New Covenant Ministries
THE NEW DOCTRINE
A History of the Rapture Doctrine
by Bro. & Sis.M.A.Daoud
Missionaries from International Bible Association*
The teaching that the Church--in whole or
in part--will be caught up to heaven before the
reign of the man of sin, the anti-Christ, did not
appear in church history until the early part of
Neither any of the early church
fathers, neither the early saints like Augustine
of the Coptic church and Ephraim of the Syriac
church, neither later church writers taught this' doctrine.
Neither did the early church creeds of
modern times before the 1800's teach this
doctrine. On the contrary, when they
referred to the last days of the Church, they
said that the Church would continue on earth to
the end of the reign of the anti-Christ.
Of course, belief of Church fathers' creeds
does not prove always a doctrine is true.
The Bible is the proof standard, and it is the only
thing we stand upon and follow.
In the 1700's and 1800's, the best noted
Bible teachers were Matthew Henry and Adam Clark,
who each wrote a complete commentary
of the whole Bible, verse by verse. They did
not teach this new doctrine. I studied both
commentaries and nothing is mentioned about "Rapture."
How have we gotten this new doctrine?
In March, 1830, a woman in Richard
Baxter's church in London, England, when under
supernatural power, prophesied that the Lord
Jesus might come any time and that true believers
in Him might any day be caught up
by translation to heaven. This woman and
this church were connected with the Irvingite
movement that soon went astray on many false
doctrines. The Irvingite movement placed
much emphasis on prophesying under supernatural power, etc.
At the same time, John Darby and a little
group of men gathered at PLYMOUTH,
England, to engage in independent Bible study
which later they formed The Plymouth
Brethren group which still exists in England and
other countries. Although Darby and his group of
Plymouth Brethren were not part of the
Irvingite movement, they nevertheless accepted this
prophecy as coming from the
Lord and they incorporated it in their teaching.
Darby was one of the most influential preachers
in England at that time. He liked
this easy way, escape-tribulation doctrine.
But George Muller, of the famous Muller orphanage,
and Spurgeon and many other
famous preachers opposed this new teaching.
But Darby and his group proceeded with the
new interpretations and went on teaching this
new doctrine. Later, Charles Schofield became
one of the Darby line and closely associated
with the brethren teaching of the secret Rap-
ture of the Church and eternal security
Another man named W. E. Blackstone wrote
a book called Jesus Is Coming. He
summarized the Darby-Schofield teaching of
the secret Rapture of the Church, and with the
help of some rich believers at that time
published this book and spread it widely to
preachers and missionaries around the world, free of charge.
Oswald Smith of Canada and Henry Frost (American secretary
of the China Inland Mission)--prominent men at that time--
opposed this doctrine, but it was too late to
reverse the wide spread of the book, Jesus Is
Coming. And later the Church went on,
preachers divided into two opinions and
doctrines. Some believe in the secret Rapture,
easy escape, of the Church prior to the
tribulation, while others believe that the
Church will go through the tribulation and the
Lord Jesus will come after the tribulation and the
appearing of the man of sin,
as I explained in the beginning of this article.
Note: You can believe either way you want.
It does not make any difference and will have
no effect on your eternal salvation. What will
affect your eternal salvation is if there is secret
sin in your life and any disobedience of any
clear Scripture that pertains to holiness and
righteousness. But Rapture prior or at the
end of Tribulation is not a basic doctrine.
The one basic Doctrine is that He is coming to take
the Church, His body of believers who lived for
Him and kept holy as He is holy. And holiness
without no man shall see the Lord. Sin will
keep one out of heaven and the pearly gates,
as Jesus told those who professed they knew Him.
He told them, "I never knew you: depart from me,
ye that work iniquity." (Matthew 7:23.)
There was secret, hidden sin in their lives.
WHEN WILL JESUS RETURN???
"Now we beseech you, brethren, by the coming
of our Lord Jesus Christ, and by our gathering
together unto him, That ye be not
soon shaken in mind, or be troubled, neither by spirit,
nor by word, nor by letter as from us, as
that the day of Christ is at hand.
"Let no man deceive you by any means: for
that day shall not come, except there come a falling
away first, and that man of sin be revealed,
the son of perdition;..." (2 Thessalonians 2:1-3.)
From reading the above mentioned verses carefully,
it definitely states that the coming of Christ and the
translation of the living believers [saints] would not
be until after the reign of the man of sin.
The man of sin MUST first be revealed. On this basis,
we believe that Christ will appear to gather His
saints to him after the reign of the Anti-Christ at
the end of the tribulation. And we quote the Scriptures
from the Holy Bible. So we can base our belief on
what is written in the Bible.
"And as [Jesus] sat upon the mount of Olives, the
disciples came unto him privately, saying, Tell us,
when shall these things be? And what shall be the sign
of thy coming, and of the end of the world?
"And Jesus answered and said unto them, Take heed
that no man deceive you.
"For many shall come in my name, saying, I am Christ;
and shall deceive many. And ye shall hear of wars
and rumours of wars: see that ye be not troubled: for
all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet....
"When ye therefore shall see the abomination of
desolation, spoken of by Daniel the prophet, stand
in the holy place [see Dan. 11:3135], (whoso readeth,
let him understand:)...
"For then shall be great tribulation, such as was not
since the beginning of the world to this time, no, nor
ever shall be....
"Immediately after the tribulation of those days shall
the sun be darkened, and the moon shall not give her light,
and the stars shall fall from heaven, and the powers of the
heavens shall be shaken:
"And then shall appear the sign of the Son of man in heaven:
and then shall all the tribes of the earth mourn,
and they shall see the Son of man coming in the clouds
of heaven with power and great glory."(Matt. 24:3-6,15,21,29-30.)
The Christian world is divided into two opinions. Some believe that there will be a secret, invisible return of Jesus in the sky where the saints will be translated secretly before the beginning of the tribulation and the revelation of the man of sin which will start soon in our time by the appearing of the beast and the world ruler and climax by the rulership of the man of sin.
The other group who makes the majority, believe that the Lord will come after those days of tribulation as it is mentioned clearly in the Scripture proofs we mentioned.
"And he that overcometh [overcomes sin and the world], and keepeth my works [life] unto the end, to him will I give power over the nations." (Revelation 2:26).
*P.O.B. 225646, Dallas, TX 75222, USA
Reprinted from "Miracles & Missions Digest"
This page was created on 11 November 1998