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Friday, 20 July 2018


     Darby is not the "father of dispensationalism" (the favorite feature of which is an imminent pretrib rapture)!
     While you may be gnashing your teeth, I'll share a present web quote from eminent Australian theologian Dr. F. Nigel Lee (owner of nine earned doctorates!):
     "Dave MacPherson, in his various books, has made a major contribution toward vindicating Historic Christian Eschatology. The 1830 innovations of the disturbed Margaret Macdonald documented by MacPherson - in part or in whole - immediately spread to Edward Irving and his followers, then to J. N. Darby and Plymouth Brethrenism, and were later popularized by the dispensationalistic Scofield Reference Bible, by Classic Pentecostalism, and by latter-day pretribulationists like J. F. Walvoord and Hal Lindsey."
     [In the following paper I will include pages in my book "The Rapture Plot" which have complete sources for all quotations.]
     Leading pretrib (and Darby) defenders like Charles Ryrie and John Walvoord declare that dispensationalism sprang from Darby's "distinction" between the church and Israel (Plot, p. 88)
     This reportedly led to Darby's strange belief that Matt. 24's "elect" are Jews and not the church.
     Incredibly, Darby wasn't first or original with any aspect of the same system including this bedrock known today as the church/Israel dichotomy!
     In the Dec. 1831 issue of "The Morning Watch," a journal published by Rev. Edward Irving and his followers, a writer focusing on Matt. 24 said that "the tribulation of those days" will be "poured upon the Jews..." (Plot, p. 71)
     Even Darby-idolizer R. A. Huebner, on whom Walvoord leaned almost exclusively in two of his books when opposing my research, admitted in his 1991 book that Darby did not believe that "the elect in Matt. 24 were Jewish saints" until "1832 or 1833" (Plot, p. 71) - both of which are after 1831 and the Irvingites, a group so original and innovative (and copied by Darby) that I'm tempted to refer to them collectively as the "Walt Disney of the 1830s"!
     In a moment when he was prophetically challenged, Huebner's 1991 book offered an early Darby quote that Huebner suggested could be a hint of pretrib as early as 1827 (which would have preceded Macdonald and the Irvingites). Even though Huebner had second thoughts and admitted later in the same book (p. 100) that he could be wrong, Thomas Ice keeps announcing publicly (and dishonestly) that Huebner "documents" that Darby was pretrib in 1827 (Plot, pp. 213-220)!
     What both Huebner and Ice have covered up: that Darby's own words at the time prove that he was posttrib from 1827 through 1838 and that he had no clear pretrib teaching before 1839 - nine years after Irving and his group had begun the clear teaching of it (Plot, pp. 95-120)!
     In addition to the church/Israel dichotomy and the pretrib rapture, the Irvingites also preceded Darby and his group on other dispensationalist aspects including the literal method; the Gentile parenthesis; rapture arguments based on unclear OT and NT types and symbols; and the "church-in-ruins" theme!
     Darby never once claimed to be the pretrib rapture originator. He even disliked the term "system." He wrote that "A system takes the place of godly subjection to the word," and added (in 1880): "Truths are sometimes simpler, when we take them simpler and do not make a system."
     At least we can view him as a zealous (almost arm-twisting) "popularizer" during his many worldwide trips while spreading what he referred to as the "new" (his term) pretrib rapture view (Plot, pp. 137-138).
     If Darby watchers had known all along about the historical bombshell revealed for the first time ever in my "Plot" book, they never would have called Darby the "father" of anything!
     In brief, here's what happened. After Darby's death in 1882, one of his influential disciples wrote and published a series of articles in his own journal supposedly detailing the history of the Irvingites as well as that of his own group, the Darbyist Brethren.
     His aim was to give Darby lasting fame. He accomplished this by furtively adding, subtracting, and changing many words in the earliest, hard-to-locate "rapture" documents - Irvingite as well as Brethren - thus giving the false impression that Irving and his followers had not been first to teach pretrib dispensationalism. By dishonestly covering up and eliminating the Irvingites who truly had been the first in everything, he was able to deceitfully and wrongfully elevate Darby as the "father of pretrib rapture dispensationalism"!
     The entire name-revealing exposure of this century-old fraud - perhaps the greatest money-making hoax in religion ever - is aired for the first time in my book "The Rapture Plot" (available at Armageddon Books).
     Sadly, the same Darby-exalting merchandising is still with us and I invite readers to Google "Pretrib Rapture Dishonesty" for details that are even more shocking. (I am happy to add that many of my articles dealing with pretrib rapture origination and early development can be found right here on the excellent "Wolves in Sheep's Clothing" blog that is being produced by my friend, the very capable researcher and author Treena Gisborn.)

1 comment:

  1. Another good article touching on Darby and pretrib rapture roots is MacPherson's piece entitled "Pretrib Was New in the 1830s" (March 4, 2017) which can be found on this excellent site. Any members of the Plymouth Brethren who might have happened upon this shocking piece of writing would surely be greatly embarrassed by the revelation of Darby's sneakiness and even his plagiarism of Edward Irving and his followers!