and Daniel 12:11. Those who are in Judea are to flee to the mountains. Those who are on the housetop are not to come down. The abomination which causes desolation stands in the holy place. They are to pray that their flight may not be on the Sabbath. False Christs and false prophets are to seduce with the hopes cherished by the Jewish people. All is local and Jewish – has no application to hopes which rest on going to meet Christ in the air.”
|Once again willfully or not, Darby cunningly entices the reader and his followers to simply accept the tribulation as a Jewish event, and move on to the next point or event of the vast occurrences prophesied for these last days. Many are blinded by deception, lack of knowledge or undisciplined eagerness to move on without seeking out the truth of every prophecy and scripture. If this ‘time of Jacob’s trouble’ shall be as Matthew says, ‘there shall be great tribulation, such as was not since the beginning of the world …nor ever shall be (Matt.24:21);’ then it is the end of all wars and commotions. Considering that the mass holocaust of Jews during World War II occurred in several countries, and considering that war involved dozens of nations across a third of the earth, then without even consulting the scriptures in Revelation or any other scripture, one should see that the “great tribulation” is so far beyond a ‘local and Jewish’ event; and any theologian or teacher or minister who insist such, should be greatly opposed in this matter.|
Darby continues: “Mark relates evidently to the same event and almost exactly in the same terms. Thus these four passages, which speak of the unequalled tribulation, apply it distinctly to Jacob, Jerusalem, and Judea, and the Jews, not to the church. It is entirely another order and sphere of things form the church, and professedly so. There are two passages which, as I have said, are more general: Revelation 3:10 and 7:14. Do these, then, apply to the church? …‘Because thou hast kept the word of my patience, I also will keep thee from the hour of temptation, which shall come upon all the world to try them which dwell on the earth.’ That is, when the church is addressed, it is with a declaration that she will be kept from that hour which shall come to try others. …Revelation 7:14 may seem more difficult, still is bears witness to the same truth. For the heavenly kings and priests, that is, the elders who have represented them form the beginning of the second or strictly prophetic part of the book, are professedly another class of persons, who have not come out of the great tribulation. One of these elders explains to John who those who have come out of the great tribulation are, another class of persons from themselves.”
|First, concerning Rev. 7:14: ‘these are they which came out of the great tribulation, and have washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb.’ Who is this ‘class’ of persecuted Christians? To these ‘…white robes were given… that they should rest …until their fellow-servants and brethren should be killed (Rev. 6:11).’ They shall be ‘beheaded for the witness of Jesus and for the word of God, and which had not worshipped the beast, nor received his mark… (Rev. 20:4).’ Darby again is wrong in his manipulation and twisting of the Scripture, there is not ‘another class’ of Christians.|
|Secondly, concerning Rev. 3:10. If Darby uses this verse for the last days, then: in that it says, ‘upon all the world’ proves the great tribulation is more than a ‘Jewish or Jerusalem’ event as Darby previously stated; and thus, he opposes his own reasoning. Also, ‘the hour,’ could refer to an actual hour, as in ‘that day’ and thus support a ‘Pre-wrath Rapture,’ but not a ‘Pre-tribulation Rapture.’ Next, what do ‘try’ and ‘keep’ mean? Many theologians have interpreted this verse to mean that the Lord shall ‘try’ or ‘test’ them through great trials and tribulation, but ‘keep’ their souls preserved; or as stated in Barnes Notes: “I will so keep you that you shall not sink under the trials which will prove a severe temptation to many. This does not mean that they would be actually kept from the calamity of all kinds, but that they would be kept from the temptation of apostasy in calamity…” And note, Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance defines this word ‘keep’ as also ‘to guard,’ ‘to hold fast’ and to ‘watch.’ Nevertheless, if we did not even consider the previous sound points, is it just for Darby to simply pick and choose which verses he desires to apply the great tribulation? He picked the message to the sixth candlestick or the church in Philadelphia; why not the second candlestick or church in Smyrna, ‘…I know thy works and tribulation and poverty …fear none of those things which thou shall suffer… ye shall have tribulation ten days; be thou faithful until death, and I will give thee a crown of life… (Rev. 2:8-10).’ Or why not the last church, Laodicea, Repent or ‘…I will spue thee out of my mouth (Rev.3:16).’|
Darby continues: “…Revelation 12 – while not using the term tribulation… strongly confirms this same truth. When Satan and his angels are defeated by Michael, he is cast out and come down to the earth, having great wrath, knowing he has but a short time, and persecutes the woman. Now what is the effect of this most important event… the trial of the heavenly saints is ended, and that the inhabiters of the earth and the sea just about to begin in its most formidable shape, because Satan is cast down there. The language is this: ‘Now is come salvation, and strength, and the kingdom of God, and the power of Christ: for the accuser of our brethren is cast down… and they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb, and by the word of their testimony, and they loved not their lives unto the death…’ Now I do not say that this is the moment of the rapture, for I think it is included in the man-child’s being caught up (Rev. 12:5). But I say this that, at the moment of the commencement of the great rage of Satan for the three times and a half, the entire deliverance of the heavenly saintly from his power, and their triumph is celebrated; that is, they are not exposed to that last time of Satan’s rage. This chapter, then, confirms, in the fullest way, the exemption of the church from the last and dreadful time of trial…”.
|Here Darby seems to support a ‘Mid-tribulation Rapture;’ nevertheless, not Darby’s will but the Lord’s, who teaches through the holy Scriptures that ‘the dragon …shall make war with the remnant of her seed, which keep the commandments of God, and have the testimony of Jesus Christ (Rev. 12:17).’ This last verse of the chapter shows that it does not ‘exempt the church from that dreadful time of trial,’ but places them in the midst of it. Also, the word remnant is used because many of ‘their fellow-servants’ and ‘brethren’ had already died from the previous perils and ‘things that must come to pass’ before ‘the end (Matt. 24:6; Rev. 6:11).’|
Back to Darby’s The Coming of the Lord and the Translation of the Church:
“…I now turn to the interpretation of 2 Thessalonians… In chapter 2 he proceeds to unfold the real order of the events… Some would change here the authorized English Version, and read, ‘But we beseech you, brethren, concerning the coming,’ etc., instead of ‘by the coming.’ The preposition itself is used in both ways; but its constant force with words of beseeching is ‘by.’ The force of the apostle’s reasoning is this, that as they were to be gathered together to Christ, they could not be in the day which was to come by His appearing; they were to go to meet Him in the air, and hence could not be in the judgments of that day, it trials or its terrors. The apostle had taught them in the first epistle that they were to go to meet the Lord in the air. …The church’s connection with the return of the Lord was, to go up to meet Him in the air, to be gathered unto Him. The day was entirely another thing; it was vengeance from His presence. Neither could the day therefore come before the objects of vengeance were there. An apostasy would come, and the man of sin would be revealed, whom the Lord would consume with the breath of His mouth, and destroy by the appearing of His presence. That is, we have two things, which from the other scriptures also we know to be distinct, exactly in this way, Christ’s coming, and the manifestation of it; for when He appears, we shall appear with Him; hence we must be with Him before even He appears at all, yet at His coming – the coming of Christ and the public epiphany of His presence, with one of which the saints are directly connected, by being gathered together to Him; with the other, the day, because at His appearing He will exercise judgment against the ungodly. They will be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord… But He will come to be glorified in His saints, and admired in all them that believe… They will appear with Him in glory – be like Him. Now it is quite certain they will not appear with Him when they are caught up to meet Him in the air. Thus it is not merely particular expressions, though these are clear and forcible, but the bearing, and object, and course of reasoning of the whole chapter, which shows the distinction of the rapture of the saints before Christ appears, and the coming of the day when He is admired in them.’
‘What is important …is …the spirit and character of our waiting and Christ’s coming. We wait for Him to come and take unto Himself, the full discernment of our heavenly calling. There are no events connected with our relationship with Christ. We have no need of judgment to participate in blessing under Him; we go out of the midst of all events to meet Him above. The Jews and the world are delivered by judgments. Hence they must await the course of events and the full ripening of earthly evil for judgment; for the day will not come before. …The church on earth has no need to seek this; she belongs to Christ, and will be caught up to heaven out of the evil.
‘…The Thessalonians knew perfectly that the day of the Lord so cometh as a thief in the night, and when they (the world) say ‘Peace and safety,’ sudden destruction would come upon them, as travail upon a woman with child; he adds, ‘But ye, brethren, are not in darkness that that day should overtake you as a thief: ye are all children of the day.’ …(Paul) had just taught them that they were to be caught up to meet Him in the air… That is, he had taught them what made it impossible to suggest that the day could overtake them in any way… This passage says nothing of not being in the tribulation – we have treated that point already; but the objection confounds the tribulation and the day which really closes it. The tribulation is Satan’s power, though God’s judgment in woe; the day is Christ’s, who makes it and binds him. But the passage speaks not at all of the tribulation …but it does speak of the day of the Lord, and with the instruction as to the portion of the saints, which shows that it can have in no way whatever to do with them. They are of it and come in its power. All it says is – The day will overtake them as a thief: but it will not overtake you, for ye are of the day. It says nothing of times and seasons, but negatives the application of the well-known truth to them…”.
|i admit that i do not understand how we ‘will not appear with Him’ whom we shall ‘meet,’ yet appear with Him who shall later be ‘admired’ in us; but i do understand the ‘apostasy will come, and the man of sin will be revealed’ before the coming of the Lord. Darby admits ‘the tribulation and the day which really closes it;’ that is that ‘the day’ of the Lord or coming of the Lord ‘closes’ ‘the tribulation,’ yet states, ‘But the passage speaks not at all of the tribulation …but it does speak of the day of the Lord.’ Darby is opposed by his own words, but so much more importantly by the Holy Scriptures, in which Paul explains in 2nd Thessalonians: ‘I told you in the previous letter’ (1st Thessalonians), ‘of the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ… be not soon shaken …or troubled …as that the day of the Lord is at hand. Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed… sitting in the temple of God (2 Thes. 2:1-4).’ If that day ‘closes the tribulation,’ as Paul explains and Darby admits, then not only does the ‘passage speak’ and warn of apostasy and tribulation; but warns we shall be in ‘the midst of all events.’|
In another article, The Rapture of the Saints and the Character of the Jewish Remnant, Darby wrote: “…The rapture of the saints before the appearing of Christ, strange as it may appear to some, has nothing to say to the church, directly or exclusively; but as we form part of those caught up, it, of course, interests us in the highest degree. The rapture is in connection with the glory of the kingdom; and the saints in general, who are to reign in the kingdom, have part in this rapture. Still, indirectly, the enquiry leads to the question, what is the church? The doctrine of the rapture of the saints before the appearing of Christ connects itself with the existence of a Jewish remnant waiting for deliverance after the rapture and before the appearing; and the position of this remnant connects itself, more or less, with the spiritual condition of the saints before the manifestation of the church on the earth.’
‘…The two points on which it is important to have the clear testimony of Scripture are – first, that there will be a Jewish remnant at the end, with a place belonging to itself as such; secondly, the true character of the church of God. …This Jewish remnant has neither the church’s heavenly blessings nor the church’s hope. …First, as regards the Jews, Zechariah 13:8, 9: ‘It shall come to pass, that in all the land …two parts …shall be cut off and die; but the third shall be left therein. And I will bring the third part through the fire, and will refine them as silver… and try them as gold; they shall call on My name, and I will hear them…’. As regards the ten tribes of Israel, the case is somewhat different; the rebels will not enter into the land. Of Ezekiel 20:33-38 I quote a part: ‘And I will bring you into the wilderness of the people, and I will plead with you… and I will cause you to pass under the rod… and purge out from among you the rebels…’. Still they will be united in the land. See Ezekiel 37:11-28. In verse 19: ‘Behold, I will take the stick of Joseph… and the tribes of Israel his brethren, and put them with him… even Judah… and make them one…’ Verse 24: ‘And David My servant shall be king over them… My tabernacle also shall be with them.’
‘As regards Judah, Daniel tells us: ‘And at that time shall Michael stand up, the great prince which stands for the children of thy people: and there shall be a time of trouble …and at that time thy people shall be delivered, every one that shall be found written in the book (Dan. 12:1).’ I have no doubt verse 2 refers to those scattered in the countries: but on this point I do not dwell here.’
|Darby has no problem writing another 4 pages, but he does ‘not dwell here’ nor quote verse two because he no longer believes in the early creeds that the Lord shall come to judge the living and dead as taught in Matthew 13:24-50; John 5:25-29; Rev. 14:14-20; and Daniel 12:1, 2: ‘…at that time thy people shall be delivered, every one that shall be found written in the book. And many of them that sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake, some to everlasting life, and some to shame and everlasting contempt.’|
1864 – 1878: Near the end of the Civil War (1861 – 1865), John N. Darby was touring parts of the United States and on two occasions spoke at a Presbyterian Church in St. Louis, Missouri which was pastored by Dr. James H. Brooks. Not long after this, according to C. H. Fisher’s The Pretribulation Rapture (2001), ‘…Dr. Brooks conducted many Bible studies with the young men in his church, C. I. Scofield being his most famous student. Yet it was his involvement in the Niagara Bible Conference that would prove important to the diffusion of Dispensationalism in America. C. I. Scofield later served as head of the conference, and there birthed the idea of a Study Bible that would help spread Darbyite Dispensationalism. …Non-millenarians were permitted to attend the conferences, but from 1878 onward they were not permitted to speak. Most of the leading millenarians in America, and many Brethren ministers, attended… D. L. Moody… also attended…’.
Daniel Taylor, in his book, Reign of Christ on Earth (1882), noted, “The first prophetic conference ever held in America, convened at Chardon street Chapel, Boston, October 14, 1840, and continued two days. The sessions were crowded …and there were present 20 to 30 interested ministers, with many able laymen, representing most of the orthodox denominations (Report of the General Conference of Christians Expecting the Advent of the Lord Jesus Christ; 1842). …So great was the interest… 10,000 copies of this were issued and scattered. …In this address Chairman, Henry D. Ward …well-known writer and clergyman of the Protestant Episcopal Church …and the secretaries (of the Conference) said, ‘…We are agreed, that at the very commencement of the Millennium, the Lord will come in the glory of His Father, and all the saints with Him. Again, we are agreed and harmonize with the published creed of the Episcopal, Dutch Reformed, Presbyterian, and Methodist Churches, together with the Cambridge Platform of the Congregational Church, the Lutheran and Roman Catholic Churches, in maintaining that Christ’ second and only coming now will be to judge the world at the last day.’
|1878: New York Prophetic Conferences: II. The prophetic words of the Old Testament Scriptures, concerning the first coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, were literally fulfilled in His birth, life, death, resurrection, and ascension; and so the prophetic words of both the Old and the New Testaments concerning His second coming will be literally fulfilled in His visible bodily return to this earth in like manner as He went up into heaven; and this glorious Epiphany of the great God, our Savior Jesus Christ, is the blessed hope of the believer and of the Church during this entire dispensation.
III. This second coming of the Lord Jesus is everywhere in the Scriptures represented as imminent, and may occur at any moment; yet the precise day and hour thereof is unknown to man, and known only to God.
IV. The Scriptures nowhere teach that the whole world will be converted to God, and that there will be a reign of universal righteousness and peace before the return of our blessed Lord, but that only at and by His coming the progress of evil and the development of Antichrist, the times of the Gentiles and the ingathering of Israel, the resurrection of the dead in Christ and the transfiguration of His living saints, receive their fulfillment, and the period millennial blessedness in its inauguration.
1883-1897: Niagara Bible Conferences: They spoke of various views of the Second Coming and then said, “…These five theories neither satisfy nor exhaust the teaching of the Scriptures in reference to the second coming. We …show there is a personal …coming of the Lord… The contrast between Christ and Antichrist involves the personal coming of the Lord. But all agreed that the judgment of the saints and the world will be a chief feature in the Advent… If the resurrection of Christ was visibly demonstrated, equally so will be His coming again. ‘…Behold, He cometh with clouds; and every eye shall see Him… (Rev. 1:7)’.”
1896: A. J. Gordon of the Niagara Conferences: In 1894, he wrote Ministry of Spirit, in which he briefly quoted Edward Irving, and also spoke on the ‘rapture.’ It was in Ecce Venit (Behold, He Cometh; 1896), that Gordon spoke much on prophecy: stating the Antichrist was of the ‘papacy;’ that the rebuilding of ‘the material temple …in Jerusalem is lacking;’ and taught of ‘the translation of the Church’ and the ‘hope of Christ’s imminent return.’ He believe at ‘His advent …coming …no eye can see…’.
|1870s: James Hall Brookes of the Niagara Conferences: As previously mentioned, in the 1860’s and 1870’s, John Nelson Darby made several trips to the United States and Canada. On at least two occasions, Darby preached in St. Louis at Brookes’ church. Additionally, Brookes was greatly influenced by D. L. Moody, who received some of Darby’s teachings. Concerning Brookes, Mal Couch says in his Dictionary of Premillennial Theology (1996), ‘from …his participation in the annual Niagara Bible Conference, and his prolific pen which produced religious best-sellers, he became an early and nationally recognized proponent of dispensational premillennialism in the United States. …It was largely through his writings and conference ministry that Brookes gained national recognition. In the early 1870’s he published Maranatha, a massive volume on eschatology… He was a regular speaker at Bible conferences, YMCA meetings, and prophecy conferences, and in 1875 was one of the founders and president of …the Niagara Bible Conference. Throughout his life Brookes was an influential leader, pastor, and Bible teacher… His most visible disciple was C. I. Scofield, later editor of the Scofield Reference Bible, to whom Brookes introduced dispensationalism… Brookes was one of the first prominent ministers in the United States to teach the pretribulational rapture.’|
It is interesting that though there were more Presbyterians at the Niagara Convention than Baptists, the Baptist position held somewhat stronger; this is perhaps because Darby, Moody, and Gordon held to these beliefs and that the Presbyterian Brookes and many others converted to their doctrines. Nevertheless, during the Niagara conferences, Tyng, Kellogg, West and others would preserve the teaching of the post-tribulation return of the Lord to earth over Darby’s Pretribulation Rapture doctrine. The Niagara Bible Conference developed and produced the following fourteen point ‘declaration of our doctrinal belief,’ which is called the Niagara Creed. (In 1879, Nathaniel West listed a 5 point creed from the Conference. This 14 point creed was drafted by James Brookes, but not approved until about 1890.)
- We believe that the souls of those who have trusted in the Lord Jesus Christ for salvation do at death immediately pass into His presence, and there remain in conscious blessed until the resurrection of the body at His coming, when soul and body reunited… but the souls of unbelievers remain after death in conscious misery until the final judgment of the great white throne at the close of the millennium, when soul and body reunited shall be cast into the lake of fire, not to be annihilated, but to be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord, and from the glory of His power.
- We believe that the world will not be converted during the present dispensation, but is fast ripening for judgment, while there will be a fearful apostasy in the professing Christian body; and hence that the Lord Jesus will come in person to introduce the millennial age, when Israel shall be restored to their own land…”
|1880 to 1899: Northfield Bible Conferences or Moody’s Bible Conferences: Rev. John Wilbur Chapman, famous world evangelist and author of The Life and Work of Dwight Lyman Moody (1900), wrote: “…The Northfield Conferences began in 1880. Early in September the buildings of the Seminary were thronged with 300 visitors. …The culmination of the Conference was Pentecostal in its power. …In October, 1881, the second convocation began… Rev. Dr. Andrew Bonar, of Glasgow, Scotland, was the principal speaker, and among the others …were Dr. George F. Pentecost, Dr. A. J. Gordon, Dr. James H. Brookes, Dr. E. P. Goodwin, George C. Needham, and Major Whittle… ‘…August 1885, the third convocation was held. Mr. J. E. K. Studd of Cambridge University, England… John B. Gough… Dr. A. T. Pierson and Dr. A. J. Gordon… helped… And so, year after year, the Northfield Conferences have grown in interest and attendance. …The speakers have been drawn from the best… Some time in the spring of 1886, with his customary foresight and intuition in regard to what might advance the Kingdom of Christ, Mr. Moody called to his side Mr. L. D. Wishard, then college secretary of the International Committee of the Young Men’s Christian Associations (YMCA) of the United States and Canada.” Note Moody died in 1899 and R. A. Torrey took over.|
1907: the Declaration of Faith of the Church of God (TN, 1907), which came after the Niagara Creed, likewise has 14 points, 10 of which are the same or very similar. Yet, three are distinctly different: ‘We believe in speaking with other tongues as the Spirit gives utterance and that it is the initial evidence of the baptism of the Holy Ghost;’ ‘We believe in the premillennial second coming of Jesus; first, to resurrect the righteous dead and to catch away the living saints to Him in the air;’ and ‘We believe in divine healing…’.
|1911: Torrey took over BIOLA (Bible Institute of Los Angles) funded by a founder of Chevron Oil. In 1915, Torrey founded the evangelical interdenominational Church of the Open Door in downtown Los Angeles. From 1932 to 1948, Louis Talbot served as the pastor. From 1949 to 1970, J. Vernon McGee of Dallas Theological Seminary was pastor. McGee also chaired Biola’s Bible Department. Open Door’s statement of faith including: ‘…We believe that prior to His second coming to earth; Christ will have raptured the Church. Between the Rapture and the Second Coming, there will be at least seven years during which God’s program will again center around Israel…’.
Among his works, Torrey wrote Practical and Perplexing Questions Answered (1910; also called The Bible Answer Book), in which concerning the Antichrist he says, “…The Antichrist …will be a man …whom Satan will fill to such an extant that he will be Satan incarnate… The Antichrist will appear just prior to the second coming of Jesus Christ, and our Lord will ‘consume him with the breath of His mouth…’.” Torrey writes concerning the “Second Coming of Jesus Christ… There is nothing more clearly taught in the Bible than that Jesus Christ is coming back to this earth personally, bodily, and visibly. …As far as I know, our Lord may return any day. There is no event predicted in Scripture that must occur before Jesus comes to receive His own to Himself, although it seems as if there are some events that must occur before He comes to the earth with His saints. As far as we know, He may come for us believers at any moment…’.”
1914: And in the 16 Statements of Fundamental Truths of the Assembly of God (1914), which came after the three major prophetic conferences and the Church of God, likewise 10 points are very similar to the Niagara Conferences, and to other 6 are very similar to that of the Church of God, especially concerning the gift of tongues and divine healings. Concerning the rapture, the Assembly of God’s position states: ‘All Christians who have died will one day rise from their graves and will meet the Lord in the air. Christians who have not yet died will be raptured of caught up with them, to be with the Lord. …For the sinner, however, the Rapture is anything but a blessed hope. To be left behind will involve indescribable suffering as God judges a rebellious and disobedient world…’.
Denominations and movements that formed since the Niagara Bible Conferences included: The Church of God in Christ, 1897 (C. P. Jones and C. H. Mason of Mississippi); the Pentecostal Holiness Church, 1898 (A. B. Crumpler of North Carolina); The Church of God (N.C.), 1902; The Church of God (Tenn.), 1906; Azusa St. Revival, 1906 (William Seymour in California); Fire-Baptized Holiness Church, 1908; Pentecostal movements in Europe and South America, 1909; The Assemblies of God, 1914 (E. N. Bell of Arkansas); Foursquare Gospel Church, 1927 (Aimee Semple McPherson); and a myriad of ministries that followed these, such as the ministries of Charles Fox Parham (influenced William Seymour), Kathryn Kuhlman (brother-in-law was a graduate of Moody Bible Institute; Kuhlman influenced many like Benny Hinn), and William Branham (influenced Oral Roberts and F. F. Bosworth) were launched upon these movements.
1924: In 1924 the Evangelical Theological College was established. Lewis Sperry Chafer was chosen as its first president. According to DTS.edu: “In a letter written to A. C. Gaebelein on September 30, 1924, Chafer described this first class as having ‘been selected from more than a hundred with whom we have had correspondence. But we have not cared to take everyone who thought he would like to attend. This is a fine group of well-selected men’.” From its founding, the Seminary was influenced by Gaebelein and Ironside, and thus likewise directly from Torrey and Scofield, and indirectly from Darby. In 1931 the College had ‘14 international students from 8 countries.’ In 1936, due to the word ‘College’ being associated with an undergraduate institution, the name was changed to Dallas Theological Seminary and Graduate School of Theology; and in 1969 the name was shortened to Dallas Theological Seminary.
|Former Professor Loraine Boettner of Pikeville College in Eastern Kentucky, who graduated from Princeton Theological Seminary in 1929, wrote “Outstanding dispensational writers include: John N. Darby, Synopsis of the Books of the Bible (5 vols.), and other writings; Dr. C. I. Scofield…; Dr. William E. Blackstone, Jesus is Coming (1878)…, Rev. James M. Brookes, Maranatha (1870); Dr. James M. Gray, Prophecy and the Lord’s Return (1917); Dr. Arno C. Gaebelein, The Return of the Lord (1925); Dr. Lewis Sperry Chafer, Systematic Theology (1948); Dr. Charles L. Feinberg, Premillennialism… (1936); Dr. John F. Walvoord, The Rapture Question (1957); and Dr. J. Dwight Pentecost, Things to Come (1958)…” In keeping focus on the origins and influences of the pre-tribulation rapture, these names should be remembered along with those such as Torrey, Pierson, and Dixon.|
The Christian Broadcast Network (CBN), founded in 1961, was said to be the world’s largest noncommercial broadcast network, and was once the largest supplier of 24-hour cable programming in the world, reaching about 66 foreign countries through 150 local stations, 2,500 satellite cable systems and is also on the U. S. Armed Forces Radio and Television Network. Trinity Broadcasting Network (TBN), the largest Christian broadcasting network in the world, was founded in 1973. Both supported the Pretribulation Rapture theory.
1965-70s: In 1979, Jerry Falwell, joined with other notable men such as Tim LaHaye, Greg Dixon, Charles Stanley and D. James Kennedy in forming the Moral Majority. Through these organizations and the like, they gain more media time and through TV broadcast media and the increase in Christian bookstores and corporate publishers, these men and others became household names; and in that all of these taught a pretribulation rapture, they have greatly influenced many people. In 1965, Oral Roberts University was chartered, a generation later some of its graduates were being listened to in several different countries. In 1973, Paul Crouch and Jim Bakker began the Trinity Broadcasting Network, and again these institutions have been significant in spreading the pretribulation rapture doctrine. Jimmy Swaggart, Falwell and others would teach the same.
1990s-2007: By 1996, Tyndale House became the major publishing influence in the world concerning the promulgation of the Pre-Tribulation Rapture theory. And the presses were rolling: Left Behind: A Novel of the Earth’s Last Days (1995); and in time for Christmas sales: Tribulation Force (1996); Nicolae (1997); Soul Harvest (1988); Apollyon (1999); Assassins (1999); The Indwelling (2000); The Mark (2000); Desecration (2001); The Remnant (2002); Armageddon (2003); Glorious Appearing (2004); The Rising (2005); The Regime (2005); The Rapture (6-6-6 or June 6, 2006); Kingdom Come (2007); and of course all of the Left Behind series were published with kid verses and were available for that giving time of the year – when we celebrate the birth of presents ‘under every green tree (Deut. 12:2).’ For example, Left Behind: The Young Tribulation Force # 10 or Triumphant Return… Kids # 40. Also Tyndale House published for LaHaye: Babylon Rising (2003); The Secret of Ararat (2004); The Europa Conspiracy (2005); and The Edge of Darkness (2006). After about 2007, Rapture and End Times books were not in demand after years of hearing ‘Jesus could return today.’
Some of TBN’s regulars include: Paul and Jan Crouch (80 acre estate, 9,500 sq.’ home + other homes); Janita Bynum (televangelist, who regardless of the 7.7 carat diamond ring, filed in 2007 for divorce against her husband, Bishop Thomas Weeks III); Kim Clement (in 2000 prophesied a cure for AIDS by 2002; Jan. 2004, i heard him say on TBN: Osama bin Laden would be captured within 35 days; & May 2008, Rory Alec of God TV call Clement ‘the Prophet;’ 2006: income > $ 1 million, meals and entertainment – $ 380,000); Kenneth Copeland (18,000 sq.’ home), Creflo Dollar (excepted about $ 7 million tax-free from fighter Evander Hollyfield; home over 8,000 sq.’ – 27 acres), Benny Hinn (over 7,000 sq.’ ocean-front home), Eddie Long (million $ salary; $ 300,000 Bentley; 9-bathroom mansion) and Paula White (sold communion sets with Perry Stone; in 2007, White, with Long, Copeland, Dollar & Hinn, came under investigation by the Senate Finance Committee for ‘excessive personal gain through tax-exempt work.’); Joyce Meyer (also in Sen. Fin. Comm. Investigation; 10,000 sq.’ home w/8 car heated and cooled garage – the complex was accompanied with 4 large homes for her four children; plus a guest house); John Hagee (8,000 sq.’ home); Tommy D. Jakes (bishop, author, conference speaker, movie producer – 12,000 sq.’ home – next to mansion once owned by H. L. Hunt, once the richest man on earth); and TBN offers many others such as Jesse Duplantis and Joel Osteen; as well as programs, such as from Hollywood-based Gener8Xion Enterntainment, Inc., which produced the pretribulation rapture end-time films The Omega Code (1999) & Megiddo: The Omega Code 2 (2001). And according to TBN’s website (2009), “Joel and Victoria Osteen’s message of unconditional love and unending hope is reaching out to millions of people across America and around the world. …The #1 Nielsen-rated inspirational program, the broadcast can be seen in over 100 countries…”
In addition to CBN and TBN, Daystar began about 1984 as a single TV station in Montgomery, Alabama; after being recognized by CBS News to be ‘a new breed of televangelists,’ the moved to Dallas, Texas in 1990. Daystar states that its potential audience (2008) is about 130 million viewers in the U. S. alone. As of 2009, it received about 5 million hits a month on StreamingFaith.TV. As to Daystar’s current ‘new breed,’ it is true that they offer many ministers, including influential mega-church pastors, that do not appear regularly on other ‘Christian Networks,’ however, on their Daystar.com site under ‘Shows (2009),’ you see the familiar faces of Jakes, J. & V. Osteen, and Meyer; in 2008, Copeland and Hal Lindsey were included among the faces; in 2009, they were replaced with the flamboyant pre-trib. prophet Derek Prince, and fellow pre-triber Robert Morris, on the BOD at Jack Hayford’s The King’s College and Seminary. Other faces familiar to both TBN and Daystar are Dollar, Duplantis, Hagee, Hinn, and White. Jerry Seville, a friend and Board member with Copeland is also featured; as well as Marilyn Hickey, Brian Houston, Mike Murdock, Fred Price, Charles Stanley, and Ed Young.
In addition to the above mentioned pretribulation rapture believers, Daystar features Pre-Trib. Rapture teachers: Morris Cerullo, Rod Parsley, David Reagan, and Perry Stone. Also, from the Pre-Trib Research Center, Daystar’s has: John Ankerberg, David Jeremiah, and Hal Lindsey. A regular evening program is Jack Van Impe Presents, where Jack and Rexella present interesting and important current events; Daystar says the program reaches ‘millions weekly across North America’ and ‘160 nations worldwide via television, radio, and the internet …(and) shows how world events are leading to the fulfillment of Bible prophecy …the Good News of Christ, and His soon return.’ Jack Van Impe, author of Revelation Revealed (1982) and 11:59 and Counting (1983), by his own website (JVIM.com) states he is ‘known as the Walking Bible and one of the world’s most prophetic scholars.’ Van Impe teaches an ‘imminent return’ of Christ before the Great Tribulation, i.e. he is among ‘the world’s most’ influential pretribulation rapture ‘scholars.’ In the same fashion, Daystar’s programming includes The Hal Lindsey Report, ‘…hosted by popular Christian author and Bible prophecy theologian Hal Lindsey’ (Dallas Theo. Sem.). Lindsey’s reports are truly ‘informative’ and ‘current,’ however, through his website says, ‘politically incorrect, prophetically correct,’ this is less than accurate.
There are three primary doctrines which Darby taught: Predestination; Dispensationalism; and his Pre-Tribulation Rapture theory. Because of Darby and those that carried the torches of these three doctrines, they still remain strong among us today. For example, the following 20th century influential men have promoted all three doctrines in at least some form: Max Anders (graduate Dallas Theological Seminary; editor Holman N. T. Commentaries); Barry Beitzel (provost of Trinity Intern. Uni.; professor – Bob Jones Uni.; translator for NKJV & NLT); Bill Bright (grad. Princeton & Fuller; founded Campus Crusade for Christ; 4 Spiritual Laws); Lewis S. Chafer (founder of Dallas Theological Seminary; Systematic Theology); W. A. Criswell (former Pres. South Baptist Convention – SBC; founded Criswell College); John and Paul Feinberg (brothers & professors – Liberty Baptist, Trinity Evang., Tyndale Theo.); Zane Hodges (grad. & professor Dallas Theo. Sem. – DTS); Norman Geisler (Co-founder: Southern Evangelical Seminary); Harry Ironside (parents Plymouth Brethren; pastor of Moody Church; ‘archbishop of Fundamentalism;’ Bob Jones Uni.; prof. D. T. S.); D. James Kennedy (televangelist; pastor Coral Ridge Presbyterian Church); Tim Lahaye (grad. Bob Jones U.; co-author of Left Behind series); John MacArthur (Founded Master’s College; grad. Bob Jones, Talbot U. & Azusa Pacific); J. Dwight Pentecost (grad. & prof. – DTS); Adrian Rogers (N.O. Bapt. Theo. Sem.; Pres. SBC); Charles Ryrie (grad. & prof. of DTS); Charles Stanley (televangelist & Pres. SBC); John Walvood (Pres. & Prof. of Dallas Theological Seminary).
When Mal Couch, Pentecost, Ryrie and Walvoord, wrote the Dictionary of Premillennial Theology (1996), they had no problem finding ‘contributors:’ “R. G. Anderson, dean of Houston College of Biblical Studies (TX); R. E. Beacham …chairman & professor of O.T. at Central Baptist… (MN); R. Bowman …editor at Tyndale Theo. (TX); Joseph Chambers* …founder & pres. of Paw Creek Radio and Media Ministry (NC); Mal Couch* …founder & pres. of Tyndale Theological Sem. (TX); Larry Crutchfield* …Faraston Theological (CO); R. Decker …prof. of Bible at Calvary Theological (MO); Timothy Demy* …author (VA); Thomas Edgar* …prof. – Capital Bible Sem. (MD); Floyd Elmore …prof. of Bible at Cedarville College (OH); Paul Enns* …author, founding dean of Tampa Bay Theo. Sem. (FL); Gary Fisher …author and the founder and director of Lion of Judah Ministry (TN); Harold Foos* …chairman of Dept. of Theology at Moody Bible Institute (IL); Arnold Fruchenbaum* …author, international Bible teacher …founder and director of Ariel Ministries (CA); A. Gannett …author and conference speaker (AL); Michael Gendron* founder & pres. of Proclaiming the Gospel Ministry (TX); Robert Gromacki* …pastor, author, prof. …at Cedarville College (OH); George Gunn …chairman of Bible and Theology at Shasta Bible College (CA); J. Hannah …author and the chairman and prof. of Historical Theology at DTS (TX); B. Hayes… prof. at Tyndale Theo. Sem. (TX); Edward Hindson* M. A. Th.M, Th. D. …author, vice president of There’s Hope Ministry (GA) & distinguished adjunct professor at Liberty University (VA); H. Wayne House* …prof. of Theology at various inst., freelance writer, and a dean and prof. at Michigan Theo. Sem. (MI); Thomas Ice* …author, former pastor, …executive director of the PreTrib Research Center in Washington (DC); Elliott Johnson* …author and professor of Bible Exposition at DTS (TX); Gordon Johnston …prof. …at Lancaster Bible College (PA); Tim LaHaye* …author and director of Family Life Seminars in Washington (DC); G. Harry Leafe* …prof. & chairman of Bible and Theology at Houston Bible Institute (TX); Dale Leschert …researcher & writer …New Westminster, British Columbia, Canada; Robert Lightner* …author and prof. of Theology at DTS (TX); E. J. Mayhew …prof. of O.T. at Michigan Theo. Sem. (MI); Steven McAvory* …director of Institute for Biblical Studies (OR); Thomas McCall* …author, conference speaker & researcher for Levitt Ministries (TX); John McLean …president of Michigan Theological Sem. (MI); George Meisinger …president of Chafer Theological Sem. & pastor of Grace Church (CA); C. W. Missler* …founder of Koinonia House (ID); J. Mulholland …prof. of Systematic Theology at Capital Bible Sem. (MD); David Nicholas …president & prof. of Theology at Shasta Bible College (CA); Jerry Neuman …prof. of Bible and Theology at Berean Baptist Institute …Brazil; R. Penny …prof. …Tyndale Theo. Sem. (TX); Donald Perkins* …founder and president of According to Prophecy Ministries (CA); J. R. Price prof. …Liberty Baptist Theo. …founder & pres. of World of the Bible Min. (TX); C. Rapp …prof. Chafer Theo. Sem. (CA); B. K. Richards …Tyndale Theo. (TX); Charles C. Ryrie*, Th.M, Th.D, Ph.D. Prof. of Systematic Theology… author, lecturer… (TX); Lonnie Shipman* …author …music evangelist (TX); Renald Showers* …author …Friends of Israel Gospel Min. (PA); Michael Stallard* …prof. Bapt. Bible Sem. (PA); Gerald Stanton* …pres. of Ambassadors International & prof. at Asia Grad. School of Theology (FL); I. R. Starwalt …researcher for Tyndale Theo. (TX); Gary Stewart …chaplain …U.S. Navy (OR); Kevin Stilley …prof. at Tyndale Theo. (TX); Steve Sullivan* …pastor and teacher …at Houston Bible Institute (TX); Paul Tan* …author and the founder and president of Bible Communications, Inc. (TX); Robert Thomas* …author and prof. …The Master’s Seminary (CA); Elmer Towns* …dean of Religion at Liberty University (VA); and William Varner …dean of the Institute of Biblical Studies, a ministry of The Friends of Israel Gospel Ministry, Inc. (NJ).” * = member of PreTrib Research Center.