Posted in discernment, theology

Being led by the Spirit: What does it mean exactly? Should I expect to hear directly from Him? part 2

By Elizabeth Prata

Yesterday in part 1 I’d examined the fact that women for generations now have been taught from so-called Bible teachers and book & devotional authors that we hear directly from God. Whether these revelations or direct contacts are in the form of whispers, prompts, visions, impressions on our heart, ‘told me,’ or audibly, we’ve been taught that it’s supposed to be normal to have a relationship full of lively, direct communication.

I’d said no, that is not the normal method of communication from God, He speaks from the Bible and the Bible alone. Continue reading “Being led by the Spirit: What does it mean exactly? Should I expect to hear directly from Him? part 2”

Posted in discernment, theology

Being led by the Spirit: What does it mean exactly? Should I expect to hear directly from Him? part 1

By Elizabeth Prata

On Facebook recently I’d posted a mini-discernment lesson regarding a tweet a well-known self-described Bible teacher had written advocating a process for distilling whether a prompt from the Holy Spirit is legitimate or if it’s your own imagination. Continue reading “Being led by the Spirit: What does it mean exactly? Should I expect to hear directly from Him? part 1”

Posted in discernment, theology

My friend listens to false teachers and goes to events where there are false teachers

By Elizabeth Prata

The false teachers and events draw many thousands of people. I was astounded in 2011, when attending a Beth Moore Living Proof Weekend event, 20,000 women filled the stadium. The pillars shook with thunderous applause when she walked out on stage. Yet the teaching was completely ‘Me-centered’. We didn’t learn about God when Moore ‘taught’ from Deuteronomy, we learned about Beth Moore.

Charismatic healing or prosperity events often fill huge amphitheaters, for example, the South Africa Mighty Men events Angus Buchan hosts or the Benny Hinn ‘healing’ events seen around the world Continue reading “My friend listens to false teachers and goes to events where there are false teachers”

Posted in theology

When we’re ‘up there’, will we know/see what is happening down below?

By Elizabeth Prata

Some believe that the souls in heaven have absolutely, not one iota of a visual of what is happening down below (John MacArthur). Others, for example, Catholics, (a false religion) think that the souls in heaven hear our prayers and intercede and even visit down below. The Catholic stance, I believe, has led to the popular culture’s opinion that the souls in the heavenlies are “looking down on us”. Certainly their false notion that we can pray to the dead saints and they will intercede for us adds to the misperception. Let’s explore this a bit more. Do dead saints know or see what is happening on earth? Continue reading “When we’re ‘up there’, will we know/see what is happening down below?”

Posted in theology, word of the week

Sunday Word of the Week: Fruit of the Spirit, Kindness

By Elizabeth Prata

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law. Galatians 5:22-23

kindness here in Greek (xrēstótēs) means a useful kindness, referring to meeting real needs, in God’s way, in His timing (fashion). Hence 5544 (xrēstótēs) is listed as a fruit of the Holy Spirit (Gal 5:22). With the believer, 5544 /xrēstótēs (“divine kindness”) is the Spirit-produced goodness which meets the need and avoids human harshness (cruelty). Strong’s.

Continue reading “Sunday Word of the Week: Fruit of the Spirit, Kindness”

Posted in G3, theology

Last impressions of G3: Conclusion

By Elizabeth Prata

Sitting here in the rainy dark, I have unpacked from my three days away at the 2020 G3 Conference in Atlanta. G3’s tagline is Gospel-Grace-Glory. It is a heavily Christian conference, focusing on preaching, doctrine, and more preaching. The theme this year was “Worship.”

I attended with two younger ladies from our church, and also attending from our church was our teaching pastor and his wife, and one of our teachers in the church. Also a friend who I haven’t seen in a long while who I used to go to church with but is now a pastor somewhere else. He brought his son to the conference on the last day. The young boy wore his best suit coat, held his Bible tightly, and asked “Can we meet John MacArthur?” Continue reading “Last impressions of G3: Conclusion”

Posted in encouragement, theology

Why didn’t God stop Eve from eating the fruit?

By Elizabeth Prata

I was listening to a Grace Community Church Question and Answer session. I always appreciate how John MacArthur can sum up complex theological thoughts and issues so succinctly. I also enjoy the variety of questions. There came a question from what sounded like a very young boy.

Q. [W]why didn’t Jesus stop Eve at the garden of Eden when she ate the fruit? Like, I mean, pow, He can just stop it like that. Why didn’t He?

The audience laughed in delight at the boy’s voice, obviously filled with pique and awe, and the profundity of his query. The answer was equally profound. Follow the link above to listen or read.

I got to thinking more about that moment. We often field a question such as that one. We also tend to ask why didn’t God erase Adam and Eve and start humankind over again? But it occurred to me that this next question isn’t always asked, ‘After the Fall, why did God continue to reveal Himself?’

After the Fall He could have turned His back on humans, and returned to His perfect communion within the Trinity. He could have shrugged, left us to our own devices on earth all our lives and then pow, when we die we wake up in hell, not knowing it even existed.

God didn’t do that.

We often field the question, ‘If God is so loving why does he send people to hell?’ He does that so that His power and holiness and justice and righteousness can be magnified. But He doesn’t do so as a bait and switch or a trick. He has revealed Himself to us in His word, in His creation, in His Son, and in His elect through the Spirit. They know hell exists. They know they deserve to go there. (Romans 1:21-23).

Our God, your God whether you believe He exists or not, loves His world and continues to work His sovereign plan of salvation in it upon those whom He has foreknown. He will be glorified. (Isaiah 49:3, Ezekiel 28:22, Haggai 1:8, John 12:28).

He will be glorified. And He chose to do it starting with a snake, a piece of fruit, and a woman.

Therefore glorify the LORD in the east. Extol the name of the LORD, the God of Israel in the islands of the sea. (Isaiah 24:15).

Further Reading:

Sermon related to this issue: From Dust to Glory

 

Posted in theology

First Impressions of G3 Conference

By Elizabeth Prata

My church generously paid for my admission and the hotel for two nights. We are blessed to have elders who are so approachable and willing to subsidize further learning for their members. They buy boxes of books for the church members to take for free, they pay for scholarships to men’s conferences and other learning opportunities like us 3 ladies going tot he G3. They themselves are great examples of generosity in their sanctifying walk. They trust us, knowing we will not squander this opportunity to learn and grow and will come back refreshed to the edification of ourselves and hopefully the Body. None of this would be possible without their generosity.

When the schedule came out I saw how aggressive it was. You go bang-bang-bang from one session to another all day. I awoke yesterday at 4:30am, arrived at the venue at 7:30, stood in line to get in to the main session for almost an hour, and didn’t return back to the hotel until 9:30 that evening. It was a long day, a day of hard listening and pitched spiritual emotions, and a day of strong sensory input. I had prayed before and during the day for help in the Spirit to last until the end. He helped me 🙂 and I was still vertical at 10pm when I tweeted my thanks to the brethren I’d met that day.

As for the conference itself, it is well planned. Everything went according to schedule with no overruns. People said they would be where they said they’d be and spoke for as long and no more as the schedule indicated. There was a variety of speakers from different denominations and paths, but the joy amongst each other was evident, as was the joy and unity among the people who attended.

I was especially pleased to be with two younger ladies from our church, whose excitement and humility was plain to see, and whose joy in learning strong doctrinal truths was refreshing. I was a proud spiritual mama. At one of the sessions there was a group of about half a dozen young men, from late teens to early 20s, from Grace Community Church, Their joy in the word was so adorable, they sang, laughed, prayed in tears, jostled each other over truths they were delighted to confirm. Folks, the global church might be polluted with cultural garbage and professing people might be falling away at an alarming rate, but the pure ones the Lord has in His hand are beautiful and many.

And the sermons! I love my teaching elders to pieces and they preach at a high level, but these men at G3 have been preaching for decades and their wisdom and depth of knowledge was truly encouraging to see what the Spirit has done in the lives over the long term for the gory of Christ and His Body. About 5500 people were in attendance from all 50 states and 12 other nations. What a JOY!! The global church, I say it again, is alive and well.

The men who preached of course trod on familiar ground in some spots, The Woman at the Well, Psalm 24, Genesis 3, but each one brought out a new and timeless truth that my mind was unknowing of and ready to receive, confirming over and again that the word is truly eternal, living, and timeless. What a tremendous gift the Lord has given us to be able to plumb its depths and yet remain in the shallow end, never coming to a finite end to what we can learn.

I attended a Q&A hosted by Allie Beth Stuckey, Rachel Jankovic, and Martha Peace. These ladies answered 12 questions (maybe more, we left because our driver was getting positively bleary…) I thank them for their concise and articulate contributions to the Q&A at the conference last night. I enjoyed their responses and I’m grateful for them as sisters in the faith speaking truth against culture.

It’s all about

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