"For then there will be a great tribulation, such as has not occurred since the beginning of the world until now, nor ever will. Unless those days had been cut short, no life would have been saved; but for the sake of the elect those days will be cut short." Matthew 24:21-22

John J. Scruby

The Great Tribulation: The Church's Supreme Test

Why Read This Paper




Dr. Oswald J. Smith said, "The new pre-tribulation Rapture teaching was first proclaimed as a direct revelation by a woman in Edward Irving's church [in 1830], and then taken up by John Nelson Darby [1800-1882] (and the Scofield Reference Bible [first published in 1909]) in direct contradiction to the teaching of the Church for eighteen hundred years."

That was quite a statement! In so many circles today, pretribulationism is a doctrine maintained with such unwavering dogmatism that one would think it had always been part and parcel of historic Christian teaching. However, while a premillennial interpretation of Scripture can be found in the Apostolic Fathers, pretribulationism did not exist until the 1800s. Scruby gives a very entertaining critique of this position. We hope you enjoy it.

In The Great Tribulation: The Church's Supreme Test, Scruby discusses the origin, nature, and effect of the pretribulation-rapture theory. His critique includes a discussion of the arguments used to support this view. We have reproduced the entire book. It was not divided into chapters per se, so we have divided it into seven parts. Most of the real theological "meat" is in section 4 and following. Scruby published the book himself in 1933. During the early twentieth century, he also published a magazine called The Standard Bearer, but we could find no other information about him.

Section 1

Background and Introduction to Pretribulationism

Section 2

Experiences of Other Men When Confronted with Pretribulationism

Origin of Pretribulationism

Section 3

Result of Introduction of Pretribulationism

Section 4

Examination of Matthew Chapter 24

Section 5

The Tribulation: What the Church Will Experience

Section 6

Pretribulationism: A Doctrine Built on Inference

Section 7

Is the Flood a Type of a Pretribulational Rapture?

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