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Thursday, 24 August 2017

MORGAN EDWARDS' RAPTURE VIEW BY DAVE MACPHERSON

     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 on Subjects Bearing the Following Titles; Millennium, Last-Novelties" which he had composed much earlier when he was a student at Bristol Baptist College in England.
     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 (listed at start) quoted only the first 27 words in the above quotation which end with "to himself" - and you can see why pretrib defender Ice stopped quoting there! (For an Ice-covered piece, Google "Pretrib Rapture Pride.")
     Not only had most of Edwards' historicist tribulation occurred before his combined rapture/advent, but incredibly his Antichrist kept raging for 3.5 years even after the Matt. 24 signs! No wonder his school tutor advised him to correct his thesis!
     Here is Edwards' "kernel" proving pretrib, according to Thomas Ice and those who mindlessly copy Ice:
     On p. 7 Edwards' stated that "the dead saints will be raised, and the living changed at Christ's 'appearing in the air' (1 Thes.iv,17); and this will be about three years and a half before the millennium...."
      My book "The Rapture Plot" (pp. 267-8) shares some light on all this:

          Edwards' basis for holding to a rapture three and a half years before the second advent (and a future millennium) may well have been the Revelation 11 witnesses on whom he focused. This chapter has a period of three and a half days (verses 9, 11) that historicism can view as three and a half years. Since the spirits of these dead witnesses conceivably go to be with Christ during the same days - days preceding the final advent - historicist Edwards could see in this symbol a rapture three and a half years before the same advent.
          Since Edwards' book was actually written in the 1740's in England, let's see if the historicism of that period could derive years from the same three and a half days. The June, 1830 issue of "The Morning Watch" reprinted a November 29, 1755 letter that John Fletcher sent to a famous preacher, John Wesley. Fletcher said that the "last raging" of the centuries-long Antichrist will last only three and a half literal years, adding: "Those that shall escape, being hidden and saved in a wonderful manner, will be the seed of that harvest, and will remain concealed three years and a half (see Rev.xi. the death and resurrection of the two witnesses)...."
          Whereas Fletcher (while viewing Revelation 11:9, 11) saw church members concealed on earth for three and a half years, Edwards saw church members concealed away from earth via a prior rapture. Edwards' scheme of a rapture three and a half years before the end of a 1260-year tribulation has the same tiny gap a futurist would have if he were to teach a rapture three and a half days before the end of a 1260-day tribulation! Since such a futurist view would be seen as a posttrib view, Edwards (who had the same small percentage) should be classified as a historicist posttrib!

     A footnote explaining the above quote had this to say: "Edwards saw a rapture at the extreme end of the tribulation. The mathematics work out as follows: 3.5 years/1260 years=0.0027, or 0.27% of the tribulation remaining. That means 99.73% of the tribulation was already past before the rapture. Hardly a pretrib rapture!"          
     To read Edwards' complete work, Google "[PDF] Two Academical Exercises...www.breadoflifebiblestudy.com."
     For much more info on Edwards, Google my article "Deceiving and Being Deceived,"  also see my heavily documented book "The Rapture Plot" which is available at online stores like Armageddon Books. ("Plot" happily made Armageddon Books' bestselling list soon after it was published in 1995.)
     Let me conclude by saying that the secret rapture is truly secret - so secret it cannot be found in the Bible. But Texas hired gun and rapture rustler Thomas Ice tries to make up for this by "finding" it in pre-1830 writings where no one during those centuries had ever "found" it!

2 comments:

colin said...

Edwards, as with pseudo Ephraim, knew nothing about Dispensational theology, for they were around BEFORE 1830! These names seem to be the ones that are rolled out time and again by the militant pre-trib brigade, along with their many distortion of the patristic writings.

Whatever we may think about the "year-day" theory, nevertheless, many good men did, and some may still believe in it (they must be few in number by now!).

I always have a chuckle every-time I read B.W.Newtons writing on the "year-day" theory:

Now, if three times and a half mean, as Mr Fleming asserts, 1260 years, then Nebuchadnezzar's madness must last double that time, for it is said to be for seven times, which would equal, on Mr Fleming's principle, to 2520 years, and consequently since he- i.e., Nebuchadnezzar-lived only about 600 years before the Christian era, his madness must be continuing still. He must still be on earth: he must still be eating grass as oxen.

p.184 "Aids To Prophetic Enquiry" B.W.Newton.

God bless.



Irving S. said...

Thank you, Colin, for your fascinating and informative comments. And you have just inspired me; I am now picturing in my mind vast herds of bent-over pretribulation rapturists constantly chewing on dispensational grass, little realizing or caring that they are being used by hustling rustlers like Ice and that behind this entire picture is the evil entity seeking whom he may devour in some future slaughter house!