Take John Darby, for example. No one has ever come close to matching his literary "spectrum." His favorite caustic phrases included "the absence of spiritual intelligence," "real blasphemies," "unmingled darkness," and "unbelief and Satan." (Darby threw these phrases at those who dared to keep clinging to the only "rapture" view found in all Christian theology books prior to Scottish lassie Margaret Macdonald's history-making claim in 1830 of finding a pretrib rapture in the Bible.)
The biting language went both ways. Soon after the birth of pretrib, British lawyer Robert Baxter joined the Irvingites (followers of Rev. Edward Irving) and adopted that new prophetic view. He abandoned it in 1833 and concluded that it was "a deceit of Satan" which had "first appeared in Scotland."
Throughout the following decades both Darby (the master "special effects" man) and his editor, William Kelly, continued to fling such corrosive terminology at their critics.
"In 1864 S. P. Tregelles wrote: 'It came...from that which falsely pretended to be the Spirit of God.' (Huebner: 'In 1864, he said it came from a demon.')
"In 1956 H. A. Baker said that pretrib came from a 'spirit.' (Huebner: Baker said it came from a 'demon.')
"In 1957 Oswald J. Smith declared that pretrib came from 'a vision received by a woman' in Irving's church. (Huebner: Smith said it came from a 'demon.')
"In 1962 J. Barton Payne traced pretrib to 'a woman...speaking in tongues.' (Huebner: Payne traced it to a 'demon.')"
Huebner, in the same book, asserted that I'm another one who's been claiming that pretrib sprang from a "demonic source." For his so-called proof he reproduced a 1971 paper of mine entitled "Who Was Margaret MacDonald?"
His conclusion was based on a statement in that paper in which I referred to "the vagaries of a Scottish lassie whose friends, according to A. L. Drummond's 'Edward Irving and His Circle' (pp. 141, 142, 146, 238, 279), included those who practised ecstatic speech, telepathy, and (shades of Satan) automatic writing!"
Note that the occultic items had to do with Margaret's "friends" and not her! As I see it, pretrib is dangerous no matter how it's transmitted.
Huebner (who is now deceased) was a retired electrical engineer who never attended college, seminary, or even a Bible school. Nevertheless Walvoord, Ryrie and some others have been taken in by Huebner's dishonest revisionism of my research and have repeated it far and wide - the evidence of which is constantly seen on the internet.
Finally, I'm thankful for my good friend Joe Ortiz whose must-read "End Times Passover" blog has allowed me to publicly expose the viciousness and venality that have long been embedded within the pretrib rapture view!
Dave MacPherson is the author of The Rapture Plot, The Incredible Cover Up, The Great Rapture Hoax, Unbelievable Pre-Trib Origin, and Late Great Pre-Trib Rapture.
[Editorial comment by Joe Ortiz]
Yet, I’m sad to report that many Christians are irresponsibly labeling the works of other Christians solely to get an upper hand with their audience by tagging their material as being demonic. That is a very dangerous game they play, not recognizing they are actually falling into a satanic trap they will regret further down the road.
Level-headed discussions about theology should ensue with an open heart and mind to hopefully increase knowledge for all of us who have chosen to participate in this worthwhile arena. A healthy discussion (which includes sharing information and scripture that affirms and confirms their polemic) is a good thing, as Proverbs 27:17 states: As iron sharpens iron, so one person sharpens another.
It is a pity that so much contentiousness exists amongst theologians when they find themselves not necessarily agreeing with another’s point of view. Rather than calmly sharing their respective studies, way too many are too quick to condemn and dismiss the other person’s respective information, to at least read it before doing so. Just imagine how much more successful the church would be if members were to share their respective research, rather than dismissing (with self-centered pride) the new knowledge that is fast emerging as we get closer to the return of Jesus Christ. Do we not have the same agenda, which is to bring greater glory to God through our respective efforts and contributions?
Matthew Henry, in his commentary on Proverb 27:17 offered us great advice about our conversation with fellow Christians, especially in regards to our theological discussions, one that would behoove us to follow, rather than to miss important messages God is revealing to various people from all walks of life, but intended for one body:
Good men’s graces are sharpened by converse with those that are good, and bad men’s lusts and passions are sharpened by converse with those that are bad, as iron is sharpened by its like, especially by the file. Men are filed, made smooth, and bright, and fit for business (who were rough, and dull, and inactive), by conversation. This is designed, 1. To recommend to us this expedient for sharpening ourselves, but with a caution to take heed whom we choose to converse with, because the influence upon us is so great either for the better or for the worse. 2. To direct us what we must have in our eye in conversation, namely to improve both others and ourselves, not to pass away time or banter one another, but to provoke one another to love and to good works and so to make one another wiser and better, (Matthew Henry, Commentary on Proverbs 27:17).”
For more information about the author’s two books, The End Times Passover and Why Christians Will Suffer "Great Tribulation" please click on Joe Ortiz ~