Posted in potpourri, theology

Prata Potpourri: Angels, Spiritual Warfare, Lake of Fire, Apostasy, Moms, more

By Elizabeth Prata

Included in this edition of Prata Potpourri are some things that either aren’t talked about enough (Lake of Fire) or are talked about so much that the wackadoodles have gotten a-hold of the issue and twisted it beyond all recognition (angels, spiritual warfare). Here are some credible links to these and other topics.

Jim Osman and Justin Peters’ video series on Spiritual Warfare is excellent. Here is the 8-part series-

Show 1 of 8: Justin Peters & Jim Osman on the: Doctrine of the Sufficiency of Scripture as it relates to Biblical Spiritual Warfare. Justin Peters interviews Pastor & Author Jim Osman on the subject of Spiritual Warfare and Jim’s book: “Truth or Territory: A Biblical Approach to Spiritual Warfare”. Some examples of False Teaching on Spiritual Warfare are briefly discussed as well as some False Teachers are named. These issues will be discussed in greater detail in coming episodes. Jim Osman starts this series off by giving viewers a brief Testimony of how the LORD changed his thinking on this very important subject, then both Justin & Jim introduce viewers to the topic of the Doctrine of the Sufficiency of Scripture which is briefly defined and defended from 2 Timothy 3:16-17 and 2 Peter 1:3-4.

Show 1: Spiritual Warfare & Sufficiency of Scripture
Show 2: Spiritual Warfare: Truth or Territory
Show 3: Carnal Weapons: Hedges & Hexes
Show 4: Carnal Weapons: Binding & Rebuking
Show 5: Carnal Weapons: Spiritual Mapping
Show 6: Demon Possession & Sanctification
Show 7: Authority & Exorcisms
Show 8: Armor Of God: Spiritual Warfare – Ephesians 6

There have been some high-profile people proclaiming their abandonment of the faith this week. There have subsequently been a lot of response articles of various kinds. Here are two:

What to Do When Professing Christians Leave the Faith: Reflections on Joshua Harris and Perseverance

What in God’s Name is Happening in Christianity?

Are you surprised when you come across so-called Christians who claim to be followers of Jesus, but never ‘follow’ Him into a church? They say that attending church isn’t necessary to be a fully devoted Christian? I am. I am actually shocked when I deal with this among professing Christians. And it’s spreading.

Here is Derek Thomas with an essay about Loving the Church, For Better or Worse

What DOES the Bible say about angels, anyway? I love the thought of angels and I study Angelology (from credible sources). Here are two credible sources on a teaching about angels you might enjoy.

TableTalk Magazine: What does the Bible say about Angels? First in a series. I love angels and learning about them.

John MacArthur has a series on angels, called God’s Invisible Army. Here is part 1
Here is part 2

From Founders, something for Moms. Moms, you have a hard job and often it’s lonely. Hope this encourages you- Eight Lies Moms Believe.

From Media Gratiae: The newly released trailer of Puritan. Documentary coming soon, this summer they say!

From Nate Pickowitz, new book. If you’re interested in the American Puritans, this is a good one to pick up- John Cotton: Patriarch of New England

From Ligonier: The Final State of the Unbeliever. This will happen. Pray evangelistically and frequently! Romans 10:1 says, Brethren, my heart’s desire and my prayer to God for them is for their salvation.

angel verse 1

Posted in prophecy, Uncategorized

Spiritual warfare is real

This post appeared on The End Time on May 24, 2011.

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I was at some friends’ house, and after dinner we played a Bible trivia game. Here is one of the questions:

“How many angels are named in the Bible?” At first blush the answer seems easy. Can you guess? Pause.

Answer: Three. Michael, Gabriel, Lucifer. Most of the teams gave the answer as two, Michael and Gabriel. Those two are easy to remember, but we forget Lucifer was an angel, who is that old serpent, satan.

Angels have many jobs.

Luke 1:19 we read of the messenger angel Gabriel-

The angel said to him, “I am Gabriel. I stand in the presence of God, and I have been sent to speak to you and to tell you this good news.”

In Daniel 10:13 we read of Michael the warrior angel, who is an archangel-

But the prince of the kingdom of Persia withstood me one and twenty days: but, lo, Michael, one of the chief princes, came to help me; and I remained there with the kings of Persia.

Paul reminds us of the hierarchies of angels, both good and fallen:

For by him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by him, and for him (Colossians 1:16)

Ephesians 6 is the famous chapter where Paul reminds us that we are in enemy territory here on earth, that the territory has a hierarchy, and that we are always at war, (whether we know it or not):

For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places. (Ephesians 6:12)

We often forget about Lucifer as an angel, his name means star of the morning, or shining one. Isaiah laments Lucifer’s fall from the high holy place of guarding God’s throne, to his low position of evil rebel destined for the hell (Matthew 25:41).

Hebrews and Revelation together show us that about a third of the angels fell with Satan. (Hebrews 12:22; Revelation 12:3-9). Hebrews also reminds us, “Do not neglect to show hospitality to strangers, for by this some have entertained angels without knowing it.” (Hebrews 13:2).

If angels visit us and engage with us on a personal and even intimate level (‘hospitality’ translated, “in one’s home”, “receive as a guest”) then who is to say that we are always visited by the good angels? Sometimes we are visited by the bad ones, too. Probably more than sometimes, probably we’re visited by them often.

I was in another friend’s home, and I mentioned that a pastor’s latest series is on spiritual warfare. She replied, “Oh! I don’t even like to think about spiritual warfare!” I was stunned by this, she being a seasoned Christian. I remarked that we are at war whether we like to think about it or not.

Not only are we in war against the principalities and powers and rulers of darkness, but we are war against our own sin nature!

Because of sin, the earth is a battlefield. Satan and his angels battle for souls every day. 1 John 5:19 tells us that the entire earth is under the jurisdiction, so to speak, of the evil one. In Luke 4:5-6 satan tempted Jesus in the wilderness, and in one of the temptations, offered Jesus all the kingdoms of the world. Jesus didn’t rebuke satan for making that claim.

In Ephesians, Paul tells us to pray and to wear our spiritual armor. 1 Timothy 1:18 Paul tells Timothy to prepare for the battle. 2 Corinthians 10:2-4 describes the kind of war we Christians are in. There is war-like language all throughout the New Testament, referring to the fact that we ARE in a war. It is a spiritual war, but a war that has eternal consequences for each participant.

I was struck by the two incidents – the Bible trivia question about Lucifer where it was so easy to forget he is really an angel, and the Christian who dismissed spiritual warfare topics as something unsavory she doesn’t like to think about.

Christian, be aware that we are dwelling in enemy territory, and this is not our home. Our own flesh and blood is an enemy.

We are unwanted intruders on earth. We are under attack all the time. Not daily, but frequently and constantly. We are attacked by demons, by our own sin, and by the curse of the world. We are in a war and that war will not be concluded for us individually until we die or are raptured. That war for all of us as a body in Christ will not end until after the 1000 year Kingdom when satan will be let out of the pit, will foment one last war and he will be squashed and sent to the lake of fire forever.

But remember an even greater truth. Unlike every other warrior who ever fought in a war, we know the outcome prior to the war’s end! We may be battling, but “You, dear children, are from God and have overcome them, because the one who is in you is greater than the one who is in the world.” (1 John 4:4).

Jesus won the war for us, on our behalf and in obedience to the Father’s will. Jesus is the victor, and through Him we win the war. So, battle on in confidence, but never forget we are in a war.

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Further reading

Sometimes the subject of spiritual warfare draws out people who teach wacky theories or treat the subject either to lightly or too heavily. Here are some credible resources on the subject I can recommend

Truth or Territory: A Biblical Approach to Spiritual Warfare, book by Jim Osman

John MacArthur sermon series: Spiritual Warfare: Fighting to Win

Ligonier article: Our Ancient Foe

Posted in discernment, Uncategorized

The angel was delayed three weeks…

In Daniel chapter 10, we learn that Daniel has been praying for 21 days. He had inquired of the LORD, and Daniel was awaiting the reply. On day 24, the reply came, personally in the form of an angel. Daniel lifted his eyes and this is what he saw:

I lifted up my eyes and looked, and behold, a man clothed in linen, with a belt of fine gold from Uphaz around his waist. His body was like beryl, his face like the appearance of lightning, his eyes like flaming torches, his arms and legs like the gleam of burnished bronze, and the sound of his words like the sound of a multitude. (Daniel 10:5-6).

What a mighty being! Angels are strong and powerful servants of God!

Beryl is a gemstone like amethyst. It can be yellow or green or aquamarine in color. It sparkles, as any gem does. We all know what lightning looks like, as we know fire’s qualities, and burnished bronze and the sound of a multitude. The Hebrew word for multitude is roar or tumult. So, when the angel spoke, it was loud.

Such a being is powerful and frightening. No doubt that is why the angels all greet those whom they visit with the phrase “Fear not!”

So why is it that puny humans think they can march around the block and utter a few phrases and believe that the unholy angels will be scared enough to scuttle away? Is it the Christian’s duty to engage with spirits they have somehow deduced lurk about a certain location? Is it biblical to think that we can directly confront such powerful beings and use our own words to turn them away from their evil deeds? Is it realistic to think that a believer can utter a prayer that will “bind” such a powerful creature?

The holy angel visiting Daniel was delayed three weeks by an unholy angel, and only escaped when Michael arrived to help him. And we think that though such a powerful angel was delayed so many weeks, we can utter a prayer, similar to snapping our fingers or twitching our nose, and the unholy angel will fly away from us? Think about it.

We are not ignorant of satan’s schemes. (2 Corinthians 2:11). We should not be ignorant of his power, either. He is not God’s equal. But he and his cohorts are much more powerful than the little winged cherubs we like to think are the angels. Satan hates us because he hates God. He is at war with God, that old adversary, the usurper. (Isaiah 14:13-14). We must let God wage the war. We wage the war in His strength by standing and resisting, not by chasing and exorcising.

Our job is to grow in grace and strength, not chase around demons.

photo EPrata
Posted in discernment, Uncategorized

Spiritual Armor

Have you polished, adjusted, and thanked God today for your spiritual armor? We should be armed and ready, from head to toe, and praising the Lord for His generosity in protecting us from the demons and from the evil one himself! If we are on guard, rooted in His word, and seeking His face, we can always spot the real from the imitation, the Godly miracle from the demonic copy, the truth from a lying sign. It is a skill that needs honing, and we will need it more than ever as each day from now on progresses. Be ready and sharpen that sword: read your Bible today!

Here are some great resources on the topic of spiritual armor and spiritual warfare.

GotQuestions: What is the Full Armor of God?

Grace To You: The Believer’s Armor: God’s Provision for Your Protection

Free Booklet: The Armor of God

Acts 17:11 Ministry- Bible Study: The Full Armor of God

Book by Jim Osman: Truth Or Territory | A Biblical Approach to Spiritual Warfare

Posted in encouragement, Uncategorized

Prata potpourri: Spiritual warfare, Salt of the Earth, Kings Kaleidoscope, Carthage cooling, Busy Nothings, more

My summer at home is halfway through. School ends in late May and we teacher’s aides have June and July off. School begins again August 1 for us and August 5 for the kids. It’s been great to be at home, with long stretches of time to myself. I enjoy reading, studying the Bible, crafts, web surfing, learning something new (this summer, bone china history & collectibles), and watching movies. How about you? What are your favorite things to do in the summer?

Here are a few offerings that resulted from my enjoyable summer web surfing of late. Continue reading “Prata potpourri: Spiritual warfare, Salt of the Earth, Kings Kaleidoscope, Carthage cooling, Busy Nothings, more”