Why is the pre-trib rapture doctrine relatively new?  Is it new?



First of all, many wrongly believe that there was no doctrine of a rapture before Darby in 1826-27 or 1830.  Admittedly, Darby popularized the doctrine of the pretribulation rapture more than any other, Darby certainly did "instruct many" (Dan 11:33).  But here are some earlier teachers of futurism and the rapture being before the tribulation:

Teaching Futurism:
Irenaeus & Hippolytus around 125 AD
Francisco Ribera 1585-1590

Teaching that the Rapture is at an earlier time than the return of Jesus at the end of the tribulation:
Emmanuel Lacunza (1790?)
Morgan Edwards (1740s- 1788)



There are two places in scripture (Matt 24, Dan 11-12) that strongly indicate that knowledge will increase in the time of the end; particularly with respect to advanced Biblical teachings.
Mat 24:45 Who then is a faithful and wise servant, whom his lord hath made ruler over his household, to give them meat in due season?
Mat 24:46 Blessed is that servant, whom his lord when he cometh shall find so doing.
Mat 24:47 Verily I say unto you, That he shall make him ruler over all his goods.
What is "meat in due season"?  Is the "meat" here referring to animal flesh, or is "meat" referring to teachings and doctrine?  If meat means doctrine, isn't Matt 24:45 saying that there is a certain time, a "due season", for a certain a certain doctrine?  The "due season" in view is clearly the final days before the Lord returns.  In 1 Corinthians 3 and Hebrews 5, simple teachings are referred to as milk, and hard teaching is meat, just as babies drink milk, and babies are not ready for meat.
1 Corinthians 3:2 I have fed you with milk, and not with meat: for hitherto ye were not able to bear it, neither yet now are ye able.
In Hebrews 5, "strong meat" is hard doctrine that belongs to mature Christians who have developed discernment.
Hebrews 5:12 For when for the time ye ought to be teachers, ye have need that one teach you again which be the first principles of the oracles of God; and are become such as have need of milk, and not of strong meat.
Hebrews 5:13 For every one that useth milk is unskilful in the word of righteousness: for he is a babe.
Hebrews 5:14 But strong meat belongeth to them that are of full age, even those who by reason of use have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil.

The book of Daniel so clearly points out how knowledge will increase in the time of the end.

Dan 11:32 And such as do wickedly against the covenant shall he corrupt by flatteries: but the people that do know their God shall be strong, and do exploits.
Dan 11:33 And they that understand among the people shall instruct many: yet they shall fall by the sword, and by flame, by captivity, and by spoil, many days.
Dan 11:34 Now when they shall fall, they shall be holpen with a little help: but many shall cleave to them with flatteries.
Dan 11:35 And some of them of understanding shall fall, to try them, and to purge, and to make them white, even to the time of the end: because it is yet for a time appointed.

Dan 12:3 And they that be wise shall shine [admonish, warn, teach, send out light] as the brightness of the firmament; and they that turn many to righteousness as the stars for ever and ever.
Dan 12:4 But thou, O Daniel, shut up the words, and seal the book, even to the time of the end: many shall run to and fro, and knowledge shall be increased.

Dan 12:8 And I heard, but I understood not: then said I, O my Lord, what shall be the end of these things?
Dan 12:9 And he said, Go thy way, Daniel: for the words are closed up and sealed till the time of the end.
Dan 12:10 Many shall be purified, and made white, and tried; but the wicked shall do wickedly: and none of the wicked shall understand; but the wise shall understand.

Therefore, Christians who assert that knowledge must remain the same, and that no new doctrine can appear in the time of the end, are fooling themselves, thinking something contrary to what the scriptures say, which is that "knowledge shall be increased".  This truth is so self evident that even unbelievers see it today, especially with the coming of the internet.  Computer search tools that can help us search the Bible and help us search out the various doctrines on the Bible in web sites online are extremely important for increasing knowledge, and these tools for increasing knowldege simply were not widely available before about 1995.

Saying something, or thinking something, in opposition to scripture, is wickedness.  And what does Daniel 12:10 say?  "none of the wicked shall understand".  The Bible is quite plain in telling us that there are people who simply just reject and hate knowledge.

Proverbs 1:7 The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge: but fools despise wisdom and instruction.
Proverbs 23:9 Speak not in the ears of a fool: for he will despise the wisdom of thy words.

Job 21:14 Therefore they say unto God, Depart from us; for we desire not the knowledge of thy ways.

The most amazing thing about people who will level this criticism against new doctrine is their utter hypocracy.  If they TRULY BELIEVED that it is impossible to learn or say anything new, then they should stop reading and stop speaking.

Daniel's words most clearly refute the Orthodox view, and the Catholic view, both of which attempt to refute any teaching that they believe did not exist thousands of years ago.  Clearly, the people who use this kind of criticism (that no new teachings can be correct) are only showing their utter contempt for knowledge, and are therefore displaying their own wickedness and foolishness.


Yes, there are scriptures that say things will be revealed in the time of the end.
Amos 3:7 Surely the Lord GOD will do nothing, but he revealeth his secret unto his servants the prophets.

1Cor 10:11 Now all these things happened unto them for ensamples: and they are written for our admonition, upon whom the ends of the world are come.

Mark 13:23 But take ye heed: behold, I have foretold you all things.

Hab 2:3 For the vision is yet for an appointed time, but at the end it shall speak, and not lie: though it tarry, wait for it; because it will surely come, it will not tarry.

Luke 8:17 For nothing is secret, that shall not be made manifest; neither any thing hid, that shall not be known and come abroad.



I do not believe the rapture teaching is new.  See early church fathers Clement & Polycarp on the Pretribulation Rapture.  However, I do agree that the rapture was largely ignored for much of Church history, and I do think that teachers today are articulating and teaching much more about it, which is what is to be expected as "knowledge increases".


 

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