In 1830 a young Scottish girl, named Margaret MacDonald, was said to have fell into a "trance". After several hours of so called "vision" and "prophesying" she revealed that Christ's return would occur in two phases, not just one. "Christ" would first come visibly to only the righteous and would remove them from the earth. Then He would come a second time to execute wrath on the unrighteous in all the nations.
John Darby, an Englishman and pioneer of the "Plymouth Brethren" movement became caught up in the rapture philosophies of MacDonald. When Darby heard about the vision, he traveled to Scotland to talk with her and her followers about the "secret rapture". It was Darby who became the master developer of "scriptural" arguments to support the theory/doctrine that evolved.
Darby's development of the " secret rapture" theory has since become widely popularized in Britain and in the U.S. largely as a result of Cyrus Scofield's notes in his Scofield Reference Bible which spread like wildfire in the years that followed.
Belief in the "secret rapture" doctrine has become so widespread among today's "evangelicals" and "fundamentalists" that many sitting in the pews assume that the teaching dates back to the apostles themselves and the Messiah.
Regardless of who was the originator of the teaching -whether Darby, Margaret MacDonald, or a Jesuit priest, the "secret rapture" theory has not been around for very long. It has no basis nor was it ever a teaching of the Messiah, Apostles, or the church prior to that timeframe in the 1830's.
This theology that many hold so near and dear came from a young girl who "had a vision" not even 200 years ago.