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The purpose of this brief study is to show that the pretribulation rapture theory is not plainly taught or directly stated in any place in Scripture, cannot be deduced from biblical teaching, contradicts the general teaching of the Bible regarding Christ’s second coming and was never taught in any branch of the church prior to 1830.
Edward Irving (1792-1834) was minister of the Church of Scotland. He was also influenced by the writings of another Jesuit Priest, Emmanuel Lacunza (who used the pseudonym Juan Josafat Ben-Ezra) who wrote a book, "The Coming of the Messiah in Glory and Majesty". Irving translated this Spanish book into English and added a 203 page Preface.
When the Lord shall have finished the taking of witness against the Gentiles... he will begin to prepare another ark of testimony... and to that end will turn his Holy Spirit unto his ancient people, the Jews, and bring them unto those days of refreshing... This outpouring of the Spirit is known in Scripture by ‘the latter rain’.
Published by L.B. Seeley & Sons, 1827, London, pp. 5-6.
John Nelson Darby, one of the inventers of the Rapture theoryIrving planted the seeds of Dispensationalism which greatly influenced two other men. The first was John Nelson Darby (1800-1882), an Anglican minister who left the Church of Ireland to commence the Plymouth Brethren. The other was Henry Drummond (1786-1860), a banker, who founded the Catholic Apostolic Church.
In 1831 both Edward Irving and John Nelson Darby began to postulate a two-staged return of Christ. Some believe that Irving was influenced by a young girl, Margaret McDonald, who apparently received this ‘revelation’ from the Lord of a “rapture” of the Church before a time of Great Tribulation at the end of the age.