Wednesday, 4 January 2012

"Signs and Wonders" of the 1800's

I was continuing my search of the history of the pretribulation rapture theory, when I realized that there were many aberrant doctrines spawning right about that same time period.

There were the Millerites, who taught that the rapture would occur in 1844. The Millerite doctrine led to the "Bible Student Movement" later called the Jehovah's Witnesses, and the Seventh day Adventist sect.

Then there was Joseph Smith who concocted a story about golden plates, and visions he had while looking into a hat, founder of "The Church of Jesus Christ of the Latter-day Saints (Mormons) and the Missouri based "Community of Christ" which boasts of 14 million members worldwide.

That was the same time period that Margaret MacDonald got her revelation that claimed she got the hidden knowledge of a pretribulation rapture. She believed that part of the Church would be raptured before the Great tribulation (the Philadelphians) and a part that would remain on earth to suffer the wrath of God (the Laodiceans).

Charles Finney also began his "revival meetings" during the 1800's

The 1800's was also the time of the "industrial revolution".  It also was the time of the beginning of the women's movement.

I found an interesting timeline about the revivals of the 1800's.

I'm still trying to understand the bigger picture of all of this "religious" activity and social reform...and the underpinnings of what we now see as our "modern society" and what "the Church" has evolved into in our modern times.


  1. That there was an uptick in false doctrines at the same time that the Darbyites falsely claimed that the rapture is a theory, doesn't mean that the rapture is a theory. It's a straw man argument. The uptick was caused in no small part, no doubt, as a satanic reaction to the 2nd Great Awakening which began in 1820.

    Whenever there is a great force of pure spiritual movement, satan counters in evil spiritual movement.(Ephesians 6, 1CH 21:1, Mt 4:9 &etc) Darby fell prey to the latter.

    Part of the problem with the 2nd Great Awakening was that it began to combine with the social gospel, because slavery was an issue and so was child labor, suffragism, and especially temperance. If you want an interesting combination, check the growth of the temperance movement with the social gospel, new denominations, and the falsities later embedded within the new denominations.

    It also took root because of the massive population shift toward the west that happened when the frontier opened up and the large amounts of unbelieving immigrants.

    The 2nd Great Awakening began in 1820 and by 1830 was in full swing. It started to lose potency in about 1870.

    If you continue to say the "rapture is a theory" please use scripture. That is important. Your'e in the internet and what you write influences people.

  2. Thank you once again,for a great post. I believe your right abt us being on the very brink of knowing some terrible truths,I worry abt the young people,just starting out in life,also the children,who have never known hardship... My heart breaks for them ! Blessings Jane

  3. I've been studying in this same era. Thanks for the Timeline link.

  4. So very nice to meet you. I am looking forward to being your newest follower.
    I found your post to be interesting and not long ago I was reading of this time period with the movement of different churches. I love history.
    Thanks for finding me so I could find your lovely site

  5. Hi Elizabeth
    ...I've read both your comments, and looked up the scripture references you have provided, but find that I do not agree with how you are using the scriptures, that they are not saying what you say they are saying :( It would take me a really long post to go over with you on every point. I may do that in a subsequent blog entry when I have time.

    I do have a quick question for you, though. Do you believe that the saints who were persecuted and martyred during various times in history, such as during Nero's reign, were subjected to the wrath of God?

    I also disagree with you on Jericho's trumpets having nothing to do with the end time trumpets. There are 7 days of trumpets blowing in the Jericho situation and there are the 7 trumpets mentioned in the book of Revelation, Jericho fell at the last trumpet sound on the 7th day, just as Jesus returns victoriously to conquer His enemies at the sound of the 7th trumpet. The book of Revelation doesn't follow a timeline all the time, but switches back and forth in the vision, so alot of people try to make it fit into a straight line and get confused by it. Look at what is said about the 7th trumpet:

    Rev 10:7 But in the days of the voice of the seventh angel, when he shall begin to sound, the mystery of God should be finished, as he hath declared to his servants the prophets.

    then he doesn't sound until:

    Rev 11:15 And the seventh angel sounded; and there were great voices in heaven, saying, The kingdoms of this world are become the kingdoms of our Lord, and of his Christ; and he shall reign for ever and ever.

    And then just like in the account of the fall of Jericho after the 7th trumpet, there is a massive earthquake, and it is after the 7th trumpet that the wrath of God is being now poured out on those who are left on the earth...remember that we are removed at the last (7th) trumpet, so this is when God's wrath is now poured out on the earth:

    Rev 11:18 And the nations were angry, and thy wrath is come, and the time of the dead, that they should be judged, and that thou shouldest give reward unto thy servants the prophets, and to the saints, and them that fear thy name, small and great; and shouldest destroy them which destroy the earth.
    Rev 11:19 And the temple of God was opened in heaven, and there was seen in his temple the ark of his testament: and there were lightnings, and voices, and thunderings, and an earthquake, and great hail.

    Thanks for the links, Elizabeth, I already had many of them (such as the CARM link, and have used "Got Questions" and "Christian Research" also) Unlike you, if I disagree with a person on one point, I do not throw out the baby with the bathwater, lol.

  6. Hi Jane,

    I think so too, I pray that we will have enough oil in our lamps like the wise virgins Jesus spoke of, and not the foolish ones that were unprepared for what was to come.

    Hi Amy
    I love looking into the 1800's. I'm reading a book about Sam Clemens (Mark Twain) saddens me what I'm learning about him, however, the book gives much insight into the period, and it's very interesting.

    Hi Grandma with Yellow Hair

    I love your name :D I enjoy history also. I just completed an ancient history class at our local college and it was wonderful!!! When I was a youngster I wanted to become an archaelogist. Now, I don't think that would have been such a good can go years and years before finding a piece of broken pottery. I don't think I'd have the patience for that.

    I'm glad you all came to add your thoughts and recommendations. I certainly don't pretend to have all the answers. I am always open to hearing the Holy Spirit give me a better answer, to correct me when I have it wrong, and He has on many occasions.

    No matter what will happen in the coming years, I know Jesus won't forsake us, just as He did not forsake Daniels 3 friends in the fiery furnace. The early Christians sang praises to God as they were being tortured and killed for their faith. May we also be given the grace to do so, if the Lord calls upon us to likewise be a witness for Him through such suffering. Amen.

  7. Hi Jedidja,

    Any snow in Holland yet? :)
    Here in Michigan we had a little, but the big storm hasn't hit us yet...maybe we will have a lighter winter this year. Thanks for visiting :-) I love reading your blog, I think you are helping me improve mein Nederlandse :) Thank you!

  8. I am of the opinion (everyone has one right? ;P) that there was never a time in "church" history without false doctrines.

    As far as the rapture goes, I do think that the same scriptures can be used to prove it either way....makes it tricky, huh? :) Perhaps the enemy is delighting at us arguing about the little things.

    If we are meant to go through whatever, He will make us ready. The martyrs and such were no different than us. In contrast, many a saint has died painlessly and peacefully as well. Thank God we don't know what is coming, but the grace will be there either way.

  9. Hi Ma,

    So true about opinions, everyone does have one, lol.

    I personally do not see a pretrib rapture at all in scripture. All the "proof" for pretrib rapture has to be read into the text instead of reading the plain meaning of the text.

    I would like pretribbers to come with something written by the preachers prior to Mrs MacDonald's vision and Darby's running with it, that actually plainly states that the catching away of the church will be prior to the Great Tribulation. They haven't done it yet. The plain reading of the Bible says nothing of the kind.

  10. There is actually ONE thing that I know that Grant Jeffrey ran with a couple of years ago, from early in the church:

    see here

    But I see the lack of early church evidence, if that is what is needed.

    Personally, I am undecided at this point, so "pan trib"....tee hee:)

  11. Hi Ma,

    That is an interesting link, however, like the article states, it has gone through many copying and rewriting and translations, etc, and from what is written, it could still be inferred one way or the other, because "gathered and taken" can also be in death, while some will remain alive, which is how I see it. The Lord knows how much we can handle and those He strengthens for it may have to endure many things, just as the new Church of the first couple of centuries did, and also the church in China, and Serbia, as examples.

    Thanks for the link :)

  12. [Amen, Susan. Here's a little something I ran into on the surprising web. BTW, Ma might enjoy Googling "Wily Jeffrey." Aurora]


    Many are still unaware of the eccentric, 182-year-old British theory underlying the politics of American evangelicals and Christian Zionists.
    Journalist and historian Dave MacPherson has spent more than 40 years focusing on the origin and spread of what is known as the apocalyptic "pretribulation rapture" - the inspiration behind Hal Lindsey's bestsellers of the 1970s and Tim LaHaye's today.
    Although promoters of this endtime evacuation from earth constantly repeat their slogan that "it's imminent and always has been" (which critics view more as a sales pitch than a scriptural statement), it was unknown in all official theology and organized religion before 1830.
    And MacPherson's research also reveals how hostile the pretrib rapture view has been to other faiths:
    It is anti-Islam. TV preacher John Hagee has been advocating "a pre-emptive military strike against Iran." (Google "Roots of Warlike Christian Zionism.")
    It is anti-Jewish. MacPherson's book "The Rapture Plot" (see Armageddon Books etc.) exposes hypocritical anti-Jewishness in even the theory's foundation.
    It is anti-Catholic. Lindsey and C. I. Scofield are two of many leaders who claim that the final Antichrist will be a Roman Catholic. (Google "Pretrib Hypocrisy.")
    It is anti-Protestant. For this reason no major Protestant denomination has ever adopted this escapist view.
    It even has some anti-evangelical aspects. The first publication promoting this novel endtime view spoke degradingly of "the name by which the mixed multitude of modern Moabites love to be distinguished, - the Evangelical World." (MacPherson's "Plot," p. 85)
    Despite the above, MacPherson proves that the "glue" that holds constantly in-fighting evangelicals together long enough to be victorious voting blocs in elections is the same "fly away" view. He notes that Jerry Falwell, when giving political speeches just before an election, would unfailingly state: "We believe in the pretribulational rapture!"
    In addition to "The Rapture Plot" (available also at any library through inter-library loan), MacPherson's many internet articles include "Famous Rapture Watchers," "Pretrib Rapture Diehards," "Edward Irving is Unnerving," "America's Pretrib Rapture Traffickers," "Thomas Ice (Bloopers)," "Pretrib Rapture Secrecy" and "Pretrib Rapture Dishonesty" (massive plagiarism, phony doctorates, changing of early "rapture" documents in order to falsely credit John Darby with this view, etc.!).
    Because of his devastating discoveries, MacPherson is now No. 1 on the "hate" list of pretrib rapture leaders who love to ban or muddy up his uber-accurate findings in sources like Wikipedia - which they've almost turned into Wicked-pedia!
    There's no question that the leading promoters of this bizarre 19th century end-of-the-world doctrine are solidly pro-Israel and necessarily anti-Palestinian. In light of recently uncovered facts about this fringe-British-invented belief which has always been riddled with dishonesty, many are wondering why it should ever have any influence on Middle East affairs.
    This Johnny-come-lately view raises millions of dollars for political agendas. Only when scholars of all faiths begin to look deeply at it and widely air its "dirty linen" will it cease to be a power. It is the one theological view no one needs!
    With apologies to Winston Churchill - never has so much deception been foisted on so many by so few!

  13. Hi "Anonymous" (Musemater, is that you?)

    I haven't read much of MacPherson, I just know in my heart from reading the Bible on my own, and seeing how many pretribbers twist the Bible to fit their theories. Oh, they know the Bible, alright, but even the devil himself knew how to quote scriptures out of their context. Something that I'm seeing in their stance of how they interpret "God's wrath" are the seeds of the "prosperity gospel" which teaches that if bad things happen to you, it is because you don't believe the right things, where the Bible clearly states that God chastens those that He loves, and

    1Pe 1:5 Who are kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.
    1Pe 1:6 Wherein ye greatly rejoice, though now for a season, if need be, ye are in heaviness through manifold temptations:
    1Pe 1:7 That the trial of your faith, being much more precious than of gold that perisheth, though it be tried with fire, might be found unto praise and honour and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ:

    and of course, the Beatitudes speak on how we are to rejoice if we are persecuted...but they will tell you that if we are in Christ He will provide the means to escape the trials and tribulations of this life, and will twist scripture to say such punishment is only reserved for Jews, and that is why it is call the "time of Jacob's trouble"... EXCUSE ME??? wow. The time of Jacob's trouble, I believe that time is now, and during the Russian pogroms, and during the German holocaust, and culminates in the last years before the actual rapture after the 7th trumpet. There are many saints that are yet going to lose their lives, and to say that they are therefore experiencing God's wrath is a terrible twisting of God's word.

    I'm going to post on this further, because conversations with a pretribber are causing me to look more deeply into this whole matter, and I'll construct a more detailed blog entry on this, with the Lord's help seasoned with His grace, I hope. I do believe this is something important to get right with the Lord about, and not to take it flippantly. I do believe that many who believe this false doctrine, do so out of sincere ignorance...but I cannot say that for all, I do believe there are many who promote this snake oil to their own destruction.

    Thanks for visiting, and for adding your thoughts :)

  14. Hi Susan,

    I've been trying to adjust my habits to get the new year started with cleaning up some projects and I'm behind here so I've got to catch up with your blogs.

    I just read your "Pretrib Assumptions vs What Does the Bible Really Say?" Almost commented but then I didn't want to start a theological thing without knowing who EP is and something about her reasoning, so I went off and read some of her 2 blogs & I think she's sincere, but just has contrary beliefs about the end times from mine. She seems a voracious reader and analytical type Christian who is questioning at the same time as she's arguing about this issue. I hope so anyhow, but intellectually it is difficult to deal with someone who has embrassed a theology which has been formed with the knowledge that objections will be raised to it. They have a complex explanation that requires a great deal of debunking that I really don't know can be done unless they are open to personal one on one with the plain Bible and the Holy Spirit's interpertation.

    Then I spotted, in a quick scan without reading here the comment the above ?ing if "Anonymous" was me.

    No, not me, so I've got to read this post before saying more, but so far it seems to me that EP is sincerely misled about the end times, has embraced complicated theological explanation that I cannot followagree with or from that post.

    I'll catch up & get back to you soon. In the meanwhile I haven't changed my end times views from our previous talks. I don't have any doubts, just call me a simple woman who likes the bible straight without middleman scholar types or fancy charts. We do have a Helper if we will be still and listen to Him through one on one Scripture in our personal resting of all our weight upon His ability to teach us. Praise Father, Son, and Holy Spirit! :)

  15. Hi again Susan, I couldn't resist and read Anonymous and your reply here. All I can say is I wish I had written what Anonymous did! You are both so right, this is a VIP issue.

  16. Hi Musemater,

    I hope and pray you are right about "EP", and I agree about the twisted construct that goes into that mindset which requires a way to counter all logical arguments, and I do believe that only the Lord Himself can get through such deep brainwashing. In trying to get through, I only managed to alienate her. She removed herself from "following" and of course Romans 8:28 in all things, I pray the Lord's blessing on her.

    I was fortunate in that when I was first saved the Lord didn't allow me to get involved with any group too tightly, and when there were problems with the church I did attend when I was first saved (they ended up succumbing to "name it and claim it") I was removed from it altogether through my circumstances changing, and now I see the Lord's hand in all of it.

    Then when I worked for a Christian Bookstore, I began attending a group/church with some of the ladies that worked there, but was soon removed from that through my life again taking me in another direction to another area in So. Cal. All through those times I was reading the Bible with little or no indoctrinations being allowed to fully take root. What I was mostly focusing on at that time was healing from past religious and physical abuses that I had gone through, so many of the other doctrines and theories took a back seat, in the periphery while I kept looking for Jesus to help me through a spiritual minefield because I was still very spiritually oppressed.

    I thought on the Apostle Paul's situation where he was away for 3 years while only God taught him directly, it was a similar situation for me, He kept His hand on me (and does so still), and though I swerve into areas that are not right, He holds me from "getting in too deep", and I'm thankful for Him.

    Since that time I've looked at the pretrib position more, and found it fraught with errors in how they interpret many passages out of their context and make these passages say things that they aren't really saying to fit the pretrib mold.

    Many have lost their lives for
    the truth of the Gospel since the beginning of the "church age", and have gone to be with the Lord, so they are part of "the gathered" but there is no "secret rapture". When all are gathered "from one end of heaven to another" EVERY EYE WILL SEE HIM, there will be no mistaking the situation, and it won't be done by stealth (sneakiness). In the meantime His elect (Jew and Gentile in Jesus for they are one and the same in His blood) die for various reasons all over the world, and by their deaths they are being kept from the tribulation that is yet to come. So when they pass, although it is sad and we will miss them, it is a time to rejoice for them that they are now at peace and no longer have to suffer the things of this world.

    I've saved my conversations with EP so I can do more studying on this, with the Holy Spirit guiding me of course, and eventually will post a future blog entry on this, Lord willing.

    Thanks Muse, for taking time out of your busy schedule to weigh in on this, and thank you Anonymous (on second reading I see your name -- Aurora) I will also check "Wily Jeffrey" :)

  17. Hi Susan,

    "so they are part of "the gathered" but there is no "secret rapture". When all are gathered "from one end of heaven to another" EVERY EYE WILL SEE HIM, there will be no mistaking the situation, and it won't be done by stealth (sneakiness)."

    I've been marking for the last few years all the people that have been taken home to the Lord in my own sphere. Many whose time was logically at hand and many younger who succumbed to modern disease. I've had moments of thinking that they were lucky getting out of this crumbling republic and sorry state of world pressures. They have been spared tribulation, true enough. I know you're right!

    " it is a time to rejoice for them that they are now at peace and no longer have to suffer the things of this world."


    Many evangelicals believe that Christ will "rapture" them to heaven years before the second coming and (most importantly) well BEFORE Antichrist and his "tribulation." But Acts 2:34, 35 reveal that Jesus is at the Father's right hand in heaven until He leaves to destroy His earthly foes at the second coming. And Acts 3:21 says that Jesus “must” stay in heaven with the Father "until the times of restitution of all things” which includes, says Scofield, “the restoration of the theocracy under David’s Son” which obviously can’t begin before or during Antichrist’s reign. ("The Rapture Question," by the long time No. 1 pretrib authority John Walvoord, didn't dare to even list, in its scripture index, the above verses! They were also too hot for John Darby - the so-called "father of dispensationalism" - to list in the scripture index in his "Letters"!)
    Paul explains the “times and the seasons” (I Thess. 5:1) of the catching up (I Thess. 4:17) as the “day of the Lord” (5:2) which FOLLOWS the posttrib sun/moon darkening (Matt. 24:29; Acts 2:20) WHEN “sudden destruction” (5:3) of the wicked occurs! The "rest" for "all them that believe" is also tied to such destruction in II Thess. 1:6-10! (If the wicked are destroyed before or during the trib, who'd be left alive to serve the Antichrist?) Paul also ties the change-into-immortality “rapture” (I Cor. 15:52) to the end of trib “death” (15:54). (Will death be ended before or during the trib? Of course not! And vs. 54 is also tied to Isa. 25:8 which Scofield views as Israel's posttrib resurrection!) It's amazing that the Olivet Discourse contains the "great commission" for the church but not even a hint of a pretrib rapture for the church!
    Many don't know that before 1830 all Christians had always viewed I Thess. 4’s “catching up” as an integral part of the final second coming to earth. In 1830 this "rapture" was stretched forward and turned into an idolized separate coming of Christ. To further strengthen their novel view, which evangelical scholars overwhelmingly rejected throughout the 1800s, pretrib teachers in the early 1900s began to stretch forward the “day of the Lord” (what Darby and Scofield never dared to do) and hook it up with their already-stretched-forward “rapture.” Many leading evangelical scholars still weren’t convinced of pretrib, so pretrib teachers then began teaching that the “falling away” of II Thess. 2:3 is really a pretrib rapture (the same as saying that the “rapture” in 2:3 must happen before the “rapture” ["gathering"] in 2:1 can happen – the height of desperation!). Google "Walvoord Melts Ice" for more on this.
    Other Google articles on the 183-year-old pretrib rapture view include “X-Raying Margaret,” "Margaret Macdonald's Rapture Chart," "Pretrib Rapture's Missing Lines," "Edward Irving is Unnerving," "The Unoriginal John Darby," "Catholics Did NOT Invent the Rapture," "The Real Manuel Lacunza," “Thomas Ice (Bloopers),” “Wily Jeffrey,” “The Rapture Index (Mad Theology),” “America’s Pretrib Rapture Traffickers,” “Roots of (Warlike) Christian Zionism,” “Scholars Weigh My Research,” “Pretrib Hypocrisy,” "Appendix F: Thou Shalt Not Steal," "Pretrib Rapture Secrecy," “Deceiving and Being Deceived,” "Pretrib Rapture Dishonesty," "Famous Rapture Watchers," and "Morgan Edwards' Rapture View" – most by the author of the bestselling book “The Rapture Plot” (the most accurate and documented book on pretrib rapture history which is obtainable by calling 800.643.4645).

    [The above was spotted lately on the web. Lord bless you, Susan. Alissa]


Please be as gracious as you would like others to be to you. Thank you :)

Please try to keep your comments on the topic of the post you are commenting on.

If there is a link to an article or podcast, or if there is an embedded video please view these before airing your views on the posting. If you clearly did not watch video/read link I may choose to remove your comment or leave your comment and then not respond to it ...particularly if you have a question that is already answered on link or video.

Opposing viewpoints are of course allowed here, however, I will limit such discussions to two or at most three further comments on one topic, so do try to get all your criticisms in while keeping that in mind, and don't take it personal....I just don't want to be bogged down with a constant barrage of replies that go on and on like a dog chasing it's tail in circles.