Van Impe is a nice man. But a false teacher. As a Baptist Pastor I warned my congregation not to listen to him as he is a false prophet. He has had to change his rapture thesis as the timeline continues and it does not play out as he predicts.
Most of the “rapturists” have stopped naming dates as they have all been wrong. Even Billy Graham in 1984 wrote “The Four Horsemen” about the endtimes. For some or many evangelicals the creation of the nationstate of Israel in 1948 was a watershed of prophecy. They saw it as a fullfilment of Daniel, Ezekiel, Jesus’s Olivet Discourse, The Revelation of Jesus Christ, etc etc etc. The first dates established were in 1968. 20 years after, then thought by the rapturist to be a generation. When that passed, moved to 30, then 40 (wilderness years) now I have seen where it is 70 (exiled time) or 80 years (life span). So, since they have been wrong so often, the dates now go out until 2028. And every hiccup in the mideast is the signal the rapture is soon to happen. In 1990 they were abuzz as Iraqi’s invasion of Kuwait signaled the end and the rise of the Anti-Christ. Sadly, the election of Obama as President has some comparing him to the Anti-christ as some wag called him the president of the world. Rapturist also have an incorrect understanding of Anti-Christ as taught by the Apostle John in his First Epistle. They tie it to The Revelation of Jesus Christ.
Though Darby “preached” and “taught” rapture theology, he did not create it. He picked it up in 1830 during a trip to Western Scotland to investigate a revival that had gained church attention.
Some historians trace the creation of rapture theology to two people. First a defrocked Presbyterian pastor named Edward Irving who began teaching that the gifts of the spirit would indicate the the time of the rapture. He tied the gifts, especially speaking in tongues, to the signs of the time. His teachings got him in trouble with the Presbyterian church and they defrocked him in 1832. He then formed the Catholic Apostolic Church or Apostolic Catholic Church, I have heard it called both.:shrug:
The second person is Miss Margart Macdonald who had heard his teachings and was in a movement that would later become identified as pentecostalism. While dangerously sick and thought to be near death, she experienced a series of “visions” and had a series of manifestations of the spirit “tongues and trances” that lasted from Feb to at least April 1830. Though some say to the summer of 1830. In these manifestations, she claims she was taught by (here the accounts differ from Christ to angels to the Holy Spirit)about a 2 stage second coming. The first part secret, the second in the open. So for 1830 years the church, scriptures and Holy Spirit taught error. And for approx 330 years the reformers taught the same errors. Hey, the church and the reformers agree on something…I wonder if the devil is wearing longjohns now.
These teachings caught on and a revival swept through western Scotland. (Incidently the first announced date of the rapture was to be in 1842, my elementary history book taught about it and how people sold everything and went to the mountains or roof tops to be closer to Christ when He came.) Darby heard of this revival, went to Scotland to see for himself. He discounted the pentecostalism he saw, but embraced the teachings. He then began to teach and became rapture theology’s biggest proponent.
Interestingly at the same time Miss Macdonald was having her visions in Scotland, Joseph Smith, John Wilson and Ellen White were recieving thier visions starting the teachings of Mormonism, British realism and Seventh Day Adventism respectfully. I wonder it there is a pattern.:hmmm: