Volume 5, Number 1 (Spring 1994)

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  • by John F. MacArthur

    It is puzzling how a Christian who has experienced liberation from sin's dominion can at times give in to temptation in his daily life. The OT account of Agag and the Amalekites is a good illustration of how Christians should deal with sin. They should not try to co-exist with it, but should remove it completely. Saul partially obeyed God's directive, but Samuel obeyed it to the letter by killing King Agag. Christians obey God's command to mortify sin by living a life in the Spirit and not acknowledging any obligation to the flesh. Consistent effort to mortify sin in the body comes through a life lived in the Spirit. Mortification is the believer's responsibility and includes such responsibilities as abstaining from fleshly lusts, making no provision for the flesh, fixing one's heart on Christ, meditating on God's Word, praying incessantly, exercising self-control, and being filled with the Spirit. Covering up sin, internalizing it, exchanging it for another sin, or merely repressing it do not equate to sin's mortification. Continuously and uncompromisingly removing sin-resulting in a conscience free from guilt-is what the process entails.

  • by Wayne A. Mack

    Attempts at biblical counseling sometimes neglect the important factor of establishing a facilitative relationship between the counselor and the counselee. Such a relationship can come through a demonstrated compassion such as Jesus and Paul had for people they ministered to, a compassion that is possible for the counselor to develop through controlling his thoughts. The necessary involvement can also develop if the counselor follows certain guidelines in showing respect for his counselee. The facilitative relationship is also possible when built on the foundation of sincerity, when the counselee realizes that the counselor is perfectly honest and has no hidden agenda. The substance of the counsel given is of greatest importance, but the involvement of the counselor with his counselee is most frequently the packaging that makes his advice effective in helping people.

  • by Joel R. Beeke

    The contemporary church stands in great need of refocusing on the doctrine of assurance if the desirable fruit of Christian living is to abound. A relevant issue in church history centers in whether or not the Calvinists differed from Calvin himself regarding the relationship between faith and assurance. The difference between the two was quantitative and methodological, not qualitative or substantial. Calvin himself distinguished between the definition of faith and the reality of faith in the believer's experience. Alexander Comrie, a representative of the Dutch Second Reformation, held essentially the same position as Calvin in mediating between the view that assurance is the fruit of faith and the view that assurance is inseparable from faith. He and some other Calvinists differ from Calvin in holding to a two-tier approach to the consciousness of assurance. So Calvin and the Calvinists furnish the church with a model to follow that is greatly needed today.

  • by Robert L. Thomas

    The extent and structure of the seventh bowl of Revelation have not been completely clear. The angelic agent who shows the new Jerusalem and the structural pattern of the two major intercalations regarding Babylon and the new Jerusalem indicate that the bowl extends from 16:17 all the way through 22:5. A number of miscellaneous indications, including two dramatic announcements of the end, the battle of Armageddon, the final judgment of Satan, and the finality of the last of the last plagues, confirm this extended nature of the bowl. Potential objections to that conclusion have satisfactory answers. The core happenings of the bowl have their descriptions in eight scenes in 19:11-21:8, with the two major intercalations before and after them. This definition of the seventh bowl allows for it to have a nature similar to the seventh seal and seventh trumpet, provides for a proper literary structure of the book as a whole, and confirms the premillennial return of Christ.

  • by David C. Deuel

Volume 5, Number 2 (Fall 1994)

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  • by Richard L. Mayhue

    Dr. Jack Deere, a former professor at Dallas Theological Seminary and a highly visible convert from the cessationist to the noncessationist position regarding miraculous acts of God through men, recounts his journey in Surprised by the Power of the Spirit . He reasons that cessationists have argued more from silence than from Scripture, have twisted Scripture, and have no one single Scripture passage that proves their point. In this brief analysis of his work, it is apparent that Deere, not cessationists, has made these interpretive errors in coming to his biblically unfounded conclusion that the miraculous acts of God have continued beyond the apostolic age, but with lesser quality and frequency.

  • by Eddy D. Field, II and Eddy D. Field, III

    Recently the largest Protestant denomination has ruled that membership in the Lodge is up to one's individual conscience. This position is contrary to a traditional Christian view of Freemasonry. Freemasonry is a fraternal order that advocates development of virtue and character among its members, as the authors can attest through their own past membership in it. The soteriology of Freemasonry is strongly antibiblical, as several of its teachings indicate - teachings associated with the Lambskin Apron, how to prepare for heaven, the Perfect Ashlar, the Common Gavel, and how to live a worthwhile life. Christian membership in the Lodge is, therefore, impossible to justify in light of Scriptural teachings.

  • by Paul W. Felix

    An evangelical feminist is one who has a high view of Scripture and believes the Bible teaches the full equality of men and women without role distinctions between the two. Their principles for interpreting Scripture differ markedly from those of the advocates of role differences for men and women. A comparison of evangelical feminists' principles with the grammaticohistorical method of interpretation clarifies what and how great they deviate from traditional views of a woman's role in church and at home. The disputed principles include the issues of ad hoc documents, interpretive centers, the analogy of faith, slavery as a model for the role of women, culturally biased interpretation, cultural relativity, and patriarchal and sexist texts. An examination of these issues shows evangelical feminist hermeneutics to fall short of the grammatico-historical method of interpretation.

  • by Robert L. Thomas

    In 1989, a well-known spokesman for the theonomist camp, Kenneth L. Gentry, published a work devoted to proving that John the Apostle wrote Revelation during the sixties of the first century A.D. Basing his position heavily on Rev 17:9-11 and 11:1-13, he used internal evidence within the book as his principal argument for the early date. His clever methods of persuasion partially shield his basic motive for his interpretive conclusions, which is a desire for an undiluted rationale to support Christian social and political involvement leading to long-term Christian cultural progress and dominion. If the prophecies of Revelation are yet to be fulfilled, no such progress will develop a prospect the author cannot accept. Inconsistency marks Gentry's hermeneutical pattern. Predisposition keeps him from seeing the book's theme verse as a reference to Christ's second coming. His explanation of Rev 17:9-11 is fraught with weaknesses, as is his discussion of 11:1-2. Two major flaws mar Gentry's discussion of John's temporal expectation in writing the book. Besides these problems, five major questions regarding Gentry's position remain unanswered.

  • by Kenneth L. Barker