Definition and History of the “Secret Rapture”

Most of you have learned from the “left behind” fictional books and moves about
a theoretical rapture with the false doctrine of two Second Coming of Christ
from, that you may not know it developed widespread historically about 1830, at
the beginning being called the “secret rapture” because only the members of the
church “caught up” {the only real Biblical word as rapture is not a word found in
the Bible} will remain secret to the rest of the world.  Just the fact that the word
“rapture” along with millennium, and dispensations are not Bible words should
warn you that we are dealing with the very heretical process of adding
revelations to the Bible, a process clearly condemned at the end of the book of
Revelation with the admonition not “to add or take away from the book”--by the
way something the advocates of this rapture and the related falsehoods have
practiced, and continue to practice with shame.  Then there are some advocates
that practice the less cursed hermeneutics of isogesis; that is reading meaning
into the Bible for some reason or the other.
This ungodly process can also be explained in the terms of the Falling Away {the
great apostasy before the END} of II Timothy 4:4,5; the continued “perilous
times” of the “last days” history of Christianity according to the Bible and of II
Timothy 3:1-9 where each year of the last days that started on the first day of
Pentecost after the Ascension and runs to the END men are in the church that
cultivate a habit of bad habits, “having a form of godliness” or religion something
like Jesus said of the Jewish Pharisees and Sadducees, but having no inward
power of the Spirit on their human spirit; and the time that came about the dark
ages when some began a departure from the faith of I Timothy 4:1-5.  In short
you will see in the definition and history of the “secret rapture”  {no such thing but
we will let these fundamentalists and BBFs have their own definitions and man-
made theological words and concepts}:  continued church heresies of isogesis
based on the wants of II Timothy 4:3,4, special revelations, the violation of good
Bible based hermeneutics; and are you surprised to know that some of these
heresies came out of speaking in tongues, always an accepted manner of
special revelations.
2-1:  Do not be deceived there has always been men like Spurgeon and
Tregelles that listened to these deceivers, saw the harm of these false
doctrines on church members, and spoke out vehemently based on
correct exegesis and interpretations of the Scripture, as there are also
many today, but not heard as often and not in high places of
denominational leadership.  Don’t forget also that in this day and time of
the Falling Away and false prophets, that popularity is a bad sign; and the
fact that you do not hear about so many of these others is a good sign.
1.  From Samuel Tregelles, once a fellow member with Darby in the Plymouth
Brethren who did not split off into the Exclusive Plymouth Brethren--
“Thus the doctrine held and taught by many is, that believers are concerned not
with a public and manifested coming of Christ in the clouds of heaven with
power and great glory—not with His appearing when every eye shall see Him,
and when He shall sever the wicked from among the just, but with a secret or
private coming, when the dead saints shall be secretly raised, the living
changed, and both caught up to meet the Lord in the air—that the shout, the
voice of the archangel, and the trump of God, do not indicate anything of
publicity, for the ear of faith alone shall hear them—that the Church shall meet
the Lord, not at His visible coming, but in order to remain with Him, at least for
years, before His manifested advent—that after this secret coming there shall
be in the earth a full power of evil put forth amongst both Jews and Gentiles
that there shall be a time of unequalled tribulation and great spiritual perils
(with which the Church has nothing to do) and that this condition of things shall
end by the manifest coming of the Lord.  I am not aware that there was any
definite teaching that there would be a secret rapture of the Church at a secret
coming, until this was given forth as an “utterance” in Mr. Irving’s Church, from
what was there received as being the voice of the Spirit. But whether any one
ever asserted such a thing or not, it was from that supposed revelation that the
modern doctrine and the modern phraseology respecting it arose. It came not
from Holy Scripture, but from that which falsely pretended to be the Spirit of
God, while not owning the true doctrine of our Lord’s incarnation in the same
flesh and blood as His brethren, but without taint of sin.”
2.  Today and online you can read from Victor of the Maranatha website, not
only his marvelous testimony of conversion and of Jesus and of rescue from the
heresy of the secret rapture official doctrine in a Pentecostal church, but also a
good definition of exactly what the secret rapture is:
For those not familiar with the Secret Rapture doctrine, it is what could be
describe as The Great Escape from the Great Tribulation at the End of This
Age. It is a very comforting doctrine and I'm am not surprised that many hold
on to it, as if it were life and death. Many believe that Jesus will secretly come
and 'Rapture' His Church out of the Earth and take them back with Him to
Heaven, either before the Tribulation (Pre-Tribulation Rapture), or half way
through the Tribulation, the final three and a half years (Mid-Tribulation
Rapture). They believe that they will escape all the evils and horrors of the
Tribulation, the Anti-Christ mark of the beast system, the plagues of God, the
time of war and destruction on the Earth. In Heaven they enjoy the marriage
supper of the Lamb with Jesus while those left on the Earth, who are saved
during the Tribulation have to endure all the trials and suffering to the very end
of the Tribulation. After the Tribulation Jesus then comes back with His Saints,
resurrects the remnant of His Church and they all reign with Him on the Earth
for a thousand years. It all seems too good to be true, that we escape from it
all, but the fact is, that those who hold on to this belief will not be ready for
what is to come upon them. They will not be ready because they have believed
in a lie. The Beast system is unfolding before our very eyes and we are still
here! We have not been Raptured!”
2-2:  A short history of the origins of the secret rapture with a few
comments along the way.
1.  Like so many attempts to replace the Christian Bible, such as Mormonism
with 4 Bibles and Mohammed ism with the Koran, they are “Johnny come lately”
on the scene.  1830 was the beginning of any large group of believers hearing
abut the secret rapture.  As one Bible scholar, historian, and theologian, wrote--
“It is a known historical fact that It wasn't until the early or mid 1800's that there
was any significant group of believers around the world that looked for a
“rapture” of the Church prior to a seven-year tribulation period. The “secret
rapture” teaching was NOT taught by the early Church, it was NOT taught by the
Church of the first centuries, it was NOT taught by the Reformers, IT WAS NOT
TAUGHT BY ANYONE (except a couple Roman Catholic theologians) UNTIL
2.  For thoroughness those Roman Catholic theologians should be mentioned,
the first in defense of their own Reformation departure from the faith of I
Timothy 5:1-5, and in response to the Reformers claims that the Roman Church
was the “little horn” of Daniel and the harlot of Revelation 17.
(1).  This was the beginning of a method of prophetic interpretation {about “last
things” of eschatology} that became known in Christianity as “Futurism”.
(2).  A Jesuit priest, Ribera, during the Reformation advocated that all of
Revelation events would take place during the 3 and 1/2 year reign of the
antichrist near the end of the age.
(3).  Emmanuel Lacunza, also a Jesuit published a book in 1812 under the fake
name of Rabbi Ben Ezra to make Protestants think he was a converted Jew.  
{The book also has a deceptively good title, “The Coming of the Messiah in
Glory and Majesty”.}
3.  While many of the BBFers today like to trace their secret rapture from Darby
to Scofield and to the SRB, then to Chafer and the beginning of Dallas
Theological Seminary with the Southwest Bible College, the real spread to a
group of believers was with Edward Irving, a Scot; and what you notice in rapid
succession that one misguided soul influenced another--Ribera to Lacunza to
Irving--and then to another and another--Darby to Scofield and then to Dallas
Theological Seminary.
(1).  Be careful what you read that you allow to influence you, and select the
best of authors like Spurgeon and Tregelles; for when Edward Irving, a long way
from being a catholic as even Bible Baptists have been a long way from
Congregationalists and Presbyterians that passed the secret rapture on to them,
around 1827 reading Lacunsa’s book, fell in love with it {why is a subject for the
last of this chapter just like the why of Darby and Scofield, but a preliminary
obvious explanation is the intellectual need for scholarship recognition,
professionalism, and Bible knowledge above the mass of church members},
translated the book into English and it was subsequently published in London.
NOTE:  It would be nice to know if this was by the Oxford University press that
made millions off the SRB, and more off the 1967 edition where they modified
Scoffields own notes to advocate a strong Zionist movement.
(2)  At a Pentecostal meeting under the leadership of Irving, one Mary
MacDonald--also a Scot--while speaking in tongues had a revelation that there
would be two second advents of Christ, the first one for the church only and
NOTE:  Actually more precisely, Mary had a revelation that she would be
secretly raptured, then Irving took it and made a doctrine out of this and the
book from the Jesuit priest.
(3)  Irving took the new doctrine of Jesus secretly coming to rapture His church
and ran with it, holding Bible conferences throughout Scotland.
NOTE:  What you will find in the history of the secret rapture that nobody came
up with the system and philosophy by themselves while reading the Bible.  They
also got it from another supposed scholar before them.  The same is true today,
and is a clear violation of the Baptist Distinctives of (1) what saith the Scriptures,
and (2)  the semi-public nature of the democratic individual in the church, a
doctrine until recently neglected by the SBC because of their professionalism
and the lack of confidence in the average church member but in Baptist
beginnings and statements of faith known as the “priesthood of believers”.
(4).  You will always notice in this history of the secret rapture both (1) the
source of other men and not what saith the scriptures, and (2) a desire for
academic and intellectual recognition.  Also in most cases, men first trained in
the law and with LLDs.  Darby like Scofield after him spent hours researching
what others had written on the subject to the neglect of actual scriptures, others
like Lacunsa and the Irvinites.  Futurism by Darby was organized into a system
of eschatological interpretation called dispensationalism.
(5).  And many of you know the rest of the story, that of from Darby to Scofield
by the way of the Presbyterian minister Brookes of St Louis, and from Scofield
to Chafer who was Scofield’s successor at the Scofield Bible church {formerly
the First Congregationalists Church of Dallas during the years Scofield build it
up} to Chafer as President of Dallas Theological Seminary and to the hotbed of
dispensationalism at DTS mid-nation, BIOLA on the West Coast, and Jerry
Falwell and the Bible Baptists on the east coast.
NOTE:  You can see that there had to be more impetus to the movement to go
nation wide, over and above the previous writings and the fame of the SRB from
Oxford University press, and even beyond the Zionists promotions of that press.  
It was a reaction to modernism and historical criticism, that was good, but in this
case the cure was almost as bad as the original problem.  That also needs to be
explained later.
2-3:  Perhaps down deep we really know why Henry Steele Commager called
the fundamentalists “paranoid”; for while preaching some kind of superficial
literalism on the Bible that allows them to very selectively pick and chose certain
scriptures to preach, quite the opposite of the AllScripture method and
movement, while they bountifully with isogesis {reading meaning into the Bible}
force a very liberal and itching ear theology on the Bible as in the Scoffield
In another foolhardy move of reading meaning into the Bible never spelled out or
even implied in the Bible, Darby recognizing the impossibility of facing up to
exegesis of all scriptures where the second advent of Christ is clearly at the
END, he rescued himself with the foolhardy stance, even for a lawyer, that some
scriptures are for the church and the others are for the Jews.  Who decides
which is for which?  Darby, Scofield, and the adherents today, of course; almost
reminding one of the years when the Roman Catholic church made their list of
acceptable doctrines as superior and with more authority than the Bible itself.  In
one great blow, Darby in common with the Roman Catholic church had dealt
wounds to both (1) the authority of the scriptures as supreme, (2) and the
importance of the priesthood of believers.
If there is one place the fundamentalists are consistent, it is in the matter of
hasty generalizations postulated about the Bible whereby that are consistent
about being inconsistent.  Take for example their foolhardy efforts to explain and
interpret the withdrawal of the Holy Spirit from earth near the end of time.  You
see, in their mind like other Christians, this would be impossible if all the church
remaining on effort at the “secret rapture” were gone; so in their consistent
inconsistent and superficial approach, and without a smile or blink of eye lid, they
say, “Well the withdrawal of the Holy Spirt from earth as stated in II
Thessalonians is only the portion of the Holy Spirit insides Christians that goes
up to heaven during the secret rapture.  Wow, that ignores consistent scriptures
that tell of how the Holy Spirit came to take the place of Christ on earth at the
Ascension of Christ; how His work has been in opposition to the work of Satan,
and binding the work of Satan, to convict the world of sin, of righteousness, and
of judgment; and how the near the end loosing or unbinding of Satan is because
the Holy Spirit has been withdrawn.