Posted in encouragement, Uncategorized

Advent: Thirty Days of Jesus, Day 3- ‘Perfect Timing’

By Elizabeth Prata

We are in the section of my Advent thirty day flow where we examine PROPHECY, ARRIVAL, and EARLY LIFE of Jesus.

In this section I chose verses that reflect the prophecies that predict His coming. Prophecy warns of coming judgment but it also comforts in that it foretells the holy and wonderful resolution of all things for the believer. This resolution didn’t begin with Jesus’ incarnation as a babe in the manger, it began before the foundation of the world when the God-head held an intra-council discussion and Jesus voluntarily chose to become the sacrificial Lamb.

Introduction & Background to this series here

thirty days of jesus verse 3

Introduction/Background
Day 1 post
Day 2 post

Ten Bible verses about God’s Timing

As we go about our daily lives, we often become discouraged by the many difficulties and challenges we face. Life can be stressful sometimes, posing unprecedented demands on our faith and trust in God. You might find yourself wondering how things could be different – why God has put certain obstacles in your path. Why this, why now? Bible verses offer all the answers. This post covers useful Bible verses about God’s timing to help you cope during difficult times. 

Challies: Five verses on adoption

The word “adoption” (Greek huiothesias) occurs only a few times in the New Testament, and each time it refers to God choosing a people for himself. Though there are not a lot of references to this word, there is a good deal we learn from them about the doctrine of adoption.

Ligonier: Adoption into God’s Family by Iain Campbell

Among the blessings God bestows on us in Christ is the blessing of adoption. We have been brought into God’s family and made God’s children. From God we have received “the Spirit of adoption as sons, by whom we cry, ‘Abba! Father’” (Rom. 8:15). As far as our status is concerned, we are no longer “strangers and aliens” to the people of God but “members of the household of God” (Eph. 2:19). The Christians in Ephesus may have no natural affinity to the descendants of Abraham, but God in His grace has addressed the issue of their spiritual alienation from His covenant by making them His sons and daughters.

Answers In Genesis: Adopted into God’s Family by Rod Martin

Every once in a while, I am asked, “What’s it like to be adopted?” I was two days old when my parents chose me to be their son. Being adopted is an amazing thing. I was taken from a situation that probably would not have turned out well and was given the opportunity to grow up in a loving Christian home. I became a member of a new family. I had a new identity, a new name, a new opportunity, and eventually a new inheritance. I was chosen!

Editor Note: All scripture-pictures were made by me, photos in the series are mine with just 3 exceptions.

Posted in encouragement, Uncategorized

Advent: Thirty Days of Jesus, Day 2; He will come!

By Elizabeth Prata

Thirty days of exalting Jesus through selected verses with pictures representing the prophecy, life, death, resurrection, and Second Coming of our Savior.

More information and background on this series, here

thirty days of jesus verse 2

Day 1: The Virgin Shall Conceive

Ligonier: A Shoot from Jesse’s Stump: Devotional

History tells us this is exactly what happened, with David’s royal dynasty all but dying out as a result of God’s judgment of His people through Assyria and Babylon. Nevertheless, Isaiah also saw that while the Davidic line would seem to be dead, life would remain within the stump. A shoot—life barely detectable at first—would emerge. But once this shoot went forth, it would become a mighty tree.

Matthew Henry’s Commentary on Isaiah 11:1

 He comes forth out of the stem, or stump, of Jesse. When the royal family, that had been as a cedar, was cut down, and only the stump of it left, almost levelled with the ground and lost in the grass of the field (Dan. 4:15), yet it shall sprout again (Job 14:7); nay, it shall grow out of his roots, which are quite buried in the earth, and, like the roots of flowers in the winter, have no stem appearing above ground. The house of David was reduced and brought very low at the time of Christ’s birth, witness the obscurity and poverty of Joseph and Mary. The Messiah was thus to begin his estate of humiliation

All the Named Men of the Bible: Jesse

Jesse [Jĕs’se]—jehovah exists or firm. The son of Obed and father of David, and grandson of Boaz and Ruth, and an ancestor of Christ (Ruth 4:17, 22). Jesse had eight sons and two daughters by different wives (1 Sam. 17:12-14, 25). Isaiah speaks of “the stock of Jesse,” a phrase indicating that it was from Jesse the Messiah would come. The humble descent of the Messiah is contrasted with the glorious kingdom He is to have (Isa 11:1).

Posted in end time, florence chadwick, prophecy

Keep persevering – with keeping the prophetic finish line in sight

By Elizabeth Prata

This example is used a lot in sermons and devotionals. It is an oldie but a goodie.

Florence Chadwick was a young woman in 1952 but had already swum the English Channel, both ways, and broke records doing it. One morning in 1952 she stood on the shores of California with intent to swim the 26 miles to Catalina Island. It was foggy. She was used to fog, rough water, and cold, having swum in these conditions since when was 11 years old so she was prepared for any conditions that may beset her on the long swim. It was so foggy that Florence could not see the support boats motoring around her to scare away the sharks. However after 15 hours of rough water stroke after stroke, she felt like she wasn’t getting anywhere. Despite encouragement from her mother and others in the support boat next to her, Florence wearied and asked to be taken out of the water. She soon discovered that she was half a mile from her goal.

The Lubec Maine shoreline. There’s a lighthouse in the photo. Can you see it? EPrata photo

At a news conference the next day Florence said, “All I could see was the fog.…I think if I could have seen the shore, I would have made it.”

Florence tried again two months later. This time, she made it! What made the difference? She said that she kept a mental image of the shoreline in her mind while she swam.

This is the same scene as above after the fog rolled away. [Photo by EPrata]

Prophecy is not meant to BE the fog. It is knowable, profitable, and given to us for all education. It is a light to keep in our heart as to the immutable existence of God, His eternal promises, and the goal for every believer, to reach the eternal Lighthouse.

There are end of time prophetic utterances in much of the Old Testament and in every book of the New except for four. And three of those four are single-chapter letters to one individual. Jesus meant prophecy to be the mental image for us to hold dear as to the goal. Do not give up half a mile from the finish line!

He is near, He is coming. Do not wander, drift, be swept away by currents taking you far from the goal. May every stroke of your swim toward eternity be as vigorous as the one before. Pray for that vigor. The Holy Spirit is there to help us:  “And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever;” (John 14:16)

If you knew that Jesus was returning tomorrow would it change your decision not to study the Bible today? Not to pray? Not to help someone? If you knew it was next week, or next year, how differently would you act as a Christian? You’re tired. We are all tired. The wages of sin splash up on us, and sometimes splash into us. It is wearying holding firm against the current. But keep the goal in mind! Envision scenes the Bible gives us of that happy Day.

behold, a throne was standing in heaven, and someone was sitting on the throne. And He who was sitting was like a jasper stone and a sardius in appearance; and there was a rainbow around the throne, like an emerald in appearance. Around the throne were twenty-four thrones; and upon the thrones I saw twenty-four elders sitting, clothed in white garments, and golden crowns on their heads…Revelation 4:2-4.

Worthy are You, our Lord and our God, to receive glory and honor and power; for You created all things, and because of Your will they existed, and were created. (Revelation 4:11)

The River and the Tree of Life: And he showed me a river of the water of life, clear as crystal, coming from the throne of God and of the Lamb, in the middle of its street. (Revelation 22:1).

Keep persevering – with keeping the prophetic finish line in sight!

Posted in theology

Little known prophets of the Bible

By Elizabeth Prata

I love prophecy. I love studying the Prophets. In fact, when I became a believer, I had not gone to church or owned a Bible or was familiar with the Bible or Christian Culture. I started studying the Bible after salvation and I went straight to the Major Prophets. I read Jeremiah, Ezekiel, Isaiah, etc, first, not knowing the common way was to read the Gospels first. But then I went right on to the Minor Prophets and enjoyed Zephaniah, Obadiah, and Nahum. It took about 8 years of Old Testament reading intensively and then I turned to the NT. I mean, I heard New Testament preaching when I listened to my pastor on Sundays and the preachers I liked online, but my absorption and focus was prophets.

Continue reading “Little known prophets of the Bible”
Posted in birth pangs, chile, earthquake, end time, prophecy

Are the birth pangs happening now?

By Elizabeth Prata

Birth pangs, or labor pains, are defined as “One of the repetitive pains occurring in childbirth. Often used in the plural. Also: Difficulty or turmoil associated with a development or transition.” Birth pangs are an event that is unstoppable, they increase in intensity and frequency, and result in a new creation. During labor, the mother is in throes, sweats, and travails. When it is over there is peace, and rest.

God is fully in control and He has always sent weather to show His wrath, or to shake up the people, or to render judgment. He sends snow: Job 37:6 “For to the snow He says, ‘Fall on the earth,’ And to the downpour and the rain, ‘Be strong'”

He sends hail. Psalm 105:32: “He gave them hail for rain, And flaming fire in their land.”

He sends drought, earthquakes, thunder, and so on.

In a different kind of judgment, He also lifts his hand of restraint and gives a people over to their desires. (Romans 1:18-32). It’s less dramatic than the showy weather related ones, but in all ways more devastating judgment. John MacArthur describes the wrath of abandonment:

In Hosea 4:17, it is recorded that God said, “Ephraim is joined unto idols; let him alone.” There comes a time when God abandons men. God comes to a point where He lets a people go, lets them go to the consequences of their own sinful choices. They will not accept His counsel, they spurn all His reproof, as Proverbs says, so they eat the fruit of their own choices and they have to be satisfied with the devices they have chosen. Of the Pharisees, Jesus said, “Let them alone; they are blind leaders of the blind.” Matthew 15:14, the most terrifying words, “Let them alone.” Source- John MacArthur

The runaway inflation the US is currently experiencing, the squeeze of our budgets to buy groceries and gas, the racial and sexual and gender agendas seemingly succeeding, even overtaking our children, the rampant abortions, is emotionally difficult to endure. God’s judgment on a nation as seen in the Bible is often displayed in giving us over to our desires and no longer restraining us. When a nation is under judgment He gives them bad leaders and women leaders. Surely America is under judgment…

Josh Love said recently,

Does everyone understand that America is reaching the level of Sodom and Gomorrah and in some aspects have surpassed it already? I fully believe America’s judgment is going to be much worse than Sodom’s or just as bad. Repent & trust Christ today to flee the wrath to come.

@JoshLove45

Cognitively, we understand we are no better than Sodom or Gomorrah and in many ways a lot worse, and we understand we are deserving of judgment. Emotionally, it’s so hard to watch, though. On the one hand, to see the LORD’S power is fearful and awesome. To watch His promises unfold is a blessing, hard as these particular promises are to endure. But also with the increase in intensity and frequency of birth pangs comes heartache and tragedy for people. People we know and love are travailing. People we do not know are weeping in grief. Children lose parents, parents lose children. The unsaved are at increased risk of their fate: eternal separation from God! The terrible times Paul said would come are indeed here.

and yet, to the good of those who love Him-

Affliction awakens the sins in our hearts that we didn’t realize were there. Seeing the truth about ourselves produces the fruit of humility.” — Christina R. Fox

Are we in ‘the end time”? Yes. The last days spoken of by Christ in Matthew 24 and elsewhere in the New Testament, are the times between His ascension and His return. All of the Church Age, so to speak. So yes, it’s now. Christ has never been closer to His return than He has ever been since the writing of the New Testament.

We are not in the Great Tribulation but we are in the expansive period between 33 AD and the promised return of the future, which is characterized by birth pangs. One could assert the birth pangs began in 64 AD at the Great Fire of Rome, which Roman Emperor Nero blamed on the Christians. Thus, the first wave of persecutions started. The Church believers were martyred and those who survived dispersed over Asia Minor. How much more intense are birth pangs after 2000 years? Intensifying, even if the Lord tarries another 1000 years, birth pangs intensify over time, and we are feeling their intensity here in American and elsewhere on earth.

For me, it is a most terrible time knowing that as each day passes, many more unsaved are sent to their eternal destiny. The loss of so many unsaved is a heartache beyond comprehension. I know that for the Lord it is even worse, for “God is not willing that any should perish, but all should come to repentance.” (2 Peter 3:8-10). Unfortunately we know that many still go on the broad way, to their destruction.

Hardest of all though is watching coldness overtake love, and apostasy or apathy overtake zeal. People are falling away from their first love at a terrible rate. It’s hard to watch church betrayals, spiritual abuse, denominational political agendas, all substituted for strength in the Lord and love for His people.

Provost & Research Professor of Theology, @GBTSeminary Owen Strachan said, “The thief in the night is coming, so keep your bags packed and ready by the door. I urge you to pray for the church in this hour, saints. Denominations aside, Satan is pressing his attack on the bride of Christ. Pray hard for the strengthening and endurance of the body, assaulted from all angles as we are. Pray that we will trim our lamps and await our King.”

Christian, please continue praying. Stay strong, appealing to the Holy Spirit to stand us upright. Now is not the time to quail, cower, or quit. “Do all things without grumbling or disputing; so that you will prove yourselves to be blameless and innocent, children of God above reproach in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation, among whom you appear as lights in the world,” (Philippians 2:14-15).

The world needs the light of Jesus now more than ever. Be that light, in prayer and in love.

EPrata photo

Posted in theology

John MacArthur on the coming totalitarianism and antichrist

By Elizabeth Prata

2022: The Covid Crisis, Totalitarianism, Antichrist | John MacArthur Interview

I listened to a Q & A between Phil Johnson and John MacArthur recently. They discussed COVID and the mitigation efforts that were placed on their church, the Legacy Standard Bible, its beginnings and why we need this particular translation, the upcoming John MacArthur Old Testament Study Bible (YAY!), and interestingly, this question:

PHIL asked: “Do you ever think we will get back to normal? Post-Covid?”

Continue reading “John MacArthur on the coming totalitarianism and antichrist”
Posted in encouragement, Uncategorized

Advent: Thirty Days of Jesus, Day 2; He will come!

By Elizabeth Prata

Thirty days of exalting Jesus though selected verses with pictures representing the prophecy, life, death, resurrection, and Second Coming of our Savior.

More information and background on this series, here

thirty days of jesus verse 2

Day 1: The Virgin Shall Conceive

Ligonier: A Shoot from Jesse’s Stump: Devotional

Matthew Henry’s Commentary on Isaiah 11:1

All the Named Men of the Bible: Jesse

Posted in encouragement, Uncategorized

Why I am grateful for apostasy

By Elizabeth Prata

If you listen to old time radio pastors from the 1930s through 1950s and later, each one at some point, has said that this generation of church-going Christians or this era of Christianity is going downhill. Charles Spurgeon famously published an anonymous article actually written by his friend Robert Shindler (with input from Spurgeon himself) addressing a visible downgrade in an 1887 issue of his magazine, Sword and Trowel. That article, and its follow up, famously brought the “Down-grade controversy” to the public’s attention.

A hundred and fifty years before Spurgeon, Jonathan Edwards wrote about the devil’s triumph in squelching a religious revival in New England and a lack of religious affections that had become evident in the people.

We can trace the genealogy of apostasy back to Genesis 6, or to Genesis 3. So is it anything new to say that this generation of church-going Christians are weak or falling away, that visible Christianity itself is downgrading itself in a compounding manner, faster and faster as we go? No.

Now the Spirit expressly says that in later times some will depart from the faith by devoting themselves to deceitful spirits and teachings of demons, (1 Timothy 4:1)

Continue reading “Why I am grateful for apostasy”
Posted in Uncategorized

Warnings to 7 churches are so relevant today

By Elizabeth Prata

I know your works: you are neither cold nor hot. Would that you were either cold or hot! So, because you are lukewarm, and neither hot nor cold, I will spit you out of my mouth. For you say, I am rich, I have prospered, and I need nothing, not realizing that you are wretched, pitiable, poor, blind, and naked. I counsel you to buy from me gold refined by fire, so that you may be rich, and white garments so that you may clothe yourself and the shame of your nakedness may not be seen, and salve to anoint your eyes, so that you may see. Those whom I love, I reprove and discipline, so be zealous and repent. Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and eat with him, and he with me. (Revelation 3:15-20)

Often forgotten in the prophecies are the warnings Jesus gives to the churches in Revelation. As with many prophecies, there is a near fulfillment that is and a far fulfillment. The 7 letters to 7 churches that open the Book of Revelation were actual letters sent to actual churches and actually read as warnings, encouragements or indictments against them. The second reason the letters were sent was to reveal seven different types of individuals/churches throughout history and instruct them in God’s truth.

The last verse is the one I want to point to. Jesus is not ‘knocking at the door of your heart’ in this verse. It is obvious he is knocking at the door of the church. The church had become (and will become, like it is now) so pale and non-Gospel oriented that Jesus is outside it! Just think of Joel Osteen’s church at Lakewood and you have a perfect fulfillment of the kind of church Jesus is warning about here. Mr Osteen never preaches sin or wrath or judgment because he doesn’t want to offend anyone, wanting to stay positive. But how can a person repent if they don’t know they are sinning? He refuses to put a cross on his stage, because it might prove an “obstacle to anyone who might come.” But if they are not coming to the cross, what are they coming to??? Jesus is standing outside Mr Osteen’s church, knocking to get in.

That sad indictment is repeated over many parts of the body of Christ today. I pray you find a good church that has solid beliefs, and participate there. Support your pastor, if he stands on the foundational principles of the faith, and preaches them. He is a rarity these days, and precious. Treat him like he is.

The decline of belief is symbiotic. If you attend a church like Lakewood for any length of time, then you will fade into lukewarmness because the fire of wrath and rebuke from a holy God has disappeared. With the full counsel of God being preached, His perfect message of sin & wrath/mercy & redemption is held up and you will grow in Christ-likeness. Without the cross preached, who are the Laodicean congregants growing into looking like? Man, not God.

Posted in end time, gog magog, ottomans, prophecy, revelation

One World Religion complex in UAE will open in 2022

By Elizabeth Prata

PODCAST LINK HERE

I saw an article with an interesting topic on Facebook and I looked it up to see if it was real. It is real. Here is the interesting news. This article is from The Vatican, and since it involves the papacy, I take it to be credible, since they are reporting on themselves. The religion site is being built in United Arab Emirates, known as UAE.

Abrahamic Family House in Abu Dhabi to open in 2022

"The Abrahamic Family House, which encloses a synagogue, a church and a mosque in a single complex, and which is scheduled to be inaugurated in 2022, is 20 percent complete, the Higher Committee of Human Fraternity (HCHF) said in a statement on Tuesday. ... Besides the 3 places of worship, the site includes a cultural center that aims to encourage people to exemplify human fraternity and solidarity within a community that cherishes the values of mutual respect and peaceful coexistence, while the unique character of each faith is preserved." 

Each faith, meaning Judaism, Christianity (The Roman Catholic version of false Christianity) and Islam. Note that it is illegal for any building in the UAE to display a cross, therefore the church on this site will be devoid of one. It is illegal in UAE to convert from Islam to any other religion, so it remains to be seen how much ‘tolerance’ will be involved.

If you go to the website for this project, which The Vatican reports is 20% finished and will open within a year, you see a photo of how it will look and the architecture is quite beautiful.

The left is the Mosque, the middle is the Church, the right is the Synagogue. This is an artist’s rendering. Source

The website for the project is called For Human Fraternity.

Other websites are calling it the center for One World Faith. The Times of Israel gives their take on the project, with a photo of the progress in construction. It’s from this past June 2021. This Chinese missionary site has another take on the project.

Interesting. I had not know about these ‘Abraham Accords’ which was the covenant that forms the basis for the building project, with other projects to come. The accords marked the first public normalization of relations between an Arab country and Israel since that of Egypt in 1979 and Jordan in 1994, says Wikipedia. The progress of this building site is pretty amazing, because the Accords were only signed in September 2020, one year ago.

Let’s turn to past history and future prophecy for a moment

Continue reading “One World Religion complex in UAE will open in 2022”