Posted in theology

Throwback: Genesis IS the Beginning

By Elizabeth Prata

This essay first appeared on The End Time on May, 2011

In a recent John MacArthur sermon, he said, “A well-known scientist named Herbert Spencer died in 1903. He discovered that all reality, all reality, all that exists in the universe can be contained in five categories…time, force, action, space and matter. Herbert Spencer said everything that exists, exists in one of those categories…time, force, action, space and matter.

Now think about that. Time, force, action, space and matter. That is a logical sequence. And then with that in your mind, listen to Genesis 1:1. “In the beginning,” that’s time…”God,” that’s force, “created,” that’s action, “the heavens,” that’s space, “and the earth,” that’s matter. Everything that could be said about everything that exists is said in that first verse.”

Yes, indeed. The Bible is amazing isn’t it? And I share with some glee that the scientist who believes all reality can be found in those five categories was an evolutionist who actually coined the term ‘survival of the fittest’ which Darwin subsequently used. But re-read Genesis 1:1, and you find truth in the five category theory. The Bible is a wonderful book of science.

I am not ashamed of the Bible. I am not ashamed of the Gospel. It is all I need to live on, for it is my bread of life and the fountain of water is rich to slake my thirst. I believe Jesus is God incarnate, lived on earth as a man, died as the only spotless sacrifice there is, was, or will be to pay the penalty God requires for sin. I believe He died and rose again on the third day. I believe He intercedes for us at the right hand of the Father, and will return to judge the earth. I believe He is preparing a place for us called New Jerusalem which is glorious and will be our home forever when He calls us to Him. I believe I am a sinner, not arrogantly believing I am good, or that I merit entry to heaven on my own, or that I never have done, said, or thought a wrong thing, but instead I am sinful to the core. I asked Him to forgive my sins, and He did. I believe Jesus did forgive my sins and I will rule and reign with Him after He calls us to Him. I believe the church age is winding down and I thank Jesus every day for my salvation that I am cleaned from unrighteousness and will be able to dwell with Him in blissful eternity- thanks to His work on the cross. I believe the time is short. I am ready.

ARE YOU?

and god said genesis verse

Posted in discernment

Just a little something to think about … Angels among us

This essay first appeared in September 2010 on The End Time

Angels. They exist. They were created by God and they serve God. There are multitudes and multitudes of them. (Hebrews 12:22).

The bible shows us that angels appear on earth as men, sometimes looking like ordinary men (Joshua 5:13-14; Mark 16:5), and at other times looking like something other-worldly, so much so that the people gazing upon them were gripped with fear, as was Zacharias in Luke 1:12. He was speechless before the angel who visited him. So were the keepers of Jesus’ tomb, ‘who became as dead men when they saw the angel of the Lord’ (Matthew 28:4).

When they appear to people on the earth sometimes they take on human form like in Genesis 18:1-19. Jesus and two angels appeared as men and actually ate a meal with Abraham. Later two of the angels went on to Sodom and slept overnight at Lot’s house. So we know they can incarnate, appear as men, and spend a period of time on earth.

We know that some angels fell, meaning, they sided with Satan in the angelic rebellion and were cast from their places in heaven. Satan’s fall is described in Isaiah:

How you have fallen from heaven, O morning star, son of the dawn! You have been cast down to the earth, you who once laid low the nations!” (Isaiah 14:12)

A third of the angels fell with satan:

Then another sign appeared in heaven: an enormous red dragon with seven heads and ten horns and seven crowns on his heads. His tail swept a third of the stars out of the sky and flung them to the earth.” (Revelation 12:3-4).

Though satan lost his high position, he is god of this world (2 Corinthians 4:4), therefore, being cast out doesn’t interfere with from his intent to deceive us. He still pretends to be on God’s side, as seen here. “And no wonder, for Satan himself masquerades as an angel of light.” (2 Corinthians 11:14). Note the word ‘masquerades’ and ‘light’. Masquerade means “An involved scheme; a charade; as in wearing a mask or disguise’. Of course he would pretend he is one of the good guys to an unsuspecting unbeliever, or even to a Christian. His underlings pretend to be on the good side, too. His servants are the fellow angels that followed satan in the war against God and also pretend to be one of the good angels. But they only want to deceive.

You know these guys. They’re putti, or cherubs as the Renaissance artists love to portray angels.

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.

It is not surprising, then, if his servants masquerade as servants of righteousness.” (2 Corinthians 11:15).

Hebrews 13:2 says we sometimes entertain angels unawares.

So the point is, if you were beset by an angel of light, how would you know he is one of the good guys, or one of the bad guys? There is a 1 in 3 chance he is one of the bad ones. How would you know? Would you be so gripped with fear that you just accept what the angel says? Would you be so filled with pride that one of these beings was sent to you that you would accept what he said without question? Would you be so entranced by their light that you unquestioningly accept they are from God?

The only way to know is to know the Word of God. John and Peter both warned of false teachers, and Jesus said they may come to us in sheep’s clothing (Matthew 7:15; 1 John. 4:1; 2 Peter 2:1). John said our duty is to “test the spirits,” and Paul said: “Test everything. Hold on to the good.” (1 Thessalonians 5:21).

Not all angels come in peace. Some are your enemy. Be watchful and test all things!

Photo/postprocessing art EPrata
Posted in encouragement, Uncategorized

Throwback Thursday: If We had X-ray Vision, what would Sin Look Like?

This was first published in January 2014 on this blog.

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When satan was created, He was the most beautiful angel. Ezekiel 28:12 says

Son of man, raise a lamentation over the king of Tyre, and say to him, Thus says the Lord GOD: “You were the signet of perfection, full of wisdom and perfect in beauty.”

Inside or out, satan was not only beautiful, but he was the very seal of perfection. But it didn’t last. Though he was created perfect, one day, unrighteousness was found in him.

You were blameless in your ways from the day you were created, till unrighteousness was found in you.” (Ezekiel 28:15)

Initially, sin might look beautiful but the more a person becomes trapped in it, the less beautiful it seems to them and the more they are eternally destroyed.

The woman may be beautiful, and the sin so enticing, Proverbs 5:3 says,

For the lips of the adulterous woman drip honey and her speech is smoother than oil.

But the end of it all is is hell.

In the end she’s as bitter as wormwood and as sharp as a double-edged sword. Her feet go down to death; her steps head straight for Sheol. (Proverbs 5:4-5)

But sin at first has to look great, and not like ot really looks, or else no one would engage in it.

How does sin really look? Remember Superman’s X-Ray vision?

THIS is what sin might look like. Here is the Old Man. Once so beautiful and shining, it is what satan’s soul looks like. Eve thought the fruit looked good and a delight to the eyes, (Genesis 3:6) but shortly after all it had brought was pain and bondage (Genesis 3:16). If we had X-ray vision and could see beyond the enticing surface, this is what we would see:

“Sin”, collage on handmade paste paper, by EPrata

O, would that sin looked like this to our eyes, then we would not be so attracted to it! And sadly, horrifically, it is what us inside us. This ugliness is what Jesus sees when He looks at a non-believer. Lovingly, He still died for us.

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

However, being that sin is so gross and deadly, it makes the triumph of Jesus all the more glorious.  Where satan is all-darkness that fools us into thinking it is light, Jesus never had one blot, one lie, one corrupt thought, one serpent slither. Not once, not ever. He IS the Light!

God is light, and in Him is no darkness at all. (1 John 1:5)

If we had X-ray vision looking at Jesus, our eyes would see only glory upon glory, shining like the sun. He is a prism of Light, reflecting throughout all the universe and into the eternity we will share with Him! When He looks upon a believer He sees that same righteousness-

For He has made Him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in Him. (2 Corinthians 5:21)

Don’t be fooled by the initially enticing beauty of sin. It is gross, destructive, horrible. Put on your X-ray vision to see beyond the surface lie. Run from it toward Jesus who set us free from its bondage, and gave us the Spirit’s vision to see through its enticing spoils. Satan’s offerings are nothing. Jesus is our all in all.