Will We Go Through the Tribulation? (Pt. 6)

The Origin of the Pretrib View

When I dug into the matter further, I was surprised to discover that many of the ideas associated with the pretributional Rapture originated not in the Bible, but in an extrabiblical vision experienced by a young Scottish woman named Margaret Macdonald in 1830.  The woman sent handwritten copies of her “revelation” to Edward Irving, a controversial minister, who, with his great gifts of oratory and his magnetic personality, was drawing large crowds to his church in London.  In his pamphlet, “Why I Believe the Church Will Pass Through the Tribulation,” David MacPherson described what happened after Irving got hold of Margaret Macdonald’s vision.

It was from this supposed revelation that the modern doctrine and modern phraseology respecting the pretribulational rapture arose; it came not from Scripture, but from that which falsely pretended to be the Spirit of God.  Irving accepted this teaching and it was taught at prophetic meetings at Powerscourt House in Ireland, attended by Plymouth Brethren organizer John Darby.  Irving’s views influenced Darby, C. H. Mackintosh, and C. I. Scofield, whose Bible popularized the new theory.  Later, some of the leading Plymouth Brethren scholars, including Benjamin Newton and S. P. Tregelles, rejected this pretrib theory.  For 1,800 years the Church had believed only in a postrib coming which, during persecution, was occasionally thought to be imminent.  There is not a shred of historical evidence before 1830 that the Church ever believed in a double coming, or rapture before the Tribulation.

David Mac Pherson goes on to list some of the elements of Margaret’s radical vision, which included splitting the second coming of Christ into two phases – first, a pretrib rapture; then later, after the tribulation, the return of Christ to earth.  Her own statement clearly contains more of the major tenets found today in pretrib dispensationalism – meeting the Lord in the air, secrecy, suddenness, invisibility, immanency, a pretrib separation of believers and unbelievers, distinction between the raptured bride and the tribulation elect.

How, you may wonder, could a vision experienced by a relatively unknown young woman with no platform or sphere of influence have such an impact?  Actually, most people of her time did not know the vision was Margaret Macdonald’s.  They thought the new truth was something Edward Irving had discovered in the Bible.  Keep in mind that Irving was a popular preacher in those days, and his views were quickly adopted.  In The Rapture Plot, David MacPherson lists four reasons why he believes the young woman was not “credited” with her vision at first:  “She was a female in the male-dominated theological world of 1830; she was young; she was uneducated; and she had been a Christian only a year.”  Interestingly, many of the tenets in the teachings of highly respected prophetic teachers, and other advocates of a pretribulational Rapture, are similar to those first espoused by Margaret Macdonald.

(To Be Continued)

Will We Go Through the Tribulation? – Part 1
Will We Go Through the Tribulation? – Part 2
Will We Go Through the Tribulation? – Part 3
Will We Go Through the Tribulation? – Part 4
Will We Go Through the Tribulation? – Part 5
Will We Go Through the Tribulation? – Part 7
Will We Go Through the Tribulation? – Part 8
Will We Go Through the Tribulation? – Part 9
Will We Go Through the Tribulation? – Part 10
Will We Go Through the Tribulation? – Part 11

Excerpt from Prosperity and the Coming Apocalypse

Published in 1998

25 thoughts on “Will We Go Through the Tribulation? (Pt. 6)

  1. I’m glad that this was here Paul said that we would have trials and tribulations, and we all feel it. Times are rough and I agree, but thanks to what Christ leads us to do, we get to see and have that hope from His word. We’re not all here for the same work, but Christ had you write this website and His promise gives us His hope. We believe because Christ is in you, in me, in all of us. Thanks. Let’s both thank Christ in person in this near coming future event.

  2. Concerning the rapture, I have discovered some very informative articles on Google including “Famous Rapture Watchers – Addendum,” “Letter from Mrs. Billy Graham,” “Pretrib Rapture Politics,” “Pretrib Rapture Secrecy” and “Pretrib Rapture – Hidden Facts.” I feel that there have been differences on the timing of the rapture because for a long time scholars had not yet discovered all of the facts about its history. Our brother Jim Bakker has brought out some important facts about it and he deserves our praise and gratitude. May we all be united in our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ!

  3. The Mention of the Church

    The words “church” or “churches,” so prominent in chapters 1-3, do not appear again in the book until the last chapter (22:16). The singular “church” and the plural “churches” together occur 19 times in the first three chapters (1:4,11,20 [twice]; 2:1,7,8,11, 12,17,18,12,19; 3:1,6,7,13,14,22).

    The term “church” (ekklesia) literally means “a called out group.” It has two main usages in the New Testament. It can be used of the body of Christ, which He is building in this age (Matt. 16:18; 1 Cor. 12:13; Eph. 1:22-23; 4:1-6). It is composed of believing Jews and believing Gentiles made one in Christ (Eph. 2:15-16). The term can also be used of a local congregation of believers (Acts 14:27; Gal. 1:2). It is so used in this second sense in the book of Revelation.

    However, there is a strange silence of the term in chapters 4-19. That fact is especially noteworthy when you contrast that absence with its frequent presence in the first three chapters. One good reason for this phenomenon is the absence of the true church and true evangelical churches in the seven years preceding the second coming. The true believers of the church have gone into the presence of Jesus Christ in heaven before the onset of the events of the seven-year period. The church is not mentioned during the seal, trumpet, and bowl judgments because the church is not here during the outpouring of these judgments. From Robert Gromaki

    • Wycliffe and Tyndale, one used the word “CHURCH” only where it spoke of a pagan temple, the other used “CHURCHES” where it spoke of pagan temples. “Assembly” is the right word to use.
      Anyone who believes in Yahweh Messiah will suffer persecution and tribulation. People that believe in Yahweh and the Messiah will go through the wrath of Satan, but Yahweh will save His people from His Wrath when He pours it out on this earth and kills and burns every person that is left. All people alive at that time will go through the Tribulation Period.

  4. I believe in pre-trib. These terrible judgements not meant for His own people. The Church is not mentioned that deep into Rev.

  5. I agree with Dan and Misses Williams,But for Misses Aliff, ye do err not knowing the scriptures “IF IT WERE POSSIBLE even the very elect would be decieved. I am the very elect and I am not decieved, I pray none reading this will be either. Do remember, God DID creat us, then God did save us [died for us] lets give him a little credit…was it all just to beat us?

  6. And to Misses Williams, nothing will stop the gog-megog war. This is when Jesus defeats every army of the antichrist and throws satan into a pit for 1000 years. Can’t and won’t be stopped. Just so you know

  7. I believe the bible says we are to be like Christ while we are here on earth. Unless we be Holy we will not enter into the Kingdom of God. The point everyone misses is that Jesus himself even prayed to the Father Lord do not take them out of this world, but deliver them from the evil one. Remember Timothy even stated Paul is difficult to understand and he knew him well. Pray really hard for wisdom and disernment. These are not days to be deceived by misinterpritations!

  8. Yes, every eye will see Jesus (Matthew 24:30 and Luke 21:27), and the angels will gather the elect (Matthew 24:31). Those mortals who survive the seven-year tribulation will mourn when they see Jesus coming on the clouds of heaven with power and great glory. But it is important to note that the “elect” in verse 31 are the elect Jews, not the elect church. Remember that God is dealing with the Jewish people during this time (Daniel 9:24-27). The elect church was Raptured seven years earlier.

    • Daniel, You hit the nail right on the head. Christ doesn’t need angels to rapture the Church. Once we get our glorified bodies we will be like Christ. God Bless You!

    • Exactly! This became a doctrine in the church long before that womans vision. We would not base our belief on only that. There two second comings in the bible. They are very different! Thank you for your comment. Ruth

  9. I want to address Misses William’s point, because I think that I can help her understand the difference between the Rapture and the Second coming of Jesus. In 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18, Jesus descends from heaven with a shout, with the voice of an archangel, and with the trumpet of God. And after the dead in Christ have been raised incorruptible (1 Corinthians 15:50-55), then we which are alive and remain will be caught up together with the dead in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. This is the Rapture. Notice that Jesus’ feet do not touch the ground. Jesus came to Earth 2,000 years ago to be our Savior, but when He returns the Second time, His feet will touch the Mount of Olives (Zechariah 14:4) as the King of King and the Lord of Lords (Revelation 19:16). Notice in Zechariah 14:5 that “all the saints” are with Jesus. That is because we were Raptured seven years earlier, and now we are returning with Jesus (Revelation 19:14). So again, the Rapture takes place in the air, whereas the Second coming occurs when Jesus’feet touch the Mount of Olives. One last point is this: No one knows the day or hour when Jesus will return (Matthew 24:36 and Mark 13:32-37), but this is only referring to the Rapture. That is because when the anti-christ confirms a seven-year peace treaty with Israel and the international community (Daniel 9:27; Isaiah 28:15), the tribulation will begin. The 7-year tribulation is divided into two halves, or 1,260 days a piece — based on a 360 day Jewish calendar. (A time, times, and half a time or 42 months is the same amount of time.) Thus, the seven-year peace treaty will tell those left behind that they have exactly 7 years until the second coming of Jesus. I hope that this will help you, Misses Williams, and anyone else who is interested in this subject. Thank you, and God bless

  10. Thank you for your thoughtful responses. The most important thing (by an infinite degree) is that we know our sins have been forgiven, and that we have accepted Jesus as our personal Savior. Good Christian people can agree to disagree about the timing of the Rapture, but we all recognize that the Lord’s return is near. The signs declare this truth. And even though I do not agree with everything that Pastor Jim has to say on this subject, I do appreciate his passion for souls and his commitment to spiritual and physical preparation. I do think that it is important to store food and water in case of emergencies. Clearly, this has helped some of the people in Japan. Finally, “We know that we have passed from death to life, because we love the brethren. He who does not love his brother abides in death.” 1 John 3:15

  11. I applaud Jim Bakker for bringing out accurate details about the pretrib view. His books including “Prosperity” are must reads. I also own Dave MacPherson’s “Rapture Plot” which leading scholars view as the most accurate and complete documentation on pretrib roots to be found anywhere (Google “Scholars Weigh My Research” to see weighty reactions to Dave’s research from evangelical experts who are basically neutral – neither vocally pro-pretrib or anti-pretrib). Dave has some critics – who doesn’t? But he has stated publicly that all of his royalties have gone not to him but to a nonprofit research group which hasn’t ever paid even salary to anyone. I say this because some uninformed persons have claimed Dave’s bottom line is money. I guess they haven’t heard him state that he and his wife live in a 400-square foot rental house and own only an 18-year-old Toyota! Philip (above) asked if anyone has a list of non-pretribs. One of Dave’s web articles is “Famous Rapture Watchers” – quotes from leading Christians of the past showing they expected to face the Antichrist. Since Rev. 3:10 has been offered by many (including the founder of Dallas Seminary) as the greatest “proof” for pretrib, Dave shows how the greatest Greek experts assessed it. Dave’s “Plot” shows that the earliest pretrib teaching rested on only unexplained types and symbols – and even questionable occultic sources! – and NOT on any clear Scriptural statements! He discovered, for example, that Lindsey’s “Late Great Planet Earth,” p. 124, says that the famous Sphinx has the head of a “woman” (encyclopedias flatly deny this) and proves with comparison quotes that Hal was actually plagiarizing a famous 19th century theologian! Although Dave is seen by certain pretrib promoters as a heretic or even Satanic (!) because of his damaging-to-pretrib discoveries, Dave has clearly stated that he views his critics as fellow Christians and wants to see all believers united now on the Word before they are forced to unite for survival during the tribulation. His research has shown him that recent generations of believers in pretrib have quickly repeated “This is my final answer” simply because they have been grossly unaware of the incredible cover-up of pretrib rapture history! I would urge Bro. Jim and his lovely wife to carry MacPherson’s “The Rapture Plot” and to keep on helping millions to rethink their views in order to be ready for what the Bible clearly warns about.

  12. Even the very elect shall be deceived. Dan you best take a closer look at the hebrew and greek bibles because the devil has been a master of changing things to deceive many. Nothing throws off the Devine Appointment of the return of Christ than changing the very calander used to mark the seasons. Also he changed the wording of what God said to what he wants you to believe He said to mix you up. When the poop hits the fan and no rapture rescue squad to “take anyone away, the unprepared bride(Foolish Virgins) will fall away from the faith because the foundation of their faith is weak, hunger makes people do strange things. Better to be safe than sorry. Same goes to those who think that because they said a prayer at youth camp 35 years ago and remained cold or even worse luke warm, and think they make it down a path that our Savior himself said was very narrow because FEW will find it. Wake Up Church Renew your mind with a washing of the water of the Word. Man its a great read. Might try putting your Left Behind books back where they belong at the library, THE FICTION SECTION. Sorry Mr Lahey, Saving souls is more important than selling books. Bring the FIRE Jim!!!!

  13. I hope this will make sense. And I hope I am not misleading anyone. All the signs point to Jesus return to earth to stop Armaggedon, not the Rapture when we meet Him in the air. I Thessalonians 4:16-17. The day or hour of the Rapture no one knows. I also agree with Daniel Beard. Yes there is an antichrist spirit on the earth, but the antichrist himself has not been revealed yet. There is no world leader yet. If I am wrong please feel free to use scripture. God Bless and Maranatha!

  14. I believe in a pre-tribulation Rapture because 2 Thessalonians 2:7-8 tells us that the “lawless one” (i.e. the anti-christ) will not be revealed until “He who now restrains” is taken out of the way. When the anti-christ confirms a seven-year peace treaty with Israel and the international community (Daniel 9:27), the church will not be on earth. Why? Because the Restrainer (i.e. the Holy Spirit living in the hearts of all born-again Christians) has been removed during the Rapture, leaving the lawless one to confirm the treaty. The Bride is in heaven. Also, Noah and his family escaped the flood, and Lot was not hurt by the fire sent down on Sodom and Gomorrah (Matthew 24:36-44; Luke 17:26-37). Finally, the four horses of the apocalypse cannot be “out of the barn” because Revelation 4:1 has not happened yet. “Come up hither” refers to the Rapture, and the rider on the white horse is the anti-christ (Revelation 6:1). Thank you, and God bless

  15. Scripture tells us to believe not every spirit. Sometimes I must
    admit I have been duped because someone knew how to talk the talk.
    One day I prayed, God do not let me be deceived by anyone. It was
    then I realized. Look at the fruit, it cannot be faked. It is so
    important in this age to put our focus on Christ.To study the
    scriptures for ourselves. To pray for discernment and ask
    God to give us a clear understanding of his Word. I love your
    teachings Jim. I was a pre-trib believer. That was what I was
    taught. But as I prayed for truth. I began to have my eyes
    opened. We are going to face some rough days ahead. There are
    so many watchmen on the wall, declaring the same thing. Get ready,
    be prepared.

  16. On the program that aired in Orlando on Friday, Apr-29 – –

    Jim mentioned several major teachers / preachers that did not believe the rapture would precede the tribulation.

    He listed Spurgeon, Hudson Taylor and 10-12 others.

    Does anyone have the entire list?

    • A preacher on dish channel 262[angel].The program is called “Truth in History’.He actually wrote a book on the false teachings of revelation and the pre-trib rapture theory.In it and on air he names a number of persons of whom did not subscribe to the pre-trib rapture.Among some of the names are,I believe Issac Newton,Spurgon Kent,the Wesley brothers and just a number ofwell known ministers.I just recently learned of this minister and he does have a lot of information,but remember to ask God if he is of him.God tells us to test the spirits{people,pastors}.we have to ,especially with the days we’re living in.Remember,ask The Holy spirit to show you,not another person.I am planning to get this book.It’s only $12.00an d sounds packed full of useful information.I was taken when I heard Jim Baker infer that there will be no pre-trib rapture.I asked myself if I heard him right.I learned of it about 15 or 16 years ago.More and more people are becoming aware.Jerome Bernis of Jewish Voice ,also discovering the Jewish Jaesus ministry,one called the Shepherd,s chapel. It was through the latter one that I learned of Mary Mcdon? starting the rapture theory. although one can learn quite a bit from pastor Murray,some of his teachings are way out there{and i say this respectfully.

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