Thursday, November 12, 2009

Renowned Prophecy Author Uses Ortiz' Blog to Send Open Letter to Proponents of the Left Behind Doctrine!

[Dave MacPherson, renowned author of several books that challenge Pre-Tribulation Rapture and Left Behind doctrine, sends ‘open letter’ to so-called prophecy experts]

By Joe Ortiz
    [We are deeply honored that renowned ‘anti-Left Behind’ author, Dave MacPherson has chosen our blog to send an open letter to a group of authors, writers and evangelicals who believe in the Left Behind, Pre-Tribulation Rapture doctrines. Dave Macpherson is a great writer who has authored about a half a dozen books aimed at refuting the Pre-Tribulation Rapture, including Rapture, The Great Rapture Hoax, Incredible Cover Up, The Rapture Plot, The Three R's as well as thousands of articles that are currently featured on the Internet. The following OPEN LETTER to proponents of the Pre-Tribulation Rapture is the most recent polemic by MacPherson and we are honored he chose our blog site as its launching pad before he disseminates the open letter throughout media and the Internet.] 

     I have read Joe Ortiz' two books (The End Times Passover and Why Christians Will Suffer Great Tribulation)  and believe they provide possibly the most biblically sound and well documented material that out right refute the dispensational premillennialism doctrines of Left Behind and the Pre-Tribulation Rapture. Authors such as Tim LaHaye, John Hagee, Hal Lindsey, Mike Evans, Tom Ice and others who support the Left Behind notions and the Pre-Tribulation Rapture, would do well by reading and studying Joe Ortiz' books to finally put closure to that debate and instead focus on enhancing the kingdom of God. Following is my open letter to those who still believe in the Left Behind and Pre-Tribulation Rapture deception. (Dave MacPherson, 11-12-09)

                              EDWARD IRVING IS UNNERVING!

     All of my books since 1973 have stated that Rev. Edward Irving and his followers (Irvingites) - as well as Margaret Macdonald - taught a pretribulation rapture before John Darby did.
     Margaret's 117-line pretrib "revelation" account (which, by the way, contains 59 Bible verses or parts of verses - about one in every other line) was admittedly not as detailed as the many articles in "The Morning Watch" (Irvingite journal) which from 1829 to 1833 clearly and extensively portrayed a pretrib rapture. Naturally my Darby-exalting critics gang up on Margaret so that they won't have to face up to overwhelming evidence that the Irvingites did in fact precede Darby!
     (While I'm at it - I wish now that I had never used terms like Margaret's "revelation" or "vision" even though others have. I should have referred only to her "view" or "Scriptural interpretation." If I had done so, my opponents wouldn't have had an excuse to associate "occult" or "witch" or "demon" with her totally Biblical discussion while playing the current rapture debate "game of gossip"!)
     Scofield and Ironside are among the Darby defenders who have boldly concluded, minus evidence that pretrib rapturism never existed in Irvingite circles.
     Even Ernest Sandeen's "The Roots of Fundamentalism" (p. 64f) asserted that Irving and his followers didn't teach anything resembling a Darbyesque secret, pretrib rapture. (His conclusion was based on only two unrelated (!) prophetic utterances which were spoken many months after pretrib was first clearly taught in Irving's journal in Sep. 1830!) J. Barton Payne responded to Sandeen by writing that "MacPherson has once and for all overthrown Ernest Sandeen's assertions that the Irvingites never 'advocated any doctrine resembling the secret rapture' and that to connect J. N. Darby and early dispensationalism with Irving's church is 'a groundless and pernicious charge'....For serious students of the history of dispensationalism the study of MacPherson's discoveries has become a must." (Journal of the Evangelical Theological Society, Winter, 1974)
     R. A. Huebner, a militant member of the Darbyist Plymouth Brethren, added his own name to the Irvingism-bashing list and even talked Walvoord, Ryrie, LaHaye and some other pretrib leaders into joining it. In his 1973 book Huebner actually stated: "The Irvingites (1828-1834) never held the pretribulation rapture or any 'any-moment' views." His 1991 book repeated this by declaring that "the Irvingite system was a complex" that can be found "in posttribulational writers."
     But the champion Irvingism-basher, who isn't bashful, is Thomas Ice whose Darby-shielding darts are multiplied and repeated on the internet, world without end. He makes sure that readers of his "When Did J. N. Darby Discover the Rapture?" piece will discover his repetition that "Irving never held to pretribulationism." In his "Myths of the Origin of Pretribulationism - Part II" he states that "One of Dave McPherson's strangest claims is that Edward Irving and the Irvingites taught a pre-trib rapture." And he even speaks disparagingly of "two British theologians" (Mark Patterson and Andrew Walker) who have written that "it is incontrovertible that Irving held to a pretribulation doctrine in a form that is developed and remarkably similar to contemporary dispensational views." (!) 
     My book "The Rapture Plot" (available online) includes many quotes from Irvingites proving that they taught a pretrib rapture as well as pretribulationally-correct imminence. Here are just a few examples from several issues of "The Morning Watch":
     "Philadelphia" is described as worthy Christians who will be raptured before "the great tribulation" (TMW, Sep. 1830, p. 510)
     "...the great tribulation from which those dead in Christ, and those who shall then be alive and looking for him, shall be exempted, by being caught up to meet the Lord in the air...." (TMW, June 1831, p. 284)
     Walvoord's, LaHaye's, and Ice's "any-momentness" is clearly seen in this Irvingite journal which stated: "...we miss the true object of faith and hope in the coming of the Lord, not only when we overleap it altogether, but when we interpose any screen whatever; when we look for any event of persecution or tribulation, for any combination of kings, any gathering of people, any manifestation of Antichrist." (TMW, Dec. 1831, p. 253)
     One writer spoke of "the translation for the living...of which we may daily expect the accomplishment...." He added: "During this most horrible time of the reign of the last Antichrist, the risen and translated saints shall be with Christ...." (TMW, Mar. 1832, pp. 12-14)
     John Tudor, TMW editor, said that "some of these elect ones left in the great tribulation...after the translation of the saints...." He added that there is "nothing further to expect before the actual coming...." (TMW, Sep. 1832, pp. 11-12)
     "The literal time of 1260 days...does not commence till the moment of the translation of the saints...." (TMW, Sep. 1832, p. 48)
     It should be pointed out that during pretrib dispensationalism's earliest development, there were those who quickly changed from the prevailing posttrib historicism to pretrib futurism, some who changed later on, and some who never changed. Naturally Darby-guardsmen such as Huebner and Ice have selectively focused on historicist Irvingites and purposely covered up pretrib futurists among the same British group to make it appear to their trusting readers that the Irvingites were totally pretrib-deficient! 
     My first paper on Biblical prophecy was written in 1968. If I could have known beforehand that Darby protectors would either ignore, smear, or pseudo-scholarly skip over Margaret's main point (a rapture before Antichrist's revealing) and deviously quote lines only before and after it (what Dr. Tommy Ice does repeatedly), I would have focused on the incredible quality and quantity of the output of the innovative Irvingites - and brought in Margaret only as the one they claimed as their inspiration.
     Even William Kelly, Darby's editor, knew that for 60 years evangelicalism had credited Irvingism, and not Darbyism, with pretribism. Which is why Kelly (while noting "the early prophesying and tongues in Scotland" but adding that "we may pass these over") focused on Irvingite writings, and not Margaret's, in a lengthy series (1889-1890) in his own journal. Readers of "The Rapture Plot" know that Kelly, in Ice-like fashion, made so many dishonest changes while analyzing Irvingism in a supposedly fair and balanced way that evangelicalism, unable to examine hard-to-locate Irvingite writings, eventually accepted Kelly's revisionism, the goal of which was to project Darby as the pretrib rapture originator as well as the "father of dispensationalism" - and we know how well Kelly was successful!
     I have focused on pretrib rapture beginnings for 40 years and have offered $1000 if anyone can show where I have ever dishonestly concealed or changed anything in any important rapture-related document. Unlike my opponents, my book royalties have always gone not to any individual but to a nonprofit corporation which has never paid any salary to anyone. While you're wondering if you should obtain my 300-page book "The Rapture Plot," I invite you to read my many internet articles including "Famous Rapture Watchers," "Pretrib Rapture Diehards," "Humbug Huebner," "Thomas Ice (Bloopers)" and "Thomas Ice - Hired Gun," "X-Raying Margaret," "Deceiving and Being Deceived," and "Pretrib Rapture Dishonesty." 
Dave MacPherson

[Thank you Dave MacPherson; I’m truly honored by your comments and for choosing our blog to send out your ‘open letter’ to Left Behind and Pre-tribulation Rapture theorists.


For more information or author contact, click here Joe Ortiz


  1. Was the explosion that I just heard the collective groan of all dispensationalists after they finished reading this stunning article? Just wondering. Phil

  2. I have as many doubts about the rapture as the next guy. I certainly would not go far enough to classify it as a plot. And if presenting the rapture argument is a waste of time that could be spent winning and discipling souls, isn't a refutation of the rapture argument guilty of the same crime? Bottom line, we need to live as Christ taught us - regardless of the amount of time left for us on planet Earth.
    Donald James Parker
    Author of Reforming the Potter's Clay

  3. I have some comments about Parker's statement. He seems to say that refuting the pretrib rapture is as much a "crime" as promoting it. Would he say that firemen fighting a fire is as much a "crime" as an arsonist starting a fire?

    It is the pretribs who historically have been the notable disrupters of unity and not the non-pretribs. Ernest Sandeen's book on dispensationalism's roots points out that during the late 1800s and on into the 1900s prophetic conferences did not divide over "rapture" differences, and on p. 214 he discussed the Dec., 1901 Boston conference which had pretrib speakers like Scofield, Munhall, and Gray and also posttrib speakers including Cameron, Moorehead, and Erdman - and Scofield chose and listed the last two posttribs as consulting editors on the title page of his 1909 Bible! (In contrast, there were no posttrib consulting editors in the revised 1967 Scofield Bible!)

    But this unity was soon shattered by the pretribs. On p. 221 Sandeen wrote: "While Cameron was defensively seeking to construct a united front for both post- and pretribulationist millenarians, Gaebelein cut off his former allies, such as W. J. Erdman, and planned an aggressive pretribulationist campaign." So after decades of harmony, Sandeen and other historians have shown that it was pushy pretribism that engineered strong-arm takeovers of prophetic conferences, banning those who had held the only theologically accepted view before 1830 as found in all historic creeds, and in effect acting as if what had always been a non-essential suddenly became an essential for Christian fellowship and even a requirement if someone wanted to be involved in "winning and discipling souls" (Parker's term). It's as if those pretribs were so sensitive over their apparent lack of orthodox theology and embarrassed over their 19th century pedigree that they could respond only with force and suppression of freedom of speech - eerily similar to American politics today!

    Has Parker read MacPherson's "Rapture Plot"? If so, he's seen Darby's letters to his editor which said that the latter should suppress and change for posterity Darby's own words and development! And what about the 19th century Darbyist Brethren changing the words of hymns - and even the writings of the Reformers - to give the dishonest impression that they had taught pretrib? After Darby's death, Darby's editor even changed early Irvingite and Plymouth Brethren writings so that he could falsely steal credit for pretrib away from the Irvingites and give it wrongfully to Darby! If the word "plot" is unsettling, maybe we can call all of this a "conspiracy."

    Since MacPherson's paper focused on Irvingism, I won't be surprised if someone responds by employing the traditional pretrib practice of muddying up the waters (or diverting attention to Darby etc.) so that pretribism can stay intact, keep above the fray, and continue to enrich itself by selling more books and videos! Barbara

  4. Joseph Ortiz is to be congratulated, honored, and commended for bringing to the Christian public what is really going on and who is saying what. Bravo, Joe! Whether a person is a Democrat or Republican or an Independent, or a premill or postmill or amill, or a pretrib or midtrib or prewrath or posttrib, or a preterist or a historicist or a futurist, or pro-Israel or anti-Israel - the ONE belief that is scripturally bankrupt and historically groundless and utterly nonsensical and the ONLY belief that absolutely no one needs is the 179-year-old British monstrosity known as dispensationalism. I'll say it again: DISPENSATIONALISM! It is to the world of Christian enlightenment as useless and dangerous as a diseased appendix is to the human body and should collectively be removed by every member of every religious and political group listed above! An excellent place to start is Joe Ortiz' blog "Our Daily Bread" which doesn't mince words or pussyfoot around the issues. Thanks again, Joe, and God bless. You are much needed! Mary

  5. Mr. Parker: I see you are an it a soul-winning book that an unregenerate would pick up and be 'saved' by? If not - was it a waste of time...the time we have left on planet earth?

  6. The signs are unfolding as never before. Man's heart appears to have truly gone cold. In the air is something I've never in my 59 years felt.