In this post, I am going to offer some of the writings from people who believe John Nelson Darby was intentionally trying to deceive generations of Christians. But at the same time, I am trying to determine whether his Pre-tribulation Dispensation theology was correct, part of a conspiracy, or he was just an unlucky guy who mishandled Scripture that fooled Christians for generations. I won't try to defend him, since there are so many Evangelical and mainline teachers who already side with him.
But first, in my current study of the Trinity, I was able to trace anti-Trinitarian teachings from 190 AD to the 15th century heretical teachings of Rosicrucianism. It trickled down through the Unitarian Church, the occult teachings of Madame Blavatsky, all the way through each of the cult movements of today. I felt that if the Enemy was trying to deceive us with the anti-Trinitarian teachings, it will culminate in a major end time deception. Then teaching of the mystery religions of the 19th century (the time when Darby lived) would have some grand end time scheme planned as well. You see, there is a direct connection from Rosicrucianism/Theosophy teachings to the New Age Movement, which is prepared with what I will call "The Plan" to eliminate Orthodox Christianity, Judaism, and Islam. They call it cleansing, but we'll call it annihilation. If Darby was a con artist, then there must be an end time game that he's associated with.
The Theosophy of John Nelson Darby
As I mentioned in the first post, Darby was a member of the Order of Freemasonry. Freemasons have a direct link to Theosophy, the mystery religions, and the study of the Qabalah. It was within the frame-work of the Qabalah that Dispensationalism has its birth. (I don't know any more about this topic.)
If he did have a genuine connection as a Mason, there is a very good chance that he tried to experience "enlightenment," where you can pierce the veil and speak to the angels (or demons).
It is not uncommon that Christians were part of this organization. Charles Finney (1792 – 1875) was a Presbyterian and Congregationalist minister who became an important figure in the Second Great Awakening.(1792-08-29) Finney was a 3rd Degree Mason, until the murder of William Morgan and he then found that Masonry was dangerous to civil government and personal welfare.
Let's look at an interesting parallel of Darby's writing style and the words chosen by Alice Bailey's in her writings for the Theosophical Society. (Bailey took over for Madame Blavatsky several years after she died.)
New Age Christ
The Coming One
The Coming One
The Christ (Head of the Hierarchy)
Coming in flesh (future tense)
Is to come in the flesh (or reappear)
(invisible) Imminent Return
Imminent Return (or appearing)
Will cause the disappearances of Christians
(John Darby inserted the message of imminence into prophetic passages of his Bible translation.)
Will cause the disappearances of Christians (Cleansing Action)
His public coming will bring about the consummation of the age
His public coming will bring about the consummation of the age
The first teaching was one that created an almost immediate division, the belief that the Church would be taken up to be with the Lord before the coming tribulation period. Until Darby’s teaching, the church world had understood the Apostles and the early Church Fathers to teach the Lord would come for his Bride, the Church, AFTER the tribulation. The pre-trib rapture of the Church was apparently a "new doctrine" that met with an instant church split.
"The Exclusive Brethren began it’s man-made journey into becoming a bona fide cult in the late 1840’s when early Plymouth Brother John Nelson Darby led the first major division in the Plymouth Brethren. The Darbyites, or Closed Brethren effectively closed access to Holy Communion by excluding anyone who was not completely in accord with their beliefs.(Source) In another excerpt: "Time magazine’s senior religion writer David van Biema in "The End: How it Got That Way" (7-01-02), tells of the "rapture" scheme of John Nelson Darby (1800-1882), who is considered the Father of Dispensationalism. Darby claimed that biblical history is best understood in light of seven distinct dispensations or "eras" of God’s dealings with man as discerned from the Bible, beginning with creation and ending with the millennium.
According to Van Deventer, Darby was a British lawyer-turned-disillusioned minister whose doubts concerning the Scriptural authority for the institutional Church led him to leave it and find fellowship with a small group of brethren in Plymouth, England. But, by 1836, Darby had invented a doctrine claiming there were not one, but two "second comings" of Christ, an idea that was immediately challenged as unbiblical by other members of the Plymouth Brethren. Also challenged were his assertions concerning the premillennial return of Christ and the rapture of the church." Where did Darby get his ideas, and who were those individuals Jesuit Priests Franciso Ribera and Manuel De Lacunza both had teachings on the imminent return of Jesus, the Antichrist, and the 1000-year reign of Christ, but offered no direct quotes associated with a pre-trib rapture. It was not until:
Edward Irving (1792-1834), a Scottish Presbyterian and forerunner of the Pentecostal and Charismatic movements, translated Jesuit Priest Manuel De Lacunza's work from Spanish into English in a book titled The Coming of Messiah in Glory and Majesty with a Preliminary Discourse, published in London in 1827. Irvingwas so excited by Lacunza's speculations, he mastered Spanish in order to translate and publish the work in English. Irving met his translation with great conviction because of the unique prophetic speculations about the end of the world, predicting the apostasy of Christendom, the subsequent restoration of the Jews, the imminent return of Christ. Irving was a Freemason. "Irving was excommunicated by the London Presbytery in 1830 for heresy [he taught that Jesus' earthly nature was sinful], Irving continued to preach until his death in 1834." (Source) Margaret McDonald, a 15-year old Scottish girl, and member of Edward Irving's congregation, had visions, while in a trance, in early 1830 that included a Secret Rapture of believers before the appearance of the Antichrist. She informed Irving of her visions by letter. Irving then attended the prophecy conferences that began in Dublin Ireland in 1830 at Powerscourt Castle, where he promoted both Futurism and a Secret Rapture. Darby also attended this conference. It was then that both Darby and Irving began to promote this teaching.
Samuel Roffey Maitland (1792-1866), scholar and librarian to the Archbishop of Canterbury, further promoted and established Futurism in England after 1826, as a result of reading the work of Manuel De Lacunza. He concluded that the 3 1/2 times, 42 months, and 1260 days of Daniel and Revelation were all intended to be a literal 3 1/2 years, not 1260 years. John Nelson Darby (1800–1882) Samuel Prideaux Tregelles (1813-1875), formerly with the Plymouth Brethren, he became Presbyterian, and published The Hope Of Christ's Second Coming in 1864, in which he gave the following testimony on the origin of the secret rapture:
"I am not aware that there was any definite teaching that there would be a secret rapture of the Church at a secret coming, until this was given forth as an "utterance" in Mr. Irving’s Church, from what was there received as being the voice of the Spirit. But whether any one ever asserted such a thing or not, it was from that supposed revelation that the modern doctrine and the modern phraseology respecting it arose. It came not from Holy Scripture, but from that which falsely pretended to be the Spirit of God, while not owning the true doctrine of our Lord’s incarnation in the same flesh and blood as His brethren, but without taint of sin." -- Footnote 1 for Chapter 9, pg 35.So, Irving influenced Darby, Darby influenced Scofield, Scofield and Darby influenced D. L. Moody, and Moody influenced the Pentecostal Movement.
Should we trust the work of Jesuit Priests? No! Many of the Jesuits are and were involved in Mysticism, which involved alternate states of consciousness. They communed with the spirit world. They are involved in occult practices, so I wouldn't trust a thing they say.
So, why would this doctrine be manipulated by the New Age Movement?
Whether right or wrong, I'm going to offer some reasons I believe may be the reasoning for the deception:
- To create disunity among the true Church.
- When the cleansing by the New Agers begins, many feel their Lord has forgotten them, and that the Bible was a fairy tale? Will this cause more Christians to turn their back on the Lord Jesus to follow the Satan incarnate messiah?
- With the belief in a two-phase rapture, this permits many not to live wholeheartedly for God. Besides, they can get caught up in the next rapture. It gives an opportunity to live for self and not for Christ.
- I read about a year ago, how Tony Blair called Israel "home." He has never lived there. I believe the one world government will eventually be based in Israel. This would explain the Masonic symbolism in their Supreme Court building, the pyramids, and why many of their top officials are Masons.
- Somehow, within the Darby theory, I feel that Christians are being set-up into supporting Israel and unknowingly helping to bring about the one world government. Christian ministries have been assisting the Jewish people to return to their homeland, and have been in favor of the Temple construction. This is the same Temple the Antichrist will set himself up and declare himself as God. Are these Christians in the mindset that we will already be caught up in the rapture by the time the Antichrist will begin to extinguish the Christians and Jews? Have we been going above and beyond in assisting in our own demise?
You may think I have this all wrong, but that's alright. You can email me to straighten me out.
This will permit you to see the doctrinal changes Darby made to the Bible: here
To conclude, I will let you weigh the evidence. I think we must be cautious of who we follow. In my opinion, evidence is clear that a pre-trib teaching was not followed by those before us, and the may be something dark occurring.
I do think it is unfortunate that the Church has willingly embraced such teaching, even by those who say they love the Word. Perhaps they just want their ears tickled.