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Conference - The Person and Ministry of the Holy Spirit

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This evening starts the SRL ( Seminario Reformando Latinoamericano ) Annual Reformed Theological Convention, which runs October 18-23. Here are the speakers and planned topics: Visit the website for the planned lineup which begins at 7:00pm EST each night.  If you're interested in watching online, the YouTube livestream link is: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NHdgQMS457U .

Considering the Cult of William Branham

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I just finished listening to 6-part series on William Branham over at The Cultish Show .  Occasionally, I'll receive material from a Branham-associated ministry or a question from someone who came out of that background.  While this was more of a 20th century cult with its founder long dead, it still wields influence today, especially in some of the false teachings it popularized.  If you have encountered this group or have questions about it, I recommend this series to you. Part 1: Exploring The Origins Of William Branham Part 2: William Branham, Roy E. Davis, & The formulation of "The Message" Part 3: Congressman William D. Upshaw & the Ku Klux Clan Part 4: William Branham's End Times Visions & The Serpent Seed Part 5: William Branham & The Latter Rain Part 6: William Branham & The Road to Jonestown

How many people do we need in our church?

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This question, posed in different ways, inquires when we'll meet that certain threshold, that moment when the church is no longer considered "a plant" but planted .  It's a question asked to divine that moment of critical mass, the necessary "material" when the church becomes both sustainable and influential in the community.  In short, it's asking when we become a church . Here's your challenge and mine: Such is always is the wrong question to ask. I was reminded of this fact again in my sermon prep (yes, I do my own!).  One commentary notes the following exchange and helpfully opines: A young preacher once complained to Charles Spurgeon, the famous British preacher of the 1800s, that he did not have as big a church as he deserved. “How many do you preach to?” Spurgeon asked. “Oh, about 100,” the man replied. Solemnly Spurgeon said, “That will be enough to give account for on the day of judgment.” We do not measure the fulfillment of a ministry only

Does the Old Testament present a pagan cosmology?

 A recent question reminded me of this quote.  This is Kaiser on the question of cultural terminology in Toward an Exegetical Theology : But it is clear that Scripture refused to fall into some cultural containments which might thereby reduce the content of the message. One good example of this resistance is the Bible’s rejection of the “three-tiered” universe model. To see in certain poetical portions of Scripture the pre-Copernican cosmological model which had a solid dome, flat earth, and an abyss beneath the earth (along with supporting pillars and slits in the dome for rain and stars!) is either an exegetical contrivance or a failure to spot the use of figurative language.  The exegete must then ask when it is appropriate to adopt both the content and the form of the cultural item (p. 115).

What distinguishes Dispensational Premillennialism?

 According to one popular Baptist resource, we read, Dispensational premillennialism can be identified through two basic features: (1) a distinction is made between God’s program for Israel and His program for the church; (2) a consistently literal interpretation of the Scriptures is maintained. Dispensational premillennialists believe that the church will be raptured (1 Thess. 4:13–18) prior to the Tribulation period; God will judge unbelieving Gentiles and disobedient Israel during the Tribulation (Rev. 6–19). At the end of the Tribulation Christ will return with the church and establish the millennial kingdom on earth. Following the thousand-year reign, Satan will be freed once more, whereupon he and his followers will be cast into the lake of fire (Rev. 20:7–10). The eternal state will follow.  - Paul P. Enns, The Moody Handbook of Theology  (Chicago, IL: Moody Press, 1989), 389. This is an interesting definition because of how it boils down these features.   I want you to note tha

MacArthur on Self-Love

 MacArthur writes, Self-love always has been associated with worldliness, but heretofore it was never taught as a doctrinal tenet in the church, even in its most corrupt periods.   It was universally acknowledged to be the sin it is.   Even most neoorthodox theologians have recognized self-love, or pride, as the root sin of all others.   But psychologists Carl Rogers, Erich Fromm, and many others strongly denounced that God-centered view and boldly claimed that lack of self-love and self-esteem is the root problem of man.   That false and damnable twist has permeated the church to an alarming degree. [1] He continues, “The eighteenth-century preacher Samuel Johnson said, ‘He that overvalues himself will undervalue others.   And he that undervalues others will oppose them.’   Self-love alienates men from God and from each other.   Self-love is the supreme enemy of godliness and of genuine friendship and fellowship.” [2]   [1] John F. MacArthur Jr., 2 Timothy , MacArthu

The End of the Lord's Supper?

This is something that I don't believe I addressed in our Revelation study, so I will here.  In 1 Corinthians 11:26, we read, "For as often as you eat this bread and drink the cup, you proclaim the Lord’s death until He comes."  This is talking about "the Lord's Supper," of course (v. 20), meaning its practice has a terminating point in the future.   Of course, since we are now in Revelation 19, we are considering His return.  In v. 9, we read, "Blessed are those who are invited to the marriage supper of the Lamb."  This is a celebration of the union we will share with Christ.  To follow the marriage metaphor, the marriage with the Lord is already complete at this point; the supper is a celebration of the new union which has occurred. And, in case you're wondering, yes, the same word for "supper" in Revelation 19:9 appears in 1 Corinthians 11:20.  So, what is the length of the wedding feast?  Wedding feasts in the ancient world involv