Open Letter to Todd Strandberg
Sergeant Strandberg (of "Rapture Ready" fame):
It has come to my attention here at this Air Force base that you, as a supply sergeant, have been accepting items of inferior and even dangerous quality!
Now, it's true that your actions are far from deserving a court-martial. But let me remind you, Sergeant, that your reputation is in jeopardy, and if you don't improve the quality of the items you distribute, the Commander-in-Chief who's over both of us may have some words with you one of these days!
Sergeant, now where in the world did you get some of those substandard items that are in your "Margaret MacDonald Who?" article that's in the "Pretribulation Rapture" section of your "Rapture Ready" website?
You maintain that I "have never been able to prove that Darby ever heard of MacDonald or her vision."
FACTS: In John Darby's book The Irrationalism of Infidelity (1853), pp. 283-5, he described in great detail his visit with her in her home in Scotland in mid-1830 and even talked about her endtime outlook and the Scriptural texts she used for support! (All this is in my book The Incredible Cover-up.)
Then you claim that Darby's pretrib view was derived from "the distinction between Israel and the church."
FACTS: Darby's first clear pretrib teaching, in his "Notes on the Revelation" (1839), p. 206, was based on only the symbol (!) of the man child "caught up" in Rev. 12:5----and this was his pretrib basis for 30 years (from the 1830's to the 1860's)! Interestingly, this symbol was Edward Irving's pretrib basis in his "Interpretation of the Old-Testament Prophecies quoted in the New" (The Morning Watch, June, 1831, p. 301)----a full eight years before Darby "appropriated" Irving's idea!
You then assert that Darby discovered the pretrib rapture concept in 1827.
FACTS: Darby himself wrote in his "Short but serious Examination of...'Daniel the Prophet'" (1850), p. 67, that he came to "understand" pretrib in 1830 and not 1827----an understanding that came to him only after the Irvingite journal The Morning Watch (which he regularly read) began to clearly teach pretrib in its Sep., 1830 issue (which saw "Philadelphia" raptured, in a partial rapture scheme, before "the great tribulation," pp. 510, 514!).
And you foolishly declare that Margaret Macdonald (it was spelled this way) couldn't have been a pretrib because she taught that the "Church" will be persecuted by the Antichrist.
FACTS: For more than 30 years I've emphasized, in my books and articles and while guesting on worldwide talk shows, that the Irvingites, as well as Margaret, taught pretrib before Darby did.
My critics, wishing to divert attention away from unmistakably clear pretrib teaching by Irvingites, have focused instead on uneducated Margaret and her brief and somewhat unclear revelation account. They also know that she held to partial rapturism which sees PART of the "church" taken in a pretrib rapture and the REST of the "church" enduring the trib. By covering up her pretrib rapture ("one taken and the other left" before "THE WICKED" is "revealed") and emphasizing her posttrib-flavored statements like "The trial of the Church is from Antichrist," they can hopefully discredit her as the originator and give that honor to someone else who seems to have a better reputation! Incidentally, all partial rapturists including Pember and Govett have always described the ones "left behind" as the "Church" (the way Margaret talked) and even John Walvoord's books classify partial rapturists as "pretribulationists"!
Since some of the emotional and spiritual cripples (with potty mouths) on your Rapture Ready message board have gotten the impression from someone with little conscience (I wonder who!) that I am a heretical (and even Satanic) liar that no one should ever listen to, I am forced to tell you that since the early 1970's my books on pretrib history have been publicly endorsed by a galaxy of leading evangelical theologians as well as church history experts----scholars from George Ladd, Merrill Tenney, and F. F. Bruce to Robert Gundry and Walter Martin. I'll even send the sheets containing the many names and endorsements to anyone sending a SASE to me at: Box 1226, Monticello, Utah 84535 USA.
Finally, Sergeant, in order to shore up your collapsing pillar of pretrib sand, you seem to enjoy dropping names like Thomas Ice, Pseudo-Ephraem, Morgan Edwards, and Manuel Lacunza.
FACTS: Whenever I see a photo of Ice, I'm reminded that your site considers him the "heavy" artillery who constantly shoots off his mouth about the "pretrib" outlook of the last three names. I wonder, Sergeant, what your fans will think when they discover my "Deceiving and Being Deceived" article (on many sites) which exposes the plagiarism, document revisionism, phony "Dr." degrees, cover-up and other pretrib dishonesty, and which also proves that Pseudo-Ephraem, Edwards, and Lacunza all had the historical habit of blending together the rapture and the final advent!
Sergeant, since you are dedicated to the Commander-in-Chief and His love of truth and want His promotion, I expect you to wipe that grin off your face and clean up your site!
"Colonel" Dave MacPherson