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The Pre-Tribulation Rapture of the Church of Jesus Christ
This page provides a thorough defense of the historic Christian belief in the any-moment Rapture of the Body of Christ, with the clarity that has come with Post-Reformation studies of Bible prophecy which clearly shows this imminent Rapture taking place prior to a 7 year period of “great tribulation” which is Daniel’s 70th Week (Daniel 9:24-27) and known as “the time of Jacob’s Trouble” (Jeremiah 30:7).
We regularly hear from folks who think that since Dispensationalism and the Pre-Trib Rapture were not expounded in a clear and complete manner until recent centuries, that this fact somehow proves that these doctrines are false. But that argument is simply illogical and ridiculous.
These people almost always credit Darby or Irving or the later Scofield Bible, etc., with “inventing” Dispensationalism and the Pre-Tribulation Rapture and then act like these men were somehow EVIL or that they were “false teachers”. Based on what? Simply based on the fact that the Dispensational and Pre-Trib Rapture doctrines they helped establish from the Bible were not understand before them? This makes NO sense!
Many Biblical doctrines were not fully taught or developed until recent centuries. And all of the so-called “church fathers” held heresies that would cause many of them to be rejected as false teachers, today. Soon after the end of the early church period, you have the Papacy and the 1,000 year Dark Age. And for this reason, doctrinal truth was overshadowed and held in darkness for a number of centuries.
Many souls were saved during the first 14 centuries since the Ascension of Jesus Christ, but beyond that there was very little doctrinal progress and very little doctrinal understanding among believers.
It was only after 1400 AD that men began to read the Bible (in large numbers) and understand even basic doctrines like:
– Justification by Faith
– Believers Baptism
– The Priesthood of the Believer
– Local Church Autonomy
– Sola Scriptura (Biblical Authority)
And this is true of Bible Prophecy.
But even during the Reformation period, the matter of Bible prophecy was left nearly untouched by the Reformers and the denominations they started. Did Darby (Irving and others) in the 18th and 19th centuries play a huge part in the development and systematic teachings of Dispensationalism and doctrines of the the Pre-Trib Rapture, Daniel’s 70th Week, the Antichrist and False Prophet, etc? YES.
And they should be honored and appreciated, just like the Reformers! In the meantime, we have posted this page on our local church ministry web site with videos showing that the Pre-Trib Rapture is BIBLICAL and also showing quotations from believers throughout the Church Age for 2,000 years who at least understood the “imminent Rapture” even if they were not able to put it in the full context of Dispensational theology.
Have you been told that the Pre-Trib Rapture was “invented” by a 15 year old girl named Margaret McDonald who saw the Pre-Trib Rapture in a vision in 1830? IT’S A COMPLETE FABRICATION. We provide a FULL account of her vision here:
Proving The “any moment” Rapture To Be The Historic Christian Doctrine of Bible Believing Christians:
The Dead Sea Scrolls (150 BC-70 AD) “The Rapture will occur suddenly. And countless thousands will vanish from the earth. Swept up to heaven to live with Jesus and escape the torment of the Tribulation, the others will be left behind.” —David Augustine (journalist), “A Newly Discovered Dead Sea Scroll Has Revealed Who Will be Left Behind When the Rapture Comes a Leading Scholar Reports”. (reported by Jack van Impe Ministries, June 16, 2005)
Clement of Rome (ca. 90-100) “Of a truth, soon and suddenly shall His will be accomplished, as the Scripture also bears witness, saying, ‘Speedly will He come, and will not tarry’; and ‘The Lord shall suddenly come to His temple, even the Holy One, for whom ye look.’; Let us therefore earnestly strive to be found in the number of those that wait for Him, in order that we may share in His promised gifts.” — Clement, Epistle to the Corinthians 23, 35 in Ante-Nicene Fathers 1:11,14.
Ignatius of Antioch (d. ca. 98-117) “Be ever more becoming more zealous than what thou art. Weigh carefully the times. Look for Him who is above all time, eternal and invisible, yet who became visible for our sakes.” — Ignatius, The Epistle of Ignatius to Polycarp 1, 3 in Ante-Nicene Fathers 1:93-94.
The Didache (ca. 100-160) “Be watchful for your life; let your lamps not be quenched and your loins not ungirded, but be ye ready; for ye know not the hour in which our Lord cometh.” — 27The Didach e, or Teaching of the Apostles 16 in The Ap ostolic Fathers, rev. and tran s by J. B. Lightfoot (London: Macmillan, 1926) 235. —————————————————————
Barnabas (ca. 117-138) “For the day is at hand on which all things shall perish w ith the evil one. The Lord is near and his reward.” —Ignatius, The Epistle of Ignatius to Polycarp 1, 3 in Ante-Nicene Fathers 1:93-94.
Shepherd of Hermas (ca. 96-150) “Let us go away, and after two days let us come and clean these stones, and put them into the building; for all things round the tower must be made clear, lest haply the master come suddenly and find the circuit dirty, and he be wroth, and so these stones shall not go to the building of the tower, and I shall appear to be careless in my master’s sight.” —The Shepherd of Hermas S.9,7 in The Ap ostolic Fathers —————————————————————
Tertullian (160-225 AD) “”But what a spectacle is that fast-approaching advent of our Lord, now owned by all, now highly exalted, now a triumphant One!” — —————————————————————
“This view of the fathers on imminency, and, in some, references to escaping the time of the Tribulation, constitute what may be termed, to quote Erickson, ‘seeds from which the doctrine of the pretribulational rapture could be developed. . . .” Had it not been for the drought in sound exegesis, brought on by Alexandrian allegorism and later by Augustine, one wonders what kind of crop those seeds might have yielded—long before J. N. Darby and the nineteenth century.” —Larry V. Crutchfield, “The Blessed Hope and the Tribulation in the Apostolic Fathers,” in When the Trumpet Sounds, eds. Thomas Ice and Timothy Demy (Eugene, Ore.: Harvest House, 1995) 103.
Ephraem of Nisibis (306-373) “All the saints and elect of God are gathered together before the tribulation, which is to come, and are taken to the Lord, in order that they may not see at any time the confusion which overwhelms the world because of our sins.” —Pseudo-Ephraem, On the Last Times,
“By medieval times the belief in an imminent apocalypse had officially been relegated to the role of symbolic theory by the Church; as early as the fourth century, Augustine had declared that the Revelation of John was to be interpreted symbolically rather than literally, and for most of the Middle Ages Church councils and theologians considered only abstract eschatology to be acceptable speculation. Since the nineteenth century, however, historians have recognized that literal apocalypses did continue to circulate in the medieval world and that they played a fundamental role in the creation of important strains of thought and legend.” —Dorothy deF. Abrahamse, introduction to The Byzantine Apocalyptic Tradition, by Paul J. Alexander (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1985), pp. 1-2.
“The Reformation in general is bleak with regard to prophetic teaching, as evidenced by the lack of writings and commentaries on prophetic books. The strongest statements concerning imminency during this period actually come from Anabaptists,…” —James F. Stitzinger,”The Rapture in Twenty Centuries of Biblical Interpretation.” Pg. 11 —————————————————————
Balthasar Hubmaier (1480-1528) “Although Christ gave us many signs whereby we can tell how near at hand the day of his coming is, nevertheless, no one but God knows the exact day. . . . Take heed, watch and pray; for you known either the day nor the hour. . . . the Judge is already standing at the door. . . .” —61Balthasar Hubmaier , “Apologia,” Balthasar Hubmaier, Theologian of Anabaptism , trans. and eds. H. Wayne Pipkin and John H. Yoder (Scottdale, Pa.: Herald, 1989) 541-43.
John Calvin (1509-1564) “[Jesus] wishes [the disciples] to be uncertain as to his coming, but to be prepared to expect him . . . every moment.” “Today we must be alert to grasp the imminent return of Christ.” —Calvin’s Wisdom An Anthology Arranged Alphabetically by a Grateful Reader (Edinburgh: Banner of Truth, 1992) 336-38.
These messages are by other men. They are men. We cannot every give a 100% endorsement of everything any man does. We do not recommend that of our own work. Compare everything with the Book as you watch and listen (Acts 17:11). But on the Rapture, these message are correct and beneficial for helping the Bible Believer settle the matter of the Pre-Tribulation Rapture of the Church of Jesus Christ and to help protect from this end time sell out by numerous men who are denying the imminent Rapture and teaching the Post-Trib or Pre-Wrath deceptions.
At any moment!