THE PRE-TRIBULATION RAPTURE THEORY
This term became popular early in the 20th century among the Evangelical Denominational churches. Since I started to use a "face value" method of understanding scripture in 2001, this is one of the first of many church doctrines that I believed and taught to others, that became clear to me as a "false teaching". As near as I can understand, it was an offspring of an unholy "marriage" between two equally false teachings that had previously come into the "church". One was the so-called belief in a "Secret Rapture" that had its start in a vision or a trance that a young 15 year girl had in 1832 in a charismatic group in Scotland, where she apparently saw Jesus come back secretly in the clouds to rapture those who were ready to meet him in the air. It became known as the secret rapture, and was promoted and make popular by the "Plymouth Brethren" in England under the leadership of a Bible teacher by the name of John Darby. Then Dr C I Schofield published the first edition of his Bible in 1907, which introduced the theory that all of history could be divided into seven "dispensations", starting with 1/ Innocence, 2/ Conscience or Moral Responsibility, 3/ Human Government, 4/ Promise, 5/ Law, 6/ Church, 7/ Kingdom. Of course since we know that God only has two clearly defined divisions in His Word, the Old and the New covenants, or we use the word Testaments meaning the same thing. Jesus makes this distinction clear in (Matt 11:11) where He places John the Baptist as the man whose ministry divides between the OT and the NT!
So when the secret rapture was combined with a theory that teaches each dispensation must close before the next one can start, plus the fear of still being here on earth when the "Antichrist" makes his appearance, we see how this false teaching really told people just what they wanted to hear! So the introduction of this Pre-tribulation Rapture theory in the early 1900's became very popular, and easy to believe in. Certain well known Bible teachers and the authors of the "Left Behind" series of novels and tapes have presented this doctrine as if it is based on scripture, and many sincere believers have been deceived. They need to heed the advice given in (Acts 17:11) to be like the believers in Berea. Thank God for the introduction of the "Prewrath Rapture" teaching in the late 1980's by a man named Robert Van Kampen, which sets the rapture solidly into scripture!!
Dave Jamer 01/02/12