Posted in theology

Attributes of God: LOVE

By Elizabeth Prata

Sundays are a good time to ponder who God is. He is worthy of service and worship. We have been taking a look at God’s attributes each Sunday.

Remember, God’s attributes are not parts that make up a whole. Everything good that there is, is 100% contained in God. He is 100% beauty, 100% aseity, 100% omniscient, etc. He is complete in Himself.

LOVE

I usually publish three short definitions of God’s attributes. But the love of God is an important one to ponder all by itself. We must understand the attribute of Love of God, because it has become misunderstood and abused in these past decades. As RC Sproul said,

Regrettably for us today, however, I don’t think there’s any word in the English language that’s been more stripped of the depth of its meaning than the word love. Due to the shallow romanticism of secular culture, we tend to view the love of God in the same way popular music, art, and literature view love. Yet the Bible says God’s love is far different—and greater.”

Whatever else God’s love is, it is holy. His love is therefore characterized by the qualities that define holiness—transcendence and purity.” RC Sproul.

With that in mind, let us take a close look at the love of God from a piece published by Don Fortner I found at GraceGems. There is a lot to say about the attribute of God’s love, so please bear with me as this is a longer podcast, since I will read Pastor Fortner’s piece on God’s love.

Don Fortner (1950-2020) pastored and faithfully declared the gospel of God’s free grace in Christ at Grace Baptist Church of Danville Kentucky for over thirty years and was a widely published author, and conference speaker.

THE LOVE OF GOD, By Don Fortner

God’s redeeming love is Particular and Distinguishing. Those who declare that God loves all people alike, the saved as well as the damned, greatly tarnish the love of God, reducing it to a fickle, helpless, frustrated passion. But that cannot be. The love of God is like himself, from everlasting to everlasting, immutable and sure.

“Nothing is more absurd than to imagine that anyone beloved of God can eternally perish (A. W. Pink).

God’s love is Effectual and Saving. When Paul says, nothing “shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord” the word “us” refers to God’s elect, those sinners who are actually saved by his grace. There are some people in this world whom God does not love. The Scriptures state that fact in clear and unmistakable terms (Ps. 5:5; 11:5-7; Jn. 3:36; Ro. 9:13).

And there are some whom he does love. They are his elect, those who are chosen of God, redeemed by Christ, and called to life and faith in him by the Holy Spirit. To tell sinners that God loves them regardless of their relationship to Christ is either to assure them that God will save them without Christ, or to imply that God is weak, mutable, helpless and frustrated. Surely, God will save those whom he loves if he is able to do so. And he is able to do so!

God’s love is more than a sympathetic passion. It is his determination to save. Because the love of God is in Christ, nothing can separate us from his love, for nothing can separate us from Christ! “In this was manifested the love of God toward us, because God sent his only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through him. Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that he loved us, and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins.” — 1 John 4:9-10

The love of God has been, and forever is, manifested and revealed to sinners in the sacrifice of the Lord Jesus Christ as the sinners’ Substitute. Here are three characteristics of God’s love, which set it apart from any other thing that is called “love”.

1. THE LOVE OF GOD IS FREE AND UNCONDITIONAL. God’s declaration concerning the manifestation of his love to his elect is this — “I will love them freely” (Hos. 14:4). That simply means that God’s love toward us is an unconditional, unqualified, unmerited, and uncaused love. God does not love his elect because of anything amiable and attractive in us. He says, “Jacob have I loved and Esau have I hated,” and that before either had done anything good or bad, “that the purpose of God according to election might stand, not of works, but of him that calls” (Rom. 9:13, 11). Not even the death of Christ caused God to love us. Christ’s death as our sin-atoning Substitute is the result of God’s love for his people (John 3:16; 1 John 4:10).

2. THE LOVE OF GOD IS ETERNAL. He says, “I have loved you with an everlasting love” (Jer. 31:3). Try to get hold of this. As God the Father loved his Son from eternity, so he loved his elect from eternity. And as the love of God is in Christ, God’s love for Christ and his love for us is the same! Only faith can grasp this blessed truth. It is higher than reason and emotion. God loves his elect in Christ. As he beholds his people in his dear Son, he loves us as he loves his Son, delights in us as he delights in his Son, and is pleased with us as he is pleased with his Son. This is exactly what our Savior declares in his great, high priestly prayer in John 17:23.

3. THE LOVE OF GOD IS IMMUTABLE, IRREVOCABLE, AND INDESTRUCTIBLE. God’s love is not like man’s love. God’s love does not change, ever, under any circumstances or conditions. Having loved us from eternity, he will never call back his love in time. There is nothing we can do to destroy, or even lessen, the love of God for us (John 13:1). We did nothing compel God to love us; and we can do nothing to repel God’s love. The love of God is not dependent upon, or regulated by our faithfulness to him (Mal. 3:6). The freeness, eternality and immutability of God’s love to us in Christ means that our everlasting salvation is a matter of absolute certainty.

Nothing “shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus.” “Because the Lord loved you, and because he would keep the oath which he had sworn unto your fathers, has the Lord brought you out with a mighty hand, and redeemed you out of the house of bondmen, from the hand of Pharaoh king of Egypt.” – Deut. 7:8 Love is seen in its deeds. And we know the love of God by the gracious operations of his love which he has performed on our behalf. All the acts of God’s grace performed for his people in time are expressions of his love for us from everlasting.

THE VERY FIRST ACT OF GOD’S LOVE, AS IT IS REVEALED IN THE BIBLE, IS ELECTION AND PREDESTINATION (Eph. 1:3-6; 2 Thess. 2:13). No one believes in the love of God who does not believe in election. And no one can talk about the love of God in Bible terms who does not talk about predestination. Election and predestination are eternal acts of God’s amazing love toward hell deserving sinners such as we are.

Secondly, THE LOVE OF GOD IS REVEALED IN THE REDEMPTION OF OUR SOULS BY THE DEATH OF OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST (Rom. 5:8; 1 John 4:10; 3:16). We read the love of God clearly spelled out in the precious blood of Christ. The love of God is not fully revealed and made manifest in Christ’s incarnation, nor his example, nor his doctrine, nor his prayers, nor even his life of righteousness, but only in his blood. Had Christ done everything else and left this undone, had he not poured out his life’s blood unto death for the atonement of our sins and the redemption of our souls, we could never have known the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord. But because he died for us, his love is made manifest. “Amazing love! How can it be, That You my God should die for me!”

Thirdly, THE NEW BIRTH, BY WHICH WE HAVE BEEN BORN INTO THE FAMILY AND KINGDOM OF GOD, IS THE RESULT OF GOD’S LOVE TOWARD US FROM ETERNITY. Our regeneration came in “the time of love” (Ezek. 16:6-8). The effectual call, by which we were given faith, was the fruit of God’s love (Jer. 31:3). And our adoption into the family of God was the work of our heavenly Father’s eternal love (1 John 3:1).

Fourthly, OUR PRESERVATION IN GRACE IS THE WORK OF GOD’S LOVE (John 13:1; Isa. 43:1-4; Jer. 32:38-40). “Many waters cannot quench love, neither can the floods drown it” (Song of Sol. 8:7). God’s love toward his elect is invincible and unquenchable. There is no possibility that it will expire. The black waters of our sin cannot extinguish it. And the floods of our unbelief cannot drown it. With men, nothing is stronger than love. His love for us overcomes every obstacle that might stand in the way of our everlasting glory. Every sinner loved of God from eternity was redeemed by Christ at Calvary, shall be called by the Spirit in time, and shall be saved forever.

Previous weeks:

1. Attributes of God: Aseity, Beauty, Blessedness
2. Eternity, Freedom, Glory
3. Goodness, Holiness, Immutability
4. Invisibility, Jealousy, Knowledge

Posted in theology

Yes. They hate you. Just look at how it all ends

By Elizabeth Prata

Yes the government hates you. Yes they intend to harm you.

I had never heard of Neil Oliver before recently, when I came across this clip below that someone had retweeted. He spoke some eloquent words, and truthful, too. He talked about thinking the unthinkable. He explained that he and others are changing from thinking the government and its associated entities are benevolent and wanting to make a positive difference for their people, to believing that government actually wants harm for their people. From believing at best that government is misguided or apathetic in implementing policies that bring stress on the populace, to understanding that these entities are purposeful in their evil against the people.

Continue reading “Yes. They hate you. Just look at how it all ends”
Posted in theology

Fearing God

By Elizabeth Prata

A few years ago I read a book by Jerry Bridges called “The Joy of Fearing the Lord”. It was a book my elder had recommended because he knows how much I enjoy fearing the Lord!

Fearing God is little spoken of these days. The current push in Christian circles is to focus on God’s love, which is magnificent. But not to the exclusion of all His other attributes such as holiness, wrath, and fearing Him. Over-emphasizing one attribute over another is not good. We should have a balanced view of Who God is, as He has revealed Himself to us throughout the Bible.

We fear Him because we love Him for who He IS. Not the lovey-dovey boyfriend God so many women make Him out to be.

On one of the pages author Bridges is talking about Psalm 31:19,

“Oh, how abundant is your goodness, which you have stored up for those who fear you and worked for those who take refuge in you, in the sight of the children of mankind!”

It’s obvious from this one verse alone that fearing God is approved by God. What does it mean to “fear God”? Gill’s exposition says of the Psalm 31:19 verse,

and this is said to be “for them that fear him”; not naturally, but by his grace; for the fear of God is not in man naturally, but is put there by the grace of God; and such who have it are those who are brought to a true sight and sense of sin, so as to loathe it and forsake it. For the fear of the Lord is to hate evil, and by it men depart from it. Because of it they cannot sin as others do; such have an humble sense of themselves, their own insufficiency and weakness, and trust in the grace of God and righteousness of Christ. They have a filial reverence of God, and worship him in spirit and in truth.

God gives us grace to fear Him! Another grace! What manifold gifts He gives us!

Jerry Bridges says, “God is pictured here like a wealthy person who establishes trust funds for his children to be used after they reach maturity. The money is on hand, but it has been set aside. It isn’t available to the children until they reach the age of maturity. This is what God does for those who fear Him. He sets aside, or stores up goodness for His children, and gives it at appropriate times in the future. What this goodness is, and when it will be bestowed, is unique to each individual according to God’s plan for that person.

Bridges says, “I came across Psalm 31:19 during my discouraging days. [He had said on the page before that his wife suffered from cancer and had died and agonizing death, during that time he was depressed and discouraged]. “God gave hope that at some point in the future he would once again bestow His goodness, the goodness that He was storing up for me. That’s exactly what happened. In due time God opened up ministry opportunities far beyond anything I had imagined. Ironically, the very circumstances that brought me to those discouraging days were used by God to both equip me and set me free or re ministry He had stored up to bestow in His good time.

Pretty neat. He goes on to explain that God doesn’t store up for everyone, only those who fear Him, and he went on to explain about fearing God. The book is really good, I’m glad my elder recommended it to me.

Here are some other books and sermons, and essays that discuss fearing God- the right way.

GotQuestions: What does it mean to have the fear of God?

The Forgotten Fear: Where Have All the God-Fearers Gone? by Albert N. Martin
John Bunyan and the Grace of Fearing God
by Joel R. Beeke
https://www.spurgeon.org/resource-library/sermons/a-fear-to-be-desired/#flipbook/
Posted in theology

Queen Elizabeth has died

By Elizabeth Prata

source BBC

Today, Thursday, September 8, 2022, the Queen of England’s medical team had put out a bulletin that they “are very concerned for the Queen’s health.” They said she must be under medical supervision, she must rest, and stay at Balmoral. Her entire family is flying in as I write this.

It is sobering news for the 96-year-old monarch, and for her subjects, world leaders, and fans (like me).

Only Louis XIV of France has been verified by exact date to have ruled longer than Queen Elizabeth, at 72 years, 110 days. Elizabeth has ruled so far 70 years, 214 days. Will she surpass Louis as longest ruling monarch? Only God knows.

No, sadly we receive the news just now from Buckingham Palace that Queen Elizabeth has died.

But being second-longest verifiable reigning sovereign monarch in world history is something, no matter what one’s personal views on her are. I believe she handled herself well overall.

I have a connection to Queen Elizabeth in my heart and memories. My grandmother was British. She was from Bolton in England, which is near Manchester in NW Britain. She was English through and through. Genteel, with a wonderful accent, she loved tea and the Queen. An early memory I have is seeing a plate displayed on her wall of the Queen. It was likely some kind of memorabilia or a commemorative plate for her 25th jubilee.

I’m named after the Queen. Or after my great-aunt Sissy (Elizabeth). Stories varied.

I have read the Queen’s Christmas messages and watched her all my life, because I’m fascinated. Of course the Charles-Diana story occurred when I was in my thirties and the Annus Horribilis, where the Queen said,

1992 is not a year on which I shall look back with undiluted pleasure. In the words of one of my more sympathetic correspondents, it has turned out to be an annus horribilis.

I believe she bears the fruit of salvation. She references Christ in them, saying for example,

To many of us, our beliefs are of fundamental importance. For me the teachings of Christ and my own personal accountability before God provide a framework in which I try to lead my life. I, like so many of you, have drawn great comfort in difficult times from Christ’s words and example.

I hope she is saved. I hope at this time as the Lord takes her from this life that I will meet her in heaven. I know the British people will grieve as she passes, and I am sad myself. I often think along these lines when a famous person or a known-only-to-me person passes from this life, whether they were saved. Our souls are eternal, with the sovereign above all sovereigns, God, deciding where that soul will reside forever. As with Queen Elizabeth, it all depends on whether a person repented of their sin and believed on Jesus Christ, who died for sin, was buried, and rose again, to ascend to the Father and put all enemies under his feet and all believers close to His bosom.

In the day of tribulation, everyone, no matter their station in life, will fear the Kings of Kings and Lord of Lords, so says Revelation 6:15.

Then the kings of the earth and the eminent people, and the commanders and the wealthy and the strong, and every slave and free person hid themselves in the caves and among the rocks of the mountains;

Alternately, believers will dwell in New Jerusalem, and I hope Elizabeth will be there. .

I saw no temple in it, for the Lord God the Almighty and the Lamb are its temple. And the city has no need of the sun or of the moon to shine on it, for the glory of God has illuminated it, and its lamp is the Lamb. The nations will walk by its light, and the kings of the earth will bring their glory into it. In the daytime (for there will be no night there) its gates will never be closed; and they will bring the glory and the honor of the nations into it; and nothing unclean, and no one who practices abomination and lying, shall ever come into it, but only those whose names are written in the Lamb’s book of life. (Revelation 21:22-27).

Is your name written in the Lamb’s book of Life? If you are not sure, read this page about The Gospel.

Posted in theology

God’s love is…

By Elizabeth Prata

“When Moses came down from Mount Sinai, with the two tablets of the testimony in his hand as he came down from the mountain, Moses did not know that the skin of his face shone because he had been talking with God. Aaron and all the people of Israel saw Moses, and behold, the skin of his face shone, and they were afraid to come near him.” (Exodus 34:29-30).

His perfection and holiness puts fear into us. That is because we recognize how depraved and evil we are.

Isaiah saw immediately how depraved he was, when confronted by the holiness of God. “And I said: “Woe is me! For I am lost; for I am a man of unclean lips, and I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips; for my eyes have seen the King, the LORD of hosts!” (Isaiah 6:5).

The delusion satan brings is that we are good, we are innocent, we are pure. Or, at least to the slightly more honest among us, we’re not so bad.  “We’re not like HIM” our minds cry out when we discover that our neighbor was an embezzler. We use each other as a benchmark of progress in the goodness department, when the true standard is God. Our minds want to shrink from using Him as a benchmark because deep down we know what we are:

“The Lord saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every intention of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually.” (Genesis 6:5).

Do you see how complete that statement is, “so great”, “every intention”, “continually”? We are saturated with sin, permeated down to the last molecule. Paul Washer is right when he preaches on the depravity of man, “All men are born evil.”

Paul Washer is right to say that God’s restraining power upon Hitler was restrained from worse. The restrainer is holding back the full potential of sin in the human heart, and so we enjoy His common grace. But once the restrainer is out of the way,

“Only he who now restrains it will do so until he is out of the way. And then the lawless one will be revealed, … The coming of the lawless one is by the activity of Satan with all power and false signs and wonders…” (2 Thessalonians 2:7b, 8a, 9).

In other words, watch out! ‘Satan with all power’. Everyone on earth except those who believe in Jesus after the rapture will make Hitler look like a choirboy. God’s common grace will have been removed- which will reveal the undeniable fact that everyone is not just a Hitler, but is an antichrist.

Once we understand this, the shock shifts. We are no longer shocked by the Nazi man puttering in his garden, because we see ourselves as having the same potential. The shock is, GOD LOVES US ANYWAY.

We can have a higher and deeper awe and love for Holy God because he loved each and every little Hitler on earth who was to be saved. Our precious Jesus died and shed His blood to save us who would believe!

but God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” (Romans 5:8).

Posted in theology

The Love of Jesus is…

By Elizabeth Prata

The love of Jesus for His children is

–particular to each of us
–unconditional
–sacrificial.

I looked over my notes from a sermon one my elders gave in 2013. He’d preached from the main text of 1 John 3:1 as the overall opening, then made the three points above.

See how great a love the Father has given us, that we would be called children of God; and in fact we are. For this reason the world does not know us: because it did not know Him.

He used the verse as the example of the perfect Father-child relationship. Then he went on to some verses to show He loves each of us particularly for adoption as His children-

Ephesians 3:18-19, particular love (white-hot)

may be able to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth, and to know the love of Christ which surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled up to all the fullness of God.

He began with an anecdote; which I’ll paraphrase-

‘If my wife and I had the opportunity to go to an orphanage and choose a child to adopt, I think that would be pretty cool. If you’re looking over the kids, you’d have to be honest and say that you’d kind of want a likeable one. I mean, you’d look for one that was kind of nice or kind of cute or sort of smart, in other words, had something going for him.’

‘But if you think of looking at the “orphanage of humanity” in truth we are all oozing with hostility toward our potential Father. We are dirty and unintelligent and mean and hostile. We’d all be the smart alecks, and we’d have nothing going for us. Yet God chose us anyway.’

He went on to point two, unconditional love

Romans 8:21-25

that the creation itself will be set free from its bondage to corruption and obtain the freedom of the glory of the children of God. 22For we know that the whole creation has been groaning together in the pains of childbirth until now. 23And not only the creation, but we ourselves, who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly as we wait eagerly for adoption as sons, the redemption of our bodies. 24For in this hope we were saved. Now hope that is seen is not hope. For who hopes for what he sees? 25But if we hope for what we do not see, we wait for it with patience.

He said that there are no conditions on Jesus’s love for us. It’s not like if we have a lengthier quiet time, that He loves us more, of if we forgot to pray, He loves us less. It’s about what we believe, not what we do. He simply loves us. He loves us perfectly, too.

Point three, sacrificial love:

John 13:1

Now before the Feast of the Passover, Jesus, knowing that His hour had come that He would depart from this world to the Father, having loved His own who were in the world, He loved them to the end.

He reminded us of the foot washing and the humble service Jesus gave to His disciples and the people. Jesus loved His children to the very end- through torture and through death and through the resurrection and will love us to the end of time when time will never end.

I’d posted about fearing God the other day, now today we looked at the love of God. He has many attributes we can ponder. His love for us is permanent to those who confess and believe unto His Son, and it will never end. No matter what is going on in your life, bask in that truth. May it sustain you through good days and hard days.

Posted in theology

They make such excuses: Exhibit B, Aimee Byrd

By Elizabeth Prata

Byrd’s Twitter profile picture

AIMEE BYRD is a woman that has been in spiritual decline for a few years. At least, public evidence of a decline has been observed for a few years, the inward decline was probably a lot longer. Her 2020 book, Recovering from Biblical Manhood and Womanhood: How the Church Needs to Rediscover Her Purpose was a huge red flag.

‘There are significant problems with Byrd’s interpretation of the important passages about biblical manhood and womanhood, passages she does not even address in the book. Worse, the entire thrust of Byrd’s book is in the direction of feminism”, as this reviewer (and many others!) noted.

A month after her book was published, her long-time broadcast/podcast partner, Reformation 21, announced they had dropped her from the podcast.

Continue reading “They make such excuses: Exhibit B, Aimee Byrd”
Posted in theology

Angels! Part 2 of two parts

By Elizabeth Prata

Part 1 here

I first looked at angels the other day with scriptures, gave some links to credible essays and links to proper discussions of angels (there is so much bad out there regarding these creatures) and spent a short amount of time discussing the unholy angels.

There is so much more that could be said about angels both holy and unholy. Certainly my two short blogs are not a comprehensive look at these amazing creatures. In fact, there is an entire section of theology called Angelology that focuses on studying them.

Angels appear throughout the Bible. They first appear in the Bible chronologically in Genesis 3:24, where God sent a Cherubim with flaming sword to guard the way back in to the Garden of Eden.

The word ‘angels’ comes from a word meaning messenger, and could be applied to any messenger such as human pastors or even events such as pestilences, says the Easton Bible Dictionary.

But its distinctive application is to certain heavenly intelligences whom God employs in carrying on his government of the world. The name does not denote their nature but their office as messengers.” Source Easton, M. G. (1893). In Illustrated Bible Dictionary and Treasury of Biblical History, Biography, Geography, Doctrine, and Literature.”

‘Heavenly intelligences’ is a good way to describe them. They are not human, but they are living, God-created creatures with intelligence, personal will, and power. Angels are a class of beings that are not human and not part of the Trinity. They have superior power and abilities than humans, but are not human. When humans die, they do not turn into angels. We should stop saying things like “Heaven gained another angel with the death of…”

Angels are spirit beings (Hebrews 1:14) but sometimes when they appear to humans they appear as flesh and blood men (the Bible always refers to angels as men, it never describes a female angel). We don’t know how they change to flesh-and-blood looking men when they appear on earth but suffice it to say that part of it is a mystery. Angels have personal will (otherwise Lucifer & Co. would not have fallen). They also have emotions.

But Michael the archangel, when he disputed with the devil and argued about the body of Moses, did not dare pronounce against him an abusive judgment, but said, “The Lord rebuke you!” (Jude 1:9).

There seem to be hierarchies of angels, or, at least, different classes. They are referred to as “hosts” which is a way of organizing them militarily. Ephesians 6:12 says,

For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places.

If you notice in Revelation, it is the angels who perform the judgments at God’s command. They carry it out. All through the Bible you begin to notice angels performing the commands of judgment God wants: slaying Israel in a plague and about to render wrath on Jerusalem (2 Samuel 24:16), and the Passover angel, destroying Sodom, Gomorrah, Admah, and Zeboiim and so on. They were also present at the creation, (Job 38:7), at the giving of the Law (Deuteronomy 33:2Galatians 3:19).

Angels are spirit beings (Hebrews 1:14) but sometimes when they appear to humans they appear as flesh and blood men (the Bible always refers to angels as men, there are no female angels). We don’t know how they change to flesh and blood looking men when they appear on earth but suffice it to say that part of it is a mystery. Angels have personal will (otherwise Lucifer & Co. would not have fallen). They also have intelligence and emotions.

There are so many of them!

These superior beings are very numerous. “Thousand thousands,” etc. (Dan. 7:10; Matt. 26:53; Luke 2:13; Heb. 12:22, 23). They are also spoken of as of different ranks in dignity and power (Zech. 1:9, 11; Dan. 10:13; 12:1; 1 Thess. 4:16; Jude 1:9; Eph. 1:21; Col. 1:16).
(2.) As to their nature, they are spirits (Heb. 1:14), like the soul of man, but not incorporeal. Such expressions as “like the angels” (Luke 20:36), and the fact that whenever angels appeared to man it was always in a human form (Gen. 18:2; 19:1, 10; Luke 24:4; Acts 1:10)
. Source: Easton, M. G. (1893). In Illustrated Bible Dictionary and Treasury of Biblical History, Biography, Geography, Doctrine, and Literature.

The holy angels praise God, perform His will, minister to humans (remember the angel helping Elijah in 1 Kings 19:5-7), render His judgments, learn (“angels long to look into these things” 1 Peter 1:12), and so much more!

When you read your Bible, pay close attention to the activities of Angels. What’s incredible to me is that even though they are powerful enough to hold back the wind (Revelation 7:1), stand on the sun, (Revelation 19:17), and reap the entire earth in but a moment, (Revelation 14:16), we believers will judge them! (1 Corinthians 6:3 says, but probably only the unholy angels, and probably only to the extent we align with God on HIS pronouncement upon them).

A word of caution: Hebrews 13:2 says we entertain angels unaware. If as Revelation 12:3–4 seems to suggest that a third of the angels fell, and are now demons, isn’t there a 1 in 3 chance that when we entertain an angel it might be an unholy one, masquerading as righteous? (2 Corinthians 11:15). Maybe so.

Angels are powerful and majestic. Far from being little flying babies, remember that the first words of an angel appearance to a human is usually, ‘Fear not!’ Angels are terrifying. (Matthew 28:4, Matthew 28:5, Daniel 10:7). But the believer can take comfort in the fact that God sends the holy angels to help and comfort us, even when we are not aware. His sovereign care of His people, His Son’s Bride, is magnificent and perpetual. Angels are an interesting part of His creation, and we will see them one day! What a day that will be.

EPrata photo

Posted in theology

Attributes of God: Invisibility, Jealousy, Knowledge

By Elizabeth Prata

Sundays are a good time to ponder who God is. He is worthy of service and worship.

Tim Challies has created a visual theology of God’s attributes. Remember, God’s attributes are not parts that make up a whole. Everything good that there is, is 100% contained in God. He is 100% beauty, 100% aseity, 100% omniscient, etc. He is complete in Himself.

A typical classification of God’s attributes divides them into those that are incommunicable (those that he does not share or “communicate” to anyone or anything else) and communicable (those that he shares with other beings). Blue text attributes are incommunicable. For example, humans can seek to be good, but we can never be immutable. We can be wise, but we can never be omniscient.

INVISIBILITY: Attributes describing God’s being: God’s total essence, all of his being, will never be visible to us.

JEALOUSY: Moral attributes- God always seeks to protect his own honor.

KNOWLEDGE/Omniscience: Mental attributes- God fully knows himself and all actual and possible things. (This is also known as God’s omniscience).

Source: Tim Challies, Visual Theology, The Attributes of God

Previous weeks:

1. Attributes of God: Aseity, Beauty, Blessedness
2. Eternity, Freedom, Glory
3. Goodness, Holiness, Immutability

Posted in theology

Angels! Part 1 of two parts

By Elizabeth Prata

The Bible shows that there is another life form among us. God created the world with animals, sea creatures, flying animals. He then created humans. But before that, and we don’t know how long before, He created angels.

Like the world and like the humans, at first it was very good. The angels were holy and worshipful. They shouted in praise when God made the world (Job 38:7).

Some of the angels chose to follow Satan (probably Lucifer) in his rebellion, and they became unholy.

But whether holy or unholy, angels are among us. The holy angels obey God by performing tasks He sets out for them to do. The unholy angels perform tasks their leader satan sets out for them to do, which is whatever opposes God.

The two innocent-looking cherubs seem harmless. They’re from an excerpt of the larger piece called Sistine Madonna by Raphael. Angels are not cherubic babies. But satan and his demonic horde would like you to think so.

The Bible is rife with angel activity. They do a lot. Yet Renaissance art shows them as babies with wings, diminishing their august beauty and power. Since they are among us unawares, people tend to forget they exist. Yet the Bible shows them doing a myriad of things for God and on behalf of humans. Let’s take a look.

Continue reading “Angels! Part 1 of two parts”