Puritan Gems

Thursday, November 16, 2006

Thomas Ice’s Pre-Trib “Evidence”


Most Christians are stunned to discover that the popular “rapture” doctrine was an invention of the Plymouth Brethren (adapted from Margaret McDonald) in the early 1800’s. Having refuted the idea that the “pre-trib” rapture is taught in the Scripture, we shall now examine the historic orthodoxy of the rapture doctrine. In an attempt to give the “Pre-trib” Rapture Doctrine some smidgen of historical significance beyond Darby and McDonald, Dr. Thomas Ice, Executive Director of the Pre-Trib Research Center, wrote an article in The Midnight Call (Jan. '06), p. 20-23, entitled "A Brief History of the Rapture." I don’t know Ice personally, and I won’t presuppose whether or not he is making honest mistakes, or if he is being purposely deceptive. Thanks to great research by people like Gary DeMar and Dave MacPherson, Ice’s “evidence” has been thoroughly refuted, as I will outline below.


Ice’s Claim #1 - The Apostolic Fathers held to both the imminent return of Christ as well as a post-tribulational rapture theory. While these positions are self-contradictory, the fact that imminence was taught is very important, as it forms the irrefutable basis of pre-trib rapture.

Response – There is no consensus on the eschatology of the Apostolic Fathers. In fact, most of the Church Fathers held that the Olivet Discourse was completely fulfilled at the Destruction of Jerusalem in AD 70 (Preterist). There are very few (if any) Apostolic references to the Book of Revelation itself. As for the Imminence Argument, this is two-fold. For the Apostolic Fathers who wrote prior to AD 70, a good case can be made that the “coming” they speak of is the same coming in Matthew 21:33-45. As for the post AD 70 Fathers who held to “the imminent return of Christ”, it is obvious now that they were wrong. What else needs to be said regarding that?


Ice’s Claim #2 - A sermon preched by a man referred to as Pseudo-Ephraem in the fourth to sixth century AD, entitled Sermon on The Last Times, The Antchrist, and The End of the World, contains the following:

“Why therefore do we not reject every care of earthly actions and prepare ourselves for the meeting of the Lord Christ, so that he may draw us from the confusion, which overwhelms all of the world? . . . For all the saints of God are gathered, prior to the tribulation that is to come, and are taken to the Lord lest they see the confusion that is to overwhelm the world because of our sins”.

Response – Dave MacPherson outlines the deception in many of Ice’s claims, including that Pseudo-Ephraem taught a “pre-trib rapture”.

“In the before-the-tribulation sections, P-E mentions neither a descent of Christ, nor a shout, nor an angelic voice, nor a trumpet of God, nor a resurrection, nor the dead in Christ, nor a rapture, nor meeting Christ. So where does P-E place the rapture? The answer is found in his last section (10) where he writes that after "the sign of the Son of Man" when "the Lord shall appear with great power," the "angelic trumpet precedes him, which shall sound and declare: Arise, O sleeping ones, arise, meet Christ, because the hour of judgment has come.”1

MacPherson goes on to show how pre-tribbers like Ice and Grant Jeffrey purposely revise Pseudo-Ephraem’s statements, leaving out words and phrases to purposely hide the fact that “Pseudo-Ephraem has the nasty, non-pretrib habit of blending the rapture with the final advent!”2


Ice’s Claim #3 - It is believed that sects like the Albigenses, Lmbards, and the Waldenses were attracted to premillennialism . . . difficult to say much as the RCC (which was/is amill) destroyed their works whenever they found them.

Response – Premillennialism itself does not support the idea of a Pre-trib rapture. Premillennialism has been around for a long time in different forms, but did not include the rapture doctrine until the 1800’s.


Ice’s Claim #4 - Brother Dolcino (1304) held to a pretribulational rapture, according to Francis Gumerlock. "[Dolcino taught that he and his followers would] be preserved unharmed from the persecution of the Antichrist."

Response – Dolcino and his followers can hardly be considered orthodox Christians. Ice refered to a work by Francis Gumerlock after a debate with Gary DeMar which stated, “the Dolcinites held to a pre-tribulation rapture theory similar to that of modern Dispensationalism”.3 But Dolcino taught much more than that. Gary Demar explains:

"If Ice wants to claim the Dolcinites as proto-dispensationalists, he can have them. Gumerlock quotes the Historia Fratris Dolcini Haeresiarchae in an end note (the English translation is Gumerlock's): "Again, [he believed, preached, and taught] that within the said three years Dolcino himself and his followers will preach the coming of the Antichrist; and that the Antichrist himself would come into this world at the end of the said three and a half years; and after he had come, Dolcino himself, and his followers would be transferred into Paradise, where Enoch and Elijah are, and they will be preserved unharmed from the persecution of Antichrist; and then Enoch and Elijah themselves would descend to earth to confront the Antichrist, then they would be killed by him; or by his servants, and thus Antichrist would reign again for many days. ‘Once Antichrist is truly dead, Dolcino himself, who would then be the holy Pope, and his preserved followers will descend to earth, and they will preach the correct faith of Christ to all, and they will convert those, who will be alive then, to the true faith of Jesus Christ.”

If Brother Dolcino’s teachings are the best evidence that Ice can come up with, he’s on shaky ground.


Ice’s Claim #5 - Both Philip Doddridge's commentary on the NT (1738) and Gill's commentary on the NT (1748) teach the imminence of the rapture. "It is clear that these men believed that [the rapture] will precede Christ's descent to the earth and the time of judgment. The purpose was to preserve believers from the time of judgment."

Response - The commentaries of these men are both pretty good size, and Ice unfortunately didn’t provide the portion that led him to believe that “these men believed that [the rapture] will precede Christ's descent to the earth and the time of judgment.” Both Doddridge and Gill, at best, were historical premillennialists with very heavy preterist leanings. Both of their commentaries put the Olivet Discourse, including the Great Tribulation, as having seen it’s fulfillment in the Roman-Jewish war, and refer to Josephus as evidence for this fulfillment.


Ice’s Claim #6 - James Macknight (1763) and Thomas Scott (1792) taught that the righteous will be carried to heaven, where they will be secure until the time of judgment is over.

Response - Like Gill and Doddridge, both Macknight and Scott were historical premillennialists with very heavy preterist leanings. "Milligan writes: "To me at least it seems perfectly obvious that the Apostle refers here to a day that was then very near at hand: a day that was about to come on that generation, and try the faith of many. And hence I am constrained to think with Macknight, Scott, Stuart, and others, that the reference is most likely to the day of Jerusalem's overthrow" (Commentary on Hebrews, p. 284)." (That Day" and forsaking the assembly )


Ice’s Claim #7 - Frank Marotta, not a pre-triber, believes that Thomas Collier in 1674 makes reference to a pretib rapture. John Asgill wrote a book in 1700 discussing the possibility of translation without seeing death.

Response – Unfortunately, Ice again does not give specifics. I have been unable to locate a copy of either source, though the complete title given for Asgill’s work by Ice does not say anything about a “pre-trib” rapture.4


Ice’s Claim #8 - Baptist Morgan Edwards, founder of Brown University, apparently believed in a system comparable to modern day mid-trib rapture. He published his beliefs in 1744 saying,
“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 . . . they will ascend to paradise, or to some one of those many "mansions in the father's house" . . ., and disappear during the foresaid period f time. The design of ths retreat and disappearing will be to judge the risen and changed saints.”

Response – Dave MacPherson shows clear proof that Morgan Edwards was a Historical Premillennialist, believing that he was already in the Great Tribulation.

“… these promoters … [have] concealed and perverted Morgan Edwards'…own words!... If promoters had been sure of their pretrib claim, they never would have had to collusively cover up the following M.E. statements that contradict their claim: On p. 14 M.E. described the "Turkish or Ottoman empire" (which began around 1300 A.D.) as the "beast that started out of the earth" (Rev. 13's second beast). (Since Bray etc. repeatedly claim that M.E. had only a "futurist" outlook, without which M.E. couldn't have logically expected a pretrib rapture, Bray deliberately skips over the historicism in M.E.'s "Ottoman" remark - historicism being the belief that the tribulation, covering many centuries, began at some point in the distant past.)

On p. 20 M.E. wrote that the "wicked one" (II Thess. 2:8) has "hitherto assumed no higher title than 'the vicar general of Christ on earth'" and described "Antichrist" as "popery" and a "succession of persons." (Promoters emphasize M.E.'s comments about the "last" Pope and ignore M.E.'s view that "popery" had "hitherto" (for many centuries) been playing the role of II Thess. 2:8's "wicked one" while wearing a "mask" (as he put it) - a first beast that historicism could easily see during the second beast's reign!) Since historicism - and not preterism or futurism - is the only one of these three schools which often thinks "years" when reading "days" in the Bible, it isn't surprising to find such year/day historicism in M.E. On p. 19, for example, while discussing Rev. 11's two witnesses, M.E. says "there are no more than about 204 years between now and their death.”

Obviously, if Morgan Edwards believed that he was already in the Tribulation period, he could not have been looking for a Pre-Trib Rapture.



It is obvious that Ice’s evidence has been invented out of desperation. It is one thing to believe in a certain doctrine. It is another thing to try and rewrite the works of earlier saints to promote it. The works of early church fathers are full of commentary on eschatology, yet references to any “pre-trib rapture” are noticeably absent. After all of Thomas Ice’s best efforts, he still hasn’t provided any evidence for the teaching of the modern “rapture” doctrine prior to 1800. While he is busy doing research for this doctrine through his Pre-Trib Research Center, his time could much better be spent in search of the truth.


Deceiving and Being Deceived By Dave MacPherson
2 Deceiving and Being Deceived By Dave MacPherson
3 Francis Gumerlock - The Day and the Hour, p.80).
4 See Endnote 10, page 23 of
The Midnight Call (Jan. '06).
Deceiving and Being Deceived By Dave MacPherson


Anonymous said...

Thomas Ice and the PTRC seem to be exactly what they masters needed in the mid 80s in order to keep the flock blinded in front of truth: HIRED GUNS. Only that their bullets are running out...

Mariano F.
Buenos Aires, Argentina

Anonymous said...

I heard Mark Hitchcock on Southwest Radio last night using this same bogus arguments. I'm buying the debate between Hitchcock and Hanegraaff anyway to share with my friends.

Glenside PA

Puritan Lad said...

Thanks Felix,

It sounds like an interesting debate. I'll have to check that out myself.

Anonymous said...

Ah, yes, Tommy Ice (whose Ph.D from an unaccredited school proves he is a "Pretrib History Distorter"!). For further light on him, Google "Thomas Ice (Bloopers)," "Thomas Ice (Hired Gun)," and "Deceiving and Being Deceived" - all by MacPherson whose bestselling book "The Rapture Plot" (Armageddon Books) drowns us with the mountains of dishonesty that has permeated pretribism during the past 178 years! True, Ice lies in the sun when on vacation - and lies even when the sun isn't shining! Kiko

Anonymous said...

[Speaking of MacPherson, see his new article "Pretrib Rapture Dishonesty" which is now being featured on the "Powered by Christ Ministries" site in a colorful photographic version! The black and white version follows.


by Dave MacPherson

When I began my research in 1970 into the exact beginnings of the pretribulation rapture belief still held by many evangelicals, I assumed that the rapture debate involved only "godly scholars with honest differences." The paper you are now reading reveals why I gave up that assumption many years ago. With this introduction-of-sorts in mind, let's take a long look at the pervasive dishonesty throughout the history of the 179-year-old pretrib rapture theory:

Mid-1820's - German scholar Max Weremchuk's work "John Nelson Darby" (1992) included what Benjamin Newton revealed about John Darby in the mid-1820's during his pre-Brethren days as an Anglican clergyman:
"J. N. Darby was a very subtle man. He had been a lawyer, or at least educated for the law. Once he wanted his Archbishop to pursue a certain course, when he (J.N.D.) was a curate in his diocese. He wrote a letter, therefore, saying he had been educated for the law, knew what the legal course would properly be; and then having written that clearly, he mystified the remainder of the letter both in word and in handwriting, and ended up by saying: You see, my Lord, such being the legal aspect of the case it would unquestionably be the best course for you to pursue, etc. And the Archbishop couldn't make out the legal part, but rested on Darby's word and did as he advised. Darby afterwards laughed over it, and indeed he showed a copy of the letter to Tregelles. This is not mentioned in the Archbishop's biography, but in it is the fact that he spoke of Darby as 'the most subtle man in my diocese.'"
This reminds me of an 1834 letter by Darby which spoke of the "Lord's coming." Darby added, concerning this coming, that "the thoughts are new" and that during any teaching of it "it would not be well to have it so clear." Darby's deviousness here was his usage of a centuries-old term - "Lord's coming" - to cover up his desire to sneak the new pretrib idea into existing posttrib groups in very low-profile ways!
1830 - In the spring of 1830 a young Scottish lassie, Margaret Macdonald, came up with the novel notion of a catching up [rapture] of Spirit-filled "church" members before Antichrist's "trial" [tribulation] of non-Spirit-filled "church" members - the first instance I've found of clear "pretrib" teaching (which was part of a partial rapture scheme). In Sep. 1830 "The Morning Watch" (a journal produced by London preacher Edward Irving and his "Irvingite" followers, some of whom had visited Margaret a few weeks earlier) began repeating her original thoughts and even her wording but gave her no credit - the first plagiarism I've found in pretrib history. Darby was still defending posttrib in Dec. 1830.
Pretrib promoters have long known the significance of her main point: a rapture of "church" members BEFORE the revealing of Antichrist. Which is why John Walvoord quoted nothing in her revelation, why Thomas Ice habitually skips over her main point but quotes lines BEFORE and AFTER it, and why Hal Lindsey muddies up her main point so he can (falsely) assert that she was NOT a pretribber! (Google "X-Raying Margaret" for info about her.)
NOTE: The development of the 1800's is thoroughly documented in my book "The Rapture Plot." You'll learn that Darby wasn't original on any chief aspect of dispensationalism (but plagiarized the Irvingites); that pretrib was initially based on only OT and NT symbols and not clear Scripture; that the symbols included the Jewish feasts, the two witnesses, and the man child - symbols adopted by Darby during most of his career; that Darby's later reminiscences exaggerated his earliest pretrib development, and that today's defenders such as Thomas Ice have further overstated what Darby overstated; that Irvingism didn't need later reminiscences to "clarify" its own early pretrib development; that ancient hymns and even the writings of the Reformers were subtly revised to make it appear they had taught pretrib; and that after Darby's death a clever revisionist quietly made many changes in early Irvingite and Brethren documents in order to steal credit for pretrib away from the Irvingites (and their female inspiration!) and give it dishonestly to Darby! (Before continuing, Google the "Powered by Christ Ministries" site and read "America's Pretrib Rapture Traffickers" - a sample of the current exciting internetism!)
1920 - Charles Trumbull's book "The Life Story of C. I. Scofield" told only the dispensationally-correct side of his life. Two recent books, Joseph Canfield's "The Incredible Scofield and His Book" (1988) and David Lutzweiler's "DispenSinsationalism: C. I. Scofield's Life and Errors" (2006), reveal the other side including his being jailed as a forger, dishonestly giving himself a non-conferred "D.D." etc. etc.!
1967 - Brethren scholar Harold Rowdon's "The Origins of the Brethren" quoted Darby associate Lord Congleton who was "disgusted with...the falseness" of Darby's accounts of things. Rowdon also quoted historian William Neatby who said that others felt that "the time-honoured method of single combat" was as good as anything "to elicit the truth" from Darby. (In other words, knock it out of him!)
1972 - Tim LaHaye's "The Beginning of the End" (1972) plagiarized Hal Lindsey's "The Late Great Planet Earth" (1970).
1976 - Charles Ryrie"s "The Living End" (1976) plagiarized Lindsey's "The Late Great Planet Earth" (1970) and "There's A New World Coming" (1973).
1976 - After John Walvoord's "The Blessed Hope and the Tribulation" (1976) brutally twisted Robert Gundry's "The Church and the Tribulation" (1973), Gundry composed and circulated a 35-page open letter to Walvoord which repeatedly charged the Dallas Seminary president with "misrepresentation," "misrepresentations" (and variations)!
1981 - "The Fundamentalist Phenomenon" (1981) by Jerry Falwell, Ed Dobson, and Ed Hindson heavily plagiarized George Dollar's 1973 book "A History of Fundamentalism in America."
1984 - After a prof at Southeastern College of the Assemblies of God in Florida told me that the No. 2 man at the AG world headquarters in Missouri - Joseph Flower - had the label of posttrib, my wife and I had two hour-long chats with him. He verified what I had been told. But we were dumbstruck when he told us that although AG ministers are required to promote pretrib, privately they can believe any other rapture view! Flower said that his father, an AG co-founder, was also posttrib. We also learned while in Springfield that when the AG's were organized in 1914, the initial group was divided between posttribs and pretribs - but that the pretribs shouted louder which resulted in that denomination officially adopting pretrib! (For details on this and other pretrib double-mindedness, Google "Pretrib Hypocrisy.")
1989 - Since 1989 Thomas Ice has referred to the "Mac-theory" (his reference to my research), giving the impression there's no solid evidence that Macdonald was the real pretrib originator. But Ice carefully conceals the fact that no eminent church historian of the 1800's - whether Plymouth Brethren or Irvingite - credited Darby with pretrib. Instead, they uniformly credited leading Irvingite sources, all of which upheld the Scottish lassie's contribution! Moreover, I'm hardly the only modern scholar seeing significance in Irvingism's territory. Others in recent years who have noted it, but who haven't mined it as deeply as I have, include Fuller, Ladd, Bass, Rowdon, Sandeen, and Gundry.
1989 - Greg Bahnsen and Kenneth Gentry produced evidence in 1989 that Lindsey's book "The Road to Holocaust" (1989) plagiarized "Dominion Theology" (1988) by H. Wayne House and Thomas Ice.
1990 - David Jeremiah's and C. C. Carlson's "Escape the Coming Night" (1990) massively plagiarized Lindsey's 1973 book "There's A New World Coming." (For more info, type in "Thieves' Marketing" on MSN or Google.)
1991 - Paul Lee Tan's "A Pictorial Guide to Bible Prophecy" (1991) plagiarized large amounts of Lindsey's "The Late Great Planet Earth" (1970).
1991 - Militant Darby defender R. A. Huebner claimed in 1991 to have found new evidence that Darby was pretrib as early as 1827 - three years before Macdonald. Halfway through his book Huebner suddenly admitted that his evidence could refer to something completely un-rapturesque. Even though Thomas Ice admitted to me that he knew that Huebner had "blown" his so-called evidence, prevaricator Ice continues to tell the world that Huebner has "positive evidence" that Darby was pretrib in 1827! Ice also conceals the fact that Darby, in his own 1827 paper, was looking for only "the restitution of all things" and "the times of refreshing" (Acts 3:19,21) - which Scofield doesn't see fulfilled until AFTER a future tribulation!
1992 - Tim LaHaye's "No Fear of the Storm" (1992) plagiarized Walvoord's "The Blessed Hope and the Tribulation" (1976).
1992 - This was when the Los Angeles Times revealed that "The Magog Factor" (1992) by Hal Lindsey and Chuck Missler was a monstrous plagiarism of Prof. Edwin Yamauchi's scholarly 1982 work "Foes from the Northern Frontier." Four months after this exposure, Lindsey and Missler stated they had stopped publishing and promoting their book. But in 1996 Dr. Yamauchi learned that the dishonest duo had issued a 1995 book called "The Magog Invasion" which still had a substantial amount of the same plagiarism! (If Lindsey and Missler ever need hernia operations, I predict that the doctors will tell them not to lift anything for a long time!)
1994 - In 1996 it was revealed that Lindsey's "Planet Earth - 2000 A.D. (1994) had an embarrassing amount of plagiarism of a Texe Marrs book titled "Mystery Mark of the New Age" (1988).
1995 - My book "The Rapture Plot" reveals the dishonesty in Darby's reprinted works. It's often hard to tell who wrote the footnotes and when. It's easy to believe that the notes, and also unsigned phrases inside brackets within the text, were a devious attempt by someone (Darby? his editor?) to portray a Darby far more developed in pretrib thinking than he actually had been at the time. I found that some of the "additives" had been taken from Darby's much later works, when he was more developed, and placed next to or inside his earliest works! One footnote by Darby's editor, attached to Darby's 1830 paper, actually stated that "it was not worth while either suppressing or changing" anything in this work! If his editor wasn't open to such dishonesty, how can we explain such a statement?
Post-1995 - Thomas Ice's article "Inventor of False Pre-Trib Rapture History" states that my book "The Rapture Plot" is "only one of the latest in a series of revisions of his original discourse...." And David Reagan in his article "The Origin of the Concept of a Pre-Tribulation Rapture" repeats Ice's falsehood by claiming that I have republished my first book "over the years under several different titles."
Although my book repeats a bit of the Macdonald origin of pretrib (for new readers), all of my books are packed with new material not found in my other works. For some clarification, "The Incredible Cover-Up" has photos of pertinent places in Ireland, Scotland, and England not found in my later books plus several chapters dealing with theological arguments; "The Great Rapture Hoax" quotes scholars throughout the Church Age, covers Scofield's hidden side, a section on Powerscourt, the 1980 election, the Jupiter Effect, Gundry's change, and more theological arguments; "The Rapture Plot" reveals for the first time the Great Evangelical Revisionism/Robbery and includes appendices on miscopying, plagiarism, etc.; and "The Three R's" shows hypocritical evangelicals employing occultic beliefs they say they have long opposed!
So Thomas Ice etc. are twisting truth when they claim I am only a revisionist. Do they really think that my publishers DON'T know what I've previously written?
Re arguments, Google "Pretrib Rapture - Hidden Facts" and also obtain "The End Times Passover" and "Why Christians Will Suffer 'Great Tribulation' " (AuthorHouse, 2006) by media personality Joe Ortiz.
1997 - For years Harvest House Publishers has owned and been republishing Lindsey's book "There's A New World Coming." During the same time Lindsey has been peddling his reportedly "new" book "Apocalyse Code" (1997), much of which is word-for-word the same as the Harvest House book - and there's no notice of "simultaneous publishing" in either book! Talk about pretrib greed!
1997 - This is the year I discovered that more than 50 pages of Dallas Seminary professor Merrill Unger's book "Beyond the Crystal Ball" (Moody Press, 1973) constituted a colossal plagiarism of Lindsey's "The Late Great Planet Earth" (1970). After Lindsey's book came out, Unger had complained that Lindsey's book had plagiarized his classroom lecture notes. It was evident that Unger felt that he too should cash in on his own lectures! (The detailed account of this Dallas Seminary dishonesty is revealed in my 1998 book "The Three R's.")
1998 - Tim LaHaye's "Understanding the Last Days" (1998) plagiarized Lindsey's "There's A New World Coming" (1973).
1999 - More than 200 pages (out of 396 pages) in Lindsey's 1999 book "Vanished Into Thin Air" are virtually carbon copies of pages in his 1983 book "The Rapture" - with no "updated" or "revised" notice included! Lindsey has done the same nervy thing with several of his books, something that has allowed him to live in million-dollar-plus homes and drive cars like Ferraris! (See my Google articles "Deceiving and Being Deceived" and "Thieves' Marketing" for further evidence of this notably pretrib vice.)
2000 - A Jack Van Impe article "The Moment After" (2000) plagiarized Grant Jeffrey's book "Final Warning" (1995).
2001 - Since 2001 my web article "Walvoord's Posttrib 'Varieties' - Plus" has been exposing his devious muddying up of posttrib waters. In some of his books he invented four "distinct" and "contradictory" posttrib divisions, claiming that they are either "classic" or "semiclassic" or "futurist" or "dispensational" - distinctions that disappear when analyzed! His "futurist" group holds to a literal future tribulation and a literal millennium but doesn't embrace "any day" imminency. But his "dispensational" group has the same non-imminency! Moreover, tribulational futurism is found in every group except the first one, and he somehow admitted that a literal millennium is in all four groups! On the other hand, it's the pretribs who consistently disagree with each other over their chief points and subpoints - but somehow end up agreeing that there will be a pretrib rapture! (See my chapter "A House Divided" in my book "The Incredible Cover-Up.")
2001 - Since my "Deceiving and Being Deceived" web item which exposed the claims for Pseudo-Ephraem" and "Morgan Edwards" as teachers of pretrib, there has been a piranha-like frenzy on the part of pretrib bodyguards and their duped groupies to "discover" almost anything before 1830 walking upright on two legs that seemed to have at least a remote hint of pretrib! (An exemplary poster boy for such pretrib practice is Grant Jeffrey. To get your money's worth, Google "Wily Jeffrey.")

FINALLY: Don't take my word for any of the above. Read my 300-page book "The Rapture Plot" which has a jillion more documented details on the long-hidden but now-revealed history of the dishonest, 179-year-old, fringe-British-invented, American-merchandised-until-the-real-bad-stuff-happens pretribulation rapture fad. If this book of mine doesn't "move" you, I will personally refund what you paid for it!

Puritan Lad said...

Thanks. The "Rapture" theology has some very strange roots indeed.

wakawakwaka said...

but the claim that the early church fahters held to immenence to the return of Jesus,isnt that easily refuted arguement because the early church fathers had a good reason to believe that the tribulation could start at any time, and therofore believe that Jesus was returning soon

Puritan Lad said...

Perhaps so, but Ice's claim was that "the Apostolic Fathers held to both the imminent return of Christ as well as a post-tribulational rapture theory." There is zero evidence that the Apostolic Fathers held to any sort of "rapture" theory as currently defined.

wakawakwaka said... heres my referance to that thomas collier book

Puritan Lad said...

Not having the book with me, I would need to see the exact quote from Collier. Where does he claim that "the saints were raised when Christ appears and this is prior the fulfillment of the bulk of Revelation"?

wakawakwaka said...

just curious my puritan friend,just how much evanglicals or conservative Christians believe in this pre trib rapture stuff

Puritan Lad said...

Unfortunately, I'd say the vast majority of them, at least in the United States. Your Pentecostal denominations, Southern Baptists, Brethren related groups, and "Independent" churches almost exclusively hold to this view (few have heard any alternative views). The popularity of Hal Lindsey's works as well as the "Left Behind" stuff are a testimony to that fact.

wakawakwaka said...

mmmm...that doesnt sound good so would it be pretty easy to disprove what they are saying no...

Puritan Lad said...

We can prove that such a teaching is not in the Bible (or in church history until the early to mid-1800's.) Beyond that, I guess we really can't "prove" that it won't happen. Just no reason to believe that it will.

wigglytuff said...

but didnt church father also believe that there was literally to be an anti-christ that will rule for 3.5 years in the future, like ireanous and tertullian?

Anonymous said...

/ What a fantastic blog. Seen this? I saw it on the web. Maura /

Pretrib Rapture Pride

by Bruce Rockwell

Pretrib rapture promoters like Thomas Ice give the impression they know more than the early Church Fathers, the Reformers, the greatest Greek New Testament scholars including those who produced the KJV Bible, the founders of their favorite Bible schools, and even their own mentors!
Ice's mentor, Dallas Sem. president John Walvoord, couldn't find anyone holding to pretrib before 1830 - and Walvoord called John Darby and his Brethren followers "the early pretribulationists" (RQ, pp. 160-62). Ice belittles Walvoord and claims that several pre-1830 persons, including "Pseudo-Ephraem" and a "Rev. Morgan Edwards," taught a pretrib rapture. Even though the first one viewed Antichrist's arrival as the only "imminent" event, Ice (and Grant Jeffrey) audaciously claim he expected an "imminent" pretrib rapture! And Ice (and John Bray) have covered up Edwards' historicism which made a pretrib rapture impossible! Google historian Dave MacPherson's "Deceiving and Being Deceived" for documentation on these and similar historical distortions.
The same pretrib defenders, when combing ancient books, deviously read "pretrib" into phrases like "before Armageddon," "before the final conflagration," and "escape all these things"!
BTW, the KJV translators' other writings found in London's famed British Library (where MacPherson has researched) haven't a hint of pretrib rapturism. Is it possible that Ice etc. have found pretrib "proof" in the KJV that its translators never found?
Pretrib merchandisers like Ice claim that nothing is better pretrib proof than Rev. 3:10. They also cover up "Famous Rapture Watchers" (on Google) which shows how the greatest Greek NT scholars of all time interpreted it.
Pretrib didn't flourish in America much before the 1909 Scofield Bible which has pretribby "explanatory notes" in its margins. Not seen in the margins was jailed forger Scofield's criminal record throughout his life that David Lutzweiler has documented in his recent book "The Praise of Folly" which is available online.
Biola University's doctrinal statement says Christ's return is "premillennial" and "before the Tribulation." Although universities stand for "academic freedom," Biola has added these narrow, restrictive phrases - non-essentials the founders purposely didn't include in their original doctrinal statement when Biola was just a small Bible institute! And other Christian schools have also belittled their founders.
Ice, BTW, has a "Ph.D" issued by a tiny Texas school that wasn't authorized to issue degrees! Ice now says that he's working on another "Ph.D" via the University of Wales in Britain. For light on the degrees of Ice's scholarliness, Google "Bogus degree scandal prompts calls to wind up University of Wales," "Thomas Ice (Bloopers)," "be careful in polemics - Peripatetic Learning," and "Walvoord Melts Ice."
Other fascinating Google articles include "The Unoriginal John Darby," "X-raying Margaret," "Edward Irving in Unnerving," "Pretrib Rapture Politics," "Pretrib Rapture Secrets," "Pretrib Rapture Dishonesty," "Pretrib Hypocrisy," "Pretrib Rapture Secrecy," and "Roots of Warlike Christian Zionism" - most from the author of "The Rapture Plot," the most accurate documentation on pretrib rapture history.
Can anyone guess who the last proud pretrib rapture holdout will be?

Puritan Lad said...

Agreed. Anyone who actually studies the issue and still holds on to a "pre-trib" rapture does so out of theological desperation, not sound doctrine or scriptural exegesis.

Anonymous said...

[here's a web item I came across. Sherry]

The Real Morgan Edwards

by George Wilson

In 1995, in a 24-page booklet on 18th century pastor Morgan Edwards, evangelist John Bray claimed that Edwards taught a pretrib rapture in his 1788 book titled "Two Academical Exercises...."
Those echoing Bray include Thomas Ice who wrote "Morgan Edwards: Another Pre-Darby Rapturist." Edwards' 1788 work can be found on the internet.
In order to claim that Edwards held to pretrib, candidates for the I-can-find-pretrib-earlier-in-church-history-than-you-can medal - including Bray, Ice, LaHaye, Frank Marotta etc. - have intentionally covered up Edwards' "historicism," his belief that the tribulation had already been going on for hundreds of years. (How can anyone in the tribulation go back in time and look for a pretrib rapture?)
Here's proof of Edwards' historicism and its companion "day-year" theory which can view the 1260 tribulation "days" as "years."
On p. 14 Edwards described the Ottoman Empire (which was then already 400 years old) as the Rev. 13:11 "beast." On p. 20 he defined "Antichrist" as the already 1000-year-old "popery" and the "succession of persons" known as "Popes" - his other Rev. 13 "beast." He necessarily viewed Rev. 13's 1260-day period as 1260 literal years in order to provide enough time for his two "beasts."
On p. 19, while discussing "the ministry of the witnesses" of Rev. 11, he allotted "about 204 years" for their "years to perform" - years impossible to fit into a 3.5-year period!
What about Edwards' rapture? On pp. 21-23 he wrote about "the appearing of the son of man in the clouds, coming to raise the dead saints and change the living, and to catch them up to himself....The signs of Christ's appearing in the clouds will be extraordinary 'wars and rumors of wars, earthquakes and famines,' &. (Matth. xxiv. 6-8.)....The signs of his coming, in the heavens will be 'the trump of God [I Thess. 4:16], vapor and smoke, which will darken the sun and moon [Matt. 24:29],'...and also cause those meteors called 'falling stars'....
Right after his combined rapture/advent (!), Edwards said: "And therefore, now, Antichrist...will...counterfeit the preceding wonders in heaven...causing 'fire to come down from heaven'....And that godhead he will now assume, after killing the two witnesses....Now the great persecution of the Jews will begin...for time, times, and half a time...."
Thomas Ice's article on Edwards (see first par. above) quoted only the first 27 words in the above quotation, ending with "to himself." This sort of unethical revisionism is constantly employed by many pretrib defenders.
Not only had most of Edwards' historicist tribulation occurred before his combined rapture/advent, but his Antichrist kept raging for 3.5 years even after the Matt. 24 signs! No wonder his tutor advised him to correct his thesis!
To read Edwards' complete work, Google "[PDF] Two Academical"
For more info on Edwards, Google "McPherson Page" (click on a reproduction of "Cover-Ups"). Also Google "Deceiving and Being Deceived" by historian Dave MacPherson.

Puritan Lad said...

Thanks Sherry. I had seen similar info in Dave MacPherson's books. Good stuff.