Saturday, March 15, 2014

Gumerlock's Guesswork On Rapture Origin Has No Lock On Truth But Rather Gums Up Historical Facts! By Dave MacPherson

Rather than trusting what the word of God truly has to say about The Rapture to Heaven mythology, scholars continue to apply their cut and paste technique to the works of earlier theorists whose works failed to convince spirit-filled Disciples to begin with. Hundreds (if not thousands) of ersatz Bible scholars dive deeply into the darkly lit bushels of wheat in hopes to find even one small kernel of corn that will help them make a case for the Pre-Tribulation Rapture to Heaven doctrine.

My dear friend and colleague, Dave MacPherson, has been shredding much of these claims by so many, by digging even deeper and producing substantial evidence (and much logic) to their arguments. But, yet they continue to struggle in their efforts, failing to realize they not only have no lock on truth, they actually gum up the works of those great scholars who went before us, who already provided us with the answers contained in God's words, rather than paying heed to today's guesstimating theorists. Following is a small example of MacPherson's work for those who choose to debate inconsequential data:

     Jesus spoke of those who "compass sea and land to make one proselyte." Likewise there are pretribulationists who compass the globe to find the existence of "pretrib" teaching long before the embarrassing date of 1830. Sometimes even non-pretrib "soldiers of fortune" look for the same evidence, even if it turns out to be ammunition for pretrib rapturists.

Francis Gumerlock, a Latin teacher at (Roman Catholic) Holy Family High School in the Denver area, has been claiming that a certain Brother Dolcino in northern Italy during the Middle Ages taught the pretrib view centuries before Margaret Macdonald did. (For a while Dolcino headed the Apostolic Brethren, a radical non-Catholic Christian sect viewed as "early reformers" which made many enemies; eventually Dolcino was burned at the stake in 1307.)
     Gumerlock presented his claim in an article titled "A Rapture Citation in the Fourteenth Century" which appeared in the July-Sep. 2002 "Bibliotheca Sacra," Dallas Seminary's journal. The same article is also on the web.
     Before he focuses on Dolcino, Gumerlock discusses what he calls "inadequate" pretrib rapture history. In the same BibSac article he spells my name two different ways (also Margaret's two different ways) before he relates that "thirteen-year old" Margaret (she was 15) uttered a prophecy in an "Irvingite meeting" (she actually received her pretrib "revelation" in her home). He even says that crediting John Darby with pretrib "is inadequate because recent scholarship has brought to light examples of pretribulationism in church history between the writing of the New Testament and Darby."
     Interestingly, militant pretrib defender Thomas Ice (in his article yet-another-pre-darby-rapture-statement) reveals that "Gumerlock is very much opposed to pretribulationism..." In light of this, it's amazing that Gumerlock gives his imprimatur to Ice and other pretribs who've claimed to have discovered pretrib teaching in some pre-1830 sources!
     For example, Gumerlock agrees with Grant Jeffrey that Pseudo-Ephraem (whom Jeffrey incorrectly changes to "Ephraem the Syrian"!) taught pretrib in the 4th century. (My "Wily Jeffrey" response to Jeffrey is on Joe Ortiz' "Our Daily Bread" blog, May 8, 2013.) And Gumerlock also endorses John Bray's assertion that 18th century pastor Morgan Edwards was another pretrib. (Ortiz' "End Times Passover" blog of Sept. 20, 2013 has a smashing rebuttal to Bray titled "Morgan Edwards' Rapture View.")
     The oldest known source revealing Dolcino's theology is evidently a text titled "The History of Brother Dolcino." It was composed in manuscript form in 1316 nine years after Dolcino's death by an anonymous person, was recopied in 1551, and reprinted and edited a number of times between the 1600s and 1907, according to Gumerlock. 
     Gumerlock's 2002 BibSac article stated: "Dolcino is known to have written several letters outlining his eschatological teachings, but none are extant." It is noteworthy that this incredible statement by Gumerlock was deliberately omitted by Thomas Ice in the previously mentioned article of his. Evidently Ice doesn't want his readers to know that his much-touted claim for Dolcino rests on no original evidence (!) but only on an anonymous copyist and later centuries of secondhand copying and editing!
     The same history (dated 1316) stated this concerning Dolcino's rapture belief:
     "And that the Antichrist was coming into the world within the bounds of the said three and a half years; and after he had come, then he [Dolcino] and his followers would be transferred into Paradise, in which are Enoch and Elijah. And in this way they will be preserved unharmed from the persecution of Antichrist." (Note that Dolcino's "rapture" was not before Antichrist's arrival but after Antichrist had been on earth an unstated amount of time.)
     Is this really pretrib rapture teaching?
     Gumerlock tells us that in the same "History" (p. 9) Dolcino and his followers believed that the Roman Church was "Babylon" and the "great whore" which had long exhibited "pride, avarice, luxury and many other vices," and that it had already "perished"! 
     Since Gumerlock's "Rapture Citation" (p. 17) says that Dolcino "was clearly influenced by the teachings of Joachim of Fiore" (and his year/day theory which was already a century old), and on p. 8 sees similarities between Dolcino's Antichrist and Pseudo-Ephraem's sermon as well as the treatise of Morgan Edwards (who believed that the papacy had been playing the "Antichrist" role for 1000 years), it is reasonable to conclude that Dolcino believed that most of the tribulation had already happened and that only a tiny portion of it remained - hardly a pretribulation rapture scheme!

Dave MacPherson. What People are saying...

What They Are Saying About ... THE RAPTURE PLOT!
Gary DeMar (President American Vision): "A majority of prophecy writers and speakers teach that the church will be raptured before a future tribulational period. But did you know that prior to about 1830 no such doctrine existed. No one in all of church history ever taught pretribulational rapture. Dave MacPherson does the work of a journalistic private investigator to uncover the truth....The Rapture Plot is the never-before-told true story of the plot - how plagiarism and subtle document changes created the 'mother of all revisionisms.' A fascinating piece of detective work." Robert H. Gundry (Professor Westmont College): "As usual MacPherson out hustles his opponents in research on primary sources. C. S. Lovett (President Personal Christianity): You don't read very much of Dave MacPherson's work before you realize he is a dedicated researcher. Because his work has been so honest and open his latest work The Rapture Plot has produced many red faces among some of the most recognized rapture writers of our time. When their work is compared to his it is embarrassing for them to see how shallow their research is." R. J. Rushdoony (President Chalcedon): "Dave MacPherson has been responsible for major change in the eschatology of evangelical churches by his devastating studies of some of the central aspects thereof. In The Rapture Plot MacPherson tells us of the strange tale of 'rapture' writings, revisions, cover-ups, alterations and confusions. No one has equaled MacPherson in his research on the 'pretrib rapture.' Attempts to discredit his work have failed...."
About the Author: Born 1932 of Scotch/English descent Dave MacPherson is a natural for British historical research. His calling was journalism. Receiving a BA in English in 1955 he spent 26 years as a newsman reporting and filming many notable events persons presidents and dignitaries.


  1. Thanks for your great coverage of what's going on in Prophecyland. I have a feeling that those who believe in a pretrib rapture are now getting a little desperate. They are probably finding out that their "great rapture" is actually found nowhere in the Bible! Keep sending us your exposures of it, okay? Rolf

  2. Gumerlock seems to favor a preterist view (that the predictions concerning the "tribulation" and "Antichrist" were basically fulfilled around AD 70). Readers of this stimulating blog might enjoy Googling "70 AD Futurism" which has some little known facts about preterism.
    Sis. Maria

  3. Would really love to see if Dave has a copy of the film he made while his visit with the Generals James & Deborah Green on the Rapture Hoax. I still have the card he sent me also. I truly Thank Dave for exposing the Rapture plot.