Evidence abounds that all of dispensationalism's crucial aspects (including the pretrib rapture) were taught by some of John Darby's (less than orthodox) contemporaries in the 1830s before Darby taught them. Since this explosive discovery there's been an unholy frenzy to find sources as early as possible in the Church Age which can be "shaded" enough to appear to be authentically pretrib in order to avoid the (well deserved) stigma that pretrib is a "recent theory."
In the 1990s Canadian prophecy teacher Grant Jeffrey claimed to have found clear pretrib teaching in a 4th century Christian writer known as Pseudo-Ephraem (which I'll abbreviate as P-E).
If anyone wants to find out what P-E really taught, he or she can Google "Apocalypse of Pseudo-Ephraem (Wikipedia)" and click on "Rhoades Translation from a Latin text of Pseudo-Ephraem." This translation into English affected Grant Jeffrey, and his purposely muddied-up revisionism of P-E has captivated Thomas Ice and other pretrib merchandisers.
Nevertheless Jeffrey (constantly repeated by Ice) claimed that P-E taught "an imminent pretrib rapture"! (In the twinkling of an eye they fearlessly changed an imminent arrival of Antichrist into an imminent arrival of Christ!)
Right after this, in Section 2, P-E wrote: "For all the saints and elect of God are gathered, prior to the tribulation that is to come, and are taken to the Lord..." This phrase ("taken to the Lord") is trumpeted by Ice etc. as a clear reference to a pretrib rapture.
But Dr. Paul Alexander's book "The Byzantine Apocalyptic Tradition," which inspired Jeffrey to claim he had found evidence of pretrib before 1830, says that this phrase means "participate at least in some measure in beatitude." (Encyclopedias dealing with this aspect of Byzantine theology reveal that "beatitude" has to do with doing "acts of virtue" on earth - the opposite of being raptured off earth!)
Ice etc. even falsely claim that Dr. Alexander concluded that P-E was pretrib. But Alexander's book (pp. 218-19) has two summaries of P-E's beliefs, each one showing that P-E looked for only one future coming of Christ which would FOLLOW the "tribulatio magna lasting three and a half years"!
My book "The Rapture Plot" (1995) has an appendix analyzing P-E, and Dr. Robert Gundry's (1997) book "First the Antichrist" also demolishes Jeffrey's claim.
The recent eyes-wide-open revisionism of pretrib history has even been asserting that "many" of the early Church Fathers taught pretrib - daring prevarications that the late Dr. Walvoord would have denounced since he was never able to find any "pretribulationist" before Darby! For some excellent details on the current revisionism mania, Google "Pseudo-Pseudo-Ephraem" and "Grant Jeffrey's Apocalypse Debacle" by Florida researcher Tim Warner.
There's now more deception than what's found in my Google piece "Pretrib Rapture Dishonesty." In fact, the sort of deceitfulness outlined above is now causing the SS Pretrib Rapture to list heavily to port - the port of no return!
(PS - Many of my other pretrib history articles are found on Joe Ortiz's outstanding blogs including "The End Times Passover.")