Posted in theology

There’s ‘probably’ not a poisonous snake in this box

By Elizabeth Prata

PODCAST HERE

EPrata painting

Spiritual war is real and it manifests as either good or evil fruit in today’s society. The war front is invisible, and it’s not against people but “against the rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places.” (Ephesians 6:12).

Lately we see more societal interest toward the occult, people are particularly fascinated with ‘beings’ from the other side. I believe this is a direct deception from the fallen angels and demons who influence our thinking into areas the Bible expressly forbids. There are no ‘helpful’ ghosts wandering about trying to bring “messages” to the living. And there are no UFOs, or aliens. “UFOs” and “Aliens” are just fallen (demonic) angels deceiving the unwary.

Continue reading “There’s ‘probably’ not a poisonous snake in this box”
Posted in theology

The sunny side of life is warmer

By Elizabeth Prata

I used to spend the Fourth of July in Lubec-Eastport Maine. If you visualize Maine as the profile of a dog, Eastport and Lubec would be the nostrils. These two towns are as far east as you can go in Maine and not be in Canada. The highest tides in the world begin there, with the Bay of Fundy funneling the Atlantic into a small inlet where massive 30′ tides are pushed up then down several times a day. Lubec and Eastport are nautical cities, driven by the sea, which surrounds both of them. And as for the air, there’s cool, fog, and cold. Those are the seasons. (Notice the shadow side on the left and the sunny side on the right. The difference in temps would be at least ten degrees)

Continue reading “The sunny side of life is warmer”
Posted in theology

A wonderful end to my week: The Lord sustains us in little ways too

By Elizabeth Prata

flowers and velvet pillow cover, how great these surprises are!

It was a tough week in my little sphere. A lot of people are struggling, we’re all stretched thin. Prices are rising fast and I juggle and jiggle and juggle the budget again and again to adjust. I arrive home hot and tired. I’m waiting for the brutal Georgia August to slide into September cooler fall weather.

Continue reading “A wonderful end to my week: The Lord sustains us in little ways too”
Posted in theology

Gospel-Prophecy week #5: More important than ever- Am I Saved?

By Elizabeth Prata

When you go to the bank, or grocery store and you see the lines, you wonder which line to pick. If I go in this line will it go faster? Or will that line end up being faster? I always pick the wrong line. If I see that it was moving faster, the moment I get in it, suddenly the cashier runs out of receipt paper and has to reload…or the customer starts writing a check…or the clerks end their shift and swap over. Something, lol.

Being in the wrong line is part of the daily condition and sometimes makes us chuckle with the absurdity of life. Ending up in the wrong checkout line doesn’t have eternal consequences.

Continue reading “Gospel-Prophecy week #5: More important than ever- Am I Saved?”
Posted in theology

Gospel-Prophecy Week #4: Has America been destroyed by moth and worm? Are we ‘ripened for ruin’?

By Elizabeth Prata

The verse in Hosea is a promise from the Lord to Israel, also called Ephraim and Judah (northern and southern kingdom)

Ephraim is oppressed, crushed in judgment, for he is determined to follow worthless idols. Therefore I am like a moth to Ephraim, And like rottenness to the house of Judah. (Hosea 5:11-12)

If God would crush his elect, blessed, and beloved nation, would He do less to America when we do the same as Israel- reject Him and rebelliously pursue idols and revel in widespread sin?

Matthew Henry’s Compete Commentary on the Bible explains just what is happening in the Hosea verse:

Note, An easy compliance with the commandments of men that thwart the commandments of God ripens a people for ruin as much as any thing. And the punishment of the sequacious disobedience (lacking independence or originality of thought) answers to the sin; for it is for this that Ephraim is oppressed and broken in judgment, has all his civil rights and liberties broken in upon and trodden down; 
He would begin with less judgments, which should sometimes work silently and insensibly (v. 12): I will be (that is, my providences shall be) unto Ephraim as a moth; for it is such a sickness as Ephraim now sees, v. 13.
Note, The judgments of God are sometimes to a sinful people as a moth, and as rottenness, or as a worm. The former signifies the little animals that breed in clothes, the latter those that breed in wood; as these consume the clothes and the wood, so shall the judgments of God consume them.

(1.) Silently, so as not to make any noise in the world, so as they themselves shall not be sensible of it. They shall think themselves safe and thriving, but when they come to look more narrowly into their state, shall find themselves wasting and decaying.

(2.) Slowly, and with long delays and intervals, that he may give them space to repent. Many a nation, as well as many a person in the prime of its time, dies of a consumption.

(3.) Gradually, God comes upon sinners with less judgments, so to prevent greater, if they will be wise and take warning; he comes upon them step by step, to show he is not willing that they should perish. 

(4.) The moth breeds in the clothes, and the worm or rottenness in the wood; thus sinners are consumed by a fire of their own kindling.

End Matthew Henry’s commentary on the whole Bible: complete and unabridged in one volume (pp. 1474–1475).


It seems as though there has been a fast disintegration in some western nations. Australia and Canada are filled with draconian measures against a 99.7% survivable flu, ravaging its people to a frustrating degree. The people are crying out against the tyrants but the worm and moth have done their work. The tyrants are standing firm on their tyranny.

In the United States there are still some bright spots, but many low spots. The darkness in the US seems to be spreading and the nation’s vaunted civil liberties and staunch foundation of freedom and law & order seem to be eking away day by day. This has also been the worm and the moth. God has wrought His work in judgment, silently, steadily, until when exposed to the light, the garment is shredded with moth holes and will not stand.

When we read of judgment in the Bible, we focus on ‘big’ obvious judgments; the invading armies, the Babylonian captivity, the brimstone falling on Sodom and Gomorrah, or the Tribulation judgments- all of which are obvious signs of God’s displeasure.

But there are silent judgments too. The worm and the moth judgments are silent. Another silent judgment is the wrath of abandonment, as I wrote yesterday and is explained in Romans 1:18-32. When “God gave them over” to their sin. He lets go His divine restraint on whole societies and allows a people to pursue headlong into deeper sin as they had desired.

It’s obvious the United States is under judgment. Things will get worse, not better. Sin always gets worse, and without the Lord’s restraining hand upon it, a society will devolve into “all manner of wickedness” as Romans 1:29 shows.

Australia is building at Wellcamp “a regional quarantine facility” in order to “keep the Delta variant out of Queensland”. Can you keep a germ out of a land 2 and a half times bigger than Texas? No. Where there are people there are germs, viruses, and sickness. It’s insane to try and obstruct a virus, but tyrants are trying to do it anyway.

A CAMP.

It is reported that any US military personnel objecting to taking the mandated sh.ot will need to be “re-educated” via “counseling“.

BRAINWASHING.

Camps, brainwashing, pressure, shrinking civil liberties, darkness. Could the news get any worse? Yes, and it will. Sin makes it so and the Bible shows it so.

But we have GOOD NEWS. Here is where the Gospel comes in. Will we be cheerful only when we are prosperous? Will we shine the light of Jesus only when we are free? Will we be joyful only when we enjoy life the way we want it? Will we concentrate on Jesus only when it is easy and not when it is hard?

On September 12, 1962, President John F. Kennedy made a speech at Rice University about why he set a goal of putting a man on the moon and returning him safely to earth before the decade was out. Here is a 2 minute clip of that speech,

If JFK urged Americans to do the hard things because we are willing to accept challenges, because we are unwilling to postpone, because the hard things are the best measure of our energies and skills, then what are we to be like as Christians?

We have ALL energy- in the Holy Spirit who never tires and never wanes. We can surmount hard challenges because we have Christ who gives us the strength to do all things. The best measure of our salvation is our perseverance, the best hope is our future home, the best truth is that we are eternally loved.

I know it’s a tall order, having to adjust to the new normal quickly. Our hearts and minds may be slow to catch up to what our eyes see and read.

One way I like to maintain perspective besides bathing in the Bible, is to read of others in the faith who had it worse than I do. And there is always someone who had it worse, no matter how bad things are where you are now. Betsy ten Boom found joy and gratitude for the fleas in her Nazi barracks (because the plethora of fleas plaguing the internees kept the guards away- so she could share the Bible more freely with her bunkmates). Am I dipped in tar and lofted above a garden and put alight for a tyrant’s illumination as the 1st century Christians were in Nero’s garden? Am I tortured for Christ? Am I jailed, or being martyred? No. And when it’s not, I can tap into Christ through prayer and His word and remember His promises.

Everything we do is FOR HIS GLORY.

Focus on the joy in meeting with the saints, if you are doing that. Focus on the fact that in the US we still have access to Bibles and can share the Gospel with anyone.

JFK said:

John F. Kennedy

But believers say: Christ already did the hard thing. He did it all. He did it for us. The only thing we must do is be faithful, persevere, give Him glory, and be patient for our moment to be called home.

Posted in theology

Gospel-Prophecy Week #3: They banned the video but here are the words

By Elizabeth Prata

John MacArthur has been making statements in his sermons that when the sermons or the clips of them are posted to Youtube, it results in a deletion by ‘fact-checkers’ and warnings and strikes to the Youtube channel host. When MacArthur makes truthful (albeit negative) statements about the Center for Disease Control, government agencies, or the certain flu we’re all incessantly hearing about, the clip or video will be deleted.

Prophecy is important. We are in the end time. It has been the end of times since Jesus ascended and will end when He returns. The end of the end of days will be horrific because Jesus will pour judgment onto the world. That period will be 7 years. (Daniel 9:24-27)

I knew that a recent 11-minute clip would be banned so I downloaded the transcript of it and edited it with the correct punctuation, took out all the time stamps, and cleaned it up so that I could post it and then read it myself for the podcast.

Continue reading “Gospel-Prophecy Week #3: They banned the video but here are the words”
Posted in theology

Gospel-Prophecy week #2: Adjusting to the New Normal

By Elizabeth Prata

There is no normal anymore…

I am 60 years old. I have 57 years of memories of life on this earth. However, it’s clear that everything I know and all I knew all my life is gone. Nothing is like it was and it’s not going to be again.

We got some news in our county the other day that was hard to deal with. By now I’ve dealt with it. Maybe you’ve received some news too that you find difficult to grapple with. There’s a lot of that going around.

I’ve lived long enough to have gone through the 1960s. The 1960s was a terrible time. The images flashing by on the news were gruesome or incomprehensible to my young mind, and scary. Nothing made sense and it felt like the world was turning upside down. Now I know it was a major step in God’s judgment in Romans 1, God giving a sinful nation over to its desired sins- feminism, homosexuality, sexual licentiousness, and general rebellion against authority.

Though we cannot always see how God is working, the 1960s were an obviously visible lurch forward in God’s plan. His plan has been continuing before that and after that in equally devastating ways. The 1980s saw feminism settle in, and ‘greed was good’ in the booming decade.

If we consistently pursue sin, eventually He sends the wrath of abandonment upon us and gives us over to our desires. (Romans 1:18-32). Certainly it’s more than obvious the last year and a half of race riots, looting, covid, lockdowns, and totalitarian measures with the flu shot, ‘passports’, and insane mandates has brought us even close to the end in a huge lurch forward on the prophetic timeline.

As John MacArthur noted last week,

“We are under judgment at a severe level, the most severe level revealed in scripture short of final global judgment yet to come in the end of the age and eternal judgment in hell.”

As Christians, we look forward to heaven. But in so doing, we have to remember to let go of earth. We cannot cling so tightly to earth and its ways that we forget to let go of comfort, reliability, trust in government, normalcy, civility, or anything else that we have enjoyed for many years here in our once-great country. It’s over.

I particularly have a hard time letting go. I have a logical mind, and illogic drives me crazy. Contradictory statements, ‘science’ that obviously isn’t science, bewildering directions, Authorities swatting flies with sledgehammers…You can imagine what the past 17 months has done to me. If not, here’s what it did: frustrate me endlessly. At some points, enraged me. But that’s sinful state for a Christian, so every time I felt that sense of anger or frustration arise, I dampen it with scripture, a good sermon, or, lol, a nap. I have to work at being peaceful. But exude peace, we must.

This is where I get to preaching, to myself as much to anyone else: We have been privileged to live in a country where for so long we were strong, comfortable, prosperous, and free.

We are now privileged to live in a time when the cause of Christ, His Gospel, and our ministry is more important than ever in this rapidly darkening world.

It is going to take me a while to adjust from loving one kind of privilege to loving the other kind of privilege, but adjust we must. I know it doesn’t feel like a privilege to be living in a time when it seems like we are sliding down fast into a nonsensical totalitarian state, but it is. As the persecution increases, the Lord’s glory abounds-

Consider it all joy, my brothers and sisters, when you encounter various trials, (James 1:2)

Being angry or frustrated is sinful because it betrays pride. The lost are angry. We all can’t be angry! I cannot control what is happening. I cannot do anything to get things back the way they were. I cannot change anything by being upset. We always say “God is in control” but when things collapse, or don’t go our way, we tend to rail at circumstances. It’s because we thought we had some control in how things go.

We don’t. It’s times like these that explicitly demonstrate that we don’t.

Below, John MacArthur, the best expositor alive today, explains the reprobate mind, “a kind of insanity where nothing makes sense, a mind that does not function and out of which comes every imaginable evil”. What is happening in our country – the chaos, the insanity, the nonsense, the things that you can’t, figure out, the confusion, the disorder, the disruption, is all part of divine judgment.

And what are we to do about it? “This is the time for the church to concentrate on lifting up Christ.  We are to be the eye of the hurricane, the calm in the storm.”

The quotes above were taken from a video that has been removed from Youtube, on every channel in which it appears. This also is evidence of a slide downward. “Fact-checkers” hate the truth of the facts in the Christian video so they do their best to remove and ban it. The transcript from that banned video, if you want to read it, will be posted tomorrow. Just below is a similar video in which MacArthur explains from a biblical perspective what is happening in the world, and what to do about it.

Today’s main takeaway is this: Though we are all upset. It’s OK to be upset, sad, angry etc, but take it to the Lord and repent of it. Then promote the Gospel endlessly. Is the time drawing near as prophecy says? It feels like it is. I need to face the new normal with peace and joy in Christ and do His will on earth, which is to make Him known.

Even if the Day is further off, the helpless and hopeless people who are lost and wandering in the dark need the Gospel. Prophecy should stir us to action. Lifting up Christ is the best action for us to take.

Posted in theology

Gospel-Prophecy week #1: How is the Gospel and prophecy intertwined?

By Elizabeth Prata

The Gospel of Jesus Christ is the greatest GOOD NEWS ever delivered to men and to a man or woman. Jesus Christ is the greatest Person ever to walk the earth. His message of sin, judgment, atonement, repentance, and peace is the best news a person could ever hear.

Most people on earth do not believe this.

The Gospel is the GOOD NEWS of Jesus. Is judgment good news? No, but is a necessary part of the PRE-good news. We must understand our condition from the moment of birth to the moment of death, with the knowledge that we are born sinners. (Romans 3:236:23). Sinners cannot live with a holy God. In fact, our sin enrages Him. (Psalm 7:11). We are transgressors on His earth, (James 2:9) His wrath abides on us, and our end will be a just punishment in hell.

But God.

Continue reading “Gospel-Prophecy week #1: How is the Gospel and prophecy intertwined?”
Posted in theology

Discernment Week: Wrap-up

By Elizabeth Prata

Here on The End Time I spent the last week writing and podcasting about discernment. I did my best to show what discernment is; both the gift some possess and the training up in that we all should do. I showed how discernment operates in the church, and gave some examples of people who do discernment well. Discernment is biblical wisdom applied in order to test what is good and hold onto it.

Here are all the essays:

Discernment Week #1- What is discernment and why do we need it?

Discernment week #2- How to Train in Discernment

Discernment week #3- Discernment isn’t easy and most times, you won’t be thanked

Discernment week #4- Who Does Discernment Well? Some Great Examples

Discernment week #5- God Takes Away Discernment

FURTHER RESOURCES

The End Time- This is why we don’t EVER ‘eat the meat and spit out the bones’

Port Royal Baptist Church- Gift #9, Discernment (.pdf) outline/bullet points. Helpful

Tim Challies essay- Gain Discernment in 5 easy steps

Phil Johnson sermon- The Spirit of God vs. The Spirit of This World

EPrata photo
Posted in theology

Discernment #5: God takes away discernment

By Elizabeth Prata

One of the biggest problems the church has, maybe THE biggest, is a widespread lack of discernment. It’s true that many have infiltrated the church who are not true converts, so it stands to reason they lack discernment. But many true believers have failed to hone their discernment through training (Hebrews 5:14). There’s another reason that the church may lack discernment besides infiltration of false believers, and the presence of true believers who haven’t grown much: the Lord.

He deprives the trusted ones of speech, And takes away the discernment of the elders. (Job 12:20).
Job 17:4
You have closed their minds to understanding; therefore You will not exalt them. (Job 17:4)

John Gill (1697 – 1771) was an English Baptist pastor, biblical scholar, and theologian who also wrote a commentary of the Bible. He says of the Job 12:20 verse in Gill’s Exposition of the Entire Bible -first Gill addresses the different ways that God takes away speech of the wise,

"it seems strange that he should remove the speech of "trusty" or "faithful" men, that speak the truth, and are to be credited and believed; and as the preceding words are understood of ecclesiastic persons."

Next, Gill shows the different ways God has taken away the faculty of man’s speech:

"He removeth away the speech of the trusty,.... Speech is proper to mankind, and a benefit unto them, whereby they can converse together, and communicate their minds to each other. This is the gift of God, he gives to men in common the faculty of speaking;
--to some the tongue of the learned to speak various tongues, either in an ordinary or in an extraordinary manner; and he that gives can take away;
--he that made man's mouth or lip can make it speechless, as he does at death; when he takes away man's breath, he takes away his speech; the state of the dead is a state of silence;
--and sometimes he does it while living, by striking dumb, as he did Zechariah the father of John the Baptist;
--as in the builders of Babel, he took away the speech they had, and gave them another;
--and sometimes he suffers not men to speak what they would, but what is contrary to their inclinations and desires, as in Balaam, who would willingly have cursed Israel, but could not. --end Gill Commentary

As for the lack of discernment in speech, the LORD takes it away in various ways, also. Gill continues in the second part of the Job 12:20 verse-

and taketh away the understanding of the aged; or "elders"; elders in age, with whom understanding, reason, judgment, counsel, and wisdom, by all which the word is interpreted, may be thought to be; yet all this God can take away, and does when he pleases, and they become like children in understanding.
--through the infirmities of old age their memories fail them,
--their reason is impaired,
--their understanding and judgment are weakened,
--they become unfit to give advice themselves,
--are easily imposed on and drawn aside by others as may be observed in Solomon, the wisest of men, when he was grown old. --end Gill

Why would do do this? Why would he strip away the wisdom and discernment of those mature believers who have acquired it? The Bible Knowledge Commentary by RB Zuck et al says,

"Also all people are under God’s control. He humbles counselors (was Job referring to his three friends?), judges.… kings.… priests, well-established officials, advisers … elders.… nobles, and the mighty. By stripping away their wisdom and power, God reveals His superior wisdom and power." 

The Lord God is in control of all things; the earth, universe, angels, demons, and humans. He is in charge of all humans’ intellect. He gives discernment and He takes it away. We don’t know if the dearth of discernment plaguing the church currently is due to a failure of humans to be biblically literate and train themselves, or God’s judgment on humans, a mixture of both, or something else entirely. Persistent, unrepentant sin will impact a person’s ability to discern, certainly.

One thing we know for sure, it was Paul’s fervent prayer that the people would grow in discernment. I think the old adage “Use it or lose it” applies to all of us now and at all times!


FURTHER RESOURCES

This is a super helpful, practical lesson on how to begin honing your discernment, by Sharon Lareau. “Learn Discernment and Stay Safe from False Teachings

Wretched: Rules for Discernment

The Gospel Coalition: 10 Habits of Discerning People

The End Time: Chewing the Meat and Spitting the Bones- Is this Biblical?