Posted in theology

Who will it be…how will it be?

By Elizabeth Prata

God used pagan leaders for His purposes. Some were good for God’s people and some were bad. Xerxes, Darius, Cyrus vs Antiochus, Herod, Pharaoh …

I don’t know what the next few days will bring. It might be that God uses the Presidential Administration in ways that seem good to us, or he might use evil rulers that seem bad to us. I say ‘seem’ because even in difficult times God ordains evil for His and our good. (Genesis 50:20). So, there’s earthly good and heavenly good and they are not the same, since God’s ways are infinite and above us incomprehensibly. (Isaiah 55:8).

So I do not know what my immediate future holds, but I know my future everlasting future: it is with Jesus in peace and holiness. Perfect justice reigns, perfect love, perfect relationships. There will be no swamp, no corruption, no evil. Satan and his demons will be writhing in the Lake of Fire under eternal punishment, never to harm or influence anyone anymore.

My friend Ekkie Tepsupornchai on social media said:

“Christians understand they live in a fallen world. Part of God’s judgment involves handing sinners over to greater sins (Rom 1:24-32). However, when we see instances of justice, we should give thanks to God as that demonstrates His common grace even over the same fallen society.”

There’s always something to be thankful for.

The End Time photo
Posted in theology

They SHALL be filled…

By Elizabeth Prata

Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness: for they shall be filled. (Matthew 5:6).

Barnes’ Notes on the Bible: Blessed are they which do hunger … – Hunger and thirst, here, are expressive of strong desire. Nothing would better express the strong desire which we ought to feel to obtain righteousness than hunger and thirst. No needs are so keen, none so imperiously demand supply, as these. They occur daily, and when long continued, as in case of those shipwrecked, and doomed to wander months or years over burning sands, with scarcely any drink or food, nothing is more distressing. An ardent desire for anything is often represented in the Scriptures by hunger and thirst, Psalm 42:1-2Psalm 63:1-2. A desire for the blessings of pardon and peace; a deep sense of sin, and want, and wretchedness, is also represented by thirsting, Isaiah 55:1-2.

Interesting, isn’t it? When I’m hungry, all I can think about is getting food. When I’m thirsty, I’m not satisfied until I drink. Jesus wants us to be the same way about righteousness. Hunger for it. Thirst for it. Seek filling it. Don’t do anything else until it’s satisfied.

The way John MacArthur described the current state of chaos in “A World Gone Mad” explains a lot of the unsettled feeling I’m having these days. I recommend the article. Here is the excerpt-

On top of the endless chaos surrounding us, our society is drowning in a sea of lies, such that the culture is permeated by a sense of devastating insecurity. We no longer have confidence in politicians, health experts, social activists, academics, or the media—all of them have lost credibility by pursuing agendas over honesty. Even religious leaders have shown a knack for doublespeak and outright deception when it suits their purposes. We have been lied to so routinely that we treat every claim as dubious. Living in that constant state of doubt and suspicion is both exhausting and exasperating.

There are two points. The deplorable state of affairs in America right now is doing a good job of spotlighting sin. The corruption in systems, in people, in society, in organizations is oozing out in more quantity than the Great Molasses Flood of 1919, and a lot of people are getting swept away in its sickening draw.

Sin is ugly, isn’t it? We sinners tend to forget that, having it in us and all around us all the time. We dwell in it, and so, make peace with it, pet it, weakly slay it, only to allow it to return, grinning. But sin is the ugliest thing in the universe. The current scene in America with obvious moral and ethical corruption in academia, politics, law, government, science, and so on shows us that. This is good.

It should make us hunger and thirst for righteousness all the more, shouldn’t it? Seeing sin exposed in its putrid corruption should make us hasten to the cross in agony, pleading for forgiveness for even the most ‘minor’ sins of our own that we’ve committed. If there is anything we can call ‘good’ about the sin-saturated United States, it’s that. When we hold a puppy’s head over his waywardly dropped feces and say “Look at it, just look at it! Bad dog!” God is doing likewise with His children.

Secondly, the last part of the verse: “they shall be filled.” For those that hunger, the promise is not perhaps they will be filled, or maybe they’ll be filled, or later they will be filled. They SHALL be filled. Barnes’ Notes again:

They shall be filled – They shall be satisfied as a hungry man is when supplied with food, or a thirsty man when supplied with drink. Those who are perishing for want of righteousness; those who feel that they are lost sinners and strongly desire to be holy, shall be thus satisfied. Never was there a desire to be holy which God was not willing to gratify, and the gospel of Christ has made provision to satisfy all who truly desire to be holy. See Isaiah 55:1-3Isaiah 65:13John 4:14John 6:35John 7:37-38Psalm 17:15.

The desire to be holy should be in each one of us, if we are saved by His grace. The pursuit of that holiness should be a fervent goal daily. Imagine what a life filled with hunger & thirst for righteousness is like contrasted to the darkness all around!

One who pursues righteousness and loyalty Finds life, righteousness, and honor. (Proverbs 21:21).

They SHALL be filled. And bountifully, too-

EPrata photo


Further Resources:

Adrian Rogers: Rivers of Revival, sermon

John MacArthur: A World Gone Mad, essay

RC Sproul: The Holiness of God, teaching series

RC Sproul, The Trauma of Holiness, sermon (A GOOD ONE!!! I loved this)

Posted in encouragement, Uncategorized

Advent- Thirty Days of Jesus: Day 26, Jesus’ sinlessness

By Elizabeth Prata

This section of verses that show Jesus’ life are focused on His attributes & earthly ministry. We’ve seen Him as servant, teacher, shepherd, intercessor, and healer. We looked at His attributes of omniscience, His authority, and now His sinlessness.

thirty daysof jesus 26

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Further Reading:

The Cripplegate/Nate Busenitz: In what way was Jesus ‘made sin’ on the cross?

GotQuestions: Why does Christ’s righteousness need to be imputed to us?

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Thirty Days of Jesus Series-

Introduction/Background
Day 1: The Virgin shall conceive
Day 2: A shoot from Jesse
Day 3: God sent His Son in the fullness of time
Day 4:  Marry her, she will bear a Son

Day 5: The Babe has arrived!
Day 6: The Glory of Jesus
Day 7: Magi seek the Child
Day 8: The Magi offer gifts & worship
Day 9: The Child Grew
Day 10: The boy Jesus at the Temple
Day 11: He was Obedient!
Day 12: The Son!
Day 13: God is pleased with His Son
Day 14: Propitiation
Day 15: The gift of eternal life
Day 16: Two Kingdoms
Day 17: Jesus’ Preeminence
Day 18: Jesus is highest king
Day 19: Jesus emptied Himself
Day 20: Jesus as Teacher
Day 21: Jesus as Shepherd
Day 22, Jesus as Intercessor

Day 23: Jesus as Compassionate Healer
Day 24: Jesus as Omniscient
Day 25: Jesus’ authority

Posted in theology

Living a life of death

By Elizabeth Prata


“Behold, all is vanity.”—Ecclesiastes 1:14.

Charles Spurgeon wrote in his Evening Devotional for this date, “NOTHING can satisfy the entire man but the Lord’s love and the Lord’s own self. Saints have tried to anchor in other roadsteads, but they have been driven out of such fatal refuges. Solomon, the wisest of men, was permitted to make experiments for us all, and to do for us what we must not dare to do for ourselves.”

Spurgeon continues -“What! the whole of it vanity? O favoured monarch, is there nothing in all thy wealth? Nothing in that wide dominion reaching from the river even to the sea? Nothing in Palmyra’s glorious palaces? Nothing in the house of the forest of Lebanon? In all thy music and dancing, and wine and luxury, is there nothing? “Nothing,” he says, “but weariness of spirit.”

The Book of Ecclesiastes speaks to me. I sometimes mourn the lost decades of my life before salvation, still knowing

Continue reading “Living a life of death”
Posted in Uncategorized

Kay Cude poetry: The Character of Sin

Still Life by Windberg
Still Life by Windberg

Right-click to open larger in new window. Published with permission

Artist’s Statement:

I was compelled to say something that spoke encouragement for “the saved to continue on,” even while recognizing and knowing the true character of sin, the taste and its aroma. Our efforts to reach the lost becomes harder each day; the news-media ridicules Christ’s redeemed, and with deceptive words, demands we not speak Gospel Truth. But we must “continue on.” I must keep fresh in my mind that previous centuries of the lost hated Christ, and that this present century of the lost will hate us (even as we the “saved” seek their rescue).

Posted in theology

Upsetting news: Administrator at HeartCry Missionary Society/deacon at their local church, arrested for alleged “multiple counts of carnal knowledge of a child”

By Elizabeth Prata

I am sad to report the following:

54-year-old Radford man arrested for his sexual relationship with a 13-year-old, police say, Hite is currently being held in jail without bail

Kevin Hite (Christiansburg Police Department)
Continue reading “Upsetting news: Administrator at HeartCry Missionary Society/deacon at their local church, arrested for alleged “multiple counts of carnal knowledge of a child””
Posted in christianity, theology

What does Christianity have that all other religions do not?

By Elizabeth Prata

All religions are not equal. All other religions except Christianity are false.

See, the problem is sin. It’s not which god to worship. It’s not how to worship. It’s not how to be a better person. It’s not how to ‘connect with the divine.’ The fundamental human problem is our sin before a holy and just God. Only God is God, not Allah, he is no god. Not Shiva. Not Brahman.

I am the LORD, and there is no other;
         Besides Me there is no God.
Isaiah 45:5

Since our fundamental problem is how to be holy as God is holy, we must do something to restrain our sin. We must be forgiven of it. We must partner with a power outside of ourselves who is holy and perfect. Deep down we all know we’re rotten, we do bad, we need help, however you want to phrase it. So they seek ‘noble paths’ (Buddhism). They create second chances. (Hindu reincarnation). They worship the observable earth (Wicca, Druids). None will help man in his fundamental problem; restraining the flesh.

See? (Go here for 20-second vid)

All other religions can do nothing to restrain the flesh. In all other religions, the flesh is god, not God. Only God, who is transcendent, above us and His creation, the very Creator, can pass His hand over us and declare us just, through His Son Jesus. What Christianity has that all other religions do not is the ability of God to solve our sin problem.

“The time has come,” he said. “The kingdom of God has come near. Repent and believe the good news!” (Mark 1:15)

Therefore, since we have been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ. Through him we have also obtained access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and we rejoiced in hope of the glory of God. (Romans 5:1-2)

If you repent to Jesus, who died as the sacrificial lamb, shedding His blood, and absorbing and exhausting God’s wrath for His people, then you will be saved. he is the door to heaven. The only door.

I am the door. If anyone enters by Me, he will be saved, and will go in and out and find pasture. (John 10:9).

door

Posted in encouragement, Uncategorized

Thirty Days of Jesus Repeat: Day 26, Jesus’ sinlessness

By Elizabeth Prata

This section of verses that show Jesus’ life are focused on His attributes & earthly ministry. We’ve seen Him as servant, teacher, shepherd, intercessor, and healer. We looked at His attributes of omniscience, His authority, and now His sinlessness.

thirty daysof jesus 26

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Further Reading:

The Cripplegate/Nate Busenitz: In what way was Jesus ‘made sin’ on the cross?

GotQuestions: Why does Christ’s righteousness need to be imputed to us?

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Thirty Days of Jesus Series-

Introduction/Background
Day 1: The Virgin shall conceive
Day 2: A shoot from Jesse
Day 3: God sent His Son in the fullness of time
Day 4:  Marry her, she will bear a Son

Day 5: The Babe has arrived!
Day 6: The Glory of Jesus
Day 7: Magi seek the Child
Day 8: The Magi offer gifts & worship
Day 9: The Child Grew
Day 10: The boy Jesus at the Temple
Day 11: He was Obedient!
Day 12: The Son!
Day 13: God is pleased with His Son
Day 14: Propitiation
Day 15: The gift of eternal life
Day 16: Two Kingdoms
Day 17: Jesus’ Preeminence
Day 18: Jesus is highest king
Day 19: Jesus emptied Himself
Day 20: Jesus as Teacher
Day 21: Jesus as Shepherd
Day 22, Jesus as Intercessor

Day 23: Jesus as Compassionate Healer
Day 24: Jesus as Omniscient
Day 25: Jesus’ authority

Posted in prophecy, theology

When is the only time people like the dark?

By Elizabeth Prata

My favorite verses. They have been since I was converted in 2004 and remain so to this day. I like the language of the KJV.

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. The same was in the beginning with God. All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made. In him was life; and the life was the light of men. And the light shineth in darkness; and the darkness comprehended it not. (John 1:1-5).

We like the light. When we enter a dark room, what’s the first thing we do? Reach for the light. If a town or city-wide blackout occurs, it’s an emergency. Standing watch in a ship sailing through the inky night, we breathe a sigh of relief when sunrise peeks over the horizon. Bright kitchens sell houses. There is even an interior design job called lighting planner, to help illuminate the home in functional and beautiful ways.

“Ahhh, the light! It’s so much better!” Let’s get a little light on the subject!” we say.

I think everyone would agree with these statements. Everyone loves light; sunlight, tanning bed light, lamp light, candlelight.

Except the lost. They like the darkness.

I switched from speaking literally to speaking metaphorically. Lost folks do not know they are in the dark.

And this is the judgment: the light has come into the world, and people loved the darkness rather than the light because their works were evil. (John 3:19).

But they sort of do know they are in the dark. Does anyone sit at an internet cafe with their tablet or laptop to watch porn? Do they beat their wives in the restaurant? Do they brazenly steal office supplies in front of everyone? No. Those sins are done in the dark. They love their sins.

While you have the light, believe in the light, that you may become sons of light.” When Jesus had said these things, he departed and hid himself from them. (John 12:36).

Reach for the Light! Seek the Bright glory of Jesus! Those who prefer the dark will be given outer darkness forever, for the future of those who prefer the dark is to be cast into outer darkness forever!

Then the king said to the attendants, ‘Bind him hand and foot and cast him into the outer darkness. In that place there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.’ (Matthew 22:13).

lightdark

Posted in discernment, theology

Are you drifting toward only wanting your ears tickled?

By Elizabeth Prata

This essay first appeared on The End Time in November 2010.

For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but wanting to have their ears tickled, they will accumulate for themselves teachers in accordance to their own desires…” (2 Timothy 4:3)

Do you notice that word “endure”? The verse does not say “they will not like sound doctrine…” It does not say “they will not enjoy sound doctrine…” It doesn’t even say “they will not accept sound doctrine.” It uses the word endure. When you endure something, you writhe. You wish you were not there in the midst of it. If anyone has ever undergone physical therapy, you know that you have to endure it but if you could you would shoot out of the gym so fast you’d be like a speeding bullet. If anyone has ever had to get a root canal, you know that you endure it. You do not seek it, you do not like it, and if you could, you go away from it.

That is the process by which lukewarm Christians, fake Christians, and unholy pastors feel about the true Gospel of Jesus Christ. To be sure, the true Gospel of the Risen Savior is full of warm fuzzies. He loves us. (John 13:1). He prospers us. (2 Corinthians 9:8). He sends angels to us. (Hebrews 1:14). But the True Gospel is also full of truth, the unpalatable truth that the iniquitous lawless cannot endure: we are sinners. (Psalm 51:5). Rejection of the remedy for your sin (1 Corinthians 6:9-10) means you will spend eternity in torment, apart from God. That there is nothing good in us. (Mark 10:18). That we are fallen, craven, and deserve judgment. No, they will not endure that. So they don’t.

Instead they seek teachers to tempt us with what the devil has always tempted us with, and tempted Jesus too: health, wealth, fame. (Luke 4:1-13). They may find it in some “preachers” and in some “churches”, but it is for a season. Hebrews 11:25). Most do not find prosperity in health, wealth and fame. The only ones becoming famous and rich are the false pastors who urge the hapless and desperate to send money.

In his series, “Toxic Television: Unmasking the Prosperity Gospel part 1” Bible teacher John MacArthur spends a few minutes below of his one-hour sermon (linked above) explaining why Joel Osteen is false, dangerous, and unholy. He also spends time explaining why the Trinity Broadcast Network is also false, dangerous and unholy. MacArthur says, Osteen “is a quasi-pantheist where Jesus is a footnote that satisfies his critics and deceives his followers.” As for Osteen’s book, MacArthur says ‘Your Best Life Now’, the title, is a dead giveaway. The only way you can have your best life now is if you’re going to hell.”

Toxic Television: Unmasking the Prosperity Gospel part 1

A watered down gospel removes the book-end to the parts that they seek love and only ‘love’. The missing book-end is judgment. They will not endure sound teaching of His holiness involving love but also including righteous judgment.

“I have sworn by Myself,
The word has gone forth from My mouth in righteousness
And will not turn back,
That to Me every knee will bow, every tongue will swear allegiance.
“They will say of Me, ‘Only in the LORD are righteousness and strength.’
Men will come to Him,
And all who were angry at Him will be put to shame. (Isaiah 45:23-24)

A watered down gospel that removes the other book-end is less filling but it tastes great. The Bible shows us that the True Gospel tastes great, and also the watered down false Gospel tastes great. In the verses telling us of Ezekiel’s commission,

Then He said to me, “Son of man, eat what you find; eat this scroll, and go, speak to the house of Israel.” So I opened my mouth, and He fed me this scroll. He said to me, “Son of man, feed your stomach and fill your body with this scroll which I am giving you.” Then I ate it, and it was sweet as honey in my mouth.” (Ez 3:1-3).

The true word absorbed by submissive believers is sweet. But it is also sometimes accompanied by a bitterness felt by even the most beloved of followers, even the most obedient of disciples. Sometimes the true word is hard to hear and bitter even for believers, because it reveals to us the true state of our sinfulness, our sorrow over our sin, and the fate of those who refuse His hand, those mockers and scorners whom we mourn over-

I took the little scroll from the angel’s hand and ate it. It tasted as sweet as honey in my mouth, but when I had eaten it, my stomach turned sour.” (Rev 10:10)

The only way to endure the knowledge of judgment that is coming is to rest on His truth and His promises. Those who do not rest in that truth, bitter as it sometimes is, do not endure it. Not only have they stopped asking the Spirit for wisdom, but they simply stop ingesting the sweet Words of the LORD and they flee away, being unstable in all they do.

But if any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all generously and without reproach, and it will be given to him. But he must ask in faith without any doubting, for the one who doubts is like the surf of the sea, driven and tossed by the wind. For that man ought not to expect that he will receive anything from the Lord, being a double-minded man, unstable in all his ways.” (James 1:5-8)

But we do endure! Paul said to in 2 Tim 2:3, 10. Peter said to in 1 Peter 2:20. The writer in Hebrews 12:7 advised us to endure. Endure what? Hardship. Beatings. Wrongdoing. Life. Hardship. Persecution. And there are those today who cannot sit still in a chair or a pew and ‘endure’ the Word of the Living God who loves them. They seek tickling instead. They are gaining the world only to lose their lives forever.

Has solid preaching become an endurance test for you? Or are the hard but truthful words uplifting to you and filling in every way? If you have recently changed churches because the pastor is “a little too Bible thumping for my taste”, or have drifted away from regular worship lately because the sermons are too long, too convicting, or demand endurance on the part of your deceitful heart, then ask yourself if you are really just trying to accumulate a teacher in accordance with your own desires, and are wanting your ears tickled with a less filling but great tasting sermon. If so, you may be at risk.

Why at risk? Because we all live forever in eternity in one of two places. The day will come when the eternity you are beginning will either not have the word endure associated with it, which is heaven, or it will have the word endure associated with it, for an eternity!

You may try to avoid enduring a convicting sermon from a ticklish teacher today, but the end result will be that you will have to endure an eternity separated from Him in torment. O, faithful one, let it not be so!