Tuesday, September 8, 2009

gay man in Ghana

Gays For Jesus comments on an article that goes over a gay man in Ghana.
That article’s title:

How can a gay man in Ghana, West Africa, find friends and possibly a partner?

by Philip
(Accra, Ghana, West Africa)

gays4jeus: I read the guy wants a date. Gays everywhere wants someone to be with just like str8s and you are gay or str8 so you already know what this guy wants “love”

Rick Brentlinger Answers -

Thanks for the good question Philip. Building friendships is an important part of building a successful life. Here is the advice I have for you.

1. Be sure that you know Jesus as your personal Friend and Savior. He should be your best Friend.
Who is Jesus?
How to know FOR SURE you are saved.
gays4jesus: put simply… (God be merciful to me a sinner! I believe Christ died on the Cross for me, that God rose him on the 3rd day, and that His Precious Blood will cleanse me from all my sins. Forgive me of my sins and come into my heart as my Lord and my Savior. Help me Lord to do thy will each day. In Jesus name I pray. In Jesus Name Amen.)

2. Be a good, reliable, trustworthy Christian friend to others. The Bible says,
"A man that has friends must show himself friendly." -Proverbs 18:24
That means be friendly to others. If you find someone interesting, go up and introduce yourself. Talk to them and find out what makes them tick. Discover their interests, their dreams, their goals in life.
gays4jesus: in otherwords… Matt 22:37-40 37 Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. 38 This is the first and great commandment. 39 And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. 40 On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets. (KJV)
Discover their interests” easier said than done. He wants to meet someone first so he can treat them as he treats himself as it were.

3. Prepare yourself for a good career by finding something you enjoy doing. Take time to train yourself. It may require you to go to University or to spend time learning a skill.
Your life's work may be running your own business or it may be training to become a nurse or doctor. If you enjoy your work, it won't seem so much like work.
gays4jesus: could be he already has a good job or in these days in his country getting a good job might be easier said than done. Love is between two people and requires nothing more. Yes could be nice to have all the amenities of life and universities are expensive, but:
Matt 19:24 And again I say unto you, It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle, than for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of God. KJV)
so is a good career the norm in the world? Could be a long wait for love then.

4. Realize that lifelong friendships are built on shared beliefs and values. Friendship takes work and time and effort. Friendship takes understanding and prayer and patience.
gays4jesus: Western countries and many other countries are eyeball countries meaning “I see, I want, I take. 69% of confirmed born again believer have sex on the first date in the USA according to a study done by a Trinity Broadcasting Network Favorite researcher. I believe in real life and yes do these steps 1 – 7 are very important but are useless if you are one alone person. FACTS and real life are very helpful and keep you sane. It tells you are not strange or have something others avoid. If most won’t or hardly don’t or take sound logical advice but, just go out find someone and marry them and later maybe divorcing so no real role models are out there to assist you. Most of the time you find a person that has done as it were all this wonderful advice and or preach it turns out to be someone that was rare that really accidently married their first date and thinks everyone should do as they. This is not real world LIFE. What I am saying is not against God, Jesus, or the Bible. We are in a messed up in finding love scenarios today because of 2000 years of trying to do love different from the Bible where family heads planned marriage from birth. We gave ourselves the choice to marry and most of this choice stems direct from 12th century pagan gods rituals. You should already be working as soon as your education is over and it should not be based on planning for a future spouse. Your life is your life and you should already be having most of these 7 steps in operation without relating it to seeking a spouse.

5. Realize that your life partner should probably be chosen from among your friends. Your partner in life must be someone with whom you share spiritual beliefs and values. Your partner in life must be someone with whom you enjoy spending time.
gays4jesus: 2 Cor 6:14 Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness? (KJV)
This is fabulous advice, but again our eyes are our boss we see someone too hot to trot and we go for it. Sometimes we are lucky most of the time it takes a few attempts to find someone we can settle down with. Friends may be the worst place to find a date, but a good place to go date hunting as it were. Long-term relationship is something not known short term so any date may or may not be the life partner. We at least in western countries like on a trial and error method of dating. BIBLE? Sometime that is almost a laugh. I mean this in that Christians are not using Bible to decide who their life partner will be. They may pray for God to help, but often it is God I want this one or that one. Actually nothing wrong with that.
gays4jesus: Gen 29:17-18 17 Leah was tender eyed; but Rachel was beautiful and well favoured. 18 And Jacob loved Rachel; and said, I will serve thee seven years for Rachel thy younger daughter. (KJV)
Jacob’s eyes wanted Rachel, but he has to marry Leah to get Rachel and his Uncle made up more rules along that way. God we must assume would not or was his plan that Jacob would not get his eye’s desires the first time around. Real life often means you will go though more than one person before you are finished. All the good intentions of saying no sex before marriage or don’t so anything till you meet the person and then stay with that person always just are not real life. Is God wrong or are we just not understanding relationships so made our own rules saying its God’s rules?

6. Your partner in life should be a fellow Christian. The Bible says, "How can two walk together except they be agreed?" If your partner is not a born again Christian, he will not be able to share the spiritual part of your life.
gays4jesus: 1 Cor 7:14 For the unbelieving husband is sanctified by the wife, and the unbelieving wife is sanctified by the husband: else were your children unclean; but now are they holy. (KJV)
Again ideally, Christians should marry Christians and then they should be in the same denomination to boot. However, with additional hardships marrying unbelievers is not against God and God provides sanctification. Also: 1 Cor 7:16 For what knowest thou, O wife, whether thou shalt save thy husband? or how knowest thou, O man, whether thou shalt save thy wife? (KJV)
No cut and dry rules of engagement, within reason the “all is fair in love and war” phrase is real life which God through Jesus is with you 100% and will always help you in your mistakes.

Focus your life on believing the Bible, living according to Biblical values and serving God with your life. Surround yourself with friends who also love God.
gays4jesus: putting Jesus at the center of your life and your married life is about as important as importance can get for your life. Keep in mind the world does not stop for unbelievers, they date and marry and what is involved with them are same day-to-day joys and problems. Being a Christian means you are having a relationship for eternity with Jesus Christ. Love is a God given human trait and satan worshippers have it too. 1000s of years have gone by and love brought the world to almost 7 billion people, broad is the way to destruction and narrow is the gate to everlasting life with Jesus Christ. My point is advice is good but God and all things have many opportunities for all people. Standfast in the WORD, but don’t put blinders on for all God’s creation. You as a gay Ghana man do not have the same opportunities as I do in the USA. How you meet someone to date and love may not have some of the luxuries we have in the west. Gays find ways in a world that often hates them. Some of those ways are flat out sins for str8s. and some of those same sins gays are forced to commit because it may be the only way they get anything like love. Whether other accept this or not I tell you those sins will be charged to the CHURCH not you as a gay person that could face a way that most the Church calls sin. I would never advise going out to prostitutes or orgies or some things that just would unhealthful and abusive. But, the past shows gays forced out of mainline acceptance into corners of what would appear would n ot lead to a long term caring loving relationship. Today, even in the most suppressive countries gays have access to a more dignified way of meeting others. Here is what this man asked:

“How can a gay man in Ghana, West Africa, find friends and possibly a partner?”
It is assumed he is a Christians and that is also how I will assume it. REAL LIFE! He wants locations of meeting places of gay men. If there is no gay church i.e. MCC which is in many countries or no easily found gay Christian group near him, then he need gay bars, restaurants, parks, or other gay hang outs. He needs access to computer and if he has this he needs links to gay Ghana guys.
http://www.mcc4.org/ Region 4 includes Ghana but maybe nothing in this country, nearby countries have MCC. This link maybe be helpful as it covers Ghana.

MCC House Church in Nairobi
Pastor: Rev Michael Kimindu
http://www.gayghana.org/ Gay Ghana Online Community
example of “personals”

Gay man who is currently single and looking for friends or dating or a long term relationship or intimate encounters with a gay traveler

My Vitals:
Age: 18 , Height: 5'06" 168cm , Weight: 115lbs 52kg , Body Type: Slim
Ethnicity: Black

Where I Live:
Tema Accra, Tema GHANA

TRAVELOOK listing:
i like travelers because they are nice and good and i also love to explore the world.and i love activities and love to date gays.
It is not very easy for a gay man in Ghana to find someone as I am trying to get a few examples how to actually help such a person like in this artcle., but there are ways for gays to meet in Ghana and with the internet it is maybe not as hard as just hanging out on a corner risking life and limb.
God bless you as you walk the path of His purpose for your life.

Gays4jesus: often God’s blessing is in the person that says “God bless you” after all God is not magic and he indeed uses his children and others to bless. A bless to this Ghana gay man would be directions to somewhere he can safely meet a potential life partner. Also, emailing the broader church in Ghana to stop their lies about gays.

A site like gaychristian101 has such a wealth of facts showing gay is not sin that regular outreach of email or other means which is a no cost (just time) effort to pastors in Ghana and other countries that still illegalizes gays. These gay haters (by their behaviors of condemning gays) are our brothers and sisters too. They believe wrongly gay is sin. Part of our walk and calling as gay Christians is shed our love to those that persecute us. This can take many forms, but one is those with vast arsenals of truth such as gaychrisstian101 is a fabulous way of reaching out in love with truth that might set a whole country free from the bondage of the false doctrine against gays. I often get chats from gay people from Ghana. My life and calling really is not to this country, but with little effort, I can come up with some moments to lift up these Ghana gays.

Praying for and wishing God’s blessing is certainly good, but acts of love like telling this man where he can find another man would be a direct way to bless him that he can actually act on. I remember, reading my first newspaper that had a friendly gay message too and listed a gay bar. I went to that bar and that same night met my first lover. We stayed together for 10 years. That was the most amazing thing that ever happened finding a place I could go and see there really are others like me. This Ghana gay man wants that experience in finding a place to go. Advice is great, but he still sits at home starring out his window longing to be held.



December 21, 2012

Gays For Jesus comments on an article that goes over the Mayan’s and the Rapture.
That article’s title:

Does December 21, 2012 and the Mayan Calendar have anything to do with the Christian Rapture?

by Bill


Are you Rapture Ready?

Rick Brentlinger Answers -

Thanks for the good question Bill. Using the Mayan Calendar to date the Rapture is, in my opinion, an exercise in futility. There is no reason to believe that pagan Mayans who did not believe in Christ would have helpful insight into Biblical teaching about the Rapture.

Gays4jesus: Everything in every time of history and pre-history is to do with the Christian “Rapture” directly or indirectly. This called “time” which is between eternity past and the coming return of Jesus, which 1000 years later things go back to that eternity. The plan of God cannot be made simple, but if it could it would be summed up as “God so love the world” (world means “YOU” people). From Adam onward it is all about getting you to Heaven (meaning 1 Cor 15:53 For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality. (KJV)

From every quarter of Earth God has been working to prepare all things for THAT day. As it were, non-believers are as much a part of getting believers ready for Rapture as accepting Jesus is in making you a Christian. God’s “mysteries” are excellent and amazing. Sometimes we are privileged to see some of them. Christians that stay in a little box of church and Bible refusing to see God’s handiworks may not be able to standfast, holdfast or persevere till the END as events will overtake them unawares and they are not able to accept that it could be this way and so turn from Jesus. An indicator that the Mayan calendar is important is the fact that that date it gives is a proven date by today’s astronomers. What also is important is that conditions we cannot know exists by going to church (we have had 2000 years of church) had we just depended on the church we would still think the world is flat and that all the universe circles the Earth. We love truth and truth is out there for those that seek it. The truth won’t change God for God is truth. The truth has witnesses. God says Jesus will return and at that return life as we know it will change due to many changes in the environment. That as many as 6 billion will be killed. God has given us to desire to seek him and learn of him, especially as Christians we long to see him and look for his coming. The exterior effect is we love to see everything we can concerning Jesus’ return. We are commanded to WATCH:

Rev 3:3 Remember therefore how thou hast received and heard, and hold fast, and repent. If therefore thou shalt not watch, I will come on thee as a thief, and thou shalt not know what hour I will come upon thee. (KJV)

The above implies we should be keeping our eyes open for satan is sending many deceptions that could trick us is we are not alert to his wiles. We can turn our backs on Jesus by our own choice and that is the only way we could lose our salvation. Our free choice to accept or reject Jesus. The Mayan calendar points to a date, as many other prediction sources. We also know we won’t know the hour, but we will know the season. We also know the Earth cannot be utterly destroyed or even render nearly unable to support life and that no meteor or super volcano or other natural disaster will happen for at least 1000 years after Jesus returns that could possible jeopardize life on Earth. We do know about 6 billion will be killed by a combination of nature and direct mass murder of billions by orders of the Elite. The Bible tells us this. Myths are often the method to keep a story accurate for 1000s of years. The myth itself is designed to become religious like or of other gods which guarantees accurate rendering of the story over 1000s of years. The purpose of the myth is to record information for future generations of Elite that can understand the message which has nothing to do with the myth but everything to do with known coming events that may be quite disastrous. Mayans are but one source of past history to help God’s people understand his Glory. We should read past cultures like a science book or a foreign unknown language needed translated. Nothing to do with other gods in doing this for God is the designer of all things and sets his message to be read by those that seek him. Things set in stone was meant for us to ponder not for us to reject and is not “an exercise in futility”.

Is the Rapture of the Church
sound Bible doctrine?

There have been many date-setters over the years who claimed to have figured out the date of the Rapture. My old Pastor, Dr. Peter Ruckman, told me once, that there's "no way 1989 could end without the Rapture happening if our calendar is right."
Of course, 1989 ended and the Rapture didn't happen.

Gays4jesus: The importance of date setting by some is not that you really can’t really get the date except in general and as we near the real time date setting may be better informed. Good intention date setting does not render that process they used to not have significance. Science has many theorems and you have to go through them to get to an axiom. And so date setters are offering theorems, hardy a reason to say they are false prophets. “false prophets” hold a more devious motive.

Personal my prediction date is at a minimum of 6 years in the future as each day goes by, this 6 years notice does not change as the CLOCK is paused. No event on Earth or in Heaven will ever start this CLOCK. The nuclear button can be pushed but it will malfunction if it would cause a forced start of the TRIB. The revelation I have is the TWO Witnesses have to meet each in person 2.5 years before the TRIB. I have absolutely no information that they have met yet so that 2.5 years has not started that would bring the TRIB which then would bring in what I believed is required and that is a 1260 day period that all Christians will be shaken to the core of their faith in Jesus Christ. Then comes a 75 day period that could be the those days must be cut short or all would perish. This is the space of time that cannot be date set. We also have the That generation won’t pass away. Play any game concerning a generation and use the maximum you get a time period of 120 years after Israel became a nation. This can mean 2068 or there abouts. A science issue is arising that could extend life so that is a monkey wrench in 2068 AD. Each prediction and date passing just gives us opportunity to dig deeper into God not an opportunity to cry false prophet.

False Rapture Predictions

1. The Shakers predicted Jesus would return in 1792.
2. Adventists, led by William Miller, predicted Jesus would return on March 21, 1844. When Jesus failed to appear, Miller revised his prediction to October 22, 1844.
3. Jehovah's Witnesses, working from Miller's failed calculations, taught that Jesus would return in the fall of 1914. When Jesus failed to appear, they claimed He returned invisibly.
4. Jehovah's Witnesses then claimed that Abraham, Isaac and Jacob would return in 1925 but they never showed up. Judge Rutherford continued to preach that they and Jesus were coming.
Rutherford even had a mansion constructed in San Diego in 1929 so Abraham, Isaac and Jacob would have a place to stay when they arrived.
And meanwhile, Judge Rutherford lived in the mansion, waiting for the patriarchs to come but 1925 and 1929 ended and the patriarchs failed to appear.
5. Jehovah's Witnesses then proclaimed that Jesus would return in 1975 but again, Jesus failed to appear on their schedule.
6. William Branham, the charismatic false prophet, expected Jesus to return in 1977.
7. Chuck Smith, founder of the Calvary Chapel movement, taught that Jesus would return in 1981 but again, Jesus did not show up on Chuck's schedule.
Others predicted the Rapture would happen in 1989, 1991 or 1994 or 1995 - pick almost any date - and some nut somewhere thought the Rapture would happen on that date.

gays4jesus: calling a Christian a nut is like making fun of a person that is handicapped. The further from Jesus’ return you are the more handicapped you are in access to information that could change your process of calculating the end date. When you look at most predictions, though some are very much into the occult and so must be viewed with that in mind:
Isa 47:13-14 13 Thou art wearied in the multitude of thy counsels. Let now the astrologers, the stargazers, the monthly prognosticators, stand up, and save thee from these things that shall come upon thee. 14 Behold, they shall be as stubble; the fire shall burn them; they shall not deliver themselves from the power of the flame: there shall not be a coal to warm at, nor fire to sit before it. (KJV)

Devotion to “the multitude of thy counsels” is the danger. Those counsels cannot save you, but being a “WATCHER” will keep you ahead of the deceptions that surround us daily and the great deceptions that will attack all of our physical senses.

Its NOT nutty to
believe in the Rapture

The Rapture is the future event, which could happen at any moment, when Jesus returns in the clouds to catch up the dead in Christ and Christians who are alive at His coming, to take them to heaven, before the Tribulation begins.

Gays4jesus: this phase has bothered me about the most “could happen at any moment”. The Rapture can and at no past time could have happened at any moment. Enough is known to know events that have not happened yet has to happen and until they do a Rapture cannot happen. So it cannot be “at any moment” we lie to a new born using the phrase “any moment”. This becomes a scare tactic to get someone saved. Salvation needs root not false promises or hopes. Get saved based on fear of eternal death may lead to a later falling away.

Matt 13:19 When any one heareth the word of the kingdom, and understandeth it not, then cometh the wicked one, and catcheth away that which was sown in his heart. This is he which received seed by the way side. (KJV)

The Gospel is hearing why Jesus came not the Lake of fire is coming. The coming Lake of Fire is fascinating topic, but should not be why you accept Jesus.

1 Cor 15:52 In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed. (KJV)

1Thes 4:16-17 16 For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first: 17 Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord. (KJV)

These are the main verses that are the foundation of a pre-trib Rapture. The verses do not give a pre, mid, or post period.

Here are verses that give a period that Rapture happens:

Rev 20:6 Blessed and holy is he that hath part in the first resurrection: on such the second death hath no power, but they shall be priests of God and of Christ, and shall reign with him a thousand years. (KJV)

The surrounding verses go on to say things that will only happen during the 1st part of the trib. The 1st resurrection includes those that die because they did not take the mark of the beast. Tell me please where is a before the 1st resurrection?? The must be 3 resurrections of the dead to get a pre-trib Rapture.

“and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first” means Rapture is after the dead 1st rising.

Rev 11:18 And the nations were angry, and thy wrath is come, and the time of the dead, that they should be judged, and that thou shouldest give reward unto thy servants the prophets, and to the saints, and them that fear thy name, small and great; and shouldest destroy them which destroy the earth. (KJV)

Rev 11:18-19 18 And the nations were angry, and thy wrath is come, and the time of the dead, that they should be judged, and that thou shouldest give reward unto thy servants the prophets, and to the saints, and them that fear thy name, small and great; and shouldest destroy them which destroy the earth. 19 And the temple of God was opened in heaven, and there was seen in his temple the ark of his testament: and there were lightnings, and voices, and thunderings, and an earthquake, and great hail. (KJV)

Rev 10:7 But in the days of the voice of the seventh angel, when he shall begin to sound, the mystery of God should be finished, as he hath declared to his servants the prophets. (KJV)

There are many verses that DATE as it were the Rapture. The angel is beginning to blow the 7th trumpet this is: 1 Cor 15:52 In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump…. The 7th trumpet is the Last Trump.

We get our “rewards”

“thou shouldest give reward unto thy servants the prophets, and to the saints” when?? It is when the angel begins to blow the Last Trumpet.

“the mystery of God should be finished” So much happens at that 7th Trump, the dead already risen, this means 1/3 then ¼ killed adding to ½ of the world population or about 6 Billion by that day. We will have a pretty good idea thing are not hunky dory by the time the Rapture gets close so a “at any moment” phase is senseless and that is what is really nutty.

The fact that so many people made false predictions about the second coming of Christ doesn't mean its not going to happen. It just means that they made foolish mistakes in trying to date the second coming.

Gays4jesus: they did not make foolish mistakes. They did the best they knew with what was given them for their time. The whole picture is not given to everyone and very few have any large segments of the puzzle put together. We all deal with the section of the puzzle we get and so we will base doctrine on what we can see. Joining the many sections together starts to clean up the broader picture to see more clearly which we will always see through a glass darkly until we see him face to face. We do not need to sit best and judge others that if you really visited them and spent time with them you would find they spent a great deal of time trying to come u p with answers, and that very often God is working with them. God works in mysterious ways we cannot fathom. What seems often very wrong maybe exactly God’s plan to present a later revelation to those the WATCH. It is this judging others that should be as it were judged. Each of us will condemn other Christians of having false doctrines and sometime we are right and yes we need to speak out what we believe, but hopefully do not ourselves be a part of the machinery of hate. It is just this that the 1260 days are design to correct. Easy to condemn. I really love Gaychristians101, but Christians gay or str8 fall into the same issues and we all want to be right and to criticize anything almost except ourselves. Sometimes we need to listen. Maybe my words can provoke thinking, in the end you might modify some things or look differently and so step closer to the goal. My 8th grade geometry class that I got a D in gave me one thing that stuck. “Theorems and axioms” all axiom has a theorem, but not all theorem axioms. A good part of being a Christian is theorems. After all, it is by faith, we are saved. Built in us is to seek axioms. We are always trying to prove our theories about the Bible. Wrongly often we say, “It’s in the Bible” so that makes us right on a topic. 2000 years of Bible researchers that often come up with different results can’t be all wrong because you are right. Maybe you or I are wrong, but HEY, maybe we are right. Maybe a prophet was sent you so how do you hear that prophet if you reject him as wrong. Maybe a quacko was sent you to strengthen your precepts by reviewing the quacko’s errors.

Point: Rapture can’t be so easy. There is way too many Bible facts about the Church in the trib and way far too much facts that the CHURCH most of history was not all that Christian-like as we would assume Christians should be. And missing from most predictions is the TWO Witnesses who have such a tremendous roll in preparing all Christian to be ready for eternity with Christ. Pre-Last Days emphasis did not have to be on correct doctrines about the Last Days. In the past getting to the grave with your faith was your destination period. Lots of issues throughout time to block that direction with many road blocks we don’t even give a thought of today. Today, dying would be a blessing if we still kept our faith till death, but we are the Christians that can be alive when the Rapture happens. So, we need to keep our faith as we live. Deceptions can trigger your choice to turn your backs on Jesus, but you won’t have the luxury of a old age death bed to reconcile. Billions being killed does not leave a lot of time to reconcile your falling away. Paramount issues today is will tomorrow be WWIII. Will the USA loose its constitution. Our day has life changing possibilities that can revert you back to digging in the trash for food. We may soon be living in a re-education camp. It is our day for changes that has happened before but only far away effect a specific locale. Are day we face a vicious attack on our 5 senses and somehow we have to tell our eyes and ears not to believe what we see and hear. This is a “not at any moment” thing. There just is too little concern Christian have about their eternity. So many think it is a done deal.

Mayan date Dec.12, 2012 is very very different than saying 2000AD is the date or any other. Most dates are messed up with bad dating processing to know what exact start point to predict a future end date. But the Mayan calendar does not have that problem. We got confirmation that indeed at a 26,000 year interval a Dec. 12, 2012 type line up will happen. We have geological evidence showing massive geological changes. Now Dec, 12 can come and go like any eclipse of the moon and Sun and have little effect. But it is beyond conspiracy theories about possible violent nature disasters it is in the mainline science community and science fact too. We are Last Days Christians so we are going to get different opportunities that any before us. Most we can do is realize this so as to not make a choice to reject Jesus when these things change our lives.



Sunday, September 6, 2009

My Comment of Pre-Trib

Gays For Jesus comments on an article that goes over the start of the Rapture.
That article’s title:

Is the Pre-Trib Rapture of the Church sound Bible doctrine?


The Rapture, when
the dead in Christ shall rise...
1 Thessalonians 4:13-18

Rick Brentlinger Answers -

I received some questions recently, which I will answer with a brief overview of the Pre-Tribulation Rapture plus Links for additional study.

"I was wondering why some evangelical Christians propose this idea regarding the Rapture of the Christian Church (faithful believers in Christ) that supposedly will occur before, during or after Christ returns.
I don't recall reading about this idea from any of the early Church fathers in Catholic, Protestant or Orthodox Christianity before the 19th century.
Have any of the early Church fathers before the 19th century commented on this idea? When I studied about where this idea came from, I read from one scholar that the concept of the Rapture stems from John Darby around 1827. Is this true?"

I believe in the Pre-Trib Rapture

Throughout church history, beliefs about the end times have varied from (1) a-millenial (most Roman Catholics) to (2) post-millenial (many Puritans and Calvinists) to (3) pre-millenial (some Donatists and Anabaptists, some Puritans, many Baptists, Independents and Non-Conformists) to (4) pre-tribulational (many dispensational Baptists and Independents) to (5) mid-tribulational (some Charismatics including Pat Robertson) to (6) post-tribulational (some Dominionists and Christian Reconstructionists like Rousas Rushdoony), not necessarily in that order.

Gays4jesus: well I am and has been a Pentecostal since Jan. 1974 and been around the block a few times on this subject. Charismatic sort of a alternative name for Pentecostal over all believe in pre-trib Rapture. This means almost as specific as at the moment of the Rapture the Trib also begins. As for my 25 years preaching weekly on TV the barometer of Christian belief stems around Christian will not go into the TRIB.

I believe personally that at most all Christians, that stay alive and don’t turn their backs on Jesus, will for sure go through 1260 days of the TRIB and up to an additional maximum of 75 more days.
It is sometimes alleged that belief in the Pre-Trib Rapture, when Jesus comes to take Christians out of the world BEFORE the Tribulation starts, only began around 1827 with John Darby or 1830 when Margaret MacDonald, of the Catholic Apostolic Church of Edinburgh, Scotland, had a prophetic vision during the Edward Irving revival.
Contrary to that false assertion, pre-millenial and pre-tribulation beliefs are found throughout Church History, beginning in the Bible in the first century A.D.

Gays4jesus: this information would require much more effort to find, it is simply not readily available in most Christian history that pre-trib doctrines were even in any pockets of belief. The facts of Darby and Margaret are easily available and it is those two that really got this sort of document to take hold. Left out of the above both were much into the occult. 1st century Christians generally believed Jesus would come back in their day. Good information to know some belief existed in that far past, but it is not that easy to show the documentation. In Darby enhancing the pre-trib doctrine was in the 1840s Margaret’s dream (vision) was the 1830.

Important Rapture Passages

"For this we say unto you by the word of the Lord, that we which are alive and remain unto the coming of the Lord shall not prevent them which are asleep. For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first:
Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord. Wherefore comfort one another with these words."
-1 Thessalonians 4:15-17, around 51 A.D.

This is the classic passage on the Rapture. Some people say that since the word Rapture doesn't appear in our English Bibles, it couldn't possibly be true. The fact is, Rapture is an English word and English words were not used in the Hebrew and Greek manuscripts of our Bible.
Our English word Rapture comes from the Latin Version of the Bible, rapio, rapere, raptus, meaning to be caught up, snatched up, carried away. The Greek word, used in 1 Thessalonians 4:17 is, harpazo, meaning, to seize, to carry off by force, to eagerly claim for oneself, to snatch away.

Gays4jesus: in other words the Greek is saying translated to modern English “Rapture” Greek’s “Plucked off Earth” does not really show at all that “Rapture” is not in the Bible, but proves that it indeed is in the Bible.

""And when he had taken the book, the four beasts and four and twenty elders fell down before the Lamb, having every one of them harps, and golden vials full of odours, which are the prayers of saints. And they sung a new song, saying,
Thou art worthy to take the book, and to open the seals thereof: for thou wast slain, and hast redeemed US to God by thy blood out of every kindred, and tongue, and people, and nation; And hast made US unto our God kings and priests: and we shall reign on the earth."
-Revelation 5:9-10, around A.D. 95

The twenty four elders and the multitudes they represented ("prayers of the saints") were redeemed to God out of every kindred and tongue and people and nation.
If they were only Old Testament Jews, they could not have been from every kindred, tongue (language), people and nation. Because they were people from around the world, certainly these are Gentiles and not only Jews.
Therefore this verse clearly refers to a Pre-Trib Rapture which caught these Gentile people up to heaven BEFORE the start of the Tribulation.

Gays4jesus: I am confused here for sure?? In the above I really have a problem finding anything that says anything other than we will get zapped and end up in Heaven. Missing is the “dead shall rise 1st” check out the Bible there are only two major risings of the dead. They are talked about only in Rev. 20. One is the dead in Christ the other is the non-believing dead. It is a no brainer about the non-believing dead they do not rise until 1000 years of Jesus’ reign as literal king in person on Earth in the New Jerusalem (this city is about the size of Pluto). There would have to be a 3rd major rising of the dead to get a pre-trib. Rev. 11:18 is the exact date of the Rapture. Though you cannot name that date as a day on a calendar to set a date, it is stating the Rapture takes place right at the sixth trumpet. About 3.5 billion people would have been killed by that date so it would be somewhat reasonable to assume that we would know the season of the Rapture because so many would be being killed all around us adding up to 3.5 billion dead. There is no magic sudden Rapture. It will be possible to calculate to within 75 days because the Bible tells us 1260 days are to spank the CHURCH (sort of a Passover time for Christians) a Washing in the Literal Blood of Christ for false doctrines, cultural issues, conditionings, and more. Chrisstians do not get a free ride to the pearly gates with all the baggage of hate doctrines. We love out hate so it will take 1260 days to clean us of this before we go to eternity with Christ Jesus.
Most folks who believe in the Pre-Trib Rapture teach that believers from the Church Age are caught up to meet the Lord in the air in Revelation 4:1, "Come up hither", prior to the beginning of the Tribulation.

Ancient Rapture References

"All the saints and elect of God are gathered together before the tribulation, which is to come, and are taken to the Lord, in order that they may not see at any time the confusion which over-whelms the world because of our sins." –Attributed to Ephraem the Syrian, A.D. 306-373

This comes from passages the Christians won’t have to endure God’s great wrath.

Saints Havested:

Rev 14:12-16 12 Here is the patience of the saints: here are they that keep the commandments of God, and the faith of Jesus. 13 And I heard a voice from heaven saying unto me, Write, Blessed are the dead which die in the Lord from henceforth: Yea, saith the Spirit, that they may rest from their labours; and their works do follow them. 14 And I looked, and behold a white cloud, and upon the cloud one sat like unto the Son of man, having on his head a golden crown, and in his hand a sharp sickle. 15 And another angel came out of the temple, crying with a loud voice to him that sat on the cloud, Thrust in thy sickle, and reap: for the time is come for thee to reap; for the harvest of the earth is ripe. 16 And he that sat on the cloud thrust in his sickle on the earth; and the earth was reaped. (KJV)

7 bowls:

Rev 14:17-15:1

17 And another angel came out of the temple, which is in heaven, he also having a sharp sickle. 18 And another angel came out from the altar, which had power over fire; and cried with a loud cry to him that had the sharp sickle, saying, Thrust in thy sharp sickle, and gather the clusters of the vine of the earth; for her grapes are fully ripe. 19 And the angel thrust in his sickle into the earth, and gathered the vine of the earth, and cast it into the great winepress of the wrath of God. 20 And the winepress was trodden without the city, and blood came out of the winepress, even unto the horse bridles, by the space of a thousand and six hundred furlongs. CHAPTER 15 1 And I saw another sign in heaven, great and marvellous, seven angels having the seven last plagues; for in them is filled up the wrath of God. (KJV)

Christians are removed before the GREAT WRATH (7 last bowls) where an additional 3.5 billion will be killed leaving the Earth with around 1 billion left alive for the 1000 year reign of Jesus on Earth.

Please note: It is not my intention to do anything other than to help you think beyond our conditionings. Like science often has to revise their theories as often their formulas create more unanswered questions than they answered. As time goes on and we get closer to Jesus’ return knowledge shall increase (not all bad) just a fact. We as it were nobodies have now access to all knowledge man knows via the internet and is just a key word or two away. Keywords are tricky, deception is in abundance, but so is truth. Don’t hold on to past belief when you are given fact. Truth does not deter you from God, but gets you closer to him and prepares you to standfast, holdfast, and persevere to the end. What will you do if the TRIB comes and you are still here? Were you left behind like the false teachers of the Left Behind series? Or is God’s plan more detailed and perfect than you previously thought?